Volume XXXIII, Issue 3 May/June 2022
Letter From the SPS President
Dear Members and pastel lovers,
Spring has sprung and I hope you are all well and busy outside painting or in your studio creating masterpieces for our next National Exhibit in the Fall, “All About Pastels” in Alpharetta GA. Entries will open June 20th on ShowSubmit.
We are pleased with the success of our Spring online Exhibition, “Make Your Mark.” Congratulations to our members who were accepted and all those who received awards! We are pleased with our Judge Tony Alain and his selection of artwork. The entire exhibition can be enjoyed on our exhibitions page including Tony’s commentary on the top award pieces.
Please continue to paint and enter. The more time you put into painting, the better your artwork will get. Stay the course! You will be a master pastelist before you know it!
We need Volunteers! Please contact our board if you can help us. We only exist because of our members and volunteers.
Connie Lynn Reilly
Founder & President
Member News now Shared on Website and Instagram
Sharing your news with SPS members has become easier than ever! We have an entire page of our new website, as well as our daily Instagram posts, dedicated to your artistic accomplishments, workshops, events or publications. Basically, anything that’s happening in your art world can be shared with other members and followers. 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!
Ron Pircio, Artist and Friend
It is with great sadness that we share the news of Ron Pircio’s passing unexpectedly on April 15th, 2022. Ron served on the SPS board for many years, in many capacities, including Vice President of SPS. Ron developed an interest in art while attending free drawing classes at the Cleveland Art Museum. The Old Master’s realism in their still life paintings and their bold colors inspired and intrigued him. He worked in pastels and oils, painting landscapes and still life.
“I find that there is elegance and simplicity in a painting.” He was often referred to as “Ron Pearcio” for his many paintings of Pears in almost human-like settings. Ron’s world famous pears became his identity. “The pears are a still life with a twist and take on human attributes. Although the backgrounds vary, the pears hover in family groups, standing alone or falling from the sky.” Individuals and corporations throughout the country collected his works. Ron painted approximately 335 pear paintings.
Ron will be sorely missed by all those who knew him.
Please join us at the beginning of our SPS May Monthly Program, on May 9th, at 6:30 PM, where we will have a brief remembrance of Ron Pircio.
SPS Member's Facebook Page
Paint N’ Grow
A monthly feature in our private Facebook Group
Our FB Members Group is going gang-busters! We currently have 150 of our 228 SPS members signed up with increased engagement each day. Our hope is to have even more SPS members join us and engage in our community of artists. We truly enjoy seeing each other’s work, commentary, and help with inquiries and resources.
Many thanks to March’s artist, Margaret Dyer, for her inspirational demos and encouraging engagement!
We are just wrapping up our third month of Paint N’ Grow series with Linda Riccichi, which features our master pastelists presenting lessons, demos and feedback.
Paint N’ Grow is a great opportunity to learn, focus on specific subjects and techniques that can help all artists, irrespective of their level of proficiency. Additionally, members who participate and participate in Paint N’ Grow by sharing their work are eligible for our monthly $25 Dakota Gift Certificate drawing! Paint N Grow is another great society benefit to highlight with potential SPS members, so please be sure to share with your artist friends.
Please note that you can easily access this monthly content under the “Guides” tab at the top of the FB page. The great content, including the lessons, demos and videos will stay on the page so if you haven’t joined us yet, you can still enjoy all of it. You can also check out ‘Featured’ pins at the top of the page which has our most recent/relevant postings such as monthly SPS programs, events etc.
We are planning to start a monthly SPS member feature of the month to ‘get to know’ your fellow artists, feature their work and engage in conversation. Stay tuned for more as we grow our community on FB. If you have ideas or want to help us, please message us on FB or use the “Contact Us” form on our webpage.
Using Guides on our Members Facebook Page
There is a section on the Members Facebook page that is titled Guides. Think of Guides as the Modules you have in any learning course. Each Module contains a series of posts. Rather than scrolling through all the posts to find, for example, the lessons on trees by Nancy Nowak that was our Paint N’ Grow module for February, you can click on the Guides tab in the top menu to access any of those lessons.
