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”

Monday, September 28, 2009


When left alone in a doctor’s waiting room, the quiet must settle my mind – the gurgle of the (seawater) fish tank pump (with some cute little clown fish, some pretty colorful ones and one really, really big ugly fish); low volume Muzak featuring what sounds like Yanni (or is that Yawni!); drops of rain on the skylight; the nurse shuffling papers; the whir of the copier – all a gentle white noise.

The ideas start to flow and everything seems a good idea! Well, why not – I’m a captive – only my mind is free to roam.
A list of necessary jobs for ViewPoint consumes several minutes – I’m chomping at the bit to get them completed.
Then a short list of pictures to paint – some begun, some not.
Another list of the order in which it all should be done.

I’m full of energy and hope! I know it won’t last – as soon as I get home I’ll get right on the ViewPoint because I have to, then the excitement will fade and it will be so easy to forget and let it all slide again. That’s my usual modus operandi – guess I’m just a dreamer at heart.

More waiting time . . .
ideas for fixing up my painting area at home
ideas for a commission
“Why is lighting so bad in an eye doctor’s office – perhaps he’s creating his own future patients?”
“Why didn’t I bring that granola bar?” (that’s sitting on the dining room table at home)
“Will I feel “icky” looking at that eye patch?”
read a little – but - bad lighting, remember!
walk around the room and stretch
“Nurse is playing solitaire on the computer – wonder what she gets paid?”
“My hair needs a trim”
count waiting room chairs – 25 – seriously???? - think that many people are ever here waiting? How large a patient backlog would that represent? Maybe some folks bring the whole tribe!
look out the window at the rain – which has been coming down in fits and spurts all week
watch the fish again
find some information about ophthalmic (ocular) migraines
“I could use a laptop right now – think of the timesaving that would be”
read a little more . . .
think about lunch – “Will I be on an eye patch diet?” (It didn’t bother me, nor did seeing the actual eye post surgery!)

Finally I hear my husband’s voice – I can find him in any crowd if I just listen a moment! He’s been regaling the operating room staff with tales of cows, no doubt!

Finally ready to head out on this dreary day and get my “work” day started after lunch – at 3 p.m.!!!

I’ll have to wait for the next waiting room experience to fuel my creative energy again!

Saturday, September 26, 2009


And it came to pass that the land was in grayness for many days.
Morning was as evening, day was as night.
And the rain fell from the sky both night and day for many days.
People hid under umbrellas, cars splashed in puddles.
And the citizens were sad and depressed.
Children could not play outside.
And the mothers were sad and depressed.

But then a great lightness came into the sky.
Puddles disappeared and the lakes sparkled.
Babies cried and toddlers held close to their mothers as they looked up at the sky.
And the citizens were frightened.
“What is this strange light that comes down from the sky?” they asked their elders.

“Ahhhh” exclaimed the elders. “Fear not this strange light, for it has been seen here before. This light is good and is called – SUNLIGHT.”
And the people saw that the light was good, for it let the children play outside and the mothers were happy.
And it allowed the citizens to come out from under the umbrellas, and the cars were dry and clean.
And at last the citizens of Cincinnati and surrounding areas, including southeastern Indiana . . . .
. . . . were happy!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


This spring one of the local hospitals was in the process of renovating a building and they wanted to feature art from local artists in the facility, but didn’t know how to go about that. They contacted a well known local artist and she suggested a competition. I entered the competition - we were allowed to enter up to 3 paintings – and all of mine were chosen! The artwork will hang for one year unless it sells (hope springs eternal!)
The opening was Wednesday night. The facility is quite lovely and each of the dressing rooms has one piece of artwork. The rest is spread through the halls, reception and waiting areas and the common area and foyer.
Two of mine are hanging in one of the upstairs waiting rooms – it was cool to walk into the reception area, glance over and see them hanging! The other is in the hallway of the first floor ladies dressing room area.
There were several other works by more GCWS artists. Kept running into (literally – the place was crowded!) people I know and so had a very enjoyable evening.
It was so much fun walking through – original artwork behind each door! All sorts of media, all kinds of styles, all different sizes! Some of the works are already purchased, too!
Last week, one of my students called me to give me a heads up before the opening – she had just been there for her mammogram and was surprised to see my artwork on the wall! She then walked around the rest of the facility and said it was like being in a gallery!
That was their plan – to make what can be an unpleasant experience into a pleasant one via beautiful surroundings. I think they succeeded!

Here are a couple photos taken quickly during the evening - Mary Jo Cropper Family Breast Center, on the campus of Bethesda North Hospital - Grand Opening.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Must give a big thanks to my husband! He helped me hang my show at the FCN Bank in Harrison, OH as well as carry in my bin and card rack the evening of the reception. And he will also help me take it all down!

The reception was Thursday evening and I must admit I was a bit nervous - that no one would come! But, like my first solo show (if you offer food they will come!) some did come!

