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By Diane Trepagnier
My brother, Carl Trepagnier, recently had his first book published. Needless to say, I am quite proud of him. We have both been honing our crafts for some time now, and it’s quite a significant achievement for him to get the book published. So it was with honor and trepidation when he asked me to paint a cover for his book. But I took on the task and asked him to be honest if the painting did not meet his expectations. As you can see from the photo, the book was published using my painting on the cover.
The book is a historical fiction set against the horrific ship explosion in 1947 in Texas City, Texas. My family and I lived five blocks from where the ship exploded. Fortunately, we all survived. The epilogue in the book recounts our experience.
It was so fun to work together on this and I just like to share.
By Karen Stopnicki WAS-H President
Dear WAS-H Friends
We are at the beginning of a certain-to-be hot Houston summer, so I am sure we will all be looking for cool indoor opportunities. Guess what? There are lots of cool things to do at WAS-H!
We have our June Gallery Show Awards reception on Sunday, June 5th at 3pm. Stop by to enjoy an exhibit of “Food for Thought.” The Student and Teacher Show is planned for July, the prospectus is on the website. Our Gallery Directors, Cissy Geigerman and Katie Steck, are finalizing details for the August prospectus, the theme will be “Skies.” As well, they are busy making plans for the upcoming year, and will have any specific monthly themes posted on the website so that you can plan to paint for the shows you want to enter.
Additional summer classes are now open for registration - members can register now, while nonmember registration begins on June 8th. Hurry to reserve your place in the class of your choice, as we expect the summer classes to be popular. The Senior Group, Open Studio and Model Lab continue through the summer. In fact, Model Lab is trying out a few evening spots to see if that is something we want to add in the future. For all these events, check the website at www.watercolorhouston.org for details.
If you haven’t checked out our Member Sales Gallery, please do! I think it is a great place to buy original art from local artists. Right now, it is Houston’s best kept secret – let everyone you know about it, so it isn’t a secret anymore. If you would like to sell your work in the gallery, please contact our Artist Liaison, Laura Mossman at email@example.com.
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 https://watercolorhouston.org/Membership-Application 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
By Karen Stopnicki, WAS-H president
Dear WAS-H Friends,
I am so excited to serve as the WAS-H President for the 2022 – 2023 year. As a longtime member, I originally joined WAS-H to take a weekend class. Back then, I was working at a busy marketing job, and longed to stretch my creative muscles. WAS-H has been a meaningful place for me to learn, paint and make art friends, and I hope it is the same for you.
Have you renewed your membership yet? If not, please do so today. Membership dues are critical to fund WAS-H operations. You can go to the website https://watercolorhouston.org/Membership-Application 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.
We have had a lot going on this Spring and look forward to a busy Summer. For all these events, check the website at www.watercolorhouston.org for details.
• Class registration will open June 1st for members and the following week for non-members.
• Open Studio for members on Friday mornings has been going strong and will continue through the summer.
• The Model Lab is back in session on Wednesday afternoons and has added a few evening options as a trial.
• Our free Art for Seniors group will continue through the end of July, break for August, and return in September.
• The Monthly Paint-Ins have been well-attended and fun. The Paint-Ins pause for June & July, returning in August.
• We have a great group of plein air painters taking turns organizing events, so be on the lookout for more outdoor opportunities throughout the year.
A fun Gallery Exhibit is planned for June, the theme is “Food for Thought”, entry deadline is Thursday, June 2nd and the reception will be Sunday, June 5th.
WAS-H recently participated in the Menil Community Day. It was fun to be outdoors enjoying the music, poetry and inviting guest to come to our tables to paint. We are always looking for volunteers to keep our events running. If you want to help, contact Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have needs that run the gambit from helping with the monthly shows to managing a large project like our International Watermedia Exhibition.
When you are at WAS-H, you will notice it looks so much fresher - a new fence, new landscaping replacing what was damaged from the freeze last year, and new energy efficient LED lighting in the upstairs classroom. Behind the scenes, the building was treated for termites and the sprinkler system updated. Thank you to Darlene Dittoe, our Building Director, who has tirelessly worked to make all this happen.
A big thanks to board members not returning: Patty Armstrong, Paula Fowler, Sally Hoyt, Nancy McMillan, Adele Raber, and Diann Zimmerman. We all appreciate your dedication, hard work and positive energy you contributed to WAS-H.
I wish you a “cool” beginning to the summer and hope you have some fun activities planned, including anything art related. Hope to see you soon at WAS-H!
By Paula Fowler
Iconic Houston Buildings of Houston are highlighted in this month’s show, and it has been such a pleasure to see which ones out of the vast number of possibilities that our entrants chose to paint. Some had a very personal connection to their subject. Others were attracted to itshistorical significance or its architecture. The story behind each painting really adds to its overall appreciation of each one. Another joy of this show is seeing how each artist chose to depict an architectural subject. Different perspectives and styles demonstrate the range interpretations that come from your creative minds. Please take time to read the Winner’s Words section of our blog to see entertaining stories behind our winners.
