Asheville artist Elise Okrend’s pastel work Mystic Mountain III is one of the paintings selected for the 2020 North Carolina Statewide Juried Pastel Exhibition On Common Ground: From the Mountains to the Sea. Originally scheduled to hang in Charlotte’s Cornwell Center from May 11 through June 12, the exhibit is available online at NCStatewide2020.org.
“It is especially gratifying for me to be a part of this exhibit because it showcases the best pastel artists from across the state,” says Okrend. “It also gives me a chance to see what other pastel artists are working on, including subject matter, technique and color.”
Okrend’s process for Mystic Mountain began with a photo reference and a loose sketch for mountain and valley placement. Once the composition was down, she states the rest of the process was intuitive. Okrend blended and layered color to give the mountain mist definition and feeling.
“Once I start, I lose myself in creating a mood,” says Okrend. “I love the mountains on a clear day, but the mist—the mystery and blurred lines it creates—is what really excites me.”
The North Carolina Statewide Pastel Juried Exhibition is an annual collaboration of The Appalachian Pastel Society, the Pastel Society of North Carolina and the Piedmont Pastel Society. This year, 90 artists submitted a total of 232 images for the exhibit. Ninety-five of those images were selected by juror Alain J. Picard for the show.