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Baltimore Watercolor Society Highlights Newsletter

June 2023

President's Palette

BWS President Sherry Morell

Our Election for our new Board Officers is this month and it is very bittersweet for me, as I will be leaving the Presidency after over 5 years in this position. When I joined BWS back in 2004, I would have never dreamed that it would have been my privilege to help guide this storied watercolor society for 16 of the years since – through good times and Covid ones. An even greater blessing from God has been all the wonderful artist friends and acquaintances I’ve made while on the Board and in our events over those years. And occasionally I still learn something new and surprising about our wonderful organization to share with you. This time from some old 1940’s Sun newspaper clippings and some digging...

It is well documented that BWS was founded, as the Baltimore Watercolor Club, in 1885 by eight women. They were said to have been students at MICA studying under Hugh Newell, a Pennsylvania artist who taught at and was the Head of MICA from 1879-92, and also was a member of the American Watercolor Society, the oldest Watercolor Society in the United States. (We are the 3rd oldest.)

But by the time they founded the organization, the women evidently had been painting together for several years, some of them were married and in their 30’s to 40’s – and part of Baltimore society. These ladies were not dilettantes, however. They didn’t want to just “copy” other artists’ works, as was the mode then in art schools, but they wanted to go outside and actually paint landscapes in the current “plein aire” method. To this end, in the 1890’s they even brought in renowned artist William Henry Lippincott (another Pennsylvania and National Academy artist, who was also a member of the AWS and the National Academy of Design) to give them a series of courses in watercolor painting.

The Club’s first Public Exhibit was in 1897 at the Peabody Art Gallery and their goal was to present “the finest examples obtainable” of quality watercolor art. Within a few years of their founding, the group had opened membership to men as well, and by the 1940’s had 50% male members, although there was never a male President until 1947 when BWS was reorganized after disbanding during the war. Other changes over the years were policies as to whether their major annual exhibit would be by "national" invitation or a strictly “local” one. According to several articles in the 1940 Baltimore Sun describing their 43rd Annual Exhibit held at the Baltimore Museum of Art, the organization membership was “now national” in scope, not just staying “Baltimore” based as, “of the 90 artist members on their present roster, 60 are from out of town (39 non-Baltimore Marylanders and from 10 other states including 23 from New York alone), and among them are some of the country’s foremost water-colorists”. They also had about 200 “sustaining members” who donated prize awards.

The roster of the 1940 Exhibit of 170(!) works read like a Who’s Who of American Watercolor at that time – Charles Burchfield (OH), Millard Sheets (CA), Saul Raskin (NY), Eliot O’Hara (MA), and two by a young man with great promise, Andrew Wyeth (PA). One of the 3 surviving Founding members, Christiana Bond, “lively at age 96”, had paintings in both that first 1897 Exhibit and at the 1940 one and commented on “how much more vigorous” these paintings were than the “genteel, wishy-washy painting” of the first Exhibit. Once an artist, always an artist, and she still had a “great eye” at 96. It reminded me of several of our own nonagenarian and centenarian members like Ruth Lotz and Hazel Camp. What would Christiana have said about our Mid-Atlantic Exhibition today? Very enthusiastic would be my guess.

What an incredible history we have behind us, and also a bright future before us - if we all work together, to lead BWS into it. As is our tradition, I will still be around awhile as “Past President” to help the new President get their bearings and make the position their own. And after that, I certainly plan to keep on being a “helper” – what about you?

As always,

BWS President's Signature
Sherry Morell
BWS President

Sun Newspaper articles: November 10, 1940: “Christiana Bond, 96, Found Watercolors More Vigorous” and “Art Notes” (Review) by A.D. Emmart.

    2023 Mid-Atlantic Regional Watercolor Exhibition Opens for Entries on June 2

    The CaFÉ system ( will be open for applications to the 2023 Mid-Atlantic Regional Watercolor Exhibition from June 2 through Aug 2, 2023. Selected artists will be notified September 1.

