Melissa Bartlett Juried into Pastel Society of America

‘Alert!’ pastel painting of impala by Melissa Bartlett. Courtesy photo
‘Watching Their Watchful Eyes’ pastel painting by Melissa Bartlett. Courtesy photo
‘Resting Cape Buffalo’ pastel painting by Melissa  Bartlett. Courtesy photo

Staff Report

Local artist, Melissa Bartlett, has been juried into the Pastel Society of America as an Associate Member. This prestigious award from the national society was based on an appraisal of her work by a panel of experts.

Her winning entry was composed of paintings of African animals, which she had observed and photographed while on a safari to Kenya and Tanzania. Her pastel paintings of zebras, elephants, hippos, impalas, and cape buffalo showed intimate views of creatures at rest and at play, all in their natural setting.

“I was amazed by the diversity of wildlife that I saw in East Africa, and also how unfazed they were by people observing them from Landcrusiers. I really wanted to capture the feeling that I had seeing them in their native habitat. It’s nothing like animals in zoos.” Bartlett said.

“Being a member has been a goal of mine for years now. Pastel Society of America is the first and most prestigious art society for the pastel medium in America and it’s very difficult to be accepted. It’s a real honor to know that my work has the quality and artistic merit to be acknowledged by the PSA,” she said.

Besides her animal artwork and pet portraits, Bartlett also does landscapes, still lifes and flower paintings. Her commissioned artwork of dogs and cats now hang in the Los Alamos Animal Shelter. To see more of her artwork, visit