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  • August 09, 2022 5:05 PM | Nancy Moody (Administrator)

    By Cissy Geigerman, WAS-H Gallery Co-Director

    How’s the weather?  Well, it varies as you can tell from the many versions of paintings for this month’s “Skies”.  The challenge was to paint any rendition of a sky and we did have a beautiful array of choices.  We had stormy skies, clear skies, starry skies, and sunsets, to name a few.  Many thanks to our volunteers this month, Mansueto Fabugais and Paula Fowler.

    Our judge for this show was Frank Billingsley, currently a meteorologist for KPRC Houston. He was named a “Houston Treasure” in 2018 and a “Houston Legend” by Houston City Book in 2021. Frank’s career includes Best Weathercaster awards from the Associated Press, the Houston Press Club, the Houston Press Newspaper and the Dallas Press Club. In 2020 Frank became an honorary Admiral in the Texas Navy, the highest honor the governor of Texas can bestow on any citizen.  Besides his meteorological expertise, Frank has also become a champion of men’s health through sharing his own experience of prostate cancer and has advocated for adoptees in his book Swabbed & Found: An Adopted Man’s Journey to Discover His Family Tree (Bright Sky Press, 2017).  Out of Frank’s many accolades, his favorite recognition comes from the Houston Chronicle which has named Frank the “Ultimate Weatherman.”

    The Gallery was very pleased to have so many entries for Mr. Billingsley to evaluate.  He was impressed with the variety and range of talent presented, having been a painter himself.  

    Below are remarks from our judge and the artists.  

    1st place: Darlene Dittoe

    “No Footprints, End of Summer”   


    Frank Billingsley- Excellent detail. Great use of color, light and reflection the whole work feels gentle and lonely.

    Ms. Dittoe - I had a wonderful friend of 40 years who I lost last year. She and her husband lived in Delaware.  I was visiting them a year ago in the fall and we had gone to the beach in Avalon, New Jersey. She and I were walking the beach hand in hand. I took many photos of that day and the painting is a compilation of several. Wonderful memories of a special friend and a special time. 

    Cissy Geigerman: This painting had communicative powers for Frank Billingsley.  While not knowing the story behind it, Frank felt something with this painting.  

     

    2nd place: Fontaine Jacobs

    “Sailor’s Delight”


    Frank Billingsley – A lot of color here and I don’t like pink, but this grew on me.  At the end, a bold and streaming work.  I like the flow.

    Fontaine Jacobs - I am always fascinated with clouds, they can really take your breath away. In twenty years of sailing, my husband and I saw many brilliant sunsets. This served as my inspiration for this painting. Unlike the judge, I do like pink and wanted to try out a new color combo. Getting a smooth transition of color on Yupo took a lot of paint and water, but the clouds lifted easily.

    Frank Billingsley: My eye kept coming over to your painting, I could not deny the hold it had on me.  

    Fontaine Jacobs: Yes, I also said to myself “that’s a lot of pink!” I held onto it because it seemed to work with rest of what was there.

     

    3rd Place: Robert Ruhmann

    ”The Old Barn


    Frank Billingsley – Not all sky has to have something going on. The artist chose a simple blue sky to showcase his talent for realism and it works.

    Robert Ruhmann - This barn is located 15 miles north of Wharton, Texas. When I first saw it, I was very intrigued by the texture of the wood and the color of the roof.  I could tell that it was very old and had been used for many years.  I love to paint old barns because they are a big part of our nation's history. The most challenging part of the painting was the roof.  I used a mixer of Burnt Sienna and Red Oxide. 

    Cissy Geigerman: This painting has a lot of detail.  How long did it take you to paint it? Your style reminds me of Les McDonald do you know him?

    Robert Ruhmann: I paint just about every day.  This one took a day and a half.  Yes, I know Les very well. We find ourselves together at art festivals and shows throughout the season.    

     

    Honorable Mention:  Katie Steck

    “Await” 


    Frank Billingsley – This piece jumps out and I love the reflections.

    Katie Steck – This was inspired by Houston’s amazing skyscapes with its emotive motion and simultaneous stillness.  I named it Await so the viewer can decide if the ship is awaiting a storm or just perhaps awaiting adventure. 


    Honorable Mention: Mohammed Ali Bhatti

    “Summertime”


    Frank Billingsley – Simple strokes to evoke a solid image. It is obvious this artist can draw.  So many times a good painting starts with a good drawing.

    Mohammed Ali Bhatti - I was inspired by this countryside view near Conroe.  I like the simplicity and quietness of the scene.  I took a few clicks and painted with the idea of “less is more”, in watercolor landscape painting.  The lower part is active shades and contrasts to the calm sky.

