‘Beach Path’

La Petite Gallerie, an intimate Old Town Bluffton shop featuring local art, introduces residents and visitors to its exhibitors with monthly artist spotlights.

This month the gallery is showcasing pastel painter Don Nagel. Don was born in Pittsburgh, PA, studied art at the Rochester Institute of Technology with a BA and received an MA in printmaking from Wayne State University in Detroit. He worked in Pittsburgh and Detroit for 30 years in major advertising agencies as an art director and associate creative director, receiving numerous rewards, including NY Director’s Club Gold Medal and Clio Awards.

Don and his wife Joyce, also a pastel artist, moved to Hilton Head Island in 1986. He worked as a freelance graphic designer until 1998 and now has devoted himself to painting and teaching the fine art of pastel.

“When I started in the agencies many years ago, layouts and designs were rendered in pastel

‘High Country’

gauche or watercolor. I was never very good at watercolor and gauche was slow. Eventually magic markers became available and finally the computer was invented. While working full time, I never had time or energy for fine art. Since I retired, I’ve come full circle and returned to the pastels.”

“I have always liked the immediacy of the pastel medium. I start my paintings with an underpainting of pastel and solvent on sandboard, using mostly complimentary color. Then I build up light and dark tones  with hard pastel and finally add the bright highlights with softer pastel.”

Don Nagel

Don is a Member of the Hilton Head Art League where he and Joyce teach regular art classes at the Art Academy. He is also an Associate Member of the Pastel Society of America, and a Member of Excellence in the Southeastern Pastel Society. His paintings hang in private and corporate collections and have received awards from regional and national pastel societies. Don’s beautiful original pastels can be seen at La Petite Gallerie, where prints of his work are also available.

Please stop by to see Don’s latest work at La Petite Gallerie, 56 Calhoun Street in Bluffton. For more information visit lapetitegallerie.com.