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Saturday, July 1, 2017

25th Annual Colored Pencil Society of America International Exhibition

The Mansion at Strathmore in North Bethesda, Maryland is hosting the Color Pencil Society of America International Exhibition through August 6, 2017. There are pieces by 119 artists on display throughout the mansion. The artists are from across the United States and from Australia, Greece, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Spain. 

Side Street by Katherine Thomas
I went with a fellow artist who also wanted to see this exhibit.  While driving there, I mentioned a pencil artist who I hoped had a piece in the exhibit because I think her work is so magnificent. When we entered the first room of the exhibit, there was her piece, Side Street. I couldn't have been happier. Having only seen her work online, it was fantastic to see it in person.  I was so pleased to see that it was even nicer than I imagined. My image (at right) does not do it justice. 

I was happy to see that another artist friend, Deborah Maklowski, is also included in this exhibit. In fact, I had recently seen her demonstrate colored pencil at a gallery where we both have work for sale. I believe her piece is the only abstract in the exhibit. The form and colors were magnificent and can't wait to talk to her about it.
Adrenaline by Jesse Lane

We wandered through the exhibit for nearly two hours stopping and examining the wide variety of subjects and techniques used by these artists. Some are huge and we wondered how many months they took to complete. Others are much smaller gems, done with such a delicate touch - conveying a soft, quiet beauty. Some used techniques we have never seen before and left us guessing how they were created.  

These artists also provided us with smiles or outright laughter through their titles. One depicts a hummingbird, all fluffed up and perched below an icicle. It is titled, "Shoulda Listened to Rufous, Thought Anna." 

As you can see, we were not the only people stopping and discussing the amazing pencil drawings in this exhibition. Adrenaline may have been the largest piece on display. The water splashes surrounding the man were frozen in space and time. 

These boys were actively engaged in the exhibit, while they wandered through with their mother. It was great to see such a young audience as mesmerized as we were.

Having done colored pencil work in my twenties I was in awe of the talent shown here. Some used the type of pencil stroke that I learned but others used such a light touch and smooth drawing surface that you couldn't see any strokes at all. If someone had told me they were air brushed paintings I would have believed them.

Enjoy the images I've shared here, but these barely scratch the surface of what you will see at this exhibit. If you can, you should make your way to see it yourself.

TheBachelorPad by MarshaGilger

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I look forward to hearing from you. - April

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