Welcome to the Blog Of CPSA DC210 San Jose

CPSA District Chapter 210, San Jose, CA

Monday, July 10, 2017

Hello fellow DC210 chapter members!

As you know, our July 15 meeting has been planned as a field trip to an historic section of Santa Cruz, CA, adjacent to the San Lorenzo River.  Our destination is a small community of vintage and charming cottages, nestled among redwood trees, ferns, hydrangeas, and many other flora.  This location is also host to pre and post-Civil War construction of the California Powder Works, such as a covered bridge, a large Victorian farmhouse, and an original powder house for storing black gun powder.

To kick off our trip, a local resident and our host, Judy Wahl, will be providing a tour of some of the more interesting historic sites in the community, some selected with artists in mind.  During this tour, we will see many opportunities for photos and sketching/drawing.  Following the tour, we can return to any of the places we saw for more photos, or to settle in for a nice session of drawing, or exploring more of the community on our own. 

We will meet up for lunch to discuss what we are working on and to ask any questions of our host we might have.  After that, we can return to exploring and documenting the community, hopefully for future projects.  Before we depart, we will meet up for a show and tell e.g., sketches, photos, ideas for future projects.

Please feel free to bring a guest.   Artists working in any medium are welcome.

RSVP to Paula Greer and Peggy Milovina Meyer by July 12

Details - Meet at Paradise Park, 211 Paradise Park, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, at 10am, July 15, 2017. 


1.       Take CA-17 S towards Santa Cruz

2.       Take CA-1 N (a slight right after passing the CA-1 S exit)

3.       Take a right on to CA-9 N / River St.

4.       Take a slight right at the entrance to Paradise Park Masonic Club (small red gatehouse)

5.       Once you arrive at the entrance, follow the CPSA signs to the parking location.

Carpools – We recommend touching base with other members in your area to set up carpools.  Please consider using our chapter Facebook page to post if you can drive or are looking for a ride.

Lunch – Please bring your own lunch and beverages.  There are no places nearby to purchase food.

What should I bring (besides lunch)? :

·         Drawing/sketching supplies in an easy to carry container, drawing board

·         Collapsible chair that is easy to carry

·         Camera

·         Small bag to hold any trash

·         We will be outside so don’t forget your hat and sunscreen

·         Comfortable walking shoes

·         A light jacket.  Mornings can be brisk and it can get a little chilly in the shade

Take Note:

·         We are guests in the community.  Please respect property and privacy.  If you see something you would like to get closer to that requires you to go into someone’s yard, please ask permission of the owner if they are home.  Generally use your best judgement.  To help with this, we will be given a card with our host’s information in case we are asked (who we are and why we are there).

·         For those with ATT cell phones, service is not great.  Those with Verizon will typically have no issues.

·         For those who may have difficulty getting around, our host has secured two golf carts that will be used while in the park.  

·         If you would like to make a weekend of it, there are many motels and hotels in and near Santa Cruz.

·         Staying the weekend and wonder what to do?  Let us know in advance and we can provide suggestions for interesting places to visit. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

May 20, 2017 Meeting Summary

Hello fellow color pencil artists!
Our latest meeting on May 20th was at the Bothwell Arts Center in Livermore and we missed those of you who were not able to attend.  Let’s catch up with all the happenings in the last couple of months and what is in store over the next couple of months.
Recognitions and Announcements

Congratulations go out to Gemma Gylling and Denise Howard for having their work accepted into the CPSA 25th Annual International Exhibit, and to Paula Greer and Winifred Scott for having their drawings and photographs accepted into the Alameda County Fair Art Show! 
Mike Purdy was invited to donate a piece of art for the National Conference auction.  The only way to donate to the auction is by invitation of the Board of Directors.  Congratulations Mike!

Maryann Kot is returning to Livermore and will resume teaching CP classes at the Bothwell Center this summer.   Please check the Bothwell home page for more information.

