News from Mentoring Artists
News from individuals who have studied and Painted-A-Long with Albert Handell.
Testimonial by Mike Etie Comments Off on Testimonial by Mike Etie
I feel compelled to write today about the upcoming workshop in April being taught by one of art’s living legends Albert Handell. Albert stands without peer as a pastellist and is equal in standing to any other living artist in any medium of his choosing. But when it comes to pastel he defines the genre. He is incomparable.
I have had the privilege to work with Albert in the field on location, in his personal studio in Santa Fe, and in rented hotel rooms set up as makeshift studios. Regardless of the teaching conditions he has always been inspiring and professional. He is completely focused on his work and the students in his charge as he provides an invaluable learning experience to all attending. One is completely mesmerized watching him transform life into art. He is always immersed in his art and he shares everything with his students.
Albert is not an entertainer, he is a teacher. His advice and observations are direct and thoughtful. Students will need to be prepared to receive his knowledge and be open and willing to learn. And learn you will. Just watching a two hour demo is like taking a one day workshop with anyone else. And indeed we have had some great teachers through our association in Austin. No one compares to Albert Handell.
Karen Halbert’s PAAC Award of Merit Comments Off on Karen Halbert’s PAAC Award of Merit
Karen Halbert won an Award of Merit for her painting, “Santa Fe Turbulence” at the annual PAAC show Sept. 1 at the Mary Williams Art Gallery in Boulder.
“Santa Fe River Turbulence”, oil, 10″ x 16″. I have returned to this spot on Alameda many times while the water was still flowing – or sometimes not. I have discovered that painting “en Plein air” in a venue that invokes many memories, such as camping by the river as a child, adds a sparkle that is otherwise missing.
Cindy Kopenhafer and her Artwork Acceptance Comments Off on Cindy Kopenhafer and her Artwork Acceptance
10 x 8 Graphite pencil on bristol board
“I would like to thank Albert Handell for his guidance the last five years through the mentoring program. I feel my growth has come from his instruction on how to focus and develop in my paintings. With each workshop I attend I leave with more knowledge and appreciation for Albert’s mastery of drawing, painting, and the sharing with his students.
I was honored recently with the acceptance of one of my drawings into the American Women Artist 2015 National Juried Exhibition, November 12 – November 30 at the Bonner David Galleries in Scottsdale, Arizona and for the inclusion in an article about the exhibit in the November issue of the Southwest Art magazine.”
August 2015 Cover of Pastel Journal – Pastel by Katherine Irish Comments Off on August 2015 Cover of Pastel Journal – Pastel by Katherine Irish
“Mentoring with Albert Handell has been a huge step toward a life long quest to grow as an artist. There are so many facets involved in this very important relationship.
First, I have learned how and where to challenge myself under Albert’s guidance. He imparts a very clear way of seeing and constructing a painting. As a studio painter, I have found it important to paint on location. I have come to appreciate the challenge and growth that comes through plein air painting. I have learned how to look for compositions, the use of line to create rhythms, simplifying forms, the importance of laying in values and the richness in using multiple colors of the same value. When Albert demonstrates, the pure joy of creating beauty comes through. Each stroke is relished and is considered an essential building block of the painting. There is care and planning taken in the pressure and direction of each application. He also emphasizes to focus in and develop the strengths that are in the painting. Understanding this approach has begun to alleviate a lot of struggle.
Secondly, Albert has been very helpful in teaching me how to promote my work. In the past two years, I have been accepted into multiple juried shows across the country and have won awards. These steps will help others look at me seriously as an artist. Albert also introduced my work to Anne Hevener, Editor of the Pastel Journal. She agreed to write an article and used one of my images on the cover of the August 2015 issue.
Thirdly and most important, is the friendship and warmth that has been extended to me and my husband. Albert is both genuine and caring with his students and generous in the knowledge that he shares. I trust Albert implicitly and feel blessed to count him and Jeanine as friends. Three years ago, I made an intention to find someone who would be an effective mentor. I took a workshop with Albert and marveled at his mastery of drawing and painting with pastel.
I took the leap when I joined his mentoring program and the rest represents the beginning of a very important senpai/ kohai relationship that will last a life time.”
With the greatest sincerity,
Enid Wood’s Award Comments Off on Enid Wood’s Award
“Thank you, Albert, for being my mentor for the past 10 years. I would not have the career I now enjoy without your wise teaching and constant encouragement.
I earned a BA in Art in 1977 at Westminster College and then taught violin for many years. In 2004 I decided to become a full time painter. When I bought my first complete set of pastels, I received a free copy of Pastel Journal. The ad on the inside back cover of the magazine read, “Why not study with the folks who wrote the book?” Why not, indeed?
