Wednesday, August 17, 2016


Carolyn Hibbard
Program Chair, Claudia Taylor, introduced member Carolyn Hibbard, Presenter for August. Carolyn has been painting for quite some time, and loves it! She had her education in Commercial Art and Graphic Design. She is a Charter Member of the GCWS. And Carolyn has continued to learn and experiment with many different kinds of Art and techniques, etc. She has been accepted into quite a number of State Watercolor Societies; has been published in a number of art books, and has won many awards for her work. Carolyn is donating her stipend to the Mary Marxen Scholarship Fund.
 Carolyn’s subject for the day is “Pouring”, and she credits Jean Grastorf, who teaches at Spring Maid, with starting and encouraging this technique.

Carolyn began by telling us that the whole painting can be done by “pouring”, or you can just do parts of your painting this way, and also incorporate the use of brushes. The “pouring” is rather quick - - but, the sketching, thumbnail, and learning about your subject before hand takes a bit of time and patience. She works out her values on the thumbnail, pulling out the whites and darkening some parts; pulling out “shapes”. Carolyn’s teacher and friend, Fred Graff, suggests using three shades of gray. As we know - “Color gets the credit; but Values do all the work”.
First stage - whites saved.
She usually enlarges her photo or reference material so that she can see it very well. Carolyn stretches her paper by wetting it, stapling it down while wet; then when dry, she uses masking tape all around to hold it all down flat. She usually uses Arches 140 lb. cold press. 300 lb. paper usually does not have to be stretched.

Yellow, Red and Blue have all been poured adjacaent to each other.

Paper is tilted, excess paint and water poured off.
She draws the picture and then transfers it to the watercolor paper (so that there will not be any erasures, etc. to ruin the w/c paper). She also advised us to use cheap, cheap or Cheap Joe’s “UGLI” brushes to put masking fluid on your paper; never your good ones. Dip in a bit of soap before dipping into fluid. She uses little cups purchased at GFS to hold the masking; don’t dip into bottle and contaminate it. Later this dried fluid can act as a masking fluid “eraser”. She also uses the little cups to hold her diluted paint; mostly Cheap Joe’s brand; and some Windsor-Newton or Daniel Smith; mostly all transparent.
End of first stage - one pour completed, next value covered with miskit.
Carolyn usually selects a Blue, a Red, and a Yellow (different shades depending on the painting), with sometimes a little help with darker tone, Burnt Sienna, etc. She advises a very careful test of each of the colors first; mixed up to just the value you want. Use a different brush for each color. Decide on your 3 or 4 values of each of these colors. Then mask out the Whites on your paper. Wet the whole paper, and wipe the edges with a tissue. Keep the water from pooling near the masking. Wipe off any excess water to prevent “blooming”. Pour each of the colors in succession, in the area you will want them to be; but do not pour them on top of each other; just next to each other. Then pick up the paper and turn it in many directions so that the paint will mix on the paper. You can use a “pipette” to put more paint on some places. Turn the paper so that all moisture runs down to one corner; blot it off. Stand it this way until dry.

Second pour.
When your paper is Completely Dry — look at it carefully. What do I want to keep this first value? Mask those places. Add more pigment/paint to the cups you used before for your second Value, and test each of colors/values. Wet the whole paper; wipe off excess, and do whole pouring process again. Stand on Corner until Dry.
A completed painting (similar to her demo painting)
Depending upon your Painting, etc. you may want to do one or two or more “Pourings” - masking areas you want to stay a certain Value, and putting more paint on areas you want to be darker/more vivid, or even use a brush for certain effects.

Some of Carolyn's beautiful painting examples.
Carolyn has a “ruling pen”, used in mechanical drawing, that she uses to put on her Pebeo brand masking in a thin line. Some folks stated that Suder’s on Vine Street may stock them.
All attendees enjoyed Carolyn’s Pouring Lesson, the wonderful handouts she prepared, and the Critiques afterwards.

Submitted by Joyce Grothaus, GCWS Secretary, August 2016
Photos by Deb Ward

Tuesday, August 9, 2016


On a beautiful warm, summer day, President Kathy Lang called the meeting to order. Guests were welcomed, which included Doug Hibbard, husband of our Presenter; Tony Pestio, Janet’s guest; and Diane Jeffries, who became aware of our group through our Blog on the Internet.

A surprising number of people raised their hands to tell that they were staying after the meeting for Open Painting (and pizza) - 20.  All helped to set up more tables and chairs.  Lesson was on DVD - miniature paintings with various techniques.

