A productive year underway

It’s mid-March as I write this and already it’s turning into a busy spring….

Last month, I gave a presentation/demo about using colored pencil on Dura-Lar drafting film to my CPSA chapter.  It was fun to introduce folks to a drawing surface that is so different from paper yet so great for colored pencil.  It was good practice for me, too, since someday I hope to teach colored pencil classes and workshops.  On a related note, the editor of the UKCPS’s quarterly news magazine “To The Point” invited me to write a how-to article on the same topic, which I did and it will appear in the summer issue.

Also last month, my portrait of my dad, Eugene’s Time to Rest, was juried into this year’s UKCPS International Exhibition, which will be in Birmingham, England April 28 – May 10.  I’ll be shipping it off shortly.  Dad got a good chuckle out of the idea that a picture of him will be hanging in a gallery in England!


Eugene’s Time to Rest, 8″x10″, colored pencil on Stonehenge paper

Last week, I was interviewed for a whole episode of “Talk Art”, a 30-minute program sponsored by Silicon Valley Open Studios which appears on four local cable channels and focuses on bay area artists.  My next blog post will include the llnk to it on YouTube, so stay tuned!


Talking to Talk Art host Sally Rayn while the stage crew prepares the set.

Currently, the Coastal Arts League‘s Annual Members Show is underway in Half Moon Bay, so I attended the opening reception tonight. My Malay Lacewing was my entry this year.  While it’s not a juried show, there are some pretty talented folks in that oceanside group!


Me with Malay Lacewing in the Coastal Arts League Annual Members Show

Right now, I’m working on my third drawing of the year, which will be my entry for this year’s CPSA International Exhibition.  The deadline for entry is March 31 and I have a long way to go, but I’m trying not to rush through it because shortcuts are pretty obvious in colored pencil work.  It’s 15″ x 20″, about as large as I can stand to work in colored pencil and expect to produce many finished pieces in a reasonable time.  I’ve already been working on it for a month!  The subject is a special tree.  Sounds pretty mundane, I know, but since my last tree earned multiple awards, including quite a large one in the 2013 CPSA International Exhibition, I figured I must be onto something. You’ll see!

Once the tree is finished, I have a portrait commission lined up.  There goes the month of April!  In queue after that, in May, I have a very exciting project!  But I can’t say any more about that one yet–sorry!

Next week, I’m giving my “Colored Pencil as a Fine Art Medium” presentation to the Sunnyvale Art Club.  I really enjoy giving this talk and exposing fellow artists to a medium they didn’t know was so versatile.

My previous blog post about editing little specks of dirt out of scanned images has been picked up for publication in the April issue of CP Magazine!  It’s nice to know someone is reading these random postings.

My art life isn’t purely colored pencil-related this year, though, believe it or not.  One of my art goals for 2014 is to get better with pastels.  Yes, pastels–those messy chalk sticks!  I’ve had some success with them in the past, but I think with some instruction and practice I can get much better.  The attraction is that pastels go much faster than colored pencil, and can produce amazing realism. I’ve finally found an artist who works in the manner I’d like to, and who gives workshops, and is local: Cuong Nguyen.  Cuong is a signature member of the Pastel Society of America and lives in San Jose.  So I’m signed up for his 3-day pastel portrait workshop at the end of this month.  I can’t wait!  Don’t worry, I’ll never leave colored pencils behind.  It’s just good to have multiple media in one’s repertoire.  It’s kind of like being multi-lingual; if you’re fluent in multiple languages, you have more choices for how to communicate.

I’m tired just from recounting everything that’s going on!  But it’s a good kind of tired.

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