Pastel Society of New Hampshire

Member Show 2020

Pastel Society of New Hampshire | Member Show 2020

Virtual Exhibit | Library Arts Center | June 19-August 31

The Library Arts Center is pleased to present the annual Members’ Show for the Pastel Society of New Hampshire.  While we are disappointed that we were unable to present this beautiful work in the gallery, as originally planned, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are thrilled to present the show virtually, as it allows for a further reach for the exhibit to be viewed by members of the region and beyond.  We hope you enjoy viewing these stunning pieces in pastel, and we invite you to cast your vote for “Viewer’s Choice!”

What are Pastels?

When people speak with artist working in pastel, they often refer to the sticks as “chalk,” which evokes a false impression about the rich and permanent medium of pastel.  Pastel has been around since the cave paintings and became legitimized in the late 1600’s with portraits of Rosalba Carriera.  Other artists who used pastels are household names in the art world: Chardin, LaTour, Mille, Manet, Degas, Cassatt, Renoir, Gauguin, Whistler, to name but a few.  Pastels have gained considerable popularity over the last 30 years.  The name pastel comes from the French word “Pastiche” which means “mixture” or “jumble.”  Pastels are pure powdered pigment mixed with a binder, ground into a paste, rolled into a stick and allowed to dry.  Because there is virtually nothing in the sticks but pure pigment, it is the most permanent of all mediums and will remain unchanged for generations.  There is no yellowing or cracking to be concerned with and pastels never require restoration. Pastel must never be confused with chalk which is a limestone substance impregnated with dyes.

Many artists say using pastel is “juicy, delicious and seductive.”  We hope you, the viewer, will be seduced by the beauty of the pastels on display.

The Pastel Society of New Hampshire would like acknowledge and thank the Library Arts Center Gallery for all its work in making this show happen.     -Paula Fraser, chair of the PSNH Member Show
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The Library Arts Center is a non-profit community arts center, gallery and studio located in Newport, NH.  We invite you to learn more about the Arts Center’s programs and mission by exploring our website.  The Arts Center relies on donations to be able to present a variety of exhibits, classes, performances, and community arts offerings.  If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation, please click here.

Robert K. Carsten

Robert K. Carsten


Robert K. Carsten, PSA-M, IAPS-MC, CPS studied at the Art Students League of New York, Rhode Island School of Design and the Accademia di Belle Arti, Italy. A longtime, popular national and international workshop instructor and exhibitions juror, he was co-juror for Pastel Society of America’s Annual International exhibition; judge of awards for the 2018 IAPS International Online exhibition; Still Life/Interiors judge for Pastel Journal Pastel 100 Annual; among others. He’s authored numerous articles on art and artists for Pastel JournalPleinAir Magazine,The Artist’s Magazine, and Watercolor Magazine. His work has been featured in Pure Pastel; Pure Color/The Best of Pastel; AcrylicWorks 4; AcrylicWorks 7; Strokes of Genius/ The Best of Drawing; Finding Your Style in Pastel; Pastel Journal; American Art Review; The Artist’s Magazine; and other publications.  Visit his website:


Statement from the Award Judge:
Thank you for the privilege to view and judge this wonderful exhibition in the extraordinary medium of pastel. Present is so much variety in subject matter, use of technique and artistic insight. My hat goes off to each and every artist who has work in this exciting exhibition. Inspiration and beauty abound here!
—Robert K. Carsten, PSA
Judge of Awards
Keith Demanche "Morning Shadows"

1st Place Award

Keith Demanche | Morning Shadows

Judge Comments:  Succinctly cropped, this stunning landscape is not about a scene as much as it’s about what is seen — the elevation of things somewhat mundane to veritable fascination and wonder. It enlivens our senses. The artist so deftly creates a palpable sense of warming light pervading cold atmosphere. A limited palette and exquisite color contrasts contribute enormously to this painting’s evocative nature. The movement of sloping planes and shadows form marvelous diagonals which are anchored by the counterbalance of the stable, dark trees at left. In my book, this painting has it all.

Mary Ann Eldred "Golden Marsh"

2nd Place Award

Mary Ann Eldred | Golden Marsh

Judge Comments:  Underlying warmth of sky color contrasts with greens and blues of field and foliage and sets a tonal mood in this painting. Great composition allows the eye to explore every inch yet pulls the eye back in space to its judiciously placed center of interest. The concentration of darkened blue green pines lies on a golden intersection.

Elizabeth Craumer "Lengthening Shadows"

3rd Place Award

Elizabeth Craumer | Lengthening Shadows

Judge Comments: Rough, textural qualities of surface and pastel application are complemented by a strong sense of light and rich color in this well-composed and executed scene. The omission of details such as windows, doors, trunks of trees etc. creates a sculpture-like solidity to the forms, and renders this image less specific and powerfully compelling. Great contrasts of color saturation and temperature!

