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  • May 18, 2021 2:38 PM | Deleted user

    Duncan Simmons’ Passing

    We regret to inform our WAS-H members that long time WAS-H elite signature member W Duncan Simmons passed away May 8, 2021 at the age of 85. Duncan was a talented artist and won many awards. Duncan taught classes at WAS-H as well as collaborated on multiple innovative paintings with fellow WAS-H member Keiko Yasuoka.

    The family asks that remembrances in Duncan’s memory be sent to the Watercolor Art Society - Houston.

  • May 15, 2021 9:03 PM | Deleted user

    We are happy to share that Jan Shrader just received signature member status with Texas Watercolor Society. Congratulations, Jan!

    More info about this organization - https://texaswatercolorsociety.org/ 


    Got any good news to share? Email us at washrag@watercolorhouston.org

  • May 15, 2021 8:54 PM | Deleted user

    WAS-H Paint-Ins resumed May 8 via Zoom with artist Susan Giannantonio.  It was a fun session with lots of learning!

    On our summer schedule - Ksenia Annis will talk about Impressionist style flowers painted with gouache on June 12. Caroline Graham will lead August 14th session and discuss "track of vision" in art. To join us, register here

  • May 05, 2021 2:23 PM | Deleted user

    by Paula Fowler, Gallery Co-Director

    The WAS-H May show, with the theme of Portraits and the Human Figure, showcases 57 paintings that once again display the immense skill and creativity of our members.   There are lovingly sensitive portraits, narrative images that make you yearn for the whole story, and mysterious abstracts…evidence of how our creative minds can take one subject in so many different directions.  As I viewed the images when they were coming in, I was reminded of how happy I am to be part of this exceptionally talented WAS-H community.  It made me want to rush to my studio and try out new ideas. The work of a few energizes and inspires the whole. I hope you think of the contribution you make to the whole when you enter our shows!  Thank you May participants!

    See the winners and all the participating paintings here.

    We were so very pleased to welcome Bradley Kerl as judge of the May show.  Bradley comes to us via the MFAH Glassell School of art where he teaches life-drawing and watercolor.  How perfect is it that he was able to judge this show with the theme of Portraits and the Human Body!   He was born in Beaumont, TX and is a painter as well as an instructor.  He holds a BFA in Drawing and Painting from the University of North Texas and an MFA from the University of Houston.  His work has been exhibited widely in the US, including solo exhibitions at Gold Diggers, Los Angeles, CA,  Jonathan Hopson Gallery, Galveston Arts Center and Art Palace Gallery and in numerous group-shows internationally.  He has also been featured in the publications: New American Paintings No. 138, Friend of The Artist: Volume 7 and Texas Monthly. 

    Bradley shared that it was difficult to narrow his choice down to just six.   I’ll let him tell you in his words what ultimately influenced him.


    First Place:  Larry Spitzberg – Daddy Holds Me Tight

    At first glance, I was struck by the very ruddy palette and the tones in this painting by Larry Spitzberg. Upon subsequent looks, a story began to emerge: the boy and his father caught in the act of some everyday activity with indications of something more. In the end, it was the tinge of mystery and the nondescript background full of beautiful, loose watercolor mark-making and techniques that sent this particular painting over the edge for me. I appreciate a painting that leaves a bit of room for the viewer to fill in the gaps themselves, and this painting provides ample opportunity to create your own story.”

    Second Place:  Cheryl Evans - Mama’s Chicks

    "Mama's Chicks" is another painting that tells a story. This seemingly everyday event is tinted and enhanced by the exaggerated color in the underpainting and washes and in the use of some splashy watercolor technique in the blooms in the foreground. I enjoy the timelessness of the image -- it's hard to place the time period, although I suspect it's in the past -- and the fact that it's not overly fussy in the rendering of the figure and objects.”

