January 2017
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Central Pennsylvania Pastel Society

President - Virginia Belser, Vice-President - , 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

2017 Meeting Dates

February 12
May 14
August 13
November 12

Letter from the Editor

Stacy Mayou and I are hoping some of you accept the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge that she wrote about in her December column.  If you decide to do it, we would like you to join us in an email talk and share group that will happen throughout January. This will be a sharing group where we talk about what we're experiencing while creating one painting each day.  So far, Kim Flick, Susan Nicholas Gephart, Stacy and I are signed up.  Please send me an email if you want to be included on the emailing list.

The slideshow theme on the website for Jan/Feb is Snow/Winter. It isn't too late to send your jpegs in to Anna.   Be sure that your jpegs are at least 600-800 pixels in height.

If you have not yet paid your dues, do so by January 15th or you will be dropped from the membership and newsletter mailing lists.  If you are dropped, you will also have to start your Society Signature status all over again!

Reminder: News deadline is the last Saturday of the month.  

Current News

Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art -  Ligonier

In honor of the Museum’s 20th anniversary, we invite all area artists to participate in the plein air painting contest, Paint Us. Modeled after the Paint Out, the contest invites artists to paint, en plein air, the SAMA-Ligonier Valley Museum, its grounds, and gardens. Artists may also paint the Museum’s interior, although pre-scheduling is required.

The contest begins January 1, offering artists an opportunity to paint the Museum throughout the seasons. Paint Us artwork will be exhibited at a family day program on September 9. Works will be judged, prizes awarded, and then auctioned at the event. The Museum will take 25% of the auction price. Artwork must be dropped off at the Ligonier Valley Museum by August 31.

For registration or additional information:
(724) 238-6015

CPPS Exhibitions in 2017

The exhibition committee is planning to hold two shows in 2017.  One will be a member show and the other will be a juried show.

August - juried show at the Station Gallery in Lock Haven - August 11-September 3
October - member show - (not juried) at the State College Framing Company 

Specific information will be sent out closer to the dates.


by Stacy Mayou
Pushing Pastels
It isn’t as easy as you might think to come up with a name for a monthly column in a pastel newsletter. At this point we will stick with the Latin word for pastel - pastellus - because it’s fun to say and because it is the beginning of written history - not pastels, just words.

The beginning of pastels goes back to pre-historic cave paintings in southern France, Spain and South Africa. The first popular pastel artist was Rosalba Carreira, born in 1675 in France. She used rubbing and blending to achieve a soft delicate feeling.

There were several other pastel artists of note including Maurice Quentin de La Tour who advanced the art of pastel with the use of brilliant color and texture, La Tour is credited for inspiring Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin. Chardin used pastels early in his career and believed pastels had no equal for freshness and spontaneity, but in the end, he ‘gave in and painted oil’ ( as pastels faded from popularity. Returning to pastels at the end of his career and was very successful with them.  (see below)

Seventy-five years would pass before pastels came into popularity again-during the impressionist era. Which brings us to Edgar Degas who deserves an afternoon (at least) of googling. He not only used the medium for it’s ability to convey light and atmosphere, but he greatly expanded pastels range through experimentation. He mixed pastels with paints, steamed them, dipped them in solutions and fixed layers. He experimented with surfaces as well, canvas, board, card board and paper, all the time pushing his art to the next level, combining drawing and painting, constructed images, and illustrations. Thanks to Degas, ‘pastel was no longer considered a pale, pallid medium’ (Historical Foundations of Pastel)

Of course the history of pastels continues and I could go on for days. This is a column, so I won’t, but it is well worth an afternoon on the computer looking at the history and the masters who used pastels. Not only does the understanding of our mediums’ history help us speak more effectively about our art, it inspires us to experiment with our medium, techniques and our perspective.

Speaking effectively about the medium we work in and love not only pushes us in our pursuits, it helps us inspire other creative minds and awaken others to a medium not often recognized by those outside of the art community

If you have any questions or comments about this column, email Stacy at

Quote for the Month

"Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do."