    We are excited to hold this year's exhibition at the beautiful Arts Barn and Kentlands Mansion Galleries in Gaithersburg, Maryland, running from October 6, 2023 to January 15, 2024. We are also excited to have Alexis Lavine (NWS, TWSA, BWS) as this year's juror of submissions and awards.

    Here are some useful links for viewing the requirements and details of the application process:

    The fee for entering one or two paintings in the exhibition remains at $30 for BWS members ($35 for non-members). An email will be sent in early June with the coupon code needed to get the member discount at application checkout. You will also be asked to consider making a $5 voluntary donation toward the production costs of the BWS Mid-Atlantic Exhibition Catalog.

    Finally, in an effort to introduce new artists to BWS and the exhibition, this year we are adding a new discounted exhibition entry category for students enrolled in a degree or certificate program at an art school or institution. A flier explaining the program is available here. Any of you with art school student or instructor contacts are asked to pass the word.

    Questions and requests for clarification are always welcome at

    Please give serious consideration to submitting your artwork this year and pass the word to your artist friends in the Mid-Atlantic region. We are looking forward to seeing your submissions.


    Elkridge Furnace Inn Luncheon and Plein Air Paint-Out

    Event Photos by John Schuster

    Our Annual Member Meeting Luncheon and Plein Air Paint-Out was held at Elkridge Furnace Inn on Tuesday, May 3. It was great to see everyone undaunted by the weather. Our hosts opened the end of the tent and put up three huge umbrellas for us. We had the whole of the grounds and buildings available. Artists settled into spots around the property and some beautiful paintings, sketches, and photos were produced.


    A delicious lunch was served. There were two door prizes awarded and every attendee received four new Princeton brushes thanks to our Mid-Atlantic awards team. There was a used art supply and book sale to collect donations for a memorial award in honor of our late board member, Harold Walpert. Our President, Sherry Morell, welcomed our guests and shared some heart-felt BWS experiences. A gift-certificate for art supplies was presented to Sherry as a 'thank you' from the membership for her five years of outstanding service at the helm.

    Special thanks to Deb Cohan, April Rimpo, Sharon Green, Janet Freeman, Janet Arsenault, Jen Murtha, Karen Schuster and everyone who worked to make the event a success.


    BWS would also like to send a special 'Thank You' to Howard Kaufman for being so generous in gifting a variety of Princeton brushes to the members who attended the luncheon. What follows is Janet Freeman's email to Howard, along with our Thank You card and Howard's reply...

    Janet Freeman's email:

    Hi Howard,

    Thanks so much for the brushes, and for your generous donation towards Awards for the 2023 BWS Mid-Atlantic Exhibition.

    As Janet Arsenault has written to you, everyone at the luncheon was thrilled and excited to receive new Princeton brushes, and had a great time using them to paint plein air during the day.

    Everyone wanted to thank you, so we sent this (makeshift!) card around.

    Thanks again!

    Janet Freeman - BWS Mid-Atlantic Awards co-Chair


    Howard's reply:

    Dear Janet,

    You made my week. This is incredible.

    Thank you so very much.

    Howard Kaufman
    Chairman- Fine Art
    Dixon Ticonderoga Company

    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.

    Signature Artists: Don't Forget to Vote on the Proposed BWS Bylaws

    On May 10th you received an email describing proposed changes to our BWS Bylaws. Signature Artists have until June 15th to cast your vote for the three proposed changes in the Bylaws. Here is a links to related documents to assist you with your vote:

    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.

    "Waiting" by Anni Matsick received a $500 Sponsor Award in the 14th Annual Signature American Watermedia International Exhibition: World of Watercolor & Beyond, on display from April 1 - May 28, 2023 at the Fallbrook Art Center, CA. View the gallery of 100 works at

    Annie Strack, BWS, won the Holbein Award of Excellence in Arizona Watercolor Society National Exhibit. Her painting “the Scooter” is featured in the June issue of Plein Air magazine.

