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  • January 25, 2023 4:27 PM | Nancy Moody

    Monthly Membership Meeting

    February 5, 2 p.m.

    Susan Giannantonio demonstrates "Collage" 

    "One person's trash is another person's treasure".

     Tissue paper, threads from textiles, bits of colored papers, paper toweling, portions of artwork, paint . . . gar-bage' ? No, collage! Ingredients for a pictorial feast! But, what's the recipe for producing a collage?


    Come to the February Membership Meeting to see Susan Giannantonio cook up a picture-perfect demonstration of collage-making. Susan is a long-standing, beloved member of the WAS-H community, having served as President in the past and now as instructor of WAS-H classes. Come see her demo on February 5. 

  • January 25, 2023 4:09 PM | Nancy Moody

    A new year awaits! This year we are starting off with a fresh look at the joys of painting with abandon for our theme “Experimental”. The gallery has many innovative works that offer different styles and techniques. Many thanks to our primary volunteer this time, Mansueto Fabugais, and as always Laura Mossman for expert help in organizing the space.

    Our judge, Matt Adams is a Houston-based collector and President of the Visual Arts Alliance (www.VisualArtsAlliance.org) for the past 13 years and has helped produce 30 professional juried exhibits. He has also written about local artists on his blog (www.HALT713.com). Previously a curator for Brookfield Office Properties downtown, Matt has produced exhibits with local artists in corporate spaces. His passion is for supporting local artists, their artworks and their activities. We were pleased to have him evaluate our entries and he found them fascinating. Here are some of his thoughts and comments from the awardees: 

    First Place

    Katie Steck

    “Fortune Teller”

    Matt Adams: Artworks that contain a surprise are more captivating than those that are an “easy read”, I think. The surprise in this is that it is a cutout mounted over a surface. Another hallmark of a successful artwork is one that directs the viewer’s eye and this piece certainly does that. Finally, I appreciate the formality of a single object being meticulously placed within a field and this piece certainly demonstrates that.

    Katie Steck: I've been getting more interested in exploring creative uses of the watercolor paper itself as part of a watercolor piece. Although it's difficult to tell from a photograph, the center part of the painting is cut out and mounted with some subtle folding/bending of the paper to make the subject come forward in a more engaging way. I chose to title it "Fortune Teller" to encourage the viewer to engage and ask the piece questions--hopefully receiving an interesting answer about themselves in the process :)

    Second Place

    Larry Spitzberg

    “Of Coachmen and Carriages”

    Matt Adams: This piece has a surprise in it - the seam of two pieces of paper. This seemingly simple creative decision carries a lot of significance in my eyes. The amount of motion in the figures brings the composition to life, making me feel like I’m in the city scape myself. Finally, I like that the scene carries off all four edges of the paper; we are being given just a fraction of a much larger scene thereby engaging the viewer’s imagination.

    Larry Spitzberg: I started out thinking I would make a collage out of the 4 18x24 inch recent paintings I had from Brugge, Belgium of coachmen, horses, and carriages. I moved the four around randomly but once I accidently put these two paintings next to each other they popped! So I cut one to make the 48 inch max with frame and repainted both together so they would look like a panorama. Voila! It worked!

    Third Place

    Maria Rodriguez-Alejo


    Matt Adams: There is a subtle, successful surprise in this artwork - the hard edge defining the upper-left portion of the composition. There are two components within this composition, the relationship of which holds the viewer’s attention. Finally, although this is obviously inspired by the art deco/cubist styles, it reads as completely contemporary to 2023.

    Maria Rodriguez-Alejo:Usually, my paintings have a lot of texture, glazing and vibrant colors. So, for this one I wanted to do something different. I decided to experiment with geometric shapes, painting flat and with a limited palette.  I planned a diagonal composition. I started by painting one big shape and then adding other shapes tied to each other creating angles and depth (I guess the diagonal composition got a bit lost in this process…) There is also molding paste on two areas/shapes to create a 3D effect with some shading to accentuate the illusion of depth. I keep working on painting loose and this painting is not that. But I like how this painting turned out. It was a bit stressful to do all those hard edges, but I think it has a vintage feel that I really like. I’m happy others liked it too!

    Honorable Mention - Kim Granhaug

    “Champagne Night”

    Matt Adams: This artist is definitely a mark maker, demonstrating many styles of marks. The result is a lyrical, vibrant composition that just falls off all the edges. Perhaps this is a jubilant piece for downcast times?

    Kim Granhaug: I love making marks and this piece was fun to do. I was definitely meaning to create a mood for celebration.

    Honorable Mention - Katherine Rodgers

    “L’art de Vivre en Rouge (The art of living in Red)”

    Matt Adams: This artwork demonstrates experimentation in materials in a very successful, fun way. The buildup of collage elements and media provides a lot of narrative content that engages the interested viewer.

