Donate to WAS-H
Petite, Liz Hill exerted an enormous presence. As an artist, her creativity was astonishing, her curiosity limitless, and her determination famous. A painting by Liz Hill was always quirky. Regardless of how long one studied it, some element surprised or astonished the observer. Was it a line that ended abruptly? Or wandered off casually. Colors skate across her boards. A misplaced patch of white? No, it is perfect….
One dear friend of Liz’s tried to recall how she was acquainted with Liz -- Liz was first a creative being, second an artist, maybe a watercolorist, certainly a teacher and occasionally a terrorist. Another recollected how Liz had something in her mind, in her hands, in her vision and heart that translated into unique visual experiences. “ It was often not easy with Liz, one way or the other, but we loved her, just the way she was.“
Naomi Rosborough wrote “Liz’s art is visually compelling - I cannot say was. “I would study her art and try to imagine how it came to be. I was filled with the mystery of her talent. When I remembered that she was a designer for a large furniture company in Houston, it began to make sense to me. Her collages were environments- no matter if they were people, pigeons or animals. She could not help but create complete worlds.“
Erika Just, living a continent away, departed Houston but carried with her an admiration for Liz’s arresting works. “It is so sad that Liz passed away,” Erika can be heard saying in her own imitable way. Erika said “Liz Hill was one of the great artists of WAS-H in Houston. Her Paintings were special and were recognizable instantly as being hers. Her parting is a great loss to the art world of Houston, she will be missed terribly.”
Nothing could encapsulate Liz’s extraordinary breadth of talent. No one could ever say it did not take long to know Liz, or recognize her distinctive style of paintings, her influence or to know about her. Her reputation far outran her, galloping through the polite aquarelle world of custom and manners. In a painting mode famous for shy transparency and delicate luminosity, Liz painted like a kickboxer. She shoved paint. She tore paper and glued scraps. Figures and portraits emerged like prophets, some robed, some disrobed. She painted jewelry like rocks and walls like gossamer scarves. Whatever was dense and opaque, Liz transformed into vague suggestions, lyrical melodies in paint, leaving the viewer stunned.
Dear friends knew Liz on multiple levels. Janna Macy, a longtime friend and teacher, tells the story that after Janna was recovering from a bad fall, Liz invited her for a walk in Houston’s Arboretum. Janna was confident it would be a stroll through the woods, something rejuvenating more on a spiritual, metaphysical level than a slow run through the forest, but Liz was the leader and pushed on, forward, leaving Janna behind. ‘Walk’ doesn’t adequately describe Janna’s surprise as Liz, diminutive Liz, led her granddaughter and Janna hurriedly down the path until they arrived at the park’s center pavilion, Liz’s principal objective. It was not until later that Janna realized Liz had been in pain throughout the exercise. She was being Liz exerting and pushing forward, regardless of her own discomfort.
Louise Bateman recalled being an assistant to Liz and how that translated into a real-world work experience, emphasis on work. Frequent encounters with rules brought Liz repeatedly to the attention of the WAS-H Board but her influence was undeniable. Entering the annual Teacher-Student Exhibition was always an object lesson in influence – a room full of Hill-ish paintings staggered against every wall. She terrorized her students until they adored her, imitated her and gouged out their own paint palettes, shredded paper and mixed media in deepest, sincerest emulation.
Another longtime friend and co-teacher, Carol Rensink, recalls “The relentless, bold and experimental, way Liz would build a painting always amazed me. If her art was mountain climbing, she was always at the edge taking risks, but she usually arrived at her destination, with an interesting, well-designed painting.”
Thinking about her friend and colleague, Carol added, “I will miss my art friend immensely. Liz taught me that making art is an adventure to be savored….and it guides how I choose to make art.“ Martha Carson also appreciated Liz for her sheer creativity. “Many people tried to capture her style in their own work and, of course, failed to do so“. Another artist recalled “Liz was often a light bulb. She could be dark, but when she turned on, she was brilliant. Her paintings were bright, even her darkest, most deep shades were interesting.” Josianne, one of Liz’s favorite models wrote the following, "Liz is a very inspirational woman. She saw so much beauty in me and always booked me to model. I admired her bold and zesty spirit. She is loved and missed by many. God bless you Liz Hill and thank you for being a friend to many."
