Upcoming Events - Chicago Pastel Painters


Upcoming Events - Chicago Pastel Painters
Spring 2016
from the president’s corner
et ready for our member show, Strokin’ VI! opening September 30.
All of you should have seen the prospectus (if not, see page 4).
I hope you are working on your paintings (or already have some ready)
for submission.
Two years ago on our 10th anniversary, we made the choice of stepping
into Chicago’s art “world” to select the jurors for our member shows.
We are continuing with this tradition by asking some of Chicago’s wellknown artists, Sergio Gomez and Clayton Beck, to jury and judge this
year’s show.
I expect that we will continue to impress all who see our exhibition with
the wonders of the pastel medium. Our member shows (which alternate
every other year with our national shows) are smaller and more intimate,
where we not only try to shine as individuals but have the opportunity to
project who we are as the Chicago Pastel Painters.
Watch for our upcoming announcements — we are planning various
events for summer and fall. There will be two workshops with Clayton
Beck in mid August, a mutually beneficial opportunity, I believe.
Upon closing, we are sorry to have Lauren Petersen and Elaine Lorenz
resign from the Board. We thank them for volunteering and wish them
all the best.
And we thank Evelyn Brody for
stepping up yet again to help the
CPP, this time to fill the vacant
position of Secretary.
Best to all,
New Members
The following have recently
become CPP members:
Stella De Genova, Chicago, IL
Carol Gildar, Highland Park, IL
Upcoming Events
5/1 CPP Strokin’ VI! submissions
open online
6/26 Bill Schneider Studio Tour
(see page 10)
7/31 Strokin’ VI! submission
deadline (midnight CDT)
8/29 Jury notification for
Strokin’ VI! the week of August 29
(TBA) Clayton Beck workshops
9/23 Strokin’ VI! painting hand
9/19–9/23 Strokin’ VI! shipped
work to arrive
9/30 (Friday 6–9:00 pm)
Strokin’ VI! opening reception
and award ceremony
(TBA) Art Institute Viewing
10/30 Strokin’ VI! show closes
10/31–11/01 Pick up art from
Strokin’ VI! (10 am – 6 pm)
(TBA) CPP Holiday Party
Diana Mitchell, Wheaton, IL
Russell Sup, LaGrange, IL
Plus, more events in the works
c h ic a gopa ste lpa i nters.org
Nancy Miller’s
Meet the Member
scholarship to Mundelein College, her
parents were hesitant about her
career choice and told her that she
had to have something she could fall
back on. So she earned both a BFA
and a liberal arts degree.
el Thompson said that she tries
to attend every event that CPP
offers at The Art Institute. She told
me how in 1998, a visit to the Mary
Cassatt Exhibit there had a huge
impact on her. That experience is
what drew Mel to pastel. She loved
the colors and was intrigued by the
delicate strokes of Cassatt’s paintings.
Mel was also struck by Cassatt’s own
fingerprints, in pastel, on her pastel
[Mel]…heard rumblings about a
group of artists who had gotten
together to form Chicago Pastel
Painters. She joined and has been
a member ever since.
case. Mel decided that she, too,
wanted to try pastels, (instead of the
watercolors she had been using). For
a year, she researched the medium
and pastel artists.“It wasn’t like it is
today, where you could take a pastel
class or workshop when you wanted.
There weren’t any, unless you wanted
to go back to college, which I couldn’t
afford. So I pretty much had to teach
myself. There were only a few varieties
of pastels and pastel papers in those
days.” She bought some and
began experimenting on her own.
Mel developed a very colorful,
Impressionistic style.
As one of seven kids, Mel Thompson
drew and doodled in her Ohio home.
Her parents recognized her talent
immediately. Mel was lucky enough to
have a fantastic art program in high
school. When she won an art
After college, she decided to stay in
Chicago. She met her husband of 39
years, while working as an interior
designer/saleswoman for John M.
Smyth. She continued working there,
while raising their two boys. Later
on she designed draperies and
eventually worked in human
resources for Smyth. Creating her own
art was a hobby, which she squeezed
into her busy schedule.
her shows but he refused to handle
the sales, which was fine with Mel.
