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Maryland Pastel Society newsletter


Spring 2021Newsletter

MPS Spring
Newsletter 4/2021
President: Kathleen Risk
Treasurer: Helen Wood
Recording Secretary: Lyn Laviana
Corresponding Secretary: Joyce Turk
Membership: Carol Hobday
Signature Membership: Mary Moores
Workshops: Susan Van Eseltine
Exhibitions: Open
Shades of Pastel Exhibit: Denise Matuk-Krupa
Facebook: Laurie Basham
Website: Kathleen Risk
Newsletter: Kim Stone
Advisory: Joyce Lister
Mar 27: Board Meeting / Zoom
Apr 21, 23: Workshop with Christine Swann / Zoom
Apr 24: Members Meeting with Christine Swann / Zoom
JUN 5: Workshop with Laura Pollak / Zoom
Jun 19: Board Meeting / Zoom
Jul 10: Summer Members Meeting
Sep 18: Board Meeting / Zoom
Oct 13—15: Workshop with Tara Will / in-person
Oct 16: Fall Members Meeting
Dec 18:Board Meeting /
As spring toys with our senses, take a fresh look upon the glorious renewal of Mother Nature. Breathe deeply and, like the regeneration of the earth, use that energy to fuel your artistry. Take another deep breath to store in your heart. Please be well and don’t forget the antihistamines if you need them. Perhaps ChristineSwann’s workshop will inspire you to take a different approach to lighting or color. Have you seen Christine’s work? Wow! She will present a portrait demonstration at our spring meeting. Her “Power of Pastels” and other techniques are effective for any subject matter. Find details in this newsletter or on our website here.
MPS Board of Directors is seeking to fill these positions:
● Vice President - Mainly assists the President.
● Exhibitions Chair - Susan Gleason has stepped down as Exhibitions Chair, however, she will remain as an advisor in order to pass on her skills at producing outstanding shows for a number of years. Thank you, Susan. No MPS exhibitions are planned for the remainder of the year at this time.
The Shades of Pastel Committee – Denise Matuk-Kroupa, SOP Chair, is askings for help assisting to bring about the next “Shades of Pastel” exhibition, scheduled in 2022. See details later in this newsletter.
Even if you are unable to serve as a board member, your thoughts and ideas are greatly appreciated. Contact any board member if you have interest. Share your knowledge and keep MPS a viable organization. With you help, we will keep our prestigious reputation, earned by members like you since 1977.
Carol Hobday has graciously accepted the duties of Signature Membership Chair while Mary Moores has had to temporarily step down. An email was sent to Artist members asking if anyone is ready to apply for Signature membership. Submissions go to our judging committee for their recommendations and forwarded to the Board for final review. Thanks to our judging committee, Chris Powell, David Lawton and Lynn Goldstein, who diligently offer their adept evaluations in accordance with “The Principles of Design.”
Have a marvelous spring everyone!
Kathleen E. Risk
"Au Petit Hotel"
I love lines. They form an integral part of my art—preserved and celebrated from the inception of a piece to its final rendering. The lines encircle the rich color which I often push to garish limits. Trained as a surgeon as well as a surgical educator, I spent my entire professional life taking care of my patients and training the next generation of young surgeons in the art and science of Surgery.
I had had no formal art education until I had the privilege of studying with the celebrated Delaware artist, Edward Loper, Sr. I fully bought into his mantra of “Line, Light, Color and Space." Under his tutelage I began to see color along with the design principles espoused by Cezanne—avoidance of traditional lines of perspective, tilting of the picture plane, use of multiple points of view and the general abstract design.
"Ammu's Harvest"
"Wedding Dancers"
I taught myself to paint with Pastels; a medium Mr. Loper didn’t care for. Art workshops with Desmond O’Hagan, Tony Allain and Aline Ordman, all organized by the Maryland Pastel Society, were tremendously helpful in my art education as well.
I love the immediacy of Pastel—both Soft and Oil Pastels. I am currently exploring the use of a print-making breyer and water-miscible Oil Paint along with Pan Pastels in creating art (see “Wooddale Winter”).