We owe a huge thanks to our special judge for this show, Katherine Veneman, who grew up in the Washington D.C. area and holds a B.A., summa cum laude, from Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts, and M.F.A. in painting from American University in Washington, D.C. She is currently a curator of education at Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston, where she oversees the museum’s nationally recognized education program, which includes a wide range of public and educational programs as well as guided tours for adults, university students, and youth. Previously, Katherine, who is a practicing painter, maintained a studio in Providence, Rhode Island, and was the Director of Hera Educational Foundation Gallery, a non-profit artist space in Wakefield, Rhode Island. She has exhibited her work on the East Coast and in Houston. And as an added bonus, her mother, Joyce Veneman, who moved to Houston a few years ago, is a participating member of WAS-H!
Katherine gave us a very thorough and educated evaluation of her choices as winners. The following comments are in her words:
First Place - Harris County Courthouse by Irene Sheytman.
“The drawing shows a shift in perspective to reveal the building from an aerial view, with the strong drawing emphasized by the dramatic, simplified color scheme of purples and warm browns. Seemingly defying gravity, the building seems to push towards the skyline, its upward motion anchored by the cupule rather than the sketched foundation. “
Second Place - The Heights Iconic Houses by Larry Spitzberg
“Expressive brushworks both reveal and conceal the everyday scene of historic Heights houses, implying a lively blur between the rapidly growing vegetation and the dynamic forms of the buildings. Splashes of color and texture capture a glimpse of the and the shifting landscape. If the viewer blinks, will the scene change? “
Third Place - Tallest Building West of Mississippi, 1963 (Humble Building) by Diane Zimmerman
“A multi-colored skyscraper meets soft clouds in a vibrant blue sky. The shifting, colors appear to weave through the delicate, detailed architectural structure, forming a pattern that seems independent of its delicately rendered architecturalform. In contrast, the top of an ordinary light fixture appears at the bottom of the page, grounding the viewer’s relationship to the building. “
Clark’s and Deans by Charles Brewer
“Drawn from the perspective of a passerby, a primary-colored façade of personable buildings and sky invite the viewer in. A bike, propped up with a kickstand, sits poised towards the scene, waiting for its rider. “
City Hall by Mansueto Fabugais
“In the composition, City Hall is in the background, with the viewer's eye entering the painting’s foreground, a street corner. Objects on the street—a construction cone, a crosswalk—form abstract patterns that move the eye back. A tree sits in front of the building in the middle ground, partially obscuring the building itself and giving the sense of an ordinary day. “
Greenway Place Sunset by Nan Wright
“Subtle textures and a pattern of shimmering values and colors give this landscape a sense of both permanence and transience. On the cusp of the gloaming, the painting captures a mirage-like reflection of the skyline etched on its façade, while the building itself is firmly nestled in its surroundings. “
This show would not have been possible without the help of our great volunteer! Special thanks to Patty Armstrong, Leisa Patin, Marcia Wasson, Cissy Geigerman, and Mansueto Fabugais.
It’s with mixed feelings that I submit this report, because at the end of May, my Co-Director, Nancy McMillian, and I will complete three years of service and will turn our duties over to new directors. It’s been a really great experience. Our love of WAS-H and our appreciation of the talents and skills of its membership had grown exponentially. We thank all of you that have helped us out…the volunteers, past gallery directors who had gave us so much advice, and the members who had ideas and improvements to share. We’ll miss it all!
Our new Gallery Co-Directors are Cissy Geigerman and Katie Steck. We look forward to the energy and new ideas that they will bring to the job!
Each month, the winners are asked to share a few words about their experiences associated with their paintings. Below, we present what they shared.
First Place – Harris County Courthouse by IRENE SHEYTMAN
I am inspired by works of M. C. Escher, his unusual perspective, multiple vanishing points, and views that cannot exist. The Harris County Courthouse of neo-classical design, topped by rotunda and dome, looks like a good subject for experiment with extreme viewpoint. Also, I was trying to stay away from the true colors of façade and reduce the bombastic view of the colonnade with multiple colors. I am glad WAS-H choose such a wonderful theme for this show; it helped me to learn more about the city we all live in and love.
Second Place – The Heights Iconic Houses by LARRY SPITZBERG
Buildings are challenging to me because they require straight lines, drawing skills and use of perspective. I have none of those skills but, as long as the interpretation can be artistic, I can throw on color and compose a scene. The Victorian Heights houses are picturesque and charming with columns and scroll work and picket fences. This arrangement of neighboring houses pleased my eye with all the additional greenery surrounding them.
Third Place – Tallest Building West of Mississippi, 1963 by DIANN ZIMMERMAN
This building has significant meaning to me. My dad was one of the architects who worked on the Humble Building. He started working on it before I was born, and construction was completed when I was 4. He was proud of working on such a state-of-the-art building. Each floor has a 7-foot shade (ledge) which helps to provide shade from the sun, reducing energy costs. It was the tallest building west of the Mississippi until 1965. In the architectural world, it was a big deal. Of all the skyscrapers my dad worked on, this was his favorite.
