Elgin Artspace to host works of three oil pastel artists

Submitted by Yellow House Artists
Posted6/19/2014 10:04 AM

A special presentation, "The Artistry of Oil Pastels," is scheduled for Saturday, June 21, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in the Elgin Artspace Gallery, 51 S. Spring St., Elgin.

Three celebrated oil pastel artists will discuss and share the attributes of the oil pastel medium and demonstrate effective techniques for creating quality paintings. The panel will include George Bruce, George Shipperley, and Carol Zack.

The presentation is part of the Yellow House Artists exhibit, titled "Rhythm in Color," which is open through June 28 in the gallery. The exhibit features 96 original paintings representing 29 artists. The gallery hours are 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Art will be for exhibit and sale.

Yellow House Artists is a group of oil pastel artists who promote both their art and the medium. The group originated with 17 oil pastel artists who had a gallery in a yellow house during the 2007 St. Charles Fine Art Show. The group has since grown to include nearly 50 members who are interested in creating and showing their work as well as informing the public about the qualities of this little known medium. Members of Yellow House Artists use unique techniques, taking advantage of the special qualities of the medium.

George Shipperley, an artist with an emphasis on originality, creativity and color, specializes in oil pastel and oil stick. In addition to being recently inducted into the Fox Valley Arts Hall of Fame, Shipperley holds the distinction and prestigious honor of being the first awarded Signature Member of the Oil Pastel Society. Fans of oil pastel around the country consider him the "guru" of the oil pastel medium. Currently featured in an 8-page article in the July edition of "The Artist's Magazine," Shipperley has received more than 20 awards and recognitions. His paintings can be found in galleries and corporate collections throughout the Chicago area and northern Illinois as well as in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Florida, and New Mexico and by appointment at his home gallery in Aurora. Shipperley has been an instructor and mentor for many of the artists in Yellow House Artists, which led to the formation of the group. (georgeshipperley.com)

Bruce and Zack learned oil pastel techniques from Shipperley and now are both teachers at the Fine Line in St. Charles and the DuPage Art League in Wheaton.

For George Bruce, painting is a passion. With a lifelong interest in drawing and art, the southern Illinois farm boy got hooked on watercolor while studying for an associate degree in architecture. Bruce, of Naperville, went on to receive a degree in graphic design/advertising, working in the corporate world as a package designer and part owner of a packaging and marketing communications firm in Chicago. As retirement approached, he picked up watercolor and eventually evolved into the world of oil pastels. Bruce enjoys the creative challenge of both mediums and has developed effective techniques for combining the use of the two mediums. His paintings continue to evolve in most creative ways. (proudfoxgallery.com/bruce-george.html)

An award-winning professional artist, Carol Zack currently specializes in both soft and oil pastel. She finds that the oil pastel medium is perfect for creating and interpreting large floral studies, impressionist landscapes, and gestural and traditional figurative studies that include formal commissioned portraits. She notes that the easy application, blending, and bright color along with the direct spontaneous approach for applying the oil pastel medium is captivating. With two degrees in art, Zack, of Elgin, has experience teaching at the high school and college level, as well as working in merchandising and corporate training. She is passionate about painting and teaching others about the visual arts. (zackartistry.com)

Oil pastels were developed in the 1940s at the request of Pablo Picasso. He wanted a medium with the qualities of oil but with ease of application and portability. Pure pigment is suspended in inert mineral oil, formed into sticks with a color palette much like oil paint. Colors can be layered and blended, smeared or smudged, using fingers, some type of tool, or left as applied, all at the artist's discretion. The works are generally framed under glass to protect the surface image.

More information about Yellow House Artists can be found at yellowhouseartists.com.

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