April 2017
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Central Pennsylvania Pastel Society

President -Virginia Belser,   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

Letter from the Editor

Reminder about news that's sent in:   If people haven't given their permission to have their names in the newsletter, I don't put it in the newsletter!   Ways to let me know that it is OK for me to print your name:
1. Email me and give permission to use your name in conjunction with an event.
2. Send me news you want to put in the newsletter.
3. Tell the person writing up an article for the newsletter that it's OK to include your name.  (for instance, a group show not organized by CPPS)
Rather than sending the info each time, you can click here.
The 7 Day Challenge
- Composites of each day's images were put together by our webmaster, Anna Crane, and are scattered throughout this newsletter.   More info about the challenge can be found under a separate heading below and in Stacy Mayou's column,  Pastellus.

On March 11th,  Kim Flick and Debbie Decker presented their " Pastel Powerful" workshop.  It was a cold day, but the group soon warmed up with a selection of  tension releasing exercises taught by yoga instructor and pastelist, Debbie Decker.   After the warm ups,  Kim Flick lead the group in various color, design and critique activities.  All in all, it was a wonderful, relaxing, & fun day.  

From Anna Crane, CPPS Webmaster:  I have a request. I'd like to spruce up the Calendar Archive on the CPPS Website and make it a more useful resource. To do this, I need photos!

If you have time, please look at the Calendar Archive and review the 2017 and 2016 calendars: First, let me know if I'm missing anything. Second, if you have a photo or two from a past event, please send them to me at Include the name and date of the event. This is for CPPS events only.
The goal is to make the Calendar Archive a tool to entice non-members, in addition to it being a place where members can check out photos of past events.

Our Webmaster also needs 9 new paintings to put on the "Contact Page".  Members who haven't sent any jpegs to Anna before will be most welcome to send them to Anna now!  Variety!  Variety!  Variety!  

Some of our members still need to send in either a short bio and/or jpegs for the Members Page.  Please visit the website to review this page and see what is needed. Members may also wish to update with newer images
The education committee is continuing to add to a contact list of members interested in taking part in spontaneous events planned a day or 2 ahead. The goal is to encourage painting/sketching together. Events could be plein air, at a member's home or sitting at a coffee shop. Every member on the list would be given the pop up member list and be able to create an event. Only members on the list would be contacted. Please contact Kathleen Muffie-Witt if you would like to be on the list.

News Deadline: Last Saturday of the month.

Day 7
This is the composite of the last day of painting in the 7 day challenge.  All kinds of emotions and happenings were surfacing that day...frustration, dissatisfaction, satisfaction, pleasure, questioning and experimentation.  Again, a variety of mediums were used.

Meeting Dates

May 14
2:00 pm
Best Western Plus, Premiere Drive,State College, PA

August 13
November 12

Current News

Rochester Art Supply Visit

Mike from the Rochester Art Supply in Rochester, NY  will be at the Best Western Plus with a dizzying array of pastel supplies from 9:00-2:00 on Sunday, May 14, prior to the quarterly meeting.  He is open to bringing special request items (non-pastel items, special quantities)  if requested beforehand.  Email: 

Palmer Museum News

Charles Metz, PhD, brother of Susan McCartney, will perform Elizabethan period music on an Italian Virginal c. 1590.  He will give two concerts:  one on April 19th at 12:10 pm at the Palmer Museum and the other in the Foxdale Village auditorium on April 20th at 3:00 pm


CPPS 2017 Shows

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.  In August, a juried show will be held at the Station Gallery in Lock Haven and in October, a member show (not juried) will be held  at the State College Framing Company  

2017 is moving fast and the CPPS Exhibit Committee (Susan Nicholas Gephart, Roxanne Naydan, and Judith Wilson)  is working hard to bring opportunities for CPPS members to show their creations! Planning ahead what you will submit is very important. The dates are spaced so you can use the same works in both shows, if you want. Carpool options are being prepared to enable our distant members participation. These shows are for you to shine! Please take note of the upcoming dates to save.  Questions: (814) 360-2116

Juried Show

Location - juried show at the Station Gallery in Lock Haven, 2 East Bald Eagle Street, Lock Haven PA - August 11-September 3

Specific information concerning the Juried Show in Lock Haven below:
Image Entries Due: June 30th Send 3 images to Station Gallery (more info later on the email entry CPPS will design )

Not Allowed: Paintings done in a workshop or under the direction of a teacher will NOT be allowed in a juried show.

Selected Entries: members will be notified by email sometime in July if their painting has been juried into the show.

