Monday, April 23, 2018

Juried Show!

We had a great presentation from Arlene Hanly on April 5. Arlene has had many years of experience as a professional framer.

 We had a great turnout too, with our big annual juried show coming up we had lots of folks interested in framing tips.

Arlene also had good examples of good and not so good framing. I hope everyone got some great tips and had success in framing.

Our big show opening is THIS FRIDAY! Our shows just get better and better every year, and I can't wait to be able to display here the winning pictures, and all the others as well. When I saw the amazing work at the receiving date for our show I knew our judge, Christine Ivers, would have her work cut out for her. I'd sure hate to be the one making the choices.

Okay everyone, keep in mind these weekend dates!

When:   FRIDAY, APRIL 27   6:00 - 8:00 pm  

When:    SATURDAY, APRIL 28    12:00-2:00 pm in the Cultural Center classroom


Thursday, April 5, 2018

General meeting - framing

What:   FCPS General Meeting
When:  Saturday, April 7, 2018, 10 AM to noon
Where: Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach 

I hope you've all seen your reminder emails. Saturday it's time once again to get together for our general meeting, and we hope people will happily turn out with this nicer weather we are having.

Our juried show is coming up so it's time to get our accepted pieces framed and ready to go. If you have questions bring them on Saturday. Artist Arlene Hanly will be there to give us tips and advice about framing.

If you have any good tips of your own please bring them along to share with the group.

I have one tip I'll pass along freely right here. If you are in need of D-rings to attach your hanging wire you don't need to travel to a specialty art store. They can be purchased locally at your nearest Lowe's.

See you Saturday!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Show and Workshop information

The First Coast Pastel Society’s Juried Member Show and Sale will be on exhibit April 27 to June 8, 2018 at The Cultural Center of Ponte Vedra Beach, 50 Executive Drive, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. 

The opening reception and award presentation will be held on Friday evening April 27th from 6 to 8 pm. This year’s exhibit is juried by artist Christine Ivers a Master Pastelist of the Pastel Society of America. She is currently a board member of the International Association of Pastel Associations and a past board member of the Pastel Society of America.

From April 29 to May 1, 2018 Christine will also be giving a workshop  at the Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach for registered participants. The workshop is titled “Explore the Dark Side” focusing on painting night scenes.

The First Coast Pastel Society is based in northeast Florida, with members from Jacksonville, St. Augustine, and points north, west and south.The Society offers workshops, demonstrations and plein air opportunities at their monthly meetings and welcome new members.
The mission statement of the FCPS is as follows:
"To promote the use of soft pastel within the FCPS membership and the community at-large as an important and continually evolving fine art medium."  Pastel is pure powdered pigment with a binder and usually is applied to a textured paper. To learn more about the pastel medium, visit

Visit FCPS site here at to learn more about the group or email

The Cultural Center is conveniently located off A1A in Ponte Vedra Beach with ample free parking. You are invited to come out and view this gorgeous exhibit of pastels that showcase the beauty of the versatile pastel medium.

Finally - our Kingsley plein air

Well we finally managed to have our plein air day at Kingsley Plantation! It was a cool day. I don't think it got out of the 50s in the morning, and there was a strong wind. But the sun was out and shining, and those who attended were able to find secluded spots of out the wind. It was certainly nicer than our previous planned day in January!

We had participants from as nearby as Fernandina, probably the closest location where we have members.

But most of us came from farther away and had a good drive to get there.

We even had one quite new member who came up all the way from St. Augustine.

And she rode with a friend, a guest oil painter. She came all the way from Palm Coast!

 We ended up having seven participants in total.

 Not a bad number on a fairly cool morning, and quite a distance to travel for most of us.

As we usually do we all broke about 11:30 to join one another for a picnic lunch. There are no picnic tables on the grounds, and the air *was* cool. But we found a nice bench out in the sun, by the plantation herb garden, and used it as a makeshift place to gather around and eat, and use as a table if needed.

And again, as we often do - after lunch we held a show-and-tell for those who chose to participate. So here is our "show" of the works done on this fine morning - with the usual caveat that many of these are still in varying stages of completion.

I did my best to get shots that didn't cover the paintings with shadows, and sorry I was not completely successful! It was a great day, though. I think all the participants enjoyed it.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

What: Kingsley Plantation Plein Air
When: Saturday, March 3, 9 AM to 1 PM
Where: Kingsley Plantation

Ok folks, we are trying this plein air once again. Kingsley is a fabulous place with gorgeous views everywhere you turn. Please see the previous blog posts for all the details. Just key in Kingsley in the search box at the top left and you should find it all.

- It looks like it may be cool again on Saturday (but 50s and 60s, not 30s!) so dress appropriately.
- Bring a chair as we may choose to have lunch on the grounds, and no picnic tables there.
- See the calendar reminder email for directions.

Let’s hope for better luck this time!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Christine Ivers workshop (April 29 to May 1)

We have a lot of amazing things coming up this spring and one will be this workshop with Christine Ivers, who will also be juror and judge for our Spring Juried Member Show.

Please see our website for information on signing up for the workshop. Interested members should get their deposits in now as we will be opening up registration to non-members.

Chris is noted for her nightscapes, which is what she'll be doing with us. If you go look at the nightscapes on her website you'll see why this should be a great workshop.

Member Critique

We were all saddened by the news at this meeting that, due to personal reasons, our President, Cindy Pierson, has had to step down from her position. It's been great working with Cindy and we hope she can participate with us when she is able to. 

Luckily our great Vice President, Carron Wedlund, has stepped in to fill the breach. Carron led the meeting and introduced our guest speaker, Donna Grasso.  

We had about 30 members at the meeting to hear Donna, including several new members.

