July 2017
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Central Pennsylvania Pastel Society

President - Virginia Belser, 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

Please send in jpegs NOW of your "Favorite Things"  paintings to Anna  for the July/August slideshow.

The September/October slideshow will feature  Autumn themed paintings.   Send them to Anna in late July.

 Sign up before July 22 if you want to take part in the Abstract Challenge.  Plans are in the "works".  Several have signed up.  Don't be left out!

Entries for the SAMA-Ligonier Show end in August.  If you want to enter this show, check out information below under Art Shows to Enter.

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

Current News

Great info from Denise Wagner!  

I know everyone is concerned about Lyme Disease.  I have found that Tick Gators work very well.

I have the 18 " Gator Leg Protection from Bug Baffler.  There are also other products out there.
Just type in Tick Gators.

Another challenge will take place starting  August 1.    A  7 day (or more)  Abstract Challenge is being planned starting on August 1st.   Some days will have a challenge within a challenge just to keep it interesting.  All information and further details regarding the challenge will be shared via email only with those who have signed up.   So, if you are interested in taking part in this challenge, email Jill  before July 22nd to have your name added to the list.


by Betty Gobeille
Hi Everyone!
Greetings from New Mexico!
Well, the IAPS 12th Biennial Convention is over! The IAPS (International Association of Pastel Societies) Convention - "The Biggest Pastel Party on the Planet", was held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, from June 6 - 11, 2017. It has been held at the Hotel Albuquerque for as long as I have been attending (2007). The convention brings together artists, from beginner to professional, from all over the globe, as well as phenomenal instructors, and a Trade Show, affectionately called "The Candy Store"! 
There were 1, 2 and 3-day Workshops and also 2 & 3 hour Demonstrations by notable pastelists. There was 'Pastel World', the 30th Juried Exhibition 2017, showcasing pastel paintings from all over the world. And this year we welcomed members and paintings from the 'China Pastel Network'. 
There was also the ever popular 'Paint Around' where 5 famous pastel artists entertain everyone for an hour of fun! This year it was Tony Allain, Margaret Evans, Liz Haywood-Sullivan, Desmond O'Hagan and Stan Sperlak! Time keeper was Alain Picard! Each artist brought a photo/sketch for their painting subject. IAPS supplied easels, pastels and surfaces. Artists didn't get to use their own supplies! They started their painting and worked for 10 minutes, the whistle blew and they rotated to the next painting and worked for 10 minutes. This continued until they were back to their own painting, which they  had to complete within the last 10 minutes! Then all 5 artists signed each painting and the paintings were on display for a 'Silent Auction', to be bought by the highest bidder. Additional fun happened at the Saturday Night Banquet when they auctioned off the 5(?) T-shirts Stan Sperlak had worn (layered) and peeled off during the Paint Around!  One of which said, "MAKE ART GREAT", (and on the back) "AGAIN"!  All proceeds from the auctions go to the IAPS/UCT Scholarship Fund.
To add to all of this, there were a couple of new features. There was the 'Friday Night iFiesta!' with IAPS Member Societies set up with their materials and members in 'costume'!  And the 'Dueling Demo's'!!!  Three teams of 2 artists painting a still life or a landscape or a portrait. There were plenty of munchies and drinks along with strolling musicians to keep everyone entertained and welcomed. 
The whole convention was a blast! And I'm always amazed and thankful for the generosity and openness of pastel artists sharing their passion and techniques with everyone. I hope you will consider joining us here in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 2019!  IAPS just keeps getting better!
Betty Essex Gobeille
Corrales, New Mexico


by Stacy Mayou
Focus - Part 2

When it comes to our ability to focus on painting, preparation is the most important thing that we can easily control. Being prepared allows us to quickly get our hands covered in pastel, and can help us create.

‘Don’t wait for inspiration. It comes while one is working.’ Henri Matisse

Studio preparation:
  • Having a clean, comfortable place to work is essential. Whether you work in your dining room, spare bedroom, or have a separate studio, keep it stocked.  Don't forget paper towels and rags for keeping hands and pastels clean. There isn't’t anything more frustrating than not being able to find a color because it is dis-colored from past uses, or picking up a color that was used on a dark before and scaring the beautiful light area you are working on. 
  • Have good lighting.  Large LED daylight corrected bulbs are becoming more readily available.  They are cost effective, energy efficient, and they do not burn hot. You can buy them in many sizes, and free standing so they can be moved where needed. Also, consider a source of directional lighting for still life work. 
  • As DaVinci advised, consider keeping a mirror in your studio, and face it towards your easel if possible. "Turn your painting to a black glass and it will appear as though another master had done it and you will see its flaws."
  • Don’t forget the music!   Music, or even audio books, and pod casts, can help you loosen up and be more intuitive when you are painting. 
  • When you're done painting, spend a few minutes cleaning, taking inventory,  and creating a work space that feels good.  You will want to return often if you do.

