January 2016
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Central Pennsylvania Pastel Society

President -Virgina 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

Remember to pay your dues.  Dues are currently $30.  Make your checks out to "CPPS".  Mail your checks to: CPPS,  P.O. Box 246, Lemont, PA, 16851.

The slideshow theme on the website for January/February is Snowscenes  So if you have any paintings depicting winter snow scenes, please send them to Anna now and indicate "slideshow" in the subject line.   Be sure that your jpegs are at least 600-800 pixels in height.  Her email is always at the bottom of the newsletter as is the web address.

Reminder: If you aren't able to find the information you want, you can always access the website (address at bottom of newsletter).  The "About" page and the "Resources drop down menu pretty much cover everything. Of course, the "News" page has coverage of current issues within the Society.   If you have further questions, email me, the resource officer, at  and I'll be happy to help you.

Please go to our Facebook page and fill out the survey posted there.  The survey is also on the website.  The CPPS Board is actively seeking your input to continue making CPPS a vibrant and active organization.

I need your "bios".  I don't have anymore in my file.  Please send yours to me as soon as possible.  Thanks.

Current News

Request from Education Committee

The committee is still in need of materials and asks members to consider donating unused  pastels, pastel papers, easels, storage boxes, etc. These materials would then be available for members to use when giving public demonstrations, pre-meeting activities and other hands-on events we hold. 

Paint-In Date

The 2016 Paint-In will be held January 23rd from 9:30-4 at the  Harris Township Community Center  on Academy Street in Boalsburg.  ( Lions Club building).  Be sure to put the date on your calendar and plan to attend!  RSVP to Anne 

If the weather is bad and the activity has to be cancelled, Anne Kenyon will notify by email those who RSVP'd.  So, please check your email before driving to Boalsburg if the weather is questionable. There will be no alternate snow date.

 Directions: Turn by the cemetery to enter the village of Boalsburg.  Turn left at the stop sign on the town square or diamond (Main).  The next right turn you are able to make will be Academy Street.  The building is an old church on the right side of the road with a Lions Club sign on the lawn.  Park anywhere all around the building as there are 3 doors.

"Pastel Potpourri" at the Palmer
 "The Education Committee is delighted to invite you to an event they've arranged with the Palmer Museum. For the first time in recent memory, the Palmer curators allowed working artists  (your CPPS Education Committee members) into their vaults to select relevant works for this exhibit. The range of pastels selected include genres ranging from still life to abstract to landscape, from sketches for murals to finished pieces, all in the medium of pastel!  Please, mark your calendars now. Plan on attending, bring a friend and enjoy this unique opportunity. "

On March 25, 2016 the Palmer Museum on Penn State campus will present pastel works from the Palmer Museum's collection. Some of the works selected have never been shown before. Seventeen artists will be represented along with two pieces from unknown artists.   The pastels may be viewed in The Print Study room located on the second floor. The room will be open from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.  

This Paper View program will be billed as "Pastel Potpourri",   At 1:00 pm, Patrick McGrady, Charles V. Hallman Curator at the Palmer Museum of Art  and members of the Central PA Pastel Society will discuss information about the artists, influences on the artists, if known, and why the CPPS artists chose the piece for the show.  They will also welcome any questions from the attendees.  A display of soft pastels and various supports will be available in the lobby following the discussion.

Exhibition Committee Formed

During the November meeting, it was announced that Susan Nicholas Gephart had accepted the chairperson position for the newly formed Exhibition Committee.  Judy Wilson and Roxanne Naydan volunteered to also be on the committee.  This committee is charged with arranging future group exhibits for the Society.

Artist Opportunity

Chebela Grab, owner of 321 Gallery in Hollidaysburg is interested in having our members show individual artwork in her gallery.  Members should contact her or her son, Pete, directly to get more information on showing their artwork.  (The possibility of a CPPS group show in 2017 is also being discussed with the Exhibition Committee.  Thank you, Debbie Decker, for making this contact for us.)
Contact Info:
Chabela or Pete Grab
321 Gallery
321 Allegheny Street
Hollidaysburg, PA


Future Workshops

Desmond O' Hagan 2016 Workshop

Desmond O’Hagan will present a 3-day workshop July 22-24, 2016.  Don’t forget to register if you are interested in taking the workshop.

