January 2020
View this email in your browser

Central Pennsylvania Pastel Society

President - Candace Smith, Vice President - Kim Gates Flick, Secretary - Jen Shuey, 
Treasurer - Leslie Dyer, Newsletter Editor - Jill Foster. Webmaster - Anna Crane
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
So, here we are preparing for the end of one year AND the decade and the start of a new one!
Now, I’m not one to pay attention to horoscopes – they always have something positive in them just so you don’t collapse with the premonition of something awful – but I got a chuckle out of this one.
“Jupiter — planet of expansion and adventure — wraps up its tour through majestic, culturally conscious, and open-minded Sagittarius on Dec. 2. This marks the conclusion to an artistically extravagant and philosophical time, as the past year has helped you reconnect with your inner fire and enrich your life with possibilities. When Jupiter enters steady, committed, and hardworking Capricorn, it will be time to zero in on your goals, settle on something long term, and become far more disciplined.”
Does that resound with any of you?  Bring on those New Year’s resolutions!!
Reflecting on the past year’s work isn’t wasted effort. It’s significant to see how far you’ve come by remembering where you’ve been. It’s important what you hoped for this year and show gratitude for the ability to have a chance to reach for those dreams. It’s just as important to seek anew, look forward to tomorrow, to dream big and work towards something better. Because each of us has the power to see the ending and the beginning in a way that works for us.
Staying steadfast and breathing it all in – this is how we steady our grounding throughout the continual passing of moments, days, months and years. I know you all give the gift of hope, assistance, friendship and joy to others and the community of pastelists we share.
My wish for all of you is that you have opportunities for conversation, communication and courage!
Editor's Notes
January Challenge:  There is still time to sign up for the January Challenge.  Stacy has created an exciting challenge with a variety of experiments and experiences for us this January.  You don't want to miss this.  Have fun and get to know each other through online communication since we are not always able to meet face to face and paint together.

The 20 day challenge activities are listed again for your convenience in the Online Adventures column below.

Sending in news items: 
When you have a news item to share with the group, please send an email to me with a short write-up about an art event you have participated in.  You are encouraged to also send in things that you think may be of interest to the rest of the group like nearby shows or workshops or new products for pastels. Or maybe you know or found out something about pastels that you think would be of interest others.  If so, consider writing something for the Thoughts from the Studio column.  The deadline is always the last Saturday of the month. Send news to:

Membership List
The membership list is now in Google.doc format.  You can access the list at any time by emailing Anna Crane at and asking her to send the link.  Please remember that our membership list is not to be shared outside of the group or used for non-CPPS business.

Dues need to be paid by December 31, 2019!    Send your $30 check to:   CPPS, Box 246, Lemont, PA 16851

Online Adventures

January Challenge 2020:   You still have a couple of days to let Stacy Mayou know that you want to participate in the January challenge.  Start the year with a burst of creativity and get to know your fellow CPPS members better, too!

