Vermont Pastel Society Newsletter-January 2017

We spend our lives in the love and cultivation of sensations, relishing our emotions, searching for their clearest expression, and taking pleasure in exclaiming them to others.  Robert Henri


We are starting out 2017 with a couple of brand new features for the VPS: one you can see right now—the new VPS website—and the other will be appearing as the year unfolds—VPS Regional Hubs.

Many of you at the annual meeting were introduced to our new website by Cindy Griffiths, our new Webmaster, and some of you have been there to check it out and/or have already sent in digital images of paintings for the site. Please frequent it often, as it will serve as one source of

communication. And if you haven’t sent in an image or two, please do so by going to the site, clicking on the “About” menu across the top in the purple, then clicking on the drop down entry “Policies and Procedures.”

As for the Regional Hubs proposal, keep reading!


We have two great workshops upcoming:

Desmond O’Hagan June 28-30, 2017 in North Bennington, VT

Doug Dawson September 15-17, 2017 in Newfane, VT

Stay tuned for details from Grace Cothalis and/or Maggie Smith as the time approaches.

We will be having two VPS exhibits this year:

Members’ Exhibition May 27-June 8, 2017 in Manchester, VT

Juried Show September 14-December 27, 2017 in WRJ, VT

Our new Exhibitions chair, Susannah Colby, will be sending out notices so pay attention both to emails from our new Membership chair, Maggie Smith, and to the VPS website.


We all have joined the VPS for one or more reasons. It may have been for access to workshops, opportunities to exhibit our work, having a web presence, etc. but right up there with any or all of those reasons is the opportunity to associate with other artists who share a love of pastels and to provide us with the opportunity to learn from each other—and teach each other—as we enjoy each other’s work.

As artists, we, by and large, work alone. The times we can get together, during workshops or shows, for example, are few and far between. Geography and the relatively low density of artists limits our ability to associate with each other, and to achieve that sense of community that comes with becoming part of a society.

Using the experience of the Vermont Watercolor Association, we have developed a proposal for regional hubs for our own VPS. The Vermont Pastel Society mission statement calls for us to build and strengthen connections among pastelists, to foster artistic development, and to promote public appreciation of pastels as a fine art medium. With those goals in mind, we have taken the membership roster, divided it up by ZIP Code, and assigned each member one of eight regions in which to belong. Our hope is that, by having a cadre of local artists congregating periodically, the feeling of being part of a pastel society will be realized.

Over the coming year, we will introduce different portions of our proposal, lay out the regions, and meet with regional hub members to help begin the process of activating their regional hub.

If you have any questions as we begin this process, and especially if you would like to help with the development of this exciting proposal, please get in touch with Matt Peake at


We had a wonderful meeting a couple months ago at the Center for Cartoon Studies in WRJ, highlighted by a presentation by photographer, Kent Scrivener, and a pastel painting of the figure demo by Aline Ordman. Please go to the website, search (upper right) for “Minutes” or go to the the About tab, then down to VPS Meeting Minutes to read it.


We’re looking forward to a thrilling ride this new year, so hang on to your easels, papers, and pastels!

Matt Peake,

VPS President





October 2016 VPS Newsletter

Dear VPS Members,

The beautiful fall weather has been a special treat this year for those of you who love to paint en plein air.  Or, maybe you like to just paint on your porch!  Wherever you paint, I hope you have enjoyed the beauty around us.

Mark your Calendar for the November 2016 Annual Meeting:

November 6, 2016; 1PM – 4PM 

Location: The Center for Cartoon Studies,

94 S. Main Street, WRJ, VT 05001.

Our meeting will be approximately an hour and we have additional FREE presentations that may interest you:

  1. Kent Scrivener, Photographer: We have a photographer, Kent Scrivener, coming to present how to photograph your art.  He also provides professional art photography services which he will briefly discuss, as well.  His business is com.
  2. Aline Ordman, Artist, is back this year for a demonstration. With so much positive feedback from the last time Aline came to provide VPS with still life demonstration, we have asked her back for another.  Working from a clothed model, Aline Ordman will do several poses ranging from 5 minutes to 20 minutes showing how to build a figure pastel from just a quick gesture painting to a longer, more layered painting.

