News Blog

Latest news from Albert Handell and mentoring artists.

“Along the Taos Sky Basin Road” a magnificent subject to paint Comments Off on “Along the Taos Sky Basin Road” a magnificent subject to paint

The Taos Ski Basin stream is quite varied and very paintable as it leaves the ski basin and meanders downhill emptying into the Rio Grande. It’s one of my favorite streams and I have painted it often.
One painting location along the way right off the side of the road, with plenty of parking has wonderful views. I take groups there often.

Hudson Valley Art Association
84thAnnual Juried Exhibition
Held at the Salmagundi Club, NYC
April 30-May 6, 2017

When painting the stream on location I paint with pastel, or my other technique watercolor under painting finishing with pastel, and take photographs for reference.
“Along the Taos Ski Basin Road” oil was painted later indoors, starting with a transparent monochromatic under painting (color is eliminated and with one color, I used Vandyke brown, I establish the entire composition transparently, using Gamsol as my medium, saving my opaque applications of paint for later).
I then started at the center of interest (the fallen tree and rocks).

I reestablished opaquely the dark’s with a mixture of Ultramarine blue and Burnt Sienna, this mixture gives the painting bold dark colors.

If I want the mixture to be colder in color I simply add more Ultramarine blue, and if I want it warmer I just add more Burnt Sienna- this is a wonderful way to establish warm and cool dark colors, which can be brought up in value with white for beautiful warm and cool and neutral grays. I use these grays throughout the painting.

For the rocks I just add Yellow Ocher and touches of mauve to my light gray mixtures.
Then painting from dark to light, I paint all the local colors and relate them to each other, I then establish the white water that brings everything out. At this point continuing with bold brush work and knife applications I work till finish.


While on one of my many painting trips to Charleston, SC and its area, I stumbled upon this subject that simply took my breath away.
It was so complicated…While painting it on location I had to simplify it to the bare bones – a quick sketch and numerous photos.
With all the variety of different types foliage and the kaleidoscope of shapes and different greens surrounding and overlapping the top of the white barn,
(I silently wished – it was a red barn).
Months later as I viewed my photography I realized again how this subject took my breath away and this time, decided to paint a larger oil.
The Red Barn was established early in the painting then I had delightful days painting the surrounding (vegetation and trees).

“THE RED BARN”, Oil 24×36

– the process –
I blocked in the darks transparently using a combination of Burnt Sienna, Viridian Green and Ultramarine Blue (any brand will do).

Then while modifying the greens of the trees, I focused in on the trunks and large branches and then painted from the center of interest out, till finish.

I painted the barn – RED for it is to contrast with the overwhelming complexity of the different greens already established.
The large red shape of the barn gives the bottom area of the painting the weight and color that’s needed to contrast with the rest of the painting.

I am delighted that “The Red Barn” is being featured in the first ever Vernon Filley Invitational Exhibition (April 22-July 21, 2017)
at the Vernon Filley Museum, Pratt Kansas.

The Lion King Rock Face- the story behind the creation Comments Off on The Lion King Rock Face- the story behind the creation

Dear friends,
It gives me great pleasure to share with you my painting “THE LION KING, ROCK FACE”, which recently received the 1st place in the pastel category at the 19th Annual Masterworks 2017 Exhibition, Albuquerque NM.
The subject was painted in Palm Springs, CA in Indian Canyons (

I started this painting, which is a watercolor under painting finished with pastel, with a 10 minute drawing using a soft lead pencil (2B Venus).
Over the pencil drawing I applied the watercolor with a bit of abandon, using Paynes Gray (for my cool colors) at the base and Vandyke Brown (for my warm colors) for the top of the rock formation. I wetted down the sky with a very light application of Paynes Gray, the watercolor under painting dried immediately in the desert sun and I was able to proceed with my pastels, working from dark to light.

Whenever the watercolor tones will show through and worked well for the value of the colors for the rock formation, I let the watercolor show through. Watercolor has another aspect to it, and is referred to “watercolor accidents”, which are unique and quite beautiful.

