Tuesday, November 20, 2018


Marlene Steele
Our speaker today is renowned Cincinnati artist MARLENE STEELE. She creates in oils, pastels, watercolor, colored pencil and calligraphy featuring portraits, figures and landscape. She has been a courtroom illustrator since 2004 and has established a regional reputation licensing visual images to media as well as private commissions. Some of her memberships and affiliations are:  the Cincinnati Art Club as a signature member; two year artist in residence at the University Club of Cincinnati; arts ambassador to Ohio by the Portrait Society of America.   Marlene also founded the Calligraphy Guild, a regional teaching guild with continuous programming since 1980.

Marlene came today to demonstrate how to paint on Yupo, a newer kind of paper that is plastic on both sides. Watercolor paints can be mostly wiped off with water except for sedimentary colors which will stain. She prefers Windsor-Newton colors since they were developed for Queen Victoria and have held up well through time. She uses no off brands.

She brought two framed figure paintings and painted a still life as a demonstration.

She draws first on Yupo with a red or blue pencil, sketching casually, holding the pencil loosely at far end. For skin tones she uses cadmium red, Naples yellow and alizarin crimson or raw sienna and ochre.

Marlene said she had always wanted to be invisible so she could really see. One of her favorite quotes is by the sculptor Noguchi. “To see far is one thing. To go there is another. “.    
Respectfully submitted by Louise Allen.  Photos by Deb Ward.

Monday, November 12, 2018


GCWS met on Wednesday November 7 at 10:00 am. 

New members are Marcia Hartsock who is a retired medical illustrator and Jim Sargent. He will retire the end of this year and his wife wants him to find some new interests. 
Connie Dettmer gave an excellent treasurer’s report. We have had three workshops and acquired 2 new members. 

 - Sue Geigler broke her ankle so we all signed a card that was passed around.
 - Erica McCoy is in her first art show in Sycamore on November 17th. 
 - Some GCWS members are in an art show at The Centennial Barn on Compton Road of 65 artists November 9th and 10th. 
 - Ingrid Farnham made an interesting announcement about 2 watercolor opportunities In Florida. The first is taught by Vlad Yeliseyev the end of January. The other option will be held the end of February taught by Tony Couch in Port Charlotte. Ingrid is offering help with transportation. 
 - Mary Fleishman gave a fascinating story about her going to an OWS workshop in Hinckley, Ohio run by Larry and Sarah Katz. Mary’s class was taught by David Lobenberg. He is from the West Coast and is a very comfortable person.    

Several members showed their work from a workshop taught by Debbie Cannatella, also one of our members. Pat Lester did an excellent job organizing this event. Debbie taught by using only 3 colors on her palette. Several members showed their work which was very impressive.                 

Great news. Pat Lester has offered to be our new president, Mary Fleishman stepped up to be secretary and Deb Ward will continue to email the members and send out monthly postcards.     

Jane Hittinger will help lead us next month in painting Christmas cards for soldiers who receive very little mail. 
January and February will have no scheduled speakers due to weather concerns but open studio will be held from 10-12.     

Friday, October 19, 2018


Chris Misencik-Bunn

Our guest artist today was fabulous. CHRIS MISENCIK-BUNN IS HER NAME.


She is an emotional painter. She uses a mirror to critique her work. She paints like a performance artist with high energy. 

Chris says the eyes must be painted first - they tell the story of the person

WIP of a child's portrait:

Chris enjoys painting portraits - and COWS!
Two portraits of Chris' daughter
Portrait of Chris' husband
Portrait of a neighbor's cows!
She has had her paintings published in many watercolor books and has won many awards. I found her delightful. 

Submitted by Louise Allen.  Photos by Deb Ward.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018


The GCWS meeting was held today at 10:00 am.

2019 we need a secretary and president.   

New member. Erika McCoy

Tom Schroeder has been elected to the OWS board. 

Connie Dettmer gave the treasurer’s report for September 2018.

I also want to thank Sue Giegler for her Secretarial duties for August and September.

November 9-10 Centennial Barn in Compton Road. Register before October 1st. 

Maple Knoll Art Show. Thursday October 11 from 5-7 pm for reception and show lasts until November 16th. 