About Aline:  Aline received her BFA at Cornell University, and continued her training at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, earning a degree in Illustration.  Aline is a Master Pastelist with the Pastel Society of America and a Signature Member of the American Impressionist Society and a Master Circle Pastelist with the International Association of Pastel Societies. She was been featured in The Pastel Journal, has been honored with awards at the 33rd, 34th  and 38th Annual Juried Shows of the Pastel Society of America in New York City  and juried the 2014 Pastel Society of America’s National Juried Show.  In 2016 she was a Faculty Pastel Demonstrator for the National Plein Air Convention and in 2017 will do a Pastel presentation at the National Plein Air Convention.   Her work has been accepted in national juried shows of the American Impressionist Society, The Pastel Society of America and the Oil Painters of America.   Aline teaches workshops throughout the country and in Europe.  Her website is and she maintains a blog at

Last year a number of us paid our upcoming dues at the Annual Meeting.  It was painless, saved a stamp, and we didn’t have to worry about!  So, we encourage you to bring your annual $30 membership check with you (made out to VPS) to the Annual Meeting and hand it over to our new Membership Secretary  (after one is voted on!).

Board Planning Meeting:

 VPS Board met September 30, 2016 to discuss the past year, as well as the upcoming year.  The meeting minutes are at the end of this newsletter.

We discussed the vacancies coming up in 2017, and thankfully, a number of VPS members have stepped up to volunteer to fill the vacancies for 2017.  We will vote on the positions at the annual meeting.  Please refer to the minutes for the list of our 2016 Board members and 2017 volunteers, along with the position they seek.

My thanks go out to those who have stepped forward to volunteer.  And, special thanks go out to those leaving the VPS Board who served so faithfully over the years:  Anne Unangst has served as our Secretary and as our Exhibitions Board member and has organized several workshops for VPS. Debra Kraemer has served as our Membership Board member over the past two years and has been so helpful in getting demonstrations for us at VPS events.  Both have provided tremendous insight into improvements to VPS and have put countless hours in to helping VPS move forward.  It takes a strong group of volunteers to keep VPS going.  Without Anne’s and Debra’s support, we could not have continued over the years!  Thank you very much.

VPS Website:

We have started adding new VPS member art and bios to the new website.  The new site is still not open to the public, but we anticipate it will be by our Annual Meeting.

IMPORTANT!!! – The existing VPS website will be taken down soon and none of the information on the site will be available. 

Anyone now, who wants their art and bio added to the new VPS website, please submit it to me.  It is important you follow the instructions at the end of this newsletter: Instructions to be Included in the Gallery.  Please follow it carefully in order to help this process proceed gracefully.

The new website will still have the same name as the old:

The new website has a BLOG feature within the site, so our old BLOG will be going away at the same time the old website goes away.  One efficient location for VPS information!

Also remember we have a Facebook page! Society-1526769437591380/?fref=ts

I hope to see you at the Annual Meeting on November 6, 2016!  It should be a great opportunity to get to know your new Board Members and to receive information from two presenters.

Cindy Griffith, VPS President

(Attachment 1 to Newsletter)

Vermont Pastel Society Board Meeting at the T.W. Wood Gallery

September 30, 2016

Present: Cindy Griffin, Norma Jean Rollet, Debra Kraemer, Wendy Soliday, Grace Cothalis, Grace Greene, Susannah Colby and Matthew Peake

  1. Cindy began the meeting by reviewing the Board lineup for next year considering upcoming vacancies:


President                          Vacant
Vice President                   Grace Cothalis
Secretary                           Grace Greene
Treasurer                           Norma Jean Rollet
Exhibitions                          Vacant
Membership                        Vacant
Member at large                 Wendy Soliday
Member at large                 Joyce Kahn
Webmaster                        Vacant

The following people have voiced interest in the respective positions:

Matthew Peake – President

Susannah Colby – Exhibitions

Maggie Smith – Membership

Cindy Griffith – Webmaster

This lineup needs to be voted on at the annual meeting in November, along with other members who may step up before the meeting showing interest.   Cindy said she will stay a couple of years as webmaster, and will train others to take over.


Workshops:  Discussion about what more needs to be done to have full workshop proposals for a Desmond O’Hagan workshop and a Doug Dawson one. Grace C. will follow up on this with the proposers, using the form on the blog that specifies everything to consider. The Dawson one is almost complete, but the O’Hagan one is lacking several details.

Exhibitions during the past year:  Everyone agreed that the Arts Alive venue worked well for an opening, but not well at all for an ongoing exhibit. There was no one in charge, no way to buy a painting, and the exhibit was not well attended. Only one of our members sold a piece. The art awards that Mickey Myers gave out were creative and fun.

