Dustbuster News

Volume XXXIII, Issue 2 Mar/Apr 2022

Letter From the SPS President

Dear SPS members,

I want to personally thank every single volunteer involved in supporting our non-profit art organization.  Everyone involved has spent countless hours to keep SPS running at full speed and I’m grateful for each volunteer.  No matter how great or small the task is, we are getting the job done.

Also, we have a diverse group of artists represented in our membership.  We are diverse in the variety of pastel art style, subject matter and techniques that we create and we are from diverse areas around the world which includes people of different cultures and backgrounds.  We are also diverse in our opinions, thoughts and in our view of the world.  It is this diversity that makes each individual artist unique.  Through our art expression we are telling our personal story.  Stay true to who you are and allow your own unique point of view to be expressed. Learn from others but don’t lose that “uniqueness that is you”.  Continue to paint what you love and your unique style will emerge.

I look forward to seeing the diverse artworks you will be submitting to our upcoming exhibits.  There is only one artist exactly like you and it is “You”!

Best wishes and happy painting!


Founder & President

Southeastern Pastel Society

Member News!

Sharing your news with SPS members has become easier than ever!  We have an entire page of our new website dedicated to your artistic accomplishments, workshops, events or publications.  Basically, anything that’s happening in your art world can be shared with other members.  Use the Share News Link in the Box above or within the Members Only area when you log in with your user name and password.  You don’t even have to wait for a specific date/deadline.  So, what are you waiting on?  Please share!

Volunteers Needed - Come Join our Team!

SPS continues to evolve as part of the global renaissance of the pastel medium.  We have become a sought-after community of pastel artists and Southeastern Pastel is actively creating new benefits for our members who are from around the world.  All benefits are made entirely possible through our member volunteer team. There is no better way to get engaged with the SPS society whether you’re new to pastel or an established artist.  We strongly encourage you to join our team and help further distinguish SPS as a premier pastel society.

One of our most recent volunteers says “though only 1 month new to SPS, myself and another new member volunteered for FB Admins of our new Private Group.  Mind you – we had no previous experience as a social media admin – but with the support of other SPS members we were able to help build and launch our new Group!  Best of all, it has allowed me to immediately start getting to know the leadership and engage with our fellow master pastelists – what a great way to truly become part of the Society!”   Allison Woodward, FB Administrator

Our most urgent needs include: Exhibitions Chair & Team Members, Social Media Administrators, Publicity Chair, Communications Co-Chair & Zoom/Eventbrite Co-Chair.  Don’t let the titles daunt you! Key criteria are strong organizational & communication skills, willingness to volunteer and sharing your passion for pastels.  To learn more about these opportunities and  to join our amazing group of volunteers, please contact Anne Spivey at vpresident@southeasternpastel.com

The SPS Board


SPS Paint N' Grow Series

Paint N’ Grow

A monthly feature in  our private Facebook Group

Nancy Nowak kicked off the first edition of Paint N’ Grow with lessons on painting trees.  After just 10 days, the post generated 62 comments. Paintings, sketches, responses to questions, and ideas have been shared.  To meet our goal to inspire and educate, everyone is encouraged to post, post, post.  One lucky contributor will be chosen randomly to receive a $25 Dakota Art gift certificate.  March will feature lessons by Margaret Dyer.


SPS Programs Update

All programs are held via Zoom

We started off the New Year with Cultivating Connection: Member Show and Tell in which we got to meet many of the new members and see works created and learn about processes.  There were 26 works submitted and discussed along with many of our Board members.

Gwenneth Barth-White lead us through Expressive Portraits in Pastel in February.  She and husband Richard were the perfect Valentine’s Day hosts as she shared about her wonderful portraiture and the exploration of warm and cool lighting.

In March, Desmond O’Hagan will be sharing about “Capturing Unique Subject Matter.”  His wonderful urban scenes and interior landscapes allow us to create compositions that tell a story in a whole new way.

