Saturday, December 29, 2012

Kicking off the new year

Wow, can you believe that it's almost 2013? It was a year ago January that the First Coast Pastel Society began, and by the end of the year we were well on our way to 40 members and had become a member of IAPS. We had fun meetings and a painting exchange and great plein air paint-outs. In the upcoming year we will have at least two workshops that we are hosting, and will also hold our first member show.

But in the meantime we will kick off our new year with our January 2013 meeting. Once again we will hold our meeting at Reddi-Arts, whose gallery will host our first member show. The meeting will be held on Saturday, January 5, 10 AM to 12 noon.

Our topic is "group critique and what judges are looking for". Please bring two paintings to the meeting. They can be finished paintings or ones that are in-progress. We look forward to seeing everyone!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Holiday Greetings from
The First Coast Pastel Society 

As our first year comes to a close we are reminded that we've accomplished much and made many new friends in 2012. We are grateful for your enthusiasm, and your commitment to our group and to the pastel medium. Our calendar next year is filling up quickly with plans for our first Members' Exhibit and our first workshops. We hope you'll join us for all the excitement 2013 will bring! Our very best wishes to you and your families for a joyful holiday season and a very happy and healthy new year. 

Lyn Asselta, President
Richard Lundgren, Vice-President
Debbie Cusick, Secretary
Rick and Patty Petersen, Co-Treasurers

(note that this also went out to all our members as an email, but there are a few we don't have valid email addresses for. If you are a member seeing this, and you didn't get an email from us, please contact us with your correct email address)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Happy Holidays to All

Today was our last meeting of the year, and we had a lovely holiday breakfast together at the St. Augustine Art Association. Many thanks to our President, Lyn Asselta, for providing the lovely feast. We had quiche and biscuits and coffee cake and cantaloupe and fresh hot coffee!

And just being together for a holiday meal was a lovely start to the day. It was great getting together with other pastelists.

And being able to chat with folks we don't see that often and catch up on news and happenings.

Normally this would have been a plein air day, but we decided to hold it indoors and set up still lifes for all of us to work on today. This turned out to be a good idea when a rain squall came through about halfway through the morning.

Because of the holidays the theme of the still lifes was Christmas ornaments, with various ornaments set up in different directions so that we all had something to work on no matter which way we were facing the setup.

Following are looks at the work people started during the morning. Because of the time allotment most of these are clearly still works in progress. But we all had fun being together and look forward to all the events that will be happening in the new year.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Upcoming December Holiday meeting


Saturday, December 1
9:30 ~ 1:30
St. Augustine, FL

Please join us for a casual holiday breakfast and a few hours of still-life painting!
Bring your pastels, paper and a support for your paper.
There are easels and table easels available at the Art Association.
We will have several still life set-ups available for you to choose from.

The Art Association suggests a $5 per person donation for use of their space.

Also, we know parking is an issue at this location, so please drop your gear off in 
the parking space marked "loading zone" in front of the Art Association and we'll
direct you to the parking lot behind Trinity Episcopal Church where someone from 
FCPS will meet you to pay for your parking. 

Please RSVP to so we'll know how many easels we'll need.

Happy Holidays!! Hope to see you there!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

November meeting

The First Coast Pastel Society held its November meeting last week at Reddi Arts in Jacksonville. It was great to see our society continue to grow! It shows that there is a need for our organization this area. We are already up to 35 members and hope to see more before the end of the year. Remember, if you join now you will get a membership good through the end of 2013.

Our President, Lyn Asselta, gave a demonstration on framing. Framing a painting well is key to a good presentation of the whole image. We will be holding our first member show at Reddi Arts next May, and they have reserved the right not to hang works they feel are improperly framed, so this was a timely presentation for all of us.

Lyn had a list of all the tools she uses to frame her works, and gave demos on how to frame with a mat, how to frame without a mat, and how to frame depending on if you plan to frame your work permanently or plan to remover the painting from the frame at some later time.

We had over 20 members in attendance, which is our best turnout yet for one of our meetings. In addition to the great demo the members who were present all received 3 free pastels from Terry Ludwig, a gift to the members from our Vice President, Richard Lundgren, who had been given the samples by Terry.