Bylaws Out for Final Chapter Review
Please remember to review the Bylaws sent out to the chapter by Paula and report contradictory statements, ambiguities, or unclear/confusing statements back to Paula by June 9th.  Shortly after June 9, the chapter will be asked to vote to accept the Bylaws using an online survey.  A great deal of work has been put into updating our chapter Bylaws and it is important  that all of us take the time to review, understand and vote so we can move on to other important chapter business.

Amy Lindenberger Workshops
Thanks go out to a number of folks for their hospitality, time and support in putting on the workshops.  Special thanks to Betsy and her husband for hosting Amy; Paula Greer for her airport shuttle service; Sharon Wood for managing ordering and delivery of lunches; Brad Meyer, Peggy Milovina Meyer’s husband for setting up the live video display of Amy’s demo.  We had 14 attendees for both of the one day workshops. 

All the feedback was very positive and everyone took away new techniques and ideas to try on their own.  Those at the meeting who attended the workshops shared their experience and impressions.  All learned new techniques and will try using them in future projects. 
Abstract Challenge

We discussed the Abstract Challenge for “To the Point”.  There were several submissions from our chapter.  Both Paula and Denise shared theirs and discussed their inspiration.  Several felt stumped by the challenge in spite of the abstract demo and hands on earlier this year.  There was discussion about some submissions that were rejected because the imagery used was too recognizable.  Going back to our demo, we learned there are several major types of abstract work; one involves familiar imagery i.e. abstract realism, so there was some confusion.  Paula was asked to bring this up at the National meeting since the call for abstracts said all submissions would be accepted.
Chapter Show Update

This year’s chapter show will be held at the San Ramon Library from July – September.  The space for work is limited, so to maximize the number of pieces we can hang, members are asked to “think small”.  The security in the library is very good, and the gallery spaces in good, open areas.  Details and the prospectus will be available soon.  Please mark June 30th on your calendars as the date the show will be hung.  There are a lot of moving pieces involved in putting on the show.  Please take to heart Paula’s request for volunteers.  Most jobs will only take a couple of hours, a small amount of time to make a big impact.
July 15 Fieldtrip/Meeting

For something a little different, our July meeting will be more field trip than meeting.  We will be going to a small historical riverside community just outside of Santa Cruz, CA.  Bring your pencils and cameras and your walking shoes.  A docent will give us a tour of the community built on a black powder works factory founded in the first half of the 19th century.  The community boasts a covered bridge that was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2015.  The many cottages were mostly built in the early 20th century and are quite charming.  Being in the shade of redwoods, the hydrangeas, camellias and rhododendrons are stunning.  We may even see some local wildlife.  We will have a picnic lunch, find a place to draw or take photos, visit and generally have a great day.  Please look for more information on this as we get closer to the date. 
Upcoming Events – Volunteers Needed!

Besides the chapter show, there are a number of events this year and next that need volunteers to make them a success.  Please consider giving a bit of your time on one or more of these events.  Examples of volunteer opportunities include set up and take down, booth time, refreshments, making flyers, and sending emails.  Events are:

·         Livermore ArtWalk – October 7, 2017

·         Nominations Committee for Chapter November officer election

·         2018 Chapter Workshop

·         2018 Chapter Show
Please contact Paula Greer if you are interested in a volunteer opportunity.

Chapter Project for CPSA National Conference

 This year we decided to create a chapter project to be placed on display at the National Conference in July.  The finished project will be a collage of official state symbols in the shape of the state.  The collage is inspired by traditional quilt designs.  The design was divided into 30 squares which have been handed out lottery style.  We spent part of the meeting working on our squares.  The final reassembled collage will be photographed and shared with the chapter.  Thanks to all who are contributing to this project!

Well, that’s enough for now.  We promise to be better about posting blogs going forward.  If you have any suggestions for subjects, please let Paula and Peggy know, especially if you would like to be a guest blogger!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The torch is passed

Denise here, with my final blog posting as president of CPSA District Chapter 210.  I've been president for five years, and what a journey it has been!  At the time I joined, only six and a half years ago (2010), our chapter was hosting the national CPSA convention (good) but was going through a dramatic decline in membership (bad).  When I became president in 2011, we had fewer than 20 members and a couple of meetings were attended by only four members.  I had never led an organization before and lost quite a bit of sleep over this.  How could I revive the chapter?  With few people left to help, I found myself also doing the jobs of webmaster, blogger, show organizer, marketer and presenter.

