A Brief History of The Mount Vision Pastel Company
By Karl Kelly, President


The Mount Vision Pastel Company began in fall 2000, on the top floor of an old general store in Mount Vision, New York. It germinated from my studies as a printmaker and painter at the Museum School in Boston and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and evolved during my seven year stint as the principal paint maker for a small artists' oil paint company in New York. Joining my technical expertise and artistic background, I began researching pastel recipes to find out if I could translate the vivid color and particular density of pigment to pastel. My experience as a painter who frequently uses pastels drove me to create a high quality, affordable pastel for the discerning artist who sees beyond the expected when it comes to color. Having lived in rural, urban and subtropical environments reveals how weather conditions and environment impact color. The range and subtlety of hues in the environment never ceases to amaze me; my offer is to provide the equivalent of this range in my pastels. My pastels boast a wonderful, soft, almost "buttery" feel. The pigment lies down with little resistance, allowing several layers to accrue on paper without becoming too slick. The "feel," or how a pastel releases to paper, depends on the pigment and base it is mixed with. Pastels consist of chalk, talc or clay and binders. Various combinations will create different handling properties. Through consistent testing, I work to achieve the best "feel" and color intensity for each pastel. I use traditional and synthetic pigments, which make great substitutes for traditional painting colors that are unhealthy to use in pastels, such as cadmiums.

To see how we make our pastels click here.