Friday, April 5, 2013

From Pastel to Oil

Afternoon Refuge, oil, 14x18
Juried into the 2013 OPA National Exhibition

This week is Spring Break in our area. And with my son home from school and many of my students out of town, I had the week off from teaching pastel classes.

So for this week's blog post, I thought I'd mention a bit about my work in oil. For the past couple of years I've been working about equal time in pastel and oil. Although with teaching pastel, it probably ends up with a little more time spent with pastel. I worked in oil many years ago, but for about 12 years, I worked almost exclusively in pastel, and so it become like my "first language" in art. When I tried to go back to oil after those dedicated pastel years, it was like learning a new language. I knew what I wanted to say with the painting, but it was a different thought process to figure out how to say it.

Well, I'm happy to say that I finally feel like I'm gaining ground with my oil work. I was thrilled as can be to learn that I had a painting accepted into the Oil Painters of America (OPA) 2013 National Juried Exhibition, which will be held this year in Fredericksburg, TX in May.

If you'd like to see the entire OPA exhibit, it's posted online here:

I plan to continue working in both pastel and oil, and hope to at some point be equally skilled in both. I've received many requests to teach oil. However, I feel like I still have much to learn in this medium, and still work out many of my paintings through trial and error, and experiment with various approaches to a painting. But teaching classes in oil is certainly a goal that's on my radar screen. Right now I do have a couple of workshops scheduled in July and September which focus on composition and are not medium-specific, so they're open to other media besides pastel. So if you're a pastel artist wanting to take a short-term "Composition Bootcamp" workshop with a paintbrush-toting friend...check out these workshops!


  1. Congratulations, Barbara! No matter which medium you choose, your work is distinguished by your masterful style.

  2. Wow! Congrats Barbara! Thanks for the link to the show.