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By Linda Flowers and Brian Flaherty, Gallery Co-directors
The August 2023 Gallery paintings at the Watercolor Art Society of Houston (WAS-H) are a captivating exploration of the diverse facets of human connections and experiences. Curated by Linda Flowers and Brian Flaherty, this month's exhibition sheds light on the multifaceted concept of "People," moving beyond conventional portraiture and nudes to encompass a vibrant tapestry of emotions, relationships, dreams, and distant landscapes.
Comprising a total of 64 artworks by 37 artists, the August Gallery offers a rich visual narrative that transports viewers into moments frozen in time. The theme of human interactions is eloquently captured through vivid strokes, colors, and textures encompassing the spectrum of artistic styles.
Our judge was Leslie Cuenca, an accomplished artist, yoga and dance instructor, hailing from Havana, Cuba, and currently residing in Houston. With a background encompassing art, architecture, theology, and liberal arts studies in Italy, Leslie's creative journey is as diverse as her talents. As a professional dancer specializing in Latin dances and belly dance, as well as a dedicated yoga practitioner, Leslie shares her expertise as an art teacher across Houston's venues. Notably, she teaches at the University of St. Thomas, The Art League of Houston, HBU, and the YMCA. Discover Leslie's remarkable work at Cothren Contemporary.
Brian Flaherty, Leslie Cuenca and Linda Flowers
For those unable to experience the gallery in person, the virtual platform offered on the WAS-H website ensures accessibility to many of the captivating works of art in this month's show. To see the online show, click Online Gallery
The Watercolor Art Society - Houston invites its viewers to embark on a journey through the intricacies of human existence. From vibrant depictions of relationships and dreams to the allure of distant landscapes, this exhibition encapsulates the essence of the human experience in all its diversity and vibrancy. Whether one has the opportunity to walk through the gallery's physical space or explore the virtual exhibit, the August Gallery will undoubtedly leave an indelible mark, reminding us of the power of art to unite, inspire, and reflect the myriad facets of our shared journey.
First Place - Rusty Tumbles, Rodeo Clown
Judge: "The expression, colors and textures are exquisite. The subject of the rodeo clown resonates in the heart of every Houstonian. This is a culminating figure in our society. He is a hero, entertainer, police and fireman all in one; putting himself on the front lines to help others. His expression captures the grit and heart behind his endeavor.”
Second Place - Mr DG
Judge: “I love the use of negative space in this painting, it flows. The figure is painted beautifully and the perspective of the hand and cane in the foreground is very well done giving this figure a dignified yet natural stature.”
Third Place - He Want To Give It To You
Judge: “The emotional quality in the two little figures is charming. The artist really captures the essence, purity and innocence of childhood through the figure's expression. The attention to detail is so delicate and sweet and the flower in the foreground pops with light.”
“Jett Fusion Of Light”
Judge: The attention to detail in this painting is exquisite. You can tell the subject is a real musician because the fingers are placed correctly across the guitar chords, like he is really playing a tune. The lines for the chords, guitar strings and the subject's hair are very well done, as well as the use of shadow and light.
“Disaster at the Watering Hole”
Judge: “The flow in this painting is striking. I love the position of the figures in different directions, the anatomical movement is capturing. I also love the flow of the ink between the figures, from a distance creating a very modern and decorative abstract composition that is very well balanced.”
" We Don't Do That”
Judge: “The lines and use of mixed media in this painting are very well done and very expressive. I love the use of color in just the right areas to give this face a lot of personality."
I'm More Than My Story, 16x32, watercolor on Ampersand Aquabord
One of our talented instructors, Daniela Werneck, was recently featured in an article! The article unpacks her technical approach and inspiration as an artist.
"Aquabord artist Daniela Werneck is a realistic watercolor painter based in Houston, TX, whose work combines the most traditional watercolor methods with a contemporary look... A self-taught watercolorist, Dani became a full-time artist in 2015, focusing on realistic figurative watercolor; since that, she has been exhibiting nationally and has received several awards in regional and national competitions."
Read the full article on Ampersand's website, here.
By Linda Flowers and Brian Flaherty, Gallery Co-Directors
This month’s “Student / Teacher” theme provides an opportunity to see the creativity and skill of students and teachers at WAS-H. What a fun and lively gallery reception for all, displaying 80 diverse paintings, created by participating artists or WAS-H teachers over the last two years. Please take time to see all this month’s paintings in person or in the virtual gallery (Click Here).
