News from Mentoring Artists

News from individuals who have studied and Painted-A-Long with Albert Handell.

Katherine Irish Comments Off on Katherine Irish

Katherine Irish

Dear Albert,
I wanted to let you know that I was accepted into the 24th IAPS National Juried Exhibition. AND I was made a Signature Member of the Pastel Society of America. I am thrilled. Albert, this would not have happened without your professional mentoring. Your encouragement and insight into ways that I can grow have helped a great deal. Thank you.

Katherine Irish, PSA, PSNM


Katherine Irish received a Distinguish Award of Merit from the American Salon of Fine Art Competition.  Also, her painting Fall Palette in New Mexico was accepted into the 2014 Austin Pastel Society Juried Member Exhibition. The exhibition will be held at the Corridor of Art, 700 Lavaca St. in Austin. The show will hang March 3 – April 25. Katherine will also show Aspens on Mogollon Pass at the Pastel Society of Colorado Member’s Show at The Corner Gallery, Montrose, Colorado, March 1 – March 31.


From Katherine:

What a great workshop this weekend – I can’t wait to get into my studio!!!! Saturday I am going to go out and paint after the figure drawing class – probably Corrales – probably to try to capture the beautiful budding trees.

I have attached the image for the New Mexico Arts, Art In Public Places 2013-2014 Purchase Initiative. I am pleased to let you know that your submitted piece, Feathers of Light.

Thank you for your support! Paintings that I have posted that I have done at your workshops include Albert Handell workshop in the title. I also have noted that I have joined and your mentorship program and found it very useful – in bios that I have sent to various websites.

Hope you are well – our school is doing SBA’s – tests – so it is a quiet day.

Katherine buy somatropin uk

Anna Lisa Leal Comments Off on Anna Lisa Leal

Anna Lisa Leal, Leander Texas
Albuquerque Workshop, March 2014

Hello Albert
I wanted to take a moment and say THANK YOU for a fantastic workshop. Not only are you a master artist, you are a master teacher. My friend and I discussed at length how much we learned and how the information was so well presented. We feel honored to have learned from you and are grateful for the patience you have with such us.

For icing on the cake, I had an email in my box Monday morning for your Northlight e-book “Essential Lessons in Pastel Painting” – and it featured my homework assignment on painting buildings and my friend’s on Rocks! We couldn’t have had a better gift from you (and the universe that put that email in my box). We ordered and downloaded and are so happy the e book discusses all the key lessons you covered as well.

Again, thank you for the privilege to learn with you!

Anna Lisa

Jory Mason’s take on the Lubec Maine Workshop in August 2013 Comments Off on Jory Mason’s take on the Lubec Maine Workshop in August 2013

Greetings Albert,

Yes, I framed your beautiful painting right away. My house has contemporary decor so I kept it simple. I am thrilled to see it each day. It brings the workshop right back to me.

What I loved the most about your workshop was when I was able to work right beside you as you painted the old gnarled tree. Seeing, doing, and even hearing each stroke really cemented things for me. I will always treasure that opportunity.


Mallory Rich Comments Off on Mallory Rich

Mallory Rich

Edge of the Marsh •  12″ x 12″ • Oils 

“I found a good spot and painted comfortably from the tailgate of my Honda Element. I finished only one but felt good about it. NEVER expected it to be one of the five out of more than 50 to sell in the show the next day! Very encouraged and I never thanked you for your enouraging words about paint-outs.” – Mallory

Maryann McGraw Comments Off on Maryann McGraw

Cloudstory #5  •  12″ h x 18″w  •  Plein Air Pastel

Winner of Plein Air Painters of NewMexico Cloud Appreciaon Day Online Contest and Exhibion
The painng will also be in the Pastel Society of NewMexico
22 Annual Naonal Pastel Painting Exhibion
November 1-24, 2013
Hispanic Arts Center . EXPO NewMexico

“Hi Albert.  Thank you for the kind words about my painting and the invitation to paint with you in Carmel… Please sign me up as I am so excited to be invited.  There is no doubt that taking your mentoring workshops and watching you paint has helped me to improve my painting.  Thank you for that.” – Maryann

Ellen Harney Mentoring Feedback Comments Off on Ellen Harney Mentoring Feedback

Hi Albert,

Here is what we spoke about in our last mentoring session quote;

“I am  struggling with these pieces because this landscape is all completely new –  the light is all new to me.  I had lived in Alaska for 22 years – now that I have moved to Michigan I am still searching for the places to paint and how to capture this light…. Even though I have painted for 25 years some days when I pick up the brush it it feels so awkward, as if I don’t know how to paint. Paintings in the studio become tight and lifeless.   This is one of the reasons I am very grateful for your mentoring program – my hope is that it will help me move through this period and find a voice in painting that is true and clear.”

