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PSWC magazine

Cuong Nguyen

An interview interview with with portrait portrait artist artist An extraordinaire on on his his long long jourjourextraordinaire ney from from Vietnam Vietnam to to San San Jose Jose ney

Meet the Members

A few few fun fun facts facts and and artwork artwork from from A members Willo Willo Balfrey, Balfrey, Sharon Sharon Bamber, Bamber, members Barbara Berry, Berry, and and Kari Kari Tirrell Tirrell Barbara

Membership Show Winners We’ve got got the the winning winning art art right right here! here! We’ve

Pa s t e l Volume 11, Issue 2

S o c i e t y

o f

t h e

W e s t

C o a s t Spring 2018

Join the most dynamic pastel group in the USA for less than 20c per day You don’t have to live on the West Coast to become a member. With PSWC members located around the US, as well as international members, the Pastel Society of the West Coast offers a strong voice for expanding the presence of soft pastel as a major fine art painting medium. PSWC was organized in 1984 to promote pastel artists and the soft pastel medium. Today, PSWC is one of the most recognized pastel society in the country, with an ever-increasing international presence. Benefits include: Pastels USA Annual Exhibition | Members Only Online Competition | Workshops by Noted PSWC Artists | PSWC Social Media Exposure Opportunities | Critique Program with Master Pastelists | No Juried Membership--unlike other societies


Millie’s Legacy by Susan Goodmundson

Table Table of of Contents Contents

PSWC magazine Pastel Box of Kathy Detrano

FEATURES News & Notes What’s Up at PSWC


Members Show Entries & Winners


The Interview Artist Cuong Nguyen A Career in Art


Meet the Members Willo Balfrey


Meet the Members Sharon Bamber


Meet the Members Barbara Berry


Meet the Members Kari Tirrell


ABOUT ART Art Shows and Competitions New Competitions Art School Cuong Nguyen Goes Step-by-Step Art Workshops Workshops & Videos

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Art Business Melinda Cootsona on Pricing Art


Paint & Tell 10 Things I Can’t Live without in My Studio


REGULARS Letter from the PSWC President A few words from Susan Goodmundson PSWC Art Scholarship This year’s winnerPaige Balwinson! Members Only Here’s what’s happening with PSWC members New Members Welcome to our newest PSWC members

PSWC Newsletter |Spring 2018 PSWC Newsletter | Spring 2018

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Letter from the Editor

Dear PSWC Members,

I present you with the PSWC Magazine Spring edition! This issue has five artist interviews, Cuong Nguyen, Willo Balfrey, Sharon Bamber, Barbara Berry, and Kari Tirrell. Their work speaks volumes about their talent, but if you ever have a chance to speak to them directly, do it! Not only are they talented, but these five artists a genuinely nice people – the kind you want to meet for coffee or dinner and a movie.

Want to get involved?

A large portion of this issue is devoted to the winners of the Mem-

bers Online Show 2018. As you will see, we have some damn fine talent in

There’s always room for more.

this society! Congratulations to all the artists, and thank you for participating.

Let us know what you want to do,

Collectively, you have set the bar so high for our society and pastel arts nation-

and we’lll find a spot for you!


Keep In Touch & Follow us!

Inquiring minds may want to know why we have the same face on

the front cover and the back cover. Local artists in the Bay area will recognize John Carrasco, a much sought after model known for his extraordinary beard, fabulous tattoos, and generous personality. Cuong Nguyen and Rita Romero both have used his handsome face in their work.

Russell Frank has written about our new scholarship winner, Paige

Baldwinson. This is the future of art, and we are pretty happy about it.

About This Issue

Finally, we are expanding our magazine features. We have a new sec-

tion called Art Business--this month we have an excerpt from author Melinda Cootsona’s book Open Your Studio: Nine Steps to Successfukl Art Event and

Our magazine format was a big hit! This

her tips for pricing your art. We have another new section called Paint and

format allows us to add more art and gives

Tell, which this month features the results from our Facebook survey ques-

readers a PDF version or an online digital

tion, “What are 10 things you have in your studio that you can’t live without?”

version to read on mobile devices.

InDesign Magazine Template Designed by Erick Ragas StockInDesign Inc. @stockindesign

For the first time ever, we have included two embedded videos. These can only be viewed in the online edition; however, if you are looking at a print edition simply go to for the link to the online magazine.

Thank you to all the contributors from Cuong to Willo to Aaron to

Russell to Melinda, and all our Facebook friends who answered the mini survey. You make my job easy!

Fonts: Capitals and Open Sans All photos are property of the artists

Editor, PSWC Magazine


Letter from the President

Dear Members This is my last letter to you as President of the Pastel Society of the West Coast. It has been a great privilege to serve as President of such a great society. You, as members, support the finest and greatest society, dedicated to giving you more membership benefits. This year, our Membership Show was a huge success. There are 83 pieces out of more than 500 submitted that were deemed the cream of the crop by judge Diane DeSantis. If you have never been a part of a judged show, it’s quite an undertaking. So many excellent choices, so many paintings too close to call. In the end, Diane managed to narrow it down to the top 15%. Now that’s a tough job! See the winners and accepted entries starting on page 10. If you are thinking of hosting a pastel event like a paint-out, call me or Sabrina Hill. We have postcards you can give out to encourage new people to become members. Don’t forget that our biggest event of the year is coming this summer! Pastels USA: A Dynamic Journey will be at the Morro Art Center in Morro Bay beginning August 16, 2018 and running through September 16, 2018. The deadline for entries is July 1, 2018. We want to see your best work! I will be calling for the ballot to elect your new President and Vice President. I will remain as Treasurer and Bonnie Griffith will remain as your Secretary. Please look for the ballot in July in an e-blast. Please vote!!!

Susan Goodmundson PSWC President

Waiting by Susan Goodmundson

PSWC Newsletter | Spring PSWC Newsletter |Spring2018 2018

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News & Notes Pastel Box of Duane Wakeham

Awards and Honors Terri Ford’s painting “Lily Pads sur Ciel Bleu” received 4th place in the Pastel Journal’s Annual Pastel 100 competition. It also received an Honorable Mention at the 32nd Annual International Association of Pastel Societies Exhibition (IAPS). She has two paintings in the California Art Club Gold Medal Exhibition. Terri will teach a three day plein air workshop in Pacific Grove, September 12-14, 2018 and in Paris, France November 8-10, 2018. Visit her website for details, new events, and paintings! Lily Pads sur Ciel Bleu by Terri Ford

11” x 14

Karen Horne was thrilled to have her painting “Poised Offstage” accepted into the IAPS 32nd Exhibition 2018 Show in Tacoma, Washington. Karen had attended her first IAPS Convention last summer in Albuquerque (2017), and was excited to gather with so many dedicated pastelists, and begin participating in workshops and events.

Poised Offstage by Karen Horne

Chris Williams and Jean Myers will be hosting a paint out in the 91320 (Newbury Park) area in early summer! Please contact Jean for more information www. 66

Happy Together II by Jean Myers

Art Shows Shows & & Art competitions competitions Top Five Reasons to Enter a Competition

1. It forces you to work to a deadline and get something finished. 2. It inspires you to do your best work.

3. It’s scary and exciting at the same time. 4. You can’t win if you never enter. 5. You just might win!!!

PSWC Pastels USA

Call for Artists

The PSWC 32nd Annual Pastels USA International Exhibition: A Dynamic Journey offers members and non-members the opportunity to compete at the highest level. Submissions are taken online, selections are narrowed down by an award winning panel of jurors and this year Lorenzo CHavez will judge the final selections. $14000 in awards, including Best of Show Award $1800

Philadelphia Water Color Society 118th Anniversary International Exhibition of Works on Paper. October 14 - November 24, 2018 at the Wayne Art Center, Wayne, Pa. Juror of Selection: Alan Wylie, Judge of Awards: Alvaro Castagnet. Workshop Alvaro Castagnet. Over $ 8000.00 in awards, including $ 1500.00 Best in Show. Media to include watercolor, acrylic, pastel, gouache, pen & ink, graphite, colored pencil and hand pulled prints. Online entry. Prospectus, submission information and workshop info at

Deadline: July 1, 2018 Judge of Awards: Lorenzo Chavez Lorenzo is an active member of the Plein Air Painters of America, Western Rendezvous of Art, California Art Club, American Impressionist Society and the Pastel Society of Spain. His paintings are included in six books and featured in many prominent galleries and magazines.