Ardent admirers found Liz a mystery and a mess. Norm Wigington recounts the day he first encountered Liz at WAS-H. Midway through attending his first morning studio session, Liz accosted him, demanding to know what paints he used, where he bought his brushes and how he used charcoal, who was he and brusquely summarized his paintings as monumental, simultaneously indicating that was not necessarily flattery, just honest criticism. But it was a quick lesson he said. “Her own work was so outstanding, I trusted her taste implicitly,” he said.
Rosanne Friedman sent this: “Liz had a balance in her skills - ample talent for art, a keen understanding of people - that included a wit and humor in her wisdom, and then enough of a business acumen to follow though in selling her work. She fulfilled her talent, shared it in her exhibits, and her teaching with appreciation of others, and found a space for her work on collectors' walls. Always generous, she donated a portrait to our temple fundraiser. The art work was gathered at one point, and I demonstrated putting her work on a wall and taking it away - the wall was naked without the art work. That room needed that piece. It found a home there with the other colors and textures surrounding it, but it popped out. That was Liz, she found a place among others but she always distinguished herself. I'm so glad to have known her. She saw things that others didn't on the surface and beneath it. I loved her.”
Read the following family's announcements here:
The life and art of Liz Hill will be honored with a visitation and art display in the foyer of Fairfield Baptist Church on Sunday, January 16th from 2-4pm. Fairfield Baptist Church is in Cypress, Texas, at 27240 Highway 290. Guests are requested to enter through the double doors on the west side of the building under the tower with the cross.
Someone so gifted is our treasure forever. We will always remind ourselves great treasures can be found in small packages and Liz will always be present in our future art and creative efforts. Thanks, Liz. We miss you already.
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. “
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 email@example.com. 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.
Each month, the winners are asked to share a few words about their experiences associated with their paintings. Below, we present what they shared.
First Place – Shadow-Multicolored Calico by Zahid Shaikh
Just like human portraits, the most challenging aspect of painting pet portraits is getting the eyes right. The eyes are what makes the subject alive, which is why I always start painting the eyes first. "Shadow" was my second attempt because I didn't get the eyes just right the first time!
Third Place – Snow Overnight by Nan Wright
Snow Overnight was a somewhat serendipitous piece. Did you ever paint a picture and only like one part of it? That’s what happened here. I cut out and matted only the part that spoke to me!! I love the serenity of snow.
Second Place – Winter Blues by Darlene Dittoe
I just love to paint trees, especially aspen and birch. I also love Tonalist and limited palette work. Thus, Winter Blues.
The building was abuzz with the best kind of energy on Sunday, November 7. In the upstairs classroom area, a full house had gathered to see Daniela Werneck’s demo where she showed us how she layers as few as four colors on Aquabord and produces her award-winning paintings. And downstairs we were celebrating the grand opening of our new sales gallery that our Artist Liaison, Laura Mossman, so skillfully orchestrated and filled with many wonderful small paintings. It’s apparent as you stroll through the space that this is something that our members love having available. Be sure to check out how to add your own works.
After the demo, people filed down the stairs and filled the gallery to celebrate with the winners of our November show. The theme was general and that gave our artists an opportunity to enter whatever subject that had recently caught their interest. Fifty-nine paintings filled the walls and made it hard for our judge, Luiza Grandchamp, to make her decisions. Luiza charmed and educated us with her clear and intelligent assessments of her chosen winners. We owe her huge thanks for her time.
Luiza was born into an artistic family in Brazil, but has lived, worked, and studied in many countries. She has been living in the United States for the past 40 years and has been an educator for 30 years. She brings this multicultural experience to her students at The Kinkaid School, where she teaches art and ceramics and encourages her students to build bridges to students around the world. She received her BS in biology in Brazil, and after the birth of her two daughters, went to the University of Houston and earned another BA in metalsmithing, with a focus on ceramics and art history. Luiza has continued to develop her art skills through metalsmithing and jewelry design, creating her own jewelry company that sells her original designs. During the pandemic, she started an online course with Susan Giannantonio in watercolor and considers it her new passion.
If you couldn’t be at the reception in person, I hope you are able to stop by the gallery soon and see the show. Alternately, you can see all the images on our web page. I will now share with you Luiza’s own words about each of the winners.
