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Highlights Newsletter November 2020

President's Palette

Photograph of BWS president Sherry Morell

Welcome to Fall everyone!

During this quarantine I’ve spent way too much time at my desk and that is dangerous. As a result, this month’s Palette consists of items and musings from the (often very cluttered) desk and mind of the BWS President:

Printed Newsletters:

We have been struggling with delivery of the printed BWS newsletter in this pandemic and now going forward. Early on we had cancelled the printed/mailed edition to safeguard the health of our members but kept publishing the online version. Pre-Covid we had been sending out 60 hard copies each month to members who had requested a printed version. In going over those membership records recently, we have determined that there are very few members (only about 20 or so out of almost 670 members) who do not have any functioning email addresses on file by which to receive the online BWS Highlights edition. In addition, the public software app which Joanna has used for creating our newsletter (in both formats) is being updated and will now be fee based only, so she will be investigating new systems. This impacts our printed version so we will not be commercially printing it or automatically sending out those printed copies by mail even after the virus abates. We will be contacting those members who are not online and will try to work with them on a case by case basis.

What’s a Life Member?

Yikes - Just this past year I became a BWS “Life Member”! This membership status is defined as a Signature Artist member who has reached the age of 75 or has been a Signature Artist member for 25 years. You might be surprised to know that fully a third of our members have Life status. That’s 216 out of our 668 members! And a third of the Board members are also Lifers, filling vital positions. In delving through the BWS records and newspaper articles on the net in the past few days (trying to track down email addresses– see first topic) I have been literally blown away by the exploits of some of our BWS Life Members. I read of one member Ruth E. Lotz of Bethesda, MD, who, though in her late 90’s and legally blind with macular degeneration, still paints scenes from memory in a “fresher, freer style." She had an exhibit of her works in the Clinical Center Arts Gallery at NIH not long ago, showcasing her stunningly beautiful paintings. Another, Eleanor Tyndall Meier, a retired art educator, who has spent her retirement painting and winning awards in national and international exhibitions and working with museums, galleries and art organizations, was chosen as the August 2018 Artist of the Month by the Long Island Museum in NY. She is also a former President of the Catherine Lorillard Art Club, a 130 year old society of women artists funded by a bequest from the only woman on the founding board of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Aimo Hill was a career Naval officer and aviator who retired then went on to train formally at the Schuler School. He now paints and exhibits both oils and watercolors in the Annapolis area, and travels in his camper van to about 15 (mostly outdoors) art shows/festivals a year, exhibiting and selling his art. Hazel Camp (who now lives in Newport News, VA) taught a watercolor class at 93 and gave a watercolor demo and print signing at Yorktown National Historical Park at 97! And there are so many more.

In the past year or two, we have lost many BWS members who contributed significantly to the art scene in the MD/VA area. Charlotte Hoover, 92, a lifelong artist, was recognized for her art and leadership in the Frederick County Art Association and Frederick Art Club. Judith Wengrovitz, 87, of Springfield, VA, not only won Awards of Excellence from VWS and the American Pen Women but was a past President of VWS, Springfield Art Guild, PVW, and the Alexandria chapter of the American Pen Women. In later years she also hosted her own TV show “Welcome to the Painter’s Palette” teaching watercolor to seniors in her community. Patricia Harrington, 95, Lynchburg VA, who supported and always donated an Award to our Mid-Atlantic Exhibition, was also an AWS, NWS, VWS and Southern WS member who won numerous very prestigious awards, assisted in founding VWS, and initiated and funded the Lynchburg City Schools Youth Art Exhibit and the Art Galleries at the Allen B. Pearson Cancer Center. What rich lives they led and what legacies they left! The list goes on and on.

I came away from my reading with a new outlook and with the new motto – “To live a long, full and rewarding life – get out there and be an Artist - with a capital A!”

The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) and the Quest for Diversity:

In Spring of 2018 the BMA, under the leadership of Director Christopher Bedford and its Board, announced that they would be selling some major works from their collection to facilitate the purchase of works by women and artists of color in order “to rectify centuries of imbalance”. (As of 2019 the BMA had 95,000 artworks, only 4% (3,800) of which were by women.) By December of ’18 they had sold 5 works for nearly $8 million and used some of the money to make the first four purchases. In 2019, in addition to more purchases, they announced the radical move of only acquiring works by women in 2020 and that each of the 22 BMA exhibitions in 2020 would also “have a female-centric focus." Three other Baltimore museums followed suit with their exhibitions – many extending into 2021. In the November 15, 2019 Baltimore Sun, Dir. Bedford is quoted: “This is a declaration of intent going forward of the kinds of exhibits we will have and the kinds of acquisitions we will make. There can be no beginning and no end, just a consistency of effort in the right direction.” Such a move has not been without controversy.