Maryann Mullett "Froggie Yoga"

PSNH Award One

Maryann Mullett | Froggie Yoga

Judge Comments: An exceptional work of art, this intriguing close-up bears witness that intimate views of nature can be as engaging as any panoramic scene. An acute sensitivity to color value and temperature differentiates wet and dry areas on the pads and spectacularly renders parts of the frog both under and above water.  The sensation of wetness of its skin and the viscosity of the water’s surface is remarkable. 

PSNH Awards are given by the judge, using his discretion for pieces that distinctly catch his eye.

Terri Brooks "Winslow"

PSNH Award Two

Terri Brooks | Winslow

Judge Comments: The mottled, warm/cool colors of the background are value similar, creating an admirable foil for the more differentiated temperatures, values and saturated colors on the model. Fabulous expression!  The artist skillfully captures mood and temperament in this tonal, animal portrait. There’s just enough mark-making to express the fur without it appearing unnecessarily detailed.

PSNH Awards are given by the judge, using his discretion for pieces that distinctly catch his eye.

Karen Audouin "Joyful Spring"

"Hole-in-One" Award

Karen Audouin | Joyful Spring

Judge Comments: In color and placement of shapes, the compositional idea of this painting is quite becoming. Pronounced mark-making, contours and value contrasts of the foreground bushes are nicely juxtaposed against softer contrasts of lines in the fence, background foliage and immediate foreground. The center of interest is clear and uncontested.

The Hole-in-One Award is given to an early artist who hasn’t had the thrill of being chosen for an award yet. It is given by Sally Shea in honor of her husband Tim. Tim was a avid golfer who was able to get 2 holes-in-one during his lifetime. Luck, Skill, Fluke-who knows?!–but the thrill of the accomplishment is and will always be HUGE.

Maggie F. Smith "My Side of the Lake"

Pastel Award for Landscape

Maggie F. Smith | My Side of the Lake

Judge Comments: Strong design and spirit of location are exceptionally integrated in this captivating painting. Elements are well positioned and scaled within its square-ish format and the artist creates a zigzagging pathway for the eye to meander from foreground to background. Warm undertones in the middle distance hold interest as do masterful variations in form shapes and edges.

The Landscape in Pastel Award is given to a traditional landscape painting which exemplifies the basic elements of Design, Composition, and Spirit of location. This award is given by Judy McKenna who wants to encourage and acknowledge exceptional landscape painting.

Patricia Schappler "The Guardian"

Pastel Award for Portraiture

Patricia Schappler | The Guardian

Judge Comments: With its frontal pose and triangular design, this powerful portrait speaks volumes about its subject. Top lighting serves to delineate expressive qualities within th e sitter’s hands and face that are simply mesmerizing. Subtle variations in the pose relieve any overly symmetrical qualities and subtle colors and textures of the robe reference the background. Overall, a masterful portrait.

This award is given for excellence in portraiture. A painting of a person or group of people that captures personality of the subject using effective lighting, backdrops and poses. Thanks to Marilyn Bok for her generous donation.

Work From Member Artists of The

Pastel Society of New Hampshire

Purchase of Art Pieces

The pieces you see as a part of this virtual exhibit are for sale.  If you would like to inquire about purchasing a piece, please contact the gallery at, and we would be happy to assist you.

Viewer's Choice Award

The Pastel Society of New Hampshire and Library Arts Center invite you to vote for your favorite piece in the show for the 2020 viewer’s choice award. 


Juried Artists

A Message from the Pastel Society of New Hampshire:

Our Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to the appreciation of soft pastels as a fine art medium.  Founded in January 2006 by a group of pastel artists, the purpose of our society is to foster connections among pastelists of all levels throughout New Hampshire, the New England region and other states.  All pastel artists are welcome and encouraged to join.

The Pastel Society of NH is a member of IAPS, International Association of Pastel Societies, linking our members with the world of other pastel societies and their members.  We are a registered 501(c)(3).  Find out more at and follow us on Facebook.

Thinking of Joining?

          The benefits of membership are many.  We have a quarterly newsletter which is full of information about pastels, exhibits, workshops grant opportunities, Society news and members’ news.  You would have exhibition opportunities in the annual Members Show and the national juried show, “It’s Pastel.”  You would have a discount on workshops given by nationally recognized pastel artists.   It is supportive to network with other pastel artists in and around the state of NH who are all working, promoting, sharing and learning about the pastel medium in a creative environment.  Our meetings are quarterly and include demonstrations, guest speakers, critique sessions, plein-air outings and/or discussions of art-related topics.  Your pastel work can be showcased on our website rotating with members.  The membership categories are.  Find out more about membership on our website.