Many thanks to our sponsors
for their generous support.
If you wish to sponsor the
CPSC, please contact
Gordon Webster

January 18th, 2013


The CPSC would like to advise coloured pencil artists of the following art competition being offered by the Cumberland Pencil Company.

Derwent Art Prize 2013

Call For Entries

Rewarding excellence through showcasing the very best international works created in pencil

The Cumberland Pencil Company is delighted to announce their inaugural Derwent Art Prize. The aim of the Prize is to reward excellence through showcasing the very best international works created in pencil. It is an open submission opportunity for British and international artists, offering prizes of up to £8,750.

Entries will be judged by a distinguished panel of selectors: Yvonne Crossley (Director of The Drawing Gallery, Shropshire); Fisun Güner (journalist and freelance visual arts writer); and Professor Stephen Farthing RA (artist and Rootstein Hopkins Research Chair of Drawing at the University of the Arts, London).

‘We are delighted to be invited to select works for this inaugural year of the Derwent Art Prize. We look forward to seeing a high standard of entries and hope to bring together an exhibition which showcases the very best works created in pencil, from both British and international artists.’

An exhibition of selected works will be held at the prestigious Mall Galleries in London SW1 from 16-21 September 2013 and all selected artists will be featured on the Derwent Art Prize website. The Derwent Art Prize 2013 exhibition will then tour to venues across the UK, including the Pencil Museum in Keswick, Cumbria.

The Prize is open to all living British and international artists over the age of 18 years old on 1st July 2013. Artists can submit up to 6 pieces of work, created with any charcoal, pastel, graphite, water-soluble and coloured pencils on any 2 or 3 dimensional support. The maximum size of work is 182cms in its greatest dimension.

Deadline for Entries: Monday 1st July 2013 Entry is online at: For further enquiries please contact the competition organisers, Parker Harris, on: Tel. + 44 (0) 1372 462190 Email.




October 1st, 2012


written by Teresa Mallen, Membership Director

Two CPSC members, Patricia Murphy and Val Rabold shall be participating in Drawing on Nature, an exhibit of natural history art in pencil.

The exhibition takes place in Toronto at the Assembly Hall Gallery, October 12th – November 15, 2012. The media shall include coloured pencil, graphite and water soluble pencil.

There is a an opening reception and art fair on Thursday October 11 at 7 p.m. The opening reception is more than just a chance to meet the artists, it is also an opportunity to buy small works, prints, and cards directly from the artists.

Trish Murphy has created an informative website for the exhibit. If you would like to view the biographies of the artists or if you would like further details, please go to


Wood Lily by Trish Murphy

Coleus by Val Rabold


The CPSC seeks to promote the coloured pencil medium and we wish to connect coloured pencil artists across the country. Please keep us informed of exhibitions like this one. We enjoy hearing from you. 


July 12th, 2012


written by Teresa Mallen, Membership Director

Congratulations to the following award recipients of the 1st National CPSC Exhibition 2012:


1st Place – Deborah Strong

‘Solitary Stellar’s Jay’

2nd Place – Alison Philpott

‘Pebbles 1′

3rd Place – Manon Menard Adams

‘My Mate and I’

Honourable Mention – Vickie Lawrence


Honourable Mention – Allison Fagan

‘Beet it, just beet it’

 Honourable Mention – Manon Menard Adams



July 12th, 2012


written by Teresa Mallen,  Membership Director

Please be advised of this update to the announcement of June 11, 2012. The exhibition at Galerie d’Art 543 in Repentigny, Quebec, will now run from August 17th through August 19th, 2012. The reception/vernissage shall go ahead as previously scheduled on Sunday, August 19th, 2012. We apologize for any inconveniences that may result from the changes in exhibition dates.

Please also note that as a result of recent changes with regards to the board of directors, information on this site needs to be updated. The executive is currently working on this. The website will be refreshed with up to date contact information and information on new members shall also be added as soon as possible. We appreciate your patience.

June 12th, 2012

CPSC at Festival Orleans

written by Gordon Webster, CPSC President & Exhibition Director

Erica Walker with Carolyn Bain, CPSC at the Orleans Festival

Every year, for the past several years, the CPSC has participated in the Orleans Festival, an annual celebration of the arts hosted by Arts Ottawa East, the local arts council. Held at the Shenkman Arts Centre in Orleans the Festival brings together all the arts for a three day extravaganza of area artists and arts groups. It is always a well attended event and one that people look forward to each year. There are theatre groups and dance groups performing all weekend, as well as musicians of all sorts.

Visual artists are also represented with each artist setting up a small display of their work. This year there was a wide range of media and styles represented with painters, photographers, digital artists and coloured pencil artists represented.

