Pastel artist Lyn Asselta has been awarded the prestigious Founders Award by the Pastel Society of America (PSA) for her painting Outstretched. The award, sponsored by the Flora B. Giffuni Foundation, also earns Asselta the status of PSA Master Pastelist. “To realize that there were over 1,400 entries from all over the world for this show, and to realize that my painting received the top award is still mind-boggling,” says Asselta. “I am in awe of the other artists in the show and their work.”
Outstretched depicts a section of rocky coastline at the end of a peninsula in Maine, where Asselta lives. “The rocks here are so unique; they form such incredible patterns,” she says. “I’ve always been fascinated with the geology of this place.” Asselta begins her paintings with her camera, on location, then returns to her studio. “I remind myself what it was that drew me to a particular location and that’s the idea that will drive the actual composition and format of the painting,” she says. “In this case, I was fascinated with the side-by-side layers of rock, creating a means to carry the eye visually out to the water beyond.”
Lucy Clark of The Lucy Clark Gallery and Studio in Brevard, where Asselta’s art is shown, first encountered the artist ten years ago. “I was instantly struck by the structure and softness of her work,” says Clark. “Her use of that contrast makes her work stand out from other pastel work. Outstretched draws the viewer into its movement without even trying. Her use of color and structure creates a vista that is at once rocky and inviting.” Asselta says that this honor will allow her to return to her work with renewed inspiration. “I was once told,” she says, “that an artist should enjoy those brief moments of recognition, but then get right back to the easel because you’ll have a blank surface staring at you, waiting for you to create something new.”
Due to the pandemic, this year’s PSA Annual Exhibition, Enduring Brilliance, will be online and may be viewed on the society’s website at PastelSocietyofAmerica. org/48th-annual-pastel-exhibition-enduring-brilliance/. Lyn Asselta is represented by Gleason Fine Art Gallery in Boothbay Harbor, Maine; Cutter and Cutter Fine Art in St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra, Florida; and The Lucy Clark Gallery in Brevard. Visit LynAsselta.com or LucyClarkGallery.com to learn more.