Charles Peer pastels

The Four Corners frame shop in downtown Siloam Springs hosted an exhibit of Charles Peer‘s pastel works last night. His works, mostly landscapes, do a good job of showing the texture of his chosen medium. It seemed to me — in retrospect I should have asked him about this — that he brushed a thick layer of gesso onto the canvas before applying the colors.

The following work, titled “Evening Iris Field,” was by far the most interesting to me. The composition is good, but the colors are wonderful. Small gems of warm hues decorate the purple field. The result is splendid:

Charles Peer pastels
The colors are actually better in person than on screen, not always the case.

The most popular work among the crowd was a somewhat ethereal rendering of John Brown University‘s Cathedral of the Ozarks (in the upper right hand of the following photo). After the irises, this took second place in my opinion — the piece sold by seven o’clock. It immediately reminded me of Monet‘s paintings of Rouen Cathedral, although they aren’t really all that comparable in composition or technique. Peer’s work possesses a wonderful sense of depth, and his use of the edges is also quite deft:

Charles Peer pastels

I do also like, especially on second look, his work in the bottom right hand of the above photo.

Most of the other works lacked the same passion upon viewing. The colors in a lot of these others were predominately warm (and autumn-like?) as I recall, and for some reason failed to draw me in like the irises and cathedral. Some of the works also seemed to lack a focal point; this isn’t always a bad thing, however I wonder if it wouldn’t have helped in some of his works.

Kudos to the frame shop for doing this. In a small community with few venues (and no downtown gallery), shows like this are, unfortunately, a real treat.


About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at

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