Saturday, December 6, 2008


Guest Speaker/Artist

Joan Miley (Programs) introduced our guest artist, Sandy Maudlin. Sandy is known to many of us who take, or have taken, lessons from her. She teaches intermediate through advanced level classes in her Lawrenceburg, Indiana studio. Sandy has a love of watermedia, and her talent is evident in her award-winning paintings.

Sandy began with a drawing of a cardinal on a branch sketched on Arches 140# coldpress watercolor paper. She had misketed around the areas she wanted to keep white and she had splattered misket over the paper.

Sandy talked about the “Good White Shape.” The Good White Shape (GWS) is a concept that was introduced to her by John Salminen, and it is a way of creating a strong foundation for your painting. Like we have a good foundation of bone structure holding up our bodies, the GWS is the foundation that holds up a good painting.

The Good White Shape has to have:
1. an oblique/diagonal thrust
2. one irregular yet connected shape
3. unpredictability in shape
By using the GWS, you take away the concept of painting things and introduce the concept of painting shapes. So Sandy was not painting a cardinal on a branch, she was painting shapes she carved out after she decided where she wanted her Good White Shape.

Sandy drew the Good White Shape on her watercolor paper using a watercolor pencil so the shape would be blended out when she added water. The GWS was one single shape that ran off the edge of the paper on three sides. Each place it ran off the paper, it was varied in size and shape from the other two places it ran off the edge.

Sandy wanted the dominant temperature of her painting to be cool with the warm bird the focal area. So, she began by painting around the GWS with a warm mix of colors.

Why use warm if you want the dominant color to be cool? Because this was just the first layer of paint. For the second layer of paint Sandy put down (after the first had dried completely and she had salted it for texture,) she used cool colors in order to grey down any area that was not the focal area (and she salted the paper again). The first layer of warm colors was painted in very juicy and pale. She let some of the color go into the GWS (just a bit) and softened areas where she wanted them softer.

As the first layer of paint dried, Sandy told us how she created her Good White Shape. She took her photograph, put a piece of tracing paper over it and then thought about where she had to keep white or bright (pure) color in the final painting. She then started at one edge, drawing inward toward the focal area, and stopped. She started at another edge and drew inward, and then a third, stopping where she wanted to keep white/pure color. She knew she wanted to have no parallel lines and no lines intersecting or crossing. And she chose a linear/straight line pattern. She also made sure her GWS took up about 1/3 of the paper (no more).

After the warm first layer dried, Sandy painted in cool darks outside the GWS but touching the GWS in some places. These darks will be the darkest part of the final painting so, naturally, they included some of the branch, the bird’s black face and tail. She used lots of pigment to get the darks, but it was still juicy paint and she covered only about 10% of the paper at this time with the darks. That had to dry before she could move on to the next step.

When that dried, she went back with cool colors over the warm colors she initially painted, and integrated the biggest shapes into the GWS, leaving whites where she wanted pure color. She salted the paper again.

By painting cool color over the warm color, the color glows, especially when all the layers of salt are removed so you see sparkles of warm color peeking from beneath cool color.

After this stage had dried, Sandy painted a warm yellow over the cardinal before painting red on the body. The yellow underpainting created a glow to the cardinal that wouldn’t have been there if she’d painted just reds for his body.

Sandy accidentally got a water drop on the background that created a blossom. This gave her a chance to talk to us about the unpredictability of watercolor. She said that, with watercolor, you have to have a Plan B in case Plan A doesn’t work. So in this case, she went with Plan B and created more blossoms so that single blossom didn’t look so lonely. She also said she would work more (perhaps putting more branches in behind the bird that would cross through the blossoms) if she had more time.

Once the painting dried, she removed the misket she had splattered and put on to retain the whites, she worked on finishing the feet on the branch, and she checked her edges to determine whether her hard and soft edges worked well overall. She also squinted while looking at the painting to check her values before calling it finished.

She ended today’s demo/lesson with a beautiful painting of a warm red Cardinal in a winter scene. The bird had a warm glow against the cool greyed background.

We thank Sandy for sharing this information with us and allowing us to watch her create using the Good White Shape. We also thank her for handing out information that gave us the steps to create our own painting using the Good White Shape.
Administration Reports

Shirley opened the meeting by reminding us of a quote she shared last month by Jean Michel Basquiat, a young black man who was befriended by Andy Worhol and died of a heroin overdose before reaching age 30.

“Believe it or not, I can actually draw.” Jean Michel Basquiat

Shirley then passed around a picture of a piece of art created by Basquiat that sold recently for $14.6 million. After looking at it, most of us understood the relevancy of the quote since it looked as if a 6-year-old had drawn it.

Shirley reminded us of the bad weather/closing policy. We will get emails from Marilyn Bishop and Rhonda Carpenter, and three TV stations will post the closing as soon as Shirley calls it in.

Mary Jane Noe (Membership) introduced our only guest today, Marcia Waller. Marcia has been painting for about 16 years and was invited to today’s meeting by Howard Krauss.

Carol Rekow (Treasurer) reported our current balance is $6,909.48, and that is close to the balance we had this time last year.

Shirley noted the nominations for the Treasurer position and we received ballots to vote. Alice Fossett spoke of her credentials for the job. Ron Beecher wasn’t at today’s meeting (he was the second candidate). After the votes were tallied, Alice Fossett had been voted in as our new Treasurer, beginning in March, 2009.

Shirley sent around a sign-up sheet again, asking any teachers to volunteer to facilitate the critiques in the 2009 year. She also asked everyone to consider the position of “Cheer Person” for 2009. This person would send out cards to members who are hospitalized or who have a death in their family. The position would mean you are willing to send a card from the GCWS to that member.

Art Shows/Workshops

Tamara Scantland-Adams recently received signature membership in the Ohio Watercolor Society. She had an article from the Enquirer on the back table that highlighted her portrait, which was accepted into the current OWS show.

Howard Krauss shared a poster from the Cincinnati Council of Aging show in which a previous member, Y.G. Tsuei, had won Best of Show. The poster featured his winning painting.

Sam Hollingsworth reminded us of his upcoming workshop (January 10-11, 2009), and had flyers on the back table for us. He also had flyers on the upcoming Baker-Hunt sessions he’s teaching in the new year. Remember, Sam’s workshop will be about more than just painting but will help you plan your paintings from idea to composition and drawing.

The Queen City Art Club show continues through December 17 at Baker-Hunt (620 Greenup Street, Covington, KY). Deb Ward, Susan Grogan, and Dot Burdin have paintings in the show.

Deb Ward also has paintings are in the Kennedy Heights Arts Center show which will be up through December 20. The KHAC is only open on Saturdays from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Marilyn Bishop’s paintings/prints are in the current show at Gallery Salveo called, “A Mixing of Media: Samplings of Eleven Artists. ” The show will be up through January 2009 at the Health Alliance offices (3805 Edwards Road, 5th Floor, Cincinnati, OH). Visit during the weekdays 9 am – 4 pm.

Kay Worz will be giving a workshop January 15-February 26, 2009 at the Cincinnati Art Club. The workshop will be every Thursday morning 10:00-12:00; it is only $100 per person for 7 sessions; ontact either Kay or Judi Clubb if you’re interested in signing up.

