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  • April 20, 2022 11:49 AM | Ksenia Annis


    Dear Watercolor Art Society Houston,

    ArtistBoat is using painting competition to draw attention to and prevent pollution on Galveston Beaches.  We are particularly fond of watercolor since we teach all our students and public participants how to make a watercolor painting while out on the wetlands of Galveston Bay on a kayak adventure.  And we serve all ages. 

    Beautify the Bucket, a painting competition, gives artists opportunity to take an active role beautifying Galveston Beaches and improving stewardship behaviors. The competition: paint a blue barrel based on a theme: ocean organisms, eliminating marine debris, coastal and marine ecosystems, or Galveston recreational activities.  The barrel is destined for Galveston Beaches where, after the competition, they will be added to for visitors to enjoy and to encourage proper disposal of one’s trash to reduce aquatic pollution.

    Registration is open until May 8, 2022

    Entries are due to be turned in by June 1st.


    Come to Artist Boat and get your barrel today!

    During Artist Boat World Ocean Day Festival, barrels are on display for the public; event judges select a winner from each category.  World Ocean Day: Saturday, June 4, 11 to 4:30 at East Beach, Galveston.

    Chelby King

    ArtistBoat’s Beautify The Bucket

  • April 11, 2022 8:24 PM | Ksenia Annis

    by Paula Fowler, Gallery Co-Director

    The theme of our show this month is “Animals, Real and Imagined”.  I suppose we all have buried in our subconscious memories and fantasies that fit in this category.  Maybe there are from real experiences or from dreams and active imaginations.  Some of these are our most cherished recollections.  Others are unpleasant remembrances of something scary under our childhood bed.  And then we have the images of animals that have morphed into characters that make us laugh out loud! 

    Our April show has examples of it all.  There are cats and dogs, of course, and birds and fish and rabbits, meercats and butterflies…and the list goes on.   There are also creatures straight from a creative mind…some daunting and others downright hilarious.  This show is a joy.  I hope you make time to stop by the gallery and see it in person.

    Our judge was Josh Pazda, who is an art historian who lives and works in Houston.  He got interested in art at an early age and was lucky to be able to take classes at Glassell and be a student at HSPVA.    He received a BA and an M.A. in art history from the University of Houston and then returned to HSPVA as a consultant faculty member and teacher of the principles of art and design.  He is currently a partner in Josh Pazda Hiram Butler, a contemporary art gallery with a cross-generational program that presents contemporary and historical artworks in a manner that focuses on connoisseurship and beauty.  His essays have appeared in Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts, On Site: 50 Years of Public Art of the University of Houston System, as well as numerous exhibition catalogues for Pazda Butler gallery.  His first book—about the American artist Tony Feher’s drawings—is being published this fall by Gregory R. Miller & Co. 

    Josh certainly made the preparation of this show a pleasure.  We thank him so much for his time.

    Below are his choices as winners and a few of his thoughts.

    First Place – Mallard by Fontaine Jacobs

    “This work harmoniously combines line, color, and form. The long brush strokes of rippling water compliment the short hatch marks of the Mallard’s body beautifully.  The artist’s choice of Yupo paper as a support creates a unique surface quality. “

    Second Place – Groundskeeper by Susan Giannantonio

    “The interplay between abstraction and figuration in this work is very strong.  The complexity of mark making and coloration is delightful, and calls to mind elements of nature that are both real and imagined. “

    Third Place - Social Distancing Rebels by Alison Hendry

    A masterful composition assembled from individual images that refuses to let your eye stay still.  She used a limited palette to portray artfully depict the most delicate pink to the vibrant rose.

    Honorable Mentions

    What The?  by Mike Doan

    A wary cat is painted in a minimalist way and just barely emerging from the darkness.

    Turbulance by Jackie Liddell

    Skillfully rendered Images of real fish turbulently swirling from real to abstract.  They become new creatures altogether. 