Lyn shows how she attaches a painting to a backing board.

And also shows how she attaches the wire for hanging, once the painting is framed.

Everyone was so interested they had to move up closer to get a good view. They didn't want to miss a step.

Next month is our usual plein air day, but since it's December we're not sure what to expect of the weather. So instead we plan to hold an indoor paint-out at the St. Augustine Art Association, where we will have have several still lifes set up for members to work from. This will also be our holiday party,  so stay tuned to this spot for a lot more details as we get them all worked out.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

November 3rd Meeting

It's time for our November meeting! Our meeting will be held this coming Saturday, November 3, 10 AM to 12 noon at Reddi Arts, located at 1037 Hendricks Ave., Jacksonville, in the historic San Marco district.

Following our business meeting our President, Lyn Asselta, will give a demonstration on framing. Learn the proper way to frame pastels using mats, spacers, etc. for shows, galleries, or the walls of your own home.

Remember that our first member show will be held here at Reddi Arts next May, and they have reserved the right to reject any paintings not properly framed. So this is an excellent demo to attend.

We look forward to seeing you all this Saturday.

Silent Auction

This is a reminder to all that this lovely painting done by Richard Lundgren is being offered for sale via silent auction, fully framed, with proceeds to benefit the FCPS treasury. The starting value was $50 with bids being accepted in $10 increments. There have been several bids already so anyone wanting to bid on this lovely piece must offer at least $80 right now - which is still an amazing value.

Those of us who attended the August meeting got to see Richard in action as he created this piece, and the framing is lovely too. So if you want to bid feel free to send an email to us at our email address: I'll keep this blog post updated with the current bid so you will know what you need to bid if you want to top the previous silent bidder!

11/1/12 - current bid $70.00

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Fountain of Youth plein air day

The FCPS was lucky again today with our weather. We had the first plein air paint-out day of the fall season. Our venue today was The Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine. The setting is a lovely one, right along the banks of the salt marshes. The day started out a bit cloudy and overcast, but the sun came out later, and there was a wonderful breeze blowing all day - just about perfect!

The grounds were lovely as well, and decorated with peacocks and peahens strutting around. Their plumage was so lovely. What a shame they wouldn't stop to pose for the artists.

In addition to the peafowl there were lots of wild birds making use of the salt marshes also, like this osprey and its kindred who circled above us most of the morning.

There were plenty of choices for setting up to paint though. Painting plein air can require a lot of equipment to be dragged around, so at least there were walkways and level ground to travel across to find that pefect spot.

We had a good turnout of artists, both new folks joining us and folks who have been with us right from the beginning. It's exciting to see new folks though, and see that we are continuing to grow.

As the morning ended many of us came together for lunch, and to share views of some of the paintings we did during the morning.

In addition to the painting he did this morning Richard Lundgren brought along the framed painting he did as a demo on painting water at our fall kick-off meeting on August 26. The painting is being auctioned via a silent auction, with proceeds to go into the FCPS treasury. More about this will be forthcoming, but bids must be in $10.00 increments and, as some folks bid on the painting during the paint-out, the current bid sits at $70.00.

This tree caught the eye of quite a few of us when we were walking around looking for inspiration for our painting, and at least three of us decided that this was what we wanted to paint! For one interpretation of the tree you can see here. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Upcoming events

We have a lot of wonderful upcoming events for the First Coast Pastel Society. Please make a note of these on your calendar as we look forward to seeing everyone.

Saturday, OCT 13, 9:30~?

Plein Air Painting at the Fountain of Youth

St. Augustine, FL. Your admission is free if you’re here to paint with us! Bring a bag lunch and a drink.

Saturday, NOV 3, 10:00-noon 

General Meeting and demo by Lyn Asselta

“Framing your Pastel Paintings” at ReddiArts, Jacksonville, FL Learn the proper way to frame your pastels using mats, spacers, etc. for shows, galleries or your own walls at home.

Saturday, DEC 1, 10:00-noon

Still Life Painting with FCPS

Join us for an informal session of still life painting. Location to be announced.