Delivery: August 6th  between 1:30 - 3:30 PM.  Bring selected work to Station Gallery, 2 East Bald Eagle Street, Lock Haven PA 17745

Dates of Show: August 11th-September 3rd

Reception: August 11th from 6 to 9 p.m.
Note: Reception foods/wine can be supplemented by CPPS member donations

Jurors: Carol Ann Simon Cillo and Steve Getz

Members' Show

Location: State College Framing & Gallery, Hills Plaza, 160 Rolling Ridge Dr, St College, PA 16801

Number of Paintings: 1 to 3 (one being larger 16x20)

Art Delivery Dates: Monday, September 25th to Friday, Sept 29th.  Times: shop hours 10AM- 5PM 
Phone: 814-234-7336

Reception:  Sunday, October 8th, 2017   
Time: 1 pm to 4 pm  
​(​Note: Saturday ​is a ​home football game)  

Pick-Up: First week in November store hours
Day 4 of the 7 Day Challenge
Paintings on day 4 ranged from abstract to still life to the ever favorite subject of trees. These paintings were done in a short period of time without adding a lot of details.  You posted what you had completed for the day!  

New Member

Please welcome new member Margaret Gladys from Covington Township, PA.


By Stacy Mayou
The Upside of Accountability
Definition of accountability
:  the quality or state of being accountable; especially :  an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions.

Accountability in the professional arena can be difficult;  it is part of a culture that comes from allowing employees to take ownership, and fostering trust among all levels and departments.  In our personal lives we become overwhelmed with so many responsibilities that we find ourselves letting things slide. However, accountability in art can help us focus and improve our skills.
Some CPPS members have accepted and completed recent daily painting challenges; a one month daily painting challenge and a 7-day completed painting a day daily challenge. Feedback from these challenges unanimously exalted the merit of accountability.
“Accountability has a clear link to higher performance, and experts indicate that it also results in improved competency and commitment to work, increased morale and satisfaction.”

Challenge participants communicated through email. Email boxes filled up throughout the day with pastel images and information on the paintings. Information that you would expect; such as paper type, underpainting details and self-critiques. There was also information you wouldn’t expect; “not feeling well today”, “this is all I could handle”,” gloomy weather makes thinking about painting harder - but once I got going it was a great day at the easel”,” tried a new paper - don’t like it”, “this underpainting was done with” get the idea. The emails were very informal and very supportive. The group noticed if someone didn’t post, and checked to make sure everything was ok. That gentle accountability really helped participants work through busy days, head colds and blank pastel paper. Being accountable to provide feedback and observation was as important as posting a pastel painting.
Challenge participants also commented that they looked forward to their time at the easel and the emails.  Due to the closed group nature of email, participants could post unsuccessful attempts with no fears. They were able to openly discuss what was working and what wasn’t. 
It is not often that there are parallels between the professional 9-5 grind and our easels, but accountability is one we can all embrace.
Besides the accountability and improved pastel skills, participants also enjoyed being part of a working painting community and are eager for the next challenge and opportunity to work together.
If you have any questions or would like more information about this article, please let me know. I would love to discuss the benefits of a group painting challenge!


Future Workshops

Bill Hosner 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.

The registration form is now posted.on the website.

July  Workshops 

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

Tue, July 25, – 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. 


CPPS 2018 Guest Artists Being Considered

The president, Virginia Belser, has assumed the responsibility of setting up the 2018 workshop with the able assistance of Roxanne Naydan.  At the present time, Kim Lordier and Susan Oglivie are being considered for a landscape workshop. Others who have been suggested and contacted are: Stan Sperlak, Lisa Mitchell and Marc Hanson.   If you have other suggestions, email Virginia at
Day 5
Everyone is loosening up and starting to really have a fine time experimenting.  We used pastels, water colors, pencil, & digital tablet for the paintings in this collage.

Artist Spotlight

Kim Flick has a solo show, "Peace Passage", at the Bellefonte Art Museum in the Sieg Gallery during the month of April.  Saturday, On April 22, Kim will present an Earth Day activity at the museum.

Anne Kenyon has a show of recent pastel works in the Atrium at the Gallery Shop in Lemont from  3/28- 4/29.  New works and larger landscape works are featured.  The Gallery Shop is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:30 to 5:30.