PASTELS USA 2018 EXHIBITION Art Center Morro Bay Gallery 835 Main Street, Morro Bay, CA 93442 Download the prospectus at: or go to www.pswc.

The Prayer by Barbara Berry

ws for more information

PSWC Newsletter Newsletter || Spring Spring 2018 2018 PSWC


Maybe Not by Paige Baldwinson 8

Art Scholaship

PSWC Art Scholarship 2018 Winner by Russell Frank

We are pleased to announce our 2018 Scholarship winner. We had numerous very talented school aged artists submit their applications. The decision for the PSWC Board of Directors was very difficult. The balloting did come to a definite consensus of whom our scholarship should be awarded to for this year. Paige Baldwinson is our scholarship winner.

seriously, I have been interested in drawing people. I was initially drawn to portraits because of my fascination for the human face….what began as a hobby has now turned into a driving passion that I hope to develop into a career. I am interested in realism and constantly improving my accuracy and proportions over time.” She works mainly in charcoal and pastel.

Paige is currently a high The board wants to thank “...what began as a hobby has Sabrina Hill, a PSWC board school senior and is atnow turned into a driving pas- member, for contacting tending Archbishop Mitty sion that I hope to develop into Paige’s art instructor, SanHigh School in San Jose, a career. I am interested in re- dra Jones, and informing California. She stated that alism and constantly improving her of this scholarship opshe is carrying an excepmy accuracy and proportions portunity. A special thanks tional 3.94 grade point avover time.” erage and has been on the to Sandra Jones for passing honor roll all four years. this information on to a very She informed me that she intends to pursue a detalented student artist. gree in fine arts and then obtain employment utilizThis year I sent out the scholarship information to ing her art education. Paige plans to attend Univer57 high schools, a junior college and universities sity of California at Santa Barbara’s art college. She within Stanislaus County. I also included schools is a wonderful addition to our successful graduates in Sutter and Placer County in California as well as who have won our scholarship competition in preschools in Chandler and Mesa Arizona. Next year vious years. I plan to focus on the above schools as well as Her extracurricular activities include participation schools in Sutter, Siskiyou and Trinity Counties. If in the Cal North Olympic Development Soccer you are in another county, please seek out students Program, Varsity Soccer at Archbishop Mitty High in your area and inform them of our scholarship. School and Competitive Club Soccer traveling team Our scholarship is offered on an annual basis to for eight years. She was involved with a Habitat for graduating seniors in high school, junior college Humanity Home Building Project, tutoring children students and up to a junior in a four year university in South San Jose, and at Full Circle Farm providing or an accredited art school. Our annual final applifood for the needy. She has also taken art classes cation acceptance date is March 31 of each year. including a UCLA Summer Art Program and sumKeep this in mind if you observe a talented student mer art programs at her high schools in 2013 and for our next year’s scholarship opportunity. 2014. For more info: She stated that “For as long as I have been drawing PSWC Newsletter | Spring 2018



Members Show Winners

Each year members are invited to submit recent work for our MEMBERS ONLINE SHOW. Here are this year’s winners and all the accepted entries. As you can see, we have some pretty AMAZING talent in our society! congratulations to all. PSWC wants to thank Rita Romero for the outstanding effort she put into managing this show-it’s hours of work, coordination with the members, the Board, and the judge, and lots of correspondence. Also, our gratitude is enormous for Diane DeSantis for being judge and juror for the show. With over 500 entries from some of the best artists in the world, she had to narrow the field to under 100, then narrow it further by chosing just 10 winning slots! Daunting to say the least! The results are here and we think you’ll be impressed. For the members who entered, thank you, and remember to get your entries ready for PASTEL USA 2018!

Best in Show Signature/Distinguished Pastelist Flights of Imagination by Debbie Patrick Soft Pastel 18x24`

Best in Show General Member Rose Red by Mary Aslin Soft Pastel 22x 27

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First Place

General Member Seize the Day by Judith Leeds Soft Pastel 18x22

Signature/Distinguished Pastelist Espiritu by Christine Obers Soft Pastel 18 x 24

Second Place

General Member Signature/Distinguished Pastelist Butterfly Orchids by Marie Tippets Soft Pastel 16x20

Incoming Tide by Linda Roemisch Soft Pastel 8x10

PSWC PSWC Newsletter Newsletter |Spring | Spring 2018 2018



Third Place

General Member Distant Glow by Alejandra Gos Soft Pastel 9x11

Signature/Distinguished Pastelist Top of the Canyon by Stan Bloomfield Soft Pastel 17x22

Honorable Mention

Signature/Distinguished Pastelist Verdigris Vision by Diane Fechenbach Soft Pastel 11x140

General Member Folk Dancer by Carol Lois Haywood Soft Pastel 14x11

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Accepted Entries

Golden Dream by Shirley Anderson

Soft Pastel 12x16

Soulmates by Barbara Archer-Baldwin Soft Pastel 11x14

Changed My Mind by Linda B’Eze

Soft Pastel 15x16

The Music Lingers On by Lynn Attig

Soft Pastel 9x12

The Chestnut Pollard by Sharon Banber Soft Pastel 15x11

Morning on the Canal by Willo Balfrey Soft Pastel 9x12

PSWC Newsletter | Spring 2018 PSWC Newsletter |Spring 2018

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Accepted Entries

Sunset in the Carmel Woods by Barbara Belvel

Soft Pastel 16x20 The Triangle of Respect by Gerald Boyd

Blue Beat by Brenda Boylan

Soft Pastel 14x14 Spring is Here! by Kris Buck

Stari Headdress byTonya Carpenter Soft Pastel 14x11 My Pacific by Nana Carrillo 14 14

