Elaine Juska Joseph from East Lyme, CT, has continuously been recognized as a talented artist through multiple competitions and exhibitions. She has been drawing and painting for as long as she can remember, and she earned her BFA in illustration from the Parsons School of Design in New York City in 1986. Since then, she has worked in publishing as a book designer/illustrator, a graphic designer and an art instructor.

Now, she lives in Connecticut with her family and focuses on painting, exhibiting in galleries and entering competitions.

Recently, Joseph entered into the 25th Annual Pastel 100 Competition, which she described as a “prestigious competition that attracts some of the world’s best, most accomplished pastel artists.” Artists who enter the competition are established, emerging and aspiring pastelists from all over the globe.

The Annual Pastel 100 Competition is broken into various categories, and this year saw a total of over 1,000 submissions. Joseph won first place in the Pet & Wildlife Category and is very honored to have received the recognition.

Every year, the Pastel Journal showcases the winners of the Pastel 100 Competition, and Joseph’s painting can be found in the Spring 2024 issue.

She actually competed in the first Pastel 100 Competition 25 years ago and took third place in the Pet & Wildlife Category with a piece titled “Blue Eyed Cat,” now in the permanent collection of Pfizer Inc.

‘The Day is Done’ and the award is won

“The Day is Done” by Elaine Juska Joseph

For the 25th Annual Pastel 100 Competition, she submitted “The Day is Done,” a painting inspired by her own teams of Belgian and Percheron draft horses. Specifically, one day, she was standing before one of her teams while they were being unhooked from a carriage, content after a long day of hard work, knowing they’d be home and resting soon.

The whole artwork took around 40 hours to complete, using charcoal, watercolor wash and, of course, pastels.

When asked what it meant to have won such a prestigious competition, Joseph replied, “It really means a lot to me… To win an award of any kind validates the countless hours spent in the studio creating.”

Although she is honored to have won the Pet & Wildlife Category, she believes just “being recognized … that your work stood out” is special in itself.

To those looking to make it in the art world, Joseph’s best advice is to “just practice, just do the work” – failure is going to happen. You just have to keep at it.

To view Joseph’s artwork and learn more about her various awards, visit elainejuskajoseph.com.

by Kelsi Devolve