Monday, October 17, 2016


Deb Ward
Claudia Taylor, Program Chair, introduced our own Deb Ward. She has held many positions in the GCWS, including President, and at this time, is responsible for our Blog.

Back by popular demand, Deb agreed to give the Program and critique members’ paintings. Before Deb started, Claudia gave us just a partial list of Deb’s experiences and accomplishments. Deb started painting watercolors in 1995. She started teaching in 2004. She holds weekly classes in her home (in God’s country), and sometimes in other places.
Deb points out composition placement in "Blueberries and Pears"

Deb talks about her award winning painting "Silver Harvest"
Deb has won many awards, including National Shows. She is a Signature Member of OH, GA, PA, and IN Watercolor Societies; has had paintings in the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and national magazines. Deb brought in some of the books and magazines in which her paintings are shown, and also a display of her beautiful greeting cards. She has a painting in the Ohio Watercolor Society’s Show in Columbus at the Riffe Center, opening October 27, 2016.

Many members brought in one or two paintings, either finished, or almost finished, so that Deb - drawing on her experience as an instructor and nationally recognized and published artist - could guide us on ways to improve our paintings.

There was some amazing work brought in. Members truly enjoyed seeing what other people are painting. Some excellent suggestions were given - most by Deb, but sometimes from the “audience” also.
Each painting was talked about as it was placed "under the mirror" -  audience participation was welcomed.

With use of a plastic sheet and water soluble crayons, Deb made changes to help
enhance the paintings brought in for critique.
Some of the specific suggestions:
-  Use more “color” in your shadows - they are not always gray, or blue. Remember to show the light source.
-  Add a bit of color in your reflections.
-  Don’t empty your “dirty” water too soon; it might be just the perfect color that is needed to tone down something.
-  Be sure your shadows are dark enough.
-  Don’t be afraid to “scratch out” with an Xacto knife.
-  Use a piece of plastic to lay over your painting, and use a crayon, etc. to try out a different color or a darker value, etc. without messing with the painting itself.
-  Step back and take a good look at your painting from time to time.
-  Don’t be afraid to “Play/Experiment/Try Something New” — Enjoy!

Submitted by Joyce Grothaus, GCWS Secretary
Photos by Joan O'Leary

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


President Kathy Lang called the meeting to order. A new member was introduced - Robert (Bob) Thornburgh. Bob is new to the area and found us on our Blog. He used to paint and teach; has not been doing much of that lately, but is very interested in becoming involved again in the Art world. We were able to see a bit of Bob’s talent during the Program part of the meeting, and it is considerable.

There were a few people who stayed after the meeting for Open Studio. Everyone is invited to participate in this activity each month.

Announcements: Judy Reed — Queen City Art Club has an Exhibit at the Sharonville Fine Arts Center, on Reading Road, with Opening Reception on Sat., Oct. 8, and continues through October 29. Judy and Dot Burdin have paintings in the exhibit. Jo Hogan told of an Exhibit in Finneytown at the Centennial Barn on Nov. 11 and 12. Nancy Wisely - The Women’s Art Club Exhibit at the Barn, Mariemont on Friday, Oct 8.  Deb told us Carolyn Hibbard is to have a heart operation. We wish her the very best.

Awards - Tom Schroeder has been accepted into Viewpoint 48. Congratulations, Tom! His painting is entitled “Vermont Stream”. This Exhibit runs from Oct. 20-Nov 10. In the Ohio Watercolor Society Show, Tom’s painting titled “Where’s Your Child?” won the F&W Publications/OWS Choice Award.

Workshop News - Dianna Duncan has been hard at work helping attendees be ready for the October Workshop with Guy Magellanes, who is flying in from the West Coast. She held a mini workshop to help us prepare our canvas. All members who are coming to the Workshop need to have their canvas ready before the Workshop starts. Flyers were given out to those who will do their prep work at home.

Carol Fencl, Treasurer, sent word that we have sufficient money in our Treasury.

The Leadership Team will have a meeting after today’s Program in order to discuss the Budget for next year and the Team for next year. Kathy asked all members to consider running for an office - particularly, Secretary, as Joyce Grothaus - Secretary for three years, will step down next year. GCWS will also need some members to step up and take Leadership roles for specific Activities and Programs. We will also need people to “help” the Leaders. If everyone does “something”, someone will not have to do “everything”.

Submitted by Joyce Grothaus, GCWS Secretary

Friday, September 30, 2016


Among the paintings hanging at Dutch's Restaurant in Hyde Park are several charming watercolors by Member Claudia Taylor.

Claudia's charming flower "portraits" compliment a large acrylic painting.

Dutch's is a restaurant/bar/deli located at 3378 Erie Avenue - right at the corner of Erie and Marburg. Stop in for lunch or dinner and enjoy a delicious meal, glass of wine and Claudia's art!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


Following his demo, Peter Frederick completed his painting and sent us a photo!

Here is his completed landscape painting:

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Peter Frederick
Program Chair, Claudia Taylor, introduced Peter Frederick, a self-taught painter from NE Ohio.  Peter has been a Landscape Designer, only “dabbled” in painting until about 2009, after his four children did not need his full attention. Peter has been in 13 Juried competitions, has had five Solo Exhibits, and is a Signature Member in three states.  In 2014, he discovered “teaching” art and found that he loves it.

Peter traveled to the North West Coast, to Oregon and to San Francisco; took lots of pictures, which he can now use as source materials for many paintings.   He usually doesn’t paint directly from the picture, but uses parts of a couple of them to set up a sketch with a better composition.

