Sarah Hamingson is one of ten Moab Pastel Guild artists whose work will be on display in the exhibit Lyrical Landscapes at the Bighorn Gallery at the Dead Horse Point State Park visitor's center. Hamingson is the 2013 Artist-in-Residence for Arches and Canyonlands national parks. [Courtesy Moab Pastel Guild]

The Bighorn Gallery at Dead Horse Point State Park is hosting an exhibit featuring the work of the Moab Pastel Guild. “Lyrical Landscapes,” is open to the public and will run through June 29.

Approximately 140 people joined the artists to view and discuss their works at their opening reception on Saturday, May 4.

The Guild is a group of like-minded artists who meet weekly to paint, offer mutual support, inspire one another, and critique each others’ work. All share a deep love of the surrounding landscape and its ever-changing light, moods, and colors. These artists began learning to paint with pastels under the tutelage of accomplished Moab pastel painter J.C. Borders, and have been working together for years developing their skills.

Pastel is a pure pigment in stick form, known for its direct application, vibrant color and versatility. Some artists use only dry pastel on paper, while others apply it over watercolor, acrylic or turpentine underpaintings on heavier textured surfaces.

The resulting works range from detailed realism to more loosely rendered impressionism.

The participating artists include: Helen Becker, J.C. Borders, Mary Collar, Victoria Fugit, Sarah Hamingson, Peggy Harty, Marsha Modine, Thea Nordling, Margie Lopez Read and Larry Thomas.

Each have enthusiastically embraced opportunities to learn and experiment with different techniques and approaches to composition. Over time, each has developed a unique personal vision and style, ranging from detailed realism to more loosely rendered impressions of the landscape and its flora and fauna.

Peggy Harty said the guild began after seven or eight people took a class by J.C. Borders at the Moab Arts and Recreation Center.

“First we were J.C.’s pastel posse,” Harty said.

The group has been painting together for about five years every Monday night.

“It really great because we meet every week and critique each other,” Harty said. “We push each other. It’s like a support group.”

She said that Borders help has been invaluable to her as she has learned to express herself through pastels.

“Being the great painter he is, he always has great input,” Harty said. “He always helps with the final touches of my paintings.”

During the exhibition the paintings, as well as prints and note cards, will be available for purchase.