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”

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Here are more photos of this painting in progress.

My husband told me to add more yellows in the corner. After this stage he said “I see you added more yellow in that corner, looks more like corn now.”
Well, guess what – I did NOT add yellow! After more of the painting was completed it simply affected the way the rest of the painting looked.
I think this is one of the hardest things to realize – that everything you do affects the rest of the painting and you just have to BE PATIENT to see how it all works out!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I poured Daniel Smith quin. gold, quin. burnt orange, sap and thalo and then, even though I know I shouldn’t, I touched in a bit of quin. rose in what I wanted to be my center of interest. Well, of course it got a little muddy – duh.

After that dried, I poured more of the same colors, except for the rose.

When that was dry I began painting in the upper left corner, basically from left to right and top to bottom – again using my handy viewfinder.

I have no idea why I want to do things like this – I have an astigmatism and refuse to wear my glasses most of the time, so this type of thing is a real challenge!

Monday, January 25, 2010


Just opened some mail and look what I found!  Many of you may remember this painting from  Rhonda's blog.

After my request for this little gem - followed by threats (!!!!) - she was kind enough to send it to me. 

This just tickled me no end - I must find a little frame for it and put it somewhere I can enjoy it.

Thanks Rhonda!!!


We just returned from spending a few days in Chattanooga, TN (where the people were warm but the weather was chilly!) attending SSAWG (Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group) convention with my husband.

On the way down we stopped at Bybee Pottery. Even with printed Yahoo directions and a GPS lady telling us where to go (!) we still had a hard time finding it – and of course when we finally decided to go in a store to ask for directions, the employee pointed across the road and said “there it is”.

I had been there many years ago and have recently heard that they might be closing – after 200+ years! Just in case that is true, and because we were going past the area and having lunch at Berea anyway, I talked my husband into going there. It appears that closure is not imminent, but they are having a hard time finding people who want to work there.

Here are a few photos of the facility.

As you can see, over the years the clay has built up! The roof is also supported here and there by steel posts, but it has held up – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Here they are loading the kiln – the car they use to move it has warped from the high heat.

Shelves filled with items to be glazed.

The glazing room.

If memory serves – on the left - the pitcher in front will be blue, the mugs dark red with white speckles, the bowls blue with white speckles and on the right - the back bowl will be black with white flower and the bowls dark blue with light blue speckles.
As the gentleman told me - they don’t have a lot of variety but their simple designs have served them well for over 200 years.

After our brief tour there we went on to Berea for lunch at Boone Tavern. Once again we ignored GPS lady and after driving on some backroads in the general direction of the “foothills of the Smokies” we found ourselves in Berea. They have made a $13 million renovation of the Boone Tavern and it was quite different both inside and out. (I now wish we had gone upstairs to see what they have done with the rooms).

However, they haven’t tampered with the food, thank goodness, and we had a wonderfully delicious meal, along with that famous spoonbread.

Berea is home to Berea College ( where each student  must work at one of the student enterprises while attending college.  It's a beautiful town - just a bit overcast when we were there.  On the left are some of the dorms - on the right the student store where they sell so many of the beautiful hand crafted items produced in the area.

Filled to the gills, we continued on and arrived at Chattanooga just at dusk. This time the GPS lady was steering us on a good course, only to be thwarted by my husband who, even though the GPS lady and I were both yelling “keep left”, made a right hand turn and, once again, we were temporarily lost!

We made it to the hotel, parked and found our room. After we realized how convoluted the garage was, after dinner we decided to move the car to a spot much closer to the elevators. We got off on level 4, only to find this was a different level 4 and the car was in a totally different area of the parking garage! After wandering around we did finally locate the car and drove to a better parking spot. In fairness to us, several other folks mentioned that they had also misplaced their car and wandered through the garage!

After that it got better! The hotel was connected to the convention center and the meeting rooms were easy to find. A nice soup and salad buffet was provided each day for a reasonable cost and we found the most delightful place for dinner each evening – City Café Diner. Can’t say enough good things about this place – the food, service and friendliness were extraordinary!

As far as the workshops - we had some good classes and some so-so, but that is to be expected, and I had one fantastic speaker! We met some nice people, learned some things and overall had a good experience.

Now if you will excuse me, I’ve got 25 pages of notes to type!

I’ll be back with more art related info as soon as I catch up!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I have wanted to paint corn for years and never have been able to get what I wanted. This year I took more photos with the digital camera and finally seem to have gotten the hang of it - although I’m not sure what my neighbors thought when they saw me “up close and personal” with the local corn stalks! Perhaps they thought I was a “stalker”!!
Anyway – as you can see, this is a heck of a lot of lines!

The first step was to enlarge the photo and trace it to the paper with Saral. Then the painting was taped down to a plastic board – which I love! – purchased at either Jerry’s or ASW.

