Highlights newsletter logoHighlights Newsletter February 2021

President's Palette

Photograph of BWS president Sherry Morell

"Hello. My name is Sherry and I am a techno-phobe."

Yup, that’s me. I have a bit of trepidation about manipulating all the photos I take, in fear that I might ruin them and they would be lost forever into the vapor of the "digital cloud." What is crazy about this is that I should know better. As a mass spectrometrist at Hopkins Med for almost 20 years, I did research using my "Baby", a $1M+ instrument that was the size of a small room, was totally computer controlled, and bombarded molecules apart with high voltage in order to identify them. Go figure! The amazing thing is that I am not alone. We have found that it isn’t just "newbies" and "techno-phobes," like myself, who need help with this process. According to Sharon Green, at least 50% of all images submitted to the Mid-Atlantic Exhibition in past years needed some kind of "emergency care" or correction (whether it be image naming, file resizing, cropping debris from edges, etc.) before they could be forwarded on to our Jurors for selection! Most of the time she did it without ever contacting the artist involved and April Rimpo has done the same for images submitted to our Signature and Associate exhibits.

But there is now hope for us All! You see, Bob Coe, our Webmaster, and April, our Wild Apricot Guru, have taken pity upon folks like me (and many of you – we know who you are) and come to our rescue. They have installed in the reorganized "Member Resources" section of our BWS Wild Apricot website, under the heading "Photo Editing Tools or Videos," two tools to help even "techno-phobes" like us prepare images for Signature Artist Jurying, Signature or Associate Artist Exhibits, or for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Exhibition.

The first feature is an internet link to a YouTube video from Touch Technology Review: "Photo Editing Tips for Your iPhone – Make your Photos and Videos Look Better." It provides information on everything you need in order to produce an acceptable image of your painting for submission using an iPhone! The video shows you the power of the little "Edit" command in the Photo app on your iPhone. Located at the upper right corner above your photo, "Edit" enables cropping and fixing the perspective if the photo you have taken of your painting is "cockeyed." The video also explains how to adjust your image if the colors, sharpness or contrast in your photo don’t exactly match that of your painting. (No "juicing up" the colors, though, that’s frowned upon!) You can even straighten your image if your painting was tilted back when you photographed it! (P.S. this distortion is called the keystone effect and it happens mainly when your camera is tilted. Knowing how to correct this also helps you achieve the proper perspective in your original photo reference, especially of architectural subjects, prior to ever starting your drawing.) The app won’t help you remove the glare on glass but you should never photograph your painting behind glass in a frame anyway, as the glass will distort and mute your image! Two more excellent features of the app are that it can turn your color photo into a black and white image so that you can easily view the value scale therein, and it can even correct the abnormal tint of a photo that was taken incorrectly in florescent light, not natural. That little "Edit" button is a "Jack of almost all trades" and I have only explored some of its many talents at this point.

The only thing that the Photos app on your iPhone won’t do (other than name your watercolor) is to re-size your image to the correct dimensions/pixel count and resolution for submission to an exhibit. So…..the second editing tool is an app in the iPhone App Store titled Image Size by Vitalij Schaefer which allows you to re-size your final image to defined specifications. It is very popular and is even recommended by "Business Insider" website as the top app for re-sizing photographs. The app is free to use these basic features, with occasional pop up ads. If you use it often, you may wish to purchase the ad-free version, but it's up to you. Like with your Photo app, simple instructions for the Image Size app are available online through a tutorial, this time by Business Insider. This app also allows you to rename your image with a proper file name, create and then store it in a special file for your "Painting Images" and finally send it off to an exhibit. For those who can’t stand the ads and still want a free app – "befunky.com" is an app also mentioned by other sources, but I haven’t tried it.

For those of you with Android devices, all of these processes can be done by using the Photoshop Express App right on your phone.

I haven’t mastered any of these techniques yet, but I’m experimenting and hopefully I will soon be able to submit images that would pass Sharon’s inspection. It is actually imperative that we all do this, since in just the last 10 months, the Covid virus has helped to accelerate the digital revolution – gone are boxes of processed slides, no images are copied on CDs or DVDs, now Dropbox and Zoom, no touch – everything is now directly uploaded to the internet. Technology will never return to pre-Covid conditions, even when we have mainly in-person events once again. You might have noticed that BWS and almost all watercolor organizations now ask for a digital image of your painting when you register for any exhibit event (whether digital or in-person). These images are important for online catalogs and publicity.

In addition to exhibit changes, our Signature Artist Jurying is now being done using only submitted digital images. This is really an advantage for everyone, since we have found that the Jurying is actually better, more confident, and more consistent when the jurors have sufficient quiet time to carefully study each of the paintings (from an increased number of applicants), make their individual decisions, and only then come together via Zoom for voting and discussion. In all these instances there isn’t a Sharon or April or Stacy to fix images of our paintings so that they won’t be rejected. To keep up, artists must learn the digital technology and skills necessary to remain competitive and be able to produce digital images that replicate their spectacular, well-executed watercolor paintings well enough to get into the shows or achieve BWS Signature Artist membership.