Soft Pastel 20x20

Soft Pastel 9x12

Soft Pastel 12x16


Accepted Entries

October Snow by Jean Choi Soft Pastel 16x12

Sanctuary by Patti Christensen Woodard

Twilight View by Lynda Conley

Soft Pastel 12x18

Soft Pastel 12x18

Vigoroso by Joanne Cotton

Clouds Roll By by Patricia Connolly

Corrine’s World by Mary Villon de Benveniste

Soft Pastel 17x23

Soft Pastel 8x10

Soft Pastel 21x19 PSWC PSWC Newsletter Newsletter |Spring | Spring2018 2018

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Accepted Entries

Buffalo on the Plains by Russell Frank

Soft Pastel 12x16

Autumn on the River by Patti Hagan Soft Pastel 14x11

Innocent Smile by Irene Georgopoulou Soft Pastel 23x19

A Place to Go by Jen Everhus

Bygone Days by Janis Ellison 16 16

Soft Pastel 6x9

Soft Pastel 12x16

Super Moon by Ellen Gust

Soft Pastel 8x10


Accepted Entries

Garland of Grace by Debbie Harding

Soft Pastel 8x14

Foxie Lady by Marrianne Harris Soft Pastel 9x12

Rocky Yuba River Glen by Paul Harman

Soft Pastel 13x19

Mulberry Plantation View by Karene Infranco

Soft Pastel 20x30

Just Singing Autumn by Marilyn Hurst Soft Pastel 12x9

High Desert Glare by Gary Huber Soft Pastel 11x14

PSWC Newsletter |Spring 2018 PSWC Newsletter | Spring 2018

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Accepted Entries

Golden Glory by Becky Johnson

Soft Pastel 5x7

Harper’s Profile by Tricia Kaman Soft Pastel 14x11

First Light, Malibu Lagoon Spice and Rice by Christine Ivers

Soft Pastel 18x24 Catching a Dream by Tai Meng Soft Pastel 17x21

W. Kueblers Sons Bottlers by Betsy Kellum Soft Pastel 18x14

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Soft Pastel 19x26


Accepted Entries

Summer Sunset by Catherine McKeever

Soft Pastel 12x16 Talking About Me 3 by Yael Maimon Soft Pastel 9x12

Last Vacation by Shelson Marks

Soft Pastel 18x24

Grand Dane by Jory Mason Soft Pastel 24x20

Polly by Stephanie Long Soft Pastel 18x24

Adagio for Violin by Evalynne McDougall Soft Pastel 20x20

PSWC Newsletter | Spring 2018 PSWC Newsletter |Spring 2018

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Accepted Entries

Still Waters by Linda Melber

Soft Pastel 11x14

Sweet Dreams by Barbara Benedetti Newton Soft Pastel 13x12

Fox Pond by Karen Miller Soft Pastel 9x9

Mountain High by Linda Mutti

Soft Pastel 9x12

Safe Harbor by Clark Mitchell 20 20

Soft Pastel 10x30


Accepted Entries

South Umpqua by Janet Patterson

Soft Pastel 12x16

Hot Heifer by Barbara Noonan Soft Pastel 38x26

Messages by Denice Peters

Soft Pastel 9x12 Chichi Morning by Sandra Place

Soft Pastel 9x11

The Little Hunters by Heidi Reeves Soft Pastel 20x16

Primeval Catherdral II by Debbie Patrick Soft Pastel 20x16

PSWC Newsletter |Spring 2018 PSWC Newsletter | Spring 2018

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Accepted Entries

Evelyn Trio by Cynthia Riordan

Soft Pastel 16x18

Elegance by Barbara Reich Soft Pastel 11x14

Matthew by Rita Romero Soft Pastel 18x18

One Winter Morn by Elizabeth Rhoades

Soft Pastel 7x10

Waiting Room by Cheri Saffro Dustbowl Basin by Judy Richardson 22 22

Soft Pastel 11x14

Soft Pastel 26x18


Accepted Entries

Truckee River by Ann Sanders

Soft Pastel 12x16

Pharaoh’s Owl by Judith Smith Soft Pastel 8x6

Sunset at the Outer Banks by Mary Stahl

Soft Pastel 19x12

Gentle Wave by LaVone Sterling

Soft Pastel 11x14

Early Morning by Lynn Simon Soft Pastel 10x12

Freeze Frame by Diane Stolz Soft Pastel 18x24

PSWC Newsletter |Spring 2018 PSWC Newsletter | Spring 2018

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Accepted Entries

Blue and Gold by Pat Suggs Soft Pastel 18x24

Dawn Radiance by Melissa West

Soft Pastel 9x12

Where the Heart Is by Vianna Szabo Soft Pastel 6x8

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Out to Pasture by Christine Troyer

Soft Pastel 16x20


Accepted Entries

Blessed are the Peacemakers by Nancy Woodward Soft Pastel 10x11

Incoming Tide by Helen Turner

Soft Pastel 12x16

Landscape in Blue and Gold by Jan Thomas

Soft Pastel 6x9

Feather and Foam by Kimberly Wurster Soft Pastel 30x20

PSWC Newsletter |Spring 2018 PSWC Newsletter | Spring 2018

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Feature Artist

Cuong Nguyen Visions of the Golden Gate Bridge Inspired Cuong to come to California by Sabrina Hill

As a child, Cuong Nguyen had a schoolbook with a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge on the cover. It was a place Cuong always wanted to see. But there didn’t seem to be much hope of that event ever happening. Cuong grew up in poverty after the fall of Saigon and travelling anywhere was a distant dream. Another dream was a little closer to reality—being an artist. Cuong loved to draw. Even as a child, he earned extra money doing street portraits. A wise man in the village encouraged him to practice and he did—drawing hundreds of eyes—happy eyes, smiling eyes, sad eyes, loving eyes, angry eyes. His practice was rewarded when he was accepted to Saigon’s Academy of Art while in high school. An opportunity to flee the country for a better life presented itself, and Cuong left the Academy of Art in Saigon to emigrate to California. He arrived in San Jose in 1991, earned a degree in illustration from San Jose State University, and established a successful career as an icon designer with a prominent Silicon Valley web company. Icons are fine, and they pay the bills, but they are not fine art, and soon Cuong was back to his hobby of street painting—now in the convenient mega 26

size of 16’ x 24’. That’s no typo—that’s feet. His magnificent portraits were more than just replicas of classic pieces, they were fine art themselves. As his reputation grew, he moved from asphalt to canvas and paper. He refined his skills and developed the technique that is his signature—the layering of tones from dark green through to pale pink—to achieve glowing life-like skin tones. Like a true artist, he is constantly striving to do more and do it better. He has a strong sense of the art marketplace—when he was approached by wellknown gallery in San Francisco to show his work, he went up and walked around. He noticed that the pieces that caught his eye were big—you could see them from a distance. So, he painted two huge portraits, one of a man and one of a woman, both nearly 60” square. You could see them from everywhere in the gallery! And they were noticed and sold. Although Cuong paints a host of subjects from stilllifes to classical statues (he even sculpts) his passion is for the human face and form. And it is here that his reputation is most firmly established. It is an amazing experience to watch him start with a blank

John’s Profile by Cuong Nguyen PSWC Newsletter | Spring 2018


Purple Rose by Cuong Nguyen

sheet of sanded paper and with nothing more than a sharpened pencil and his hand get the proportions of his live model exactly correct. No tracing, no image projection, just the width of his hand and the proportions he sees as he squints past the pointed pencil to determine ratios and distance. Once he refines the drawing, the painting begins in earnest—a green face emerges, then a green face with light green hightlights, the addition of a sienna starts to mix with the greens. A purply-mauve comes next and suddenly you are watching the skin emerge. In 28

between layers, Cuong is touching up details that get lost in the layers. The face is coming into focus. A little more light sienna, the some reds in the eyes and cheeks, a layer of blush pink and ivory—highlights on the eyes, lips and cheeks, and the model is about to speak to you—oh wait…it’s only a portrait, not the real thing! Competition is one way for an artist to gain recognition. Cuongs has won dozens of awards and has done portrait demonstrations at the IAPS (Interna-

Feature Artist tional Association of Pastel Societies) conference in 2017, and he won the South West Art Magazine Award at the Salon International Competition in 2011, Texas. The award was chosen by Master Daniel Greene. A winning piece in a competition several years ago garnered him a one man show at the Triton Museum in San Jose, California., one of many in his career. Fortunately for all of us, Cuong is generous with his time. He teaches in his studio (full disclosure, I have taken three classes with him—all divine!) as well as for ateliers internationally, most recently in Bruges and Buenos Aires. He remains a presence on the street art circuit, participating in several festivals around the world every year. If you are lucky enough to follow him on Facebook, you will see he also has amazing epicurean experiences as well! I asked Cuong what advice he would give to his 20 year old self--and his answer was typically optimistic--”Keep making art. You are going to do great!” And regarding his future? The latest and ongoing project is to chronocle his techniques in a series of ebooks and videos. This is a gift to all artists--especially portrait artists. To see him work the materials and coax the human form off the canvas is awe-inspiring. The videos show each step with explanations. His latest full length video is The Glowing Portrait: Creating Realistic Skin Tones with Pastel Pencils is almost four hours long. It’s easy to watch, and it’s broken down into manageable chapters. Another option: try some of his e-books, which break down the portrait process into more reasonabloe bite size projects--mouths, noses, and eyes.

