Biography/About Marge LeBel
Commissioned Pastel Portraits
by Marge LeBel
I have always enjoyed sketching. I also enjoyed art classes in high school. I had hoped to major in math and minor in art when I attended Michigan State way back in 1966. However, much to my dismay, I was never able to enroll in an art class (they were always full). So, I got my degree in Economics and Mathematics (classes were never full). Consequently, I taught math at the high school level for 30 years.
In December of 2000, I retired having used up all my left-brain cells and begin using pastel in the spring of 2001. (I had begun working in watercolor the year before taking classes from Vickie Frapier and Joe Green.)
I am enjoying working in pastel immensely. They allow the control and the detail that I like. I have taken a few workshops, which really helped me get started. In case anyone is interested in extremely good pastel instructors and artists, I can highly recommend these artists: Larry Blovits who has workshops in his Grand Rapids studio, Paul Leveille who is from Massachusetts and teaches a portrait workshop each fall in Traverse City (I've been to three of his portrait workshops), and Margaret Evans, a well known pastelist from Scotland. I attended her workshop in Bend, Oregon. Last year I also attended the International Pastel convention in New Mexico. It was a great opportunity to see Daniel Green, one of the most respected portrait artists in America, demonstrate his technique. I also buy and use a good many books and magazines.
I began working on commissioned portraits a few years ago. I enjoy painting both people and animal portraits, many of which can be found on my website. I'm a member of Left Bank Gallery in Flint, the Greater Flint Art Counsel, Shiawassee Arts Council, Greater Flint Art Council, and the Great Lakes Pastel Society.
I am relatively new to the art world and loving every minute of it!