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hiking mountains landscape forest woods pastel kingman

Determined and Persistent: Pastels by Marlene Kingman

hiking mountains landscape forest woods pastel kingman

Camping and hiking provide excellent opportunities for pastel artist Marlene Kingman to capture the landscape on paper. Hiking Trip, original pastel painting by Marlene Kingman.

You wouldn’t think it would be necessary to say this, but it is:

Not everyone likes doing the same things.

And if you don’t — when you don’t — fit into the paradigm that society or its establishments determines as the norm, you either have to be very determined (“difficult,” some people say) or go in a direction you don’t like. Artist Marlene Kingman opted to do the former.

“As early as elementary school, I realized that art and creativity were my preferred classes,” the Richland, WA, pastel and oil painter says.

“I tolerated math and science, but what I really focused on were the classes in art and music.”

coast bog marsh evening landscape forest kingman pastel

It’s a quiet moment, of of stillness and calm in Marlene Kingman’s original pastel painting, Coastal Bog Evening.

In a world where science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) stand on pedestals, Kingman’s statement verges on blasphemous, but throughout her life, she has remained committed to the world of art. It started with those elementary and later high school classes, when, along the way, an exceptional art teacher allowed her access to the studio while other children were at recess. Later, she studied Fine Art in college, but life being what it is, changed her major to Commercial Design and then Architecture, resulting in a career that was “totally contrary to artwork,” as she describes it. It took an extra dose of determination to keep her skills in art not just alive, but thriving.

Determined to Create Art

“Throughout my architectural career, I continued to work in pastels and photography to maintain a creative venue,” she explains. During that time as well, she met other artists who encouraged her through teaching and example. One of those was Ruth Stromswold, an area painter who taught art following the Renaissance method.

pears fruit still life pastel painting kingman

Light and shadows interplay over and around a trio of pears in Marlene Kingman’s original pastel painting, Unwrapped.

“This process starts with studying value, composition, rhythm, unity, balance, and harmony necessary for a painting to capture and hold a viewer’s attention.

“For over four years, I attended regularly scheduled classes learning both oil and pastel painting.”

She also attended and continues to attend workshops, both in plein air and studio settings, under Jim Lamb, Leslie Cain, Paul Murray, Wally Mann, and Richard McKinley.

“I recognize that masters of any profession achieve their talent through continued education.”

Fully Immersed in the Moment

Mount Rainier wilderness landscape forest pastel kingman

Mt Rainier is a place one wants to immerse oneself in, as Marlene Kingman does in her pastel painting, Mt. Rainier.

Now retired, Kingman is finally able to immerse herself in her artwork, and divides her time between painting, volunteering at the Gallery at the Park in Richland, camping, hiking, and traveling to the various galleries where her art is shown. Although she enjoys working in both the studio and out on the field, there is a persistent tug about plein air painting that prompts her to shut the door to her studio and head out into the wild, paints and pastels in hand.

“My most enjoyable moments as an artist are when I do plein air painting.

“There is nothing that equates to doing a sketch or painting while being totally immersed in the surrounding environment.

“I find plein air painting the most challenging but rewarding experience of capturing the essence of the environment into your work.”

Reaping the Benefits of Being Determined

Kingman is a member of numerous art societies, including Plein Air of Washington, the Northwest Pastel Society, Arizona Pastel Society, and the Pastel Society of the West Coast. She has participated in juried shows throughout the Pacific Northwest, and for the last 12 years has been a part of the Kennewick, WA, First Thursday Art Walk Tour at You and I Gallery.

She could have given up at the beginning; lots of people do. But Kingman, like many artists, refused to let the creative element in her bow to the pressures, and paradigms, of societal “norms.” And so throughout her life, she has made a place for art in her life, and now, in this sweet time of retirement that really isn’t retirement because she’s incredibly busy pursuing her second career, she reaps the benefit of determination and persistence.

“All forms of art are challenging,” Kingman observes. “As best described by Edgar Degas, ‘Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do.’

“Art is where my heart and soul find the greatest satisfaction.”

Wenaha GalleryMarlene Kingman is the featured Art Event at Wenaha Gallery from December 14, 2021 through January 17, 2022.

Contact the gallery, located at 219 East Main Street, Dayton, WA, by phone at 509.382.2124 or e-mail art@wenaha.com. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday through Friday, and by appointment. Visit the Wenaha Gallery website online at www.wenaha.com.

 

 

morning light observant window wilderness nature stephen lyman

Stay Observant: Morning Light by Stephen Lyman

morning light observant window wilderness nature stephen lyman

On the inside, looking out. Nature is an excellent teacher of observation skills. Morning Light, art print by Stephen Lyman

All around this world there are things to see, observe, wonder about, question, analyze, discuss.

But to do so, we first have to see.

Not just look, but see.

Not just listen, but hear.

Not just accept what we’re told, but investigate, coming to conclusions based upon our analysis of facts we have dug up, much as if we were investigative journalists. The more we do this, the better we get at it, and the better we get at it, the more confident we are to keep doing it.

One person who knew a lot about the power of observation was Stephen Lyman, a fine artist who painted images of the wilderness. Lyman spent a lot of time hiking in remote areas, and to do so, he had to know much about the world in which he was hiking. He needed to be observant, and he was.

Lyman’s artwork, Morning Light, shows the image outside of his cabin window. There is much to see, much to observe, and though Lyman looked through this window many times, no doubt each time he did so he saw something different, registered something new.

He was never complacent about what he saw, or heard, because he knew that in this world — which can be as brutal a place as it is beautiful — it was vital to be observant and awake.

Stay Observant of the World Around Us

Wenaha GalleryThe featured image to this article is Morning Light by Stephen Lyman.  You may purchase the print online at this link. We would be absolutely delighted to frame the work for you, working online and by phone — something we have been doing successfully for many years with out out-of-town clients. Email us at Wenaha.com to start the conversation.

More works by Stephen Lyman are at this link.

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