    J. M. Littleton's painting, "See Me In All My Glory", was accepted into the Rhode Island Watercolor Society, 2023 National Watermedia Show. Exhibition runs 5/13-6/23/23 in Pawtucket, RI. Thank you to Juror Judy Metcalfe for selecting my painting. I wanted to extend my deepest condolences to Denny Bond's family. I am so deeply sadden to hear of his passing. He was one of my favorite artists and his work always inspired me.

    BWS Associate Members' Exhibition WINNERS

    The BWS Associate Members' Exhibition was held at the Roland Park Presbyterian Church from March 24 - May 5, 2023.
    Thank you to our Juror, John Sills.

    Juror’s Statement:  When I look at paintings the first thing I tend to notice is does it project into space. The first thing I do is look at all the paintings from a distance. I want the painting to be visually interesting from a distance. Next I look for an interesting design, does the piece stimulate me visually. Lastly I like a sophisticated use of color. Color has the power to stimulate emotions. How is it used? The last thing I consider is subject matter, this is the least important part of a painting to me.

    First Place
    "Field of Tulips"
    by Alison Korn

    From the Juror: "I really liked the design; it was simple and strong. I enjoyed the clarity and richness of the washes; they were not overworked. The drawing is wonderful, a graphic style with a sense of life and vitality."

    Second Place
    "NOLA Trumpeter"
    by Beth Meyers

    From the Juror: "A beautifully rendered figure in which you can feel the weight of the man while he is leaning. The abstract design is simple and strong, and the use of color creates a forceful pattern which effectively holds the viewer's eye."

    Third Place
    "Water Lilies"
    by Connie Ennis

    From the Juror: "I was drawn to the beautiful combinations of colors dominated by rich greens and blues. The triangular design of the lily blossoms is very effective. I enjoyed the clear sense of light enveloping the scene.

    Honorable Mention
    "Canna Lily"
    by Alice Parks

    From the Juror: "Very strong design that projects well in space. The drawing of the lily was impeccable, and the rich use of color gave a wonderful sense of drama."

    Honorable Mention
    "Into the Woods"
    by Janet Freeman

    From the Juror: "A lovely whimsical painting with a nice graphic design. It has an interesting combination of techniques; I particularly like the splashes of white. I enjoyed the bold design of the trees in contrast to the understated path."

    Honorable Mention
    "Uyghur Livestock Market"
    by Shelley Von Hagen-Jamar

    From the Juror: "Has a wonderful sense of light on the figure of the old man; the other figure was not too rendered so it did not conflict with the main figure. The horse was kept simple so it acted as an excellent supporting shape to the main figure. The background was well designed, simple yet interesting."

    Lessons We Picked Up Along the Way

    Hi fellow artists, me again. This column is a place for sharing art related tips. Any time you come across a great product, website or technique that seems useful pass it on to the rest of us. If we have to rely on me alone to come up with ideas this column will not last long. Send your tip to Dana Kleinsteuber at I will post them here so we can all benefit. The tips are for all levels of painter so some things you may already know and some may be a revelation. The idea is that we can all share great ideas. Some examples are below.

    1. Keep a workshop/program note book so you can find information on what you learned. Start with the teachers name and the date. I find the teachers palette information helpful, especially if they are using a color that is new to me. When there is something new or important I put a star next to it. I find a bound notebook helpful because the pages don't come out and you can use it for years.

    2. Diane Gibson will be teaching a plein air class at Jerusalem Mill in September. Registration will be available in June. Keep a look out if you want to take her class. It will fill up quickly. Be aware that Jerusalem Mill is an hour drive from Ellicott City.

    group of watercolor swatches with pigment notesgroup of watercolor swatches3. Each time you buy a new tube of paint make a sample swatch. Put a black permanent marker line on a small piece of watercolor paper. Use the paint from full strength to very diluted to give the full range of the color. In the middle of the swatch try to lift the color. Punch a hole on one end and gather the swatches on a ring or chain. By painting over the black line you will see if the color is opaque . Trying to lift the color will show how much it stains. On the back of the sample write down the manufacturers name, color name, the pigment and anything else you want to record. Thanks for the great idea Sharon Green.

