PanPastels! Coming to Art Camp for Women This Year!!

Art Camp for Women will be using PanPastels
at Gypsy Summer Camp and this fall
for Carla Sonheim’s classes (October 11-14).

Several years ago we  came across PanPastels via a Teesha Moore video on YouTube (see below).  We hadn’t heard of them before so went off – scouring the internet and YouTube for more information.  Whenever we discovered anything new about PanPastels we would post it on our blog. People thought we were PanPastel experts and we had to say we were just posting tutorials and videos by other people – this was more than 5 years ago, so folk were a little more naive about blogging and videos.

Finally we got a hold of  some of the actual PanPastels and were  delighted by their all-round modernity and versatility.  Super rich pigment, economic usage (a little goes a long ways) easy application, blending and mixing, and even attention to low dust and mess. If you wanted to – you could use these pans while riding in the car.

Who creates a new state-of-the-art art supply out of an ages old art medium?
We wanted to find out! 

Ladd Forsline and Bernadette Ward, a husband and wife team, that’s who! Ladd and Berni are the founders of Colorfin, LLC and they  invented, produce and market PanPastels and the Sofft Tools applicators. ladd and berni

Lorri Flint and I wanted to interview Ladd and Berni, just to get to know who thinks like this and how it all came about. When we spoke with Berni she was up for it, but between her schedule and ours it just seemed impossible. Then we found an interview in the archives of Cloth Paper Scissors and didn’t see the need to replicate the terrific job done by Ricë Freeman-Zachary.

It takes a lot of time to get all the various permissions to reprint or re-use an article so we are giving you a link to the interview here.

Ricë (rhymes with Lisa) is an inquisitive and insightful interviewer as well as a  great writer so it is more than worth your time to read about these amazing artists and their unique product.  Here is a link to Ricë’s personal art blog.
80 Panset

Looking at the picture doesn’t quite give you the depth of color, creamy softness or the smooth blendy-juicyness of each and every stroke of the Softt Tool. But you can see the full range of color from tint to shade.

As you can imagine, PanPastels do not come cheap, but they are definitely worth the money. They will last you just short of forever, but if you want to give them a test drive first, get yourself to our Gypsy Summer Camp or to Carla Sonheim’s class – or even better – “The Works!” this fall! Thanks to Berni and Ladd there will be plenty of PanPastels and Sofft Tools to go around!

While this probably won’t save you any money – you will know one way of the other if you want to add this wonderful art medium to your inventory!

For those of you that have already acquired some PanPastels here are a couple more video tutorials to keep you playing! To find PanPastels near you or online look here.

PortraitDemonstration by Pam Carriker:

An Art Journal Page:

And finally – A demonstration of the use of the Sofft Tools and the PanPastels by Ladd Forsline, artist and inventor.

And if this isn’t enough to keep you busy for a week – try this link and look in the sidebar there for more videos!









The Top 5 Reasons Every Artist Should Blog

Computer Mouse with Colored PencilsThis is a guest post from Beth Hayden of Blogging with Beth. Beth is one of our 2012 guest instructors for Art Camp for Women – she’ll be teaching a brand-new class on setting up an artist’s blog.

I’m a blogging coach, and I have a confession to make – I have a soft spot in my heart for artist’s blogs. I think artists create some of the most visually engaging, dynamic blogs on the web. Art blogs are filled with images that are so yummy I just want to reach through the screen and touch ‘em. I could look at them all day.

If you’re an artist, why should you consider blogging (other than just giving me more fabulous eye candy to savor?) Here are the top five reasons every artist should blog:

1. Your blog will give you a very professional, accessible presence on the web. Whether or not you sell your art commercially, a blog is a great place to share your work in a beautiful, polished way. An artist’s website is their “home base”, the place that acts as their online business card (and much more!) Blogs give you lots of options for creating your online presence in gorgeous ways that really reflect your artistic style.

And if you ARE interested in selling your work, using a blog is the easiest, quickest way to set up your own online shop. Blogs can also integrate beautifully with Etsy, if you’re selling your artwork via their platform.

Search engines also love blogs, and Google rewards bloggers who update their sites on a regular basis. So if you’re creating art in a specific niche, blogging will make you more findable on the web!

