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 30, 2013


I spent a weekend in Rising Sun, IN enjoying two days of acrylic palette knife painting with acrylics.

You could either do acrylic or oil – and some did both.

I just brought what canvases I had laying around, and these had been pre-used so I could hardly destroy them! Before the w/s I decided to put gesso over them – but when I opened the tub of gesso I almost passed out from the odor – some sort of white mold or fungi growing on top of it! Needless to say, that was tossed immediately (while I wondered if I would live or die of botulism). My trusty old liquid-y gesso worked well – it’s Basics brand, don’t know what it’s really called but it always works for me!

On the first day of the w/s someone walked in with spilled turpentine in her art bag – she quickly walked back out and left the turp outside the door for the duration – and took her bag out after unloading it. Thank goodness, as the odor had me nauseous and I thought I’d have to ask for my check back and leave. The smell is why I dislike oils.

Our instructor was Tina Tammaro and she spent a lot of time explaining color theory, values, and art history, while she worked with each of us individually.

Utilizing palette knife and bristle brushes I attempted to paint with tube acrylics. Not the worst work I’ve ever done, but no where near the best! I ended up getting out my regular acrylic brush toward the end of each canvas.

These techniques are something I will attempt in the future and can think of a couple things right now that I could use them for – there are a couple of canvases that have been languishing for some time and these techniques might be able to revitalize them.

Here are my latest attempts for the art world!

Since this technique is definitely out of my comfort zone, I started with a small 6x6 canvas and painted from one of the floral arrangements scattered around the room. I thought that I would just attempt to get used to using the knife, but Tina said to finalize the painting. I actually like this little painting the best.
Attempt 2 was this peony which I’ve painted several times in w/c and fluid acrylic. I had the most fun with this one, even though it didn’t turn out very well. This is on an 11x14 canvas.

My last attempt was on another 6x6 canvas. Seems I got it way too dark, but I forget that acrylics dry darker.

The beauty is that all of these can be changed if I want to keep working on them.

I really did learn quite a lot, even though it doesn’t look like it!

Saturday, September 28, 2013


This was tooooo funny!

We get our eggs from neighbors up the road. When I opened up this carton I was certainly surprised to find that our eggs had been named!

My husband and I think this carton may have contained someone’s Easter eggs – and the kids had all put their names in line with the eggs they had decorated. It’s a theory, anyway.

(We may have eaten some “named” beef before - but certainly never any named eggs!)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Since I had to drop off some paintings for a show, and since one of my friends has just started in colored pencil, and since the CPSA District show was on at the Mariemont Barn, we made an “art day” of it!

We enjoyed the show, and I took a few photos of my favorite paintings.

I hope that I have gotten all of the names and paintings correctly matched up here (my apologies if I did not).

Of course, a delightful and humorous lunch was enjoyed by all!  We had a great day.

Debbie Hook

Margi Hopkins

Autumn Huron

Autumn Huron

Tom Kinarny

Tom Kinarny

Vanessa Lawrence

Mike Paolercio

Mike Paolercio

Donna Schwarz
John Smolko

John Smolko
Katherine Thomas

Katherine Thomas

Katherine Thomas
According to the brochure, the show will run from September 6 – 28

Woman’s Art Club Cultural Center
6980 Cambridge
Mariemont, OH 45227

It’s certainly worth stopping by.

Saturday, September 21, 2013


Each year the Evergreen Retirement Center invites us to hang a show at their facility. While I won’t be able to attend this opening, I’ll will certainly make a trip to see it hanging.

Evergreen Retirement Center
230 W. Galbraith Road (across from Drake Hospital)
Cincinnati, OH

Opening reception: Sunday, September 22 from noon – 4 p.m.
Open daily from 10 - 5

Thursday, September 19, 2013


I had to drop my painting in Indianapolis for the Watercolor Society of Indiana show, so asked two friends to come along for the ride. (Thank goodness, since one had the GPS device and one checked the map and we STILL got lost!).

We ended up downtown at the Riverwalk for lunch. It was such a beautiful day, we ate on the terrace at the Indiana State Museum – and here was our view!

After lunch we walked for a while until we came to this beautiful bridge – makes you think of Venice, doesn’t it! – so we crossed and went back on the other side of the canal.
Even though it was a Tuesday, there were still plenty of folks walking, jogging, walking their dogs, using the peddle boats, cycling – and some shuffling along as we were! (Of course, it’s hard to walk fast and take photos!)

