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Welcome to our 2022 Marks of Distinction National Juried Show! CMPS is excited to bring you this curated exhibition of 73 pieces in soft pastel from artists working throughout the United States and Canada. Congratulations to the accepted artists and award winners for your diverse and beautiful work, and thank you to our jurors of selection, Liz Balkwill and Natasha Isenhour, and our Judge of Awards, Katie Hanson.

Meet our Selection Jurors

Liz Balkwill is a Norwich, UK artist in soft pastel and oil whose paintings focus on light and form in the portrait, figure, and still life. She is an elected Member of The Pastel Society of the UK, and shows her work regularly through the Society’s Mall Galleries exhibitions, the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, The Royal Institute of Oil Painters, and the Society of Women Artists. She is represented by several private galleries. Liz is also a devoted and sought-after teacher who offers classes, retreats, and demos in the UK and Mediterranean.

Natasha Isenhour is a contemporary realist painter in pastel and oil whose work explores the emotional response to the landscape, buildings, and still life, allowing the viewer to experience the core essence of a scene. A Signature Member of Pastel Society of America, Plein Air Painters of New Mexico, and American Women Artists; juried member of The Salmagundi Club; and a Distinguished Pastelist of Pastel Society of New Mexico, Natasha is known for combining plein air study with studio work to achieve her award-winning representations of light and form in the American West. She teaches at Ghost Ranch, NM during an annual month-long retreat, and this Fall will have a solo museum show at Taos Art Museum at Fechin House.

Meet our Judge of Awards

Katie Hanson conceives and mounts exhibits at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in her role of Associate Curator of European paintings, 1800-1955. Her recent projects include “French Pastels: Treasures from the Vault” as well as exhibitions dedicated to Claude Monet, Paul C├ęzanne, Pablo Picasso, and Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele. An expert in impressionism, Dr. Hanson is a frequent guest lecturer and publishes catalogs, books, journal articles, and anthology contributions on a wide range of artists; her most recent book, Monet: Paintings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, was published in April 2020.

"It was an honor and a pleasure to judge this beautiful exhibition.

Marks of Distinction showcases the splendid variety artists achieve with the medium of pastel, and that was, indeed, a focus of my review process. I hope you will enjoy, as much as I did, looking closely and marveling at the meeting of medium, subject, and composition. It was the way these elements informed and enhanced one another, sometimes in surprising ways, that drove my selection of award winners among a field of excellent artworks."

We are delighted to share our award winners! Many thanks to Katie Hanson for taking on the difficult challenge of judging the outstanding submissions to this year's show--a tough job!


Lazy Hazy Days by Terri Brooks

"The layering of colors—subtle lavender and white atop vibrant orange—create a mesmerizing glow. The play of these matte layered colors to convey the shimmering surface of water harmonizes beautifully with the quiet whimsy of the subject and composition. This one just kept drawing me back to it with its compelling push and pull of my attention between the use of the medium and the composition as a whole."


Grandpa's Hay Barn by Kathryn Niles

"Pastel’s lush velvetiness adds to the quiet grandeur of these old buildings, emphasizing the softness of aged, weather-beaten wood. The lively, energetic strokes of growing grass provide a captivating foil to the soft stillness of the structures. Touch, composition, and subject combine to enchanting effect."


With You By My Side by Betsy Payne Cook

"The richly textured surface is fascinating in its own right, and conveys so compellingly the luminous, wet atmosphere of the scene. This is a marvelous meeting of technique and subject, of application and effect."


First Place: Lazy Hazy Days by Terri Brooks

Second Place: Grandpa's Hay Barn by Kathryn Niles

Third Place: With You By My Side by Betsy Payne Cook

Rabbit Air Award: Acadian Rock by Gary Ozias

Connecticut Pastel Society/ Diane Townsend Award: Inspire by Jeanne Rosier Smith

Pastel Society of Maine/ Holbein Award: Invalid Password by Anu Vedagiri

Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod/Holbein Award: Kathleen by Jeanne Tangney

CMPS President's Award for use of color/Richeson Award: Footsteps #17 by Linda Gross Brown

Pastel Society of America/Richeson Award: Snowy Day by Kate Bergquist

Pastel Society of New Hampshire/Pan Pastels Award: Blue Fairy by Patricia Schappler

Philadelphia Pastel Society/Blick Award: Howdy by Dave Francis

J Luda Pastels Award: Peonies in Turquoise Kettle by Tatsiana Harbacheuskaya

Royal Talens (Rembrandt) Award: Rounding the Rim by Allison Krajcik

Terry Ludwig Award: Heading North by Cindy Crimmin

Airfloat Award: Little Love Nest by Eileen Casey

Unison/UArt Award: A Night at the Opera by Laura Winn Kane

Linda Kirouac Memorial Award for animal/wildlife painting: Bird on a Wire by Janet Schwartz

Most Emotive Painting Award (Anonymous): Girl in the Yellow Hat by Matthew Kestner

Ampersand Award: Another Possibility by Karen Israel

Liz Balkwill Juror Award: Coastal Changes by Laurinda O'Connor

Natasha Isenhour Juror Award: Adrift by Joelle Feldman

Congratulations to our award winners! Please browse the gallery below to enjoy the paintings (awards indicated).


<< All album photos 57/73 photos
Dark Side of the Dune by Jane Robbins
24 in. x 30 in.

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