My name is Alla Potashnikova, and welcome to my world of pastel painting. Since childhood, I enjoyed sketching and doodling in the margins of my notebooks, always surprised and sometimes delighted by this act of creation. I continued this habit through high school and college as well as my adult years. About two years ago, I stumbled upon pastels, when my good friend, Jerry, bequeathed to me a beautiful wooden boxed set of pastels. Opening that lid for the first time proved to a be a magic moment in my artistic journey, and ever since I have been working exclusively with this, to me, perfect medium. Why do I feel this way? First, pastel is one of the most permanent media in existence, so a work in pastel, if properly cared for, has great longevity. I also love the softness and brightness achievable with this medium as well as the great range of tone and color. In fact, I find pastel so fascinating that I have created a special page for it on my site, called Materials, that I recommend you read if you have an interest in learning more. I like painting landscapes and portraits of both people and animals. My passion for portrait painting brought me a Third Honorable Mention at the VT Pastel Society show this year. I paint, mostly, for my enjoyment, but recently I expanded to doing work on commission. Email me with any questions you may have, make suggestions, or share any thoughts that come to mind – I am looking forward to the opportunity of meeting you and to sharing my love of pastel with anyone who is interested. Thank you!