July 2022 Showcase - Colored Pencil Artwork

July 2022 Showcase - Colored Pencil Artwork

The three artists below, Ria Axell, Nancy Jacey, and Jeff George, are featured in the July 2022 issue of COLOR Magazine Showcase. Here in our blog they share the stories behind their beautiful artwork. 

You Have The Key by Ria Axeli
14 x 11 inches
Colored pencil on Clairefontaine paper
(Artist's own photo)

I have always been fascinated by padlocks and I don't miss a chance to take photos of them. During a trip to The Hague, walking on a bridge, I took photos of these padlocks. The sun was creating beautiful light reflections on them. I took notice that some of them were put on the pipe in such a way so that their lock is visible. Suddenly it came to my mind to unlock the padlocks in order to make wishes to come true.

I am obsessed with free thinking. Talking generally, I find great difficulty in dealing with meanings such as deprivation and prohibition so I don't like them at all. Worldwide, we have been through COVID for more than two years. This pandemic deprived us of pleasant moments, freedom, and many things that we wanted to do. So looking back on my photo archive, I chose to create this artwork with a sense of optimism.

It was a great challenge for me to create my piece to look realistic. The mixing in between padlocks creates shadings which need soft pencils and accuracy. The padlocks gave me the impression that they each hide a history. People are used to putting them on the bridge. They drop the key in the river in order their wishes and dreams to come true. I strongly believe that we all hold the key to our life and our fortune. We have the ability to "unlock" our mind, throw away every negative feeling and be relieved at the end of the day. I had this perspective when I fulfilled my artwork. My motto is "you have the key to your life. Do not throw it in the river and use it correctly."

About Ria Axeli:


Ria lives in Athens and has taken lessons with a professional to be able to create expressively realistic work. She received the "Highly Commended" award in the 2017 UKCPS Annual Exhibition. It is her firm belief that one is never too old to learn. Ria is determined not to give up trying until she achieves her aim.

See more at: facebook.com/axelir


Oil on Canvas by Nancy Jacey
29 x 21 inches
colored pencil on Strathmore illustration board
(Artist's own photo)

I love working larger than life. This piece was completed in pure colored pencil, using no solvents. I purchased these oil cans on Ebay and set up my own still life, along with my own photographs, as the references for this piece.

This particular piece is special in that typically, the subject matter in my artwork focuses on nature and portraits, completed using a very vibrant color palette. Oil on Canvas, was a fun challenge for me, as the focal point and limited color palette strayed away from my norm and pushed me out of my comfort zone.

My sketching and color process is completed upside down instead of right side up. My process takes many layers, months and hundreds of hours from start to completion. My goal is to create a very saturated, painterly feel to my colored pencil artwork.

About Nancy Jacey:


Nancy Jacey is a native of Richmond, Virginia and has had a love of drawing and illustration from a young age. She received a BFA in Studio Art from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2002, and earned her MFA in Illustration from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2004.

See more at: www.nancyjacey.com/

Field Trip, by Jeff George
14 x 11 inches
Colored pencil and PanPastel on pearl white Canson Colorline paper
(Artist's own photo)

The photo reference for Field Trip was originally shot in 2006 during a trip to the California high desert. After encircling the abandoned vehicle and photographing it from multiple angles, I wondered how a school bus which once carried thousands of joyous, laughing children could finally end up beaten and battered, rotting away in the middle of nowhere.

Did it deserve a better fate? I think the imagery provokes the viewer into providing their own version of that tale. Field Trip was finally rendered in spring and summer of 2021, with layers of Derwent Lightfast and Caran d' ache Pablo colored pencils, over a PanPastel underpainting on Canson Colorline (pearl white) paper.

About Jeff George:


Jeff is a multi-award winning and published fine artist/illustrator working primarily in colored pencil for the past 20 years.

See more at: www.jeffgeorgeart.com

These artworks were published in the July 2022 issue of COLOR Magazine.

Download the digital version of the magazine for just $3.89, or subscribe and save 15%. Each issue is packed with step by step projects, critiques, colored pencil tips, artist profiles and much more.

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