This truly has been a growing and evolving year in my art career and I am so grateful for each moment! My intention for 2013 was to devote more time and energy to painting, getting into juried shows and keep learning and developing. Looking back, I can see I have accomplished much and took full advantage of the hundreds of hours studio and plein air painting.

I was thrilled to go to the International Pastel Society Convention in Albuquerque in June and study under fabulously talented pastel artists. Meeting other pastelists and seeing old friends adds to the joy of the experience. The biggest thrill was to be in the IAPS juried show (my first time) and be given an Honorable Mention for my Donkey Ride painting by Fred Somers.

Being the workshop chair for the Southeastern Pastel Society, we had Elizabeth Mowry come in May and instruct for 2 back to back 3 day workshops. Besides being a superb artist, she is one of the nicest people. I so enjoyed getting to know this talented lady for she is the author of the first book on pastels I ever bought, Landscape Meditations. Winning a Merit award for my painting Mykonos Shopping Day, in which she judged for our pastel society, was a great honor.

Plein air painting was a big part of my growth, as well. Making it a point to go outside and paint on Tuesdays with our small group of dedicated artists, taught me to see true color and atmosphere, something photographs just can’t achieve. It all culminated in winning 1st place at the the Gwinnett County Parks Plein Air Challenge in September for my painting Morning Sparkle held at Tannery Row Artist Colony.

Marc Hanson, whose work I long admired, came in November to instruct a 3 day plein air workshop in oil. Spending a week painting outside in the north GA mountains working with a limited oil palette and painting the gray tones of winter was challenging yet illuminating. Marc is such a giving instructor and I get so much out of watching him demonstrate.

In September, my husband Don and I made a trip to NY city to see the prestigious Pastel Society of America Annual Show “Enduring Brilliance”. What a huge thrill to see my painting hung alongside amazing artwork by pastel artists I have long revered.

Another big thrill was Pastel Journal Magazine picking Donkey Ride to be published in their Top 100 Competition in the upcoming April ’14 issue. I was literally jumping for joy when I found out.

Sunset Over the Atlantic, my sky painting, was also juried in the IAPS (International Association of Pastel Societies) web show…another big honor.

To top the year off, I decided to have an Art Open House the 1st Sunday of December. I realized I have over 100 paintings throughout my home and it was about time to invite people over to see them. I had framed painting throughout the living room and also on a big “gallery wall” in my den (3 rows deep) of my work. My downstairs studio was open to walk through with lots of different sized unframed pieces that line the walls from one end to the other. Everything was for sale but what I didn’t anticipate was selling 22 paintings and getting 5 commissions!! I was completely blown away….thanks to my wonderful friends and patrons for all their support! Well, I guess I’ll be doing that again!

Looking back, 2013 has been such a successful year! As I’m writing, I can’t help but be filled with gratitude to be able to share my passion for art. I feel so lucky and blessed …and to think I’ve only been painting in pastel for just over 4 years. What is truly exciting is to see what 2014 will bring. I know deep in my heart, when you do what you love, and you set your intention to what you want to achieve, life just gets better and better!

Here are photos of my Gallery Wall in my den and downstairs studio.

Gallery wall 2 2 Nancy's Art Studio 2013 2 Nancy's Art Studio 2013 4 Nancy's Art Studio 2013 11 Nancy's Art Studio 2013 10 Nancy's Art Studio 2013 9 Nancy's Art Studio 2013 8 Nancy's Art Studio 2013 6 Nancy's Art Studio 2013 12 Nancy's Art Studio 2013 13 Nancy's Art Studio 2013 14 Nancy's Art Studio 2013 15 Nancy's Art Studio 2013 16 Nancy's Art Studio 2013 17 Nancy's Art Studio 2013 18 Nancy's Art Studio 2013 19 Nancy's Art Studio 2013 20 Nancy's Art Studio 2013 21Gallery wall 3