So please join me in my "skill-seeking." Help change that old adage from "You can’t teach an old dog new tricks!" to "Oh, yes we can do that. Easily!"

Sherry

    Upcoming Events

    11 Sep 2021 12:00 PM • ONLINE
    05 Oct 2021 10:00 AM • Howard County Arts Center, 8510 High Ridge Rd. Ellicott City, MD 21043
    22 Oct 2021 9:30 AM • 215 Main Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
    25 Oct 2021 9:30 AM • The Hawthorn Center, 6175 Sunny Spring, Columbia, MD
    28 Oct 2021 7:00 PM • The Hawthorn Center, 6175 Sunny Spring Columbia, MD
    08 Feb 2022 10:00 AM • 10400 Cross Fox Lane, Columbia, MD 21044

    Workshops & Programs

    Further adjustments have been made to upcoming workshops and programs. Some have been rescheduled, and some have been made virtual. Please see the event links above, and stay tuned for further e-mail updates.

    Welcome New Associate Members

      Ellen Bonnell of Silver Spring, MD

      Joey Heuisler-Ward of Costa Mesa, CA

      Membership Dues & Donations

      This year we have received a large number of donations to BWS’s various donation funds. We so appreciate your generosity. Most of the Associate and Signature Artist members have also paid your membership dues. Thank you for your prompt payments.

      Since it is almost the end of January, we just want to let those of you who have not paid your dues by the end of January, that you will receive a e-mail indicating your membership has lapsed. If you don’t have email a note will be mailed by USPS. You will continue to receive e-mails for a couple months, but you will not be allowed to enter Member events or exhibitions until your dues are paid. Eventually, all e-mails will end.

      You can pay online by logging into baltimorewatercolorsociety.org and paying the outstanding invoice, or mail a check made out to BWS to:

      April Rimpo – BWS Membership
      14032 Howard Road
      Dayton, MD 21036-1020

      Signature Dues are $35 and Associate Dues are $25.

      April Rimpo, Membership Chair

      2021 Mid-Atlantic Exhibition

      This year's Mid-Atlantic Exhibition will take place Saturday, June 12 – Saturday, July  24, 2021. Entry information will be sent to via e-mail to all members soon! More information is forthcoming.

      Strathmore Exhibition Results

      Our Signature Member exhibition at Strathmore continues through March 13, 2021.

      Please visit the Event Listing for the exhibit for location and pickup details.

      A page has been created on our website with a virtual version of the exhibit with all of the paintings included!

      Our juror Galvin Glakas has selected the award winners, and has shared this statement with us:

      I want to thank the Baltimore Watercolor Society for inviting me to judge their 2020 Signature Member Exhibit at Strathmore Mansion. I really enjoyed seeing so much excellent artwork.

      When I judge a show, I’m basically looking for two elements: idea and execution. I want to see work done with a high level of talent that is depicting visual or psychological ideas that I find interesting and challenging. I want to see an artist set up a difficult or intriguing problem and then try to solve it in a unique way.

      Sometimes I am drawn to work that looks like it was a stretch for the artist - an ambitious reach for something that is just beyond their grasp. Other times, I respond to the seeming ease and masterful handling of something simple and concise. Sometimes the idea is better, sometimes the execution is better, and every once in a while, when lightning strikes, creativity and execution exist in a perfect harmony of excellence.

      I try to remain impartial and to judge pieces strictly based on their artistic merits, but at times the sheer enjoyment I get out of a piece supersedes any other criteria.

      First Place: "St. Nicholas and the Wedding of the Three Sisters" by Christine Duke (below)

      I was drawn to the sheer ambition and very successful execution of this piece. It is a very difficult assignment that was beautifully composed and excellently rendered.

      The watermedia painting "St. Nicholas and the Wedding of the Three Sisters" by Christine Duke, showing a crowded wedding scene

      Second Place: "Keys and Glass" by Karen Norman

      I was really impressed by this piece for its flawless execution and the artist’s ability to create both a very classical and a very contemporary feel.

      Third Place: "Clang Clang Clang" by Deb Cohan

      This is just a brilliantly composed image and the sketchy and painterly execution combined with the accurate drawing and minimal application of paint make for an interesting juxtaposition.

      Honorable Mention: "On a Mission" by Kathy Daywalt

      I responded to the juxtaposition of two and three dimensional imagery here and I thought the type of patterns throughout the piece worked both abstractly and in terms of helping set the tone for the subject matter.

      Honorable Mention: "Oranges for J. Albers" by Gloria Tseng Fischer

      I thought this was a flawless piece that couldn’t be improved upon. Classical and contemporary. Accurate and explosively loose. 3-dimensional depiction of space with an overall sense of 2-dimensional design. A fully realized work of art.

