PleinAir Art Podcast with Eric Rhoads and Nancie King Mertz
Pastel painting by Nancie King Mertz, an International Pastel Society Master Artist

Welcome to the 75th PleinAir Podcast with Eric Rhoads!

Nancie King Mertz has spent her life painting all over the world, and consistently finds much inspiration from the buildings and bustle within Chicago, Illinois. While she is an accomplished oil painter, she considers herself to be a pastelist first and foremost. She was recently recognized by the International Pastel Society as a Master Artist and she has a new art workshop video titled “Urban Pastel Painting.

“We do a lot of education while painting out in the field,” Mertz says in the interview. She goes on to explain why pastel isn’t chalk, which is a common misconception by the general public, who may be seeing pastel used for the first time when they encounter plein air painters.

But even other artists may stereotype pastel painting. “People often think pastel is a soft, sweet, dreamy kind of medium,” Mertz says, “and it can be that, but you can make a pastel painting just as strong and bold as an oil painting. The colors are so brilliant; you can just layer them on top of each other and the eye kind of does the mixing (you don’t mix them on your palette).”

Listen to PleinAir Podcast Episode 75: Nancie King Mertz here:

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