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Maryland Pastel Society events


Amanda Houston: Discovering Your Voice in Skies

Studio Workshop, April 14-16, 2023

Sunrise Valley by Amanda Houston

Columbia Art Center (WEBSITE)
6100 Foreland Garth, Columbia, Maryland 21045 (MAP)


This workshop will go beyond the “how-to” steps of creating radiant sky paintings from photographs. It will explore the intuitive creative process while still covering the foundation of good design and composition. The workshop will focus on a series of small-scale color sketches and finish with one larger piece. While Amanda will share how she approaches skies, this workshop will help you evaluate your own mark making and undergo a deep self-discovery to define your own unique painting style. Learn what habits hold you back from letting your true voice come out.

Amanda will show a variety of different techniques, working with pastel on a number of different surfaces, so you can explore new possibilities in your own work. The workshop will focus on simplifying the subject matter in 4-5 values, refining the shapes, harmonizing the color palette, showing how to paint “the glow”, and identifying the best ways to lead the viewer through your painting.

By working on a series of small paintings, you will learn to analyze your own mark making, explore variations on a theme, and learn how an artist’s creative spirit emerges. This workshop is a unique balance of left and right brained exercises preparing you to paint with composition authority and creative curiosity. Be prepared to walk away with at least 8-10 pieces from the workshop.

Student Level: beginner to advanced

Workshop Schedule:

Workshop hours: 9:30am-4:30pm daily, including a daily lunch break from 12:30-1:30pm.

About the Artist: Amanda Houston is an award-winning pastelist from Oregon. She is a Masters' Circle Member of IAPS (International Assoc. of Pastel Societies) and a Signature and board of member of the NW Pastel Society and American Women Artists, where she participates in museum shows each year. She also participates in national shows as a member of the American Impressionist Society and Pastel Society of America.

To learn more about Amanda, visit her website:

REGISTRATION: Reserve your place with a deposit of $150 or the full payment of $400. Accommodations and meals are not included. If you pay a deposit, the remaining balance, $250, will be due by March 24, 2023. Link to payment form is below.