It is with absolute pleasure and delight that I can announce that I have been chosen as a Unison Associate Artist which is amazing news. A few years ago Peter and I visited their wonderful premises in the middle of nowhere in Northumberland – my favourite county! Their production remains very much a family concern at the site where they were originally developed by John Hersey.
I starting using pastels about 15 years ago when Peter and I went on a painting holiday on a small Greek Island ( it all feels very much like a distant dream now!). It was recommended we take some pastels as one of the tutors was Patrick Cullen who primarily uses soft pastels (wonderful paintings do look him up!). So we duly bought a starter box of Unison pastels and I remember well the feeling of enchantment when they arrived . The stunning array of colours, the sheer perfection. Trouble is, as I now know, the first thing I needed to do was break them in half which was a painful thing to do.
Anyway 15 years later and I am still using Unison pastels.
Unison pastels offer me a gorgeously soft pastel, laden with pigment, and not chalky at all, which means the grip is even more effective.
Unison pastels are soluble (which a lot of soft pastels are not). I use both water and/or pure alcohol with the pastel pigment in my pastel underpaintings – so this feature is very important to my work process.
I am very proud that HRH Prince Charles visited my studio in 2019 (the reason being I was the organiser of an art trail in Poundbury) and I showed him my collection of Unison pastels and told him these are my own personal ‘Crown Jewels’. He found this very amusing.