In April, Micah Goguen will be leading a program on “Mixed Media and Pastel.”  We will be looking at building up surfaces using grounds and other methods to create rich textures and depth within the works. 

Exhibition Updates

Online Spring Exhibition and Demo

More information can be found at the following links:




Live Fall Exhibition and Workshop

This year’s Exhibition, “All About Pastel,” will be the 34th annual live National Exhibit and will be held at the Alpharetta Art Center. The Exhibit will open on October 31st and run through November 26th, with an opening reception November 3rd in which awards and prizes totaling over $5000 will be presented. Judge and juror Greg Barnes will be also leading a workshop to coincide the opening of the Exhibit. Greg resides in Charlotte, NC and has been a full time artist since 2002. His works are mostly impressionism and he has a passion for plein air and teaching.

You can find more info on Greg and his work here

A full Prospectus will be available soon.

SPS Workshop Update

Debora Stewart is a master pastelist with the Pastel Society of America and a member of the master’s circle of the International Association of Pastel Societies.  Debora is the author of Abstract Art Painting: Expressions in Mixed Media and a series of videos for Northlight on abstract pastels.  Debora has taught workshops and judged pastel exhibits throughout the US.  She has received awards from The Pastel Society of America, Pastel Journal magazine and International Artist Magazine.  Debora has shown her work throughout the US and has been invited to exhibit in China and France.  Debora’s pastels and abstract paintings are represented in various US galleries including Huff Harrington Fine Art in Atlanta.  Debora lives with her husband and miniature schnauzer in Iowa.

Exploring Abstraction in Pastel workshop

Debora will teach artists how to discover possibilities for abstraction in a variety of ways.  The first day of the workshop will focus on distilling abstract compositions from photo sources and other references. Participants will create thumbnail compositions and create color studies which will then be turned into larger pastel paintings.  Other topics for the day include ways to loosen up and work more intuitively.  On the second day of the workshop Debora will focus on mixed media techniques with pastel and abstract realism of florals and faces.  Included in this session are ways to create your own sanded surface with clear gesso, underpainting and other materials to include with pastels.

At the conclusion of the workshop artists will have a good understanding of how to find inspiration for abstractions, ways to work intuitively and loosen up and how to incorporate abstraction into more realistic subjects of their choosing.

Materials needed include:

  • 1 sheet of sanded paper like Uart for day one
  • 1 or 2 sheets of Rives BFK paper 175 gsm or watercolor or mixed media paper
  • Generals compressed charcoal
  • A minimal selection of hard pastels
  • Artist quality soft pastels
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Brushes
  • Backing board and masking tape
  • Liquitex clear gesso (or Golden ground for pastel or similar)
  • Fluid acrylics (your choice of colors)
  • Water bucket
  • Paper towels
  • Hair dryer
Debora Stewart

Other News and Updates

IAPS Convention

Things are gearing up for the biggest pastel party on the planet in Albuquerque, New Mexico! The IAPS 14th Biennial convention is open for registration on the IAPS website: www.iapspastel.org.

Highlights at the convention are educational demos and classes, the big trade show (or as we like to refer to it as “The Candy Store”), Welcome Reception, Pastelworld Exhibition, Paint Around, Friday Night Fiesta, and the Saturday night banquet. The atmosphere is very friendly and supportive with great camaraderie! You are guaranteed to make new pastel friends from all over the world!

Convention Dates: Tuesday, June 21 through Sunday, June 26th 2022

Registration is open for Workshops and Demos. Be sure to review the convention schedule showing workshops and demos, events and activities on the IAPSpastel.org website.

If you have any questions, please contact Red Weber at: contact@iapspastel.org



(Member of Excellence)

Member of Excellence is awarded to any member whose work has been juried into 3 SPS juried exhibitions. This MOE status allows the SPS designation to be added to the artist’s signature and credentials.