And could be easily seen at the base of the rocks in my pastel.
The blue of the sky was established broadly, using a Terry Ludwig Sky Blue, modified some by a mauve color of the exact same value applied lightly, this could be sensed possibly at the top right hand part of the sky.
Many a time Indian Canyons is overlooked by plein air painters, who visit the area, I stumbled upon it by chance 20 years ago, it took my breath away and I have returned many times throughout the years.
The area is extremely beautiful, varied and paintable; I could go on forever, trying to describe its beauty.
For example: the rock formations at Andreas Canyon, which is a short distance from the entrance, had amongst other things, the rock formation inspired and used for the Walt Disney animated movie “The Lion King”, one can sense a lion on top of these rocks (yes Walt Disney lived right next door to Indian Canyons and knew the area well).
Each time I return I’m captivated by these same rock formations. I am a strong believer of the sensible idea of painting variations of a theme.
Each time is different, because of the size, and shape of the surface you decide to paint on, the difference in lighting conditions, and the aspect of the rock formations one wants to focus on.
Even just a difference in the sky, from a rich blue to a floating white cloud can impact the way one perceives the subject etc.
I will be returning there with a group of artists this February. All the information is posted on my website.

2016 Collectors for Connoisseurship Art Weekend Comments Off on 2016 Collectors for Connoisseurship Art Weekend

2016 Collectors for Connoisseurship Art Weekend

AT RIVER’S EDGE by Albert Handell, oil 24×36 (Sold)

Sponsored by Windows to the Divine, a nonprofit organization that promotes the vocation of the living artist via exhibitions, symposia and collector salons.  This year, Windows to the Divine will host its second Collectors for Connoisseurship (C4C) Arts Weekend in Denver from Nov 17-18, featuring a national exhibition of abstract and representational art from 52 renowned artists and a symposium about the exhibition theme.  At the Gala Opening of the Exhibition on Thursday evening (Nov 17), Albert Handell will be awarded the 2016 Fra Angelico Artist of the Year and on Friday (Nov 18), the symposium will feature presentations and panel discussions with curators, art experts, collectors and exhibition artists, including Handell.  For tickets and more information about the Schedule of Events for the C4C Weekend, visit the website at


A PASSING MOMENT by Albert Handell, Pastel 12×18


Dihedral Patterns by Albert Handell, Pastel 16×17 

Brilliance Endures via the PSA Comments Off on Brilliance Endures via the PSA

Brilliance Endures via the PSA
Albert Handell PSA-MP, “The Swirl of Life,” pastel (c) Pastel Society of America 2016

A primary initiative of the Pastel Society of America (PSA) is to provide a forum to expose artworks by the most accomplished and masterful creators working in this gorgeous medium. Since 1972, the organization’s annual exhibition and sale has been a crown jewel.

The Pastel Society of America opened the 44th edition of its Annual Exhibition on September 6. On view through October 1 at the National Arts Club in New York City, the annual exhibition is among the world’s best displays of mastery in pastel.

Three jurors — Judith Cutler, Richard McKinley, and Jimmy Wright — scoured through 1,496 artworks by 675 artists representing nearly 20 countries for this year’s exhibition. In the end, 175 outstanding artworks were chosen for the show. Participants in this year’s exhibition will be in attendance on September 25 for the exhibition’s award ceremony, followed by the PSA annual dinner.

Via the PSA, “It has been a tradition to schedule many accompanying activities during the annual exhibition, including demonstrations, portfolio reviews, workshops, a public gallery tour and reception, reserved educational tours, and a vibrant materials fair, in addition to the awards ceremony and dinner gala. The exhibition, the culmination of PSA activities for the year, acknowledges the professional excellence of participating artists and helps promote the finest examples of pastel to the general public, the professional art world, art students, and art collectors.”

To learn more, visit the Pastel Society of America.

This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, 

Albert Recognized Internationally Comments Off on Albert Recognized Internationally

Albert Recognized Internationally

Mother Tree by Albert Handell, Pastel Painted on Location, 16 x 20

Recognized Internationally as One of Ten Pastelists in the U.S. to Represent in Suzhou City, China

I have been chosen as a PSA Hall of Fame Honorees as one of only ten artist to represent PSA at the 2nd Biennial International Pastel Exhibition at Ming Gallery of Art in Suzhou City, China, I am truly honored. I am excited to share some of the details as they unfold.

The Ming Gallery has an ambitious exhibition program focused upon the introduction of pastels to Chinese art collectors. The China Pastel Network, the China equivalent of PSA.

Each artist is represented by a single work. After the exhibition at the Ming Gallery, selected works will be exhibited in prestigious exhibitions throughout China over the next year.

