Friday, December 4, 2009


Our program today was coordinated by Joan Miley, who purchased the paint and the glassware. The members were given paint, a brush, and either a wineglass or an ornament to paint on in their chosen style. Some members did more than one.

Reminder: Put your painted glass in the oven on a tray. Turn the oven on to 350 and let it bake for ½ hour. Turn the oven off BUT leave the glass in the oven until the oven cools. Then remove your glass. Until you bake the glass and paint, the paint does not set.

After everyone had a chance to paint one or two glass pieces, we had our holiday luncheon. Our thanks go to Joan Miley, who prepared and presented the meal. I heard many people saying how delicious it was, and I think some went back for seconds. J

Note: Barb Pryor reported that Mary Marxen has just gone through a 5th surgery after hip replacement. Let’s hope this time is the last surgery she has to have to repair the original replacement. I’m sure Mary would love to have a card or email from you. Her mailing and email information is in the members’ directory

Winter Weather Notice

Reminder: All members should check the local TV stations for reports of closings in the coming winter months. Winter is almost here so please remember to make it your responsibility to check the news for closings when the weather threatens. And remember, Mt. Adams is built on a hillside so what might be easy driving in your neighborhood could be very treacherous for driving and walking in Mt. Adams.

Administration/Business Reports

Shirley Knollman (President) opened the meeting with these quotes:

“The only time I feel alive is when I’m painting.” Vincent Van Gogh

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is the powerful engine of success.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Membership: Kay Sparks, wife of Larry Sparks, joined us today.

Treasurer: Alice said, with the income minus expenses for the year, and not including today’s expenses for the luncheon and program, we would end 2009 with $559. She gave a good summary of the importance of members by saying:

“Each member pays $45 a year for dues. It takes 13 members to pay our rent each year. It takes 31 members to pay for the guest speakers each year. It takes 17 members to pay for our custodian each year.”

So each member is important to the continuation and growth of the GCWS!

Election for Leadership 2010

Shirley named the candidates for the open positions:

Eileen Hulsman, President
Judi Clubb, Program Chair
Joan Miley, Facilities

Motion was raised to accept the candidates, seconded, and approved unanimously. Eileen, Judi and Joan take their new positions beginning March, 2010. (If you have program suggestions, please email or call Judi.)

Art Shows and News

Sam Hollingsworth reminded members of his winter session watercolor classes at Baker Hunt. The session begins in January and it’s not too early to sign up for beginning or intermediate watercolor with Sam.

Marilyn Bishop has opened an ETSY shop online to sell her paintings. You can explore this at Just type in mbishop71 to get to Marilyn’s site. You may want to try this to sell your work, also. It is not an auction site like eBay. You set a hard price and that is what you get, minus some administration fees from ETSY.

Critique Session

Sam Hollingsworth brought in a new painting, a surrealist view of a landscape with a river and waterfalls that wrapped around in a continuous oval. The title was “Don’t Believe Everything You Think.” Several members commented on the painting, asking questions about intent, etc. It was interesting to hear Sam’s ideas about the painting and watercolor art, in general, stressing message over technique. Sam tries to engage the viewer enough to get more than a cursory glance at his painting, even if the viewer is puzzled or disturbed by the painting.

Future Programs

January: Peggy Lisnek will teach us how to experiment with handmade paper. She will talk about the nature of handmade paper, and demonstrate how to paint on it. This process produces soft images and is a perfect way to "loosen up" your paintings. For those who will stay for the workshop, you will receive a sheet of handmade paper for your painting. Just bring your usual watercolors supplies and a simple design for your painting. Class fee $10.

February: Sam Hollingsworth’s talk and demo will feature basic design, composition and pictorial development prior to painting. Sam is a graduate of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning. He will lead the paint-along after the program, which will be about "hands on illustrating." Class fee is $10.

March: Sandy Maudlin will give a talk and demo on painting with watercolors on yupo, the plastic “paper” first created for the printmaking business. Yupo is now used extensively by many well-known artists, including Sandy and George James.

April: Marilyn Bishop will give us a peek into her watercolor monotype-printmaking process. You will be able to do this without a press by using regular tools for brayers to transfer your print to your paper.



Friday, November 13, 2009


Joan Miley (Programs) introduced our guest speaker, the always colorful Judy Anderson. Today Judy was going to demonstrate how to keep our greens working together in the painting without being boring or muddy. First, she talked about the drawing and the beginning watercolor painting she had (a house with lots of foliage around it). She reminded us that we have to “plan plan plan our paintings,” which includes choosing a dominant temperature for our painting, knowing where you want the “zing,” and knowing if you want high impact color or more subtle colors in your painting. Then make those choices work for you.

Using only one pure green (Sap Green), Judy added 2 yellows, 1 blue and 1 red to her palette. She added those colors to the Sap Green to create a variety of greens for her foliage. She first made swatches of the colors to show what her palette would look like and the variety of colors she could create from just a few colors and one pure green. She showed us a finished painting to demonstrate how she varies her greens.

Judy said we must “orchestrate our colors,” making sure “our colors sing” by placing grayed colors next to pure colors, and by putting dark values next to light values.

In the demo painting, Judy wanted one set of trees to be pure color with lots of punch, and one set of trees to be more grayed greens. She said she wanted the pure color trees to stand out so they would make the building darker than they were in reality. She said we needed to remember that we are artists, not photographers, and we have the ability to change what we want in order to create drama and excitement in our paintings.

Judy noted that, when a painting isn’t working, 70% of time, it’s the values that aren’t right. So don’t be afraid of darks! She said she’d rather take a chance and go darker and possibly ruin a painting than have a “closet full of blahs.”

As she painted, Judy talked about how she normally paints, creating general blanket shapes of color and waiting to create more dimension with values, shapes and colors. She said every painting will have a domino effect = if you change one thing, you will have to change something else that is affected by the first change.

With all those greens in the painting, she wanted to have some warms in places to draw your eye and move your eye through the painting. She did this by placing some pure, warm yellow in doorways, for tree trunks, and in the sky to represent the sun.

Judy said one of the best things she ever learned in a workshop was, “Warm…Cool…Warm…
Cool…Warm.” Meaning, if you put something warm against something cool and continue, your eye will move through the painting easily.

Before the painting is finished, Judy likes to put in a little pattern and texture. Those patterns in her paintings have become a signature style for her, as well as her great design sense and use of color.
Judy said she used to do many value studies, but now she creates a line drawing, takes it to a copy center and has it blown up as much as 200%. When it’s blown up, she knows whether or not the shapes work in a large painting. She also uses a product called Color Aid, laying the large squares of color on a painting to test a color before putting it on her painting. She sometimes uses a piece of acetate on top of the painting, painting on it to help her choose a color if she’s ever in doubt

She also puts a thin line of paint around objects – not in the same color as the object but using a very dark color. This makes it like a watercolor with pen-and-ink, but without the black ink.

She will work more on this painting but, for today, the demo was complete and we got another look at the style and design elements that are so strong in all of Judy’s colorful, whimsical, beautiful paintings.

Critique Session

Judy led the critique session, and several members gained insight into how to make their paintings better using color variety and better compositional planning.


Judy stayed after the demo and meeting to lead the paint-along, sharing more of her painting knowledge with the members.

Administration/Business Reports

Shirley Knollman (President) opened the meeting with this “funny” from the internet:

“Researchers have recently discovered that the artist, Vincent van Gogh had quite a few interesting relatives:

A grandfather who moved to Yugoslavia = U Gogh
A dizzy blonde aunt = Verti Gogh
A brother who worked at a convenience story = Stopen Gogh
A magician uncle = Wherediddy Gogh
A psychiatrist nephew = E. Gogh
A niece who danced in a mini-skirt = Go Gogh
A very obnoxious brother = Please Gogh
A sister with a small bladder = Gotta Gogh
A cousin who moved to Illinois = Chica Gogh
A niece who moved to Mexico = Ami Gogh
A second cousin who drove a stagecoach = Wells Far Gogh
A birdwatching uncle = Flamin Gogh
A grand-niece whom no one has heard from because she’s been travelling around the USA for years = Winnie Bay Gogh”

Today we all got to walk around the room, viewing the beautiful paintings in the Cincinnati Art Club’s Viewpoint show. Several of our members got into the juried show. The members present were asked to stand by their painting and talk about their inspiration for their image.

