Gallery Director's Report: December 2021 Gallery Show

December 14, 2021 2:55 PM | Ksenia Annis (Administrator)

by Paula Fowler, Gallery Co-Director

Nothing says the holidays at WAS-H like the opening of the December show that features small painting that would make ideal gifts. With that in mind, over one hundred Small Treasures now decorate our walls. As you view them, you are drawn to one because of the sense of peace and calm. Another because of the sly humor. And then there’s the abstract that lets your own imagination take wing. Every time I took a lap about the gallery, another one would catch my eye and make me linger. Do plan to make it by the gallery soon and see what our wonderful WAS-H family has shared this holiday season. And take a moment to ready Winner’s Words in our blog to see what some of our winners have to say about their paintings.

Our judge this month is one of our most talented and valuable members, Jan McNeill. Jan was born in Canada and grew up in Texas and Massachusetts. She completed her chemical engineering degree in Edmonton Canada and then emigrated to Houston in 1978. While she always enjoyed math and science, she also has a special love for art, so when her children entered middle school, she started taking watercolor classes from Caroline Graham, and when she retired from her career at ExxonMobil after more than 30 years of service, she started taking classes at the MFA Glassell. She also enrolled in workshops of several internationally known artists. And then, lucky for us, she found WAS-H. Since becoming a member, Jan has served in an impressive number of key roles. She has been Gallery Director, Vice-President, President, Publicity Director, Education Director, Paint-in Coordinator and is now Historian Director. In addition to that, she has won many awards at WAS-H and is currently a Signature Member. Thank you, Jan, for sharing your time and expertise!

Jan did a wonderful job of evaluating the December show. I love to hear what it was about a painting that swayed the judge to pick it as a winner. Jan shared with us these thoughts in her own words:

“There were many lovely paintings that I would have loved to have chosen, but I was limited to only 7 awards! There was nice diversity in subject matter (representational, abstract, type of painting surface, figures, animals, floral, landscapes, etc.)”

First Place - Multicolored Calico by Zahid Shaikh

“Exquisite composition of a cat. The soft edges and soft fur were especially well done and are tough to achieve.”

Second Place - Winter Blues by Darlene Dittoe

“Liked the varied size of the trees in winter. The cool tones, beautiful washes and overall composition were very pleasing.”

Third Place - Snow Overnight by Nan Wright

“A well-executed abstract that connotes snowy trees. Beautiful shading and texture. It reminded me of skiing in Vermont. “

Honorable Mentions

Coconut Bounty by Patty Browning

“The textures and varied colors highlighted a strong composition. The work is on YUPO which can be difficult to master its slick surface.”

See Ewe by Karen Capper

“Loved the loose and expressive composition. Made excellent use of a limited palette.”

A Little Texas Christmas by Philip Weigand

“A charming composition in pen, ink, and watercolor. Loved the line work and color variation on the boots!”

Fall by Chris Bunger

“Fresh and loose landscape. The soft edges in the water reflections helped develop a sense of depth.”

Our shows are a great deal of fun to organize and hang. I share primary duties with my Co-Director, Nancy McMillian, and this month Leisa Patin, Susan Bizzell, Patty Armstrong and Laura Mossman joined us in making it all come together. If you feel that you might like to help with a future show or reception, please sign up on the Sign-up Genius on our home page or email me at It really is a great way to help WAS-H and to get to know some of our amazing members.

Our January show registration has already begun and goes through January 6, 2022, so try to squeeze some time to check out the prospectus and prepare an entry or two. We look forward to seeing you.

Happy Holidays!

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