    Third Place:  Alli Chaitanya - Deep Thought

    “What a striking image! Beyond the obvious remarkable technical proficiency of Alli Chaitanya, this painting allows the viewer plenty of room to read into and/or to ask questions: Who is this man? Where does he come from? What is he thinking? What has he seen? I am compelled to ask these questions (and more) and yearn a bit to find him so that I can. The composition itself lends a cinematic feel, which I think is a big part of the feeling that this is but one snapshot in a bigger saga.”

    Honorable Mention:  Kristel Peale - Homage to Bob

    “Who is Bob and why is he receiving this homage? Like all of my other picks, this image seems to suggest a larger narrative. I was immediately struck by the very specific, soft light in this painting. I love the dappled light of the trees in the background and all of the cool tones. Again, like most of my other picks, "Homage to Bob" combines strategic rendering where appropriate with looser, less fussy moments of watercolor painting in seamless fashion.”

    Honorable Mention:  Pat Waughtal - Making Music

    “Who doesn't love a tuba? For me, there's a decent amount of humor in this painting by Pat Waughtal, along with technical skill with the paint, good drawing, good color and strong composition. It also has a TUBA! I was really impressed with the technical flourishes in the reflection on the mirrored brass surface and in the detailed regalia.”

    Honorable Mention:  Annika Farmer - Boris in Paradise

    “Boris and his Pomeranian stole my heart! The title of this painting seems to suggest more than a bit of joy, which is always welcome. Along with the implied story, I found the balance of figure/ground and detail/looseness very compelling in this particular piece. There's just as much landscape to get lost in as there is figurative detail to admire.”

    Thank you, Gallery Team:  This show would never have happened without the energy and time of our online show team:  Karen Stopnicki, Sally Hoyt, Cissy Geigerman, Nancy McMillian and Beth Graham.


    Looking ahead:   Watch for the prospectuses of our up-coming shows that are posted on our webpage about 2 months ahead of the show!  We have some interesting themes and amazing judges. The theme for the June show is Abstract.  We’re also planning to return to the in-gallery shows in September!  We’re working this transition, so stay tuned for details.  I can’t wait to see each of you and your work in person. Remember, your participation supports WAS-H and keeps our wonderful organization prospering.

  • May 05, 2021 2:21 PM | Deleted user

    FIRST PLACE: Daddy Holds Me Tight by Larry Spitzberg

    Knowing that the facial details are most important when showing the human figure, I used a large sheet of cold pressed paper. Halfway through the boy’s face, I stopped and said I like that innocent look don’t you dare do any more. I hit some red on the cheek and quit. The next day I looked at the painting and the man’s face was weak. I took a dark color straight from the tube and used the dry brush technique to only hit the hills of the paper and give texture and a weathered look. As luck would have it both worked.

    HONORABLE MENTION – Homage to Bob - Kristel Peale

    The portrait is of my husband, Bob Peale, who passed away in February of last year. I did this painting shortly after his death. Whereas he had been ailing for some time and was frail and painfully thin at 80, I chose to paint him when he was still as vibrant as the summer day in Natchez when the photo was taken. He was about 50. It is how I want to remember him.

    HONORABLE MENTION: Boris in Paradise by Annika Farmer

    Boris in Paradise was painted as part of a series I am working on during this COVID 19 social distancing period. All the paintings are based on photographs I have taken on previous vacations.

    This was a man I met in a botanical garden in Bermuda, he was wearing a hat that made an interesting pattern on his shirt, and I asked him if I could take his picture, he gladly said yes, but insisted on taking off his hat, so that is how I photographed him.

    HONORABLE MENTIONMaking Music by Pat Waughtal

    A few years ago, my husband and I visited Russia on a trip with the UT Flying Longhorns.  The photo of The Music Man was taken outside the Hermitage where a Russian band greeted us with a rendition of Deep in the Heart of Texas.  My husband took this photo, and I had wanted to paint it for years because I loved the bright colors and strong contrasts, but was daunted by the details.

    After drawing the composition in pencil, I decided to use watercolor pencils to lay in the local colors in all the right places.  This helped me not get confused and lost in the details.  I used a damp brush and went over the pencil color in the smaller areas of the braid and hat decorations.  I mixed my black using alizarin crimson, veridian green and ultra-blue in a small cup so that I would have enough paint to complete the hat and not have to remix.  I used my watercolor pencils again to add detail to the braid and deepen shadows in places after I had finished the painting.

