Member News

Please enjoy recent news and shows about our regular and signature members.  Postings of member workshops and classes may also be posted here. The posting is visible to the public on the Home page under Recent Member News. Members may request that a posting be made: you'd like to add a posting, please put send it  via email - with the following in the subject line: For PAPNM website t

Melody Sears at
  • 12 Aug 2015 5:27 PM | Melody Sears (Administrator)

    Congratulations to the 2015 Award Winners at Plein Air Artists Colorado's 19th Annual National Juried Exhibition, held July 30 to August 30, 2015 at Mary Williams Fine Arts in Boulder, CO, chosen by show judge Lorenzo Chavez!

    Master Signature Award
    Albert Handell, “The White Pine”

    1st Place Signature Award
    Damien Gonzales, “Anasazi Ruins in Canon Del Muerto”

  • 12 Aug 2015 5:14 PM | Melody Sears (Administrator)

    Please join the PAPNM Board in welcoming Suzanne Morris and Thomas Wezwick as PAPNM's newest Signature Members, and Bill Gallen as our newest Master Signature Member.  The PAPNM Board approved applications and nominations for these three memberships at its 3rd quarter 2015 meeting.  Congratulations to Suzanne, Thomas and Bill on these hard-earned and well-deserved advancements!

    Suzanne Morris  resides in beautiful Nags Head, North Carolina, and paints in New Mexico at every opportunity.  She is a Signature Member of the American Society of Marine Artists, and is represented by several galleries in North Carolina and elsewhere.  Her work has been represented in shows by Women Artists of the West, American Impressionist Society and the Laguna Plein Air Association.  Suzanne was featured in American Art Collector magazine in 2013 and 2014, and Southwest Art in 2013.  She participated in the Salmagundi Club non-member's juried show earlier this year, and will join fellow PAPNM Signature members Lee MacLeod and Richard Prather, and Master Signature member Peggy Immel at the Plein Air Rockies event in Estes Park in August.  Please visit her web site at for additional information.

    Thomas Wezwick  is based in Las Vegas, New Mexico, and has lived and painted in the southwest for the past 30 years.  Well-known in PAPNM for his bold and dynamic brush work, he has participated and won awards with the Oil Painters of America and Arts for the Park shows and competitions, and many others.  He has twice been a featured artist in Art of the West magazine, and conducted one-man shows at galleries in Santa Fe and Jackson, Wyoming.  Learn more about Thomas at his website:

    Bill Gallen  is a well-known New Mexico award-winning painter and instructor, and has been a PAPNM Signature member and occasional judge and juror in PAPNM shows and competitions since 2005.  Bill has won awards in the prestigious Plein Air Southwest and Salon International shows in Texas, and participated in several national museum shows.  He has been a featured artist in American Art Collector and Southwest Art magazines, and his work has been included in the 2006 book "Landscapes of New Mexico," and 2009's "Art Journey New Mexico."  Bill is represented by Sage Creek Gallery, Santa Fe;  Mark Sublette Medicine Man Gallery in Tucson, Arizona; and the Oh-Be-Joyful Gallery in Crested Butte, Colorado.  More information on this exceptional artist is available at

  • 23 Jul 2015 10:08 PM | Melody Sears (Administrator)
    My 18x24 painting, "Sunny in Northern New Mexico", was accepted into the Oil Painters of America (OPA) Western Regional Exhibition opening August 7th at Wild Horse Gallery in Steamboat Springs, CO.

  • 20 Jul 2015 6:11 PM | Melody Sears (Administrator)

    Rosie Sandifer’s group of paintings for Rim to Ruins, Mesa Verde Foundation Show & Sale in Denver, November 2014 - January 2015. The Plein Air exhibit was opposite this photo.

  • 02 Jul 2015 8:50 AM | Karen Halbert (Administrator)

    From Holly Grimm, PAPNM Member and a Quick Draw winner at the 2015 Santa Fe Plein Air Festival:

    I’m excited to be a recipient of the 2015 SWAIA SFAI Residency Fellowship. I’ll be in residency at the Santa Fe Art Institute during August and September. Also, I’ll have a booth at this year’s SWAIA – Santa Fe Indian Market. Now it’s time to stretch some canvases!

