All posts by Connecticut Pastel Society

Lynn Wrona



Lynn’s oil and pastel paintings have received more than 30 regional and national awards. Selected pastel awards are the Diane B. Bernhard Art Spirit Award, CT Academy of Fine Arts; Frances and Marguerite Walker Award, Rockport, MA; and Richard Reccia Award, North Shore Arts Association.

One common description of her work is that it is “nostalgic” and shows a love of people and places of peace and beauty.

Lynn is a Signature Member and past membership chairman for the Connecticut Pastel Society. She is an Elected Artist Member of Rockport Art Association and Museum, North Shore Arts Association, and an Associate Member of Lyme Art Association.
Lynn is an artist member and former president of Academic Artists Association; and a group member of the Connecticut River Valley Artists.

Rita Kirkman

Rita Kirkman has been using pastel since she was 11 years old. Her work is defined by light, color and composition, and since 2003 has consistently won major awards in national and international competitions. She is a Signature member of the Pastel Society of America and a member of the Master Circle of the International Association of Pastel Societies. Her work is in public and private collections all over the world, including the U.S., Canada, Europe, Japan, Africa and Australia. In recent years she has become a popular workshop instructor.

“I’m blessed to be able to find beauty in almost everything I see. My work has evolved into an observation of light and shadow, and recently I’ve been playing with more adventurous ways to portray light with color, value, and temperature. Along with themed portraiture, a popular subject with my collectors has been ranch animals. This works rather well because ranch animals are ideal models of sunlight, and as Claude Monet said, ‘The subject matter, my dear good fellow, is the light.’”

She can be reached at:

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Margaret Farrell Bruno

Margaret Farrell Bruno, PSA, IAPS/MC grew up surrounded by the splendid coastline of MA, which has inspired her landscapes. Melding the ideals of realism and impressionism, her artwork responds to the energy and emotion of her subject matter. Margaret’s vibrant style is influenced by her sensitivity to the use of color, light, and composition.

Margaret is a nationally award winning artist, formally educated at Pratt Institute. She launched a three-pronged career as a fine artist, portraitist, and illustrator. Her paintings are included in the permanent collection of the Ocean Spray Corporation, New England Met Life, Massachusetts General Hospital, along with other public and private collections. Publications include: The Pastel Journal, The PleinAir Magazine and Art Journey Portrait and Figures– A large-format book published by NorthLight Books showcasing contemporary portrait artists.

Associations: Signature memberships include – The Pastel Society of America, The Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod and The Connecticut Pastel Society. Juried Artist Member of the Cape Cod Art Association and a member of the Portrait Society of America. Past President of the Board of Directors of the North River Arts Society. Past Board of Director of PPSCC.

Represented by The Framers Edge in Braintree, MA. Margaret enjoys sharing her knowledge of pastels and other mediums through teaching workshops, classes and demos.

instagram- mfbrunoart

Valerie Mandra

Valerie Mandra is an award-winning artist who finds inspiration for her paintings in nature. As an avid skier and hiker, she spends a great deal of time outdoors observing the landscape. “I love living in the Northeast where the change in seasons offer so many artistic opportunities.” Valerie will often paint the same locations at different times of the year. “There is a sense of familiarity, but there is always something new and exciting to see. It truly is a joy as an artist to translate what I see into my paintings.”

Valerie holds signature membership in the Connecticut Pastel Society. She is an associate member of the Pastel Society of America and Allied Artists of America, as well as a member of The Salmagundi Art Club. She received the Diane B. Bernhard Silver Medal in Pastel at the Allied Artists of America annual exhibition in 2013, the Allied Artists Gold Medal of Honor in 2015 and Best In Show at the Connecticut Pastel Societies “Purely Pastel” in 2016.  She was featured in the Pastel Journal December 2016 issue article “Artists to Watch”.

She can be reached at:


Jeffrey Fioravanti

Jeff Fioravanti is an expressive realist painter, who offers to the viewer works of art that are not only representations of the subject, but images of mood and feeling, that entice and stimulate the viewer to make an emotional and personal connection to each piece.

