AGMF invited a pastel artist for the first time at our January 2020 meeting. And we were so lucky to host someone the caliber of Colette Odya-Smith!
Colette started her talk with a primer on different kinds of pastels and how the textures and colors of surfaces make for a HUGE range of potential with this medium. And then there are ALL the techniques to apply the pastels!
Over and over Colette emphasized how her career has exceeded her expectations. Colette was born and raised in Milwaukee and started with oils, but made a decided shift to pastels while taking a MIAD class. Her pastel career has taken her far beyond Milwaukee, where she explained that always taking that next little step has led her to the epicenter of the pastel community in France. She’s even met the current guardians of the shop of legendary pastel maker Henri Roché!
Colette works from photographs she takes from unexpected viewpoints. Her subject matter is primarily landscapes with a special interest in water. By eliminating any horizons or vistas and cropping in tightly on her subjects—she walks on the edge of reality and abstraction, making viewers really think of what they’re looking at.
Colette’s artwork can be seen at The Warehouse (Milwaukee), Woodwalk Gallery (Door County) and Gallery Marzen (Madison).