The South Arkansas Arts Center hosted the first in a series of workshops featuring award-winning artists on November 7-9. Nationally recognized pastel artist Susan Ogilvie’s workshop, “Painting the Landscape: A Personal Approach to Design, Color Harmony, and Creating Natural Light with Pastels,” was attended by local artists and pastelists from as far away as Houston, Texas. “Painting the landscape connects us with the subject, and our place in the world. The creative process is exciting and personally fulfilling…and such a joy to share with students,” said Ogilvie. “We paint the soul of the subject, not the details!”

Ogilvie’s workshop was made possible through the Johnie Walker Excellence in Art Workshop Series, which is sponsored by her daughter Ms. Martha Murphy.   Johnie Walker Murphy was one of the visionaries at the inception of the South Arkansas Arts Center and continued to be an influential and ardent supporter throughout her life. She made a commitment to the betterment of El Dorado, especially through the arts, realizing the importance they have in elevating a community and enriching the lives of its citizens.

Sandy Bennett, who attended the workshop, said, “Susan was a very knowledgeable and experienced teacher, who dealt equally well with beginners and seasoned painters. She used a calm, logical, and cognitive problem-solving approach based on shape, value, and color.” She added, “One note I made and underscored is this, ‘Having something FAIL is just as important as having something succeed, IF you analyze and figure out WHY.’ Isn’t that a basic tenet for all of life – not just painting?”  The development of dynamic, sensitive and believable landscape paintings were the focus of the class. Susan shared her ideas about using reference material successfully, effective color relationships, compositional design that supports the subject, and a more authentic approach to natural light.

Susan Ogilvie lives with her husband and two cats on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State. Her paintings express a reverence for rural life and open spaces. Susan has received numerous national awards, holds signature status with the Pastel Society of America in New York, and maintains a busy studio schedule. Ogilvie conducts several comprehensive pastel workshops nationally each year. She is a respected juror, accomplished painting instructor, and popular guest speaker. Susan’s paintings are held nationally in corporate and private collections, and published in several North Light books on both drawing and painting. Susan has juried the “Landscapes and Interiors” category for the Pastel Journal’s “Pastel 100 Competition.” Susan’s spirited and motivational teaching style provides the content and environment for each student to flourish.