Wednesday, December 30, 2015

New Year is coming

What:    First FCPS group meeting of 2016
When:   Saturday, January 9th, 2016, 10:00 to 12:00 noon
Where: Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach

Yup, almost time for a new year to roll around as the First Coast Pastel Society gets ready to celebrate our fourth anniversary. I hope we get a good turnout as we have a very exciting demo scheduled for the meeting. As Karen Rose told those of us on Facebook:
Kick start 2016 with the next meeting of the First Coast Pastel society Saturday Jan 9th at the Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach. A representative from Multimedia Art Board will be giving a presentation. Know someone who'd love to join the group bring them along.
And Lyn reminded us:
Also, bring some pastels with you so you can try the boards
It should be a good meeting and I hope to see you all there. Note the date, January 9th. I had January 2nd on my calendar right up to the moment I went to write this blog post. I would have been in Ponte Vedra all alone! Don't be the one there all alone. Mark your calendars!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Our exciting project

Remember Lyn's words from before our December meeting:
Girault Pastel painting:  Michele Aplin, the rep from Girault pastels, sent us a good-sized box of random pastel pieces.  We'll start a painting, from a photo reference, that we can finish up during the next few meetings and then auction off to help fund some new items for our growing library.
Well we started the painting at our December meeting. In between socializing, and painting the Christmas Cake, members were encouraged to come add some marks to the painting, based on the reference. Lyn got the painting off to a great start!

A few members here had begun to add some of their own interpretations to the scene.

By the end of the meeting the painting looked like this. I guess it has a ways to go before we can auction it off! But what a cool project. I think everyone there added at least a mark or two, It will be coming to future meetings so we can continue with it. I hope everyone gets to participate in the work, and what fun it will be for whoever gets to take it home for keeps.

Not to mention, our next meeting is coming up pretty soon - stay tuned for a few more details. It's hard to believe the new year is almost here, and we will be celebrating our 4th anniversary. What a lot we have done in a mere four years, and 2016 will be amazing for us also.

Enjoy the holidays everyone and stay safe. We look forward to getting together again in the new year.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Happy Holidays!

There were seventeen of us who got together yesterday to enjoy some seasonal cheer and togetherness, with our annual pot luck holiday brunch.

As usual everyone contributed lots of amazing food, and there was no reason for anyone to walk away from the table hungry, and lots of leftovers too. I took mine home and stuck it in the freezer to bring to another holiday pot luck this coming week. 'Tis the season. :-)

We also had a holiday gift exchange this year which we conducted roughly following these rules:

Although the gifts we brought were not "white elephants", but very nice art and pastel related gifts, and you could not really go wrong with any of them, though we had a few laughs as gifts got swapped around as people made their choices.

After the meal and gift exchange we had two projects we could work on. One was this lovely, festive, and delicious-looking still life that Lyn set up for us (and nobody ate while the painters were working). The second project deserves a post of its own, so stay tuned for more details about that in the next day or two.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Holiday Party tomorrow!

What: Annual Holiday brunch and still life
Where: Cultural Center of Ponte Vedra Beach
When: Saturday, December 5, 2015, 10 AM to 1 PM

Your blogger was away for a week at Thanksgiving and time sort of got away from me! Suddenly it's time for our annual holiday party and I have not even blogged yet. Luckily our wonderful co-President, Lyn Asselta, has sent messages to the group, so I'll just cut and paste her fine words:

If you plan to attend, please bring along a small "brunchy" type of snack to share. It's pot-luck, so bring whatever you'd like!

Also, we have a couple of activities planned...

Gift Exchange:  wrap up something you don't need from your can be new or gently used ($5 - $35) and we'll have a gift-exchange during brunch.

Still Life Painting:  Lyn is bringing a still life set-up. If you'd like to paint, bring along a few pastels and some paper, or just bring your sketchbook!  Keep it simple...and enjoy some painting time with the group!

Girault Pastel painting:  Michele Aplin, the rep from Girault pastels, sent us a good-sized box of random pastel pieces.  We'll start a painting, from a photo reference, that we can finish up during the next few meetings and then auction off to help fund some new items for our growing library.

Looking forward to seeing you at the meeting!

If you're unable to attend, we wish you a joyous holiday season and we'll see you in the new year!! Cheers!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Alpine Groves

Ha! I found this post sitting in my draft folder. How didn't I notice it was stuck there? Better late than never, here is our first paint-out of the season at Alpine Groves. Many of our members said how much they enjoyed the place, with wonderful views of the river.

And beautiful old oaks covered with Spanish moss. It was a little gray and overcast however, with threats of rain. We did have a few mild sprinkles, but nothing to prevent painting.

It was a fairly cool morning though, and some folks found sweaters and light jackets were necessary to stay comfortable when remaining in one location for a while.

A number of folks found this old building fascinating, and it was in a nice protected location away from the chilly breeze coming in from the river. Plus they had a good table staked out where we could all gather for lunch.

We were joined for the morning by a bunch of folks from the First Coast Plein Air Painters. I'm often out of the loop and didn't know they were coming, so was so amazed when I arrived in the morning to see all these other artists showing up that I didn't even know. I thought it was just one of those weird coincidences. LOL.

But no, they had been invited to join us, and it made for quite a large and lively group. It was also fun to walk around and see what other folks were doing with different mediums. They are an active group so good folks to hook up with if you are a plein air fan.