Announcements: Kathy Lang has made arrangements for us to hold our Annual Exhibit next year at the “Barn” again. We will have our August meeting there on August 2. Members will bring their paintings on that day, and after the meeting, the Hanging Committee will ready them for the Show. It was decided that we would have the Exhibit open from the next day (Thursday, 8/3) through 8/27 (Sunday), with Pick Up Day on Tuesday, 8/29. We will have the Reception on Sunday, 8/6/17.

Deb Ward announced that Roger Ross has his complete Show Booth for sale; contact him if you are interested. Deb is giving a Workshop on “Red Hot Tomatoes” soon. If you are entered in any shows, or have won an award, etc. please contact Deb so that she can put the news into the Blog.

Workshop Chair, Dianne Duncan said there is one place left for the October 28-30 Workshop. If interested, contact Dianne soon. For those members who have not paid the full amount yet, it is due by September 1. Be sure to keep your space with your check! Dianne will give instructions for all workshop attendees on stretching your paper over canvas in September.

Our Presenter for July (Dick Close) has donated his stipend he received from us to a group called “Visionaries & Voices”, who work with people with disabilities. We were pleased to hear about this kind action.

The meeting was kept rather short today so that we would have plenty of time to have the Demo and lesson from our own Carolyn Hibbard.

 Submitted by Joyce Grothaus, GCWS Secretary

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

PROGRAM - JULY 6, 2016

Before introducing our Presenter for July, Claudia Taylor, Program Chair, told us about upcoming programs: August - Carolyn Hibbard, Pouring; Sept. - Peter Frederick; Oct, - Deb Ward; and Nov. - Nancy Neville.
Dick Close
Dick Close, Design Director for Ionic Communication, gave a demonstration of one of the topics that he has been passionate about for a while: Candy, Cakes, and other Sweets, being inspired by Wayne Thiebaud years ago. As a designer and illustrator, his career has been very structured, but on his Bucket List was an interest in painting in a more creative and loose fashion. He is now able to indulge that wish. Lately, he has become interested in finding everyday subjects and buildings in Over the Rhine, and Findley Market, etc. He is looking forward to painting “plein aire” on his vacation.
He has been juried into a variety of outdoor shows, such as Summer Fair, and does shows around the country. One of Dick’s paintings was one of the 78 selected from over 400 (from 39 states), submitted, to be shown in the Watercolor USA National Show.

Dick explained how he purchases such things as gummy bears and other candy, with wrappers or without, sets up the still life - making sure there are interesting shadows - and then takes photos from many angles until he gets the desired composition. He often takes his pictures with a cell phone and believes it is good when they are printed out and are not “true” - therefore encouraging him to use his own ideas of color. Dick believes that shadows offer a perfect place to bring in unexpected colors, and makes his all the same in order to unify his painting, many times using Burnt Sienna under or over other colors to warm them, and likes to mix Indigo and Sepia to make a good

He tends to use smooth paper, and usually only 3 or 4 brushes. He purchased the palette he was using at Sudors Art Store. He likes to put the paint (usually Windsor Newton) on heavy and then “lift” where he wants it to be lighter. He doesn’t want his paintings to be photo-realistic, but does use more detail in the middle of his work. He does use masking fluid sometimes, but finds it difficult to be precise with it. Dick did a Critique after the Presentation. Members are encouraged to bring in paintings each month for this purpose, to improve your work.

Submitted by Joyce Grothaus, Secretary, GCWS
Photos by Deb Ward

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

MEETING - JULY 6, 2016

Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society - July 6, 2016

Our President, Kathy Lang, called the meeting to order, and welcomed our new members and guests - Helmut Kientz, a newly retired architect who has been painting watercolors for about five years (see Announcements); Angie Larimer, who has been very involved with photography, and is now very interested in painting, and Eileen Hulsman's niece, also an architect, and new member of GCWS.

A discussion of our recent Art Exhibit brought many good comments, and many thank you’s
to all who participated and volunteered to make it a success. The show was well hung, was well attended, and members and guests greatly appreciated the Paintings and the celebration, and the Chair of the Event, Judith Reed. Some suggestions for next year: upgrade the Ribbons for the winners; have a co-chair, and heads of a number of committees; have someone actually painting at the Reception, and maybe while “sitting”; find out a way to be able to accept credit cards for payment when
someone wants to purchase a painting; perhaps allow winners (except First Place) to win an award the following year. The Leadership Team will take all these comments and suggestions into account at their meeting. A Reminder was given to those who sold paintings from the Exhibit, to send their commission check to the Barn.

Announcements: Helmut Kienze has a Personal Watercolor Show for the month of August at the Main Source Bank, in Bright, Indiana on State Line Rd. Congratulations! Tom Schroeder was juried into 2016 Pennsylvania Watercolor Society Show and won the “Juror’s Award”. He was also juried into 2016 Art Comes Alive Show, and received Signature Status from the Ohio Watercolor Society. 3 Congratulations, Tom! Deb Ward is holding some two-day Workshops at her home.  Deb reminded everyone to send her any interesting info about yourself that she can put on the Blog.