(Director Bedford's quotes from 11/15/19 and 12/15/19 Baltimore Sun articles by Mary Carole McCauley)

The Value of the Virtual:

A year ago in November 2019, we had never even heard of Zoom (or GoToMeeting, BlueJeans Meeting, or ZoHo) much less used it for our survival as an organization. We would have laughed if you had told us we (and all other watercolor organizations) would be cancelling/postponing all in-person exhibitions and workshops and jurying and that we would be organizing, judging, demonstrating - doing everything on our computers and iPads. That we would be shut up in our homes for months at a time, only getting to talk/visit with family via FaceTime or HangOut or whatever! No Hugs. But we are making it through and carrying on with our BWS Board meetings, exhibits, and now even jurying in new Signature Members via Zoom. As the next weeks unfold, you will see more programs being announced on virtual platforms as we seek to reschedule instructors, workshops and events. BWS will be there for you.

A New Face:

Lastly, I would like to announce a change on the Board. Cheryl Himmelright joined us in March to work with Dana Kleinsteuber on Mid-Atlantic Awards but she has moved on to understudy Gaye Holcomb, our Treasurer. In her place, working with Dana, will be Janet Arsenault, a very familiar face in our exhibits and workshops. Welcome Janet. Her bio is below.

Stay safe and healthy all,


Upcoming Events

Janet Arsenault

Photo of new BWS board member Janet ArsenaultWith a degree in Art Education from VCU in Richmond and a Masters in Special Education from Johns Hopkins, Janet has had a rewarding career teaching middle and high school students with special needs. Retired since 2018, Janet plans to return to teaching part time at the Delaplaine Art Center after the pandemic. With three children off on their own, a new grandchild, and another one on the way, Janet lives with her “mountaineer” husband Neil, surrounded by nature in the mountains close to Frederick. Besides visiting their children, Janet stays active, enjoying hiking, camping and still some rock climbing with her husband. In recent years she has been releasing what she describes as a pent up energy to paint often. Painting plein air combines her love of nature with her enjoyment of painting and learning with friends, while painting in the studio enables her to experiment with watercolor techniques and her approach to a variety of subjects. Either way, Janet says her goal is to express in her paintings what she feels when encountering a place or aspect of nature.

Welcome New Signature Artists

Additional new signature artist members will be announced next month. These announcements are made only after payment is received and the member is considered in good standing.

Welcome New Associates

Laura Lin of Frederick, MD

Thom Lowther of Alexandria, VA

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 Editor at

Stacy Lund Levy will be giving an online watercolor painting demonstration in conjunction with Y:ART Gallery on November 21, 2020 from 3:00-4:30. Information and registration coming soon on the Y:ART website

Annie Strack won the Founders Award in the Montana Watercolor Society 38th National Juried Exhibit for her painting “Toes in the Water.”

April Rimpo’s “Construction Rhythms” (below) is selected by juror, David R. Smith, for inclusion in the Kansas Watercolor Society’s National Exhibition 2020 at MARK ARTS Mary R. Koch Center, from November 20, 2020 through January 16, 2021.

Painting by April Rimpo in fluid acrylic of a construction scene

Karen Norman won the Baltimore Watercolor Society Award for "Knapps Narrows Evening" in the Potomac Valley Watercolorists online show.

Peg Sheridan received an award from Plein Air Magazine in their August Plein Air Salon competition. She also won Third Place for her painting "Great Blue Heron" (below) in the Shenandoah Valley Watercolor Society show in Harrisonburg, VA. She has information about upcoming classes at

Painting by Peg Sheridan in watercolor of a great blue heron

Sharon Way-Howard's "Focused, Great Blue Heron" was selected for the Philadelphia Water Color Society’s 120th Anniversary International Works on Paper.

Stacey Sass was awarded Second Place for her painting "A River for All to Enjoy" in this year’s Paint Annapolis plein air event.

Delaplaine Exhibit Award Winners

Our juror, Yifei Gan, says he is honored to be the Juror of Awards for the BWS Exhibit at the Delaplaine Gallery. Professor Gan was a previous Juror of Awards at another BWS exhibit some 15 years ago. He found this exhibition special, as there were many pieces worthy of award. Included below are the juror's comments on each piece.

First Place: “Three for Breakfast” by Lois Wolford

Painting by Lois Wolford in watercolor of three family members at a table in a restaurant"This piece has a grandiose composition, a harmonious color scheme, and impressive use of medium. The mood created by the artist may give you an impression of life being lived beautifully."

Second Place: “Bermuda Wildflower Fantasy” by Annette Uroskie

Painting in watercolor on yupo of a semi abstract floral"This piece has a unique composition, and textures. The subject looks randomly picked, but the flowers and plants feel like they're full of life. The artist has a good eye and understanding of good form from their subject matter."