Right now we have a Guide for each of the Paint N’ Grow series. There is one for February with Nancy Nowak on painting trees and another for March with Margaret Dyer on using values in our paintings.
We also have created a Guide as a place to put valuable information that is readily available, such as a document on lighting equipment. It is labeled Resources.
We hope that you will find the Guides a useful and convenient way to access information in our private Facebook group. Suggestions and questions are welcome. Email me at email@example.com.
SPS Programs Update
All programs are held via Zoom
Desmond O’Hagan dazzled SPS members and friends on painting unconventional subjects. He describes his own work as ‘representational with many abstract elements’. Desmond explained that he feels that switching back and forth between working in oils and working in pastels strengthens his process as a whole. He tries for the pure colors of pastels when working in oil, and uses wide swaths of color almost like a brush work when working in pastels. He uses mostly Canson Mi Tientes paper (smooth side), which has helped him develop a fairly minimal approach to laying down colors in pastel. He used referenced photos along with paintings to illustrate his focus on contrast and balance in values, temperature and color intensity.
Micah Goguen, an art teacher and art therapist, invited members to consider what part of artmaking brings joy, and where they would like to go on their artistic journey. Showing a series of mixed media portraits and landscapes, Micah shared his playful intentions and richly innovative processes including collage, stenciling, alcohol washes, layering pastel ground, and underpainting with fluid acrylics, marble dust and more. In the second part of the program, Micah focused on textures and techniques, demonstrating how different media interact with substrates treated with a range of grounds. The program dramatically expanded members’ sense of the possibilities for playing with expressive texture using pastels and other media.
Jeff Olson with Rembrandt Pastels will present a program on the history of pastels which will show us the evolution of the craft with some of the masters. He will also be demoing techniques on loose and quick ways to sketch in shapes and values using an array of processes. Jeff will share some of his favorite ways to work with Rembrandt pastels while talking about benefits of working on dark papers.
We will be taking a break during the summer with our programming while we schedule our 2022-2023 line up. We hope that you all will stay connected and continue to create during that time!
Exhibition and Workshop Updates
'Make Your Mark' Online International Juried Exhibition
Our ‘Make Your Mark’ 2022 Online International Juried Exhibition is now available for viewing on our website https://southeasternpastel.com/exhibitions/
Thank you to all of the artists worldwide who entered this exhibition and made it a huge success. We had a record number of entries representing artists from 22 states and 17 countries, so it truly was an international exhibition. Congratulations to all the artists who were juried into the show and the award winners. Also, we would like to thank Tony Allain, our Juror, for his hard work judging the show and narrowing his selections to 121 from the 514 entries submitted. He also provided a wonderful pastel demonstration as part of the awards ceremony. Please visit the Exhibitions page on our website to see all of the beautiful paintings selected for the show.
Live Fall Exhibition and Workshop
Our Fall 2022 Exhibition Prospectus for “All About Pastels” is available on ShowSubmit. This show will be held at the Alpharetta Art Center from October 31st through November 29th. The exhibition will serve to advocate and inform the public about the medium of pastels. We will have demonstrations, generous supply donations from our vendors along with technical information about what pastel is and how it is used. This is a juried national show and works will be selected by signature artist Linda Richichi from Sarasota, FL. Linda will be accompanying the exhibit with a 3 day workshop on Luminosity that you won’t want to miss! More information and registration for this workshop will be listed in the events section of our website in the coming months.
SPS Workshop Update
Creating Luminosity with Linda Richichi
Learn three secrets to creating a luminous painting; one that has an inner glow. In this 3-day workshop, experiment with the medium of your choice using prismatic color. Paint-along demos will assist you to make your colors sing. Discover how to bring life to your painting.
Workshop is on Friday, Saturday, Sunday November 5, 6, 7 (9am -4pm) and will be held at the Alpharetta Art Center located at 238. Canton St. Alpharetta, Ga. Space is limited to 15 so we will honor first come, first serve basis. Linda Richichi graduated with a Bachelors in Fine Art from SUNY. Her work has exhibited extensively in the United States and she has received top awards and signature status from the Pastel Society of America. Having had an experience with synesthesia (hearing color) allowed Richichi to have a more extensive vision for color. She leads workshops both online and in person around the country. www.lindarichichi.com
SPS Member Spotlight
Featured Artist: Mikki Dillon
By: Roseann Gaglio
One would think that with Mikki Dillon’s long, capacious life of exploring, traveling, parenting, teaching, learning, leading, experiencing and creating, always creating, that she would have a lot to say through her art. Mikki’s response? “I don’t ‘say.’ I just do.”