Guadalupe Hernandez was our judge for the show, currently an Artist-in-Residence with the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. His practice examines themes of family, labor, and cultural practices through a series of paintings and works of cut paper inspired by the traditional Mexican craft of Papel Picado. Recently he was notably among six pairs of visual artists in the 2022 US Latinx Art Forum Mentorship Program supporting an intergenerational skill exchange. He will also serve as the 2023/2024 Visiting Artist of Color at The Art Students League of Denver in the fall.
Picture above, L to R: Brian Flaherty and Linda Flowers (Gallery Directors) with judge Guadalupe Hernandez.
Gallery Directors, Linda and Brian, host the reception and the 65+ attendees.
The Woodlands Art Gallery & Studios is hosting an exhibition for WAS-H instructor Mohammad Ali Bhatti! The exhibition is titled "Vibrant Expressions: Celebrating the Colorful Traditions of Pakistan and the Energy of the American West."
Mark your calendars for the opening reception on July 20, 2023, from 5 PM to 8 PM. It will be an evening filled with delightful refreshments and a unique opportunity to hear from Mohammad. The exhibition will be available for viewing until September 15, 2023.
Learn more: The Woodlands City Lifestyle
Upcoming Shows: August and September 2023
August 2023 Show
Drawing by Xylina Wu
This month we invite artists to explore people. Portraiture, the human figure or a group of friends.
Judge: Leslie Cuenca
Prospectus August 2023 v2.pdf
Registration Opens: Friday, July 14
Deadline: Wednesday, August 2, 3 pm
Reception: Sunday, August 6, 3 pm
September 2023 Show
Painting by Laura Mossman
We encourage our members to used different techniques or mediums for this show. Do something wild!
Registration Opens: Friday, August 13
Deadline: Wednesday, September 6, 3 pm
Reception: Sunday, September 10, 3:30 pm
June 2023 Volunteer of the Month – Mike Doan
Mike Doan has been a WAS-H member for the past 10 years. He started volunteering for WAS-H during IWE when Dawna Hasara was the Director. He became part of the IWE take-in/crating/re-crating crew. For the past several years, Mike has been the leader for the un-crating/re-crating IWE team. Mike’s organizational and leadership skills shine in this role. He has a system, and it works!
In addition to volunteering for IWE, Mike is also our Open Studio Coordinator. Every Friday morning you will find Mike greeting new and regular members as they arrive to participate in Open Studio. He can make coffee and cut mats, too!
Mike is also the “unofficial” custodian of WAS-H. He likes to keep this a secret, but you can often find him on a ladder changing a bulb, switching out batteries in the clock, or watering the plants outside. “I just like to help,” Mike says. “And WAS-H is a good organization – this is my way of giving back to WAS-H for what it does for me and others who like to paint.”
Mike was born in Salt Lake City but moved several times when he was a child. He lived in Tripoli, Libya for 4 years (2nd-5th grades) and moved to Ankara Turkey for 4 years (8-11th grades). He finished his high school year in Houston and then attended A&M University. Mike graduated with a math degree, which set him up for a career in computer science. He worked for various oil field services companies. He wrote software to find oil. Mike retired from Schlumberger a few years ago.
Mike lives with his wife, Marsha, and their cat, Smog. Marsha enjoys crocheting and knitting and Mike likes to play golf, bridge and other card games, in addition to reading. One of their favorite pastimes is to go on a cruise. “Marsha and I went to one of those Murder Mysteries in Brookshire, TX, and we solved the mystery. The prize was a free cruise-that was our first one. When we went on the free cruise, they also had a murder mystery and Marsha solved that one -- for ANOTHER free cruise,” explains Mike. They’ve been cruising ever since!
We want to thank Mike for giving his time and helping WAS-H to continue its mission, "to further the cause and interest in water-media." Our volunteers are the lifeblood of this organization, and we couldn't do it without them!
Get excited for these two upcoming WAS-H shows in July!
July Show Student/Teacher
Here is a chance for students to show off what they learned in class at WAS-H. Teachers may also display work but will not be considered for prizes.
Judge: Guadalupe Hernandez
Deadline to enter: July 5, 2023
Reception: Sunday, July 9 @ 3pm
Pick-up: August 1st
August Show: People
Entries can include the human figure, a portrait or even a group of friends. Abstracted entries are fine, as long as the abstract is indicative of a person or people.
Judge: Leslie Cuenca
Registration Opens: July 14
Registration Deadline: Aug 2
Reception: Sunday Aug 6
Pick up: September 5
By Linda Flowers and Leisa Patin, Gallery Directors
June 2023 Gallery Conversations
This month’s “General” theme encouraged many artists to participate in the show. Due to the wonderful participation, the gallery is now displaying 80 beautiful paintings. It is a moveable feast as Hemingway depicted in his book, but in this case, it is a moveable feast for the eyes. A bunny showed up to partake in the gallery festivities along with a little tuxedo bird. Even an old car can be elegant if you know how to capture its curves.
