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Highlights Newsletter Summer 2021

President's Palette

Photograph of BWS president Sherry Morell

Once again this summer I have asked the Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal winners of our BWS Mid-Atlantic Exhibition to share with us the stories, techniques and motivations behind their paintings.

What a change a year makes! Last year in the pandemic, the paintings were very introspective – the meticulous 20 second routine of hand washing in order to stay free of disease, the longing for simpler times past in the protective presence of a loving father, the joy of a quiet moment of reverie spent in a garden alone. Each one was somehow or somewhere we could feel safe.

This year the images are more outward looking and more expansive, us reaching out to experience life again - be it at art exhibits, adventurous travel or perhaps dramatic flowers again (especially those in the form of spectacular eruptions). So I present to you again this year, “In Their Own Words”. Enjoy.


    In Their Own Words

    Gold Medal: Sydni Reubin, “Projection”

    "Projection" a watermedia painting by S. Reubin, a bald person with glasses in a blue shirt and teal sneakers standing in front of a gigantic blank canvas on a gallery wall

    “There is something about the universality, and the particularity, of being a viewer. All of us could be looking at the same piece or same body of work, and we are all more than likely going to see (and feel and think) something different from one another. Each piece of art affords us the opportunity to exercise our eyes anew; to happen upon something for the first time – but we are bound to bring every experience with every piece before this one along with us, projecting our own history and our own ideas onto the work.”

    Silver Medal: David Outhwaite, “Rocks at Acadia National Park, Maine”

    Watermedia painting by D. Outhwaite, a view from above of sheer rocks surrounding green and blue water rippled water reflecting light

    “I am always drawn to rocks and water subjects. This composition intrigued me – I found the leap in space beyond the foreground platform down to the depth of dark water below to be very dramatic. I liked the echoing of linear curves in the water and the rocks. The subject also allowed me to explore several different ways of portraying water over a given distance. I work from light to dark, with several layers of color in the deeper shadows. I float the thinnest of washes to create the fully lit surfaces and, in this picture, added a highlight of opaque titanium white for the flecks on the mid distance waves. The medium is the message. Modeling can be created by pushing around the color with a wet brush or damp blotter, even if that color was applied hours earlier.”

    Bronze Medal: William Jaeger, “Eruption”

    Watermedia painting by W. Jaeger, close up view of two yellowish orange gerber daisies, partially in light, partially in shadow

    “Like many artists, I keep a digital camera handy and take photographs of subjects that intrigue me for use in creating a future painting. These Gerber daisies had been sitting on our kitchen counter and one day the morning sun just lit them up. The sunlit daisy’s fiery petals exploded outward, like lava spumes from a volcanic eruption (yep, had my title before I began the painting), further heightened by the daisy in the shadow. High contrast and much drama. All the things I love painting.

    I took a bunch of photos, knew there was a painting in there, but couldn’t fathom how to proceed. The complexity of the composition was too intimidating and overwhelming and I put the photographs aside. When I have a challenging painting, I need to take the time to visualize it in my head – working out a plan, colors, values, and technique. It took me four years to dream and think about this painting to get to the point where I was willing enough to take on the challenge. Even so, I didn’t have all the answers before I started. I wasn’t sure I could maintain color consistency and intensity evenly throughout the painting as there would be many starts and stops, nor how to blend the distant petals with the background. There will be problems that you just have to trust that you will figure out as you proceed.

    To start this painting, I loosely washed in the color of my lightest highlight to get some color down. I then jumped in and tried to ignore the enormity of the task ahead. The only way for me to continually make progress was to narrow the focus and take small steps, painting a petal shape at a time. I started on the sunlit flower and basically worked from left to right, working light to dark. The background was the last to be painted and it required many layers of glazing to make it uniform and balanced. When I thought I was finished, I set the painting aside for a week or so and looked for areas that needed refinement. Not many changes were required. I lifted some color on a few of the petals. The highlights on the background flower were too close to the highlights on the foreground flower. I adjusted the color and value to make those highlights recede. With those changes the painting felt complete. I’ve done two paintings from this series of photographs so far and I know there is at least one more bouncing around in my head.”

    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.

    Advertisement from FM Brush Company, Inc.:

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    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

    A BWS Code of Conduct

    Founded in 1885, the third oldest watercolor society in the United States, the Baltimore Watercolor Society is an institution with a venerable history. It has always been recognized as an institution of sterling caliber, well respected among its peers. In everything we do, individual BWS members and members of the Board of Governors should continue to hold themselves to the highest standards of ethical conduct; doing the business of the organization with unimpeachable integrity; and each respecting one another and treating them as we ourselves would wish to be treated, in words and by actions. Each of us has a personal responsibility to fulfill our organizational mission of “encouraging the development of excellence in original works of art.” To do that we must respect and encourage every artist in a safe environment. All non-BWS members who participate and work with us in our events are also held to these high standards.

