PSWC Board Members are the backbone of the Society. They volunteer their time, talent, and efforts to support the mission of the Society to promote pastel arts and education. We are always looking for additional volunteers to take on Board positions. Training and lots of encouragement is given free of charge! Contact any board member for more information.
Meet Our Board
PRESIDENT & EDITOR OF PSWC MAGAZINE
The task of being President of the PSWC is multi-layered— part organizer, part cheerleader, part business manager, part event planner, all while remaining an active artist. I LOVE my job! And I have lots of plans for the PSWC.
In order to grow as an organization, we must push ourselves to try new things. The Board and I encourage an exchange of ideas, techniques, tips, and traditions as long as it supports the artist members and the goals of the organization.
Recently, we have added Regional Representatives to our volunteer programs. Like all of our volunteers, these artists bring a special spirit and dedication to their roles. They are giving us a social presence in the truest meaning of the word—face-to-face. Sometimes, being in the company of other artists is the best inspiration you can have.
The PSWC Magazine has added another issue, bringing us to four per year. In January 2019, we will launch the first Annual PSWC Magazine Art Collectors Edition. This edition will feature 20 artists at the top of their game. It will go out to all members and about 300 galleries and Collectors. It’s a wonderful,opportunity to promote and educate members and the art world about pastels as a medium and the artists who use them!
Effective in 2019, we will have an online members database tied to our new website. This change will allow members to have their own gallery on the site, and it will help us to maintain the ever-growing membership list.
A little about me–my dining room is my studio and now my “Oval Office” as well. My pastel tray is currently resting on a notebook with all the interviews for the next PSWC Magazine. Being amidst the family activities makes me feel connected and inspired. It also allows me to put on a pot of spaghetti sauce and stir it between brush strokes and emails! I imagine many great artists had the smell of linseed oil and garlic in their studios!
In addition to working on PSWC projects and my own endeavors, I take commissions in a variety of subject matter from fine art pet portraits to calligraphy. I teach Beginning Art classes in a retirement community (not mine…yet) and calligraphy at Paper Source in Northern and Southern California and through my local library system.
I live in Northern California with my high school sweetheart and husband of over 33 years, David, our three grown children and two lovely dogs.
VICE PRESIDENT AND CHAIR OF SCHOLARSHIP
Pam Comfort serves as Vice President and also chairs the Student Scholarship Program. She has been a member of the PSWC board since 2019.
Pam’s background is in the field of education. She earned a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Organizational Management, and retired from her position as Deputy Superintendent of Schools for Contra Costa County in 2018.
Having dabbled in art and music throughout the years, Pam discovered after retiring that she loved the immediacy and tactile satisfaction of working with pastels. She is a juried member of the Pastel Society of America, and also a member of several local art associations. As an avid traveler, Pam aspires to create art that communicates a strong sense of nature, culture and place. In addition to painting and travel, Pam enjoys spending time with her six grandchildren and boating on the lake near her home in the Sierra foothills. .
Bonnie paints the western landscape using the rich pigments of pastels and oils to create paintings that have the brilliance and bold color characteristic of these mediums. Working in a representational yet impressionistic approach, she tells a story with her paintings; one that will resonate with the viewer from their own viewpoint.
I am drawn to these mediums because they allow my best representation of the landscape with the brilliant pigments creating texture, light and mood in my paintings. My goal is to create works that draws the viewer in; allowing them to use their senses to experience the time of day, the warmth or coolness, the message of the painting – for themselves, to merely “get lost” in the work, experience it and make it their own. If that happens, then I have done my job.
Bonnie grew up in north central Montana on a ranch near the Missouri Breaks. Early on she experienced the rugged country, the big skies, the vegetation of this landscape mostly from the back of a horse. Memorable childhood vacations included trips to Glacier Park to enjoy the sharp contrasts of the landscape from central Montana. These trips continued through the years and painting some of the views of the park has been part of those experiences. Her parents were ranchers; her mother a talented visual artist; her father a musician. Art appreciation came early and studying the affects of light on the landscape and the colors were imprinted deep. She declared at an early age that she was an artist and that carried through along with a career in the medical arena until she began painting full time in the mid 1990’s.
Bonnie has studied with several instructors such as Lorenzo Chavez, Robert Moore, Ned Mueller and others in developing her work. She works mostly en plein air taking every opportunity to paint from life. “My work turned the proverbial corner once I started painting seriously from life. You learn to see better, to capture light accurately and express yourself differently when working from photo. I do studio work as well, often with the aid of plein air studies.”
The artist is a current resident of southwestern Idaho and spends significant time in MT and UT painting throughout the year. She participates in numerous plein air events in the western US, judges competitions and offers workshops in pastel techniques, both studio and plein air. Her work is represented by galleries in MT, ID, OR and WA. Collectors include corporate and private throughout the US, Canada and Australia. Bonnie’s work can be seen on her website Instagram – @bonniezahngriffith and her Facebook page Bonnie Griffith Landscape Artist.
