Monday, June 19, 2017

MINUTES - JUNE 7, 2017

Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society
Program Notes          
10:00 am June 7, 2017

In the absence of President Kathy Lang, the Secretary, Tom Schroeder called the meeting to order. 

We welcome visitors, Pam Zeller and Cathy Parkinson to the meeting.  They are students of Marilyn Bishop.  We also welcome Sukhwa Kahl to the club this month.

  • Yuki Hall has a workshop in Evendale from 10-4 on June 24th.  The cost of the workshop is $50.
  • The Plaza has workshops on Thursdays from 1-3.
  • We still need a Hospitality Chairman for the GCWS Show at the Barn.  If you can help, please contact Kathy Lang.

Fall Workshop Chairman, Pat Lester, reported that this year’s workshop will be held on Oct 27, 28 and 29.  She opened it up to the membership for input for topic of workshop that they would be interested in.  Make your requests known to Pat.

Annual Exhibit – We wanted to reiterate the details from the previous notes with updates:

Mary Fleischmann discussed details for our upcoming Club Exhibition:
  • ·         This year the sitters will also be encouraged to paint while they sit.
  • ·         One person of each sitting pair will need a smart phone and download the app for electronic payment for paintings that sell during their sitting time.
  • ·         Aug 2nd will be our meeting date, followed by the show hanging. 
  • ·         On Aug 5th the show will start
  • ·         The show reception will occur on Sunday, Aug. 6th, from 1-4.
  • ·         This year’s judge will be Rachel Rubin Wolf, who was our presenter from the April meeting.
  • ·         Deb Ward will do name tags for the paintings.
  • ·         The show ends Sunday, Aug. 27th.  Paintings can be picked up at the end of the day - or – final pickup on Tuesday, August 29 from 10-noon.
  • ·         The Anderson Senior Center will tour the exhibit.  This year, to assist with the presentation of the show during the tour, each exhibiting artist provide a write up of their paintings with entries.
  • ·         On Aug 20th, there will be music by the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra at the Barn during our show.  Carol Fencl has agreed to stay after her sitting to be present while people cross over from the music to see our work.
  • ·         During the July meeting, there will be an update for the credit card reader.
  • ·         The Barn typically takes 20% commission on sales of paintings during the show.  It is the responsibility of the artist to make this connection with The Barn.
  • ·         There will be postcards for this year’s show in the same style as last year’s show, showing the winning entries.  These postcards have been distributed and left at the Barn.

The July 5th meeting will be held in the evening.  We will incorporate a pot-luck dinner into the beginning of the meeting.  The dinner will start at 6:30, with the program starting at 7:00.   The program presenter will be Ken Buck.   Kathy Lang will be sending an email with information.

The August 2nd meeting will be an informal, open Q & A session with coffee and donuts.  There will be no invited presentation.  This is an opportunity for you to ask questions about what you or others are working on with your work.

Nancy Wisely, our Scholarship Chair announced that this year’s Scholarship Award winner is Madison Diopoly.  She will be present at our August meeting to receive her award and will also submit two of her paintings to be part of our show.

Membership report by Lydia Rittinger, noted no new memberships.  We do want to announce that new membership dues are reduced to $25 starting in August.  The new Club membership directory was sent out via email earlier this spring.  If you still need a printed copy please contact Lydia or Kathy.  Lydia reported that our Club membership is at 78 members.

Connie Dettmer announced that our income for this month is due to membership fee intake.  Expenses occurred through our costs for the upcoming show and our typical meeting expenses.  

Submitted by Tom Schroeder, Secretary, Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society, June 2017.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society
Program Notes          
10:00 am May 3, 2017
Peggy Bishop
Program Chair, Claudia Taylor introduced our May program presenter, Peggy Bishop.  Peggy credits her love of watercolor to her mother, our own Marilyn Bishop.  Peggy has established her own watercolor path and we were pleased to see her range of skills.  Peggy lives near Lexington, Kentucky and her career has ranged over numerous directions such as chemistry, micro-biology, cancer research and programming.

