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  • February 11, 2020 4:31 PM | Deleted user

    by Paula Fowler, Gallery Co-Director

    There are few things closer to the hearts of WAS-H members than putting paint on a surface, so the theme of our February show, Matters of the Heart, inspired thoughts of a vast array of subjects.  The challenge for our judge for this show, Laura Spector, was to pick just a few from the 50 entries.  She met this challenge and shared with us her energy, enthusiasm and thoughtful evaluations.  

    Laura is a true treasure of the Houston art community.  She is a Fellow of the New York Foundation for the Arts, an Individual Grant recipient of the Houston Art Alliance and has recently been awarded Artist-in-Residence by the Joan Mitchell Foundation.  Her work has been displayed in Chicago, Germany and at numerous venues in Houston and has been published in Harvard Review, Ripley ’s Believe It or Not and the book The Real Real Thing: The Model in the Mirror of Art.   Laura teaches at Glasscock School of Continuing Education at Rice University, the Art League, WAS-H and at her Winter Street Studio.

    Laura ’s choice for first place was Alison Hendry ’s  “Unconditional Love” which depicts her daughter hugging their beloved cat, who is just barely tolerating the hug.  Laura said the work was  “technically gorgeous”.  It has rich textures and the realistic look on the face of the cat that is masterfully done.  

    Second place was awarded to Tamara Kontrimas for her  “Hornet ’s Nest”.  Laura was drawn to the strong drawing, subtle use of color and the strength of the concept.  She was intrigued by the image of the heart-shaped nest that seems to have seen some rough times juxtaposed against the stinging insects.

    Daniela Werneck ’s  “Gone with the Wind” was chosen for the third-place ribbon.  Laura was attracted to the narrative nature of the painting that was enhanced by the volume and texture of the billowing fabric and the strong composition that positioned the fragile figure against an emotionally colored orange sky.  


    First Place:  Alison Hendry,  “Unconditional Love”

    Second Place:  Tamara Kontrimas,  “Hornet ’s Nest”

    Third Place:  Daniela Werneck,  “Gone With The Wind”

    Elizabeth Wagar ,  “No Love Lost Between Them”
    Robert Ruhmann, ”Banks of the Guadalupe”
    Les McDonald, Jr,  “Barnyard”
    Sarah Kitigawa,  “With an Open Heart”
    Susan Giannantonio,  “Chautauqua Nocturn”

    Congratulations to all our award winners and thanks to all of our February artists and volunteers for making this such an enjoyable show.  

    See winning paintings - Home

  • February 01, 2020 8:00 AM | Deleted user

    by Tom Kraycirik, IWE Director

    The 43rd International Watermedia Exhibition festivities will open Sunday, March 8 to hundreds of anxious patrons, visitors, and artists wondering who will be awarded honors and prizes in Watercolor Art Society-Houston's premier exhibition. This year s exhibition has been juried by famed watercolor juror, teacher and painter Eric Wiegardt, AWS-DF, NWS.  His accolades include the highest honor in watercolor painting: the Gold Medal and Dolphin Fellow from the American Watercolor Society, New York.

    IWE activities will begin with a watercolor painting demonstration by Mr. Wiegardt at 2:15 p.m. with the award ceremony following at 3:30 p.m.  After the honors have been presented, a reception will open the exhibition for viewing.  Valet parking will be available for this event. For those unable to attend the Sunday reception two additional receptions are planned.  First, an Art Lovers reception will be held Thursday, March 12, 2020 from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the WAS-H Gallery.  There will also be an Art Party, focusing on a younger audience, to be held Thursday, March 26, 2020 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at WAS-H gallery as well. 

    Wiegardt has left an indelible mark on the American and International art scene as a teacher and painter with his bold, loose painting style.  He has been featured in many publications, including Watercolor Artist Magazine as well as cover artist for both the Artist Magazine and Plein Air Magazine. He has also authored the books Painting Without a Net” and Watercolor Free and Easy”.  He also has a video series titled Painting Loosely from Photographs.”

    Wiegardt is a graduate of the American Academy of Art, Chicago.  His studies and lifelong work in landscape theory work have given him a mastery of the color value properties which render balance and harmony in his works. An artist s artist,” is the accolade given him by Jim McFarlane, president of the American Watercolor Society. 

