Welcome to the Blog Of CPSA DC210 San Francisco

CPSA - District Chapter 210 San Francisco, CA

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

Monday, May 16, 2016

Highlights of May 2016 meeting

I know I say this a lot, but what a great meeting!


  • International Exhibition accepted artists Jackie Chang, Gemma Gylling, Denise Howard, Mike Purdy, Ranjini Venkatachari
  • Andrea Myers, inclusion in CP Hidden Treasures
  • Ranjini Venkatachari and Denise Howard, juried into Salon at the Triton Statewide 2-D Competition
  • Ranjini Venkatachari, invited to be featured on Koh-I-Noor’s website
  • Denise Howard, featured artist in May issue of Ann Kullberg’s COLOR magazine
  • Denise Howard, inclusion in CP Treasures Vol. 4
  • Denise Howard, juried into “SWARM: Invasion of the Insects” in Dowell, MD
  • Paula Greer, three pieces juried into Alameda County Fair


Old Business

I gave an update on the plans for our annual chapter show (Explorations in Colored Pencil V) which will be at the Coastal Arts League gallery in Half Moon Bay in September.  The show will run August 28 - September 23.  Normally a reception is held the first weekend of a show, but since that happens to be Labor Day weekend we probably wouldn’t have much of a turnout, so we are planning to delay it till the evening of Saturday, Sept. 10.  As always, there is no “jurying in” for our show; if you enter, you’re in!  It will be an “open” show, meaning that non-members may enter (for a higher entry fee).  Kendra Davis of Moss Beach will be our judge for the awards (1st, $100; 2nd, $50; 3rd, $25).  You can see some of her art here:  http://www.coastalartsleague.org/artists/KendraDavis/kendradavis.htm

Maria Lemery gave an update on our participation in the Bothwell Arts Center’s Art Expo, to be held there on Sunday, June 12.  She has conceived of having two tables, one for artwork, books and brochures, the other for artwork creation and demoing, and leading visitors through small exercises with colored pencils.  She asked for volunteers to staff the tables for two shifts.  Here’s a link for more info about the event:  http://www.bothwell.lvpac.org/events/artexpo  We are pleased to be able to participate and give back to the Bothwell since they have been so good about letting us hold our meetings there at no cost for the past couple of years!

We had a recap of the two-day Ann Kullberg portrait drawing workshop and the consensus was that it was a great success!  Four folks brought their class projects to show.  We started discussion about who to invite to present our 2017 workshop next April.


New Business

Since Membership Chair Maryann Kot is moving to Chicago, Vice President Maria Lemery has volunteered to step into that role instead.  So we have an open position for Vice President!

Andrea Myers volunteered (herself and her husband Ed!) to take over as our Webmaster now that it is done in Wordpress.  Yay, Andrea!

We talked briefly about whether there is interest in having a plein air outing at Alden Lane Nursery again this year since those of us who attended it last year enjoyed it very much.  The consensus was yes, let’s do it, so Phil Dean will check with Alden Lane to determine a suitable Sunday morning in June or July.



After a short lunch break, we were honored to have nationally-known professional calligrapher and calligraphy teacher Marian Gault from Los Gatos present on how she combines calligraphy with colored pencil.  She displayed several examples of her breathtaking work and answered questions about her process.  She said that she plans out and creates a painting entirely on transfer paper and only then traces it to good paper to fully develop.  After she finishes her original work, her husband Ned (who is an excellent photographer) digitizes it and uses Photoshop and a high-end printer to produce cards, prints, and bookmarks to sell.  They collaborate on everything; even for this presentation, he drove her over, helped set her up, and told of a couple of her national accolades that she was too modest to mention!  She showed us some of the tools of her trade, a variety of nibs and how they are used to create lettering.  I was surprised to learn that there is special grid paper with various slants used for practice, and then for a finished piece those grid lines must be hand-darwn lightly on the good paper with rulers and T-squares and then erased once the lettering is finished.  No wonder I had trouble with making consistent lettering when I tried to pick up the basics from the classic Speedball book many years ago—they never mentioned that!  As an unexpected bonus, Marian offered to write each of our names on bookmarks that we could take home, and spent the next 45 minutes producing them while we continued the meeting with “show and tell”!


Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be Saturday, August 13 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.