Other Business

Marilyn Bishop talked about our Lending Library of DVDs. The DVDs we have are from Creative Catalyst and, because we have purchased a few, we get 2 free DVDs from Creative Catalyst if we share information about the company. Marilyn distributed CC catalogs to each member, and asked anyone who wanted to be put on their mailing list to sign the sheet being passed around. In order to check out a DVD in our library, a member should sign the DVD out in the logbook that will be kept in the cabinet in the kitchen area.

Howard Krauss also said he was willing to create a lending library of his own from older style videos he has collected. If anyone wants to share in those, Howard will have a list handy for the next meeting and will take care of that lending process.
Critique Session

Sandy Maudlin facilitated the critique session for four paintings today.

Howard Krauss showed us two pieces:
The first piece was a landscape he repainted after receiving suggestions last month on the initial painting. This landscape in New Mexico featured golden aspens against a background of darker green trees. Howard’s painting was matted and framed so it was more of a finished piece but Sandy did comment on the whites on the left edge that still could be blended so the color was not white at the edge.
The second piece was of sunflowers in a vase that Howard painted during the paint-along with Nancy Neville last month. It had wonderful textures throughout and good negative shapes, but maybe it needed a touch of “hot” color on one of the rounded centers to make it more prominent than the others.

Raymonde Lamy shared a portrait she had begun. She needed to have more transition in the background color behind the girl’s head, and she needed to round the eyeballs a bit more to finish this one. It was a lovely portrait.

Janet Feuss had a very moody painting of a house and tree. The house looked unfinished in the left side which, maybe,added to the moodiness of the piece. It was suggested that she work on softening some of the branches of the tree that were too prominent, and to maybe finish the house just a bit more where it showed underneath an arching branch.

After Program Paint-Along

Sandy stayed to lead the paint-along so members could try the Good White Shape with her help. The members could create either a cardinal or another “winter” bird of their own.


We had a very interesting discussion today about copyright infringement and what types of references you can and cannot use for your paintings. Sandy led the talk about educating artists of the rules of each watercolor society and group. We talked about using our own photos or photos from friends and family members.

For more information, go to or check the watercolor society rules for entries to make sure you are following their individual guidelines.

When in doubt, check it out before you spend your time painting something you can’t show or sell.
Holiday Luncheon

We want to thank Joan and Les Miley for creating, delivering, and presenting our luncheon today. It was delicious and it provided a good time to sit and catch up with friends we hadn’t chatted with in a while.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Guest Speaker/Artist

Joan Miley (Programs) introduced our guest artist, Nancy Nordloh Neville. Nancy is a well known artist and teacher in the Cincinnati area, painting in both oils and watercolors.

Nancy began with her drawing sketched on Arches watercolor paper. She said she actually starts with a small thumbnail sketch. In that small sketch, she decides where her center of interest will be. She stated that it was very important to use your lighest light and your darkest dark in the center of interest. She also stressed the importance of watching your negative shapes as closely as your positive shapes.

Putting out dabs of fresh paint on a large butcher tray, Nancy began the painting of sunflowers and silver. She uses mostly Winsor Newton paints and some colors from Holbein and uses Loew-Cornell synthetic round brushes.

She prewet her paper by spraying lightly with a misting spray bottle and worked with the painting flat on the table. She picked this particular still life set-up to show us how to paint color and light in silver.
Nancy said she likes to work in transparent watercolors but doesn’t buy just transparent colors. She began with a mix of Winsor Lemon and Cadmium Yellow on the sunflowers, and then put the dark centers in, using a mix of Indigo and Burnt Sienna. She kept her brushes juicy with wet pigment and the paper was still damp so she kept from getting hard edges. She only uses Winsor Newton Indigo because all other brands she’s tried have too much black in the mix.

Nancy establishes a dark fairly early in her paintings, and she softens edges with a thirsty brush while the paint is still damp on the paper. She holds her brush back on the body when painting. A pet peeve of hers is when students grip the brush like a pencil. She says you need to loosen your grip and let the brush flow, becoming part of your hand and arm.

As she painted, she was thinking about complementary colors and how they work to add variety and interest to the painting. She “painted” the daisies by painting the negative shapes around the daisies and putting in the yellow centers. She then began the small silver pot, knowing that a mix of Cobalt Blue and Cerulean needed warming with Burnt Sienna. Reflected areas of the sunflowers on the silver would be much warmer, so she added more Burnt Sienna.

When the paper was drying, she took the spray bottle and misted the paper again. She talked about how she likes to arrange her composition so your eye is led into the painting and can move freely around the painting. She says an artist should paint what she knows and, therefore, she uses many things around her own home for her many still life paintings.

When painting the shadows, she told us to make the shadow color darkest when it’s close to the object and then fade out lighter as the shadow moves away from the object. She used a mix of Burnt Sienna, Indigo, Cobalt Blue and Permanent Rose for the shadows beneath the silver pot and tray.

She took a very small round brush and painted the strawberry in, leaving whites where the seeds would be. Later, when that paint was dry, she went back in with a pale Cadmium Yellow to glaze over the red.

In the past, she would have a totally preconceived notion of what the whole painting would look like, including the background. Now she lets the painting tell her what it needs in places. But she always paints her backgrounds last, even if the background is only a light toned color. For this painting, she said she’d do a dark background, which would make the silver shine even more, but she didn’t have time to complete the painting. She did place in a bit of dark background behind the daisies to show us how she’d incorporate the background and keep the soft edges of the flowers.

Nancy does three workshops a year, is a member of a plein aire painting group, and she teaches every Monday at the Women’s Art Center. She believes artists are lucky because they see things differently than non-artists, and the more you truly look at things, the better you get at seeing those hidden colors and shapes.

Although she is now painting in oils, Nancy said she thought a good watercolor painting was 1,000 times harder to paint than a good oil painting. She sells only originals, no prints, and considers herself lucky to be able to sell about 200 paintings a year. She said she loves to paint and as long as she can keep painting, that is what she will do, so she doesn’t try to sell prints.

We do hope Nancy continues to create beautiful paintings like this in watercolor for many years to come! And we appreciate her time today!

Administration Reports

Shirley opened the meeting with several quotes:

“When I work, I work very fast. But preparing to work can take any amount of time.” Cy Twombly

“All true artists, whether they know it or not, work from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness.” Eckhart Tolle

“There’s no retirement for an artist, it’s your way of living so there’s no end to it…” Henry Moore
“Believe it or not, I can actually draw.” Jean Michel Basquiat

Mary Jane Noe (Membership) introduced four guests, Joan Rothel, Joan O’Leary, Anita Marshall, and Jan Hay. Mary Jane said the membership directory will be updated and printed again in January 2009. Please get any updated information (address or email changes, etc) to her.

Carol Rekow (Treasurer) reported our current balance is $7,770.90.

Shirley mentioned that we will send out emails if there is a cancellation for bad weather. Also, Shirley will find out about the status of having the closing information listed on Channel 5 news. We did this last year but not sure it is still in effect. Anyone without email, please call a friend if in doubt about a meeting being cancelled.

Shirley reported three positions open beginning March 2009: two positions shared for Membership and one position for Treasurer. Deb Ward has volunteered to hold the Membership position that handles the computer work (membership lists, etc) and Jane Hittinger volunteered to hold the Membership position that welcomes visitors and makes our name tags. Shirley sent a form around for anyone to put down their name for Treasurer.

Deb Ward has volunteered to be the Chairperson for the Evergreen 2009 spring show, and Bonnie Rupe volunteered to be the Scholarship Chairperson for 2009.

