An amazing workshop delivered by Simon Hodges VPPS and my goal to try an apply for The Pastel Society Membership
Recently I was very lucky to attend part of a pastel workshop at Chapel Arts, very kindly delivered by Simon Hodges VPPS. Simon is a very accomplished professional multi-media artist and Vice President of The Pastel Society. It was wonderfully informal and Simon was so approachable and helpful, sharing some of his wealth of knowledge and advice. His immense collection of impressive sketchbooks were there for us to peruse at our leisure and each sketch/drawing was stunning and revealed the expertise and passion. That was such a privilege for me and with each turn of the page I was in art heaven! Simon talked about all the different types of pastels, paper, fixatives etc. and what they can do. He also gave us some impromptu demos to show their versatility. A vast array of materials were provided and there was plenty of time to chat to both Simon and some of the other artists, which I really enjoyed. (one of the challenges that I face is that creating art can be so isolating) What was so refreshing was that anyone could attend the session and the whole five hours were FREE! It was an absolutely positive and amazing opportunity to be there and listen to Simon’s expertise and passion. I am so grateful to him and Chapel Arts for hosting this fascinating event. What was great to hear was that Simon too was ‘self-taught’ and that he had been painting since he was a child and has had a successful career as an architect. He shared many wise words of wisdom, and his statement that 95% is practice and 5% talent, when it comes to art, particularly rang true for me. I would say that I have been drawing off and on for 50 years now and it’s only within the past year or so that I think I’ve hopefully found my ‘niche’.

Personally I need goals with which to aim for and one of them has been to apply to become a member of the prestigious Pastel Society. It has been in existence since 1898 and founder members/exhibitors were Degas (one of my favourite artists), Rodin and Whistler, to name but a few. Understandably the process to become a member is very challenging and I don’t expect to be successful. But my reasoning is that I’ve worked very hard and I would always regret the fact that I didn’t try. IF I was successful it would be the pinnacle for my drawing and passion for art and to have those two letters (PS) after my name would mean acceptance as an artist for me.
Time will tell.