The biennial is organized by China (Suzhou) Pastel Academic Research Center and the Chinese Artists Association of Watercolor Art Committee. Their press release states;

“The PSA Board of Governors wishes to thank the sponsors of the biennial, the China Pastel Network and the Ming Gallery of Art, for this generous recognition of the role PSA has played in the revival of pastel as an expressive medium for artists in the United States and the international world of artists. It is an honor for PSA to be represented by these ten outstanding PSA master pastelists at the groundbreaking Ming Gallery, Suzhou, China in this prestigious international pastel exhibition.”

Who knows where my travels will take me this coming year!

Annapolis Workshop Comments Off on Annapolis Workshop

Annapolis Workshop

Thanks to Rick Casali for hosting our workshop in his fabulous studio. Rick is a nationally well-known sculptor and artist and his studio reflects the quality of his art. The natural Northern light, the well-chosen wall colors and the perfect height of the ceilings, all added an atmosphere of professionalism to the time we spent there.

Our thanks to David Lawton, a fellow artist, for his superb organization.

A quote of guidance from Albert from one of his daily demos…

“How CAST SHADOWS add such importance and interest in your painting:

1. Cast shadows show the direction from which the light is coming.
2. They also beautifully give form to the object on which they are cast.
3. The cast shadows also identify what object is casting the shadow.

All these elements create intimacy and magic to your painting.”

Albert Handell best of

We’d wanted to share an artist who participated in the workshop, Maria Marino and her extraordinary notes she drew below. Thank you Maria!

Albert Handell sketch to use

OPA’s 25th Annual National Juried Exhibition of Traditional Oils Comments Off on OPA’s 25th Annual National Juried Exhibition of Traditional Oils

OPA’s 25th Annual National Juried Exhibition of Traditional Oils
OPA’s 25th Annual National Juried Exhibition of Traditional Oils
May 13-June 15, 2016
Hosted at: Southwest Gallery
4500 Sigma Road,Dallas, TX 75244
My painting shown here “AT THE COAST” won the Shirl Smithson Founders Award for Master Signature Members. The award is a $500 cash prize donated by the Shirl Smithson family. This cash award is fully funded by Shirl Smithson Family, and is valued at $500.

I feel honored being a Master Signature Member of the Oil Painters of America.

Savoire Faire Comments Off on Savoire Faire

Savoire Faire

One of the important and informative conversations in Tucson was at the SAVOIRE FAIRE booth. Pierre Guidetti and Albert, over the years have built a friendship as well as a meaningful relationship with Sennelier Pastel and Oils. Watch for additional exciting information at the Artisans show in October.


What a blast celebrating! Comments Off on What a blast celebrating!

What a blast celebrating!


What a blast celebrating with 900 participants and 70 instructors a love for Plein Air painting at the 5th Annual Plein Air Convention and Expo. It certainly helped the festive atmosphere having it at the stunning El Conquistador Resort in Tucson.




Albert’s inspirational demonstration on Capturing the Beauty of Rocks in Mixed Media Pastel was very well received. It is always a joy to come together with so many inspirational people to network and plan for the future. Here’s to many more gatherings in the warm Arizona sun!


Jeanine and I at the Closing Night Dance

105th Annual Exhibition of the California Art Club Comments Off on 105th Annual Exhibition of the California Art Club

105th Annual Exhibition of the California Art Club

April 2nd and 3rd, Saturday and Sunday, was the opening of the 105th Gold Medal Exhibition at the AUTRY MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN WEST, in Los Angeles. I am pleased to announce that my painting (see below) was chosen to hang in this world-class show presented by THE CALIFORNIA ART CLUB.

The Annual Gold Medal Exhibition is one of the finest exhibitions in the country. I am truly proud to be a part of the show; it is indeed an honor.

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Jeanine and I attended the week-end activities at the Museum…what a true delight! Our hats go off to the California Art Club for doing such a fantastic job organizing this exciting and inspirational event and for their handling of the many details with such impeccability.

The exhibit itself is worth seeing in person; the closing date is April 24th.



Sedona Mentoring Program Comments Off on Sedona Mentoring Program

Sedona Mentoring Program

Springs kick off to our continued mentoring program was a great success. With so many old and new artists/friends coming together, it was a joy to be in such a creative environment! Thank you Michael Chesley Johnson for our impeccable assistance and friendship throughout the entire workshop.

