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  • April 14, 2021 8:45 AM | Ksenia Annis

    FIRST PLACE: New Orleans Conversation by Larry Spitzberg

    Between bites of beignets, I snapped New Orleans characters. This group was a small part of a photo that I didn’t even notice till I got home. What were these two diverse people talking about? I had to paint them.

    SECOND PLACE: Perfect Medicine by Maureen Lewis

    I have wanted to paint this painting for many years and finally decided to tackle it.  My mother spent the last two years of her life bedridden in a nursing home. During this difficult time, she cherished visits from family.  This painting depicts the day that she met her great-granddaughter and namesake.  For me, this painting is a celebration of family and a tribute to my mother.   This was the first time I have tried to chronicle a family event in a painting.  It was important to me to capture the fragility of my mother and the connection she felt for her great grandchild. I hope that viewers will feel that connection.

    HONORABLE MENTION: Freckled Angel by Trish Poupard

    It was truly an emotional roller coaster as I began this painting as a tribute to my brother’s stepdaughter who recently passed away from brain cancer at 9 years old.  Focusing on the light emanating from her spirit kept me going.  The rough part was painting her map of freckles as I imagined her mother’s heart breaking at the thought that she won’t be able to kiss those sweet little beauty marks ever again.  Of course, my tears are speckled throughout her visage as well.  The title is proven true, as she is surely now an angel in heaven. 

  • April 06, 2021 1:13 PM | Ksenia Annis

    We are happy to present volunteers slated to become WAS-H Board of Directors for the year 2021-2022. Click here to vote for them online!


    Philip has been around watercolor for all of his life. His dad was an architect and he has fond memories of him working on his watercolor renderings at his drafting table, painting in his sketchbook, and working alongside him in his art studio. So for Philip, watercolor provides a lot of wonderful memories of family, travels, and seeking new adventures. One of his favorite things is sharing watercolor with his kids - they keep it exciting!

    Professionally he’s been in the Oil & Gas Industry for over 10 years and found that watercolor is a great way to tap into a creative outlet and gain fresh perspectives. “I’m inspired by Peter Spier’s pen and wash techniques, Ratindra Das’ bold shapes and colors, and the brushwork of Eudes Correia and Joseph Zbukvic. Texas landscapes, seascapes, and European architecture are all themes I really enjoy painting.”


    Ahlene was born near Manchester, England, then immigrated to Ohio, USA. She earned a BS in Geology from Cleveland State University and an MS in Earth Science at Case Western Reserve University. She is still married to her high school sweetheart, with their 48th anniversary coming up this year.

    She moved to Houston in 1978 and worked as an exploration geologist for nine years. Ahlene taught elementary math and science for 21 years and has been retired for about eight years now. 

    Ahlene never took any art classes, but always appreciated art, particularly watercolor paintings. She’s been a member of WAS-H for several years, has taken several workshops and volunteers on the “take-in” days for the gallery exhibits. She also enjoyed participating in the WAS-H outreach program at Texas Children’s Hospital, which was discontinued last year due to the pandemic.

    “I think WAS-H is a wonderful organization; I have felt so welcome amongst the members. I would be glad to serve on the board this year, for I feel like I need to “do my part” to share the load to keep WAS-H running at peek capacity, always growing, always evolving. Thank you for your support for me and each other.”


    During a 31-year management career with IBM Corporation, Donna was named by Business Week magazine as one of the "Top 100 Women in Computing." Since retiring, Donna has served as a member of the boards of a number of nonprofit organizations and was featured in the Austin American-Statesman as one of 12 "movers and shakers" who make things happen in Austin. Donna's eagerness to experience diverse cultures has taken her on extensive worldwide excursions, and a fortuitous meeting of Jan Shrader on a trip through the Far East introduced Donna to WAS-H.

    Since the pandemic, home-alone isolation in her Galveston Gulf-side idyll has afforded Donna opportunity to indulge her lifelong passion for art. Having dabbled with only acrylic painting on limited occasions, Donna was a neophyte to watercolor painting, and now WAS-H's virtual classes have become a weekly staple.

    "With leadership experience in a vast array of nonprofit enterprises and boundless zeal for art, I consider it a gift to serve WAS-H as co-vice president.”


