November 2019
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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
November is the month of Thanksgiving, and we as an organization have a lot to be thankful for. In particular, I want to thank all the officers, Vice President, Candace Smith, Secretary, Jennifer Shuey, and Treasurer, Connie van Ogtrop, who have contributed their time to our society over this last year. Without their contributions our society would not be. Much thanks go to Virginia Belser who organized our national workshop. It has also been a memorable year because of our fine quality newsletter compiled by Jill Foster. We are also grateful for the beautiful work done on our website by Anna Crane. Having our website to show the September Members exhibit, was a fantastic example of the quality of work created by CPPS members, and how a good website can connect its members near and far. It really was a joy to watch. Thanks to all the members who participated, helped install, and attended the reception. I can’t wait for our next big show!
I must say, being part of the CPPS organization has enriched my life as an artist. The relationships, friendships, and educational experiences shared are priceless. This November meeting, I am excited to be attending the Member-Led Workshop with Marianne Fyda. Opportunities like these make me truly appreciate being part of the pastel gang! There are still spots in this class, so sign up if you are coming to the quarterly meeting. Knowing that this year has supported so many elements of our mission. I thought it would be a good time to remind us all what CPPS is about.
Mission Statement
To promote fellowship among members, to raise public awareness of pastel as an artistic medium, to enhance creative painting with pastels, and to offer educational activities that foster growth among members.
It has been a pleasure being your president for 2019. As a returning president who has loved working with pastels for over 40 years, I will share it was important to keep this society strong and thriving. I believe we have had a great year that has been a journey with growth. I hope you have enjoyed being part of it as much as me. Take time this month to thank or help your fellow members of CPPS.
Our November quarterly meeting will include elections.  We will need a new Treasurer as Connie is stepping down. We will be looking for someone to help with this very important position. It would be wonderful to have someone reach out and offer.
I’ll leave you with a thought, that each of you should follow your creative muse no matter where you are in your life. Making time for your creativeness in the right atmosphere is so important. Remember to make it first and not always after all the busyness of the day. Here’s to lots of pastel painting no matter where you are in life!
Have a great Thanksgiving and happy painting!
Susan Nicholas Gephart
CPPS President
Editor's Notes
  • There is still time to sign up for the 3 hour workshop on Color following the November meeting.  There are a few slots remaining.  Please email me right away if you are interested.  Then fill out the registration form (the link is in the Classes and Workshops column in this newsletter), enclose  the fee and mail to me at 151 Sunset Ave., Pleasant Gap, PA 16823  Your fee must be paid to be included on workshop roster.
Important information for all members below:
  • The library book/dvd list is under the Resources Tab on the website.  If you want to check out a book or dvd, email
  • The minutes from past meetings and the past newsletters are archived under the Resources Tab on the website.
Current News
Terry Ludwig Pastel is introducing the Fourth 2019 Special Edition Set, Winter Pines.

Purchase yours on sale now for $135.00 USD (retail price $180.00 USD) by clicking this link.

The 30 stick Winter Pines set will only be on sale from October 20 through November 2, 2019.

Rochester Art Supply is offering a 10% discount on open stock pastels for members of CPPS. In order to receive the 10% off your open stock pastel order, use Promo Code PJ111519 when you check out of the website.    When ordering by phone, just give the clerk the promo code.  (#1-585-546-6509)   The promo code is in effect until November 30th.

The Touch of Color: Pastels at the National Gallery of Art is on display until January 26th in Washington, DC.  If you visit, you will experience pastels from the Renaissance to the present and view paintings by Rosalba Carriera, Quentin de La Tour, Matisse and even one done by Pennsylvania artist, G. Daniel Massad.  

From Susan:  This month I had an invitation from the International Associations of Pastel Societies (IAPS) for our Pastel Society to share our history and some exciting events along with photos for their next Newsletter. They describe themselves at IAPS as a family of pastel societies that want their members/members to learn about what each other is doing. And share new and exciting ideas. Be looking for our inclusion soon.
Online Adventures
November: Autumn scenes are online at CPPS website.  Images due to Anna from now through the month of November. Email images to

Start thinking about painting snow scenes for the website slideshow in January 2020

December Website: Email images of any  December-related pastel painting  (what image does December bring to mind?) to Anna by November 25th.

December Newsletter: ATCs will be published in the December newsletter.  Send your ATC images to Jill at: by November 25th

January Challenge 2020:   Information on this challenge will be in the December newsletter both in this column and in the Pastellus column.  The theme is: 20 Ways in 20 Days 

February Website and Newsletter Theme: "Sweets"  Paintings of bakery, deli, and candy images of any kind.  Send images in by January 26th
The Right Mix
Stacy Mayou
I have been insanely curious lately about Degas. He was a great experimenter; he was able to repeatedly fix surfaces that we would not consider painting on and apply many layers. He used pastel wet, dry, steamed, with charcoal, mixed with gouache, over his monotype prints and on and on. He was eager to learn what pastels were capable of and how he could manipulate them. It doesn’t appear that Degas worried if his work was archival; I am not sure that was a thing in the late 1800’s early 1900’s. He didn’t care if his work was 80% pastel or had been applied wet. He was creating.
I love the immediacy and brilliancy of pastel, but find the structure around which I have been learning the medium a bit limiting. I completely understand the need for rules. There has to be guidelines in our Pastel Societies in order to keep the jurying fair, but until recently, when I went looking and found Degas, the experimentation piece was missing from pastel. The freedom to push the medium, see what it can do, combine it with other mediums and styles was missing.
Richard McKinley says there is only one rule in pastel - it has to be archival. Everything else is worth trying once, twice if you like it! I am excited that we can be Degas – experimenters. We can pull from the incredible pastel history, studying great artists and contemporaries and adding our own flare to create the right mix for us.
There will always be room to improve technique and conventional wisdom shouldn’t be ignored, but discovering how Degas used pastels was the permission I (and hopefully you as well) needed to experiment. It is with this permission to experiment that I will visit the Touch of Color: Pastels at the National Gallery of Art exhibit in Washington DC. The exhibit runs through the end of January 2020.   I am really looking forward to going to see this and hope you all can find time to get there as well!

