Tuesday, March 12, 2019


Chris Krupinski
We were quite fortunate today to have Chris Krupinski give us an informative talk about her painting routine and painting pointers using her original paintings as examples.

Chris typically uses no more than 5 colors per painting, primarily Winsor Newton brand.  New gamboge is her “go to” yellow, and Antwerp blue her favorite blue.  Shadows consist of French ultramarine + alizarin, which she can manipulate to lean more red or blue as necessary.  Usually she lays her shadows in first on her fabric while shadows are painted last over her fruit.  Her blacks consist of a mixture of alizarin and Winsor green.
Chris explained her color choices . . .
She uses Arches 300# rough paper and values good quality brushes, sizes 1 to 4 primarily, and laments the fact that Kolinsky sables are harder for her to find now. 
. . . and her composition
She spoke about her composition set ups using her “magic” photo lamp.  For years she would take her set ups outside to photograph them, but as the trees in her yard grew it was harder for her to find a good time to get the light just right.  After attending a workshop where one of the students had a photo lamp, Chris bought one.  She can now take photos at midnight if she wants to, and still get beautiful photos to work from.  She may take 30-50 photos of a setup from all angles.  Sometimes she will use Photoshop to place items into (or take them out of) her set up until she gets her composition just right.
Chris explained that her background is just as important as the foreground

Chris is a firm believer in drawing and will use a grid to draw out her paintings directly onto her watercolor paper.  She will often place a large empty shape for an object, later filling it in as she moves through the painting, which always begins with her focal point, painting out from there.  She owns no miskit, prefering to paint around all of her whites.
Explaining how she developed the shadow on this lemon
Chris is adamant that the background is just as important as the foreground and should be handled accordingly.  When viewing her paintings up close and personal, this is quite apparent!  The detail devoted to the quilt fabrics, which are her background, is absolutely amazing!
Chris explaining how she develops her shadows

The use of triangles informs her compositions, as well as value, contrast, edge variance, details and areas for the eye to rest.  All of these components are strategically thought out before she ever begins to paint, often “painting” in her head for weeks prior to actually picking up her paints.   Chris likes to distribute color and shapes throughout her paintings, giving them unity.  She paints one painting at a time, and it may take weeks to be completed.
An award winning painting . . .

. . . and yet another award winner!

Chris will present our fall workshop and we look forward to learning more from her then.

Submitted by Deb Ward
Photos by Deb Ward

Thursday, March 7, 2019


At 10:00 March 6th, 2019, our newly elected president, Pat Lester, called the meeting of the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society to order.

Pat wanted to recognize the leadership committee that met January and February.
Secretary, Mary Fleischmann (Erika McCoy backup)
Programs, Tom Schroeder
Treasurer, Connie Dettmer
Post cards/blog/brochure, Deb Ward
Annual Art Show, Amy Giglio
Workshop Coordinator, Debbie Cannatella
Membership, Kathy Lang
Name Tags, Jane Hittinger
Scholarship, Diane Jeffries
Building, Joan Miley
Pat mentioned we will need a fundraiser and volunteers can see her after the meeting.

Open painting was discussed and will continue after next month's meeting.

We welcomed 7 new visitors/new members. They included:
John Jeffries
B. Reteend
Jan Gaalaas 
Marcia Hartsock
David Neil Mack 
Kathy Church
Hugh McKinnon
We hope they enjoyed today's meeting and will continue as members

Connie Dettmer gave a Treasurer’s report. 

Deb Ward encouraged all members to receive meeting notices by email. A $5.00 fee will be charged to your dues if you don't have email access. New brochures will be printed soon and new art work will be accepted for possible placement in the brochure. Photos of artwork can be sent in jpg format to Deb.

Debbie Cannatella is considering a spring and fall workshop. The fall one will be a nationally or internationally known artist whereas the spring workshop will feature a local artist and be less costly. Suggestions to Debbie are appreciated.

Jane Hittinger reported that the Christmas cards made last year were very appreciated by the Wounded Warrior organization.

Diane Jeffries reported on scholarship.  Although the Cincinnati Art Academy does not offer specific watercolor classes, we will continue to use them for references and will consider their suggestions for winners.

Amy Giglio has designed new business cards which are available today. They feature a place to put your name as well as pertinent information about the society. She also has set us up on Facebook and Instagram and will offer a class in familiarizing members with these venues after next month's meeting. Thank you, Amy!

Deb Ward will be holding watercolor classes in April and May. Please contact her if you're interested.
The Deerfield Mason magazine featured an article on our Dot Burden.
Tom Schroeder and Chris Krupinski have been selected for the Transparent Watercolor Show
David Neil Mack was selected for the California Transparent Watercolor Show.

Our program today was presented by Chris Krupinski who spoke on her artistic journey starting as a graphic artist.  Her amazing still life paintings reflect a love of color and precision.

