Monday, April 25, 2016


Program Chair, Claudia Taylor, introduced our presenter for April, Craig Lloyd.  Craig received his degree from Wright State, and Masters from U.C.   He is an Associate Professor at Mt. St. Joseph and was the Judge for our 2015 GCWS Art Show.   His topic was “A History of Watercolor”.    We saw many wonderful slides of paintings which were representations of the subjects and elements of design that were discussed.
 The first element discussed was “Unity” – that is, repetition with variety, sometimes shapes, or color, or values.  Other elements of design include balance, proportion, and a focal point.

The history of watercolor begins about 16,000 B.C. by the “cave men” who drew on walls with charcoal, or perhaps even put paint pigments inside hollow bones, and blew air through them to make representations of their everyday life.  Some were found in France.  The Egyptians were able to create “paper” – papyrus, by pounding stems of plants, and used a type of watercolor about 275 B.C.   Chinese silk painting – watercolor or ink on silk came into being about 1100-1200 A.D.   Next, the Europeans used egg tempera on vellum (sheepskin).  The Limbourgh Brothers created magnificent manuscripts in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Chinese paper was used extensively as a trade medium, shipped throughout the known world in trade for other goods.  Paper as we know it was developed from about 220-500 A.D.   At first, Sicily was the center of papermaking; then it was made in Italy, France, and Germany.  Woven paper was refined in the 1760’s, and when the paper-making machine was invented in 1807, it was so improved and much more abundant, that many artists could now afford to buy the paper and really begin to paint.  Most started as apprentices and worked with the great artists.

Albrecht Durer was the first real watercolorist, using roundness, shading, and color.  He used watercolor and gouache, which was called “body color”.  Until about 1781, most artists had to make their own paint, but Reeves was the first to use honey as a preservative to keep the pigment moist.  In 1846, artists were finally able to purchase tubes of paint – gum Arabic and pigment and water, by Windsor & Newton.  This opened the field to another whole round of artists.

In Britain, the Royal Watercolor Society still used the art form of watercolor and gouche.  In 1841-1842, a wonderful watercolor painter, JMW Turner came upon the scene.  He painted landscapes, scenes, many with large skies, and architecture.
In America, the artists were chronicling America – the birds, plants, etc.  John J. Audubon , who was born in Haiti, but eventually lived in Kentucky, worked on a Birds of America folio book.  He owned a dry goods store, made a fortune, but went into bankruptcy.  Luckily, he went to Britain with his large 30” x 36” folio.  It was published, and it was a great success.

Winslow Homer painted in the 1900’s; painted the Color Light – Chicago.  John Singer Sargent also painted in the 1900’s – 900 oils, and 2000 watercolor paintings.  He lived in Europe, but also had U.S. citizenship; was also talented on the piano.

Other painters whose work we saw:  Paul Cezanne, an impressionist; Berthe Morisot (painted 1872-1882).  She was known as a great drawer, and a fast painter.  Our Taft Museum had a show of her paintings recently.  Paintings by Dixie Selden (1930s), Emma Mendenhall (1960’s), and Ida Holterhuff Holloway (1930’s)  were other slides that we enjoyed at this presentation.

Elizabeth Nourse, a Cincinnatian (Mt. Healthy – 1890’s) went to the Cincinnati Art Academy; was a student of Frank Duveneck.   Duveneck (1848-1919) lived in Covington, KY, learned his craft from the Masters in Germany, and a number of his paintings are displayed at the Basilica Cathedral in Covington and at the Cincinnati Art Museum.

Members of the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society are following a long and very fine tradition of the many great watercolor painters who came before us.  Maybe, some day, some of our members will have paintings hanging in museums.

Submitted by Joyce Grothaus, Secretary , GCWS, - April, 2016.   

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


The new President of the GCWS, Kathy Lang, called the April meeting to order.  There were no guests today.  If you are a watercolor artist (beginner or seasoned) in the Greater Cincinnati area, you are cordially invited to come and visit one of our meetings, and join the group if you are so inclined. 

As our new Treasurer, Carol Fencl was on a wonderful vacation, a short Treasury report was given:  the checking account has been transferred, and we have enough in our Treasury to handle all of our current needs.  Any member that would like to have more details is always welcome to talk to Carol.

Continuing Secretary, Joyce Grothaus, reminded members that forms for making Announcements; and copies of the Minutes are placed on the back table for those who do not have access to the Blog.  Let’s tell the world about your accomplishments!

Judith Reed, Chair of our Annual Art Show, gave her report.  All members were mailed the rules regarding the Show.  

New, revised, copies of the Pre-Registration form were handed out at the meeting.  The Exhibit will be at the “Barn” in Mariemont;  Hanging on June 1, Reception on June 5, and the Show will continue until June 20.  Each participating member is asked to bring food to the Reception, if possible.  Leadership Team members will provide liquid refreshments.

Info about the Show:     Pre-Registration -  before May 18.   In order to pre-register, you must get the information about your paintings – that is – Name of Painting, Medium, Price you would like to put on it, your name, and contact info,  to Deb Ward before May 18.  The entry fee for pre-registration is $10-one;  $15 for two.    You may get this to Deb by E-mail, Snail Mail, in person at the May meeting, or Telephone.  Do not send Deb any money; that is to be brought to the June 1 Meeting/Registration/ Hanging Day, with your paintings.   If you do not Pre-register your paintings, the cost is $20-one;  $25 for two, and there will not be an identifying card for your painting, and yours will not be on List of Artists/Paintings.  Let’s have a good showing!

New Membership Chair Lydia Rittinger will be getting a new Membership Booklet printed up soon.  We want you to be in it.  Please send your dues to Lydia so that you can participate in all the GCWS activities, and lessons.

Librarian Joan Ammerman has been making our club DVDs very accessible to members at each meeting.  If you would like to borrow one, please sign it out and next month sign it back in.  There are some great lessons contained in these DVDs!

Dot Burdin, Scholarship Chair, has been coordinating all of the details necessary in order for the GCWS to give out two Scholarships to deserving students.  There will be two freshman students from the Art Academy at our May meeting who have been chosen to receive these.  One is directly from GCWS, and one is from the Mary Marxen Fund.  It is always very satisfying to be able to give a bit of help to a striving artist, and hear about the work they are doing.

Workshop Chair, Dianna Duncan gave a report about the Workshop that GCWS will be offering on October 28, 29, and 30 this year.  Guy Magallanes will teach, and we have been told he is both talented and fun!   Members will have first choice to attend; there will be just 20 places.  Salad and bread will be served for lunch.  Reservations will be available in July.  Dianna will need help in order for this project to be successful.

Submitted by Joyce Grothaus, Secretary, GCWS, April, 2016