January challenge activities:
  1. Just pastel on white paper, let the paper show – subject matter is your choice, but use the white paper in your composition. We spend so much time covering the white paper, lets see what happens when we don’t try to hide it!
  2. Just pastel on colored paper – same image as day 1
  3. Just pastel on corrugated cardboard covered in clear liquitex gesso – subject is your choice, no underpainting. Use the texture of the corrugated cardboard to your advantage.
  4. Just pastel, blend with sponges or fingers, use pan pastels if you have them – subject is your choice, you can use an underpainting if you’d like. Blend the pastels, smudge them, use whatever you like – do all the blending you avoid in a normal painting!
  5. Your choice day – hopefully the first few days have inspired you, and your head is full of paintings you need to create!
  6. Just pastel, only lines, thick lines, thin lines, cross hatch, outline, a line drawing – subject matter is your choice, you can do an underpainting if you’d like, but try to only use lines in your painting.
  7. Just pastel on the paper of your choice, don’t cover the paper, use it as part of your painting – subject matter is your choice, but use the paper as part of your composition.
  8. Three color painting, pick 3 values of the same color and create a painting – subject is your choice, you can use an underpainting if you’d like, but it might be better to use the paper to your advantage in a value painting. Only three pastel sticks, same color, different values.
  9. Complementary color painting, pick 6 pastels, 3 values of 2 complementary colors – subject is your choice, you can use an underpainting if you want, but don’t add more than the 6 colors, the object is a complementary value study.
  10. Your choice day – we are excited to see your work and hear your comments on your own experiments.
  11. Analogous painting, pick 9 pastels, 3 values of 3 colors next to each other on the color wheel – subject is your choice, you can use an underpainting, but it needs to be in the color scheme you are using. The idea is to create a monochromatic value study.
  12. Shapes only, dissect your reference into shapes, just paint the shapes – subject is your choice, no need for an underpainting, this is literally just shapes. Think about the negative shapes being as important as the positive shapes.
  13. Watercolor underpainting on white paper – paint a fun, bright watercolor underpainting in a mid value and let it guide your painting, leave the fun parts showing and have it be part of the painting – subject is your choice, use as many color pastels as you want!
  14. Watercolor underpainting on beige or cream colored paper – paint a fun, bright watercolor underpainting in a mid to dark value and let it guide your painting, leave the fun parts showing and have it be part of the painting – subject is your choice, use as many color pastels as you’d like. Notice the difference in watercolor underpainting on white vs. cream or beige paper and the choice you make in value when you pick up your pastels.
  15. Your choice day
  16. Gouache underpainting coated with clear ground or liquitex gesso. Create a painting with gouache as complete as you can and then add pastel to see if that improves, changes, or distracts from the original gouache painting – subject is your choice, use any colors you’d like. If you don’t have gouache you could use acrylic paint. The idea is to see how a flat color painting under your pastels affect the pastels and values you use.
  17. Create an india ink value underpainting. Use india ink to layout your painting and create your value map. Complete your painting with pastels on top of the india ink – subject is your choice, no color limitations. Does having a value map help you chose pastels or hinder your creative spark?
  18. Paint on sheet music, newspaper, fun scrapbook paper or other pre-printed paper, coated with clear ground or liquitex gesso or pumice. Does this inspire you, spark your creative streak or drive you crazy?
  19. Paint from your memory or an imaginary scene, no reference photo or still life set up. Focus on what the painting needs. Do you like having to fill in the gaps of your memory?
  20. Your choice day – along with your choice painting, please share what you thought about this challenge, if it sparked your creativity, if you thought the individual day challenges were valuable and if you will use anything you played with during this challenge moving forward.
You can do any or all of these challenges. If you would like to do just one week or 10 days, that is fine. We all understand that the best laid plans often go awry, and some days painting is just out of our reach. The only thing we ask is if you sign up for any or all of this challenge you spend some time each day viewing the work posted and offering your feedback. Your feedback is very important. It helps us all grow.
Suggested supply list:
It is helpful to gather your supplies before the challenge begins. It will save you time and frustration each day.
  • White pastel paper
  • Colored pastel paper
  • Beige/Cream colored pastel paper
  • Pumice, clear ground or Liquitex gesso
  • Watercolors
  • Black India Ink
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Sheet music, newspaper, scrapbook paper or other pre-printed paper
Don’t feel the need to buy supplies for this, if there is something you don’t have substitute with what you do have or alter the challenge to fit the experiment you would like to use.
Have fun with this challenge, experiment, paint with no expectations!

January Slideshow theme: Snow scenes  Send to Anna throughout the month.
February Website and Newsletter Theme: "Sweets"  Bakery, deli, candy painting images.  Send images in to Anna and Jill by January 26th

  Slideshow Theme: "Motion" Paintings showing motion or action, such as dancers, windy days, etc.