She has been “doing” art since about five years old, compiling DIY tools to create something, anything, around the homes she lived as a child. Finding blue clay in the creek near her home in Birmingham, Alabama, and bringing it home to “make things out of it.” Learning what works and that a box of crayons left on a steam radiator, doesn’t work.
“Always, always there was something in art that I did; anything that was around, I used. My parents were very supportive,” she says. Her father worked with the telephone company, and the job required moving. As the only daughter, with a much older brother, Mikki found herself alone much of the time and learned how to entertain herself.
“On my own, I could go walking for miles,” she says.
She’d walk to the nearest golf course and collect golf balls that were stuck in the mud. Then, she’d clean them off and sell them to the golfers.
“That’s how I earned my money for many years,” she says. Friends came and went with each new living situation, but her desire to create remained.
Her first “conscious painting” was a pastel. Once, as an adolescent, vacationing in Maine, she took a box of pastels on her bike and headed to a stream. “I just sat down and painted,” she says.
Mikki’s award winning pastels, watercolors, and photographs had their beginnings in this urge to create. From childhood years in the Atlanta area, then Birmingham and later in Cincinnati, she recalls little art being taught in schools. In high school, the art teacher taught students to copy things, but, since Mikki had spent her childhood creating on her own, she didn’t want to just copy.
“The art teacher didn’t know what to do with me,” she says, laughing.
Once on a field trip to an inner city school, Mikki saw the art the kids were generating and it was “mind-blowing” she says. “I came back and remember thinking, ‘What in the world are we not doing here?’”
Mikki headed to Ohio State University to study art. After two years, she met her husband, got her ring in December and got married in May. She quit college and went to work. Her early years moving with her parents equipped her for life as a military wife. While her husband served three tours in Vietnam, and with three children in tow, she made less art for herself, but created a home in all the locations they landed.
“Being an army wife has a lot to do with discipline,” she says. “You learn you have to do what you have to do and sometimes you have to do it all by yourself because your mate is gone. That’s something you either learn it or you leave it.”
Other military wives became mentors and taught her how to live with this kind of structured life. “I was trained in keeping a group pointed in a certain direction,” she says.
“We were the non-fighting part of the military, but we were part of the military. You were responsible for what your spouse and kids did. It was a very important part of life, learning how to organize and prepare for things; just how to live successfully. Because if you didn’t, you didn’t make it; you either left it or they left you.”
During their post at Fort Benning, Georgia, Mikki took art classes at Columbus College, now Columbus University. She paid for babysitting at the nursery on the post, and explored “everything.” From plein air painting, printing, italio, lithography, to using her kids as models, to filling a sketchbook with drawings every six weeks, Mikki dove right in.
“I have a whole portfolio of things I did that year and that was wonderful because it kept me going in my work,” she says. When they moved to Atlanta, she took ceramics, silk screen, stained glass, watercolor, (“which makes wonderful underpainting for pastels”). Eventually, watercolors became underpaintings for all her pastels.
By 1988, she was well into pastels, competing and joining in many pastel societies.
That January 1988, the current president, Connie Reilly, founded the Southeastern Pastel Society. Mikki got on board in February with the group. Connie recruited many of the artists participating at the Atlanta Art Center where Mikki had been a member, and over the years, had worked almost every position.
“We spent the first two years raising money, with yard and bake sales,” says Mikki.
They enlisted free attorney advice who helped set up the SPS constitution and 501C status. The group traveled to and displayed works at DeKalb College, Quinlan Center for the Arts and Oglethorpe College.