Even though there were lines traced on my watercolor paper, they had to make sense to me, so I found it best to utilize a viewfinder which I made (upper left side of photo) to go over the photo (like a grid). I carefully checked out the lines which had been traced – some lines were erased, some added – until I felt comfortable with the image. This was a process! I could only do a small area, about a half hour at a time, so it took several hours over the course of a few days. Then I let it sit upright on my drawing table so I could check it out periodically. When I was finally convinced it looked like corn (!) to me, I began the painting process.

PS:  I'll be out of town a few days and won't post again until next week - I know you will miss me!  I will try to check in from time to time, tho (gotta get my "blog fix"!)
TIP! When I use Saral, sometimes I get a lot of graphite on the paper - if I leave it on the paper it will mix in with the paint and make it look gray-ish. My solution is, after retracing all lines with a pencil, to put my paper in the stationery tub and use a sprayer - that extra graphite goes down the drain before I begin painting.  This also gives me a wet surface to begin pouring or dripping paint - then I let it sit overnight to dry and all the "peaks and valleys" flatten out, leaving a relatively smooth surface (my own version of stretching paper).

Sunday, January 17, 2010


I was pleased to see a feature newspaper article about me that ran in our local paper. You can click on the link here or on my sidebar if you are interested in reading it!

A correction would be that I was in the Georgia Watercolor Society Member's Show and the Richeson International Still Life & Floral last year.

Friday, January 15, 2010


Then I darkened more of the pitcher reflection and shadows, and went over the background again.
I consider it finished! How about you?

P.S.  My husband told me that I do not give him enough credit for his critiquing expertise - and that I must tell all of you that it is due to his great critiquing skills that this painting turned out well, since he told me to darken the reflection on the pitcher - and that I (the artist) am "merely the paintbrush in the hand of the critic." 
Any comments on this????

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


That pitcher was SOOOOOOOOOOOOO blue - had to “dumb down” the blue and darken the shadow side – and hoped I didn’t ruin it.
I also began the background – my “nebulous” background, as I call all/most of my backgrounds.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Then the blue was added to the pitcher – man, oh, man – is that BLUE!!! (Very scary!)

Friday, January 8, 2010


Then the reflection was added to the pitcher.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Started this one a while ago (in October!!) and let it sit while I worked on some other things. Then thought I better keep it going or it will look like two different artists painted it!
Gee – lace again – and pears too! “Who woulda thunk it!!!!”

This is fluid acrylics on watercolor board. I began by wetting the lace area and dripping in some raw sienna and let it dry. Then I started on the lace holes – which took time, of course. I’d do some and then play with the pears, just go back and forth until that portion was finished.

Friday, January 1, 2010


Of course we will be seeing many New Year’s resolutions posted in the next couple of weeks. I decided to start with my accomplishments of 2009, such as they are, before I set my next goals.

This past year I:
• was the chairperson for the GCWS spring show for the second year in a row;
• took over part of the membership duties for GCWS;
• had 2 pieces accepted into the Miamisburg Art Guild regional show;
• had 1 piece accepted into the Middletown Arts Center area show;
• won 1st place in the Southeastern Indiana Art Guild spring show;
• was involved in other local groups who each had a spring show and a fall show;
• taught three Saturday classes for DHAC;
• sponsored a workshop for Stephen Blackburn;
• was voted onto the Cincinnati Art Club Board and am Chairperson for the ViewPoint show from 2009-2011;
• taught a series of workshops in my home;
• taught a series of classes for the Cincinnati Recreation Commission.

In addition to being in the shows for the local groups that I belong to (KHAC, GCWS, SIAG) I also had:
• 1 painting accepted into the Woman’s Art Club of Cincinnati 116th Annual Exhibit;
• three of my paintings accepted into the Richeson Still Life and Floral show;
• three of my paintings accepted by the Bethesda Foundation to hang at the Mary Jo Cropper Family Breast Center on the Bethesda Hospital Campus;
• one watercolor accepted into the Georgia Watercolor Society members show.

In between all that I managed to head to Tennessee for my annual painting retreat and take trips to Atlanta and Kentucky with my husband.

Good grief – how does one go from doing nothing to doing too much?????

My last year’s resolution was – and the result is:
Become a better blogger – (a partial success) - thanks to Rhonda I’ve learned a few more things, but have not put them all into practice – hopefully as time goes on I’ll add a few more “tricks”!
Learn to paint portraits – (a total failure) - yep – this one follows me around like a bad penny and is on the top of my list again this year!
Post two blogs a week – (a success) - pretty much managed to do so – and some of you may have noticed that I quickly snuck 4 blogs into the last two weeks of the year just to make my 104 for 2009!

My 2010 resolutions are:
1 - Learn to paint portraits!!!
2 - Make more time each week to paint - it should be my JOB!!!
5 - 104 posts for 2010!


P.S. I already feel like a failure for numbers 3 and 4!