To get to know Cuong is to discover a kind, funny, humble, generous and empathetic artist, teacher, mentor, and friend. He brings out the talent in every student and shares his own challenges. His studio is nestled at the back of his house in a quaint enclave near downtown San Jose. The small garden is filled with an explosion of roses, and jasmine, and a large shade tree is home to a friendly squirrel who often joins Cuong in the studio eating the nuts tossed to him. Birds feed in the crafty birdfeeder, bees buzz— it is serenity itself. And just one hour away is the Golden Gate Bridge. Home, sweet home. Cuong is a member of the Oil Painters of America and the International Guild of Realism, as well as having been awarded the distinction of Distinguished Pastellist with the Pastel Society of the West Coast. His work has appeared at the Triton Museum in Santa Clara, California, and the Haggin Museum in Stockton, California, as well as in both national and international competitions exhibiting from coast to coast. SOLO EXHIBITIONS SOLITARY CONNECTIONS Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, California, August 10-November 5, 2017 MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE Ming Gallery, Suzhou, China. August - September, 2016 CURRENT WORKS by Cuong Nguyen John Pence Gallery, San Francisco. April 10 - May 2, 2015 PAINTINGS & DRAWINGS by Cuong Nguyen John Pence Gallery, San Francisco. Sep 6-28th, 2013 ASPECTS: Multiple Faces, Multiple Views Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, California, September 29 - November 11, 2012 TWO APART Los Gatos Museum of Art, Los Gatos, California, March 16-April 24, 2012

Portrait of the Artist’s Mother by Cuong Nguyen Left done by the artist at age 12, Right done recently

PSWC Newsletter | Spring 2018


Feature Artist

East Palo Alto Chalk Art Festival

Cuong’s Studio


Red Scarf by Cuong Nguyen PSWC Newsletter | Spring 2018


Meet the Members

Willo Balfrey Q & A with a PSWC DP by Sabrina Hill

Q: DID YOU ALWAYS CONSIDER YOURSELF AN ARTIST? A: My initial instinct was to say “NO” as at a young age I didn’t know, and was not told, that there was such a thing as “artist” out in the big world. But, all through Elementary, Junior, and High School my favorite subject was art. I always thought a bolt of lightening had to come down and hit you with your special talent, ie, sports, music, finances, etc. and as a child I did not get that bolt of lightening. I was just average. As I grew up and married into a family of artists, I began to think that I would like to do art–so began my exposure to the art world even owning, with my In-Laws, a Gallery in Chico, CA. After a divorce and raising Willo Balfrey two girls and moving to a new location in Weed, CA (re-married) I began art classes at the local Community College where I was working. I took as many courses as possible and finally realized that I needed further instruction and was able to take a class from Richard McKinley when he came to the area to do a workshop many, many years ago. He was my first exposure to a Professional Artist. Q: WHEN DID YOU REALIZE YOU WERE AN ARTIST? A: After entering many competitions and finally receiving “status qualifications” in various societies, I realized and accepted that I was an artist. After five years of entering the Pastel Society of the West Coast shows I finally had one accepted and have earned Distinguished Pastelist. I now have received several award and signature level in many pastel societies including the Pastel Society of America and the International Association of Pastel Societies where I achieved Master level accreditation. I am a Signature Member of the Northwest Pastel Society, Pastel Society of Oregon, Sierra Pastel Society. I am also a member of the Oil Painters of


Turquoise Quiet by Willo Balfrey

Meet the Members

PSWC Newsletter | Spring 2018


Meet the Members

one who guides you down your path with suggestions and a gentle push when needed. He gave me the courage to step outside my comfort zone and continue entering shows even when holding a declined letter. I quote what he says about the declined letter “Mourn for a day and then get back in the studio and work harder to become a better artist�.

Morning Meditation by Willo Balfrey

America and the American Impressionists Society. I have been published in the Pastel Journal as well as accepted into the Pastel 100. I have been a Juror of Selection twice for the International Association of Pastel Societies. Q: WHO HAS HAD A STRONG INFLUENCE IN YOur WORK? A: Without a doubt it has been my mentor and friend of many years, Richard McKinley, a Master artist. Sometimes in our art career we meet some-

I also had the opportunity to take workshops from Albert Handel where I witnessed the gentle hand of another master. Q: DO YOU WORK EXCLUSIVELY IN PASTELS? A: I also work in oils. Even thought they are different mediums they can both be opaque and help each other in the learning and application process. I find when I am working with my pastels I wish I had my oils and could mix the color I want. Then when I am doing oils I wish I had my pastels so I could apply the stoke I need and it will stay there. I have worked in watercolor, acrylic, printmaking but pastels seemed to fit my inner artist the best.

Tranquil Morning by Willo Balfrey


Meet the Members

Q: WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT WHEN CHOOSING MULTIPLE PIECES FOR A SHOW? A: I am now framing most of my pieces in the same type of frame so that when I have a show they all seem to go together even if the subject matter is different. Also, painting landscapes creates a theme for a showing. Q: WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A PIECE TO BE SELECTED FOR A SHOW? A: I select my latest work as I feel it is always the best. I do not like to enter the same piece over and over again when entering in society shows. Q: FOR MaNY ARTISTS THE IDEA OF ENTERING A JURIED SHOW OR COMPETITION IS TERRIFYING. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU oFFER TO ARTISTS CONTEMPlATING AN ENTRY IN A SHOW? A: My first advice is DON’T GIVE UP. Keep entering and growing. Try to go to the opening reception or to see the event in person as just viewing it on a computer does not show the true colors, values, or details. You can gain so much by looking at the original pieces. When entering, be sure to read the prospectus and submit perfect images, i.e., correct color, no frame showing, image the right size, etc. Many times pieces have been rejected because the image was out of focus. Send the image to a friend and ask them to view it on their computer and see how it is presented.

Morning on the Canal by Willo Balfrey

Paint as often as you can and practice, practice, practice. I’m still giving myself this advice. REFLECTIONS I just bought a home that has a VERY LARGE master bedroom that I have turned into my studio. I have space to invite artists to paint with me and to give lessons. I have been involved with my art journey for 30 years with the beginning steps of learning which side of the paper to use. It has been a long rewarding journey and saved my sanity when my husband developed Parkinson’s (for 18 years) and died a year ago. Painting and the friends that come in this arena kept me whole. I love Plein Air painting and go out as often as possible when the weather allows. I also take plein air workshops in new areas to keep the inspiration alive. I travel to new areas and bring back photos but learn the most when I am actually standing in front of the landscape and making decisions on mood, atmosphere, value, colors, and what to leave in or take out. If pastel societies need someone to jury a show, teach a workshop I am available.