For 19 years Mikki edited the newsletter, “Dustbuster,” and sent physical copies to pastel societies around the world. A subscriber of numerous art magazines, Mikki scoured pages of information to insert in the newsletter, and discovered pastel members were reluctant to share their art adventures. Very few would send her their information. How different it is today, with the ability to upload, online, your latest masterpiece for the whole world to see!
One activity after another kept Mikki rooted in art. She taught pastel for nine years in Gwinnett county, and in the city of Buford. “Between AAC and SPS, we’d go all over and spend a few days [painting],” she says.
Most of her career, she has painted from life, but has used photographic references, especially through Covid. She takes photography as seriously as her pastels, entering shows and doing workshops. She belongs to several organizations including watercolor and photography societies, Norcross Gallery and Studios and National League of American Pen Women. She has painted with the Plein Aire Painters of Georgia and painted nudes at the AAC.
Her one goal was to become a member with the Pastel Society of America. Check!
Mikki considers herself a loner. But, her years of taking charge as a military wife also allowed her to work with others, push herself through competing, and share art and life experiences with other artists. She has taken road trips with artists, traveled to Italy and Japan. “Everywhere we went, we painted,” she says. Each year she leads a group of artists who rent a house on Folly Beach South Carolina.
“Being in these groups, to be going places with other people; doing, sharing, and living with them, it’s been a wonderful experience,” she says. “You’ve got to be open to taking chances to go places. The people I’ve met, the places I’ve gone to, it’s amazing. And, it’s all through my pastels.”
Mikki’s style developed through “just doing what I wanted to do.” A few times she ventured into abstracts, but she prefers painting in realism. She has taken workshops, but through her own teaching and continual painting, she says, “Whatever changes have come, they came because of what I’ve been doing. I was born a stubborn kid and used to doing what I want to do without anybody bothering me and I’m afraid I’m the same now. I’ll do what I want to do and that’s it. It’s stubborn, yes, but it’s self preservation. You have to know that you want to do this. Because, if you don’t, you might as well find something else. You find your style by working.“
One of her paintings came about from a chance encounter. She was at an art outing where she saw a non-English speaking African woman with a child laying on a blanket. She gestured to the woman that she wanted to take a photo of the child and the mother gave permission.
The mother quickly got her other daughter to sit by the child, and Mikki snapped a photo. When she painted the scene from that reference photo, she titled it “The Guardian.” She sent the painting up to a Maine art show and it won an award. But before the show opened, a white woman bought it. Mikki learned later that the buyer had just adopted a black child, and the painting gave her a lot of meaning. That painting equally meant so much to Mikki.
Art thrills can happen through winning an award, someone purchasing your artwork, someone famous touting your talents on social media, or other revered artists paying you a compliment. They’re the stuff that makes an artist believe, “Aha! I’ve made it!”
Mikki says, “Winning things and getting in shows gives you an idea that you are getting better and you must be onto something that works. But, I didn’t enter this field to make money. If I do my very best that I can possibly do, then that’s what I live for. If other people like it, great.”
But, what happens the next time you enter that award-winning art piece in a prestigious show, and it doesn’t get juried in? “Rejection is just another part of it,” says Mikki. “It’s just one person’s opinion. But you have to keep on doing it; you have to have the faith in your own work, especially for people who are just coming up. It doesn’t mean a darn thing except that you got in that show or you got rejected. You just keep on keeping on. That’s it.”
For more than six decades Mikki has been keeping on. “As long as I keep doing work that satisfies me, that’s what I want.”
Connect with Mikki through Facebook
Other News and Updates
Upcoming Show Entry Opportunities
Deadline: May 5, 2022 Red Rock Pastel Society of Nevada presents 2022 International Exhibition ONLINE and IN PERSON. Held at the Alpha Voyage Gallery in Las Vegas, NV. From June 15 – July 4, 2022. Download prospectus at: ShowSubmit.com
Deadline: May 5, 2022 Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces its Opportunity to Shine with 21st “Solo Art Series” Online Art Competition. May 15 – September 15, 2022. More info. https://www.lightspacetime.art Contact: email firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline: May 8, 2022 Las Laguna Art Gallery presents Golden: 50 or Older, an art show ONLINE and IN PERSON, located at 577 South Coast Highway, Suite A1, Laguna Beach, CA 92651. From June 2 to 30, 2022. Call: 949-505-0950. More info. Contact: email email@example.com. https://www.laslagunaartgallery.com/calls-for-entry
Deadline: May 29, 2022 Artists Magazine invites entries for the Artists Magazine | Artists to Watch competition. Top 15 Winners will be featured in the Nov/Dec issue, and receive Artists Network Membership. More info. Contact: email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deadline: June 5, 2022 Las Laguna Art Gallery presents Women in Art, an art show ONLINE and IN PERSON, located at 577 South Coast Highway, Suite A1 Laguna Beach, CA 92651. From July 7 – 30, 2022. More info. Contact: email email@example.com or call 949-505-0950.
