Category: Fine Art

Bermuda Palm

Bermuda Palm - Pastel Painting
© Vanessa Turner
Bermuda Palm
Unframed (Professional Framing Available)
Pastel on Paper
12 x 16 inches unframed

Bermuda Palm

Ever since I can remember I have always found a special kind of peace from the outdoors.

The coolness of the air, the warmth of the sun as it catches you between the branches… the sound of rustling leaves, the feeling of the damp grass beneath your toes… the smell of the salt air and the crashing of waves on the sandy shores…

The way that we feel when we go outside is more than a simple case of happiness in the face of beauty.

There is something about the natural world that feeds our deepest selves and nurtures us from the inside out.

So, no matter how much we may now consider ourselves distinctly separated from our environment, we and Mother Nature are one.

The more we embody this concept, the greater our synergy with life.

Art to Nurture You, Heal You, & Evolve Your Space 

Through my work, and in my latest painting ‘Bermuda Palm‘, I explore the beauty of this connection and invite you to embrace the beautiful connection with nature.

My work is created to nurture you, heal you, and evolve your space by bringing the beauty of outdoors indoors.

Begin or add to your collection with high quality fine art!
Wouldn’t you love for home to feel like paradise?

When you’re ready to transform your space from its bland interior or shift from generic mass marketed posters to unique and authentic artwork that embodies who you are, I’m here for you!

Customer service is of high importance to me. My goal is to make the experience of collecting art feel accessible, enjoyable, and easy for you!

Let’s discover a brand new form of happiness through art!

Marks of Distinction 2021

Central Mass Pastel Society – Marks of Distinction

Recently, I was thrilled to learn that my piece First Class Woman was accepted into the Central Mass Pastel Society – Marks of Distinction 2021 Exhibition.

There were a total of 360 entries, of which just under 100 were selected! So I’m especially honored that First Class Woman was one of those pieces.  I extend an immense thank-you to CMPS for inviting artists to apply for this wonderful opportunity. And I extend my gratitude to the selection jurors, Lyn Diefenbach and Teresa Saia!

What makes this even more heartwarming is that many of my fellow pastelists and friends share this wonderful moment. So many well accomplished artists grace the page of this beautiful exhibition which runs from June 27th, 2021 to July 31st, 2021.

Interview with Halla Shafey – The Globe Magazine

The Globe Magazine

Spring 2021 Issue

Interview with Halla Shafey

I had the pleasure of conducting an interview with Halla Shafey, fellow pastellist and award winning artist for the IAPS Spring 2021 Issue of the Globe Magazine.

Vincent van Gogh once quoted: “One can speak poetry just by arranging colours well”. The work of Halla Shafey shows us just what Van Gogh envisioned as he uttered these words. When you look at Halla’s work, your eyes travel rhythmically across her paintings. Her bold beautiful strokes of colour act as visual poetry, creating a vibrant liveliness.

From a young age, Halla was raised to have an appreciation for the arts. Her father, an economist, encouraged her to pursue art projects and bought her colouring books. She often accompanied her mom to nearby markets, selecting fabrics and textiles which found their way into Halla’s home.

The infusion of colour within every corner of her home contributed to Halla’s innate sense of colour. As a result, it also fueled her creative aspirations beyond her wildest dreams.

Decades later, we still see evidence of the textiles and markets from Halla’s childhood that have lived on in her work.

Being selectd by IAPS to carry out an interview with Halla Shafey was such a joy and honour.  Halla’s genuine support for women artist and positive energy are such a wonderful contribution to this world along with her vibrant artwork.

You can read my article and interview with Halla in the IAPS Spring 2021 Issue of the Globe Magazine! The Globe magazine is a wonderful resource for pastellists and artists worldwide.

A Mother’s Love

A Mother’s Love

Sometimes I sit quietly, so I can just remember…

As a mom of two, one of which is a teenager now 😩 it’s kinda scary to see how life passes by so quickly. I still remember the soft lullabies and the 3am whisper conversations when it felt like we were the only ppl in the world awake at that ungodly hour…

I still remember the slobbery smiles that made every problem melt away and reminded me of what mattered most in life. I still remember you hovering over me at 6am on a weekend asking why on earth I’m sleeping…

I still remember when you’d insist on sharing your soggy crackers or sitting directly on me even though the entire couch was empty. I still remember how together we navigated our respective journeys, motherhood and childhood. Oh how much we each learned (and continue to learn) along the way…

Time has flown by, and each day we make new memories… But I still remember…

Here’s to the moms who still remember… and sit quietly from time to time thinking back to those moments. 💕

Bermuda Society of Arts – Summer Member’s Show

A Mother’s Love’ premiered at the Bermuda Society of Arts Summer Member’s Show.

This is one of the largest pieces in my current available collection! The exhibition runs from July 2nd to 28th during which time you can view and purchase this piece! BSOA is open weekdays 10am-4pm and Saturdays from 10am-2pm.

10 Reasons Why I Love The Pastel Medium

10 Reasons Why I Love The Pastel Medium

The definition of love may apply to a wide range of connotations, but for many pastelists, no other word in the English language better defines how we feel about the pastel medium. So today I’m sharing with you, 10 reasons I love the pastel medium.

