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Highlights Newsletter June 2021

President's Palette

Photograph of BWS president Sherry Morell

No reminiscences, no artist biographies, no good art books to read today. My column today is all about business – specifically the business of art. So buckle down and be glad that you don’t have to watch about 2 ½ hours of a monthly BWS Board Zoom meeting. This is the "Reader’s Digest Condensed Version" meeting.

This meeting is now called to order.

President’s Agenda:

Item # 1, the dreaded words “Digital Technology:

About 16 months ago “Zoom” was a little known app but now the technology has spread as rapidly as the virus. All the world has been surviving via Zoom and other digital apps for holding meetings, doing “business as usual” from home as well as visiting with family. Nothing is wrong with that as it has saved businesses, organizations and sanity, but there is a slight problem.

Most families have accepted “codes of conduct” learned over a lifetime – no trash talking (except in fun), don’t fight with your siblings, elbows off the table (you get the idea) – but they don’t have Bylaws, which legally state how we must conduct business.

When business went digital, most bylaws as written became obsolete relative to election of officers, making changes to the bylaws, accommodating online meetings, etc. In 2020 our meeting and election of officers was at the start of the pandemic shutdown so we had to cancel the dinner, declared a “state of emergency” and then sent out election ballots via e-mail to all members with e-mail and mail-in ballots to thirty-some without e-mail accounts.

The Officer Election, guided by April Rimpo, went very well; but we knew that our bylaws had to also accommodate a digital aspect in our future, so several months ago we began the process of amending them. But we are not alone the pandemic has impacted every organization with bylaws, so each one must also formally amend theirs to conform to legal practices for using online platforms for business decisions.

Recently, our approximately 500 BWS Signature and Life/Signature Artists received either an e-mail or mail-in ballot for the five bylaws amendments which were proposed by the Board. 147 members returned their ballots, with a minimum of 134 votes in favor of each of the amendments, all of which passed. Thank you all so much.

Please understand that, by doing this, we are not planning to stay totally digital for future workshops, meetings and events – far from it, since we are looking forward to seeing your faces but this keeps us legal until we can have those in-person events again. It also allows us the continuing option of offering some programs online as many instructors from around the world, with whom we might never get to study, are now doing video workshops direct from their studios. Also allowing an online voting option, in addition to a mail-in or proxy ballot, allows a larger percentage of members to vote than just having an in-person voice ballot at our Annual Meeting.

Unlike some other watercolor organizations that have gone totally digital for votes and elections, BWS is very cognizant that fully one third of our members are Life/Signature Artists and that we want to accommodate the needs of all our members (be it physical distance or lack of technology) so we will continue to provide mail ballots if needed.

The new amendments to the bylaws with be published on our website in the near future.

Item #2, (Non Mid-Atlantic) BWS exhibition rules change:

All watercolor organizations vary in their rules for exhibits – some allow only transparent watercolor paint, others require that even the medium must remain water soluble after drying, so do not allow acrylics or gesso. BWS is a “watermedia” organization so we do allow acrylics when painted in an “aqueous (fluid) manner." Please remember that the gesso medium used as a base layer is also an acrylic (plastic) and thus should also be applied in an aqueous manner, with no thick impasto applications of either paint or medium applied. The finished painting should resemble a “watercolor/ watermedia painting” rather than a three dimensionally textured oil or acrylic painting.

The new exhibition rule clarification, which was approved by the Board, with the additions in italic, reads:

“Although acrylic and acrylic mediums are included: as a watermedia society the expectation is that the paint and acrylic medium are applied in a fluid manner, not in thick, impasto applications.”

Item #3, Photographs and copyright issues:

One of the main issues watercolor organizations continue to struggle with is the creation of paintings by artists utilizing photographs which are not their own. The resulting painting can be an award winner, but if you didn’t take the original photo, it isn’t your creation.

In 2010 both the AWS and BWS premier exhibits’ top winning paintings were stripped of their Gold Medals and monetary awards when it was discovered that the paintings were based on photos the artists did not take. There was extreme embarrassment for both the artists and the organizations involved.

Even the most famous artists are often caught up in the web of using someone else’s property/creation. Currently the case occupying court headlines is that against Andy Warhol and his many famous paintings and prints in his “Prince Series” which were based upon a photograph taken years before by Lynn Goldsmith, a photographer, for a Newsweek magazine article. In March 2021 an Appeals Court ruled that Warhol violated the photographer’s copyright by using her image of Prince without giving her credit and that his images were not a “transformative use” of her image. Even if you are famous – you can’t do it.

But what about you – do you know what you can do with paintings you made in classes or workshops from the instructor’s materials? Can you use them in Signature Jurying or in exhibits? What’s allowed?

Just as I watched hours of video conferences on “Legal Implications of Going Digital” and “Digital Techniques for Non-Profit Organizations," our multi-talented Secretary Deb Cohan has attended complicated seminars on “Copyright Issues” and “Fair Use Practices” for the last several months. Now BWS is developing a program on “Copyright Issues for Artists” which will be discussed more as it progresses.

OK – I’ve had enough business of art today and I’m really looking forward to our upcoming Summer Highlights issue with our “In Their Own Words” segment featuring our three medal winning Mid-Atlantic artists. I just wonder who they will be.

This meeting is Adjourned!

See you at the Zoom Mid-Atlantic Exhibit reception, June 27!


    Upcoming Events

    Note: The above Upcoming Events summary only displays the start date for each event. For full details please click on the event, or visit the Events page.