She loves to travel and collect images along her trails for future paintings.  She counts the South Carolina lowlands and Bluegrass countryside as influences for many of her pieces.

In the past, Peggy has also painted detailed still lifes of crystal glass among other subjects.  Her current interest has led to working in urban landscapes.  She has studied in workshops with Paul Jackson, a renowned colorist; Iain Stewart, famed architectural illustrator/artist and Keiko Tanabe, whose portfolio features many international landscape subjects.  These influences have moved Peggy to working looser.  One of her current influences is Jeremy Mann, and oil painter who works in deep value cityscapes and night scenes.

Peggy described her typical process in organizing her reference images for a painting. 
She likes to use an IPad to modify the qualities of photos.  She applies various filters to an image to dial up or down the value, saturation and hue as well as focus, texture and pattern.

For her presentation, Peggy continued to work on an in-progress aerial perspective scene as viewed from the Space Needle tower in downtown Seattle.   She chose to use a painting that was already started so that we could see some of the critical steps of her painting process in the short time of the demonstration.  This is a painting subject that she has painted before in demonstrations in an exploration of patterns, colors, values and emphasis.  The focus of her exploration in this demo is to better establish the center of interest.

 This Seattle scene carefully established prominent city streets as the organizing compositional element, shifting a key intersection, off center into the lower left Law of Thirds point of the painting.   She originally started with gradient washes for the building shapes, followed by delineation of the materials and shapes of the window patterns.  In some cases, she utilized masking tape to set key edges and highlights.  For the majority of the painting, she painted the building lines free hand so it wouldn’t look too tight throughout the piece.  As she demonstrated some parts of her technique, Peggy explained that she likes to scumble pigment into areas of the painting to develop texture.  She will also drop pigment into wet lines for variation.  She explained that her use of soft and hard edges varies with the image and her emphasis of the center of interests within each piece.  Some buildings/windows were done painting negatively to maintain the light building color against the darker window.

The base color palette for this demo piece created the majority of the painting.  She utilized a special accent color, June Bug Blue, as a turquoise glow for the feature building against the Thalo Blue color tint of the overall cityscape to punch her center of interest.  This worked successfully to add interest, accent and variation of hue, all reinforcing her composition.  In her use of color, Peggy says that she typically likes to work with a lot of color, but in this case, the minimal color palette set up her composition.  Her approach to value is to include deep, dark values at an early point in her painting process.  It allows her to measure the rest of the values of the painting against the darkest parts.

She works with a variety of paint manufacturers depending on the quality of the paint color.  In this demo painting, Peggy has a very limited palette, utilizing Raw Sienna, Thalo Blue, Windsor Newton Neutral Tint (has a blueish cast), June Bug Blue (American Journey Paints) and Cad Red accents. 

Peggy doesn’t mind using cheap brushes for certain techniques.  She also uses the Princeton Neptune No. 8, a Paul Jackson Kayak Brush and a synthetic Robert Simmons white sable among others.

Peggy used a hair dryer to facilitate the workability of some portions of painting for demo.

We certainly enjoyed watching Peggy’s process as she took us through her thinking as she deftly delineated this complex urban streetscape scene.  I’m sure we will see Peggy again and catch up with her current projects in her journey in watercolor.

For our next Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society meeting on June 7th, we will be hosting Heidi Hanssen, another prominent local watercolor artist as she shows us how she achieves her wonderful compositions and gorgeous realism.  See you then.

Submitted by Tom Schroeder, Secretary, Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society, April 2017.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

MINUTES - MAY 3, 2017

Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society
Program Notes          
10:00 am May 3, 2017

President Kathy Lang called the meeting to order.  New visitors to the Club were asked to introduce themselves.  
Jennie Kim who is from Minnesota, has attended previously, and is now a member.  Jennie presented one of her paintings for critique later in the meeting and it was a great taste of more to come from Jennie.  
Gary Brooks is a former principal and art teacher – has worked with John Ruthven and Gary Akers.  Gary has exhibited in various shows such as the Ohio Watercolor Society and hopefully will become a regular visitor at our meetings and a future member.  
Heidi Hanssen, the next month’s presenter, visited to get a better understanding of how our meetings run.  Heidi is very accomplished and is also local to Cincinnati.  Not only will she deliver a terrific presentation next month, we hope she feels welcome to also become a regular to our Club. 

