Dustbuster News

Volume XXXII, Issue 5 Sept/Oct 2021

Letter From the SPS President

Cyndi Marble PictureDear Members,

It’s election time again. This year President, 2nd Vice President, and Treasurer are up for election. If you are interested in running for any of these positions, contact our Nomination Committee.   

Mikki Dillon, 2nd VP is retiring from the board after an incredible 33 years of service to SPS. Dennis Hicks is retiring from his position as Treasurer effective the end of this term 12/31/2021. I am willing to run for re-election as your President. This is such an exciting time to be on the SPS board, think about it!



Welcome New Volunteers!

SPS relies on its volunteers to continue to fulfill its mission and serve the growing number of members. When members step up to become involved, we are very grateful and want to celebrate! First, we would like to introduce our new Program Chair, Micah Goguen and our new Workshop Chair, Debbie Anderson. Both artists reside in Macon, Ga and will be working together in the upcoming year to bring some innovative and exciting changes to SPS.

Micah teaches many mediums, including pastels in weekly classes with students. He also teaches workshops around the Southeast, using pastel in traditional and experimental fashions. Mixed Media approaches, that rely heavily on pastel, allow Micah to explore and test the boundaries of where the medium can go. Micah is an educator for vendors, allowing him to network and learn from many different artists. We look forward to seeing how his skills move SPS forward.

Debbie is a non-conformist, impressionistic artist and she likes to challenge the obvious. Her paintings are representational in appearance, with a strong emphasis on subtle value changes, marked by intense color. Anderson recently retired after owning and operating her own gallery, in which she taught pastel to a variety of ages and experience. Debbie values connection and enjoys getting to know people. We are happy to have Debbie as the ambassador to our workshop artists and help communicate the richness of our future offerings, both online and in person.

Another important chair position in our organization is Membership as it’s the first personal touch that a new member experiences after hitting that ‘Join Us’ button on the computer screen.  We are very excited that Marilyn Kleinhans has stepped forward to take on this role. Marilyn has been a member of SPS since 2011 and has held several volunteer positions including Exhibition Chair, Program Chair, Co-Chair of Awards and now, most recently, Membership Chair.

Marilyn started her formal artistic career in the early 80’s ,studying fiber arts with Lenore Davis, and continued with color studies with Janet Taylor and Joy Boutroup.  As a member of the Fiber Artists League in Florida, she participated in individual and group showings in Minnesota, New York and Florida and her fiber work is in private collections throughout the United States.  After retirement in 2012, she decided to pursue a new medium and chose pastel, taking a series of workshops, many of them from the outstanding artists in SPS.  Currently, her primary focus is on abstract painting, both in pastel and acrylic.

The Story Behind the NEW Website and.....Introduction of Sandie Terry, Web Administrator

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”

SPS Programs Update

All programs will be VIA Zoom

Monday, April 12th – “Spring Show and Tell”

We enjoyed getting to know our members better by featuring and sharing a slide show of member’s artworks. Many of you put yourselves out there and gave the option for feedback and comments from the group.

Debbie Anderson, Like Deer in the Night

Monday, May 10th - Jacqueline Meyerson, “An Easy Approach to Painting Glass and Transparent Objects with Pastels”

A Special thank you to Jacqueline for sharing her knowledge on layering her way to realism. We watched her process start to finish on creating a still life with a glass vase. Her insight on process and product was very interesting.

Jaqueline Meyerson, To the Colors

June - August

We took a break from Program meetings for  the months of June, July and August. We are looking forward to getting back into the swing of it this month with the Debora Stewart program.


September 13th Program with Debora Stewart:

Experiencing the environment and expressing these moments in time through mark making and color allows Debora to capture what she finds to be beautiful in life. Join us for a demonstration of her process and find out how she gathers inspiration. If you haven’t already signed up for it, you can go to the EVENTS page and click on the EventBrite link. We already have over 100 attendees and welcome as many as want to attend!

Debora Stewart, Red Tapestry

SPS Workshop Update

The Fall Workshop with Juror, Tony Allain, “CREATIVITY UNTAMED: From sketch to Frame!” is a  2-day workshop that will be held virtually through Zoom on  October 16 and 17th.

Allain is an award-winning painter and instructor residing in Scotland. He has a passion for landscape, wanting to share his vision of the world with those around him. He prides himself on capturing the effects of early morning or late afternoon light. Tony is not interested in pure representation but rather responding to the moods and atmospheres generated by landscape. He believes the most precious thing we have as artist is our visual language.

Registration is available now by visiting the EVENTS page and clicking on the EventBrite link.  SPACE IS LIMITED and filling quickly so don’t wait!

Tony Allain, Boat Yard

SPS Publicity Update

Terry Metzler, the previous Publicity Chair, is now the new Zoom Chair. The two new Publicity Co-Chairs are Cheryl Tryon, the previous Program Chair, and Orit Reuben. SPS is thrilled to have Orit as a new Board member and anticipate her creative ideas for publicizing our society. She is a very talented artist and her painting “A Place of Prayer,” won the Bill Creevy Memorial Award in the SPS 2021 20th International Juried Exhibition. Cheryl is creating a call for entry ad for the fall Pastel Journal to announce our SPS 2021 Online Juried Exhibition. Orit is developing a flyer about the exhibit and workshop that will be emailed to members. The flyer can be downloaded so members can print it out and share with colleagues, plein air groups, etc.

Cheryl Tryon and Orit Reuben, Publicity Co-Chairs

SPS Membership

(The leadership of the SPS would like to take a moment to wish a fond farewell to longtime member Ronnie Offen as she moves on to a new chapter in her journey. Thank you for your service to our organization, we will miss you but wish you much luck in the future. Below is a Farewell message from Ronnie to all her friends in the SPS.)


After 30 years in Atlanta (almost to the day), Chris and I are returning to the DC area–Reston, VA, to be exact. For over 25 of those 30 years, I’ve been a member of SPS. I would like to thank everyone for their support and friendship through the years, especially the 15 years while I was Treasurer. More recently, I would like to thank Ron Pircio for his patience and help while I was Membership Chair. Finally, I would be remiss if I did not thank Mikki Dillon and Martha Bator. They contacted me shortly after my arrival in Atlanta, told me about this wonderful organization and encouraged me to join. I’ve learned so much from so many of you and I truly appreciate it.

Thanks for the memories, and AU REVOIR!

– Ronnie Offen