    Irene’s romance with watercolor started when she studied architecture in college at the Azerbaijan Engineering and Construction University in Baku. Among other subjects, watercolor painting was a prerequisite for architectural rendering.

    Like many of us, life forced her to set painting aside. But when she finally had more free time on her hands, she started painting again. She realized the need to develop her own visual language to express thoughts and emotions, painting light and darkness, depicting the mood of a scene, or creating order from chaos. Irene loves to travel and to see new places, cities, and countries. That is part of why historical architecture is her passion, visiting little forgotten villages, climbing up walls of medieval citadels, and scrutinizing paintings or mosaics on cathedral ceilings.

    “I have been a member of WAS-H for many years and enjoyed plenty of workshops and classes. But most of all, I appreciate simply being a part of a great group of art enthusiasts and appreciators.”


    Adele Raber is a retired pediatrician from Canada. She and her husband raised their family and practiced in Houston since 1978. In normal times Adele splits her year between London and Houston so she may not be a familiar face to all WAS-H members, but when she joins the WAS-H board of directors she will definitely become one.

    Watercolor cast its spell on Adele many years ago in a tiny neighborhood frame house where Polly Hammet was the instructor. Since then Adele has taken many workshops and classes, quit, tried again, quit, bought too many art supplies to really quit and so continued on. Adele took a monoprint course and the core course at Glassel , "An Introduction to Bauhaus" course in London, and 2 puppet making classes.

    “I still love chasing impish watercolors that behave so much like naughty kids.”


    Kathleen grew up in Schenectady, NY , moved to Daytona Beach, Florida where her engineer father had been transferred to work on a contract with NASA. Kathleen attended the University of Florida for college and Law School, then moved to Houston.

    She worked for 22 years at Marathon Oil Company as Senior Tax Counsel, International. At the end of 2009 she retired for the first time, and joined WAS-H.

    In 2012 she returned to work in a job with the IRS as a Revenue Agent examining the foreign transactions of large corporations, and after 7 years there, retired in 2019. “Alas, my retirement plans have been stymied by Covid 19, but hopefully we will soon be able to paint together once again!”

  • March 31, 2021 3:06 PM | Ksenia Annis


    Spring is always a season of rebirth and excitement about the future. We have a return to in-person events to look forward to (without discarding online classes), a wonderful team of directors eager to work on your behalf, and amazing Major Artists coming. Kim Minichiello will be here in October 2021 for the AME exhibit and workshop, and Mark Mehaffey will join us in March 2022 for our IWE show and workshop. Ryan Fox will be here in October 2022, and Brenda Swenson will be here March 2023. We are scheduling Major Workshop Artists for October 2023 and October & March 2024, so send us names of artists you’d love to see brought to Houston.

    Sunday, April 11, is our general meeting, election of officers, a wonderful demo by nationally known artist Don Andrews, who was previously scheduled for the AME we had to cancel. He is the judge for the April Exhibit, and is presenting a 3-day workshop April 12-14.

    Right after the IWE last month, we received notice that Martin Butler had made his final decision to retire, after working from home throughout the last year due to Covid19. His 25 years of service to WAS-H were wonderful, with long term friendships, artistic camaraderie, and a warm welcoming face to our organization. No one knows our history as Martin does, nor does anyone know so many of our members as he does. He will personally be greatly missed, as will his contributions to the operation of our building, gallery exhibits, and education programming. We wish him well in his retirement and plan to celebrate his years of service at the AME Reception in October, when many of his WAS-H friends will be present. If you have photos of Martin throughout the years and/or wish to send him well wishes, please send these to secretary@watercolorhouston.org, or drop them off at the building. We will gather them together for his celebration.

    WAS-H member Karen Armstrong, our previous social media coordinator, is stepping in right now to help with his duties and is considering making it permanent. Karen is answering the phones and returning calls if you have left a message. She is one of the smiling faces you have seen at exhibits and events prior to this year of quarantine. She knows many of you and how WAS-H serves the members. I think it is a good fit for both Karen and WAS-H.

    The Board of Directors used this quarantine time to examine tuition charges across the country and online. We made some adjustments to our various tuition fees. We are still competitive with all other societies, art leagues, etc., and our online classes now offer additional benefits with access to recorded classes. The fee structure also respects our teachers, with equitable fees, regardless of class size.

