Monday, August 24, 2015


Jean Vance
The Presenter for the July meeting was member Jean Vance, multi-talented artist with two Masters Degrees in Art.  Some of her accomplishments – Adjunct Professor at Miami University and UC; Private Teacher at the Middletown Art Center, has had numerous one-woman shows and awards.  She personally likes Art from Abstracts to Realistic.  She has been working in Watercolor, Glass Enamel on Copper, Transparent Glass, and Jewelry.
The title of her Program for GCWS in August – Things You Want to Know About Painting

The first thing she taught us was – to remember to bring your apron – so you don’t wipe your brushes on your clothes.  Someone came up with a “makeshift” apron for her to use.  This fit in very well with her next piece of advice – Have Fun – it’s just a piece of paper!  When you paint, make it your own; whatever means something to you.  Jean has a desire to “preserve” old things that are disappearing; she preserves them by painting them.  She says Artists have to believe in themselves.

Jean discussed some of her current favorite colors, and surprised us by stating that she has five palettes, using certain ones for certain projects.  She encouraged us to learn about our paints; which are transparent, which are opaque, which mix well, etc.  She uses Schmicke Resist Fluid (from Dick Blick) which dries either clear or blue, and comes out of the container well.  
Creating "stubble"
She also showed how she uses sand paper to make “stubble” on a man’s face, as well as some “reflections” in water.  By the way, she uses large tubs of water when painting.  She believes in using very good quality brushes, Sable making the best point; Squirrel holding much paint and water.  She also uses Rat Whiskers brushes when she needs a Rigger brush; holding lots of paint, and enabling long thin lines.  She uses one or two inch flat brushes for a great deal of her work; encouraged us to use the biggest brush we can.  Jean usually doesn’t tape her paper (usually Arches 140  or 300 lb) down as she might want the deckled edges to show.

Creating rocks

Adding some greenery behind the rocks
Some Tips:
To encourage your creativity, use different sizes and shapes of paper.
Start your paintings in different ways:  most important item first; favorite color first, etc.
Start your painting at the bottom and work your way up.
Combine a “portrait/figure” with tools of his trade as the background.
Have horizontal, vertical, and diagonal shapes in your painting.
Don’t be “stingy” with your pigments.
Jean cannot paint every day because of teaching, and “Life”.  She does many, many sketches, sometimes accumulating ten at a time, and then paints when she is inspired to do so.  She mats and frames her own paintings; one time cutting 160 mats in one session.
Creating line work with rat whisker brush
Members may want to pay close attention to Jean’s advice and tips after seeing the wonderful work she entered into our Annual Exhibit.

Submitted by Joyce Grothaus, GCWS Secretary, August 2015

Thursday, August 20, 2015


This month’s meeting was a busy one indeed.  It was the day our members brought in their paintings for the GCWS Annual Exhibit for “Hanging” Day; that is, the day everyone’s entries were “hung” on the walls of the “Barn” – (WACC)  in Mariemont, Ohio.  There are 65-70 wonderful works of Art.  The Reception for the Show, Sun, Aug. 9, was well attended, and enjoyed by all.  It will be open to the public until Aug. 23.  “Take-Down” day is Tuesday, Aug. 25, (10:00 – 12:00).  Please pick up your paintings that day, or have someone get them for you.

It was announced that Carol McAfee, Chair of the Exhibit, would give a training session after today’s meeting, for all of the members who will be “Sitters” for the Exhibit.  Also, those who are bringing refreshments for the Reception, were encouraged to bring “lots”, since we were running short last year.  (We did have “lots” of fabulous food for the Reception.)

At 10:00 a.m., our President, Marilyn Bishop, welcomed everyone, including some new members, Mary Fleischmann, and Jan Boldt, from the Anderson area, as well as a couple of guests.   Sally Wester, Treasurer, gave her report.  Our money is adequate to handle our needs.   Dianna Duncan, chair of our Sue Archer Workshop, gave a report on the finances of that endeavor.  The $200 cost for members is probably the right amount to charge in order to come out even on this project.  All attendees enjoyed the Workshop immensely.