    Thanks to our valuable volunteers:

    Please join me is once again in thanking our volunteers, Patty Armstrong, Irene Sheytman, and Laura Mossman.  They are essential in making our shows happen. Please give some thought to joining us in the process soon.  If you are interested in joining in, sign up on the SignUpGenius on our homepage.

  • April 11, 2022 8:23 PM | Ksenia Annis

    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 – Mallard by FONTAINE JACOBS

    I'm always inspired to paint animals. As I started this painting, I wondered whether I would be able to pull it off. Painting feathers is not easily done on Yupo. The water was a piece of cake.  I just painted wet on wet like I would for a sky. With the feathers, I found that dabbing with the side a flat brush, feathers emerged with time. I love solving problems, and this was quite a challenge. Sometimes I don’t go with the theme assigned by WAS-H. Now I realize if I try to adhere to it, I learn new and wonderful things. Keep challenging me, WAS-H!  

    Second Place – Groundskeeper by Susan Giannantonio

    I’ve been painting and teaching what I call “botanicals” for a few years now, using actual plants and an overnight process to produce monoprint plant images onto paper.  Developing them into an interesting composition, however, is an added challenge. I’d long been tempted to add a garden creature to one of those botanical paintings, and thought a bunny would be a fun, and perhaps unexpected, addition.

    Third Place – Social Distancing Rebels by Alison Hendry

    During the pandemic we were always talking about “social distancing”, so when I looked through my many photo references of flamingos at the San Francisco Zoo and our own zoo’s glorious new South American Pantanal exhibit, I saw how flamingos just don’t observe that and the idea came to me.  So, I looked through many reference photos until I found individuals that I liked that would make an interesting group. I drew each one separately, adjusting for size and perspective, and transferred these from paper to tracing paper so I would have them all on one page. I then transferred them with graphite to my watercolor paper and said “Ready…Set…GO!” The dark background was painted in three layers. The first wash was quinacridone gold from Winsor Newton, then two flat washes of a mix of Mayan Dark Blue (DS), French Ultramarine Blue (WN), Quinacridone Pink (WN) and Quinacridone Gold (WN) and a very deep breath! 

     Honorable Mention – Turbulence by Jackie Liddell

    This painting came totally out of my head.  I enjoy being in a boat and fishing almost as much as I love painting!  I am inspired by the sea and all the sea life living in it.  I first drew this composition in my sketch book using the subject of the fish I most enjoy catching.  I abstracted them and added a lot of movement and line to represent the rough waters they swim in. I have been experimenting with using black line and stamping with my watercolor.  It was fun and almost painted itself.  I am honored the juror liked it.

    Honorable Mention – What The?  by Mike Doan

    Our cat likes to sit on the edge of a pew and look out into the backyard – through a French door window.  I have taken several pictures of her, and the light and shadow play really impressed me. When I read something about Notan, I knew I needed to try it.  Several layers of masking fluid and Jayne’s Gray washes later, I had a painting that really pleased me.
  • April 07, 2022 9:49 AM | Ksenia Annis

    by Andrew Dansby

    Last chance: Incredible international watercolor exhibition closes Thursday
    Nearly 100 watercolor paintings are on display representing work by artists from 34 states and five nations.

    Published March 30, 2022
    Updated: March 31, 2022, 12:13 pm

    “Fragments Geometry and Change” commands the eye and sends it on a journey. A watercolor by Annell Livingston, the piece comprises a tight matrix of triangles and squares, but the path of color Livingston put upon the canvas gives it an almost spherical look if you let the eye dance along the surface. It’s an astounding work, intricate and grand. And despite an almost digital precision, Livingston created the work with watercolor.

    It was awarded first place at the Watercolor Art Society - Houston’s 45th annual International Watermedia show, one of two large-scale shows the organization puts on each year.

    The WASH is a rare watercolor society in the nation that owns and operates its own building. And that building is, through Thursday, teeming with entries from the competition. Those interested have a brief window to see some astounding works that range from landscape, still life and portrait to more abstract works and some that tiptoe to the edge of photorealism. This year's International Watermedia show welcomed entries by artists from 34 states and five nations. Nearly 100 works were shown from almost 400 submissions.