The book was Albert and Anita’s Painting the Landscape in Pastel. I called Albert and signed up for a week-long landscape workshop in Santa Fe in 2005. Richard McKinley turned up to class one day and said how important Albert’s mentorship had been to his career. I joined Albert’s first very first mentoring week in Taos in the summer of 2006, and have had a mentoring week with Albert each year since, somewhere in the USA. Each time, Albert has chosen inspiring locations and has attracted a group of equally inspiring artists. Being a part of this community has helped me grow as an artist and as a person.
My 18″ x 36″ studio painting “Lily Pond With Iris” received an Award of Merit in the American Women Artists 2016 online show. Much of the credit for this success goes to my mentor and friend, Albert Handell.”
Enid Wood, PSA, PSNM
Spotlight on PACE Faculty: Albert Handell By Bob Bahr Comments Off on Spotlight on PACE Faculty: Albert Handell By Bob Bahr
The Flat Irons by Albert Handell Pastel 17″ x 18″
Those alternatives are what show up in his studio work. “I try to photograph those other considerations that excite me—and those photos and my personal experience will freshen the studio piece,” he says. “I rarely paint a large oil based on a pastel done on location, and the oil painting never looks like the photograph, but without the photograph there is no painting…it’s ironical”.Handell’s facility with pastels is on good display in a piece featured here, “The Flat Irons.” The vertical crevice running through the rock falls in shadow, and Handell expertly expresses the crisp edge of the shadow to give the rock convincing form, while the snow in the shadowed crevice screams of the blue sky color, only darker. The New Mexico artist is a strong advocate for the use of pastels outdoors. “The immediacy of pastels works great with plein air,” he says. “By varying the pressure on the pastel stick I get more than one color from each color. It makes the medium very fluid, and certainly very immediate.”The big oil paintings may sell for more and may attract a different group of collectors, but the plein air work is key. His time at a location and the chance to photograph a scene are crucial, to start. Handell clearly gets a kick out of it, too. “There are no coffee breaks,” he says. “There is no mulling it over for a day or two. It’s the freshness of looking up and responding, period.” Sometimes he executes a watercolor underpainting before going to pastels, and sometimes he works strictly in pastels. In either case, Handell blocks in big masses and slowly adds the minimum of details needed. “I never want to lose the impact of those big shapes,” he says.Handell is big on capturing first impressions. He’s discerning, but once he thinks he has it in mind, it’s over. Consider this method of choosing subject matter: “I don’t like to drive more than 20 or 30 minutes from the studio,” says Handell. “When I get out of the car I am always looking. When something hits me I stop and take that very seriously, because I feel something out there has touched something inside of me. Whenever I get one of those ‘oh my gosh’ hits, it’s sudden and it really hits me. In the old days I used to give myself another five minutes by wristwatch to find something more perfect. But I have found that when it hits, that’s it.”In other words, Handell trusts himself. It’s undoubtedly one of the reasons Handell has had the career he has enjoyed, including the recent addition of a second pastel piece to the Butler Institute of American Art, in Youngstown, Ohio . At the Plein Air Convention, set for April 13-17 in Monterey, California, Handell will offer a demonstration, and the artist says he will be working from a photograph and utilizing a watercolor underpainting for his pastel piece.
Muriel Fawcett and the Buckhead Workshop Comments Off on Muriel Fawcett and the Buckhead Workshop
You were a great instructor at our Buckhead workshop last month. You are a caring person and made me feel you were working one on one with me when you stopped by.
I liked that you had rules during demos and I’m pleased I bought your DVD.
You are in my head, when I am painting.
Jeanine was a valuable asset in keeping things running smoothly. Give her a hug for me.
The Sunday morning critique was so worthwhile. I was able to return home and tweak paintings.
I hope my e-mail gave you a break from painting. So now you can return to your current painting and know how to proceed.
You are very generous to give so much of yourself.
In great appreciation,
Workshop at State College in Pennsylvania Comments Off on Workshop at State College in Pennsylvania
“The first note I wrote that stuck with me during the workshop was, ‘If you try a new paper, stick with it until you know everything you can learn about the surface. Use it till you get tired of it,’ This seems to make a lot of sense to an artist who is a taste tester. Thirty years of testing surfaces, is turning into ‘Target Focus,’ for papers, as well as in developing a composition. I’m an ‘all over’ girl, and Handell’s process makes sense to me.”
– Susan Nicholas Gephart, Central Pa Pastel Society Vice President
Workshop at State College Pennsylvania, October 2-5, 2014
Testimonial from Rajen Chanchani Comments Off on Testimonial from Rajen Chanchani
Greetings! It is always a great pleasure and excellent learning experience in your mentoring workshops.
Recently I participated in 2014 Santa Fe Paint-out and am very glad to give you the good news that one of my paintings got selected for an Award. This painting was done in Piedra Lumbre area north of Abiquiu and it is titled “Rocky Serenade.” The inspiration for this serenade came from you during our paint along in 2013. I look forward to more mentorship opportunities from you.