As far as the “nitty-gritty” goes, Peter usually uses a quarter sheet of paper in his teaching session. He likes his porcelain palette; Windsor Newton paints; mostly all “cheap” brushes; Grumbacher masking or masking tape; gouache when needed (does not worry about being a purist, or using only transparent paints); and uses “dirty” water!  His list also includes sponges, test paper, salt, Hake wash brush, and an Xacto knife.  Peter admits to painting somewhat tight and small.

Peter has prepared some videos - PeterFrederickartist on FaceBook/UTube.

Procedure:  After Peter has drawn a satisfactory sketch with good composition, and has done a value pattern, he puts his sketch onto the watercolor paper using a grid. 

He generally paints in “layers”. He uses only 10-12 colors, on Arches 140 lb. Cold Press paper.  He tapes his paper (Scotch Painter Tape) completely on all four sides to a sheet of Insulation (cut to size) that he buys at the hardware store.

He generally wets the whole paper, and then does one of his favorite parts: puts the first wash; his favorite because it means he has “started” his painting!  He allows it to move a bit on the paper. His other favorite part is the last wash, because by then he can tell if it’s going to be a good painting or not!

Peter sometimes dries each wash with a dryer, but, sometimes, lets it dry naturally - while he plans the next part, or does some other necessary thing.  If he makes a “mistake”, as he says he does from time to time, he merely rewets that part and reworks it.  He likes to use gravity to put or keep the pigment where he wants it to be while drying, turning the dryer or painting to do this.
Sometimes he uses masking fluid or masking tape to preserve certain parts while he adds on other layers.  As he was doing this painting, he used Paynes Gray and Sap Green to do the distant hills; then put in more green for the closer hills. 

He also used Raw Umber, Burnt Umber and Burnt Sienna. Peter used a very small brush to paint the Evergreen trees, and did not worry about making them exactly like the picture, or to paint every needle, etc.  He advised to make sure that we do not paint “cones” or “pyramids” instead of pines.  Use different sizes and shapes; different negative spaces.  If he has painted something too dark, he “lifts” some of the color.  For this painting, he will use a variety of reds for the building, and will spend more time on the foreground, perhaps using a fan brush; perhaps some splatters; or perhaps a little darker color in the lower corners.
Peter always asks his students “Why are we doing this? (particular technique, etc.)  The answer is “To make our painting more interesting”.  The group enjoyed watching the painting take shape.  Peter participated in some Critiques of members’ paintings.

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

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


To a nice turnout for September, President Kathy Lang opened the meeting, and greeted everyone, including a new member - Pat Lester - who says she is a “wanna-be artist”.   She has been painting for a couple of years, and is joining in order to “Learn”.   She has studied with Deb Ward also.   We have other new members this year - - Judy Avner, Rebecca Caplinger, Diane Jeffries, Ingrid Farnham, Helmut Kientz, James Lefebvre, Y G Tsuei, Courtney Wiechman, and Bink Zengel.   We are pleased to have all these new members this year, and look forward to getting to know all of you better.

Kathy asked for a show of hands of those who are staying after the meeting for Open Painting - so that enough lunch could be ordered.   We welcome any member to join the group. Just bring whatever you are working on, or would like to ask advice on, etc.

Announcements:   Tom Schroeder was accepted into the KY IDEA Show.   He also won a Ribbon in the Art Comes Alive 2016 Show.   All members are encouraged to plan to enter this show for next year, presented by Art Design Consultants - Litsa Spanos - the Studio that GCWS members visited last year in downtown Cincinnati.   Discussion was about “trends” noticed at this Show - such as: series of 3 paintings were popular; multi-media items were popular, and “ultra-modern” Abstract paintings were in abundance.   Jo Hogan told about the ArtLocal Annual Exhibit at Centennial Barn in Springfield Township on November 11 and 12, presented by ArtsConnect.   If you would like to put in an entry, contact Jo.   Lesser Fee before Oct. 1.   Claudia Taylor - Congratulations - has a one-woman Exhibit at Dutch’s restaurant in Hyde Park on Erie Ave. with 25 of her paintings, from now through October.   Helmet Kientz has paintings hanging at the BeanHaus in Covington, KY, on Main St. through mid-September.

GCWS Annual Exhibit - will be held next August, again at the “Barn” in Mariemont.

Dianna Duncan, Workshop Chair, gave a very upbeat report on the GCWS Workshop, to be held at the end of October. There may be one spot left.   Those who are already signed up will gather on Sept. 28, to prepare our canvas/paper, to be all ready to paint at the Workshop.   She also gave participants a list of items to be brought to the Workshop.   It sure sounds like participants will have a good time, and come home with a new skill, and a nice piece of art.

Our President announced that there will be a Leadership Team meeting after the October meeting to discuss the Board and Officers for next year.   We do have a couple of members who have already agreed to help with various projects, etc.   Kathy asked everyone to consider becoming more involved next year - perhaps taking an Office, taking responsibility for some particular project or part of a project.   The benefits to GCWS are abundant when many members contribute to the success of the Club.

And you, as a member, also receive benefits — getting to know other members better; perhaps learning how to do something that you don’t know about now; using your particular skills to make the Club better; and getting a great feeling of having contributed, and feeling that you really “belong”, rather than just “attending”.

There were a couple of “Critiques” after the meeting.   Everyone is invited to bring one/ some of your unfinished paintings to get good advice on any improvements needed.

 Submitted by Joyce Grothaus, Secretary, GCWS - September, 2016

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