Thursday, April 4, 2013

In Memoriam: Maggie Price (1947-2013)

Maggie Price (1947-2013)

The world of pastel today lost one of its most enthusiastic advocates.  Maggie Price passed away after a short battle with cancer.   She was a member of the Master's Circle of IAPS (International Association of Pastel Societies) as well as a Signature Member of PSA (Pastel Society of America.)  Additionally, in 1999, she helped found and then edited The Pastel Journal.  Deeply involved with pastel, she was instrumental in raising public awareness of pastel and helping it earn the respect it deserves among collectors and artists.

One day back early in 2000, I'd stopped into Ventana Fine Art in Santa Fe to look at some paintings.  I'd recently caught the pastel bug, and at the time, it was the only gallery in town showing pastels.  In one of the back rooms, they had stacks of magazines for the taking, magazines they had advertised in.  One of them was a little magazine called The Pastel Journal.  Desperate to find out more about this wonderful medium, I took a copy, filled out the subscription card and also ordered all the back issues.  After reading them and getting a lot of pastel dust under my fingernails, I decided I'd send the editor a query for an article idea I had.

The editor was, of course, Maggie Price.  And thanks to her, I've had a long career with that magazine and F&W Media, which purchased it several years ago.  Maggie was always encouraging as my editor.  In the early days, we worked exclusively by e-mail and occasionally by phone, and it wasn't until much time and many issues had passed that I finally met her in person, even though we were separated only by a 100-mile stretch of I-40.

Maggie and Bill at the 2005 Plein Air New Mexico event.
I think I saw Maggie last a few years ago at a paintout for Plein Air Painters of New Mexico.  She and her husband, Bill Canright, had parked their big RV with a fine view of Inscription Rock at El Morro National Monument.  The RV gave them the only patch of shade for miles around.  I painted nearby, and there was a certain quiet camaraderie that developed as we worked.

Maggie and her dedication to the art and craft of pastel will be much missed.   I've posted a couple of her paintings here for your to see.


Kathy Johnson said...

I'm just starting to get interested in pastels -- I'm sad that I'm already too late to study with a master of pastel. Her work is beautiful.

Brenda Boylan said...

Wow, Michael, this is very sad news to read. I hadn't visited her blog as of late but knew she was having a difficult time with cancer's limitations on her daily life. I had taken her workshop some 3 years ago and she was a great instructor. She will be deeply missed throughout the pastel community.

Adriana Guidi said...

Oh no..I have her book Painting Sunlight and Shadow with Pastels,and I refer to it sad to hear of her passing.

lady guerrilla painter said...

So sorry to hear this. I recall the "Maggie Price Collection" of pastels...portrait, greys, etc. Such beautiful work. She will be missed.

Cheri Halsema said...

I'm saddened to read of Maggie Price's passing. She was so instrumental in the world of pastel painting. My sincere condolences to her family and friends.

We know not when God will call us - we must try to enjoy each day that we have.

Betty Essex Gobeille said...

Thanks so much for your post and the photos of a few of Maggie Price's paintings. The 10th Annual IAPS Conference in June will not be the same without her! She was such a great teacher; and so enthusiastic when she was teaching! Many of us have many wonderful memories.
My sincerest condolences to Bill Canwright, their families and friends. Maggie Price will not be forgotten!

Judith Perry said...

I'm so saddened to here of Maggie's passing. She is and always will be an inspiration to those of us who were fortunate enough to have her as a teacher. My condolences go out to family and friends.

Celeste Bergin said...

A great tribute to a wonderful person and artist. I followed her on facebook and her attitude about her sudden illness was fantastic. Though I never met her in person, she was a friend. Hugs to you and all who will miss such a caring mentor!