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, April 28, 2009


I’ve gotten a little bit behind in my postings, but wanted to tell you about the class I taught last Saturday - it was a watercolor painting of a goldfish. So, I needed a photo of a goldfish.

Did you ever try to get a goldfish to pose for a portrait? It’s not easy, not even when you have “Fred, the Oldest Living Trained Goldfish in the World” living on top of your piano. I should know, since it’s my piano and Fred is my fish.

Let me tell you about Fred.

Fred, the Oldest Living Trained Goldfish in the World!

He is a golden goldfish with a really, really long tail. (I think that is how you can tell how old a goldfish is, since that’s the only thing that seems to grow). He has outlived all of his pals, mostly because he has murdered all of them in cold water. So now he lives in solitary confinement.

Instructor (or imposter???)

There she is again!

He is the oldest goldfish that I or any of my friends know of. After being won by my daughter at the local county fair five years ago (FIVE years!) Fred and a companion, a spotted goldfish, came (in their individual plastic bags half filled with water) to live at our house. After acclimatizing their water to the water in their new fish bowl, they were both released into the bowl. The next day the companion was found floating, dead in the water.
Some of those fish turned out GREAT!

A trip to the local pet store ensued, and another companion was purchased (for 35 cents). This companion was also a spotted goldfish. A few days after his arrival he was also found dead. There was only one suspect, Fred, but he refused to talk.

The class workin' hard!

Fred is one feisty fish. He has survived being neglected by my daughter until he water was so green we couldn’t even see him. That’s when he was moved to the piano, so I could care for him. He has survived my vacation when no one would feed or clean him for a week. On a couple of occasions, he has survived ME. Every now and then I forget to feed him for a day. And once when I was cleaning his bowl he slipped out of the cup he was in and fell into the sink, just an inch away from the drain, but I caught him just in time.
The photographer for this "photo shoot"!

Oh, and I did mention that he is trained. This is true – when he sees me approach his bowl he wags his whole body and begins to make his fishy-face! He knows I’m going to feed him!! He’s also very loud. He goes to the edge of his bowl and makes popping, pinging noises against the glass. (I’m not making this stuff up – ask my family!)
Someone was able to paint the water!

Well, after he was moved to the piano, we tried one more companion. Again, a spotted goldfish (we kept getting the spotted ones so we could tell them apart). When my daughter and I left to run errands all was well. A few hours later when we returned, the spotted goldfish was moving very slowly, opening and closing his mouth a lot. That’s when Fred swam in quick circles and then SMACK – hit him in the side like he was a soccer ball! We removed Companion Fish and put him into his own bowl, but sadly, the injuries he had sustained at the fins of Fred were life threatening and he passed away a short time later.

That’s when I decided that Fred will be spending the rest of his life in solitary confinement.

Bubbles and scales finished.

Disclaimer: The woman appearing in these photos, proclaiming to be the instructor, is an imposter. These photos were maliciously “doctored”. I actually am at least 50 pounds thinner and closely resemble Raquel Welch.

Hope they come back! I think they had fun - we sure did laugh a lot even though we worked hard.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


I have been painting – with acrylic, not watercolor or casein. But, not the "right" kind of acrylic – this was satin gloss latex.
I have been painting cornhole boards with my daughter. (If you are not from the Midwest you may think I just typed a bad word!) Cornhole is a game in which you have two boards with large holes in them. You set them up like you would for horseshoes, i.e., one at either end of your yard. (I’m sure there are some specific distance requirements). You then have two teams, one at either end of the yard aiming for the cornhole board the farthest away and you toss little 6 inch square bags filled with, what else - CORN - into the hole in the board. (It’s harder than it looks!).
This game is very popular with the young people since, unlike golf, baseball, softball or tennis, it only requires one hand to play the game. The “other” hand can then be used as the beer caddy.
There should have been a photo here showing our completed handiwork. However, since mom tends to paint everything like watercolor, and since daughter tends to rush in with no plan in place, there were some “issues” as to how to go about accomplishing the goal of a black board with gold lining the outside and around the hole, and “Purdue” spelled out in white and gold, with “glow in the dark” paint around the hole and along the sides. Her boyfriend graduated from Purdue so she wanted that incorporated onto the board, and she purchased cornhole bags with Purdue logo on them.
This turned out to be a family project – brother built the boards and sanded them beautifully, mother and daughter worked together painting (with no major arguments or bloodshed). In the end, daughter decided that they just didn’t look good enough and she had dad sand them down.
The boards are at her house now, not really finished, awaiting decals. But I’m told that they were much appreciated by boyfriend, and the first game of cornhole has been played on them!

