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.