    The walls at WASH are a feast right now, with paintings covering almost the entirety of the gallery space’s walls. For those unfamiliar with WASH, the upstairs is dedicated to classes, workshops and group painting opportunities.

    WASH has been in its new space – just a block from the Menil Collection – for 10 years. But it was launched in 1975. Some of the works above speak to the breadth of the medium.

    Watercolor Art Society - Houston

    1601 W. Alabama

    10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays

    International Watermedia show closes Thursday

  • March 30, 2022 10:38 AM | Ksenia Annis

    If you are an active member of WAS-H, please cast your vote for the 2022-2023 board of directors! There are three ways to vote. You can do it in person at the General Meeting on Sunday, April 3. If you can't be at the meeting, fill out a proxy form at WAS-H gallery this week or online at this link, and Kathleen Church will cast your vote.

    Read about the candidates in our post below!

  • March 29, 2022 8:31 AM | Ksenia Annis

    Karen Stopnicki is a native Houstonian and lifelong artist, who while in the 4th grade convinced her parents to let her to take adult painting classes, and ultimately earned her BA in Art from the University of Texas. She currently runs a busy household that includes her husband, 12-year old son, a cat and a dog, does commissions as a professional artist, and is a consummate volunteer.

    A long-time WAS-H member, she has served on the WAS-H Board of Directors in a variety roles including Public Relations Director, Annual Members Exhibit Director, and Website/Technology Director. She has also served key volunteer roles in the Mark Twain Elementary PTO and the West University Little League Auxiliary.

    She will bring business acumen to her role as WAS-H President from her years in corporate advertising and marketing for local and national retailers. “I hope to marry my love for WAS-H with my background and experience to keep the organization heading in a positive direction. We have so much to offer the community, and I look forward to seeing WAS-H full of shows, classes, and events with members and guests.”

    Irene Sheytman’s romance with watercolor started when she studied architecture in college at the Azerbaijan Engineering and Construction University in Baku (1977–1982). Among other subjects, watercolor painting was a prerequisite for architectural rendering.

    For a time, life forced her to set painting aside. But later when Irene finally had more free time on hands, she started painting again. Realizing, that she needs to develop her own visual language, Irene is expressing her thoughts and emotions through properties and peculiars of watercolor painting. She also tried different mediums (though watercolor is her favorite), along with different tools and a less realistic approach. Irene confesses that she loves to travel and to see new places, cities, and counties. That is part of why historical architecture is her passion.

    Irene has been a member of WAS-H for many years and enjoyed plenty of workshops, classes and shows. But most of all, she appreciates being a part of a great group of art enthusiasts and appreciators. “I am thankful for a chance to serve as a co-vice-president for a second year and hope that with all my energy and enthusiasm I will help WAS-H to promote art and artists.”

    Donna Van Fleet's inner artist made a 3rd-grade debut with a paint-by-number set, won a set of encyclopedias in a 6th grade national newspaper coloring contest, won a 7th-grade geometry art contest that required using protractors, compasses and rulers, took a hiatus when her parents informed her that she would major in math because "art is a hobby", stayed dormant during a three-decade career at IBM, then re-emerged after retirement to finally become an art major, with gratitude for WAS-H's rich menu of classes.

    Besides art, another of Donna's passions is collaborating with a team to help organizations thrive from good to great. During her executive management at IBM and at more than a dozen nonprofit organizations, Donna has never met a challenge that didn't inspire her or a problem she didn't want to solve, always with a sense of humor and joy in camaraderie.

    Galveston provides Donna the best of all worlds, living on island-time in a Gulf-side, art-laden home, plus Houston Grand Opera, Houston Symphony, WAS-H and airports to faraway lands just up the road.

    Donna thanks WAS-H for inviting her to serve a second year as co-vice president, a cherished opportunity to combine her passions for art and for helping organizations grow. Donna looks forward to working together to advance WAS-H's impact by empowering artists and enriching art audiences.

