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, June 29, 2015


One of the new little calves managed to fall down a steep hill, so Rancher Mike (with the help of his trusty sidekick, our son) had to “save the day”.

Here is the little fellow – you can see the creek on lower left and top of hill at top 

A close up of the little guy

My husband climbed down the far side so as not to scare the calf . . . 
. . . then he crossed the water . . .
and they had a little chat - I can only imagine the dialogue!
At last the cavalry arrived!

My son tied off the rope to a stake and threw it down to dad, who attempted to tie it around the calf . . .

. . . but help was needed to hold the calf and tie the rope at the same time so my son climbed down . . .

. . . and between them they managed to get the rope tied around the calf, just behind his front legs.
Then  my son climbed back up the hill – and with him pulling and my husband pushing . . . 

. . . they finally got the calf up the hill.

My son gave it a reassuring pat . . .
. . . then the two of them carried it to the gator . . .
. . . loaded it in . . .
. . . and with son driving and dad holding onto the calf, they drove it back to its mother!

My husband says I have to tell you this – seeing him climbing up and down these hills, you would not think he will be 71 in a month!  Yep, he’s in pretty good shape since he’s out every day - winter/summer, hot/cold, wet/dry – dealing with his animals.  He climbs up and down hills and moves fences on almost a daily basis.  When fences need mending he does that.  His beloved gator will only get him so far – then he has to go on foot!

Anyway – another typical day here on the Ranch!  Thought you might enjoy it.

Thursday, June 25, 2015


Mama (and her babies) checking me out while I check her out!
We had a mourning dove family set up housekeeping on the deck rafter behind the thermometer!

At night when I turned on the deck lights to let the dog out, she would eyeball me, but never move.

As the babies grew they would sit outside the nest.  I was amazed by two things:
first, the babies never made a peep!  They seemed like polite little children!
second, Mama Dove would sit on top of the grill and NOT MOVE until you were within a foot of her and reached out - then she fluttered off, but not too far.  Even if the dog came out, she stood her ground.
Baby mourning doves ready to fly the coop!
Either mourning doves are dumber than geese (!) or are extremely courageous in protecting their young!

Any birders out there - please fill me in if this is normal mourning dove behavior - or did they get so used to seeing us come and go all the time they became tame?

As an aside to the doves and geese - my husband ordered 21 ducks earlier in the spring.  He even built a floating Duck Palace for them!  Unlike baby chicks, all of these survived and in about 4 weeks were ready to hit the water.

Next day - 12 ducks.

Next day - 8 ducks; then 5; then 2; now . . . . .

My son renamed the Duck Palace the "Turtle Feeding Station".

Someone came in and trapped several snapping turtles.

So my husband order 22 ducks last week.

He may have parboiled them, as we had hot weather and they had a heat lamp . . . a couple didn't make it through the first day.

He turned off the lamp and put on a screen door.  They peeped their satisfaction.  Until . . .

Next day - 6 down . . . and so it goes.  He said we have 6 currently alive.  I don't hold out much hope for them.

We are also losing our chickens, which makes me sad.  We started with 14, 2 disappeared and we had 12 for quite some time.  Then dogs got a couple and we ended up with a steady flock of 8 for quite some time.  Then he moved the chicken coop to follow the cattle again and now were are losing them at an alarming rate - down to 5.  And we really like our eggs!  We will be getting replacements soon from the farmer up the road.  But, I fear, we just don't do well with feathered objects.

On a happier note - 5 calves this year!  and 5 little piggies (all survive!)

The piggies are darn cute, what a shame they will grow to be as U G L Y as their mama and papa!  As with the cattle, I do not interact with the pigs.  Mama got out and took a little jaunt with her younguns and my husband walked them home - it was cute!  Daddy got out just today and he also was escorted home.  Jeepers, we don't want them getting out and running all over the place!

Now that I think of it, I will have some interaction with those pigs - BACON!!

Monday, June 22, 2015


My classes spent a couple of weeks working on watercolor with pen and ink.

The first week we dropped watercolor onto our paper in the approximate shape of a hydrangea.

Then we "found" the hydrangea petals and leaves, using a Micron pen to outline them.
This was my "show and tell" for them - the colors are too bright.
This one done in class as a demo is better, I think.
The next week we first drew the outlines, then added our watercolor.
My demo for this technique.
Here are a couple of the students' work - I forgot to photograph them during class, and some forgot to bring them back the next week!

After some minor "wailing and whining" they all did a fine job!
Here are a couple more that I just got yesterday!

Thursday, June 18, 2015


In all the years we have lived here, we have never had geese in the side yard - until this year.

These photos were taken from inside the living room.  The geese don't pay any attention until I get about 4 feet from the window - then Daddy Goose elongates his neck and swivels his head.

All seems fine with Goose Family . . . 
. . . until I get about 4 feet from the window.
 If I go all the way to the window - the Goose Family heads over the bank and into the water.

Well, guess I got too close for comfort - there they go, heading down toward the water.

And off they go - mom in front, the little ones (who must be teenager geese by now!) and dad in the rear.
The geese are so interesting, in that they are truly a family unit.  We have two groups this year, one couple with two babies, the other with only one.  We were told by one of the fishermen that they saw a group of geese going by when suddenly one of the babies disappeared under water, never to return.  (Snapping turtles are the babies' nemesis).

Monday, June 15, 2015


Where I spent my summer vacation!
I'm back - and it's about time!

Finally have caught up after a fun and work filled art retreat at the beginning of June.

Once again the 6 of us traveled to Tennessee somewhere on Lake Norris (it's even a mystery to me - somehow we find our way there and back!)

We spent a week painting, eating, drinking, talking, laughing and crying - catching up on our year away from one another.  And, we produced some amazing artwork.  I think we bolster each other and create an amazing "good vibe" when we are together.  Seems each year the paintings created there get into shows and win awards.

If you don't already get together with some art friends - you NEED to.  It's not a luxury, it's a vital part of the painting experience.

It doesn't have to be a week - it could just be a day here and there that you spend painting and talking art, learning from one another, getting some good critiques on your work.

Anyway, enough lecturing!

Not too many photos to show, but a glimpse of our week (and I didn't get photos of all of the wine bottles and food - unlike SOME of us did!!!)  I tell people that "I don't drink" - but you probably couldn't prove that in Tennessee!!  Seems I imbibe enough that week that I'm good for the year!  (Seriously, a glass of wine at dinner and maybe a White Russian before bed . . . . )

So, here are a few photos for you to enjoy.  Soon I'll have up a post of one of the paintings I worked on that week.

Each year gifts are given.  One of my contributions this year was a kimono for everyone
so we can look gorgeously elegant during breakfast.  Here are the ladies posing in their new attire.
(In case any are in  Witness Protection only their backs are shown to protect the innocent!)

Artists hard at work creating masterpieces!

The last night, once the tables are broken down and supplies put away,
we have a "gallery wall" and critique.
By my count 26 paintings from 6 artists - in ONE WEEK!

Let me introduce Miss Prude to you - topknot and all!
(NOTE:  This is what you get when your friend grabs your camera without your knowledge)
So, beware - let this be a lesson to you -  never leave your camera unattended!

Friday, June 5, 2015


Next up, I'm featured in the Summer issue of the new Acrylic Artist magazine.

I'm one of several in the section on "color".

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


This month I have received two accolades that I'm very excited about.  One is for a watercolor painting, the other for an acrylic painting!

First up - I won the watercolor category in the Artist Magazine All Media Competition!