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WAS-H Members Priority Registration opens today, December 1, 2023
General Registration opens December 8, 2023
Spring Classes run from January through May 2023
WAS-H Holiday Party on December 4th is a Pot Luck! Sign up by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Holiday Party December 4th
Sunday December 4th
3 - 5pm
Pot Luck Holiday Party
Let us know what you're bringing!
Sunday December 4th
3 - 5pm
Pot Luck Holiday Party
Let us know what you're bringing!
WAS-H presents Brenda Swenson
Juror and Judge International Watermedia Exhibition (IWE)
Major Workshop Instructor
The Workshop: Negative Painting with Watercolor
Discover the exciting results of negative painting with watercolor! Negative painting is the technique of painting around a subject (the negative space) to define it in the composition. Build your confidence in handling glazes, wet into wet, under-paintings and painting into wet passages. Strengthen your understanding of pigments and how they directly relate to the complexed medium of watercolor. During the workshop you’ll learn how to create interesting shapes and depth of color with transparent glazes. Strengthen a painting with overlapping, interlocking shapes and linkage.
The Workshop is March 6 - 9, 2023 from 9am - 4pm daily.
Registration opens December 5.
About Brenda Swenson
Brenda Swenson is the artist author of two books, Keeping a Watercolor Sketchbook (Finalist, Award of Excellence) and Steps to Success in Watercolor. She’s a Signature Artist in WW, NWWS, SDWS and CWA. Her artwork has been featured in several volumes of Splash: Best of Watercolor, An Illustrated Journey, Creative Freedom, Complete Guide to Watercolor, Watercolor Artist, Watercolor Magazine, Watercolor Highlights, Plein Air Magazine and numerous other publications.
An active participant in the arts community, she is 1st Vice-President of the California Art Club and has served on the board of directors for the National Watercolor Society and Watercolor West. She participates as an arts juror and demonstrator and offers workshops both nationally and abroad.
"Being a painter is more than mastery of techniques. It’s the desire to express how I feel about my world and my response to it. To put simply…to communicate. My tools are that of a painter: brush, paint, paper and ink. I sketch and paint outdoors constantly. Working en plein air has taught me to be observant to the effects of light and atmosphere. I take this knowledge with me into the studio. Being an artist is an endless journey…always struggling to achieve one's best work. The struggle keeps my work honest and direct."
Learn more about Brenda in this short video HERE.
Registration opens December 5, 2022
Early Bird for members (December 5 - 31): $495
Members (January 1 - March 1): $550
Workshop is limited to 20 seats. Click HERE to Register starting December 5, 2022.
By Karen Stopnicki, WAS-H President
Dear WAS-H Friends,
I can’t believe it is December, how did a whole year pass by so quickly!?! My heart is full of gratitude, and I reflect on the many things I am thankful for, most especially the WAS-H community. We had a full year of classes, meetings, gallery exhibits, major shows, and a wonderful Art Fair.
Our Small Treasures Holiday Bazaar continues through the month. Please come to our Holiday Party on Sunday, December 4th at 3pm to see it (and shop if you like). It will be a real celebration, and fun with festive food, a selfie station and great company.
On Thursday, December 1st, our Spring class schedule opens for priority member registration. I peaked at the classes, and it is a fabulous schedule! Speaking of classes, our IWE major workshop with the very popular Brenda Swenson will open for registration on Monday, December 5th with an Early-Bird price. The IWE (International Watermedia exhibit) call for entry is open, you can submit entries until January 13th, and see the prospectus HERE.
So, hold on, because when January roars in, it will be busy! The January Gallery Show theme is Experimental, and just this time open to non-members, too. Here is the prospectus, entry deadline is January 4th. The January General Meeting on the 8th will feature award winning abstract artist Kim Granhaug. I can’t wait to see what she shares with us! And the January Paint-In on the 7th will be with one of our most favorite teachers, Joanie Hughes.
Keep an eye on our website for information about other upcoming events. The February Gallery Show theme will be Fire and Ice, with the prospectus available soon. And the Paint-In for February will be with Alison Hendry. Our standard events such as Open Studio, Model Lab and Senior Group are continuing at full force. With all our events and classes, the WAS-H building will be busy, busy, busy!
I just read an article about a restorer in Italy who lovingly dusts Michelangelo’s David several times a year. While fascinating tidbits about tools were shared – synthetic brushes work better and a small vacuum was attached to a Ghostbusters-type backpack – I was most intrigued with her feelings about a job many would view as tedious. She loved being able to contribute to conserving David’s beauty and felt she had the best job in the world. I think it clearly shows the impact art has on lives, providing something deep and meaningful in all of us.
If you have already made a donation to our Annual Fund, thank you, thank you! If haven’t yet and would like to, you can donate online HERE.
My December wishes for you are the following. Stay warm, enjoy your family and friends, have meaning to the holidays you celebrate and blessings for a New Year. I am appreciative to all of you for being a part of WAS-H. I hope to see you soon!
Karen Houston Stopnicki
WAS-H is beginning a new “Instructor Spotlight” series, which will feature a different class teacher in each installment. In our current issue, we introduce Laura Spector.
