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Highlights Newsletter March 2022

President's Palette

Photograph of BWS president Sherry Morell

“Be kind to one another”

Ever heard of Fostoria, Ohio? It is an industrious town of about 13,000 in NW Ohio that is famous as a hub of freight railroad traffic – over 100 trains a day stop there. While I was in college, a 13 hour overnight train ride from there to Baltimore was my only way home for vacations. The town evidently became notorious in 1998 when its Mayor and City Council passed a “Code of Conduct” for its citizens. They said that they simply wanted people “to become more civil and considerate to their fellow Fostoria citizens,” and “the purpose was to make life more serene and pleasant in the Ohio town.” (1)

The Code contained suggestions, not laws, so no one was jailed for violations. It gave simple guidance that “This is how you treat other people. And it was a reminder of what your parents tried to teach you when you were growing up.” It encouraged them: “In all situations, try to do what is right and try to help others.“ And “At all times and in all situations try to avoid doing wrong and try not to hurt others.”(1) Even in1998, its “suggestions” were unusual.

The Fostoria Code was simply “based upon respect for others” and for years BWS has quietly been trying to enforce our own similar “Code of Etiquette for Workshops and Events” which is also based upon “showing respect for others.” In recent years, however, the offenses have become more serious.

There have been:

  • A stolen set of brushes
  • Tubes of paint “borrowed” from an instructor and not returned
  • Persons disregarding health regulations
  • Disturbing, harmful postings against others on Social Media
  • Volunteers having to clean up after others who left their work areas filthy
  • Individuals monopolizing the instructor, or being a disturbing influence to others at the event
  • Confrontations involving rules violations, harassment over political differences, and more…

And so over the last months, the Board has been working on a new Standards of Behavior Policy which incorporated a revised “Code of Workshop Etiquette” and a new “Policy and Procedure on Harassment and Discrimination” (with the help of a lawyer) which assures that all of our members and guests are welcome at BWS events and that there is absolutely no tolerance for any form of harassment, intimidation, discrimination or bullying, and that encourages kindness toward others.

We want to provide every one of our artists a safe place in which to learn from our instructors, to expand their knowledge, techniques and vision, and to create their incredible art, so we thank you all for working with us to make that possible. We hope that BWS will always be known as a family of artists who treat each other with respect and a spirit of collegiality.

All that being said, I would like to end with some "universal words of wisdom to live by" - spoken in many languages, many forms and many faiths:

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (2)

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only Love can do that.” (3)

They aren’t really that different from Fostoria’s Code of Conduct - they are ageless.

Below is the link to the document. Please read it over well as you will be required to agree to it as part of the registration process for all future events. BWS volunteers and hired instructors must also agree to this policy.

Go directly to the new Standards of Behavior Policy document here:
Standards of Behavior Policy

For your future reference, you can also find the the new Standards of Behavior Policy linked from the Bylaws/Documents page under the "Membership Info" menu on our website navigation.


(1) Green, Bob, “An Old Ohio Code of Conduct Has a Point”, Wall Street Journal, 9/24/21
(2) Proverbs 15:1, both in NIV Bible and The Tanakh (Jewish Scriptures)
(3) Martin Luther King, Jr. “Strength to Love”, 1963

    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.

    Meet our New Treasurer(s)

    After 10 ½ years of faithful service, Treasurer Gaye Holcomb has retired and we now have two people splitting the duties. April Rimpo has assumed the “BWS Treasurer” position and will perform the day-to-day tasks of the Treasurer – writing checks, making deposits and maintaining our records.

    Ruth Lampi will be our “Assistant Treasurer,” researching a variety of topics related to our fiscal and business health, analyzing profit and loss for each event we hold, and comparing fiscal performance for the last 3 years to see the impact of the pandemic. All this will help the BWS Board with planning future events and programs. Each month Ruth will also be the second set of eyes reviewing our ledger.

    As they are both active artists who exhibit and travel extensively and hold positions in several organizations, they will also “cross-train” so that each one is able to cover all aspects and activities of the BWS Treasurer position, thus providing continuous response and service where finances are involved. The Treasurer’s position does much more than just pay the bills.

