Artists’ Talk Becomes Hands-On Event at The CAP Gallery

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By M. “Charlie” Ferrazzi, Special to the Independent

The CAP Gallery did something a little different at their recent Artists’ Conversation for their current exhibition, “Illuminating Elements.” Four artists: Mary Aslin, Leslie Bonanni, Gil Dellinger and Marie Tippets participated in a hands-on demonstration of pastel painting.

Artist Leslie Bonanni (right) explaining her technique.

Aslin and Bonanni provided the materials for attendees to experience the feeling of pastels on paper. Dellinger worked on a new piece while discussing techniques he used to achieve different effects in his work. Tippets walked around the exhibit with visitors, answering questions and explaining her process of working in the medium. She also provided the back stories for some of her works.

Artist Marie Tippets and a visitor discuss her work.

Aslin works with stick pastel, the type you draw and apply to the pastel ground in a manner similar to working with charcoal or crayons. She explained how colors can be blended directly on the paper, creating highlights and details with fine points or covering a large area using the side of the pastel stick. Aslin will also add layers to build color and depth of color in her works.

Artist Mary Aslin’s palette box.

Bonanni works with pan pastels. These come in round disk shaped containers, looking similar to pancake make-up you find in the cosmetic department, but in a much wider array of colors. Pan pastels are applied and moved around on the paper with various sponges, erasers, pads and palette tools. It is applied in light strokes and thin layers; building up layer by layer. A very moody and abstract effect can be accomplished with this method of pastel painting. Delicate details can be added with tips of sponges and dots of color.

Dellinger’s is a very organized palette. Colors are grouped by family and then by values, making it easy to know where any color is when he needs it. He works on a dark support preferring it to a light color, as it gets his darks and shadows set and he can then concentrate on the lights and highlights. “I still enjoy creating art after 50 years of doing it every day,” Dellinger said while he worked.

There is quite a bit of knowledge among these four artists, coming from their years of working in the medium of pastel, teaching, exhibiting and winning awards. They have all been exhibitors at the Festival of Arts. They were all very willing to share it and their passion for art with all who came to enjoy this event.

Those who missed the event, will have a chance to attend a second event on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, from 12-1 p.m. Lesli Bonanni, Gil Dellinger and Marie Tippets will again be on hand to share knowledge and give attendees a chance to experience the medium of pastel. More details to come.

The CAP Gallery is located at 260 Ocean Avenue, on the second floor of the Wells Fargo Building. For more information, call 949-553-7507 or visit




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