·          Mary Fleischmann stated that at Findlay market, there is the Phil Rowland show, a (6) week display of his drawings which show large representations of Cincinnati neighborhoods.  This display will be up until May 19th
 ·         The Queen City Art Club will exhibit their work at the Fairfield Community Arts Center in downtown Fairfield from May 20 to June 24.
 ·         Wyoming will host their 2017 Art Show and Competition at the Civic Center on May 21st.
 ·         Yuki Hall will host a workshop at The Barn on the weekend of May 19-21.  This workshop is sold out.
 ·         Mount Adams will host their Art Walk on May 13th.
 ·         Tom Schroeder, Robert Thornburgh and Heidi Hanssen announced that their works were accepted into the 2017 Ohio Watercolor Society Show.  The show will run from June 30th to September 10th.  
Kathy Lang announced that Connie Dettmer has accepted the role of Treasurer for our Club.

 Our July meeting will be an evening meeting scheduled for 6:30.  There will be a pot luck dinner prior to our meeting.  More details on this at our next meeting.

Annual Exhibit
 Mary Fleischmann discussed details for our upcoming Club Exhibition:
·         This year the sitters will also be encouraged to paint while they sit.
·         One person of each sitting pair will need a smart phone and download the app for electronic payment for paintings that sell during their sitting time.
·         Aug 2nd will be our meeting date, followed by the show hanging.
·         On Aug 5th the show will start
·         The show reception will occur on Sunday, Aug. 6th, from 1-4.
·         This year’s judge will be Rachel Rubin Wolf, who was our presenter from the April meeting.
·         Deb Ward will type name tags for the paintings.
·         The show ends Sunday, Aug. 27th, when paintings can be picked up on Tuesday, Aug. 29th  between 10am and noon.  Paintings can also be picked up Sunday at the end of the session.
·         The Anderson Senior Center will tour the exhibit.  This year, to assist with the presentation of the show during the tour, each exhibiting artist is encouraged to provide a write up of their paintings with entries.
·         On Aug 20th, there will be music by the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra at the Barn immediately following our show.  Carol Fencl has agreed to stay after her sitting to be present while people cross over from the music to see our work.
·         Next month there will be an update for the credit card reader.
·         The Barn typically takes 20% commission on sales of paintings during the show.  It is the responsibility of the artist to make this connection with The Barn.
·         There will be postcards for this year’s show in the same style as last year’s show, showing the winning entries.

Nancy Wisely announced that she will give the Scholarship presentation at the August meeting, a $500 gift.  The winning student will also be invited to display their artwork at the show.

Membership report by Lydia Rittenger. 
The member roster will be sent out by email this year.  Hard copies are available to those that can’t receive email. 
Please send membership checks to Kathy Lang until further notice. 

Submitted by Tom Schroeder, Secretary, Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society, May 2017.

Monday, April 24, 2017


Rachel Rubin Wolf
Program Chair, Claudia Taylor announced the April monthly program speaker, Rachel Rubin Wolf, book editor for North Light Books.  She has a Degree in Fine Art, majoring in Painting from Temple University, Kansas City Art Institute and the Philadelphia College of Art.  After taking time for family and career, Rachel has recently returned to painting.  Among her many interests are Biblical, Rabbinic and modern Hebrew, traveling and many outdoor adventures.

Her career began at North Light Books in 1989, where she started the Splash series in 1990.  She masterminded the production, judging, editing and overall design and layout of the books that have now entered their 19th year of publication.  She extended her influence to many other North Light books.  She has also took on the role of Acquisitions editor in past few years.  She writes for many books and publications.

Her personal art is displayed in her oil paintings.  She explores subjects and stories that bring out her sense of humor.  Her recent series of suburban geese exemplifies this expression in her work.