Membership/Blog Chair Deb Ward gave us the number 87 for number of current members, as of 8/5.  She put a supply of GCWS brochures in the entry of the Barn for use during the Exhibit.  Deb also announced that she will be giving up her two jobs for our Club.  She explained that one or two people can take over these responsibilities.  One person could be Membership Chair, and another, the Blog Chair.  Elections will be coming up in the Fall.  Think about it!

If anyone has Announcements that they would like to go into the Minutes/Blog, please fill out an Information form lying on the back table, and give it to Joyce Grothaus, Secretary.  Joan Abdon is in a show in Indiana;  Deb Ward is giving a workshop Aug 15/16; has one place open;  Judith Reed is in the Queen City Art Club Show in Montgomery.

Our Program Chair, Joan O’Leary gave a report on upcoming Events.  In September, Louise Allen will present “Unleashed” – and wouldn’t give us a clue about what it will entail; should be fun!   For our October meeting, Trish McKinney will return, with a program entitled “Layers of Understanding”.  Joan then introduced Jean Vance, for the August Program.

Submitted by Joyce Grothaus, GCWS Secretary, August, 2015

Sunday, August 16, 2015


Here are a few photos from our show opening.  

Remember - the show runs through August 23 - see sidebar for more information!

Here are 3 photos panning around the room - we had a good crowd and great food!

Below:  Our president, Marilyn Bishop (on left) and our show chair, Carole McAfee (on right) presented our awards.  Our judge this year was Craig Lloyd from Mt. St. Joseph College.

Honorable mentions were first.  They were Lydia Rittinger,  Venetia Wang, Carol Steuer and Claudia Taylor.
Lydia Rittinger (center)
Venetia Wang (right)
Carol Steuer (center)
Then came the monetary awards.  3rd Place - Deb Ward (no photo)
Tom Schroeder - 2nd Place
 And last but not least was 1st Place - Carolyn Hibbard - no photo as she was unable to be present.

Saturday, July 11, 2015


Marilyn Bishop, President, called our meeting to order, and welcomed everyone, including five  guests, Sandy Sperber, Linda Garrison (who found us on the Web), Eileen Flannery, Dee Fagedes, and Carol (whose last name I missed).

Sally Wester, Treasurer, gave the Financial Report of the Treasury, which is in good shape.  Deb Ward, Membership, said we now have 84 members.

It was announced that, for those who are not able to read the Minutes of our meetings on the Blog, there are a number of printed copies at each meeting on the back table, as well as a short form to fill out and give to Joyce Grothaus, Secretary, if you have an “Announcement” .  

Diana Marra will be teaching at the Berea Festival of Learnshops July 11-27 in Berea, KY, and will have work in Art on the Commons, Aug. 9 in Lincoln Park in Kettering, OH.

Carol McAfee, GCWS Exhibit Chair, gave information about our show at the “Barn” from August 5 through August 25, 2015.    Important dates: 
Pre-Registrations are due July 22 to Joyce Grothaus, who will prepare the Tags (Labels) for all paintings, and the List of Artists and Paintings.
“Hanging” Day will be the same day/same place as our meeting – August 5/ Barn.  Bring your paintings and entry fee to the Barn between 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

On July 11, 12, 13 and 14 we need to 
cover the gallery during our show.  
Sitters are needed in 2 hour (or more) 
increments for those days between 
the hours of 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.   Please contact 
Carole McAFfee if you are an exhibitor or 
member who would like to help the GCWS.

Nick Scrimenti, teacher at Miami University Hamilton campus, and consultant from Windsor Newton, gave us great information on paints and colors, and new materials, including paint crayons and paint sticks.

At last month’s meeting, Litsa Spanso, who gave the June Presentation, invited our group to come to her Studio, to enjoy the Art Comes Alive  (will be there for the month of July).  We were able to work it out to go as a group after today’s meeting and program.  Litsa’s Studio, Art Design Consultants, is on Culvert Street, by Eggleston,  just about .3 mile from our meeting place.  

This worked out beautifully as we all traveled in 6-7 cars.   Litsa provided sandwiches for us, and 25 members thoroughly enjoyed them, and seeing all of the wonderful work of artists from around the U.S.    About a quarter of the 180 winning paintings were from Ohio artists.  It was fascinating to see the variety of styles, sizes, ideas, and talent.  ADC will be accepting entries for this annual show next February.   We certainly appreciate Litsa’s kind invitation and her hospitality for this wonderful event! 