    Photograph of April Rimpo standing in front of one of her paintings

    April Rimpo grew up in a home where her parents ran a small manufacturing business. Starting with menial tasks she graduated to the Office in her teens where she learned Invoicing and Bookkeeping, managing income, and accounts payable. In college, April found Anthropology reflected her interest in people and places outside the U.S. Two years in she shifted to Electrical Engineering, driven by her interest in applied math. After 10 years as an Electrical Engineer April changed her career to Systems Engineering where she worked closely with customers, gaining understanding of their true goals, and learning to see the world through their eyes.

    April’s father and grandfather were artistic, so she gravitated to art young. During her engineering days, weekend-art was her stress reliever. After 32 years of engineering April became a full-time artist.

    April’s love of Impressionists is visible in her use of color and light to tell stories of life. Often these stories are about people in other countries, so her desire to understand other cultures persists, along with the desire to see the world from their perspective.

    April participates in several National exhibitions each year. When she shares her work in exhibits or galleries, she hopes to hear memories from the viewers of her work. In recent years April has organized exhibitions with another BWS Signature artist (Elaine Weiner-Reed) in which they hold collaboration events with writers and musicians. Their written and musical interpretations are another way April gets to hear her paintings from others' perspectives.

    April has been BWS Membership Chair since January 2004 and started this January as BWS Treasurer. Those accounting practices her mother taught her have helped her transition to this new role.

    Whereas April is well known to most of you, Ruth Lampi, who was just juried into BWS as a Signature Artist in October 2021, may not be. Ruth is a good teammate for April as she is also very proficient in accounting procedures, having much knowledge and experience. She has been affiliated with three other non-profit organizations - she was the accounting person for one and the Fundraiser for another with accounting responsibilities. The third of the non-profits, she created herself and did everything - a “jill of all trades.” She has already been working hard bringing BWS up to date with current practices and IRS regulations, and has made suggestions to consider in our insurance policies.

    Photograph of Ruth LampiRuth retired 4 years ago after a long career in small non-profits, concluding with a stint as a Program Officer and then Administrative Director of AmeriCorps. She has a Masters in Community Planning with a concentration in Non-profit Management.

    She started painting watercolors after she retired and while she always enjoyed drawing, she hadn’t done much since college. She is most interested in painting unusual patterns and shadows – so she paints mostly landscapes but also does some still lifes and portraits. In addition to painting, she is mentoring a VISTA in fundraising for CareerCatchers, a small workforce development nonprofit in Montgomery County. She also belongs to two book clubs, loves to garden, and spends time listening to local live music (as her husband plays guitar and sings in two bands).

    Mid-Atlantic 2022

    You can join the early entries and submit your images for the 2022 Mid-Atlantic Regional Watercolor Exhibition on  Artists can create portfolios there, and submit to many of the exhibits that are open for entry.

    Important dates:

    Entry deadline: April 5
    Exhibit at BlackRock Center for the Arts: June 11 - July 23
    Reception and Awards Presentation: June 26, 2-4PM

    Mark your calendars and submit your best work! Contact with questions.

    An Advertisement From Creative Catalyst, A BWS Mid-Atlantic Award Sponsor:

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    Learn to paint with the best artists in the world, featuring art Instruction videos in watercolor, oil, pastel, acrylic, drawing, gouache and collage.

    Our videos are available in 2 different formats

    Physical DVD to be played on desktop player attached to your TV or a laptop/computer.

    Streaming which you can access through the cloud and can be viewed/streamed on any WiFi, Data or internet connected device (computers, iPads, Tablets, Smart phones, etc.) portable or stationary.

    Please click HERE to sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    If you have any questions, we can be reached at (541) 926-3024 or

    Welcome New Associates

    Carol Asher, Ellicott City, MD

    Rebecca Rothey, Laurel, MD

    Membership Renewal

    As of February 1st, unpaid dues are now overdue. If your payment had not been recorded by then you received an automated email telling you your membership lapsed. If you have not paid, please pay online, with a credit card.

    Or if you prefer to pay by check, make it out to BWS and mail to:

    Janice Hendra – BWS Membership
    103 Avondale Circle
    Severna Park, MD 21146

    Signature Artist dues are $35 and Associate dues are $25.

    If I do not receive payment by late February, you will receive a second "lapsed" notice. You will still receive emails from BWS for a period of time, but if you want to register for an upcoming event you will need to pay prior to registering.

    Contact with any questions.

