Pastels in Light, Best of Show

Submitted by Gary on Wed, 07/17/2013 - 11:32

Rocky Fortress, 8 x 10, Pastel

I would very much like to thank Pastel Society of the West Coast and Cuong Nguyen, judge of the show Pastels in Light, for the extreme honor of awarding me Best of Show. The honor was received for the small painting, Rocky Fortress which was painted from a field sketch made on site at Rocky Point near Carmel, California, at the northern end of the magnificent Big Sur coast.

Visiting the site on a morning when the surf was high and the light striking the rock formation created colorful shadows, it seemed like a painting waiting to happen. However I was trying to get to another place where I planned to paint most of the day and it would have been a chore to carry the gear down a steep trail to this vantage point. Hence I just plunked myself down in the grass right at the edge of a 60 foot vertical drop, hung my legs over the edge and did several sketches. Only later did I realize that the bushes I had walked through getting there were poison oak. Their toxins seeped through my pant legs and I had the itches for days. Getting this award more than makes up for the pain though!

Cuong was the Best of Show winner in this year's Pastels USA exhibition and that is how he was chosen to judge this members-only show. I am given to understand he liked all three of my pieces which flatters me to no end given his amazing talent. I hope to meet him someday and thank him in person.

The show is being held at Sacramento Fine Arts, 5330-B Gibbons Drive, Carmichael, CA, from July 16 until August 10. There is a reception and awards ceremony on the final day of the show.