Rachel’s Splash series started input from David Lewis and Greg Albert, also of North Light Books.  Prior to Splash, art was represented primarily in instruction books.  This new concept in books put the best watercolors of the day in one book, which just featured the paintings.  She began by contacting all the watercolor societies she could find.  There was no internet to assist her research.  She invited artists by mail and through advertising in the Artist’s Magazine.  The participation grew to two to three thousand entries for each year.  Initially, the submittals required slides and were judged on light table. They quickly switched to a projector to review by showing on a wall.  Now it is all digital.  In part because of the internet, there has been a big surge in entries from Asia in the past few years, as well as India.   The typical subjects have focused on animals, figures, flowers, portraits, cities, landscapes, still lifes, abstracts, misc.   Rachel pointed out that if one is submitting an abstract painting, it needs to be good.

Rachel listed some critical ‘Dos and Don’ts’ for submittals to not only the Splash series, but submittals to regional and national watercolor shows for our consideration:
·         Image must be in focus;
·         Don’t show background;
·         Make sure files are right side up;
·         Don’t pick ‘popular’ (read Trendy) subjects;
·         Strive for original and interesting compositions;
·         Send in your best work;
·         Provide accurate personal info;
·         Don’t miss deadline;
·         Respond to acceptance email to confirm your receipt of their email.
      For the Splash books, once accepted, you will need to submit better quality image for printing.  One must pay attention to how their submittal reads digitally.  Artist must take liability.
      Rachel revealed some of her personal and professional observations in the kinds of things that influence her during her judging process:
·         Realistic paintings must be drawn well;
·         Art should be for pleasure
·         Interesting compositions will get more attention;
·         Originality is very important;
·         Compositions within subjects should be explored;
·         Some subjects get more submissions.  They go in trends over time;
·         Subject needs to be fresh;
·         She has 5-6 rounds of selecting images.
·         There is always a level of subjectivity in judging.
·         Naturalness  of an image wins over self-conscious or labored pieces.

Rachel reviewed a series of painting comparatives; contrasting paintings that were accepted into the Splash books with paintings that didn’t make it.  Each pair of paintings were discussed for positive and negative compositional aspects.  Rachel emphasized that by the time she sees a painting in her judging process, it has already been vetted by her staff so that she only sees the quality pieces.  As she went through her thought process of analyzing each set of paintings, Rachel explained how she measures the success or lack thereof of the paintings she reviews.  Important points of emphasis are:
·         Compositions need to be strong graphically. 
·         Values are often overlooked.  They need to be strongly composed.
·         Detail work within the value structure is important.
·         Differentiate between illustration and fine art.
·         Uniqueness of viewing angle often differentiates good work from great work.

Rachel confessed that the process of judging paintings for her books or for shows is always going to be subjective.  Strong work will usually win out over less convincing pieces.  She wanted to offer support for everyone to take a chance and put your work out there.  To paraphrase a sports expression, “you miss out on 100% of the shows that you don’t try to enter”.

Having Rachel Rubin Wolf come to meet with the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society was a great coup.  She lives and works here in Cincinnati.  She is a major player in the national watercolor scene.  The wisdom and insight that she provided to our membership was invaluable to those in our Club that aspire to subject our work to artistic critique in regional and national competition.  We look forward to continuing our relationship with Rachel and to invite her to be a regular contributor to the success of our Club. 

See you at the next meeting on May 3rd, where we welcome Peggy Bishop.  Peggy is the daughter of our own Marilyn Bishop.  Peggy is a realist who paints in a variety of subjects including seascapes, landscapes, animals, portraits, still life and florals.  In other words, she does it all !!  Looking forward to hearing from her.

Submitted by Tom Schroeder, Secretary, Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society, April 2017
Photographs courtesy Jane Hittinger and Tom Schroeder

Thursday, April 13, 2017


President Kathy Lang called the meeting to order.  First of all the Club needs positions filled for Club Workshop Chair and Treasurer.  Anyone that feels they can contribute some time to those positions are encouraged to contact Kathy.  The issue of having one of the monthly meetings occur as an evening meeting was raised again.  July was suggested as our test meeting.  After much discussion, it was determined by vote to try it out.  A further suggestion was to make it a pot luck dinner, which was agreed upon.  The meeting time will be 6:30 to allow folks time to travel. 

