December 2018
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Central Pennsylvania Pastel Society

President - Susan Nicholas Gephart; Vice President - Candace Smith; Secretary - Jen Shuey, 
Treasurer - Connie van Ogtrop; Newsletter Editor - 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

From the President's Easel

It is an honor to be elected as the new Central PA Pastel Society president.  Thank you for the opportunity to support a vibrant and important art organization in our community.  A special thank you goes out to our former president and board members, as well as all of the volunteers, for their fine work and contributions.  Their commitment to CPPS has resulted in many successful achievements over the last few years.

As a past CPPS president, I realize the responsibility this title carries and will need all the help I can get.  Please be thinking on how you could get involved.  It could be as simple as submitting one of your pastel images to share in the newsletter, taking part in any of our monthly activities or serving on a committee.  Be sure to take time to explore our fantastic website where you will find out all that CPPS can do for you.

As a full time professional artist and instructor, it is important to me to be a good communicator.  I believe clear communication and direction is the basis of a strong, unified organization and I look forward to working with our new board and hearing suggestions from all of you.  We have grown over the years and 2019 will surely continue this trend with your help.

It is my goal as president this year to help bring more awareness of CPPS to our community and region.  Building membership locally and across the state will also be a top priority.  Awareness will be accomplished by connecting CPPS to the community and the region with member shows, Art Alliance classes, member-led workshops, regional class offerings and nationally known artist workshops.  Hopefully these types of outreach programs will increase both the exposure of and interest in the Central PA Pastel Society.

Wishing Happy Holidays to all!

Susan Nicholas Gephart

Editor's Notes

Yes, the newsletter is back.  

Website Slideshow
:  I thought it would be fun to share the first painting we do in 2019 with others in our group.  So, it seemed reasonable to have the website slideshow be an exhibit of the FIRST PAINTING OF THE YEAR.  Please do take part in this sharing activity and if you do, you could tie your first painting into the January Challenge Event that Stacy has set up for you in the Pastellus column.  So you might as well sign up for that, too!  (details in the column)  Your painting can be any size, small or large, and any subject.   Please send in your jpegs sometime during the first week of January to Anna at  Anna should have the slideshow ready soon after January 7th.  Remember pixel height should be between 600-800.
Online Adventures column: Everyone in the society should have a chance to participate and have fun 'pastelling' with the group at one time or the other throughout the year.  Making the Society meaningful to everyone by using the electronic highway to its fullest seems to be a good way help us do just that!  But, I need ideas!  If everyone in the Society  contributed one or two ideas on how best to use the internet with its variety of social sites, we could have a bucketful of fun.  Your ideas just might be the ones that connect us and bring about our greatest success!  So, please send any and all ideas to me.
Dues: Remember to pay your dues before December 31st.  Dues are currently $30. Your membership runs from January 1st through December 31st of each year.  As a benefit to new members who joined after October 31, 2018 your dues are paid through December 31, 2019.  Please make sure we have your current email address for our newsletters, announcements and informational emails. And please make every effort to pay your dues on time, so that you don't make extra work for our treasurer.   Make your checks out to "CPPS" and mail to: CPPS,  P.O. Box 246, Lemont, PA, 16851.
Member Tab: Just a note about the member page on the website.  The names that appear in color are those who have sent in their bios and/or 3 jpegs of their work.  If your name appears in black, please send in the above info to the webmaster as soon as you can
Resources Tab: Under the resources tab, there is a related links category.  If you have a link that you think would be a beneficial addition, send the link to our webmaster, Anna.
News deadline is the last Saturday of the month.  Note: Artist Spotlight news will be published the month before the event and/or the month of the event.  


Current News

Welcome new members:
Diane Harkleroad
Sylvia Lehman
Bill McCauley
Mary Ann Clarendon
Leslie Dyer
Daryl Lanzendorfer 
Bill Sweeney

Joint Paint In - The Pastel Society has invited the Farmland Preservation Artists group to join us on February 9, 2019 from 9-4  at the Harris Township Community Center in Boalsburg for a day of painting.  More information and directions will be in the January newsletter.

