News items for October

Remember, we hold weekly meetings at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

So far we’ve worked in colored pencil, acrylics, and practiced making 2D collages from paper torn from magazines.  This was a fun project!

Even if you don’t want to participate, please stop by to watch and learn!!

Festival of Trees

The Art Group will again participate in McKeesport’s Festival of Trees at Renzie Park’s Jacob Woll Pavilion.  Our theme this year is “The Games People Play.”

The tree will be covered in actual board games and pieces.  I’ve been accumulating them over the summer at garage sales.  The tree skirt will be an old Twister vinyl mat;  garland will be playing cards, dice, Yahtzee score sheets, monopoly money, etc.

Set up will be Tuesday, Dec. 3 from noon to 8 p.m., and the Festival runs from Thursday, Dec. 5 through Monday, Dec. 9, from noon to 9 p.m.  WE WILL NEED HELP!


—Jan Catalogna

Next meeting Oct. 21

McKeesport Art Group welcomes local artist Ann McCartney at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21 for a demonstration of how to paint from photos.

Her demonstration will include how to choose the best part of the photo and make it read on the canvas, how to lay out a subject, and how to get the colors that you want from the photo to your canvas.

The meeting is in the art room of McKeesport Area High School, 1960 Eden Park Blvd., and is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

McCartney has been actively painting for nearly two decades, beginning in the Tidewater region of Virginia, concentrating on seascapes and the wide variety of bird life and sailboats along the Atlantic shore.

She was an active member of the Chesapeake Bay Artists Association and participated in numerous juried art shows, including the Chesapeake Bay Academy, Norfolk Academy Halizo Show and the Virginia Beach Contemporary Art Center’s “New Wave Show,” where she was named one of the “Top 100 local artists” in the Tidewater Region.

McCartney now resides in Pittsburgh’s South Hills, where she is currently an active member of the Upper St. Clair, McMurray and South Hills art leagues. She has participated in juried art shows sponsored by each of those organizations and was a featured artist at the Bella Arte Gallery in Shadyside from 2005 to 2010.

McCartney also has been actively sharing her enthusiasm, as well as her knowledge, of oil painting techniques to interested, budding artists for over 15 years in small, weekly sessions held in her home. She is currently employed as the resident artist and instructor for the Life Span Senior Resource Center in Dormont, where she has 25 motivated students.

Next meeting: Sept. 16

McKeesport Art Group hosts artist Sue Levy at 7:15 p.m. Monday, Sept. 16.

Levy was born and raised in Ohio. She always had an interest and love for art from the time her mother, an artist herself, taught her to draw.

Sue moved to Pittsburgh in 1960 to continue her art education at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh.  She specialized in Fashion Illustration.  After graduation she did illustrations for several small local publications.

After working in oil, pen and ink and acrylic medium for many years, she decided to try watercolor in 1984.  Although she does still work in the mentioned mediums, watercolor seemed most rewarding to her.  Sue states:

“I love to paint, especially historical buildings and locations.  I strive to invite the viewer into my paintings, and hopefully I am able capture a memory of a place or time for the viewer.  I also love to do house and animal portraits.”

Sue’s paintings have been shown in various area galleries and in group shows.  She has had solo shows at the Westminster Gallery, Gallery on the Square & Framers Gallery. Sue is a member of the Pittsburgh Watercolor Society, Upper St. Clair League for the Arts, and McMurray Art League, where her work can also been seen during their shows.

Most recently Sue has begun teaching watercolor and loves to help those who also have a great love for art.

The meeting is in the art room of McKeesport Area High School and is open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.


Next meeting: April 15


McKeesport Art Group hosts artist Barry Shields at 7:15 p.m. Monday, April 15.

Barry grew up in the Pittsburgh area and received his degree in fine arts from The Philadelphia College of Art.  His Masters Degree in Art Teaching is from Carnegie Mellon University.

He specializes in plein air work (outdoors) in the gouache-painting medium.  Cityscapes are his routine subjects.

Barry taught art in Pittsburgh public schools before coming to both the University of Pittsburgh and the Penn State University ten years ago.  He has been teaching introductory studio art courses to college students at these schools ever since.

He has had many exhibitions in western Pennsylvania and his work is part of numerous private and corporate collections.  Presently, he is teaching drawing and painting at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg.

The meeting is in the art room of McKeesport Area High School and is open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

March 2013 news

Spring Show dates

Wed. May 15 – artwork to Jacob Woll Pavilion
Thurs. May 16 – Judging and rehanging of entries
Fri. May 17 – Opening Night
Sun. May 19 – Tear down after 7pm
Mon. May 20 – Put away panels, clean up, etc.