    To this end, the BWS Board is working on a formal Code of Conduct to ensure that our events are safe and welcoming experiences for everyone, free of discrimination or harassment in any form. We are also in the process of consulting legal council to ensure that we have appropriate processes and policies in place for handling any incidents related to these serious issues, should they arise. It will take some time to complete this project with the attention it deserves, but we look forward to sharing the final results with you when they are complete.

    Mid-Atlantic News

    The images for the 2021 Mid-Atlantic Regional Watercolor Exhibition will be available for viewing until August 31 on the website.

    If you were not able to attend the reception and awards ceremony, do take a look at the YouTube video to hear what some of the artists had to say about the inspiration for their award-winning painting.

    And don’t forget to vote for the Peoples’ Choice Award. The link is part of the online exhibition, along with a link for purchase inquiries.

    Catalogs have been mailed to all members, and a pdf version is available for viewing on the website.

    If you have a conversation with any of the material donors for awards, please thank them for supporting BWS with their donation. This year the awards total value was a record-setting amount over $14,000 due in great part to the efforts of Dana Kleinsteuber and Janet Arsenault.

    Donor Advertisement from Watercolor Artist magazine

    Get regular inspiration for your watercolor practice!

    Image of the cover of Watercolor Artist magazine

    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’s paintings were juried into the Montana Watercolor Society 39th National Exhibit and the Georgia Watercolor Society Annual Members Exhibit. She is the featured artist at Winterthur Museum’s Mixers & Elixers cocktail parties, painting live en plein air in the gardens during the events.

    Rodney Cook is having an exhibit "New Work 2021" at The Back Porch Cafe in Rehoboth Beach, DE. The show opens on July 15 and there is a reception with the artist on Sunday, July 18, 3:30-5:30pm. More info at

    Kathy Daywalt will be part of an exhibition at Kentlands Mansion, 320 Kent Square Road, Gaithersburg, MD. The exhibition title is "Sisterhood" and will be held from July 9 through September 26, 2021. 

    Karen Norman received an Award of Merit in the West Virginia Watercolor Society's Aqueous 2021 exhibit and was included in the National Watercolor Society's 101st International Open Exhibition.

    Peg Sheridan is teaching Watercolor Plein Air Painting in Staunton, VA. On July 16, she will be teaching "Travel Sketching: Techniques and Materials" in Waynesboro, VA.  She recently won Best Watercolor in the Members Judged Show at the Shenandoah Valley Art Center (SVAC) in Waynesboro, VA. See her Facebook account to see her sketches and paintings from a recent 8000-mile trip around the country.

    J. M. Littleton is teaching an online workshop "Still Life in Watercolor" via the BlackRock Center for the Arts, July 10, 11-2pm. She is teaching an online workshop "Realistic Watercolor" via the Newport Museum of Art, Rhode Island, August 7-8, 11-2pm. She teaches online and in person classes at her studio in Towson.

    Jim Kuhlman has had three works accepted into the San Diego Museum of Art Exhibition in CA and one into the Flagler County Art League Juried Exhibition in FL.

    Joanna Barnum will have a guest artist solo exhibit, "Haunted," at the Dark Parlour in York, PA during the month of September, with a meet the artist event on September 3 starting at 5:30pm. for more info.

    Lucile Kerns has a painting, "Hello," included in the book Artists of Maryland: Visual Art, produced by Maryland First Lady Yumi Hogan and the Maryland Art Council. The book features work from two artists from each county in Maryland. Lucile is representing Carroll County.

    Catherine Hillis was awarded 2nd Place in the Georgia Watercolor Society's 2021 National Exhibition for her painting "Lots O' Lines." She also won 3rd Place in the Laguna Plein Air Painters recent "Waterworks" online exhibition for her plein air piece "Steel Magnolias." Her recent article "An Artist's Field Guide To Painting Flowers" was published in the summer issue of Watercolor Artist magazine (pp. 62 - 67).

    Zina Poliszuk is having a solo show at Monument Sotheby’s Ruxton office, 7707 Bellona Ave., Towson, MD. It is hanging now and will be open 9am-5pm Monday through Friday until July 21, 2021. The reception is open to the public on July 1, 6-8 pm. She is concurrently exhibiting at Stanford University in Washington D.C.

    Anne Crown-Cyr's painting "Poppies" received the "Watercolor Award" for the Rhode Island Watercolor Society's national juried exhibition, "Spring Forward." The exhibit runs from May 22 to June 26, 2021.


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

    Entry Deadline: August 3, 2021

    Berkeley Arts Council
    Watercolor Expressions Juried Exhibit

    Berkeley Art Works, Martinsburg, WV
    Entry Deadline: August 30, 2021

    Fallbrook Art Center
    13th Annual Signature American Watermedia International Exhibition
    Fallbrook, CA
    Entry Deadline: November 8, 2021


    The Virginia Watercolor Society announces that their 42nd Annual Watercolor Exhibition is returning to Portsmouth, VA for the first time in 20 years. This show, with over 80 paintings, opens in the historic Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center June 12, 2021 and runs through September 12, 2021.

    In Memoriam

    Colleen Henderson

    Watermedia painting by Colleen Henderson, a bicycle outside a shop with a sign that says Sawyer's Market

    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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