    Cissy Geigerman: Well yes, we know this artist can draw!  He is a popular instructor here at WASH and we hope to enjoy his classes for a long while.    


    Honorable Mention:  Rona Lesser

    “Sunset on the River”


    Frank Billingsley – Reflection is subtle yet- there and well done.

    Rona Lesser – This was taken from a series of photos done on a Victory Cruise ship down the St. Lawrence Seaway.  I chose this one for the composition of the contrast of the reflection and the dark lines of the tower.  I slowly developed the sky and land forms, and used the same colors to get the water.  I had to go back and emphasize the horizon line to separate it from the reflection.  The final step was to add the power lines with watercolor pencil.  The reflections and sky were done with lots of layers and wet onto wet.  

    Frank Billingsley: Did you turn the painting upside down to do the reflections?

    Rona Lesser: No, I did it all together, but I did turn it upside down near the end to check if it looked all right. 

     

    Looking Ahead:

    September Show – BLUE 

    Our next show will feature that glorious color blue.  This hue has a rich history of creation and is commonly associated with a range of particular feelings including tranquility, calmness, imagination, cold, distance, sadness, and peace. From ultramarine to azure, the color blue comes in a vast array of compelling color variations and subtle shifts in hue.  While other colors are allowed in this show, each painting must feature the color blue as the predominant color, or as a prominent feature/focal point of the piece.

     

  • July 30, 2022 6:58 PM | Nancy Moody (Administrator)

    There are so many activities upcoming at WAS-H.  Here is a summary.  Please go to the proper website links to get more information!

    ACTIVITIES:

    August Exhibit:  Theme “SKY”.  Registration deadline 3pm August 3, 2022.

    September Exhibit: Theme “BLUE”. Registration opens August 12, 2022.

    Annual Member Exhibit:  October 2 - November 3, 2022.  Registration opens Sept 13, 2022.

    October Art Fair: 11am - 4pm, October 8, 2022.  Registration is open.

    UPCOMING CLASSES:

    Portrait Class - August 4, 2022

    Paint Night - August 12, 2022

    Composition & Values - Aug 13-14, 2022

    Drawing Class - August 16, 2022.

    WORKSHOP: 

    Major Workshop with Ryan Fox -October 3-6, 2022



  • July 30, 2022 6:08 PM | Nancy Moody (Administrator)

    By Karen Stopnicki, President

    Dear WAS-H Friends,

    Welcome to August! I love this month because it is a gentle transition from an unstructured, open-ended summer break to exciting and new activities in the Fall. The arts scene in Houston traditionally launches new seasons of performing and visual arts. WAS-H is no different, as we have so much planned for this Fall.  

    If you missed our July Student Teacher Exhibit, it was a stunner. Our August Gallery Exhibit is themed “Skies”, and the entry deadline is Wednesday, August 3rd. The reception is on Sunday, August 6th at 3pm… come to see the show and meet our juror Frank Billingsley, the chief meteorologist from KPRC.

    Our September Gallery Exhibit theme is “Blue” and the reception will follow our September General Meeting. If you are planning to enter, keep in mind that WAS-H has a mat cutter in the classroom space that members can use to aid in framing your work.

    The Ryan Fox major workshop on Monday, October 3rd thru Thursday October 6th is open for enrollment HERE.  Ryan is an award-winning artist who will be teaching unique techniques and “turn your old notions about watercolor upside down.” This is an opportunity to learn from a world-class instructor right here at WAS-H, no expensive travel plans needed.

    Remember how I just said August is a gentle transition to a busy time? It is a great time to paint and prepare work to enter in the Annual Members Exhibit (AME). The AME is a premier exhibit, and will be juried by Ryan Fox (mentioned above, also teaching a great class!). You can see the full schedule and prospectus HERE.

    The Art Fair is planned for Saturday October 8th. Registration to participate is now open, (The link is HERE), and we expect spaces to fill up soon. The Art Fair is a great opportunity to sell your work, meet the community and enjoy being with fellow WAS-H members on a nice October Saturday.

    I want to thank the Board and volunteers for keeping things running during the summer. Maureen Lewis and her team have been contacting members to gently remind them to renew, as membership dues are vital income to our operations. Kathleen Cooper diligently keeps our finances in order, taxes filed and bills paid, all timely and cheerfully. Marion Friedman has worked tirelessly to completely update our detailed operations handbook, the Procedures Manual. Diane Trepagnier has the AME planned and ready to go! Irene Sheytman and Donna Van Fleet are finalizing plans for our Fall General Meetings, demos and major workshop. I especially appreciate Laura Mossman, our hard-working Artist Liaison, who really does keep everything going in a positive direction.