    Irving Shapiro, AWS and former president and director of the American Academy of Art describes him as having “An intelligence that enables him to perceive and execute his artistic efforts with rare, sensitive, insights. One of our brightest and inspiring painters.”

    Wiegardt and his wife Ann will both be in Houston during the week as he will be conducting a workshop for enrolled artists at WAS-H.  The couple has owned and operated Wiegardt Studio Gallery since 1985 and have raised five wonderful children, he commented. 

    As in the past, WAS-H members have an opportunity to promote the International Watermedia Exhibition themselves by bringing friends and acquaintances to the exhibition during its month-long run.  Many of those outside the art community still have not personally experienced paintings created with watermedia.  This exhibition is a rare opportunity to see some of the best original works in the market today, the IWE team advises. WAS-H volunteers will also be standing by to assist those interested in purchasing works, rarely seen in such a diverse collection of quality paintings from national and international renown artists. 

    The exhibition is presented with financial support of corporate sponsors including the firm of  eepb, tax/audit/advisory, HEB,  Art Supply on Almeda, Sterling Wealth Advisors, Texas Art Supply, Karbach Brewing and through the diligent and creative efforts of scores of WAS-H volunteers.

    Read more on IWE page

    Eric Wiegardt's watercolors can be found on this website - https://ericwiegardt.com


  • February 01, 2020 8:00 AM | Deleted user

    by Kathleen Church, WAS-H President

    WAS-Hs premiere artists came out in full-force for our Signature/Signature Elite Show on January 4.  The gallery has never looked more inviting with 64 remarkable pieces of art on display.  Ellen Orseck curated the show and defined thirteen creative categories to discuss our artists work.  Opting not to give traditional First, Second, Third place awards invited us to view and understand these works through a different set of lenses. Ellen challenged us to consider again how we approach our own work more thoughtfully.  With each category Ellen chose two pieces of art by well known artists to expand her reflection on  each Signature piece.  What about attaching a checklist to your easel with key word reminders: composition, color, value, narrative, pattern, meaning, line, mystery?  As Ellen reminded us artists at this level go beyond technique to deeper levels of meaning and purpose.

    Following Ellen’s presentation Nancy Moody led a stimulating and entertaining panel discussion with five of our elite artists: Carla Gauthier, Carolyn Graham, Robin Avery, A. J.Schexnayder, and Eric Sprohge. The artists discussed their artistic processes, inspirations, development as artists and the relationship between their art and contemporary social life. I think her questions to the panelists are good ones for us to consider as well.

    1. What are some of the aspects of your life experiences or cultural background that you can tie to your artwork and your evolution as an artist?

    2. A lot of contemporary art seems tied to either political or social issues. Have you ever wanted to deepen your practice to explore substantial issues such as these, or have you considered other art world trends in the context of your own work?

    3. How do you seek opportunities to display your work and cultivate a collector base?

    4. A quote from artist Georg Baselitz, “I begin with an idea but as I work the picture takes over. Then there is the struggle between the idea that I preconceived in advance and the picture that fights for its own life”. Can you relate?

    5. What was the first work of art that you were proud of?

    The reception was packed and buzzed with lively conversation among artists and guests - all celebrating the magical and often wondrous gifts of so many of WAS-H’s members.

    A special thank you to Beverly Aderholt, Jan Shrader, Susi Telage, Nancy Moody and Terry Baird for their efforts to produce this show! Stop by and visit the gallery this month! It is a gem.

    Theresa Wilson. Sunrise, Sunset
    Best “Example of 21st Century Life”

    Barbara Jeffery Clay Galveston Summer. “Effective Use of Pattern”

    Linda Southern Vanek. The New King. “Strongest Narrative”

    Carol Slobin. Rocky. “Dynamic Use Of Perspective”

    Caroline Graham. Ordimento of Heaven. “Evokes a Sense of Magic”

    A.J. Schexnayder. Egg Shells. “Elegant Example of the Surreal”

    Dale A Schmidt. In The Beginning. An Abstraction That Compares to Musical Rhythm

    Tasmara Kontrimas. Undone. Most Innovative Composition

    Kay Stern, Moment in Time, Dynamic Control of Value Range

    Karen Lindeman. Irish Spring. Most effective use of transparency

    Ann Erard. Night Sky Beach Hammock II. Bravado Color

    Carla Gauthier. Reflections on Happy Hour. Most comprehensive merger of meaning and beauty

    Les McDonald. Alaska Crab Traps. Most Skillful Use of Linear Elements

  • February 01, 2020 8:00 AM | Deleted user

    by Cissy Geigerman, WAS-H Senior class member and volunteer

    At home, I came across a small book that belonged to my late father-in-law, "Painting as a Pastime" by Winston Churchill. It is a relatively short read and very nice to hear about the joys of painting in his very own voice. I am a relatively new painter. In retirement I was looking for something new to learn. Adult coloring books with complex mandalas were my introduction to color combinations and pattern design. After that, it was a logical transition to watercolors. It has been very rewarding to see that I can still learn and improve with a brand new thing. Here are some paraphrased passages from the book.