    Katherine Rodgers: The painting, "L'art de vivre en rouge" is the first of my series from "The Art of Living Series." The series was started while at an artist residency in France last winter. The start of the Ukraine-Russia war had just begun while I was there and I was watching people leave all of their belongings and flee their homes. It made me think about what is needed and necessary to live a good life and to answer the question, "what is the art of living?" The poppy is very symbolic of the blood on the battlefield from previous wars and is often worn as a symbol of support for veterans so it is the key subject of the painting. The French advertisements in the background are from the 1950's and symbolize the marketing of consumer goods that are supposed to be part of a good life; alcohol, chocolates, fine watches, and beauty creams. Do these things help with the art of living?

    Honorable Mention - Pat Waughtal

    “In the Stillness”

    Matt Adams: This composition is an excellent case study in the “negative space vs. neglected space” conversation. The large area of ’nothing’ is NOT neglected by the artist whatsoever, it is very purposeful and intelligently rendered negative space. And now that we are pulled into the picture, our eyes are very satisfied wandering around to the other areas of the composition. We can continue our conversation about the use of edges here where the artist has broken only part of an edge - a nice touch of tension. Finally, the presentation is outstanding.

    Pat Waughtal: “IN THE STILLNESS” evolved from a failed painting of a seascape that was a cross between Impressionistic and abstract. I didn’t like the result so I started painting over it and rubbing out many times. I used brushes, palette knives, paper towels and my fingers. Eventually an ethereal look began to appear which I enhanced with soft yellows and peach in the sky. I always liked the foreground but I added a more textured look with acrylic ink and let it run and drip.

    My biggest challenge was the framing. The painting is on gessoed Arches 140lb. paper. I wanted to use a drop in frame that I had bought at Michaels that turned out not to be a true 16'x20” frame. I cut gatorboard to size and glued the watercolor paper to the board with matte medium. Screws would not hold the gatorboard in place so I ended up using adhesive backed velcro strips to hold it in place. I was glad that Matt said the frame was perfect for the piece because it had caused me to do a lot of problem solving.

  • January 12, 2023 6:55 AM | Nancy Moody

    Time's running short!

    Deadline to enter our International Watermedia Exhibit (IWE) is midnight this Friday, January 13, 2023.

     The 46th International Watermedia Exhibition will showcase paintings by global participants from March 5 – March 30, 2023, at the WAS-H Gallery in Houston’s Museum District and winners will be awarded over $10,000 in prizes.

    The deadline for artist submissions is January 13, 2023. Submissions must be entered HERE 

    For more information, visit our website HERE or email HERE.

    Acclaimed watercolor artist, Brenda Swenson, WW, NWWS, SDWS, CWA, will serve as the juror and judge for the event.  https://www.swensonart.net

    Don't delay, enter today!

  • January 09, 2023 8:11 PM | Nancy Moody

    Our February Exhibit is “Fire & Ice”.  Drama, passion! February is the month for both. Paintings are a way to express our emotions without spoken language. This month, we will try to make a connection with others through this outlet. Member’s submitted paintings can have general subjects and aim to convey an emotional aspect.  

    The prospectus can be found HERE.

  • January 06, 2023 5:34 PM | Nancy Moody

    Dear WAS-H Friends,

    Happy New Year! I hope you enjoyed good times with family and friends during the holidays and kept warm with our colder than usual temps for December. I am looking forward to 2023 and all the wonderful activities going on at WAS-H.

     Our January Paint-In on the 7th with Joanie Hughes is full, but if you are interested, please register for the waitlist. Plans change and frequently a last-minute spot will open.

    The January General Meeting on the 8th will feature award winning abstract artist Kim Granhaug. Following the meeting and demo, we will have the January Gallery Experimental Show awards presentation and reception with juror Matt Adams. Come and ring in the New Year with your art family at WAS-H!

    Right around the corner is the deadline to enter the International Watermedia Exhibition (IWE) on January 13th. With over $10,000 in awards and acclaimed watercolor artist Brenda Swenson serving as juror and judge, this is THE year to enter. Read the prospectus HERE with complete details.

    In conjunction with the IWE, we will host a workshop taught by Brenda Swenson. The workshop, Negative Painting with Watercolor, is full, and we are currently accepting waitlist registration, HERE.

    Our Spring classes are open for registration, and while several are full, we still have availability in many fun classes. See our complete listing of classes  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 continuing in the New Year at full force.

    Keep an eye on our website for information about other upcoming events. The February Gallery Show theme will be Fire and Ice, the prospectus is HERE. And the Paint-In for February will be with Alison Hendry is open for registration HERE.

