Co|So's Proficient Pastel Painters

If you visited the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston this weekend, you may have seen Copley Master Jeanne Rosier Smith giving a gallery tour of the “French Pastels: Treasures from the Vault” exhibition. Jeanne explained how artists such as Degas, Monet, Millet, and others innovatively created painterly pastels, and how their techniques and styles still influence contemporary artists today. To coincide with Jeanne’s exploration of past and present pastel artists, this week we will be taking a close look at Co|So’s own pastel painters and their distinctive styles.

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Jeanne Rosier Smith leads a guided tour of the “French Pastels” exhibition at the MFA

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Jeanne Rosier Smith, CM, Sunshine, pastel, 22 x 30”

On view in the Summer Members Show “Anchors Aweigh” is Jeanne Rosier Smith’s bright and energetic pastel painting of a wave. In each of her paintings, Rosier Smith attempts to paint an emotion or mood, whether it be joy, peace, exuberance, or meditation. In Sunshine, Jeanne captures the sheer happiness that exudes from the warmth and bright energy of an ocean wave.

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Dave Kaphammer, Afternoon Fishing, pastel, 30 x 24”

In contrast to the spirited wave in Jeanne Rosier Smith’s Sunshine, Dave Kaphammer’s pastel painting Afternoon Fishing depicts the mood of a calm, placid lake. And while Jeanne’s pastel painting depicts striking realism, Dave’s piece shows the artist’s ability to paint abstraction, as shown in the rippling reflections of the fisherman and boat in the water.

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Janet Schwartz, Salty Dogs, pastel, 11 x 14”

More nautical pastels such as Salty Dogs by Janet Schwartz and New York Yacht Club Coming In, Penobscot Bay by Anne Emerson are on view in the small works exhibition “Ports of Call.” Underneath the layers of pastel strokes in Salty Dogs, one sees the paper’s deep, dimpled surface, which effectively contributes to the painting’s rough texture and sketchy style. Anne Emerson’s pastel also features roughly-painted edges, but incorporates thick applications of color to evoke the tense movements of the turning sailboat and the rippling waters.

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Anne Emerson, New York Yacht Club Coming In, Penobscot Bay, pastel, 11 x 14”

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Shelly Eager, Chess Rules, Havana, Cuba, pastel, 30 x 24”

Like Janet Schwartz’ rough style in Salty Dogs, Shelly Eager took a similar approach to her painting Chess Rules, Havana, Cuba. In this painting, Shelly Eager’s sketchy style emphasizes the tense emotions of the players and bystanders who are invested in a stirring game of chess.

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Cindy Crimmin, Valencia Vieja, Spain, pastel, 10 x 12”

As exemplified in Shelly Eager’s work, a painting’s style, composition, and light create the mood and sense of a place. This idea is similarly executed in Cindy Crimmin’s pastel painting Valencia Vieja, Spain and Susan Hollis’ High Above. Playing with light, Crimmin paints the beauty of a historic, majestic archway as light gradually pours onto the stone wall and drips onto each descending stair. And in Hollis’ landscape painting, the low horizon line elongates the sky above, emphasizing the vast stretch of the natural scenery.

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Susan Hollis, CA, High Above, pastel, 13 x 9”

Whether they are painting portraits or landscapes, abstraction or realism, our pastel painters showcase their impeccable skills in the exhibitions “Anchors Aweigh” and “Ports of Call.” See these pastel paintings and more by these artists on view in the Upper and Lower Galleries through August 19th.