July 2020
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Central Pennsylvania Pastel Society

President - Candace Smith, Vice President - Kim Gates Flick, Secretary - Jen Shuey, 
Treasurer - Leslie Dyer, 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
JULY 2020

Jill Foster has decided to step away from being our monthly online newsletter editor. I completely understand – I could NEVER do what she has done all these many months! Besides the newsletter’s articles, rotating gallery and updated member list, Jill has maintained all things Central PA Pastel Society in our colorful newsletter. As the founder of our Society, Jill puts so much knowledge of our past history and what we need to be aware of now under that row of nine tabs on the front page of the website!

As a relative newcomer, I have leaned heavily on her expertise from the by-laws to thoughtful analysis of coordinating (and cancelling) workshops and events. She has sought out donations and discounts for us, kept us on track at meetings and come up with new ideas to showcase our work.

Newsletters occupy that space in our minds that relies on their ready resources and information but rarely acknowledges the amount of effort required to produce them. We know the newsletter is a perfect conduit for registering participants in local, online and national workshops, shows and events but other than signing up, I don’t think at all about what is required to set up the system. Jill and Anna have quietly made sure that process is there and works. Jill has gently nudged, requested feedback and suggestions for making the newsletter our voice and public presence but ultimately just gone ahead and monthly produced a great publication! The board, members and I cannot thank you enough, Jill, for continuing to make us look polished and professional every month!

In these trying times, I am not optimistic about finding a volunteer to step into Jill’s shoes but perhaps we could consider issuing the newsletter 4 or 6 times a year and having more than one person shoulder the editorship?


PS – Please let me know your feelings about holding the AUG meeting in person at the Best Western – I am still cautious and worried.

Editor's Notes
I have informed the CPPS Board that I will not be serving as Newsletter Editor after this issue.  They will be looking for someone to step up and volunteer for this position.  If you have any interest in putting together a newsletter for the Society, please consider volunteering.  This person does not have to be from the State College area either!

Before I go, I would like to thank Stacy Mayou for being there every month with her Pastellus articles.  The depth of research done for her well-written articles brought interesting and informative reading to us every month.  

And thank you to the presidents - present and past - who contributed their thoughts every month in the President's Easel column.  Your letters kept the members up-to-date on a great many critical items while adding a personal touch.

Also, a big thank you to Anna Crane, our webmaster, who patiently walked me through the program used for the newsletter and helped me to understand and work around all of its little (and big) foibles.  Whenever I messed up, Anna was there to rescue me so that the newsletter was ready to go each month.

Many thanks to all of you who contributed to the newsletter. Your contributions personalized the newsletter and made it uniquely our own.  I only regret that many of you chose not to send in your wonderful paintings and ideas.  Maybe next time, huh?

Best Wishes and Happy Painting!

Items for you to remember and access;
  • Our membership list is updated every time someone joins or drops out.  If you would like a current member list, email Anna Crane. Then be sure to save the link she sends somewhere on your computer for easy access in the future. (I have mine on the bookmark bar)
  • Website: You can access the library under resources and if you wish to check anything out, email Jill Foster.
  • The CPPS by-laws are also under the resource tab.  Be sure to read them if you already haven't done so.
  • Also under the resources tab in the archives are the past newsletters and also the minutes from past meetings.
  • As you know the juried online small works show was cancelled for a variety of reasons; one reason being the need to find more ways to reach a larger audience.  I had asked for people to email me if they were willing to hang posters in their area to help advertise the show, but had no responses.  If you want to see this show come to fruition, we all need to work to figure out ways to advertise it and to also figure out ways for people beyond our local areas to access it.  Send your ideas to Candace Smith and Kim Flick, who are in charge of advertising.
Current News
I wanted you to be aware of this new feature from IAPS, so rather than remove this item, I chose to leave it in even though they have now requested that people wait to send in things  as they were inundated with responses for their current newsletter

The IAPS Team will be sending out another notice in the future telling you when to send in your news for their next newsletter.  So be prepared to act quickly when you get the news in a couple of months.
Have you recently (within the last year) received an award or new recognition from your pastel society? If so, we want to know. After all, being recognized for our hard work and dedication to our craft is one of the things that keeps us motivated and helps us to push through to the next level. 
Please send a high-resolution (300dpi) JPEG image of your art that received the award or recognition. 
Include your name and the name of your pastel society. The exhibition or competition that the painting was in, what award or recognition it, or you, received and the date (month & year) it all happened. 
Send the above to

We look forward to hearing your good news!

The IAPS Team
Online Adventures

July and August CPPS website slideshow theme is Fruits and Vegetables.  Please send your painting photos to Anna

Thanks to those of you who contributed to the Floral slideshow.   Keep painting and sharing! Let's make the July/August slideshow the biggest one yet.

September/October - Harvest/Autumn
November/December - Holiday theme

by Stacy Mayou

I was honored to have had a painting accepted into the Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod’s Only For Pastel Annual Show. It is online this year, as many are, and they had a Zoom opening reception. Very neat concept and one we may want to consider in the future. During the reception, they announced the winners. They showed each winning painting. The awards judge also spoke to each of the top three paintings.

As I watched the award winners paintings scroll by, I was struck by the images that were high contrast. I began paying attention to them and have since gone back and looked at the paintings again. We know that the eye is drawn to contrast, we use it to accentuate the focus point in our paintings. We plan our dark areas because of their importance to a painting, but contrast can be pushed even further to create eye-catching drama.