We still need a fall workshop Chairperson and volunteers.  An interesting list of artists are being considered.  Anyone with suggestions should present them for consideration.

We had (3) guests in attendance:  Jack Vehr,  who has worked with Joyce Grothaus and Susan Grogan;
Judy Groen, who enjoys drawing with pencil and wanted to learn to paint; and Elaine Stoker, a friend of Rachel Rubin Wolf.

Mary Fleischmann gave an update to our Annual Exhibit.
·         Hanging on Aug. 2nd, after our monthly meeting at Barn. 
·         Show opens on Aug. 5th
·         Sunday, is the reception Aug. 6th.
·         Show closes on Aug. 27th.
·         The fee(s) will be $15 for one painting and $20 for two.
·         The Summer Music Series Concert, ‘The Vivaldi Effect’ 4-5 PM at the Barn on August 20th.  Gallery sitters should plan to extend their time for this date.
·         All show entry fees to be given or sent to Kathy Lang until the Treasurer position if filled.
We still are looking for a prominent art figure to judge the show.  The postcard design will be similar to previous years.  A press release was suggested by Marilyn.  Diane Jefferys has organized music for the show opening.  We are still in need of a hospitality chairman.  Deb Ward will again be called upon to provide painting labels (since she isn’t at the meeting!)  Each member may submit (1) or (2) paintings.  Info for the painting labels should be sent to Deb (Do not send fees to Deb).  Folks that are interested in being Sitters can sign up at the May meeting.  As something new and interesting for the show, Sitters will be encouraged to paint while they sit.  We think this could be very popular with visitors and could work as a great recruiting tool to our Club.  It has worked for other shows.  If the Club wants to have the option for credit card transactions to sell paintings to prospective buyers, at least one sitter each date will need to download an app on their smart phone.  More information on this later.

Treasurer Carol Fencl provided the report on our club finances.   The Club finances stand at $6,074.91 in bank.  Some membership dues are still outstanding and will be coming in.  As of April 10th, Carol is stepping down as the Club Treasurer and the club extends its thanks to Carol for her service.  A new Treasurer is needed to fill her shoes.

Lydia Rittinger, our Membership chair, reported that we have one new member.  This year, Membership books are being emailed to the club membership in an effort to go digital and to save printing costs.  As mentioned before, if anyone needs a hard copy, one will be available for the asking at the meetings.

Nancy Wisely has graciously agreed to take on the Scholarship Chair duties.  Thanks Nancy!

Some announcements made by members at this meeting:
·         Bob Thornburgh and Claudia Taylor will be showing paintings in a show at the Evendale Rec Center, starting the 5th of May running through the 8th.  Times of the show vary each day. 
·         A few of our members will have paintings at the Wyoming Art Show on May 21st.  More information on this show next month.

The next post will highlight the April Program host, Rachel Rubin Wolf’s presentation.

See you at the next meeting on May 3rd.

Submitted by Tom Schroeder, Secretary, Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society, April 2017.

Thursday, March 23, 2017


How long have you been a member of the GCWS and why did you join?
I have been a member since 2015.  I joined as part of my desire to reach out from my private interest in watercolor and begin to network and see what kind of watercolor community existed in Cincinnati.  After being part of an on-line watercolor group for years, I wanted to meet with people in my area.