On January 1, 2016, registration will open up to the public at large and information will be sent to nearby Societies. 

Registrations for one-day attendees will be considered only after the  break-even number for full workshop attendees has been reached.

Click here for registration form.  

BTW  -  Desmond O'Hagan earned an honorable mention in the 2015 IAPS Webshow.  To view the show go to   Click on the red button under Notices on the home page.

2017 Workshop

The Education Committee has assumed the role of coordinating future workshops

 From now on, all workshop instructor suggestions should be submitted to members of the committee.  Members at the present time are: Anne Kenyon, Kathleen Muffie-Witt and Debbie Decker.  The Education Committee welcomes your suggestions.

The 2017 workshop will be focused on the figure.  Artists being considered include Sally Strand, Bill Hosner, William Snyder, Mary Beth McKenzie, and Lee Colie-Wright


November Minutes

These minutes have yet to be approved.  Please read and be ready to discuss any changes or corrections that need to be made at the February meeting.

Click here to read the minutes.


Meet your Members

Susan Nicholas Gephart, Past President and Past Vice-President
As a plein air artist of forty years, my love of pastels began in the early 80’s shortly after college.  I was searching for that perfect spontaneous and portable medium.  My intentions were to meld my art with family life... planning around child rearing and art while creating interesting, diverse results through experimentations, both plein air and in the studio.  

What captured me most about pastels was the interaction between color and paper. It was a beautiful array of visual magic at my fingertips!  This was before the publications of Pastel Journal and the Albert Handel and Daniel Green books.  Our choices for pastels and papers were limited to perhaps four different pastel companies…Sennelier, Grumbacher, Rembrandt, and Nu Pastels.  The go to papers were the many colors of Mi Teintes by Canson, Strathmore, or Ersta, a smooth grit German sandpaper, (which was my father, Tom Nicholas’ favorite. )   It was all simple, but complex.  

Being the “out-door” lover I am, I took to the fields for inspiration.  I learned that when the weather was off, en plein air painting could be done in the seat of my car using the steering wheel as an easel.   Hundreds of pastels were made just playing.
 I began winning awards and being asked to teach pastels.  Teaching classes at Art Alliance of Central PA gave me the opportunity to share knowledge gained from my adventures and determination.  

Today, I am blessed to be a product demonstrator for many national art companies. These products are wonderful gifts for me to share during workshops. Being able to dance between mediums adds a learning curve that continues to feed and encourage my passion for painting.

“All my life, I have been inspired by the color and beauty of our fragile earth. I strive to capture and convey a spiritual message of nature’s important connection to man. Working on location outdoors, ‘en plein air,’ whether in pastel, oil, or watercolor, allows for spontaneity and directness. There is an inner peace and balance in response to my mind’s interactions to the landscape that continually rejuvenates my love of painting Sky, Water and Earth.”

Susan Nicholas Gephart is a 1979 Bachelor of Fine Arts graduate of the Pennsylvania State University, and a 1977 Associate in Arts graduate from Montgomery County Community College. In 2007 Susan was inducted into the MCCC Alumni Hall of Fame, and in 2014 selected as one of 50 Outstanding Alumni.

Susan Nicholas Gephart is a professional artist and instructor who has been painting award-winning landscapes for forty years in Central PA. The majority of her works are created on location, or “en plein air”, and many include views from Susan’s travels to places such as Assateague and Chincoteague Islands, Cape May, NJ, Monterey, California, Santa Fe, NM, and Mount Desert Island, Maine.

Susan has shown with The Pastel Society of America, The Art of the State of Pennsylvania, and won Best of Show in The Central Festival of the Arts Images Exhibit.  Susan’s landscapes can be found in the permanent collections of The Penn Stater Conference Center, Lock Haven University, Penn College, The Williamsport Susquehanna Towers Hospital, and The Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art.

Susan’s deep appreciation of the earth and art, began as a young child, and can be seen in her colorful, impressionistic plein air pastels and oils. The seeds of her artistic inspirations came from hiking the woodlands and creeks by her family farmhouse, outside of Philadelphia. Her determination to be an artist came from growing up with 5 brothers who challenged her, a father who shared his love of art and travel, and a mother who encouraged her independence through painting. Susan balanced raising three children while building her art career. Today, her passion to explore the landscape is expressed through a unique use of color, texture, and atmosphere, which captures the emotion of a moment in time on canvas.

