December 2017
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Central Pennsylvania Pastel Society

President - Virginia Belser,  Secretary - Jennifer Shuey, 
Treasurer – Anne Kenyon,  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

Notes From The President's Desk

  • If anyone is interested in participating in a shared CPPS booth at the Arts Festival in July, let me know. We would divide the hanging space evenly amongst the participants and all participants would divide the booth sitting duties. All participants would have to be juried in through the standard Arts Fest protocol.  
    From July 12 to July 15, 2018, the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts will bring over 125,000 people to downtown State College and the University Park campus of The Pennsylvania State University to celebrate the arts with its nationally recognized Sidewalk Sale and Exhibition, a gallery exhibition, and music, dance and theatrical performances in a variety of traditional and non-traditional venues.

    The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts has joined many other fine festivals in using ZAPP as an online application process.

    How to apply online:

    1. Go to and look for the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts 2018.

    2. Create an artist’s profile if you do not have one.

    3. Prepare and upload your images.

    4. Complete the online application before midnight EST, Friday, January 19, 2018.

    Need help? Call us at (814) 237-3682 or email at

    Carol Baney
    Director of Operations
  • If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to renew your CPPS membership. Dues ($30) can be mailed to treasurer Anne Kenyon at:
Box 246
Lemont, PA 16851
  • At the quarterly meeting earlier this month, we all agreed that it would be great to bring unfinished or challenging pieces for constructive suggestions to all of our quarterly meetings. No matter where you are in your pastel journey, it’s useful to give, receive and learn from the ideas of your fellow pastelists.
  • Those making supply lists for Santa want to remember that purchases made at the Rochester Fine Art Store bring a return to CPPS…. At the close of the year CPPS receives a % of all sales over the year in the form of a gift certificate…..
In the meanwhile, enjoy the holidays and all that they bring- and maybe even carve out some time for yourself and your pastels…!



November Minutes

CPPS  Quarterly Meeting
Nov. 12, 2017 at the Southern Allegheny Museum for the Arts,
Altoona, PA
At 1:45 p.m. President Virginia Belser called the meeting to order
Attending were Marianne Fyda, Pat McDannel, Debbie Decker, Roxanne Naydan, Jennifer Shuey, Denise Wagner, Kathleen Muffie-Witt, Judy Wilson, Virginia Belser, and Peggy Klinger.
The minutes of the August meeting were conditionally approved, subject to any further corrections by members.
No treasurer’s report was submitted as Ann was not present.

In Unfinished Business:
  1. A workshop at Rhoneymeade is being planned. Members requested information about the place. It was stated that their mission is to support the arts, they are excellent for plein air painting and open for outdoor use MWFSS and also on TT on a call-ahead status.  Rhoneymeade is also under consideration as a meeting place.
  2. The status of the pop-up classes is unknown but it is thought that the plan is still in progress. If Kim is unresponsive to e-mail,  Jill’s name was suggested. Application for the class opens in mid-December.
  3. The Education committee is planning a paint-around in February. Also under consideration: member-critiques at the quarterly meetings,  which will provide a learning experience at each meeting.
  4. The reception at the Framing Company show was poorly attended, It was suggested that we don’t do Sunday receptions in the future. Two paintings were sold.  The committee is considering Harrisburg or Altoona for further shows and the “3-2-1” gallery in Hollidaysburg was mentioned as a possible venue.
  5. Virginia reported that the Arts Festival experience was exhausting but positive. It was great for networking, she made some sales, and would do it again. Anyone interested should contact Virginia. Jen reminded us that all artists sharing a booth must be juried into the show individually.
In New Business:
  1. Kathleen Muffie-Witt nominated Jennifer Shuey for secretary, seconded by Marianne and the motion passed. Jeanne McKinney will be backup for Jen.
  2. A trip to New York city was suggested.

  1. The Education committee is looking for a third member.
  2. Jennifer noted that Schlow Library is holding an exhibition as part of their “Centre County Reads” program. The theme will be the art of protest. Deadline for entry is December 1 and the show will hang in March in the library’s gallery space.
  3. The “Images” juried show, during Arts Fest, is coming. It’s time to be thinking about that.
  4. Virginia adjourned the meeting.
Following the business meeting, Deb Decker talked about “Art in Common” which is a group of friendly Altoona area artists meeting once a month with a speaker. This week their meeting is in the Altoona SAMA itself.
Respectfully submitted; Peg Klinger, Secretary


Letter from the Editor

To remain a current member pay your dues before December 31st. This is especially important if you are working toward becoming a signature member since you wouldn't want your membership to lapse and have to start over.