"The Bride"
"Wooddale Winter""
Being a surgeon and an educator is being an “adrenaline junkie”. MPS saved me from my post-retirement “withdrawal,” moping around and being reminded constantly by my wife that there were no secretaries or scrub nurses to pick up after me! I can hide in my studio!
"Sailboats at St. Michaels"
If you are a Signature Member and would like to be a Featured Artist, just send a short write-up about yourself with 4 to 5 jpeg medium-resolution files of your work to and you will be in the queue to be featured. Just type "Featured Artist" as the subject line.
NEXT MEMBERS MEETING - April 24th on Zoom with Christine Swann
Christine Swann has always been intrigued with people and their stories. Teaching artists how to understand light and the medium of pastel has become a new passion.
Southwest Art Magazine picked Christine as an “Artist to Watch” and her portraits have been included in the Pastel Journals’ “Pastel 100” international exhibition eight times
in the past 10 years as well as included in the ARC international Salon Competition. Her works have traveled to Italy, France and China. She is also published in the books, 100 Ways to Paint People and Figures, editions of Strokes of Genius and the French book, 40 Masters ofPastel. She has had many feature articles in Pastel Journal and France's magazine, Pratique des Arts.
2-Day Online Zoom Portrait Workshop with Christine Swann
Wednesday, April 21 and Friday, April 23, 2021
Room is still available. Participants can take Day 1, Day 2 or both days of the workshop. Visit the Maryland Pastel Society website for more information about the workshop here. Christine will be giving instruction with a demonstration while participants work along with her. She will also be recording the workshop and posting the sessions through Zoom. This video will be available to the participants only, for approximately 30 days. This is great for any participants who are unable to attend the live zoom classes, as well as people who would like to rewatch class sessions. Learn more about Christine Swann by visiting
1-Day Zoom "Abstracting the Landscape" Workshop with Laura Pollak
June 5, 2021 11:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. $100
Contact Laura directly if you are interested. The workshop is limited to 15 students. MPS members have priority. Email Laura at To see Laura's paintings go to
3-Day Plein Air/Studio Workshop with Tara Will
October 13, 14 and 15, 2021
This will be our first in-person workshop at the Columbia Art Center. More details will be forthcoming so stay tuned. Check out Tara's outstanding work at
MPS held its first live exhibit in a year February 6—March 28, 2021.
"Symphony in Pastel" was a Members Only Juried Exhibition
Here are the winners along with comments from Maria Marino. Congratulations to these award winners and to all the participating artists!
1ST Place: Mary Anne Warner, "Morning Commute" 20" x 26"
"Beautiful painting that captures the relationship between land, water and sky! It undoubtedly has the distinguishing mark of excellence: design, composition and beautiful interpretation of brilliant light. A spectacular landscape."
2ND Place: Kim Stone, "Heritage Rail Trail" 12" x 16"
"This gem of a painting drew me in. I became more inquisitive with the beautiful balance of shapes that supports the drama in the distance. Outstanding draftsmanship and the scale of the painting kept me looking for more. Such a peaceful piece that centers upon the dialogue between the bike rider and the landscape."
3RD Place: Susan Pearcy, "Yellow Plums on French Tablecloth" 9" x 12"
"The artist properly used a modern compositional format coupled with a brilliant late Impressionist palette. The plums are sculptural and define all modern forms of space, light and shadow. Appealing rhythm coupled with textural quality. Highly ornate, a joy to lose yourself in."
PSA Award: Greg Johannesen, "Late Afternoon Ellicott City" 12" x 12"
"Unique properties of marked contrast of brilliant light on a lovely clear day are what makes this painting such a joy to lose yourself in! Your eye focuses on the excellent shapes that instantly fill the work, created with color and line. Excellent use of lost and found edges which truly make this painting extraordinary!"
Connecticut Pastel Society Award: Ann Singer, "Long Walk Home" 25" x 19"
"Nice large shapes and a bold viewpoint are what naturally makes this painting so successful! Harmonious color passages employed in the grassy hill so understated to positively reinforce your movement through this landscape. This artist has cleverly placed the prominent figure below the horizon line that captivates the viewer of the unexpected views he will soon discover."
Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod Award: Laurie Basham, "Strawberry Shortcake" 25" x 19"
"Painted with great emotion. This painting draws one in by its vantage point and gives an emotional response. Nicely handled lost and found edges. Not overworked."
Merit #1: Joyce Lister, "Wonder & Joy"
18" x 12"
"This painting is all about love, warmth and the connection between generation to generation. The artist skillful use of scale achieves a balance of the subjective and the objective. Lovely use of overlapping color and the painting expresses a dynamic personal style."
Merit #2: Gayle Kassal, "Autumn Delight" 24" x 18"
"Excellent arrangement of the key elements in this work of art. It seamlessly combines styles from several modern art movements to create drama and genuine emotion. The artist has established a compelling focal point that instantly communicates the intent. One can naturally feel the gentle breeze and sense the light that envelopes the painting."
Merit #3: Susan Gleason, "Face Forward" 20" x 24"
"Dramatic placement of key figure! A spirited painting in which one can immerse themselves in the intricacies of the completed work. Beautifully chromatic, the mark-making is fluid and undoubtedly adds a genuine warmth to the subject matter. Bold and impressive painting!"
Merit #4: Thomas Mammen, "Second Street, Lewes" 12" x 18"
"This painting is reminiscent of rich, expressive colors found in medieval textiles. The image is created with a force and freedom that depicts multiple viewpoints. The detail in the painting has achieved a beautiful interpretation of light and harmonious color."
Merit #5: Susan Klinger, "Rush Hour Radiance" 24" x 18"
"A marvelous economy of mark-making and the dazzling evening light undoubtedly has a wonderful luminous quality. The artist carefully handled all the diagonal lines beautifully, instantly creating a dramatic spatial effect. Lost and found edges are remarkably handled."
Normally, we would be joyfully anticipating our popular biennial National Juried Exhibition, Shades of Pastel (SOP) this year. However, due to the unprecedented times of 2020 with COVID19, we have been forced to move SOP to the spring of 2022. Our venue will again be the beautiful Mansion at Strathmore in Rockville, MD. There will be more information coming later in the year as details are finalized.
Jestine Andrews
Donna Godlove
Karen Peck
Currently, Maryland Pastel Society has 201 members, which breaks down to 98 Signature Members, 102 Artist Members and 1 Patron.
Betsy Kellum will begin teaching ongoing weekly classes beginning May 6 in Richmond VA. Painters can work in pastel and/or oil. If any MPS members live in the Richmond area, please contact her if you are interested. Reach Betsy at
Dot Stepenaski is teaching a 9 week pastel class at York Art Association on Wednesdays, March 31—June 2, 9 a.m. to noon; all skill levels. Please go to for complete information.
Mary Montague Sikes, will teach a 2-day workshop at Arts on Main in Gloucester, VA, Thursday, April 15—16, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. This workshop is being offered both in-person and live via ZOOM. Mary has a new book, Artful Angels, available on Amazon. This book features her paintings, including a pastel, and her poetry.
Sandy Askey-Adams had "Falling into Winter" accepted into the 124th Annual Open Exhibition of Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club in NYC. Exhibit will be at the Salmagundi Club, NYC.
Grace Newcomer's "Yellowstone Morning"
won Best in Show at the Gaithersburg Fine Art Association's Annual Juried Show.
"The Light on the Other Side" by Michael Gaudreau
Michael Gaudreau's "The Light on the Other Side" 12" x 15" was juried into two shows—The Adirondack Artists Guild 23rd show and The Healing Wilderness in Saranac NY. "The past few months my paintings have concerned light through a forest. Maybe I was thinking of the end of the pandemic and the coming of Spring."
Kathryn Reis was recently juried into two shows, one in upstate NY and the other in California.
A new painting by Kathryn Reis
Bill McCauley won First Prize in the Covington Award for Emerging Artists at the recent Howard County Arts Council Open Exhibit.
Betsy Kellum's "Bosc Trio" and "Dried Yellow Rose'" were accepted into The Southeastern Pastel Society's 2021 Intl. Juried Exhibition, 4/15—6/7 in Georgia.
"Dried Yellow Rose'" was accepted into the Intl. Guild of Realism's Spring Salon Online Show at 3/20—5/20.