Susan Grogan with her painting of a batiked swan...
Joan Miley with her painting of peppers...

Winnie Bittlinger with her painting of a puppy...

Rhonda Carpenter with her painting of a macro hydrangea...

Other members who were juried into the show, but were not present at today’s meeting were, Carolyn Ross Hibbard and Bob Nowicki. Both Carolyn and Bob won awards in the show! Congratulations to all members who were in the show. The watercolors really “held their own” with the oils and pastels. We want to give a big thank you for the hard work and organizational skills of Deb Ward, who coordinated and managed Viewpoint this year! It was a very strong show.

Winter Weather Notice

Shirley reminded the members to check the local TV stations for reports of closings in the coming winter months.

Election for Leadership 2010

Shirley postponed the vote for the new Leadership team until December, hoping someone will step forward and agree to take over the Recording Secretary position beginning March 2010. Anyone who is willing to fill this position, please call Rhonda Carpenter. She will talk to you about the position, what it entails, and will be very happy to help you get started in the position.

Shirley noted that, with over 100 members in the GCWS, we have had only 15 members who have or currently hold any leadership or committee positions. Perhaps someone new could come forward to fill a needed position? After a show of hands of those who regularly check the blog for minutes, it was obvious that very few go online to get the minutes. Maybe that is an indication that the position of Recording Secretary and the blog are not necessary?

Art Shows and News

Queen City Art Club has a new website: Sandy Maudlin will be giving a yupo demonstration on Wednesday, November 18th, at the QCAC meeting. Check the website for more information.

Sam Hollingsworth reminded members to pick up a flyer for his winter session watercolor classes at Baker Hunt. The session begins in January and it’s not too early to sign up for beginning or intermediate watercolor with Sam.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Guest Speaker

Joan Miley (Programs) introduced our guest speaker, Ken Bowman of Bowman’s Framing in Ft. Thomas, Kentucky. Ken took questions and worked with several paintings brought in by the members for matting and framing ideas. Ken talked about entering shows and what different shows request, stating that most prefer a plain white matting and simple framing, but he did say he has a new “color” of mat that is less bright white than previously used that creates a softer image. It is called “talc white.” You can have a double thick mat or a single mat or a single mat with a colored liner to match the colors in your painting.

Glazing options run from plain glass to glass with a UV protectant covering and the most expensive, museum glass, that makes your painting look like it has no glass on it. Acrylic glass is required for some travelling shows.

Ken talked about the difference between just matting and framing your painting or floating a painting, using Susan Grogan’s batik on rice paper as an example of one that would benefit from floating. You do this to show off the rough, deckled edge of the paper.

Critique Session

We actually got our critique session as Ken worked with the painting shared for matting and framing so there was no separate session today.

Flea Market/Sale

Prices were rock bottom with lots of good bargains to be had at our annual flea market and art sale. Books seemed to be selling well.

Administration/Business Reports

Shirley Knollman (President) opened the meeting with this quote from our own Howard Krauss:

“Art builds on the past, lives in the present, and dreams into the future.”

Howard reported on the recent DVD purchases from Creative Catalyst. We are accumulating a nice library of instructional DVDs with the addition of these latest ones from Charles Reid, Jan Kunz, and Sue Archer.

Marilyn Bishop asked that the survey she and Nancy Wisely created and mailed be returned so she can collate the results. She will then share that data with Shirley and the Leadership Team.

Shirley reminded the members to check the local TV stations for reports of closings in the coming winter months. There will be no phone calls or emails sent out.

November’s meeting will be the second Wednesday of the month due to the Cincinnati Art Club’s hanging of the Viewpoint show. During that meeting, we will vote or announce the new Leadership team. We have one person for each of these open positions: President, Program Chair, Facilities Chair. We have no one for the Recording Secretary position. Shirley asked that someone come forward and take the position and not be intimidated by the way it was done in the past, but make it your own. We can return to doing it without photos and we can return to doing it as just a handout left on the table during meetings – not on the blog. Still, no one volunteered.

Art Shows and News

The Southeastern Indiana Art Guild is having a show at the Lawrenceburg, IN library. The show opens with an artist reception on October 17th from 2-4 pm, and runs through October 24.

Marilyn Bishop has a show coming up this month at Caribou Coffee in the Anderson Town Center on Beechmont Avenue. The show runs through the month of October.

Susan Grogan and Rhonda Carpenter were accepted into the annual Viewpoint show. All paintings in the show will be on view during our November 11th meeting.

Howard Krauss has some of his paintings in a new gallery called Knollenberg on Main Street in Richmond, Indiana.

The Queen City Art Club show is at the Evendale Cultural Arts Center. It continues through November 6th with paintings by Dot Burdin, Susan Grogan, Sharon Roeder and Deb Ward on display. Sandy Maudlin will be presenting a demo for the Queen City group on Wednesday, November 18th at the Forest Hill Methodist Church.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

JEAN VANCE, Guest Artist

Joan Miley (Programs) introduced our guest artist, Jean Vance ( Jean is making a second visit to the group, and this time she demonstrated her process of painting traditional watercolor portraits.

Jean noted that you really have to get the “feel” of a person when painting his/her portrait. If you know the person, their personality comes out; however, if you just have a few photographs from family members, you may have to work harder. She has learned to ask to see photos before taking the commission so she doesn’t have to work from poor quality reference materials. She conveyed stories of decades old photos being given to her to paint couples who are now in their 80’s; and dark, out-of-focus snapshots received as the only reference she had before painting the portrait commission.

Jean began today with 3 sketches drawn on 140# paper. She doesn’t use a lot of masking fluid but she did mask out the highlights in the eyes for these portraits. She asked Joan to distribute a list of the colors she uses for different skin colors and hair colors; and an information sheet on the painting process for her portraits.

Jean works by layering/glazing her colors a bit at a time, creating the final value and color only after several layers. Her beginning layer is pale yellow ochre and cadmium red mixed on the palette. She adds colors to that mix to get warmer or cooler colors and shadow colors. She works from the largest shapes to the smallest shapes inside the eyes and mouth.

As she worked on all three portraits, she talked about the need to work carefully when painting the mouth, not leaving the teeth pure white but seeing that there are shadowed areas inside the mouth and darker areas at the edges. The eyes need special attention, too. Don’t leave them pure white but brush over them with a color to tone them down.

The shape of the eyebrows is important to convey the person’s personality, and you don’t want any hard lines in the face, just changes in values and shadows. Don’t overdo the nostrils but use subtle shading there. Also, as you paint in the final layers, be careful not to have too much water in your brush or you will get blossoms you don’t want in the skin areas.

Jean’s favorite watercolor paper is Arches and she uses both 140# and 300#. She normally works wet on dry paper, using a big, juicy puddle of paint on her palette. She said you have to know what you like and what works best for you and stick with it so you can learn how it behaves each time and there are no surprises. So stick with your favorite paint, paper and brushes and learn what to expect from them.

Starting with the skin, hair, eyes, lips, and then the clothing, Jean brings the painting to the same point so she knows whether her values are working or not. She puts in the background before the face is complete, using colors that compliment the face and hair.
Sometimes she uses a vignette to finish off a portrait but whatever way she does it, she finishes the background by working quickly from a large, wet puddle of color on her palette. She doesn’t want to have a halo shape around her portrait and she changes values in the background. She doesn’t add more water to the mix of her colors on her palette unless she wants to have blossoms in the background. She said you want to add interest in the background, but don’t detract from the image.