They started off in Chicagoland, often
doing 10 to 15 venues a season, but
when that market became saturated,
they started traveling to other venues
in the Midwestern U.S. They often
made a mini-vacation of it. Mel
explained that she felt very fortunate
to do art fairs. “Art fairs allowed me to
connect with people, which I needed
after being isolated in my studio.
When her oldest son was a high
school junior, Mel decided to quit her
job and become a full-time artist.
From then until now, her mornings
are for painting. Afternoons are for
framing, matting and doing the
necessary business related
paperwork, e-mails and phone calls.
Lucky for Mel, her studio is right
across the street.
Mel got into the art fair circuit right
away. “You could earn a decent living
at it in those days,” she said. Her very
supportive husband, Owen, traveled
with her to help set up and take down
Edge of the Fox.
Brockway Mountain II. Mel uses Le Carte and Wallis papers primarily. She
works in a variety of standard sizes, with some being over four feet long.
Meet the Member MEL THOMPSON, continued
Even if they didn’t buy a painting, I felt
blessed to hear how much my art
meant to people.” One of her favorite
memories was of a little girl, who
brought her birthday money to the art
fair and chose one of Mel’s smaller
pieces as her first art acquisition. The
little girl was delighted! Another
memory was the contacts she made.
She sold many corporate and
insurance company paintings to
Summer Pool
and hospitals. You had to be chosen
to display work there. The person who
was supposed to display backed out,
and they called Mel to fill in. Someone
from Rush Hospital saw her work
and purchased fifteen paintings for
Rush’s newly remodeled Elective
Surgery Floor!
Along the Fox River
people who just wandered through.
Her paintings are in Japan and Korea
because foreign travelers were
looking for something to fill their
afternoon and happened to meet Mel
at an art fair!
Her work is also in galleries in Chicago
and Michigan but selling something
there isn’t the same. “You usually
don’t get the connection with people
who buy your work in that setting.
With selling paintings, sometimes it’s
just DUMB LUCK,” she told me. For
example, she told me about a satellite
gallery that once existed in Oak Park,
that was sponsored by corporations
Art fairs are sadly a thing of the past
for the Thompsons, after last year. Mel
explained, “They just haven’t been the
same since the economy tanked in
2008. Attendance is down and people
aren’t buying my type of art at art fairs
any longer. Many art fairs are more
craft fairs than fine art venues.
Entrance fees have skyrocketed. Also,
the fact that it’s getting harder as we
get older, made us decide to give it
up.” She wants to spend more time
with her grandchildren.
The Illinois Artisan’s Program was her
first professional organization. Her
work was published in Pastel Journal
years ago. In 2003, Mel achieved
Signature status with Pastel Society of
America. Next, she joined Great Lakes
Pastel Society. She was looking for a
pastel group in Chicago for over a
year, when she heard rumblings
about a group of artists who had
gotten together to form Chicago
River Pines
Pastel Painters. She joined and has
been a member ever since.
Her advice for budding artists is
“Just paint as often as you can. Keep
experimenting and growing. You are
a different artist everyday.”
c h ic a gopa ste lpa i nters.org
Sixth Biennial Member Juried Exhibition
2016 Prospectus
Opening Reception and Award Ceremony
Friday, September 30, 2016, 6 - 9 pm
15609 South 94th Avenue
Orland Park, Illinois 60462
Submissions open
May 1, 2016
Submissions close Midnight, CDT, July 31, 2016
Jury Notification the week of
August 29, 2016
Shipped Work to arrive
September 19-23, 2016
Hand-Delivery 10 am-6 pm, September 23, 2016
BEST OF SHOW 2014 Member Juried Exhibition
Paris Bus Stop, Tatijana Jacenkiw,
CPP-M, PSA, IAPS Master Circle
Pick Up
10 am-6 pm, October 31 & November 1, 2016
Return of Shipped Work to start October 31, 2016
Open to all current members of the Chicago Pastel Painters.
