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Ashby Free Public Library offers workshop in pastels


ASHBY — The Ashby Free Public Library will host award-winning artist Gregory John Maichack on Saturday, June 28, from 10 a.m. to noon for a program titled “The New Art of Pastel Painting: The da Vinci Mode,” a free pastel painting workshop designed for both sheer beginners and advanced participants. Seats may fill quickly so please call (978) 386-5377 to pre-register for this free class. Bring a photo/image of a landscape to work from. All supplies provided.

From the perspective of Leonardo da Vinci’s working methods, participants will receive an engaging hands-on experience of pastel painting with beginning to advanced techniques. A special technique of Leonardo da Vinci’s, called sfumato, a term he coined, will be thoroughly explained and demonstrated. Special pastels to achieve this ethereal effect will be provided. Participants will freely experiment with hundreds of artist professional grade hard and soft pastels and professional pastel paper. Beginners to accomplished artists benefit, side-by-side, in this fun pastel painting workshop.

Maichack, nominated twice for a Massachusetts Gold Star Program Award, will individually demonstrate the essentials of painting with pastels and will display his original pastel artwork to illustrate his talk. His demonstrations of expressive pastel painting show how to achieve luminous color and volume, how to structure an engaging composition, and tips on creating impact. All will receive help tailored to their projects, whether landscapes, still-life, or portraiture.

Maichack lives in Holyoke and is a faculty member of the Quadrangle Museum Studio School at the Museum of Fine Arts in Springfield. He also teaches at Greenfield and Holyoke Community Colleges in their adult continuing education departments. Visit his new Web site at

This project is supported in part from a grant from the Ashby Cultural Council.