From Alice Kelsey:  I’m very excited about a series of new paintings, drawings, and monotypes which I’ll be exhibiting in a solo show at the Bellefonte Art Museum, and welcome the members of the Central PA Pastel Society to see the show.
'I created the works in the “Through the Surface” exhibition during the past year in an intensive, inspired search with varied art materials to capture the imagery and mystery at a central Pennsylvania spring-fed pond. More than fifteen colorful and expressive works will be shown, welcoming visitors to immerse in imagery of water lilies, iris, and reflections, and explore ways in which the textures and surface qualities of different artist’s materials affect the look and feel of artwork. By grouping a series of related works created by one artist utilizing varied materials, the show uniquely highlights the expressive qualities of a wide range of media (oil, pastel, gouache, monotype, silverpoint, acrylic, pen, and graphite) and supports (linen, canvas, wood panel, and several kinds of paper)'
'I’ll be offering two gallery talks about the characteristics of the media and materials in artwork in the exhibit , and will be at the reception to share and discuss my work with visitors. Admission is free and open to the public, and artwork is available for purchase.'

Exhibit Dates: May 5 – 28, 2017
Reception: Sunday, May 7 (noon- 4:30 pm)
Gallery Talks: Saturday, May 6 (1 – 2 pm), and Sunday, May 21 (2 – 3 pm)
Location: The Bellefonte Art Museum, 133 N. Allegheny St., Bellefonte, PA (814-355-4280),
Gallery Hours: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday noon – 4:30 pm, or by appointment
 More information can be found on my website,  

 Anne Kenyon and Virginia Belser will be sharing a booth at Arts Festival.

The April show at the Fraser Street Gallery, "A Place Called Home; scenes from central PA",  includes CPPS members: Virginia Belser, Suzanne DeSarbo, Susan Nicholas Gephart, and Anne Kenyon.

Virginia Belser's
work will be on display in May in the Bellefonte Art Museum's Tea Room. Virginia also will have work on display in May in the  Rhoneymeade House.

The community is invited to enjoy an early glimpse of spring through the art of local pastel artist, Jennifer Shuey.  Rich colors and warm sunlight weave through an exhibit of 26 pieces of Shuey’s work featured during the months of March and April at Zola Kitchen & Wine Bar from March 6 – April 30.  . “An artist’s reception will be held on Wednesday, April 19 from 5 – 7 pm,” according to Karen Caswell Sapia, manager of Zola Kitchen & Wine Bar.  “Jennifer will be on hand to meet guests and discuss her work, and Zola will provide some small bites.”

Susan Nicholas Gephart will be giving a demo at the national plein air convention in San Diego.  Details below.
From the PACE17 Pastel Track.
Demonstration: "Capture the Skies and More"
Join this seasoned plein air painter and learn how to capture the ever-changing skies with spontaneity and directness. Susan is known for her atmospheric skies and vistas featured in colorful oil and pastel landscapes. Demonstrating a pastel technique using watercolor as an under-painting and then applying layers of pastel, Susan will show how to create an expressive cloudscape that connects to the land. Combining her passion to explore the creative process and her long-time experience as a multiple medium product demonstrator, Susan will inspire you to discover how to see beyond the obvious to create an essence of mood and atmosphere in your pastel paintings.


Thoughts from the Studio

Basic Components of Art
Last month’s "Thoughts from the Studio" topic of self-critique started by stating “Every artist needs to learn to do a self -critique – to look at his or her painting and be able to see what the painting may need to improve or finish it.”  This is obviously a deep topic of interest among our members, sparking discussion at last month’s member-led workshop.  Inquiries into the critique process, criteria and styles, along with the vocabulary of visual art were some of the topics gleaned from the conversations.  After the workshop, Jill asked me to share some terms to be offered as new or review for our members expanding visual art vocabulary.  We have all heard the old adage, “that knowledge is power,” so having a solid working knowledge of visual art vocabulary can be seen as giving artists power, translated as tools for use in artistic practice as well as the self-critiquing process.   One of the first things we often hear in a critique setting is does it work?  What does that mean?  Fundamentally, it means does the painting/artwork achieve organic unity? Let’s begin with the basics components toward organic unity:
The Basic Components of Visual Art
Artwork can be broken down into three basic components:  Subject – Form – Content.
Subject           is the identifiable object(s) of the artwork. (the what)
Form              is the visual organization of the artwork,.(the how)
Content          is the impact or the meaning of the artwork. (the why)
How these three work interdependently to create organic unity should be first considered when approaching critique.  Organic Unity is a condition in which the basic components are so vital to each other that they can be likened to a living organism.  All parts of the work are mutually interactive and interrelated, balanced, without any distracting or unnecessary parts that interrupt the relationship of “wholeness.”  Let’s apply this knowledge to actual paintings for discussion of the basic components toward organic unity:
Starry Night, Vincent Van Gogh                  Starry, Starry Sky, The Red Shoes                    
Both of these paintings have achieved or created organic unity, in that we cannot see anything that is distracting or could be removed without upsetting the balance of the work.  They both appear to embody an interrelated wholeness about them.  It is important to note, that just because paintings achieve organic unity does not guarantee them to become famous or award winning in popularity.  The subject is the same for both paintings – a landscape of night stars.  However, the form and content as it relates to the subject is very different.  Remember, the form of each oil painting lies  – in the how the artists painted their subjects toward conveying a very different meaning or contentThe why they chose such form varies the impact the subject has upon their viewers to convey different meanings. In the Red Shoes painting, the naturalistic rendering of low-key values and realistic proportions create a harmonious and peaceful impact.  While in the Van Gogh painting the high-key color, level of gestural lines and exaggerated proportions create an emotional content and expressive impact.  Both settings have a subject matter that viewers can relate to but with very different lasting impressions.  While most of us look at a night sky and see the specks of light we know as stars, in the natural depiction of the landscape, the stars are seen from afar.  But, what if the artist wants to put the emphasis on the feeling of looking up at the twinkling of the stars and the energy of the night against the stillness and silence of the town, as it lies sleeping?  The emphasis shifts from the creation of a literal depiction to an emotional expression.  It’s not that one is better than the other.  It is a depiction of the same subject, varying the form for the creation of different reading of the landscape.  When we first approach a work, our first question might be:  What does the artists want us to look at and why?  How did he/she use form to answer those questions and thereby create the desired results.  Does the work achieve organic unity?  If it does – how does it?  If it doesn’t – it is usually obvious; but where the problems exist are not.  What is creating that disruption, distracting from the balance?  As artist, we should start by asking ourselves the same questions and then answer objectionably.  Although, answering such questions often require a deeper consideration of the components bringing in the analysis of essential elements and principles of organization – but that’s another story for another day.. art-speak for another time.