Deadline: July 11, 2022 Great Lakes Pastel Society presents 2022 ONLINE National Exhibit from Aug. 27 – Oct. 8, 2022. Download prospectus: www.showsubmit.com
IN PERSON EXHIBITIONS
Deadline: May 1, 2022 Pastel Society of the West Coast presents 99 Voices in Pastel at the Art Center Morro Bay, Morro Bay, California from June 30 – August 7, 2022. Download Prospectus at www.showsubmit.com
Deadline: May 4, 2022 The Susquehanna Art Museum at 1401 North 3rd Street Harrisburg, PA 17102 announces Future Places – 7th Annual Juried Exhibition June 24 – October 16, 2022. 717.233.8668 More info. email LNye@susquehannaartmuseum.org
Deadline: May 6, 2022 Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod presents juried art exhibition at The Cultural Center of Cape Cod, 308 Old Main Street South Yarmouth, MA 02664, June 21 – July 17, 2022. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Prospectus on https://ppscc.org/exhibitions/.
Deadline: May 9, 2022 Pastel Society of NJ presents Seventeenth Annual Juried Exhibition, held at Watchung Arts Center, 18 Stirling Rd., Watchung, NJ from June 1– June 29, 2022. Download Prospectus at www.showsubmit.com
Deadline: May 13, 2022 The Copley Society of Art Gallery invites entries to a juried art exhibition, “National Show: Crossing Borders” held at 158 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116 from July 14 – August 20, 2022 . More info (PDF). Contact: email email@example.com or call (617) 536-5049.
Deadline: May 30, 2022 PASTEL ARTISTS OF OREGON CALL presents SPIRIT OF PASTEL, the SECOND BIENNIAL INTERNATIONAL OPEN JURIED EXHIBITION. Held at Chehalem Cultural Center, 415 E Sheridan Newberg, OR 97132. From August 2-September 30, 2022. Download prospectus: www.showsubmit.com
Deadline: June 1, 2022 Pastel Society of America presents 50th Annual Exhibition – Enduring Brilliance, held at The National Arts Club Galleries, New York City, NY. From September 6 – October 6, 2022. Must be a member. Download prospectus: www.showsubmit.com
Deadline: June 1, 2022 Buchanan Center for the Arts presents a juried art exhibition, held at 64 PUBLIC SQUARE, MONMOUTH, IL 61462. from September 6 – October 28, 2022. More info. or call 309-734-3033. Contact: email firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline: June 15, 2022 Pastel Society of New Hampshire presents the 17th MEMBERS’ EXHIBITION at 2022 Wolfeboro Public Library, 259 So. Main St. Wolfeboro, NH. From July 2 – July 30, 2022.
Deadline: July 1, 2022 The Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art presents Exhibitour 2022, from August 13 – October 29. The WMOCA and participating merchants in Wausau, will present the juried art exhibition at D Anthony Gallery, 416 3rd Street, Wausau, WI 54403. More info. Contact: email or call 715-571-6551.
Deadline: July 15, 2022 Pastel Society of Maine presents 2022 Annual Open Juried Exhibition, Pastels Only, held at the Saco Museum, 371 Main Street, Saco ME. From August 24 – October 21, 2022. Download prospectus: showsubmit.com.
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: email@example.com
(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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
SPS INVITES YOU TO PARTICIPATE IN THE AMAZON SMILE PROGRAM TO BENEFIT SPS
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.
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 us at email@example.com