She worked on refining the features as she finished one of the paintings today. She said the way the shadows lie on the face define the face, and seeing pencil lines in the portrait doesn’t bother her because she considers the pencil lines to be “the hand of the artist” – a big part of the painting.

Jean was most gracious with our fiddling to get the overhead mirror just right and to get a microphone on her after her demonstration began. We thank her for sharing her knowledge, and for demonstrating not one but three portraits.
Critique Session

Jean led the critique session. Six members presented paintings for critique and discussion today.


Jean stayed after the program to share even more information. She shared some of her past portrait commissions to show the variety of styles and techniques.

Administration Reports

Shirley Knollman (President) opened the meeting with this quote:

“Behold the turtle. He only makes progress when he sticks his neck out.” James Bryant Connaught

Jane Hittinger (Membership) welcomed one new member, Sue Sessun, and one guest, Allison Kees. Sue recently retired and is getting back to painting after years away from it. She paints in oils, pastels and watercolors. Allison is just beginning her watercolor journey and looks forward to learning more.

Sharon Roeder (Scholarship) said she is sending out a form letter to all Art Teachers and Guidance Counselors in the Greater Cincinnati area high schools in order to make contact with potential scholarship recipients. She has guidelines for participation: the artists must present a letter of recommendation, a CD containing 3 pieces of 2-D art, and they must have a good GPA and be able to attend the May meeting to receive their scholarship check. She will report more as the process continues.

Art Shows and News

Deb Ward reminded us that the Viewpoint show deadline for entries is Monday, September 14th. Deb also mentioned that she is having a one-woman show at FCN Bank in Harrison that will run through September.

Mary Moore announced the Southeastern Indiana Art Guild show at the Lawrenceburg, IN library. The show opens with an artist reception on October 17th from 2-4 pm, and runs through October 24.

Sandy Maudlin’s students will have a show at Sharon Woods from October 3-11. (Many of the GCWS members are students of Sandy.)

Sam Hollingsworth reminded us that he will soon be starting his beginning and intermediate watercolor classes at Baker-Hunt.


We all wished Deb Ward a very Happy Birthday today!! Deb wouldn’t say what year this was but said it was also her Wedding Anniversary today.

Next month we will distribute a sheet for members to write down suggestions for future (2010) programs.

Howard Krauss passed around a Creative Catalyst brochure and asked members to write down titles the GCWS should purchase. (We get a very good discount on any purchases this month only.)

Remaining 2009 Programs/Guest Artists

October – Ken Bowman, of Bowman’s Framing in Ft. Thomas, KY, will be here to discuss how best to mat and frame your watercolor paintings to show them off to the best advantage. Bring in any painting that is unmatted and unframed. After Ken’s talk, we will have our annual “flea market” sale of art supplies, books and videos/DVDs.

November – Judy Anderson returns with something new, bright and bold to share. You can visit Judy’s webpage at .

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Guest Speaker/Artist Donna Pierce/Clark

Joan Miley introduced our guest artist, Donna Pierce-Clark, from North Hampton, Ohio ( A graduate of Reading High School, Donna said she considers Cincinnati her hometown, and enjoys returning whenever she can.

She began her watercolor adventure in high school and loved the flow of watercolors. However, she learned oil painting in college and painted in that medium until she became allergic to oil paints. When that happened, she switched to water miscible oils, and then to acrylics.

Donna now uses Open Acrylics by Golden, a product that is made to stay wet longer than traditional acrylics. They are not as thin or moveable as fluid acrylics, but you can work with them, and you can leave your palette open a long time without the acrylics drying out. The Open Acrylic brand is what she painted with today.

Starting with a light pencil sketch on Ampersand GessoBord, Donna laid down a very thin layer of Open Acrylic Medium with a one inch hake brush. The medium was thin so you could still see the pencil sketch under it. She began painting almost immediately, not waiting for the medium to dry at all but working while it was still shiny wet.

Saying she was not a colorist but had to work hard on color harmony and use, Donna credited what she knows about color to studying both Stephen Quiller and Elin Pendleton. Donna uses a simple palette Stephen Quiller recommends which places complementary colors across one another on the palette, and puts white in the middle for mixing.

Donna usually paints with music playing in the background, so she played music on her computer as she brought up her reference photo on the screen.
Using Cadmium Red and Phthalo Blue, she began putting the color on the GessoBord, using the complements to create a gray color for the sky. Donna said that, at this point, she is already thinking about values and where she wants her lights and darks in the painting.

She used Cadmium Red, Phthalo Blue, Cadmium Orange, Sap Green, and White as she worked the sky, the trees and the beach. A pure Phthalo Blue mixed with white was the color she used to start painting the water. She then toned it down with other colors, including interesting touches of oranges and reds at the shoreline and in the background trees.

As Donna painted, members asked questions about the Open Acrylics. Donna said the main difference between the regular and the Open Acrylics is the Open Acrylics will stay wet and workable for much longer, not drying on the painting for a week or more. She said the caps that come on the tubes are defective, allowing the paint to dry in the tube, so Golden will supply, free of charge, better lids – if you ask for them. On the palette, the drying time for the Open Acrylics is anywhere from 15 hours to never, depending on how thickly you paint.

Donna said you don’t rewet the GessoBord with a sprayer, but spritz your palette before you start painting and again, if you need to, while you are painting. You can reapply the Open Acrylic Medium thinly if you wait days in between starting and finishing a painting. She also said the drying time on canvas versus GessoBord is the same.

The finished painting today was a lovely beach scene, mainly blues and greens plus touches of complementary oranges and reds to add interest.

Critique Session

Donna led the critique session today, giving critiques to paintings by Jo Hogan, Marilyn Bishop, Leonard Williams and Shirley Knollman.


Donna led the paint-along, sharing her Golden Open Acrylics and talking more about using this medium.

Administration Reports

Shirley Knollman opened the meeting with this quote:

“The aim of art is to represent, not the outward appearance of things, but their significance.”
Membership: Jane welcomed our two guests, Sheryl Peterson and Nancy Pendery.
Deb reported that all the membership books were mailed. If you didn’t get a book, let Deb know.

Leadership Positions: Rhonda gave a short plea to the members asking them to step up and volunteer for the watercolor society positions coming open March 2010. She asked the members to think of the society as their own and consider how they would like to see the group move forward.

Vicki Shepherd, Jane Hittinger, and Rhonda Carpenter have been making telephone soliciting members for the four positions. They would like to see two members’ names put forward for each position so we have a real voting experience during our November 2009 meeting.

Remember, the positions of President, Program Chair, Recording Secretary and Facilities Manager all need to be filled.

Shirley talked about her experience as President. When she was asked to be President, her first thought was, “I can’t do that,” but she did it anyway. She said it has been a very rewarding position, and she’s learned a lot about her own skills and abilities in the process. She then reminded the group that the positions of Scholarship Chair and Show Manager will also be coming up next year and asked for volunteers. Sharon Roeder said she would fill the position for Scholarship Chair and Linda Bicknell Richardson offered to help her.

Summer Sizzle Give-away

For the last Summer Sizzle, a set of watercolor pencils with instruction book, watercolor paper, and a book by Cathy Johnson on watercolor pencil techniques was won by Barb Pryor J Barb was very pleased and surprised, since she said she has never won anything in the past.

This was our last Summer Sizzle give-away, but an End-of-Summer Spectacular Sizzle was added today: a $20 gift card from Hobby Lobby. Leonard Williams won the gift card! We know Len will make good use of the gift card for some extra art supplies.

Future Programs/Guest Artists

September – Jean Vance ( returns to share traditional watercolor portrait painting.

October – Ken Bowman, of Bowman’s Framing in Ft. Thomas, KY, will be here, plus we will have our annual “flea market” sale.