Betsy's "Cursive Writing: A Lost Art'" was accepted into NOAPS 2021 Best of America Small Works Exhibition, Charleston, SC. 5/7
"Dried Yellow Rose" by Betsy Kellum 12" x 9"
"Hothouse Blues" by Dot Stepenaski
"This is something different from my usual landscapes. I just fell in love with this giant blue pottery outside a greenhouse. I felt that this was a rather moody painting, and was pretty pleased with how it developed."
"Geraniums in November" by Donna Finley 5" x 7"
Donna Finley has been juried into the Pastel Society of Colorado’s annual national exhibition “That’s Amore”. She was also juried into the Oxford Fine Arts Fair to be held 5/14—16. Donna is participating in the 30 paintings in 90 day challenge organized by Alain Picard.
"Appalachian Spring" by Hope Hanes
Hope Hanes had two pieces juried into the Southeastern Pastel Society International Juried Exhibition, 4/15—6/7 in Gainesville, GA. "Appalachian Rain" (18x18) and "Appalachian Spring" (16x24) will both be shown for the first time. "Both pieces are named for the music to which I listened while painting. I am a new member of the SPS, so I'm thrilled to be included!"
Rebecca Yates Shorb's The Pondering Series “Wisdom” won a Jurors Award at the 18th Biennial National Exhibition in New Orleans by the Degas Pastel Society. The show ran through January 30th at the St. Tammany Art Association in Covington, LA.
Join the Maryland Pastel Society Facebook Group!
This is a user friendly, members only page where we can post artwork, art news, and hopefully encourage and celebrate our fellow pastelists. We may even have live events in the future if we get enough participation. (This is not connected with our Business Facebook Page) We are looking into some fun activities and contests on this page to connect and engage with each other. Check out our monthly themed raffles.
Please go to or search Maryland Pastel Society Facebook Group.
article by Pam Sheary
Kudos to MPS for their efforts to line up a variety of demos and workshops led by outstanding artists for many years! The February MPS meeting featured Laura Pollak who demoed her approach to creating abstract art. I typically strive for realism in my paintings and, am in awe for those who masterfully create lovely abstract works. While I struggle to step out of my comfort zone to paint abstracts, I’ve never been satisfied with the results. When I attended the MPS February meeting, I was mesmerized with Laura’s approach—I thought, “I think she can help me!” so I enrolled in her 'Abstracting the Landscape' workshop.
Laura’s work is inspiring and her teaching style, easy to follow. She clearly articulated concepts of abstraction, explaining that whether painting realism, abstract, or something in between, value, composition, color, and texture contribute to the descriptive structure needed to perceive the subject. Laura reinforced these concepts through a series of relevant mini studies, and provided supporting information and references to encourage further learning of concepts as well as other artists’ style and techniques.
The online workshop experience was quite good and everyone had a direct view of her easel. Online workshops can accommodate a large group of students, but Laura limits her class to a size that allows her to provide one-on-one time with each student. Everyone posted their studies, enabling the class to learn from reviews of other’s work.
The workshop closed with the real highlight—learning how to achieve the “glow” in our paintings. The movement and color in Laura’s paintings are exciting, particularly the amazing glow she achieves. Value was key in this approach. The workshop was absolutely wonderful and worth getting out of my comfort zone. No matter your skill level, if you have an opportunity to take one of Laura’s workshops, I’d highly recommend it!
Donna Godlove, one of our new members wanted to share this exhibit information about a show in West Virginia.
Maryland Pastel Society continue to thank our Patrons and sponsors. Where would we be without their generous support? We encourage you to patronize their business to thank them for supporting MPS and pastels as a medium. Below is a list of the sponsors with links to their websites.
Artists & Framers Inc.
Columbia, Maryland
Great American Artworks
Jack Richeson & Co.
Airfloat Systems, LLC
Artist & Craftsman Supply
Connecticut Pastel Society
Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod
Guerrilla Painter
Pochade Boxes & Plein Air Supplies
Holbein Artist Materials
Pastel Society of America
Terry Ludwig Pastels
UART Premium Sanded Pastel Paper
Strathmore Artist Papers
“What I look for is neither reality nor unreality but the subconscious, the instinctive mystery of the human race. ”
— Amedeo Modigliani