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Sunday we had an art opening at a lovely retirement community (Chesterwood Village) in West Chester, Ohio, just north of Cincinnati. Wow, the place is gorgeous. I put in some of my old cars and a couple of Venice paintings and I know they were well received since I overheard some of the comments as people looked at them.

Congratulations to Susan! Her beautiful painting of a stately old home is sold! Now, if mine would just sell!

I took a few photos to show some of the “Main Street”. When you walk in there is a chapel, a train station, a theater and a pub,a beauty shop, pet store, café and restaurant! It is amazing! Our paintings were placed all along the street, with some extending into two other rooms – overall they looked great!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Steve Blackburn, a nationally recognized artist from Northern Indiana, approached me a while back about sponsoring a workshop for him. I kind of dragged my feet at first. I wanted to do this, but since it was something new I was kind of nervous and scared about attempting it. But, as you can see, Steve will be in Cincinnati in May.
Steve is not only a great artist, but a wonderful teacher and all around good guy! This workshop will be low key, filled with information and individualized attention.
Steve is the master of a very unique pouring technique that he will be sharing with us. Go to his website at to learn more about him.
The workshop will be held at a local hotel, so even if you are not a “local” you can come and enjoy this experience with us!

Also - my thanks to Sandy Maudlin ( for mentioning the workshop in her posting on February 26. Take a look at her daffodil painting there which applies Steve’s techniques!
I’m also attaching some small samples (due to copyright) of Steve’s work here to give you a look at what he does.

Hope you can come to the workshop!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

CLONES - 2 (My Age, But in Better Shape)

I don’t have a digital photo of this one, so I’ve attempted to scan it. This one was a ’49 Ford that I found parked in downtown Aurora, IN. It’s a bit hard to see, but my photo is at the top and my painting at the bottom.
The funny thing about this one is that some time later I found a virtually identical painting in one of the art magazines! It was painted in oil, but the truck model and color and the angle at which the photo was taken, and even the background were almost identical!
Here are photos of the other truck from the art magazine. As you can see, it looks like that artist (from Pennsylvania) took his photo standing at the exact angle from that truck as I stood when taking my photo in Aurora, IN.
When I showed the magazine article to my husband he said “When did you get your painting into a magazine?”
Then, I was checking out some blogs a while back and came across artist Terry Miura who had painted an old truck - once again it looks so similar - different color but same view as the others. ( - his posting from January 14, 2009).
There's just something about old trucks!
My Age but in Better Shape! ('49 Ford), watercolor.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

I've Been Tagged!

I’ve had some problems the past few days either getting onto the internet or, once on, getting onto Blogspot. Have no idea why – so haven’t been able to say “thank you to Arti” – until now!

Thanks to Arti - I’ve been tagged! You can check out her blog (“Arti’s Life - Life as I See It”) from my blogroll on the right. Arti lives in India – I am constantly amazed that I can communicate with someone I’ve never met who lives half a world away!

Now, having won this blog award, I’m supposed to pass it on to 7 other artists and list 7 things I love.

The hardest part of this is deciding on 7 other artists to tag – there are so many who I admire. After some consideration, here are my choices. (Now, don’t be offended if you didn’t make my list – there are so many more blogs that I enjoy, and I’ll have more on this subject in the future!!!)

Chris Beck – who will count as 2! Both for her personal blogspot “I’m Painting as Fast as I Can” and for her showcase blog – “Brush-Paper-Water”.
Pablo Villicana Lara – “My Little Paint Box” – WOW – can this guy paint!
Vicki Greene – “Garden of Weeden” – she has giveaways!
Rhonda Carpenter – “Watercolor and Words” – got to be a Blogging Queen!
Joan Sandford Cook – such entertaining blog entries.
Jackqueline Gnott – “Realism in Watercolors” – WOW – can this woman paint!

If you haven’t already done so - check out all of these blogs on my blog roll!

No one every really asks you this question – “what do you love”. But, here in Blog Land it is apparently quite common! “Love” is a relative term and I had to decide exactly how to interpret it. After much consideration then, here is a list of 7 things that I “love” (as they say on “Dancing With the Stars” – in no particular order!):
1 and 2 - My family and friends – this goes without saying.
3 - My dog Stray! – he’s a wonderful animal.
4 - Our property – a little piece of heaven.
5 - Watching the sun glisten on the lake – blindingly beautiful.
6 - Driving down the road on a beautiful sunny day and simply enjoying freedom – makes me feel like I’m 18 again!
7 - Vegging out in a comfortable chair with a good book – preferably when no one else is home, on an overcast winter day, snuggled down into a comfy blanket, sipping a hot drink – ahhhhhhhhh!