    Kathleen Cooper attended college at the University of Florida, and she had no idea what to major in.  She tried math, but that quickly became incomprehensible.  English proved to be much more boring than it was in high school.  Since she always liked art, she then decided to major in art education.   However, upon graduation she knew that teaching art was not her passion.  While working in a bank and contemplating next steps, a friend announced she was going to law school.  Kathleen thought that sounded like a good career choice, and rode the wave of law schools trying to increase female enrollment.  At the end of law school, Kathleen stuck around for one more year and obtained an LL.M (Legal Masters) in taxation.

    Upon finally graduating, Kathleen threw everything in a U Haul and moved to Houston as an adventure, knowing about two people who lived there.  Ah, the ignorance of youth!  Kathleen ended up going to the University of Houston at night to take accounting classes for CPA certification, while working for the Big Eight firm of Touche Ross (yes - a long time ago).  After a few years in accounting Kathleen decided to try industry, and worked for 22 years as an international tax planner for Marathon Oil Company.   Upon retiring from Marathon in 2009, Kathleen decided that she needed to round out her work experience by working for the government.  A couple of years later the IRS was hiring International Examiners, so she worked for the IRS for seven years, retiring for good right before Covid struck.

    During most of her working life, Kathleen did almost no art work of her own, content to visit museums and art fairs.   But in 2011 she joined WASH to learn more about watercolor, as a hobby.  Not a driven, passionate artist, Kathleen does not paint faithfully on a daily (or even almost daily) basis.  But she has a lot of fun taking courses and day-dreaming about what she will paint one day when she finally buckles down.

    Janet Traylor is a native Houstonian.  She graduated from Deer Park High School and then graduated from UT Dental School as a Certified Dental Assistant.  This is also where she met her husband, Tony and will celebrate their 47th anniversary this May.   They moved from Houston to Baytown.    After working in the Dentistry field for six years she decided it was time for a career of her own.  She attended University of Houston and received a degree in Accounting.  She then followed her dream of working in the Oil & Gas Industry; she worked for just over six years with Tenneco Oil Company.  As happens in the ups and downs of the Industry Tenneco sold its position in exploration and production, at the same time Janet was blessed with her only child, a beautiful baby girl.  Great timing, she became a stay at home mom, volunteering with Service League, tutoring children in math, and holding the position of her church bookkeeper.  When her daughter left for college she resumed her career in Oil and Gas Accounting at Houston based Enervest, where she retired as Manager of Accounting Advisors in April 2017.

    Her first dabble in Art was in 2006 when she took some classes at the Jung Center in Chinese Brush Painting.  After retiring she followed her long time teacher and friend, Peihong Endris to WASH.  She joined WASH in 2017 and has taken many classes and major workshops since.  

    I feel blessed to have found such a welcoming organization as WASH.  Although I have never served in the capacity of secretary, “preferring numbers to words” I look forward to helping WASH in any capacity I can. 

  • March 23, 2022 3:51 PM | Ksenia Annis

    Several of WAS-H members were invited to 2022 International Juried Exhibition at SWA in Fort Worth. Among these artists are Carla Gauthier, Karen Linderman, and Irene Sheytman. Other invited great artists are M. Holter and S. Warren, recent jurors and workshop presenters at WAS-H. To see all the entries, please go to https://www.swawatercolor.com/2022-international-gallery .

  • February 14, 2022 11:56 AM | Ksenia Annis

    We are excited to introduce you to our new Corporate Sponsor for IWE, LevellingUP.  LevellingUp is an online platform where artists can connect with Master Artists who provide mentorship opportunities. 

    One of the Master Artists featured on the website is Keiko Tanabe.  Keiko is starting a new mentorship group at LevellingUp.  Her first session is on Sunday, March 6, 2022.  If you are interested in checking out LevellingUp and participating in Keiko’s next mentor group, WAS-H members get a discount.  Use WAS-H_10for3 and receive $10 off per month for your first three months of membership with LevellingUP.

