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, August 30, 2012


I was fortunate to sell 3 paintings at the Queen City Art Club Show – which was themed on the Cincinnati Civic Garden Center. The two small ones were purchased by one of the “Dirt Crew” – the grounds keepers at this lovely facility. The other was purchased during the live auction – which unfortunately was not well attended. I really don’t know why – the evening was beautiful and the weather cooperated – guess there must have been something else “artsy” going on in the area that evening.

ViewPoint came down on Friday. If you didn’t get a chance to view this show, it was on the Cincinnati Art Galleries website, and may still be available for viewing.- click on “browse” – if it’s still there!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Our morning view.
It’s been a couple of weeks now since I returned from our annual painting retreat, and I’m just now getting caught up and finding time to check out my photos and talk a little about the trip.

This year we began our second decade – we’ve been getting together for 11 years now – I cannot believe that! Who knew we would last this long!

We held our retreat at the “scene of the crime” so to speak, back on the coast of North Carolina. The accommodations were fantastic, the scenery divine and the camaraderie unparalleled. We painted, ate, ate, drank, ate, painted, drank, drank, ate, painted and dyed. Some of us got several paintings completed, some of us only one, but we are all happy with the results.

Over the years two of us have been published (one in two North Light books), three of us have been in a National Watercolor Society show, four of us have achieved signature status in state watercolor societies and some have held individual art shows. We are not jealous of each other in any way; quite the contrary, we do truly cheer each other on, reveling in each other’s accomplishments. And it seems that each year the paintings we complete at our retreat go on to be accepted into a show, or sell. We think that must have something to do with all of the good vibes those paintings absorb!

We spent a little longer traveling this year, but the accommodations en route were nonpareil! Other than a couple of minor bouts of car sickness (by moi – through the mountains and due, no doubt, to the vertigo problem) and one really bad restaurant, our trip was glorious – no rain could dampen our spirits.

This year we added someone to our group. She was a bit frail and fell down a couple of times, but she wore the requisite T-shirt and proved to be quite resilient. She didn’t even mind the rain. We hope she can make it in the coming years.

Now we can look back at our photos and memories and look forward to next year’s retreat!
Our evening view.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


It doesn’t seem like a hard thing to change, but I had to wrap my head around it and tried repainting that area several times. Finally I just let it sit a while and then decided to use fog as the metaphor, plus that would not entail repainting. After I floated in the fog and touched up some of the trees, I let him see it again.

This time he was very happy with it, so I signed and varnished it and framed it and have now presented it to him.
Randy's Bridge, fluid acrylic on canvas, 18x36

Thursday, August 16, 2012


The main trees and posts were added, more snow and the tracks were darkened into the bridge.

At this point, I feel like it’s almost there, maybe a couple more “tweaks”.

However, at this point I wanted Rick to take a look at the painting to see if it was going to meet his expectations.

The photograph that I was given had very little color in it – the bridge was just brown, no definition of any kind, you couldn’t really see where the bridge ended, and there was tons of snow on the trees and a lot of bluish cast in the background, no discernible sky. But, since that was the photo I was given, I didn’t know if I had taken too many liberties with color. So, at this point, I could still make any changes he wanted or, worst case scenario, start all over or just “fuhgeddaboudit”.

When he came to view the painting I had it draped with a towel prior to the big “reaveal”! I explained that I had put a lot more color into it but that changes could be made and that nothing he said could hurt my feelings. I didn’t want him to feel like he had to accept the painting just to make me feel good!

While he liked the painting overall, he had a different vision for the back of the bridge. He wanted it to fade so that you could not see what was there - i.e., he wanted the bridge to be a symbol of our passage into the unknown. That was actually what I thought he wanted, even though he had not stated it at the beginning, and I should have gone with my “gut feeling”.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


The dark windows were added and then I put some snow on the windowsills.

Snow was added to the roof and I played a bit with the dark beneath the bridge.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


More color was added to the bridge, including some of the interior color and some shading in the snow.

Darker color was added to the roof and beneath the bridge. I also added the white trim.

Friday, August 10, 2012


I drew in my covered bridge, posts, foreground ruts and the main tree shapes.

I began adding color to some of the main trees and the bridge abutment.

Here I began adding some color to the bridge.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


I began by wetting the canvas and dripping paint (via pipette) along the top and allowing the colors to run down, moving them with a sprayer as needed. When that was dry I added some paint to (hopefully) look like some background trees.

When that was dry I added some more color, in the same way. Then I added some “dirt” in the foreground and began adding some tree shapes.

Monday, August 6, 2012


I recently got a commission to paint a covered bridge.

Some of you may be saying to yourself, “gee, that’s no big deal”.

And, normally, I would agree with your skepticism.

But this covered bridge painting is a little different.

Rick was over one day talking to my husband when he looked around and asked “who paints?” As soon as I told him it was me, he came into the living room and began to look at all of my paintings and ask a lot of questions. Then he asked me if I’d be interested in a commission. Seems he had given a photograph to an artist somewhere in Kentucky, but the artist had never done the painting, nor returned his photograph! Since it was a covered bridge, it seemed pretty easy to me, so I said “yes”.

As we talked some more, I learned that the basis for this painting would be a photo taken from inside his son’s casket. Although he didn’t tell me at the time, this painting would commemorate his son, a young man who was also a friend of my son, who died four years ago.

It didn’t look too hard, but I’m no landscape painter! So, I just decided to hope for the best and not make it too trite. I’m using fluid acrylic on canvas and will frame it in barn wood for him when it’s complete.