Respectfully submitted,
Mary Fleischmann

Tuesday, November 20, 2018


Marlene Steele
Our speaker today is renowned Cincinnati artist MARLENE STEELE. She creates in oils, pastels, watercolor, colored pencil and calligraphy featuring portraits, figures and landscape. She has been a courtroom illustrator since 2004 and has established a regional reputation licensing visual images to media as well as private commissions. Some of her memberships and affiliations are:  the Cincinnati Art Club as a signature member; two year artist in residence at the University Club of Cincinnati; arts ambassador to Ohio by the Portrait Society of America.   Marlene also founded the Calligraphy Guild, a regional teaching guild with continuous programming since 1980.

Marlene came today to demonstrate how to paint on Yupo, a newer kind of paper that is plastic on both sides. Watercolor paints can be mostly wiped off with water except for sedimentary colors which will stain. She prefers Windsor-Newton colors since they were developed for Queen Victoria and have held up well through time. She uses no off brands.

She brought two framed figure paintings and painted a still life as a demonstration.

She draws first on Yupo with a red or blue pencil, sketching casually, holding the pencil loosely at far end. For skin tones she uses cadmium red, Naples yellow and alizarin crimson or raw sienna and ochre.

Marlene said she had always wanted to be invisible so she could really see. One of her favorite quotes is by the sculptor Noguchi. “To see far is one thing. To go there is another. “.    
Respectfully submitted by Louise Allen.  Photos by Deb Ward.

Monday, November 12, 2018


GCWS met on Wednesday November 7 at 10:00 am. 

New members are Marcia Hartsock who is a retired medical illustrator and Jim Sargent. He will retire the end of this year and his wife wants him to find some new interests. 
Connie Dettmer gave an excellent treasurer’s report. We have had three workshops and acquired 2 new members. 

 - Sue Geigler broke her ankle so we all signed a card that was passed around.
 - Erica McCoy is in her first art show in Sycamore on November 17th. 
 - Some GCWS members are in an art show at The Centennial Barn on Compton Road of 65 artists November 9th and 10th. 
 - Ingrid Farnham made an interesting announcement about 2 watercolor opportunities In Florida. The first is taught by Vlad Yeliseyev the end of January. The other option will be held the end of February taught by Tony Couch in Port Charlotte. Ingrid is offering help with transportation. 
 - Mary Fleishman gave a fascinating story about her going to an OWS workshop in Hinckley, Ohio run by Larry and Sarah Katz. Mary’s class was taught by David Lobenberg. He is from the West Coast and is a very comfortable person.    

Several members showed their work from a workshop taught by Debbie Cannatella, also one of our members. Pat Lester did an excellent job organizing this event. Debbie taught by using only 3 colors on her palette. Several members showed their work which was very impressive.                 

Great news. Pat Lester has offered to be our new president, Mary Fleishman stepped up to be secretary and Deb Ward will continue to email the members and send out monthly postcards.     

Jane Hittinger will help lead us next month in painting Christmas cards for soldiers who receive very little mail. 
January and February will have no scheduled speakers due to weather concerns but open studio will be held from 10-12.     

Friday, October 19, 2018


Chris Misencik-Bunn

Our guest artist today was fabulous. CHRIS MISENCIK-BUNN IS HER NAME.


She is an emotional painter. She uses a mirror to critique her work. She paints like a performance artist with high energy. 

Chris says the eyes must be painted first - they tell the story of the person

WIP of a child's portrait:

Chris enjoys painting portraits - and COWS!
Two portraits of Chris' daughter
Portrait of Chris' husband
Portrait of a neighbor's cows!
She has had her paintings published in many watercolor books and has won many awards. I found her delightful. 

Submitted by Louise Allen.  Photos by Deb Ward.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018


The GCWS meeting was held today at 10:00 am.

2019 we need a secretary and president.   

New member. Erika McCoy

Tom Schroeder has been elected to the OWS board. 

Connie Dettmer gave the treasurer’s report for September 2018.

I also want to thank Sue Giegler for her Secretarial duties for August and September.

November 9-10 Centennial Barn in Compton Road. Register before October 1st. 

Maple Knoll Art Show. Thursday October 11 from 5-7 pm for reception and show lasts until November 16th. 

2018 evaluation Committee.  Mary Fleischmann, Joyce G., Connie C., Jane H., Pat L., Kathy Lang. - met 8/29 reviewing entire entry process. Send additional notes and suggestions. 

Will feature the Artist Debbie Cannatella with Pat Lester as chairman. COMPOSITION AND DESIGN IN WATERCOLOR.

Submitted by Louise Allen.

Thursday, September 13, 2018


Debbie Cannatella 

Tom Schroeder introduced our artist and guest speaker for September, Debbie Cannatella. Debbie has painted full-time since 2005 when she retired as a highway and bridge designer.