December 31

Deadline to register for Workshop with Kathleen Galligan. See below for info

2013 events

February 22,23,24, 2013

WORKSHOP: “A PLEIN AIR EXPLORATION: Letting Go of the Literal” 

with pastel artist, Kathleen Galligan (for info:

This 3-day plein air workshop is an excellent opportunity to help you loosen up your style and take your pastel painting to the next level. Learn to interpret the landscape with an emphasis on color, atmosphere and composition. Don’t miss this opportunity to work with such a talented teacher!! You can see more of Kathleen’s work at

October 21,22,23, 2013


with plein air artist Michael Chesley Johnson

Friday, September 7, 2012

A Wonderful Opportunity!

For those who saw Richard Lundgren's wonderful demo on painting waves at our August 25th meeting, for those who *didn't* see Richard's demo, but wish they could have .... Here is another opportunity! Richard will be conducting a two-day workshop on "Capturing Water with Pastels" at the St. Augustine Art Association on Saturday and Sunday, November 10-11.

Richard's demo gave us all just a taste of the beauties of capturing water with pastels. Now you can experience a full workshop on the subject. Call 904-824-2310 to enroll, or get more info. Cost is $225 for non-members of STAA and $210 for members. I've already sent in my check!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Fountain of Youth paint-out

Now that the weather is turning milder it's time for our next scheduled FCPS paint-out. Once again we have to modify our date as most of our officers will be unavailable on October 6, which would be our normal first Saturday of the month. Instead we will be holding the event on the second Saturday, October 13.

Our meeting place for this day will be The Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine. Their address is 11 Magnolia Ave.  which is on the left side of San Marco Ave. just past the A1A turnoff if you are headed south.

The hours for the Fountain of Youth are 9-5, so we should arrive as close to 9 AM as possible. There is plenty of free parking. You can then bring your supplies in through the main entrance.

They are allowing us in as their guests, so we will be admitted free of charge! Just tell the folks at the entrance that you are with the First Coast Pastel Society.

Lyn tells me that there are wonderful options for things to paint there. There is a tall tower overlooking the marsh, and a replica ship being built on the grounds, and peacocks wandering around as well. There are areas in sun and areas in shade. With 15 acres of grounds to explore there should be plenty of painting opportunities.

On weekends they also fire the cannons every hour! Be prepared. And there will be Native Americans performing that weekend, a great opportunity to paint people in costume.

So bring your paint supplies. Bring hats, bug spray, a picnic lunch. There are picnic grounds where we can meet and eat. I look forward to seeing you on October 13th. I hope we have a great turnout.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Making waves for the fall

August 25th kicked off the first fall meeting for the First Coast Pastel Society. Our normal meeting would have been September 1, but we made a change when we realized that was Labor Day weekend. The change worked well as it was a glorious day for the meeting, and a lovely drive to the library where the meeting was held.

We entered the meeting with  paid 26 members, and added a few new ones at the meeting, so we are still continuing to grow! Pass the word, as anyone who joins this fall will get a membership through the end of 2013. So it pays to join during the next few months!

We had 15 people attend the meeting, which was a treat, as we all got to see our own Richard Lundgren  give a demonstration on painting waves. We have many more photos of his demo so any member who would like to see them can email us at and we will tell you how you can see them. But watching Richard in action was a wonderful learning experience.

Lyn told us, at our last spring meeting, how important it was to have your pastel box set up properly, and Richard's box certainly demonstrated how it looks when you have it well done.

It was amazing what Richard was able to accomplish in only 45 minutes., even starting from a drawing already. He worked on the smooth side of Canson paper, which he very lightly sanded. It just shows what you  can accomplish on Canson! And the price for Canson is right too, and it comes in a rainbow of wonderful colors.

This is the painting Richard did for us. It certainly made me want to run right out and start painting waves.

Among other news from the meeting:

Kathleen Galligan  will be conducting our first workshop this coming February. Kathleen has been featured in the Pastel Journal, and been an Artist in Residence for the National Park Service. Check out the link to her website and think about February. Dates will be posted shortly.