Program for July 1, 2015 Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society
Nick gave us information about paints and pigments via short demos.
The Presenter for the July meeting was Nick Scrimenti who is a Representative for the Windsor Newton Co., a teacher at Miami University, Hamilton Campus, as well as a Muralist for Cincinnati ArtWorks.  After his Presentation, Nick was on his way to the Sam Adams Bldg. to work on a mural there.  Nick earned his Bachelor’s at Miami University, and has a Masters in Fine Arts from U.C.  He works for Windsor Newton in their Fine Art Collective Education Program.

Nick gave us a very detailed and informative education on Paint – the ingredients, the kinds of, the properties, and the colors.  

Paint is made up of pigment – which can be made from a mineral base, that is, things that are found in the ground, (generally more opaque) or from “living things” such as beetles, or from synthetic ingredients (generally more translucent) –  mixed with a binder such as gum Arabic.  Watercolors are made with gum Arabic which allows them to re-wet.   (Watercolor paper is also more important to success than the base for other mediums – use a good quality.)

We discussed the quality of Student Grade vs Artist Grade Paints.  The differences in the two are:  price;  less pigment or less pure pigment in student grade (this really makes a difference when you try to mix three colors); colors are not as permanent as Artist grade.

Paints which are named ---- Hue are usually a mixture of ingredients as opposed to pure pigment, and therefore may you get a bit different result than you are expecting.  There is also a difference in Rose Madder Genuine, made from roots and gum Arabic – which is not permanent unless the label specifically says it is; and Rose Madder made from a chemical.  

Nick emphasized that we should pay close attention to the labels on the paints we buy.  For instance, an “open” block on a label says it is transparent;  a filled in black block means opaque.  Certain letters mean such things as A = best for lasting;  B is less lasting.

Other interesting facts:   Each Brand has certain colors that they say are their “Primary” colors;  there are certain properties for paints to granulate; have texture, and are opaque – generally mineral paints;  staining colors are usually synthetic, more transparent.  One can download a chart from Windsor Newton that tells all of this kind of information.  Also W/N has seven Mediums:  a granulation media; a blending media; a texture media, an irridescent media; an oxgall media which aids re-wetting and “lifting” and a masking media (only use old or cheap brush).  A tip given – use a bamboo pen to put on masking in small, thin, strokes.

A question about Brushes was answered -  Sable brushes are generally considered the “Best”.  Be gentle with them; clean them well;  don’t use them on canvas.

And, after all this knowledge was given to us – there were additional gifts for each member at the meeting – a  bottle of blending medium, a sample of Windsor Newton’s new Watercolor Paint Marker – very interesting – wide tip or narrow tip (can also be wet), and a Paint Stick (rather like a watercolor crayon).  Everyone was eager to try out these new products.

Submitted by Joyce Grothaus, Secretary, GCWS, 2015

Thursday, June 18, 2015


Sue Archer
This year our workshop was held at the Cincinnati Art Club.  Our guess artist was Sue Archer, who gave a 3-day workshop for our group on May 29-31.

Sue shared her beautiful artistic talents with us, teaching us about lights, darks, color, value and many more of her "secrets"!

Throughout the three days Sue gave each student individualized attention, as well as a personal critique of the work each artist brought in.

We want to express our thanks to her for the incredible learning experience we received.  Everyone learned a lot and had fun!

Here are some photos from those three days.

Student painting.
Dianna Duncan (Workshop Coordinator) prepares to paint.
Workshop participants listen intently during Sue's demo
(Sue's paintings in background).
Another round of instruction!

Laura Crew (foreground) and other workshop participants put
Sue's techniques into practice. 

Sally Wester (GCWS Treasurer) hard at work.
For more information about Sue Archer, check out her website.

Photos courtesy of Marilyn Bishop

Monday, June 15, 2015


Our presenter for June was Litsa Spanos, an established art consultant, award-winning gallery owner, custom framer and educator.  She has devoted her life and career to Art, and working with Artists.  She helps Artists show and sell their work; and gives them advice on marketing.