The slideshow theme for Jan/Feb is Snow/Winter.  Be sure that your jpegs are at least 600-800 pixels in height and send them to Anna.  (Email at bottom of newsletter)
Be sure to sign up for the January challenge before the end of December.

News deadline is always the last Saturday of the month.


January  Challenge

to be a
A Personal  Challenge

As Stacy wrote in last month's Pastellus column, the major benefits of taking part in a challenge are:
  1.  Daily painting for growth as an artist -  growing at ease handling different types of pastels and color combinations.  
  2.  Camaraderie - bonding as a group, getting to know each other 
  3.  Uplifting and Safe -  building a supportive, sharing environment of beginning, mid-level and professional artists
  4.  Inspirational- being free to try new things and experiment just for the fun of it
  5.  Accountability - checking in with the group every day; not procrastinating

It is said that the Greek god, Janus, for whom January is named, faces both the past and the future.  Ask yourself what you need to do to improve past performance.  And then, use the upcoming challenge to work on those areas for future artistic growth and personal painting satisfaction.  

The schedule being offered should meet most members' needs regarding time, stamina, and interest.
  • 7 day challenge     January 1 through the 7th
  • 14 day challenge   January 1 through the 14th
  • 21 day challenge   January 1 through the 21st
  • 31 day challenge   January 1 through the 31st
Seriously consider joining the January Challenge.  There are many time options available and you can even create your own option if none of those presented fit your needs. This is an opportunity to experiment, take what you've learned and work in a new direction...a new beginning.

If interested, sign up here.  Or email me at

"You can't pay someone to practice for you."

  (Well, I guess you could pay someone, but it certainly wouldn't help your painting skills or your bank account!)



by Stacy Mayou
Just Start

About a year ago, while talking with Susan Nicholas-Gephart she mentioned that she paints plein air in the winter. So in awe of this woman! She is the boss - painting plein air in the winter. As I questioned her further she revealed that she paints in her car. 
Pure genius I say!

It is important to paint from life and on location, this is how we learn to see. The practice of seeing makes us better artists. Wether we create masterpieces on location or just initial sketches to be used in the studio, from life is so much better than a reference photo when possible.

So Susan’s tid bit of information has been on my mind, stirring often, while I explore plein air painting. Each time I attempt to paint plein Air - taking too many supplies or not enough - I wondered how can she possibly paint in her car? I envision pastels rolling down the dashboard being forever lost in that crevasse just before the windshield. Or Susan, board in lap, covered in eggplant pastel dust reaching, flailing, towards the box of pastels just out of reach at her feet.

Due to my feeble attempts at plein air painting I have spent hours researching, reading artists blogs and compiling a wish list of items that would be very helpful to have, but none of them useful in a car - the woman is impressive!

Bottom line is I have been painting seriously for almost 2 years now and the only thing I am sure of is, my artistic abilities do not warrant that kind of financial investment, and such an investment will not help me paint in my car, or on a boat, or on a hill or; you get the point. 

As I packed for Thanksgiving with the family, looking longingly at my pastels it dawned on me that I don’t need anything special or extra to paint from life. I too can paint in a car! The ability to paint in a car, or on a boat, or on a hill requires three things. An artist, a set of pastels, pastel paper (ok, maybe a board and some wet wipes). I just need to start.

Since my realization I have run across some blogs on this very subject, the links are below. 

I am very curious to hear all the places that you paint from life and how you do it, do you have a complete plein air set up that you take out or do you have a backpack ready to go. There is so much to learn and try, I am excited to start today! Excited to hear from you at  

During January’s challenge I will definitely be challenging myself to paint from my car, in my office, at my mom’s and anyplace else I can paint from life. Take a few minutes to get to know Susan at 

Plein Air in Stealth Mode 
A small box of pastels - perfect for traveling with carry on only!

Artist Spotlight

Marianne Fyda had her painting accepted into the Degas Pastel Society Twentieth Membership Exhibition. The Exhibition runs November 2 through November 29, 2017 at the Louisiana State Archives, 3851 Essen Lane, Baton Rouge, LA.
"Henry, After His Nap"

Susan Nicholas has had the honor of being selected by the Jack Richeson Co. to create her very own signature set of hand-rolled pastels. Congratulations, Susan, the selection of colors looks amazing! 
Artists interested in placing an order for the pastels, should contact Susan at SNicholas    The set will be available through Amazon soon.

