November 2nd – 25th

The work of three artist friends, Sally Dillon, Susanne Personette, and Ruth Rinard, who share a love of painting in soft pastels. The title was inspired by the answer they often find themselves giving to viewers of their work who inquire: “What is that? Is it oil paint?”

Sally says,” The pastels themselves — and the simplicity of using them — are as inspiring as whatever scene I am painting. The method of applying color is direct and every mark can vary in size and intensity. With an infinite number of colors and textural possibilities, I feel like a kid again, making bright colored marks with pastel on sanded paper. Pastels are such fun! Who could ask for more?”

Susanne says: “For as long as I remember, my eye has been caught by the color of light and color of shadow in nature. Pastels are the most richly satisfying way for me to joyfully respond to what I see. I am thrilled by the intensity, vibrancy, and purity of these colors and their intensely tactile application to sanded paper. Pastels are deeply colorful, completely engaging, generously forgiving, and incredibly flexible.”

Ruth says: “I have always felt a deep connection to the visual world, and I’ve drawn since childhood. It is only within the last ten years, though, that I found the medium that allows me to fully express what I both see and feel. When I am drawn to an object or scene, I want to explore what makes it special and worth observing, what qualities might be easily overlooked or passed by. A shape, a color, a line, or a mood — all can compel me to see and explore with awe in pastel.”

An opening reception will be held on Thursday, November 2nd, during Amherst Arts Night Plus, from 5pm to 8pm.

About Sally Dillon:
Sally has been a fiber artist for more than 40 years, specializing in hand-painted silk and more recently felted wool.  After retiring from the craft fair circuit a few years ago, she decided to try her hand at some more traditional artist’s materials and techniques, and fell in love with pastels. 

About Susanne Personette:
Susanne has been drawing, painting, and studying art since childhood. In the midst of a 30+ year career in architecture, taking a pastel workshop was the “eureka moment” when she found “her” medium.  Painting as often as possible during the past ten years of her career, her recent retirement finds her eagerly pursuing her passion for plein air painting in pastel.

About Ruth Rinard:
After careers in academe and health sciences, Ruth became intrigued with the freshness of pure pigment and the tactile possibilities of pastel. When she realized she could use her drawing skills within the painterly framework of pastel, she never looked back! Ruth has studied painting with Christine Labich and exhibited work with the Connecticut and New Hampshire pastel societies.