September 2016
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Central Pennsylvania Pastel Society

President - Virginia Belser, Vice-President - Kim Gates Flick, Secretary - Peggy Klinger, 
Treasurer – Susan McCartney, Newsletter Editor – Jill Foster, Resource Officer  – Jill Foster
To promote fellowship among members,
To raise public awareness of pastel as an artistic medium,
To enhance creative painting with pastels,
To offer educational activities that foster growth among members

Letter from the Editor

Why aren't there any pictures/photos in the newsletter?.  The main reason is that they are posted on our website.  The same news is included  both places, but  the jpegs are posted on the website to create some variety between these two information sources.

Do you want the "Meet your Members" column reinstated?  If so and you have already written a bio for the Passion for Pastels show, please send me an email to tell me that it is OK to use it.  I don't believe in publishing something you didn't authorize. 

Remember to pay your dues at the November 13th meeting and definitely before December 31, 2016. Dues are currently $30.  Make your checks out to "CPPS".  If you can't attend the meeting, mail your checks to: CPPS,  P.O. Box 246, Lemont, PA, 16851.

The slideshow theme on the website for September/ October is Autumn and jpegs should be sent to Anna right away. The  November/December theme is Winter Holidays.  So if you have any paintings depicting holidays from November through December, please send them to Anna in October and indicate "slideshow" in the subject line.  The theme for Jan/Feb is Snow/Winter.  Be sure that your jpegs are at least 600-800 pixels in height.  

Reminder: News deadline is the last Saturday of the month.  

Quotes of the Month

"Constantly challenge yourself because complacency leads to mediocre art."
Desmond O'Hagan

"Take your art seriously, but never, ever, take yourself seriously."
William Hosner  

Pastel Journal, October 2012

Thoughts from the Studio

This is a new column where artists will be able to share their favorite materials with others.  Each month  a different product or item from the studio will be featured. I would like members to send in their comments about the product.  Tell us about the good, the bad, the great, the not so great.  Which do you recommend?  Where can it be found?  Why do you like it so much?

Plein Air Easels

Susan Nicholas Gephart says:
After 40+ years of plein air painting, I still love my half box French Easel.  Pastels are my passion medium, but I do work in oils as well.  This easel performs for both pastel and oils.( I have two. One fully loaded with oils, the other empty but stocked with bungee cords, tape, rubber finger cots, small items needed for pastel painting. ) 


Inline image 1
Cezanne Half Box French ...
Jerry's Artara..

​My plein air pastel box of choice is the Heilman Designs.  I own two.  One that is the original size stocked with half sticks of all my favorite colors and brands.  This fits right on top of my half box French Easel.  It is sturdy and solid. I use two bungee cords to strap it snugly to the French Easel. ​If wind is near, I bungee cord to a tree, a rail, or my car. ~I never use an umbrella in fear it would blow the entire set up over. $295.00

The other pastel box is the small Backpack which runs at $250.00 and fits easily in a backpack and on my lap. No easel used.

Bottom line for me as a plein air painter is Stability.  I cannot paint with jiggles and wiggles. I keep looking, but I have not found a tripod that is secure and solid .  
Virginia Belser tells us:

I have used a French Easel and they are lovely although heavy to carry around.
I now use a portable wooden field easel from the Italian company, Mabef. (Portable Field Easel) (they were on serious sale at Dakota Pastels.) 
 $85 for the larger one and $75 for the smaller one. It is light, compact and folds up nicely. I now carry it in a bag that came with a folding chair which makes it very easy to sling over my shoulder. It takes seven knobs to turn to set up. It's sturdy and durable. I am very pleased with it. I do happen to also use a Dakota field box and it's a good pairing.

This from Jill Foster:
I have a photographer's tripod with telescopic legs and  I can attach my pastel box onto it in much the same way one does with a camera.  It is very stable and I like it a lot.

I also have a very light aluminum easel that I bought from Sun-Eden.  I like that the legs have an attachment so I can sink tent spikes into the ground to stabilize it on windy days.  However, the mast/support section screws on and I find that it has too much "bounce" to it for my liking.

I don't like French full/half easels at all..  Maybe mine were defective, but I found myself spending more time tightening screws, etc. to prevent slippage of unstable legs. Also, they do tend to be heavy and when loaded with pastels.....whew!

Next  month's column will feature your comments telling about your favorite paper/support.  Please send in a short write up .telling us why you especially like working on it.