    Our Membership Committee also adjusted membership fees to ensure that we are competitive with similar groups and still offering our members valuable benefits and quality classes & workshops, continuing with Paint-Ins, Plein Aire events, new mat-cutting access, and many more. Your membership fees also enable us to maintain our incredible gallery & classroom.

    Our Spring Classes, March through May, have something for you to take 4-6 days a week, every week. We are continuing to offer online classes as we begin fitting in in-person classes, as well. If you have requests for artists to bring to WASH for classes or workshops, please contact our education director, Diann Zimmerman, at education@watercolorhouston.org. Registration for Summer Classes will open mid-May. Be sure to check the website for announcements and be ready to register for new classes! Kathleen Church scheduled some wonderful Plein Aire events, which are on the website with the classes. Grab your bag and enjoy the beautiful sights and weather. We can hardly wait to see you!!

    Keep your brushes wet and paint so much that you run out of paint and paper!


    Beth Graham

    WAS-H President 2020-2021

  • March 15, 2021 4:55 PM | Ksenia Annis

    My letter is a bit delayed this month because I spent all last week delightfully painting two paintings a day, in-person, with renowned artist Keiko Tanabe. I hope you will forgive me for putting off my duties for brushes & paint.

    Sunday, March 7, was our general meeting, a wonderful demo by Keiko, who also juried the 45th International Watercolor Exhibit this year. We have the 16 finalists’ paintings hanging in the gallery and you can use sign-up on the website to schedule a viewing with a few friends or family. The rest of the beautiful 96 entries juried into the show are available for viewing on our website.

    The March general meeting was still a ZOOM meeting and an online show, but with vaccines being distributed we are confident that starting in September we will be seeing you in person and getting your beautiful artwork back on our gallery walls.

    Stay tuned for plans for a gallery Summer Retrospective, filled with art on loan (and for sale) by our many talented Signature, Signature Elite, and Rising Stars.

    Our Spring Classes, March through May, have something for you to take 4-6 days a week, every week. We are continuing to offer online classes as we begin fitting in the in-person classes, as well. Be sure to check the website for announcements and be ready to register for new classes!  Most of the 16 classes are online, but 5 are in-person, including the rescheduled visit by Don Andrews. He was our AME 2020 artist set for October, but even though we cancelled due to rising Covid cases, Don is returning for a shorter three-day workshop at the end of April. There are only a few openings left so come and paint in person with us!

    I would like to thank everyone who has shown their support of WAS-H with their donations to our annual fundraiser. This year, more than ever, every amount helps. If you haven’t contributed, please drop by the website and scroll down to the DONATE button at the bottom. Your help is greatly appreciated!

    We still have one spot open to step up and join the team- serve on our Board of Directors for 2021-2022. Current spot available is Technology Director. This position does not require lots of time, just familiarity with Office365 and simple basics. The other 16 spots are filled with wonderful people. Serving on the board is a great way to really get connected and deepen those friendships with “paint pals.” If you have questions, please contact either me or Karen Capper, our vice-president, at these email addresses:  president@watercolorhouston.org and vicepresident@watercolorhouston.org .

    We can hardly wait to see you!!  Until then, check our website for new plein air trips, gallery shows, and volunteer opportunities in the fall as a way to give back and to keep WAS-H vibrant.

    Keep your brushes wet and paint so much that you run out of paint and paper!


    Beth Graham, WAS-H President

  • March 07, 2021 12:16 PM | Ksenia Annis

    by Tom Kraycirik, IWE Director and Haley Bowen Lehfeldt, IWE Chair

    What about next year? This was the obvious question for the IWE Committee in 2020 after slamming on the brakes of the 43rd IWE after only three but three highly successful days.

    The IWE Committee is really an amalgam of all volunteer committees. While I am IWE Director and Haley Bowen Lehfeldt is IWE Chair, we work closely with and seek and obtain assistance from every Board member, especially President Beth Graham on down, and the committees they oversee. All are really part of the process and contribute at a moment’s notice to fill a gap, come up with an idea, fill out a work detail or put in hours in systems that we all enjoy but often don’t readily appreciate.

