Monday, November 17, 2014


Marilyn introduced our own Deb Ward, past president, current membership co-chair (and held other past positions in GCWS) who led the Program for this month.  Deb has become quite the well-known, published, and most accomplished artist.  She is also a Teacher.

Deb just recently gave a Workshop on Painting Silver and Lace.  A number of our GCWS members who attended brought in their finished paintings for Deb to show to the group.  They were amazing!   Then, we got down to the business that we came for – Critiquing the B+ paintings the members brought in, to see if suggestions could be made that would make them A+ paintings. 

Deb distributed some excellent materials about the Elements and  Principles of Design, to help everyone learn to critique a painting (particularly, your own).  A five-minute time limit for each critique was established, with Eileen Hulsman acting as time-keeper.  The time flew by, but all paintings were shown and critiqued.  When the artists complete the suggested changes, many will certainly be show-worthy.

Some of the very useful tips, recommendations, and suggestions that were made as the paintings were shown:
-  One can use a sheet of acrylic to lay on top of your painting, and then try out some colors or other changes on this, without disturbing what you already have there.

Placing a few darks around and under the child sat her down on the steps.
A few more brought out her face and arms and added depth to the skirt.
-  When painting white items, try not to use gray for the shadows, especially for flowers.  Use a blue or violet, etc. to keep them “alive”.
-  When planning a small painting, you need to find some way to emphasize the main item or focal point when it is viewed from a distance, so it doesn’t get lost.
-  Find connections or make connections between items in your painting, either by overlapping them, or make some larger to meet with the smaller items, etc.

-  When composing your painting, make sure there is a focal point (a “star”); make sure that the “lines” do not lead your eye off the page.
Couldn't find changes for this one!
-  Decide on the direction of your light source, and make sure all shadows are coordinated.

Other than an indication of sidewalk, we decided this painting was finished!
-  Use all of your paper; don’t have too much empty space around your subject.

-  You might want to study the Elements of Design and the Principles of Design, and plan your composition accordingly.
-  Or, you might want to just defy these and do your own thing!  Go for it!
-  But, the one word that helps almost every painting that we do is:   Value;  Value;  Value!

-  Almost always, a bit of a change in your values bumps up the rating on your painting.  Be Bold!

The group really enjoyed this session of Critiques, and suggested that we do this at least once every Program Year.

The names of everyone who brought in a painting to be critiqued were put into a bowl, and three names were pulled to win a $25 gift card to Plaza Art.   The lucky winners were Claudia Taylor, Joyce Grothaus, and Nancy Ulmer.  Congratulations!

Submitted by Joyce Grothaus, Secretary GCWS, November 2014
Photos courtesy Jane Hittinger

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Our November meeting had quite a few members in attendance.  And many of those members brought in unframed B+ paintings to participate in the Program.  

President Marilyn Bishop called the meeting to order. We had three guests, Barb, India, and Marjorie. 

Deb Ward, Membership, gave a report.  We now have 89 members.

Sally Wester gave the Treasurer’s Report.  We are in good financial shape.  Members who would like to know the details are welcome to talk to Sally.

Dianna Duncan gave a report on the GCWS Workshop with Sue Archer to be held next May.  It is almost full.  There can be 20 participants, and 18 are signed up.  Dianna will also have a “Waiting List” available, in case someone has to drop out before May.  For those who have paid just a deposit – final payment will be due March 1, 2015.

Dot Burdin has agreed to chair the GCWS Scholarship Program.  We will have two scholarships to give, a $500 one from GCWS, and a $500 one from the Mary Marxen Fund.  The Art Academy will pick two deserving students for us, and the presentations will be made in May.

Announcements were made.  Diana Marra told of a workshop with a few openings in Evendale.  Larry Sparks is a Featured Artist in the Cincinnati Art Club where there will be an Associates show the next two weeks.  Susan Grogan told of a Fall Exhibit of the Queen City Art Club at the Essex Studios, on Dec. 5 & 6, from 6-10 p.m.  This is in Walnut Hills.  Shirley Knollman told of a display at the Arlington Memorial Cemetery.

The GCWS December “meeting”  (really a Party!!!)  will be on our regular day, Dec. 3.  We will have a similar program to last year - - with a “get to know you” game, prizes, and food.  We will also have a “Tag” sale; that is, members may bring in their unneeded art supplies, such as books, brushes, paints, etc. with a “gentle” price on them, to sell.  A new Adventure for this year is a “Creative” sale; that is, members may bring in small items that they have “created”, such as bookmarks, cards, etc., with a price on them, to sell.   If you bring something to sell, bring in an envelope with your name on it, to place with your items, for payment.  The Leadership Team will provide the beverages for the Party.  Each member is asked to bring in something to eat – from a bag of chips – to your “specialty”; all will probably be devoured.

We will have no meetings in January or February – we learned our lesson last year when weather made us cancel those meetings.  So, we will see everyone in March.

Joan O’Leary, Program Coordinator gave us some advance notice of the great things we will be doing next year.  In March, Rhonda Carpenter will give a program on Gouache Resistance; sounds like great fun.  In April, we will have Tina Tamarro;  in May, Mark Willenbrink; and in June we will have Litsa Spanos, an Art Marketing Expert, discuss marketing and sales.  It sounds like a great lineup.

Submitted by Joyce Grothaus, Secretary GCWS, November 2014