Between now and our next meeting, the CPSA national convention will take place in Tacoma, WA, July 26-30.  Consider attending!  It’s a hop and a skip by plane, a beautiful area of the US, and an opportunity to meet outstanding colored pencil artists from all over the US and even some international ones.  There are two full-day workshops at a cheaper price than you can find anywhere else. There will be fabulous door prizes and raffle prizes and even if you don’t win anything, you get a big bag of great art goodies just for attending.  Registration for the convention itself is FREE—you only pay for your transportation, hotel, meals, and any workshops.

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

Below are some photos from Marian Gault's presentation....

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Five DC210 members juried into 2016 CPSA International Exhibition

Congratulations to J.Y. Chang, Gemma Gylling, Denise Howard, Mike Purdy and Ranjini Venkatachari on having their entries selected for inclusion in the 24th CPSA International Exhibition!  The show will be at the American Art Company in Tacoma, WA, June 25 – August 13, 2016.

Spring Sunrise by J.Y. Chang, CPSA, CPX
Endangered Reflections by Gemma Gylling, CPSA

Tree of Kintsugi by Denise J. Howard, CPSA, CPX

A Taste of Honey by Mike Purdy, CPSA
Giant Reflections by Ranjini Venkatachari, CPSA, CPX

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Three DC210 members in CPSA Explore This! 12 online exhbition

Three CPSA DC 210 members have been juried into the Explore This 12!, a mixed media online international show by Colored Pencil Society of America national organization.

Congratulations to J.Y. Chang, Mike Purdy and Ranjini Venkatachari.  The full list of accepted entries is here.  The show will be online at www.cpsa.org from February 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017.

Easter Brunch
J.Y. Chang, CPSA, CPX


Mike Purdy, CPSA
Colored pencil and ink
Crossing the Line
Ranjini Venkatachari, CPSA, CPX
16" x 20"
Colored pencil and Neocolor II on Ampersand Pastelbord

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Highlights of November 2015 meeting

Our November meeting actually happened on Halloween (October 31), so chapter president Denise Howard dressed accordingly, thanks to Paula Greer who lent her hat!


We recognized several members for service and accomplishments:
  • Gemmaa Gylling, as she steps down as our chapter webmaster
  • Ranjini Venkatachari, as she steps up to be our chapter webmaster
  • Mike Purdy for inclusion in Ann Kullberg's upcoming "CP Cats ans Dogs" book
  • Mike Menius for Honorable Mention in CPSA ArtSpectations
  • Gemma Gylling for her podcast interview by Sharpened Artist
  • Explorations in Colored Pencil IV winners: 1st place Gemma Gylling, 2nd place Denise Howard, 3rd place J.Y. Chang 
  • Denise Howard for 3 pieces in OA Small Works Invitational in St. Louis
  • Denise Howard for 2 pieces accepted in Coastal Arts League’s annual juried show in Half Moon Bay
  • Denise Howard for 4 pieces in SVOS Invitational in Los Altos
  • Maryann Kot for Honorable Mention in the Pleasanton Art League All Member Annual show

Old Business

Our biennial election results were unanimous, so our chapter officers for November 1, 2015 to October 31, 2017 will continue to be:
  • President: Denise Howard
  • Vice-President: Maria Lemery
  • Secretary: Mike Purdy
  • Treasurur: J.Y. Chang
  • Membership: Maryann Kot
Andrea Myers gave an update on the plans for our first-ever "drawing retreat", which will bee at The Sequoia Retreat Center in the Santa Cruz Mountains near Felton, during March 2016.  Several members have expressed an interest, but of course expense is a concern, so the more who sign up, the cheaper it will be!

Our two-day Ann Kullberg portrait workshop is April 16-17, 2016 at the Bothwell Arts Center in Livermore; don’t wait to sign up, because it is advertised on her website and her workshops fill up fast!  Here’s the workshop description.  To register, click here and select Livermore/Pleasanton from the popup list.  Anyone is welcome, it is not restricted to CPSA members.

New Business

We discussed the possibility of hosting an upcoming CPSA national convention.  The last time we hosted was 2010, and since only so many of the 22 chapters are in locales with facilities that can properly accommodate both the International Exhibition and the convention, our turn will come up again soon.  The consensus was, yes, let's offer to host!  So Denise will inform national, and we'll see if they have a year in mind.  The next couple of years' sites have already been determined so we don't have to do anything more now.