Paper preparation:

Along with having a clean, comfortable space, we need paper, lots of paper. It can be painful to have 30 minutes to paint and spend most of it on the underpainting, or fail at the painting on a nice piece of UArt 400. Have several inexpensive surfaces ready for quick trips to the studio and fast studies. Paper can easily be prepared in advance and ready to go when we are.
  • Consider painting drawing paper with watercolor or acrylic paint, once dried you can cover with Liquitex clear gesso for a sanded surface. You can experiment with the color you choose for a toned underpainting. You can also apply the gesso with varying brush strokes and thicknesses to create texture in your painting. 
  • Or try pastel primer, they come clear or in several colors and can be brushed on any surface including glass. 
  • Pumice can be added to gesso or mixed into a paste with gel and water.  Experimenting with these techniques is inspiring and also freeing and we have created a surface for very little money.  The paper surface used may or may not be wonderful, but anything we do is better than doing nothing!
  • Consider using gator board to create working surfaces. The board will not warp or bow like paper will, it can be primed and prepared and then cut to size, it is available in several thicknesses, and it comes white or black. It holds up well to being left on your easel for long periods and doesn’t require backing,  if framed. (Gator board is not archival, but no one is archiving my paintings - yet!   And we know that pastels painted over a hundred years ago are still in great condition because of the care they have received   Yet, it is a risk to consider.) 

Once we have a few painting surfaces ready to go it’s easy to pull apples out of the refrigerator and set up a still life. No need to brush off or wash the paper off if the painting is terrible, we can just enjoy that we got to be in a creative space and paint a while. 

I would love to hear your feedback on this column, any ideas you have, or things you would like me to research for future columns.

Tips & Techniques

by Marianne Fyda
How to Trace a photo, enlarge it, and transfer it
to some good paper for painting/drawing

I used this photo of the Amaryllis with the Juan Gris poster in the background.

Displaying unknown.jpgThis is an 8 X 10 inch photo.
I covered this photo with a piece of  clear acetate, actually, an 8.5 X 11 inch transparency.

I used a Pigma marker, .02, to trace all of the important shapes and lines.  I made sure I had all of the lines I needed by sliding a blank sheet of paper under the acetate .

I marked the lower right hand corner of the tracing with an "R" for "right side". (To avoid copying my drawing in reverse).
Displaying unknown.jpg

I laid the transparency on a copier and made a paper copy.  I divided the paper copy into four quadrants by  bisecting the 8 X 10 with both vertical and horizontal lines.  The four quadrants were labeled A, B, C and D.

I placed this copy on the copier and enlarged each quadrant at a time.  I determined the percentage amount of enlargement by determining just how large I wanted the final picture to be.  I enlarged each section, A - D, till I had all of the four corners the right size.

I set these fours pieces on a cutting board, I cut the first on the bisecting lines and proceeded to put the picture back together again.

Displaying unknown.jpgPictured to the left is my pasted up copy, taped to my cutting board, covered with a large sheet of tracing paper.  I then retraced the resized drawing with a Sharpie.

When the tracing was complete, I selected a sheet of pastel paper, centered my drawing on it, and anchored the tracing paper with paper weights.  Using an appropriate color of transfer paper, I began to transfer the sketch to the paper.  (The white paper in this picture is transfer paper). Periodically, I peeked under the tracing and transfer papers to make sure my design was coming through.
Here is the transferred sketch.

Displaying unknown.jpg
Here it is in progress.  Note, I use the mat to help me evaluate the progress, or lack of it, of the piece.
Displaying unknown.jpg

Artist Spotlight

Come out and visit with Anne Kenyon and Virginia Belser during the PA Festival of the Arts in State College. They will be in booth #34 on Allen Street.  They plan to bring the large CPPS framed poster to advertise our group and to also have an easel set up for visitors to try their hand at using pastels.

Marianne Fyda has her painting, Amarylis with Juan Gris, juried into the Images show.
Displaying FullSizeRender.jpg

Thoughts from the Studio

by Kim Flick
Part 2
In order to gain a deeper sense of knowledge when critiquing our own art and in appreciation for all the many forms of art within our image-saturated society, we began this series of introductory terms within the context of formal analysis. We continue this month with The Principles of Organization.
*Please see archived newsletters for previous topics.

