Several months ago, the editorial staff of The Pastel Journal went in search of pastel artists who—to our way of thinking—accomplish the task of painting trees with exceptional grace and skill. You’ll find the results of our search in the October issue of the magazine: Our five featured artists represent a wide range of styles and approaches—no two paintings in our remarkable gallery of trees is quite the same, just as no two trees are quite the same—but they all share an abiding love for their subjects. For our visitors on the website, we’ve compiled a companion gallery of trees. You’ll find two paintings from each of our featured artists, as well as a brief biography.
Jack Pardue (www.parduestudio.com) is a graduate of Ringling School of Art and a signature member of the Pastel Society of America, as well as a past president of the Maryland Pastel Society. He has an extensive background as a figurative illustrator and portrait painter, but his real love is plein air pastel landscape painting and this has been the focus of his work in recent years. Pardue also enjoys teaching plein air workshops. He’s the recipient of numerous awards and his pastel paintings appear in many private and corporate collections.
Karen Watson (karenwatsonart.com) attended the College of Creative Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara and studied fine art with an emphasis on figure drawing and painting. After a brief hiatus from school, she returned to pursue a career in nursing. Some years later, a workshop at Menucha Art Camp reinvigorated her interests in the arts and since then she has invested herself fully in her pastel painting. She’s a member of the Oregon Pastel Society and she exhibits widely. Her work appears in several galleries, including the Frame Gallery and Columbia Art Gallery in Hood, Oregon.
In the Woods at King Alfred’s Tower
Sarah Bee received her Bachelor of Arts in graphic design from Maidstone College of Art and studied watercolor painting at Heatherley School of Fine Art in the United Kingdom. After working as a graphic designer for several national magazines, she became a make-up artist and body painter for photography and film. Her work has been exhibited at the Mall Galleries, the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, the New English Art Club, Chelsea Art Society and several galleries in the United Kingdom.
Brittani Faulkes (www.brittanifaulkes.com) is a full time artist working in pastels and oil, who teaches workshops in pastels and the processes of abstraction. She studied fine arts at Emily Carr College of Art and Design, Sapporo’s Bisen College of Art and the University of British Columbia. Faulkes exhibits in galleries in British Columbia, Ontario, and Washington and is a member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, the Pastel Society of America, Pastel Artists Canada and the Pastel Association of Canada. She is also an avid back road explorer and traveler.
Brett Varney (www.brettvarney.com) has been a full-time professional artist since 1990, soon after he graduated from the University of Washington. His first creations were hand-pulled serigraphs that later had a significant influence on his oil pastel painting style. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors and his work appears in several galleries in Washington, Oregon and California. Varney’s studio is currently located in Sechelt, which is on British Columbia’s sunshine coast, where he is constantly inspired by the plentiful natural beauty.