    Of course, from their sheltering-in-place offices WAS-H’s tech savvy volunteers quickly responded by whipping up our first IWE Online Exhibition to project the works of the selected artists to the public. Thank you to Karen Stopnicki, Sally Hoyt, Mike Doan, Karen Capper, Paula Fowler, Kathleen Church, Ksenia Annis, Louise Bateman, Jan McNeil, Patty Armstrong, and many others for your tremendous effort.

    So, how long could we be in grip of Covid-19 after all... a few weeks, a month or so? Two months later, we finally were able to get back into the gallery to box up paintings and ship them back to the artists.

    As in every former exhibition, the next one begins when the present one ends. So, it was with this new 44th International Watermedia Exhibition. Except this year presented a totally unique set of problems, requiring a rework of the whole system.

    There was never really a thought about mothballing the 44th IWE and wait until the all-clear signal. But yet, how do you plan, incur expenses, and expect people to commit time for an event which you may or may not be able to open. The concern was just what shape was it going to take?

    During the 2020 summer months the IWE committee pondered the question while the WAS-H board was dealing with problems every organization and business was dealing with to keep doors open and services provided.

    Other major watercolor societies were pondering the same question for their next event. Some were going to plow ahead with an actual exhibition while others were opting for the online route. Each had positive and negative elements.

    Personally, the major concern is assuring that awards were being made to verifiable paintings and not computer created or augmented images. This requires actual, hands-on inspection of the artwork, something not inherent with the online format.

    Of course, one of the major benefits of an online exhibition to the artist is the low cost to enter and compete. No shipping costs, which is a major expense. This cost can be justified if works are actually exposed to the buying public wherein the size and presence of the work can positively affect the sale. But can you expect the artist to incur the cost of shipping along with the risk that the event may cancelled at the last minute?

    After much thought, the committee came up with the concept of having an online exhibition of the 100 or so paintings that the judge selects but with an enhancement. The juror would select a group of paintings from the 100 which could potentially receive awards if they complied with prospectus requirements. Only this group would be asked to send their paintings to WAS-H for inspection and if possible, an actual exhibition of the winners would be held.

    The IWE Committee proposed the reworked prospectus to the board, the juror Keiko Tanabe was informed of the program and the board agreed to proceed. Dates were set and the prospectus approved.

    Then the regular work of putting on the IWE progressed. The IWE Chair Haley Bowen Lehfeldt contacted entry systems CaFE to go over and post the new prospectus. The application questionnaire was adjusted based on improvements requested from the previous year. Promotional blasts were devised and scheduled for email to more than 50,000 artists worldwide to introduce and then months later remind artists of the event. We paid the fee to CaFE and committed. The call for Entry to the 44th IWE began on October 7, 2020.

    Meanwhile the pandemic raged.

    Measuring the success of an exhibition entry is similar to baking a cake...it looks like a flop until the very last few moments.

    In years past, the opening last week of the application period typically shows only about a handful of applicants from a small hand at that. By end of week, hundreds of applications have poured in. This year was the same and was very successful as we gained 100 more applicants from the previous year.

    Through CaFE, invitations went out to those artists on January 9, 2021whose work was selected for the 44th Online IWE with requests to respond through CaFE to accept or decline the invitation. Also, invitations went out to those artists whose work the juror selected for the awards pool.

    This is one set of requests to which artists were quick to reply. Big Problem. CaFE’s computer system had a problem and basically froze.

    Calls started pouring in from artists that they could not respond. Of course, being a weekend and in Colorado, no help was immediately available. Haley sent out an email informing the artists of the computer system and to send an accept or decline notice to the WAS-H email. So now we at least had a backup verification.

    Their system was fixed by the following Tuesday and we sent out yet another email to artists to respond through the CaFE again, despite their response to WAS-H by email. The CaFE system provides a computerized breakdown of much information which would multiply our problems if it was not used for this final step.

    Most of the artists responded quickly but others were confused and phone calls had to be made.

    But nature had one more trick to play. That, of course, was the 126-year low temperature that that was broken just as many artists decided to ship their work. Locally, power failed, water services halted, roads became impassable and the city ground to a halt. The where and when of deliveries to WAS-H was in question as artists were fearful to ship their work and we were really had no way of knowing when to expect them.

    Weeks were spent at WAS-H, waiting to take in the select group when and if they came. Come they did, but only after volunteers wiled away their day in a sometimes chilled and waterless building.