Shirley asked any teachers to volunteer to facilitate critiques in the 2009 year by signing up on the sheet she passed around. It would be for one time per year only.

Art Shows/Workshops

Barb Pryor, Sharon Roeder, and Tamara Scantland-Adams have paintings in the Cincinnati Art Club’s 40th Annual Viewpoint show. Tamara also recently received signature membership in the Ohio Watercolor Society.

Howard Krauss reminded everyone interested in the Tom Lynch workshop (June 1-4, 2009) in Oxford to sign up.

Sam Hollingsworth had flyers on the back table promoting his upcoming workshop (January 10-11, 2009). Sam said he hopes some of the members will attend (and there is a discount for GCWS members).

The Queen City Art Club is having a show that runs from November 14 – December 17 at Baker-Hunt (620 Greenup Street, Covington, KY). The reception is Friday, November 14 from 6:00–8:30 pm, and there will be a table at the event with small items priced for holiday giving. Deb Ward and Susan Grogan both have paintings in the show.

Deb Ward also has paintings in the Kennedy Heights Arts Center show (November 15-December 20). The opening reception (Saturday) will be 6:00–8:00 pm. The KHAC is only open on Saturdays from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Marilyn Bishop is part of a group show called, “A Mixing of Media: Samplings of Eleven Artists.” The show is at Gallery Salveo, 3805 Edwards Road, 5th Floor, Cincinnati. The exhibition runs through January 2009 and the opening reception is Thursday, November 20 from 5:30–7:30 pm.

Kay Worz will be giving a workshop January 15-February 26, 2009 at the Cincinnati Art Club. The workshop will be every Thursday morning 10:00-12:00; it is only $100 per person for 7 sessions; and you can contact either Kay or Judi Clubb if you’re interested in signing up.

After Program Paint-Along

Although Nancy had a busy day planned, she agreed to stay and lead the “paint-along” session after the program. Ten members took advantage of the opportunity to stay and get one-on-one teaching of Nancy’s techniques and style.

Critique Session

Taylor Bush facilitated the critique session today.

Jean Soller shared a beautiful acrylic painting of white egrets. The colors were so colorful and juicy it was candy for the eyes, and the poured background created a nice backdrop for the white birds.

Howard Krauss showed us his latest landscape, painted on location in New Mexico. Howard saw the sunlight on the golden aspens, got out of the car, and painted this on the spot. The aspens glowed with a light, transparent yellow that shined brightly against the dark greens of the trees behind.

Rosemary Lennertz shared a high key painting of an Italian piazza. She had added figures to the scene, which were well done. It only needed a bit of darkening in the center of interest to be complete.

Taylor Bush displayed a portrait of one of her granddaughters, saying she had begun the painting as a floral and didn’t like it so added the portrait. The painting worked well with the girl almost wearing the hat of flowers – like it could portray the young girl’s wishes for flowers or memories of flowers in her grandmother’s garden.

Next Meetings Scheduled

Sandy Maudlin will teach us to paint bright red cardinals on watercolor paper. She will bring several drawings you can copy if you don’t want to draw your own, or you can paint from one of your own photographs of a cardinal or other favorite bird. Since this will be our “holiday meeting,” Joan Miley will provide the luncheon. Joan will prepare a variety of sandwiches with cheesecake for dessert. You may bring your own beverage or buy one here. Come and enjoy the artistic camaraderie and bring your appetite.

January 2009:
Barbara Smucker will be our guest artist/speaker. Barbara has a studio at Pendleton Art Center in Cincinnati.

Other upcoming programs will be announced when they are finalized. If you have any suggestions for guest artists/speakers, let Joan Miley know about them.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Marilyn Bishop is part of a group show called, “A Mixing of Media: Samplings of Eleven Artists.” The show is at Gallery Salveo, 3805 Edwards Road, 5th Floor, Cincinnati. The exhibition runs through January 2009 and the opening reception is Thursday, November 20 from 5:30–7:30 pm.


The Queen City Art Club is having a show that runs from November 14 – December 17 at Baker-Hunt (620 Greenup Street, Covington, KY). The reception is Friday, November 14 from 6:00 – 8:30 and there will be a table at the event with small items priced for holiday giving. Deb Ward and Susan Grogan both have paintings in the show.

Deb Ward also has paintings in the Kennedy Heights Arts Center show opening Saturday, November 15. The opening reception (Saturday) will be 6:00 – 8:00 pm and the show runs through December 20th. Remember, KHAC is only open on Saturdays from 10:00 – 4:00.

Marilyn Bishop is part of a group show called, “A Mixing of Media: Samplings of Eleven Artists.” The show is at Gallery Salveo, 3805 Edwards Road, 5th Floor, Cincinnati. The exhibition runs through January 2009 and the opening reception is Thursday, November 20 from 5:30–7:30 pm.

Monday, October 6, 2008


Guest Artist

Marilyn Bishop introduced Lou Austerman, our guest artist. Lou is a member of the Ohio Watercolor Society, the Kentucky Watercolor Society, the Cincinnati Art Club, and the Naples (FL) Art Association. He had formal training at the Cincinnati Art Academy and the University of Cincinnati, becoming a professional illustrator for GE after graduation. He currently teaches in Dayton, OH, and in Naples, FL.

Lou said he learned from Ray Loos and Ed Whitney and always paints better when he remembers what they both taught him about staying loose and leaving the detail until later in the painting. He said he has certain rules about painting which he shares with his students: 1) start with an idea, 2) paint the essence of the thing, and 3) use good composition principles and elements -- these are:

Composition/Design Principles: A good composition should have unity, dominance, repetition, harmony, balance, and gradation.

Composition/Design Elements: A good composition should be composed of line, value, color, texture, shape, size, and direction. Of these elements, Lou said the most important are value, color, and texture.

Lou said he either isn’t doing a good job or else is doing a great job teaching because some of the same students keep coming back again and again! He works from a very structured lesson plan when he teaches, telling his students about working with patterns in values and colors, and all the important guidelines to follow when creating a painting.

Lou painted a mushroom today as his demo. Before he picked up a brush, he had drawn out small sketches of the shapes he sees, the composition he wants to create, a good value study (still a small drawing), and he even had a painting finished for us to show us what the demo would look like. He also had a few color tests to see if the color he wanted for the background would work.

Lou prefers to work wet-in-wet so the first thing he did (the drawing was already on the paper) was prewet the paper, front and back, to make sure the moisture stayed a long time. When he wanted to get excess water off, he took a squeegee and scraped it across the paper! He had his paper on a piece of plexiglass, and it was “glued” to the glass due to the amount of water Lou put on the paper. He dabbed the mushroom shape with a paper towel to keep that area fairly dry. Using yellow ochre, he painted the background shapes, working on the largest shapes first. This meant covering some of the background, some rocks and leaf shapes.

He then took cobalt blue and burnt sienna to paint around the mushroom. He cut around the mushroom with those colors. The paper was still wet, and he used more pigment than water at this stage. The blue was used just to add a different, cooler color to play off the warms in the painting.

He continued to shape the mushroom by painting around it with darks, using a mixture of burnt sienna, ultramarine blue, and alizarin crimson.

He put this around the mushroom and on the dark side of the leaves. Then he used more yellow ochre to shape the leaves and put interesting shapes behind the mushroom at the top of the painting. He said he was using these colors to “sweeten” the painting.

Something that was interesting about Lou’s painting style was, no matter how many times he was using a color or a mixture of colors, he always used a scrap envelope (from junk mailers) to “test” the color to see if it was what he wanted before he put it on his watercolor paper.

