Deb Ward, GWS, OWS, PWS, WSI - WATERCOLOR/WATER MEDIA - My passion is teaching adult “beginners”. Weekly classes in my home; workshops; classes for Cincinnati Recreation Commission. My work is nationally recognized and published - see “Featured” on my sidebar. I’m a Signature Member of Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana state Watercolor Societies, Cincinnati Art Club, past-President of Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society. Contact info below under “Class Information”

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Got Google?

I must say, after finding some of my paintings online during a Google search, I’m a bit ambivalent about my feelings on that matter. On the one hand, it’s very satisfying to think that someone uploaded my paintings (how does that work???) but on the other hand, kind of creepy that someone found and uploaded them (without asking me first) which of course I knew could happen – once it’s on the web it’s free game. Anyone have any thoughts on this subject?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Hobbies for Life

I have just finished six weeks of classes at Evergreen Retirement Community.

One gentleman, Don, is 90+ and still a wonderful painter.

It got me to thinking about the aging process and how important it is to have something that you love to do that will keep you interested in life until the end of life.

Hopefully that is what art will do for me. That is, if I can remember where I put my art supplies!

(Sorry, no photos with this one - forgot to bring my camera to any of the classes!)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Retreat Paintings - Part 2

Here are a few more paintings/sketches from our retreat.

These two are by Sharon:
This painting is from a photo taken in Africa by friends of her. She worked diligently and SLOWLY on this one and it's beautiful!

This one is a sketch of my son, done in Russian Sauce, a very different medium. She did a good job, but he thinks it looks like a "mug shot"! (Everyone in my family is a tough critic!)

These three are by Sue:

Plants outside her gallery in Statesville, South Carolina (I think???).

The next one is from a family trip she took; I love the sky!

And the last one is a drawing she has made in preparation for a painting of the building across the street from her gallery. It is quite ambitious, but I know she will do a great job.

This one is by Monique:
She has a sketch book to die for - I always admire people who do that. She is so meticulous, and does a wonderful job.

She also did a full sheet poured painting but she was not totally pleased with it. She may be doing it again.

Quite a talented group, wouldn't you say!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Artistic Weekend

This was quite an artist's weekend!

It began on Friday afternoon, getting judged into a local artists group.

Friday evening was the Middletown Area Art show - 2 out of 3 paintings I entered were accepted, even though they did not win a prize. However, like the Oscar winners always say - "it's an honor to be nominated." I do truly appreciate gaining acceptance into that show since it draws from a large area with some regionally and nationally-known artists.

Saturday was the Miamisburg Art Guild show - won second place in watermedia for my Sunlit Pears 2 (photo below). And in addition to that - something really fun and exciting happened to me!

As I approached my painting to place my ribbon the lady standing there said "Deb, sorry to be blocking your painting". I asked if she knew me and she told me she gets on my blog all the time! Wow! We spent several minutes chatting - so I now have to coin a word for her, unless one already exists in the blogging community - I'll call her my "Bloggerite". Her name is Gaylynn and that's her, on the left, standing in front of her painting of a little girl. She had another of horses - they are both very good! She and her sister were so nice!

So, all in all, a fun weekend - great weather, great friends, great art, spoke to some folks I've know a while, made a new acquaintance and my husband treated me to dinner on Friday night and paid me some high compliments!

I't doesn't get any better than that!

p.s. Does anyone know how I can superimpose a photo of Raquel Welch over mine in all future photos of me???????

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Retreat Paintings - Part 1

Below are some photos from the recent artist retreat.

Our days consisted of painting, eating, talking, painting, eating, drinking wine, sleeping and painting!

One of the artist’s has a daughter who is a chef and as a treat, she and her boyfriend, also a chef, came for a day and prepared a delicious meal for us.

We did reserve one day for a trip into Knoxville to the Jerry’s Artarama. We’ve been there several times, but we consistently get lost each time, mostly due to road construction. This year we had two GPS navigation systems with us – how could we possibly miss it? Well, we still took one wrong turn! But once we were there we had a great time inspecting everything on the shelves and then checking out what we were each buying to make sure we didn’t miss anything. As usual, I went in with one or two items in mind and came out with a few more. We also lucked into a “tax free” day, too, so some of our supplies were considered school supplies and had no tax on them.