Q: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR 20– YEAR-OLD SELF REGARDING ART? A: Don’t compare yourself to others and ignore that inner voice that tells you tha t you aren’t good enough. Take as many workshops from those instructors you admire and as you grow in your own career, help others along the way. Property Line Beauty by Willo Balfrey PSWC Newsletter | Spring 2018



Meet the Members

Sharon Bamber

Travelling the World to Paint Living Landscapes by Sabrina Hill

Sharon Bamber is one busy lady! When I spoke to her in December, she was heading off to France for five months to visit her parents, paint, and have some R & R. When I spoke to her in March she was off to the plein air conference in Arizona. In the midst of all her travels she is painting up a s t o r m , winning awards and recognition, and teaching workshops. Bamber fell into pastels more than a decade ago when she immigrated to Canada. She had seen a box of pastels at a shop in England and the medium intrigued her. A pastel class with Canadian artist Gail Adams change the course of her artistic life. Gail suggested that Sharon look for gallery representation. High praise for an emerging artist. A degree in zoology and a Masters in landscape architecture are indicators of her interests. Wildlife and natural habitats are still the focus for this prolific painter. In addition to studying with Gail Adams, she

has studied with Albert Handel, Robert Bateman, and Teri Isaac. She also did a self-study with Terry John Reybold. In Albert Handel’s class she recalls him telling students, “You have to do at least 300 paintings to get any good. This is the key to developing as an artist.” Sharon’s painting philosophy is to create living landscapes, and it is a perfect approach with the plein air Sun and Salt Air by Sharon Bamber 9x12 plein air studies she prefers to do. She travels simply with the Hillman box of 280 Terry Ludwig pastels, her favorite pastels. Her technique is to under paint with water and Ludwig pastels, then she completes the painting either in plein air are in the studio with Terry Ludwig pastels she works a lot in the 9 x 12 format. Sharon also teaches. She says the difference between painting and teaching painting that when you paint you focus on what you’re doing, when you teach you analyze what you were doing. Sharon loves pastels she loves that there is no gap between in the emotional connection they respond immediately, a trait she doesn’t feel as much with oils.

PSWC Newsletter | Spring 2018


Meet the Members On Competition

Awards and Recognition

When Sharon enters the show she feels that it offers a gauge of how she is doing. When she doesn’t get in or doesn’t get a prize, she knows that it means she has to work harder. “Of course it’s disappointing when you don’t win but sometimes a piece that is rejected from one show is excepted in another and may even win an award. There is a certain subjectiveness from the judges that we have to take into account when we enter shows.”

Sharon’s work has won awards in both national and international juried exhibitions and is found in private and corporate collections in Canada, USA, France and the UK. She is a signature member of the Artists for Conservation and the Federation of Canadian Artists and a juried member of the Society of Animal Artists.

She has traveled extensively and her travels have influenced her work tremendously. She spent the winter in the Limoges area of France--considered to be the heart of pastels in Europe. Currently, she and her husband are building a straw bale house in British Columbia. Quite an undertaking!

Best Pastel: Mendocino Plein Air Paint-out 2017

When I asked her what she would love to tell her 20-year-old self she answered “Everyone tells you to wait. Sometimes you have to say, ‘I’m going to go for it” and then commit with everything you have.”

Aaron Schuerr Award: Pastels USA International juried exhibition, 2017 Winner: Quick draw, Mendocino Plein Air Paintout 2017 First Place: Animals & Wildlife Category, Pastel Journal’s International Pastel 100 Competition, 2016 Third Place: Animals & Wildlife Category, Pastel Journal’s International Pastel 100 Competition, 2015 Honourable Mentions: Animals & Wildlife Category, Pastel Journal’s International Pastel 100 Competition, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015

Pont de la Pier

On the Pilgrims Way by Sharon Bamber, 9x12


rre by Sharon Bamber, 9x12

Second Place: BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year International Art Competition, 2013 Finalist: BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year International Art Competition, 2013 Award of Excellence: Federation of Canadian Artists National Juried Exhibition, 2012 Bronze Award: Federation of Canadian Artists National Juried Exhibition, 2010 Award of Excellence: Federation of Canadian Artists National Juried Exhibition, 2009 For more information contact Sharon at

Palm Shadows by Sharon Bamber, 9x12 PSWC Newsletter | Spring 2018


Meet the Members

Barbara Berry PSWC Memberand Opera Singer by Sabrina HIll

Barbara Berry has been immersed in art since she was a little girl. She would stand behind her mother and watch her paint portraits of the neighborhood children in their kitchen. She was surrounded by great art, and it obviously soaked in. Here she answers some of my questions. Q: Did you always consider yourself an artist? A: When I was in fifth grade, we had a contest to paint a picture or poster illustrating the damage pollution causes. I painted a beach scene -sand dunes laced with trash and seagulls flying away from it. My classmates thought I’d win the competition. They said, “You’re going to be an artist when you grow up.”. My painting did not win the competition but the principal called me into the office and asked me if I’d consider selling him the painting so he could hang it in the school library! For me this was a huge honor. I sold a painting! And I did think I would follow in my grandmother and mother’s footsteps and study art one day. By the time I needed to decide a course of study, however, I’d been singing and writing songs and performing in musicals and with a scholarship I studied classical voice performance and got a bachelor degree in music performance after which I eventually moved to Europe and sang some of my favorite roles as a lyric soprano in the professional opera houses in Germany. Q: Who or what has had an strong influence in your work? A: My mother was my first and possibly most pro40

found influence in fine art. When I was a child she used to do charcoal and oil portraits in our home and I would stand behind her and watch. Q: What other jobs have you done? A: I left my career as an opera singer to raise my three children and when they started art classes at our local award-winning art center I also began to take figure drawing classes. I decided to try pastel and was fascinated by the work of my instructor, Master Pastellist Teresa Deseve. Teresa places the costumed model in creative poses and I have had the opportunity to practice painting the figure in her classes for the last several years. Q: What currently influences your work? A: More recently a local artist and friend Valerie Craig is a huge inspiration in landscape oil painting. I’m beginning to gather my pastels and/or my oils and head outside and paint en plein air. Although I feel more comfortable with pastels I really like the challenge of mixing the colors I see in the landscape with the vibrant and buttery oil paints. The beautiful glow of reflected light on form shadows on the figure and in the landscape is something I like to render in pastel, and now I am attempting to find this, to solve this riddle in a way, with oil paint. Q: What do you think about when choosing multiple pieces for a show? What do you look for in a piece to be selected for a show? A: I’ve begun to collect some nice paintings by artists I’ve been following, and when I choose artwork

Meet the Members

Still In The Nest by Batbara Berry PSWC Newsletter | Spring 2018


Meet the Members for a show the question I ask myself is “would I purchase a painting like this and hang it on my wall?” Q: What advice would you offer to artists contemplating an entry in a show? A: I have mixed feelings about juried competitions. We can feel very vulnerable. We offer a work that is sort of like a piece of our soul to the jurors’ subjective scrutiny. The first few times we really have to work not to take the decisions personally.

Violet Robe by Barbara Berry

Of course being juried into a show is an honor and can be very validating, and having a work rejected by one juror doesn’t mean that it won’t be excepted and win an award in another competition. Art is an expression, and the most important thing to remember is the gift of having the opportunity to create a work by telling your story, preserving an hour in a day, solving the riddle of rendering a form with these gorgeous colors! Q: What advice would you give to your 20-yearold-self regarding art? A: I would tell my 20-year-old self, “You can be confident you will have the opportunity to create something beautiful or meaningful regardless of what career you choose. You need to be patient and determined. With practice you really will improve. Protect your health, the people you love and your environment.”