Thanks to Erica Walker’s efforts, we were able to exhibit works by six Ottawa area artist. Allison Fagan, Amie Talbot and Shirley Moulton each contributed two pieces. Erica, Carolyn Bain and I also provided two works each. This gave us a good representation of the diverse techniques coloured pencil artists use to create their art. And the six artists are all so different in not only subject matter but how they work the medium.

Erica, Carolyn and I spent two days doing demonstrations, promoting our medium, our organization and our upcoming exhibit. Personally, I always enjoy this interaction with the public. It is nice to talk to people and hear their reactions to the artworks on display. For me it was also the first time in about three months that I have had a chance to pick up a coloured pencil. I spent most of the 15 hours working on new paintings. I finished one on Saturday and half finished another on Sunday. I was told that as the weekend went on I was smiling wider and was clearly more relaxed. It was a very satisfying two days for me.

We also spoke to a lot of people! Our little booth was busy with a steady stream of curious visitors both days. Some were looking to buy. One young woman was very taken with one of Carolyn’s pieces, the one that was not for sale, and really wanted to buy it but she could not convince Carolyn to part with it. Some were interested in our society. Some were interested in learning to use coloured pencil in their own art and were looking for instruction. Others were just out to enjoy the art. All were blown away by the art we presented

All in all this was a very successful weekend and helped to raise our profile.

Bernard Poulin

We are very honoured to have Bernard as our Featured Artist for June. As you know, Mr. Poulin is the juror for our 1st National Exhibit, which opens July 4.

Bernard Poulin has been an artist all his life. His first commission was at the age of 14. He was a founding member of the Colored Pencil Society of America and in 2004 was awarded the title of Executive Vice-President Emeritus for his considerable contributions to that society and to coloured pencil art in general. Bernard is an internationally recognized artist and has works in many collections around the world including that of Queen Elizabeth. He is the author of 9 books on drawing and creativity including one of the first books on coloured pencil.

Bernard has always been very generous with his time and is always willing to share his knowledge with fellow artist. I am very happy and honoured that he is a member of our society.

June 11th, 2012

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT – Change of Montreal Area Venue

written by Gordon Webster, CPSC President

About a week ago the CPSC received notice from the owner of Galarie d’Art 249 in St. Sauveur informing us that the gallery would not be available for our exhibit in August.  A key element of our 1st National Exhibit has always been that it be held in more than one location, so it was imperative that we find another location immediately.

After several frantic days of searching and calling everyone she knew, our Vice President, Alexandra Bastien, has been able to secure a new venue for us.  The exhibit in the Montreal area will run from August 18, 2012 until August 26, 2012 and will be held in the brand new Galerie d’Art 543 in Repentigny, Quebec.  We will have a reception/vernissage on Sunday, August 19.  Watch our website for more details.

I realize this change of venue will create some problems and inconveniences for some of you.  I apologize for this unexpected complication.  We were as surprised by this turn of events as you are and it was due to circumstances totally beyond our control.  We are very excited about the new gallery and have every confidence that this will be an event to remember.  The Board and I are looking forward to seeing you in Repentigny.


June 3rd, 2012

CPSC June Colour Challenge

written by Erica Walker, CPSC Secretary-Treasurer

click to enlarge

CPSC Monthly Colour Challenge


Summer is really here and so is an all-new Monthly Colour Challenge! This time we thought we’d do something a little different. Are you ready to mix up some … blue?

Yes, those “primary” colours need mixing too! Primaries are capable of enormous variation, but often we neglect them because we just don’t see them clearly. Placing them side-by-side can help, so this month you’re going to do blue-on-blue. We’re perhaps more used to seeing variations in blue than in the other primaries, so this will help to get you started.

Here we go, then: take a blue object, such as a ball or a mug, and place it against a blue background OF ROUGHLY THE SAME VALUE. Suddenly those similar shades are so different! You may use all your blues but don’t darken things with black or gray. Get out those greens and purples and browns instead. You’re sure to need them!

May 7th, 2012


We take great pleasure in announcing that our juror, Bernard Poulin, has made his selection of the works to be accepted into our first CPSC National Exhibition.

Selected artists were notified privately via email last week. The CPSC Executive would like to thank every artist who submitted artwork for the juror’s consideration. Our congratulations and best wishes go out to all selected artists, all of whom will have their work displayed at The Shenkman Arts Centre in the Ottawa area from July 4 – 31 and then again at the Galerie d’Art in the St. Sauveur area from August 1-19.