Dianna Duncan, Chair of our Workshop Event sent out Application Forms to all members for the workshop to be held Oct. 29, 30, 31 at our regular meeting place. Only two places are left open at this time. If you would like to be on a waiting list, please contact Dianna.

Treasurer Carol Fencl gave her report. We have enough money in our account to handle all of our business. We have enough in the Mary Marxen Fund to give two more scholarships next year.

There were a number of members who were staying after the meeting to paint together. Next month, we will again have “open painting”. Everyone is encouraged to bring your supplies. We will order pizza for lunch. We will watch part of a DVD; then  paint, before watching another part; then paint. It should be fun!

Submitted by Joyce Grothaus, Secretary, GCWS

Monday, June 20, 2016


Tom (in green shirt) giving us his Power Point presentation on Composition
Tom Schroeder, GCWS Member, is basically a self-taught artist who has been using Watercolor for 20 years. He was raised in Southern Minnesota, and credits his early natural surroundings, such as marshes, woods, waterfowls, etc. for his love of painting nature scenes and outdoor subjects. His college training is as an architect, and he also was an exchange student in England, which added to his interest in painting historical buildings and other old and well-used objects. He believes that Beauty is found everywhere. He has recently won awards in the Juried Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky Watercolor Society Shows. Congratulations, Tom!

Tom enjoys designing bonsai plants, and finds there is a great similarity in composing for Painting and for Bonsai. Composition is the most important component for success in both of these endeavors. Tom’s definition of Composition - the intentional arrangement of elements in the work to tell a story.

Tom’s Basic Elements of Composition:  Division of Space; Arrangement of Elements; Nature of Elements; Relationship of the Elements.  Also to be discussed, Compositional Errors.  Concerning the Division of Space, the following subjects were discussed: Rule of Thirds, the Golden Section (nautilus squares into larger squares); Curves (S curves); Asymmetry; Balance (energy of opposing elements); Perspective (vanishing points, and what is your viewpoint?); Diagonals; Horizontals; and Verticals.

Next discussion covered the Arrangement of Elements such as: Grouping (usually an odd number is best) (the mind can only absorb 11 items comfortably). More than 11 items is called a Grove; Repetition (want similar, but not exactly the same); and Pattern (or disruption of patterns).
Visual Space - one needs to leave room for movement of live objects.
Discussion of space includes Depth; Triangle; Interval of spacing (uneven); Viewing Angle (take your own pictures); Abstraction (real closeups); Massing (can be simple pieces carefully placed); and Void - a “gap”; a non-element.

We saw slides of the many different aspects of the Nature of Elements - (can be simple or complex). Under the Nature of Elements, we include:
Color (Hue, Saturation); Value; Detail; Focus; Lighting (major component for drama); Line (straight, curved, Point); Geometry; Surface; Form; Simplicity; Texture; and Brightness or Darkness.

Then we considered the Relationships of the Elements. Under this heading:
Contrast; Parallel; Scale/Proportion; Mother/Child; Pattern (all are part of a whole); Tangent (touching to show connection); Edge; Emotion; Story Telling; Tension; Proximity; Meaning; Alignment; Interest (Center of Interest); Unity/Harmony; Mood; Humor; and Movement.

It is amazing how many thoughts we need to think; how many considerations we need to consider; how many lessons we need to learn; and how much imagination we need to imagine before we can produce an interesting painting.

And, when we think we have done this, we must take an extra good look at, and try to find any “Compositional Errors”, such as Awkward Tangent Points, Boring Subject Matter, Head “Trees”; Lack of Focus (no Center of Interest); Too Active (too many COI); Items which Lead Out of the Picture; Symmetry; Centered Horizon/Vertical; Improper Lighting; Boring Repetition; Even Numbers; Visual Echo; Static Spacing; Centered COI; Lack of Contrast; Poor Alignment; or a Poor Viewing Angle.  Wow! And the GCWS Members still manage to do great work, and produce many, many excellent paintings with Good Composition!

Tom gave us many, many topics to think about, and then he encouraged us to draw on our own personal life experience, and our own personal experiences to tell stories.  Identify our interests; create areas of interest; visit and explore environments which contain our interests, and capture images of these environments. We will never run out of ideas for paintings!

Submitted by Joyce Grothaus, Secretary, GCWS, June, 2016

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


As promised, here are photos of our recent show.

The entry foyer showcasing several of our members.

And here are the rest of the paintings!

Photos courtesy Deb Ward - Not a Professional Photographer!