    On wisdom: "It is a pity to read good books too soon in life. The works remain crossed off the list, never to be re-visited. How many books would a young person really understand?"

    On using different thinking muscles: "To have a second language at your disposal even if you know it enough to read it with pleasure is a sensible advantage."

    On courage and initiative: "If you are inclined late in life to paint, then be persuaded that the first quality that is needed is Audacity. There is really no time for the deliberate approach. We cannot aspire to be Masters. Audacity is the only ticket. If you try and fail, there is not much harm done. You can always go out and kill some animal, humiliate some rival on the links, or despoil some friend across the green table."

    On the pure joy of painting: "Happy are the painters, for they shall not be lonely. Light and colour, peace and hope, will keep them company to the end, or almost to the end, of the day."

    Thank you and happy painting!

    The book can be found on Amazon.com

  • February 01, 2020 8:00 AM | Deleted user

    by Shirl Riccetti, WAS-H Member

    Contact Shirl with your travel stories and ideas: sriccetti@comcast.net

    There must have been a logical reason for keeping the 2009 tour guide, touting the international packaged tours.

    Honoring my New Year’s resolution to spend five minutes daily cleaning out my studio, I realized immediately why the booklet was saved. It was for the watercolors! The tour company had hired an artist to enrich the multi-tour descriptions. There were photos, but the watercolors caught the eye immediately. They were the largest, and up front, and extremely colorful.

    Reviewing these pages again, over 10 years later, the watercolors still captured the dynamics of each tour. The Lisbon tour had a dancer, brightly painted, in the foreground of architecture. Even the monotones of Bryce Canyon and the same values of huge monuments were attractive. Many of the watercolors relied on the use of white spaces. To me, it conveyed a sense of 'airiness' (not an art word), and a sense of ‘freedom’. And isn’t that what the tour company had intended?

    So, being a true artist, I clipped out the watercolors only, put them together and placed them in another folder. It was a reminder that watercolors, on the go, plein aire, are about ‘freedom’, and capturing life at that moment.

    The sad part of this find was that, even though I searched page by page, there was no acknowledgment of the artist by name and no signature on each painting. OK then, on a practical, and selfish note, I hope that the artist received Big Bucks.

    Carry on artists, and carpe diem.

  • February 01, 2020 8:00 AM | Deleted user

    by Kathleen Church, President WAS-H

    Dear Friends,

    Happy New Year 2020! I hope the year is off to a great start for all of you! WAS-H is celebrating the New Year with our Signature/Signature Elite show which has been a great success. You can read more about it in the following pages. Behind the scenes we are finishing up our technology upgrade project which was begun last year. Many thanks to Karen Stopnicki and Laura McMahon for all the time and effort put into seeing this project through,

    Vice President Sarah Lee has been hard at work assembling her Board for next year. As you know WAS-H cannot operate without the generous support of volunteers. If you have been enjoying all WAS-H has to offer and are ready to give back please let us know. We are in search of someone with basic technology skills who is PC savvy; if you have experience in finance, or are great at organizing events we have room for you to serve!

    For the past two years we have been working hard to streamline our newsletter format and make it more user friendly. This edition is being launched as a BLOG and easily accessed with a click on our website. Thank you to Ksenia Annis and Patty Armstrong for the MANY hours dedicated to the Washrag each month. It takes a lot more than a CLICK to produce this document!

    Finally, Tom Kraycirik and Haley Bowen are putting the final touches on IWE 2020. It is going to be a spectacular week with Erik Wiegardt judging the show and teaching the workshop.


    Kathleen Church
    President: Watercolor Art Society Houston

  • February 01, 2020 8:00 AM | Deleted user

    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 | Deleted user

    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 | Deleted user

    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.

1601 West Alabama Houston TX 77006
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