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Ethereal Afternoon – Soft Pastel Painting by Bethany Fields

Ethereal Afternoon – 8×8″ soft pastel on sanded paper


Letting go and finding my own style is something I’m working on daily.  There are certain artists I so greatly admire that sometimes when I am working on my own paintings I’m frustrated that mine don’t look like their work.  Silly.  I know if mine looked like theirs, they wouldn’t inherently be mine.  I am a very harsh critic of my pieces and want to make my paintings more than they are…or I have an idea and can’t quite reach what I want.

Here is a short list of my favorite pastellists:

Richard McKinley

Barbara Jaenicke

Liz Haywood-Sullivan

Doug Dawson

Lyn Asselta

Stan Sperlak

Each one of these artists inspires me with their beautiful work and I have spent hours and days studying their paintings.  I would love at some point to attend a workshop with any of these individuals!  Being 100% self-taught has its limits.  Thankfully I’m a quick visual learner and the studying I’ve done through the books I own or through the sites I visit has been invaluable.  With that being said, it’s so important to just let go and find your own voice and to trust your own instincts and abilities.   As I’ve been painting consistently over the past few months I’ve definitely noticed a pattern in my style and in my palette.  Whether or not the consistent palette is due to my limited pastel supply or not, I am finding similarities within my paintings and slowly slowly becoming more and more satisfied with the end result.



By | 2017-02-06T10:56:19+00:00 June 22nd, 2015|


  1. Ruthie June 23, 2015 at 12:04 am - Reply

    I love this painting.. Im also studing Richard McKinney and Lis Hayward. Im just starting to learn about underpainting and studying their.books and a coarse of Richard McKinney’s. 10 yrs. Ago I was ginen some lessons by a wonderful pastelist but she didn’t teach this and where I live in Mississippi Im a lone pastelists. So far I need photos but my goal is to gain my voice and looseness.. I just finished a painting for a friend tonight… but I don’t think she likes it. Your goals seem much like mine.

    • Bethany June 23, 2015 at 8:47 am - Reply

      Thank you so much for commenting Ruthie! I think it must be common for us artists to feel lonely in our work…community is so important! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who feels this way! 🙂

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