Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Marilyn Bishop is our first, past and current President!  She founded the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society where she has served not only as President, but also as Program Chair,  Exhibit Chair, Publicity Author, Library Manager and Historian.
New Richmond Rocks
Street scene along Front Street in New Richmond on the Ohio River.

Following her academic degrees awarded at the University of Dayton from the Department of Communication and Department of Religious Studies, Marilyn began to learn the art of watercolor.  Her enthusiasm led to further study at the Springmaid Watermedia Workshops, Cincinnati Art Academy Community Education, The Rosewood Center, Sinclair College Community Education and Baker Hunt Foundation.  She has learned also through self-study using videos and books as her guides.  She has taught watercolor classes at area recreation centers and has given workshops for the Watercolor Society.

Marilyn enjoys painting in new ways to create interesting texture and shape.  In addition to watercolors, she creates monotype images, collages of non-objective design using rice paper and stained paper collages.
Blue Chairs
Inside the Ross Goudy Historic site in New Richmond, Ohio. 
 Imaginary colors on classic furnishings.
Recently she has been painting watercolors in the style of Matisse and Judy Anderson - lots of color and cubist sections.  Each painting has its origin in scenes of New Richmond, Ohio.  Marilyn takes photos during festivals and events that celebrate the heritage of New Richmond.  Some photos are taken inside the Front Street Cafe and others inside the historic Ross Goudy House.  Most are just street scenes during events.  Then the buildings and people are combined and a painting is designed which is painted intuitively using pure color and contrasting colors.  The color wheel comes in handy!
Festival New Richmond
Street scene in New Richmond, Ohio.  
Musician was performer at weekly music gigs inside the Front Street Cafe.
Marilyn says "After the drawing is on the paper I start painting without knowing just where I am going!"
Rhythm in Red
Musician inside Front Street Cafe where music is offered three nights a week.  
There were two women; we see the hands and keyboard of one and the other was a drummer.  
Her clothes and hair were all creative interpretations designed to show the energy of the performers.
On display at the Front Street Cafe, 120 Front Street, New Richmond, Ohio
Her original watercolors have been shown at Gallery St. John in Beavercreek, Ohio; Favorite Things in Bridgetown, Ohio; Row Hose Gallery in Milford, Ohio; Red Tree Gallery in Oakley, Ohio; Front Street Gallery in New Richmond, Ohio and at the Essex Studios in East Walnut Hills.

For more information about Marilyn,  click on her blog here (or click on our blog roll any time).

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Trish McKinney
Joan O’Leary, Program Coordinator, introduced our Guest Presenter, Trish McKinney.  

We were impressed with Trish’s lengthy list of work and accomplishments.  Trish came all the way from New Carlisle, Ohio to speak on Inspirations for Paintings.  Trish sees herself as a Teacher, Painter, Dreamer, Believer, and an Artist.  First of all, she loves Color, emotional color.  She likes to “capture moments”.  She likes unpredictability and surprises.  She surprised us when she told that she had been in the U.S.Army. 
Trish brought some of her books, canvases and plaques for sale.

Trish’s main goal for her visit is to “Inspire us”, because that makes her happy.  She thinks it is more important to tell a story through your eyes than to have perfect technical skills.  One can paint a beautiful, realistic apple, and that is very nice.  Or, one could paint an apple with a bite out of it, and a little hand reaching into the picture.  How much more interesting.

Trish has been inspired mostly by books and words, particularly a book by Ann Boskamp, “One Thousand Gifts”, and a poet, Mary Oliver.  She loves fonts, and letters, and sentences, and partial sentences – which she has been using in her latest paintings.  One of the paintings she brought to show us had a part of a French love poem on the wall behind the people.  She very effectively captured a “moment” in this painting.  She asked for ideas for scenarios that the painting  seemed to capture, and was rewarded with four or five different thoughts.

Trish uses “journals” – which are usually large books that she buys for small prices, to paint in over the actual words, and captures feelings and colors and ideas, particularly when she travels.  She can then use these as inspiration for a large painting when she is in her studio.  Many times she takes a period of time in quiet, and goes through some pages, sometimes backwards, not reading the text, but letting her eyes pick up some of the words.  She says that we will see the words that mean something to us now.  Just let it happen; let it inspire us!  She brought some of her inspirational canvases for purchase.

Trish showed us some of her journals.
Trish prepares the surface in a special manner before she starts painting.  Sometimes she uses a new product, Hi-Flow, sometimes Gesso, to coat the paper or canvas.  She sometimes paints with all watercolor, sometimes with acrylics, and sometimes mixed.  For the demo, she was using Robert Doak (one-man operation) watercolors, which are very pigmented, on 140 lb cold press Arches paper.   If she is putting words “behind” the subject, she prints them out on a piece of tissue paper, then covers them with mat media because she can “lift up” from that.  She also sometimes uses Gesso to cover up some of the words.  She also loves Yupo.

