Wednesday, December 13, 2017


President, Kathy Lang, opened the meeting by welcoming two new members - Mary Mulkey and Laurie Arshonsky.

Anderson Senior Center is proclaiming Marilyn Bishop their 1st “Featured Artist’ on the Featured Artist Wall

2018 Annual Exhibit: still working on a location. Have narrowed it down to C.A.C Wessel Gallery (Mt. Adams), Bang & Olafsen Gallery (4th St), and the Kennedy Heights Art Center

2019 Annual Exhibit: dates are locked in for Aug 7-27, 2019 at the ‘Barn’ in Mariemont

Leadership Team Changes for 2018:
Tom Schroeder – Program Coordinator for monthly meetings
Diane Jeffries – Scholarship Coordinator
Carole McAfee – Secretary for March, April and May
Ginny Tilbury – Secretary for June and July
Sue Giegler – Secretary for August and September
Louise Allen – Secretary for October and November

‘Open Studio’ will be held January and February, 2018, the 1st Wednesdays of the month in place of meetings from 10 a.m. – noon. Bring your own supplies and projects.

Weather Cancellation Reminder: view on Channel 12 for any cancellation information

December activities included a painting raffle, a split the pot raffle and white elephant sale ($129.00 was raised to benefit the scholarship fund). The food was excellent! GCWS members painted over 50 Holiday cards that are just fantastic.  The cards will be sent to Walter Reed Hospital for wounded soldiers.  Jane Hittinger, Judy Clubb and Carol Steuer co-chaired this event. Everyone had lots of time to socialize and produce their masterpieces. This may become an annual event in December.

Thanks to Kathy Lang for taking notes at the meeting.

In addition, Pat Lester reports that the fall workshop was a busy, productive 2 days of learning with watercolor artist Chris Campbell. 
 Day 1 - We explored various mediums & how they interact with our watercolor paints.
               Using various techniques, we prepared our background paper for Saturday.
 Day 2 – Negative painting was the focus of the day.  All of us left the workshop with at least one finished painting. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


Program Chair, Claudia Taylor, introduced today’s presenter, Bruce Neville.
Bruce Neville
When Bruce retired after 40 years as an architect, his wife Nancy (also an artist) gave him a gift of a watercolor workshop, and he was hooked.  Over the years Bruce has taught at Baker Hunt in Covington and also gives workshops.  His work is currently represented in Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky.  He recently won an award from Ohio Watercolor Society for his painting “Hill Street in Mt. Adams”.  Both Bruce and his wife, Nancy, participated in the Art in Bloom in cooperation with the Cincinnati Art Museum.  Their paintings will be framed and auctioned off.  

He brought several of his paintings which show his loose, fresh style.

Bruce began the demo with a completed drawing on watercolor paper.  This particular paper is a printmaking paper which is manufactured by Arches.  He quickly laid in a juicy wash onto dry paper using M. Graham and Daniel Smith paints – yellow oxide, cobalt blue (which combine to make a great gray), pyrrole red, yellow ochre, French ultramarine blue, burnt sienna and indanthrene blue.  His brushes are the same as those used by an artist he admires, Joseph Zbukvik – Escoda #18 and #24, flat 1-1/2 in. and a hake brush.

Bruce is interested in mood and atmosphere and says “when you understand the lighting you are able to make drawings with strong contrasts”.

Beginning with his light areas and working toward the darks, he uses a paper towel to dab up runs, etc.  Once the darks were applied, the painting began taking shape and figures were put in loosely to add a sense of scale.  He says that after taking a weeklong workshop with Alvaro Castagnet it changed his painting style forever.

Bruce says in order to make your eye move around the paintings paint shapes that lead to focal area with extreme value contrast.  This will grab the viewer’s eye making excitement and drama.  Do not try to duplicate the photograph!  Be spontaneous and use vibrant colors with lots of contrast in an impressionistic manner.

Following his presentation, Bruce critiqued paintings by our members, mentioning that when inserting figures into a landscape be aware of scale – the farther away, the smaller the figure will be.  Of a submitted portrait he said that artist Mary Whyte says “eyes tell a lot”, and Bruce was complimentary of the eyes and skin gradation in the portrait.

Bruce will have a workshop on March 9-10, 2018 at his studio in Pendleton Art Center.