When he got some color bleeding into places he didn’t want it to go (because the paper was still very damp), he took a clean, damp brush and lifted and blended the edges a bit more, softening any harsh lines or any bleeds into another area. He said when he got the background where it would “hold up” the mushroom, he would go into the mushroom, but not before. Remember, he’s painting from big to small, leaving that detail work until later when the paper is drier and easier to work.

Using a No. 4 round and a rigger brush, he began painting the mushroom with yellow ochre and cadmium red light, making it pop. Because you need to use your colors in more than one area, he put a bit of blue in some of the foliage and in the shadows of the mushroom; he put some cadmium red in a bit of foliage in the background, too, to give the painting color harmony. And for the final touches, to add texture, he scraped into the still wet dark paint of the ground and rocks.

Lou said that, when you paint something, paint two of them – in other words, paint on the same theme, not necessarily the same painting again. He showed what he meant by showing two paintings he had done when researching mushrooms.

When he was finished with the painting, Lou asked everyone to put their nametags in a bowl for a drawing – the winner would get the signed and matted painting. And the lucky winner was Howard Krauss!

Lou brought in several paintings to show his style of work - many were done by painting wet-in-wet as he did today in the demo. We had several dozen members stay behind for the paint-along after the program to learn more from Lou.

Administration Reports

Les Miley had intially opened the meeting, introducing Vickie Shepherd. Vickie filled in for Shirley Knollman today.

Mary Jane Noe (Membership) introduced two guests, Ardelle Duffy and Cindy Greene. Two other guests came in later: Marilyn Tanis and Carol Fensc.

Carol Rekow (Treasurer) reported our current balance is $7,393.73. Carol also reminded us that the November meeting will be on the second Wednesday of the month (November 12).

Rhonda Carpenter gave a short description of the most recent DVD she had borrowed from the GCWS library: George James’ Mastering Yupo. She recommended this to anyone interested in furthering their techniques on yupo. It is available for borrowing any time – just sign it out, take it home, and return it next month so others have a chance to see it.

Art Shows/Workshops

Sharon Woods Show

Kay Worz wasn’t at the meeting, so Vicki reported we had 30 members in the show and 3 sales.

Marilyn Bishop has paintings in the upcoming “Java, Jazz and Art” juried show in New Richmond, OH. The show will be one day only (Saturday, October 11 from 10a-6p), and all artwork will be for sale. Artwork will be displayed in the store fronts in town.

Marilyn also has a number of prints in the upcoming Maple Knoll show, along with Deb Ward and Mary Jane Noe. The opening reception for that show is Friday, October 10th and you can contact Marilyn for more information.

Sam Hollingsworth’s workshop at the Cincinnati Art Club (January 10 and 11, 2009) still has openings. Sam hopes to see some GCWS members there.

Deb Ward has an article in the online publication, Create Better Paintings ( about her casein painting technique. You can go online to read it.

The WAC Cultural Center in Mariemont is hosting “A Date with 8,” a group of 8 artists, including Carolyn Ross Hibbard and Wynne Bittlinger. The reception is October 3 from 6:00 – 9:00 pm, and the show will be available for viewing from October 4 - 18 from 1:00 – 4:00 pm each day.

Although the show is now closed for entries, the Cincinnati Art Club will display artwork for their 40th annual Viewpoint juried show November 7 – 23.

Howard Krauss reminded us of the Tom Lynch workshop coming up next year, June 1-4, 2009. The cost is only $450 for the 5-day workshop; that is such a bargain, spots will fill quickly. The workshop is in Oxford, OH, and you can contact Howard for more information.

Howard also has been given several frames from an artist friend. He is willing to give them to a good home if you are interested. Contact him if you want some of these frames.

Critique Session

Lou Austerman agreed to do the critique today. We had four members with paintings who took great advantage of Lou’s knowledge!

1. Howard Krauss shared a landscape he painted on location. Lou said the composition and color was good, and the sky was great. He said the center of interest could be emphasized a bit more by lifting out some color and making it lighter on one side or the other.

Lou said the first thing he looks for when doing a critique is the Center of Interest. The second thing he looks for is a 2nd point of interest. For landscapes, the “foreground rule” is that you either look into the foreground or over it.

2. Ginny Hall had a very high key painting to share with us. Lou said high key paintings are hard to pull off because when you are creating your center of interest, the “payoff” comes when you put the lightest light against the darkest dark – and a high key painting may not have enough contrast. He suggested that Ginny “snap” the composition by darkening an area in the left side by generating cast shadows to take our eye into a certain area and help the directional flow.

3. Nancy Wisely brought a very fun abstract acrylic she had created by putting her disposable acrylic palette onto paper and stamping the colors down! We all saw flowers so Lou said to pick a center of interest and take us there by strengthening that one area. Other than a few stems to help us “see” the flowers, that is all that was needed.

4. Marilyn Bishop brought in a beautiful painting of pears and leaves. There was a group “ahhh” for this one. Lou said the dominance was good, she had good unity in the painting, and she had picked a great color combination. The negative shapes helped to define the shapes of the pears and leaves and it worked well. He said “It’s a keeper!” and we all agreed.

Next Meetings Scheduled

November: Nancy Nordloh Neville will be our guest artist/speaker. Nancy will give a demonstration and talk, and will stay after the main program to lead the paint-along session. To get a preview of her work, go to Don’t miss this meeting if you like light-filled watercolors and want to know how to maintain your whites in your paintings.

December: Sandy Maudlin will lead us into winter in a colorful way, teaching us to paint bright cardinals on watercolor paper. She will bring several drawings you can copy if you don’t want to draw your own, or you can paint from one of your own photographs of a cardinal or other favorite bird. Luncheon will be provided for us.

Note: Mary Marxen asked Rhonda to tell the members “goodbye for now” – she is leaving on her regular trip to her Florida home. Mary will return to us next year in the spring, missing all the excitement and fun of a Kentucky/Ohio/Indiana winter!

Friday, September 5, 2008

September Meeting

Administration Reports

Shirley Knollman opened the meeting with this quote from Andrew Wyeth:

“I dream a lot. I do more painting when I’m not painting. It’s in the subconscious.”

Mary Jane Noe (Membership) introduced one guest, Linda Simpson, a retired elementary art teacher who painted in oils for 40 years and now wants to try watercolors. She picked a great day to visit since she got some great bargains on art supplies from our annual art sale.

Carol Rekow (Treasurer) reported our current balance is $7,516.77. This amount will need to carry us through to the end of the year. It seems like quite a lot, but we still have many expenses that will come out of this total.

Sharon Woods Show

Kay Worz said 24 members have signed up for the Sharon Woods show. The opening reception is on Sunday, September 21, and the show runs through Sunday, September 28. Kay won’t be there to take down the show on September 29 and asked someone to take over this job. She also reminded the members that there are still spots open for sitting the show each day from 10:00 – 1:30 and 1:30 – 5:00.

Other Business

Shirley reminded us that elections for Treasurer and Membership Chair will be in November and she still needs recommendations or volunteers for the positions. The Membership Chair position has been divided into two positions, so you may just want to be the greeter during meetings to take care of introducing guests and making name tags for members.

Shirley asked about the Tom Lynch DVD that was checked out. It did not work on the next person’s DVD player, perhaps due to scratches or something on the DVD. Marilyn Bishop will take it home and try it on her player to see if she can get it to work.