To become a member or renew, visit CPP’s website,
www.ChicagoPastelPainters.org. All work must be original,
created, and produced by the artist without class, workshop, or
any other supervision and have at least 80% of the image area
in soft pastel. No oil pastels. Compositions taken from
published material will not be considered original. Work
previously exhibited in any CPP Exhibition is not eligible. CPP
reserves the right to refuse any painting that does not meet
these professional standards. Return of such paintings will
occur at the artist’s expense. All accepted work must remain on
exhibit for the duration of the show. All work must be for sale.
Once prices are submitted, they are final.
Artist may submit up to 3 images. All entries for this exhibition
are digital, submitted online through ShowSubmit, and may be
linked online at www.ChicagoPastelPainters.org.
No size limitations. All work must be professionally framed and
ready to be hung. No screw eyes. No sawtooth hangers. Glass
at artist’s own risk.
If work is framed by Art and Company, CPP will retain a 10%
commission. Artist will receive 90% of sale. If work is already
framed, Art and Company will receive a 30% commission and
CPP a 10% commission on all sales. Artist will then receive
60% of sale.
Sergio Gomez
Sergio Gomez was among the first
group of artists who moved to the Zhou
B Art Center and started Third Fridays
in the Fall of 2004. Currently, he
is Curator/Director of Exhibitions at the
Zhou B Art Center, Owner/Director of
33 Contemporary Art Gallery and
coaches artists to excel in their art
careers. Sergio has curated a number
of important exhibitions including ten
years of "The National Self-Portrait
Exhibition," "Chicago's Twelve," and
"National Wet Paint MFA Biennial“.
Clayton J. Beck III
After graduation from the American
Academy of Art in Chicago, Clayton
studied at the Palette and Chisel
Academy of Fine Arts with Richard
Schmid. Clayton’s career began while
still at the American Academy,
exhibiting at Jody Kirberger’s Talisman
Gallery and winning awards from the
Midwest Pastel Society, the Palette &
Chisel, and the Pastel Society of
America. He conducts classes at the
Palette & Chisel Academy on a regular
basis and is a Master member of the
American Impressionist Society.
Current members: $35.00, up to 3 images. No refund of entry
Best of Show - $1,000. Cash and Merchandise awards will total
up to $4,000.00. Winners will be announced at the opening
Accepted artists will receive detailed information about handdelivery, shipping and handling, and exhibition labels. A
handling fee of $40.00 minimum per container will be charged
for shipped work.
All reasonable care will be taken with paintings and
submissions. However, the Chicago Pastel Painters, its
officers or volunteers, and the Art and Company, its officers or
volunteers, will not be responsible for loss or damage. CPP
suggests that participants carry separate insurance for loss or
damage in transit. CPP reserves the right to reproduce
accepted artwork for publicity purposes. All accepted work (no
substitutes) must be delivered or shipped as specified in this
prospectus. If accepted work is not available for the exhibition
or for the entire time of the exhibition, the artist may be
prohibited from exhibiting in future CPP shows. Artist will
release the Chicago Pastel Painters and Art and Company
from any liability by entering this exhibition.
QUESTIONS - Mike Barret Kolasinski
[email protected] - 773-583-8391
Photo Credit: Michael Coakes
Meet the Judges of our 2016 Member Exhibition
Judge of Selections
Judge of Awards
Sergio Gomez
Clayton J. Beck III
Sergio Gomez is a Chicago based visual
artist and creative entrepreneur. He
received a Master of Fine Arts degree from
Northern Illinois University.
Sergio was among the first group of artists
who moved to the Zhou B Art Center
and started Third Fridays in the fall of
2004. Currently, he is Curator/Director
of Exhibitions at the Zhou B Art Center,
Owner/Director of 33 Contemporary Art
Gallery and coaches artists to excel in their
art careers. Sergio has curated a number of
important exhibitions including ten years
of “The National Self-Portrait Exhibition,”
“Chicago’s Twelve,” and “National Wet Paint
MFA Biennial.“
Sergio’s work has been subject of solo
exhibitions in the United States, Italy and
Vienna. He has participated in numerous
group exhibitions in Spain, Sweden,
London, Mexico and the US. His work can
be found in private and public collections
of the National Museum of Mexican Art,
Brauer Art Museum, and the MIIT Museo
Internazionale Italia Arte, among other
public and private collections.