Let’s congratulate our new Members of Excellence (MOE):

Barbara Boyer
Donna Catotti
Sherry Hardage
Anne Spivey

Since our transition to a new website, we have added the feature of tracking our Member of Excellence point system on the website in the membership system. As a result, we have simplified the point system and have rounded up one/half point tabulations in our current system to a full point.

    2.5 to 3 pts.

    1.5 to 2 pts.

    .5 to 1pt.

  • All SPS members, from this point forward, will be awarded 1 point for acceptance in each Juried show.

Continuous membership in SPS is a requirement of continuous point accrual and MOE designation. A lapse of annual membership will cause members to lose their MOE designation and points accrued.

Zoom Reminders

About Registering and Receiving a link for an SPS Program:  SPS has to purchase an add-on fee if we have over 100 registrants attending our programs. 

  • So please don’t register if you can’t attend the program
  • The programs are recorded and a link is sent to all members, regardless of whether you registered for the program or not.

About the Waiting Room: 

When you open the zoom link you will get a message saying you are in the waiting room. It just means that the Zoom host, Program Chair and guest Program Presenter are still working out technical details.  

Volunteering: The SPS ZOOM Team is seeking additional volunteers to help with

  • Managing Zoom programs
  • Editing program videos
  • Organizing Zoom events

If you are interested in joining a fun and creative team please contact Terry at zoomevents@southeasternpastel.com.

Amazon Smiles


SPS invites its members, family and friends to support our society through the Amazon Smiles program.  The Amazon Smile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible Amazon Smile purchases.  It’s a very simple way to make your everyday purchases benefit SPS.  There is no extra cost to you.  Simply click on the Amazon Smiles box at the bottom of our web page.  You will be prompted to choose a charity.

Once you designate Southeastern Pastel Society as your charity, you will simply make your normal purchases via the AmazonSmile.com browser.  It’s important to remember, only purchases at smile.amazon.com or through AmazonSmile activated in the Amazon Shopping app will support SPS.  To make it easy, you can download the Amazon Smile app or save the AmazonSmile link on your computer’s browser.  We appreciate your support and look forward to the benefiting from the impact that this program offers.


The Story Behind the NEW Website

Can we say, “WHEW!!?” The process of creating a new website began almost a year ago when Terri Whitesel and Anne Spivey spent (lots of) time learning about the current functionality of the original website (which was amazing in its day to say the least) and then investigating the countless options available to meet the needs of our growing organization.  We knew with the growing virtual  environment we needed to act fast. Terri no longer was able to help with the website and fortunately, Anne listened to Cheryl Tryon who suggested that she reach out to Sandie Terry for help. Sandie came along in the nick of time to help make our dream of a new website become a reality. Anne and Sandie’s partnership turned out to be the perfect ‘marriage’ and quickly resulted in gaining an unanimous vote from the Board to begin web development in the early Spring. We are very proud to say that we were able to stay on track and hit our target of going Live in early Fall despite some very real technical snafus along the way (no need to go into the details).

We would be remiss if we didn’t send out a huge shout out to all of the people who helped to make this new website a reality: The Board Members, Terry Metzler, Cheryl Tryon, Becky Postell, Tomasyn Breazeale, Terri Whitesel, Nancy and  Don Nowak.  The biggest thank you goes to Luiz Varanda at Reason Labs, Anne Spivey and to our Web Administrator, Sandie Terry.

More about Sandie, our Web Administrator :

Sandie followed a career path in technology but geeks do love art!  She leveraged books and workshops to learn more about art, composition and pastel techniques.  As with most artists, she has a strong desire to portray the beauty in this world in a way that stimulates the emotions in others that she felt when viewing the subject.

Her paintings are found in private collections in Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Colorado and New Mexico.  She has also  had the honor to place in a local art shows, juried into national exhibitions and received an Honorable Mention in Southeastern Pastel Society’s 2020 International Juried Exhibition for her painting “Dad’s Hug”