Art Shows/Workshops

Sam Hollingsworth’s workshop at the Cincinnati Art Club will be January 10 and 11, 2009 The workshop will be about the artistic process, from developing resources to planning your painting and composition.

Deb Ward is teaching watercolor classes at Dunham Senior Center in Western Hills and all are welcome.

Kay Worz is part of a show at the Sharon Centre September 11 – 14. This is Kay’s animal artists group and they have painted miniatures for sale at very affordable prices. The reception is Sunday, September 13 from 1-4 pm.

The WAC Cultural Center in Mariemont is hosting “A Date with 8,” a group of 8 artists, including our own Wynne Bittlinger and Carolyn Hibbard. The reception is October 3 from 6:00 – 9:00 pm, and the show will be available for viewing from October 4 - 18 from 1:00 – 4:00 pm each day.

The Cincinnati Art Club will have their 40th annual Viewpoint juried show November 7 – 23. Entries must be postmarked by September 15. Dr. Julie Aronson, the juror this year, is from the Cincinnati Art Museum and her expertise is in traditional paintings.

The Evendale Cultural Arts Center is having a Fall Open House on September 6th from 11 am – 3:30 pm. Come by and check out all their offerings, from classes in Art History and Art Appreciation to Dance.

Stephanie Rayner’s printmaking workshop in Dayton, OH will offer 5 days for $475 with lodging at the Retreat Center in Dayton. Marilyn Bishop has signed up for this workshop, and you may want to travel with her to Dayton.

Critique Session

No paintings were brought in for critique today.

Guest Speakers

Joan Miley (Programs) introduced Megan Gresham from Maple Knoll Village. Megan distributed submission guidelines and information telling us how to get our artwork into a show at Maple Knoll. They are having their first art show from October 8 – November 7, with room for 40 more paintings! The deadline for submissions is September 24 and the paintings can be any size, any subject. 20% of the sale of your paintings will go to benefit Maple Knoll Communities Future Care Fund. If you’re interested in this show or any future shows, call Megan at 513-782-2462.

Joan introduced our next speaker, Howard Bell. Howard and his brother run Depot Square Frame & Art in Sharonville. He talked about what to do to get your paintings submitted into a show, from initial photographing your work and manipulating it through to copying it on a CD for submission. He had a sheet with the information on the back table for anyone interested in doing it yourself, or he said you can bring your artwork to Depot Square and they will do all the work for you, presenting you with a CD ready to mail off to any art show that accepts CDs of your work for submission for only $15.00.

Howard also had a price list for turning your paintings into giclees on various kinds of archival paper. We could see the paper first-hand after Howard’s talk, since he brought several samples of the papers he uses for his giclees. Anyone who is a member of GCWS gets a 10% discount. Contact Howard at Depot Square at 513-769-1139 for more information or to make an appointment to bring in your work.

Things Howard reminded us to do when photographing, copying our work:

Shoot your painting in a shaded area outdoors so you get no unevenness of lighting on the painting.

Use a tripod so you get no movement that causes blur in your photograph.

Shoot your painting without the mat and frame – just the artwork – for submission.

If you think your painting will be a good seller but you aren’t sure about the cost of creating giclees, let Howard photograph it and keep it on file. Later, if the original sells, you can have Howard create giclees using the photo on file.

You no longer have to make a run of 25 or 50 prints when you have your painting made into a giclee. You can have just 1 or 2 printed at a time, with the file kept for future runs.

Market your work as much as you can and in the best way you know how. If you don’t know much about websites, get together with friends and share the cost of having someone create a professional website for your work.

Next Meetings Scheduled

October: Lou Austerman will be our guest artist/speaker. Lou will give the main program and will also stay after for the paint-along, which is just $10 per person.

November: Nancy Neville will be our guest artist/speaker. Nancy will also stay after to lead a paint-along session.

December: Sandy Maudlin will bring us into winter by teaching us how to paint cardinals on watercolor paper. She will bring several drawings you can use if you don’t want to draw your own, or you can paint one of your favorite birds. Luncheon will be provided for us.

Annual Art Sale

After the program, we had our annual art sale. There were plenty of bargains, including books, paints, framing supplies, palettes, and much more on sale at wonderful prices. Several members brought in their old art magazines and gave them away – you can’t get a better bargain than that!

Everyone left happy and still had enough money left in their pockets for lunch on the way home!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Administration Reports
Shirley Knollman
opened the meeting with this quote from the book, Art and Fear:

“A tolerance for uncertainty is the prerequisite to succeeding.”

Mary Jane Noe (Membership) introduced our two guests, Dee Bathiany and Kay Summe.

Carol Rekow (Treasurer) reported our current balance, after payment of rent (our biggest expense), is $7,713.68.

Other Business

Kay Worz said she has only received one registration form for the Sharon Woods show. She received one more today. If more members don’t participate, it may be a very small show, indeed! We only have one more meeting before the September 20-28 show.

Shirley asked that we all think about volunteering or nominating someone for the positions of Treasurer and Membership Chair which will become vacant after this year. She also asked us to check our Guidelines and Bylaws book to see how we are going to break up the Membership Chair duties for the future. (There will be two membership chairs, with one person doing the top four job duties and the second person doing the next four job duties.)

Art Shows/Workshops

Kay mentioned the upcoming Mike McGuire workshop at the Cincinnati Art Club. Mike will be teaching August 16-17 from 10am – 4 pm and the cost is $135 for non-members, $115 for members.

Kay also noted that Zaum Gallery offers discount framing for all artists. She placed cards in the back for anyone to pick up. The gallery is on Monmouth Street in Newport, KY.

Howard Krauss reported that Tom Lynch will be coming to Oxford, OH to teach a 4-day workshop in June 2009. The cost will be about $500 per person. Ask Howard for more information if you are interested in signing up for this.

Sam Hollingsworth put out fliers for his fall watercolor classes at Baker-Hunt and said he is thinking about having a workshop in January 2009 on the artistic process. The workshop will be possibly January 6-8 and will be at the Cincinnati Art Club. (And thanks, Sam, for bringing the free books – they all found good homes.)

Marilyn Bishop also put fliers out for the watercolor class she teaches at Mt. Washington. She reminded us that Stephanie Rayner, a printmaker, is having a workshop in Dayton, OH in October. The workshop will be 5 days for $475 and Marilyn said we can stay at the Retreat Center there in Dayton, if we wish. Marilyn and Jo Hogan have both taken workshops from Stephanie and highly recommend her (Marilyn has already signed up for this workshop so maybe you want to buddy up with her and travel together?)

Critique Session

Due to the length of the DVD/paint-along program today, there was no critique session.

Next Meetings Scheduled

September: We’ll have our annual flea market of art, as well as guests from Prince Art and from Maple Knoll Village. Bring any art supplies or art related materials to sell. Also, please bring dollars so you can make change, if needed.

October: Lou Austerman will be our guest artist/speaker.

November: Nancy Neville will be our guest artist/speaker.

December: Right now, December’s meeting agenda is open for suggestions. Members may be tired of creating holiday cards. If you have any suggestions for something to do as a group in December, let Shirley or Joanie know.