Bruce will be donating a painting to be raffled off at our December meeting.  (Thank you, Bruce!)
Completed demonstration painting.
Program notes a collaboration by Jane Hittinger and Deb Ward.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


Minutes from November 1, 2017.

Carolyn Hibbard sold a painting and won second in Middletown Arts Show.
Joan Miley is in the Movers and Shakers Magazine.
Judy Doyle has a painting selected to be in the 2018 calendar from Lanfair Retirement Center.
Queen City Art Club Show – Opening Sunday, November 12, from 11-2 at Awakenings at Cooper and Montgomery Roads.

Some of those who attended the recent workshop with Chris Campbell brought in their paintings for a “show and tell” prior to the program.  Showing their paintings were Kathy Lang, Venetia Wang, Connie Dettmer, Judy Reed, Marian Bostian, Joyce Grothaus and Sally Wester.

Deb Ward will present a demo about fluid acrylics to the Queen City Art Club on Thursday, November 9 from 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. at the Blue Ash Library on Cooper Road.  Non-members are welcome to attend; there will be a $10 fee.

Ideas were bandied about for our December meeting.  We will have our usual sale of “art stuff” by individual members.  In addition, to benefit our Scholarship Fund, there will be a white elephant sale; paintings may be donated to be raffled off; there will be a split the pot raffle.

A sheet was passed around for food donations for the meeting, and members were encouraged to bring old Christmas cards and paints for ideas for creating cards at that meeting.   Watercolor cards will be provided.

Kathy Lang will get information about the Bang and Olufsen gallery downtown as a possible location for our next annual show since The Barn was booked for 2017.  She will also look into dates for our 2019 show which we hope to have at The Barn.

The President requested help with note taking at the minutes since our Secretary, Tom Schroeder, has volunteered to become the Program Chair.  Today's minutes were taken by Jane Hittinger.  

It was suggested that several people could volunteer to take notes for a month or two, dividing up the actual position of Secretary.  Those who volunteered are: 
Carol Fencl – March, April, May;
Ginny Tilbury – June (which will be an evening meeting at 6 p.m.), July;
Sue Giegler – August, September;
Louise Allen – October, November.

Notes by Jane Hittinger

Friday, October 27, 2017


Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society
Program Notes          
10:00 am October 4th, 2017
Nita Leland
Program Chair, Claudia Taylor announced the October monthly program speaker, Nita Leland, artist, teacher and author.  A graduate of Otterbein University, Nita teaches many workshops and has written eight books on the subject of color, creativity and collage.

Nita has worked her entire artistic career promoting the capabilities and possibilities of color.  Although she has concentrated her focus in watercolor, she also regularly delves into acrylics.  Some of her books are classics in the art world, such as Creative Artists and Exploring Color.   

Nita’s presentation is titled “Color Inspiration”.  She states emphatically, that the meaning of color is more important than the rules of their use.  She credits much of her understanding of the use of color to her study and application of the principles of the color wheel.  She expands on the relationships, contrasts and adjacencies of colors within the structure of the color wheel.  Nita showed how the use of color can be found in a variety of sources, for example:
·                     Fabric Art
·                     Interior Design
·                     Digital Design
·                     Mixed Media Quilting
·                     Creative Color
·                     Imagination

Nita groups her overall views into two categories, Design Elements and Design Principles.  Her key Design Elements are:
·                     Line – A tracery element that helps with delineation and separation of color shapes
·                     Shape – Used to create massing elements within a painting
·                     Value – Key use of lights and darks to accentuate limited use of color
·                     Color – The many qualities of color can be used in a compositional manner  This can be shown in solid mass or broken, loose application
·                     Size – This can be variation of scale for emphasis
·                     Pattern – This adds a variety of texture and repetition to a painting
·                     Movement – The way the eye is drawn through a painting can be done through the placement of elements

Nita’s Design Principles include:
·                     Harmony – This explores the way elements play off of each other
·                     Contrast – Opposing relationships of color, value and shape – This can be accentuated in by use of high key or low key paintings, which describe the intensity of colors in contrast
·                     Rhythm – This is the relationship of shape or color in sequence
·                     Repetition/Variation – This explores the change in continuity
·                     Gradation – The change over time with color or value
·                     Balance – The harmonious relationship of shapes, values or colors
·                     Dominance – A form of balance, a relationship of large vs. small or similar

