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August 15, 2013

Tree of Character Earns Former Resident National Recognition



Denise Howard with her certificate for the Dixon Ticonderoga Award for Exceptional Merit at the CPSA awards ceremony in Brea, CA.

Santa Clara, CA Aug 12, 2013 - Former Scotland County resident Denise Howard has been named the winner of the Dixon Ticonderoga Award for Exceptional Merit in the Colored Pencil Society of America (CPSA) 21st International Exhibition, for her drawing "Tree of Character". The award is one of the largest in the show, and comes with a $1,000 cash prize.

This was also Denise's third acceptance into the annual exhibition, which has earned her "signature status" in the CPSA, meaning that she has the right to append "CPSA" to her name on art-related materials and publications.

This year's show is at the City of Brea Art Gallery, in Brea, California, July 31- September 13, and includes 125 artworks all done entirely with colored pencil by some of the best colored pencil artists on earth. Entries are from as far away as Japan, and were juried into the show by Danielle Susalla Deery, Director of Exhibits and Communications for the Oceanside Museum of Art.

"Tree of Character" by Denise Howard. 15" x 20", colored pencil

Denise also has received word that she has been granted Master Pencil Artist Status (MPAS) by the Pencil Art Society, based on an application and jurying process that included a portfolio of her work, documentation of her juried show acceptances and awards, publication in books and magazines, and gallery representation. The Pencil Art Society formed in 2012 in Quebec, Canada as an international art organization promoting art created with graphite, charcoal, conté or colored pencil. Denise is one of only four artists selected for the inaugural distinction. The other three are from the US, Germany and Australia.

Last but not least, Denise has just earned "signature status" with the United Kingdom Colored Pencil Society (UKCPS), for her third acceptance into their annual International Exhibition in England. She has three pieces in that show, to be held this year at Patchings Art Centre in Calverton, Nottinghamshire, from September 1 to October 6. Awards for that show will not be announced until the show begins.

Asked to comment on her trio of accomplishments this year and especially the large award, she said "It just goes to show that it's never too late to pick back up again on whatever passion you put aside years ago when life, career and family got in the way. It's been hard work because I'm still working full-time at my day job as a software engineer, but in less than four years I've far exceeded the art goals I expected to take at least 10 or 15 years to reach! Just working at it a little every day has really added up. And the most surreal thing about winning the huge CPSA Award for Exceptional Merit was when some of the best colored pencil artists in the world came up to me afterward and at the show reception to congratulate me, and it was as if I'd been "one of them" all along."

Denise, of Santa Clara, CA, is the daughter of Eugene and the late Wynona Howard of Granger, and was a 1978 graduate of Scotland County R-1 High School, where she studied art under Donna Billington and drew pencil portraits of several local residents. She also earned a BA in Art from Truman State University.

She now has her own website, http://www.DeniseJHowardArt.com, where she sells her original drawings and giclee prints and note cards of them. She also draws portraits by commission. She works primarily in graphite pencil and colored pencil, and is represented by the Cheryl Watts Pottery and Gallery in Monterey, CA.


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