Guest Speaker/Artist = Virtual Workshop

The DVD, projector and screen were up when we entered the building this morning, and tables were set facing the screen (thanks Marilyn Bishop and Les Miley) for our first “virtual workshop.” George James’ DVD, “Mastering Yupo,” from CREATIVE CATALYST, was the feature demo/paint along. Each member received one 11” x 14” sheet of yupo and set up their stations. Then Marilyn distributed a typed outline showing us what George was doing at each step and where we would stop the DVD to paint along. This was a great help as you followed along – and a great reminder members could take home.
It was an interesting and very informative DVD, especially for those who are unfamiliar with yupo and what you can do with it. George showed us how you can draw on yupo with either watercolor pencil or just thicker watercolor paints. He says he makes his marks both ways and reminded us that you cannot use an eraser on yupo or it damages the paper.

George first demonstrated a variegated wash, letting the paints run and blend without brushing them together (his paper was on a board that was slightly tilted to help the paint/water mix run). He demonstrated a smooth wash, putting down the pigment and using the small paint roller to blend and “burnish” the colors.

He taught us when to paint with a very wet brush, when to use a moist brush and when to use a brush that is just slightly damp.

He used tissues to control just applied paint, to wipe off drying paint, and to lay over paint just applied to create a “ghosting” effect. (When you roll your paint roller over the tissue that is laid down over the paint, it lifts and helps lighten the paint underneath.)

For his darks, George used a mixture of Alizarin Crimson, French Ultramarine Blue and a Bit of Phthalocyanine Green. He got a very dark “black” without using black paint. He said he likes to use the darkest paint to get a unique look: he puts the dark paint on fairly thickly, then when that has dried a bit, he paints over it with a slightly damp brush (not wet), to “cut in shapes.” Then he takes a tissue, lays that over the section and rolls over that with the paint roller. When he did this, he got a painted area that looked like a woodcut or a print.

George used the tissues and the paint roller to smooth areas, to lift areas, and to just lighten areas. He also showed how you can glaze over color on yupo – something most people think you cannot do. Basically, he waited for the underpainting to dry and then just lightly brushed another color on top of it. The trick is not to keep brushing and go over that underpainting again and again but brush it just enough to cover the paint underneath without agitating it.

Speaking of agitation, George stressed that it is agitation and water that takes the paint off yupo. Agitation can mean brushing over a dried area, rolling over it with the paint roller, spraying it with a mist of water or with large drops of water and then lifting with a tissue – so many ways you can work to get so many looks with yupo! He even uses stamps pressed into paint and then onto the yupo and paints through stencils.

I think some members might try more of these techniques at home. Afterall, unless you used strong staining pigments, you can wash off everything you did today and start over!

Our thanks to Marilyn Bishop for her skillful organization that made this a great virtual workshop! And remember, any DVD shown at a meeting has been purchased for the group and members may check them out. Just sign the sheet in the cabinet in the kitchen and take it home to view. Please return them at the next meeting so others get a chance to check them out, too.

Friday, July 4, 2008


Joan Miley introduced Mary Marxen, our guest artist. Joan described Mary as pretty and colorful, and she certainly was both in her red, white, and blue ensemble. She had even decorated the room with balloons:-D

This is Mary’s fourth demonstration for GCWS. She must be doing something right to be asked back so many times!

She mentioned that taking 2 workshops from Joe Fettingis sparked her love of color. She described herself as a colorist, and said she has about 100 colors on her palette and she wants to use them all!

She said beginners often have a fear of the white paper and will do anything to keep from starting a painting. Toning the paper with a pale color sometimes works to help you get over that fear.

Mary certainly has no fear of putting down color, as she demonstrated for us today by first painting a small, loosely handled portrait of her mini Yorkie.

Mary stressed that the faster you paint, the better it is when you are trying for a loose look in your work. If someone says it’s too messy, just tell them it’s the style – like Charles Reid with his splatters and runs. She incorporates his style and the style of Janet Rogers in her paintings.
She brought out a color wheel and said she starts with yellow and works her way around the color wheel, using each color! Her favorite saying was, “Why use just 1 color when you can use 21?”

I think she used at least 21 colors in her portrait of her mini Yorkie, and she had to include her favorite color, Permanent Rose, which she adds to every painting.

Although it looked like she was just playing, Mary was careful in her painting, knowing to leave a little white, which she described as the beauty of watercolor. She also started her painting at the top, leaving the background for last.

She said, why do a background if the subject doesn’t turn out – just start over. She loves soft edges and softened many of her edges with a damp brush wiped along the edge of the paint, softening out to nothing in some instances.
She also used a little salt for texturing, and used clean water to get splatters and drips, tilting her painting so there were runs of color down the page. She always does the eyes on a portrait last, so she left her first painting to dry while she began her second painting for us, a lovely pink flower.

Mary said she has many quotes she likes and one of her favorites is what Frank Lloyd Wright replied when asked, “What is your favorite design?” He replied, “My next one!” That is Mary’s attitude, too, always being positive and thinking her next painting will be her best. As she teaches, she gives demos to her students and had many varieties of her Yorkie painting, and another version of the flower already painted that she shared with us.

Creating blossoms in watercolors, especially in a flower painting, is another one of Mary’s favorite things. She likes the spontaneous look of loose work and blossoms add to that loose painting style.
Although she showed us a finished painting of the flower she demoed for us today, she said she didn’t like it because it was too tight. She said she had tried too hard on it, and it wasn’t the loosely painted style she likes best.

Mary said you should not look at the previous painting when you are painting the same thing over, but you should start with a fresh picture in your mind. Her second version was much more “painterly” than the first.

Mary paints her leaves in four colors: Gamboge yellow, Cobalt blue, Sap green, and Burnt sienna. She mixes those four colors so her greens aren’t all the same throughout the painting.
She never uses black paint but mixes her own black from a selection of her darkest colors, and if it doesn’t turn out dark enough, she puts in a bit of Payne’s Gray.
Mary describes her style as “wishful meditations in color.” She transforms a subject into what she “wishes” it would be using meditation and prayer to bring her paintings to a colorful and wonderfully imaginative conclusion.

Although Mary said we wouldn’t learn anything new from her today, I think she was wrong. Those who already knew Mary learned a bit more about her gracious, giving, happy self; and those who didn’t know her as well came away learning what a special person this little dynamo in bright colors can be. She left us with a smile, a laugh, and some lovely and colorful art – and you can’t ask for better than that!

Some of Mary’s favorite sayings:

1. Don’t be afraid to be different
2. Don’t be afraid to play
3. Get to know all the colors on your palette.
4. Leave some white on the paper, working in a vignette style when it works for the subject.

And of course:
5. Why paint with just 1 color when you can paint with 21?

Administration Reports

Shirley Knollman opened the meeting with this quote from the book, Art and Fear:

“Fears about yourself prevent you from doing your best work, while fears about your reception by others prevent you from doing your own work.”

Mary Jane Noe (Membership) distributed copies of the newly printed Guidelines and By-Laws. She also introduced our guests, Donna Cameron, Jean Godden and Nancy Wisely. Donna has been taking watercolor lessons from Mary Marxen for about one year; Jean is familiar with both oils and watercolors; and Nancy has been painting in watercolor and acrylics for about two years. She is a retired professor whose specialty is the Sociology of Art.

Although Carol Rekow (Treasurer) couldn’t be at the start of the business meeting, she said later that our current balance is $9,127.03.


Bonnie Rupe gave us a run-down on how the recipient of our 2008 scholarship was chosen. Bonnie has written down some guidelines for the next scholarship, and reminded us that our 2008 scholarship recipient, Jenny Shen, has her photo and some of her artwork available for viewing on the GCWS blog.