Accepted artists should mark their calendars with the following dates:

  • May 15, 2012: shipping information will be emailed to accepted artists.
  • June 18, 2012: shipped artworks  must be received by CPSC by the end of the business day.
  • July 7, 2012: Vernissage at the Shenkman Art Centre in the Ottawa area.
  • August 4, 2012: Vernissage at the Galerie d’Art in the St. Sauveur area

And now, without further ado, here is the list of artists accepted into the first CPSC National Exhibition:

Artist Abbott, JoanneAbbott, Joanne

Adams, Manon Menard

Adams, Manon Menard

Bain, Carolyn

Bastien, Alexandra

Bastien, Alexandra

Bastien, Alexandra

Bastien, Alexandra

Bastien, Alexandra

Fagan, Allison

Fagan, Allison

Godbout, Marcia

Godbout, Marcia

Godbout, Marcia

Godbout, Marcia

Karron, Christine

Jenkison, Gerry

Jenkison, Gerry

Jordan, Darlene

Lawrence, Vickie

Lawrence, Vickie

LeClerc, Manon

Mallen, Teresa

Mallen, Teresa

Mallen, Teresa

Murphy, Patricia

Philpott, Alison

Rabold Valerie

Strong, Deborah

Strong, Deborah

Talbot, Amie

Talbot, Amie

Talbot, Amie

Walker, Erica

Walker, Erica

Walker, Erica

Webster, Gordon

Young Patti

Young, Patti

Young, Patti

Title DreamerPink Peony

My Mate and I


Captive I: Memories


First Grazes

The Last Meeting



Beet It, Just beet It

Mucho Piquante

Split Personality


Sunlit Katie


Strong & Young

From Wellington Beach


Spirit Island

Candy Apple Days


Eight Ball Deluxe

Blue Blooded

Jack Pine Kaleidoscope

Swiss Chard Mosaic

Pine Trunk


Serviceberry Bud

Solitary Stellar’s Jay

Wren & Salmonberry

Deliciously Ripe

Summer Daze

1956 Ford Thunderbird

The Burden

Silent Spring II – Bereft

Silent Spring III – Hide & Seek

Bird & Boat

A Daisy A Day

Cosy Cousins

To Dana with Love

May 6th, 2012

CPSC May Colour Challenge

written by Erica Walker, CPSC Secretary-Treasurer

CPSC Monthly Colour Challenge

CPSC Monthly Colour Challenge


April showers have brought May flowers and this month our Colour Challenge is to mix a pink. Usually we have all kinds of pink pencils to choose from, everything from rose to shell to shocking. But what would you do if you had no pre-mixed pinks? Well, this month you’re going to find out!

First, find something pink. Anything you like: it can be a flower or a teacup or a lipstick. Now get out your pencils. You may use any red, any white and any colour at all EXCEPT your pre-mixed pinks. Don’t worry: pre-mixed pinks may be beautiful and useful, but they aren’t absolutely necessary. Give yourself a chance and you’ll be amazed at what you can do without them!

May 1st, 2012

How To Set A Fair Price For Your Work?

written by Alexandra Bastien, CPSC Vice President

Here I will discuss a topic that worries many artists who are beginning their careers. When you have your work represented by a gallery, it’s often the gallery which manages the prices for your work. So I will elaborate on this aspect a little further on in this article. But if you are not represented by an art gallery, here are some tips that may help you to find the price range that will be fair to you and to all your potential customers.

First, we must take into account a general rule; in the art world, prices are determined mainly by size and medium. For two-dimensional works, oil has the highest price range, followed by acrylic, and then by works on paper (watercolor, pastels, charcoal, coloured pencils, graphite). A painting is usually sold for more than a sketch on paper. This is not always the case, but framed works under glass are more difficult to sell in commercial galleries. Buyers who visit art galleries are often visiting tourists and prefer to purchase a work (e.g. a painting) which they can roll up in their luggage. Frames with glass, middle-to-large-sizes are more difficult to pack in suitcases. But today, most galleries offer a courier delivery service for customers who buy paintings or drawings. So do not be discouraged if you prefer to work in coloured pencil! There is room for all media in the art market!

To set fair prices for your drawings, your paintings, and your sketches, you must first have a solid understanding of how your particular market operates. Things will be very different based on whether you have your own clients or if you are represented in galleries, or again, if you have an agent. To understand your position, you must consider the quality of your work compared to that of other artists around you. It’s always inspiring to see what others are doing and it also allows you to ask questions and exchange ideas with your peers in the art community. This way, you have a better overview of the exciting work happening around you. Also, you should evaluate your artistic accomplishments and see how they can advance your career.

The more you are aware of what art galleries, cultural centers, museums and symposia are exhibiting and selling in your area, the better able you will be to set fair prices for your work, and you will be prepared for all possibilities. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that you should not combine emotion with business. Do not set the price of any one particular drawing much higher than the rest of your work, even if you have spent innumerable hours on it and are extremely fond of it. I’ve seen many artists do this many times. I’ve also seen this problem in reverse: artists selling their least favourite works very cheaply. You must remain consistent in your prices, regardless of the work. If you have too much pride in, or contempt for, one of your paintings, it is better not to show it. Wait, take some time to think. The artist is not always the best person to judge his or her own work. Sometimes you have to take a step back and evaluate the work you have created.

