The Power of Pastels

The Power of Pastels

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13th May to 2nd July 2013

Venue: Sock Gallery

A group exhibition by Leicestershire Pastel Society

Leicestershire Pastel Society, now in its 13th year, boasts a high standard of work. Members use a variety of pastel media; soft or oil pastels, charcoal, conte, sanguine, lead or coloured pencils. These produce a vast and exciting range of techniques and styles. Both notable professional and amateur painters are members of the society. 

Demonstration Days
Alan Oliver
who works mostly in landscapes, will be demonstrating his pastel techniques on Saturday May 18th, 11am-12.30pm

Peter Barker a painter of landscapes and wildlife, will be demonstrating in the gallery on Thursday 23rd May, 10am-12.30pm  

The History of Pastel

Pastel has a long history and has been used with passion by many of the world’s greatest artists.  Masters such as Leonardo da Vinci used chalk for his drawings, and from this developed pastel.  Although in use throughout the 17th century, pastel had its heyday during the 18th century when it became immensely popular for portraiture.  Many of these portraits are quite famous and still in pristine condition, which should reassure those people who worry about the durability of the medium. 

After 1830 its use fell into decline.  Then was revived towards the end of the century by the French Impressionists – the likes of Degas, Renoir and Toulouse-Lautrec using pastel with eminent success.

During the 20th century the popularity of pastel increased, partly due to the staunch work of the (National) Pastel Society.  Today a large number of leading contemporary artists are finding pastel a beautiful and rewarding medium to work with.

The Leicestershire Pastel Society

In 1999 Norman Sims had an idea that the city’s art community would appreciate the introduction of a Pastel Society. London and Birmingham had one so why not Leicester? With pastels gaining in popularity it seemed the right time. Norman approached a few fellow artists who worked in pastel, and the ball was set in motion. A meeting was arranged to discuss the feasibility and possibilities for setting up such a society. Much time, effort and finances were needed in the early days. 

The society has continued to make progress each year due to the dedicated members and their hard work. The main annual exhibition can boast a very high standard of art, which compares favourably with work in other societies. The LPS is becoming well established as an art society both here and abroad. We are affiliated to the International Pastel Society and a few members of the society are linked to both The London and Birmingham Pastel Societies.  

Sadly Norman died, 23rd March 2008. This society is Norman's legacy. Norman said: ‘I hope that the setting up of our society has been instrumental in giving our members and those who come to our exhibitions a lot of pleasure and will continue to do so in the future. This is only the beginning’. We expect the LPS to go from strength to strength in the coming years and that we shall be involved in a number of new exhibitions and projects. 


Loughborough Town Hall Events July 2021