November – Judy Anderson ( makes a repeat performance with something new.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


Guest Speaker/Artist

Joan Miley introduced our guest artist, Jeanne McLeish. Jeanne was born in Clinton, Indiana, and began painting in 1970. She works in both transparent watercolor and oils, and she is a signature member of the Transparent Watercolor Society of America. She owns and operates Color Works Custom Picture Framing Gallery in Mooresville, Indiana, where she resides. You can view her work on her webpage at

Today, Jeanne led us through her process from drawing to final painting of an Italian landscape, including several figures in the scene. Jeanne said she always begins her paintings with a very tight, very detailed drawing. She wants to be sure she has a good foundation before she even begins to put paint to paper.

Before she paints, she thinks about several things, including:

Layers – how many layers will this painting have?
Since she doesn’t use the white of the paper, how will she cover the paper. This means toning the paper with a pale – usually yellow – underpainting.
Where should she leave the pale colors showing to depict sunlight?
Where will the darkest colors and values go, and what colors will be used for the shadow shapes. Also, will the shadows be warm or cool?
Jeanne said you have to paint big – half sheet or larger – when you put figures in a landscape painting - or else the figures look like ants on the paper.
Planning her painting includes working with a good 8 x 10 color photograph, making an 8 x 10 B+W copy of that photograph, and then creating a value study or a full drawing. Her husband built a large lightbox for her, so she can trace her drawing onto the watercolor paper without redrawing the whole thing. Since she likes very detailed drawings, that has saved her hours in the planning stage. She does still make a chart of where each step/layer will be in the painting. So her tip to us is “Be mindful!” Think about the values in your painting, the color temperatures and how they change, and remember you are painting shapes. Other things to think about is how you will tie the design into the painting; where you will have the painting go off the edge; and how you will move the viewer’s eye through the painting.

The 140# watercolor paper was stapled to a piece of Gatorboard. Jeanne prewet the paper, and began her painting using the transparent triad of Aureolin yellow, Rose Madder Genuine, and Cobalt Blue. She begins with yellow, laying that down wherever the sunlight is going to show in the painting. Since this was a painting of Italy, there was a lot of sunshine!
As she moves away from the sunlit areas, she starts painting with the Rose Madder Genuine. She uses RMG next so she has the option of making the mix either warmer or cooler, depending on how much of the RMG she uses. She puts in the Cobalt Blue later when she wants to give a cool color to an area. Each color she put down, she kept very pale as this was her “first pass” over the painting. She dried the paper with a blow dryer before moving to the Cobalt Blue sky area, saying it had to be bone dry before glazing the sky color. She wasn’t worried about putting Cobalt Blue over Aureolin in the sky areas because she wanted to capture the blue-green color of the Italian sky.

When thinking about painting the buildings, Jeanne said she can add in opaque colors at this point since she wants the buildings to have a density and substance. However, don’t try to glaze two opaque colors because the resulting color can quickly become too dense and muddy looking. You can put down one opaque color and then layer over that with a transparent color, and not worry about anything becoming too opaque. Jeanne built up pale washes on the buildings, keeping the warms and pales where needed; she reminded us that you work from big shapes to small shapes, saying, “First the dog, then the fleas!”

Jeanne worked with a No. 20 Winsor Newton Scepter Gold round brush and a large flat brush throughout the painting. She had her colors separated into three trays so the colors would remain clean: Aureolin in one tray, Rose Madder Genuine in another, and Cobalt Blue in the third. When she mixed colors for shadow shapes, she mixed a transparent orange in one tray, and a transparent red-violet in another tray. She allowed the paint to mix and blend on the paper, especially when she added Yellow Ochre (an opaque) and Cadmium Yellow (another opaque). She continued to glaze over the first pass of pale colors until she got the values she wanted and the colors she wanted throughout. When she put cools in the shadowed area of the street and foreground, she added Cobalt Turquoise to her mix of colors, darkening the foreground but leaving some areas that reflected the sunlight on the cobblestones.

As Jeanne painted, she tilted her board, causing the paint to run and blend, dropping in the colors on the paper. She said what she likes is “color flowing into color flowing into color,” and you could see that result, especially in the shadows. It was a beautiful, sunlit scene with rich, transparent shadows.

Jeanne had a finished, matted painting for us to see the final stages since she didn’t finish her demo today. She pointed out the women in the painting and how their bodies and gestures told a story. Apparently, these women were having a heated conversation, with much gesturing…so Jeanne called this painting Arch Rivals!

Critique Session

Jeanne critiqued five paintings. As she viewed the paintings, she talked about using color to convey a mood. She mentioned tying your colors together to create harmony. She talked about landscape painting, and how the sky needs to be the lightest thing when painting a sky and water scene. She turned one painting upside down to prove this point.

Jeanne reminded us to keep foliage masses varied in landscapes. She said still lifes should have good, varied, colorful shadows, not just flat, gray shadows. A shadow will be the color of the thing plus a touch of warmer or cooler color but never just more color added to dull it down by using the complementary color over the base color. Shadows may also show reflected colors from the main objects casting the shadows.

Howard Krauss brought in a painting he did in the Tom Lynch workshop. Jeanne said she wished she had painted the sky, which was beautiful with lovely peach colors in the clouds. She did recommend he lighten a post on the pier to cause the eye to go to the boat on the dock, which Howard said was supposed to be the center of interest.

Marilyn Bishop brought one of her bright, abstracted pieces painted with watercolor crayons. Jeanne said she had a beautiful design and a great division of space. She noted that, if she was going to nitpick, she’d tell her she had two paintings, not one: one was a half orange/half blue complementary study and one was a half green/half red complementary study.


Jeanne stayed after the meeting to lead a paint-along, sharing more of her watercolor technique and planning process. She handed out information sheets with “seven things to think about before you begin to paint.” These seven things included thinking about what you are going to paint and why you want to paint it; making sure you’ve chosen the appropriate point of view for your particulate interest; planning an effective composition which leads the viewer’s eye into, around, and throughout the painting; and making a value study to be certain your value pattern strengthens your design.

Administration Reports

Shirley welcomed us all, apologizing for the delay in starting the meeting. Due to the closure of I-75, our guest artist was delayed as she tried to find her way around I-75 this morning.

As we waited , Shirley shared these words:

“Artists have their ups and downs…for a while, everything you do is wonderful…or you think it is…then you slide down…pulling yourself up again is the most important part of your life.”
Milton Resnick (1917-2004)


Our only guest today was Jane Navarro. Jane is an art school graduate. She owned her own interior design business for years, and was recognized by members from her decades as a docent at the Cincinnati Art Museum.

Evergreen Spring Show

Deb Ward gave the final report on the spring Evergreen show, noting that 47 members entered 90 paintings in the show, with sales by Donna Cameron, Sally Wester, Leonard Williams and Deb. She thanked Marily Bishop for suggesting the theme of “Seven Year Itch” and the “Find the 7” game at the opening reception. Although the opening was not highly attended, we appreciate participation by members who gave painting demonstrations on weekends, including Sam Hollingsworth, who gave a special Sunday lecture on planning a painting. John Ruthven donated the price of his special talk to our scholarship fund, which was greatly appreciated.

The income from the show was $470; the expenses for the show were $460.74; unfortunately, that means we made less than $10.00 on the show. The scholarship fund did receive money from the Ruthven event.

Leadership Positions

Shirley reported that the nominating committee of Vicki Shepherd, Jane Hittinger, and Rhonda Carpenter will be asking for nominees for the positions of President, Program Chair, Recording Secretary and Facilities Manager. All of these positions need to be filled by March 2010. We will vote on those positions/nominations this fall. If you are willing to put your name forward for any of the positions, please let one of the committee members know.
You may be contacted by one of the committee members. Please step up and become a truly active member of the group, working behind the scenes to make the GCWS a very successful watercolor society!

Shirley reminded us that Sharon Roeder is our Publicity Chairperson. Any member who is having a show or who has won an award should send that information to Sharon.

