Monday, April 21, 2014

Call to Artists - ArtSpectations Starts May 1st!

The spring ArtSpectations exhibition opens May 1st!
The Colored Pencil Society of America is excited to announce its second installment of ArtSpectations! This online exhibition is a great opportunity to gain more exposure and feedback, while being able to enjoy amazing artwork from colored pencil artists around the world.
The submission period for this next ArtSpectations runs from May 1st until May 31st. The exhibition itself remains visible online through July 15th. Our judge, Arlene Steinberg, CPSA, CPX, will give top honors to the best of show pieces in two categories: signature (CPSA and/or CPX) and non-signature, as well as five additional honorable mentions in each of the categories.  There is a $250 award for each of the best of show artists! The selected winners will be posted June 13th on the CPSA website and blog.
The fee for each entry is $10 for CPSA members and $15 for non-members. Submitting your artwork is easy, just visit our ArtSpectations page. You can even sign in using Facebook and “share” your favorite submissions with your friends! Viewers can leave feedback on the entries after the judging period is over.
We are looking forward to seeing what everyone has been working on!
To read the rules and enter the show, head over to ArtSpectations.
To learn more about CPSA or to become a member, please visit us at CPSA.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

CPSA Has A New Corporate Patron!

CPSA is pleased to announce our new corporate patron, Crafter's Companion!

Crafter's Companion is an art materials distributor, providing everything from drawing supplies to crafting supplies and everything in between. They have websites based here in the United States as well as the UK, making it easy for so many to access their much-needed art supplies.

Speaking of education, instruction is obviously important to this company.  They have CD/DVDs for sale online, and the Crafter's Companion Blog is a goldmine of inspiration, ideas, and tutorials. From card making to decorative box construction, you will find enough projects to last a lifetime.

Crafter’s Companion’s main reason for joining is to promote a new line of colored pencils, Spectrum Noir. These wax based pencils come in 120 colors, but they are uniquely packaged in 5 separate tins of 24 colors. There is no duplication of color in the five ranges, which are Primaries (a balanced mixing range), Essentials (secondaries and variations), Marine (mostly blues and browns), Florals (reds, yellows and purples) and Nature (landscape greens and browns). Look for these pencils and a range of accessories to reach your favorite stores very soon!

As our newest patron, Crafter's Companion will donate awards for CPSA shows and products for door prizes at our annual convention. We very much appreciate their patronage.

These folks have a wonderful organization and a creative atmosphere.  Let’s all welcome them to our colored pencil family!

Crafter's Companion

Friday, March 28, 2014

Last Call For Entries - CPSA 22nd International Exhibition

It's that time again! It comes and goes so quickly!

It's the last call for entries for the Colored Pencil Society of America's 22nd International Exhibition. Submissions are due at 11:59 (Mtn Time) on March 31, 2014. The entry fee is $35, with a discounted fee for CPSA members.

We are excited to announce the new top prize amount of $5000 for Best of Show and CIPPY Award!

Need help entering?
Simply go to and register with their site.  It is free and only takes a moment.  From your profile there, you can upload your images into your own portfolio.  Then, do a call for entry search on "colored pencil" and the CPSA 22nd International Exhibition will appear.  Click on the link to apply to the call for entry and follow the directions from there.
If you have already registered with the CaFE site, all you need to do is log in and find the CPSA exhibition.

Please visit the 22nd International Exhibition Prospectus for more information.

If you haven't finished your submission, now is the time! We've got just three days left!

Good luck to all our entrants!

For more information, or to become a member, please visit

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Interview With Susie Garrett, Explore This! 10 Best of Show Award Winner

We had the opportunity to speak with Susie Garrett, CPSA's Explore This! 10 Prismacolor Best of Show and EXPY award winner. Here we can learn more about the artist and her work.

Susie Garrett - Prismacolor Best of Show and EXPY award winner
Flight Patterns, 28 x 28 x 1 inches
colored pencil, rusted metal, screws on bristol vellum

Flight Patterns is a remarkable mixed media piece - please tell us about your motivation and inspiration for it.

Inspiration for my work comes from my environment, everyday scenes with the focus being on architectural imagery, early morning or late in the day. My studio is in a building that was once a shoe factory. Rusted machinery, chipped paint, old wood floors and sunrise views are a few encounters that inspired Flight Patterns. Once the piece was finished, many of the shapes I had subconsciously created reminded me of birds, hence the name.

Susie Garrett
Stairs Diptych, colored pencil on bristol paper

 Our winning image has some very industrial overtones and materials used.    What prompted the use of rusted metals and hardware - could you please share a bit about your working process for combining colored pencil with these materials?

I also do works in 3-D, so combining wood, metals, hardware, and found objects into constructed pieces has become second nature to me. The colors found in rust match my color palate of choice, warm colors. These metals and colored pencils share some of the same qualities; their texture, actual and simulated; the variety and subtle changes of color which create rich surfaces. After compositional sketches, Flight Patterns began with a graphite line drawing on bristol vellum 400 lb. paper. I have a general picture in my mind of how the metals and colored pencil will be combined, but only after completing much of the drawing in colored pencil does this merger occur. Once I began combining the two materials, each completed step tells me what to do next. The bristol paper is adhered to 3/4" plywood, providing a firm base for which to nail and screw the items to the piece.