After graduation from the American
Academy of Art in Chicago, Clayton
Beck studied at the Palette and Chisel
Academy of Fine Arts with Richard
Schmid. Clayton’s career began while
still at the American Academy, exhibiting
at Jody Kirberger’s Talisman Gallery
and winning awards from the Midwest
Pastel Society, the Palette & Chisel, and
the Pastel Society of America. He now
conducts classes at the Palette
& Chisel on a regular basis and is a
Master member of the American
Impressionist Society.
Clayton’s Artist Statement states: “My love
for painting has always been enhanced
by my love to teach. Any artist who thinks
they understand painting should try
teaching. They will soon realize how little
they know. I have always felt that I have
a responsibility to teach because
I have been given a generous gift
from my teachers (i.e., Bill Parks, Ted
Smuskiewicz, and Richard Schmid)
and it should be passed on to the next
generation of painters who share this
love of art.
Workshop Adventures with Clayton Beck by Evelyn Brody
ith planning underway on
Clayton Beck’s workshops this
summer, I’m excited at the prospect of
his focusing on our medium. Clayton
is multi-accomplished (for a taste,
watch his astonishing charcoal and
oil demos at http://www.claytonbeck.
com/Instructional.html) but he loves
to paint with pastel.
And what a clear, inspiring and
dedicated teacher he is! Last July, I
signed up for Week 1 of his “Forty
Heads in Four Weeks” marathon at the
Palette & Chisel in Chicago – and
re-upped for a second week and then
for a third. (See two 3-hour head
studies below.) In January Clayton
returned (and I signed up again) for a
5-day workshop: two days of still life
and three days of portraits (with a
different set-up/model each day).
For the still life days, Clayton asked us
to bring in an object or two we
wanted to paint “to work on a
particular problem you think you may
be having.” So, of course, I picked the
most complicated portable object in
the house (other than the cat), an
elaborately patterned and unusually
shaped ewer (below). Clayton pressed
me to re-do the pomegranate on the
left until I successfully showed that it
was old and dried out, in contrast to
the two other pomegranates that still
had some juice in them. He also
advised making the orange a bold
disk, which worked perfectly!
If you haven’t studied with Clayton
before, you’re in for a treat – but
prepare to work hard!
Look for details to come on Clayton
Beck’s August workshops.
E. Brody, “Head Study I, July 2015”
E. Brody, “Seville Ewer”
E. Brody, “Head Study II, July 2015”
Plein Air Painting in Cuba: Beauty with Decay
n February of this year, Plein Air
Magazine sponsored a trip to Cuba
for 100 artists to explore and paint for
six days. We were such a large group
of artists to descend on Cuba at one
time, that it was considered a very
“historic” trip in the fact that it was
open to the U.S. for who-knows-howlong, and happened before changes
occur to improve their infrastructure.
We lined the streets of Havana to
paint most days; other days offered
trips to nearby villages for painting.
But no matter the
location, the
Cubans were very
gracious and were
honored that we
were painting their
Repeatedly I have
been asked how
I would describe
Cuba…and I say:
it is “elegantly disgusting.” The
architecture offers the beauty
of Europe, but much of it is
crumbling away. The poverty
is so apparent and upsetting,
that it resembles the back
roads of Jamaica. Put the two
together and you have beauty
with decay. The environment
provides much for the artist’s
eye, but those who are wanting
a beautiful, romantic get-away,
Cuba is much too rugged.
Along with scheduled cultural
experiences and tourist spots,
we were provided much time to
paint. Only two of us brought
pastels for the plein-air-only
painting. The oil painters often
remarked they were sorry they
hadn’t brought pastels due to
our ease in setup and transport.
For this trip, I made a very lightweight
pastel box out of Coroplast to attach
to my tripod because we were so
limited on weight on our
charter flight. It contained
plenty of the sticks I needed
and weighed next to nothing.
It was part of my carry-on for
the flight, as were all of the
completed paintings that were
carefully separated and lashed
together to avoid smudging.