She had already drawn her two women subjects at a table.  She started her painting with seemingly broad, random strokes.  She loves painting people’s hair, coming from a background of hair stylists.  She talked about how brushstrokes are important, and can make a difference in how a painting turns out.  She used a lot of water; she likes to let the paint mix on the page.  Trish feels a freedom with the backgrounds because she doesn’t care if it’s perfect.  She is most interested in getting faces and expressions on faces like she wants them – to “capture the moment”.
This unfinished painting is of Trish's two daughters "sharing a moment".

Trish worked on her painting upside down - she felt it needed more work in the upper left hand corner (lower right here)
Once she turned the painting right side up, Trish was much happier with it.
When Trish is almost finished with her painting, she turns it upside to see if it is “balanced”, that is, her darks and lights, her shapes and colors, etc.  She has a theory – that one either instinctively “gets” color or value, but has to learn the other.  She believes that she “got” color, but had to learn how to balance values.

Above are two of Trish's works - note the use of words in each.
From one of her Instructors, Trish learned; “Oh, would you look at this!”.   What she would like for us to take away from her Presentation is;  “Pay Attention;  Be Astonished;  Tell About It!”

Submitted by Joyce Grothaus, Secretary, GCWS, July, 2014

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

MINUTES - JULY 2, 2014

Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society
July 2, 2014 Meeting/Program

On a bright sunny day in July, our President, Marilyn Bishop, called the meeting to order.   She welcomed back member Taylor Bush, and guests Jacklyn Sullivan, a newbie painter who is from Westwood, and Deb Ward students Laura Crew and Mary Ellen Klenk.

Carol McAfee passed out invitations to our Annual Art Show/Exhibit that members can distribute to family and friends.  After all the hard work and effort that we all put into the Show, we want to be sure that lots of people come to see our Art.

Treasurer Sally Wester gave her report.  Our finances are in good shape.  If members ever want to see the specifics, Sally will be happy to talk with you about them.

Diana Marra has won two awards 3rd Place at the Evendale Fine Art Exhibit, and the Purchase Award at Art Comes Alive!  This show runs through July 11 at Art Design Consultants in downtown Cincinnati.  Diana has also been published in International Contemporary Artists, Vol 8, and is showing at “Art on the Commons”, Aug 10 in Kettering OH.

Deb Ward won the Outstanding Watercolor Award at the Hoosier Salon, for her painting Japanese Tea which also sold.  This show is from June 26 through Aug. 23.  Deb is also offering a workshop at the Cincinnati Art Club on Painting Silver & Lace on Oct. 26-27, 10-4 each day.  Cost:  $125.  Please contact Deb for more information.

Marilyn told about her pieces and sales at the Café in New Richmond.  Howard told us the Tony Couch workshop on 7/14 has a few open places.

Membership:  We have four more new members; keep letting your friends know about the great things we have going on here at the Society!

Joyce Grothaus gave a report on our upcoming Bus Day-Trip – Aug 6.  We are very close to having enough people going.  A number of people at the meeting handed in their Reservation and their check.  For those who live “up North”, and wish to avoid driving down to Cincinnati to get on the bus, we have designated the Mariott Hotel in West Chester (right along I-75, exit 19, near Union Center Blvd) as a pickup spot.  We strongly suggest that if you take this option, you let Joyce know that you will meet us there, and be there by 9:45.  We cannot be waiting for you at the Art Club, and we will be stopping for only a few minutes at the Mariott to pick up the people who are waiting there.  We certainly don’t want to miss anybody!
Carol McAfee gave a report on our Show/Exhibit at The Barn in August.  She has been working very hard, and has almost everything in place.  She asked for just a couple more volunteers (which she obtained later in the meeting).

Program Coordinator Joan O’Leary gave us a rundown on the upcoming programs for the remainder of this year:  
September – Barb Smucker - Contrast Through Color
October – Susan Grogan – TBD
November – Feedback Day; Critiques; Incentives
December - Holiday Party.  

They all sound interesting, right?

Submitted by Joyce Grothaus, Secretary, GCWS, July, 2014

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society Summer Exhibit

Discover the visual expressions of local watercolor artists at the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society in their summer exhibit at “The Barn” 6980 Cambridge Ave., in Mariemont, Ohio, August 16 through August 24.  Hours on the weekends: 1-4 p.m.;Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The grand opening on August 171-4 p.m. offers the opportunity to meet the artists who capture pleasing harmony in a variety of subjects from traditional still lifes to landscapes.  The free show is open to the public.

Juror for the show is Nancy Nordloh Neville, an award winning nationally recognized watercolorist.   She will select three paintings for prize money plus paintings for Honorable Mention.

The Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society is the only organization in the Tri-state area that focuses exclusively on water-based painting.  Although watercolor is the primary paint, members also use gouache, casein, and acrylic on surfaces such as paper, Yupo (a plastic product), board, canvas and hand-made paper.  The art might be brushed, sprayed, poured or printed onto the surface. 

Begun in 2002 with the intent of offering a gathering place to paint, the organization quickly grew from 29 members to over 100.   Annual workshops, exhibits, and tours are available to members for $45 annually.   Over 50 percent of the members consider themselves advanced artists. 

The watercolor society offers painting demonstrations followed by open studio painting, the first Wednesday of March through December at 10 a.m. at the Cincinnati Art Club, 1021 Parkside Place in Mt. Adams.  Guests are welcome to attend.

Friday, June 20, 2014


June’s Program was presented by Carol Carter.  She has done several programs and a Workshop for GCWS.  Carol is a well-known International Artist.  She was named Best St. Louis Artist in 2000.  She started the North American Artists Group – 5 artists from North America that go to other countries to represent North America.  Her list of accomplishments is totally amazing.

The title of this program was “The Watercolor Life”.  She says what she likes is the “process” of making a painting.  A lot of her paintings have psychological titles, describing the feeling of the painting, or about something she is, or was, going through at the time.  She told that most of her figurative paintings are of people she knows and loves.  She does do self-portraits, fewer now than earlier in her career; usually doing a self-portrait every 10 years.

Carol started by showing her collection of swimmers – paintings done over the years.  Her show Good Girl/Bad Girl, was all about swimmers.  It was one show – two openings.  She wanted to show that all good girls aren’t all good, and all bad girls aren’t all bad.  The show was a success.

When the recession hit, she went to selling smaller paintings and bumped up her Marketing.  While she once sold a lot of big paintings; now she sells more the size of a ¼ sheet.  Florals have become a big seller for her, even though when she first started, she hardly ever painted them.  As a professional she has learned to bring her style to the subject rather than let the subject dictate her style.

Carol does use photo references and draws on the watercolor paper.  For small paintings, she uses 140 lb.; for large, 300 lb., Arches paper.  A lot of her shows are painting groups with a theme, such as Everglades, Bubbles (fish), and she is now working on an Asian-Influence series.  Her Everglades show was right after the BP oil spill.  She had paintings of the pristine water and wildlife at the everglades, and some of the effects of the oil spill.

Carol has been commissioned by St. Mary’s Hospital in Jeffersonville, MO for 15 paintings to be hung in the new hospital.  Crate & Barrel have bought the rights for a couple of her paintings.  They print them and frame them for the store.  It has become a huge marketing opportunity because they attach a profile of her and her Blog on each painting.    Carol said that Social Media, such as Facebook also helps get her name out to many, many people, and it is so very important in this day and age.

As we listened to Carol, we realized the amount of work, both in the actual painting, and the necessary Marketing it takes, to become a successful professional painter.  Amazing!

Notes taken by Kathy Kuyper,

Written and submitted by Joyce Grothaus,   June, 2014

Friday, June 13, 2014

MINUTES - JUNE 4, 2014

June 4, 2014 Meeting

Before we get into the Minutes of the June meeting, I would like to acknowledge Kathy Kuyper, and her gracious acceptance of the work of taking the notes of the meeting this month.  As I could not be there, Kathy stepped up and used her time and effort to do the job.  The GCWS and I truly appreciate it!  Thank you, Kathy!

As Marilyn called the meeting to order, she announced that there would not be a Leadership meeting or Open Painting later due to the impending bad weather.

A new member, Tim Biggs, was introduced.  Tim says he is new to watercolors, likes to paint landscapes and architecture.  Welcome Tim!

We had some guests – Amy Brice, a friend of Marilyn Bishop and Nancy Wisely, who is in a Wyoming painting group.  She started painting watercolors in 2000.    Another friend of Marilyn’s, another guest  – Margie Carelton, asked our members if we would like to donate any of our unused art supplies to the Lockland schools’ Art Teacher, who has a need of supplies for her students.  Her email address is MMCARELTON@  Also attending was Carolyn Robinson, who came because she had enjoyed Carol Carter’s Workshop so much.

Our Treasurer, Sally, gave her report.  She stated the working balance is now minus the money we took out of the treasury for the Scholarship Awards.

Some copies of the Minutes from the May meeting are available to those who don’t have access to the Blog, on the back table.  Also available there are Information Forms to be filled out for those who have Announcements, so we can get the correct info for these.

Joan O’Leary is our new Program Co-ordinator.  She has most of the programs lined up for this coming year.  Our Program for next month – July – is entitled “Inspiration for Paintings”.  This will be given by Trish McKinney.

Marilyn requested that each member pick up their envelope from the back table.  It contains information, and an application form, for our August Art Show, and also info and an application form for our August program.  Members not in attendance will receive their envelopes in the mail.