    Full details and registration can be found at https://www.levellingup.ca/keiko-tanabe-mastermind/

  • February 11, 2022 2:44 PM | Ksenia Annis

    by Paula Fowler, Gallery Co-Director

    Once a month at the Watercolor Artists Society – Houston a show gets hung in our gallery or, as in the case of our Covid years, on our website.  Ten of these shows are open entry.   The other two premier shows, the International Watermedia Exhibition and the Annual Members Exhibition, have a juried entry.  All the shows offer the opportunity to sell your work, possibly win an award and to share your work with your family and friends and they are a core part of the WAS-H culture and camaraderie.  So it is with great pleasure that a dedicated group of volunteers gather behind the scenes to make this all happen.

    The morning that the February 2022 show, with a theme of A Few of My Favorite Things, was hung was a beautiful winter Saturday morning in Houston.   I arrived at the gallery early and the building was already abuzz with the energy of the scheduled paint-in with Linda Jarnagin in session upstairs.  Downstairs in the gallery, our Artist Liaison, Laura Mossman, had previously arranged this month’s 52 entries on the floor, leaning against the walls all around the gallery.   I stood alone taking them all in.  What a great feeling to see all these potential winners and to see how they interpreted the theme.

    The fun part is about to start.  It’s like a big puzzle, really.  Arrange the works so that they flow around the room with pleasing color transition, complementary genres, and aesthetic balance of sizes.  Oh, and make sure this is equally spaced on the available walls.  This is quite an iterative process, and the painting are ultimately moved around a lot.

    When my Co-Director, Nancy McMillian, and the volunteers (Patty Armstrong, Leisa Patin, Irene Sheytman, and Donna Dean) arrived, we dove in.  Everyone has a say and, believe me, everyone has an opinion!   We pick some larger eye-catchers to anchor the walls and go from there.  Sometimes what feels like it will work, doesn’t look so good from across the room.  Some paintings are moved over and over.  We agree, disagree, laugh, chat, and have a really

    wonderful time.  After over two hours, we hang the last painting, step back and have a quiet look at another great show.  It’s magical!  I love this job! 

    At this time, our judge, Alison Hendry, arrived and we cleared the gallery of all people so that she could spend time with the works alone.  She had so many “Favorite Things” to consider:  beautiful landscapes, florals, beloved pets, prized grandchildren.  After another hour or so, she was done, and we had another group of winners to call with the good news!

    Alison was an exceptional person to work with.  As a Signature Member of WAS-H, she knows a lot about what makes a painting a winner and her comments were both insightful and educational.   She born and raised in Canada.  Her rocket-scientist father, who is also an artist, presented her with her first paint set when she was eleven.  After earning degrees in Biology and Nursing, she worked in Obstetrics until she retired.  After she moved to Houston, she got her introduction to watercolor and to WAS-H from one of our favorite artists and teachers, Ellen Orseck. She has subsequently won many awards, including the President's award for the AME in 2020 and a gift award in the IWE 2021. She was also accepted into the Houston Visual Arts Alliance online show in 2021. 

    We owe Alison many thanks for the numerous ways she helped us with this show.  The following are her comments about the winners:

    First PlacePalmetto by Fontaine Jacobs

    “Bold confident strokes, excellently rendered in a striking composition full of movement on an extremely difficult surface. I noticed it immediately across the room and loved the warm tones on the right that played well with the cooler darker greens with great shadows and light. “

    Second PlaceCedar Creek Wimberley by Erik Sproghe

    “Masterful technique in every part, from the light on the water, where I swear I see a face in the bold colors of the bank, to the interesting viewpoint across the tree that draws us to the soft focal point of the bridge. “

    Third Place - Grapevine by Zahid Shaikh

    “Love the mixture of abstraction of the leaves and the representational of the grapes. Subtle darks and highlights on the grapes, the colors used, the negative painted leaves and all those drips kept me interested and looking for a long time. “

    Honorable MentionSophie by Robin Avery

    “The diagonal bold solid masses of color for the background set off the expertly rendered sweet smiling happy dog. Love the eyes and the opaque nature of the paint. Made me smile to look at it. “

