• Home
  • WAS-H Blog - Washrag

  • July 02, 2023 11:15 AM | Kelly Medrano (Administrator)

    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!

  • June 18, 2023 10:50 AM | Kelly Medrano (Administrator)

    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 

    July Prospectus

    Register Here

    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

    August Prospectus

    Registration Opens: July 14

    Registration Deadline: Aug 2

    Reception: Sunday Aug 6

    Pick up: September 5 

  • June 18, 2023 10:26 AM | Kelly Medrano (Administrator)

    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.

    First Place

    Jacqueline Liddell

    “Seaside Sushi”

    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.

    Second Place

    Mohammad Ali Bhatti

    “Blue Sonata”

    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.

    Third Place

    Eleanor Buchan


    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.

    Fourth Place

    Cheryl Evans

    “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.

    Honorable Mention

    Leisa Patin

    “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.

    Honorable Mention

    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.

    Honorable Mention

    Robin Avery

    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.

    Honorable Mention

    Susan Giannantonio


    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.

  • June 01, 2023 11:57 AM | Nancy Moody (Administrator)

    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.

    Warm Regards,

    Karen Houston Stopnicki

    WAS-H President

  • May 16, 2023 3:15 PM | Kelly Medrano (Administrator)

    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

    Register 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

    Deadline to enter: July 5, 2023

    July Prospectus HERE

  • May 16, 2023 3:08 PM | Kelly Medrano (Administrator)

    WAS-H is saddened to share the passing of past member, Leng Leng Garcia. 

    Leng-Leng Chang Garcia was born in Amoy, China on May 24, 1942. Leng was the youngest daughter of five children born to Sou-Lin Chang (father) and Chon-Iuen Tsai (mother). Leng’s father was engaged with the pearl trade in Japan where her oldest sister, Lillian (Liang Liang) was born. During the turbulent years of World War II, their family moved to Jakarta (Indonesia) where her sister Binnie (Bing Bing) was born, Tainan (Taiwan) where her brother Janson was born, and Xiamen (Amoy, China), where Leng and her brother Leslie were born. After the war, they moved back to their family home in Tainan, where her father inherited a sugar production and fish farming business.

    Leng was a dedicated scholar, graduating as valedictorian of her high school, earning her Bachelor of Science at Tunghai University, Taiwan and her master’s degree in microbiology at George Washington University in Washington DC.

    In 1967, Leng met her husband, Luis F Garcia, Jr who was stationed in Taiwan during the Vietnam War and was married shortly after. They moved back to Texas in 1970 where they settled in Corpus Christi. There, she worked as a hospital microbiologist, and with her husband, raised their three children, Luis Rene, Luis Felipe III and Mae Behe. In 1991, Leng relocated to Houston, Texas, where she pursued her passions for choral music and the fine arts. As a long-time member of the choir at Saint Anne Catholic church, she was able to express her love for singing; and as a member of Willy Wei Li Wang art group, she was able to experiment and hone her artistic talents in diverse media such as watercolors, oils and bronze sculpture. In 2011, she moved to College Station, TX to be closer to family.

    She is survived by her ex-husband, Luis Jr.; her son Rene, his wife Karen and their children Tobias and Naomi; her son, Luis III, his wife Katja and their children Fynn and Saydee; her daughter, Mae Behe and her husband Emanuele.

  • May 10, 2023 12:57 PM | Kelly Medrano (Administrator)

    By Cissy Geigerman and Katie Steck, WAS-H Gallery Co-Directors

    May 2023 Gallery Conversations

    The month of May is a season of sentiments. These emotions are bound to come out of our paintbrushes. The theme of Kids, Toys and Playfulness has provided an outlet for us to express the joys of just being. The Directors are grateful for the enthusiasm of our members to grab an idea and convey it through watercolors and for their ability to adapt to the many different themes for this term. The May show was dazzling and easy to present with the help of our unfailing volunteer Mansueto Fabugais, and the gallery director team.

    Next month we will have 2 wonderful new Gallery Co-Directors.  Leisa Patin has taken classes at the Glassell School and joined WAS-H during Covid. She endeavors to learn to paint more loosely and likes the versatility of the watercolor medium. Linda Flowers has been a member of WAS-H for about 5 years.  She has spent time living in Brazil and even was brave enough to take art classes in Rio De Janeiro as the only American student.  She loves painting faces, especially women.

    Our judge this month was Bradley Kerl. He is from Beaumont Texas and holds degrees in Fine Art from the University of North Texas and the University of Houston. He has been the solo focus of gallery exhibits in New York, Houston, Austin, Los Angeles, Galveston, and Beeville Texas. He has participated in group exhibitions in Lyon, London, Amsterdam, Sydney, Oslo, New Orleans, and Dallas.  His work has been published in Artnews, Financial Times, Texas Highway Magazine, Texas Monthly, and others. 