First place- Lemons by Les McDonald Jr
“This watercolor is more than a simple still life of lemons because of the amazing mirror reflections on the silver bowl and the knife blade, which brings an artistic echo of the scene. The detailed texture and the folds of the cloth with shades are well executed. The values on the lemons make them fresh, real, and three-dimensional. This composition tells a story with the knife with drops, the cut lemons, and the mint leaves. “
Second Place - The Iris by Peihong Endris
“This landscape is peaceful and gorgeous! The foreground detail of the Iris allows the viewer to enter the picture. The middle ground adds a texture component with lines created by the trees that hold the viewer's interest. The first two layers lead the observer to the background of the mountain and the waterfall. The water flows transparent and beautiful through the three elements in harmony with the composition. Lights and darks dance in the picture with beauty. “
Third Place – Backgammon at the University Club by Bill Curtis
“I can smell the books, and I want to sit in the empty chair in the corner of the room to read one of the books. The horizontal and vertical lines in this composition imply stability and strength. The diagonal lines of the table and the smooth wood crop chair give a sense of tension. They divide the frame and draw the viewer's eye deeper into the room, where the books are on the shelves and the portrait on the wall. This composition is rich in textures and colors of the books, wood, carpet, chandelier, and walls. The artist captures the energy of the atmosphere of this room. “
Morning South Fork by Mike Doan
“This painting is an interesting composition where whites have the lightest value, black is the darkest, and the values between these extremes is beautiful is composed of many middle grays. The positive and negative areas are well defined and create a sense of depth with many diagonal lines. “
Bayou Beauty by Alison Hendry
“This is a beautiful and simple composition. The lines which create a pattern in the moving and transparent water is well executed. The horizontal line of the bird's body, the long vertical neck and the diagonal of the head and beak, implies stability. The very small brushstrokes of the tiny feathers are incredible. Leaving a lot of negative space around the top of the subject makes this composition attractive. It creates a sense of simplicity and minimalism. “
Store Orchids by Maureen Lewis
“The vivid colors of those orchids make me happy just to look at them. One can find many kinds of texture and brush strokes throughout the petals of the flower. The eyes will move around and go back to the big flower on the top right. The dark background empowers the color contrast of the petals, which are crisp and give form to the orchids. “
Door by Tamara Kontrimas
“This simple composition of an ordinary door becomes a magnificent painting! Painting three different hardness, such as metal, wood, and cloth, is a challenging task, and it is beautifully executed. The fabric is depicted as soft with movement, especially where it is torn. The impressive delicate texture of the cloth has nine values of gray, and it draws in the viewer. The worn-out wood paint and the shiny metal create a nice contrast that pulls back and forth with the fabric. “
Special thanks this month go to our energetic and enthusiastic volunteers that made this show possible: Nancy McMillian, Karen Stopnicki, Patty Armstrong, Donna Rybiski, Irene Sheytman, Sally Hoyt and Laura Mossman. If you would like to help us hang one of our future shows, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are now moving so rapidly into the holiday season. Be sure to read the prospectus for the December show and get your small paintings ready. You can enter up to six! We look forward to seeing your works adorn our gallery walls.
Second Place – The Irises by Peihong Endris
The Irises has been always my favorite subject. It is so elegant and beautiful. I use the free style techniques on rice paper. It’s an expression of my passion on the painting.
Third Place – Backgammon at the University Club by Bill Curtis
Since attempting watercolor 4 years ago I have been able to begin seeing color, contrast, value and in composition in ways, perhaps that were not catching my attention before. The paintings are the reward for these observations. This was so recently when attending a University Club event and I entered the grand library with its big Fifth Avenue windows and colorful collection of books. Small game tables contrasted with the larger room and in themselves revealed their own texture and paintable details. The hanging braided light fixtures afforded compositional focus to the game and value contrast to the darkness and book texture. I had to try it as a painting.
Honorable Mention – Flower Power by Larry Spitzberg
The challenge here was to take a detailed photo and go less detailed as the eye travels from foreground to background and give a flower path or eye path to the two figures. I probably painted and repainted areas in the same painting two or three times.
By Diane Trepagnier, AME Director
The 52nd AME made a grand entrance as an in-gallery exhibit after the year of COVID. There are 57 paintings showing a wide range of subject matter and the beautiful talent of our members. Our esteemed judge, Michael Holter certainly had a challenge on his hands in selecting winners. We are very grateful for Michael stepping in at the last minute after the unfortunate passing of Kim Minichiello. Michael was very complimentary of the quality of all of the entries.
We are grateful for contributions from the estates of Stan Smith and Shirley Sterling. Nine art suppliers also made contributions allowing us to present 14 Merchant’s Awards totaling $2500.
