Dustbuster News

Letter From the SPS President


Dear SPS members,

“Happy Spring”to you all!
It is exciting to see our current “All About Pastel” Members Juried Exhibition at Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation/OCAF. I can tell by seeing your beautiful paintings in the exhibit that you all have been busy creating. It is an impressive sight to behold when there are over 100 pastel paintings hanging in one room. Visitors to the exhibition have been impressed by what can be painted with pastel. I personally think our annual in person exhibition is the best part of being President. I love seeing you and meeting you and your artwork in person. It is also nice to see how you have grown artistically since the last exhibition. We have such a great group of members. We had a lovely~ reception turn out and sold a few paintings as well. It is always great to see you, our member/friends. Thank you to OCAF and staff who have been great hosts to SPS.
As a reminder we have posted a video on our SPS/Southeastern Pastel Society YouTube Channel for anyone to watch. In addition we have my pastel demo “The Vibrancy of Pastel” done at OCAF also on our channel which is for members only (members receive a link).

Thank you to our exhibition and workshop team for working so hard and for choosing our juror. Congratulations to our winners and “Thank You” to Nancie King Mertz for selecting a wide variety of subjects and techniques for our exhibit.

Many of you enjoy “Plein Air” painting and in most locations, spring is a great time to get outdoors and make your “pastel marks” and create new and exciting paintings. Seeing all the beauty around Georgia at this time of year certainty inspires me. I can’t wait to see what you have painted for our next exhibition in the fall! Stay with it and share your love of pastel with your artist friends. Together we can make a difference.
Keep up the great work!


Founder & President

Member News now Shared on Website and Instagram

Sharing your news with SPS members has become easier than ever!  We have a “Member Accomplishments” as well as a “Member Hosted Events” page dedicated to getting the word out! In addition, anything that you want shared will also be shared on the SPS Instagram feed which also populates on our FaceBook main page.  Member Accomplishments includes any awards, exhibits or publications. *Member Hosted Events includes workshops and art events that you are teaching or sponsoring in your area.  Basically, anything that’s happening in your art world can be shared with other members, followers and visitors to our website. We want to help you to get the word out there and to celebrate. Simply 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!

*only  workshops or events being taught or held by a member will be publicized. 

Facebook Updates

SPS Facebook Member Group is a place where members can Learn, Grow and Share

We are very pleased that our SPS Private Group page has grown to 214 members where a growing number are posting their work, sharing comments and ideas. Our SPS group page is a wonderful place for all of us to interact with one another and grow as artists.  

Paint N’ Grow was created at the beginning of 2022 is still going strong! We have been thrilled to have SPS member master pastellists offer their expertise. In 2023 we were blessed to have the following artists lead in the ‘Pn’G’ series:

Eve Miller, Lisa Gleim and Luana Luconi Winner

We are so grateful for their time and contributions. Their lessons were focused on what they uniquely do as pastelists and were presented via pdf lessons, demos, live Zoom critique and slide decks.  We enjoyed learning together as a community of artists. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. 

One of the many benefits of utilizing the FB platform is that all of the lessons in pdf and video format are all stored in the ‘Guides’ section of the page. This means that new members or members who were unable to attend or take advantage of the bi-monthly Pn’G can always access the lessons at any time.

If you have interest in sharing your expertise to help SPS members grow their skills, please contact the Facebook SPS Members admins!!

2024 Paint N' Grow Opportunities


February 2024 Paint N’ Grow:

Paint N’ Grow with Julia Lesnichy Q1 Guest Artist – mid February

Theme – Winter Landscapes


  • Demo of Winter Landscape
  • PDF/PPT of process or any guidance in approaching creation 
  • Zoom call at end of 4 weeks w/critique & conversation with the Artist


April 2024 Paint N’ Grow:

Paint N’ Grow with Deana Goldsmith Q2 Guest Artist – April 2024

Theme – Still Life/Realism – Deanna will be sharing her process and style of still life realism and an opportunity to virtually engage with the artist



November 2024 will be Karen Margulis

More details coming soon!