    First Place: Laurie Hammons “Summer Daydreams”

    BK: I love the layers, the simplified trees. Trees are hard to paint, I know!  Good treatment of the washed out background depicting high summer. The figure is draped in a fantastic pose. This painting works well from a distance and up close.

    LH: This is my daughter from a few years ago. She is now a second grade teacher. She always loved to be outdoors and climb trees. This image shows her in her own world.

    Second Place: Adam Zhao “Happy Times”

    BK: I am impressed with the composition and the depth in the scene. This seems to be a dreamily remembered time and place. This artist appears to have comfort and skill in the application of paint and color.

    AZ: This is my first entry at WAS-H! I feel very lucky. It took me about 16 hours to complete this painting and I felt a bit rushed as the deadline was approaching.  The scene is a local beach and this is my granddaughter. The two larger figures in the foreground are actually both her in different poses. To achieve perspective, I painted smaller figures to recede into the distance. They were actually much bigger in my reference photos. I adjusted the colors in the figures for balance and value.

    Third Place: Katherine Rodgers “Melting Marbles”

    BK: I love the playful composition and concept. This shows a combination of representation vs. abstraction. Very good technique and color saturation. At first I did not know what it was, but then the marbles appeared with colors that mingle and drip away.

    KR: I have a set of marbles at home and I love them for the colors.  Thank you for the chance to paint to this theme, it was fun.

    Honorable Mention: Susan Collins “My Darling Ophelia”

    BK: As I reviewed the paintings along the curved wall, this one jumped out at me.  It is a small sweet painting of loose watercolor, done with a simplistic style.  I can feel the emotion in this one.

    SC: There is plenty of emotion in this painting of my granddaughter.  I am thrilled to be recognized in a show that took some courage to enter. I started painting as I retired to challenge myself to try something new. It is thrilling to learn to express myself without language, just art. This child and her family is here to join us today, and I hope you can see the resemblance!

    Honorable Mention: Joanie Hughes “Discovery”

    BK: This painting is a little different with the scale of the figures filling up the composition. The scene has direction, action, focus and reflections. There is a slight awkwardness in the hunched poses that draw your attention in. I am particularly intrigued with the skin tone showing the beginnings of a sunburn, just like me when I have lost the sense of time from having fun on the beach.

    CG: Joanie Hughes is away for this show. She frequent contributor to the Gallery and can paint to any theme the Gallery Directors dream up. Congratulations to her for this well deserved recognition.

    Honorable Mention: Beth Graham “Cousins Week at the Beach”

    BK: The water is fantastic! The wave are done in a painterly, loose application.  There are overlaps and edges in the figures and the water. This artist has included feet which can be difficult to get right, well done. 

    BG: These are my twin grandsons and their cousin who is also a twin.  I am sorry to miss the reception this weekend, but I am at the ARTS Festival in Fayetteville Texas. The festival is wonderful, and I hope to share my experience when I return. 

  • May 10, 2023 12:23 PM | Kelly Medrano (Administrator)

    We're excited to share that WAS-H member Robin Avery has been selected to receive a Watercolor USA Honor Society Award of Excellence for her painting, "Springtime" (pictured below)!

    "Springtime" is 22 x 30 inches and painted mostly with Holbein and Da Vinci watercolor paints. Avery's painting will be featured in the Watercolor USA exhibition June through September.

  • May 07, 2023 3:25 PM | Kelly Medrano (Administrator)

    WAS-H is looking for an Administrative Director to join our Board of Directors for the 2023-2024 fiscal year, beginning this June. 

    The Administrative Director is responsible for WAS-H Policies and Procedures, including the Procedures Manual and the bylaws, WAS-H Officer elections, as well as holdings such as our book and permanent art collection. This individual will serve as a general resource to the Board on the Society’s policies and procedures.

    If you have legal or operational experience or just a thoughtful attention to detail, this could be a wonderful way to contribute to our volunteer run organization. Please contact Karen Stopnicki at president@watercolorhouston.org. Thank you for your consideration!

  • May 07, 2023 3:21 PM | Kelly Medrano (Administrator)

    May's New Member Orientation is scheduled for Friday, May 26th from 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm.

    While this session is designed for new members, everyone is welcome to attend. There is no fee, but online registration is required. 

    Click HERE to register!

1601 West Alabama Houston TX 77006
Gallery: 713-942-9966
Questions? Email 

HOURS: Tuesday - Saturday, 10 am - 3 pm

©Watercolor Art Society - Houston. All images are property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software
} catch(err) {}