Here are the winners along with comments from Michael Holter:
1st Place “Dining Out” by Less McDonald, Jr.
The scene is striking in how graphic it is, very realistic but not contrived to the point of photorealistic. Both composition and colors wonderful especially the complementary oranges and greens. This painting causes the viewer to pause as if being beckoned to walk into the pleasant setting.
2nd Place “Amo De Mia Vivo” by Daniella Werneck
This painting is very well crafted. The composition of the face looking at the viewer-but just off-creates interest. There is a softness achieved by varnishing that makes colors subtle but not washed out. There is a sense of a “story”, and the larger size makes it fun.
3rd Place “Eyrie” by Jackie Liddell
This is a small gem. There are lots of subjective things going on that create emotion - is that a bird’s nest on a rafter? Or cruciform with crown of thorns? The use of monochromatic color adds to the mystery, especially the spots of vibrant colors in the corners.
Shirley Sterling Memorial Award “San Antonio Winter” by Bill Curtis
The composition carries this painting. On one hand, the subject is simple, but there’s a lot going on between the warm sun and the cool shadows and the intensely graphic form of the tree.
President’s Award “Sindhi Villager” by Mohammad Ali Bhatti
This is a captivating treatment of a portrait. Animation is created by the off-center composition with the shoulders turned one way and the head another. The eyes are very well done and compelling, both looking at the viewer and through the viewer.
Director’s Award “Avignon” by Irene Sheytman
There is a lot of feeling this stylized approach to an architectural scene achieved through the off-center tower, the dynamic black drawing lines, and the use of vibrant colors.
Honorable Mention "Into the Glass" by Karen Lindeman
This painting creates a nice mood with its subtle, painterly brushstrokes and hazy distance.
Honorable Mention "Party Girl" by Cheryl Wooten
This is a lovely composition, especially the intimacy created through the tight crop and the light that brings the face forward.
Honorable Mention "Spring Joy" by Linda Jarnagin
This abstract tree works because the artist's application of colors and textures make for a fun and lively rendition.
Honorable Mention "Stairway Light" by Carla Gauthier
The light spilling from above, the reflection in the glass and the angular, linear perspective invite the viewer up from what otherwise could be a dim, forbidding entrance.
Honorable Mention "Supermoon" by Hiep Nguyen
This straightforward seascape includes a solid sense of place and moody sky that make the viewer wonder, "Where is this? What's going on?"
Merchandise 1 "The Big Splash" by Lynda Jung
The movement and pushing of the colors to their extremes make this an absorbing abstract.
Merchandise 2 "Two Together" by Rona Lesser
The lively looseness and casual gestures suggest a real-time drawing from life.
Merchandise 3 "No Need for Lemonade" by Larry Spitzberg
This large, fresh, painterly piece is a wonderful example of watercolor effects.
Merchandise 4 "I Am Outstanding in My Field" by Alison Hendry
Fur is often overworked, but this is a wonderful example of just the right touch, as well the eyes and nose are realistic without being overdrawn, making for an appealing piece.
Merchandise 5 "The Capitol at Twilight" by Zahid Shaikh
The simplicity of the presentation, punched up by the color of the background that is subtly reflected in the foreground, makes for a peaceful but strong nighttime scene.
Merchandise 6 "March Brown" by Richard Scruggs
The square composition works to enhance the closeup focus on the fly, along with the warm tones of the fly against the cool background color.
Merchandise 7 "Notre Dame" by William Epps
This grand subject is nicely treated with well-done architectural forms and details.
Merchandise 8 "Fresh from the Garden" by Debbie Ebeling
Orange-against-green, lost edges, curve of the composition and painterly texture make for a lovely piece.
Merchandise 9 "Cityscape Diptych" by MaryAnn Lucas
The liveliness of a city is created through the graphic shapes and vibrant colors.
Merchandise 10 "Cheers" by Fontaine Jacobs
There is a fun balance between the festive subject of the martini and the quiet white-on-white palette.
Merchandise 11 "Aubergine" by Darlene Dittoe
The dark background and diagonal composition create a dramatic setting for the striking aubergine flower.
Merchandise 12 "Backdoor to La Kings Confectionary" by Diane Peter
The depth of the passage into the interior is extraordinary in so tiny an architectural painting.
Merchandise 13 "Hibiscus" by Ruby Allen
The contrast between the cool background and textural flower comes into harmony through touches of background color in the flower petals.
