Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Jean Soller
How long have you been a member of the GCWS and why did you join?
I was a member of the organizing board of GCWS in 2002. Under Marilyn Bishop's leadership, we felt a watercolor society would be popular in Greater Cincinnati so we shared our ideas, held an introductory meeting, asked for ideas and followed through with organizing GCWS. An exciting time

Have you held any positions with the GCWS; if so, what positions?
Yes, Membership Chair

What are some of your artistic achievements?
I have exhibited my art in shows and won some awards.

Describe your usual procedures for creating a painting.
When I'm planning a painting to give to someone, I choose a subject they would like.
Often, I just "feel" like painting a certain scene, still life, etc. and nothing else at that time will do.

How long have you been painting?
12 years

In what medium, other than watercolor or acrylic, do you work?

Where do you get your inspiration for paintings?
My husband and I travel frequently and my camera is always with me. I take lots of pictures. Sometimes seeing a certain color will create a spark, a scene with a lot of darks and lights or motion will tempt me to be creative. GCWS and class critique sessions' comments are a good tool to help with paintings. Workshops give me inspiration for new and different ways to produce a good painting.

Are you a teacher?

Where do you see yourself in the future? (i.e., is painting a hobby; will you enter shows; do you see yourself teaching?)
Watercolor painting for me is a hobby. I feel good sharing my artwork. I continue to learn new techniques. I feel it is very important to participate in a show to see your paintings in a formal gallery setting with other artists.

Is there anything else you would like for us to know about you and your art?
I like to paint greeting cards and original paintings for friends celebrating special occasions.
Learning new techniques and painting with others at Sandy Maudlin's studio is the highlight of my week.

Monday, June 20, 2011


Here are a few photos of the show at the Woman's Art Club facility - "The Barn" - in Mariemont, Ohio.
"The Barn"

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Our GCWS show opened on Saturday evening, June 4. Award winners were announced as follows:

Deb Ward
"Muncie's Pride"

Jean Vance
"Stonington, Maine"

Ritzie Junker - "Waiting"

Joan Ammerman
"Secluded Cape Cod Pond"

Susan Grogan
"Citta di'Venezia"

R. H. Carpenter
"A Difference of Opinion"
If you are in the Greater Cincinnati Area, please try to get out to the lovely suburb of Mariemont and enjoy the show!

Thursday, June 16, 2011


President Eileen Hulsman called the meeting to order. The location of the meeting was the Woman's Art Club Barn, 6980 Cambridge Avenue, Mariemont, Ohio 45227.

Scholarship: Marilyn Bishop introduced the winner, Emma Augutis a student from Lakota High School. She was presented with a $500 scholarship and a cake. Emma brought three examples of her work to show. Committee members were Ardelle Duffy, Susan Grogan, and Marilyn Bishop.

Deb Ward asked that we visit the blog once a month. Each member will be asked to prepare a short bio and also read about what other members say.
Jean Vance: was mentioned in Watercolor magazine.
Dorothy Burdin said our show opening is 5 to 8 this Saturday night and she handed out the food/wine list.
Susan Grogan asked that if anyone has newspaper articles about the show, bring them in for our scrapbook.
Rhonda Carpenter said there were 86 paintings in the show.
Nancy Wisely said that in July our guest will be Sandy Maudlin. In August we will be going to the Art Museum. Nancy then introduced Tom Bluemlein our speaker painter for today.

Announcements: reminder -- new blog site is

Minutes submitted by Secretary pro-tem, Carol Steuer

Sunday, June 12, 2011


During his demo, Tom Bluemlein regaled us with many tales of his life as an artist.
In his folksy way, Tom shared with us his “7 Pearls of Painting” which are:
1. Drawing. This is fundamental, and needs to be relatively accurate but not precise.
2. Squinting. As mentioned before, a camera compresses the values, but Tom believes that squinting helps us define the values better since the darks get a little lighter and the lights a little darker when we squint.
3. Design (composition). Tom uses the “tic tac toe” grid pattern and uses the “sweet spots” for his focal points. There are usually 3 focal points – primary (the “star” of the painting), secondary (the “co-star”) and tertiary (the supporting cast).
4. Value.
5. Color. Tom rarely uses his paints straight from the tube, but likes to calm or settle down his colors, using raw color sparingly. He asserts that in nature there are very few colors that are not toned down by another color.
6. Edges. Tom asserted the need for both soft (or lost) edges and hard (or found) edges, referencing paintings from the masters showing how mixing edges can incorporate the main subject into the background without that “pasted on” look.
7. Paint manipulation. This references the various ways we lay down the paint – for instance, by glazing, building up or scratching out.

