The world of pastel recently lost one of its most enthusiastic advocates. Maggie Price (1947-2013), founder and former editor of The Pastel Journal, passed away after a short battle with cancer.
Educated as a fine arts major at the University of Missouri — Kansas City, Maggie Price went on to study with noted artists Albert Handell, Eric Michaels, Elizabeth Mowry, and others. In 1999, sensing a lack of information available to the pastel painter, Price, along with Janie Hutchinson, founded The Pastel Journal. The magazine became so successful that the founders had little time to paint for themselves and decided to sell the magazine to F+W Media, publisher of The Artist’s Magazine. Price continued to contribute to the magazine as a regular columnist and adviser.
After serving on the board of directors of and as vice president for the International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS) for several years, Price was appointed president in 2009. In 2009, she was also named Distinguished Pastelist by the Pastel Society of New Mexico and elected to the IAPS Master Circle. An elected member of the Salmagundi Art Club, she was also a signature member of many other artist organizations.
Price was the author of several books and DVDs, including Painting With Pastels, Painting Sunlight & Shadow With Pastels, and Creative Freedom: 52 Art Ideas, Projects and Exercises to Overcome Your Creativity Block. She was a popular workshop teacher and taught throughout the United States and also overseas in Spain, Italy, Scotland, and Australia.
Until the end, she was instrumental in raising public awareness of pastel and helped it earn the respect it deserves among collectors and artists. Her enthusiasm for the art and craft of pastel will be missed by everyone in the field.
Michael Chesley Johnson, MPAC PSA, is an award-winning artist and the author of several books and numerous articles on painting.
(Due to the age of this post, some images may be missing from this article)