Merchandise 14 "Best Friends Forever" by Lorene Williams
This enjoyable scene of old friends is enhanced by the use of sepia-like tones evocative of times gone by.
Daniella Werneck – “Amo de Mio Viva” – 2nd Place
My painting was inspired by my teenage years. Last Christmas I went to Brazil to visit my mother, and I was delighted with the sound of birds especially at dawn. I came back thinking a lot about it and remembering the happy and difficult times I lived there. Consequently, I remembered the platonic loves I lived and suffered during most of my adolescence. This painting is about that, about love and what we are capable of doing for it. The apple is the fruit of sin, the arrow came from the Cupid, the ribbon on her arm is childish witchcraft very common in my culture to find love, and the message on the tree means Love Of My Life, it is in Esperanto, a language invented in the 19th century with the purpose of being universal and which has been gaining adepts recently, and I use it (Esperanto) to not be linked to any culture to show that love is free and for all of us.
Jackie Liddell - “Eryie” – 3rd Place
The idea for my painting began when I found a perfect bird nest that had fallen from one of my trees during a storm. I brought it into my studio and. two things came to me: creating a moving painting using symbolism with texture and watercolor. It was fun and challenging to figure out what methods and techniques to use. My drawing of the nest reminded me of the Crown of Thorns, and the wooden tree from which it fell became a Crucifix which organized the composition. I placed the egg in the nest to represent "Rebirth".
Irene Sheytman – “Avignon” – Director’s Award
When I transfer the sketch from my travel sketchbook into actual painting, I would like to convey what this particular small black-and-white sketching meant to me; impression, idea, feeling of the time and place, season and light. All of it without loosing the energy of quick drawing, avoiding overworking. Hope I achieved it at least partially in the artwork presented.
Rona Lesser – “Two Together” – Merchant’s Award
My piece started because of Co-vid. I usually go to Archway Gallery and WAS-H for figure drawing and painting at least 2 times a month. Since those were cancelled because of Co-vid one day I decided to print out old photos of models and try using them for inspiration. I played with semi-blind contour and placement drawing with watercolor pencils and then added color to the shapes as well as extra shapes to finish the composition. I am continuing the practice now to produce a series of paintings.
Larry Spitzberg – No Need for Lemonade” – Merchant’s Award
A lot of my paintings, and I bet that i am not alone here, start with a boring painting that I had put away. I looked at this one again and decided to splash color all over it and lo and behold it popped!! Sometimes for me using my brain on the first part and my heart in the second part works!
by Jan McNeill – WAS-H Historian and Paint-in Coordinator
WAS-H was recently honored with a bequest from the estate of Stanley S Smith. Stan’s long involvement and love of WAS-H led to his very generous bequest that will benefit both the Annual Members Exhibit for the next 5 years as well as support the WASH Annual Fund.
For those of you less familiar with Stan, we thought we’d give you an overview of his life and his love of watercolor.
Stan Smith studied architecture, graduating in 1951 from the University of Oklahoma. Back then, well before computers were available, building designs were presented via drawings and watercolors. Thus, watercolor was an important part of Stan’s early career. Stan went on to enjoy a variety of architectural projects all over the world.
When Stan retired, he renewed his interest in watercolor. A workshop with renowned artist/instructor Edgar A Whitney greatly contributed to expanding his interest in watercolor. With his career in architecture and a love of sailboat racing and Texas bait shops, Stan’s favorite painting subjects were buildings, boats, and water. His winning paintings led to his becoming a WAS-H Elite Signature Member. See one of Stan’s paintings below:
Stan found many ways to contribute to the wellbeing of WAS-H. He was a key member of the original design committee for our wonderful and highly functional WAS-H building! His architecture background as well as experience as an active WASH member were invaluable to the committee. The committee was responsible for the funding, design, construction, and membership support of our new building.
Stan belonged to the GAS Group (Geriatric Art Society) – a group of some 20 men who would spend several days each year painting as a group. They would pick a place to meet somewhere in Texas to paint and enjoy each other’s company.
Stan enjoyed the company and love of WAS-H member Suzanne Leatherwood. Together, they devoted much time and effort to WAS-H, both as Board members for many years and in a variety of volunteer activities. Stan and Suzanne were recognized by the Board for their long and valuable service to WAS-H and named as Honorary Members.
by Diane Trepagnier, AME director
The 52nd Annual Member Exhibit is fast approaching with a deadline date for entries on September 29. We are looking forward to filling our Gallery walls with artwork from our very talented members to show our guest judge, Michael Holter, and art enthusiasts in the community.