Berry Snowangel by Barbara Berry 42

Meet the Members

Awards Honorable Mention Winner 2017 Artists Magazine All-Media Online Competition work published in North Light Shop’s Strokes of Genius 9 -a collection of 140 contemporary drawings Finalist September 2017 Art Muse Contest- Marc Hanson, juror First Award for Excellence in Works on Paper -117th Annual International Exhibition of Works on Paper -Philadelphia Watercolor Society Finalist June 2017 Art Muse Contest -Stephanie Birdsall, juror Best in Show, 2017 Wayne Art Center Student Works Exhibition Golden Award of Excellence, Connecticut Pastel Society Juried Members Exhibition 2016, “Purely Pastel” Outstanding Pastel Award, BoldBrush Painting Competition 2016 Pastel Society of New Mexico Award, Pastel Society of the West Coast’s 2016 “Pastels USA” Finalist, Emerging Artist Category, Art Muse Contest July 2016 Honorable mention, 12th Annual Mile High International Pastel Exhibition 2016 First Place, Expressions in Pastel, Maryland Pastel Society 2016 Best in Show, Wayne Art Center Members Exhibition 2015 Donnie Dingman Memorial Award, Shades of Pastel National Exhibition 2015 Mary K. McGee Memorial Award for Excellence in Pastel, Philadelphia Watercolor Society 114th Anniversary Exhibition Finalist, Emerging Artist Category, Art Muse Contest, 2016

Splash Of Life 2 By Barbara Berry

Finalist, Gallery Representation Award Competition, Art Muse Contest 2016 -Jack Meier Gallery Alexa and Susans by Barbara Berry

Bow and Twist by Barbara Berry

PSWC Newsletter | Spring 2018


Banana Bread by Kari Tirrell

OPPOSITE: Kari Tirrell painting Cluster Truck

Nap Interrupted by Kari Tirrell See Kari’s step-by-step process at http://www.


Meet the Members

Kari Tirrell

PSWC Distinguished Pastelist Paints Chaos by Sabrina Hill

The first time I saw a piece of Kari Tirrell’s artwork I was transported back to my childhood, then my adulthood. The piece I saw was one of her signature still lifes—Traffic Jam— which is basically a box of Matchbox cars. I have three younger brothers and son (now an adult). I have stepped on most of these cars. Barefooted.

years after getting married without doing much in the way of painting. She is self-taught and learned through trial and error. When she returned to her creative beginnings,

It made me smile and curl my toes. Kari’s work is so distinct. Her still lifes are not carefully composed vignettes of wine bottles and fruit or tea cups. Beginning with a box of Christmas ornaments, Kari’s still life series look like boxes you just brought down from the attic. They are edge-to-edge canvases filled with memories of childhood and collections of objects. Cluster Truck is a jumble of toy trucks (every one of which I have in my own attic waiting for grandchildren!). These pieces are large and mostly rendered in acrylics. She also works in pastels. The portrait of her dos entitles Nap Interrupted and Train Wreck are exquisitely done in pastels. In fact, she has a step-by-step post about a similar portrait on her website (http:// Her interest in art was never a question. Mom was a portrait artist, and she grew up drawing and reading—not much other entertainment available then. She always had access to pencils and ink from her mother and was a huge fan of Norman Rockwell. But she didn’t plan on being an artist. She planned to be a clinical nutritionist. In fact, she went for

she began to think that painting could be a viable career. Before she got into pastels, she worked in acrylic producing abstracts she sold on eBay for $40 each. This was profitable for a while, but then she discovered the work of artist Alicia St. Rose, a photorealism painter. This was new and very intriguing to her. St. Rose uses pastels and this influenced Kari. She began her love affair with pastels, “...because it’s drawing and painting at the same time.!” She decided to seek gallery representation and is PSWC Newsletter | Spring 2018


Meet the Members

Fish Out of Water by Kari Tirrell “The Kirsten Gallery was holding their annual Marine Show. I wasn’t in the mood to paint boats, so I took a bit of liberty with the theme and painted this fun little still life. I wish the glitter showed up better in the picture. It’s definitely one you need to see in person for the full effect

Professional Affiliations Pastel Society of America, Master Pastelist Pastel Society of the West Coast, Distinguished Pastelist Northwest Pastel Society, Signature Member Publications The Pastel Journal, “Worlds of Whimsy,” February, 2016 The Pastel Journal, April, 2015 Southwest Art Magazine, “Artist to Watch,” May, 2014 The Pastel Journal, April, 2014 Visual Language Magazine, December, 2013 The Pastel Journal, April, 2013 The Artist’s Magazine, December, 2012 American Art Collector, October, 2012 American Art Collector, March, 2012 The Artist’s Magazine, December, 2011 Bucks County Courier Times/The Intelligencer, “Broad Sweep for a Young Gallery,” August 1, 2010, The Peninsula Gateway, July 14, 2010, “Artist Discovers True Colors”

Train Wreck by Kari Tirrell


Meet the Members now in several galleries nationally. The gallery presence has also influenced her work. In fact, it was because of a conversation with a gallery owner that she began doing her jumbled still lifes. She had been doing portraiture, but the owner said it was too emotional. People didn’t want it. They wanted still lifes. Kari just couldn’t get excited about a classic format, but the tumbled contents of a box had the diversity of pattern, color, and unexpected punch that appealed to her. The public’s reaction was pure gold, and they sold well. She now paints in acrylics for the galleries because of shipping and framing considerations. Pastels are still her passion. Fish Out of Water was done almost entirely in Terry Ludwig pastels—a favorite brand. Kari comments, “I love the tactile nature of pastels and blending with my fingers like finger paint!” And apparently, she is not the only one in her family that loves the pastels. She shares her love with her studio cat, who would open her drawers full of pastels and play with them. Her cat does not have gallery representation.

Full Houses by Kari Tirrell

Many painters may identify with her approach to painting, which she sees as, “…a creative problem-solving exercise.” She likens producing a painting to having a baby. “At first, it’s so exciting. Then you get to the ugly stage where you think ‘This is horrible, what was I thinking, why did I start this, why do I suck?!’ Then it’s finishe,d and you are so happy, and you love it!” Sometimes, when a painting is just not resolving itself, she turns the process over to her sleeping dreaming brain. “I get ready for bed and tell my brain to solve this problem! When I wake up, I usually have the perfect answer.” Perfect, indeed!

Christmas Memories by Kari Tirrell

PSWC Newsletter | Spring 2018


Art School

Art School Cuong Nyugen shares his technique for realistic skin tones using Pastel pencils Cuong Nguyen uses Carbothello Pencils to create delicately layers of pastels that create glowing skintones. For anyone who doubts how starting with brown and dark green can yield porcelain skin, grab your highly sharpened pastel pencils, follow the steps on the next few pages and be prepared to impress your very own self. This technique works and is great fun. (Check out Cuong’s videos on YouTube

TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION OF COLORS 1. Sharpen your Pencils: Cuong sharpens his pencils with a ulitity knife by hand. This takes some practice, but the reult is a ultra-fine point that also acts as a blending tool. 2. Work the Colors in Order: Stick to the general progression to acheive a glowing skintone. If you need more depth, you can add a little of the previous color, but don;t go all the way back. 3. Let the Tip Do the Blending: It can’t emphasize enough to use small strokes and let the pencil tip be your blender. 4. Go Back to Move Forward: As you build up skin tones, go back with the dark umber to add details around the eyes, lips and hair. 5.Keep Sharpening: Keep those pencil points sharp. It your key to success!

For more information go to



Art School

PSWC Newsletter | Spring 2018


Art School



Art School


PSWC Newsletter | Spring 2018


Art Workshops

Art Workshops Aaron Schuerr Plein Air and Studio Workshops Painting Spring Landscapes in Pastel and Oil” May 16-19, 2018


Franciscan Life Process Center in Lowell, Michigan Get ready to explore the beautiful Franciscan Life Process Center campus and the surrounding countryside during this plein air and studio painting workshop with me. Enjoy the beauty and challenge of painting in the field, then learn how field studies can be used as a reference for studio paintings. Outdoors, we’ll focus on sketching, simplification, fresh color, accurate drawing, dynamic composition, and discovering “the story” within the seeming complexity of nature. Back in the studio we’ll analyze the plein air work and dig into the nuances of color, value, and composition. I’ll introduce the charcoal preparatory drawing as a fun and inventive way to plan a studio pastel. Class includes demonstrations in the field and studio, friendly critiques, and plenty of one-on-one time. We’ll start from the thumbnail sketch and work through flat-color plane exercises before diving into longer plein air painting sessions. The focus will be on process over product, in learning to see in new and dynamic ways and work simply, directly, and with confidence.