Summer Sizzle Give-away

Continuing our Summer Sizzle, we had another surprise give-away of art supplies. Today’s winner was one of our newest members, Audrey McKinney. Audrey won an Arches Travel Journal and three tubes of DaVinci watercolors in primary colors.

We will do one more Summer Sizzle give-away, so come to the August meeting and see if you are the lucky winner of some very nice art supplies!

Misson Statement Review

Marilyn Bishop asked for one volunteer to help her revisit the GCWS Mission Statement as it pertains to exhibits and other aspects of the group. She read the mission statement:

“Formed in 2002, the society encourages the creation of watercolor at all skill levels and promotes interest, appreciation and enjoyment of watercolor and watermedia.”

The 2-person team will create a survey that will be sent to all members, asking questions about where we are going, what we want the GCWS to become, and how we are currently achieving our goals – and how the exhibit/show fits into that. Marilyn stressed that we are not suggesting stopping the Evergreen show but perhaps finding places with more traffic. Nancy Wisely volunteered to help Marilyn.

DVD Library

Marilyn reminded us to take advantage of our DVD library by signing out any DVD you want to watch. All you have to do is return it the following month. If you have any ideas for future DVDs, let Marilyn know.

Remaining 2009 Programs/Guest Artists

August – Donna Clark, Ohio Watercolor Society member, will demonstrate painting with liquid watercolors. She will provide the paints if you will bring a small piece of matboard on which to paint in the paint-along after the program. See Donna’s paintings at:

September – If you were lucky enough to attend the meeting when Jean Vance ( gave her Oriental Brush Painting talk and demo, you know how interesting this artist is. However, you may not know that she is a versatile artist and teacher. So come along for this meeting and watch as Jean paints a more traditional watercolor painting for us and discusses her process.

October – Ken Bowman, of Bowman’s Framing in Ft. Thomas, KY, will be here to discuss how best to mat and frame your watercolor paintings to show them off to the best advantage. Ken will also give any member personalized advice on any painting brought in for his viewing. The painting should be unmatted and unframed. After Ken’s talk, we will have our annual sale of gently used art supplies, books and videos/DVDs. Please bring small bills and coins to the sale if you intend to purchase or sell something.

November – Judy Anderson makes a repeat performance with something new, bright and bold to share. You can visit Judy’s webpage at .

December – Marilyn Bishop will give a demonstration and talk on watercolor monotype printing. You can do this without investing in a printing press so come and learn a very interesting and wonderful new watercolor technique to add to your repertoire!

Monday, June 8, 2009


Guest Speaker/Artist

Shirley introduced our guest artist, a long-time member, Leonard Williams. Leonard’s love of nature shows, not only in the name of his studio – Broken Antler Studio – but in his realistic depiction of natural scenes. He teaches both beginning and intermediate watercolor classes close to his studio in the Dayton, OH area. He has shown his work in local and national shows, and has won many awards. His paintings can be seen in galleries, on his web site at (, and in two of Nita Leland’s books, Exploring Color and Confident Color.

Leonard began as a sign painter and worked in that field for 35 years before taking up watercolor painting. He described himself as mostly self-taught but said he did take watercolor workshops from Nita Leland and Stephen Quiller, spending one week a year in Montana landscape painting, and learning. He learned how to work with casein paint from Stephen Quiller in Colorado.

Casein, by the Shiva company, is an opaque paint, used by illustrators since the 40’s. It is making a resurgence lately with a few of our members. It holds up forever, dries to a flat finish, and needs no glass to protect it when framing. Len uses a spray fixative, then paints acrylic matte medium over his pieces to hang them without glass. He brought a few finished pieces to show us the depth one can get with casein, and how it dries to a very matte finish.

Leonard had done a detailed drawing of the scene he was going to paint for us today. He normally does not do such a complete drawing before painting, but he loves to draw so he created this in addition to the painting. For the painting itself, he began with just a pencil line drawing on watercolor board (a sheet of cold press watercolor paper glued to a board from the Strathmore company). You can use watercolor paper, watercolor board, or illustration board when painting with casein. Casein pigments are completely opaque, but you can thin them down a lot with water, although you’ll never get the transparency of watercolor with casein paints.

Leonard had already started his painting with an underpainting of Alizarin Crimson and Cadmium Yellow. He painted over this with a variety of greens, blues and purples. When painting with casein , he begins with the dark colors and puts the light colors in last, like painting with acrylics or oils.

Placing the green over the red (or the purple over the yellow) allowed the underpainted color to peek through in places, giving the painting more visual interest. Leonard said he often layers his complementary colors this way, and he likes to tone his paper with color before really starting, only because he doesn’t like starting with stark, white paper. Leonard didn’t finish this painting but had other finished ones to share with us. He said he enjoys working with casein because you can fix and change things as you go without fear of getting muddy colors. Using the same tools in casein as you do in watercolor (water to thin and mix the pigment, and watercolor or acrylic brushes), you still have to realize you cannot reconstitute casein with water like you can with watercolor. Once you put casein out on your palette, you have to use it or it dries up and becomes unusable in just a few days. It doesn’t dry so quickly that you are rushed for time to work on a painting, so you have a day or two to finish a casein painting before you have to start with fresh paint from the tube. Leonard stressed that you must clean your brushes thoroughly with soap and water or you will ruin a brush once the paint dries inside it.

It is always fun to see different water media, and casein is an interesting possibility for those who want to expand from pure watercolor. We appreciate Leonard taking time to share casein painting with us today.

This painting of Len’s was from Old Man’s Cave in Hocking Hills, OH, one of his favorite places to go locally for plein air painting.

Critique Session

Leonard agreed to lead the critique session today. We had 3 paintings from members who needed just a bit of help with their unfinished pieces.


Len stayed to lead the paint–along program, sharing his casein paints. Several members stayed to learn more about his technique with this medium. They painted small paintings on watercolor board or their own watercolor paper. Leonard asked that all who try casein at home bring in their paintings at the next meeting for some more discussion and sharing.

Administration Reports

Shirley welcomed Mary Marxen back after her health scare. Mary talked a bit about what had happened to her, and recommends everyone living alone to get a LifeLine bracelet. She will now be wearing hers all the time. We were so happy to see her back and looking so well.

Shirley then shared the following inspirational words from Lynn Powers at Creative Catalyst:

“Every year around this time I find myself out in a field with a bit of paint and whole lot of frustration. For the other 9 months I am inside painting mostly portraits. It's hard not to meet these great landscape painters and think that there is something wrong with me if I keep myself locked up on such glorious days.

But then I am on that hill or next to that lake or under that tree and while the people and place are all pleasant, I can feel myself fighting my craft and myself. I keep thinking that I should like it more and frankly get better paintings out of the experience. But then I start to consider what I've heard a few CCP artists say. George James described himself as a studio painter. I had never heard someone make that distinction. Shirley Trevena said in her latest video Breaking the Rules of Watercolor that she works on a painting for weeks, sometimes months, before she is done. Certainly she is not out in a field the entire time. She too would perhaps classify herself as a studio painter.

So would I. I am a studio painter. I need time and quiet for my work. But it makes me realize that as a studio painter, I really do love painting plein air but not because of the finished painting. I like it because I pack a tasty snack and enjoy the view and the company of my fellow painters.

This coming week as I make my way outside I will acknowledge what I love about plein air and also pay attention to all the same issues that are important to me in the studio. I'll try to stay focused and optimistic. I'll step back and think about what I'm doing. I will work on not feeling rushed. And maybe I'll pack a few extra brownies, because art is weighed on more than just the finished piece but also the experience of spending a day trying something new.”


Jane welcomed one guest today, Gaylynn Robinson. Gaylynn found out about the GCWS from Deb Ward. She has been painting in watercolors for about 9 years after starting with oils and an Art Education degree. She said right now watercolor is a hobby since she only gets to paint when her job doesn’t keep her otherwise occupied.