Honorable Mention – City Hall by Mansueto Fabugais
I painted using transparent watercolor medium with a technique of applying colors and tones from light to dark. I began using wet in wet technique and then dry brush for the details. I choose the front-side angle view so that I could apply the two points perspective with all vertical lines perpendicular so that there are only two vanishing points, the left and the right. The trees in the foreground add beauty to the scene, and the details of the street attract, but I did not overdo it, so as not to obstruct the main focus which is the building. The light and dark tones contrastand shape the structure's cubical form. This building is a Renaissance architecture design. My style of painting combines realism, impressionism and fauvism.
Honorable Mention – Greenway Plaza Sunset by Nan Wright
The Greenway Plaza Sunset was inspired by a photo I took one evening from a friend's condo. They get this view often! I actually painted it SIX times before I thought it was acceptable for WAS-H.
By Karen Stopnicki
The demo at the May General Membership was a real treat! Board members Cissy Geigerman, incoming Gallery Co-Director, and Irene Sheytman, Co-Vice President, joined to show their art-on-the-go tips.
Cissy began with showing her lovely sketchbooks and spoke about how she got started with Urban Sketching. She likes to observe scenes when she travels, and took up Urban Sketching to learn capture what she sees. In sharing her “travel kit”, she showed us her sketchbooks, favoring the Stillman and Birn Beta series. She has a small palette box that she purchased at JoAnn’s Fabrics and has refilled her favorite colors. Her real secret to success is a water filled brush, like the ones made by Arteza. She did a demo of a coastal scene, beginning with a pencil sketch, then adding watercolor and completing the painting with pen lines.
Next up, Irene said she buys inexpensive mixed media sketchbooks, and uses a well-loved small pencil kit that holds a pencil, several waterproof Micron pens in black and brown, plus her secret weapon, the Elegant Writer pen which has a lovely effect when wet. She shared that she likes to use her sketches as reference for paintings and has better results than using a photograph. The sketches and corresponding watercolors she showed drove that point home. She gave us a simple yet highly informative lesson on one-point and two-point perspective.
Thank you so much to Cissy and Irene… your demos, tool tips and conversation about sketching on the go were inspiring! Personally, I can’t wait to put some of their tips in action during my travels this summer.
From Yvonne Chen: In celebration the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, Houston Public Library-Central Library will showcase watercolor paintings of my late father Chen Zong Ho's watercolor paintings for an effort to promote arts and drive the cultural exchange.
Retrospect and Prospect - the Changes of Taiwan's LandscapeChen Zong Ho’s Watercolor Depictions of Taiwan scenery
Houston Public Library – Central Library, 500 McKinney St, Houston, TX 77002
Sat. May 7, 2022 through July 28, 2022 (library parking at basement, $2 per hour)
Reception: May 20, 2022 2-4pm (please arrive by 1:45 PM)
Among the VIPs invited and who will attend and offer brief remarks are: Mayor Turner, Director General Robert Lo with the Taipei Economic & Cultural Office in Houston, Consul Takahashi (on behalf of CG Murabayashi of Consulate of Japan in Houston), Jorge Franz (President of Greater Houston CVB) and Beckham Dossett (The McGovern College’s Associate Dean for Research and Faculty, and Director of the School of Art)
The Outdoor Painters Society is in Galveston May 8th – 14th coincident with the 48th Annual Galveston Historic Homes. Forty-seven artists juried into the competition from coast to coast, Alaska to Maryland, will record the history of Galveston Island in paintings. Saturday May 14th events at the historic 1859 Ashton Villa will include a Portrait Challenge, artists painting on the grounds, an exhibit of wet paintings in the ballroom and many artists to chat with. Open to the public.
Please join us for May 15th demo at the gallery. It is a part of monthly general meeting, it is an informative and entertaining part of the members’ gathering. On May 15 there will be duet of demo artists - Cissy Geigerman and Irene Sheytman.
Cissy will be talking about sketchbook painting in a not-so-quick style:
* Why sketchbook work is important for skill building
* Tools and materials to use on the go
* How to decide what will best fit onto the page
* Color mixing to capture tones from life
Irene will talk about Perspective Drawing, Linear vs Atmospheric.
* Linear; Vanishing points,
* Horizon placement
* Vantage point
* Travel sketchbooks. Quick pen and ink drawing, capturing mood and place.
From Mohammad Ali Bhatti:
I am pleased to invite art lovers and collectors to come see my art exhibition at Archway Gallery Houston. Opening reception is on Saturday May 7th 5-8pm and the show will continue till 2nd June 2022. You will enjoy seeing a nice blend of abstract and southwestern paintings side by side in the show. Imperfectly perfect is a part of my artist’s statement, because art doesn’t necessarily have to be pretty or perfect, but it must evoke emotion.
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