      Honorable Mention: "Lucern, Switzerland" by Antonia Tiu

      The sense of aerial perspective gives this scene a real sense of space and believability and the subtle colors communicate the feel of cold winter direct sunlight.

      *Life Artist Award: "Georgetown University from Key Bridge" by Barry Lindley

      I thought this was a nicely composed piece where the artist communicated the light on the buildings and the color harmonies between buildings and sky very well.

      *The winner of the Life Artist Award was chosen by our Juror from among only the paintings created by the Life/Signature artists exhibiting in this show. This Award was funded by a $100 donation given by Diane Gibson to honor all of our many Life/Signature Artists, who are actively painting and exhibiting in our events.

      Member News

      BWS members may submit a 60-word announcement gratis to be listed under the heading "Member News." Images will be included as space allows. Submissions are due by the 15th of the month preceding publication date, and may be edited for length or clarity. Please e-mail your submissions to the Newsletter Editor at joanna@joannabarnum.com.

      Boxed off featured ads are available for $25 and may include up to 100 words and one image. Contact the Newsletter Editor at joanna@joannabarnum.com for details.

      April Rimpo’s watercolor painting "Faces" was selected by juror Katherine Lang Ciu for the Fallbrook Art Center’s 2021 Annual Signature American Watermedia International Exhibition, held in Fallbrook, CA from February 13 – April 11. This exhibition is open only to artists who hold Signature Membership status in one or more U.S. watercolor/water media societies or associations.

      Lizabeth Castellano-King’s painting "Vintage Flight" (below) placed Second in the 41st Virginia Watercolor Society Exhibition and also received an Outstanding Achievement Award. The show was October 31-December 31 at The Virginia Museum of History and Culture, Richmond, VA.

      Lizabeth Castellano-King’s watermedia painting "Vintage Flight," of a close up view of a reflective vintage airplane propellor in shades of blue.

      Anni Matsick’s painting "Dreamscape With Wading Pool" was accepted in the Fallbrook Art Center's Annual Signature American Watermedia International Exhibition by juror Katherine Chang Liu. The exhibit will hang February 13 through April 11, 2021. An online catalog will appear on Fallbrook’s website.

      J. M. Littleton is offering online classes in Realistic Watercolor via the Art League of Ocean City and the Littleton School of Art. She also has a small in-person class on Fridays and Saturdays at BlackRock Center for the Arts. For more information, JMLittleton.com or welles21@verizon.net.

      Opportunities

      Pennsylvania Watercolor Society
      2021 Online Member Show
      pawcs.com
      Entry Deadline: February 12, 2021

      National Watercolor Society
      2021 Online Member Exhibition
      nationalwatercolorsociety.org
      Entry Deadline: February 12, 2021

      Member Discount Codes

      Airfloat:
      airfloatsys.com
      20% discount with code BWCS at checkout

      American Frame:
      americanframe.com
      5% discount with code Alliance2018 OR free shipping on orders over $99 with code Alliance99 (may not be combined)

      Board of Governors and Committee Chairs

      Baltimore Watercolor Society, a 501c3 Nonprofit Organization

      President: Sharon Morell, slmorell12@gmail.com, 443-465-1863

      Vice President:

      Secretary: Deborah Cohan, 301-977-6212

      Treasurer: Gaye Holcomb, 410-442-1922

      Assistant Treasurer: Cheryl Himelright, 301-829-2331

      Mid-Atlantic Chair: Sharon Green, bwsmidatl@gmail.com, 410-363-1922

      Workshops & Programs: Sabine Yeager, bwsworkshops.sabineyeager@gmail.com, 410-245-0366

      Webmaster: Bob Coe, 410-877-3730

      Newsletter Editor: Joanna Barnum, joanna@joannabarnum.com, 410-428-3432

      Newsletter Committee: Carolyn Murphy, 443-578-8343

      Archivist: Karen Norman, 301-622-3770

      Hospitality Chair: Karen Schuster, 410-531-5768

      Hospitality: Bonita Glaser, 301-498-3946

      Hospitality: Joan Orcutt, 240-381-9309

      Membership/Database: April Rimpo, bwsmembership@gmail.com, 443-766-0148

      Membership/Jurying: Stacy Levy, bws.signaturejurying@gmail.com, 410-446-2714

      Mid-Atlantic Awards Chair: Dana Kleinsteuber, 410-917-7935

      Mid-Atlantic Awards: Janet Arsenault, 410-713-0248

      Exhibits Chair: David Drown, 410-971-9769

      Exhibits: Jeffery Turner, 410-964-8282

      Exhibits: Kathy Daywalt, 443-695-4008

      Publicity: Harold Walpert, 410-358-9543

      Social Media: Annie Strack, 610-925-2815

      © Baltimore Watercolor Society

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