All of them were very attentive to what Donna had to say. Members brought in works for Donna to critique and she gave helpful suggestions to everyone. Because there were so many paintings she could not do long and  thorough critiques of everyone, but gave everyone great key points that made them look at their works with new eyes.

In addition Donna brought a few of her own works, and it was a real treat to see the sort of things she does too. It was a great meeting and gave us all things to think about as we prepare for our upcoming spring Juried Member Show.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Member meeting - and upcoming Member Show

What:    Member meeting
When:   February 3, 2018 - 10 AM to 12 noon
Where: Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach

Janelle recently reminded us that the deadline for entering our Spring juried show is February 17, now less than three weeks away. Has everyone been working on entries? Is anyone feeling "stuck" or unsure about their possible entries?

If so our upcoming meeting is the meeting for you! We will be having Donna Grasso as our guest presenter. Donna is a former FCPS member and award winner, a full-time professional artist and teacher, and works in many mediums. She has an excellent eye and will be here to provide critiques.

All members are encouraged to bring 2-3 paintings for Donna to critique. Bring what you feel is your best and strongest work, or bring pieces you may be struggling with. Donna will use this opportunity to point out the strong points and the weak points in a constructive way.

She will focus on the basic elements of art as well as use of pastel, and will point out what works and what doesn't in a piece. Visit her website to see her beautiful work.

Let's take this opportunity to get some help on creating artwork that will make our 2018 show the best one yet.

Debora Stewart - our first 2018 workshop

We held our first workshop of 2018 earlier this month with a fascinating twist from Debora Stewart. For whatever reason we don't generally seem to see much abstract work in our medium, but Debora may have some of us rethinking that.

She certainly had a beautiful box of pastels with great color options, but she also used a great many other mediums in her work - charcoal, clear gesso, liquid acrylics. 

She started off with lots of charcoal strokes and had participants try the same on their own - not trying to create anything objective but just being free and loose.

It was certainly a lot of fun to see what Deborah laid down on her paper. She had fascinating exercises like giving a word like "excitement" or"peace" or "childlike" and then having the students drawing marks that that word embodied to them.

These started with charcoal marks and then colors were added that the words invoked as well.

The first day of the workshop was completely non-objective.

But there was a lot of information about colors, shapes, values, and all things that apply no matter what sort of art you produce.

The second day there were lots of floral displays set up and there was information about abstracting an objective object like a flower, but also about being able to use the same techniques for portraits, landscapes, or anything else. 

This created some beautiful pieces - not only like the one above by Debora, but by the workshop participants as well. All those I spoke to said it was a very freeing and liberating workshop experience.

Hmm, I wonder now how many more abstract pieces we might see at our upcoming juried member show later this year?

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Kingsley Plantation - They Gave a Plein Air and Nobody Came!

It was 35 degrees on Saturday morning at Kingsley Plantation! This was not the first time we had faced weather like this though. Way back in February 2013 it was 35 degrees when we had a plein air at the Jacksonville Arboretum. Yet we still had a great turn-out of artists, even though all in winter coats and even long johns! But the weather report back then promised to warm up and sure enough by late morning it had gotten up into the 60s so we had a great day. But Saturday promised never to get out of the mid-40s. Several people had told me at Tim's the night before that it was far too cold for them to plan to come, so I didn't know what it expect.

But I got up and out early and headed to Kingsley. It did feel quite cold, but the sun was out and shining. I scouted around and found the picnic table at the Ribault Club that the ranger had recommended to me on my previous visit.

There were certainly paintable opportunities but yes it was cold. From the inside out I had on a T-shirt, fleece shirt, PolarTec jacket, and a down vest! And I was still cold until I got on my hat and gloves. I was comfy then but of course it's hard to paint with pastels while wearing gloves. At any rate I settled into the parking lot and waited to see what would happen, but what happened was that nobody came! The plein air was scheduled at 9 AM, so I decided it was okay to leave when no one had showed up by 9:45.

It never did warm up though on Saturday. What a difference a day makes and both Sunday and Monday warmed up nicely to be refreshing plein air days, but Saturday was a winter day. However I'm so glad to have discovered Kingsley. It's a wonderful place. We have to get it back into our plein air rotation sometime soon because everyone will love it. Just not in January again perhaps. :-)

But the trip was hardly a waste. I got some great reference photos. And there were lots of birds! As some folks know I'm an avid birder as well as a painter, so I took some time to check out birds in the area. I didn't paint on Saturday, but here are the birds I saw.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Tim's Wine Market entries

Well in our last entry we got to see a bit of Tim's Wine Market, and great photos of many of our wonderful FCPS members who either participated in the show, or who came out to the show opening to support our group. It was great seeing everyone last night, and great to see all the artwork. So now for the artwork!

Of course I have many of the usual caveats. All the pictures you are about to see are wonky, tilted, at funny angles...Most of you all know how hard it is to photograph framed pastels because of the glare and reflection of the glass. I tried very hard to avoid glare and reflection, so lots of photos are taken from off sides. The paintings were also hung fairly high to allow for Tim's merchandise below them, so I was shooting up for almost all the photos. I also was not able to get the labels for most of them so can't tell you whose painting is whose for the most part - so you all can have the fun of trying to guess who painted what!

And, despite my best efforts, I apologize to those artists who wound up with flying saucers in the middle of your paintings! There was a lot of reflected light. I tried to go around the room and get pictures of all the art, so again I apologize if I missed your painting. Let me know and I can add it.

And my usual last caveat: Since the photos are so bad you need to make a trip to Tim's Wine Market to see the actual show. It will be up for a month.

Enjoy the show, and buy a bottle of wine while you are there. :-)