Edgar Degas

Artists' Spotlight

Bill Sweeney recently had his pastel painting, Hay Shoot, juried into the 116th Anniversary Philadelphia Watercolor International Exhibit of Works on Paper where it received the Chandler Bellows Memorial Award. The exhibit was held at West Chester University's John H. Baker Gallery from September 6 through October 15. The juror of awards was Stewart White of Design Collective Inc. of Baltimore, Maryland.

Recent pastel work by Anne Kenyon will be featured at the Elk Creek Cafe, 100 W. Main St, Milheim, Pa. during January & February 2017.  The restaurant is open Tues 4-9, Wed. & Thurs. 4-10, Fri & Sat 11:30-11 and Sunday 11-2. The show features larger works and Penns Valley scenes.

Marianne Fyda received second prize in the SRAC/Susquehanna River Art Center, Clearfield, in late October, for her painting, Elements 14.  She received second prize in the SAMA  Altoona, Artists in Our Midst Exhibition for the painting, Elements 8.  Elements 11 is in the SAMA Loretto Biennial and Elements 5 is on display at SAMA Ligonie, for the  21st Annual Southwestern PA Council on the Arts Regional Juried Exhibition.


Future Workshops

2017 Workshop

William Truman Hosner, guest artist
"Concepts for Painting the Figure in Outdoor Spaces"
August 1/2/3. 2017
Windmere Hall
State College, PA

Members $500. Non Members $530 (includes CPPS membership).
(Price of workshop does not include the model fee)
$ 100 deposit due 1/15/17.
Preference to CPPS members until Jan.15
Minimum  10 to 15 maximum  participants

The registration form is now posted on the website.

Other Workshop(s)

Two Nicholas Studios 3-Day Plein Air Pastel Workshops

Tue, July 18, 2017 – Thu, July 20, 2017, 10am – 4pm

Tue, July 25, 2017 – Thu, July 27, 2017, 10am – 4pm

Location:  Studio of Susan Nicholas Gephart, 351 E. Bishop St, Bellefonte PA
Price: $80 per day with 1 day only options
Class Size:  3-4 people
Class description: Each day we will meet at Nicholas Studios for a morning demonstration.
Late morning we will travel in my car loaded with our gear (or car pool) to a local site to plein air paint.
Contact Susan Nicholas Gephart to register or ask questions. 

New and Signature Members

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)

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 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 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.
Also note: group emails are sent out by the president and not individual members.
 A complete set of by-laws can be read on the CPPS website.  
Welcome to the Central Pennsylvania Pastel Society

Studio Thoughts

Jill: When I was first learning to use pastels, I was always buying and experimenting with pastels from different companies.  Which were the softest?  Which the hardest? 

In their 2014 catalog, Dakota Art Pastels answered those questions and I'd like to share the information with you.

Soft - in order from #1 through #12 (softest to hardest soft)
1. Schmincke; 2. Great American; 3. Blue Earth; 4. Sennelier; 5. Unison; 6. Terry Ludwig; 7. Diane Townsend soft; 8. Diane Townsend terrages; 9. Blockx; 10. Daler-Rowney; 11. Girault; 12. Mount Vision

Medium - #13-#15
13. Rembrandt; 14. Art Spectrum; 15. Holbein

Hard - #16-#19
16. NuPastel; 17. Caran D'Ache; 18. Polychromos; 19. Cretacolor

Art Shows to Enter

Art of the State - Deadline February 28 - Enter at

Arizona Pastel Artists' Association - Deadline March 7, 2017 - Prospectus online at

Pastel Society of America - Deadline June 13, 2017 - Prospectus at www.pastelsocietyof  
Send Newsletter items to Jill Foster at
Send Website items to our webmaster,  
Copyright © 2016 Central Pennsylvania Pastel Society, All rights reserved.

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