Thank you Albert for your mentorship and encouragement.
Stay Inspired Comments Off on Stay Inspired
Good morning, Albert,
Thank you again for your hospitality of inviting my class to your studio. It was an enriching and enjoyable experience for all.
Lou Zona and his curatorial staff believe your painting Mountain Stream is “perfect for the Legacy Collection.” Actually, he seems ecstatic about its inclusion in this collection and wishes to extend his appreciation for your generosity in donating this work to this growing, important collection of pastel painting. The Butler will pick up the tab of shipping.
I am very grateful to you, Albert, for your generosity and foresight in helping to build this unique and outstanding collection of pastel art for the education and enjoyment of present and future generations. In my book, Albert, you are nothing short of a shining example of mastery through your art and willingness to give back to others through contributions and instruction. In short, you and your outstanding work serve as a beacon of light showing aspiring artists the heights of achievement possible in the field of pastel, and indeed, you’re an inspiration to us all.
Santa Fe Workshop Comments Off on Santa Fe Workshop
Your Santa Fe Workshop was truly wonderful! I will never forget it.
Thanks very much for sharing your wisdom and energy! I’ll be in touch with you in a few months!
Take care and my best to Jeanine!
Testimonial from Enid Comments Off on Testimonial from Enid
Dear Albert and Jeanine,
Thank you for organizing, hosting, leading, and teaching the wonderful Carmel paint along last week. I gained so much from being in your company and from painting alongside such dedicated artists.
My painting, paperwork, digital images, bio, and stories are all with Lucinda at Mountainsong. I look forward to more details about the show, and I am hoping that both of you will take part.
Congratulations on your palm trees instructional article in Pastel Journal, Albert. One of my students has already noticed it and is digging out photos from Florida for subject matter, buoyed up by your ideas.
I finished my paintings from Carmel and consigned most of them to my Austin gallery. I did a demo there on Saturday, using one of my photos from China Cove. It was nice to be painting with confidence, since I was painting in public. Thank you for giving me skills.
I look forward to seeing both of you soon in Jemez Springs.
Santa Fe New Mexico June 2014 Mentoring Program Comments Off on Santa Fe New Mexico June 2014 Mentoring Program
I would like to thank you for the great mentoring week. You have given me suggestions and tips that should lead me to that next step.
The week was very professionally “handled”: excellent demos and paint-alongs, wise business tips and insightful critiques at the easel. And the surprise of the week for me was to watch how you analyzed each student’s body of work and gave such right-on suggestions for moving forward. And what a pleasure it was to see all your great paintings together.
I also wanted to say something about the students. I don’t know if this was your doing, but I found all the students to be exceptionally nice – and kind. What a great bunch! I am sorry I missed the last dinner get-together; I wanted to say my farewells in person.
Thanks again for the great week and I look forward to the next workshop/session!
Testimonial from Bonnie Comments Off on Testimonial from Bonnie
When I signed up for my first Albert Handell Paint-a-Long Mentoring Session in May, I did not realize what new artistic skills and learning curves I was going to have an opportunity to learn. Like COMPUTER stuff—filling out forms, DPI and jPeg, taking pictures, galleries, newspapers and etc. While the workshop was in process and mention of a possible” Students of Albert Handell Show” by Mountainsong sounded so iffy. Well, it was Not iffy! And I must apologize to you and Mountainsong for my unsupportive and casual attitude regarding the show.
I had a wake up call. If one is going to try and be an artist in this new technical world, one has to have more skills than artistic talent.
At present, I am trying to redeem my self and catch up with my part of the process, complete the required information and learning process for the upcoming show.
I look forward to visiting with you and Jeannie next week.
SOLD! Comments Off on SOLD!
Hi Albert and Jeanine!
Congratulations on your sale! I won’t be surprised if you sell out. I’ve been very busy since I got back, but I did send in my Bio and description of the painting to Lucinda, a picture of me and the painting etc. right after I got back. I think I forgot to send an actual story about the painting, so thank you for the reminder. I want to thank you for such a great experience in Carmel! It was fun to paint again with all our friends and the gallery experience is invaluable! I always learn something new every time we paint together and I look forward to Eureka in the fall. Thank you for arranging the opportunity to connect with such a nice gallery with fabulous gallery owners. I thought that Linda was asking if we were going to do it again and if the timing is right, I would sure be in favor of it. May was beautiful in Carmel. Maybe next year?
I am attaching my plein air painting that won Honorable Mention at the 2013 PAPNM Juried Show at the Millicent Rogers Museum in Taos, New Mexico last November. I seem to be pretty lucky with skies!
I look forward to seeing Jeanine’s show in Albuquerque in June. Please send more information so that I do not miss it.
I am planning to paint this long weekend and get my story to Mountainsong Gallery. Can’t wait!
Talk to you soon,