SPS Programs Update

All programs are held via Zoom
  • Monthly programs are free to members and are available the 2nd Monday of most months. 
  • Upcoming Programs can be found under the Events Tab on the SPS Website Main Page
  • All programs are held via Zoom
    • You can register for a program by clicking on the registration link in the SPS program announcement email that will be delivered to your inbox approximately 10 days prior to the program.
    • Once you have registered for the program you will receive the actual Zoom link.
  • For those of you who are new to SPS here’s a list of all the programs presented this past year starting in September 2022:

September: “What Color is it?” presented by Connie Reilly

October: “Color and Movement” presented by Aline Ordman

November: No program due to exhibition at the Alpharetta Arts Center

December: “Painting a Series” presented by Eileen Casey

January: “Painting a Classic” presented by Jeanne Rosier-Smith

February: “Sharing the Love” presented by SPS members: Joan Dromey, Preston King, Anne Spivey and Joanne Willoughby

March: “There’s a Story to be Told” presented by Becky Postell

April: No program due to Exhibit at Quinlan and two demonstrations that were recorded and will be made available to members.

May: “Painting the Marshes” presented by Christine Bodner

June, July & August: Summer Break

  • Join the Program Team: 
    • Co-Chair position is available
    • Collaborate with Joan Dromey and Terry Metzler via Zoom
    • Meet the artists ahead of time
    • Have a “behind the scenes” look at how a program goes from an idea to a Zoom presentation.
    • Contact Joan Dromey or Terry Metzler if you would like to join the team and/or if you have suggestions for future programs and presenters.

Prior Demos

Connie Reilly "The Vibrancy of Pastel" -- Artist Talk and Demo

May 20, 2023 Connie Reilly, SPS President, Founder and Master Pastelist presented a free and open to the public demo at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center.   Connie shared some history of the vibrant pastel medium and talked about the many pastel techniques displayed in the SoutheasternPastel Society exhibition.  Connie shared her experience with teaching and portrait painting while demonstrating a portrait in pastel.


Artist Talk with Debra Nadelhoffer

In April, Debra Nadelhoffer provided a talk and demo on Dramatic Beginnings or Endings to the Day.   She covered how different surfaces impact pastels demonstrating 2-3 surfaces revealing the outcomes.   These decisions early on in the process can have a strong impact on the completed painting.

SPS Workshop Update

SPS Workshop Update

“Color, Light and the Portrait” with Christine Swann

Following the SPS 2023 Spring Exhibition opening reception, our juror, Christine Swann, conducted a two-day online pastel workshop for us on “Color, Light and the Portrait.”  Christine’s portraits have received recognition not only in the United States, but in other countries as well (China, France and Italy).  She is a Signature Member of the Pastel Society of America and is also an “Eminent Pastellist” with the International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS).  This distinction is only held by 25 artists in the whole world.  She is an extremely knowledgeable and gracious teacher, very generous with sharing all the learnings she’s made over the years in her art career.

During the workshop, participants created a portrait, working from a reference photo (since the workshop was online).  We began with some fundamentals about constructing the base drawing of the human head.  As we moved into applying color, Christine shared with us her method of approaching pastels from the perspective of their “power” (intensity of pigment).  It’s a thought-provoking, fresh approach to using pastels that puts more emphasis on what the pastel gives you as it interacts with the surface.  It changes the focus from the traditional “soft versus hard” discussion.  This approach lends itself very well to layering and building up the values to get truly rich and vibrant paintings.

Christine has spent a lot of time researching the “science of light” and shared with us the importance of understanding how light travels, the color temperature of light as it moves across a surface and how shadows fall.  Having a solid grasp on these concepts is critical to the success of a painting, especially a portrait.

Our workshop attendees all agreed that we learned so much from Christine and can’t wait to put this into practice.  Christine lives in Greenville, SC, and conducts workshops throughout the year.  A list of her courses is available on her website at swannportraits.com.  She also has instructional videos available for purchase, so you can get self-paced instruction.  You can also subscribe to her weekly blog, where she shares ongoing thoughts and tips.  Studying with Christine will help you take your pastel work to the next level!



Member of Excellence –

  • Awarded to any member whose work has been juried into 3 SPS national or International juried exhibitions.
  • This MOE status allows the SPS designation to be added to the artist’s signature and credentials.

Master Pastelist  –

    • Members who have achieved Member of Excellence status and have also received a total of 3 awards in SPS National or International Juried exhibitions
    • This Master Pastelist status allows the SPSMP designation to be added to the artist’s signature and credentials.

* Continuous membership in SPS is a requirement of continuous point accrual for MOE and awards count for SPSMP 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.

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 Team Members— Media Support Team—graphic design & exhibition catalogue designer/creator.  Key criteria are strong organizational & communication skills,  To learn more about these opportunities and  to join our amazing group of volunteers, please contact Becky Postell at vpresident@southeasternpastel.com