Log in

Baltimore Watercolor Society

  • Home
  • September 2021 Newsletter

Members can log in to the site by clicking the icon at top right of the banner.

Highlights newsletter logo

Highlights Newsletter September 2021

President's Palette

Photograph of BWS president Sherry Morell

I can’t believe that the year is flying by so rapidly - here we are at September and it (almost) feels like a normal year since we have been so busy.


We have had Summer Workshops by April Rimpo (Aquabord) and Stacy Levy (Animals) that both held multiple sessions. (And we could have hosted more!) The fabulous online Mid-Atlantic Regional Exhibit closes August 31 and we still have the beautiful, first “in-person” Signature Artist Exhibit running 'till Sept 11th at the Carroll County Arts Council in Westminster. There is also another upcoming Exhibit that has just been scheduled at the McBride Gallery in Annapolis. We have two in-person workshops coming up in October with Janet Belich on the 5th through 6th, and Keiko Tanabe from the 25th through 28th. When the “Transparent Glazing” Workshop by Janet went active online for registration at 10am, Saturday morning August 7th, all 16 slots were taken in 2 hours and 27 minutes, and within about a day we had 17 more members on the waitlist. Keiko Tanabe’s workshop “Capturing Essence with Watercolor” was just the same – all the spaces reserved in minutes, and the wait list lined up. Whew! I think we are all “chomping at the bit” to paint together once again.

It seems, with all the chaos in the world and upheaval in our lives, that being “socially distanced” and isolated for so long has taken a toll on our interactions and “social graces.” Many of our members may be hesitant about attending functions and working together again in group settings. So even in our enthusiasm and excitement about getting together, we must all be mindful to treat our fellow artists with kindness and respect, following our rules of Conduct and Etiquette. That way we are supporting one another in our growth as artists, the BWS goal. Over the past several months the Board has also been refining a Code of Conduct to bring it up to date and definitive, a difficult but necessary task.

Alphabet Soup:

It happens each year after our big Mid-Atlantic Exhibit - we get questions about the initials after the artists’ signatures on their paintings. What does all that “Alphabet Soup” mean and are there any rules as to what is allowed, or how many? And is there a specific order? So I threw out the question to several of our Board members who belong to multiple organizations and came away with some information and guidelines for new Signature Artists, Associates and visitors to our exhibits. Here goes:

1) The letter designations indicate that the artist is a Signature Member of a Watercolor Organization that requires rigorous standards to attain that rank. This means that they have been “Juried” into the organization by presenting their paintings to a group of judges who determine whether their paintings meet specific standards/criteria and thus are of an acceptable “professional artist level.” Alternately, someone whose paintings have been accepted/chosen from a group submitted for the organization’s major (State, Regional or National) exhibit 3 times are eligible for Signature Membership, as their painting has essentially been “juried.” These are the two ways to secure BWS (and many other organizations’) Signature Membership.

The top three USA Watercolor Societies – AWS (American Watercolor Society), NWS (National Watercolor Society) and TWSA (Transparent Watercolor Society of America) require at least one painting to be Juried into their prestigious national exhibits, which in turn triggers one of several scenarios, all of which involve more jurying - be it 3 total exhibit acceptances and/or an additional Jurying by a special “Jury of Selection” made up of their members. Regardless, only after applying for and being officially awarded Signature Membership in any organization is the artist permitted to use the coveted organization initials after their name.

2) Many State and local organizations only require residence in the state/region and do not require a “jurying” process. The initials of these organizations are thus not equivalent in rank to those of the “Juried Signature Artist Membership” and should not be used on paintings. The memberships can be included in resumes/biographies, however.

3) Associate memberships are not allowed to be included on paintings, but can be listed in resumes and bios. Associate memberships are very worthwhile, however, as they provide eligibility for newsletters or exhibit catalogs and also provide reduced entry fees and early admission to events (i.e. BWS and others).  Additionally, many organizations host exhibits for their Associate members (see “Upcoming Events” BWS Associate Exhibit Feb. 22 and April Rimpo's member news AWS Associate Exhibit).

4) In what order should Signature Artist initials be listed? And how many? One person I queried said “The ones I’m most proud of, for personal reasons.” Sounds good to me. Prestige wise, the order would most likely be AWS, NWS, TWSA, and then BWS (or your home org.), etc.

How many? We only allow 5 Signature Memberships to be printed beside the artists’ names in the Mid-Atlantic catalog for space reasons. Even though artists may list belonging to multiple organizations in the catalog text, they will probably not put all those initials on their paintings. If you look closely at the signatures on paintings by the major artists in the exhibits, you will see that many artists may sign only one or two of the most prestigious society initials (if they sign any) and thus let the paintings speak for themselves.

