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
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.
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.
CHAIRMAN of PASTELS USA
Gerald Boyd became interested in art as a career when, as a fourteen year old schoolboy, he won a statewide contest in Oregon for a pencil portrait, drawn from life, of his 89 year old grandfather. By his mid teens, he began using pastels and with the limited set he owned, gained some notoriety for portraits of fellow classmates and the principal of his high school in southern California’s San Fernando Valley. Upon graduation, Jerry secured a position as an apprentice pictorial artist with a billboard company in Los Angeles and for the next five years was sent to private fine art classes one evening a week with an academic teacher. He also took classes in art two nights a week at Los Angeles Trade Technical College.
Gerald spent 42 years painting giant advertisements in oil, but continued his own private work in both oil, watercolor, and pastel during his off hours and weekends. Beginning in 1983, he became more involved with a local art society in Fremont, CA and has done demonstrations, mostly in portrait painting, to over 100 such societies. He began entering exhibitions and by 1987 had earned Signature status with the Society of Western Artists in San Francisco and the Pastel Society of the West Coast headquartered in the Sacramento area.
After moving to Galt in the Central Valley of California, retiring in 2003, and building a studio in his backyard, Jerry has taught classes and workshops, judged dozens of art shows both large and small, and served twelve years on the board of the Pastel Society of the West Coast, ten as Chairman of their national show called “Pastels USA”. He has also served as shipping agent for Pastels USA since 2006. In 2009, Gerald earned the “Distinguished Pastelist” status with PSWC based on numbers of awards earned in national exhibitions, and in 2011 gained Signature status with the Pastel Society of America in New York City. Most recently, he has been awarded “Master Circle” status with IAPS – the International Association of Pastel Societies.
CHAIRMAN 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.
CHAIRMAN of SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
Russell Frank has been interested in art since he was young. When he was 7 he won a national coloring contest with the grand prize of an all expense paid trip to Disneyland. His talent has been apparent and acknowledged since early childhood. He lives with his wife, Debra, in the Giant Sequoia National Monument by Camp Nelson, CA.
Born in Bakersfield, California, Russell attended Bakersfield High School, Bakersfield College and Cal State Northridge where he majored in Art, Ceramics and Woodworking. Russell began his unique style of pastel drawings in 1968. Since 1990, Russell has been a member of Northern California Art by Fire (a pottery, hot glass and metal sculpture group) and Elk Grove Artists. In 2009 he joined Pastel Society of the West Coast where he has served as Secretary, Vice President and President. He is now serving in the capacity of Scholarship Chair.
Northern California and Africa provide an abundant resource of material for his pastel drawings of landscape, wildlife and waterfowl. The paintings are done in soft pastel: Unison, Terry Ludwig and others. Nearly all of his work is done on velour paper and a few on Rtistix panel or sanded paper. It takes approximately one hour per square inch to produce the realism that he looks for in his work.
CHAIRMAN 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.
CHAIRMAN 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.
CHAIRMAN of SOCIAL MEDIA
Rita Romero is a contemporary realist artist working in oil and soft pastel to create fine art paintings and commissioned portraits. Born in Tucson, Arizona, Rita began drawing and painting at an early age, winning her first award in a high school art competition. Her artistic journey and continual search to achieve a balance of craftsmanship and artistic expression has been heavily influenced by the work of recognized Masters – both old and new – of classical realism. The art of Rita Romero is a celebration of the current renaissance of classical realism and the dramatic power of representational art. She doesn’t aspire to simply paint realistically, but rather to capture a moment, a human experience or an emotional dialogue with the viewer.
Rita’s art has won numerous prestigious awards. Most recently, her pastel paintings won Best of Show in the Richeson75 Figure/Portrait 2017 competition, and Best of Show in the Pastel Society of the West Coast’s Pastels USA 2017 show. Her paintings been exhibited in national juried art shows, as well as the Triton Art Museum, Haggin Museum, the Edith Lambert Gallery and M.K. Sloan Gallery in Santa Fe, NM, and the Salmagundi Art Club in New York. She has also had pastel paintings featured in the February 2017 “Male Muse” issue of Poets and Artists magazine, and the February 2017 issue of the International Artist magazine.
A mostly self-taught artist, Rita acquired a strong foundation in design while obtaining her graphic art degree in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has built upon that foundation with continuing education in drawing and painting with internationally recognized contemporary masters such as Sadie Valeri, Virgil Elliott, Kate Stone, David Kassan, Cuong Nguyen, Justin Hess, and Thomas Nash.