North Port Florida Comments Off on North Port Florida

North Port Florida

Albert’s Demonstration Painting Plein Air Subject Matter

We kicked off our first workshop after a long and rejuvenating winter here in North Port, Florida.

Albert’s approach to the subject, in this case rocks, is a real demonstration of what he chooses to paint, what he eliminates and how he alters the subject. These factors are always evident as you watch the painting unfold for him.IMG_4070

For more detailed information about how Albert paints rock formation in Pastel Journal June 2013

Stay tuned through our ongoing blog posts for more of Albert’s Artful Insights…

MasterWorks of New Mexico 2016 Comments Off on MasterWorks of New Mexico 2016

MasterWorks of New Mexico 2016

Jeanine and I are thrilled to both be accepted into the 18th Annual MasterWorks of New Mexico Art Show! It’s always exciting when we are both chosen to participate in the same show. If you live out of state or haven’t yet attended this show, the venue is one of the finest for visual art that New Mexico has to offer. At the same time provides opportunities for all artists and non-artists to enjoy fun and educational activities. The site details these events HERE.

Here are our works that were chosen which we feel proud to share.

Albert’s Paintings

Albert Handell 1

Albert Handell 2

Jeanine’s Painting

Gentle Strength

Raleigh Workshop Just Announced! Comments Off on Raleigh Workshop Just Announced!

Raleigh Workshop Just Announced!

Hi everybody,

Some good news!
I have arranged for an unexpected and rather unique additional workshop for this year in Raleigh NC, a beautiful area of the country.

This special workshop will be an Indoor Painting Workshop (it’s extremely hot in Raleigh in August). This workshop is unique it will have an emphasis on both oils and pastels:  for the morning  demonstrations (4) will be equal- 2 for pastel and 2 for oils, with painting in the studio every afternoon, with help at the easel.

Members of the workshop can paint in the medium(s) of their choice.

I received this newsletter from Nicole’s Studio (below) 4 days ago, and already 6 aspiring artists have signed up. I expect the workshop to be SOLD OUT very soon.

If you are interested in joining us, please do not hesitate to sign up at this time. I look forward to working with you again.



Studio & Gallery Announces a major workshop:
Bring Your Paintings Beautifully to Life
with Oil Painters of America Master Albert Handell

A 5-Day Studio workshop; oils, pastels … all media welcome!

Monday – Friday 
August 22-26

Tuition: $725

(919) 838-8580

Click here to go to Albert’s Raliegh workshop

Email Kelly Frost workshop coordinator to sign up

Registration/Cancellation Policy for this class

Handell – Demo in w/c underpainting then pastel


Nicole’s Studio is thrilled to announce an August workshop with award winning and Internationally renowned artist Albert Handell. Albert Handell has been featured in over thirty one-man exhibits, received over seventy prizes & awards for his works and has exhibited all over the US. He also has works in the permanent collections of numerous organizations across the country.

Albert has also published five books on his painting and techniques and has been written up in prestigious magazines and journals including Pastel Journal, Southwest Art, Artist Magazine and American Artist. He is an Oil Painter of America Master (OPAM) .

This workshop will feature a series of morning demonstrations for the first 4 days with Albert that will:

  • Show you what to emphasize and what to omit in order to make a strong design statement while working sensibly towards a finish.
  • Let you see how Albert perfects his outdoor studies and brings paintings to life from photographs of your landscapes and/or still lifes.
  • How to use techniques in different mediums to achieve the results you want, including two valuable techniques rarely demonstrated in workshops: glazing and scumbling as well as feathering.
  • Help you see beautiful landscape paintings brought to life in two different mediums: oil and pastel. Students can paint in ANY medium they choose, but Albert will demo twice each in oil and pastel.

Handell – Demo in oil 

Monday through Thursday Albert will demonstrate a complete work from 9:30 – 12:30. After a short lunch break students will paint in the medium of their choice from 1:30 – 4:30 with Albert providing individual attention at the easel.

