Why You Should Join the CPSA Colored Pencil Society of America

colored-pencil-society-of-americaThe Colored Pencil Society of America, Inc. (CPSA), is a nonprofit organization founded in 1990 to promote the stature and awareness of colored pencil art as a viable art form to all professional art establishments and to the general public, and to provide a forum for education, communication, and recognition of colored pencil artists. It’s for all levels of colored pencil artists from beginners to advanced.

Here is a special message from Vera Curnow the founder of the CPSA to our Beginner’s Facebook Group:

Dear Colored Pencil for Beginners Group,

A special thanks to Cecilia Kinzie for starting this great group of colored pencil enthusiast. I joined! However, I have to admit it was disturbing to learn most of this group thinks CPSA is only for professional artists. This is a misconception I’d like to clear up. I can best do that by sharing my story …

I was 41 when I left my corporate job to move with my husband to a small, remote town in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Home all day during a treacherous winter, I was house bound and bored.

I began to delve into my lifelong hobby of drawing with graphite and pen and ink. Until … one day I found some random brand colored pencils (about 8 of them) in a drawer. Ah! Color! I was hooked. But, I didn’t have a clue that there were various techniques and applications in using this medium.

At that time in 1985, there were no books, magazine articles, classes or other cp artists around me.I had taken no art classes ever. Not even in high school. So, I had no art training to refer to. Blissfully ignorant, I plodded along using trial and error to develop my cp skills. As crude as my efforts were, right or wrong, and with nothing to compare them with, I liked my results and saw improvement.

Fast Forward: After finding and studying Bet Borgeson’s first book, I used the techniques she provided and bought the artist-grade supplies listed. Then, I found a cp article in The Artist’s Magazine, and I saw a Prismacolor brochure showing fabulous works by a dozen artists. It blew me away. But reading is not the same as networking. Only four years after experimenting with cp, I wanted desperately to “talk” with others who shared my passion for this medium. That’s why — even as a self-taught beginner — I started CPSA. (Pretty gutsy, eh!)

The Moral: We all have to start somewhere. We were all beginners at some time. I was a total novice and most of our first members were too. We banded together for the same reason. To learn, to grow, to improve, to share. After 25-plus years, every member in CPSA, from beginner to professional, continues to learn about new techniques, applications, surfaces, materials and much more. Our district chapters and annual convention provide great networking venues. There is not a year that goes by that I don’t pick up some new tricks, tips and techniques. As an artist, the journey is eternal.

The Bottom Line: Over these years, I have seen many of our beginner members become award-winners, write magazine articles, publish books, teach workshops — this doesn’t happen by chance or by working in a vacuum. And as new beginners join us every day, they learn from those more experienced. Regardless of your skill level, whatever your artistic goals — from hobbyist to award-winning artist – you will only improve by seeing, asking questions, listening, and challenging yourself. That’s what CPSA has to offer you — the door to opportunities, to growth, and to access a diverse group of cp artists who share your passion.

Vera Curnow, CPSA

Final Notes from Cecilia Kinzie:
Summary of Benefits

*When you join the CPSA you get a free lightfastness testing workbook.
*A twice yearly magazine called, To The Point.
*A networking directory of members.
*The option to join or start a local chapter.
*If you have a local chapter near you, they often give colored pencil instruction at the monthly meetings. Considering the price of colored pencil workshops and online classes, it’s a steal.
*And more . . .

To learn more about the benefits of the joining go to:

If you are decided you can join here: http://cpsa.org/join-cpsa

To find out if you have a local chapter near you, you can go here:

Feel free to ask me any questions about membership and I sincerely hope you join today:) – Cecilia

Author: Cecilia Kinzie

I'm a California gal who enjoys the sunshine and the ocean. I love my small rescue dogs and colored pencils. I'm a free spirit with a practical side and a big heart. You will find me sharing the joy of colored pencils in Southern California, Facebook, and beyond!

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