Congratulations on the Bronze Medal for Oil Painters of America.  “L’Arbre”  – it is a beautiful portrait of a wonderful tree.

Thank you for your guidance and critique of my work. The time spent mentoring with you has been invaluable.  I wish that it was possible for me to meet with you in person during one of your mentoring programs.  At the moment it is not – but Lord willing someday perhaps.  But for now the mentoring time with you long distance and your guidance is so much appreciated.

All the best,
Ellen Harney

Addren Doss and the Southeastern Pastel Society Juried Exhibition Comments Off on Addren Doss and the Southeastern Pastel Society Juried Exhibition

Dear Albert,

I am excited to let you know I have just been notified that I won an Honorable Mention in the 2013 Southeastern Pastel Society Juried Exhibition, and was also awarded Member of Excellence status in that organization.

Every time I step up to my easel in the studio or field, or before a group of students I try to remember all that you taught me over the years.  I always tell a new group of students how you “took away my colors” and made me work in black and white for six months.  That taught me so muchWithout your encouragement and instruction I would not be the artist I am today.  You have truly been the strongest influence on my working pastel and oil.

All my best,

Addren Doss

Signature Member, Women Artists of the West
Member of Excellence, Southeastern Pastel Society
Founding Member, Piedmont Outdoor Painting Society
Associate Member, Women Painters of the Southeast

Doug Tweddale’s First Place Award Comments Off on Doug Tweddale’s First Place Award

Hello Dear Albert,

I am getting excited to be back with the gang painting in August. I am pleased to report that I have won a second 1st place! It was for a show with 256 paintings submitted. Only 1/2 were accepted into the show. One hundred artists got in. Both of my paintings got in with the attached painting getting the 1st place. See you soon! Thank you for your wonderful mentoring.

Doug Tweddale

Sue Preiss and her One-Woman Show Comments Off on Sue Preiss and her One-Woman Show

Albert – I’ve been extremely busy with a one-woman show; 21 paintings at the Riverwalk Theater Lobby Gallery in downtown Lansing.  Below is the advertisement ran in three local papers to promote the exhibit.  Also above is the painting for which I won an “Honorable Mention” Award.  The painting was entitled “Santa Fe Adobe.”  The venue was the 41st Annual Art Show and Sale November 2-25, 2012, at the Hope Borbas Library in Okemos, Michigan.  The painting sold for $450.00. I am also entering a large painting of Lake Huron/Mackinac Island with the Muskeon Museum of Art Next week. I won a Purchase Award for my “Quiet Cove” on the Grand River at Dimondale, Michigan at the 84th Regional Exhibition last year.  The painting was sold to a financial corporation in Grand Rapids.

Albert, I cannot express to you how much you helped me take my paintings to an entirely new and higher level;  the whole experience with you was such an epiphany on so many different levels. I so much look forward to seeing you an Jeanine again.

Again, Albert, you are very special to me, and I so look forward to seeing you and painting together!

Sue Preiss

Doug’s Report Comments Off on Doug’s Report

Doug’s Report

Dear Albert,

I am pleased to report that I have received 1st Place for my pastel “Reflections” at the National Audubon Society Mill Grove Art Show. The show is in this amazing rustic stone barn and it is attended by Society members nationally and by many people in the area. The show will run to the end of April.

At the end of April I will also be a featured artist for the GNAL Art Trail. My home and studio will be open Saturday and Sunday for people to come in and tour. I have done this before and I get about 80 people over the two days and I sell 20 – 30 paintings. I am also teaching a series of Plein Air classes for my local art league. As I help students at the easel or do end of day critiques I often think of your comments over the many years I have studied with you. Helping students resolve their paintings has taught me about resolving mine. I will send in a separate e-mail my last demo painting called “Spring at Last”.

Thank you Albert for your friendship and so freely sharing your amazing art vision. I have grown so much as an artist working with you. You have given legs to my desire to paint and teach. Oregon will be amazing this August!

Love and gratitude,

Bill Buss Comments Off on Bill Buss

Bill Buss

Dear Albert,
Following participation in the 2012 Paint-A-Long in Santa Fe, I submitted 3 pastels for consideration for the New Mexico Pastel Society’s 21st Annual Pastel Painting Exhibition. Two paintings were accepted, and to my surprise and delight, ‘Taos Stream’ won an award under the generous sponsorship of Pat Berrett, Photographer, and Artisan/Santa Fe. The inspiration for Taos Stream came directly from earlier exercises with you at the Taos Paint-A-Long.  I feel these intense painting experiences, under your guidance and in the company of the other superb artists attending, have been seminal in whatever progress I’ve been able to make.

