Candace Petersen - Bio

New Jersey
Other Travel
Still Life





Photo of Candace Petersen

In 2005, after 30 years as a software systems analyst, Candace left the world of charts and diagrams to focus instead on portraying the outdoors. Her favorite subjects are those where light and dimensionality play leading roles. In 2014, she moved to northern Michigan after falling in love with the landscape and now draws daily inspiration from its dunes, lakes, and forests. But the play of light against man-made structures also provides alluring subject matter, particularly when she travels.

Candace finds that painting in plein air is a natural way to practice mindfulness. Being “in the moment” while painting outdoors imbues her work with atmosphere and feeling from the onset. Once she gets into the rhythm of a plein air painting, everything extraneous falls away. After working on location for a couple of hours, she can return to the studio and, still feeling the weather and hearing the birdsong, be transported back to the vision that moved her.

One of the greatest pleasures of painting outdoors, she says, is the reaction of children. They seem universally delighted with the bright colors of her pastels and the fact that she is out there, in a swirl of people and weather, trying to capture a feeling on paper. Their feelings become part of the scene being captured.

Candace is a signature member of numerous pastel societies, including the Pastel Society of America (PSA). She is past president of the Plein Air Painters of the Jersey Coast. In 2007, Candace founded a critiquing group for pastel artists called The Pastelists’ Salon, which she led until moving to Michigan as a year round resident in 2014. She also teaches local workshops on painting composition and pastel technique.

B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania. Candace is largely self-taught as an artist, but has taken workshops with a number of nationally know artists, including Alan Flattmann, Kim Lordier, Richard McKinley, Clark Mitchell, Stan Sperlak, Marla Bargetta and Marc Hanson.

- PSNJ Award of Excellence, 7th Annual Juried Exhibition, Pastel Society of New Jersey (2012)
- First Place, Mackinaw City Paint Out, Mackinaw City, MI (2012)
- First Place, Artist Member/Small Works, "A Breath of Plein Air," Annual Member Show, Plein Air Painters of the Jersey Coast (2011)
- Award of Merit, "Pastels North," Great Lakes Pastel Society, Upper Peninsula Chapter Show (2011)

- Crooked Tree Arts Center
- Degas Pastel Society
- Glen Arbor Art Association
- Great Lakes Pastel Society
- Northport Arts Association
- Northwest Pastel Society (Signature)
- Pastel Society of America (Signature)
- Pastel Society of New Jersey (Signature)
- Three Village Arts Plein Air Group

Paint Outs:
- Northport Paint Out (2015)
- Mackinaw City Paint Out (2012)
- First Annual Highbridge Paint Out (2012)
- Second Annual Hammonton Paint Out (2011)
- Plein Air Brandywine Valley (2011)

- "The Art of the Sleeping Bear Dunes", Saxon Press (Traverse City, MI), (2013)

- Three Pines Studio, Cross Village, MI

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