    The sun did come out and the paintings came in. Now, on the eve of our juror reviewing the selected works we look forward to the opening ceremony and the presentation of awards. Viewers can look forward to a flawless presentation. But if there was a glitch, volunteers will have smoothed it over so you never know.

  • February 14, 2021 4:51 PM | Ksenia Annis

    by Paula Fowler, Gallery Co-Director

    February in Houston is a time for the first glimpses of spring and its signs of nature’s renewal, a perfect metaphor for better times ahead as we begin to make progress in our fight with the Corona Virus. And as the valentine vendors flood the markets, we think of things dear to our hearts. So, with optimism and love, our members presented us with 39 wonderful works to celebrate this month’s show Dear to Our Hearts. See the winners and all the participating paintings here.

    WAS-H signature artist and past-president, Linda Vanek, graciously accepted the challenge of judging this month. Linda is a licensed interior designer and watercolor instructor and her works have been purchased by numerous corporations and private collectors around the country. She has also received awards in several international shows. Linda was able to employ her knowledge and experience as she critiqued the entries and gifted us with comments that are educational and invite us to view the works with new eyes. I’m so pleased to be able to share with you her words about our winners:

    First Place: Jan Shrader – Lauralie

    “A good composition and the wonderful use of values, from lights to darks, made the painting Lauralie stand out from the beginning. It evoked an emotional feeling of meeting with a dear friend. Her smile and the strong warmth of the bright sun seem to reinforce the warmth between friends. The blue blouse subtle color change added interest and was softly repeated as highlights in the hair, indicating the soft texture without painting too much detail. The use of color in the face and in the blue blouse worked beautifully together as a warm and cool contrast.”

    Second Place: Dr. Mohammad Ali Bhatti – Golimaar

    “This painting appears to be about a special place to the artist. In looking more closely, you are drawn from the architecture of the place back into the foreground. With subtle movement of light and color, you began to see and enjoy more of the daily life of the people. “

    Third Place: Kathleen Stafford - Fetching III

    “With just the right amount of detail, the artist draws us into the journey of these 2 women. Each has an individual sense of personality and movement in their walk, reinforced by the sway of the dresses and the lovely designs and colors of the fabric. The different poses create interest, while providing interesting negative shapes within the painting.”

    Honorable Mention: Chaitanya Alli - Little Treasure

    “The artist has certainly captured the delight and intense interest of the little boy first and then moves the focus to his special toy using a little less detail and different color. The detail and warm color draw us to the boy’s face, and the placement of his hand adds interest to the composition. There is a nice repetition of warm and cool colors with brighter color to draw you to the focal point and the softer less intense color for the supporting background areas.”

    Honorable Mention:  Karen Lindeman - Brooke’s Garden

    “Brooke’s Garden first captures your attention with the color and softness you associate with lovely delicate flowers. The use of complementary colors together gives richness, while the beautiful neutrals add softness. I enjoyed the wonderful placement of hard and soft edges, graceful line quality, and the interesting movement of whites within this beautiful garden painting. It has a beautiful balance between recognizable subject matter and an abstract quality in expression of the flowers.”

    Honorable Mention: Reva Power - A Blue Promise

    “The first thing that captures your attention is the lovely textural quality of the bluebonnets in the foreground and the movement of white with hints of complementary color.  A variety of height of the bluebonnets, as well as more intense darker color in the foreground, gives an interesting shape to separate the foreground from the background.   I enjoy the subtle use of texture and color movement to guide us to the background for a rich enjoyment of sun and sky in complementary tones.”  

    To learn more about our winning artists and their works, please read Winners’ Words here.

    I also want to once again thank our online show team that spend many hours preparing the show: Karen Stopnicki, Sally Hoyt, Cissy Geigerman, Martin Butler, Nancy McMillian and Kathleen Church.

  • February 14, 2021 4:48 PM | Ksenia Annis

    SECOND PLACE: Golimaar by Mohammad Ali Bhatti

    Painting is my passion and I enjoy working with diverse mediums, styles and subjects. Among all watercolor medium is dear to me for many reasons, such as its magical technique, boldness, minimalism and interplay of tone values. I paint landscapes, cityscapes, flowers. However, portrait painting is my childhood love. I have been painting watercolor paintings since my school days, and painting portraits to keeping my rhythm going beside my oil and acrylic paintings. I keep searching for faces and cityscapes which are expressive and inspiring. When found, I photograph them in a very natural setting and crop them as suited to my compositions.

