by Bethany, November 13, 2017
I’ve shared a little about this on my various social media and newsletter outlets, but I’m so thrilled to have an article out for the December issue of Pastel Journal magazine! This is a long-wished-for goal and I am thrilled and delighted with the results. Thank you doesn’t quite express my gratitude to the amazing people of the editorial and writing staff.
Several months ago (waay back in the Spring), Anne Hevener, the editor-in-chief for the PJ, emailed me asking if they could feature me in the 2017 December issue. Of course my immediate thought was “Of course!” followed by “do people really say no to this?” She mentioned wanting to cover my work and especially the snowy scenes I paint (since it was the December issue after all). This sent me into a mini panic as I didn’t paint as much snow in the Winter of 2016 – early 2017 and was anxious about having enough current work for the article. I figured I just needed to dig deep and make sure I had good printable photos to share and also decided to paint a few new pieces just in case.
The first thing I had to do was go through my existing works and pull those I thought would fit the article as well as show my range and style. I have my paintings stored flat in multiple acid-free tracing paper booklets and they are sorted by size/year painted/subject matter…(that’s the plan anyway!). I pulled around 20 paintings and checked to see if I had good photos (most magazines require images to be at 300dpi and printable up to 8x11ish). Many of my paintings are smaller works and so I looked for a range of paintings in various sizes, formats, and aspect ratios.
If I didn’t have a good picture, I carefully photographed my pieces using my Nikon D800. (This is the camera I use for all my filming and video work and it is a strong, solid, professional workhorse. Nikon has since upgraded the model to the D810). The lighting for image work in this manner is key as well as correct color temperature. I hand-edited my images in Adobe Photoshop using various curve layers and masks to make sure they were as close to the originals as possible. There is always a risk that your color will be off (especially if your monitor is not color calibrated) between digital and print images) but I sent them on a wing and a prayer and am very pleased with how they look in the magazine! The layout is gorgeous, clean, bright, and well-designed.
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After several email exchanges with the editorial staff, I was put in touch with my writer, the esteemed Michael Chesley-Johnson. He is a multi-talented artist and author and it was wonderful being able to talk to him and tell him my story.
He sent me questions ahead of time and we also had phone conversations to flesh out some of my answers. I am an effusive “talker” and absolutely love to share the process of painting and things that I’ve learned, what works for me, and things that haven’t worked for me. He was very kind and patient and a great interviewer with good questions.
The painting below (La Luna, 13×16 pastel on paper) was painted specifically for the article. I felt I needed a vertical snowy piece that could be used in a possible “full page” placement. Most of my paintings are either square format or horizontal works. I had no idea what paintings would be chosen until the article was ready but am so thankful this one made the headliner image!
I took one “in process” photo of the underpainting beginnings of “La Luna.” (at right) I first began by pencil sketching in the rough main shapes. I then used my acrylic ink in Sepia to scrub in the main bush/scrubby tree) and also the cast shadows. The cast shadow ink is a diluted mixture of Sepia and Indigo Daler-Rowney acrylic inks.
In the photo, I have just begun to swipe in some purple and peachy pastels at the bottom. This is pre-alcohol wash-in and all done on Uart 400 grit sanded paper.
I wish I had taken more photos. I’m sure after this photo was taken, I quickly got in the zone – you know how hard it is to stop once that happens!
This was a huge dream realized and I am so thankful for the opportunity to share my work. It is the work of my heart and soul and I so grateful for everyone who has cheered and encouraged me. So many thanks to all the people who made this possible!! I am still on Cloud ELEVEN.
Now for the fun part!!
I have some extra copies of the magazine and want to send them to you! I will autograph and send your magazine in a happy package (maybe even with some extra art goodies).
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Email me and let me know so I can enter your name! I will be drawing the winners on Monday, November 20…stay tuned!
Thank you all for reading and sharing. I appreciate each and every one of you.
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