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Report on the 16th CPSA Annual Exhibition and Convention

August 1 – 3, 2008

Renaissance Hotel

Seattle, WA

By Suzanne Kuuskmae

The evening before classes began the Hospitality Room was a gathering spot for picking up art supplies donated by several vendors as well as an impromtu demonstration by Ester Roi of her Icarus Drawing Board which features two working zones: a warm zone and a cool zone. You can learn more about this technique at: or by calling Ester at (949) 481-4010.

I had signed up for both classes and the first one was with Carlynne Hershberger entitled, “The Unconventional Portrait. We first created a colored background using colored pencils and mineral spirits. All of this was totally new to me because as a botanical artist, I am always working on a white background and the only portrait I am doing is an exact portrayal of plants and flowers. I did a portrait of my granddaughter complete with various symbols of activities that are very important to her at her age of 11. I finished it at home and am happy with the result. Also, I prepared several other sheets of paper with various colors in the background and am working on a huge hydrangea flower; quite a bit off track from my usual work but most rewarding.

The second class was with John Smolko entitled, “The Scribble – Colored Pencils and the Expressive Line.” In this class we did a very large letter imposed on a circular background of scribbled colors going from light in the center to darker tones toward the outside. After laying down the various fields, then one mixes in the adjacent color to make for a smooth transition. In the afternoon we were free to use the scribble line technique on a painting of our choice. My painting was one of water lilies, which I am working on to finish at home. This is a technique I think would be helpful to work further with as it encourages the artist to add lots of colors, which allows for a most pleasing effect. I know that John has recently retired from teaching and would love to come to Los Angeles to give a week long class. Maybe that will be my project for 2009, planning a class with John Smolko.

The hotel was quite comfortable and the delicious luncheons supplied on the days of the classes was salads and sandwich fixings. The dining room, which was at the top of the hotel, gave us a fantastic view of the surrounding area while we enjoyed eating and talking with our fellow artists. Seattle certainly has quite a bit to offer, and my husband and I did a harbor tour, went to the top of the Space Needle, visited Pike Market, and had an interesting dinner down at Pioneer Square. I cannot report on the banquet because I was not able to attend due to a prior commitment with friends who live outside Seattle.

The art exhibition was spectacular where it was hung at the World Trade Center. The art work displayed showed a good cross section of subjects and did justice to the talented members of CPSA. The convention was a rewarding experience!

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