Have you held any positions with the GCWS; if so, what positions?
I am only just recently installed as Secretary of GCWS.
Rodney's Grill
 What are some of your artistic achievements?
Ohio Watercolor Society Show 2015 – Award of Distinction
Ohio Watercolor Society Show 2016 – OWS Choice Award
Pennsylvania Watercolor Society Show 2015 – Philadelphia Reciprocal Award
Pennsylvania Watercolor Society Show 2016 – Juror’s Award and People’s Choice Award
Pennsylvania Watercolor Society – Signature Status 2016
Kentucky Aqueous Show 2015 – Purchase Award - Brown – Forman Award
Kentucky Aqueous Show 2016
Art Comes Alive Show 2016 – Watercolor Artist of the Year
Viewpoint 48 Show 2016
2015 Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society Show – 2nd Place
2016 Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society Show – Not eligible for Award
2017 Transparent Watercolor Society of America Show
Shady Nook
 Describe your usual procedures for creating a painting.
I typically try to spend time in certain environments to “hunt” for images.  My favorite environments have been, rural settings, urban settings and off the typical beaten path.  I find interest in gritty, real scenes that no one else find interesting or beautiful.  I look for unique relationships, images, compositions and most importantly, stories that need to be told.  The places I look evolves over time and as my interest moves from subject to subject.  Sometimes I am in the right place at the right time.  For me, it’s about finding and seeing.  I often find multiple images that I combine together as I try to pull the story together in a composition.  I will edit images, change lighting or in some cases, invent elements to complete the scene.
Barn Cats

How long have you been painting?
I have been painting in watercolor regularly for the past 15 years.  I have been seriously painting in watercolor for almost 10 years.
The Onion Cat
In what medium, other than watercolor or acrylic, do you work?
In the past as an architectural illustrator, I have worked in gouache.  I also dabbled in oils and acrylics many years ago.  I do not currently work in any other media.

Where do you get your inspiration for paintings?
As I mentioned, I like to find my inspiration in the backwater of society or in older, forgotten parts of our world.  I already know what is pretty and beautiful in the world.  I can’t compete with our creator as he reveals his creation to us.  I seek to find stark reality and-in-your face images that have their own power and resonance.
Vermont Stream
Are you a teacher?
Officially, no but as I have been able to learn from so many people far and wide, I am glad to share what I know with anyone in a conversation.  Everyone can teach and learn from those they come into contact with.

Where do you see yourself in the future?  (i.e., is painting a hobby; will you enter shows; do you see yourself teaching?)
Since becoming an empty nester, I thought that I could use watercolor as a new frontier for me to explore.  Whether it’s just as a hobby or as something more.  I am concentrating on casting my net as far as I can and absorbing as much as I can.  I want to meet the masters of the medium and learn where they came from and how they think.  I want to find new sources of inspiration.  I want to explore new shows.  Ultimately, I want to keep my enthusiasm for watercolor moving in an inspired and progressive direction.  As Dr. Seuss once said, “Oh the Places You’ll Go !”

Is there anything else you would like for us to know about you and your art?

I would like to think that my journey is not just for myself.  I have met many wonderful people and that is what keeps me going.  I look forward to new experiences and vistas.  

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


March Program – Deb Ward
Fluid Acrylics as Watercolor
March 1, 2017
Deb Ward
Claudia Taylor, Program Chair, introduced Deb Ward, our presenter for the March meeting.  Deb is from Indiana.  She started working in watercolors in the mid 1990’s.  She began teaching her craft in 2004.   As part of this teaching, she holds seasonal classes for the Cincinnati Recreational Commission.  She also teaches in workshops that she holds at her Indiana home.  She has been the Viewpoint chair and is a past President of the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society.  Deb has her Signature Status in multiple watercolor societies such as Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana and the Hoosier Salon.  She has been juried into shows of these societies as well as the National Watercolor Society Show.  She has been published in Artist Magazine, Watercolor Artist Magazine and Acrylic Works among others.
Deb explains the technique used in one of her paintings (Poured Yupo Peony)
featured in the book AcrylicWorks 2

Deb began working with fluid acrylics several years ago and subsequently was asked by the manufacturers of Chroma brand acrylics to test drive their product.  She has found that she really enjoys working with this variation of the watercolor approach to her paintings.  One of the biggest differences in her handling of fluid acrylics versus traditional watercolors is that she uses watercolors in a traditional manner; whites are created by leaving the paper unpainted.  In her watercolors, black is also usually mixed from a variety of color mixes.  However, when she uses fluid acrylics she does use white in varying degrees of opacity, from a thin glaze to full white accents.  While she may still mix black, as she does in watercolor, she will also use black directly as a tint or full color in fluid acrylics.

