Roden’s Pastels – Sparkle and Joy

November 6, 2011

Watching Susan work, beginning with her blank paper/boards with their varying colors and fine sanded texture is like watching something being born – a flower unfolding, a sunset growing with fiery intensity, a precious pet or special person coming to life and the luscious pastry creations that have such delicious personality of their own.

Unlike most pastel artists, Susan doesn’t blend her colors. Rather she carefully layers them working the sticks broadly and loosely at first, then gradually details with the sharp broken edges and blunt points until she has refined the piece with her complex combinations of colors.

White isn’t white. And if it is to be, she starts with an off-white color only punctuating real white-white at the very end – otherwise she tells us, “it looks dirty.”  Her whites are actually comprised of so many diverse colors that it is upon closer inspection that her color genius is revealed. She works with many organized

From a photo, Susan works on a commission for a pet portrait.

drawers filled with hundreds of color sticks.

She further explains that pastels are a pure pigment, just like oil paints – only they have a different binder. They will last for centuries if properly protected. When a surface is completely covered with pastel it is called a painting. With any of the background surface left exposed, the piece is referred to as a sketch.

Visit Susan’s blog at to see more of her fine work and enjoy her many projects. She (from her home in San Diego) is in a donut/cupcake “war” with an artist in Rhode Island. Every Monday they present to one another and the world a new painting of a confection. The point is to get feedback as to who’s piece is the best that week! She also has her “Kid’s Corner” where she works with kids from all over – anyone with children or working with children will be fascinated by her program to incorporate a child’s artwork as the background for a cupcake painting – returning the original art to the child and when her pastel sells, she sends a $25.00 stipend to the young artist as a thank-you for participating and as an incentive to pursue their love of art.

I am so honored to have Sue as a friend and participating artist in our gallery. Her paintings bring great delight and art appreciation to all who see her work. Thank you Susan for your sparkle and endless joy .


4 Responses to “Roden’s Pastels – Sparkle and Joy”

  1. Susan Roden Says:

    I am ever so humble Patti – words can’t express my thanks!

    It is very bittersweet whenever I am in town, for miss everyone so much. So creating New Mexican landscapes and memories bring me a step closer.

  2. Susan Roden Says:

    Sure do wish I could visit more frequently Patti.

    I just completed the cat painting that I was working on that day. Posted n my blog.

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