She has opened two galleries in Texas, both are operating successfully, has served on the Board of Directors of local Art organizations in numerous states, and has enjoyed traveling, jurying and judging exhibitions, painting and teaching classes and workshops in transparent watercolor.

She is published in Artistic Touch 4; the Best of Watercolor, the Artist Magazine, Iris Magazine, the 2015 edition of Splash 16: Exploring Texture, and the 2016 edition of Art Journey Animals: A Collection of Inspiring Contemporary Masterworks, by Northlight Books. Previously, her work was selected for the 2010 Pennington National Balloon Championship poster, and was the featured October 2010 artist in Brush, Paper, Water.  She is a signature member of the Louisiana Watercolor Society, Artist of Texas, and a member of AWS, NWS, KWS, Women's Art Club of Cincinnati, the past president of the WSST, and the Kentucky Representative for the Southern Watercolor Society. This year she is included in the Third Annual Contemporary Exhibition at Palazzo Franchi in Assisi, Italy in collaboration with PRO VOBIS Art Residence. Debbie currently lives in Union KY with her husband and two rescue animals and has begun to hold workshops in her studio.

Debbie's background working in bridge and highway designs influenced her progression in watercolor. Her natural style is detailed and bold, and also uses the wet in wet techniques. We were encouraged to find our own style, loose or detailed, and to paint what we love.  She enjoys doing series of paintings, such as flowers, birds, koi ponds, and people.

Her demonstration began by wetting 260 lb Arches paper, 26 x 40. The whole dry sheet is torn in half and placed on a masonite panel.  The panel is smooth white on one side and unfinished plywood hardboard on the other. The paper is soaked several times using a wide brush,  not taping the paper down.

Her subject for this demonstration was koi fish. She used photos from the internet that were only used as anatomy references and shape references, and not copied into the painting. It is important to be careful not to combine side pictures of fish with straight down pictures of fish. Generous amounts of paints are mixed to the consistency of a little thicker than whole milk. Most yellows and all reds are staining. The majority of her paints are Windsor Newton and Daniel Smith, but uses a few other brands. The entire first layer of color must be non-staining, such as the Indian Yellow by Paul Jackson. This is done to be able to later lift out shapes needed. Staining pigments can go on top.  Opaque colors were used in conjunction with transparent. Some of the colors used were Windsor yellow, carmine red, ultramarine blue, Horizon Blue by Holbein, and eventually  Phthalo blue and Indigo. Generous amounts of paint are put on paper and allowed to flow around after each color is added.
 The background tells you where to start and let it morph from there. Lift the yellow and reds while wet, blues can be "dryer", not necessarily dry, though one can still lift ultramarine and indigo when dry. Synthetic flat brushes,1/4 inch, were used to start lifting fish in the small areas.

 Most other areas were lifted using the larger brushes in the Silver series. Constantly wet and dry brush on a towel. When details of fish are added, the paper must be bone dry. She emphasized  that the movement of composition needs to be coming into the painting, and not out.

Remember to put darkest dark against lightest lights in the focal area.  After removing paints in shape of koi, eyes and fin area were lifted. Detailing of fish is done on the dry paper. Debbie will finish this painting later and bring it in for us to see later.

Debbie showed us a koi painting previously completed.
The following is her way of flattening a large watercolor painting, written by Debbie Cannatella.
Use 2 clean masonite panels, which are smooth white on one side and unfinished plywood hardboard on the other. The panels need to be several inches larger than your painting.

Home Depot calls them Eucalyptus White Hardboard, and Lowes calls them White Hardboard Wall Panel.  One side is wood and the other is waterproof. One 4'x8' sheet ($10-15) can be cut down at the store to create 4-24"x36" sheets (for full size sheet), and 3-15"x24". (for half-sheet paper).

Lay the panels next to one another, one panel white side up and the other panel unfinished side up.  
Turn your completed painting over on top of the CLEAN white waterproof surface of the hardboard panel, and using a sponge or a large brush, completely saturate the back of your painting.  Do not flood it with water so that water leaks underneath to the front of your painting, merely saturate it well, brushing the water into the paper.  Allow it to absorb a few minutes, and go back over it with another layer of water. You want the painting completely damp on one side, all the way to the edges.

Turn the painting over, wet side down on top of the wooden side of the other panel.  The unfinished wooden side of the panel will help draw the moisture out of the back side of your painting.  Lift the edges and position it straight.  MAKE SURE THERE ARE NO WRINKLES OR BUBBLES.

Completely dry the white side of the first panel and lay it, white side down, on top of your painting.  The waterproof side must be against the painting

At this point you can weight the "sandwiched" painting down with anything heavy-a case of watercolor paper, books, etc.  Leave for a few days before unpacking it.  It should be dried completely flat.  There may be a light tan haze on the backside of the paper where the hardboard drew the water out, but that's OK.

Some of Debbie's paintings below:

Submitted by Sue Giegler
Photos by Sue Giegler and Amy Giglio