April 2023 Showcase - Colored Pencil Artwork

April 2023 Showcase - Colored Pencil Artwork

The three artists featured in the April 2023 issue of COLOR Magazine Showcase – Denise Howard, Susan Donze, and Chere Jackson,  – share the stories behind their beautiful artwork here in our blog. 

The Past From the Future Denise Howard
16 x 12 inches
Neocolor II and Luminance colored pencils on Fabriano Artistico
(Artist's own photo)

While emptying almost 70 years of history out of my family’s 130-year-old farm house, I found the baby crib in a dirty, dilapidated attic room where most of the plaster and wallpaper was water-stained, faded, cracked or fallen. The crib was pristine, though, because it had been lovingly wrapped and preserved in anticipation that it would be used again someday. The juxtaposition of the light and the crib with the terrible condition of the room became a visual metaphor for how childhood memories remain bright and clear while in reality the world ages and crumbles. Or a metaphor for lost childhood, or for a lost child. You get to decide what it means to you.

About Denise Howard:


Denise Howard is the author of 101 Textures in Colored Pencil (2017, Walter Foster Publishing). She is a signature member of the Colored Pencil Society of America and the UK Colour Pencil Society, and is the president of CPSA.

See more at: www.DeniseJHowardArt.com.

HOME by Susan Donze
11 x 14 inches
Prismacolor colored pencils on Suede Board.
(Artist's own photo)

I grew up in a Southern California desert and have been obsessed with trees and raptors my whole life. Trees go through all the stages of life, over and over again, and provide safe haven when the seasons turn. While visiting grandchildren in Colorado last year, I was entranced by the lonely sight of a nest in a winter bare tree, waiting for spring and new life. The photo was so compelling that the piece almost painted itself. It felt reminiscent of Albrecht Dürer’s work, a happy result from using Amy Lindenberger’s batik technique to create the background, lending an aged crackle to the sky and field under the stark tree. It just said home to me.

About Susan Donze:

Susan Donze is a Southern California artist, happy to have retired from the workaday world to concentrate on art, particularly via colored pencil. She is a proud mother of three and Gaga to two very artsy young granddaughters. She is also proud to be a member of the Colored Pencil Society of America and CPSA District Chapter 214 Los Angeles.

See more at: facebook.com/susan.donze/

Secret Garden by Chere Jackson
7 x 10.5 inches
Prismacolor Premier colored pencils on Arches cold pressed watercolor paper.
(Photo by ESP. Used with permission.)

This Henry Squire Old English 4 Lever Padlock was part of an experiment in trying out Prismacolor pencils on watercolor paper, which I don’t ordinarily use. I wouldn’t use this paper again with colored pencils, as I had to use a lot of solvent to basically turn the pencil to paint to get it into the heavily toothed paper. However, I did feel it suited the subject matter pretty well and gave it a nice rough texture. I started this piece in 2020, but the very rough paper ate up the colored pencil and slowed my progress. I set it aside for many months and then picked it back up off and on until late in 2022 when I felt inspired to finally finish it.

About Chere Jackson:

Chere Jackson is a full-time art teacher in the public school system. When not teaching, she enjoys making her own art. She has worked in colored pencil for the past 10 years and has had her work published previously by Ann Kullberg. When not working solely in colored pencil, she combines graphite with washes of watercolor and colored pencil details.

These artworks were published in the April 2023 issue of COLOR Magazine.

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