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”

Thursday, July 29, 2010


I think this watercolor batik looks very much as it looked inside my head!!!  (LOL)
I'm happy with the shadows on the side of the house.  The grass could use some work, but overall it looks OK to me.
w/c 1/4 sheet size
Shaker Village House, Watercolor batik

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


A few weeks ago I did some watercolor batiks again.  I don't do it too often since it's a messy process - but it is fun. 
Even though you have planned it out, you never really know what you have until the wax is off and you see it clearly for the first time.  A friend says it's like opening a Christmas package - and discovering what's inside!
This is w/c 1/4 sheet size.
Indian Corn (watercolor batik)

Saturday, July 24, 2010


One of my painting retreat friends - Monique Wolfe - is in the new Splash 11 book!
Here’s a copy of her page.

For some reason, the colors are not true in the book, unfortunately (the painting is much more colorful in person) but at least you can see her work! She is also in both the Missouri Watercolor Society and Louisiana Watercolor Society shows!
Way to go Monique!

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Someone had asked for a close up of the vase in my painting posted a while back.  So - here it is!  (Better late than never!)

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Last Thursday was an absolutely sweltering hot day – how better to spend it than viewing art, eating lunch and laughing with friends!
Some of you have probably already read Rhonda’s blog post about our trip to Middletown Arts Center to view the American Watercolor Society show. We are so fortunate to have the MAC close by – it’s a little over an hour drive for me, but well worth it. It’s always so wonderful to see the paintings you have seen in magazines in a little bitty 2x4 format in front of you – in person, full size and in living color!
The following are my comments about the paintings (if I was able to locate a website I attached the link) and some photos. (The photos are not great – got lots of reflections no matter how I stood and pointed the camera – but I’m OK with that. You will be able to see the painting I’m taking about, and I’m not overly concerned with any copyright issues, since I can’t believe anyone would try to pull these off my blog and copy them! If you want to see these works in a “better light” – go to either the organization’s or the artist’s website).

We decided there were still quite a lot of “gray” paintings. While I love John Salminen’s work, his signature style is shades of gray with some small “pops” of color. Although, in looking at his painting which won the top TWSA award – it looks like that one is showing some change of style (it made me think of Jean Grastorf). It has much more sparkle and lightness to it. I guess we all tend to change our styles somewhat over time.
Anyway – there were still lots of “gray” paintings. I guess I’m just more into color because, while some of those were lovely – especially Dean Mitchell’s (he is an amazing painter, telling a story with a simple composition and limited palette) – it’s the vibrantly colored paintings that pull me in.

So here we go with my critique!
First is the John Salminen “gray” painting! It does have sparks of light with the lanterns and definitely gives the feel of “Morning Fog”.

This one is by George Harkin who I am not familiar with. It looks like the Nick Simmons “cell” paintings and is unbelievably involved – how I wish I could do that!

This is the one that Rhonda had mentioned in her blog. It is done by Susan Montague, who won the bronze award here and who also won an award at TWSA with another figure painting. Her style looks like it is definitely influenced by Ted Nuttall. The painting is created from dots and swirls and blobs of color – and comes together as a portrait!

This is Mark Mehaffey’s entry. He is creating these abstractions as well as figurative work in watercolor and is also painting in acrylics. He’s certainly a versatile painter and some of my friends who have taken his workshop speak very highly of him.

Jean Grastorf’s entry. I took a workshop from Jean a long time ago and she has developed her unique pouring style into a true art form! This is amazing up close, the way the colors blend into each other and the incredible light pouring onto the figure.

This is by Preecha Promprabtuk (sorry, am not familiar with his work until now – but I’ll be watching for more!)
This was hung at the back of the exhibition hall and was the first thing you saw as you walked in – how could you not see it – the colors are soooooo vibrant. It’s a circuit board and most of those little bitty images at the top have little tiny numbers and letters on them – some had been miskited (maybe he uses a toothpick like I do???) This was my second favorite!

This is by Steve Rogers – who still has his sparkly white technique. I always enjoy his paintings – they look “dotty” up close but come together at a distance – I think that’s called “optical or visual blending” (correct me if I’m wrong!). His wife, Janet Rogers (same link as above), also had a painting in the show – a figure, her specialty. I have also taken a workshop from Janet, and she is a lovely woman, both inside and out! (But I still can’t paint people!!!)

And last but not least, here’s my favorite by Judy Morris. It’s done in shades of red. It has a border with words. Then there are patterns inside that on the curtains. Then her standard salt technique – which, with her, never appears “technique – y”! I love that the center of interest is – in the center! - the person in the blue shirt. You get such an impression of warmth and sunlight and glow through the curtains – especially due to that RED SKY – who would ever think to do that! The intricacy of the patterns – my kinda painting – double WOW!

If this show comes anywhere close to you, go see it (that’s an order!) Otherwise, go to the website and take a look at the paintings in a much better light! The website will have a list of the rest of the places to which the show will travel, so check that out, too.

Anyway - following the viewing, we had lunch at Olive Garden and then home – where I actually had time to paint a little that evening!

All in all, a pretty nice day!

Friday, July 16, 2010


Here is the next stage – and possibly the finished stage??
Tell me what  you think - keep going and bring it all into focus or leave it as is?  Right now the "audience" is about half and half!
I think this will be a definite do-over no matter what!

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Here is the next stage, but I’m still working on how much I want to do – it was suggested that I finish only the large “flowers” and quit!

Monday, July 12, 2010


I painted in the prominent "flower fronds" and began laying in some color over those in the background.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Here’s another attempt at a difficult background – sort of like the corn, only easier!!! This one is in fluid acrylic.
I began with a photo of some sort of fronds at the Krohn Conservatory, but decided the photo was too symmetrical.
I then used tracing paper and traced some of the fronds at different angles and left out tons! And then enlarged and traced that onto a board.
Then I went outside and tossed paint onto the board!

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Well, this is as finished as it will get - didn't come out exactly as it was in my head!  But it's OK and something worth doing over some time.
Tea Set, Fluid acrylic on watercolor board, 14x18

P.S. - Thanks to all of you who commented on my previous post - and I swear I did hit "publish"  - but when I looked at the blog - they were GONE!!!  Yikes - this has happened before  - not sure if that was me hitting the wrong button or blogspot losing them!  Just want you to know I do appreciate and publish comments - usually - unless I accidentally UN-publish them - just blame it on old age!!!

Monday, July 5, 2010


Next I began adding some light shadowing and reflected colors in the objects. The objects look dark here, but when the background is in (fingers crossed!) it will look white with reflected colors and pale shadows on it.