On Friday the entire morning will be devoted to critiques and students can bring 6-8 works they have completed previously to receive feedback and critique. Friday afternoon will be spent completing all the works you started in class with your newfound knowledge and more help at the easel. For more information on Albert and to view some articles featuring him in national art publications, check out his blog:

“Fast But Not Furious” – Artist’s Magazine article Comments Off on “Fast But Not Furious” – Artist’s Magazine article

“Fast But Not Furious” – Artist’s Magazine article


I am so excited to announce my featured article in the Artist’s Magazine! I’m very proud and wish to share with you the in-depth information which is about my oils, the subject is trees. This article “Fast But Not Furious” explains and illustrates aspects of my personal oil painting technique, starting with a very transparent fast drying under painting…

Here is just a snip-it of the article as I encourage you to pick up your own copy at

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From Jeanine’s Easel Comments Off on From Jeanine’s Easel

From Jeanine’s Easel

Hello to everyone-!!
Such a magical time…. closing a fantastic 2015 workshop circuit for Albert and me…and now, so looking forward to the freshness of 2016-!! During our workshop programs, I continue to be in awe and truly honor the spirit of the many returning artists as well as those we will meet for the first time. The dedication and tenacity of the artists to learn new and fresh techniques is truly inspirational to watch-!! I am truly grateful for the opportunity to watch the unfolding of creativity within the groups.

One particular observation, is watching the artists deepen into their own ability to see the “en plein air” subject matter more intimately. The dramatic changes in their ability to see and feel the subject matter in front of them…and then their ability to translate this seeing onto their painting surface is absolutely profound-!! Passion is truly taking this Formlessness and bringing it into Form-!! An invitation to consider… please join us in this family of passionate artist-!!

Let’s stay in touch… In gratitude… Jeanine

ARTicles Comments Off on ARTicles

Here’s a link to my link my various articles in Pastel Journal and Artist’s Magazine…Enjoy !

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Salmagundi Club Comments Off on Salmagundi Club

Salmagundi Club

Breaking Waters, Along the Taos Ski Basin Road” by Albert Handell Oil 12 X 22  $10,500

“Breaking Waters, Along the Taos Ski Basin Road”  by Albert Handell Oil 12 X 22 $10,500

Opening Reception:

Thursday, September 17
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
at the prestigious Salmagundi Club
Forty-Seven Fifth Avenue, New York City

If you are interested in purchasing this painting, please call
Salmagundi Club at: (212) 255-7740

Hi friends,
Many of you have worked with me in my workshops, and especially my Mentoring Paint-A-long Programs.
In the mentoring program I cover career building in detail, and I answer all questions asked.
I’m asked often about Co-ops, without getting too detailed at this time.
Co-ops or groups are formed; many of these “groups” eventually evolve into Societies.

These Societies evolve into nationwide invitationals (they usually start with one a year). Then they evolve and incorporate into regional invitationals, also annually.

Oil Painters of America (OPA) has now extended even further, and I’m delighted to be in the Master Artist Category, and to participate in their first Virtuosos of the OPA Exhibition at New York’s Salmagundi Club.

I wish to share this with you all.
I hope you have enjoyed the summer!


The Pastel/Drawing Category Comments Off on The Pastel/Drawing Category

The Pastel/Drawing Category

“Mother Tree”  by Albert Handell
Pastel painted on location 16”x20”

Hi all,
I wish to announce a prize that I received recently for my pastel “Mother Tree” in the drawing category  of a rather substantial regional annual exhibition. I appreciated the award but I was amazed that even today my pastel received the award in the drawing category!

This is another good example of why I donated to IAPS (International Association of Pastel Societies) a Semi-Annual Albert Handell $500 Award for the memory of Flora B. Giffuni.

For it is Flora who single-handedly put pastel into a category and onto the map. 

Flora 43 years ago started the Pastel Society of America, NYC and all Pastel Societies that exist now followed. I was honored to be one of the first judges of that initial exhibition, which opened at the National Arts Club. I met Flora there and then and we became good friends.

We now take pastel as an accepted and respected painting medium, before Flora’s involvement with pastel, trust me that was not the case. I have to ask myself and anybody who is willing to listen: When one works with 300 or more colors, how can it possibly be a drawing? Is it still considered a drawing because it was not painted with a brush?

It’s true, that for me one of the special qualities I find working with pastel is that I can draw and paint simultaneously.

As regards the pastel “Mother Tree”,  it was painted on location during a workshop in Dawsonville GA, on a beautiful farm that had endless subject matter. “Mother Tree”  was painted on U-Art paper 500 grit, mounted onto 4 ply museum rag board.

When I saw this beautiful tree against the “blue” sky, it took my breath away. Aspects of the painting was to weave the beauty of the tree in and out of the background sky. If you view this blue sky from top to bottom you will see a variation of color but not a variation of value. I hope you enjoy the work.