Here is a report with photos of my experience as an IAPS newbie! The greatest pastel play ground in the world was such an enriching time for me and I’m sharing an overview with you here.
But before I dig in to the delicious details, I want to let you know that my quarterly newsletter will be going out later next week. You don’t want to miss it: at the very least you’ll want to access the special discount that will be made available only to newsletter subscribers. Just enter your name and email right here in this page to make sure you receive the link!
TL;DR–I had a lot of fun, learned a lot, here’s some pictures. 😋
On the first leg of my flight!
I’m a small town girl, y’all, so travel on airplanes etc is always a novelty and makes me a bit anxious. I was afraid traveling with my pastels would be an issue (not much of one, it turns out), that I would have trouble getting through the airport with my traitor of a knee (how do you blow out your knee just sleeping?), or miss a flight or something.
None of that happened. I arrived safely in Albuquerque where my long time friend Sandy picked me up.
Obligatory (and fun!) Selfie with Sandy.
We had planned some sight seeing, but my knee caused us to change plans, and Sandy just drove me around ABQ while we caught up on about 15 years worth of life.
I was the last of our group to arrive at our cute little VRBO. We chatted and prepared for tomorrow. Since registration wouldn’t open until one the next day, I planned to somehow do some painting in the morning.
Sue, who was part of our group, had decided to rent a car and I was so grateful… Walking the short 2 blocks to the hotel was going to be too painful. We loaded up on that first morning and headed to the hotel, and after looking around a bit, I found an adorable little alcove to paint.
Afterward, we headed to lunch at a local hotspot, then returned to register.
That evening we joined the opening ceremonies which included awarding the winning artists of the juried show.
The next day began with attending a demo by Tom Christopher on adding texture to pastel paintings. I’ll be creating in depth reports on each of the demos over the coming months, including videos where I try out the techniques for myself.
Attending the demo and seated just behind me was Lyn Diefenbach, a highly acclaimed photo realist pastelist.
As soon as the demo was over, I hurried over to the Trade Show (affectionately known as The Candy Store), which had just opened. I made a video of that for you:
Later that afternoon, a much anticipated meeting with members of the How To Pastel Blog and Facebook group commenced in Gail Sibley’s hotel room. She had gone to a lot of effort to provide something a bit more than just an awkward chatfest. We played a couple of fun games to break the ice.
I got to help her out by using my teacher voice!
That night our group attended the traditional IAPS Paint Around. What’s a paint around? Line up any number of immanent pastelists. Let them each begin a painting, giving them only 10 minutes. When the timer goes off, rotate them to the next painting, with instructions to “creatively enhance” each painting. Repeat as necessary until all artists have rotated back to their own painting! This was so much fun. The paintings are then auctioned with proceeds going to the scholarship fund.
Friday was shopping day for me! I had saved and saved so I could buy pastel supplies in person! And I stocked up. I will be reviewing many of my purchases soon.
Also enjoyed a walk through of the pastel show. I cannot even give you words for how enchanting it was to see all these museum quality pastel paintings in person. I also discovered something very interesting about framing. I’ll share more later about that.
Next was a demo by Stephanie Birdsall. Looking forward to trying her techniques!
We chose a local winery bistro for dinner… It was amazing! I had the best glass of wine I’ve ever had… And the food and music was good, also.
I had two demos scheduled for Saturday. By Thursday my knee was all better, so I was able to begin walking to and from the hotel from our little bungalow.
First was a demo by Debora Stewart on creating floral abstracts, and afterwards one by Lyn Diefenbach. I was inspired by how easy she made painting photo realism seem!
I ventured into the Candy Store once more to pick up a few more items I decided I needed. Then it was time to show up for the Karen Margulis meet up, where we traded mini paintings with each other, and Karen, in her generous way, shared one of her minis with each of us.
That evening our group dined at a very nice restaurant along with an extra friend of one of our group. This dinner would normally have been WAY above my pay grade, but I splurged and it was wonderful!
The last day saw me taking an actual workshop with Debora Stewart. I’ll share more about that later.
The last day turned out to NOT be the last day. Due to weather, my flights were all rebooked to Tuesday! Fortunately, Sandy stepped in, picked me up at the airport and took me to stay at her house for the night.
And that is the end of my first IAPS experience! I can’t wait to share all I learned with you.
P.S. if you’ve made it this far, you should DEFINITELY sign up for the newsletter… You deserve a discount for your dedication!