Jeff, a champion and friend to the preservation of America, is a technically sound and gifted artist, who has shown his talents in regional, national and international juried and invitation only exhibitions including “Paint the Parks – 2010” a traveling exhibit of paintings of America’s National Parks, and “Pastels by Invitation 2010, 2011 2012, 2013 2014 & 2015”, Chatham, MA., resulting in many top honors and awards as a participant in these shows. Included in his awards/honors are:  “3rd Place Landscape/Interior category – 12th Annual Pastel 100 Competition, sponsored by the Pastel Journal magazine”,“Best of America Pastel Artists, Volume II”, “Best Of Worldwide Charcoal, Pastel & Pencil Artists Vol. I”, “Who’s Who in American Art”, “Who’s Who in America”, the Richeson Pastel Award and the PSA Award, at the “It’s Pastel” 2009 National Juried Pastel Exhibition, sponsored by the Pastel Society of New Hampshire, the “Dick Neuville Memorial Award” at the 16th Annual Pastel Painter’s of Maine international juried exhibit,  “Dick Blick Award” at the 14th Annual Pastel Painter’s of Maine international juried exhibit, the “Terry Ludwig Gold Award” at the 7th Annual Pastel Painter’s of Maine national juried exhibition, the “Michael Allen Company Award: Best in Show” at the 7th annual “Renaissance in Pastel” national Juried exhibition, sponsored by the Connecticut Pastel Society, “First Runner-Up” at the Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod’s 5th annual national Juried exhibition, the “Olympian Corporation Award” at the “Pastels USA”, national Juried exhibition, sponsored by the Pastel Society of the West Coast, “Best in Show, Pastels” at the ArtsAround Boston national Juried exhibition, and is a two time finalist (Landscape division 2002 / 2009) in the “Pastel 100”, juried competition of top pastel artists from around the world, sponsored by “Pastel Journal Magazine.”

Jeff has judged exhibitions including the 8th annual, “Renaissance in Pastel”, and has been featured in such publications as, National Geographic The Civil War: A Traveler’s Guide (February 2016), Pastel Journal (April 2011), Best of America – Pastels II (Kennedy Publications 2009), American Artist Magazine (November 2005), and Pastel Artist International, (May/June/July 2000) in their prestigious section: “Masters of Pastel Artists of the World, USA Showcase.”

Jeff is an IAPS/MC (International Association of Pastel Societies/Master Circle) recipient and a member of several national pastel societies, with the added distinction/honor of “Signature Artist Member” in the prestigious and world renowned Pastel Society of America (New York, N.Y.), as well as The Connecticut Pastel Society (Meriden, CT.) Pastel Society of New Hampshire (Derry, NH), the Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod (Barnstable, MA.) and in 2014 The Pastel Painters of Maine (Kennebunk, ME). Jeff’s work is currently held in many corporate and private collections throughout the US and Europe, as well as in the permanent collection of the Cape Ann Historical Museum.

Jeff is a member of the Saugus High School Athletic Hall of Fame and currently resides in Lynn, Massachusetts.


Linée Baird

“I simply love light. Its ability to transform the most mundane of subjects into something beautiful never ceases to amaze me. As an artist I seek to explore light and its magical touch in my paintings.”

Linée’s formal art education is in architecture, graduating with a degree in architecture from Ball State University. As a natural progression of her interest in architecture, Linée primarily paints urban based scenes. She paints exclusively in pastels. Through her workshops and classes she strives to share her joy of pastel painting with others.

Linée has exhibited in national and international exhibitions including International Association of Pastel Societies, Pastel Society of America, American Artist Professional League, and Connecticut Pastel Society’s ‘Renaissance in Pastel’. She is also honored to be a member of the Salmagundi Club of New York and a signature member of the Pastel Society of America, Connecticut Pastel Society and the Pastel Society of New Hampshire.


