Marlene Wiedenbaum, PSA, featured artist in the December "09 issue of American Artist, is a native New Yorker and graduate of Queens College, SUNY New Paltz and attended the Arts Students League in NYC. Primarily a pastelist, her award winning landscape, figurative and still life paintings have been exhibited internationally. Marlene accepts commissions and teaches pastel classes & plein-air workshops through the Barrett Art Center in Poughkeepsie and in collaboration with Scenic Hudson, NY. A Signature Member of the Pastel Society of America, Marlene is also an Active Member of such prestigious arts organizations as the Woodstock Artists Association & Museum, the Degas Pastel Society, NAPPAP, NYPAP, the Organization of Independent Artists, and LongReachArts. Her work is in private collections throughout the country. I am a passionate realist, primarily using a palette of soft pastels, sanded paper, and a kneaded eraser. For me, the excitement starts when I first discover a subject and decide on a composition. My early years of working in the abstract helped me refine my handling of the medium and sharpen my understanding of shape and form as it manifests in the natural world. Describing what I see in a visual language I understand, is a challenging aspect of the process. I am compelled as an artist to reflect the world I live in, to look keenly at my environment, the subjects and objects within it, and present it to the viewer in an engaging way. I am equally excited by the challenges and resolution of each shape, color and form that I face within a painting. Each resolve leads to the next, and just like the treasures of the Hudson Valley, some are discernible, some are hidden.