    4. Stacy Lund Levy will be doing a free program on how to enter shows on June 6th. She will cover everything from how to photograph your painting to resizing and dealing with the Cafe program for entries.

    'Max the Easel Butler' from The Artist Road Store5. If you want to use a full size palette with your easel check out 'Max the Easel Butler' at The Artists Road Store Notice the free content. While you are at The Artists Road sign up for their free monthly emails that cover a variety of art subjects related to oil or watercolor painting. The subjects vary from month to month. You can also join to get more content. There is a reasonable charge for membership.

    6. Mid -Atlantic entries will be accepted starting in June. Remember, every artist in the Mid-Atlantic region can enter and has an opportunity to be part of the show. You do not need to be a signature member of BWS. You do not need to be a member of any watercolor organization to enter the Mid-Atlantic.

    7. When you paint outside with an easel, things you place on the easel shelf may move around. Some times the wind blows and sometimes you pick up your stuff to move a couple of feet to try to stay in the shade. To keep your palette in place attach Velcro to the bottom and the other side of the Velcro to the easel shelf. This works for any kind of palette. There is no need to line up the Velcro. Attach it to your palette, put the other side of the Velcro on and remove the paper so the sticky side is exposed, put it on your shelf and push. That way the Velcro is lined up the way you want it. The Velcro will keep your paint from ending up on the ground. Thanks Janet Arsenault for the great tip.


    8. The evening demonstration with Alicia Farris has spaces left. She is an excellent portrait painter. Don't miss this opportunity to learn from her.

    Signature Exhibit at Quiet Waters Gallery 2023

    The 2023 BWS Signature Member Exhibit opens June 28, 2023, with the Official Opening Reception being held on July 2 from 1:30-3:30 pm.
    Exhibit closes August 13, 2023. 

    For more information and to register:

    Other Art Organizations' Call for Entries

    The New Orleans Art Association
    24th National Juried Show
    The Building Art Gallery
    Entry Deadline: July 31, 2023


    Welcome New Associate Members

    Daniel DuBravec, Waynesboro, PA
    Carol Franklin, Towson, MD
    Marcia Gould, Silver Spring, MD
    Mary Jane Holcomb, Ellicott City, MD
    Deborah Humphrey, Studio City, CA
    Denise Loverde, Rosedale, MD
    Kathy Manning, West Chicago, IL
    Melinda West, Bethesda, MD

    All images are the property of the artists and protected by copyright. No image can be used without the written permission of the artist.

    Board of Governors and Committee Chairs
    Baltimore Watercolor Society, a 501c3 Nonprofit Organization

    Please note: Multiple names are listed for several positions as both the outgoing current Board Member and the new member in training are included.

    President: Sharon Morell,, 443-465-1863

    Vice President:


    Treasurer: April Rimpo,, 443-766-0148

    Assistant Treasurer: Ruth Lampi,, 240-515-0552

    Mid-Atlantic Co-Chair (new): Jim Sandford,

    Mid-Atlantic Co-Chair (outgoing) : Sharon Green,, 410-363-1922

    Mid-Atlantic Committee: Susan Bradley, 301-525-6303

    Workshops Chair (outgoing) : Sabine Yeager,, 410-245-0366

    Workshops and Programs Chair: Dana Kleinsteuber,, 410-917-7935

    Program Chair (incoming): Yogini Dahiwadkar,, 443-636-0237

    Webmaster: Bob Coe, 410-877-3730

    Newsletter Editor: Devin Lulu,, 302-690-8635

    Archivist: Karen Norman, 301-318-2224

    Hospitality Chair: Karen Schuster, 410-531-5768

    Hospitality: Deborah Cohan, 301-977-6212

    Membership/Database: Janice Hendra,, 410-271-4943


    Mid-Atlantic AwardsJanet Arsenault, 410-713-0248

    Mid-Atlantic Awards: Janet Freeman,

    Exhibits Chair: David Drown, 410-971-9769

    Exhibits: Kathy Daywalt, 410-507-1662

    Publicity/Social Media: Jennifer Murtha, 443-834-4160

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