Fluid Acrylics are similar to watercolor in that they can be applied in glazes, which is the process of layering applications of color to build up the overall effect.  In fluid acrylics, the process works from light to dark, which is also similar to watercolor.  The difference in this process is that once the fluid acrylic glaze or color application is dry, it cannot be rewetted, lifted or modified in any way, as one can in watercolor.

Deb illustrated her application of fluid acrylics by showing us an in progress painting she is working on with the fluid acrylics.  Deb is unabashedly in love with working in great detail.  Her portfolio is filled with exotic still life paintings where she composes interesting elements against very beautiful and textural fabrics and patterns.

Deb uses a variety of references in her work.  She gave a good piece of advice in that if one uses a “product” within a painting, one must get permission in writing.  As Deb finalizes her compositions, she will transfer varying parts of her painting onto her paper by enlarging her photo images and transferring the line work.

When applying fluid acrylics, it is important to remember that fluid acrylic color holds as they appear as wet, whereas watercolor typically dries lighter than it appears when wet.  Acrylic resin holds pigment color due to its binder.  Acrylics can easily be glazed over with other colors.  Acrylics can be applied as thin or heavy as desired.  As Deb works during her painting process, she often sprays her palette of colors with water in order to keep the acrylic paints workable.  Since she can’t reconstitute the colors by rewetting, Deb keeps a record of color mixes and dried examples of colors that she is using in her current painting so she can recreate colors in her painting palette.  Deb has observed that some fluid acrylics appear to granulate.

Deb will evaluate the composition of the painting she is working on in order to determine the order of her painting process.  She will often paint parts of the background first so she can measure the impact of her foreground elements against the background.  She will also utilize liquid miskit to help control the edges of lighter elements or areas.  Deb has noticed that some acrylics are thicker or different consistency than others.  She admits that she has learned this through trial and error and experimenting.

During her painting process Deb explains that she has dedicated some of her paint brushes to acrylic use.  Once a brush has been used for acrylics, it cannot be used for watercolors again.  Deb cautions that it is very important to stay aware of the dryness of paint on one’s brush during the painting process.  Acrylic paint needs to be cleaned from the brush immediately after use.  Once it dries, the brush is finished.  A tip from one of the club members, Helmut Kientz, suggests using Purell to help clean brushes is very effective.  Deb uses a brush made by the Silver Brush Company, called “Black Velvet.  This brush is a mix of synthetics and squirrel hair.
Deb stated that acrylic additive mediums can be used with fluid acrylics.  Fluid Acrylics can be broken down to a 100:1 dilution and the paint will still adhere.  Different fluid acrylic brands can be mixed together without any detriment.  The range of fluid acrylic colors matches the range of colors available in watercolor.

As Deb continued working on her painting, she showed a variety of techniques.  She applied paint color directly in a “drawing with a brush” application.  She also utilized a sponge to dapple her color in order to simulate the fabric texture.  She applied color wet-in wet for her egg shapes.  She did confirm that acrylic colors can result in “blooms” when working wet-in-wet, if one tries to apply color before it is dry.
Deb emphasizes that as in watercolor, when working with thin acrylic glazes, one needs to do a lot of pre-planning to organize the process of layering the glaze colors.  Deb explained that she also pours with fluid acrylics, although she pours selectively with a spotter in controlled areas, saving whites with miskit or tape.  Deb encourages glazing as a wonderful way to introduce depth in color within a painting.  Shadows in paintings should be created by utilizing a mix of colors that are already present in the painting, so they don’t stand out or look foreign to the color palette.  Deb extolls the use of “dirty” water to help cut the brightness of a color or whites.  She also likes to mix her own grays/blacks.  One of her “go to” mixes is Ultramarine Blue with Burnt Umber.

It was enjoyable to watch Deb work through her process of painting incredibly detailed yet freshly engaging colorful paintings, that are her hallmark.  We also learned a lot about the similarities and differences between watercolor and fluid acrylics.  Thanks Deb.

Deb then spent time critiquing paintings that members brought in for her review.  All members are welcome to bring paintings in for Critique at the conclusion of each monthly meeting.

Submitted by Tom Schroeder, GCWS Secretary