    This painting Golimaar is from my latest cityscape series. The view is typical of Karachi (Pakistan) streets. Golimaar is an old neighborhood from my childhood memories. I photographed it when I was visiting Karachi a couple of years ago. I paint with spontaneity and boldness, allow hues to blend and bleed naturally. I pay attention to subtle values and contrasts as suited to my composition with minimum details; and follow the basic principle of watercolor medium.

    THIRD PLACE: Fetching III by Kathleen Stafford

    After spending around 30 years living in various regions of Africa, I found myself at the edge of the Sahara Desert in Niamey, Niger. It was hot. The temperature was often over 110 degrees. Due to global warming, the desert was encroaching more and more on the pastoral life along the river Niger. The Wodaabe people were being forced to come live in the city since the Sahel where they previously had herded cattle was disappearing. Their traditions came with them – the brightly colored many-patterned clothes they preferred, the way the women carried water from a well or the river then in calabashes and today, sometimes buckets balanced on their heads. Seeing them walk long distances, even in that heat, I could only admire their strength, their grace and their resilience.

    HONORABLE MENTION: Brooke’s Garden by Karen Lindeman

    Brooke's Garden was created from a painting session with my granddaughter that started last fall. I often let her come into the studio and play with a set of nontoxic watercolor paints I used in about the 3rd grade. A couple of her abstracts have been so good I've sent them home with her mom to frame when she gets a little older. While she is painting away, I usually start one of my own next to hers (otherwise I start painting on hers before I know it!). I use mine to demonstrate what I want her to try. Ironically, while I've been teaching her to be creative - use spatters, be free with big drops of color, and a spray bottle, I found out that her preschool teacher has been making them color in the lines lately…ooops. Brooke was using a lot of sienna and black, and I suggested we try some pretty colors for spring, so she started putting in some very bright color every once in a while, and I started using the same bright colors on my own paper.

    I sent her home with her painting and set mine aside. When I got back from Christmas break, I started on a much-needed clean out of the studio, and true to form, got sidetracked when I noticed that this particular work had some good shapes in it already, and the lines were interesting. So, instead of cleaning, I ended up spending the afternoon painting negative shapes, toning down the bright colors with complements leaning to greys, adding linework, and "creating" flowers out of the shapes I saw. I was a little surprised and really pleased when I stopped. The saturation of color was beautiful, and it really felt like a spring garden. More abstract than I usually do, but overall, really nice with a feeling of spring, breezes, life, and an honesty to it that is refreshing. I would like to paint a few more works to complement this painting. The trick is can I get that saturation and lightness - and all those greys - again????

    Brooke tries to get out every good brush I have, besides the ones I give her, and rather than stop her, to teach her to use those carefully, I let her do some calligraphy on this painting. Notice the crayon dots and some of the black lines in lunar black. That is actually still in this work. The rest of the line work is done with #2 graphite, lunar black watercolor, colored pencil and watercolor pencil added after the painting was about 85% complete last week. This is typical of the way I work on any painting. I start with a horizon line, an idea and color, and I do almost all of the drawing at the END of the painting. I realize this is sort of backwards to the way most people work, but it explains why there are no pre-drawings of any of my paintings and often very little underdrawing. It is just what works for me.

  • February 03, 2021 3:19 PM | Ksenia Annis

    by Laurie Hammons

    People often comment on the pluses and minuses of our life on Zoom.  Well, I have found a benefit to Zoom that I may not be willing to give up:  Taking collage classes on Zoom. 

    Let me explain.  In the “before times,” when I have taken in-person classes in collage, I had to make some hard decisions about what I would be able to bring with me to class:  my collection of magazine clippings?  my box of colored paper? Texture items (cardboard, fabric, tissue, wire, string)? Printed items (old letters, books, newspapers, tickets, stamps, wrapping paper, postcards, paint chips)? Other important items: adhesives, substrates, brushes, cutting tools, stencils, paints of all types (watercolor, acrylic, gouache), pencils, crayons, markers, nature objects (leaves, grasses), anything else I may have forgotten?  Whew!

