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Durango artist’s Southwest pastels on display at Olio

Jan Goldman’s pastels of the Southwest on display at Olio
Durango pastel artist Jan Goldman has her artwork on display at Olio Restaurant in Mancos.

Durango pastel artist Jan Goldman creates landscape drawings that capture the nuance of places in the Four Corners region, but still have the “fluidity and vibrancy” of pastel colors, she said Tuesday.

“I like the immediacy of the colors,” Goldman said of pastels. “It’s pure pigment.”

Goldman’s work will be on display at Olio Restaurant in Mancos from Feb. 18 to April 1 in a show titled “A Southwest Journey in Pastel.” An artist reception will take place at the restaurant Saturday from 4-6 p.m.

An avid outdoorswoman, Goldman said she takes a camera with her everywhere, often taking pictures of scenes on hikes from which she creates pastel drawings later. She also draws “in plein air,” taking her easel outside and drawing a scene in front of her, she said.

All the works in her show at Olio depict real places around the area, from La Plata Canyon to Simon Canyon near Aztec, New Mexico, she said.

“I would like people to come away feeling that I’ve captured the area,” she said.

Goldman moved to the Durango area about 20 years ago from Atlanta. She met a woman who worked with pastels and decided she wanted to give it a try. So she took a pastels workshop and she was hooked, she said.

Pastels have a “buttery” quality to them that is different from paint or watercolor, Goldman said. Typically she does a light sketch on her paper and then starts by using the darkest pastel color, she said. Then, she alternates layering and removing different colors.

Though her works are actual places she has seen, she tries not to get too photographic with her pastels, she said. She prefers to leave some open to interpretation, she said.

Goldman likes the “meditative quality” of being an artist, she said. You can lose yourself for hours while creating something, she said. She also enjoys seeing the evolution of her work, she said.

“As years progress you can see a difference in the work,” Goldman said. “That’s encouraging.”


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