Things began to turn around when Maryann Kot moved to Livermore from Arizona and started teaching colored pencil classes at the Bothwell Arts Center.  She talked up the CPSA to her students who were looking for more colored pencil information and fellowship, and they began joining and participating.  Education was the key:  people wanted to know more, more, more about colored pencil.  I revived the tradition of an annual show and continued organizing our annual booth at the Livermore ArtWalk; these got us great exposure in communities around the bay area, not only in Livermore but also San Mateo, Half Moon Bay and Los Altos.  I gave presentations about colored pencil as a fine art medium to many art clubs in the area, and collected advice and suggestions from members of these other clubs--community in action.  Wherever I exhibited my own work, I talked up colored pencil and the CPSA.

"Education, Exposure, Community" was the mantra that I learned from former CPSA national president Cindy Haase, which I realized along the way was exactly what was working. In three years our membership doubled in size, which caught the attention of the national board.  I was asked to lead the District Chapters Forum at the 2015 national convention; I wasn't sure I had any idea how to do such a thing, but I accepted the challenge and to my surprise and relief I received great reviews from my fellow chapter presidents.  This led to my being asked to lead it again in 2016.

And then to my surprise, I was offered a position on the national board, as Marketing Director. I've never held a marketing position in my life, but I soon realized their logic: that all the things I've done to revive our chapter are...marketing!  What an opportunity!  I never imagined when I joined CPSA in 2010 that I would ever become a chapter president, let alone a national board member helping to promote over 1700 fellow colored pencil artists in several countries.

My new role dictates that I must step down as chapter president.  And that's okay!  As I write this, DC 210 has almost 45 members, several established annual events, members who are happy to volunteer to help, and a healthy treasury balance.  And two members--Paula Greer and Peggy Milovina--are stepping up with their many combined years of organizational and administrative experience, their easygoing personalities, their intelligence and their enthusiasm for colored pencil and our members, to take over the roles of chapter President and Vice-President, respectively.  I'm comfortable stepping down at this moment, knowing that the chapter is healthy and in good hands!

I'll still be an active, participating member of DC 210, I just won't be instigating things, leading meetings or sending mass emails to our members anymore.  It's been quite a journey, and I'm very grateful for all the people who have helped me as president and us as a chapter get to this moment.  Thank you, and HAPPY DRAWING!

Denise J. Howard, CPSA, CPX

Monday, September 12, 2016

Explorations in Colored Pencil V winners

Our annual show, "Explorations in Colored Pencil V" is currently on display in the Coastal Arts League Gallery in downtown Half Moon Bay, CA!


It includes 32 artworks by 14 artists, and it looks terrific.  The Coastal Arts League folks love it, too.  In fact they still talk about our show there in 2013!  If you get a chance to go see it, it's definitely worth a trip "over the hill" to Half Moon Bay, and then you have a great excuse to visit the beach and have lunch or dinner at one of the great restaurants and do a little window shopping.  Our show will be up through September 24.

The Half Moon Bay Review ran a nice article about it, complete with photo!  (Click on the image below to go to the newspaper's article on their website.)


On Saturday afternoon, September 10, Denise Howard presented "Speeding Up Colored Pencil" in the gallery, free to the public and anyone interested in learning a few ways to accelerate this traditionally slow medium.  We had a good turnout, and a photographer even came to take photos for new promotional materials for the gallery.