Line of peddle boats sparking in the sun - guess they are
waiting for a busy fall weekend!
I’m always impressed by Indy. We used to bring the kids up when they were little and we would stay overnight at the Holiday Inn Downtown. It was part of the old train depot and you could even spend the night in some refurbished train cars. There was a huge area of shops, places for the kids to play, and restaurants, all right downtown. I think that’s gone now, but not sure since we were slightly west of the downtown area. I always thought their zoo was much nicer than Cincy’s, and they have a huge Children’s Museum and we’ve been to the Indianapolis Museum of Art several times for exhibits.

Indy has certainly revitalized the downtown area, and this Riverwalk is spectacular!

Monday, September 16, 2013


This past Saturday my husband and I drove across the state of Ohio to Oberlin for the OWS annual banquet where I received my Signature membership in the group. We had a great meal, and I was able to meet several new artists and their spouses while chatting with those artists I already know but rarely get to see.

There were 11 artists who submitted for the Signature status, and 7 were chosen. Following dinner, there was a presentation ceremony for us. We had each submitted 4 digital images of our work, and those images were shown on screen while Todd Butt, the 2nd Vice President read our bios; we were then presented with a certificate and an “O W S” pin by the President, Barbara Rollins.

Sadly, there are no photos of any of the ceremony or show.

I miscalculated how long it would take for the drive up, which was further lengthened by the heavy traffic in Columbus – apparently due to an Ohio State football game – and road work on the north side of Columbus – so we didn’t arrive in time to get in to see the show hanging. Oh well, I’ll be going to see the travel show in Middletown in January (see my OWS page above for locations and dates if you are in the Ohio area).

I was hoping my hubby would be able to click a couple photos during the ceremony, but, my quirky and slightly ancient Kodak digital camera decided that, as usual, it did not want to take any low light photos.

So – close your eyes and imagine:  a darkened room filled with wonderful artists and their friends and spouses. When your name is called you come to the front of the room as images of your paintings are shown on screen while your bio is read. You are looking especially "Raquel Welch-esque" this evening.*  You are handed your certificate and pin and shake hands with the President and Vice President while applause rings out.

That’s it in a nutshell!

In all seriousness, I have to say that I am truly honored to be included in this group of talented artists.
Remember - I said "imagine"!

Thursday, September 12, 2013


Every now and then we have a small flock of turkeys in the side yard – the other day there were several, but by the time I got the camera they were over the hill. So the next time I was prepared, but still almost missed the photo op – they are quicker than they seem!
You can see one of them easily on the right - there is another just behind the tree on the left.

If you look carefully, you can see a little hole in the woods just left of center -
and one turkey is already disappearing there into the woods.

Two more appeared just after the prior photo was taken -
and then they were all gone!

Monday, September 9, 2013


On occasion my daughter and I get together for what I refer to as “Mother/Daughter Bonding Day”. It gives us a chance to just spend some time together. We used to do it more often, but we are both busy, so it’s a real treat to get together now.

We drove to Brookville to The Dairy Cottage, home of delicious fried chicken and “jo-jos” – deep fried potato wedges. We each ordered a chicken breast and decided to split an order of cole slaw and jo-jos (of which I ate NONE!) and a Pepsi and then drove to the town park for lunch.

This is a beautiful setting, at the tailwaters of the Brookville Dam. There was a gentle breeze, we sat in the shade and enjoyed hearing the water trickling over a little waterfall while we watched one fly fisherman cast his line – a very bucolic setting. I took a few photos of the day.
You can just set the little ripples of the tiny waterfall (can’t you just hear that water!) and the beginning of the island

Here is the end of the little island

you can just make out a cute little cabin across the stream – I’m sure the homeowners spend a lot of time here in the summer, just listening to the stream and relaxing

farther downstream the water was quite low and you could see the rocks

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


This photo, taken at the ViewPoint opening, is too funny!

Here I am next to the Cincinnati Art Club president, Todd.

I met Todd at my first ViewPoint drop off about 5 years ago. He was so pleasant and sat down and talked to me for an hour that day.

Then, at the ViewPoint opening, I realized that some people probably could not reach the top of their paintings to hang their ribbons after the awards ceremony. I called out “Where’s Todd Channer – raise your hand” – and he did, almost brushing the ceiling with his hand! I then told everyone to find him and ask him to hang their ribbons if they needed help.

So that’s how our friendship started – me bossing him around!

The last year that I chaired ViewPoint Todd became president so I was fortunate to work with him. He’s a really swell guy, but he makes my neck hurt!

If you look carefully at this photo you will see that he is slightly slouching and his knees might even be slightly bent, and I’m still only about half his height!

I’m keeping this one on my desktop for a good laugh on bad days!