Featured Artist Nick Payne

Nick Payne’s brilliant and detailed pastels are imbued with the artist’s thoughts and energy; every leaf, stone, branch, etc. are defined with his artistic force. For more information about Nick Payne and his paintings, please visit his website.


Water and Woodland

“Water and Woodland” Pastel, 34″ x 26″


I love the immediacy and brilliance of pastels! The bulk of my paintings are made with this beautiful medium. Pastels were first developed in the 15th century, and became more widely used in the 18th century; yet today, the medium still does not have the broad acclaim it deserves.


Shells on Beach

“Shells on Beach” Pastel, 41″ x 26″


Some artists, recalling their early school experience with cheap pastels and limited instruction in their use, shy away from the medium. They remember dust, fragility, and frustration.


Beach Glass

“Beach Glass” Pastel, 17″ x 40″


Other than the name “pastel,” the school product and the professional product have little in common.  All objections to pastel are removed with a little instruction and the use of professional materials. The advantages of the medium are many.


In the Conservatory - Second Center

“In the Conservatory-Second Center” Pastel, 34″ x 26″


Painting with professional pastels is as close as an artist can get to painting with pure pigment.


Lake Padden - View from Memorial Bench of Kathleen Alice Keller

“Lake Padden – View from Memorial Bench of Kathleen Alice Keller” Pastel, 34″ x 26″


Effects are immediate. Pastels register every gesture of the artist’s arm and fingers without having to pause to allow water or oil to dry.


Lake Padden series - View from the Memorial Bench of Wendel Holboy

“Lake Padden series – View from the Memorial Bench of Wendel Holboy” Pastel, 34″ x 26″


With pastels the work goes quickly; however, there is a difference between a sketch and a painting. My complicated, larger pastels of 30 inches by 40 inches take weeks to finish.


Nubgaard Pond - Spring

“Nubgaard Pond – Spring” Pastel, 26″ x 34″


Finished paintings have an airiness and surface light unduplicated by other painting media because the tiny particles of pigment reflect from many facets like rough-cut gems.


In the Conservatory - Fourth Center

“In the Conservatory – Fourth Center” Pastel, 34″ x 26″


Unlike other paint mediums, the pigments of pastels are not saturated with a binder, which means pastels will not yellow, darken, or craze with age like other paint media.  Pastel paintings in museums from the 18th century are as bright and fresh today as when they were painted.


Portrait of Dylan Graser

“Portrait of Dylan Graser” Pastel, 25″ x 19″


To preserve the purity of the pastels, I do not “fix” my pastel paintings with sprays to hold the pigment in place. The ground I paint upon, PastelMat, serves that purpose.


The artist with pastel painting"

The artist with pastel painting


Although a pastel painting is initially fragile, if properly framed with Museum Glass® or Conservation Glass® and archival mat and mounting board, an original pastel painting is an heirloom that can be passed on through many generations.


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  1. Kate Peck says

    I love the variety of painting done by Nick Payne. All are beautifully done.

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