A little later on Saturday we had the reception and awards ceremony.  Louise Deutsch arranged for quite a nice array of refreshments to be brought in by both herself and several of our members.  Attendance was a little lighter than expected, probably due to the exceptionally backed-up traffic on the routes into town, particularly Hwy 92.  Our awards judge, Kendra Davis, arrived and said the way she chose the award winners was by specifically not looking at titles or names, she instead chooses based on "What would I most like to have hanging on my own wall?" She announced the following awards:

1st Place and $100: Lost in Time by J.Y. Chang

2nd Place and $50: Happy by Denise Howard

3rd Place and $25: The Persistence of Paint by Denise Howard

Honorable Mention: Terrestrial Orchid Ludisia discolor by Nancy Elizabeth Saltsman

Congratulations to the winners, and a big "Thank you!" to the volunteers who made it all possible!  We're very grateful to the Coastal Arts League for allowing us to use their wonderful space for a whole month and being very helpful, and to Kendra Davis for her time and effort in choosing the award winners. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Highlights of August 2016 meeting

 We had a lot of stuff to talk about!


  • Denise Howard and Ranjini Venkatachari, both won $800 Awards for Outstanding Achievement in the CPSA International Exhibition (and Denise’s sold at the show) 
  • Jackie Chang for five-year Merit Award at CPSA International Exhibition
  • Mike Purdy for acceptance into Lily Tomlin show at FE Gallery in Sacramento
  • Geoff Sargeant for $3500 Best Pastel, Charcoal, Pencil or Ink at St. Kevins Catholic College show in Melbourne, Australia (and the school purchased his drawing)
  • Paula Greer for Best of Class in Alameda county fair
  • Tracey Chaykin and Denise Howard for Award of Merit in state fair show
  • Denise Howard for her new Jump Start kit from Ann Kullberg
  • Andrea Myers for her article in the June Ann Kullberg’s COLOR magazine
  • Ranjini Venkatachari for finalist in All Media competition in The Artist’s Magazine

 Old Business

Laurie Miille created a sample redesign of our chapter brochure which looks GREAT!

We had some shuffling on the chapter board since the last meeting, which started with Membership Director Maryann Kot moving to the Chicago area:
  • Maria Lemery replaced Maryann Kot as Membership Director 
  • Paula Greer replaced Maria Lemery as Vice President
  • Laurie Miille has replaced Jackie Chang as Treasurer 
  • Andrea Myers is our new Webmaster (in addition to Hospitality Coordinator)
We are ramping up to the opening of our chapter show, “Explorations in Colored Pencil V” at the Coastal Arts League Gallery in Half Moon Bay!   The entries are all in and we will have 29 artworks by 13 artists (2 of them non-members).  We will be hanging the show on August 27 and the show will run August 28 - September 24.  The reception and awards announcements will be on Saturday, September 10 from 5:00 - 7:00 PM. 

Earlier that day at 2:00 Denise Howard will give a presentation/demo in the gallery, "Speeding Up Colored Pencil", free and open to the public.

Paula Greer is organizing our booth for the Livermore ArtWalk on Saturday, October 8, 11 AM - 5 PM.

Our next two-day workshop will be Amy Lindenberger!  She will be here April 15-16, 2017 and will teach "Using Colored Pencil on Black Surfaces" one day and "Combining Watercolor Pencil with Colored Pencil" the other day.  Although you might think "Oh, I'm not interested in black paper or watercolor pencils", you owe it to yourself to learn about all these "tools" because you never know when a subject or idea will come up that would be just perfect for one of them!  We want to start composing advertising and the registration form soon; we just need a volunteer to raise his/her hand.

New Business

Paula Greer, Maria Lemery and Janki Chokshi are taking on the task of updating our chapter by-laws.  Once the document is ready, we'll vote on it via a SurveyMonkey poll so that everyone (not just those in attendance at a meeting) can vote.


Laurie Miille is taking over Maryann Kot's drawing classes at the Bothwell Arts Center.

Ranjini Venkatachari is starting "Colored Pencil Possibilities" ongoing classes at the Marketplace in San Ramon.

Mike Purdy has generously donated his Icarus board to our chapter!  The tentative plan is for it to be available for temporary checkout (like a library book) from Laurie Miille at the Bothwell Arts Center starting right now, and then at the November meeting we will raffle it off.  It’s in like-new condition, only used a couple of times; Mike said he’s found that heat just isn’t his thing so it’s been taking up space in his closet.  Thank you, Mike!

