I know a lotttttt of people are going to be pretty excited about this news…. 

What news Gail?

Wait for it…..

Artist and Pastel Live Faculty member Karen Margulis has a new instructional video out called Expressive Pastel Painting: Loosen Up and Be More Bold! In it, she takes us through the process of painting a landscape with wildflowers, from the initial idea to the finish. Yeah!


Karen Margulis instructional video cover
Karen Margulis instructional video cover


When I heard the news, you know me, I had questions for Karen. (What I really wanted was the inside scoop 😬)

So let’s go!

I asked Karen what was the best part about making this video.

The entire experience was amazing so it’s hard to pick one part. At first, I was a bit intimidated by the professional studio and all of the cameras and lights. I’m used to making videos in my basement studio with no slick production. But the crew was awesome and they put me right at ease. I’m happy to say that everything went as planned and I’m so excited to share the results. 

A bonus from this experience was that I got to stay in Eric Rhoad’s World Famous Artist’s Cabin. That was a treat! My husband joined me so we had a great time exploring the area after making the video.”


The famous cabin!
The famous cabin!


Ohhhhh, lucky you getting to stay in that cabin!!

Next question: What was the worst/craziest thing that happened during the shoot?

“Thankfully nothing bad or crazy happened. I was relieved at how smooth it went due to the professionalism of the crew. The only thing that was a bit unusual was that the timeline from being invited to make the video to the production date was very short….shorter than usual due to my crazy schedule and the Streamline schedule. I had only two weeks to prepare for the demos. Since it was so much more than just me painting, it was a crazy couple of weeks to get everything ready. Looking back, the short prep time was probably a good thing since there was less time to be nervous!”

It’s funny how these things can, looking back, work to our benefit! 


The production clapper thing!


Let’s get into the video itself. What are three highlights from your course?

“I’d say one is how making a plan – even a quick, simple plan – leads to a stronger painting and less frustration. 

Second, starting with a simple and strong foundation and gradually adding clarity and detail gives the artist more control over the orchestration of the visual journey for the viewer. 

And third would be learning to interpret a reference photo rather than copying it.”


In the recording studio. The demo painting in progress with accompanying reference photo, and pastels.
In the recording studio. The demo painting in progress with accompanying reference photo, and pastels.


Building on what you’ve just told us, what’s the one thing you want students to come away with?

In this video, I share all of my ’secrets’ in one place! l simplify the painting process so the artist can paint with more expression and with confidence. By having a roadmap to follow, the artist can concentrate on letting go and painting with joy!”


Karen Margulis, "Light In The Forest," pastel
Karen Margulis, “Light In The Forest,” pastel


Do you have a funny/unusual story to tell?

“I don’t really have anything funny or unusual so I’ll share some thoughts from behind the scenes.

It took some time to get used to having multiple cameras rolling while I talked and painted. I’m only used to one camera in my home studio! There was one camera called the speaking camera. It had a smiley face sticky note on it to remind me to look at this camera when I spoke. It worked well most of the time but occasionally I found myself looking at the camera operated by one of the crew. It felt more natural to talk to a person instead of a sticky note! Take two!

It was exciting being behind the scenes!”


Karen Margulis, "Beauty Justis," pastel
Karen Margulis, “Beauty Justis,” pastel


And finally Karen, how has creating the course changed/affected your own work?

“Going through the production process has given me a boost of confidence. It also forced me to completely analyze my process so that I could share a comprehensive look at the way I paint from planning to finishing marks. Having this confidence and deeper understanding has allowed me to push myself to explore new areas in my own painting. I’ve also learned ways to create stronger presentations and improve my teaching skills.” 

Isn’t it great how creating for others also helps us? 

Thanks so much, Karen, for taking the time to answer my questions!


Karen Margulis, "Hidden Beauty," pastel
Karen Margulis, “Hidden Beauty,” pastel


In case you don’t know Karen, here’s a bit of info on her. 

Karen Margulis, PSA, IAPS-MC, is a full-time artist who works in most painting media but has achieved recognition for her pastel paintings. She’s also an art educator, teaching workshops around the world. She is a signature member of the Pastel Society of America and a Masters Circle recipient of the International Association of Pastel Societies. She was recently a faculty member at the prestigious IAPS Convention. She lives in Atlanta Georgia with her husband Michael.

AND, Karen will be teaching at Pastel Live this year! Along with many other award-winning artists, she’ll share a class in her own unique way of making art simple, accessible to all, and fun!


Flower Power!


Speaking of flowers, artist Vera Kavura whose favourite topic is painting florals is also on faculty at this year’s Pastel Live! Cool huh?

Vera only paints from live bouquets and loves to create these herself. 

“Flowers inspire me with their beauty and colours, showing that life is unique and priceless. In these times in my country, beauty shall be shelter for the souls and minds of millions of people struggling from the terrible war.” 


Vera Kavura pastel of flowers
Vera Kavura pastel of flowers


Flowers, they have the power to soothe the soul for sure. So today, take time to see the beauty in even the lowly dandelion.

And that’s it for this time!


PS. Vera Kavura also has an instructional video! Check it out here.

PPS. Want to get a sneak peek into what Karen’s course is all about? Check out this trailer!




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