2018 evaluation Committee.  Mary Fleischmann, Joyce G., Connie C., Jane H., Pat L., Kathy Lang. - met 8/29 reviewing entire entry process. Send additional notes and suggestions. 

Will feature the Artist Debbie Cannatella with Pat Lester as chairman. COMPOSITION AND DESIGN IN WATERCOLOR.

Submitted by Louise Allen.

Thursday, September 13, 2018


Debbie Cannatella 

Tom Schroeder introduced our artist and guest speaker for September, Debbie Cannatella. Debbie has painted full-time since 2005 when she retired as a highway and bridge designer.

She has opened two galleries in Texas, both are operating successfully, has served on the Board of Directors of local Art organizations in numerous states, and has enjoyed traveling, jurying and judging exhibitions, painting and teaching classes and workshops in transparent watercolor.

She is published in Artistic Touch 4; the Best of Watercolor, the Artist Magazine, Iris Magazine, the 2015 edition of Splash 16: Exploring Texture, and the 2016 edition of Art Journey Animals: A Collection of Inspiring Contemporary Masterworks, by Northlight Books. Previously, her work was selected for the 2010 Pennington National Balloon Championship poster, and was the featured October 2010 artist in Brush, Paper, Water.  She is a signature member of the Louisiana Watercolor Society, Artist of Texas, and a member of AWS, NWS, KWS, Women's Art Club of Cincinnati, the past president of the WSST, and the Kentucky Representative for the Southern Watercolor Society. This year she is included in the Third Annual Contemporary Exhibition at Palazzo Franchi in Assisi, Italy in collaboration with PRO VOBIS Art Residence. Debbie currently lives in Union KY with her husband and two rescue animals and has begun to hold workshops in her studio.

Debbie's background working in bridge and highway designs influenced her progression in watercolor. Her natural style is detailed and bold, and also uses the wet in wet techniques. We were encouraged to find our own style, loose or detailed, and to paint what we love.  She enjoys doing series of paintings, such as flowers, birds, koi ponds, and people.

Her demonstration began by wetting 260 lb Arches paper, 26 x 40. The whole dry sheet is torn in half and placed on a masonite panel.  The panel is smooth white on one side and unfinished plywood hardboard on the other. The paper is soaked several times using a wide brush,  not taping the paper down.

Her subject for this demonstration was koi fish. She used photos from the internet that were only used as anatomy references and shape references, and not copied into the painting. It is important to be careful not to combine side pictures of fish with straight down pictures of fish. Generous amounts of paints are mixed to the consistency of a little thicker than whole milk. Most yellows and all reds are staining. The majority of her paints are Windsor Newton and Daniel Smith, but uses a few other brands. The entire first layer of color must be non-staining, such as the Indian Yellow by Paul Jackson. This is done to be able to later lift out shapes needed. Staining pigments can go on top.  Opaque colors were used in conjunction with transparent. Some of the colors used were Windsor yellow, carmine red, ultramarine blue, Horizon Blue by Holbein, and eventually  Phthalo blue and Indigo. Generous amounts of paint are put on paper and allowed to flow around after each color is added.
 The background tells you where to start and let it morph from there. Lift the yellow and reds while wet, blues can be "dryer", not necessarily dry, though one can still lift ultramarine and indigo when dry. Synthetic flat brushes,1/4 inch, were used to start lifting fish in the small areas.

 Most other areas were lifted using the larger brushes in the Silver series. Constantly wet and dry brush on a towel. When details of fish are added, the paper must be bone dry. She emphasized  that the movement of composition needs to be coming into the painting, and not out.

Remember to put darkest dark against lightest lights in the focal area.  After removing paints in shape of koi, eyes and fin area were lifted. Detailing of fish is done on the dry paper. Debbie will finish this painting later and bring it in for us to see later.

Debbie showed us a koi painting previously completed.
The following is her way of flattening a large watercolor painting, written by Debbie Cannatella.
Use 2 clean masonite panels, which are smooth white on one side and unfinished plywood hardboard on the other. The panels need to be several inches larger than your painting.

Home Depot calls them Eucalyptus White Hardboard, and Lowes calls them White Hardboard Wall Panel.  One side is wood and the other is waterproof. One 4'x8' sheet ($10-15) can be cut down at the store to create 4-24"x36" sheets (for full size sheet), and 3-15"x24". (for half-sheet paper).

