Pointing To the Point

To the Point June 2015 Vol 24 No 2 Colored Pencil Society of America

To the Point
June 2015 Vol 24 No 2
Colored Pencil Society of America

“To the Point” is a magazine published twice-yearly by Colored Pencil Society of America.  I cannot let the current issue go by without (ahem!) pointing to the cover which has my “Step by Step” drawing on it.  The drawing is there because it won CPSA’s Explore This! 11 Online annual competition in January.

Inside this issue is an essay I wrote called “The Importance of Backgrounds” which I have retyped onto one of the permanent pages of this blog.

I would recommend to every artist who uses coloured pencils to consider joining CPSA.   Have a look at their website –  www.cpsa.org

I joined CPSA a couple of years ago.  The initial reason I signed up was to get my hands on their CPSA Lightfastness Test Results Workbook.  CPSA continually test pencil brands so that they can report to members which pencils perform best in terms of colour longevity.   For several years I thought ALL pencils were lightfast.  It was a shock to learn that some are and some aren’t.  It was essential, once the bliss of my ignorance was dispelled, to learn which pencils to avoid.  (What coloured pencil manufacturers call lightfast ain’t necessarily so!)

Since I joined CPSA I have enjoyed participating in competitions, learning about new products, reading what other artists have written and of course looking at all the other coloured pencil art.  I even like the advertisements because they are always relevant to my art practice.  (The other day I ordered a set of Caran d’Ache New Museum Aquarelle Pencils from U.K.  I blame the pretty ad in the magazine.  To quote Krusty the Clown, “I’m not made of stone!”)

It is just great to be part of an international coloured pencil community.   I may live in the most isolated city in the world but thanks to social media, coloured pencil Facebook groups and CPSA, I’m as close to the action as anyone else.


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16 thoughts on “Pointing To The Point

  1. Janetteartandwords

    Enjoyed your essay “The Importance of Backgrounds”. Yes, the background is certainly an important and vital part, to the overall composition of a drawing or painting! The “Explore This!” article, was a very interesting read.
    When I visited your blog the other day I read your post about which pencils were the most light fast; lots of helpful information. I will visiting that CPSA website..very soon. Thank you for this very enjoyable and informative post! 🙂

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Thank you for taking the time to read all this, Janette. I really endorse CPSA. I hope my post encourages other CP artists to join. Those “To The Point” magazines are not to be read and then chucked away. They are for keeping and referring back to time and again.

  2. John Z

    I see your copy finally arrived, Julie – that didn’t take too long from when we last wrote. Congrats again! I enjoyed (to be read: took as a lesson) your article on backgrounds as I just did a painting of a beautiful Monarch butterfly and did NOT plan the background. As an afterthought, it did not turn out well. I hope your urging encourages others to join the CPSA.

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      John, you are priceless. I’m so glad you comment on my blog! Next time you are planning a drawing maybe you’ll hear my little voice nagging you, “Consider the background, plan the background”.

      1. John Z

        No “maybe” about it! After seeing your superior artistic skills where mine PALE in comparison, you will be the angel on my shoulder when that background is planned. Hee, hee, hee.

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Hi Kath, you may be remembering the article on backgrounds I wrote some months ago on my blog. CPSA liked it and asked if I would expand a little and write an essay for their magazine so that is how it happened. Of course I jumped at the chance.

  3. Ann Kullberg

    Congrats, congrats, Julie. Looks really great in that layout. So happy to hear someone plug CPSA!! Joining is a grand idea. And the CPSA International Exhibition in 2016 will be 25 minutes from my home. You should plan to come, Julie!! 🙂

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Thanks Iva. Yes, some parts of Kyoto still look like this – which is why I enjoy visiting Kyoto so much and getting my artistic inspiration from the streets.

  4. anna warren portfolio

    First of all – congratulations, both on the win, and on the cover. Your drawing makes a stunning cover for the magazine. I have just read your article and agree with every word – if a ‘background’ is going to be part of the work it can ONLY be considered and included from the very beginning, making it work later is highly unlikely to succeed. You are a very good writer, the article is clear, lucid and very readable.

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Dear Anna, where you are concerned, I am most definitely preaching to the converted. I did want to clarify though (but I didn’t actually do it) that backgrounds aren’t planned from the start in every sort of drawing or painting. For instance some intuitively unfold, especially, abstract art. And I don’t want to sound pedantic. My words are just my opinion and I’m happy for someone to disagree.

  5. occasionalartist

    Congratulations Julie, I am glad you got this cover. You are becoming such a fine ambassador for coloured pencils for Australia. You not only do us proud with the quality of your drawings, your writing is always so interesting and insightful. Keep up the great work. Karen


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