2022 Summer Program


Class #38

Beginning & Intermediate Pastel

John Ribble

June 26 - July 2, 2022

instructor imagePastel is an exciting medium that allows you to paint with pure color pigments. It is a unique hybrid between drawing and painting. Its versatility is practically limitless, mixing well with other media, but with an ability to stand alone. Building a painting out of pure, saturated and sumptuous color is a thrill to be experienced! Pastel is a spontaneous medium, quick to render and easy to modify.

This class will focus on the use of soft pastels, not oil pastels. Soft pastels are the original medium and come in literally hundreds of colors, values and chromas. Every day will begin with discussions and demonstrations. John will show you how to use this medium every step of the way. There will be demonstrations of a variety of techniques, such as how to build a picture using a graphic style, or the other end of the spectrum using a painterly, impressionistic approach. John will introduce you to a range of pastels, their advantages and limitations, and how they perform on different papers and boards. Class exercises will immerse you in the medium of pastel, but will also strengthen your drawing, painting and observational skills. There will be an emphasis on building paintings with color, shapes, value, range, the effects of light and shadow, perspective and the spatial illusion.

Subject matter in this class will be still life objects drawn or painted from life and photographs that you will bring, featuring natural settings, buildings, trees, flowers skies and water. Instruction will include presentations to the group, as well as individual attention with helpful suggestions. Those who are familiar with pastel will be encouraged to explore more personal styles and concepts. The class will also introduce approaches and materials required for outside plein air painting, which will be an option, weather permitting.

John Ribble worked as a professional graphic designer and freelance illustrator in his early career after college. He then joined the full time faculty at MATC Madison (Madison College) in 1982 and taught design and illustration, including a course in pastel, for 32 years. While teaching, he was lured outside by a colleague to do plein air painting. Oils quickly transitioned to pastels, and he has been painting landscapes for the past 30 years. His work has appeared in issues of the Pastel Journal, and he has participated in many group and individual exhibits over the years. He is represented by the Abel Contemporary Gallery in Stoughton, Wisconsin. John’s years of teaching were the most rewarding experience of his life. They gave him the opportunity to
daily engage in interactions with students and faculty alike. It was an environment that provided the opportunity to learn and employ skills in a great variety of media, techniques, conceptualization, composition and critique. John is very grateful and excited for the opportunity to teach this course in such an exquisite environment and historic institution as The Clearing.

John will contact students and provide a comprehensive supply list prior to class.
If you have any questions for John, you can contact him at jribble@madisoncollege.edu.

Level: All levels
Web: www.abelcontemporary.com

Pricing (per person):
$1180 Dorm Room Package*
$1280 Two-Person Room Package*
$1920 Single-Person Room Package* (limited availability)
$675 Commuter Package** (limited availability)

*package includes tuition, lodging & 16 meals
**package includes tuition & 7 meals


NEW IN 2022! In order to register online, you will need to sign into a Clearing User Account. Complete user account info and "How To's" can be found on our Clearing User Account Page.