Our first show will be held at Reddi Arts in Jacksonville during May/June of 2013. Cost to enter will be $15 for the first painting and $10 for a second. We will have an opening reception early in May on a Sunday afternoon, and participating members will be asked to bring one appetizer. Reddi Arts reserves the right to reject any painting that is not properly framed, and the paintings cannot exceed 36 inches in any dimension. The show will not be juried unless we have too many entries to hang, in which case we may have to turn some aside. It will be judged, however, with excellent merchandise awards being given out.

To give members pointers our November meeting will feature a demo on framing. Stay tuned for the date for  our next plein air get-together as October 6 may not work. If anyone has suggestions for future programs they would like to see please send them to our blog email address.

Among the news our members had to report:

  • Adele Horton reported that the plein air paint-out in Cape Canaveral that she has been accepted into will be held this upcoming October.

  • Sharyn Lightfoot and Richard Lundgren both had works accepted into the national juried competition held by the Alabama Pastel Society.

  • Richard Lundgren and Rick Petersen both had works accepted into the Degas Pastel Society's upcoming national show. 

  • Richard Lundgren has also been accepted into the upcoming annual open juried show of the Pastel Society of America. 

  • Lyn Asselta will be teaching a 5-session class on "Painting the Southern Landscape" at the Ponte Vedra Cultural Center, beginning October 31. The class will meet on 5 Wednesday mornings, 9-12, with a week off for Thanksgiving. Contact the Cultural Center for details. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Kicking off the Fall - August 25

Yay, it's that time of year again folks. We are getting ready to kick off the new season of the First Coast Pastel Society. Normally we would be meeting on September 1 since we meet the first Saturday of the month, but when we realized that was Labor Day weekend we decided to push the meeting ahead a week, and we will be meeting on August 25th instead. The meeting will be held at the Southeast Branch Library in St. Augustine - 6670, US Route 1 South, St. Augustine.  The meeting will be from 10 AM until noon.

The FCPS's own Richard Lundgren will be doing a demo for us. I promise this is something you won't want to miss. It's great to watch Richard.  We hope you all have had a great summer and gotten a lot of painting done. We look forward to seeing you at the meeting.

We have lots of great things planned for the rest of this year and 2013, including our first show and our first workshops. Come to our meeting to hear all of our exciting plans.

We hope you all like our group's logo as well. It was created to represent our location along the southeast coast of the US, as well as to be simple so that it can easily be seen even if made very small, or if made to be in monochrome colors. We definitely want the southeast First Coast area to get on the map in the pastel world!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

June meeting

Our final meeting before the summer break was held this past Saturday at Wendy Tatter's gallery in St. Augustine.  Our president, Lyn Asselta, gave a very educational demo on organizing your pastel box. And, quite incidentally, showed us a fabulous Heilman pastel box.

She stressed that if you use the correct values then color is actually less important, so that it's good to organize not only by color or similar method, but by value also, so that you can pick up almost any color from your box, and and as long as the value is correct it should work in your painting.

We had a good attendance and even had three new members sign up and pay their dues at the meeting on Saturday. We now have 21 paid members which is pretty good for an organization that is only 5 months old. We hope to continue to grow, and have many exciting events upcoming later in the year and in 2013. Workshops, shows ... Come join us!

Member news from the meeting: 
  • Adele Horton has been accepted into the Canaveral  Plein-Air paintout, which is only accepting 28 artists.
  • Richard will also be teaching an upcoming workshop in Bucks County, PA, Sept. 7-9, with a theme of painting water. I wish he would teach it here too! Or at least consider doing a demo for us. :-)
  • Lyn Asselta has an upcoming show at the First Street Gallery in Neptune Beach, with opening reception on Friday, June 22, 7-9 PM.

 (artwork by Kim Daniel)

To close out our meeting we did something that was a lot of fun, and I hope we can repeat in the future. We had a painting exchange. Ten member brought in wrapped paintings which were each assigned a number, and we then drew numbers from a basket to see whose painting we would go home with.

Luckily no one drew their own painting, LOL. And we all got mementos of small artwork from other FCPS members. I hope we can do an exchange again like this, maybe at Christmas time.

Note: If any artists would like to send me information about news or shows please email me with the information and I can post it on the blog!