I began this article thinking about fixatives and the Pastel Society of America’s stand on final fixatives. Also, I was thinking about how Degas was able to fix paper in the late 1800’s. With that in mind, below is some of the information I uncovered.
It is believed that Degas used casein mixed with alcohol. No one is exactly sure what he used or the recipe. He would blow the fixative onto the paper (although I was never able to find the name or image of the tool he used, something like a bellows was the closest I got).
I found an article on SpectraFix and why it works. I would love to hear if you’ve tried it and what you think about it.   

There is now a final fixative in the SpectraFix line that does not yet have the approval of the PSA.  Below is a blurb from the SpectraFix website: 

No more framing under glass! Natural Glass FinalFix provides a lovely matte finish to your delicate media, and allows for damp cleaning and durable scuff-resistance. Non-yellowing formula is all-natural with no fumes and is completely workable. Combines well with all media and may be used as a FinalFix after SpectraFix Degas fixative, or throughout your painting process. If you desire a glossier finish, try brushing on our Natural Glass Varnish and Medium.

Sandy Jackoboice’s article, “Pastel on Canvas”,  talks about varnishing your pastel so that it does not require glass. Have any of you tried this? Would you do it again?

 Articles on Degas:
As always, I would love to hear what you thought of this article, comments and suggestions. Also, please share if you make it to the Touch of Color show in DC
Thoughts from the Studio

Instructor, Marianne Fyda,has put together some thoughts about her November workshop 



The color contrasts hue, value, intensity and temperature will be taught in a simple exercise with a choice of subject matter, and many examples.

I will provide samples of papers, and show pastel types, mixing, and underpainting variations.



  • A brief history of color
  • A FOLDER  ( for you to keep) ON COLOR FACTS & TERMINOLOGY, SEVERAL PROJECTS SHEETS( you will select one or more of these to work on, and file the others for later),


ALSO, demonstrations

*a sampling of pastel sets that I recommend for achieving great color effects with hue, value, intensity and temperature;

*a sampling of papers that can help you jumpstart your composition by creating a great background/negative space;

*A sampling of ways to alter your paper with  watercolor washes and other mediums.


  • You will be able to experiment with my Watercolors and some of my materials.
  • You will be able to experiment and hopefully complete one small project, maybe more if you are super ambitious!
Artist Spotlight
Jeanne McKinney was notified that her painting, Whitehead II, Monhegan Island, Maine, was accepted into the Degas Pastel Society’s 21st Membership Exhibition. The Exhibit is at the Crescent City Brewhouse in New Orleans, Louisiana from November 1 through November 30th.
Whitehead II

Do you have your ATCs ready to send in for the December newsletter?  Below you see a sampling of some that have been sent in so far.  I need them by November 25th.  Send one or two or six, it doesn't matter, just send something in to be featured in the ATC column.
Classes and Workshops
Member-led Workshop
Sunday, November 10, 2019
2 p.m.-5 p.m. 
(Immediately after the meeting at the Best Western for members' convenience)

Using Color Contrasts to Create Form, Depth, Light and Atmosphere
How to Get the Color You Want!
Instructor: Marianne Fyda

$25 for a 3 hour session

Minimum of six registrants needed by the end of October
or workshop will be cancelled. 
Workshop will be capped at 12, so register early if you are interested.

An instructor's materials list will be sent upon receipt of your fee.

Click Here for Registration Form

Contact Person:  Jill Foster
Art Alliance Pastel Classes Being Offered
Instructor, Susan Nicholas Gephart
Location: Art Alliance of Central PA, Lemont
"Pastel Expressive Color" 
Discover how to see beyond the obvious within the landscape, and use expressive color to capture the essence of mood and atmosphere in sky, water, and more. You will learn how to see the depth of color and create a unique and personally expressive painting. Susan is a product demonstrator for Jack Richeson & Company, and will share her 40 years of pastel experience.  All levels welcome.

8-Week Pastel- 9am to 12pm
 Wednesday, January 8, 15, 22, 29, 2020  
 Wednesday, February 5, 12, 19, 26, 2020
Registration is now open for next summer’s workshop!
Registration is open to our members only until January 1. 
Be sure to reserve your spot.

Karen Margulis  (  will be coming to State College for a three day plein air workshop August 14, 15, 16th next year. Register early to secure your spot working with Karen. Our CPPS website has more details and a registration page.   $100 secures your place in the limited enrollment class.
Registration opens to the public Jan. 1, 2020.

You can also access the registration form for the workshop by clicking here.
Meeting Dates

November 10, 2019
Note time change: 1:00 meeting
2:00-5:00 member led workshop
Registration required
Marianne Fyda

February 9, 2020
Meeting 1:00
2:00-5:00 member led workshop
Registration required
Kim Flick
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