TREASURER AND CHAIR OF MEMBERSHIP
I have always done some sort of art, starting in grammar school. As life happens, I grew up, started a family and career and put all the art on hold.
In 1998 I got really sick and went undiagnosed until 2001. Unable to work any longer, I finally got a diagnoses of Multiple Sclerosis. My professional career ended, and the kids were grown and out of the house. I picked up a paint brush, took a class and I firmly believe that ART saved my life.
Today I create daily, with watercolor, pastels, pen and inks, alcohol based inks, acrylics, collage, oils and cold wax, and my doodle work. I teach workshops in Alcohol Ink Pours, and Doodle Art.
I was born and raised in the San Joaquin Valley and love the opportunities that the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Central Coast and the deserts of California, have to offer for creation.
CHAIR of PASTELS USA
It has been said that painting is a journey. As artists, each of us is on a personal trek of expression. I use my art to show my views and visual perspectives of the world. I work in dry pastels, focusing on the beauty that is around us. As an artist I hope to pass along the world of pastel painting through my art and teaching others through art classes. I find it rewarding to be the first to introduce a beginner to pastels, and both rewarding and challenging when I have the opportunity to work alongside the experienced painter.
When beginning a painting, I usually look for a concept to portray and then a mood of the painting is established. I do think of paintings as a form of language. It is a way to communicate that crosses over written or spoken words. It enters a visual understanding. It is at this time that the viewer can perceive a story or a mood depending on interpretation. Because of this, it is most rewarding when someone else makes a connection to one of my paintings.
As an artist, I have tried multiple mediums, but pastels have been my greatest enjoyment and challenge. Pastels are so versatile that I am continually discovering new approaches to their use, application, and presentation. Pastels have a never-ending variety of applications and it is stirring to discover a new aspect of the medium. Artists such as Margot Schulzke, Anita Wolff, Richard McKinley, Waif Mullins, Alain Picard, and the late Bob Gerbracht have each been wonderful mentors.
It has been an honor to have my work judged and selected for awards by distinguished artists and judges of distinction, including the curators of art for the Crocker Art Museum (Sacramento, CA), Oakland Museum of California, and the Haggin Museum (Stockton, CA).
I am a member of Pastel Society of the West Coast, Pastel Society of Oregon, Placer Arts/Placer Artists League, and Sacramento Fine Arts/Northern California Arts (NCA).
Master Artist – Sacramento Fine Arts/NCA
Signature Artist – Pastel Society of the West Coast
Signature Artist, Sierra Pastel Society
My studio is located within the Packing Shed Studios in Newcastle, California.
CHAIR of ONLINE MEMBERSHIP SHOW
Early in his life Dug and his family recognized his ability to draw, color and create by any means necessary.
This Sacramento born, California native utilized his artistic skills that continued to follow him through to high school, where he was named staff artist for the school newspaper. Junior college continued the progression of his talent and paved the way to the intense environment at the California College of the Arts in Oakland, CA. Graduating with a BFA in Advertising Design opened the door to a 40 year career as an art director, graphic designer and illustrator in San Francisco bay area. During those productive years he employed all of his artists skills and tools to articulate a wide variety of projects. Today Dug paints in soft pastel but oil and watercolor are still drawn upon to implement his passion for creativity. The learning process continues.
Many years ago I fell in love with Pastel because of the speed and tactile feel of its drawing capabilities, the opaque coverage, the color brilliance and serendipity experimentation that gave a perfect voice for my work. There is an intimate connection between my fingertips, my mind, my design sense and my heart in addressing the painting surface. The rapid layering of color and textures throughout the painting process responds to my painting style of representational impressionism. I also love the speed and performance of watercolor. It has been a great teacher in making me both humble and enlightened. Mistakes and accidents are part of the watercolor process and if you let them happen the results are amazing. Because of my affinity for these two mediums I sometimes employ them together in a painting.
Dug is a Distinguished Pastelist member in the internationally recognized Pastel Society of the West Coast (PSWC). Early in 2014 his painting “55th @ Broadway” was awarded Best of Show at PSWC’s Membership Show. He has been selected in two successive years in Pastel Journal’s annual Pastel 100 award show, accepted in the Pastel Society of America’s 2013 & 2014 Enduring Brilliance at the National Arts Club in NYC and selected in the International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS) 2014 show at the Voce Gallery in Boston. Also in 2014 two of his paintings were accepted into PSWC’s Pastels USA 28th Annual International Open Exhibition Show in Morro Bay with his painting “Brace Yourself”winning the Terri Ford award. Two of his works were accepted into the 2015 IAPS Show for their convention in Albuquerque, NM. Those two paintings were also accepted into the 2015 PSWC’s Pastels USA 29th Annual International Open Exhibition with “Duck Landing” winning the University Arts award.