We are taking a Bus Day-Trip to Middletown to the Art Center, then to Lunch, and in the afternoon, a tour of the Stained Glass Studios.  The cost for members is $64; cost for guests is $84.  We can take 40-50 people.  Reservations are required, and need to be made by July 2, our next meeting date.  Send check (or credit card into) to Provident Travel.  For questions, contact Joyce Grothaus.

Announcements:    Joan Abdon told about the Southeastern Indiana Art Guild’s Regional Art Exhibition.  This Event will be August 9 – 16, 2014, in Aurora, IN.  You do not have to be a guild member to enter your work.  Deadline is July 8. For info, Joan – 812-290-9547.

Marilyn asked members to continue passing out club flyers to other artists that they know, or see at other art shows.  She also asked if anyone filled out the Featured Artist form for Deb.  Answer was No.  Come on, folks  J  it’s not that hard.  J

Art Show Chair, Carol McAfee, passed around signup sheets for volunteers for the Show.  She needs:  gallery sitters, refreshments for Reception, Hanging committee, and Pick-up helpers.  Pickup can be at the last day of the show (Aug 24) after 4:00, or on the 26th.  You will need to sign out  your paintings.   Don’t forget to add 20% for the commission.  If you sell a painting, you will be responsible for paying the 20% to The Barn.  Carol will have postcards for the Show next month.  All this information is in the envelope to be picked up at today’s meeting.  Those who were not in attendance will receive their envelope in the mail.

Marilyn read a Thank You note from Katlyn Wolary, one of our Young Artist Award winners.

Notes taken by Kathy Kuyper,

Written and submitted by Joyce Grothaus,  June, 2014

Friday, May 16, 2014


At our May meeting, Rhonda Carpenter introduced our program “guest”, Marilyn Bishop.  As many of you know, Marilyn, with several other people, founded our Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society, has served as president in the past, and is graciously serving again.  Rhonda explained that Marilyn is a very “experimental” artist, always trying new things, and new ways of doing old things.  She loves textures and shapes, and is always saying “What if . . . . . ?”.     Marilyn has a wonderfully diverse learning background, and she now teaches and gives workshops also.  Her work is shown in many galleries around the area.  The subject for her May presentation   - - - “Saving and/or Enhancing Your Watercolor Paintings”.

First, Marilyn asked herself a tongue-in-cheek question “Why am I always giving demos on “failed” watercolor paintings?”    Then, as she began her demo, she put down newspaper, and donned a plastic glove on her right hand.  She explained that she would be using pastels, and that they are rather messy.  She also told us not to “blow away” the pastel “dust”, as it could then enter our lungs.    She showed us a painting that she wished she had done differently.   From past experience, she believes that pastels cannot save a large painting if there are many areas to be changed, but if one uses just a part of it, good results can happen.  She uses a mat as a frame, moving it around the painting until she finds a section that will work.  Marilyn gave us a handout about non-objective design elements (Gerard Brommer), that she uses to find the section she wants to “save”.   Marilyn “saved” three different paintings during the demo.
Marilyn begins looking for a section of a "failed" painting that she will use
to create a new, smaller painting utilizing her pastels.

She has made her selection!
She always uses the same mat for her frame.  Mark the desired area, and then cut around this part.   
Mat surrounding the area to be cut away from the existing painting.

Measuring the area to cut out.
Cutting out the "new" painting.
Also, from experience, Marilyn encourages the use of quality pastels, such as Windsor-Newton.  She now owns soft, hard, and oil pastels.  She selects colors to cover some of the watercolor paint that is unsatisfactory; sometimes using a flat chisel color shaper to move the pastel color around the paper; sometimes her gloved finger.  The pastels will cover up “mistakes”, even using a lighter color of pastel to cover a darker watercolor, but there is a limit to the amount of pastel you can use.  Pastels can also soften some hard edges of watercolor. 
Adding pastels.

Utilizing a "color shaper" to move the pastels.

Adding pastels . . . 

. . . using color shaper . . .

. . . using color shaper .

Before . . . 
. . . using her finger . . .

. . . then the color shaper.
Now that you are happier with your “new” painting, and are ready to frame, cut a mat that has a smaller opening than your regular mat.  Put it between the painting with the pastel on it, and your regular mat, to keep the pastel “dust” from getting on the regular mat.  You can use double-sided tape to hold the two mats together.  You may want to slide this into a plastic sleeve until framing.  These sleeves can be purchased online from GT Bag Co.
Ready, set . . .

Mat!  (The completed painting)
The reason Marilyn is always giving demos on “failed” paintings is because we all have some of those, and we think she has the best answers on what to do about it!

Submitted by Joyce Grothaus, Secretary; photos by Deb Ward.