February 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

The slideshow for March/April is People and Places, If you have paintings that fit this theme, 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.  And be sure to include the title of the painting along with your name!  [The webmaster's email is always at the bottom of the newsletter.]

Remember to pay your dues.  Don't let your membership expire!
Dues are currently $30.  Make your checks out to "CPPS"  and bring to the February 14th meeting or mail to: CPPS,  P.O. Box 246, Lemont, PA, 16851.

I still need members to send me their "bios" for the Meet your Members column.  Please send in something even if it's just a paragraph or two.

Keep it in mind that the entry due date for the "Images Show" during the Arts Festival is May 6.  I'll have more information for everyone soon.


Current News


"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.  (If you have different types of pastel paper, please consider donating a few pieces to the Education Committee for this activity.  Bring them to the February 14th meeting.  If everybody brings 1 or 2 sheets, they should have an ample supply for this event.)

PreMeeting Activity

The next pre meeting activity will be a show and tell event. The education committee is asking members who have purchased National Artists' works (ie: demos) to bring them in for a show/tell  before the meeting.  Contact Kathleen Muffie-Witt at

The meeting is February 14 at 1:30 pm in the conference room at the Best Western Plus Motel on Premiere Dr. in State College.
Roche Video
Spring CPPS Show

Artist Spotlight

Congratulations to Marianne Fyda, whose work, The Elements 12, has been selected
for the 83rd Annual Juried Exhibition of the Hudson Valley Art Association.  The Board of Directors has invited Marianne to attend the opening reception and awards presentation at the ​​Salmagundi Club, Friday April 1, 2016.

Future Workshops

Desmond O’Hagan Workshop – Pastel Painting Techniques

July 22-24, 2016

 Desmond O’Hagan will be joining us for a 3-day workshop July 22-24, 2016, with a slide presentation and lecture on Thursday evening.  We still have seats available for this workshop.  It is a rare opportunity as Desmond seldom travels to the east coast. If you wish to enroll, click on the link below for the registration form.   You can also find information and the registration form on the website.  If you need additional information, please contact Judy Leasure ( or by phone at 757-941-4668.

 This three-day course will include the following:

1.  A slide presentation and lecture on painting in pastels including people, still life, interiors,  urbanscapes, and landscapes. (Thursday evening.  Attendance is strongly suggested as this is the first part of the workshop)

2.  Discussions on painting materials, surfaces, developing your painting style, and workin methods unique to pastels                                         

3.  Demos emphasizing composition, color, and technique.

4.  Daily individual critiques of students’ works in progress.

 Additional topics explored include solving common painting problems, experimenting with new approaches to painting, working from photographs, studio lighting, framing pastels, and making use of the internet in your career.  Also included is a lecture on creative ways to promote and sell your art.  This course is designed for each student to work at his/her own pace while enjoying the experience of painting with pastels.    Daily demonstrations

  Click here for registration form.  

2017 Workshop

The Education Committee will meet the first week in February to discuss the workshop.  If you have any suggestions for an instructor to invite, please email  Debbie Decker, Anne Kenyon or Kathleen Muffie-Witt.  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


Meet your Members

Pamela Johnson, Artist

As an artist I enjoy being immersed in the moment of nature with the landscape. I have always been inspired by the Impressionistic era capturing the experience of the scene and 'being in the moment' of the artistic creation. It has been my passion to hike the California and Oregon areas of nature experiencing the quiet peacefulness of the land. It is my escape from the chaotic world that is around me. The more that I have spent in nature, the more I attempt to see the texture of a gold field of wildflowers, the calligraphy of a moving tree or the vast great rock masses of mountains. I work in sketchbooks and watercolors capturing a spontaneity. I have enjoyed pastels for many years in my figure drawings and as a painterly medium in my studio.

I started my art career attending the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, PA and graduated in 1977 with an associate degree in Commercial Art. My ambition as an artist expanded further when I decided to attend Parsons School of Design, NY, graduated with a Bachelors in Illustration in 1985.
I worked for about five years in New Jersey for an educational children publisher before I ventured out to California in 1989. During my professional years as a freelance Illustrator in California my work involved a variety of projects that involved magazine articles, software projects, and cross stitch designer using my illustration skills. 

I began to think about the direction of my career in my 40's and became interested in the field of therapeutic arts with traumatized children. I began to work as an art activity therapist at a residential treatment facility and non public school setting for emotionally disturbed children/adolescent from 2000-2005. It was rewarding and challenging to help children/adolescents in the inner city area of Oakland, CA teaching techniques, inspiring them with their creativity and managing the children when triggered of trauma. This inspired me to obtain a Masters in Psychology with a certificate in expressive arts at John F. Kennedy University, CA, 2005. Since then I have been a licensed therapist treating children/adolescent, families and adults. With younger children I use the expressive arts as a healing process in therapy. I look forward to encouraging others in what will bring clarity and healing in therapy.

During my spare time when I am not working I am creating art. I have grown to like pastels attempting to taking risks and learn new techniques. While Nature inspires in me the creative process, it also provides for me a pure balance and rejuvenates my spirit in the difficult field that I work in as a therapist. I recently relocated to Pennsylvania in June 2015 and so now I get to explore the nature around me and work with a whole new changing palette of colors.


New and Signature Members

See #4 in the by-law summary for information on how to attain signature status within the Society.

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 usually at 1:30pm 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.  
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 by different artists..
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..
Includes a memoir written by his sister-in-law
THE ARTIST'S WAY by Julie Cameron 
Discovering and Recovering your creativity
Techniques to master pastels.  Good information

Art Shows to Enter

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 has an array of art shows that our members are eligible to enter.  The Great Lakes Pastel Society and the Pastel Society of Colorado are two of the pastel shows listed there.  Plus the International Association of Pastel Societies should have their listing up by now.  Check it out.


Meeting Dates

February 14
May 8
August 14
November 13

Best Western Plus
Premiere Drive
State College, PA
1;30 PM in the conference room
Dates subject to change.
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