The Pastel Society celebrates its 120th anniversary

The Pastel Society celebrates its 120th anniversary

An exhibition of contemporary works marking 120 years of The Pastel Society takes place at Mall Galleries in London

Blue Pitcher by Liz Balkwill

An exhibition featuring works by many of the country's finest contemporary artists working in what's known as dry media - pastel, pencil, chalk and charcoal - will be held at Mall Galleries in cental London from 5-16 February 2019. Pictured above: Blue Pitcher by Liz Balkwill. Tickets cost £8 but readers of decomag have free entry. All works on show will be for sale, prices from £300. 

The Pastel Society was founded in 1898 and some of the great artists who exhibited under its auspices include Sickert, Degas, Rodin, Holman Hunt and Whistler.

Today the medium of pastel is loved by artists for the depth of colour it offers - pastels are, after all, sticks of powered pigment mixed with a binder. They also offer a relative ease of use; in other words there's no drying time so they're much less messy than paints. That said, it takes practise to become practiced in creating art with pastels because they are mixed and blended directly on the working surface.

The exhibition in February at Mall Galleries offers a chance to see fine works in pastel from artists including Liz Balkwill, Sarah Bee and June Arnold, many of which are still life, depictions of place and abstracts. Pastels tend to be more affordable than oil paintings and works on show will be on sale, with prices from just £300.

Bratton Camp and White Here by Alexander Prowse
Still Life with Tamarillo Fruit, 33x45cms, by Moira Huntly
Inviolata, 52.5x40.5cm by Martin Goold
The Arcade, Norwich, pastel, 69x97cm, £850, by June Arnold
Muddy Lane, Cornwall, pastel & acrylic, 55x55m, by Sarah Bee
X Centri City by Libby January
The Pastel Society is recognised as foremost in its field, attracting a wide membership of established and new artists.  
The show will mark 12 decades of the Society championing art in all dry media, featuring over 200 works in pastel, pencil, chalk and charcoal. It will also award prizes, including several for emerging artists. The largest of these is the £5,000 Alfred Teddy Smith and Zsuzsi Roboz Prize, which is given to an artist using traditional skills in an original way.
And if you want to learn more about pastels, artists at the show will be demonstrating their working processes.
Dates & Times
5-16 February 2019
Open 10am to 5pm and 10am-3pm on the final day.