Long Story Short:
I am a pastel artist, living in Chicago, with Pastel Society of America (PSA) Signature Status and Chicago Pastel Painters (CPP) Distinguished Signature Status. My pieces focus on usually-unremarked private moments in public interiors – most often, in buses and subways, museums, and restaurants. "The Venus Minuet" (pastel, 38"H x 27"W) was juried into the PSA's 2018 annual exhibition in New York City, where it won an award and traveled to hang in a 10-week exhibition of works chosen from the PSA show in the country's only dedicated pastel gallery, at the Butler Museum of Art, Youngstown, Ohio. I am grateful to the Old Town Art Center, in Chicago, for my first solo show (October 30-November 20, 2018).
I usually work from multiple iPhone reference photos, which I combine and adapt in preparatory black-and-white sketches and watercolor studies to arrive at my composition. My life-drawing and live-portrait regimen is essential to turning my “street” photography into paintings. My favorite way to start a pastel is to draw with Inktense pencils on a Multimedia Artboard Pastel Panel – when hit with a wet brush, the marks explode into vivid colors on the bright-white gritty surface. For examples of this underpainting technique and other approaches, see the “Process” galleries of this website.
How I Got Here:
I've long been 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 venerable Palette and Chisel Academy, and to my extraordinary pastel instructor, Kathleen Newman, who teaches at the Old Town Triangle Association. 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; "Blue Bus" won a Prismacolor Award. With entries into three CPP juried shows, I achieved CPP Signature Status. In 2017, "Aux Merveilleux" and "Madonna of the Tate" were juried into CPP's 6th Biennial Nation Exhibition; with the Diane Townsend/Prismacolor Award for the latter, I earned CPP-Distinguished Signature Status. “Sunday on the 1 Train” and “When in French” were juried into the 2018 CPP member show.
"When in French" was accepted into both the Pastel Society of America's 45th Annual Exhibition: Enduring Brilliance! (available at http://www.pastelsocietyofamerica.org/45th-annual-pastel-exhibition/) and into the International Association of Pastel Societies 31st Juried Exhibition - The 2017 Webshow (available at http://www.iapspastel.org). In 2017 the Pastel Society of America granted me Associate Membership; in 2018 the PSA granted me Signature Membership. "The Venus Minuet" was juried into the PSA's 46th Annual Exhibition, where it won the Pastel Journal Award -- and was selected, with other works in the show, to hang from mid-December 2018 through mid-March 2019 in the pastel gallery of the Butler Museum of Art in Youngstown, Ohio. “The Riddle of Louvre” juried into the 2018 IAPS Webshow; “Sunday on the 1 Train” will travel in June 2019 to Albuquerque, for the show held in conjunction with the biannual IAPS convention.
My first solo show hung from October 30-Nobember 22, 2018, at the Old Town Art Center, in Chicago.
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) Lyn Asselta, Steven Assael, Clayton Beck, Sandra Burshell, Janet Cook, Bill Creevy, Doug Dawson, Margaret Dyer, Ellen Eagle, Richard Halstead, 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.
Best of all, I've enjoyed becoming a part of an exciting artistic community. I now serve on the board of directors and as secretary of the Chicago Pastel Painters, and am the treasurer of the Chicago chapter of the Urban Sketchers.
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.
The second photo on the right shows 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 demo "Quick-Draw Portraits" at the 2017 IAPS Convention. Thanks for selecting me (at random!), Rita, and for permitting me to post this.
And closing the loop, many thanks to my tax-professor buddies for their shout-out for my artwork! See Sam Brunson’s post at https://surlysubgroup.com/…/11/11/evelyn-brody-in-the-gall…/; and Paul Caron's post at https://taxprof.typepad.com/…/evelyn-brody-tax-prof-artist.….
You can reach me by email at evelynbrody@iCloud.com.
Top: 15-Minute Portrait by Rita Kirkman (2017)
Below: Last day at the New York Studio School Drawing Marathon (2016) (photo by Jack Siegel)