WAYS & MEANS
Susan’s first memories of making art were at her grandmother’s round oak table, with lots of blank paper and a fresh box of crayons at her Iowa farm. Having had some training along the way, she describes herself as “mostly self-taught” in Pastel her favorite medium as well as oil, and colored pencil. She has taken workshops with Tina Moore, Bob Gerbracht, Gill Dellinger, Richard McKinley, Kim Lordier and Margot Schulzke.
Susan has spent the last 38 years in California. Twenty years were spent in production weaving and teaching. After retiring she returned to painting full time.
She has been inspired by the beauty of the High Sierras where she lives 5 months of the year. She travels throughout the United States taking photographs along the way which gives her a huge selection to paint from in her studio.
Susan has pastels and watercolors in many private collections. She is a member of the Pastel Society of the West Coast, an associate member of PSA, Blueline Arts, Placer Arts, North Tahoe Arts, and American Women Artists.
She was juried into the 42nd Mother Lode National Art Exhibition, the 55th Haggin National Art Competition which also selected her painting for an Award of Merit and the original was reproduced on their banner and posters for the exhibit at the Haggin Museum of Art in Stockton, California Her work was accepted into the 24th Pastels USA International open exhibition which was held at the Art Museum of Los Gatos, California, the 27th Annual International Open Exhibition which was held at the Marin Society of Artists Gallery Ross, Ca., and the 28th Annual International Open Exhibition which was held at the Art Center Morro Bay, Morro Bay, Ca. She has won the Pastel Painters of Maine Award and has Signature Status with the Pastel Society of the West Coast. She also placed 2nd out of 1300 entries in the Crocker/Kinsley competition/2015. Her painting was hung at the Crocker Art Museum in April and May of 2015. Her painting “Thinking of things to do was chosen by The American Women Artists to hang in the Rockwell Museum in Corning, NY in April of 2018.
CHAIR – MUSEUM LIAISON
W. Truman Hosner
W. Truman Hosner earned his BFA at Wayne State University in Detroit, following it with post-graduate work at the Center for Creative Studies where he eventually returned to teach.
Before moving into fine art, as a nationally recognized illustrator he produced illustrations for brands such as Readers Digest, CBS-Fox Video and Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Truman then studied at the Scottsdale Artists School with Harley Brown and Dan Gerhartz.
Paintings by W Truman Hosner have been featured in national and international museum collections and exhibitions ranging from New York City…to California…to Canada…to France and Spain...to Asia.
Painting from life, the integrity of Hosner’s art is never in question as he conveys through his works the evolving moods and dynamics that can be captured only through the art of plein air painting,-Harry Goldson, Suttons Bay Galleries
CHAIR of PUBLICITY
Cynthia is a California native who has lived in the Bay Area most of her life. She has felt compelled to respond to the beauty around since childhood and her artistic creations have taken many forms. Today she works in oil and pastel.
Cynthia’s paintings have been in national juried shows at the Triton Museum, Haggin Museum and Salmagundi Club in NYC. She was awarded Best of Show at the 2016 Sierra Pastel Society’s International Exhibit and is a Signature Member of PSWC. Her landscapes are painted on site, en plein air, usually in one sitting. Her goal is to make each a statement of a moment in time, with nature providing the light, color and movement. She hopes each carry some of the excitement she felt while painting.
Cynthia’s portraits are done from life or in the studio using photographic reference and color studies. Capturing her model’s likeness and a sense of the person are her primary objectives.
Cynthia is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and has an MBA from Santa Clara University. She is the mother of three sons and lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband.
CHAIR of SOCIAL MEDIA
Jennifer Von Bergen
I am so glad to be part of PSWC! While I have always loved art, it wasn’t until 2019 that I discovered soft pastels. Prior to that my knowledge of pastels was limited to a dusty old box of broken Grumbackers stowed in the bottom of my “art drawer” as a child, that I had no idea how to use or appreciate. Fast forward several decades, and I discovered the wonder and joy of pastels! Now my dreams are filled with these colorful sticks and all the beauty they can create!
I especially love to work en plein air, and capture bits of the splendor that dances before us each day. It may be in the way the cloud shadows skirt across the hills on a far horizon, or the rich golds of an open field, or my favorite, the earth bathed in pink as the sun slips away at the end of another day. I love that in connecting these pure pigments of pastel against a ready paper I can capture these moments of time!
When painting indoors nature and animals are often my subjects. I am lucky to live in Idaho now with so much inspiration around me, and also to be able to draw on my years growing up in California, or those raising our family in Alaska, for ideas.
CHAIR OF STRATEGIC MARKETING & PLANNING
Deborah Shea received a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art and Design at the University of California at Davis. She studied with Wayne Thiebaud, Roland Peterson and Frances Butler. Since that time she has also taken classes and workshops in botanical drawing, watercolor and acrylic painting at the San Francisco Art Institute. She had a long and successful career as a creative directior, designer and illustrator prior to becoming a full-time artist. She currently resides in Redwood City.
CHAIR OF WORKSHOPS