    Honorable MentionTrail Creek Winter by Fred Kingwill

    “This made me feel cold just looking at it, but brought back wonderful memories of childhood and snowshoeing in the woods. The snow on the pines is fabulously painted and the composition is excellent. I feel the heaviness and quiet of the forest covered in snow. “

    Honorable MentionLazing on the Llano by  Kathleen Church

    “Loved the loose impressionistic style with strokes of color confidently applied. The yellow fields and bright blue water in the background draw the eye in from the cool greys of the foreground. Excellent composition. “

    Honorable MentionLove Locks at Sunset by Nan Wright

    “Interesting  viewpoint through the fence of the locks to the water. The warmth of the light in the background pulls us through and then the cool dark fence pops the eye back again. Great movement. I noticed the further back I stood the more details emerged. “

    Thanks Volunteers: Please join me is once again in thanking all the volunteers that make our shows happen and give some thought to joining us in the process soon.  If you are interested in joining in, sign up on the SignUpGenius on our homepage.

  • February 11, 2022 2:42 PM | Ksenia Annis

    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 - Palmetto by FONTAINE JACOBS

    Palmetto started as a small Plein Air painting sketch at Maas Nursery that I used as a reference for the larger version finished in my studio. With Yupo, it is a challenge to make flat washes, which I overcame by painting in one direction from the center outwards with just the amount of pressure on my brush to avoid lifting the paint. I was inspired by the repeating elements and added the complimentary red for interest.

    Second Place – Cedar Creek, Wimberly by Erik Sprohge

    This was on our last Geriatric Art Society (GAS) trip. GAS is an offshoot of WASH. We would meet twice a year in different places in Texas or surroundings and paint. I love the hill country, the clear water, the rocks, the hills. This scene is of the bridge off highway 12 right before you get into a little cluster of shops and restaurants in Wimberly.

    Third Place – Grapevine by Zahid Shaikh

    I'm out of my comfort zone here, not my usual style. Inspired by Jean Haines, British master watercolorist, I did the background first using deep, rich colors and lots of water, then lifted the pattern of leaves and vines. Finally, I painted the grapes with a little more definition. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process!

    Honorable Mention – Sophie by Robin Avery

    My painting, Sophie, expresses my love for our wonderfully sweet, loving, funny labradoodle. This painting is a Valentine’s gift to my husband. He’s her personal trainer, chef, medical assistant…and Make-up Artist (He takes her to the groomer!) I hope the love we feel for her is genuinely expressed.

    Honorable Mention – Lazing on the Llano by Kathleen Church

    I have always loved loose and colorful watercolor landscapes. There is something about the fresh color, the hint of impressionism, the reminder of just how beautiful our natural world is that makes me happy. In this little scene along the Llano River where a few friends and I spent a long weekend at the beginning of Covid, I was drawn to the fields and river. The parallel lines of rock, low-water bridge, fields and distant tree line are broken by the S curve of the river and the large tree emerging from the shoreline on the right. And then of course there were the cows roaming around in the field to make it a perfect Texas scene! The rocky shore is beautiful. Long layers of stone required being creative with grays. My palette was simple: Sennilier Permanent Yellow, a mix of cobalt and cerulean for the blues in the sky, with some darker ultramarine in the river. There’s a touch of quin gold in the fields as well. I mixed the blues on the palette and some quin gold for the tree to keep it unified. While I did this version in my studio, the first was en plein air, my favorite way to paint. I love the immediacy of painting on location.

    Honorable Mention – Trail Creek Winter by Fred Kingwill

    Trail Creek Winter is an effort by me to express the emotions and joy I have when traveling (usually by snowshoes or skis) through the glorious winter forest along trail creek which is just on the border of Wyoming and Idaho. The painting has no white paint but lots of masking fluid (Pebeo). It was painted on 140lbs cold press D’Arches papers and was a “rejected” painting in WASH's International Show!

    Honorable Mention – Love Locks at Sunset by Nan Wright

    My daughter-in-law is a wonderful photographer and a romantic! When I saw this shot from their recent California trip, I knew I had to paint it... obviously I'm a romantic too!

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