April Slideshow Theme:  "Blue" paintings.  Painting with 50% or more of the painting being blue tones

May Slideshow Theme: "Flower" paintings.  Flowers of any kind in any setting
January 2020 
Plein Air in the Winter

I had the great fortune of attending a Richard McKinley workshop in October. We painted outside 2 full days before the weather forced us inside. I learned so much about his watercolor underpainting techniques and how he approaches painting on location. I was so excited to keep painting outside. But October quickly turned into the holidays with cold and snow and I became very disappointed thinking I would have to wait until spring to put what I learned to use.
Then Susan Nicholas Gephart posted one of her beautiful plein air from her car paintings on facebook! She has a special car easel that she uses when she paints in her vehicle. How sweet to be able to paint from the comfort of a heated vehicle with a cup holder and CD player!
Having been reminded that plein air painting was possible in the winter, I decided to do a little research on how people do get outside to paint in unfavorable conditions. Here are a few of the most helpful tips I found. The ones I plan on using!
  1. Look at the forecast for the location you plan to visit to paint. Know the temperature, wind speed and any chance of precipitation.
  2. Dress for the conditions. Always dress for colder than the temperature. You will get chilled when standing still painting for an extended period of time. It is always easier to take layers off if you get warm than trying to warm up after you’ve become cold.
  3. Have an umbrella to keep rain and sleet from soaking you.
  4. Have weights for your easel in windy conditions. You do not want to be trying to pick up supplies that have blown over!
  5. Try to stand under overhangs or in protected areas, create a cover to protect your easel from stray rain drops or snow flakes
  6. Pack up when it gets uncomfortable or the conditions change. Don’t try to overcome changing and highly adverse conditions. Do what you can, take a photo and finish the piece back in the studio.  
Most of the tips I found were for oil painters, so it will be a bit trickier with pastels out in the rain and snow. I am going to put together a small palette of pastels and build a protected box to paint in if I can’t paint the location from my car (when I figure that out). I will also make sure I have my pencils and watercolor paint, just in case getting pastels out is a really bad idea. I think capturing the feeling and beginning the painting outside will be enough for me right now. Thinking about getting outside this winter to paint is inspiring and refreshing and I am looking forward to using these tips this winter!
I would love to hear your tips for painting outside when the weather isn’t perfect, and/or if you will use any of these tips to get outside this winter and paint! Please send me your questions, comments and thoughts
Thoughts from the Studio
Instructor, Kim Gates Flick, has put together some thoughts leading up to her February workshop:
K E Y   C O L O R   C O N C E P T S
Identifying key concepts for building color relationships within a pastel practice
Several years ago, I returned to my artistic love of creative journaling.  After years of “serious” study, and formal teaching at the university; it was a welcome home to imaginative fun!  Mermaid pages with my granddaughters, squirt guns loaded with watercolors for large-scale yard paintings with all my grands, Advent cards with my spiritual sisters and DIY worksheets just for my own life-long love of art and learning, has reminded me how important it is to keep a sketchbook practice alive.  It was my personal goal for the CPPS 2018 annual challenge.  However, keeping a sketchbook for the pastel medium, turned into more of a workbook format; giving myself “homework” and creating DIY lessons.  It is from this experience; I share this workshop with interested members in attendance.  The workbook pages and activities are a great tool for both creativity and personal practice for improving observation and expanding skill set.   I hope you will give these color concepts using my DIY worksheets a try at the February member-led workshop. 
Continuing with our color series, this workshop will be a hands-on style format with three specific sessions, each beginning with brief power point examples of concepts, a worksheet activity and time for application of concepts, utilizing your choice of personally sourced imagery and surfaces. 
  1. Key Concept:  Color in relation to chromatic value, towards the creation of dimensional form:
 A brief overview of the essential elements and six categories of light in the creation of 3D form
Assessing chromatic value in relation to pastel medium, chosen surfaces and subject matter
A worksheet activity with suggestions for applying concept to pastel painting from reference image.
  1. Key Concept:  Color in relation to pastel pigment, drawing & painting techniques for layering color:
12 techniques for layering color utilizing pastel pigment with suggestions for specific results
Mixed-media techniques that support beginning skill set, while building color confidence
A worksheet activity with suggestions for applying concept to pastel painting from reference image.
  1. Key Concept:  Color in relation to content, for creating visual interesting compositions:
Do’s and Don’ts for creating interesting compositions
A worksheet activity with suggestions for applying concept to pastel painting from reference image.
Artist Spotlight
 Margaret Gladys (Peggy) had her painting, "Quiet Walk", accepted into the Degas Pastel Society's 21st Membership Exhibition this past fall in New Orleans, LA. 
Quiet Walk  
Susan Nicholas Gephart
Landscape Passages: Earth, Water, Sky