Thank you Albert, for your mentorship and unflagging encouragement!

Best regards,
Bill Buss

Testimonial from Kalamazoo Comments Off on Testimonial from Kalamazoo

Dear Albert,
Thanks for the recent e-mail. I especially enjoyed your little write up about your experience at Grand Marais, Minnesota. I had put $200.00 down in October prior to that paint along the following fall, but then gas prices went up and my budget did not allow me to make the long trip from Kalamazoo, Michigan, so I was forced to cancel. All of these years since, I’ve have dreamed about what might have been.

I was fortunate to have viewed your one man exhibition at Youngstown, Ohio which occurred about that time and I was almost put into a trance as I gazed upon the work! There are a very few of my colleagues left from the Kalamazoo Area Pastel Society who still reminisce about the three day workshop you gave here in Kalamazoo at Nazareth College about 33 years ago. At that time you were living in NY. You actually came to my studio at that time when you were in town, since I was one of the key people organizing that event. I tell my students that Albert Handell actually stood at this easel. They are impressed, of course.

I continue to paint in pastel, do some teaching (but always feel like I don’t know much, especially as I learn more about my favorite medium which I have been using since I was in grade school; I will be 70 in February). I plan to live to be 100 so maybe we can make a deal: you live to be 100, offer a paint along reasonably close to Kalamazoo, and maybe we can meet again!

I offer you the best: good health, longevity, happy painting and best of luck with your new found love!

Kalamazoo, MI

Paint the Lake -Trail at Burnt Mill Beach by Patricia Rose Ford Comments Off on Paint the Lake -Trail at Burnt Mill Beach by Patricia Rose Ford

Paint the Lake -Trail at Burnt Mill Beach by Patricia Rose Ford

“Hi Albert, just wanted to let you know about my recent 2nd place award, at a Paint out in Lake Arrowhead, CA, last weekend. I wanted to paint these tree’s with all the little bare limbs along their trunks. They really reminded me of trees you might select.  I tried to remember your recent advice to me, to minimize my whites in the paintings, and  I do think this has helped me of late. I always benefit from my time with you at the mentorships, and last month in Fort Brag, was very beneficial to me.  Thank you for your onging encouragement, and I really appreciate that you recognize my strengths and weaknesses, and help me overcome my weaknesses with my strengths. – Patricia Rose Ford

2012 Santa Fe Mentoring Workshop by Beth Cooper Comments Off on 2012 Santa Fe Mentoring Workshop by Beth Cooper

2012 Santa Fe Mentoring Workshop by Beth Cooper

What a great week we had together in Santa Fe!  Thank you, Albert for your wisdom and sharing your gift with us and thank you to Jeanine for being our “mom” for the week! You all are both wonderful hosts!

Beth Cooper

Tucson Workshop Experience by Cathy McFarland Harvey Comments Off on Tucson Workshop Experience by Cathy McFarland Harvey

I have just completed a four day workshop with 12 other students at the Tucson Art Academy with Albert Handell.  I am so energized.  It was a expansive artistic experience.

The first morning we met at the Academy studio and  Albert laid out the plans for the four days.  Four days packed full of learning and experimenting.  Albert shared with us some basic principles that he follows such as– Value matching, hard and soft edges, pastel box layout, and so forth.  Over lunch we talked about his travels and background training.   That afternoon we went to the Southwest painter’s, DeGrazzio, former home and museum nestled in the Catalina foothills.  Albert worked with each of us individually as we chose a site and began painting. Most of us were pastel painters with a few oil painters.  In late afternoon, we gathered  around for a critique of our work.  Albert zeroed in on our strengths and gave excellent criticism.

The next morning we met early in the studio for an oil painting demonstration,  again emphasizing, color and composition.  That afternoon we headed for Catalina state Park looking eastward at the Catalina’s.  We  painted for a few hours followed by critique.  In the evening  we brought examples of our previous works for Albert to assess and give suggestions for improvement.  He again zeroed in on our strengths and really urged us to work to our strengths. Albert shared a slide show of many of his paintings and the techniques used in painting each painting. The next day Albert gave a pastel demo and we headed again for DeGrazzio’s studio.

The last day we met early in the morning at Aqua Caliente State Park where we painted along with Albert as he mentored us in our compositions and techniques. The spot was an oasis in the desert and we certainly enjoyed basking in the sunshine with incredible views of mountains and water.  That evening we gathered for a goodbye dinner at a local restaurant.  We all were so upbeat and  thrilled by the terrific experience we had with this master painter.

Cathy McFarland Harvey
Oro Valley, Arizona