Below is a link to an article in the Plein Air Today Newsletter from November 15, 2017 written by editor, Andrew Webster.  "OPPORTUNITY: Hameau Artist Retreat in May"

Special Offer!  
Pre-register for the May 14-19 or the October 11-14, 2018 
Hameau Artist Retreat before January 2018, and get an 'Early Bird' discount. Register at:

Thoughts from the Studio

by Marianne Fyda
Packing a Painting for Shipping

Several years ago, I prepared a presentation for a CPPS meeting on:  “How to Pack a Painting for Shipping”.  I am updating this presentation and including “How Much it Costs”!
  1. Read all the information regarding shipping that comes from the exhibitor. You may need to contact the shipper; you may need to provide a return address label, a prepaid return shipping label etc. If you need to provide documents or labels that need to be in the box get them ready first. Get a box that is both strong enough and big enough, allow several inches of clearance all around your painting. Mark your box with an up arrow, and as you proceed keep marking each step with the up arrow.
  2. To begin the wrap: (Most of these steps end with tape)
       a.Wrap your painting in soft foam wrap or small bubble wrap.
      b. Place a piece of pre-cut cardboard (the size of the glass) on the cushioned glass. (Documents in a Ziploc bag could go here)
      c. Add cardboard (cut to frame dimensions) on front and back and hold in place with corner protectors.
      d. Slide all into large plastic bag
      e. Wrap in larger bubble wrap, both vertically and horizontally.
      f. Repeat cardboard on both sides/and/or use more cardboard to line the box. You can use more bubble wrap for all gaps.
      g. Further strengthen the box by using styrofoam (insulation 1” thick) at the bottom of the box, you can also use it at the sides and top.
      h. Documents Check!!!!!!, make sure they’re in though you can seal them on the outside of the box. You want to create both cushion for your painting and reinforcement for the box.
      i. Finally, when it feels 'cushiony', snug and strong, tape it shut thoroughly. Even wrap the tape like straps to secure the top down. Toss It? No!
  3. How Much Does It Cost ? Last summer I shipped a painting to the Pastel Society of America Exhibit in NYC. It was a large painting and required a strong mat board box sized 32” X 40”.  I followed the steps above, which is basically alternating bubble wrap and cardboard, lining the box with more cardboard.
  4. You almost never ship your painting directly to an art exhibit, you ship it to a shipper. In this case I had to ship my painting to ‘Safe Art, Inc.’ Safe Art unpacks your painting and delivers it to the show. After the show, Safe Art, Inc. picks up your painting and repacks it and sends it back to you. For this service, Safe Art charges $110. Prior to shipping, you contact Safe Art, to let them know your painting is coming. The actual shipping charge is another matter. You take your painting to a shipper like UPS, USPS, or FEDEX. They weigh your package, and depending on the size and weight, bill you for the shipping to and from your painting's destination. My total FEDEX bill was $228.62 , ($114.31 each way, including insurance). So that all adds up to $342.93. Entering the show also requires an entrance fee around $30-$40). I could be overwhelmed and saddened by this expense ( and I am somewhat) but I have to look at it as an investment in my career. Being in the show, seeing my work on the wall is thrilling, but it is also expensive.
  5. Entering a smaller painting in a more recent show, the Degas Pastel Society Exhibit, the cost was $40 for the shipper and $84.91 to FEDEX.  But, it is what it is!

Marianne Fyda

PS When I got my painting back from the PSA and Safe Art, it was in perfect condition! I am most grateful for that…but I sure did pay for it!

Pastel Class

Starting January 9th and every Tuesday afternoon in January from 1pm-4pm, a pastel class will be offered at the Art Alliance.  This will be a four week class and each week a different member of the CPPS will teach an afternoon session in their specialty---landscape, still life or mixed media.

Everyone is invited to enroll. Bring a friend. Beginners welcome. Enjoy 4 afternoons of camaraderie, experimenting and playing with pastels.

Registrations will be taken by the Art Alliance.
Register here:


Future Workshops

Lisa Mitchell has been selected
for the
 2018 Workshop
September 20 (demonstration)
September 21, 22, 23 (workshop)
Registration form on the website
See more of  Lisa's work at


Meeting Dates


Art Shows to Enter

IAPS 32nd Juried Exhibition - deadline January 5, 2018 - more info:

Arizona Pastel Artists - deadline February 15, 2018.  more info:

Pastel Society of New Mexico - deadline December 1, 2017.  more info:

Quote of the Month

"Color is only beautiful when it means something." 
Robert Henri

White - innocence, purity, trust, honesty
Red - love, passion, strength, courage
Yellow - generosity, good fortune, abundance, prosperity
Green - hope, anticipation, growth
Blue - knowledge, wisdom, spirituality
Purple - ambition, power, attainment, 
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