The Landscape Inside and Out July 10-13, 2018 $500 Livingston,


This is my chance to take you to the places that I know best!

From my studio in Livingston, Montana we

will venture out to sites in beautiful Paradise Valley. You’ll have the opportunity to paint on one of oldest ranches in the region, with a beautiful spring creek, cottonwood groves, meadows, mountains, and old ranch buildings to choose from. I’ll walk you through fun painting exercises designed to break down the painting process. We’ll leave the easels and go on composition walks where I’ll show you how light affects color, how color changes in shadow, where to find reflected light and anything else that I discover. Back in the studio we’ll learn to plan studio paintings from field studies. I’ll diagram compositions and what makes them work, we’ll talk about color, color temperature, atmospheric perspective and other topics in a way that is practical and informative. And yes, you will receive plenty of individual attention. If that’s not enough, I even cook dinner for the class! Email: aaronschuerr@ for more details or call (406)539-8393


Art Videos

Art Videos

Two of our favorite PSWC artists are caught on tape making great art! Lucky for us they hit “record”

Cuong Nguyen’s video LaTreille - After Bouguereau shows how to use his multi-layered color technique to create realistic skin tones.

Willo Balfrey’s Speed Painting Demonstration shows you how a painting comes to life!

PSWC Newsletter | Spring 2018


Art Business

Art Business by Melinda Cootsona Artist and Authorof Open Your Studio: Nine Steps to a Successful Art Event

My Philosophy on Pricing Art I have always priced my work slightly under my peers – not drastically under, but just slightly. Why? • By doing so, I know that my work is definitely worth what I am asking for it. • I feel very comfortable with the price, and that confidence shows when I host my Open Studios event. • I have found this practice leads to less price negotiating because buyers can see the value to begin with. I, personally, seriously dislike negotiating on the price of my work. I will also tell prospective buyers that my prices are a bit low in the market. A slightly lower price gives me room to easily increase my prices over time. This has the added benefit of collectors seeing their purchases increase in value; a good marketing tool that helps to increase repeat sales. You need to feel comfortable with your asking price. However, you also need to be realistic. This is why you need to do your research. In order to sell a decent quantity of work, it is key to price your work appropriately. Truthfully, it is rare that I see artists underprice their work at Open Studios. (When it happens I always purchase a piece!) If you are very comfortable with negotiating, and have a clientele that expects this, I can see why you may need to price your work slightly higher. I would be extremely cautious with this approach, however, as you never want to lower the prices of your work.


I have been asked in my workshops about the expectations of the typical Open Studio “customer.” Do they want a bargain? Are they looking for “a deal,” or “a find?” The simplest answer is, “yes.” Some of your visitors will be looking for a “good deal.” If you have a healthy attendance, there will be a variety of expectations, which breaks down into something like this: • The person looking for “cheap/inexpensive” art, and who is fairly naive (or unknowledgeable) about quality and art in general. I have found these people co be a relatively small percentage. • The person who is relatively knowledgeable and is looking for good art first and a good price second. This seems to be the vast majority of my visitors. (Bless them.) • The first-time Open Studio visitor (at least to your studio) who doesn’t know what to expect and is often thrilled at discovering your “new” art. This is a good 20% of my visitors. These visitors represent a wonderful opportunity Grab these people, educate them, find out their interests and cultivate them as potential buyers. • The person who is just looking; often other artists, and their friends. Sometimes these people end up buying something or tell their friends who then come and buy something. Retail principle number one: Everyone is a potential client. So, you can see the logic for a new Open Studio participant go slightly underprice his/her work. Since many visitors are looking for at least a partial deal,

Art Business they will be able to see that your work is easily worth what you are charging. Again, I don’t discount, and my work is not ridiculously underpriced or cheap. It is just reasonably and appropriately priced. How To Price Your Work- Ya gotta do a little math For the two-dimensional artists, once you have a general idea of where your work fits in your market, look at your body of work and find the most common size of your work. You are going to begin by pricing that size, and from now on: • You will price all of your work in the same medium BY SIZE. • You are not going to price your work emotionally or subjectively by your favorite pieces. This will only confuse your buyer. In my webinars, I conduct a poll _at this point, and typically at least 75% of the participants report that they have priced their work emotionally at some point. So don’t feel bad if you fall into this category. “The Case of The Unmade Bed Painting” (A true story) I was visiting a gallery in a nameless town (let’s ·just say it was near Pebble Beach, CA), and I found a series of paintings that I loved. The small images depicted unmade beds (a habit of mine), with tossed pillows and sheets. The paintings, all relatively the same size, medium and quality, were priced approximately as follows (this was a while ago, so the numbers aren’t exact): $3500, $2500, $1100, and $900. I called over the gallery: director and inquired about the pricing. He replied, “We have no control over what the artists charge for their work.” We discussed this a bit and agreed that this disparity in pricing was unfortunate. Here’s how my brain worked: Gee, the artist really loves this $3500 painting; he thinks it’s terrific. He must not think this $900 bed is very good, and he must not like the $1100 one much either. If he doesn’t like it, I’m not going to buy it. I don ‘t want his second or third best painting! This was a pure case of emotional pricing at its worst. If I’m thinking these thoughts, imagine how confused a typical buyer is going to be!

How To Price By Size Start with the piece that is your most common size and decide how much money you would like to charge for that size. For example, many of your pieces are 16” x 20,” and you have decided that $300 - $325 is an appropriate price for this size. Next, multiply the width of your painting by the height; in this case, 16” x 20,” and you will get 320. This number is right in your ballpark of $300 - $350. Your painting is 320 square inches and you happen to want about $320 for it, so it turns out that you want $1 per square inch for your work. In this case your “multiplier” is one for one dollar. This example is pretty straightforward: Whatever your painting size, multiply the width by the height, and then multiply that number by one. Don ‘t freak out here when I talk about cost per square inch. I know it seems like you are reducing your artwork to a “product,” BUT actually you are just giving yourself a system to help you price your art. Next, find the square inches for your other sizes and see if your “multiplier” makes sense for them. Pricing with a $1 per square inch multiplier looks like this:

Once you have determined the general range of your pricing, you just need to figure out your multiplier to get the approximate cost of each size painting. Let’s look at some other multipliers. At my first Open Studio, my multiplier was .7 (or 70 cents an inch ). This is how that looks:

PSWC Newsletter | Spring 2018


Art Business I felt comfortable with these prices. I was a complete unknown, my quality was high, and I sold a lot of art. I sold several large paintings and quite a number of medium and small ones too. I want to note here that I think that having a variety of sizes and price points is a really important concept. Depending on your medium, it will be up to you to determine how to achieve this. Smaller works, reproductions, less expensive or simpler materials are all ways to develop multiple price points. Again, this is different from discounting your work. You are just offering a variety of options for many different types of buyers.

tain size both on the large side and on the small side. Again, this will depend on your research. My prices have increased over time but I cannot charge the same per square inch size for my larger work that I do for my smaller work. So let’s look at a chart that shows this adjustment. This is what my prices look like using a 4.9 multiplier:

Did I say use your multiplier as a Guide?? Certain prices are psychologically better than others. Having had experience in retail for a number of years (selling lots of stuff other than paintings), I have found that certain prices “sell” better than others. So your multiplier should be a guide to where you want to end up. Sometimes you will adjust your artwork cost slightly higher, and other times slightly lower. Basically, I keep my prices in multiples of 5. And I stick to increases of $25. I use the multiplier to get me close to my number and then adjust accordingly. This is something that feels right to me and has been successful for. me. Again, you will need to decide what is appropriate based on your own circumstance. Remember the use of the multiplier is a system to help YOU price your work. If you have a wide range of sizes from small to large, this multiplier may break down differently once you reach a cer-

You can see that the multiplier result is different than what I charge. The point is that this system is flexible. It is meant to be a guideline to help find your pricing. Since I feel that it will be much easier for me to sell my 24 x 24’ s for $2300 instead of almost $3000, I begin to “bend” or adapt my pricing to fit what I see is appropriate. (By the way, when you look at the gallery work of many artists, you will see the same principle.) As long as your pricing makes some degree of sense with the scale of your work, and looks consistent, no client is going to measure your work and haggle about inches. This concept definitely applies to smaller work too....I decided several years ago that I wouldn’t sell any piece for less than $300. You may want to choose a “bottom” number as welt so that all originals of a certain size or smaller are the same price....I am also asked about “time.” How do you charge for a work that took many hours to create? You can and should charge for an intricate or detailed piece, but you need to be able to explain your reasoning to a client. No matter what medium you work in, anything you can do to help educate a potential patron is helpful. Photos of the work in progress, close-up shots of details, even written hand-outs of) your process. Again, this is your time to shine and share your expertise with the public. The more information you provide your attendees, the more likely they are to appreciate your work and make a purchase. Excerpt reprinted with permission from the author Melinda Cootsona


Paint & Tell

Paint & Tell ten things I can’t live without in my Studio

Dug Waggoner--After years of searching for the perfect tools to implement the creative process it doesn’t take much to compile a list of the 10 Things I Can’t Live Without In My Studio.

4. My Urania’s pastel desk. Incredible for keeping organized I put wheels on it so it goes in the corner when I want space

Most of all I’m fascinated by how I can still remember where they are. For oil and watercolor there’s a list but as a pastel artist there are certain items that are on the must have list: 1. A great selection of pastel brands and a good supply of Gator Foam Board

6. A large book shelf for art books by everyone I can afford have

2. Space enough to have the large standup easel

5. A smallish tv for watching the educational cds

7. My what where and when pin up board to keep on track with shows And for 8,9 and 10. Pastel pencils , hard pastels ,and untold numbers of soft muti brands and hues of pastels

3. Plenty of flat file storage and manual tools to accomplish any task

Jean Myers Soft pastels, Nupastels, pastel Sorry but I have to be the rogue pencils, a full spectrum 4. Room for a work and add a #11 - an occasion- light, workbench, untable that I can walk al glass of wine. Jean Myers scented wet wipes to around on all sides refresh and clean my 5. A vacuum system hands, music, Uart paper, under the easel to art magazines, and my catch and save all those colorful particles computer with with reference photos. Sorry but I 6. Enough light to paint with either ambient and have to be the rogue and add a #11 - an occasional color corrected bulbs glass of wine. 7. Plenty of brushes to either melt pastel or paint with oil and watercolor Steve Lemke 1. Ott Light, 2. Rubber cushion to stand on, 3. Pipe insulation for blending, 4. Music, 5. 8. My desktop computer coupled with a scanner and printers Air circulation (fan or air purifier), 6. Table easel on my work bench, 7. Trays of pastel laid out in spec9. My library of Hero’s and artists who have set the bar high enough to challenge me trum from light to dark and cool to warm, 8. Pastel pencils for detailing 10. The passion to wake up in the morning with an idea, (not always), 9. Gloves or gloves in a bottle, 10. Denice Peters Pastels! sanded Uart paper, natuAlcohol and brush for ral daylight, easel. I don’t think I need ten. If I have under painting. my pastels, Uart and my fingers, I’m making art. Everything else is a bonus! Karen Glancy Here’s my top 10! 1. My lights you can never have enough! 2. A large mirror on the wall cause I can’t get far enough away 3. My flat file filled with papers of every kind!

Jan Thomas Music, light, sketch book, reference books,canned air, cleaning rags, easel, UArt paper and of course, pastels. PSWC Newsletter | Spring 2018


PSWC House keeping Here’s a Bit of News for Members & Information on New Members MEMBERSHIP DRIVE We are always looking to expand our membership. As one of the largest Pastel Societies in the United States, we are proud to have such talented, diverse and active artists in our group. One of the best ways to support a healthy society is to bring in new members. There are lots of good reasons to join. If you have artist-friends who are not members, now’s the time to invite them to join. Contact Debbie Pepin if you have questions or would like more information. VOLUNTEERS NEEDED Members, we need your other talents, too! We have the lots of opportunities for volunteers from working on the Pastels USA Show to hosting Paint-outs. Please contact Susan Goodmundson for more information. CONTRIBUTE TO THE MAGAZINE The magazine is looking for ideas, suggestions and contributors. If you have something to say, an idea for a feature, or a favorite artist for an interview, I want to hear from you! And if you have graphics experience, would be willing to collect information, write 58

PSWC Housekeeping an article or help with production contact me at

Karen Miller Jean Myers

PAINT OUTS & PAINT INS The PSWC is encouraging members in geographical proximity to hold a Paint Out or Paint In! These events are designed to bring artists together to share a common experience and meet other members.

Linda Nelson


Michelle Oldson

Susan Goodmundson e:

Darcie Roberts

Acting Vice President

Tamara Sanchez

Ways & Means/Web Liaison

Linda Roemisch e:

Caryn Stromberg

We have artists in areas around the country and around world! If you are interested in hosting a Paint Out or Paint In, contact Sabrina Hill and we will send you information about setting one up and who’s in your neighborhood. And if you are already doing Paint Outs, let us know! We want to see pictures and art.

Let’s get out there are PAINT!!

David Wolfram

Pastels USA Exhibits Chair Gerald Boyd e:

Otto G. Sturcke

Pastels USA 2018 Awards Chair


PSWC Advisor

Daniele Todaro

Tina Moore e: mooregrafix@comcast.



Christine Troyer

Secretary Bonnie Griffith



Janice Whitcomb

Scholarship Chair Russell Frank

New Members

Terry Anderson

Nancy Woodward



e: Membership Chair Deborah Pepin e: Magazine Editor

Susan Bjerke

Sabrina Hill

e: Membership Show Chair

Valerie K. Gardiner Cory Goulet

Rita Romero e:


Chad Greene

Eblast Coordinator/Publicity Janice Harris Renetta J Hayes Nancy Hull

Cynthia Riordan e: Facebook Coordinator/Social Media Rita Romero e:

Karene Infranco Carmen Lamp

Playing an Imaginary Game

by Susan Goodmundson

Jory Mason www. Mary Maue PSWC Newsletter | Spring 2018 2018


The The Pastel Pastel Society Society of of the the West West Coast’s Coast’s Premier Premier Event Event

Southwest Art Magazine Award John Mark by Nancy MacDonald

Aaron Schuerr Award Incoming Tide by Sharon Bamber

PSWC Best of Show Award Santo by Rita Romero

The 32nd Annual International Open Exhibition

August 16, 2018 - September 16, 2018 Art Center Morro Bay 835 Main St. Morro Bay, California 93442 60

PSWC Magazine Spring 2018  

The Pastel Society of the West Coast Magazine

PSWC Magazine Spring 2018  

The Pastel Society of the West Coast Magazine