The Principles of Organization:
These are the principles that guide the employment of the elements in achieving unity within the visual arts:
  1. Harmony
  2. Variety
  3. Balance
  4. Proportion
  5. Dominance
  6. Movement
  7. Economy
When we see, or consider images, we take part in a form of visual ordering. Within the process of seeing, our minds try to create order from the onslaught of visual stimulation we are optically experiencing at any given time. This visual ordering allows us to make sense of the world around us – forming an organized way of creating holistic order out of the otherwise random chaos of visual data continually streaming through our optic sensory system. As artists, we mimic this ordering with compositional organization, managing the elements* using this set of principles with regard to choices made in regard to the basic components* and toward achieving organic unity. With unity, creating the overall essence of oneness – the visual ordering is presented as a successful result of a culminating artistic choices. The composition can be the result of intuitive or intellectual choices or in combination, but is evident that the plan is “working,” in that the work is seen as a cohesive whole. The “how” of what choices should be made to organize the elements using the principles is a very complex topic, deserving of continual consideration within our personal practice. The elements and the principles are so intricated and interdependent, it is often hard to separate each principle to focus on the importance of each individual characteristics. One could easily write a book regarding each one individually, so they are offered here as a mere introduction. It is equally important to keep in mind, the principles are only a guide and not rules. They are always open to more than one interpretation depending upon the supporting role they are lending the work of art.

For the purpose of this article, I will try to show some examples of the principles in action. However, there is so much to consider and that could be easily expanded upon with regard to each principle.

Let’s start with an image by Paul Manes, entitled, Eiso, 1995.  It is an oil painting on canvas. 

Let’s also start with harmony, since it is an easy one to spot - as to whether a composition works or doesn’t.  It is the “pulling together” of all of it! In this definition, it does not mean the depicted subject matter, for example, a pastoral field, or a peaceful lakeside view.
Harmony is defined as the quality of relating the visual elements of a composition.  It is achieved by repetition of characteristics that are the same or similar with the cohesive factors creating a pleasing interaction. Rhythm and repetition work for harmony, as seen here in the repeated use of the ovoid saucer shapes. However, repetition when carried too far can create boredom, so variety comes in as the counterweight of harmony.

Variety is defined as the differences achieved by opposing, contrasting, changing, elaborating or diversifying elements in a composition to add individualism and interest, the counterweight of harmony in art. In this example of the saucers, we see variety saving this painting from boredom in the development of difference in shape size, color, paint application and surface manipulation. So here we see harmony and variety in balance, in that not one or the other is dominating the composition. Balance is defined as the sense of equilibrium achieved through implied weight, attention or attraction, by manipulating the visual elements within an artwork in order to accomplish unity. Balance can also be expanded to include various types including; horizontal, vertical, radial, symmetry, approximate symmetry and asymmetry. While we could go on to use this image to interpret how the artist used the other principles, lets look at some other examples. As it is worth repeating that principles are guides – not rules, and not every artwork is a shining example of tall principles at work – given the plural interpretative nature of each characteristics within a given composition. Interpretation is a really a matter of seeing…Seeing connections, relationships between the elements and principles and what is working where and to what end…  Image result for Morandi Drawings
Giorgio Morandi                “Grande natura morta con la caffettiera.” Drawing

When looking at those relationships between the parts being presented, Proportion comes center-stage.  We use our experience of seeing to analyze what it is we are looking at – often instinctively beginning with proportion. Proportion is defined as the comparative relationship between parts of a whole or units as to size.  For example, the size of the hand as it is related to the size of the head. Of course, we know proportion is important when trying to convey a sense of realism within the human figure, or when depicting objects as they relate in size and scale to each other within the genre of still-life. Equally, important is the comparative relationship of proportion with regard to perspective and personal judgment; as we take in the world visually in proportion to our own proportions, context and scale. For example: A small child’s perception versus a large adult man’s field of vision. Proportion can be exaggerated for effect, and psychological impact. Of course, it is of great consideration in establishing perspective and pictorial depth. Other, important aspects concerning proportion is the creation of compositions around the “The Golden Mean,” as Classical Greek philosophy established what is known in art as the perfect, harmonious proportions that avoid extremes. It is a separate study worth investigating for visual artists. It is a principle so innate with our sense of seeing, we cannot possible do it justice within the scope of this introductory offering of basic terms.   

Next month, we will continue our consideration of The Principles of Organization and look at more examples of proportion in regard to dominance. We will also consider images where movement and economy are exemplified.