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Shirley Cean Youngs

“I’ve been a creative person my whole life”. Born in the farmlands of upstate New York in 1939, I had a beautiful childhood experiences. Spending countless hours in the woods and fields and roaming around beautiful Lake Ontario. I learned much about nature. Being the middle child of five, life was always busy, but I loved being alone creating some form of an art masterpiece…As I grew older I begun to realize that I has been given a special gift and I felt my life as and artist made me an instrument to pass divine love along to others.
Moving to Connecticut in 1960 opened a whole new world as I found all around me, including many of my favorite American Impressionists. I completed with honors and American artist correspondence course and took a few workshops with people I admired such as Robert Brackman, Roger Curtis, Daniel Greene, Foster Caddell and Charles Movalli.

I found the language of painting an exciting journey and after years of painting plien air landscapes and studio figure painting, my impressionist style emerged.

During my career as a painter I have been told that my work is uplifting and heartening connecting with the lightness of the spiritual worlds. Putting my heart and sole into every painting for over 40 years has led to world wide recognition. My work has been exhibited thought out the United States France, German, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Canada. It has appeared on national television, as been featured in magazines, newspapers, books and on book covers. My paintings have received countless awards, but to me the greatest award is to have my work hanging in a private, corporate and celebrity collection somewhere around the world. Art to me is an expression too subtle for words, to be given this means of expression is a gift beyond value.

When I am painting, serenity settles peacefully over my life and hopefully, I express those pleasures to others, to be enjoyed over again.

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Rhoda Yanow

Rhoda Yanaw 2002 and 2003 winner of Best in Show in the CPS Renaissance in Pastel annual competition.

Rhoda Yanow was born in Newark, New Jersey. She studied at Parsons School of Design and at The National Academy of Design. She teaches at DuCret School of Art; Newark Museum and The Pastel Society of America School. She is a member of American Women Artists, Allied Artists of America, Pastel Society of America, Degas Pastel Society, New Jersey Watercolor Society, Artists Fellowship, Audubon Artists, American Artists Professional League, Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club, National Association of Women Artists, Associate Member American Watercolor Society.

She received the 2002 Community Art Association Award for Pastels, 2001 New Jersey Watercolor Nabisco Award, 2001 The Nieman Marcus Watercolor Award, Windsor Newton Painting Award, New Jersey Watercolor Award for Excellence, 2000 American Women Artists Painting Trip to Tuscany, Italy, International Artists Magazine#20; Allied Artists of America Award for Pastel; Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club Metropolitan Museum of Art Award, the Pastel Society of America Award; The Jack Richeson Award for Pastel from Audubon Artists; Millburn Short Shills Art Group Award of Excellence; Ridgewood Art Institute in New Jersey Mosho Bahiri Award amongst others. In 2003, she received the Best Show Award from The Connecticut Pastel Society and Gold Medal Award from Audubon Artists and Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club.

Ms. Yanow is in the collection of The Butler Institute of American Art, The Chinese Government, a Pastel Painting for the First Pastel Museum in China, Pastel Society of America, Newark Museum, NJ; Newark Public Library, New Jersey Ballet, Prince Albert Museum, London, Rensselaer University, NY, Township of West Orange, NJ, Shering Pharmaceuticals, Warner Lambert Company, Morris Plains and numerous private collections.

She was featured in the American Artists Magazine, New Jersey Goodlife, NJ Music and Arts and the Newark Star Ledger.

She is in Who’s Who in American Art, Who’s Who in the World, Drawing with Pastels by Lister, The Art of Pastel Portraiture by Madlyn-AA Woolwich, The Best of Pastel from Rockport Publishers, The Best of Sketching and Drawing from Rockport Publishers; The best of Pastel 2 from Rockport Publishers; International Artists Magazine: International Pastel Artist, The Best of Watercolor, Watercolor Expressions: Contemporary Master Pastellists, GAllerie Luminous, Taiwan. American Artists Magazine February 89; International Artist #20 and International Pastel Artist #14.

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Artists Statement

Luminosity and Life

I have been entranced since childhood with the luminosity of pastels and the vibrance of life — of dancers tense before the curtain rises, of old folks recreating other times, of students eager for challenges yet unknown.

My artistic adventure began with a grandmother intent upon devising private entertainment for an only child, something that would keep me amused and out of trouble.

