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  • November 30, 2022 9:58 PM | Nancy Moody

    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

    Nonmembers: $600

    Workshop is limited to 20 seats.  Click HERE to Register starting December 5, 2022.

  • November 30, 2022 4:11 PM | Nancy Moody

    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!

    Warm Regards,

    Karen Houston Stopnicki

  • November 30, 2022 3:02 PM | Nancy Moody

    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.

    You can find out more about Laura at www.LauraSpector.com
  • November 22, 2022 8:58 PM | Nancy Moody

    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!

  • November 22, 2022 8:42 PM | Nancy Moody

    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.

  • November 22, 2022 8:33 PM | Nancy Moody

    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:

    1. Contribute to a collaborative work of art with your fellow WAS-H Members (upstairs).
    2. Take a selfie at our selfie station. Cardboard Santa at your disposal!
    3. Create your Artist Profile to be posted on the WAS-H website. You can take your headshot at the selfie station and email a bio to the Artist Liaison. She will set you up on a new page called "Artist Profiles".
    4. Feast on one of the many "pot-luck" nibbles.
    5. Participate in our mini-program upstairs. We would like to invite members to share a 3-5 minute talent with the group. To be one of the selected mini-program presenters, email Katie Steck your name, describe your talent and estimated length of your presentation. Katie will notify you if you are selected for that day's agenda.
    6. Purchase a special painting for your holiday gift-giving! It's cash-and-carry in this month's exhibit, so get them while they last!
    7. Participate in our Silent Auction. We will have a variety of items in our Silent Auction. Auction winners will be notified via email/phone if they win.

    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.

  • November 22, 2022 8:22 PM | Nancy Moody

    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:

  • November 05, 2022 2:07 PM | Nancy Moody

    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. 

  • November 05, 2022 1:56 PM | Nancy Moody

    By Karen Stopnicki, WAS-H President

    Dear WAS-H Friends,

    I live in a house of sports fans, which is more apparent with the Astros in the World Series. I’ve been thinking about being a fan, and while I enjoy sports, and our hometown teams, I have decided that I am the biggest fan of art. And my favorite team is WAS-H. I suspect many of you are fans of art and team WAS-H, too. We don’t cheer loudly at good demos or drop peanut shells on the floors at exhibits, but we do “ooh and ahh,” and we feel great connecting with each other in support of our team WAS-H.

    We are looking forward to our Small Treasures Holiday Bazaar, entry deadline is Wednesday, November 2, and the opening reception is Sunday, November 6 following our General Meeting. The show will be up through December and feature smaller paintings priced to sell, making great gifts for friends, family or yourself!

    Our General Meeting on Sunday, November 6 begins at 2pm and will feature a great demo with Ed Pettitt, Urban Sketcher extraordinaire. A “must see” demo, Ed will show us how to map our personal reflections and environments with his unique tools and techniques. Our meetings are a great chance to get together with others in the WAS-H community.

    The last Paint-In for the year with Lynn Chatman is this Saturday, November 5, and has a wait list open. Joanie Hughes will be our January Paint-In instructor and Alison Hendry will be on the calendar for February. Keep an eye out for those to open for registration soon.

    The January Gallery Show theme will be Experimental and February Gallery Show theme will be Fire and Ice, so look for the prospectuses to be available soon. Speaking of shows, the International Watermedia Exhibit is now open for entry, the prospectus is HERE.

    As I close, I ask you to look for the letter we just mailed to members asking for your support. As a non-profit organization, we depend on you to donate funds to maintain our facility, put on our current programs, and expand with more. Donations are the primary form of revenue each year, followed by membership dues. The bulk of the revenue from our classes support our teaching artists – helping them continue their art practice and share their knowledge. We are grateful to have so much to offer at WAS-H, and we would be thankful for any support you choose to offer. If you like, you can donate online HERE.

    As we enter November, I am sending you my warm wishes from home to home and from heart to heart to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving. I am appreciative to all of you for being a part of WAS-H. I hope to see you soon!

    Warm Regards,

    Karen Houston Stopnicki

  • November 02, 2022 11:06 AM | Nancy Moody

    WAS-H is thrilled to host multi-talented Ed Pettitt for a demo on using watercolor map-making to tell our stories.  After pursuing studio art in high school, Ed shifted to biomedical science in college, joined the Peace Corp to develop treatment programs in Africa, moved to Houston to complete his Master of Public Health degree, then pursued his interests in ethnography and urban development as a doctoral student in urban planning and environmental policy, where he uses watercolor sketching as a way to process, critique, and engage the changing urban landscape.  Don’t miss spending time Sunday at 2p.m. with Ed as he tells his story and demonstrates how to map our stories in watercolor sketching.

1601 West Alabama Houston TX 77006
Gallery: 713-942-9966
Questions? Email 

HOURS: Tuesday - Saturday, 10 am - 3 pm

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