Cuba’s Inner Beauty, a large studio
painting on gessoed Gatorboard
In the six days, I completed
13 paintings and when home,
completed larger pastels and oils
from reference photos from the trip.
On April 8th, we hosted a large Cuban
show of my work at our gallery on
Clark in Chicago, complete with
Cuban food from a nearby restaurant.
The response was amazing, as
Americans seem enchanted with All
Things Cuban right now.
Four of the paintings have since been
packed to send to McBride Gallery in
Annapolis. They selected a few of the
other Cuban artist/travelers to exhibit
plein air and studio work as a group
through July in their gallery, with the
opening in early May.
It’s How We Ride, a Cuban taxi; finished
pastel of model (pictured with Nancie,
above); the 13 unpacked plein air pastels
by Nancie King Mertz,
c h ic a gopa ste lpa i nters.org
CPP Outing
Art Institute
Inspire CPP
n Tuesday, April 5, 2016 the
Art Institute of Chicago Prints
and Drawings
Department once
again opened its
doors for CPP to view
pastels of various
genres, which are not
always available to
the public.
“The painting that got the most
attention was the Severini selfportrait. We had tried to view it
before, but it was on loan out of the
country and needed to be reframed,“
says Jean Fargo, CPP member and
organizer of the event.
Available to us for admiring,
photographing or sketching were:
Gino Severini, “Self-Portrait” 1909
Willem de Kooning “Two Women’s
Torsos” 1952
Francis Chapin “Boat Composition”
Camille Pissaro “Church and Farm at
Eragny” 1895
Eugene Boudin “Seaside Port of
Honfleur” 1860
Maurice Utrillo “The Village Spire” N/D
Toulouse Lautrec “May Milton” 1895
Edgar Degas “Café-Concert” 1876-77
Raoul Duffy “Ascot” 1938
Henri-Gabriel Ibels “Lovers in an
Arbor” 1895
Odilon Redon “Ophelia” 1906
Wm Penhallow Henderson “Navajo
Spring Dance” 1917
Jack Beal “Landscape-Lovegrass” c1970
Edgar Degas “Dancer Stretching at the
Bar” 1877/80
Alfred Sisley “A Corner of Moretsur-Loing” 1895
Gino Severini, “Self-Portrait”,
1909, pastel on gray wove
paper with blue and black
fibrous inclusions
Cosette Kosiba sketches one of
the selections.
In all, fifteen CPP members and friends enjoyed
viewing this inspiring event. Afterwards several
continued their art discussions over a cafeteria
lunch, then visited the special exhibit of the
Van Gogh Bedrooms.
CPP Membership
Framing – an Elegant Affair
by Mike Kolasinski
raming for an exhibition is a lot like getting dressed for an elegant
affair. Your wonderful masterpiece needs to look its finest for its
adoring public.
The first thing to consider is whether to mat or not. Foremost, a
totally professional appearance should be employed. Even though
traditional matting is a viable option, there is a general feeling that
a pastel framed with a mat has a tendency to appear as a print or
poster thus giving the impression that the artwork is of lesser value. If
accessorizing with mats, apply neutral colors like white, off-white, or
beige and use spacers to maintain a separation between your work
and mat to channel any loose dust so it falls into that space and not
on your precious covers. Nothing is more horrifying than viewing an
absolutely beautiful pastel with dust splattered all over the mats.
Instead consider the in-vogue fashion of using just frame and glass
as in a plein air application, or possibly using a liner, with or without
a fillet, that acts as a spacer.
Whichever method of framing
“A good frame won’t help
is employed, always use wood
a bad painting, but a
frames. Metal frames again add
bad frame will hurt
to the demeanor of your work
a good painting.”
looking like a print or poster.
Now that the outer garments have been discussed, let’s walk the
runway about protection. Glass is always used to protect your valuable
accomplishment from touch and moisture. Use glass, never plexiglass.
Plex contains static electricity that will pull pastel particles from its
surface. Instead pay the extra cost and purchase not just regular glass
but anti-reflection (AR) glass or museum glass. Both cut down the
amount of reflections, museum glass goes a step further by adding
ultraviolet light protection, and the appearance of the painting is
extremely enhanced. Since the glass virtually and visually disappears,
it’s worth the added expense. Obviously, it goes without saying, the
glass should be clean in appearance without those dreaded
smudged fingerprints.