    Donor Advertisement From Wind River Arts:

    "Wind River Arts Art Supplies for the discriminating artists, USA Distributor of Rosemary & Co Artist Brushes,, 972-342-4947"

    Wind River Arts stocks fine Rosemary & Co brushes (made in England) for both watercolor and oil and ships them quickly from within the United States. They also offer other tools for artists, including plein air gear. If you order from Wind River Arts, let them know BWS sent you! 

    Welcome New Associates

    Ann St. Clair Lesman of Millwood, VA

    Mona Frey of Camp Hill, PA

    Johnny Safrit of Cape May, NJ

        Website Insights for Members

        Our webmaster, Bob Coe, has worked with our domain name provider and with Wild Apricot and says you can resume using to reach our website. You can also continue to use if you prefer. Either option is secure.

        2021 Mid-Atlantic Exhibition

        Selected artists and painting titles have been posted on the website, and the online version of the exhibit will be there soon.

        The exhibit dates are June 12-August 31, and the Zoom reception will be on Sunday, June 27, 2-4 PM.

        Donor Advertisement from FM Brush Company, Inc.:

        "A tradition of excellence from the name you trust, Dynasty, Manufactured by: FM Brush Company, inc. est. 1929"Dynasty’s Premium Watercolor collection is a fabulous collection of watercolor brushes for watercolor artists from beginner to experienced. This set includes 10 brushes from 4 of our most popular brush collections in a classic linen type rollup.

        The set includes one each of the following: Black Gold 6 Round, 3/4" Flat Wash, & 24 Jumbo Round; Faux Kolinsky 12 Round & 3/4" Flat Wash; Faux Squirrel 6 Aux Reservoir Liner & 1 Flat, 1"; Water Lily 1” Watercolor Flat, 12 Round & 1/2" Cat Tongue.Photo of the Dynasty brush set with case, laying on top of a watercolor painting of a pink flower

        Mid-Atlantic Workshop with Anne Abgott

        There are a few openings for the the Anne Abgott "Daring Color" online workshop on June 21, 22, and 24 (no class on the 23rd). We will be painting birds, bicycles, glass, and silver.

        To register, visit the event listing for the workshop.Watermedia painting by A. Abgott of bicycles with dramatic shadows, in yellows and purples

        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

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

        Annabelle Thurlow and Elizabeth Burin have an exhibit "Liquid and Translucent: Watercolors by Elizabeth Burin, Joan-Elisabeth Reid, Annabelle Thurlow" open until June 23 at the Liriodendron Mansion in Bel Air, Maryland (501 West Gordon Street, tel. 410-879-4424). The mansion is open Wednesdays, 1-6pm, and Sunday June 13, 11am-3pm, or by appointment. 

        Anni Matsick's painting "Shrouded" received First Prize in Watercolor at the Art Association of Harrisburg's 2021 Figuratively Speaking exhibit.  

        J. M. Littleton is teaching an online workshop "Flowers in Watercolor" at the BlackRock Center for the Arts, June 12, 11-2pm, enroll at She is teaching in person and online classes through Littleton School of Art during June and July, and at her studio in Portland, Maine in August,

        Elizabeth Burin won an Honorable Mention in Fusion Art's Watercolor show earlier this year, a Bronze Award in Camelback Gallery's May exhibition "Flower Power," and a Merit Award in Grey Cube Gallery's show "Seasons."

        Sally Davies was awarded Honorable Mention at the National Juried Exhibit at Delaplaine Arts Center in Frederick, MD for her timelapse film "Labyrinth of Life." The exhibit is on display May 1-July 11, 2021, open to the public with masks and social distancing. A virtual tour and juror talk are also available at Sally also recently had a solo show at Publick Playhouse Theatre Gallery in Cheverly, MD.

        Annie Strack won a Merit Award in the Pikes Peak Watercolor Society International Biennial Juried Exhibit for her painting “Toes in the Sand.

        Linda Hall is having an exhibit "Potpourri of the Palette: Watercolor Painting by Linda Hall" at the Historic Odessa Foundation Visitor Center in Odessa, DE. It runs through June 27. More information at

        Jim Kuhlman has four paintings included in "24 Signs of the Times" at Mana Contemporary in Jersey City, NJ from May 20-July 27. The show reflects on solitude.


        Philadelphia Watercolor Society
        121st International Exhibition of Works on Paper
        Community Arts Center, Wallingford, PA

        Entry Deadline: August 3, 2021

        Board of Governors and Committee Chairs

        Baltimore Watercolor Society, a 501c3 Nonprofit Organization

        President: Sharon Morell,, 443-465-1863

        Vice President:

        Secretary: Deborah Cohan, 301-977-6212

        Treasurer: Gaye Holcomb, 410-442-1922

        Mid-Atlantic Chair: Sharon Green,, 410-363-1922

        Workshops & Programs: Sabine Yeager,, 410-245-0366

        Webmaster: Bob Coe, 410-877-3730

        Newsletter Editor: Joanna Barnum,, 410-428-3432

        Newsletter Committee: Carolyn Murphy, 443-578-8343

        Archivist: Karen Norman, 301-318-2224

        Hospitality Chair: Karen Schuster, 410-531-5768

        Hospitality: Bonita Glaser, 301-498-3946

        Hospitality: Joan Orcutt, 240-381-9309

        Membership/Database: April Rimpo,, 443-766-0148

        Membership/Jurying: Stacy Levy,, 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, 443-825-8463

        Social Media: Annie Strack, 610-925-2815

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