The Pastel Journal


FIRST PLACE Claudia Seymour

After the success of an oil painting she’d done featuring Chinese sang-de-boeuf porcelains and a floral fabric background, Claudia Seymour (, of Wilton, Conn., decided to paint a new version in pastel. She used the same elements, with some alterations, and the painting, Lotus Redux (opposite), has become another prizewinner.

“The composition was crucial,” says Seymour. “I changed the setup, manipulated the fabric to show a different portion of the design and changed the position of the lotus.” The combination creates a still life with an abundance of warmth and lighting that leads the eye around the composition and toward the lotus. “The light is almost always the most important part of my paintings,” Seymour says. “It’s what gives them life and spark.”

The lotus flower plays a key role, both in its placement and in terms of color. The big pop of yellow complements

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