Had more of a turnout than I anticipated (in the 40+ range) – so at least it wasn’t just Mike and me sitting around! Mike asked the bank manager how the turnout compared to other openings and it was about “average”. The manager also said it depends on how many friends and family the artist has! Since I have a non-caring family and only a few friends, you can imagine my excitement at seeing real, live people walk in the door! Several came from the various art clubs, some from my classes and a few who saw it advertised or were just coming to the bank and saw it.

The bank provided a small buffet and a good friend came bearing a lovely bouquet!

I did make a few small sales, so basically I will consider it a success!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Wednesday was a beautiful sapphire blue September day (perhaps why the September birthstone is sapphire???) and another artful day for me and a painting friend!

First, we dropped by the FCN Bank so she could check out my show. Then to the Middletown Arts Center for their Area Art Show (I had a “loser” to pick up, but one also made it into the show!) We saw several paintings from members of the GCWS. We also ran into one of the MAC instructors whom I know and she gave us a quick tour of the facilities.
Then it was off to Troy, OH for the Ohio Watercolor Society traveling show where I knew several of the artists who were fortunate to have their work selected for the exhibit. That venue is an old restored mansion now used as an arts and cultural center - quite a beautiful building.

Of course, there was also a stop at the art store and lunch – quite an artful day!

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Well, the cow umbrella is no longer needed.

My husband went to a yet another cattle seminar (who knew – they are kind of like watercolor workshops for us!!!!!!!) and learned that the water for the cows must be kept cool. So, that involved the creation of an aluminum roof that will not only protect the water from the heat but is larger for the cows to go under during the heat of the day.

They seem content! But I kind of miss seeing that perky umbrella!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


We all have our favorite brush, don’t we! Mine used to be an Isabey sable, 1 in. flat. (Now I do still love it, but use it for my caseins and fluid acrylics).
Some years ago I was searching for inexpensive but good brushes for students and came upon the Ebony Splendor brushes (sold at ASW and Jerry’s). When I saw them in the catalog I didn’t hold out much hope, but when I got them and tried them I was really happily surprised. Since that time they have become my primary brushes and are what I recommend to my students. Due to their low price, when they become “scraggly” at the tip, I don’t feel compelled to hang onto them the way I would with a more expensive brush, I just throw them out and buy a new set – for the cost of a single brush! And if I happen to lose one, I’m not upset! You can get a set of either 3 flats (1/4 in., ½ in. and 1 in.) or 7 rounds – each set about $17-18 (of course the prices have gone up – mine were in the neighborhood of $12.99!). They are also sold separately. (And if you are counting – there are only 6 of the rounds in the photo; somewhere along the way I’ve lost one of the smaller ones).
I also like this Cheap Joe’s American Journey #8 round which was a gift to me – it’s got a great point.
Another one I like is this Black Velvet ¾ in. 3008S flat by Silver. It’s made of squirrel hair and black synthetic, but very soft and really holds a lot of paint. I purchased it at the Chicago Art Expo last year upon the recommendation of Karen Vernon. I can’t remember the price, maybe in the $20 range?
Some of us swear by sable, others like synthetic. Anyone care to share info about their favorite brush – what kind is it and why do you like it so much?

Sunday, September 6, 2009


At this point I began putting in some darks. I used my greens and ultramarine turquoise for the dark. And this time, unlike last, I worked around the painting so one side wouldn’t get too dark compared to the other and hopefully I wouldn’t get bored with it!

And then, I decided to turn it - and I like it better!

Here is the completed painting – which I’m happier with. I managed to keep it lighter and cleaner.

Sunny, 15 x 22, watercolor on Fabriano Artistico 140 CP

Friday, September 4, 2009


Let’s try this again!
I used my same drawing and value study; just removed the leaf and pushed the bottom two flowers up a little.
Once again I began with the miskit pour and then poured hansa yellow, quinacridone gold and Indian yellow.
On the second pour I used the same colors plus vermillion hue.
After the miskit was removed I poured some greens and yellow and blue - the greens I used this time were sap and hooker with some ultramarine turquoise added.
At this point I’m happy with the pastel-y and light colors I’ve got.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


As you will recall, the rules for this giveaway were to leave a comment on my blog during the month of August and each comment would give you one chance to win an original painting. (I can hear all the ooooohhs and aaaahhhhhhhs right now!)

So –
I typed each person’s name onto a sheet each time they commented.
Then I cut them separately and folded each in half and put them in a bowl.
Then I swished my hand around the bowl and pulled out one name.

And . . .

The winner is . . .


I couldn’t believe how appropriate this is – since Vicki is always giving something away on her blog!

Congratulations Vicki! You need to contact me ( with your address so I can mail you your “prize”????

Right now I won’t say what that prize is so you will be surprised (I hope you will be pleasantly surprised – otherwise you are allowed to toss it into the trash at any time!) Then you will have to let me know you got it so I can post it (or you can!) for all the world to see!!

P.S. This is being given away on MY BIRTHDAY (blue sapphire, in case you would like to forward an exquisite and price-y piece of jewelry!!!!!) Just thought I'd share!
P.P.S. This is also being given away on MY ANNIVERSARY - 32 years! - (Elder purple in honor of my husband all these 32 years!!!)