Litsa’s passion is helping people create and have Beauty in their lives.  She wants to provide environments that make people happy, and she believes in “the power of Original Art”.  She researches people’s or organization’s  wants, needs, and styles, and proceeds to fulfill them.  Litsa’s business is in the The Edge Building on Culvert St., and she works with individuals, hospitals, hotels, and other businesses to connect Artists with People who want Art.

Coming up this month at her Studio is Art Comes Alive, a competition of Artists’ work, with the Reception on June 20, after which it will be open to the public the month of July.  She invited the GCWS to come and see the work.   Gallery contracts are given to the winners.

Litsa discussed the fact that, in order to be a Professional Artists, one must absolutely have a website, and people must be able to see your work digitally.  She also has published an Art Book, a catalogue, named “Blink” which she has sent to 10,000 businesses nationwide.  Artists purchase a page in the Book in order to display their work.

Some points that Litsa made regarding Marketable Art:  
Needs some Originality – in size, color, design, subject matter or viewpoint;
Must be beautifully and appropriately matted and framed;
Title is important;
Most people do not want “people” in their paintings.

The group was very interested in and appreciative of Litsa’s knowledge and advice.  She did a couple of critiques – not on technique or quality of work, but on Marketability of paintings that were presented.

Submitted by Joyce Grothaus, Secretary, GCWS, June 2015

Sunday, June 14, 2015

MINUTES - JUNE 3, 2015

Many thanks to Carol Fencl for taking and writing up the Minutes of our May GCWS meeting; we really appreciate it!

President Marilyn Bishop began the meeting by introducing our newest member, Janet Reeves, and a guest, Eileen Seiter.  Welcome to both. 

Marilyn explained a new idea we will try out for the “stay and paint” portion of today’s meeting.  A part of a painting DVD will be shown; then we will attempt to copy same; then show another part, and paint more.  Our group is always willing to try new things!
Marilyn and all who attended the Sue Archer Workshop the past weekend gave many thanks and many kudos to Dianna Duncan for the awesome job she did in preparing for, and making the Workshop happen.  Sue said it was one of the best she’s put on, and she is interested in being invited back sometime.  Participants showed some of the work they did in the W/S.  Dianna purchased a Sue Archer DVD for the GCWS; it will be put into our DVD Library.  Joan Ammerman reminded everyone to sign in and sign out any DVDs that you borrow.

Treasurer Sally Wester gave the Treasurer’s report.  Our Treasury is in good shape.  No Membership report; Deb is on her annual “painting retreat”!   Marilyn asked anyone who has an Announcement, to fill out an Info Form with all the details so that they will be correct in the Minutes.

Announcements:  Diana Marra has work in the Cincinnati Art Club Critique Member Show;  Opening June 5.  She also has work at Art In the Commons in Kettering, OH, August 9 – a premium outdoor art show.
Joan Miley has work at the Aaron Wachs Gallery in Mariemont; June 9.    Howard Krauss thanked members of GCWS for their help and encouragement over the years; said it has enabled him and his wife to be asked to teach on a Cruise for four weeks this summer.
Deb Ward has paintings featured this month in two magazines -  The Artist Magazine – winning first place for the watercolor category in the All Media Competition – July/Aug;  and in the Acrylic Artist Magazine;  Summer 2015, a painting as one of several featured in the section on “color”.   
Congratulations to all!

Carol McAfee, Chair of our Annual Watercolor Exhibit, which will again be held at the “Barn” in Mariemont, gave an update on the project.  Everyone will receive a Registration Letter during July so that you can participate in the Exhibit.  Each member will be able to enter two paintings (which must have wires with which to hang them).   Members will send their information – name, name of paintings, price, etc., etc. to Joyce Grothaus, approximately two weeks before the Opening Reception, so that Tags can be prepared for all paintings.  Please read your Registration Letter carefully.  There will be Awards.

Joan O’Leary gave a report on upcoming Programs;   In July, Nick of Windsor Newton will display some new methods and materials; w/c markers and sticks.   In August, member Jean Vance will present “Things You Want to Know”.  This meeting will be at the “Barn”, allowing an easy way to bring in your paintings for the Exhibit – same day as our regular meeting;  In September Louise Allen will provide our lesson – TBA

Submitted by Joyce Grothaus, Secretary, GCWS, June, 2015