Our judge for June was Judi Coffey. She was past president of WAS-H from 1986-1987 and past president of The International Society of Experimental Arts. The Houston Chronicle has written about her art and other outlets such as American Artist Magazine and The West Wind Review have also mentioned her work. Judi works in a variety of mediums including watercolor and collage.
Gallery Directors, Leisa and Linda, get the reception started.
Leisa and Judge Judi Coffey.
Adam receives his honorable mention.
Judge: "This piece is very well done. It's very colorful and just fun.”
Artist: Jacqueline loves crabbing. She explains that the crab “Barnacle Bill” is a permanent model in her studio. She has used him in several of her paintings.
Mohammad Ali Bhatti
Judge: “I like abstract paintings. I wish this was a full sheet or a diptych. It would be so much more exciting. The color and composition pulls you into the painting and moves your eyes around.
Artist: This was a study for a larger painting.
Judge: “The background was so perfect, it didn’t look painted. I like that it was different and stood out among the others.
Artist: This is a painting of me and my father when I played a part in the "Wizard of Oz". My father was part of the backstage crew.
“Cologne Cathedral Sentinels”
Judge: “This is Just a wonderful painting and beautifully done. So many things to look at.”
Artist: I was in Cologne Germany towards the end of the day when I looked up and saw the Sentinels. The color just exploded as the sun was setting.
“Winter In NYC Chinatown"
Judge: "This is an interesting street scene and well done. I love oriental touches.”
Artist: This was a sunny day in NYC. I try to depict scenes with light and dark contrast. Due to my engineering background, I enjoy buildings and perspective.
Adam (Yidan) Zhao
"My Neighbor, Mr. Robinson"
Judge: "This is a very well done portrait. His face brings back memories.
Artist: I appreciate the opportunity that WAS-H gives us to show and exhibit our work. I continue to hone my figurative skills by attending the Model lab on Wednesday. It's a great resource.
Judge: “This piece has such bright colors. It's fun to look at."
Artist: After years of seeing fields of poppies, sunflowers, lavender, mustard and Spring flowers in the fields of France, I’ve created paintings that echo the colors of Provence.
My tubes of paints shouted to be open and to be whisked across the crisp white paper.
I think about neighboring colors and the direction I want the viewers eyes to take.
Judge: “I really like abstract paintings and this one caught my eye. I just wish it was matted, to add the space it needs to breathe.”
Artist: Experimenting with abstracting the landscape has been a great deal of fun! It takes on a life of its own.
By Karen Stopnicki, WAS-H President
Dear WAS-H Friends,
Summer is here! I hope you have fun activities planned, and maybe even travel to new places. The WAS-H community is here for you during the summer – we have classes, show receptions, open studio, model lab and more! So, if your plans are more local, check the WAS-H calendar for some fun activities.
Our Gallery Show reception will be this Sunday, June 4th at 3pm. Judi Coffey is judge for the June show with an open theme. As a reminder, we do not have General Meetings during the summer - June, July and August. In July, we will have our Student/Teacher Show, so make plans to enter that popular show, and attend the reception.
Our summer classes are open registration -- see our full class list HERE. Registering for a class is a great way to enjoy the camaraderie of other artists and enhance your artistic skills. Our standard events such as Open Studio, Model Lab and Senior Group are going strong and welcome you to join in during the summer.
Please renew your membership today, if you haven’t already done so. Membership dues are so important to funding WAS-H operations. You can go to the website HERE to renew. If you would rather pay by phone or in person, contact Laura Mossman, our Artist Liaison. The office is open Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 3pm, and the number is 713-942-9966.
I look forward to seeing you soon at WAS-H! hope you find time to paint and enjoy art activities this summer.
Karen Houston Stopnicki
Don't forget to submit your work to one of these two upcoming exhibits!
June Monthly Exhibit: General
The theme for this month is general, so this is your opportunity to submit your favorite subject.
Deadline to enter: May 31, 2023
June Prospectus HERE
July Student/Teacher Show
If you've created a masterpiece in one of our WAS-H classes, including Senior Class, Open Studio, Zoom, Paint-ins, or any other instructor-led WAS-H event - this is your opportunity to show it off.
Students do not have to be WAS-H members, but the class must have been with a WAS-H instructor. WAS-H instructors will participate but will not be considered for prizes.
Registration opens: June 9, 2023
July Prospectus HERE
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