Juried and Member Show Information

The exhibition committee is planning to hold two shows in 2017.  In August, a juried show will be held at the Station Gallery in Lock Haven and in October, a member show (not juried) will be held  at the State College Framing Company  

The CPPS exhibition committee is planning to hold two shows in 2017.  One will be a member show and the other will be a juried show.  In August, a juried show will be held at the Station Gallery in Lock Haven and in October, a member show (not juried) will be held  at the State College Framing Company  
The dates are spaced so you can use the same works in both shows, if you want. Carpool options are being prepared to enable our distant members participation. These shows are for you to shine! Please take note aand save the upcoming dates . Questions: (814) 360-2116

Juried Show Submission Form

Location - juried show at the Station Gallery in Lock Haven, 2 East Bald Eagle Street, Lock Haven PA - August 11-September 3

Specific information concerning the Juried Show in Lock Haven below:
Image Entries Due: June 30th.   Send up to 4 images to Station Gallery (more info later on the email entry CPPS will design )
$15 entry fee for up to 4 paintings

Not Allowed: Paintings done in a workshop or under the direction of a teacher will NOT be allowed in a juried show.

Selected Entries: members will be notified by email sometime in July if their painting has been juried into the show.

Delivery: August 6th  between 1:30 - 3:30 PM.  Bring selected work to Station Gallery, 2 East Bald Eagle Street, Lock Haven PA 17745

Dates of Show: August 11th-September 3rd

Reception: August 11th from 6 to 9 p.m.
Note: Reception foods/wine can be supplemented by CPPS member donations

Jurors: Carol Ann Simon Cillo and Steve Getz

Members' Show Submission Form

Location: State College Framing & Gallery, Hills Plaza, 160 Rolling Ridge Dr, St College, PA 16801

Number of Paintings: 1 to 3 (one being larger 16x20)

Art Delivery Dates: Monday, September 25th to Friday, Sept 29th.  Times: shop hours 10AM- 5PM 
Phone: 814-234-7336

Show dates:   October

Reception:  Sunday, October 8th, 2017   
Time: 1 pm to 4 pm  
​(​Note: Saturday ​is a ​home football game)  

Pick-Up: First week in November store hours

Future Workshops

 July Pastel Workshops 

Tue, July 18 – Thu, July 20, 2017, 10am – 4pm
Tue, July 25, – Thu, July 27, 2017, 10am – 4pm

Location:  Studio of Susan Nicholas Gephart, 351 E. Bishop St, Bellefonte PA
Price: $80 per day with 1 day only options
Class Size:  3-4 people
Class description: Each day we will meet at Nicholas Studios for a morning demonstration.  Late morning we will travel in my car loaded with our gear (or car pool) to a local site to plein air paint.

Contact Susan Nicholas Gephart to register or ask questions. 

 2 One Day  Workshops

Saturday, August 5, 2017 10am – 2pm ~PASTELS only: 

Saturday, August 12, 2017, 10am – 2pm ~PASTELS only

Location:  Station Gallery, Lock Haven, PA (sponsored by Clinton County Arts Council)
Price: $35.00 CCAC member or $50.00 non-member 
Class Size: 10
Class description: In this short 4-hour class, learn the basics of soft pastels, and how to take your photos or sketches and use them as inspiration for a pastel painting. Some supplies will be available to use and a supply list will be provided. You are encouraged to contact the instructor and discuss your personal plan and what materials will be needed before the class.
Contact Susan Nicholas Gephart to register or ask questions. 

CPPS 2018 Workshop

 Virginia Belser and Roxanne Naydan are in the final stages of selection and plan to announce the 2018 invited landscape artist at the August meeting.

Meeting Dates

August  13
Best Western Plus Motel
Premiere Dr.
State College, PA

November 12 
Altoona, PA

Art Shows to Enter

Appalachian Pastel Society - deadline July 16 - information

Pastel Society of Maine - deadline August 1 - information

Connecticut Pastel Society - deadline August 4  - prospectus

SAMA -Ligonier - Deadline August 2017
For registration or additional information:
(724) 238-6015

Pastel Society of New Hampshire - deadline September 3 - information
 Check out.the OnllineJuriedShows website for many possibilities
A few are listed below: 
Deadline July 15th = Maryland Pastel Society
Deadline July 15th = Pastel Society of the West Coast
Deadline August 6th  = Pastel Society of the Southwest
Deadline August 9th = Pastel Society of North Carolina
Deadline September 3rd = Arkansas Pastel Society

Quote of the Month

 'Sometimes it is the people no one can imagine anything of
who do the things no one can imagine.'

Alan Turing, Mathematician, Scientist
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