A Swap Meet is being planned for our next meeting in February.  If you have art materials, easels, frames, books, etc. that you no longer use (or have never used!), bring your stuff to the meeting to sell or swap.  You should have an approximate price in mind for your items so that you'll be able to trade for what you feel is a comparable product.


by Stacy Mayou
Not the beginning
When Jill emailed me about writing for the newsletter again, the topic of ‘beginning’ or ‘firsts’ was discussed. Sounded perfect! A new year with a re-launched newsletter. New challenges for our newly elected officers. Lots of new opportunities and potential. Lots of firsts and new beginnings. It would be a fun and easy column to write.
Then, I sat down to write about beginnings and firsts and quickly got stuck. We do this every year; celebrate the end of one year and look forward to the new year. We set goals and promise to be better versions of ourselves; we buy day planners, make lists, and end up defeated before midnight.
I struggled for several hours with this concept of beginning.  I even looked up the definition trying to spark a solid idea. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had it all wrong. I felt no one should start another year defeated with a list of things to do better.
I realized that beginnings are as scary as blank paper with infinite often intimidating potential, making it impossible to know for sure where to start, and scarier still where and how it will end. My other big issue with ‘beginning’ or ‘first’ is that it implies that nothing came before, and if something did it isn’t worthy of remembrance. We all know that our past experiences are very very important to our future success.
Then it dawned on me, we are not at the beginning. This is not the first for us. It is the first of 2019 and that is exciting, but we are not staring at blank paper. As an organization and artists, we know what we want, where we want to go, and what we want the end to look like.
We are fortunate and grateful to have members willing to donate their precious time and will no doubt work hard to fulfill our goals as an organization. January 2019 is the perfect month to pause, evaluate, re-commit and challenge ourselves. Re-commit to art through CPPS and our endeavors. Challenge ourselves as a group and individually to advance our personal work and the pastel medium our communities.
CPPS challenge – Make it to at least one quarterly CPPS meeting in 2019. Listen to CPPS needs and for areas that you could help. If we were all able to take on one thing, even a very small thing, what a huge difference we could make to this organization and the community!
Artist challenge – Complete one painting each week in January with focused attention on an area you’d like to see growth. It can be the same or different focus each week.
January Challenge:
  • Your focus can be anything you choose – style, subject matter, color choice, etc.  I will kick-off the challenge on January 1 and ask that everyone submit their paintings to the group on the 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st of the month.
  • Along with the image please include; size, materials used, area of focus and how you feel about the painting.
  • Interaction between artists is what makes these challenges so worthy of our time. We get to inspire and be inspired.  We also get to know some fabulous people!
  • If you are interested in participating, please email

Online Adventures

This year a series of online adventures are being planned. Our hope is to have more member participation which will allow us to get to know each other better.   Members can participate in as many adventures as they wish.  Do try to participate in at least one or two during the year...especially those where we "talk" back and forth and share paintings, ideas, and opinions.

If you have any ideas that you think would be fun, informative, creative and/or challenging for the group, please send them to me . 

Some ideas already in place and highlighted in this newsletter are:
1. January Challenge - where we post paintings and "talk" about them  
2. First Painting of the Year - where we share our work with everyone  
3. Sharing expertise about pastel products in the Thoughts from the Studio column 

Artist Spotlight

Susan Nicholas Gephart would like to invite everyone to her Holiday Open House, Dec. 6th, 5pm to 7pm and/or Sat. Dec 8th, 12pm to 2pm at the SNicholas Art Studios, 351 E. Bishop St, Bellefonte, PA   (814) 360-2116

Susan Nicholas Gephart will have a show at The Winkler Gallery and Ed Center, 36 N Brady St., DuBois, Pennsylvania 15801, (814)375-5834.  The show will run from Dec 2 to Jan 2, 2019 with the reception being on Sat., Dec 8th, 2018  5:30 to 8pm.
In the latest PleinAir Podcast, Eric Rhoads interviews Susan Nicholas Gephart. Listen in as Nicholas shares with us the importance of being a part of a community, advertising and marketing one’s art, having a system of support, why she doesn’t use a brush to mix her colors, her own SNicholas Signature line of Jack Richeson Pastels, and much more!