We raffled two big convention-goodie bags that included things like an electric pencil sharpener, a set of 24 watercolor pencils, a set of graphite pencils, drawing pads, erasers, a small bottle of Gamsol, an artist apron, and much more.  The lucky winners were Enri Leon and Mary Adamson.


Our scheduled presenter, Roger Arno, had to cancel due to illness.  So instead, Paula Greer and I did a tag-team presentation about the workshop we took at the convention taught by Tracy Frein.  Tracy works with colored pencil on drafting film, but in a different manner than most artists who use this combination.  He calls it “drawing by subtraction”, because he first creates a “ground” of colored pencil evenly all over the surface of the film and then erases away to create the drawing.  It goes very quickly and produces a very interesting look.  To see some examples of his award-winning work, check out his website:  https://tracyfrein.faso.com/

“Show and Tell” was as interesting as ever!  From first-ever colored pencil drawings, to drawings on drafting film, to works in progress on colored paper, to a hard-earned lesson from Paula Greer about the importance of UV (museum) glass for preventing one’s colors from fading, even if the art is never in direct sunlight.

Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be Saturday, November 5, 11:00 - 3:00 at the Bothwell Arts Center in Livermore.  Our presenter will be Roger Arno, a colored pencil artist from Saratoga who had an amazing career as an artist for NASA. 

Happy drawing!
Denise Howard, CPSA, CPX
President, CPSA DC210 San Francisco

Below are some photos from the meeting....

Denise demonstrates Tracy Frein's process for preparing drafting film with dissolved Prismacolor Art Stix

Paula demonstrates Tracy Frein's "drawing by subtraction" process on the prepared drafting film

Vivi Leon and Mary Adamson were the happy raffle winners of big bags of art supply goodies

Friday, August 5, 2016

DC 210 Represents!

CPSA DC 210 San Francisco was well represented at the CPSA convention in Tacoma, WA last week!  As mentioned in an earlier post, five members have pieces in the International Exhibition (which continues until August 13 at The American Art Company in Tacoma).  Seven members attended the convention....

Ranjini Venkatachari, Gemma Gylling, Denise Howard, Paula Greer, J.Y. Chang, Mike Menius.  Not shown: Janki Chokshi.

There were two $800 Awards for Outstanding Achievement, and our members took home both of them!

Michael W. Monroe, Director Emeritus of the Bellevue Art Museum in Bellevue, WA and a former curator at the Renwick Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, was the juror for the 2016 CPSA International Exhibition. He gave a talk/critique at the gallery and this is what he said about Denise's "Tree of Kintsugi ", which he had awarded one of the two Awards for Oustanding Achievement.

Monday, June 13, 2016

DC210 Participates in the Bothwell Art Center's Art Expo

On Sunday, June 12, 2016, the Bothwell Art Center in Livermore hosted its first Art Expo, an opportunity for the community to learn more about not only the Bothwell but some local artists, crafters, art businesses, and art groups.  Our CPSA chapter was there in full force, with two tables and a tag-team of volunteers all day!  On one table we displayed several examples of our members' work along with brochures for visitors to take home if they were interested in learning more about CPSA and our chapter.  On the other table we had colored pencils and watercolor pencils and outlines of cherries for visitors to try drawing under the guidance of our folks.

Many thanks go to Maria Lemery for organizing the effort!  And to everyone who helped set up, take down, and staff the table all day:  Vivi Leon, Jan Loomis, Laurie Miille, Winifred Scott, and Maureen Taylor.  Thanks to you all, more people in the area are now aware of colored pencils, our art and our organization!

Laurie Miille and Vivi Leon

Maureen Taylor and Jan Loomis

Maria Lemery, Winifred Scott and Laurie Mille

Maria Lemery, Winifred Scott and Laurie Miille

Maria Lemery and Winifred Scott

Maria Lemery, Maureen Taylor and Jan Loomis