Monday, July 24, 2017


Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society
Program Notes         
7:00 pm July 5, 2017

Our Program Chair, Claudia Taylor, introduced our July program presenter, Ken Buck.
Ken Buck
Ken is a very accomplished local artist, with memberships and signatures in multiple regional and national societies for both watercolor and pastels.  He has been published in many periodicals, books and magazines.  He has produced wonderful scenes of people swimming in pools and vivid floral scenes.  He teaches classes six days a week at the Art Academy and at The Baker-Hunt Art & Cultural Center.  Ken maintains his studio at the Pendleton Art Center.  They have an open house in October/November/December.  Ken noted that they are always looking for artists to show in the hallways during the Pendleton shows.

Ken described his preferred materials and tools:
·         His favorite papers are Jack Richeson, Arches and Lanaquarelle.  He chooses rough, cold press paper for bite to take pastels better.
·         He used a 1/2” Coffman flat brush during the demo.  He likes the brush because he has a good sense of how much paint it holds.  He also prefers synthetic brushes, choosing to avoid animal hairs.
·         Ken has thousands of pastels of all brands to assure a wide variety of colors and tints.
·         Ken emphasized using professional quality watercolors for longevity of color steadfastness.

For the program presentation, Ken explained that he would lay down a loose watercolor underpainting and overlay with pastel drawing and detailing.  Ken’s chosen scene was a woodland scene, with multiple vertical tree trunks breaking a colorful late summer/fall mix of colors.  As Ken worked through the watercolor underpainting, he outlined many of his general views of art, life and his passion as a cat whisperer.  After he completed the watercolor underpainting, he used a hair dryer to speed up the process before moving into the pastel work.
·         When he glazes in watercolor, Ken generally works in one direction.  When using watercolor as an underpainting, the direction is not important.
·         Ken doesn’t like to use black or gray tints in his work.  He prefers to mix grays with complementary colors that form the palette of a particular piece he is working on.  He believes that black kills the life in a painting.
·         Ken likes to push the application of color as far as he can during his work. 
·         Abstract painting is not an interest of Ken’s.  He believes that every painting has pieces and parts of the painting that are abstract in their individual nature, contributing to the overall composition.
·         Ken often searches and defines the darkest value in a painting as soon as possible.  It helps to define the range of values within the painting, by which to measure other color values.
·         Ken pointed out that oil-based pastels, such as Caran d’Ache, cannot be used with other pastels.
·         Pastels are not chalk. 
·         When working with pastels, one’s hands must be kept clean and dry.
·         Ken works hard to keep a balance of values in the overall composition of a painting.
·         He works vertically with watercolors and pastels.  When working with Yupo paper, one must work.
·         Ken enjoys setting a mix of watercolors in the underpainting that form rich grays and then layering accents of bright pastels over these gray areas.

Ken displayed and explained various techniques in his demo and as part of his approach in his work.
·         Ken worked very quickly as he put in his underpainting of watercolor.  He explained that it was merely to set the tone of colors for the composition.  Each color area would have varying degrees of pastel overlay.  Sometimes he left most of the watercolor come through and other times, he deepened the color area with heavy blends of pastels.
·         He explained that it is critical to let the watercolor dry before beginning the pastel work to keep the pastel looking fresh.
·         As Ken worked with the pastels, he would lightly blend the colors with his fingertips as needed to achieve softer or harder tones or edges.
·         Ken explained that he checks the values of the piece throughout the development of his work.  One thing he does is to squint, which blurs the detail into areas of color, allowing him to evaluate the values as he goes. 
·         Another trick is to view the painting in a mirror to look for shapes that don’t work. 
·         Ken will utilize a venetian blind to modulate the intensity of light hitting a painting as he reviews it. 
·         Ken also explained that it is possible to lift watercolor with dry brush before it is dry.  Pastels can also be lifted with stiff brush or kneaded eraser.
·         Upon finishing a pastel piece for shipping to a show, Ken uses Sennelier Latour Pastel spray fix.  He warns that application of a spray fix should be a single layer spray.  If too much spray is used, it can soak an area of pastel and darken the color in an undesirable way.

Ken recommended checking out artist Raymond Kelley for his pastel over watercolors.

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

For our next Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society meeting on August 2nd, we will be meeting at the Barn prior to setting and hanging the GCWS Show.  See you then.

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

Monday, July 17, 2017

MINUTES - JULY 5, 2017

Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society

Meeting Notes           

7:00 pm July 5, 2017

President Kathy Lang called the meeting to order. 

We would like to welcome visitors, Pam Bost, (a beginning watercolorist from North Carolina who was visiting her cousin, Claudia Taylor), Nancy Schwartz and Sharon Hewer to the club meeting this month.


·         Fall Workshop Chairman, Pat Lester reported that this year’s workshop will be held on Oct 27 and 28.  She is interested in having Chris Campbell, of Indiana, come to give the workshop this year.   It would be a two day event with Chris.  Chris is known as a very hands on teacher who works well with artists and is open to the interests of the participants.

Mary Fleischmann, our Annual Exhibit Chair, reminded everyone of the 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.  Tom Schroeder has agreed to set the show this year.  Every painting will be in the best spot!!

·         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 on August 29th between 10-12.  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 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.

·         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.

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.

As announced last month by Nancy Wisely, our Scholarship Chair, this year’s Scholarship Award winner is Madison De Atley.  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.  We will feature her paintings at the beginning of our show.

Membership report by Lydia Rittinger, announced one new member, a former program presenter from earlier this year, Heidi Hanssen.  Welcome Heidi!  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. 

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