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“The reason why I can’t wait to paint with Colette, not including the GREAT job she did at IAPS this year, is that she is not interested in making me paint any specific way. She is dedicated to helping YOU become the best painter in the way YOU paint. It’s like going on a high wire and having Colette there to hold the net.

This workshop is designed for people that have been thinking about their painting path and would like some guidance just to help them be better.

Personally I am looking for the confidence to work with both realism and non-objective shapes in the same painting.”   From an email from the first PSNM student to sign up.

John Preston Workshop at Lion's Den Gorge: September 19-20, 2015

John lives in Fairfield, Iowa and has been painting the landscape since 1984. He especially enjoys painting the often dramatic weather we have in the Midwest, particularly far horizons and a sky filled with clouds. He "finds an idea in an image, rather than finding an image for an idea."

He has exhibited nationally and is in many public and private collections, including Iowa State University, John Deere and the Chicago Federal Reserve.

WPA artists gathered at Lion's Den Gorge in Grafton, Wisconsin for a two-day workshop.


April 10th - 12th. 2018, 9:30 am to 4:30 pm

PUBLIC DEMO: Wednesday the 11TH at 10:00 am
Hispanic Arts Building at New Mexico Expo Fairgrounds
Cost of Workshop:

$320 for PSNM members $330 for OTHER MasterWorks societies’ members.

  $345 for non-members.

$100.00 deposit with registration.

Workshop is limited to 13 students on a “first come, first served” basis, with registration opening September 9th , 2017 to PSNM members; all others November 1, 2017.
Enrolling deadline is March 9th, 2018.

 For more information:

Colette will also be offering the PSNM monthly meeting (10:00-Noon) demo on April 14th, 2018 at the ABQ Museum. The demo is free.


Susan attended the  American Academy of Art in Chicago. Fresh out of art school she worked as a freelance portrait artist for a Chicago chain of department stores. She fell in love with the Impressionist paintings at the Art Institute and became completely smitten with the pastels of that era. Since there was very little instruction at that time in this medium she moved to Woodstock, New York to study with Master Artist Albert Handell and became his studio assistant for the next two years. 

​After two years in New York she opened her own studio in Chicago where she taught workshops and classes. In the mid 1980’s she began painting at the Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Art with another living Master Painter, Richard Schmid. In the early 1990’s she moved to the Northwest and started "a beautiful family."  She is "now back in the studio full time and loving every minute."

Artist Statement: "My life’s work is to leave the world more beautiful than I found it.  I look for light beauty. It is everywhere... My job is to translate it onto canvas and share it."

Please check her website

Rita Kirkman teaching at the Wisconsin Pastel Artists' workshop in July at Grafton High School. Attendees included 16 artists from all over Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, and even Canada. Rita is from Texas. We were so lucky to have her here!

And thank you, Marcia, for making all the arrangements.​  Here are the happy attendees!

​Rita Kirkman has been using pastel since she was 11 years old. She received her BFA in 1988 and has improved through workshops with renowned pastelists including Richard McKinley, Desmond O'Hagan, and Maggie Price. Since 2003, Kirkman has consistently won major national and international awards. Her work has been featured in the Pastel Journal and the Pratique des Arts Special Pastel.  She is a Signature Member of the Pastel Society of America and an IAPS Master Circle member. In 2011, Kirkman joined the Daily Painting movement and has since posted hundreds of small, affordable paintings on her blog,

To contact Colette, go to her website: or send an email to




Colette Odya Smith is a widely-exhibited, award-winning painter, educator and juror, working primarily in soft pastels for over 20 years. Working from natural subjects, her paintings have a contemporary, almost abstract sensibility. She has been featured in newspaper stories,  publications  and  artist  magazines  including  American  Artist,  The  Artist’s Magazine,  Pastel  Journal,  and  Pratique  des  Arts.  Her  recognitions  include  Masters Circle  IAPS  (International  Association  of  Pastel  Societies),  signature  member  PSA (Pastel Society of America) and Distinguished Pastelist PSNM (Pastel Society of New Mexico).

E-Linear Thinking - Colette Odya Smith, artist

Wisconsin Pastel Artists is delighted to announce a new workshop for Members:

Susan Kuznitsky, July 13-15, 2018 

Three full days, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Location and more details coming soon.

Preston beginning the workshop.

                             Four-Day workshop at 
                         Peninsula School of Art, Fish Creek, WI

                               July 16 – 19, 2018

​​​​​​RITA KIRKMAN WORKSHOP - JULY 15-17, 2017​​