Leadership Positions

Shirley reported last month that there are several positions in the club that will be open March 2010. She passed around a sign-up sheet for volunteers to be on the nominating committee.

Evergreen Spring Show

Shirley reported that the Evergreen show ended with 4 paintings sold.

Springtime Art Shows/Honors

Wyoming: Taylor Bush received 2 honors at the Wyoming Art Show, winning the Pat Painter Award and receiving 2 ribbons for her portraits. Congratulations, Taylor, on a well-deserved honor!

Bethesda West: Marilyn Bishop had her art accepted into the Bethesda West Art Show. Marilyn is expanding her venues to include many new arenas for her work. (She shared 2 paintings she had done today before today’s Critique Session, both painted in the Barbara Smucker style; they were lovely and bright with soft edges and a romantic look to them.) Susan Grogan also had work accepted into this show. Congratulations, Marilyn and Susan!

Susan Grogan announced that the Queen City Art Club invited us to join them for their 1st Friday gallery hop in Covington, KY. If interested in joining in, ask Susan about meeting time, place, etc.

Before announcing the guest artist/speaker, Shirley said, “This is the time of the Summer Sizzle. Remember those words for later!”

Summer Sizzle Give-away

For the summer months, we will be doing a surprise give-away of some art supplies. We’re keeping the technique of how the winner is chosen a secret – you’ll just have to attend a meeting and see how it works! Today’s winner was Jan Hay and she received a little goodie bag of art supplies: a pencil, an eraser, a tube roller and a little travel palette already filled with watercolors and containing a small water bottle – perfect for any plein air adventure! Jan said she was going to make this her plein air watercolor kit and take it with her on her next trip away from home. Congratulations, Jan!

Who will win next month and what will the goodie bag hold? Join us in July, and see for yourself!

Programs/Guest Artists Scheduled

July – Jeanne McLeish, transparent watercolorist, will be the guest artist and speaker. You can view some of her work at:

August – Donna Clark, OWS Member, will give a demonstration and talk about her style of watercolor painting. You can get a sneak peek of Donna’s paintings at:

September – Jean Vance ( returns to share a different technique with us.

October – Ken Bowman, of Bowman’s Framing in Ft. Thomas, KY, will be here to talk to us about matting and framing. We will also have our annual flea market sale of gently used art supplies and books/videos in October.

November – Judy Anderson makes a repeat performance with something new, bright and bold to share. You can visit Judy’s webpage at .

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Guest Speaker/Artist

Joan Miley (Programs) introduced our guest artist, Barbara Smucker. Barbara was an art major who put her art on hold after graduation in order to earn a living and raise a family. She now shares a studio at the Pendleton Art Center in Cincinnati.

Barbara doesn’t describe herself as a professional or an expert, but as a fellow painter who offers her own journey. She said she always feels lucky to be an artist and to be in the company of artists.

Barbara has experimented with different mediums, beginning her watercolor journey when her husband signed her up for a weeklong workshop through the Hudson Valley Art group where she became a student of Skip Lawrence. She studied with Skip for 10 years, each year taking the 1-week workshop with him to learn more. She has also taken other lessons and workshops locally.

When she first started painting, her goal was to “paint a good one,” so she focused on technique. She thinks that sometimes we get stuck in technique and lose the creativity of art. She thinks you should be able to put yourself in a creative place in order to make great art. With this in mind, she read to us from the children’s book, The Big Orange Splot, by D. Manus Pinkwater. She said this was what learning from Skip Lawrence was like. The refrain was: “My house is me and I am it, and my house is where I like to be, and it is the place for all my dreams.” Barb said you should change your house to fit your dreams – same thing with your art. Change your art to fit your dreams, your goals, your emotions – share who you are, not what you can do technically. We need to translate our dreams into our paintings. And in order to do that we first need to discover what we care about.
Do we love color? Texture? Do we have a personal message to share? During his workshops, Skip had his students paint an emotion. Have you ever tried that? What colors would you use to portray the emotion you chose?

Barb had several of her paintings on the easels and around her, and it was clear that she is a colorist. Color is the thing that excites her as an artist. Knowing that, she tries to use color to make her paintings more personal. She talked about color and color choices and how to personalize color in your paintings. But first she passed out a sheet on a simple and elegant design principle, taken from an article in The Palette Magazine, Issue 5, called A Lot of This and a Little of That.

What that means is you should start your painting with the thought: "What will I have a lot of and what will I have a little of in this painting?"

She compared this to Pierre Bonnard paintings where he has painted a room in gorgeous, sensitive color and then has a little black dog in the corner of the room – the room is a lot and the little black dog is a little. Skip Lawrence actually calls this idea “the dog” because of Bonnards inclusion of the little black dog in many of his paintings – the little something in the lot of something.

A Lot: the repetition of a visual quality in your painting, a color, a texture, the direction of lines, brush strokes, marks, light or dark values, temperature, etc. A Lot of something makes your painting read as a whole. It gives it unity and cohesiveness.

A Little: the contrasting element, the complementary quality that spices up your painting and gives it excitement and interest. The “dog” in the corner of the room! You should think about A Lot and A Little when composing and when critiquing paintings.

Barb said when she was a beginner, she made her color choices based on the local color she could see. If it was a red apple, she got out her red pigments and painted the apple with those colors. But after a while, she realized she could use color in other ways. She shared handouts with the following information on a variety of approaches to use when choosing color.

1. The Traditional Approach: Value as a Color Choice
With this approach, the artist bases color decisions on a value pattern; uses a full range of color values from light to dark; and squints a lot to see the values. This artist establishes a color dominance and uses the push/pull of warm and cool to create space and sculpt shapes. Rembrandt, Edward Hopper, and Andrew Wyeth are all Value Painters.

2. Pure Hues as a Color Choice
With this approach, the artist depicts emotional exuberance, happiness, joy; uses color straight out of the tube; uses pure, bold color; and uses a neutral gray, black or white against the pure hues to make the pure colors shine even more. Vlaminck, Derain, and Kandinsky are all Colorists.

3. Color Intensity as a Color Choice
This artist depicts mystery, passion, hope, thoughtfulness, sunsets, dawns; pays attention to the relative purity or brightness of a color, using mostly grayed or “dirty” colors against “clean” colors, placing pure hues only in the focal area. JMW Turner, Wolf Kahn, Emile Nolde, and Kay Hurley are Color Intensity painters.

4. Tones and Shades as a Color Choice
This artist depicts ideas or emotions that cause you to look at the paint quality/texture of the subject. There is often a softness or lushness to that quality. This artist uses color mixed with whites or complements consistently throughout the piece. Pastels work well for this. Tonalists are Gaugin, Monet, Renoir, and Rothko.

5. Complementary Colors as a Color Choice
This artist uses colors which are direct opposites on the color wheel, creating a visual vibration when used as pure hues. Consider using “visual complements” like red or magenta with turquoise or blue-green, using yellow with blue, or using cyan with orange. One of the most famous complementary colorists is Vincent Van Gogh who said, “I am always in hope of making a discovery…to express the love of two lovers by a marriage of two complementary colors, their mingling and their opposition, the mysterious vibration of kindred tones.”

Barb talked about how her goal in painting is to share emotions and feelings she has. She says she doesn’t want to paint a place, but paint how she felt when visiting that place, giving an example of the 20th anniversary trip she and her husband took to France. When she returned she had paintings that were not about the places she saw but were about the light and the colors that infused the villages and people there.

She also is making contact with her history in the small quilt-type paintings she is doing now: abstracts that have the same lines and blocks of color a quilt would have. She said, “being a Smucker from Ohio with a Mennonite background, there were a lot of quilts in my background.”

Barbara gave us a lot to think about when choosing colors for our own paintings in the future. She then began a short demo of how she uses opaque watercolors in her paintings. She uses mostly Cheap Joe’s American Journey paints because they are inexpensive (she uses a lot of paint in her technique) and have a nice opaque quality. She mentioned Coastal Fog as one she likes to add to paintings over a warmer underpainting.