Thoughts from the Studio

At the November meeting, Candace Smith asked for members' opinions of Rembrandt, Unison, and Ludwig pastels.  I am asking members who use these brands to send an email to me telling what they use and why they use them.   If members are using other brands, those critiques would be welcome, too, as the more we know about pastel products the better off we are.  In the meantime, while waiting for your feedback, this month's column will furnish a bit of background on the three brands mentioned.

Rembrandts are a medium range pastel, neither hard nor soft, made in the Netherlands.  They are machine made so they are uniform in size and the pigment is very compact.  I think the company has now created an all non-toxic pastel line.  Or at least, their website states, "Free of pigments based on the metals lead, cadmium and cobalt".   Rembrandts have often been described by artists as their 'work horse' pastel along with NuPastels, a hard pastel made by Prismacolor.  The cost is from $4 -$5 a stick and a stick is about 2 1/2" long.  They also sell half sticks, but I've only seen them in sets.

Unison pastels are handmade in England by the company founded by the late John Hersey.  Hersey was an artist who saw the need for a wider range of colors. He developed recipes for Unisons that contain only pure pigments with minimal amounts of softener and binder added.  The result is intense, vibrant colors.  Because they contain very little binder, they are truly soft and smooth. The pastels measure approximately 2-1/8" long × 5/8" diameter and cost approx. $5 - $7 per stick.

Terry Ludwig is an American artist who felt the need for more dark pastels and initially made darks for his own paintings using the system developed by Kitty Wallis (I don't know if her moist pastel products are still available.)   Eventually Ludwig decided to try to make his own and soon developed  a unique recipe/formula for pastels.  These pastels are square in shape and are very soft and buttery.  The cost per stick is about $4 -$6 depending on where you shop.  There are no color names/number labels on these pastels.  (**I just received a notice from the company that they are offering 20% off all pastel sets from now through December 31, 2018.  Go to their website and check it out.) 

BTW -Their website did have this neat idea posted in case you accidently drop and break a pastel.  

Fixing your broken pastel sticks is easy! Follow these simple steps:

  •         Remove the labels and any other paper from the pastel.
  •         Place the broken pieces in a small dish.
  •         Add 1-2 teaspoons of distilled water (use distilled water only, tap water contains chlorine, which will bleach the pigment in the pastel, and well water contains minerals which will also interfere with the pigment).
  •         Mix the pastel and water into a thick paste.
  •         Form the paste in desired shape.
  •         If the paste is too wet to form, blot it with a paper towel until a manageable consistency is achieved.
  •         Allow pastel to dry 2-3 days before using.

Classes and  Workshops

 Beginner and Intermediate Pastel Classes
CPPS member Alice Kelsey is teaching two pastel classes at the Art Alliance this winter and welcomes members to join in intriguing exercises to hone and expand pastel skills. See for full class descriptions and to register.

“More with Pastel” (Intermediate) Class (Thursdays, 1- 4 pm, Feb. 7, Feb. 14, Feb. 21, and Feb. 28)
  • Focuses on intermediate techniques including color layering, wet/dry application, paper selection, compositional integration, and multimedia options. Participants will need some prior experience with pastel and a basic selection of hard and soft pastels.
“Exploring Pastel” (Beginner’s) Class (Mondays, 1 – 4 pm, Jan. 7, Jan. 14, Jan. 21, and Jan. 28)
  • Participants will learn core soft (dry) pastel techniques in a relaxed and fun setting, harnessing the luminous color, tactile nature, and immediacy of this drawing/ painting medium. The class is most suitable for participants who are new to pastel or would like to hone essential skills.