If you are a beginner or if you have not yet sold your work, you need to find a price range based on several factors. Estimating the time you spend on each piece is an important consideration. You need to assess the dimensions of your work and calculate the cost of the materials. A minimum requirement is that you cover the cost of your art supplies. There is also something else to consider: if an artist made 200 paintings per year versus 10 paintings a year, obviously the prices will not be the same. If the work is framed, you can add the cost of framing to the total.

Don’t forget, you have to have a practical understanding of your market. It’s helpful to look at other artists’ work that is roughly similar to your own. You can also visit art galleries or search the internet. This will give you an informed idea of what is selling in your area, etc. For example, I noticed that in my circle, the artists who are most consistent and most accurate in their prices are also those who sell the most. It all depends: do you want to sell 5 paintings a year, or 50? According to some statistics, only 2% of regular buyers in the Canadian art world buy works priced higher than $ 1,000. It is therefore quite normal to begin at the bottom with modest prices and raise them over the years whether one is exhibiting in a commercial gallery or not.

Also, there are several ways to price work, but the easiest and most common is to price art by the square inch. In other words, there is a gradual rise in price depending on its size (and medium). There should not be a sudden big price jump between picture sizes, nor should there be a major discrepancy in the cost of similar-sized works. The price must be regular and proportionate to the size. You have to be consistent in your prices and this applies to all your buyers. You cannot sell a 16×20” piece for $ 700 to one client and then suddenly sell another 16×20” piece (in the same medium) for $ 450 to another client. This would be seen as disrespectful to your customers, especially to the client who paid the higher price.

I want to remind you to compare your work often to that of other artists in order to find your best price range. During your observations, do not forget also to consider the following: whether these artists are represented by galleries, whether their work is collected by companies or private collectors, how long they have been active in their milieu, whether they have received recognition from their community and/or their peers, whether they belong to recognized art associations, and so on. All of these factors contribute to how an artist is rated by the market, and you must be able to evaluate such factors in developing your own career. Without this system, obviously every artist’s work would be equally expensive! You can raise your prices as the occasion requires, especially when you have a lot of success and sales. You can gradually increase your prices every year, or with every major accomplishment, but you must be able to justify this increase. For example, such justifications could include your past experience, or the many sales you’ve made, or the prizes you’ve won at festivals, symposia, or the size and prestige of the exhibitions and competitions you’ve been part of! Document your artistic process, have your biography at hand, write up a list of works you have already sold. Prepare authenticity certificates for each of your paintings. You will have a very professional image, and you will build your customers’ trust.

Another important thing is that if you raise your prices too quickly, you will find yourself in a position where you cannot raise them further, and you will have far fewer customers who will purchase your work. If you exhibit 10 works at $ 1,000 each, perhaps you may sell half. But if you have 10 works at $ 500 each, the chances of selling all 10 are higher. The reality is that the entire art market is going through difficult times these days (and has been for some years, for that matter). Finally, if you have not sold your work, I will say this: go with a reasonable price that you believe is fair for the work you’ve put in (taking into account the material and size).

You can have one list of prices for your paintings and another for your sketches. The latter are sold cheaper, and many collectors buy sketches. You can also maintain a special price list for commissions. This is particularly the case where portraits are concerned: your prices for commissioned portraits may be quite different from those of your non-commissioned works. As well, you can create limited reproductions of your art. They are cheaper and more affordable to all potential customers who would like to acquire your work. Collectors who buy your art will often become loyal customers throughout your entire career.

If you are represented by a gallery, generally it is the gallery itself that will decide your prices. Galleries can take from 40 up to 70% for each piece of art sold. We could debate this at some length, as to whether galleries take too much. This could even be the subject for another article! But I will say this: galleries are often well established, they tend to have a solid customer base, they pay for framing, they often pay 50 to 100% of advertising to provide you with exposure and to promote your work … these things matter, they are important considerations. Galleries usually do their best to represent you well. Each gallery has its own ways of working, so it is very important to “shop around” carefully to find the best gallery for you.

You can also show your work in annual symposia, or submit your work to cultural centres and/or artist-run exhibition centres. This is a very different kind of art circuit from that of art galleries, but it is one that suits a lot of wonderful artists. You could also have an open studio every six months or so for your customers, with a vernissage to promote your work.

In the end, the most important thing is to be consistent, aware, and realistic when you price your work. This is the best way to build up a solid customer base! If you have any questions, you can write me at:


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