    Janice Hendra, Membership Chair

    March Signature Artist Jurying

    The March Semi-annual Signature Artist Jurying is rapidly approaching. Online registration is open. There will be no in person drop off. Please read the jurying criteria on the BWS website before registering and prepare your four images so that the jury will see your work clearly and at it’s best.

    Applicants must reside in the Mid-Atlantic Region: Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, or West Virginia.

    Registration closes March 12, 2022.

    Images should be high resolution (300 dpi), jpeg, 1950 pixels or 6.5” on the longest side. Please show only the painted image, no mat or frame. All work submitted must be original in concept and execution, not copied or derived from a student class or workshop, nor copies or likenesses of other artists’ work, and be free from any copyright infringement.

    Please review full instructions on the BWS website.

    In other Signature Jurying News, Kathy Gardiner will be the new Signature Artist Jurying Chair starting in March. Stacy Lund Levy will be shifting positions and helping with the Mid-Atlantic Exhibition.

    If you have any questions regarding jurying, please contact Kathy Gardiner at

    The jury is looking forward to seeing your latest work.

    Slayton House Associate Member Exhibit Results

    Thank you to our juror for this Associate Member exhibition, Thomas Engleman, for selecting the award winner and sharing his thoughts!

    Juror’s Note:

    I would like to thank the Baltimore Watercolor Society for giving me the opportunity to Jury this exhibition. It is an honor, privilege, and a duty I take sincerely. Choosing artwork for best in show is a challenging task, especially with such a deep pool of talent within this exhibit. My experience with art making, teaching, and installing artwork leads me to consider several factors.

    The technical abilities of the artist: Watercolor is an exceedingly difficult medium and the artists' range of control (or sometimes their exploration with the edges of what could be perceived as a loss of control) with this medium is something I considered in depth. Composition, color pallet and range of value are the other main aspects of each creation that I examined and factored into my ultimate selections.

    The display of the paintings: Artist choice of the material and way they frame and display their work is a highly regarded process element that directly influences my selection process. I analyze the frame color, shape, material and how it either complements or detracts from the painting. The use of Mat (or lack of) or how the piece is floated in the frame also either elevates the art piece or inhibits it from reaching its full potential. As the devil is in the details, the masterpiece is often a collaboration of all these areas, a balance between the personal story depicted and the public representation being portrayed to the viewer. What makes a piece stand out to me is one that can capture the viewer’s attention, draw them in and invite them to stay a while. This takes a blend of heavier, louder, almost alerting visual representations to capture one’s focus and then follow up with nuanced, delicate elements to create a comfortable space to rest while still feeling engaged with the work.

    Honorable Mentions:

    Shelly Von Hagen, “Uyghar Trader in Kashgar"

    I was first drawn the color pallet of this painting and the subject's hat. The texture of the face in contrast with the coat was another feature that grabbed my attention. Overall, the artist gives a great representation of their technical abilities.

    Allision Korn, “Modern Art in the Living Room”

    The inventiveness and color contrast of “artwork within the artwork” (the raised painting feature within the composition) is what first jumped out to me with this piece. To me this painting starts to move into the realm of sculpture.

    Pat Winter, “ Carpe Diem “

    The stark contrast between the flower and clean unoccupied background really stood out to me. The rendering of the flower is well done, detailed and I enjoy being able to see some of the under drawing in the painting. The mat and framing are well done as well.

    Third Place: Claire Femiano, “ Celosa and Greenery”

    The brushwork and application of paint is what captured my eye. The double mat and frame color really serve the painting well, with the outer edges of the composition left open and clean.

    Second Place: Luis F. Perez, “Privileged Food 2"

    Watermedia painting by L. Perez, glass bowl holding colorful fruit saladThis piece is wonderfully crafted, the scale is impressive and it is hard not to get caught up in the luminous effects the painting presents. The perspective and composition (cropping of fruit bowl) work well together, while the metal frames help to accentuate the brightness and light of the painting.

    First Place: Deborah Keane, “Golden Reflections”

    Watermedia painting by D. Keane, fruit on a golden plate in soft warm tonesThe softness and dream-like qualities of this painting is what initially captured my attention. Upon close inspection, the subtle shifts in value, the reflection of shadow in the plate, the texture within the fruit and the framing of the work is very well done. Congratulations to Deborah.

    Photo of Deborah Keane (left) and President Sharon Morell (right) awards presentationDeborah Keane receives the First Place award from BWS President Sherry Morell.