    I look forward to seeing you at WAS-H soon! WAS-H really is a happy place, with great artistic energy imbued throughout. I plan to attend the August Gallery Exhibit reception, if you will be there, I would love to say “hi” and visit a bit.

     

    Warm Regards,

    Karen Houston Stopnicki


  • July 26, 2022 3:55 PM | Nancy Moody (Administrator)

    After a few years hiatus, the “Clothesline Sale”/ Art Fair is coming back to WAS-H this fall! This had been an annual event up until Covid restrictions, and is a way for members to sell their water media artwork to the neighbors and friends of WAS-H. It is coordinated with the Annual Membership Exhibition, to highlight our beautiful building, and a stellar show of artwork. Art connoisseurs can peruse the art for sale and meander inside to see the show and award-winning paintings. The sale is advertised through the WAS-H website, with postcards that can be mailed and handed out and with posters in the area so that attendance is maximized. Banners will be outside to catch the eyes of passersby.

    Interested in selling your artwork? Here are the basics you need to know about the sale……

    • The date is: Saturday, October 8 from 11am – 4pm, rain or shine.

    • Sign-up online thru the WAS-H website, like the classes, a credit card is all you need.

    • The sale is outside in the parking lot. One table and 2 chairs in each space.

    • There are a small number of spaces available for tents – BYOTent!!

    • In the event of rain, the sale moves inside the building, it’s a tight fit, but doable!

    • Sales are handled by WAS-H, 25% commission, just like the gallery.

    • Sales may include: any water media art, including prints or cards.

    • Framed or matted artwork is fine, but it must be clearly priced

    • No paintings may be priced under $30, except for cards

    • There are under 30 spaces available, but spaces may be shared.

    • If you share a space, you both must sign up individually.

    • Bring your own print bins or baskets/boxes to display work.

     This will also make it easier to move if the weather takes a turn

    • Participants must volunteer for two additional activities:

     1. Cashier desk duties during the event and

     2. Volunteer for the set-up crew (9:30 am) or takedown (4 pm)

    • Participants must attend a meeting prior to the Sale to ensure things run smoothly.

    • We also welcome all WAS-H volunteers who choose not to sell.

    To put on an event like this, it takes everyone to pitch in and help with the coordination - so thank you in advance doing your part to make this event successful! 

    The Art Fair has been a great way to do community outreach, find local patrons of the arts and to clear out everyone’s studios as well as make some money for more art supplies!! Past Art Fairs have racked up close to $10,000 in sales – so sign up early to ensure your space is reserved!

    How to register: Go to the WAS-H website (www.watercolorhouston.org), look under "Activities" and select "Art Fair", or click on the link below:


    REGISTER FOR THE 2022 ART FAIR HERE

  • July 26, 2022 3:49 PM | Nancy Moody (Administrator)

    by Maureen Lewis, Membership Director

    Thank you for renewing your WAS-H memberships. Membership dues represent the primary source of funds for WAS-H operations and the maintenance of our beautiful building.

    If you have not renewed, please renew your membership today! 

    We are excited about the 2022-2023 membership year! WAS-H will host two Major Workshops featuring nationally recognized artists, Ryan Fox and Brenda Swenson!

    Renew your membership and take advantage of membership discounts for every class and Early Bird Registration each quarter. We encourage you to participate in member activities including:

    • FreeOpen Studio on Fridays
    • Free Painting forSeniors
    • Paint-ins
    • PleinAirPainting
    • MonthlyGallery Shows
    • Classes and workshops
    • Monthly meetings and artistdemonstations

    Members make events at WAS-H possible. We are grateful for your continued and crucial support.  We look forward to seeing you soon.

    Join or Renew HERE

  • July 26, 2022 3:44 PM | Nancy Moody (Administrator)

    By Kathleen Cooper, Treasurer

    As the Treasurer of WAS-H, I would like to present the members with a short summary of our financial position. Please know that, at any time, a member may request a copy of a financial statement or a filed tax return. Our fiscal year ends on May 31st. The tax return for the June 1, 2021 to May 31, 2022 has not yet been filed, but it will be filed on a timely basis. Note - below the numbers are rounded to the nearest thousand, to make this easier to read. 

    We currently have cash accounts totaling $331,000. Fixed assets less depreciation equal $472,000. Our only liabilities are sales tax and payroll tax payable, for a total of $3,000 in payables. Therefore, we are in fiscally sound condition.

    For the fiscal year ending 5/31/22 we had revenues of $248,000 and cash expenses of $247,000, giving us positive cash flow of $1,000. For the prior year ended 5/31/21 we had revenues of $195,000 and cash expenses of $196,000 for a negative cash flow of $1,000.

    So, we are living within our means, but not making anything extra to save.


    Note - FYE 5/31/21 - fewer awards were given out for the international exhibit.