It evolved into a search for special moments, for glimpses behind the masks we all wear, a search for telling gestures and grimaces, postures and poses.

It was enriched when a friend, a teacher, fell ill and asked me to substitute for a couple of weeks. He was never able to return, and two weeks have stretched beyond two decades.

The luminosity has shown brighter since that first day before a class. The lights in students’ eyes outshine any pastel highlight. The student are the future. Their light is our light. It is everything.

Jane Wright Wolf

Whether using paint or powder, (pastel or oil or watercolor) my work is about color and the simplification of form.

Being an artist is a gift. It makes my life richer; totally engaging my attention and skill. I am so grateful to the three New York city artists who encouraged me at an early age and were instrumental to my artistic development: Greta Matson (Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences/Chrysler Musuem at age 11), Philip Pearlstein and Lennart Anderson (Brooklyn College), and finally the artists whose paintings were  being restored at the Brooklyn Museum Conservation Laboratory where I worked part time while in art school. It was a visual tutorial…invaluable…and inspiring!

I am always traveling visually…just participating in the journey of seeing and doing…rounding the artist’s learning curve…at home in Weston, or wherever the subject insists on having its story told.


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Professional Organizations & Elected Signature Memberships
Allied Artists of America (2012), Pastel Society of America (2007), CT Pastel Society (2004), CT Watercolor Society (1998), CT Women Artists (1999), Salmagundi Club (2015).

Solo Exhibits

2016 Weston North House Gallery, Weston, CT
2002 One woman show “On Site”, The Minor Memorial Library, Roxbury, CT
2001 On site II: “Wolfe/Wiebe”, Branchville, CT

Selected Juried Exhibitions

2016 CT Women Artists Juried Member Show, New Britain, CT

2015 Allied Artists of America Exhibition, New York, NY
2006 IAPS Online Show

2005,2002,2000,1999 Spectrum, New Canaan Society for the Arts

2005 CTPastel Society Signature Show, Lyme Arts Association,

2005 Second Place, The Rowayton Art Center, Mavis Fenner Memorial Awards Show.

2005 Allied Artists of America, Inc., The National Arts Club, NYC.

2004, 2003, 2001 CT Pastel Society, Renaissance in Pastel
Slater Museum. Norwich and ‘The Salt Box/Clubhouse Gallery ‘West Hartford, CT

2004 Allied Artists of America, Inc., The National Arts Club, NYC.
Pastel Award

2003 The Salmagundi Club. Non Members Show

2003, 2002, 2000 CT Watercolor Society Members Show

2000 Discovery Museum: 41st Annual Juried Exhibit

1999. 1998 Art of the North East, Silvermine Guild of Arts

1998 Ridgefeld Guild of Artists Juried show



Cheryl Wildermuth

Cheryl Wildermuth is an Associate Member of the Pastel Society of America, a Signature Member of the Connecticut Pastel Society, a juried Artist Member of the Cape Cod Art Association, a member of the Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod and the Cultural Center of Cape Cod. Her pastel paintings have been accepted into many juried shows, national exhibitions and won numerous awards.

Whether painting a landscape or a still life, her goal is to create representational paintings to entice the viewer to follow a path or explore the light and linger for a while. When asked what inspires her to paint, her first response is the light, she says, at certain times it is magical. She considers herself fortunate to live in such beautiful places as the Berkshires and Cape Cod where she is surrounded by an abundance of beauty to capture.

Cheryl has taught visual art in the North Adams Public Schools since 1994. For several years, she taught summer graduate courses for K-12 art educators through Northeastern University. She holds several degrees including a Masters of Education, a Bachelor of Science in Education and Bachelor of Arts in Communications. She has studied with numerous master pastel artists and considers herself a lifelong learner who will continue to grow as an artist.

Art has always been an integral part of her life, and her need to create has been constant. Now that her children are grown, Cheryl is more passionate about painting and treasures her time at the easel. She says, “Painting fulfills me like nothing else, and I have come to realize, it completes me.”

Cheryl’s work is on exhibit at Margo’s, Osterville, MA. To view more paintings or contact the artist visit


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