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  • February 01, 2020 8:00 AM | Ksenia Annis

    by Laurie Hammons, Education Co-Director

    Watercolorists are often nature lovers, so I wanted to share the vacation my husband and I took last April to the annual Wildflower Pilgrimage in the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains. The Pilgrimage has been taking place for 70 years; it is organized by a group of wildflower lovers, with many guided hikes over four days: mornings, afternoons, and full-day hikes – even a few in the evenings. The hikes (of about 30 people each) are led by local experts, such as botanists from local universities. 950 people attended the 2019 Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage!

    I didn’t know what to expect when we signed up. I just knew I wanted to see a lot of wildflowers. It turns out most attendees are really interested in seeing unique and rare flowers, and before long we were just as excited to spot a new variety. In all, we recorded about 170 varieties of flowers, including some plants and trees, too. It was so much fun – I made a Shutterfly book to record the plants we saw.

    If you are interested in making your own trip to the Wildflower Pilgrimage, you can find information at their website: http://www.wildflowerpilgrimage.org. Registration opens this year on February 24, and some of the hikes fill up quickly.

    There are hotels just outside the park in Gatlinburg. You will need a car to get around the park; each hike starts at a different trail head. If you have any questions for me, please send an email: lauriehammons@att.net.

  • February 01, 2020 8:00 AM | Ksenia Annis

    It is with great sadness that we announce the recent passing of two Honorary WAS-H members: Stan Smith (top) and Steve Brenner (bottom). In addition to being long standing members of WAS-H, both were dedicated volunteers who donated many hours of their time to our organization over many years. In particular, both were key figures in building WAS-H’s building.

    Stan Smith, an architect emeritus, designed our building with the assistance and inspiration of another WAS-H honorary member, his partner Suzanne Leatherwood. We offer our condolences to Suzanne at this time. Stan’s services will be privately held. Read Stan’s obituary: http://obit.carnesfuneralhome.com/stanley-swinford-smith

    Steve Brenner was a past WAS-H president who came to WAS-H from a finance position at Shell. He was our treasurer for many years, even when others formally held the position and he patiently guided them. He prepared the financial reports for our Capital Campaign’s grant applications and explained our books to many, many WAS-H administrators. Steve was available for a million tasks large and small whenever our organization needed him and was equally dedicated to the HGO guild and boutique, the Italian Greyhound Rescue and other organizations.

    Steve’s funeral and burial were held in early January.

  • January 30, 2020 8:56 PM | Ksenia Annis

    by Cheryl Evans, WAS-H member

    From the editor: Cheryl Evans spent 6 days on a raft trip on the Colorado River out of Moab, Utah in August. Painting in plein air is a passion of this WAS-H Signature member, but it is always a major challenge to capture the essence of the subject and the changing light. Evans was the only painter on this all women trip organized for 16 writers from around the country.

    " I came to the river with purpose. In the inky dark silence, I crept on arthritic feet – quietly, stealthfully. I came armed and ready to capture and tame the sky, the river, the morn. Armed and ready, scooping a dime store bowl into her gurgling waters; I drew forth a bit of her beauty, her power, her life-blood. There was a gurgling – or was that a gleeful giggle?

    No matter. With brush in hand, no time to lose; I drew forth my trusty sword. With an arsenal of color – a bit of cad yellow, a splash of cerulean blue, a pool of burnt sienna the color of an old alley cat’s eye - I began - another day, another chance to find my better self.

    You see, I know a thing or two about morning and waiting: a coffee can scoop of sweet oats poured into a chewed and gnawed wood trough for a dusty brown pony, drowsy and glassy-eyed with sleep: cold clods of “father-turned mother earth” on bare feet down rows of ripening sweet strawberries, dressed in dew drop crystals, clinging to serrated leaves: coffee in hand, the tap, tap, tap scratch of school house chalk on a worn blackboard, scratching out the morning’s assignment – hieroglyphics to sleepy-eyed students daring to be taught – and me daring to teach.

    You see, I know a thing or two about morning - another day of caring, and hoping, for another day to care and hope. Another day of meals, and doctors, and diagnosis that give so little room for another day of caring and hope. Then suddenly on a day unexpected, I open up the Book of Morning, and there is just one last gentle breath – a tiny whisp of vapor leaving this world, and then no more.

    So I come to the river to open up the Book of Morning once more.

    The first streak of burgundy backlights the silent monolith of timeless sandstone. On a small sheet of pristine cotton, once picked by nimble and worn hands, I dip my brush into the river water and lay in the dawn. The river gurgles and giggles. Now a dash of yellow and the rosy pink of a baby’s cheek, a swath of purple – the color of a king’s robe morphs into a cloud. And the river gurgles and giggles.

    Wait. The sky is changing. The colors are spinning one into the next. A carousel of woven clouds dance across the morning sky, and I quickly splash down more river water, more color, faster and faster.

    And the river giggles.

    The light is changing. Once clothed in the sleepy darkness of night, the mesquite and cottonwoods put on their morning coats of viridian and sap green. I load my brush faster and faster, yet before the pigment hits the paper, it has changed again.

    I sigh.

    The River giggles,

    And God laughs."

  • August 17, 2018 12:45 PM | Karen Stopnicki (Administrator)
    • To view the WAS-H Member Directory, first log-in to the WAS-H website. 
    • In the menu, look under the Members Only heading. It will not be visible if you are not logged in.
    • Select Member Directory.
    • The directory is shown in alphabetical order by last name.
    • To search, type in a name. Zip Code is another searchable field, and is useful to find other members who live near you.
    • If you click on a name, the complete record will show address, phone number and email, all as provided by that member.

    Since the WAS-H Member Directory is online, it always has the most recent members in it.

  • August 24, 2015 10:13 AM | Karen Stopnicki (Administrator)

    All members can log-in to the website. Here are instructions to set up your log-in to make it easy to register for classes and access to online member directory.

    Instructions to Set Your Log-In:

    1. At the top of the web page www.watercolorhouston.org, find the Login button, above the logo on the righthand side.

    2. Click it and select "Forgot Password" in the next screen. Since we did not set default passwords, you will need to do this to set a password.

    3. Enter the email address you provided WAS-H. This will send an email with a link to that email address. (If you want to change it, read #9 at the end of these instructions)

    4. Go to your email account, find the email that was sent and click on the link to set a new password.

    5. The link will take you to a page on our website to set a new password.

    6. Enter your new password.

    7. Now log in with your email address and new password.

    8. Once you login, you will now see your name in the place at the top of the page where the Login button was.

    9. Now, click on your name. It will take you to a My Profile page. You can Edit your profile if you need to update or change any of your contact information.

  • July 15, 2015 9:33 PM | Karen Stopnicki (Administrator)

    WAS-H was recently contacted by the Menil Collection, and they asked that our members refrain from using their parking lot. They now have a restaurant which uses the parking lot, and along with the restaurant more visitors, so they really utilize all their parking. 

    If the WAS-H lot is full, please park on surrounding streets. A committee is currently looking into other parking possibilities. As well, we plan to implement a loading zone to facilitate dropping off supplies at the building if you are taking a class.

  • May 12, 2015 4:05 PM | Karen Stopnicki (Administrator)

    Our volunteer website team has worked very hard to create a new, fresh and modern looking website. The best part of the website, though, is the increased functionality. You can now join or renew your membership online. You can now register for classes online. And you can donate to WAS-H online. The addition of the online functionality is a great benefit for members! 

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