    Holly will be producing several plein air pieces as part of this fellowship. See

  • 25 May 2015 9:41 AM | Karen Halbert (Administrator)

    PAPNM Master Signature Member, Albert Handell (, has written an article published in the current June 2015 issue of Artist's Magazine:


    As Albert states in the article: "Explore the rich variety of textural contrast made possible with oils applied with brushes and knives, contrasts ranging from thin to thick and opaque to transparent".

    The article goes into detail about Albert's oil painting process. The article's sub-headings alone are intriguing:

    • Thin to Thick to Thin Again
    • Merest Wisp of a Scumble (hint: how to paint a rainbow)
    • Sleight of Knife
    • Glazed to Perfection
    • Strokes of Genius
    • A Variety of Transparent Applications
    The article also has sidebars on: 

    • Why Paint from Dark to Light
    • Materials (Paint, Brushes, Mediums)
    • Clean Color Solutions

    Short bio: "Albert Handell is a master signature member of Oil Painters of America and a master artist of the American Impressionist Society.  In 1987 he became the fourth living American artist accepted into the Pastel Society of America Hall of Fame.  In 2007, the Butler Institute of American art (Youngstown, Ohio) honored him with a retrospective exhibition of his works in pastel."

  • 25 May 2015 8:57 AM | Karen Halbert (Administrator)

    Article on Albert at the 2015 annual plein air convention in Montere in April..  

    Spotlight on PACE Faculty: Albert Handell By Bob Bahr

    Pastelists are taking note that a master of the medium is teaching at the Plein Air Convention & Exposition (PACE) this year: Albert Handell. During a recent chat with him, Handell explained the intricate relationship of plein air and studio work he pursues—an approach that may surprise you. [read more]

    For Handell, plein air work means relatively small pastel paintings that he sees as finished work. He may do the same scene much larger in oil in the studio, but the pastel won't function as a reference—although the experience will. "By doing the pastels on location I'm being exposed to the colors and the light conditions of the subject," says Handell. "But when one works in sunlight conditions, one has many options during the three hours. In the plein air piece, one can only use one of the options. But it's nice to be exposed to what else could have been."

    Those alternatives are what show up in his studio work. "I try to photograph those other considerations that excite me—and those photos and my personal experience will freshen the studio piece," he says. "I rarely paint a large oil based on a pastel done on location, and the oil painting never looks like the photograph, but without the photograph there is no's ironical".
    Handell's facility with pastels is on good display in a piece featured here, "The Flat Irons." The vertical crevice running through the rock falls in shadow, and Handell expertly expresses the crisp edge of the shadow to give the rock convincing form, while the snow in the shadowed crevice screams of the blue sky color, only darker. The New Mexico artist is a strong advocate for the use of pastels outdoors. "The immediacy of pastels works great with plein air," he says. "By varying the pressure on the pastel stick I get more than one color from each color. It makes the medium very fluid, and certainly very immediate."
    The big oil paintings may sell for more and may attract a different group of collectors, but the plein air work is key. His time at a location and the chance to photograph a scene are crucial, to start. Handell clearly gets a kick out of it, too. "There are no coffee breaks," he says. "There is no mulling it over for a day or two. It's the freshness of looking up and responding, period." Sometimes he executes a watercolor underpainting before going to pastels, and sometimes he works strictly in pastels. In either case, Handell blocks in big masses and slowly adds the minimum of details needed. "I never want to lose the impact of those big shapes," he says.
    Handell is big on capturing first impressions. He's discerning, but once he thinks he has it in mind, it's over. Consider this method of choosing subject matter: "I don't like to drive more than 20 or 30 minutes from the studio," says Handell. "When I get out of the car I am always looking. When something hits me I stop and take that very seriously, because I feel something out there has touched  something inside of me. Whenever I get one of those 'oh my gosh' hits, it's sudden and it really hits me. In the old days I used to give myself another five minutes by wristwatch to find something more perfect. But I have found that when it hits, that's it."
    In other words, Handell trusts himself. It's undoubtedly one of the reasons Handell has had the career he has enjoyed, including the recent addition of a second pastel piece to the Butler Institute of American Art, in  Youngstown, Ohio . At the Plein Air Convention, set for April 13-17 in Monterey, California, Handell will offer a demonstration, and the artist says he will be working from a photograph and utilizing a watercolor underpainting for his pastel piece. 

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