Starting with her paper (140# coldpress) taped to a board, Barb started with bright, warm, full intensity colors, putting them on the paper in a scrubbing motion with bristle brushes. You could hear the bristles scratch the paper as she worked, really pushing the pigment into the paper. She prewet her brush (not the paper) and then wiped the excess water off with a towel so her brush was just a bit damp as she worked. She did not prewet the paints in the palette but did add fresh paint to one color that was too hard to manipulate.

The demo, an abstract, was going to be about prayer: the peacefulness and underlying energy of prayer. Barbara said she begins each painting with an an emotion. Then her goal is to SIMPLIFY (which is not always easy to do). The warm yellows, oranges and maroons she first put on the paper were to reflect the power and energy of prayer. The American Journey color, Coastal Fog, she put down over the bright, warm colors, toned everything down and reflected the peacefulness and silence of prayer.

It was very interesting to see watercolor paint used this way. Barb said she always begins with a pure, clean color and then grays it out as she works on the painting. Following Skip’s teaching, if she puts a color on that does not work right away and she knows it, she does not continue to add touches of that color throughout the painting to make it work – instead she wipes back to the underlying color right away. She did this when she placed some dark Brown Derby color on the paper and didn’t like it, lifting it back down to the underlying color.

Barbara didn’t have time to finish the painting, but ended the session by telling us, “The more you look at art, the better you will become at making art personal.”

Critique Session

Barbara led the critique session for the single painting shown today. It was a lovely, delicately painted seascape using beautiful, harmonious colors throughout – an excellent example of setting a mood or evoking an emotional response in a painting.

Administration Reports

Shirley welcomed us and shared the following quote from the Creative Catalyst website:

"Things are not difficult to make; what is difficult is putting ourselves in the state of mind to make them.” Constantine Brancusi 1879-1957

Shirley then introduced our 2009 Scholarship Recipient, Bryan Davis. Bryan is a graduating senior from Winton Woods High School and has plans to attend Wilmington College in the fall. Bryan not only has a passion for art but is athletic, competing in track and football. He shared three of his paintings with us, talking about his motivation, his class requirement for the paintings, and his goal for each one. Bryan works well in a variety of mediums and we are very pleased to award him the $500 Scholarship this year. He was so comfortable in front of the group, sharing his artistic experience; it was a pleasure to meet this young man.

Alice Fossett (Treasurer) gave the monthly report, saying the majority of members have paid their yearly dues so our coffers are full right now. She reminded the membership that this amount does have to last throughout the year for rental of the building, payment for guest speakers/artists, and show expenses. While it seems a large amount, it dwindles away by the end of the year after all the expenses have been paid.

Shirley noted that there are several positions in the club that will be open as of March 2010. We need to create a nominating committee to come up with names for the positions of President, Program Chair, Recording Secretary, and Scholarship Chair. Shirley will ask for three volunteers at the June meeting.

Evergreen Spring Show

Deb Ward reported on the progress of the Evergreen Show (April 26 – May 31). Although attendance for the opening was poor, we have sold three paintings. She reminded participants to pick up, or make arrangements to pick up, all paintings on June 1.

Deb thanked Marilyn Bishop for her suggestion to play the “Number Seven” game, which was a hit with the Evergreen residents and those who visited to view the show. They loved the game and the prizes, and it made them look closely at the artwork in order to find the tie-in with the number 7 throughout. Shirley also noted that the lecture given by John Ruthven was very well received and attended. Mr. Ruthven, at 84, is busier than ever and gave a great lecture.

Sharon Roeder reminded us of Sam Hollingsworth’s demo and
lecture scheduled for Sunday, May 17th at 2 pm. Please come and support Sam as he talks about the making of a watercolor painting from planning and preparation to completion. This information is on the blog, along with the schedule for all members who are doing demos during the show.


Deb Ward passed around a sign-up sheet for those members who want to return to receiving postcards as notice of upcoming meetings. She also had copies of the new members’ contact information that should be added to your membership directory to keep it up-to-date.

Springtime Art Shows

Queen City Art Club’s “Spring on Main Street” show (Chesterwood Village, 8037 Tylersville Road, West Chester) continues daily from 8 am to 6 pm through May 15.

The Stephen Blackburn workshop in Cincinnati May 15-16 still has some slots open. Contact Deb Ward for more information.

There are still spots open for the Tom Lynch workshop in June. Contact Howard Krauss if you want more information.

Deb Ward is teaching 2 classes at the Dunham Center and had handouts on the back table for more information on those classes.

Future Programs/Guest Artists

June – Leonard Williams will demo and talk about casein painting. He will have casein paints to share in the paint-along after the program. For those of you who don’t know Len’s work, you can get a sneak peek before the meeting by going to:

July – Jeanne McLeish, transparent watercolorist, will be the guest artist and speaker. You can view some of her work at:

August – Donna Clark, OWS Member, will give a demonstration and talk about her style of watercolor painting. You can view Donna’s work at:

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Artist Sam Hollingsworth Explores the Spontaneity of Painting Watercolor

In conjunction with the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society (GCWS) Art Exhibit “The Seven year Itch”, currently located at Evergreen Retirement Community,230 West Galbraith Road, GCWS member artist Sam Hollingsworth will be lecturing and demonstrating “The Making of a Watercolor Painting” Sunday, May 17th at 2:00 pm. Sam will describe the steps he takes to choose a subject and develop it into a completed watercolor painting.

There will be no admission charge. Free will contributions are accepted to benefit the GCWS Scholarship Fund.

Sam says” The issues facing the artist using a difficult medium requires certain steps be taken to achieve successful results. Planning, preparation and a willingness to work with the inevitable” surprises” make watercolor a wonderful and rewarding medium.”

The show is open daily through May 31st from noon until 5:00 pm with GCWS artists working on site each weekend (see below for schedule) presenting mini-demonstrations in watercolor.

The following artists will be painting demos at the times shown below. Stop by to enjoy watching a watercolorist at work at EVERGREEN RETIREMENT CENTER. More details on the sidebar.


Saturday, May 2, 12-4 --Sharon Roeder

Sunday, May 3, 12-4 --Lois Schaich

Saturday, May 9, 12-4 --Leonard Williams

Sunday, May 10, 12-2 --Joan Ammerman

Saturday, May 16, 12-2 --Susan Grogan & from 2-4 --Howard Krauss

Sunday, May 17, 12-4 --Sam Hollingsworth

Saturday, May 23, 12-4 --Joyce Friedmann

Sunday, May 24, 12-2 --Jo Hogan and from 2-4 --Mary Moore & Joan Abdon

Saturday, May 30, 12-4 --Shirley Knollman

Sunday, May 31, 12-4 --Marilyn Bishop

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Guest Speaker/Artist

Joan Miley (Programs) introduced our guest artist, Judy Anderson. Judy’s program today was called “Working from Photographs: A Resource, Not a Religion.” She talked to us about using the photographs we take as guides to our final painting, but to realize that a single photograph does not always equal great art. She stressed that you “add your own orchestration” to the photo you take to compose it in the best way, making changes that will make a better painting.

Judy began by showing us how she uses a photograph for her final painting. She takes the photo to a copy shop and has it enlarged in black and white. She wants the black and white copy so she can make the colors of the painting hers, and not be a slave to the colors in the photo. Also, when she begins working on her painting, she is interested only in the main subject (the center of interest), not everything else around it in the photo. She stressed that you need “good bones” for a good painting so your foundation work - your photo, your black and white enlargement, your value study, and your compositional changes – are all creating a strong foundation to make a good painting.

Judy is famous for working with blocks of bold, bright color, whether she’s painting with pure watercolor or with gouache. She said she works with the five kinds of compositions:
1. vertical
2. horizontal
3. overall pattern (like a quilt pattern)
4. circular
5. cruciform
If she can take her basic subject matter and make it work in all five compositional elements, she knows she has a good painting. However, she suggested you start with just two or three shapes unless you want to give yourself a headache!