    I accidentally drew this painting on a sample piece of Winsor & Newton paper.  I learned from this experience that I much prefer to work on Arches, my usual paper.  Arches has a harder finish and doesn’t abrade as easily.

  • May 04, 2021 10:13 AM | Deleted user

    by Jan McNeill, Paint-In Coordinator

    Paint-ins are slowly making a return!  We are resuming Paint-Ins starting in May with a ZOOM format 9:30-12:30.   Our initial slate of instructors include:

    • May 8 – Susan Giannantonio
    • June 12 – Ksenia Annis
    • July  - no Paint-in
    • August 14 – Caroline Graham

    Sign up for a Paint-in on the WASH website in the Paint-in section of Education.  We hope to see you!

    Starting in September, we will return to the pre-COVID format of in-person class 9:30-3:30.  By September, we expect all attendees will have been vaccinated so that we can allow the usual 25 attendees.

    Terry Oakes will be co-facilitating our Paint-ins with Jan McNeill.

    We look forward to resuming this important WASH activity!

  • April 26, 2021 9:47 PM | Deleted user

    I want to thank all the volunteers who have worked so hard to make this 2020-2021 year a success at WAS-H, in spite of the pandemic. We are still here, still fulfilling our mission to promote watercolor art.

    I have been honored to serve as your President this past year, and despite the challenges we didn’t just survive, we thrived! My term started May 1 and:

    • By May 8 we made the technology switch needed to offer virtual classes, thanks to the home broadcast abilities of our early online pioneers Ksenia Annis, Susan Giannantonio, and Ed Pettit, ZOOM, and Nicole Hansen, 2020 education director.
    • We purchased broadcast hardware enabling us to broadcast demos and classes from the WAS-H classroom, utilizing our incredible overhead document camera, and switching between internet websites, laptop slide shows of artwork, videos, and live instruction.
    • In the year since COVID struck we have hosted 221 online ZOOM and in-person class sessions, which included two 5-day major March workshops with Eric Weigardt (2020) and Keiko Tanabe (2021).
    • By June 1 we re-opened our monthly shows to virtual monthly gallery exhibits, with online registration and fee collection, digital painting photo upload, a class to help artists with this, and an online gallery to showcase the paintings and sell them. We continued this way every month, including our Annual Members Show and our International Watercolor Exhibit.
    • General Meetings, held monthly using Zoom, had participation ranging from 60-98 each month, with most staying online for the demo, no less than in past years, even though we missed our reception snacks and visits. Door prize gift certificates were emailed to winners of the online drawing.
    • Monthly Board Meetings kept everyone safe using ZOOM to review documents, discuss issues, and vote on motions, but sadly without our wonderful pastries by Tom Kraycirick.
    • We found a way to offer members no-contact early voting by proxy and regular election day (April 11) voting ballots using digital ballots sent via email. While we all may grumble about technology, it was a key part of this year’s life raft.
    • We replaced the upstairs AC unit, utilizing savings carefully set aside by previous boards for just this purpose.
    • We had three unexpected personnel changes and while personnel changes mid-stream can rattle an organization, ours has been strengthened. We brought on board a dynamic, outstanding new Education Director (Diann Zimmerman), a fantastic, IRS experienced tax attorney- new Treasurer (Kathleen Cooper), and while Martin Butler enjoys his retirement, we are interviewing from a pool of highly qualified applicants for a new Executive Assistant.
    • Thanks to YOU our membership levels stayed very strong, and our Annual Fund Raiser was a success! THANK YOU!