    As you can see from the above, once you subtract the instructor fees from the class income it falls to third place in the list of money-making activities.  Instructors generally are paid 80% of class revenue.

    Donations and Membership Dues are the PRIMARY sources of income that keep WAS-H running!

    Please let me know if you have any questions or want further information. My WAS-H email is washtr@watercolorhouston.org

  • July 26, 2022 11:12 AM | Nancy Moody (Administrator)

    1st place

    Elizabeth Winslow, “Chinese Peony” 


    Artist comments: “Watercolor done on rice paper. I have been doing Chinese watercolors for 8 years with my teacher Peihong Endris. This is done in the Gong-Bi style which is detailed as opposed to being in the spontaneous style.” 

    Judge comments: “Lovely painting! Delicate colors, beautiful composition. Impressive painting! This would be a challenging painting on watercolor paper, but on rice paper—WOW! Incredible!” 

     

    2nd place 

    Josena Arquieta, “Black and White House” 


    Artist comments: “I’ve been painting pictures of Montrose bungalows that are disappearing. This is a study in light and dark- parts of a class with Ed Pettit.”

    Judge comments: “This painting grabbed by attention from across the room and kept my attention when I got close. The vacant porch allowed me to imagine who might be sitting there. Love the composition and values.” 

     

    3rd place

    Susan Bizzell, “Summer Day” 

     

    Artist comments:  “This was my first experience with gouache. This is also the first time I've ever placed in a show! There were so many beautiful paintings, I am truly honored”

    Judge comments: “I can feel the warmth! Colors are full of energy, yet there’s a calm resting place under the tree. This is a place I’d like to be.” 

     


    Honorable Mention

    Nancy Moody, “Mah Jongg Mayhem” 


    Artist comments:  “The subject and composition of my painting stemmed from my other hobby that I love, the game of Mah Jongg.  The tumble of the die, tiles and even the snack bowl was randomly created, then photographed for this piece.  It was hand drawn using the grid method, then painted with mixed colors advised by Ellen Orseck and finishing touches suggested by Carla Gauthier.”  

    Judge comments: “Excellent composition! It intrigued me that the artist left the roll of the 2nd dice to the viewer’s discretion. I assume it was a good roll since the tile “lucky” was shown.”  


    Honorable Mention

    Joyce Veneman, “Garden at Bayou Bend” 



    Artist comments:  “I took this photo last year at Bayou Bend and decided it would great subject to paint. I am a traditional plein air watercolorist, but I had to rely on my photo for this painting. The painting has some detail in the statue, but I was able to be freer with the abstract background. Carla Gauthier gave me a few pointers on how to finish this piece”.

    Judge comments: “This painting invited me in to enjoy the garden. I didn’t want to leave. So peaceful and beautiful.” 


    Honorable Mention

    Victoria Avalos, “Go Astros!” 


    Artist comments:  “I painted this portrait in Dr. Mohammand Bhatti's portrait class last year.  The boy is the grandson of a friend who has on a Astros baseball cap. I wanted to learn more about the placement of facial features (such as ears, nose, etc.) in a portrait study.  This is a great class to start as a beginner or also advanced students too.  I enjoyed the class”. 

    Judge comments: “I smiled when I saw this boy. His rosy cheeks told me he had been playing outside. His expression shows the wonder of a little boy—playful, happy, and possibly a little mischievous.” 

  • July 21, 2022 11:40 AM | Nancy Moody (Administrator)


    We have sad news to report about longtime WAS-H member William Tone's passing in March.  Follow this link for the obituary.


  • July 21, 2022 11:37 AM | Nancy Moody (Administrator)


    The summer 2022 issue of The Best of Watercolor magazine featuring the winners of the Splash 23 art competition is out. Congratulations to WAS-H members Carla Gauthier, Leslie McDonald, Jr. and Keiko Yasuoka for being included!

    Laura's Tea

    by Carla Gauthier

    "Painting from photos taken on a trip is a great way to revisit locations to remember the sights, sounds and smells. It's like taking a mental vacation while you paint."

    Shopping in San Jose

    by Les McDonald

    "The colors of the merchandise, as well as their setup, captured my attention. When painting a scene like this one I always draw a detailed pencil rendering before painting. It was a labor of love"."

    The Gifts from Him

    by Keiko Yasouka

    "The most difficult thing about this painting was the motif. The arrangement had so many angles that could have been the focal point. I utilize natural light and must wait until certain times of the day to achieve the proper hue from the sun as well as light directions and shadows."

  • July 17, 2022 3:39 PM | Nancy Moody (Administrator)

    There are some remaining spaces left in Myke Venable’s Drawing 101 class.  This is a four session class on Tuesday mornings, starting August 16th.  Click HERE for details.  


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