Nita went on to discuss the notion of Color Contrasts.  She described the affect of looking at a single color for a length of time, which then changes our ability to measure other color temperatures.  Nita also explained that pure hues should be contrasted with other pure hues or neutrals.  Examples of how color can be contrasted are:
·                     Value
·                     Intensity
·                     Temperature
·                     Complements (Primary, Secondary and Tertiary)
·                     Size
·                     Harmony
-                      Triads
-                      High Key
-                      Bold
-                      Modern (Palette)
-                      Earth Colors
-                      Bright Earth

Nita described the notion of Expanded Palettes.  The use of palettes that emphasize high intensity or full spectrum colors vs. the use of low intensity or limited spectrum palettes can be utilized to varying affects.

She pointed out that Color Schemes can be applied in multiple ways. 

Colors can be applied in a narrow range, such as a monochromatic use. 

Colors can be used in analogous manner, where colors have a proximity relationship on the color wheel.

Colors can be complementary, where colors are diametrically opposed on the color wheel.  A variation of this can be where colors are split and flank or are adjacent to the complement color.

Colors can be arranged as primary colors, to take advantage of their pure hue strengths.  There are four (4) color wheel triads:
·                     Primary
·                     Secondary
·                     Complementary
·                     Modern – This is per color trend colors at a given time

Finally, Nita describes how colors can have an Intuitive relationship that is per the artist intent.  Consistency is critical in this approach so the overall painting has a coherent message.

Having Nita Leland present to the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society was a great experience.  She lives and works here in Cincinnati.  She is a major player in the national watercolor scene.  The wisdom and insights that she provided to our membership was invaluable to our understanding of the use of color. 

See you at the next meeting on November 1st, where we welcome Bruce Neville, who will be presenting his demonstration titled, “Capturing the Essence of Your Subject”.  He will utilize the one point perspective in this demo.  Looking forward to hearing from him.

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

Tuesday, October 17, 2017


Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society
Meeting Notes          
10:00 am October 4, 2017

President Kathy Lang called meeting to order.  First of all the Club needs a position filled for Club Secretary.  Anyone that feels they can contribute some time to this position is encouraged to contact Kathy. 

We had (3) guests in attendance;  Nick Giese,  a musician who has been studying watercolor and egg tempera with Gary Brooks; Mary Mulkey, from Springfield Township and Helen Haberstroh, a very accomplished watercolorist from Maple Knoll.

Joyce Grothaus was in the Milford Art Affair.  The Queen City Art Club will be hosting a show at the Fine Arts at Marjorie P. Lee in Hyde Park through Oct. 27th.

Mary Fleischmann gave an update to our Annual Exhibit.
We are still looking for a venue to hold our exhibit for 2018.  The Barn is all booked up for that year.  Please forward suggestions to Kathy Lang.  We have booked our show for 2019 at The Barn.

Connie Dettmer provided the Treasurer’s report on our club finances.   

Lydia Rittinger, our Membership chair, reported that we have one new member. 

Pat Lester reminded everyone of the Fall Workshop with Chris Campbell, which will be held on Oct. 27th and 28th.  The workshop is limited to 20 participants at $150.

Some holiday ideas for our December meeting have been suggested; jewelry and card making.  If you have any other ideas, bring them to the November meeting.

The next post will highlight the October Program host, Nita Leland’s presentation.

See you at the next meeting on November 1st.  There will be a leadership meeting at 9:00 am prior to the regular meeting.

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

Monday, September 18, 2017


Greg Albert
Our Program Chair, Claudia Taylor, introduced our September program presenter, Greg Albert.  Greg is an artist, teacher, writer and editor.  He is a graduate of the Art Academy of Cincinnati and has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in drawing and art history from the University of Montana.  He has taught at the Art Academy since 1979, Miami University and Thomas More College.  He also had a 17 year career with North Light Books as an Editorial Director.  He has judged and juried many local and regional shows
A full house for Greg's presentation
Greg’s presentation for this month centered on the artist’s creative journey, the “hero’s journey”.  Greg defines the creative journey as four distinct creative roles in the process.