1. Simplicity

You don’t need a great detail of supplies and materials to get started in pastel. No need for lots of paint thinners, varnishes, brushes and the like. Just a few sheets of your favourite paper, a small but reasonable set of pastels and you’ve got everything you need to create a beautiful work of art!

2. Reduced Preparation

Pastel paintings require very little preparation. There is no need to prep a canvas or set up a palette. Once I have my substrate/paper clipped onto the easel, I’m ready to begin making marks and bring my vision to life.

3. Direct Connection

Unlike other mediums which require a tool such a brush to apply the medium, pastels can be held in one’s hand. Nothing compares to the feeling of a stick of pure, rich pigment being drawn across a surface. The direct connection of a pastel stick in hand creates an intimacy that is lacking in other media that have to rely on additional art tools for deployment.

4. No Drying Time

One of the things I love most about pastel is that there is no drying time. There’s no need to wait for paint layers to dry. It’s extremely ideal for artists like myself who are rather busy and prefer to work quickly. I can layer one colour on top of the other immediately and can easily pick up wherever I left off

5. Minimal Cleaning

Because pastels are applied directly by hand, the cleaning process is almost nonexistent. There is no need to clean brushes, pallets etc. The majority of cleaning is limited to washing my hands whenever my session is finished.

6. Versatility & Uniqueness

Because artist apply pastels directly by hand, each artists has a unique style and mark making (almost like handwriting) that makes their work distinctive. Pastels also offer a wide variety of application. An individual artist can choose to make a simple pastel sketch leaving much of the working surface exposed or create a painting with multiple layers of pastel.

7. Travel Companion

Pastels make a fantastic travel companion. They can be packed easily within a carry-on or suitcase alongside small sheets of paper. This works out perfectly when attending conventions or workshops overseas or when spending a day out at a beautiful location.

8. Forgiveness

Perhaps one of the reasons pastels have grown on me so much during my artistic journey is because of how forgiving the medium is. The majority of errors are easy to correct. Pastel can be removed from paper, painted over with a new layer and so much more. There are always ways to revive a painting that is not going in the desired direction.

9. Luminosity

A box of pastels really looks like something fresh out of a candy store. Not only are they beautiful in their boxes but they create some of the most luminous captivating paintings known to the artwork.

10. Archival

Just like most dry drawing materials pastels are immediate and don’t change. When protected by glass, pastel often outlast works in other mediums. It never cracks, darkens or fades.

And there you have it! 10 Reasons I Love The Pastel Medium!

Soul of A Badass Warrior

Akwaaba Gallery – Soul of A Badass Warrior

Opening Saturday May 8th, 2021 6pm EST (running until June 12th)
509 South Orange Avenue, Newark, New Jersey 07103, USA
Tele: (917) 260 -9122
Email Akwaaba Gallery

First Class Woman - Soul of a Badass Warrior

First Class Woman

My latest piece, ‘First Class Woman’, premiers this month in Akwaaba Gallery’s latest exhibition Soul of A Badass Warrior! Completed in pastel, the piece pays tribute to Bermudian women abolitionists.

Historically the role of women has been marginalized and fraught with the struggle for equality and freedom. However, even with time, the struggle continues today. Though we come to the table as equal, our ability to sit at the table is limited by society’s inability to view us as an equal. In essence, whilst the world considers black women as second class citizens, their resilience paints another picture.

Soul of A Badass Warrior is a beautifully curated exhibition celebrating the artistic creativity of a diverse group of women. And through our works, we explore our individuality without societal limitations of inequality. Indeed, we sit at the table without hesitation and limitation, unified in what makes us the ultimate representation of a “BADASS WARRIOR”.

Newark’s Finest

Akwaaba Gallery is one of Newark’s most prized gems!  Located in the historic Fairmont neighborhood, the gallery features diverse and eclectic works of art from artists across the globe. Ultimately, Akwaaba’s mission is to engage the community and public with exhibitions featuring emerging local, regional, national and international artists.

So, whether you’re a seasoned collector or starting your collection, Akwaaba Gallery is a must see!  In addition, your support helps to build a sustainable arts community in the Newark West Ward and supports the work of Akwaaba’s diverse, international, artists roster.

Are You Destroying Your Fine Art Collection?

Are You Destroying Your Fine Art Collection?

You have a beautiful art collection! If it hasn’t already, it will likely become a valuable asset and source of wealth in due time. But! Are you destroying your fine art collection inadvertently?

Handmade works of art on are inherently fragile but can easily and effectively be protected. Use these 10 fine art care tips to ensure your beautiful fine art collection stands the test of time and continues to grow in value day after day:

Are You Destroying Your Fine Art Collection

1. Do You Avoiding Direct Sunlight?

Keep your artworks out of direct sunlight. Your artwork might have a protective layer of varnish, but it is still possible for it to crack or fade if subjected to bright sunlight for long periods of time.

2. Are You Mindful of its Fragility?

Do not lean anything against the surface of the artwork or the frame. Objects near a painting may not seem sharp enough to pierce the glass or backing, but they can in fact cause damage. Prevent accidents and store your artworks away from anything that might damage the surface.