Evergreen Show – May 2008

Deb Ward couldn’t be at the meeting but sent the following report. We had 97 paintings from 47 members in the show, which ran for six weeks. The opening was not as well attended as in past years, due in part to the opening of the Women’s Art Club in Mariemont that same weekend. We may want to make sure we avoid conflicts with the WAC when we schedule our dates next year for Evergreen.

There were 73 people who signed the guest book and 3 paintings sold: two by Joan Ammerman and one by John Howe. The GCWS made $175.71 after all expenses were paid.

Shirley said Evergreen staff mentioned there were a lot of leftover postcards. This raised the question of how many postcards GCWS gets compared to how many Evergreen keeps. It was suggested that GCWS get more postcards next year, and Shirley reminded members to put them in their local hairdressers, banks, groceries, etc. – anywhere a lot of people may see it and pick it up.

Joan Ammerman asked about the possibility of having a couple of meetings prior to the hanging of the 2009 Evergreen Show to prep artists who will be in the show. We can critique the artwork, the matting and framing, and give artists suggestions for their best paintings, etc. Howard Krauss and Eartell Brownlow agreed to head up this project when the time draws near.

Art Shows

Kay Worz distributed registration forms for the Sharon Woods show that will be held in September. She will be typing up the title cards and needs that information to her by September 3rd. Kay suggested that each artist consider the clientele of the Sharon Center when painting something for the show. Since it will be mainly Mom’s with strollers walking through after a day at the park, you may want to paint something more inexpensive in price and maybe nature themed. The entry fee is $15 whether you put in one or three paintings. Also, each artist may hang their own paintings if they choose to do so.

When Kay asked for a show of hands of those interested in putting something in the Sharon Woods show, we had about 20 people from today’s group. Since it may be a smaller show than what we had in 2006, it opens up more space for viewers to see the paintings and not feel too crowded.

Kay asked that anyone who wants to send her a photo of a painting for the postcard to do so by next week. Her email address is on the registration form she passed out. Everyone also got a registration form sent to their individual emails a few weeks ago.

Kay is instituting a new policy at the Cincinnati Art Club in her new roll as President. Anyone who is a signature member or an associate member can now have a show at the CAC. She wants to open it up for more artists to have shows and take advantage of all that CAC offers: 100 life drawing sessions a year, several weekend workshops, 2 individual critique sessions, and more.

Rhonda passed around the flyer for a workshop by Carol Carter, which will be August 8, 9 and 10, at Sandy Maudlin’s Greentree Studio. There are still places open, and the cost is $345.

Maple Knoll Village is starting a gallery (and Larry Pauly will be here next month to talk about the GCWS having a group show there). They are having their first opening show sometime in September or October to publicize this new venue.

Marilyn Bishop reminded us that Judy Anderson is having a workshop July 15, 16, 17 at the Women’s Art Club in Mariemont. (See sidebar.) Marilyn sent emails to those members whose email addresses she had, and she passed around a flyer on the program. If there isn’t more interest, Judy will have to cancel the workshop.

Other Business – August Meeting

Marilyn Bishop reported that our August meeting will be a DVD program of George James. The DVD is called “Mastering Yupo,” it is 75 minutes long, and we will watch a section then stop the DVD and paint along until we have gone through the entire DVD. A sample sheet of yupo will be provided to each member, but you need to bring:

A watercolor pencil – any color
Your brushes and paints
A small foam rubber roller (like for painting walls)
A box of Kleenex tissues
A spray water bottle that makes large drops, not misting
Any stamps or stamping tools you have

Each table will be set to face the screen and we will watch the DVD together and paint along, trying our hand at the challenging techniques on yupo for which George James has become famous.
Critique Session

Mary agreed to facilitate the critique session of 5 paintings. Howard Krauss used the Stephen Blackburn pouring technique to create a really stunning night scene with baskets that needed nothing more than softening of a pure white area to finish it.

Susan Grogan’s still life was painted in soothing colors and had an unusual composition in that she cropped the top of the flowers in the vase. There were just a few suggestions about carrying the color red throughout the painting, and also warming some of the reds in the foreground.

Marilyn Bishop shared one of her latest monotype prints. There was nothing to add as it was a very strong work in both composition and color. The only suggestions were given on how to mat it to make it an even stronger piece.

Nancy Wisely showed us 2 acrylic paintings – one in a traditional, realistic manner, and the same scene done in a nonrepresentational way. It was suggested that she keep in mind where she wants the viewer to look and keep that focal area prominent by using more intense colors, stronger value contrasts, or something unique that wasn’t in the rest of the painting. Her painting had a playful quality in the rhythms of the clouds, the tree, and the water.

Mary Lou Demar shared a still life with tomatoes that needed nothing more than to carry some of the reds into the pure yellow flowers because the red tomatoes in the basket were stealing the show from the vase of flowers behind it.

Next Meeting

August: DVD of George James – Mastering Yupo
September: Our annual sale as well as guests from Prince Art and from Maple Knoll Village.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Guest Speaker/Artist
Joan Miley introduced Mike McGuire, our guest artist. Mike is a nationally known illustrator, having worked for many Tri-State companies, including United Dairy Farmer and Proctor & Gamble. He is a past president of the Cincinnati Art Club and recently retired from his position as Dean of the Cincinnati Academy of Design.
Mike started by saying he and Lou Austerman were instrumental in getting women into the Cincinnati Art Club back in 1978. Together they pushed that change through.

Mike picked out a fairly simple subject of two apples on a stand to paint today. He wanted something simple that could be painted fairly quickly and finished in the time he had allotted today. He said gouache is a slow process and, as an illustrator, he knows it takes time to complete a painting in gouache but he didn’t want to leave us with an unfinished painting today. He said apples are perfect subjects because they have a transparency, have great reflections against their skin, and it’s just fun to paint them.

Starting with a piece of 100# Crescent illustration board that he had taped around the edges, he “sketched” in the apples with gouache, just putting shapes down. Illustration board has external sizing you can remove and open up the pores of the paper by brushing it with clean water before starting to paint. He did this before he began painting.

Mike described himself as a “brush whore,” wanting every new and interesting brush he sees! He was using a brand new Kolinsky sable brush to paint today’s painting. He described gouache as the best medium in that you can put it on, take it off, change it, etc. You can mix it with gel medium and make it Acrylic. It is forgiving and easily correctable. You can make it transparent or opaque and it doesn’t get muddy when you work with the paints for a long time – if you know what you’re doing.
Gouache was the perfect medium for him, as an illustrator, because of the versatility of the paint. He knew he often had to make major changes to paintings shown to clients and using gouache allowed him to do that.

Mike’s palette consisted of Fame Red, Burnt Sienna, Prussian Blue, Permanent Green Light, and Alizarin Crimson, to name just a few. Putting in the reds in the sketch, he then added some lights to show where highlights would be. He was painting directly on dry board and he keeps his paints wet as he goes along just by spraying his palette with clean water. At this stage of the painting, it looked “chaotic,” as he said, but he keeps working to make it look more dimensional and real. He said you can keep working a painting in gouache and knowing when your painting is done is important so you don’t overwork it. You can paint very loosely or paint tight and detailed, or use a combination of both styles. Mike reminded us that, at this stage you can still wash off 90% of the painting under the sink if you don’t like where it’s going.