Lay the panels next to one another, one panel white side up and the other panel unfinished side up.  
Turn your completed painting over on top of the CLEAN white waterproof surface of the hardboard panel, and using a sponge or a large brush, completely saturate the back of your painting.  Do not flood it with water so that water leaks underneath to the front of your painting, merely saturate it well, brushing the water into the paper.  Allow it to absorb a few minutes, and go back over it with another layer of water. You want the painting completely damp on one side, all the way to the edges.

Turn the painting over, wet side down on top of the wooden side of the other panel.  The unfinished wooden side of the panel will help draw the moisture out of the back side of your painting.  Lift the edges and position it straight.  MAKE SURE THERE ARE NO WRINKLES OR BUBBLES.

Completely dry the white side of the first panel and lay it, white side down, on top of your painting.  The waterproof side must be against the painting

At this point you can weight the "sandwiched" painting down with anything heavy-a case of watercolor paper, books, etc.  Leave for a few days before unpacking it.  It should be dried completely flat.  There may be a light tan haze on the backside of the paper where the hardboard drew the water out, but that's OK.

Some of Debbie's paintings below:

Submitted by Sue Giegler
Photos by Sue Giegler and Amy Giglio

Friday, September 7, 2018

MINUTES - September 5, 2018

President Kathy Lang opened the meeting at 10:00 by congratulating again the winners of the Art Show last month, and thanked all those who helped. Input was received on how show could be improved for next year. Kathy said  we have the downstairs of The Barn reserved for next year, which alleviated concern of light shining on art work, and show not as accessible for people visiting Barn. The Evaluation Committee will be reviewing entry process for next year, and work on more required involvement of members submitting work.

The Fall Workshop was discussed and noted the date change to October 26 and 27. Debbie Cannatella will be our artist for this. She will emphasize composition and design in watercolor.  Registration is open to the first 15 paid GCWS members.  After September 27th, it will be open to non-members until the workshop is filled. Make checks payable to GCWS. Send check to Cornelia Dettmer, 3472 Whitfield Ave., Cincinnati OH 45220 or pay at the meeting by check or credit card.

Awards received by members: 
Tom Schroeder and Gary Brooks have paintings in the Kentucky Aqueous Watercolor
Show at the Actors Guild in Louisville.
Debbie Cannatella made Viewpoint and will be painting at the Plein Air Benefit at DeVou Park this Saturday.

Local art shows with member involvement: 
Arts Connect Nov. 9-19, Centennial Barn, Compton Rd. Register before Oct. 1
Harvest Home Fair.
Charlie Harper Quilt Show at the Farbach Wener Nature Preserve, Sept. 22-30.

The December Christmas meeting was discussed and members agreed to paint cards again for soldiers.

Submitted by Sue Giegler

Monday, August 13, 2018


While everyone from our group can enter our shows, we do have a judge for the show once it is hung.  This year the juror for our show was Rachel Wolf from F+W Publications.   Awards were announced on Sunday, August 5.
Carolyn Hibbard accepts First Place  Award

Heidi Hanssen accepts Second Place Award
First Place:  Carolyn Hibbard - Savannah Tug

Second Place:  Heidi Hanssen - Memorial Day

Third Place:  Suzi Wycoff - Just Chillin'

Honorable Mentions:  (in alphabetic order)
   Debbie Cannatella - Homeless

   Janet Feuss - Saturday Night Jazz

   Carol Imbus - Margaritaville

   Tom Schroeder - Trinidad Tire Salesman

   Deb Ward - All About the Labels
Photos by Deb Ward

Wednesday, August 8, 2018


An overview of the show opening in the Loft at The Barn in Mariemont..
Our opening was Sunday, August 5, with a good turn out.  The show runs through August 12 - for more information please see the sidebar.
John Jeffries provided the music.
John Jeffries provided music while many of our members provided food and drink.
Artwork by our Student Scholarship winner, Sydney Green.

The following is a quick look at the show.  I tried to get a photo of each painting, which wasn't as easy as it sounds due to the large turnout and the light reflections.  My apologies for the photo quality.

Photos by Deb Ward