Tom also reminded us of the “power of 7” that surrounds us such as the 7 days of the week, the 7 sacraments and 7 deadly sins, to name but a few “seven” references.

A few of Tom’s other “pearls of wisdom” are:
• He avoids “cutesy” tricks, but will use salt sparingly.
• A unified palette is important; in other words, carry color throughout the painting for unity in the painting. Tom currently is using the colors used by Sargeant.
• Paint like “who cares”; in other words, paint with abandon and joy.
• Paint with kindergarten values; in other words, paint with your fingers if you want and ignore the rules.
• Don’t use a pure white palette or you will get too much contrast between your color and the palette; he prefers a palette that shows some color (such as an older watercolor palette that has had some use) or, when painting in acrylic or oil, a palette covered in grayish tones of prior dried colors.
• To highlight areas in the painting, use complementary colors.
• “Molest” the edges. While this sounds a bit frightening (!) Tom explained that “molest” means to change or alter, and he showed this concept at the end of his painting as he used water or more paint application scumbled here and there to soften some of his edges.
• He also believes in “doing what it takes” and sometimes he uses white watercolor paint in his watercolor paintings. (He asked how many of us were “purists” in watercolor just before – OH HORRORS – spattering that white paint over his painting!)
Tom Bluemlein's painting of aspen trees from a photo taken by him
when he lived in Taos, New Mexico.
During his painting demo, Tom used one large flat brush almost exclusively, with a rigger and small round brush used for some of the branches and vegetation surrounding the tree trunks.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Our June program presenter was Tom Bluemlein, currently president of the Cincinnati Art Club. Tom is well known for his oil paintings and is a signature member of the Oil Painters of America. However, Tom began his career painting in watercolor as an illustrator, and is now reacquainting himself with his former medium.

During his demo, Tom gave a brief history of himself, explaining that he had studied with John Pike - and the palette he was using had been given to him by John Pike. Due to dyslexia and some eye problems, when Tom paints from photos he often finds it easier to turn them upside down and concentrate on the values in the photo. He also reminded us that a camera is only a tool and that it compresses the values, often making the darks too dark and the lights too light, and that if we can, it is far better to paint from life and squint to locate the value shapes.

Tom often grids his photos and transfers each grid as it’s own small painting and paints the shapes and values in this way. He will then blend the edges together at the end of the painting.

Tom is not one to follow the rules and says “guidelines are OK but rules squelch creativity”.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


The June, 2011 meeting of the GCWS was held at the Woman’s Art Club “Barn” in Mariemont, Ohio, which is also the site of our current spring show. We had a full house in attendance, since we had a lot going on at this meeting in addition to our usual monthly meeting and program - we were also dropping off our paintings for the show, and we awarded our annual scholarship.

This year’s scholarship winner was Emma Augutis, a senior from Lakota East High School. In the photos are our GCWS present, Eileen Hulsman and our founder, Marilyn Bishop who are seen awarding Emma her $500 scholarship check.
Eileen Hulsman, President of Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society, Emma Augutis, and
Marilyn Bishop, Founder of  the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society Annual Scholarship
During high school, Emma entered many art shows, such as the Scholastic Art Show where she received a Gold Key in ceramics and the Governor’s Art Show. Through the Taft Museum Program, Artists Reaching Classrooms, her work was displayed at the Cincinnati Public Library where she won a $1,000 dollar scholarship. She also worked at Kings Island as a portrait artist.

Eileen Hulsman and Emma Augutis, 2011 recipient of the Greater Cincinnati
Watercolor Society Annual Scholarship.
Emma will be pursuing a degree in fashion design at the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning (DAAP) which is one of the best design schools in the country. We wish her much success.  In the background of the photo are 2 of Emma’s paintings which she brought to show her work to us. Following the check presentation and our program, we celebrated Emma’s award with a cake.