I hope this finds you finishing your entries for our chapter show! Remember that the entry deadline is August 22. Of course they don't have to be *ready* ready until delivery day, September 1, but if you're planning to have your framing done by someone else, remember that usually takes about two weeks.
I just returned from the CPSA national convention in Covington, KY (right across the river from Cincinnati, OH), July 31-August 4. I thought I'd share some highlights. You will want to go next year!
It is so invigorating to be surrounded for a week by fellow colored pencil artists! I got to hang out with Arlene Steinberg (author of "Masterful Color"), Elizabeth Patterson (who had a solo show in Paris earlier this year), Jeff George (multi-year CPSA award winner, including the CIPPY), and many others whose work I admire greatly. I roomed with Barbara Krans-Jenkins, who is still a member of our chapter even though she now lives in Ohio.
I took a one-day workshop with John Ursillo and learned about using colored pencils on canvas. The last time I used canvasboard for anything was about 30 years ago, so I was surprised to learn there are multiple grades of it now, including one with a very fine texture suitable for use with watercolors. This is what John uses, along with any kind of colored pencils (wax- or oil-based) and watercolor pencils with and without solvents, along with liberal applications of workable fixative and final coating at the end to yield work that needs no matting or framing. In fact he walked up to his own entry in the International Exhibition and raked his fingernails across it to demonstrate how durable the surface is! That drew gasps, let me tell ya.
Speaking of the International Exhibition, it is fabulous! There were around 570 submissions; during the general meeting on Thursday we got to see all of them via a slideshow. Folks often applaud for people they know, so I "represented" for our chapter when I saw the entries by J. Y. Chang and Maryann Kot. Our chapter is well represented in the show with pieces by Gemma Gylling, Mike Purdy and myself. There are 121 total pieces in the show. The venue is the Carnegie Center for the Visual and Performing Arts. The show fills one large gallery downstairs and three smaller galleries upstairs, as well as the main corridor and the main entry. The gallery director has been thrilled with the response from the local community. He said he knew the show was going to be great as soon as he started opening the packages. He had to have more show programs printed after the very first weekend because a bunch of local cp artists came through after seeing the article about it in the Cincinnati Inquirer, and took them all! Most of those folks hadn't heard of the CPSA before, so they're all excited now. I won't even try to describe some of the spectacular pieces. Our chapter will be receiving a copy of the show DVD in time for our November meeting, so you'll see for yourself then!
It was such a relief to see Mike Purdy's piece, "Splendor in the Sun" in the show. Although he had packed it perfectly for shipment, the shipping company (which will remain unnamed but their acronym also goes with "Uninterruptible Power Supply") somehow split his wood frame in half. When he got a call from the gallery director about it and was informed that it couldn't be hung, he was understandably upset. But then a miracle occurred: Debbie Hook, president of the Greater Cincinnati chapter (this year's host chapter) swooped in and took it to her frame shop, fixed it overnight with some glue and clamps, and returned it to the gallery, ready to hang. She did such a great job, I couldn't even tell where the damage had been!
If I remember correctly, four of the 19 award winners were first-time entrants. So keep that in mind for next year, and for the next Explore This!, if you have never entered! You'll just never know, unless you enter. The gallery of 2012 award winners is up: http://www.cpsa.org/coloredpencilartists/AWARDS/WINNERS2012/awards2012.html
Jamie Markle, publisher of F+W Media (Northlight Books and magazines such as The Artist's Magazine and Southwest Art), was the juror who selected this year's show and the award winners. He also spoke briefly at the awards dinner, gave a talk on how to get published, and--most surprising to me--even attended the show reception. It's pretty unusual for a juror to attend a show reception; jurors don't want confrontation and hard feelings about why they chose this one or didn't choose that one. So I walked over and told him I thought he was very brave. He chuckled and replied "Well, nobody has walked up and punched me yet!"
Gemma Gylling received a five-year recognition award, which means she has had work accepted and hung in five International Exhibitions, Congratulations, Gemma! In case you didn't know, Gemma has also been the convention director for several years. She is stepping down and that position is open on the national board for next year. She's done such a great job with all the planning and coordination year after year that I don't know what they'll do without her. But now we'll have her all to ourselves again!
Every year there's a "silent auction" of small, original colored pencil artworks by 25 or so well-known artists to benefit national. The bidding can get pretty animated. I couldn't resist, and I brought home a beautiful 7"x9" piece by Iris Stripling. Don't tell my husband!
Next year's convention will be co-hosted by the San Diego and Los Angeles chapters, in Brea, CA. That's just a hop and a skip away compared to Kentucky, so I want you to start thinking about a road trip! The opportunity to meet some of your favorite colored pencil artists, take a couple of workshops, see all the show entries, win a great door prize and maybe a raffle prize, and take home a big bag full of art supply freebies makes it very worthwhile.
I hope to see you at our next meeting, coming up Saturday, August 25! Remember to RSVP to Gemma by the 22nd if you're planning to attend so she can plan seating, etc.