My History with Colored Pencil
by Amy Lindenberger

Colored pencil is a relatively new fine art medium, when compared with oils, watercolors, etc. The Colored Pencil Society of America has increased the popularity of the medium many times over since it first began in 1990. However, I've been working with colored pencil for more than thirty years, and teaching classes on their usage for more than a quarter century!

I was introduced to the colored pencil medium by my beloved high school art teacher, the late Ty Palmer. During my college career I experimented with a variety of painting and drawing media; things that were considered by some to be “superior” to colored pencil. But not long after graduating, I went back to colored pencil and learned that by varying the surfaces and techniques used, I could achieve results that mimicked the look of other media, in addition to creating the look of color pencil. This discovery was a blessing for me, because the translucent nature of colored pencil and the almost meditative character of the layering process so well suits my own working style and personality. As a result, I’ve worked exclusively in graphite and colored pencil since 1981, and have never regretted my choice.

In the Fall of 1984, I created a class plan for teaching colored pencil drawing techniques for adults, and taught my first class in February of 1985. Since that time I have taught colored pencil classes in many different venues, including both continuing education programs and college art curricula, as well as at my own teaching studio, The Linden Tree (see below). For many years I earned my living through teaching colored pencil classes and creating commissioned portraits in colored pencil.

In August of 1989, I was elated to read Vera Curnow’s letter to the editor of the Artist’s magazine, calling for the formation of a national organization for colored pencil artists. As many people are aware, Vera went on to become the founder of the Colored Pencil Society of America (CPSA) the following year. I am pleased to be able to say not only that I am a charter member of CPSA, but I was also the founder of its first district chapter in the Eastern Region, DC101 in Canton, Ohio. In the years since, I was awarded Signature Status by CPSA in 2002, and received the Society’s Five Year Merit award in 2006.

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