Artist Spotlight

Susan Nicholas Gephart was invited to be part of a Four Artists spread in Crave Magazine, a coffee table quality, to be distributed in the Philadelphia area!  
Go to go to menu then digital issue. 

Current News

International Paint Out

This year we will participate in the International Paint Out at Rhoneymeade. You will not need an artist pass and there will be no charge to attend the Society Paint Out at Rhoneymeade September 9,10 or 11, 2016.   You may choose to team up with someone or paint alone.  Your choice.  Right now there is no set schedule for meeting.  That may change, however.  If changes are made, Virginia will send an email.  If you have questions, email Virginia Belser.

Details and directions 
Rhoneymeade Arboreteum and Sculpture Garden:

Request for Members to Contribute

The newsletter could be much better if our members would be willing to send contributions.  At the August meeting, it was suggested that I give some examples and ideas of what might be put in the newsletter..   See some specific ideas below:

-send in comments on or source of recommended articles
-offer to write a monthly column
-send in snippets of information learned from a workshop or from reading
-comments about a workshop 
-new art/pastel things you've seen or used
-pastel paintings you've enjoyed
-workshop write ups...either from ours or some other
-anything related to the business of being a pastel artist.
-relevant show entries you've heard about
-shows you've been accepted into/honors you've received
-pastel related news and events, such as paint outs, openings of exhibits
  featuring pastel painting/pastel artists, etc.
-links to relevant blogs and articles they'd like to share
-info on relevant books and other publications 

Pastel Paint Around

Jennifer Shuey is still seeking two more people to participate in our annual pastel paint-around at the Art Alliance Good Spirits fundraiser on Sunday, September 11 at 3 pm at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship with her and Virginia Belser.  For information about the Good Spirits event, see  You would need to purchase a ticket to the event and supply your paper, mat, and a photograph to paint from. 

If you aren’t familiar with a paint around, it is a fun exercise where the four participants systematically work on each other’s paintings and end up with four collaborative pieces that are then included in the Art Alliance silent auction to raise money for their educational programming and exhibitions.  Each painter starts their painting from a photograph that they pre-select and bring along to the event.  After 20 minutes, everyone rotates to the next persons painting.  We rotate again every 15 minutes until we are back at the painting that we started, where we have 20 minutes to finish it up. 
Several of us have done the paint around before and have had a great time!
We have some new ideas this year to make it even better, such as having a table with the silent auction bid sheets for our completed pieces at our tent while we are working.  We will also put out CPPS membership brochures and materials to try to recruit new members.  We can work out the details once we know who the four will be. 

If you are interested in playing along, please contact Jennifer at  Note that this is the same weekend as the International Plein Air Paint Out, but it’s just two hours of your time!  Did I mention the amazing spread of food donated by Wegmans and a wonderful assortment of wine.  Looking forward to seeing what we come up with this year!
Thanks!  Jen

Request from Nominating Committee

Want to help plan fun and engaging educational opportunities for our pastel society members?  The Nominating Committee is seeking candidates interested in serving on the Education Committee.  Anne Kenyon will be the first committee member to rotate off of the committee.  The term on the Education Committee is three years, and you will be serving this year with Kathleen Muffie-Witt and Debbie Decker.  More details about the committee can be found under the Resources tab on the CPPS website,  If interested, please contact Alice Kelsey at or Jennifer Shuey at jennifershueyart@gmail.comby October 30.  Thank you Anne for sharing your great ideas, expertise, and time to help enrich our members’ experience!

Minutes from August Meeting

These are the minutes from the August meeting.  They have not yet been approved. They will be voted on at the meeting in November.  

CPPS  Quarterly Meeting

Aug. 16, 2016 at Best Western Plus,

State College, PA


At 1:45  p.m. President Virginia Belser called the meeting to order.  Copies of the May meeting minutes, the treasurer’s report, and the agenda were provided.  An attendance list was floated for those present to sign. Attending were Marianne Fyda, Judy Wilson, Anne Kenyon, Denise Wagner, Susan Nicholas Gephart, Roxanne Naydan, Peg Klinger, Susan McCartney, and Virgina Belser.

The minutes of the May meeting were approved, as motioned by Susan McCartney and seconded by Denise Wagner.

The treasurer’s report was accepted.

New member Stacey Mayou was welcomed, though not able to be present. She discovered us on the web.