Here's an explanation of the paintings:
Mine - I'm attempting a series of laundry paintings - these were OK, can't find photos good enough of the other two, but they are most likely do-overs, anyway, as is this one.

Another laundry painting, courtesy of a photo from my daughter taken during a trip to Venice. Needs a little tweaking, but this one's a keeper.

The next two are by Nancy - done in pastel. I love the waterlillies!

These two are by Cora Mae - she said this top one was just "play", but I wish I could play that well! The bottom one represents a nautical theme - she lives on the coast of North Carolina.

Watch for paintings from the other ladies coming soon!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Retreat Surprises

Each year I go away with a group of friends, all artists, and I always take presents. This is my own personal Christmas! I usually try for a gift a day for them!

Since the retreat is over for the year, this year’s gifts can now be revealed to the general public (if you are interested).

The gifts were:
beaded pencil/pen holder
beaded pen, beaded bookmark – all beaded by yours truly (check out an upcoming blog relating to “the beading experience”!)
pack of cards with goofy saying, note pad with goofy saying, Russian Sauce
and hand painted (by me) Christmas ornaments.

And I’ve already got some ideas for next year’s festivities!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Artistic Retreat

People will say that art is a solitary experience, but that just means they have never painted with me!

I began painting with a group of women on Thursday nights in the instructor’s home and I continued that until I felt I needed to “do my own thing”. I maintain ties with these women still, through email and phone. Periodically we see each other and so remain in each other’s lives, even though we don’t see each other frequently.

Several years ago a group of artists got together to paint for a few days, sort of a mini-workshop, at one of the artists’ homes on the Crystal Coast of North Carolina. I traveled there with two women whom I had known for a few years, and met three others there. I must say, I went with some trepidation, but after 5 days we realized we had so much fun that we wanted to do it again and we have had a yearly retreat since 2001. This art retreat has become the highlight of my life – an annual gift to myself. It’s my vacation, art workshop and spiritual retreat, all wrapped up with a big bow of laughter (and chocolate!).

There is a certain ebb and flow to these events, because to be with the same people in a confined space for more than a few days is to sometimes tread on each other’s toes. But we seem to tread lightly and our laughter (and tears) seem to overcome those moments. We eat very well, stay up very late, and laugh until we cry and cry until we laugh, all week long, intermittently stuffing ourselves with chocolate. By the end of the week, even though we are ready to resume our normal (???) lives, we have also made our plans for the next year’s adventure.

In the years we have been meeting:

I’ve been hot on the North Carolina coast and cold in basements in Indiana. We have been massaged, manicured and pedicured.

I’ve been so wet in the rain forest of North Carolina that:
· I had to dry my pillow in the clothes dryer before I went to bed at night and my undies in the morning before I put them on;
· my camera got waterlogged and my SD card didn’t work so I lost all the pictures of that trip;
· my watercolor painting on 300 lb. Arches got so damp overnight that it literally draped itself over the top of the garbage can next to my work station. Fortunately, by laying it flat on the table and leaving it alone, it flattened itself out and was good as new (although still damp) the next day.

Fortunately some of these locations have been in close proximity of a Jerry’s Artarama outlet in Knoxville, TN and so we have had the added experience of art supplies mixed with laughter and an overloaded (possibly dangerously so) vehicle.
· Some of us have purchased and loaded full sized easels and a full sized barstool made of wrought iron and canvas which wouldn’t fit into the cargo area while still boxed, so it had to be taken out of that box and inserted into the already full cargo space by “us wimmin” while the workmen watched, shaking their heads.
· I have observed the incredulous looks of men carrying boxes of art supplies (yes, I said BOXES) to a van already so loaded with art supplies, luggage and prior purchases that, when the tailgate was lifted, several items fell out.
· When the workmen say “this won’t fit, we can ship it for you” we immediately tell them, “of course it will fit, there’s plenty of room”, and out comes more “stuff” to be rearranged and reloaded until it all fits (more or less) and we don’t really care, because the next time that hatch is opened we will be home – and let the art supplies fall where they may!

These adventures just give us more to laugh and talk about at our next retreat!

And through it all we have managed to create some pretty darn good paintings. It seems that any painting(s) I create at these retreats go on to be sold or win awards, and that seems to be the case for the other artists as well. I believe it’s because each of those paintings has been created in such a nurturing and loving environment.

Just got back from this year’s retreat and can’t wait for next year!!