"CLIFF AT POINT LOBOS" by Frances Zurek Morgan, Placerville


Pastels on High opens

By From page B2 | November 02, 2012

What: “Pastels on High” International Exhibition

Who: Sierra Pastel Society

Where: El Dorado Arts Council ArtSpace Gallery, 459 Main St. in Placerville

When: Tuesday, Nov. 6 through Dec. 1

Cost: Free


The Sierra Pastel Society is proud to present the ninth “Pastels on High” International Exhibition opening Tuesday, Nov. 6 at El Dorado Arts Council ArtSpace Gallery, 459 Main St. in Placerville. The show runs through Dec. 1.

The gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., except on Third Saturday Art Walk, Nov. 17, when the gallery will remain open until 8 p.m.

Admission is free and all paintings are for sale.

The public is also invited to meet the artists at a gala reception and awards presentation at the gallery on Third Saturday afternoon from 4 to 6. Over $5,000 in merchandise and scholarships will be given to award winners. The painting deemed Best of Show will bring a check for $1,000 to its creator.

Art enthusiasts will see some of the most beautiful works of pastel art available in the Sacramento region at the Pastels on High International Exhibition.

This juried biennial exhibit showcases 67 paintings by gifted pastel artists from nine states across the country as well as California. More than 20 artists accepted into the show live in the Sacramento region.

The Sierra Pastel Society is honored this year to have one of the most distinguished pastelists in California, Terri Ford, as the juror and judge of awards.

Ford is a Signature Member of the Pastel Society of America and a Master Circle member of the International Association of Pastel Societies, as well as a member of the Sierra Pastel Society.

Her pastel paintings have won numerous awards, most recently the grand prize in the 13th annual Pastel 100 Contest sponsored by the national art magazine, “Pastel Journal.”

Ford’s pastel paintings include both landscapes and portraits. A studio painter for many years, she has more recently become a plein air enthusiast and has been a frequent award winner in the Carmel Art Festival plein air event. A resident of the Bay Area, Ford currently travels throughout the U.S. and abroad teaching.

The Sierra Pastel Society was founded in 1999. The objective of SPS is to provide members with learning opportunities and exhibitions, and to create a greater awareness of pastels with art collectors and the general public.

The motto “Bringing Brilliance to Art and Life” is demonstrated through the vivid colors and varied application techniques to achieve desired moods in these selected paintings. SPS has more than 100 members — both professional and amateur painters.

The Sierra Pastel Society is also a member of the International Association of Pastel Societies. For more information go to

As described by the Pastel Society of America, pastels are powdered pigment, rolled into sticks and held together with a non-greasy binder. They can be blended or left with visible strokes and lines. Generally, the ground is toned paper, but sanded boards and canvas are also popular. If the ground is covered completely with pastel, the work is considered a pastel painting; a pastel sketch shows much of the ground. When properly framed and cared for, pastel is the most permanent of all fine art painting media (including oils, acrylics, and watercolors), for it never cracks, darkens or yellows.

Historically, Degas was the most prolific user of pastel, and its champion, for he raised it to the full brilliance of oil. His protégé, Mary Cassatt, introduced the Impressionists and pastel to her wealthy friends in Philadelphia and Washington, and thus to the United States. Today, many of our most renowned living artists have distinguished themselves in pastels, and have enriched the world with this glorious medium.

Sierra Pastel

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