Susan Nicholas Gephart believes in mentoring to all ages her love of creating art in nature. For the last 17 years, she has organized the Hameau Farm Studio Artist Retreats, held in May and October. Hameau Retreats are for all levels, and mediums, and are a gathering place for artists to learn painting outdoors in a nurturing environment. Susan has attended the Plein Air Convention the last three years, and is a Dedicated Workshop Instructor for Gamblin Oils, and Sennelier and Unison Pastels. All Susan’s workshops are backed by four national art supply companies, and she is advertising nationally in Plein Air Magazine, Fine Art Connoisseur and Pastel Journal.

Susan is a member of the Art Alliance of Central PA, the Farmland Preservation Artists of Central PA, Lewisburg Arts Council, The Clinton County Arts Council, Bellefonte Art Museum for Centre County, a Signature Member of the Central PA Pastel Society, an Associate Member of the Pastel Society of America, and co- founder of the Central PA Plein Air Painters.

Susan is represented by State College Framing Company & Gallery, in State College, PA., Green Drake Gallery, Milheim, PA, Faustina’s Gallery in Lewisburg, PA, and Langman Gallery, Willow Grove, PA

New and Signature Members

No new members in December.

By-Law Summary for New and Current Members

  1. Read the by-laws as they are the rules that govern the Society.  The by-laws can be accessed by clicking on the Resources button on our website Home page.
  2. Ask for a current membership list from the president or the treasurer.
  3. There is a 2 month wait before a new member can exhibit with the Society.
  4. Signature membership is attained by having three different paintings being juried into three different shows over a three year period.  As soon as your dues are paid, you are considered a full member and the three year period begins.  Save proof to submit to the president (acceptance letters, show brochures)
  5. Dues are to be paid in November and no later than the end of December.
  6. Meetings are at 1:30 pm the second Sunday in February, May, August and November.  Meetings are currently held in the Best Western Plus, Premiere Drive, State College, PA
  7. Paintings for shows must be properly wired, have a neutral mat and be at least 80% pastel.
  8. Any news you have about yourself being juried into shows or having shows, please share by emailing the newsletter editor
  9. The Society email list is confidential and should not be submitted through forwards, etc. to outsiders.
  10. Elections are held during the November meeting.
The above list is a brief summary of some of the by-laws to help you get acquainted.  
The complete set of by-laws can be read on the CPPS website.  
Welcome to the Central Pennsylvania Pastel Society


Lending Library

DVD - A Studio Session with Richard McKinley2-disc set - not available
DVD – In The Cedar Grove At Point Lobos by Albert Handell
DVD – Early Spring by Albert Handell

Very good book ranging from beginner to advanced methods and techniques
PURE COLOR (autographed by Robert Carsten)
A compilation of the best of pastel paintings.
THE PASTEL BOOK by Bill Creevy(autographed by Bill Creevy)
This book covers materials, techniques, strokes, values, etc.
THE POWER OF PASTEL by Christine Swann  
This is a book about painting portraits..

Techniques to master pastels
Includes a memoir written by his sister-in-law
THE ARTIST'S WAY by Julie Cameron 
Discovering/Recovering your creativity


Art Shows to Enter

Wichita Center for the Arts - Pastel National 2016 - Entry due January 4, 2016  Prospectus:

Art of the State - State Museum Harrisburg, PA - Entry due February 29, 2016,  Contact:

Pastel Society of Colorado - Mile High International Pastel Exhibition - Entry due April 8, 2016. Contact: 
SAMA Ligonier - Biennial 2016.  Deadline for submissions is May 1, 2016.
For more information regarding the submission process, please contact Scott Dimond, Curator; or  Bev Hartnett, Registrar, Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, PO Box 9,  Loretto, PA 15940 or via e-mail at: or 

If you know of any art shows to enter, please send the contact info to me to publish.

Meeting Dates

February 14

May 8
August 14
November 13

Some dates may be subject to change for various reasons.
Meeting place yet to be determined.
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