Archives for Pastel

A Spiritual Connection

It’s a Monday morning in late May, and Linda Mutti is feeling lucky. “I am gonna paint today,” she announces jubilantly. “And then I’m doing a mentoring class, and then I’m going to hang with my two little rescue dogs. They’re very yappy, but I adore them. They like to come hang out in the studio.” If Mutti’s day doesn’t sound sufficiently idyllic, consider this: The studio in question is on the second floor of her home in Santa Barbara, California, with a panoramic view of the Santa Ynez Mountains. If she feels like painting outside instead of in the
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Endless Inspiration

Denise LaRue Mahlke doesn’t have to go far to find inspiration for her paintings. She simply has to step outside and look up—or out. “I find great inspiration in the beauty of big, cloud-filled skies and wide-open places, but I am also drawn to quiet, intimate scenes that require a closer look,” she says. “Subtleties in nature excite me, particularly the exquisite light and atmosphere found early or late in the day.” Mahlke paints the beauty she sees in and around her home in Whitehouse, Texas, as well as other places in the West, using pastels as she does so.
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Looking For Attitudes

The two weeks that Trish Stevenson spent at her grandparent’s log cabin in western North Dakota each summer as a child were the best part of her year. She and her five siblings loved how different it was from their home outside Denver, Colorado. They even loved the outhouse. “It was like camping for two weeks,” she says. “It was the highlight of the year for us.” But what Stevenson remembers most is her grandfather. She remembers how tall and lanky he was, how he sat with his legs crossed in a certain way, how he rolled cigarettes with Bull
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Still Going Strong

Artists will tell you that creating art is a career—but it’s not a job. Why is that? They see creating art as a calling that is so intense it cannot be ignored no matter the risk. And there is indeed risk, financial as well as personal. They put their work out into the world, where everyone who sees it will judge it. If it’s deemed worthy, it will sell. If not, it’s on to the next painting or sculpture, determined to do better. The four artists we feature on the following pages have a combined age of 344 years and
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Emotionally Engaged

Natasha Isenhour is having a great year, even if it’s not quite the year she had expected. “I’m doing awesome,” she says. “Suddenly, finally, all this work has begun to come to fruition, and 2020 was set up to be just this amazing year. I was invited to do Cowgirl Up!, and that was huge. My gallery in Santa Fe, Ventana Fine Art, is giving me my first solo show. Then I was asked to be the featured artist for the Mendocino Plein Air event. And there’s more.” In mid-April, with much of the country under lockdown because of COVID-19,
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Hooked on the Feeling

If she hadn’t been diagnosed with Type I diabetes during her first year of college, Carol Strock Wasson today would be a chemical engineer rather than an artist, who is thrilling collectors with her beautifully rendered landscape paintings. In order to deal with that diagnosis and the required twice daily insulin injections, she returned home to Union City, Indiana, where she currently resides, and began to paint. “It’s the reason I’m an artist today,” Strock Wasson says. “I had painted in high school, and my mother was an artist, so I turned to art. Carol Strock Wasson (Indiana) Yellow Bucket
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The Studio of Kim Lordier

Until 2004, Kim Lordier created her brilliant paintings in a small bedroom at her home in Millbrae, California, just outside San Francisco. Today, she is happily at work in a structure that is separate from the house but is connected to it by a deck that features a myriad of colorful, potted flowers. The studio—which she refers to alternately as her “man cave” and “the shed”—suits her needs perfectly, offering a quiet, private space in which to work on the landscape paintings that have earned her a host of awards. Lordier has spent her entire life in California; in fact,
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The Stuido of Lorenzo Chavez

At the end of December, as landscape painter Lorenzo Chavez walked along Cherry Creek near Parker, Colorado, he held his cell phone to his ear. He was multitasking, as he visited with this writer, while enjoying the day’s mild weather and scouted the area in search of scenes that might eventually find their way into a painting. He’s outside, where he belongs, where he finds inspiration for the colorful landscapes he composes, much to the delight of his many collectors. A portrait painter turned landscapist, Chavez is equally at home painting the desert, the ocean, mountain, or the foothills near
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