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.