Exhibitions for 2017: Looking at the Hotel Coolidge, WRJ, VT for the fall. Someone is there 24/7, so there is no worry about theft, and the person can answer questions and handle sales.  They generally sell several pieces when they have shows.

VPS Exhibitions are looking at SVAC for a members’ show in 2017, and have tentative approval, but need to contact and work with the new staff at SVAC to make arrangements. They have three times we could use in May and June. The same VPS members have said they will get prizes for the show. The Board agreed that it would be up to the judge to decide what titles to use for awards. Everyone liked the commentary that Mickey made on why she chose the pieces she did, so hope to have that again. We pay $100 to jurors (their work is done online only) and $300 plus mileage to the judge. Matt has a list of potential jurors and judges.

Membership report:  Debra reported that we currently have 99 members, of whom 13 are from out of state. Debra proposed changing the timing of the membership appeal to the beginning of December so as not to conflict with Christmas. People will be encouraged to bring their dues to the annual meeting in November.

Treasurer‘s report: Norma Jean Rollet pointed out some of the important information, such as the fact that we have $15, 3438.11 total. Discussion ensued about non-VPS awards and how organizations give each other the same amount of money to fund an extra award (e.g. the Cape Cod Pastel Society gives us $100 for an award for exhibitions, and we do the same for them). This arrangement was missed this year and we did not do it but will remember this next year.   It’s an easy way to promote one another.   As a rule, VPS tries to make money through workshops, while keeping the cost to members down.  We did make more money this year from the Richard McKinley workshop than anticipated, which helped to feed our reserve.  This money will now go toward other FREE events for VPS members in the future.

There is no line item for marketing, so we discussed whether there should be one, and what to do with one if it existed. Three hundred dollars will be designated for marketing. Grace G. will compile a list of places to send out information.

Grace G. moved and Debra seconded to accept the budget as presented.

3.Annual meeting plans: 

The meeting will be held on November 6, 2016 at the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction. Kent Scrivener will give a short presentation on how to photograph your art, and will also tell about his services.

We discussed several other possibilities for a presentation, and ended up with figure drawing demonstration by Aline Ordman. Aline will find a model. We will pay Aline $200, and the model $25.

Board members will supply snacks for the annual meeting. Items to discuss at the annual meeting:

  • IAPS – Wendy Soliday
  • Approval of annual meeting minutes for last year
  • Election of 2017 Board members
  • New VPS Website

After the formal adjournment of the meeting, Cindy showed the new VPS website and its features. She needs us to send in our art and statements. Everyone agreed that it looks great and that she has done a fabulous job. It will be formally debuted at the annual membership meeting.

Respectfully submitted,

Grace Worcester Greene

(Attachment 2 to Newsletter)

Instruction to be Included in the Gallery:

Instructions for Member Gallery Submissions


News of Upcoming Meetings and Member Gallery News

Dear VPS Membership,

Summer days are soon coming to a close and the beauty of fall will be upon us.  Enjoy the remaining warm weather as we’ll soon be layering up for the cooler month.

A couple of things coming up:

  1. September 30, 2016 will be a VPS Board Meeting. As always, these meetings are open to VPS members so I wanted to pass this along.  For the most part, we will be discussing what 2017 will look like for VPS.  The meeting will be at the T.W.Wood Art Gallery, 46 Barre Street, Montpelier, VT from 1 PM – 3PM.  Please feel free to come.  Or, if there are items you want the VPS Board to discuss, let me know.


  • The Annual VPS Meeting will be November 6th, 2016 – The Center for Cartoon Studies, 94 S. Main Street, WRJ, VT 05001 – 1PM – 4PM.  VPS will have afternoon snacks.  We have a photographer, Kent Scrivener, coming to present how to photograph your art.  He also provides professional art photography services which he will discuss, as well.  His business is  At the meeting, we will give a summary of the functions from 2016 and the plans for 2017.  This year, there will be a change of several Board Members and we will be voting on new members.  As always, we look for member’s feedback and suggestions at the meeting, as well.  Please try to make this very important meeting.


  1. VPS Website – It’s time to start populating the new website with your new images and professional art information.  Follow the instructions on the new VPS website at ABOUT, Policy and Procedures for the way to submit images for inclusion on the VPS Gallery.


Cindy Griffith