2. Blogs help you build connections and relationships. Your blog will make it easier for everyone (friends, family, gallery owners, potential buyers) to see your work. They can also encourage you by commenting on your work and cheering you on!

Blogging also lets you hobknob with other artist bloggers (in your niche and beyond) in order to exchange ideas, share tips and tricks, and talk about exciting upcoming conferences and camps – like Art Camp for Women! :)

Meeting new people and growing your connections and relationships is excellent fodder for your artwork, too. After all, isn’t being in relationship with someone the ultimate act of self-expression? These relationships will make your life richer and your art better.

3. Blogging lets you measure your progress over time. When I look back at my earliest blog posts, I see that my writing style was more amateur, my explanations on technical topics not as clear, and my presentation not as professional. I see a huge difference between my early posts and the posts I’m publishing today.

Imagine seeing your growth and progress as an artist as you flip back through your archived posts. You’ll see how you are changing and growing in your art, and also as a person! As you integrate new skills you learn from classes and conferences, you can see clearly how you go from beginner to expert over the course of time. It’s incredibly satisfying for you, and really compelling for your blog readers, too!

You also get to keep your blog as an incredible online scrapbook and archive for your kids, your extended family, and your friends. Blogs will stay up on the web as long as you keep them up, so your art will have a staying power!

4. Blogging is motivating and inspiring. Blogs provide a wonderful structure in which to work and play. If you’ve decided to post a new photo of your artwork once a week, and you know your readers are expecting a new post, you bet your booty you’ll be more motivated to sit down and create. Some artists even post new artwork every day! You certainly don’t NEED to post everyday, though, to get an enormously fun motivation to create.

You can also find inspiration from your blog – from the comments you’ll get from readers, from other artist blogs and websites, and from images you’ll see all over the web.  A blog is a wellspring of constant inspiration if you’re curious and keep your eyes open!

5. Finally – and perhaps MOST importantly – blogging is FUN. Modern blogging tools, combined with state-of-the-art digital cameras – make it fun and easy to publish new posts, switch out new blog templates, and get creative online.  And artist bloggers can let their passion for color, light and texture run free online. Blogging is a blast, and once you get started, you won’t want to stop!

Sold on the idea of blogging? Then I invite you to join us at this year’s Art Camp for Women sessions for a special workshop on blogging.

Create Your Artist’s Blog

June 4 – 7, 2012

Snow Mountain Ranch, Colorado

Here’s what you’ll get from the course:

  • You’ll come out of this two-day session with a working, published blog. You will already have one or two posts up when you leave the camp, and will have the knowledge and understanding to put up new posts whenever inspiration strikes.
  • You’ll learn how to load pictures from your camera to your computer, and how to easily publish them to your blog
  • You’ll feel more comfortable with technology (technophobes are 100% welcome!)
  • You will LOVE your new blog, and will be excited to go home and put up new posts!

During this two-day class, I’ll teach you how to:

  • Set up a new web hosting account (you’ll need this for your new blog – sounds hard but it really isn’t!)
  • Create your new WordPress blog
  • Choose a new site template to create a look and feel for your blog that reflects your artwork and your mission as an artist
  • Create and publish blog posts with photos of your artwork
  • Manage online comments and discussion from your readers
  • Categorize your blog posts to create an easy-to-use online archive for you and your readers

You will need a laptop computer and a digital camera (or photos already on your laptop) to participate in class.

Important note: If I haven’t sold you on the idea of blogging and you’d just like to create a regular website, we can do that, too! I’ll teach you how to use WordPress to create a regular website with your images and text. You’ll still get a TON out of this workshop.

I am absolutely thrilled to be teaching this class as part of this year’s Art Camp for Women sessions, and to have the opportunity to teach side-by-side with Lori Wostl and Lorri Flint, two of my favorite women (and two of the best TEACHERS) in the world. We’d love to have you join us. Want more info? Here’s where you can get more information on registering for the upcoming Art Camp for Women camp, or get more details on this blogging workshop.

Beth Hayden, Blogging and Social Media CoachBeth Hayden helps business owners, artists, entrepreneurs and authors grow their business by helping them create fabulous websites, blogs, and social media campaigns. Get her best tips for achieving blogging nirvana by downloading her free report, From Blah to Hurrah: 25 Ways to Make Your Blog Bigger, Better and More Profitable.