I was reminded of the 80/20 concept I learned at a Deborah Quinn-Munson workshop I took a few years ago. The idea is during planning, when you are doing your notan or black and white sketch, you push the dark or the light area as close to 80/20 as possible. 80% dark and 20% light or visa versa. It is a simple concept that can increase the drama of a painting drastically.

As you choose your pastels for an 80/20 painting, choose them so that your darkest light is not darker than your lightest dark. That way you don’t confuse dark and light areas. You may have mid-values in both your light areas and dark, but as long as they follow the above guide you will be able to maintain the visual separation between light and dark that creates drama in your painting. Any painting can be pushed; even a very subtle painting will benefit from this concept.

Tony Allain’s, Laurinda O’Connors and Deborah Quinn-Munson’s work exemplify this concept. It is eye-catching and dramatic. It allows for large areas of color that can handle as much, or as little detail, as you like. It also seems that awards judges take notice.

As I mentioned, I took this workshop a few years ago, three years now, I believe. It was inspiring then, but had fallen by the wayside until I was looking at the award winning paintings in this show. I certainly will be keeping 80/20 in mind as I plan my next paintings!

Almost certainly information that once inspired you has fallen by the wayside in your regular practice. You may even have follow-up to this information that would help CPPS members. Please share; it will help us all. I have discovered you can’t hear it enough! As always, I would love to hear your comments, thoughts and suggestions on this article. Email me at

The PPSCC show is available here if you are interested in viewing it

Thoughts from the Studio
Finding Serenity Through Art 
Susan Nicholas Art Advice

Optimism during the pandemic 
I’ve discovered through my artistic life of 63 years, that having a "pocket full" of optimism can be the best coping tool, especially when you’re prone to waking in the morning with a feeling of angst. As we continue to learn how to navigate in this ever-changing COVID-19 world, we must remember that the most important thing we can do for ourselves is to pay attention to our mindset. Being ready to manage your "Head Trash" and the negative info coming into your senses is the first defender. Knowing when to put the stop button on your subconscious thoughts and stay clear of disturbing news is a powerful direction changer that will protect your creative spirit.
Finding Serenity Through Art
I continually relearn how healing art and studio creating can be for a sense of wellbeing and aliveness. It’s a proven fact that the act of creating is an automatic serotonin booster to your brain. Your studio space can become a "safe haven" during times like this and throughout your life. Displaying art throughout your home can give you and other house members a sense of peace and calmness. We also know that having original art displayed throughout our homes automatically is a visual lifter and enriches your soul.​ The daily, weekly, and monthly ripple effect of art in the home and studio is beyond our imaginations.   ​
Having creative goals   
Having creative goals during an unsettling and challenging time is a smart way to guide your mind in a more optimistic direction. Pessimism and negative thoughts and words change your entire direction of thinking. Studies show that negative words will bring you down and positive words can guide you to more optimistic energy.​ So ask yourself some questions and think of yourself in the studio, like a scientist discovering new possibilities. Start with, "What do I find exciting. What makes me happy in the studio"?
Finding Serenity Through Plein Air Painting 
This summer I've been blessed with fine weather for outdoor painting. Yes, I've dodged a few thunderstorms, but it has been a summer of plein air adventures. ​I've especially enjoyed visiting the Central PA local mountain creeks and shaded woodlands. Painting under the protection of trees near cool waters with the sound of brooks trickling and comfortable temperatures is the perfect place to find serenity. My next favorite plein air adventure has been kayaking and painting on open waters like Bald Eagle State Park (and yes, I saw an adult Eagle!). I love using watercolor for underpaintings for my pastels. Playing with watercolor in the kayak is a great stress reliever, and floating on the water can give you a quick mood booster! 
Taking Plein Air Serenity Home​ 
The absolute best part of plein air painting​ ​is taking it home and enjoying what you did outside, inside! Who knows where these studies will take you next in your studio? It is so much fun to turn the plein air painting and some great landscape photos into a dream studio creation! For me, I've rekindled my “Kayak Haven on the Water” series! I can’t wait to see where these 2020 covid-19 plein air summer sessions lead me in my studio adventures! 

Artist Spotlight

Stacy Mayou's painting was accepted into the Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod’s Only For Pastel Annual Show.

"Buck Pond Marsh"


Susan Nicholas Gephart was the Featured Plein Air Ambassador in the April 22 PleinAir Today Newsletter and again recently.

Read the article here.

Susan Nicholas Gephart's website ( now has 
an instructor supply link with Rochester fine arts
Artists and students can easily locate and place online orders for products in all mediums recommended by Susan. (Note: This will contain additional pastel supplies as soon as the webmaster uploads or Mike gets them in stock)



Jeanne McKinney's “Black Head and Blue Sea” has been juried into Images 2020, the online Fine Art exhibition of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.
The Exhibition is now open for viewing at

Jeanne McKinney's “Sailing Lessons” was selected for the Pastel Society of America’s Memorial Day online Holiday Art Show.


Show to Enter

From the Pastel Society of Southern California (PSSC): 

We are excited to announce our second annual "Make Your Mark!" International Online Open Juried Exhibition. The show features three international jurors, an esteemed awards judge and a $1,000 first prize award, plus many other cash and product prizes. 

The deadline to enter is July 22, so you still have plenty of time. 

The prospectus and entry information can be found here
or also through our brand new PSSC website at
Classes and Workshops

Margulis Workshop Cancelled!

Meeting Dates
August 9, 2020
1:30 pm

November 8, 2020
1:30 pm

Meetings will be held at
Best Western Plus
115 Premiere Dr, State College, PA 16801
Quote of the Month
"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass,

It's about learning how to dance in the rain."


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