Judy’s motto is, “Think Twice, Paint Once.” She spends time creating a good composition from her photo before she ever puts paint to paper.

After the preliminary talk, Judy started the demo with a photograph taken in Italy of a building, and the enlarged black and white photo. Using a blue watercolor pencil, she drew the lines of the building on her watercolor paper, making changes as she drew. The watercolor pencil lines will wash off once she puts water on her paper. She didn’t want the painting to be all straight lines like the photo showed, so she curved some as she drew. She didn’t want so much blue sky showing in her painting, so she made another building behind the building in her photo reference, cutting into the sky. She was working with the shapes in the photo, not “a building with windows, doors, and a roof.” She said she wants to have “less photo, more Judy” in her paintings by making the photo more interesting and more fun. She believes it is her job to compose the painting and make it work for the viewer.

Judy began painting her finished sketch. If she puts down a cool color, she goes over it later to darken it with a cool color; if she puts down a warm color, she goes over that later with a warm color. If you mix cool and warm over each other, you get muddy color. She said she is constantly aware of the shapes throughout the painting, and she normally puts in her darks last.

Judy said it doesn’t matter what the color is, break it up so you don’t paint lots of solid color. Even in her blocks of color in this painting, she added orange to yellow and had three different blues in the sky. She prewet a block and put in color while the block was still wet. She used Arches hotpress 140# paper. She almost always uses hotpress paper for her work.

Judy uses a lot of colors, but suggested that the more difficulty you have with color, the fewer colors you should use until you are more comfortable. She always leaves white space around her painting in case she wants to add a design element in that space later.

When working with pure watercolor, you may need to put gouache over it in an area. If you do that, you have to repeat that gouache in several places in the painting so that one spot doesn’t look like you had to fix a mistake. Make it look like you planned to add it there!

Judy didn’t like the way the door was looking in the painting so she added dots to the shape to change the look. She said dots or some pattern can take a boring area and make it more interesting, and you can tell from many of her paintings how much she loves patterns and textures.

When her colors butt up against one another, she makes sure to vary colors from cool to warm to cool, constantly varying the temperature of any colors right next to each other. This makes each color stand out more strongly. Her art inspirations come from Cezanne and some of Picasso’s work, and she mentioned how she loved Andrew Wyeth’s work because he really knew how to plan his shapes, even though he painted realistically.

Judy had two finished paintings on the easel in the front of the room for us to view more closely. These paintings really showed off her bright, whimsical style. You can also see more of Judy’s
artwork at her website. Just go to for more paintings and information about this warm, funny, talented lady.

Paint-Along Session

Judy not only gave us a very interesting and informative talk and demonstration today, she also agreed to stay after and share more about her techniques in the after program paint-along. Several of our artists took up the challenge and tried to learn more how to incorporate some of these techniques and compositional principles into their own paintings.

Critique Session

Judy led the critique session today. We had a large number of paintings up for critique, including watercolor florals, still lifes, a watercolor/collage piece, and an acrylic painting. As she critiqued the paintings, Judy talked about values and the need to change your values throughout your painting. She said we should not be afraid to put strong darks in our paintings. She also said it is important to change your colors – don’t just paint the same color green throughout in leaves or grasses, but vary those greens by touching in other colors to break up solid color
that can quickly become boring.

When Sam Hollingsworth shared his painting of four older men who seemed to be fading into the background, Judy talked about message paintings and how much she likes them. She said, as the artist, you are the entertainer and you tell the story. Sam’s story was about the way older men become invisible to the young. Judy said your message can be shared using color, design, or by your creative thought so you should work hard on the title of a message painting so the viewer gets it right away.

Administration Reports

Shirley welcomed us and gave a timely quote about photographs and painting from the Scottish artist, Peter Doig,

“I'm not trying to make paintings look like photos. I want to make paintings using photos as a reference, the way painters did when photography was first invented.”

Jane Hittinger (Membership) introduced our two guests: Audrey McKinney, from Hamilton, OH, is a Cincinnati Art Club Associate member who just started painting again after being away from it for a few years. Marilyn Zeh, from Cincinnati, said she was looking forward to learning more about us since this was her very first time at a GCWS meeting.

Alice Fossett (Treasurer) reported our current balance as $9,741. Dues are coming in, but some members still need to send a check to Alice for yearly dues. You cannot be in the Evergreen show if you haven’t paid your dues for 2009.

Evergreen Spring Show

Deb Ward reported on the progress of the Evergreen Show (April 26 – May 31). We still need people to sign up for sitting the show or giving demos on the weekends. All information on the show and the registration forms were mailed to all current members so everyone should have received that in their mailboxes.

Postcards were distributed today, and Deb asked members to take as many as they needed. Although our theme this year is “Seven Year Itch,” you do not have to have seven things or incorporate the number seven in your painting in order to be in the show. You must drop off and pick up your paintings for the show or ask a friend to do it for you if you are going to be unavailable (April 23 drop off and June 1 pick up). The Evergreen staff will not hold your paintings for you if they are not picked up; they will be taken to Deb’s home in Indiana and you will be responsible for picking them up there.

Sharon Roeder sent out publicity on the show. The information is also on our blog. Sharon has hard copies she will mail to you if you need them. After the John Ruthven lecture on May 1, she will revise the publicity handouts to give more information on Sam Hollingsworth’s demo. Sam is asking for “good-will donations” to be paid for the demo and will donate those to the scholarship fund. We appreciate Sam’s generosity!

Springtime Art Shows

Colerain Artists are having their “Expressions of Spring” show at the Farbach Werner Nature Preserve, 3455 Poole Road, Cincinnati. The show can be viewed on April 18 (10-4) and April 19 (12-4).

Queen City Art Club has their “Spring on Main Street” show at Chesterwood Village, 8037 Tylersville Road, West Chester. The show opens with an artist reception on Sunday, April 19 from 2-4 and runs through May 15. The show is open daily from 8 am to 6 pm.

Stephen Blackburn is coming to Cincinnati May 15-16 to give a workshop on his pouring technique. Contact Deb Ward for more information.

The Southeastern Indiana Art Guild’s spring show will be running April 25-May 2 in Aurora, Indiana. Contact Mary Moore for more information about the show.

Howard Krauss noted that there are still a few spots open for the Tom Lynch workshop in June. The price, only $450 for the 4-day workshop, is a real bargain in price as Mr. Lynch’s workshops usually cost much more. Contact Howard if you are interested and need more information.

The Brushettes Art Show at the Women’s Art Club Gallery in Mariemont will begin with an artist reception Friday, April 3. The Exhibit will run April 4-26 and can be seen Saturdays and Sundays only from 2 to 5 pm.


Bonnie Rupe reported that she and the scholarship committee will visit Winton Woods High School on April 22 to view/choose art for the 2009 scholarship award.

DVD Library

Marilyn Bishop announced that the Tom Lynch DVD is damaged so we have to take that off our library list. Remember, if you sign out a DVD, please return it the following month so other members have a chance to see these programs.

Next Program/Guest Artist

Barb Smucker, local artist, will give our May program and demonstration.

Special Notice

Shirley read an email from Barb Pryor that informed us of Mary Marxen’s injury and health issues. A card was passed around to sign and mail to Mary to cheer her. She has been through several health issues lately and we all wish her a quick recovery and safe return to our meeting in May or June! If you’d like to send Mary a personal card or note, her Florida address is in the membership directory.

If you know which two paintings you are going to put in the upcoming Evergreen show, please email Deb Ward with that information so she can begin on the name/title tags early. Here’s a photo of the postcard for the show, containing the artwork of Tamara Scantland Adams (lemons) and Joyce Friedeman (boat). Congratulations, Tamara and Joyce!