What’s in your pastel collection?


pastels in my studio, Jeffrey Smith

Start talking shop with anyone who works with pastels, and you’ll very quickly get to one of the most popular questions,  “What brand of pastels do you use?” My answer? I work with a HUGE variety of soft and hard pastel brands. My collection began with a set of Rembrandts that I inherited from my …
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Landscape painting with pastels | Riverside Pastel


Riverside, pastel on paper, 18x24", Jeffrey Smith

I flip through a lot of art magazines. I look at magazines geared towards collectors and magazines geared towards other artists.  I always find it fascinating to read about how a painter begins their work. There are the lucky few.  The idea just seems to fall out of them.  Sure–maybe they do some preparatory work that didn’t make …
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Recycling a plein air painting and a vacation


Jeffrey Smith | pastel | Lake Superior Rocks

So the rain finally stopped. Excited, I bundled up in damn near every article of clothing that I had brought with me. Slinging my bag of painting gear over my shoulder, I made my way down to the lake shore. I surveyed the scene. The blue sky and late afternoon sunshine were peaking through holes …
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Blue Pot, Orange Begonia


I had a few hours to get into the studio today, and thought this would be a great chance to revisit this wonderful potted begonia.  It has been bringing a touch of spring to my studio for the last few weeks.  I really needed it today.  The high here in Minnesota didn’t reach much above …
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Forsythia and Copper Canister, final


I do love reaching the end of a painting! I had such a wonderful working on this piece.  I has been far too long a break from pastel this time, and I’m thrilled to be back at it. To celebrate my last day in the studio with my forsythia painting up on the easel, I …
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Forsythia and Copper Canister, update #2


I’ve been digging through my boxes of pastels to find colors that I can use to unify areas of the painting.  To do this, I try to find a color that can be applied to a few different objects.  An example would be the light blue that I was able to use in the background, …
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Forsythia and Copper Canister, work in progress update


I finally got back over to the studio today.  We have been moving from an apartment in the Warehouse District of downtown Minneapolis, to our first house, over in Saint Paul!  I’m thrilled to be living back in Saint Paul, but moving is a lot of work! Every time that I’ve done it, I swear …
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