    But I’m here to say, I LOVE taking a collage class by zoom.  No hard decisions!  All your stuff is right there when the teacher gives you a great example of something you can try.  No more thinking disappointedly, “But I have that at home!”  You ARE at home! You can just run out to the garage and find that piece of corrugated cardboard, string, or wire.  You can let your imagination run wild!

    And, you are in luck! We have an acrylic design and collage class starting on Thursday afternoon with our talented and experienced collage artist, Susan Giannantonio.  To sign up, click on this link: https://watercolorhouston.org/event-4065658

    Come join the fun!

  • February 03, 2021 3:15 PM | Ksenia Annis

    Sunday, February 7, is our next general meeting, artist demonstration, and awards for the second WAS-H exhibit of this calendar year. The theme is Dear to Our Hearts and the juror is Linda Vanek and Carol Rensink will be our demo artist. It will still be a ZOOM meeting and an online show, but with vaccines being distributed, we are ever closer to seeing you in person and getting your beautiful artwork back on our gallery walls. Don’t forget to register for the meeting & demo to be eligible for the door prizes in the form of gift certificates from Art Supply on Almeda, owned by long-time WAS-H supporter, Vicky Trammel. Be sure to stop by there this month for their big sale: brushes 50% off and everything else on sale 40% or more off.

    February 15 registration opens for our Spring Classes, March through May. Be sure to check the website for announcements and be ready to register for new classes! We are continuing to offer online classes as we begin fitting in in-person classes, as well. My hope is that this forced time apart will help us to really appreciate how special it is to gather together again. How we will celebrate!

    Also, in February WAS-H is hosting a Plein Aire painting event in Hermann Park. Check the website for details.

    Last month we hosted a Virtual Happy Hour for new members in 2020 and got to know some of the great people who will be showing up in classes and exhibits. It was lovely getting to chat with them.

    I would like to thank everyone who has shown their support of WAS-H with their donations to our annual fundraiser. This year, more than ever, every amount helps. If you haven’t contributed, please drop by the website and scroll down to the DONATE button at the bottom. Your help is greatly appreciated!

    We still have a couple of spots open to step up and join the team- serve on our Board of Directors for 2021-2022. Current spots available, at print time, are Administrative Resources (by-laws, policy & procedures), Technology Director, and Outreach. The other 15 spots are filled with wonderful people. Serving on the board is a great way to really get connected and deepen those friendships with “paint pals.” If you have questions, please contact either me or Karen Capper, our vice-president, at these email addresses: president@watercolorhouston.org and vicepresident@watercolorhouston.org.

    Make plans next month to venture out to view the winners of the March International Watercolor Exhibit. The gallery will be open for limited hours to see the paintings of the winners. Check the website for dates and times. We will also post on the website a catalog of all paintings juried into the show. The winners will be announced at next month’s General Meeting on March 7, and the demo artist will be the renowned artist, Keiko Tanabe. Spots will go fast, so register early!

    We can hardly wait for everyone’s return!! Until then, check our website for virtual volunteer opportunities, as well as serving on the board, as a way to give back and to keep WAS-H vibrant.

    Stay safe and keep painting!


    Beth Graham, WAS-H President

  • January 22, 2021 12:06 PM | Ksenia Annis

    A brief introduction of Kathleen Cooper, who joins WAS-H board of directors as treasurer:

    I was born and lived in Schenectady, NY until I was 14. At that point my family moved to Daytona Beach, Florida where my father (an engineer with GE) had been transferred to work on a contract with NASA. I attended the University of Florida for college and Law School. Upon graduation I packed a U Haul and moved to Houston, Texas (my family having since moved back to the cold North). At the time Houston was Boom Town USA, and I figured it would be an adventure. I had no job, no contacts and very little money. Only someone young would do something like that!

    After some job hopping, I eventually landed at Marathon Oil Company where I worked for 22 years as Senior Tax Counsel, International. At the end of 2009 I retired for the first time. I joined WASH during my retirement hiatus. I had painted in oil and acrylics decades earlier, but I liked the idea of the portability and “life” of watercolor and the fact that you don’t need canvasses - just paper.

    in July, 2012 I took a job with the IRS as a Revenue Agent examining the foreign transactions of large corporations. I retired for the second (and, I hope final) time in July 2019.

    Alas, my retirement plans have been stymied by Covid 19, but hopefully we will soon be able to paint together once again!

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