Making Their Mark

TJC Gallery, Spartanburg, South Carolina
April 2, 2022 – June 24, 2022

Pastels—a soft, crayon-like pigment stick—have been used by artists as early as the Renaissance, when they were sometimes employed for preparatory studies. In the eighteenth century, pastels became a popular medium for portraiture, in part, due to their ease of transport and quick emphasis of line, texture, and color. The color effects of pastels are closer to natural dry pigments than that of any other media, which is perhaps why they were often used for studies, or outdoor plein air works in the nineteenth century, as creators valued their flexible quality and accessibility.

Some of the artists on display in this exhibition used pastels, in addition to other mediums such as oil paints and watercolors, to explore what tools best complimented their work. Often, artists chose pastels to explore landscapes, portraiture, or still-life studies due to their saturated pigments and ability to build texture.

Through the malleability of pastels, artists can achieve a variety of results, from the diffused abstractions of William Halsey, to the meticulous and delicate replication of figures by Sigmund AbelesWill Stevens and Elizabeth Verner appreciated pastels for their experimental qualities to investigate new application techniques which expressed their interpretations of the world.

Featuring works by Sigmund AbelesGeorge BeattieBeverly BuchananJosephine CouperWilliam HalseyBirge HarrisonMargaret LawLeo MeissnerClara Parrish, Hobson PittmanWill Henry StevensCarroll SockwellElizabeth Verner, and George Wright.