Gouache doesn’t need any spray fixative when finished, but does need to be matted and framed under glass, like a watercolor. Mike uses Winsor Newton gouache which is about $8.00 a tube. Gouache dries true, not lighter or darker – what you see if what you get. As an illustrator, Mike says you really want your paintings to pop out and grab a viewer’s attention.

Mike worked a lot by glazing over areas that were dried, but he knows when he can go in wet-in-wet and not get mud. He put in the most intense red and painted tighter as he worked, putting in a dark background and shadow shape around the apples. He saved the brightest lights for later on when he stroked in some pale blues and greens on the apples and in the background with a very calligraphic style.

Painting a thin layer of clean water to blend and glaze over the whole painting tied the areas together more. He then wanted everyone to come up to see closely how he added 2 water drops to the apples.

It was crowded around the table as many members watched Mike add water droplets to give the apples an extra punch and visual interest. He reminded us of the rule for waterdrops: the darks go on the light side of the apples and the lights go on the dark side of the apples. The light hits the water drop, passes through it, and creates a shadow underneath the drop. He made it look easy.

As he worked, Mike talked about growing up on his family property where they had 500 apple trees. He said the kids all picked apples to sell and they had any kind of apple you could think of. This explains his affinity to apples, which he described as simple but happy and energetic. Painting them just makes him feel good.

Mike shared some of the original illustrations he had done for several children’s books. He painted some of them with gouache but some with Lumis dye, which is very fugitive, so he can’t display them. The Lumis dye gave him the vibrant colors he wanted and the illustrations in the book were true to the paintings in color. He used his children and even his own pet dove as models for the paintings in the books.

Mike removed the tape from around the painting and called it done. He then asked that we all put our names in a basket for a drawing for the painting! We all put our nametags in the basket Mary Jane Noe provided and the winner of the beautiful painting of apples was Ginny Deckert! Congratulations, Ginny!

The GCWS provided the illustration board and gouache paints for 15 members who stayed after the program to paint along with Mike and learn more about his technique. We appreciate his clear teaching style and his generosity in giving away a painting, and in staying after to lead the members at they worked alongside him.

Administration Reports

Shirley Knollman opened the meeting, noting the smaller than usual turnout due to the horrific weather the tri-state has been enduring since Tuesday afternoon. She said, although the rain was still pouring down outside, she saw the sun shining in the smiles of the members who made it to the meeting today.

She also shared this quote from Mary Todd Beam, an Ohio artist: “Perfect design is boring. It’s too predictable. Taking some risks give a painting personality.”

We had no guests today, but Mary Jane Noe (Membership) asked everyone to take a copy of the newly revised and printed Membership Directory. She asked us to take our own mailing label off the master sheet when we get our directory so she only mails directories to those who haven’t picked up a copy.

Carol Rekow (Treasurer) reported a balance of $10,242.52 and a current membership of 111.


Shirley reported that the scholarship award recipient has been chosen. Rhonda Carpenter reported that our scholarship recipient is Jenny Shen, from Mason High School. Rhonda noted that Jenny will be attending New York’s Columbia School of Art in the fall. Jenny left the day after graduation from high school for a trip to China and could not be here in person to receive the $500 scholarship today. The check will be mailed to Jenny’s parents. A photo of Jenny and some of her artwork can be found on the GCWS blog later this week.

Evergreen Show – May 2008

Deb Ward couldn’t be at the meeting so there was no report on the show. Shirley announced that Joan Ammerman and John Howe both sold paintings at the show.

Art Shows

Kay Worz, coordinator of the Sharon Woods show in the fall, said she had given information to Irene Light to place in the upcoming newspaper. Kay reminded us that we will need titles, prices and names of artists by the end of August for the September 20-28 show.

Kay is the Artist of the Month at the Banker’s Club which is on the 30th floor of the Fifth Third Bank in downtown Cincinnati. Kay has also been elected President of the Cincinnati Art Club and begins her tenure this month.

Marilyn Bishop had to cancel the watercolor printmaking workshop planned for July due to restrictions from the Recreation Center.

St. Louis artist, Carol Carter, will be giving a 3-day workshop August 8, 9 and 10, at Sandy Maudlin’s Greentree Studio. There are still places open and the cost is $345. Contact Sandy for more information.

Howard Krauss reported that the Oxford Community Center wants to host Tom Lynch and Tony Van Hasselet for workshops in 2009. If you are interested in attending, please let Howard know so he can give the Oxford Center an idea of the interest in the area to bring these internationally known artists to us. The cost will be about $500-600 each for a week of instruction. Tom Lynch can come September or October 2009, and Tony Van Hasselet can come May or June 2009.

Joan Ammerman reported that Maple Knoll Village is starting a gallery. They will be hosting an opening show in September or October to publicize this new venue for artists. They will take 20% of the price of sold artwork, and you should contact Larry Pauly at 513-782-2426 for more information.

Joan also noted that the Sycamore Center show starts July 11.

Joyce Friedeman mentioned her upcoming show at the Creative Hands and Artisan Studio at 605 Fairfield Avenue in Bellevue, KY. The reception, part of the First Friday event in Bellevue, is Friday, June 6, from 6:00 – 9:00 pm. The show runs through June.

Remember, all information on upcoming member shows can be sent to Sandy Maudlin to be put on our blog at (

Other Business

Although Dot Burdin wasn’t at the meeting, Shirley wanted to thank her for keeping our scrapbook. Shirley reminded us that Susan Grogan is now the scrapbook keeper for the GCWS.

Critique Session

Howard Krauss shared a lovely landscape painting he had completed. Although there was nothing to change on this painting, Howard still thanked the group for their input each meeting, which he felt has helped him grow as an artist.

Marilyn Bishop showed 2 paintings she had completed based on the Stephen Blackburn pouring technique she learned last month. They were both successful and very visually appealing.

Sam Hollingsworth brought a painting he did as part of a series of industrial sites. This one was of buildings and cement trucks. He got a lot of comments and suggestions for improving some small things in the painting and he thanked the group for their help. He said he will redo the painting with the suggestions in mind.

Next Meeting

Our guest speaker/artist for July will be Mary Marxen, who will give us a program on her style of painting very loose and juicy flowers. Mary will also stay after the meeting to lead the after-program paint along.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Because one of our goals is to encourage education in the field of art, each spring the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society awards a scholarship to a worthy recipient who is continuing his or her art education. Many high school artists' portfolios were presented to the Scholarship Committee, and the quality of work proved to be outstanding, making the final selection difficult.

This year's recipient is Jenny Shen, from Mason High School, who will study fine art this fall at New York's Columbia School of Art. Her exciting work showed strong versatility in various mediums and subject matter. The committee appreciated the way that Jenny dynamically expressed herself in her paintings, also commenting about the energy and liveliness of the work.

Congratulations, Jenny! We wish you the best in your studies and as an artist.
A few samples of Jenny's work are posted below. Enjoy.

Monday, May 26, 2008

JUNE'S MEETING - JUNE 4th - 10 am

Our next meeting on June 4 will feature speaker Mike McGuire, who is the Dean of Cincinnati Academy of Design. We'll watch as he shows us just how he uses opaque watercolor, called GOUACHE (pronounced ga-wash.)

Following Mike's demo, it's critique time for members who bring in one painting to be analyzed with suggestions for making improvements - only unframed work will be critiqued.

Plan to stay in the afternoon to experience painting with gouache. Watercolor board will be provided, along with the gouache, and the afernoon class will be $10 to watch or to paint along with everyone.

See you at the meeting!