Laura Spector is a Houston-based artist and art instructor. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. She is best known for her acclaimed Museum Anatomy project which began in 1996, where she collaborated with museum curators in 16 countries searching for hidden, stolen, lost and destroyed paintings to be recontextualized in paint onto the human body. Among Spector’s honors are a Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts, an Individual Grant from Houston Art Alliance, the Sovereign Asian Art Finalist Award, Hong Kong; and an Artist-in-residence at AtelierHaus Hilmsen, Hilmsen, Germany. Spector is currently an Artist-in-Residence recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation. In November 2022, she will exhibit (w)Hole, a collective exhibition based on grief, apology, and healing at The Jung Center in Houston, TX.
Laura began teaching art to adults in her Thailand studio in 2004. She has taught classes at WAS-H since 2018.
Her courses have included:
Introduction to Silverpoint, Introduction to Liquid Charcoal, Liquid Charcoal Silverscreen Stars, The Wet and Dry Charcoal Portrait and The Simplified Floral Still Life.
Upcoming virtual courses include:
An Introduction to Florals in Gouache, A Silver Screen Portrait in Wet & Dry Charcoal, The Simplified Floral Still Life in Gouache
She enjoys teaching silverpoint, graphite, charcoal, acrylic, gouache, oils, and watercolors. When she’s not teaching she is either at her studio painting or at home with her husband and two cats, Ziggy and Shazam.
Current Exhibitions and Lectures
Listen to interviews with Laura Spector on KPFT Radio on Wednesday, November 30th at 7pm, and Houston Matters on NPR on Thursday, December 1st. You can listen to her interview with Houston Matters, which has fabulous information about the exhibit starting at the 12 minute mark: Houston Matters with Craig Cohen
Upcoming WAS-H Classes:
Laura has several upcoming classes. Her class in December is Virtual - An Introduction to Florals in Gouache. There is an afternoon and an evening offering, December 6th and 13th.
You can find more information about this and her other classes under our education section of our website.
By Cissy Geigerman , WAS-H Gallery Co-Director
Our gallery is “a-WASH” with small treasures just in time for holiday shopping. This exhibit is full of small framed paintings and unframed works that are available to purchase and carry away. It is amazing to see so much creative effort in these little wonders. Restrictions for framed paintings are lifted and the effects are handsome indeed.
In order to display everything, we decided to hang the unframed, matted paintings on soft gallery panels. The lesson here is, be careful what you wish for! Our members really stepped up and submitted over 90 framed paintings and over 200 unframed items. We were able to hang almost everything with the timely help of our volunteers. Bella Attia is a decorating whiz. She was given a bundle of supplies, a free rein, and the results are great! Mansueto Fabugais is becoming expert in hanging frames at just the right height. Irene Sheytman was just walking through and jumped in to help hang the matted paintings, and re-hang them because they were falling off. We are delighted to have positive feedback from visitors at the reception.
Our random winner of a $100.00 gift is William Owens. He also has framed paintings on display. Be sure to visit the gallery often during this show because the paintings may be replaced with new works as they are sold.
The show continues through the end of the year.
We invite you to join us during our member holiday party on December 4 if you haven't seen the exhibit yet. It will be FUN!
January 2023 Exhibit Theme: EXPERIMENTAL
Artists are encouraged to use non-traditional ideas and materials for this month’s exhibit. Any surface is allowed but media must be at least 80% water soluble such as watercolor, gouache, acrylic, egg tempura, casein, charcoal or ink.
The prospectus for January’s exhibit is HERE.
February 2023 Exhibit Theme: FIRE & ICE
Drama, passion! February is the month for both. Paintings are a way to express our emotions without spoken language. This month, we will try to make a connection with others through this outlet. Paintings can have general subjects and aim to convey an emotional aspect.
February prospectus will be available soon.
Come to the Gallery and celebrate a fabulous year of watercolor wonders! We hope you find connection and comradery here.
We will have several activities you can participate in while at the party, to include:
This is a "pot-luck" event, so bring a dish or treat to share. To ensure we have a variety of food, snacks, and drinks, email the Artist Liaison or click on This link to fill out a form with the item you plan to bring so we can ensure we do not duplicate efforts.
Artist Laura Spector has created three instagram videos with information about her upcoming virtual Gouache classes at WAS-H which are Dec 6 and Dec 13th, either afternoon or evening. You can see them Here, Here, and Here.
She also invites us to attend an exhibit at the Jung Center which runs through December 20th. Details are below:
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Emery Thomas "Tom" Kraycirik, at the age of 75, on October 24, 2022. Tom was a dedicated WAS-H Member, volunteer and friend. Tom also served as the International Watermedia Exhibition Director for the past few years.
The family is hosting two celebrations where memories and stories will be shared to honor Tom.
Saturday, November 5th from 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.,
Home of Kate Kraycirik and Mike Smith,
2069 Southgate Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77030.
Saturday, November 12th from 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Danevang Lutheran Church - Community Hall
357 County Road 426, Danevang, Texas 77432
As mentioned in his obituary HERE, the family asks that donations in memory of Tom should be directed to the establishment of the ET Kraycirik Memorial Prize, International Watercolor Exhibition, Watercolor Arts Society Houston (LINK HERE), 1601 W. Alabama St, Houston, Texas 77006.
©Watercolor Art Society - Houston. All images are property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.