 Weekend Pastel Workshop

“Discovering Pastels” with Susan Nicholas Gephart 
Date: Two-Day Workshop- Friday, Feb. 1, and Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019
Time: 10:00am to 3:00pm
Location: Art Alliance of Central PA, Lemont, PA
Class Fee: Two-Days: $170, or option for One-Day ? (Call or email for 1 day option)
Materials Fee: $15
Contact: Susan Nicholas Gephart, Cell: 814-360-2116, Email:
Pastel Workshop in York, PA
Instructor: Susan Nicholas Gephart
Title: Seeing Expressive Color; Pastel & Oil 3- Day Workshop
Dates: Thursday, March 14, Friday, March 15, Saturday, March 16, 2019
Times: 9:30 to 4pm 
Contact: Kay Koehler, York Art Association Workshop Coordinator 
The Marla Baggetta workshop already has five people registered.  If you are interested in attending this August 19-21, 2019 session in State College, send in your deposit right away.  Also, people need to know that the single day registrations are only on a standby status…in other words, if the workshop is not registered at full capacity, only then will we take the single day registrations.  However, you should still send in a deposit to hold a spot on the wait list. The registration form is on the website. (See website link at top of newsletter)

November Minutes

Central Pennsylvania Pastel Society Quarterly Meeting
November 11, 2018 at Foxdale Village
President Virginia Belser called the meeting to order.   Attending were Jennifer Shuey, Virginia Belser, Candace Smith, Susan McCartney, Connie van Ogtrop, Milt Trask, Shirley Vogelsong, Kim Gates Flick, Jill Foster, Susan Nicholas Gephart, Daryl Lanzendorfer, Peg Klinger, Marianne Fyda, Leslie Dyer, and Anne Kenyon.
The minutes of the August meeting will be emailed to everyone by Virginia.  Thank you to Marianne for filling in and taking them.
Old Business:
Location:  The Foxdale Village Board Room is free.  The Executive Committee proposes changing the location to Foxdale instead of Best Western to save the $80 fee per meeting.
Introductions:  Two new members are in attendance:  Daryl Lanzendorfer and Leslie Dyer.  Welcome!
Treasurer’s Report:
A written report from 8/12/18 -11/11/18 was distributed by Anne.  The balance on 11/11/18 is $2,506.30. 
Lisa Mitchell workshop expenses were $344.95.  However, if the equipment is removed (lights, extension cords), since it is property of the CPPS that can be used again, the workshop expenses come down to $266.62.
Member dues of $30 are due by January 1.  Dues are late by the end of January.
Kim made a motion, seconded by Milt, to conduct a review of the books before handing off the Treasurer duties from Anne to Connie.  Motion approved.  This is a good standard practice.  Jennifer, Susan, and Connie offered to be on the review committee. 
New Business:
Lisa Mitchell workshop debrief: 
  • Great demonstrations
  • Good communication of ideas/narration of demos
  • Gouache underpainting technique – more vibrant
  • Denatured alcohol for underpainting – dries quickly
  • She uses Art Spectrum Super Tooth paper in white
  • The 2 ½ hour Thursday night demo inspired Leslie to try pastels
  • She spent a lot of time on the underpaintings
  • Nice group critiques to end each day
  • Good with students; very kind
  • 11 students
Rhoneymeade artist pass:  email James Lesher to ask to come out to paint; or call 814-571-2401.  Ask Anna Crane to place a link to Rhoneymeade from our website under Resources.
Education Committee:  No members present today.  Kathleen will be rotating off of this committee.  Thank you to her for her years of service.  Anyone interested in this opportunity should let the President know. 
Exhibit Committee:  Susan Nicholas Gephart is on this committee and encourages new members of this committee as she will be taking on the office of President.  Peggy and Daryl offered to help on this committee.
  • State College Framing Company and Gallery has been a good location for past exhibits.  John McQueary does good marketing and PR.