    I want to especially thank the dedicated (and FUN) members of our 2020-2021 Board of Directors:

    Karen Capper, Vice-President                           Laurie Hammons, Secretary

    Kathleen Cooper, Treasurer                              Ksenia Annis, Communications Director

    Patty Armstrong, Admin Resources                  Louise Bateman, Past President

    Kathleen Church, AME Director                        Paula Fowler, Gallery Director

    Sally Hoyt, Volunteer Director                           E. Thomas Kraycirik, IWE Director                    

    Karen Stopnicki, Website Director                     Philip Weigand, At-Large Director   

    Diann Zimmerman, 2021 Education Director  

    I am excited about the team of people that will lead WAS-H in the 2021-2022 year, beginning this month. Philip Weigand and Ahlene Shong will provide wonderful leadership as the Co-Presidents. Donna Van Fleet and Irene Sheytman will be strong officers as Co-Vice Presidents. This team approach is a wonderful way to share ideas and the work. Adele Raber will serve as Secretary and Kathleen Cooper is returning as Treasurer. And creative, kind, dedicated people fill out the dozen directorships that keep WAS-H vibrant. Look for more about them in the coming months.

    It is going to be a great year! Thank you for your support and kind words throughout the year. They truly do make a difference. I look forward to painting with you and visiting together during receptions. Keep your brushes wet and keep painting!

    In grateful appreciation,

    Beth Graham, WAS-H President 2020-2021

  • April 14, 2021 8:46 AM | Deleted user

    by Paula Fowler, Gallery Co-Director

    We weathered the worst freeze most of us remember just a few weeks ago and now spring growth is peeking through the frozen remains of our gardens and bringing us joy…and yes, a few sore muscles from clearing out the dead plants!  We also experienced a taste of spring joy as we opened the images of the 40 wonderful painting that were entered into our April show.  The theme was People and Places, and it was a chance to focus on places real and imagined and people dear to us or only observed from a distance.    See the winners and all the participating paintings here.

    We were honored to welcome as our juror this month nationally known artist and teacher, Don Andrews, who has conducted painting workshops throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Africa for over 30 years.  Don is a signature member and past board director of the American Watercolor Society and his paintings have received numerous awards in national watercolor competitions, including three awards from the American Watercolor Society, and two Best of Show awards from the New England Watercolor Society.  You can view his work, his books and classes at his website donandrewsstudio.com.  His demo at the Zoom reception of his loose, wet in wet technique made me want to rush to my studio and try to redo my latest landscapes.  If you missed his workshop, check out some of his videos. 

    Don shared with me his juror’s statement for this show and then a summary statement about the winners:


    • ·         “The WAS-H April 2021- People and Places online show is a testament to our diverse love of the medium of watercolor.
    • ·         My award selections were based on the artist’s application of color and design principles in their work. Technical skill, gained through much thought and hard work is also appreciated.
    • ·         It was a pleasure to serve as this year’s judge and thanks to all who participated.”


    First Place:  Larry Spitzberg - New Orleans Conversation

    “Overlapping figures in a three-dimensional circular design enhance this personal interpretation.”

          Second Place:  Maureen Lewis - Perfect Medicine

    “The emotional story is backed by strong composition.”

          Third Place:  Mohammad Ali Bhatti - Burnes Road Karachi

    “This structural city-scape is built on value control of lights and darks.”

          Honorable Mention:  Jan McNeill - Sand Party

    “Rich granular washes weld the figure to the reflections.”

          Honorable Mention:  Trish Poupard - Freckled Angel

    “A unique division of space, action and rest, unify the painting rectangle.”

          Honorable Mention:  Yasue Motoko - The Cliff Island

    “An intriguing view into the creative mind of the artist.”

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

    This show would never have happened without the energy and time of our online show team:  Karen Stopnicki, Sally Hoyt, Cissy Geigerman, Nancy McMillian and Beth Graham.

    Looking ahead:   Watch for the prospectuses of our up-coming shows that are posted on our webpage about 2 months ahead of the show!  We have some interesting themes and amazing judges.  We’re also planning to return to the in-gallery shows in September!  Stay tuned for details.    I can’t wait to see each of your and your work in person. Remember, your participation supports WAS-H and keeps our wonderful organization prospering!

  • April 14, 2021 8:45 AM | Deleted user

    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 | Deleted user

    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!”

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