Next column The Essential Elements of Art - Part 1
Kim Gates Flick
Day 6
We're nearing the end of the challenge.  What a wonderful array of subjects!  Paintings today were done using pastels, oils, watercolors, and digital painting.

Quote of the Month

"You should keep on painting no matter how difficult it is...unless it kills you,
and then you know you have gone too far."

Alice Neel,  Artist

7 Day Challenge 

Nine artists took part in the 7 Day Challenge from March 1-7, 2017.  They were:  Anna Crane, Susan Nicholas Gephart, Kim Gates Flick, Jill Foster, Marianne Fyda, Stacy Mayou, Susan McCartney, Roxy Naydan and Shirley Vogelsong.  Everyone really enjoyed the shorter challenge and liked working on smaller pieces.

We all ended the challenge with pleasure and regret.  Pleasure in that we all enjoyed the exchange of ideas and art.  Regret that we would no longer be communicating on the artistic level and sharing our work with each other

 Pictured below are composites of Days 1, 2 and 3 of the Challenge.

Art Shows to Enter

The Pastel Society of Colorado - Deadline April 10, 2017 - prospectus  or  contact:

Woodson Art Museum - "Birds in Art" - email:

 Images 2017, the juried gallery exhibition of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, deadline is May 5.  For more details and to apply, visit

PA Watercolor Society 38th Juried Exhibit  (pastels included in this show) - Deadline May 15, 2017 - entry forms  www.pawcs.comPastel Society of America - Deadline June 13, 2017 - Prospectus at www.pastelsocietyof  

St. Augustine Art Association - "Nature and Wildlife Exhibition" - Deadline: June 5, 2017. Apply online:

SAMA -Ligonier - Deadline August 2017
For registration or additional information:
(724) 238-6015
 Pastel Painter Society of Cape Cod,  
Check out.the OnllineJuriedShows website for other possibilities

Private Adult Pastel Classes being held at Susan Nicholas Gephart Studios located at 351 E. Bishop St, Bellefonte, PA 16823.  Contact Susan to inquire about dates and fee.
Call: 814-360-2116    

Hameau Farm Studio Artist Retreat 
May 15 - 21, 2017 (Day options available)
Website info/Registration:
Instructor/Facilitator:  Susan Nicholas Gephart
Location: Hameau Farm, 6364 SR 655, Belleville, PA 17004
Price: Mention you are a CPPS member and get a 10% discount. Also, available half day and one day options to CPPS members.
Class description:  Hameau Artist Retreat is a gathering place for artists to share, create, learn, and have fun. The unique studio, variety of landscape views, gourmet food, and camaraderie compel the artists to return.  From the beginner to the professional artist, Hameau captures and inspires the creative spirit in a positive and supportive atmosphere.  All mediums and levels are welcome and backed by Susan's national art supply samples.
Daily Itinerary:

Contact: Susan Nicholas Gephart (814) 360-2116, to discuss and design your personal schedule. .

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