    Did you know there are color trends each year? Pantone, the company that creates and guides color in many consumer goods announced its 2023 Color of the Year — "Viva Magenta," a bright carmine red. I am wondering if the trend will translate to art-making and more artists will incorporate strong, bright reds in their work this year. Maybe the art supply stores will sell out of Alizarin Crimson and Carmine. Who knows, but I plan to use the color as inspiration for some new work, and hope you do, too.

    I hope you will join in more activities at WAS-H, and to see you soon. Thank you for being a part of our wonderful arts community at WAS-H!

    Warm Regards,

    Karen Houston Stopnicki

    WAS-H President

  • December 31, 2022 2:50 PM | Nancy Moody

    One last seat is available in the Swenson Major Workshop . . .

    Did you want to attend the March 2023 Major Workshop with Brenda Swenson but found to your disappointment that the Workshop was fully enrolled?  In exchange for serving as Workshop Coordinator, you would be compensated with a complimentary seat in the Workshop.* 

    The Workshop Coordinator plans and carries out the logistics of the Workshop, which requires time and effort before, during and after the Workshop.

    The Workshop Coordinator's first priority is attending to the needs of the classroom, which requires:

    • communicating directly with the Artist instructor and the 20 students starting 2 months before the Workshop in January
    • assembling pre-workshop materials and instructions and disseminating information to all participants
    • setting up the classroom at the start and end of each day
    • preparing coffee and organizing snacks
    • organizing daily lunch period
    • facilitating participant introductions at outset of the Workshop
    • familiarizing participants with safety exits, masking requirement, and classroom-comportment protocols
    • assisting the Artist-Instructor as required, e.g., refreshing Artist's water, timekeeping, driving the projection camera to ensure Instructor's work is visible to the class
    • monitoring the classroom, identifying real-time needs and taking corrective actions
    • maintaining order and enforcing students' adherence to safety, masking and comportment protocols 
    • gathering student and Instructor feedback
    • preparing a post-Workshop report for the Board of Directors.

    Skills, knowledge and experience required:

    • membership in WAS-H 
    • proficiency in planning and organizing
    • proficiency in spoken and written communications
    • proven leadership
    • willingness and ability to enforce rules and regulations
    • completion of WAS-H's Class Monitor training or willingness to learn
    • familiarity with operating classroom A/V equipment or willingness to learn.

    Experience from having attended a Major Workshop is desirable.

    If you are interested in being the Workshop Coordinator, please contact Donna Van Fleet at vicepresident@watercolorhouston.org

    *The complimentary seat has a $550 value which the IRS regards as a taxable form of compensation, and WAS-H will provide the Workshop Coordinator with a 1099 Form for tax purposes.  

  • December 31, 2022 2:44 PM | Nancy Moody

    Time's running out to enter the 2023 IWE!

    Deadline for entries is January 13, 2023

    The 46th International Watermedia Exhibition will showcase paintings by global participants from March 5 – March 30, 2023, at the WAS-H Gallery and winners will be awarded over $10,000 in prizes.

    Acclaimed watercolor artist, Brenda Swenson, WW, NWWS, SDWS, CWA, will serve as the juror and judge for the event.  Swenson's art has been featured in several volumes of "Splash: Best of Watercolor", "Watercolor Artist", "Watercolor Magazine", "Watercolor Highlights", "Plein Air Magazine" and numerous other publications.  She is the author of two books and an active participant in the arts community as 1st Vice-President of the California Art Club, as well as having served on the board of directors for the National Watercolor Society and Watercolor West.

    Enter the IWE HERE 

    Find more information HERE or email HERE

  • December 31, 2022 2:37 PM | Nancy Moody

    "Of all the arts, abstract painting is the most difficult."

     ~  Wassily Kandinsky

    January Members Meeting

    Sunday, January 8, 2 p.m.

    Kim Granhaug, January 8th's demo artist says, " Non-objective abstract does not have a subject matter to hide behind.  As an abstract painter, my challenge is to represent the emotion or essence of an experience.  The artwork must convey harmony, discord, pain, joy, love, tension, anxiety, for example the feeling of surviving a flood without painting the flood itself."

    "Harvey" by Kim Granhaug

    Whether you like abstract art, hate it or just don't understand it, bring your curiosity to the January 8th Membership Meeting, where Kim Granhaug will demonstrate how to communicate an experience through line, shape, color, form and gestural marks.

  • December 30, 2022 2:21 PM | Nancy Moody

    January PAINT-IN

    Joanie Hughes will be the instructor for this month's PAINT-IN on January 7th, 10am-2pm. She is known for her helpful beginner classes and is also a talented artist in realism, Impressionism, and pen & ink. Register HERE.

  • December 30, 2022 2:18 PM | Nancy Moody

    Theme: FIRE & ICE

    Drama, passion! February is the month for both. Paintings are a way to express our emotions without spoken language. This month, we will try to make a connection with others through this outlet. Paintings can have general subjects and aim to convey an emotional aspect. 

    Find the February Prospectus HERE

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