Third Place: “Sassafras Relic II” by Michael Bignel

Painting in watercolor of a farm scene with silo and tractor"This piece is strong in terms of composition and detail work. The good use of contrast of tones and colors make this farm so accessible visually."

Honorable Mentions:

“Congratulations to the Cardinals” by Donna Varn

“Milan Red Carpet Walk” by Angela Lacy

“Untethered in Blue” by Stacy Lund Levy

"The three honorable mention pieces are very expressive also. 'Congratulations to the Cardinals' used unique techniques to create a very effective contrast of color and texture. The color scheme of 'Milan Red Carpet' is very interesting. The contrast between cool color on the left and warm color on the right make the painting lifelike. 'Untethered in Blue' has a nice touch on the subject, the graceful posture of the lady combined with brilliant contrast of color, blue water vs. orange skin tone, make this painting very interesting."

Membership Dues and Opportunity to Update Your Interests

Starting in December the Membership Dues cycle begins for Signature Artist members ($35 dues) and Associate members ($25). 

Signature Artists with Life status are not required to pay dues, but many choose instead to donate and designate the money to specific areas such as Annual MICA Scholarship and Public School Award Fund, Mid-Atlantic Exhibition Awards, BWS Mid-Atlantic Memorial or Honor Award, or General Funds. So the Life Members receive a letter with a survey and a letter on how to donate along with an explanation of those optional BWS Fund choices.

BWS runs on a calendar year with membership dues due in January. Anyone who joins BWS in October through December is considered paid in full for 2021, so you will not receive a dues notice this year. Similarly, if you already renewed and paid your 2021 dues, you will not receive dues notices. Signature members who have achieved Life Status do not pay dues and will not receive dues notices.

For those of you who have email addresses recorded in our membership database, an email will be sent in early December regarding Membership Renewal. Follow the instructions in the email for logging into the site. We are hoping everyone will update your contact information and interests to help us plan events. If you are paying online, you will be presented with an opportunity to edit your profile as the first step after you click on Renew until 01 Jan 2022. Those of you who have not shared your email address with us will receive a dues notice via USPS.

If you plan to pay by check, please follow the link in the email to our Membership Management service so you can update your personal contact information and your interests. After logging in, click on the “View profile” link under your name. Click on the Edit Profile button right under the heading My Profile. Make changes, as needed, and click the Save button at the bottom of the page. You can then logout of the site. It should take only a couple minutes and we very much appreciate your input on programs, workshops, and your volunteer interests.

Website Insights for Members

This is the first in a series of articles about the Baltimore Watercolor Society website and in particular features available when Associates, Signature Artists, and Life Artists log into the site.

When you first go to the site (you're here now!) you will see the menu on the left side of the page that starts “BWS Home” and continues down through “Newsletters and Links”. Below that is where you enter your email address and password and Log into the site. Once logged in the menu adds Members Menu that includes:

Member Events: A Calendar of Events you can see in List View or Calendar View. List view allows you to click and register for open events

BWS Bylaws and Driving Directions: Here you can download the current set of BWS By-Laws or a document with Driving Directions to places where BWS commonly holds events.

BWS Exhibition Rules & Liability Agreements: The BWS Exhibition Agreement includes a Liability Statement and Rules for Member Only Exhibits, not the Annual BWS Mid-Atlantic Exhibition. Following this Agreement you will also find the BWS Mission Statement.

Member’s Classified Ads: is a place where you can post free advertisements to BWS Members that include: art equipment, art books, and art materials you have for sale. You can also advertise your classes and workshops providing contact information that is not visible to the public. You simply click on Create Topic and enter info about our ad. Subscribe to the forum so you’ll receive an email when someone adds a new item. Once your item is sold or complete, we ask that you return and delete your Ad, so only active ads are listed.

Member Opportunities: is a forum where BWS Board members announce opportunities we believe some of our membership may want to participate. For example we've had someone from the public reach out to the Board looking for an artist to support an event or to perform a commission. Discount codes available to BWS Members are also shared through this page. New opportunities are announced via this forum. Subscribe to this forum to receive an email when a now opportunity is added.


American Watercolor Society
154th Annual International Exhibition
Entry Deadline: November 15, 2020

Fallbrook Art Center
Signature American Watermedia International Exhibition World of Watercolor 2021
Entry Deadline: November 21, 2020

Southern Watercolor Society
44th Annual Juried Exhibition
Entry Deadline: January 22, 2021

In Memoriam

Patricia Harrington of Lynchburg, VA

Charlotte Hoover of Frederick, MD

Member Discount Codes

20% discount with code BWCS at checkout

American Frame:
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,, 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,, 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 410-771-4351

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 ,, 443-766-0148

Membership/Jurying: Stacy Levy  410-446-2714

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

Mid-Atlantic Awards: Janet Arsenault

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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