  • Susan has arranged for a short weekend show at the Art Alliance in Lemont on September 27, 28, and 29 of 2019.  PSU football is away at Maryland that weekend.  The AA has really stepped up their outreach and communications lately.  This should be a good opportunity for us to reach out for new members.  Focus attention on our messaging for this exhibit.  Possibly have demos on Saturday and Sunday.  Expect to contribute one or two pieces.  The rental fee was pretty reasonable. 
  • Discussion about the possibility of organizing an online juried show.  No delivery or shipping or framing.
  • Discussion about updating our brochure/rack card.  Daryl is a graphic designer and sign guy.  He offered to work on this.  Virginia will send him the current file.
Workshop 2019:  Marla Baggetta
  • Registration open now. 
  • The State College session—Loosen Up—will be held August 14, 15, and 16, with a free demo open to the public on August 13.
  • It will be held at the Harris Township Lions Club on Academy Drive in Boalsburg.
  • The cost is $425 for 3 days.  $100 deposit secures your spot.
  • Member deadline is January 1.  After that, it will be advertised to the public by Marla’s team.
  • Deadline to pay in full is July 1.
  • We are shooting for 12 students to make a slight profit.
  • Another workshop will precede ours in Pittsburgh—Color Confidence.  August 9, 10, and 11 with a demo the evening of August 8.
  • If anyone is interested in hosting any artists from Pittsburgh, let Virginia know.
Pastelist Daniel Massad at the Palmer Museum of Art:
  • Susan McCartney, head docent at the Palmer, will be giving a guided talk on Sunday, November 18.
  • The exhibit will be up until December 9.
  • On November 30, Joyce Robinson will be giving a talk.  She and Daniel have collaborated on a book of his work.
2019 Election Results:
  • President:  Susan Nicholas Gephart
  • Vice President:  Candace Smith
  • Treasurer:  Connie van Ogtrop
  • Secretary:  Jennifer Shuey
Ideas for 2019:
  • Susan solicited ideas for the coming year.  She intends to build our membership while supporting our existing members.
  • Jill noted that half of our members are not located in the State College region.  She and Anna Crane have started to develop some ideas for online activities to engage more of our members.  If anyone has ideas to share, please let her know.
  • Discussion of the painting “challenges” from last January.  Do it again?  There is a forum on our website to participate in online activities such as this.
  • Discussion of re-starting the e-newsletter.  Jill agreed to do this again for a while, but if someone wants to do it, she will gladly hand it over.  Another idea is to add this to Anna Crane’s duties and pay her to do it.  Jill led a brainstorming of newsletter ideas and topics from the group. 
Next meeting:  February 10th (second Sunday)
Other thoughts:
  • Jeanne McKinney sent information about an exhibition at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia about artist Berthe Morisot. 
  • The Farmland Preservation Artists are currently featured in a show at the Bellefonte Art Museum in the main gallery.  Jeanne McKinney also has a show in the members’ gallery.
  • Information to be included in the December e-newsletter should be sent to Jill by November 30.
  • Kim will be conducting a “Sustainable Studio” course at PSU in the spring.  She may use that as the basis for a summer workshop for us.
Respectfully submitted, Jennifer Shuey
Minutes need to be approved at the Feb. 10th meeting

Meeting Dates

Be sure to put these dates in your new 2019 calendar
(meeting place to be determined)

February 10
May   ?
August 11
November 10

Quote of the Month

"If you do nothing unexpected, nothing unexpected happens."
Fay Weldon

So maybe we should promise ourselves to set aside a week of experimentation this coming year...a time to just play around with all of the colors and papers we have in our studios and discover possibilities .  Give ourselves the gift of fun and relaxation by setting up our own little "artful" spa retreat.
Send Newsletter items to
Deadline: last Saturday of each month
Send Website items to our webmaster,  
Have a wonderful holiday season!
From Anna and Jill
See you next year!
Copyright © 2018 Central Pennsylvania Pastel Society, All rights reserved.

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