" “Spring Thaw”, my drawing that won the Art du Pastel en France , was probably the “edgiest” painting I have ever done. Early in the spring, when the snows of winter had finally melted away, I went walking through the woods and into the lower pasture on the farm behind our house. I came upon a pile of bones from a cow that didn't make it through the winter blizzards. The warm tones of the setting sun cast colorful shadows on the bones and I was struck by the beauty of their forms as well as the sadness of the ravages of winter. At the time, I was growing a bit weary of the majestic, pastoral scenery of much contemporary landscape painting, including my own. This painting is my reaction to "pretty pictures that hang over the couch”. I wanted to see if I could take a subject normally thought of as disgusting or disturbing and show how light and shadow can transform it. It's nature and the cycle of life brutal, sad, and, beautiful. Spring Thaw" won the Art du Pastel en France award at the Pastel Society of America show this year.
This was my first time in the show and a great honor to be selected let alone get picked for an award. Kate and I took the Megabus up to NYC for the day and attended the show in the National Arts Club, a magnificent mansion in Gramercy Park. That makes three awards for this painting. Time to retire this racehorse.
Pastel Society of America 2016
“A primary mandate of the Pastel Society of America (PSA) is to provide a forum for the exhibition of works by the most accomplished pastel artists in the United States and abroad.”
“Six hundred seventy-five artists submitted a total of 1,496 images. Of those artists, 487 were PSA members and 188 were non-members. Thirty-nine artists entered from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Malaysia, Poland, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.”
“One hundred seventy-five artworks were selected for exhibition. The exhibition, the culmination of PSA activities for the year, acknowledges the professional excellence of participating artists and helps promote the finest examples of pastel to the public, the professional art world, art students, and art collectors.” (psa website) the Art du Pastel en France is the award given by the French version of the PSA.