Now that your strokes-of-genius is in a place of safeguard, it needs
the readiness of “hangability.” Our focus turns to the back of the frame
where a system of proper suspension is required. No eye screws (they
bend) or sawtooth hangers (they’re not strong enough) are allowed
by most credible exhibitions. In place, use D-rings with picture wire
placed about a quarter of the way down your frame.
Judges, whether they admit it or not, do have a tendency to judge
work in an overall manner taking into account the work and the frame
job. A good frame won’t help a bad painting, but a bad frame will hurt
a good painting. So if your complete presentation exudes a flair for
smart professionalism and stylish panache, it’ll be dressed to kill.
Signature Status – CPP
To receive CPP Signature Status,
an artist must be a member in
good standing and be juried into
three different CPP exhibitions,
either Member or National.
Distinguished Status – CPP-D
To receive CPP Distinguished
Status, an artist must be a
member in good standing and
receive three awards in three
different CPP exhibitions, either
Member or National.
Master Status – CPP-M
To receive CPP Master Status, an
artist must be a member in good
standing and receive three awards
in three different CPP National
Honorary Status – CPP-H
To receive CPP Honorary Status,
an artist must be selected by
CPP’s Board in showing their
achievement of advancing the
merits and goals of CPP.
Are you looking for CPP
signature status?
If you are working toward your
CPP “letters,” it’s important
not to let your membership
lapse. Good for one year
beginning each January, your
membership may be renewed
at any time.
only $35 for the year!
Please sign up or renew at:
c h ic a gopa ste lpa i nters.org
Chicago Pastel Painters
Officers & Committee Chairs
Tatijana Jacenkiw
[email protected]
Brian Sauerland
[email protected]
Mike Barret Kolasinski
[email protected]
Arlene Tarpey
[email protected]
Evelyn Brody
[email protected]
Dotty Carringi
[email protected]
Randy Karey
[email protected]
Pat Hagle
[email protected]
Nancie King Mertz
[email protected]
Jessica Fine
[email protected]
Tobi Star Abrams’ pastel Canadian
Mountains was juried into a show
at Sun City West, Arizona. Exploding
Colors in the Sky was juried into the
5th National Pastel Show at Butler
Center for Arkansas Studies in Little
Rock, Arkansas this past winter.
Julie Skoda’s painting Chicago
Harbor was juried into the Hudson
Valley Art Association National Juried
Exhibition at the Salmagundi Art Club
in NYC this spring.
Gloria Zucaro’s painting The
Schoolhouse has been accepted into
the juried exhibit starting in May at
The Clearing Folk Art School in Ellison
Bay, Wisconsin. The exhibit is called
“The Clearing Speaks: Inspirations
From The Clearing.”
Gloria is also showing, along with
Judy Skulborstad and Dotty
Carringi, at the Advocate Good
Shepherd Fitness and Health Center in
Barrington, Illinois through May.
Join us on Sunday, June 26 at 3:00
for a tour of Bill Schneider’s studio
in Crystal Lake, Illinois. View his art
collection and hear his lecture with
a slide show.
Bill has recently been honored with
the Master Circle designation from
the International Association of
Pastel Societies (IAPS).
If you’re interested in attending this
CPP event, please respond to:
[email protected].
“The Schoolhouse” 12” x 9”
by Gloria Zucaro
Ideas for Awards
for the 2016
Member Show?
The CPP Fundraising Committee
is beginning to solicit sponsors
for awards for this year’s show.
Because 2016 is a member show,
we’re brainstorming about local
individuals or businesses – such
as a restaurant or hotel – who
might be a good match for us.
If you have suggestions or can
help us recruit, please get in
touch with committee chair
Evelyn Brody, at evelynbrody@
icloud.com. Many thanks for
helping make the 2016 show a
Thank You
to all who contributed photos,
stories, ideas and time to this
issue of Wild Onion.
Deadlines for
Wild Onion
July 15, October 15,
January 15, April 15
c h ic a gopa ste lpa i nters.org