Denise reminded everyone that annual national and chapter membership renewal is now due, as it runs from November 1 to October 31.

Two significant show entry deadlines are coming up:


Shone Chacko is an incredibly good scratchboard artist from San Jose.  He recently won Best in Show at the Cupertino Food & Wine show, which included $1000 cash award.  We were fortunate to have him introduce us to his favorite medium!  His wife and two kids even helped him set up.  He brought several examples of his work; he said the best ones are in a show in San Jose right now, but these looked pretty darned good to us.  Scratchboard is very complementary to colored pencil because of its extreme attention to fine detail and the fact that you can use colored pencil to colorize a scratchboard drawing.  Shone brought sample scratchboards and scratch tools for everyone to take home and try out, compliments of Ampersand, the maker of the boards.  He showed us the wide variety of tools he uses, from special scratchboard tools, to steel wool, to tattoo needles, to surgical scalpel blades.  Most of these things he finds for sale cheap on Amazon!  There are special inks made by Ampersand for colorizing scratchboard; he prefers these over Derwent Inktense pencils, which are known for their saturated color and water-solubility.  Just a tiny drop of ink, diluted with a lot of water, covers a large area.  After scratching an area, he mixes the color on a plate and applies it very sparingly with a brush, then waits for it to dry completely before scratching more. For the demo he started a drawing of a cat, beginning with its eye; the board was about 8”x10” and he said that if he was doing it on his own (not demoing) he could complete it in only a couple of hours!  He also displayed a work-in-progress of a leopard that is about 20” x 30”, the largest piece he has done to date.  It is mostly finished even though he estimated he has only spent 30 hours on it so far.  The speed with which such detailed work can be completed raised a lot of eyebrows among our group that is so used to the slowness of colored pencil!  Although the scratching sound can be a little too similar to fingernails on a chalkboard for some folks to handle, I think there will be some scratchboard experiments at our next “show and tell”….
Scratchboard artist Shone Chacko demonstrates his process
Shone starts with the eyes

Here are a couple of photos from "show and tell", when we learn what everyone else has been up to with their pencils, what problems they've encountered, what techniques they've been trying, etc.!

Paula Greer is trying an underpainting of graphite with a Duralar overlay for color.  Note her candy-corn fingernails, for Halloween!
Winifred Scott tried a Yosemite landscape on sueded mat board

Next meeting

Our next meeting will be Saturday, February 20, 2016, same time, same place.  The program is still TBD but since we didn’t have time to view the DVD of the 2015 International Exhibition and Explore This! 11 on Saturday, we will include it for the February meeting.

Monday, September 7, 2015

"Explorations in Colored Pencil IV" Award Winners

The opening reception for our chapter show, "Explorations in Colored Pencil IV" was held Friday, September 4, 5:30 - 8:30 PM at the Pacific Art League in Palo Alto.  Attendance was huge thanks to PAL's Anniversary Show reception at the same time!  Many more people were exposed to the versatility of colored pencil than we normally could have reached.

Our awards judge, Cathy Zander, announced the following winners:

1st Place and $100: Sunshine at the Windowsill by Gemma Gylling, CPSA
Sunshine at the Windowsill by Gemma Gylling, CPSA

2nd Place and $50: The Three Graces by Denise Howard, CPSA, CPX
The Three Graces by Denise Howard, CPSA, CPX

3rd Place and $25: Ribbons of Color by J.Y. Chang, CPSA, CPX
Ribbons of Color by J.Y. Chang, CPSA, CPX

Honorable Mention: Bush Lilies by Mike Purdy, CPSA
Bush Lilies by Mike Purdy, CPSA

Honorable Mention: The Lion and the Mouse by Marian Gault
The Lion and the Mouse by Marian Gault

Honorable Mention: Critically Endangered, Amur Leopard by Gemma Gylling, CPSA
Critically Endangered, Amur Leopard by Gemma Gylling, CPSA

Here are a few photos from the reception.  The show runs Sept. 4-24, so see it while you can!

Mike Purdy, Andrea Myers, Mary Adamson, Vivi Leon

The Pacific Art League

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Ranjini Wins Award of Distinction in 2015 CPSA International Exhibition

Congratulations to CPSA DC210 member Ranjini Venkatachari on winning an Award of Distinction for her piece Genealogy in the 23rd annual CPSA International Exhibition!

Genealogy by Ranjini Venkatachari