Wednesday, September 16, 2015


Our Presenter for September was our own Louise Allen.  She has been painting now for 15 years, first with her husband Sam, attending workshops in many places, even overseas in such places as Paris, Amsterdam, and Nice, and since his passing, continuing on her own path.  Thus, the title of her Presentation – “Unleashed”.  She has been able to let him go, to ascend.  He is no longer “trapped” in her heart.  This, after a very spiritual experience, in which he let her know that he loved her, and that she would be “OK”.

Louise is currently very interested in working on Yupo (plastic) paper, with alcohol inks (Ranger Rick or Adirondack).  One of her inspirers is Cathy Taylor.  Louise told us it is a good idea to wear gloves because it is very staining (but, she doesn’t).  J  She loves the alcohol ink because the colors are very bright, and they spread out.  First, she spritz’s 90-91% alcohol on the paper, then drops on the ink in small spots, and lets it move around.  As she watches the action on the paper, she decides what her painting is going to be about.

Louise has just one eye, and she believes that she sees the world differently; but then, everyone does.  She encouraged us to look at the world with two eyes, and then close one, and see the difference.  Louise is all about seeing the world differently, and experiencing it differently, and lately has taken to meditating to relieve stress.  She breathes in and when breathing out, thinks her mantra, “Be Calm”.  Her current morning prayer is “Whatever”, and evening prayer is “Oh, well”.  Her brain is full of “flowers”.
Examples of her work show that her brain is full of many other wonderful subjects and colors, and her creativity is exploding!  She gave us many examples of how to experiment with this media – drip the ink and then spray with alcohol; blow on the paint and paper with a straw; use magic markers to add to the paint; outline something in black marker.  She uses a heavyweight Yupo paper which can take more experimenting and abuse.

Louise showed us how to lift color with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol, how to spray mousse, or shaving cream in a “cake pan”, then spritz ink on it, swirl a straw through it, or splatter ink with a toothbrush on it; then lay a piece of Yupo paper on it, to see what happens.  She sometimes uses a stencil to get an effect.  She doesn’t use a brush or a tool, since she found out she can just “throw it on”. 

But her “throwing it on” yields wonderful artistic results, particularly when she frames her work – which she says, is the “name of the game”.

Louise gave us a delightful and inspiring Presentation, and it speaks volumes that some of the members were heard to say “I wish we could have her on tape”.

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

Friday, September 11, 2015


The meeting, well attended, was brought to order by president, Marilyn Bishop.   She introduced our newest member, Marjorie Grubbs from Bright, Indiana.  Welcome, Marjorie!  Guests were also introduced, Kathy Schmid (Deb), MaDonna (Carol), and Debby (Louise).

As there were so few people who intended to stay after the meeting to paint, it was cancelled;  maybe next month.

Sally Wester gave the Treasurer’s Report – we have adequate money for our needs.  She did recommend that we consider raising the entry fee for the annual exhibit.  This will be discussed at the Leadership Team meeting immediately following this meeting.   If anyone would like to see details of the budget, etc., please talk to Sally. 

Everyone was reminded that copies of the Minutes from last meeting are provided by Secretary, Joyce Grothaus, on the back table – for those who do not have access to the Blog.  Also, there are forms for members to fill out and hand in to Joyce about Announcements that you would like to make, or info for the Blog.

Deb Ward, Membership Chair, gave our membership number as currently 89.
It was announced that Nancy Pennington, member, died a few weeks ago; no other info.

Carol McAfee gave a report on the Annual Exhibit at the Barn. She said the Exhibit Judge was really impressed with the caliber of work presented; said he immediately saw at least 15 “winning” paintings; wished he had more awards to give out. He took a great deal of time in his judging. Congratulations to the winners – 1st – Carolyn Hibbard; 2nd – Tom Schroeder; 3rd – Deb Ward. Honorable mentions went to Venetia Wang, Lydia Rittinger, Claudia Taylor, and Carol Steur.

There was a bit of discussion about what work may be entered into the Exhibit.  Only Original Paintings, from your Original Sources;  Work that has not been shown in previous GCWS shows, may be entered.   This will be emphasized for next year.
Carol reminded us that she has chaired the Exhibit for two years, and we will need a new Chair for next year.  She has really good notes, and had everyone who contributed time or effort to making the Exhibit a success, stand.  About half the members stood; a good sign that the Chair does not have to do all the work.  J   The August dates at the Barn are not available for 2016, so we are looking at dates in June.  The Leadership Team will discuss at their meeting.

Marilyn asked the current Leadership Team members to stand and give a short summary of the duties of their office so that members may consider if they would like to contribute to the good of the GCWS by assuming an office for next year.
Marilyn, President, sees this office as being one of “support” – helping the Leadership Team members do a good job, keeping things “on track”, and supporting members to receive what they want from their membership.

Deb, Membership & Blog -  Membership is keeping track of names, info, and numbers of members, having GCWS pamphlets available for the public when appropriate, and preparing/updating the Membership Book once each year.   The Blog Chair keeps the Blog updated and interesting, and accepts and publishes the Minutes and Program Write-up, supplementing it with photos.

Sally, Treasurer, has performed this duty for five years, and believes that it would be a good idea for someone else to handle it now.   Her main duties are: giving a report at each meeting, keeping accurate records of incoming and outgoing monies, making deposits of dues, etc., writing checks for various payments, and preparing the Budget.
Joyce, Secretary, discussed taking the Minutes at each meeting, as well as the Write-up of the Program, and writing them in a timely fashion; sending these items to the Blog Chair, and printing copies to be taken to the meeting for members who do not have access to the Blog.  She mentioned that holding an office is a good way to participate in the group more fully; to get to know other members in a very meaningful way; and feel a sense of accomplishment.

Joan, Program Chair, talked about her duties; contacting people to do Programs (with help from the Leadership Team and members), keep a record of all Programs and info about them; introduce the Presenters.

Joan, and Jane, Hospitality Chairs, make sure that our facilities are ready for the meeting, prepare coffee, and sometimes food;  make/ handle members’ name tags; make members feel welcome.

Dianna, Workshop Chair, will keep this position again for next year.  Thanks, Dianna.   She asked for any ideas that members have for W/S Presenters, to add to her list.  We usually have the W/S in May, but will consider the Fall, if the Annual Exhibit is in June.
All positions are eligible for Nominations – either for yourself or another member.  Please keep this in mind for the October meeting, as Elections will be in November.  Are you able to give a bit of your time and talents to GCWS to keep it a successful endeavor?

Joan reminded us that members may borrow CDs, and DVDs by signing them out and signing them back in.  It is a great way to learn a new way of doing something.

Janet Vennemeyer told the group that Mary Helen Wallace is closing her Painter’s Cove, and has many paints, etc. for sale.

The Ohio Watercolor Society Annual Show will be at the Middletown Art Center from September 18 thru October 24.  Five of our members have entries in the show.
Diana Marra has work in the Middletown Arts Festival on Saturday, Sept. 12.

GCWS Program for October will be “Layers of Understanding” by Trish McKinney, and November will be “Abstract Art” by Barb Smucker.

There was a short Critique of paintings presented by new member Marjorie Grubbs.

Submitted by Joyce Grothaus, Secretary, GCWS – September, 2015