The dream of most artists is to be able to sign just “AWS” after their name. But for most of us that is just a daydream, so I will close this weighty conversation by “stealing and mangling” a corny old vaudeville joke: There’s a fellow who goes to New York City to visit an art exhibit and gets lost. Seeing a man carrying an easel and figuring he’s an artist, he asks him, “How do you get to the AWS Exhibit?” The artist smiles and says, “Paint, paint, paint.” Oh dear, I heard the groans from here. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.


    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.

    Help! Treasurer Needed

    BWS needs your analytical talents, please! If you have a talent not only for art, but for numbers, and are familiar working with Excel spreadsheets and doing basic accounting and bookkeeping—we need your help! The organization is still looking for a Treasurer to take over from Gaye Holcomb who is retiring after 11 years as our faithful Treasurer. Since this position is a Board Officer, it must be filled by a Signature Artist. To inquire about the training and the duties, please contact Gaye at (410) 913-4105 or

    Signature Artist Jurying

    The October Semi-annual Signature Artist Jurying is rapidly approaching. Online registration will be open in early October. 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 its best.

    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. If you have any questions contact Stacy Lund Levy at We are looking forward to seeing your latest work.

    Welcome New Signature Artists

    The following artists achieved Signature status as the result of being selected in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Exhibition three times.

    Janice Hendra of Severna Park, MD

    Welcome New Associates

    Denise Bolton of Baltimore, MD

    Barbara Kirby of Lutherville Timonium, MD

    Ruth Lampi of Chevy Chase, MD

    Nana Gail Lauer of Baltimore, MD

    Gregory McLemore of Towson, MD

    Manjiree Nikam 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 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.

    April Rimpo’s painting “Let’s Dance” was selected by Dean Mitchell for the AWS Associate Online Exhibition. 

    Annie Strack's paintings were juried into the Missouri Watercolor Society International Exhibit, the Garden State Watercolor Society 51st Juried Open Exhibit, Hawaii Watercolor Society National Juried Show, and the Alaska Watercolor Society 47th National Exhibit. She won Honorable Mention and earned Signature Status in AKWS.

    Joanna Barnum is having a solo exhibit of dark fantasy watercolors at The Dark Parlour in York, PA. There is a meet-the-artist event on September 3, 6-9pm, and the exhibit runs through September 26.

    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.

    Peg Sheridan has 3 paintings in the Bath County Art Show, in Hot Springs, VA. She won Best Watercolor in the Shenandoah Valley Art Center's "Annual Member's Judged Show." She will be teaching a one day plein air workshop in Harrisonburg, VA on September 4; a six week class "Light and Shadow in Watercolor" in Staunton, VA starting Sept. 13; and a Plein Air Painting in Watercolor workshop in Floyd,VA Sept. 22-24. Details at

    Website Insights For Members

    Just a quick note to let you know the updated BWS Bylaws are up on the website reflecting the changes approved in April 2021 vote by Signature Artists. The Bylaws have also been moved to a new prominent location on the top level menu of our website.

    Carroll County Arts Council Exhibit

    Abigail McBride, juror for the Baltimore Watercolor Society Exhibit at Carroll County Arts Council, made the following selections for prizes. She also spoke eloquently at the reception delineating what she looks for in making her choices and what impacted her in each of the award winners. It was a definitive course in “Jurying an Exhibit” and was thoroughly enjoyed by all in attendance.  

    First Place: Marilyn J. Le May Patterson, "Electromagnetic Wave Mapping #1: Intrusion"

    Abstract watermedia painting with dynamic threadlike lines in blue and green with textured yellow and orange background

    Marilyn J. Le May Patterson with Juror Abigail McBride at the exhibit reception:

    Photo of Artist and Juror standing together with framed painting and blue ribbon

    Second Place: Kathy Daywalt, "Celebration Gown"

    Watermedia painting of a woman in a red and gold gown and headdress

    Third Place: Carolyn Councell, "Evolving Interior"

    Abstract watermedia painting in cool colors with a collage sensibility

    Honorable Mentions:

    Rick Kowalewski, "Dingy, Nantucket Harbor"

    Angela Lacy, "Stop and Smell the Flowers"

    Annette Uroskie, "The Three Graces"

    The Exhibit is being held at the Carroll County Arts Council, 91 West Main Street, Westminster, MD 21157 from August 9th, 2021 to September 11th, 2021.

    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


    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

    In Memoriam

    Mary Bowerman

    Watermedia painting of yellow and purple iris flowers on a white backgroundWatermedia painting of a beach landscape with old buildings and big cloudsPaintings courtesy of the Bowerman/Cole family

    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, 410-507-1662

    Publicity: Harold Walpert, 443-825-8463

    Social Media: Annie Strack, 610-925-2815

    © Baltimore Watercolor Society

    Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software