The first role the artist assumes is the Explorer Role.  This is where the hero receives the Call.  He identifies the problem, goal or challenge before him.  Each artist must decide what the goal is for their work.  Is it to make more art, do something different, do something better or generally push boundaries.  Gary suggests defining your goal in writing.  He advocates using note cards to capture spontaneous ideas that we come up with during our daily routine.  These ideas can then be catalogued or filed for future reference. 

The next role for the artist to fill is the Artist Role.  It is this point where the artist takes the raw input of the creative search or exploration and decides how to act on it.  This is also known as the hero’s journey.  This is the point that the artist brainstorms about the options available to make the project happen.  There are no decisions, no bad ideas.  This is the time to examine all of the possibilities, all of the directions one could pursue.  Greg states that an artist needs to put themselves into the environment in which they hope to find inspiration.  One can’t create in a sterile vacuum.  Put yourself into a stimulus-rich environment.  Take input from everywhere.  No source is to be overlooked.   Greg suggests putting together an idea tree, where upon you can identify the Who, What, Where, Why, How and When of the project.

Now that the artist has all of the options available to them, they now need to step into the Judge Role.  With every possibility in play, the artist must go through the selection process.  They go through analysis and selection to identify the best and most productive direction to execute the project.  For the hero, this is the test.  This is the personal touch, the subjective desire to follow the dream.  Until a decision is made for the project one can’t take it into delivery.  Just because a direction is chosen, doesn’t mean that you can’t consider the same project in a different way.  The same subject or concept can be done multiple ways, but for the moment, a decision needs to be made in how to proceed.

Finally, with the project explored, studied, decided, the artist needs to assume the Warrior Role.  This is when you need to make the project happen.  The artist goes into worker mode and combines their personal skills with effort to produce the project.  Greg points out that this is the hardest part.  One’s personal skill set defines their ability to realize the dream.  Certainly, this is where experience allows one to complete their tasks with more credibility and success.  It’s all part of the journey.  One must put in the time and effort to learn their craft, which will produce results over time.  For the hero, this is the battle.

Having completed his review of the creative journey, Greg discussed the elements that often keep us from getting where we want with our art.  The first “stopper” is fear.  Greg lists fear of:

·         Failure
·         What others think
·         Wasting time or resources
·         Frustration
·         Being vulnerable or looking foolish
·         Confronting personal feelings of self worth
·         Negative criticism

Greg also talked about personal baggage that might be keeping one from moving forward to success.  He says the inner critic, voice of doubt can keep us from being confident.  These negative thoughts can come from a variety of sources.  The trick is to recognize them and overcome them with practice and perseverance. 
Some of Greg's recent paintings
Then Greg talked about the influence of other people making demands on your time and resources.  One needs to make time to create space for your art that can be kept separate from other areas of your life.  If one can create a balance between art and their lives, it is easier to attain success in both.

Greg challenged us to break from conventional thinking.  He said that we can often find new approaches to our creativity by changing perspective.  Go big, expand options, get away from the norm.  He cautioned that all of this should be processed within the context of understanding the rules and limitations of the medium.  Knowing the craft allows one greater freedom to grow.  He says that sometimes keeping a focus keeps one from being too aimless.  Stress is always part of the process and can be productive.  Greg says that eliminating distractions, disorganization, lack of preparation, etc. will channel your creativity more productively.

Greg says that managing the time/space/money equations is important.  Find more time.  Make a dedicated space to create.  Apply more money or resources to your creative activities.  These will help you reach your goals for your art.

Some of Greg’s tips for enhancing creativity are:

·         Just do it
·         Overcome fear
·         Have a playful attitude
·         Be childlike
·         Keep an open mind
·         Practice, practice, practice
·         Keep humor and laughter with you
·         Give yourself permission to fail
·         Challenge your belief systems
·         Create a regular habit or schedule
·         One idea leads to other ideas
·         Success breeds confidence

Greg recommends a few books for further reading, such as,

The Artist Way – Julia Cameron
Hero of a Thousand Faces – Joseph Campbell
Roger von Oech – A Kick in the Seat of Your Pants

Greg concluded his program with a review and critique of Club member paintings. 

Our next Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society meeting will be on October 4th, where we will explore color with Nita Leland.  See you then.

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