3.  Are You Avoiding the Accumulation of Dust & Grime?

Over time, art can accumulate a thin layer of dust, pollutants or airborne grime. Dust your art occasionally with a clean, soft rag. Glass can be cleaned with a slightly damp cloth. Don’t use cleaning products ever! If there is a place to display your art away from pollutants, or where it will less exposed, try to position it there.

4. Do You Protect Your Fine Art During Transportation?

Wrap your artwork well if you plan to transport it. Be sure to put a heavy piece of cardboard over the front and back to protect it. Then bubble wrap and place in a suitable heavy cardboard box. Rough handling can damage both the painting and the frame so pack it securely.

5. Are You Making Sure to Prevent Extreme Changes in the Atmosphere?

Try to avoid subjecting your artworks to extreme changes in atmosphere. Avoid excessive dryness, humidity, heat or cold. All of these conditions can affect the state of your artwork in a negative way (i.e. puckering, mold etc.).

6. Do You Always Use Professionals?

If your artwork does get damaged, do not attempt to fix it yourself. Please return it to the artist or a professional fine art restoration for review. Amateur repairs can reduce the value of your artwork drastically.

7. Are You Sticking to Archival Materials?

Good quality mounting and framing is one of the most effective methods of preserving and caring for works of art on paper. If you reframe your artwork, be sure to have it mounted on pH neutral backing without self-adhesive tapes. Consider UV glass or museum quality glass for protection against light. A professional framer is recommended to ensure this is adhered to.

8. Do You Know The Storage Do’s & Don’ts?

Do not cover artworks with plastic for long periods of time. If there is humidity in the air, they may start to grow mold. Cotton sheets are best for keeping dust away. Try not to lean artworks on one another when storing them. Separate them with pieces of cardboard to avoid damage. Check the condition of your artworks periodically. Many people put up artwork and forget about it, until they notice that it has been damaged. If artwork is fading or cracking, a brief peek at it can prompt you to move it to a better place and avoid damaging it further.

Start or Expand Your Fine Art Collection Today

Amongst The Thorns

Amongst The Thorns

As a child, I was very much obsessed with the “cabbage patch dolls”. Do you remember them?

They were cloth dolls that came with their own birth certificates and were widely popular amongst 80s babies. So, I know I’m dating myself here! I believe they were one of the longest-running doll franchises in the United States. So, every little girl went starry eyes over them at some point!

In the Cabbage Patch Kids story, a young boy named Xavier Roberts befriends a bunnybee. Don’t ask me what on earth a bunnybee is! The bunny bee led him through a waterfall and down a long tunnel to a magical land where children grew in a cabbage patch. Now, in present day, the concept makes me a little nervous. But, my former 5 year old self went right along with it.

My latest piece “Amongst the Thorns” reminds of the famous cabbage patch babies except the cabbage patch is replaced with thorny aloe… and here’s why:

Amongst The Thorns

Art to Empower You

Children are very unaware of the dangers life provides and the reality of the world which they must learn to navigate. Black boys in particular seem to have the most difficulty of journeys. Having to navigate greater challenges, due to no fault of their own, due more so a system imposed upon them by others.

I created “Amongst the Thorns”, to acknowledge the journey and challenges ahead. I hope it offers some encouragement and empowers you to rise above the thorns, whatever they may be for you at this time.

If you’d love to own this Painting, or view more available works, head on over to my shop

My paintings are completed with archival materials so that your fine art purchase grows in value for years to come.

How to Buy Art Online – Confidently & Securely

Buy Artwork Online – Confidently & Securely

Over the past decade, shopping has truly gone digital. Thus, it has become increasingly popular to buy art online. Many collectors will tell you that art collecting is like love at first sight. When you see something that resonates with you, something in your heart lights up and there’s an urge to get know more about the artist and claim that special piece as your own ‘one of a kind’.

So, the art world goes digital, it also becomes more accessible. This is why it has become incredibly convenient to buy art online!

However, when it comes to purchasing art online, some of us are not quite as comfortable. Despite the obvious benefits to buying art online, such as access to a large collection and removal of geographical constraints, many of us are hesitant to make a purchase without any physical interaction with the artist or artwork.

How do you buy art online – confidently and securely?

Grab Your FREE 5 Step Guide

Buy Art Online - Confidently & Securely

Navigating the online art world can be a daunting experience. However, it doesn’t have to feel that way!

Through this free guide, I will show you exactly how you can buy art online – confidently and securely.
Whether you are looking to start a fine art collection or add to the beauty of your current collection,
these 5 steps will ensure you make a purchase that you can enjoy for years to come!

Studies show that fine art reduces stress levels, improves thinking and generally increases our level of happiness.
They say you can’t buy happiness but this sure comes close.
The benefits of viewing art are immeasurable!

Let’s find your slice of heaven!

Maskparade – Akwaaba Gallery

Find out more about my latest piece, ‘Within Me’ which is featured in Akwaaba Gallery’s latest exhibition MASKPARADE. Do you wear a mask?