Monday, June 20, 2016


Tom (in green shirt) giving us his Power Point presentation on Composition
Tom Schroeder, GCWS Member, is basically a self-taught artist who has been using Watercolor for 20 years. He was raised in Southern Minnesota, and credits his early natural surroundings, such as marshes, woods, waterfowls, etc. for his love of painting nature scenes and outdoor subjects. His college training is as an architect, and he also was an exchange student in England, which added to his interest in painting historical buildings and other old and well-used objects. He believes that Beauty is found everywhere. He has recently won awards in the Juried Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky Watercolor Society Shows. Congratulations, Tom!

Tom enjoys designing bonsai plants, and finds there is a great similarity in composing for Painting and for Bonsai. Composition is the most important component for success in both of these endeavors. Tom’s definition of Composition - the intentional arrangement of elements in the work to tell a story.

Tom’s Basic Elements of Composition:  Division of Space; Arrangement of Elements; Nature of Elements; Relationship of the Elements.  Also to be discussed, Compositional Errors.  Concerning the Division of Space, the following subjects were discussed: Rule of Thirds, the Golden Section (nautilus squares into larger squares); Curves (S curves); Asymmetry; Balance (energy of opposing elements); Perspective (vanishing points, and what is your viewpoint?); Diagonals; Horizontals; and Verticals.

Next discussion covered the Arrangement of Elements such as: Grouping (usually an odd number is best) (the mind can only absorb 11 items comfortably). More than 11 items is called a Grove; Repetition (want similar, but not exactly the same); and Pattern (or disruption of patterns).
Visual Space - one needs to leave room for movement of live objects.
Discussion of space includes Depth; Triangle; Interval of spacing (uneven); Viewing Angle (take your own pictures); Abstraction (real closeups); Massing (can be simple pieces carefully placed); and Void - a “gap”; a non-element.

We saw slides of the many different aspects of the Nature of Elements - (can be simple or complex). Under the Nature of Elements, we include:
Color (Hue, Saturation); Value; Detail; Focus; Lighting (major component for drama); Line (straight, curved, Point); Geometry; Surface; Form; Simplicity; Texture; and Brightness or Darkness.

Then we considered the Relationships of the Elements. Under this heading:
Contrast; Parallel; Scale/Proportion; Mother/Child; Pattern (all are part of a whole); Tangent (touching to show connection); Edge; Emotion; Story Telling; Tension; Proximity; Meaning; Alignment; Interest (Center of Interest); Unity/Harmony; Mood; Humor; and Movement.

It is amazing how many thoughts we need to think; how many considerations we need to consider; how many lessons we need to learn; and how much imagination we need to imagine before we can produce an interesting painting.

And, when we think we have done this, we must take an extra good look at, and try to find any “Compositional Errors”, such as Awkward Tangent Points, Boring Subject Matter, Head “Trees”; Lack of Focus (no Center of Interest); Too Active (too many COI); Items which Lead Out of the Picture; Symmetry; Centered Horizon/Vertical; Improper Lighting; Boring Repetition; Even Numbers; Visual Echo; Static Spacing; Centered COI; Lack of Contrast; Poor Alignment; or a Poor Viewing Angle.  Wow! And the GCWS Members still manage to do great work, and produce many, many excellent paintings with Good Composition!

Tom gave us many, many topics to think about, and then he encouraged us to draw on our own personal life experience, and our own personal experiences to tell stories.  Identify our interests; create areas of interest; visit and explore environments which contain our interests, and capture images of these environments. We will never run out of ideas for paintings!

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

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


As promised, here are photos of our recent show.

The entry foyer showcasing several of our members.

And here are the rest of the paintings!

Photos courtesy Deb Ward - Not a Professional Photographer!

Monday, June 13, 2016


Here are some photos from our June 5 opening at the Woman's Art Club "Barn" in  Mariemont, Ohio, Note:  We have a rule in place that winners of the prior year are not eligible for an award in the current show.
Photos of member's paintings will appear in the next posting - June 14.

First Place Award to Rhonda Carpenter (who was unable to attend the opening)
for her painting "Plant Series - Morning Leaves"
Lois Schaich accepts 2nd Place Award from President, Kathy Lang.
Lois Schaich and her painting "Big Wheel"
Venetia Wang accepts 3rd Place Award

Venetia Wang and her painting "Tindar"

Marilyn Bishop accepts an Honorable Mention Award
(Our Show Chair, Judy Reed, on the left)
Marilyn Bishop and her painting "Rooftops - Cos Cob Art Colony"

Honorable Mention for Kathy Lawrence's painting "Golden Gourds"
President Kathy Lang (right) and Elizabeth Davis, Art Design Consultants Gallery Director (our show judge)
Here are a few photos of the opening reception.
The crowd eagerly awaits the Awards Ceremony.

Some members and friends enjoying the opening.

We had a nice crowd for the opening.

Plenty of food . . . 

. . . and more food . . .
. . . and beverages.

Hope you get a chance to visit the show!

Photos courtesy Deb Ward (who is obviously not a professional photographer!)

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

JUNE 1, 2016 - MINUTES

Our meeting for June was held at the “Barn” in Mariemont in order to save members an additional trip to bring in our paintings for the Annual Exhibit.
President Kathy Lang called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone (a large group this month), including guest Susan Eagle. She studies with Deb Ward.

Treasurer Carol Fencl, gave her report. One note - we will have enough in our Mary Marxen account to give two more scholarships in the future. Our Treasury is in good shape, and was helped by a $75 donation from Todd Butt, our Presenter from last month (and VP of the Ohio Watercolor Society) because he wanted to encourage our group to continue our worthwhile learning experiences. Thanks to Mr. Butt.

Deb Ward, Blog Chair, encouraged everyone to let her know if you have won any awards, are showing in any Art Shows, or have any other interesting artistic endeavors that the rest of us might like to know about.

Lydia Rittinger, Membership Chair, is in the process of moving, so had no report this time.

Diana Duncan, Workshop Chair, gave a very rousing presentation about the Club Workshop that will be held at the end of October. Teacher will be Guy Magallanes  who, we are assured, will give a fun class. Members have the first chance of signing up. Dianna will mail out to all members a registration form, (to be sent back to her with your check). If the class of 20 is not yet filled, non-members will be allowed to attend.

Judy Reed, Annual Exhibit Chair, gave some updates about the show, and talked about the Sitter Training that would take place after the meeting. One important reminder about the Show: If you sell a painting, customers pay you directly, and you are responsible for sending the commission to the Women’s Art Club.

Judy reminded us to bring our refreshments on Sunday for the Reception. Pick-up Day for the paintings is Tuesday, June 21, from 10:00 - 12:00 noon. If you cannot come then, please make arrangements to have someone pick up your paintings.

Joan O’Leary, acting on behalf of Claudia Taylor, Program Chair, then introduced our own Tom Schroeder, Presenter for June.

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