Raffle basket for Spring Show

We will be putting together a “Breakfast Basket” to raffle off at the Spring Show.  I have purchased, at a very low price, a Presto Electric Griddle.  Included will be a large basket of breakfast items.  So we will need donations of anything non-perishable, i.e., pancake mix, syrup, tea, 1 lb. coffee, instant coffee, hot chocolate mix, canned ham, etc. to complete the basket.

As we discussed at our last meeting, the MAG will have three sketching/painting sessions during the summer months.  The dates are subject to change in case of inclement weather:

Dates for sketching/painting outdoors

Saturday, June 22 – Rose Garden, Renzie Park  12:30 to 4:00
Saturday, July 20 – Mingo Creek Covered Bridge – 10-3 (pack a lunch)
Saturday, August 17 – McKeesport Marina  12:30 to 4:00
HINT:  Bring your camera – take a snapshot of your subject for use later

Feig’s Bakery Windows

We have cleaned the windows, erected panels and hung some paintings/artwork/3D sculpture in the old bakery windows on Lincoln Way.  We’ll need more artwork.  Bring some of your work to the meeting and we’ll hang it for you.  We will have use of the windows until the owner sells or rents the property.  The doors are locked and the artwork is secure.

—Jan Catalogna

March meeting: Welcome Paul McMillan

Our demonstrator for the March meeting will be painter Paul McMillan. Everyone is welcome!

The meeting is at 7:15 p.m. Monday, March 18 at McKeesport High School.

Paul was born in Kansas, raised in Texas, lived in Taos, NM and Ithaca, NY, but now resides and works in Pittsburgh.  He is a self-taught artist best known for his landscapes and still life paintings.

Paul’s style ranges from classical to abstract and has occasionally included his original poetry and music as subject matter.

His artwork is strong in light, shadow and atmosphere, with deep, rich colors.  Most of Paul’s paintings are created with a wet color technique, using stand oil mixed with small amounts of beeswax and mastic resin as a medium. This adds to the depth and luminosity of pigments and works well for both impasto and smooth surfaces.  A very thin coat of varnish is used to protect the finished painting without altering the sheen or texture.  Many of the frames for his paintings are made from scratch and are hand carved and gilded.

Paul began pursuing art as a profession in 1978 and has received numerous awards including:

  • 1995 — Best of Show at Taos Spring Arts
  • 1999 — Second Overall, “25th Anniversary Taos Fall Arts Festival,” Taos, NM
  • 2001 — First Place, “20th Annual Art Exhibit,” Lewisburg Festival of The Arts, Lewisburg, PA
  • 2011 — Jurors Choice, “Halo Exhibit” Pittsburgh Society of Artists, Pittsburgh, PA
  • 2011 — Best of Show, “Westmoreland Art Nationals,” Latrobe, PA
  • 2011 – Peoples’ Choice, “Westmoreland Art Nationals,” Latrobe, PA
  • 2011 — Merit Award “Hoyt Mid Atlantic Juried Exhibition, New Castle, PA
  • 2012 — Joan Swanson Macey Award, 2012 Annual Exhibit, Pgh. Society of Artists, Pgh., PA


Next meeting: Feb. 19, 2013

MAG_logo_sm_BWPlease note that the meeting is on Tuesday this month, and not our usual Monday.

At this meeting, Larry Gilbert will pose for us in Indian garb. This should be a lot of fun, as we have never before sketched from a live model at a meeting.

Bring your sketch pad or paper, charcoal or pencil!

Yours truly (your humble president) will attempt to show you how to tackle the sketch. I have to warn you that portraits are NOT my forte, so don’t expect great end results! I will, however, be able to show you how to lay out the figure on the paper; how to use forms, i.e., squares, rectangles, circles, etc., to achieve the proper proportions, etc. If you have never attempted this before, now is the time to give it a try! —Jan Catalogna

February 2013 News

We have removed our art from the 318 Fifth Ave. site in downtown McKeesport, as they no longer have a receptionist and do not turn on the display window lights. Too bad this didn’t work out.

However, we how have a new display space in the old Feig’s Bakery in White Oak! The space is for rent, but we will fill the windows until that happens. We’ll talk about this more at the meeting.

We still have the rotating art exhibit. If you would like to participate by hanging your paintings in various businesses, please call Betty Bour at (412) 673-9264.

St. Stephen’s Church: We will be hanging our artwork in the banquet hall during their fish fries on Fridays. More about this at the meeting.

Also, we are still meeting at the church (220 Eighth Ave. at Walnut Street) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Bring your project or just show up to observe, chat and have a cup of tea.