I'm a law school academic and tax lawyer who, in 2011, received a box of pencils from my wonderful husband, Jack Siegel, as a birthday gift, after he came across my high school sketchbook.  After decades exercising only the left side of my brain, I had a lot to learn about how to express my non-verbal thoughts and ideas.

Fortunately, living in Chicago offers a wealth of artistic resources for a later-in-life amateur artist.  I am grateful to my dedicated life drawing instructor, Jim Hajicek, at the Palette and Chisel Academy (itself a wonderful Chicago resource) and to my extraordinary pastel teacher, Kathleen Newman.  The Chicago Pastel Painters (http://www.chicagopastelpainters.org) offers events, companionship, and an annual juried exhibition (alternating between a national and a members show).   In 2014, my painting "Cool Rays" won a Prismacolor Award at CPP's Strokin' V Biennial Member Juried Exhibition.  In 2015, "Elevenses" and "Scotch & Soda," were accepted into CPP's 5th Biennial National Exhibition.  "Enlightenment" and "Blue Bus" juried into the 2016 CPP member show, Strokin' VI!; "Blue Bus" won a Prismacolor Award.  With entries into three CPP juried shows, I achieved CPP Signature Status.  I'm thrilled to have a piece [stay tuned for the reveal!] accepted into the Pastel Society of America's 45th Annual Exhibition (2017): Enduring Brilliance!

Pastel artists are generous with their time, talent and wisdom, and I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to take workshops from (in alphabetical order) Clayton Beck, Sandra Burshell, Bill Creevy, Doug Dawson, Margaret Dyer, Jean Hirons, Bill Hosner, Casey Klahn, Karen Margulis, Andrew McDermott, Richard McKinley, Nancie King Mertz, Cuong Nguyen, Desmond O'Hagan, Diane Rappisi, William Schneider, Rae Smith, Sally Strand, Kitty Wallis, and Jimmy Wright.  The biannual IAPS convention offers additional opportunities to watch pastel artists demonstrate their skills, culminating in the "paint around" in which five artists collectively produce five masterpieces. 

Best of all, I've enjoyed becoming a part of an exciting artistic community, and am now serving on the board of directors and as secretary of the Chicago Pastel Painters.

To see Jack's photos (taken in 2015) of me at work in my studio, go to http://www.jacksiegelphoto.com/#!/portfolio/C0000WUFOPxUva_I/G0000XYb2fchQnXs.

See the second photo on the right for Jack's photo of me furiously at work on a 7' x 5' charcoal on the last day of the New York Studio School's June 2016 Drawing Marathon (click on this image for his blog post).  Thanks to Graham Nickson and crew for a horizon-expanding and exhausting two weeks!

The first photo on the right is of a 15-minute (really!) portrait of me by the amazing Rita Kirkman during her 2017 IAPS demo, "Quick-Draw Portraits."  Thanks for selecting me (at random!), Rita, and for permitting me to post this. 

You can reach me by email at evelynbrody@iCloud.com.