Monday, April 27, 2009

How do you read your Pastel Journal?

My new Pastel Journal arrived the other day. I love to see it glowing amid the bills and junk and throwaways. It's like getting chocolate in the mail (except you can't actually swallow it).

As with M&Ms and Oreos, there is a technique to savoring the Pastel Journal. Actually, there are several. I've employed them all. The first method is where you drop everything and page straight through, devouring the illustrations and leaving the text for later. This is a lot like licking the frosting off a cupcake. (Canadian realist and workshop guru Dianna Ponting calls pastel the chocolate of painting mediums. I love Dianna.) While this is a real sugar rush, it ends all too soon, and the rest of the magazine is sadly anticlimactic. Alternatively, you can wait until you've changed your clothes, gotten the house in order, and found a quiet moment before you open it up to the feature articles and read them start to finish, not turning to the next illustration until you've read the accompanying text. This approach requires more self-discipline, akin to eating a nutritious dinner before bringing out the dessert. Then there is the method I practiced today. I did not let myself look at the magazine until the weekend, when I took it out to the garden with a glass of iced tea and read it cover to cover, turning backwards and forwards to look at the pictures and follow the text, not skipping anything. It was marvelous. Even the ads were enjoyable. Forget M&Ms and Oreos; this was a Lindt truffle, nibbled at leisure.

Next I need to get a gift subscription for my best friend. We used to read PJ together before I moved away, and I miss sharing it with someone; soon we'll be able to share it over the phone. We'll discuss each artist and every image, and probably have at least one argument in which I will cite the Coke-bottle thickness of her eyeglasses. It'll be great.

I know, I know, it's a lot of fuss about a little niche art magazine. But it's my niche and I love to read about it. No art world ravings in Pastel Journal, just plain, honest writing from people who love the medium as much as I do. It's like visiting old friends who happen to have a fabulous, ever-changing all-pastel art collection. Or at least I think it is--none of my friends has a fabulous, ever-changing, all-pastel art collection (except those who read PJ, of course).

How do you read your Pastel Journal?

[Reading this, you may conclude that I am a sadly addicted chocoholic. Not true. I love the stuff, but eat it rarely. Really good chocolate may not do much to nourish the body, but it is surely food for the soul.]


  1. I am a chocoholic, bur sadly not addicted to the pastel journal....maybe when they do more OPs...

  2. Hmmm...glasses of Coke bottle thickness you say? I prefer to think of it as the differing opinions of an artist (you) and a non-artist (I). A non-artist is a person who is incapable of seeing as an artist sees. Some non-artists don't even wear Coke bottles -- oops,I mean, glasses. If we could see as an artist does, we, too, would be artists (I think, lol).

    I have two questions floating around in my head (there's plenty of room in there for floating things):

    1.) How many artists have really bad eyesight?
    2.) What percenmtage of artists buy the art of other artists?

    BTW, you may need to come up with a different way to pronounce me blind as a bat. Your "Coke bottle" reference dates you. I wonder how many adults today have never seen a glass Coke bottle?

    Full of wonder(and other more sordid things),
    Your Best Friend

    P.S. The word verification for this post is "sustic". I like this non-word word. I'll have to think about what it means, though. What do you think?


  3. I only just started subscribing to PJ. Don't know what I think yet. I think I wish they had more abstracts in it, so far.
    I am someone who literally has to eat chocolate daily. I'm afraid I must confess to being the type of art magazine reader who goes first for the frosting. :)
    What a fun post, thanks.

  4. Hi Kim,

    It's been a while since I've taken a look at your wonderful pastel works.
    Well, if it's to get a Pastel Journal subscription, I can also be your friend :-)

    Have a nice week,



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