A thank you card was circulated for Judy Leisure to express gratitude for her past service organizing workshops with nationally known pastel artists.

In Unfinished Business:

The exhibit committee (Excom) shared their operating procedure and requested comments.  Judy read the document for us.  Their experience suggests the need for a 4th person on this committee.  Two shows per year are planned.

  • Sue McCartney asked for budget planning to occur each year using the Pastel Passions show as a template, and for the results to be submitted to her so she can plan the society budget accordingly.

  • Regional shows are planned, possibly beginning with the Station Gallery in Lock Haven next year.

  • The logistics of a juried show were discussed; where would prize money come from? Would we use an in-house juror? Would the venue do the jury duty?

  • The committee is requesting suggestions for venues including contact information.  Suggestions included SAMA, Lock Haven, a possibility in Carlisle? Suggestions should include a location and a contact person and should be submitted to Susan Gephart.

  • Since we have a number of members who exhibit with the Framing Company, we need to help them market more effectively through social media. It was also noted that those members exhibiting should be as pro-active as possible; social media is a reasonable minimum. The more attention we can garner as a group, the better for all our members and vice versa.

The committee will fine tune their procedure and submit it for vote at the November meeting.


The education committee (Edcom) shared that Bill Hosner will conduct a workshop on the figure in the landscape August 1,2 & 3, 2017. Fee will be $500 for 3 days and the venue is Boalsburg Community Center. We need to confirm air conditioning in that room.  For 2018, the main subject of the workshop should be the landscape. For the November meeting, the pre-meeting activity will be a video. The committee is soliciting e-mailed requests for the future.

There was a question regarding the survey results from last year. Virginia will make a summary to share. Most were content with our direction as an organization.

In New Business:

The group discussed a sip-and-paint social at the Mt. Nittany winery including a tour and opportunity to taste and/or purchase. Possibly on a Sunday afternoon in October? The group liked the idea so Virginia will follow up with the winery.

Friendly feedback/constructive commentary get-togethers generated interest from 14 people. The inaugural meeting was held July 25, was attended by six people, and we are planning to repeat every six weeks.  The next meeting is scheduled for August 31, from 3 to 5 pm; location is Springfield commons in Boalsburg. Directions are: As you are driving past Duffy’s going East, take a right on Loop Road (last street on the right at the Heritage Museum. Continue up hill to Rueben Way, first paved road on the right. You will see sign for Springfield Commons. Follow Reuben to Dearing and take a left.  You will see the community center on your left

Rochester Art Supply: we have learned that the store donates a small percentage of our purchases to a kitty which then gets returned to CPPS at the end of their year (fiscal year?) In order for this to happen, we must identify ourselves as a member at time of purchase. There is no obligation to purchase exclusively from Rochester but if doing so anyway, it’s possible to participate in this. We will vote on this in November.


International Plein Aire Paintout will be held at Rhoneymeade Sept. 9,10,11 from 8am to 5 pm.  Those interested in different hours need to let Virginia or James (jameslesher53@gmail.ocm) know.

Jill Foster Is asking for contributions to the newsletter. We will ask Jull to share more in person when she attends the next meeting. Meanwhile, it was suggested as a marketing tool for our next workshop, that the newsletter include photos and descriptions of the recent O’Hagan workshop. In addition, we will put bios from members as used in the Pastel Passions program in the newsletter except for those who object.

The organization received a booklet of photos of the Hosner workshop which was passed around to be enjoyed by those present. Peg will bring the booklet to the next meeting also.

Respectfully submitted; Peg Klinger


Bill Hosner 2017 Workshop

William Truman Hosner, guest artist
"The Figure in the Landscape"
    August 1/2/3. 2017

 Harris Township Community Center
Academy St,, Boalsburg, PA 16827

Members $500. Non Members $530 (includes CPPS membership).
 (Price of workshop includes the model fee)
$ 100 deposit due 1/15/17.
Minimum # 10 participants

The registration form will be posted soon.on the website and in the newsletter.

Meeting Dates

November 13

Best Western Plus
Premiere Dr
State College, PA

Art Shows to Enter

National Society of Artists - Deadline September 2.  Download prospectus at

Pastel Society of New Hampshire - Deadline September3.

American Artists Professional League - Deadline September 24.  

Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club, Inc. - Deadline October 3.   women artists only.  Online entry  Download prospectus at: www,              
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