More About the Author
In the August, 1982 issue of American Artist magazine, artist and teacher Bet Borgeson wrote the first article in the U.S. on the techniques for using colored pencils as a fine art medium.
The following year Watson-Guptill Publications of N.Y. published her--and the colored pencil medium's--first book, "The Colored Pencil."
How this came about started after she graduated from Oregon's Portland State University. Although colored pencil as a fine art medium was not then generally familiar to the public Borgeson used it as her medium of choice and loved it. She began to exhibit artwork in various Pacific Northwest galleries and museums. But it became increasingly clear to her that its unique handling characteristics and potential were not well understood by other artists or the general public. Borgeson recalls, "I was standing near one of my pieces in a gallery and a visitor was telling her companion that she thought my artwork was a print or a watercolor! Colored Pencil was not even mentioned!" Since Borgeson was already teaching oil painting by this time, she decided that she should additionally be spreading the word about colored pencils.
To further explore the techniques of this medium and to devise new ways of using it, Bet Borgeson realized that she was going to have to find other artists who were using colored pencils. The manufacturer of Prismacolor colored pencils generously agreed to open their files to acquaint her with other artists using their brand of pencils. She began contacting these artists and others throughout the U. S. and after a three-year effort developed and organized many new and vital techniques for colored pencils. It also led to the publishing of her first book, "The Colored Pencil." This proved to be a groundbreaking book.
The wide and international distribution during this book's first year, a second book the following year plus a pivotal interview with her by Susan Stamberg of NPR's "All Things Considered" have since been credited with ushering in an explosion of new international interest and enthusiasm for colored pencils as a fine art medium.
After "The Colored Pencil" was published and while conducting art workshops around the US for the next 15 years, Borgeson wrote five additional titles.
Color Drawing Workshop,
Colored Pencil Fast Techniques,
The Colored Pencil, Revised & Updated Edition,
Colored Pencil for the Serious Beginner, and
Basic Colored Pencil Techniques.
At the present time fine art executed in colored pencil enjoys worldwide patronage by private and public collectors and institutions. In 1990 the Colored Pencil Society of America was formed and has celebrated their 20th Anniversary. There are also international groups devoted to colored pencil, and there are at least 70 books published in the US written by various accomplished artists who work in this medium.
Bet Borgeson resides on the coast of Southern California, and continues to work in her favorite medium. She occasionally teaches colored pencil workshops but in 1999 she began teaching colored pencil courses online at Borgesonstudio.com and continues working with students around the globe to this present day.