Gail Sibley’s Website

I stumbled across Sandra Burshell from an interview on Gail Sibley’s website. You can find her at How to Pastel.

Gail Sibley is a wonderful pastel artist she has a very informative website. You can find classes, interviews and lots of information on pastel painting.

You can also visit her youtube channel here.

Her youtube is also full of pastel videos, how to’s, and interviews with other wonderful pastel artists.

The Interview with Sandra Burshell

You can read the interview with Sandra Burshell here on Gail’s blog.

painting by sandra brushell
by Sandra Burshell

Sandra takes these little clips of life and paints them up in pastels. She calls them roomscapes. They are a small glimpse of time, a place, a person a moment where she captures the atmosphere and the feeling of that particular moment in time.

It could be something as simple as capturing the way sunlight enters a room as in her painting below.

painting by sandra brushell
Bathed in Sunlight by Sandra Burshell

Each one of these roomscapes captures the places where light is a part of the space. There is a unique comfort about her paintings as if they are a place all of us can relate to in the quiet spaces of our own lives.

And at the same time, she seems to also bring us back to yesterday in these places where her painting style just draws you into this fleeting moment in time.

I am intrigued by her subject matter and her particular style of painting.

Scroll down the article

If you scroll down the article you will see a glimpse into how she paints.

She walks you through how she painted her painting with the girl asleep on the sofa.

She edits her original photos so that she can paint just those parts that speak to her. Under-paintings are added that bring the vibrancy of the colors to life using complementary colors under her pastels.

I have not tried this form of under-painting but the look and effect certainly bring much to the finished painting. The colors are more vibrant and rich.

Maybe there is some experimentation to be done with this approach.

I also love the way she applies the pastels in such a scribbley manner, it brings energy and movement to the painting and parts of the warm under-painting to show through connecting it all together in her unique way.

Her center of interest is often the warm glow in the setting. We have all felt a place like this in our lives. To me, there is a softness, a comfort that makes me want to be a part of that room.

Challenge your comfort zone

Sandra talks about venturing outside your comfort zone. I think we learn more when we try things that are new, things that stretch our imaginations and our skills.

Whether we turn out a good piece is not the point.

To grow we need to not only enjoy the process itself but we also need to feed it new things and fill it with wonder. I always want to figure out how to achieve new techniques and styles that broaden my own style.

Explore the unknown, get messy, use the new information and see what comes out of you.

My thoughts

Other artists inspire me. I love tutorials or interviews where an artist shares their thoughts. It is so interesting to hear what makes them come alive in their art. How do they see the world? What little moment of life do they capture in their work and why?

What is their process and how can I use that inspiration to try new things in my own art. What new things will I find by exploring a new technique? I don’t have those answers but I sure love the journey. It’s exciting to fill your head with new ideas and possibilities.