January 3-26, 2020

Paulette Lorraine Berner Community Gallery in the Bellefonte Art Museum, 133 N. Allegheny St., Bellefonte, PA 16823

Learn more

Susan Nicholas Gephart
Teaching Artists-Recent works by the York Art Association Teaching Staff

January 12 to Feb 9
Opening Reception: Sunday Jan 12th, 2-4 pm

York Art Association
220 South Marshall Street
York, PA 17402

Classes and Workshops
 Member-led Workshop
Featuring a color activity each hour!
Sunday, February 9, 2020
2 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Instructor: Kim Gates Flick 
(Immediately following our quarterly meeting at the Best Western for members’ convenience)

K E Y   C O L O R   C O N C E P T S
Identifying key concepts for building color relationships within a pastel practice
Color in relation to chromatic value, towards the creation of dimensional form
Color in relation to pastel pigment, techniques for mixing & layering color
Color in relation to content, for creating visual interesting compositions
$25 for a 3-hour session
Minimum of five registrants needed by the end of January 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.
Email Jill Foster immediately to reserve a slot.  Make out your check to Jill Foster and send to 151 Sunset Avenue, Pleasant Gap, PA  16823.  When check is received, you will then be officially registered for the workshop.
Contact Person:  Jill Foster

Additional Information: If you use an easel, bring a tabletop easel (NO standing easels, please), pastels, drop cloth for your personal area (tables will be covered), and any other items you use for everyday painting. A materials list will be emailed to each person when they register. You must register and have the fee paid by a week before the workshop so that the instructors will have time to prepare adequate class materials. No fee refund for any reason if you withdraw from Sunday, Feb. 2- Sunday, Feb. 9.
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

Instructor, Susan Nicholas Gephart
Painting the Landscape in Pastel or Oil ~Two-Day Workshop

Friday, February 14 & Saturday, February 15, 2020, 9:30am – 3:30pm
sponsored by
The Art Alliance of Central PA

Work in the medium of your choice and learn how to take your photos, plein air sketches, and studies and turn them into a successful studio painting.

$170 for Art Alliance members and $200 for non-members. Single day option ½ price by request. Those interested in a single-day option should contact the office at 814-234-2740 or

Art Alliance of Central PA
818 Pike St.
Lemont, PA 16851

Instructor, Susan Nicholas Gephart
Capture the Skies with Susan at "Art a la Carte" in Bellefonte

Thursdays, Jan. 9, Feb. 6, & March 5 or 12, 2020, 6:00 to 8:00pm

Here's your chance to give pastel painting a try and paint your very own sunset! I'll provide the art supplies, and you bring a favorite photo of a sunset. All levels. Beginners welcome.

Price: $48. Includes art supplies

To register call: 814-355-1590

Art a la Carte
107 S. Allegheny Street
Bellefonte, PA 16823

Karen Margulis Workshop

Registration is now open to the public
for next summer’s workshop!

If you haven't signed up yet, do it today if you want a spot.
This workshop is over half full already.

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. A check for the $100 deposit secures your place in the limited enrollment class. Registration opens to the public Jan. 1, 2020 and is more than half filled at this writing.

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

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

May 3, 2020
1:30 pm
(Changed because of Mother's Day)

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 for the New Year
“For a change, don't add new things in your life as a new year's resolution. Instead, do more of what's already working for you and stop doing things that are time-waste.”
― Salil Jha
Send Newsletter items to:
Deadline:  last Saturday of the month
Send Website items to:  
Copyright © 2019 Central Pennsylvania Pastel Society, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp