Your Ah Haa Moment: Dawson teaches pastel painting

Your Ah Haa Moment: Dawson teaches pastel painting

[click to hearSusan’s interview with Doug Dawson]           

Dawson-nudestudyofpam_sm The Telluride Gallery of Fine Art has a stable that includes some of the best pastel artists in the world, among them Sally Strand, Carole Katchen, Bruce Gomez, and Doug Dawson.

Doug Dawson is also a Visiting Artist at Telluride’s Ah Haa School for the Arts, where he is teaching an intensive weekend workshop, “Pastel Painting: Studio Landscapes,” November 6 – 8.

Dawson_road_to_telluride_sm Pastels were mentioned in one of Leondardo da Vinci’s notebooks dating back to 1495. Artists such as Maurice Quentin de La Tour and Rosalba Carriera used the dry crayon-like sticks to create masterpieces as far back as 1703. During the 18th century, the medium became all the rage for portrait painting, especially in combination with gouache. In the 19th century, Degas, one of the founders of the Impressionists, worked in pastel to create his famous series of ballet dancers,  legitimizing the medium.

Across the pond in the U.S., pastels were the Rodney Dangerfield of the art world, step-children compared to the more stable medium of oil, and were used only occasionally in portraiture. However, following Degas’ lead, in the late nineteenth century, pastel  (and watercolor) became more popular. The Society of Painters in Pastel was founded in 1885.

Dawson-telluridestudy_sm Doug Dawson is a celebrated member of the American Watercolor Society and the Pastel Society of the Southwest, The Knickerbocker Artists (New York) and the Pastel Society of America. His work has been featured in museum shows, including a one-man show at The Charles and Emma Frye Art Museum, Seattle, WA; John F. Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.; and the Societe Des Pastellistes de France International Exhibition, Paris.

Dawson is an alchemist with colored sticks, coaxing the extraordinary out of the ordinary. An astute observer of the everyday, he finds magic in quotidian activities: a nap,  parked cars, rainy days, and sleepy streets in small towns such as Telluride.

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.