Thursday, September 18, 2014


Barb Smucker
Joan O’Leary introduced Barb Smucker, the Artist giving the Program for the month. 
Barb got her degree in Art, but has been really actively painting for just 12 years.   She wanted to tell us about her journey in the artistic field, about where she started, and where she is now.  She has taught dozens of classes, and feels that she also learns from these.

As an Art Major, Barb learned and practiced with all kinds of materials, styles, colors, and subjects.  She learned to have a love and a curiosity of all kinds of artwork.  She really loves the “process” of painting and experimenting.  Her early work was more about Transparent Watercolor, but now she tries many different paintings, from conventional transparent watercolor to crazy abstracts, using some acrylics – but, mostly water-based paints only.
Barb showed examples of (left to right) Saturation, Hue and Value.
Barb talked about how we all love Color!  She loves all aspects of color.  She talked about the Principles of Color:
Hue – (colors are mostly at the edge of the color wheel);
Value – how light or dark a color is in its purest form.  It is a good idea to look at the Value Pattern of your painting (that is, step back, and see the Notan patterning, throughout the whole piece.)  If you want to emphasize color only, use mid-tones of all the colors.
Saturation – how bright vs how dull.  Just because some color is lighter does not mean it is “brighter”.  She showed examples.  Saturation is Intensity.  Color against fog or mud stands out.  If you want to de-saturate a color, add white to it; to dull down a color, add a blend of other colors.
Barb showed us the beginnings of an abstract painting to which
 she was going to add water soluable crayons.
As Barb demo’d a painting, she talked about how your strokes, and the colors you choose, can impact the “feeling” of a painting.  Subject matter can tell you what hues and saturation to use.  She also told us that trying to do a new hue contrast will probably upset our brains.  Trying something new can frustrate us at first, but stimulates our creativity.

It was interesting to watch Barb draw – she holds her pencil far from the point.  She quickly drew a woman’s face and body.  She began painting in pure hues.  She talked about not “over-thinking it”, but deciding just what color you want to put next to the other color.  She said “Paint like a kindergartener!  - just for a change!   It can inspire your carefully worked on, six-month, get-it just-right, exact, painting.”  When she paints, Barb keeps a “warm” and a “cool” water container, to keep the colors from getting muddied.  Barb also used a spray ink (Hobby Lobby).
Drawing an abstracted female figure . . .
Using pure colors . . .. 
. . . and having fun with her painting!
When asked “How does one go about starting an Abstract painting?” she replied “Start playing around with colors and shapes and textures.  Find the best part of your beginning work, and then paint “into” the best part.  Use vivid, pure hues; mixed media, crayons.”  She has even blown paint through a straw as an exercise.  Take ½ hour to just play.    She told us about six-minute tutorials online from Jane Davies, and a Water Paper Paint book by Heather Jones.
Small matted abstracts based on beach glass and stones.
Barb showed us how she begins a painting of beach glass by dropping and spraying paint.
Barb held the painting on it's side to let the paints flow and drip together.
A look at one of her beach glass paintings in progress.
Barb’s Painting of Woman was both amazing and interesting!  She mentioned that she may have an Abstract Workshop in the future if enough people are interested.  Barb then gave some good suggestions for improvement to members who brought in a painting to be Critiqued.

Next Program will be with our own Susan Grogan.

Submitted by Joyce Grothaus, Secretary, GCWS, September, 2014, photos by Deb Ward.

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Our President, Marilyn Bishop, called a very well-attended meeting to order at 10:00 a.m.  We even had to get out a few more chairs!  Our guests were introduced and welcomed   – Ramonde’s friend, Mary Berkmeyer, who went on the Bus Trip with us; Carol’s guest, Nancy, and Pat Lester – who says she is a “wanna be” artist, friend of Mary Ellen.

Sally Wester, Treasurer, gave her report.  We do have a reasonable amount of money in our Treasury.  Sally announced a bargain – for the rest of this calendar year, dues are $25.

Program Chair Joan O’Leary has agreed to stay on in her position for two years.  Thank you very much, Joan! 

It was mentioned that there are “Information Forms” available to anyone who has some Announcement or Information that they would like to share with the members, or to be put into the Minutes, and into the Blog.  If members fill them out and hand them in to me, it is much more likely that my writeup will be more accurate.   Thanks!  If I don’t have the forms set out on the back table, please ask me for one.

Our Annual Exhibit/Show was the next subject on the agenda.  Carol McAfee spearheaded this Event, and received a great deal of help from many members to make it a great success!  Everyone agreed that it was one of our best, well-attended Shows (about 275 patrons).  A number of paintings and prints were sold:  a few paintings were commissioned.  There were even three people who came on the last day, the pick-up day, to see the great work.  Carol thanked all the artists who submitted their paintings and all who volunteered for the event.

Deb Ward gave an accounting of Membership.  We now have 82 members.  Deb will mail out the Membership booklets shortly.   It was suggested that we could produce our Membership information electronically so that it could be added to, or changed, more easily.  That will certainly be taken under consideration, but it was also mentioned that we do have a fair number of members who still need, or want, a paper copy to easily pick up and use.  Deb will ask the six winners of the Annual Show to agree to be Featured Artists.  So, in the near future, look for articles, and samples of their work on the Blog!

A new DVD has been purchased for the GCWS Library – Color Power.  The lesson is about painting a street scene.  If you would like to borrow it, or another of our DVDs, please be sure to see Joan Ammerman, who is our new Librarian, to sign out the DVD in the “Book”.

Deb Ward is giving a Workshop at our regular meeting place (Cincinnati Art Club building), Saturday and Sunday,  October 25/26 – “Painting Silver & Lace”.  If you would like to attend this two-day workshop, please contact Deb (more information on the sidebar).
Mariemont Annual Art Festival was Sun. 9/7 – they were setting it up when my family and I came out of the National Exemplar from Breakfast.  It was right in the middle of the divider – lots and lots of tents – looked interesting!
Middletown also had an Art Festival on 9/7.
There was a show in Springfield at the Senior Center the weekend of 9/6-7.
Mariemont Kiwanis Art Festival – Saturday, 9/13; 11:00-9:00; Outdoor; info, Judith Reed.
Queen City Art Club – thru 9/14 at Kenwood Star Retirement Center; Kenwood Rd; 60 paintings.  Info; Judith Reed.
A Leadership Team meeting was held after the regular meeting.

Submitted by Joyce Grothaus, Secretary, GCWS, September, 2014.