Michael is an award-winning artist who works in watercolor and oil, who's paintings can be found in private and corporate collections in the US and several foreign countries. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Art Education and an MA in Visual Communication. Below are a few examples of his fine work representing the two workshops that Michael will conduct at WAS-H October 4-8, 2021.
You can also participate in the AME by volunteering to help out. Runners will be needed on the day of judging to move paintings for judging and hanging and for the reception. It’s a great way to get to know your fellow artists. You can go to Sign Up Genius on the website to volunteer.
You can find the prospectus on the WAS-H website. Here are the key dates to remember:
Date online registration & drop-off begins: Saturday, 9/25 – 10:00 a.m.
Date online registration & drop-off ends: Wednesday, 9/29 – 3:00 p.m.
Judging date: Saturday, October 2
General meeting, demo & awards presentation: Sunday, October 3 – 2:00 to 3:30 p.m.
Reception: Sunday, October 3 - 3:30 – 5:30pm.
If you have questions, contact Diane Trepagnier, AME Director at 281/253-7562 or email@example.com.
The walls in the WAS-H gallery had been bare for seventeen months and when I walked into the building last week and saw paintings leaning up again the wall waiting to be hung, I had a visceral reaction. Seeing wonderful art in person can have that effect! So please don’t wait to stop by the gallery and see for yourself!
What makes it even better this month is that the theme is “Experimental”. Our members were asked to explore new or unusual techniques, material and themes while still adhering to solid artistic principals, and it’s so much fun to see the imaginative challenges that our entrants tasked themselves with. Mike Doan won an honorable mention by using only paint and a credit card, no brushwork. Nan Wright pounded real Lodgepole Pine into cotton paper and watercolored over it. Every painting opens our eyes to new possibilities.
Our judge this month, Kelly Montana, comes from our esteemed neighbor, the Menil, where she is the Assistant Curator of the Menil Drawing Institute. Kelly Montana was born and raised in Houston and holds MA and BA degrees in Art History from the University College London and Smith College, respectively. At the Menil, she has organized many of their exhibitions, including the upcoming show, Draw Like a Machine: Pop Art, 1952-1975. As an independent curator, she has organized exhibitions at Box13 Artspace and the Houston Public Library. Prior to the Menil, she worked at the Dallas Museum of Art, the Fabric Workshop & Museum, Philadelphia, and Lawndale Art Center, among others.
Kelly was so generous with her time and was thorough in her evaluation of our entries and she was a real joy to visit with at the reception. We asked Kelly what it was about each of the winners that drew her to it. I will share with you her comments:
1st Place – Bumpy Ride by Maria Rodriguez-Alejo
“The textures of the torn, skinned, and abraded papers provided subtle and elegant variation. Lovely color choice and a strong, sophisticated composition.”
2nd Place – The End by Lynda Jung
“This work is playing with contrasts, presenting a composition that is between representation and abstraction, machinic and ecological.”
3rd Place – Summer Day by Olga Shotashvili
“This work tries to capture the quality of light of watercolor in an acrylic painting. Pushing media to its limits and trying to express the materiality of one media in another is a rewarding and fruitful exercise, as evidenced here.”
Honorable Mention – Midland Reporter by Misty Bartell
“Inventive use of collage and watercolor in a work that could have quickly become unharmonious remains intriguing and balanced.”
Honorable Mention – Pestled Pine by Nan Wright
“Very exciting to see an artist making their own pigments from the world around them, and this was an especially unique one.”
Honorable Mention – Up from the Depths by Mike Doan
“This work holds together many of the traditions of watercolor painting - light as subject, seeing the natural work on grand scale while retaining an intimate size, and a composition that expresses the inherent fluidity of the medium - while still feeling fresh and unexpected.”
We are so pleased to the be back in the gallery and have our member’s work for everyone to see. It cheers us and inspires us, and is a visual testament to the Houston community of the cornucopia of creativity and comradery that is WAS-H.
Special thanks to our energetic and enthusiastic volunteers that made this show possible: Nancy McMillian, Karen Stopnicki, Sally Hoyt, Cissy Giergerman, Marci Watson, Ahlene Shong, Irene Sheytman and Diane Trepagnier.
©Watercolor Art Society - Houston. All images are property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.