    About the Juror:

    Thomas Engleman is Associate Professor of Art and Director of Galleries at Howard Community College, In Columbia Maryland. He holds a BS is painting from Towson University and an MFA in Printmaking from the University of Miami Florida. Thomas maintains an active studio life exhibiting locally, nationally, and internationally.

    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.

    Annie Strack had paintings accepted into the Northeast Watercolor Society Annual Juried Members Exhibit, Western Colorado Watercolor Society 32nd National Exhibit, and Western Federation of Watercolor Societies 47th Annual Exhibit.

    Peg Sheridan is teaching four workshops during February and March. More info available at She will also be co-leading a plein air painting trip to Maine, through Beverley Street Studio School in Staunton, VA. The trip to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park will be September 8-14. Contact 

    An Advertisement from Diana Marta:

    Face it

    Are faces a painting challenge for you? Diana Marta’s “Face It” Zoom workshop presents approaches to basic structure and dynamic expression of the face, using brushes and materials of transparent watercolor.

    The schedule includes:

    • Three 40 minute live Zoom instruction classes, Mondays, March 14, 21, and 28 at 2pm
    • One individual 40 minute critique
    • Emailed pages of class notes

    $95 registration due by March 7at 5pm. Numbers are limited.

    For complete information email Diana at

    A portfolio of work by Diana Marta, MFA, BWS, NJWCS, can be found at


    Bach in Baltimore
    The “Bach in Baltimore” Special Events Committee (a non-profit chorus and orchestra that performs concerts at churches and retirement homes in the Baltimore area) is seeking artists to join with them in their annual fund-raiser, an online silent-auction, “BachFest”, from April 28- May 1, culminating in a live social gathering/concert. Artists offering works for sale in the auction set a minimum bid and the final bid would be split 50/50 between the artist and “Bach in Baltimore.” If interested, contact Karen Nafziger at for information.

    The Barnes Foundation
    The Barnes Foundation is offering a selection of virtual classes in art history and appreciation. More information at

    Smithsonian Institution
    The Smithsonian is also offering virtual programs on art, literature, and history. More information at

    Capitol Hill Art League
    11th Annual Metro Open Juried Exhibition
    Capitol Hill Arts Workshop
    Washington, DC
    Entry Deadline: March 5, 2022

    Taubman Museum of Art
    64th Annual Sidewalk Art Show
    Roanoke, VA
    Entry Deadline: March 14, 2022

    West Virginia Watercolor Society
    Aqueous 2022
    Parkersburg Art Center
    Parkersburg, WV
    Entry Deadline: March 28, 2022

    Rocky Mountain National Watermedia Exhibition
    Center for the Arts Evergreen
    Evergreen, CO
    Entry Deadline: May 16, 2022

    In Memoriam

    Sharon Way-Howard of Vero Beach, FL
    Flight of Fancy by Sharon Way-Howard:

    Watermedia painting by S. Way-Howard, seagulls in a blue sky, lower part of the sky forming abstract drips down the page

    Virginia Gordon of Baltimore, MD

    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:

    Secretary: Deborah Cohan, 301-977-6212

    Treasurer: April Rimpo,, 443-766-0148

    Assistant Treasurer: Ruth Lampi, 240-515-0552

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

    Mid-Atlantic Co-Chair (in training): Stacy Lund Levy, 410-446-2714

    Mid-Atlantic Co-Chair (in training): Susan Bradley, 301-525-6303

    Workshops: Sabine Yeager,, 410-245-0366

    Programs: Dana Kleinsteuber,, 410-917-7935

    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 (outgoing): April Rimpo, 443-766-0148

    Membership/Database (in training): Janice Hendra,, 410-271-4943

    Membership/Jurying (outgoing): Stacy Levy,, 410-446-2714

    Membership/Jurying (in training): Kathleen Gardiner, 410-991-1183

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

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

    Mid-Atlantic Awards (in training): Janet Freeman, 410-299-3906

    Exhibits Chair: David Drown, 410-971-9769

    Exhibits: Kathy Daywalt, 410-507-1662

    Exhibits: Jennifer Murtha, 443-834-4160

    Publicity: Harold Walpert, 443-825-8463

    Social Media: Annie Strack, 610-925-2815

    © Baltimore Watercolor Society

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