Susie Garrett
Lady Gravell's Party Hat, colored pencil on paper and mixed media

When did you discover your love of colored pencils, and are they your preferred medium to work with?
I have been using graphite and colored pencil for over 30 years. I enjoy the precision the medium affords me. Even though colored pencil is a time consuming medium to work in, I find it relaxing and it is my medium of choice.

Susie Garrett
The Exchange, colored pencil on paper and mixed media

Many artists have a message for the word, a deeper meaning they wish to express - what is your message to us all?

Recycling, reusing, and taking care of the environment are issues important to me. I would be pleased if my work, through use of material and presentation, inspired the viewer to feel the same. 

Susie Garrett
Parking Garage, colored pencil on paper

What is next for you in the art world - any future exhibits, projects or plans you would like to share with us?

Even though I have been working as an artist for over 30 years, I am somewhat new to this. I don't have, but need, gallery representation in an area that will support my work. Any takers? I want to complete a body of work in the same vein as Flight Patterns that would be my response to an industrial area, either vacated like Detroit or something still in operation. Acquiring funding and permission are the challenges. Until then I will continue working on similar pieces, using my environment as inspiration, and creating a series to be exhibited locally in 2015.

Susie Garrett - the Artist

Where can we find more of your artwork?
Susie Garrett Studio 126
Lowe Mill Arts and Entertainment
Huntsville, AL

On the Lowe Mill website, I am located under medium which is drawing or mixed media.
Emails are welcome with questions regarding my work.

CPSA would like to congratulate Susie once again on being awarded the Prismacolor Best of Show and EXPY awards for the Explore This! 10 Exhibition.

To learn more about the Colored Pencil Society of America, or to become a member, please visit

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Explore This! 10 Winners Announced

This year’s Explore This! 10 exhibition is an exciting one including a broad range of genres from the abstract to the realistic and all predominantly in colored pencil. 

Susie Garrett - Prismacolor Best of Show and EXPY Award
Flight Patterns, 28x28x1 inches
Colored Pencil on Vellum Bristol, Rusted Metal, Screws

The Colored Pencil Society of America encourages the creative use of colored pencils. Exhibitions such as Explore This! give our members and other artists a venue to experiment with mixed media. Be it in two dimensions or three, with other mediums, or in conjunction with found objects, the colored pencil can shine in unexpected usage.

CPSA members selected for Explore This! three times within ten years earn signature status, which entitles them to proudly wear the “CPX” label after their names. 

Our esteemed juror, Amy Galpin, Ph.D., had some wonderful things to say about the exhibition:
“I was drawn to images that represented something new or different. Even a traditional portrait can offer something dynamic in the smallest details such as a psychologically intense expression, the color of a shirt, the pose of the figural form. Whether in the portraits chosen or in other types of compositions, I looked for elements that caught me by surprise, inspired awe, or resonated with historical and cultural meanings. Susie Garrett’s work caused me to pause the longest, to reflect on its formal qualities, and to ponder its hidden implications.”

Tanja Gant, CPSA - CPSA Great Explorations Award for Exceptional Achievement
Shadows, 8x10 inches
Colored Pencil, Graphite

The artwork selected for awards are beautiful, creative, and technically proficient. CPSA is proud to announce the following winners for Explore This! 10:

Susie Garrett - Prismacolor Best of Show and EXPY Award, $2000
Tanja Gant, CPSA - CPSA Great Explorations Award for Exceptional Achievement, $1500
Jeannette Sirois - CPSA District Chapters Award for Exceptional Merit, $1200
Candace Ripoli, CPX - Derwent Fine Art Pencils Award for Exceptional Merit, $1200 product
Karen Hull - CPSA District Chapters Award for Outstanding Achievement, $650
Cristina Iotti - Seattle WA District Chapter 207 Award for Outstanding Recognition, $500
Anda Chance - Legion Paper Award for Outstanding Recognition, $500
Mary Foote - Creative Art Materials/Caran d’Ache Award for Outstanding Recognition, $500 product (Luminance set)
Gail Postal - Creative Art Materials/Caran d’Ache Award for Outstanding Recognition, $500 product (Museum set)
Anna Hammer - Bruynzeel Award for Excellence, $300 product
Toni James, CPSA - Canson Award for Excellence, $300 product
Deborah Maklowski , CPSA - Staedtler-Mars Award for Excellence, $300 product
Mike Purdy - Tombow Award for Excellence, $300 product

Jeanette Sirois - CPSA District Chapters Award for Exceptional Merit
Mom, 40x30x1.5 inches
Colored Pencil, Charcoal

Congratulations to all our award winners! Each award is well-deserved! The entries never fail to impress and inspire us through their creative vision and techniques.

Thank you, Amy Galpin, Ph.D., for your time and expertise in judging Explore This! 10. And a very gracious thank you to all our sponsors for your continued support.

Lastly, thank you to all who entered and participated. The submissions were wonderful and make for an inspiring exhibit. It is exciting to see all the different ways the colored pencil is being used.

To view the Explore This! 10 exhibition, or to learn more about the Colored Pencil Society of America, please visit us at