March 2015
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Central Pennsylvania Pastel Society

President - Marianne Fyda, Vice-President - Kim Gates Flick, Secretary - Pat McDannel, 
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

Current News

Pastel Expressions Show

There were 40 paintings chosen for the “Pastel Expressions” show which will be held at the Southern Alleghenies Museum this summer from May 1- August 22, 2015.  This show is a joint venture between two pastel societies, the Pittsburgh Pastel Art League and the Central Pennsylvania Pastel Society.  Judges from the CPPS were: Virginia Belser, Kim Gates Flick, Marianne Fyda, Susan Nicholas Gephart, Susan McCartney, Jeanne McKinney and  Michele Montes.

Mike Beeman Workshop

This year our society will host Wyoming artist, Mike Beeman, for a workshop that will be held from August 7-9, 2015.  The workshop will be limited to 16 participants, so be sure to sign up early.  The restricted enrollment “for members only” is over and Judy Leasure will now be enrolling interested artists from the surrounding area.  Email Judy for details if you are interested in attending this workshop.

Meet your Members

Marianne Fyda, President

I live in Troutville, a small farm town.  Our front yard Is on "Main Street", our back porch faces our neighbors farms, fields, animals, and whatever weather is coming our way. My husband and I have lived here since 1976, our kids grew up here.

I grew up in Detroit, Michigan, and benefitted from a wonderful art teacher in the Detroit Public Schools, followed by others in suburban schools.  I attended and graduated from Wayne State University with a bachelor of Fine Arts degree, a major in drawing....a totally impractical degree.  I also met my husband there in a drawing class.

We established an art related business,  The Peaceable Kingdom, art supplies and custom picture framing that continues yet.  I established my own art studio in 1988, Marianne Fyda's Studio, a place for creating personal work and teaching art classes.  I still have my studio.

I teach drawing, watercolor, pastels, calligraphy  and do all kinds of freelance art that comes my way.

In teaching, I always put a strong emphasis on drawing, on values, light source, composition and color.  I really learned the ropes on still life.  When I joined the Central Pa Pastel Society and began taking workshops from famous pastelists,  I followed my desire for the landscape and began to find my way into the vistas that surround us.

I like to find a place that speaks to me, I am most successful if I work on a series of paintings of one subject.   Revisiting, reinterpreting, simplifying, squeezing all of what I can learn from each painting.  "The Elements" is now a series of nine, with more coming.

I look for dynamic compositions, lighting, atmosphere, depth, movement.  I begin each piece with mounted Wallis paper, or UART paper.  I sketch in the compositional elements, the horizontals, verticals, diagonals; I look for the darks, the patterns, the colors.  Sometimes I begin with an underpainting, using watercolor, oil paint, or the pastels themselves mixed with rubbing alcohol....this can jump start the painting.  I like to work on a piece for 30 minute intervals at a time, stopping to reevaluate, photograph the process, and sometimes rotate to another piece in the series.  I do this so that I can keep 100% of my concentration on what I am doing.  I want to be totally wrapped up in the process, not just spinning my wheels.  I will take as many 30 minutes intervals as I need to finish a piece.  I want each piece to remain fresh.

I want to continue down this path learning from each piece and never exactly knowing where I am going.  Each piece must be a "voyage of discovery," a gentle meander to the place in the picture.

I have been influenced by many artists, and I love to look at art work in books, museums, etc.  Learning about the artists has been a comfort and help to me, and it makes me feel that I am part of a much bigger picture than I could hope to find alone.

Welcome New Members and Signature Members

New members in 2014- present are:  Rachel Avenia, Clare Klaum, Peggy Klinger, Cinda Kostyak, Wendy Snetsinger, Candace Smith, Veronica Turkin, Joanne Turner and Connie VanOgtrop.
Congratulations to Virginia Belser for attaining Signature Membership.

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 Member Resource 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 vice-president.
  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.
Welcome to the Central Pennsylvania Pastel Society

Lending Library

DVD - A Studio Session with Richard McKinley2-disc set
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 Creevey(autographed by Bill Creevy)
This book covers materials, techniques, strokes, values, etc.

Buy, Sell or Trade

For Sale: One box of 72 Faber-Castell half sticks for $22
If you have anything related to art that you would like to advertise in this column, please email  using the format above.

Art Shows to Enter

Ebensburg – “Art in Bloom” April 25 – 26.  Entry due April 3.  Contact:
 Maine – “Pastels Only” June 5-27.  Entry due April 1.  Contact:
Massachusetts – “ For Pastels Only…” Entry due April 15.  Contact:
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