Almost time now for our workshop with Tom Christopher. Folks signed up for that should be in for quite a treat. I better get this post out the door before workshop posts!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Alpine Groves paint-out

What: October 2015 FCPS paint-out
When: Saturday, October 3, 2015
Where: Alpine Groves Park, Switzerland, FL 

Okay, it's that time of year now, time for our first paint-out of the fall season. Our first event will be held at Alpine Groves Park in Switzerland, FL, in St. Johns County. Alpine Groves lies on the east bank of the St. Johns River and has a lot of river frontage for great viewing. There is also a long fishing pier that goes out into the lake and has a covered spot at the far end for great water views.

It looks like Mother Nature will be kind again. A cool front is moving in and a high of 77 is predicted for Saturday, with no rain - so it should be perfect plein air weather!

Alpine Groves is off state road 13. From the north you would take the San Jose Blvd. (13) south exit off I-295. Continue south and when you come to a traffic light at Roberts Rd. the road narrows to two lanes. Alpine Groves will be on the left not too much further along. From the south you want to take 17 north to 16 east, or I-95 north to 16 west. In either case take 16 until you get to 13 north. Eventually you will see Switzerland Community Church on the right, and the park is just ahead on the left.

There are lovely trails through the woods if woodland and forest scenes are to your liking.

Though the spectacular water views are the main draw. 

There is also an old farmhouse near the river. When I called to verify that we could paint there on Saturday I was told that there might be "a lot of people" around the old farm house at some point during the day. I'm not sure what that means but keep it in mind if you want to paint the house!

At any rate there is parking available all the way down at the far end of the park road by the farmhouse, near the river, and I suggest that's were we all gather in the morning to start out.

As usual, feel free to bring a picnic lunch and we can gather to eat and have an art show-and-tell.

Because of the time of our paint-out I don't expect we will be there on Saturday for sunset. LOL.

But the sunsets are spectacular, so keep it in mind if you want to return for other visits. I'm looking forward to being there on Saturday and hope you are too. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

JCA Show reception and closing

Wow, September is ending. Our show at the JCA is ending too. 

Don't forget that tomorrow is the pickup date for our artwork, 9:30 AM.

We had a wonderful reception for the show. Our Hospitality folks did a wonderful job as usual, and within the required kosher restrictions were able to provide great food and drink for us all. 

We had a great turn-out of folks who came to see the show, both the participants, but also friends, family members and other FCPS members who came out to support us even if they had not participated in the show.
The pictures were wonderful of course, and everyone took plenty of time admiring them as they were all asked to vote for a People's Choice Award. We had two awards to give out, with very nice prizes to the recipients as well.

 Congratulations to Rebecca Pasko for her second place People's Choice Award.

And of course congratulations to Cindy Pierson for being our first place People's Choice Award winner! Becky and Cindy both had beautiful works, but I'm sure the choices were tough for many as there were so many beautiful paintings. I know that I found it hard to vote.

In addition, Cindy reported that her painting "Observations" was SOLD at the show. Congratulations Cindy!

Don't forget - pickup tomorrow at 9:30, and this Saturday is our first plein air event of the season, 9 AM at Alpine Groves Park (blog post to follow). I hope to see you there.

Friday, September 11, 2015

September Meeting

Most of us had a wonderful summer, but it's also great to head into the fall and the lovely weather ahead, and the opportunities facing us in the coming months. September means it was time to kick off our new season with the FCPS. We started the meeting with some of our members who attended IAPS telling us about some of the highlights of their experiences there.

Then we had our own member and co-President Rick Petersen give us a demo on cutting mats for framing.

He brought with us all the tools he needed for creating a nice professional-looking mat at just a fraction of the price you would pay at a framing shop.

His directions were certainly clear and concise, and he had hand-outs to give everyone that provided information as an aide-mémoire for those of us who need a little help these days in remembering all the details.

We had over 20 in attendance, and it was great to greet old faces and meet some new faces. We passed the information to everyone that the board has decided to amend our by-laws and that beginning this season we will now hold elections for new officers at the May meeting rather than January, and that will give them the summer to prepare and get ready for new responsibilities. 

When we talk about officers and committee members remember that this CAN MEAN YOU! So try to think of ways in which you may be able to help your society. May elections means you have a few more months to think about the subject.

Our other exciting news is that we have now been officially accepted as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. This means that any donations given to us are tax deductible. Pass the word to friends and family, and don't forget possible matching grants funds from present or former employers. 

Coming up, the handouts from the presentation...and then in October our first fall plein air event which we are expecting to have at Alpine Groves Park on the east side of the St, Johns River in St, Johns County. Stay tuned to your blog for more details. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Fall Member Show

Hurray! Fall has started and we have gotten our Member Show hung at the Jewish Community Alliance this morning. As usual. I'm so impressed at the quality and variety of the work our members have provided us to share with the public.

The JCA is a great venue as it gets a lot of foot traffic, so is a great place to display our work and educate people about the medium we all love. Even as we were just taking the paintings in and then getting them arranged and hung we had people constantly passing by and stopping to ask us about the work, the medium, and to tell us how much they loved the paintings.

The gallery space is a long hallway connecting sections of the center, and this is the finished product, with all our paintings up on the wall. How wonderful that we had enough artwork to fill the gallery space!

Don't forget that next Sunday, September 13, is our opening reception, 1-3 PM. Because of the kosher dietary restrictions the Hospitality Committee will handle refreshments, so no need to bring anything.  Just tell all your friends. The show will be up for the rest of the month if folks can't come on Sunday but would like to see the show. Here below are all the paintings in the show, but as I've said many times, it's very hard to photograph pastels when they are under glass. So these paintings will show some glare, they are not professional photos. And I have not identified the titles and the artists!

If you want to know for sure, and see them in their best light, you will have to come next Sunday. I hope to see many folks there. But in the meantime, of course, I hope to see many of you at our meeting tomorrow morning.