TWSA Home -> Newsletters -> October 2008


Signature Screening News

New Signature Members!

We had eighty-six accepted paintings in the 2008 exhibit. Thirty-six artists were accepted for the first time and ten artists qualified for Signature Status.

This year the ten who qualified for Signature Status are:

  • David B.Cordas
  • Dianne Hickerson
  • Carol Hubbard
  • Jean Kalin
  • Laurin McCracken
  • Ellen Roles
  • Sandra Schaffer
  • Natalie Smythe
  • Chris G. Van Winkle
  • Keiko Yasuoka

There were no Masters Awards for this year.


The Chee Raffle has started!

The completion of the Cheng-Khee Chee koi painting is soon approaching. We have raffle tickets available, and it is our hope to raise upward of $10,000 for this fine painting. This is an INCREDIBLE act of generosity on the part of Cheng-Khee. We are honored and thrilled to have this come our way.

Did you know that Cheng-Khee was on the original governing Board of the TWSA in 1977? Ours is a long-standing relationship and one of mutual devotion.

We will send out an e-blast as soon as the painting arrives so you can all see it in it's finished state.

Tickets can be bought for $100. Proceeds will go into the awards endowment fund.

For inquiries, contact: Jill Witty, Chee Raffle Chair, 444 North Hill St., Woodstock, IL 60098,


New Opportunity for Our Members

TWSA has built a new relationship with American Frame, a catalog and online framing business. They will donate 5% of any purchases made by TWSA members to our Awards Fund. All you have to do is tell them you are a member, and give our number: A465. That's it! A handy tip would be to write the number on your catalog. You can get a catalog online at, or by calling their toll free number: 1-888-628-3833.


The Survey Results Are In!

Thank you to the 124 (out of 364) Board, Master, Signature, Life Signature and Life Members who completed the Strategic Planning Survey earlier this year. Your responses are helping to define the long term goals of TWSA. As always, if you have any questions or comments, please contact YOUR board!

Participants were asked to rate nine statements on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being least important and 10 being most important. The statements below are ranked in order of priority, based on tallied results.

  1. The TWSA should focus on accumulating endowment funds of $300,000 to fund awards.
    • 114 out of 124 ranked 5 or above
  2. The TWSA should concentrate on increasing the size of its membership.
    • 101 out of 124 ranked 5 or above
  3. The TWSA should increase its annual juried exhibition award money yearly.
    • 101 our of 124 ranked 5 or above
  4. The TWSA should search for a Chicago area museum as a permanent location for its exhibitions.
    • 100 of 124 ranked 5 or above
  5. The TWSA should focus money on an expanded website and electronic communications to include newsletters, ballots, membership renewals and networking opportunities.
    • 90 out of 124 ranked 5 or above
  6. The TWSA should increase the number of accepted paintings in its annual juried exhibition.
    • 84 out of 124 ranked 5 or above
  7. The TWSA should accept international entries to its annual juried exhibitions.
    • 74 out of 124 ranked 5 or above
  8. The TWSA should host a separate "Masterpiece" exhibition with different entry criteria.
    • 69 out of 124 ranked 5 or above
  9. The TWSA should offer artist scholarships.
    • 68 out of 124 ranked 5 or above


Thanks to Volunteers

Many hands make light work. All of us heard that from a parent or co-worker at some time. It was surely true this past year as all the generous volunteers came forth and pitched in to crate, uncrate, make centerpieces, and just generally help out.

Thanks especially to:

  • Robin Berry, TWSA
  • Patricia Undis, TWSA
  • Karen Knutson, TWSA for leading the charge.

Also thanks to:

  • Cherene Bebeau
  • Kim Grant
  • Cindy Skjeimeyer
  • Emily Anderson
  • Georgia Kandiko
  • Judy Lieber
  • Dave Rickert
  • Julie Basche
  • Ann Pitman
  • Chriscell Rudolph
  • Susan Ebertowski
  • Jeanne Larson
  • Char Sand
  • Charlotte Laxen
  • Jackie Kottke
  • Jan Johansen
  • Lisa Fertig
  • Joan Black
  • Nancy Rassmussen
  • Sue Saltarelli
  • Vicki Madsen
  • Rosita Meehan
  • Virginia Peterson
  • Catherine Hearding
  • Tara Sweeney
  • Dick Green, TWSA Master Status
  • Jan Green
  • Lorin Kuusinen
  • Beverly Peterson
  • Michaelyn Kvasnik
  • Carl Nelson
  • Bonnie Featherstone



Check out our website for downloads

You can download our membership form, newsletter, raffle tickets, workshop application, or dinner invitation.

Let us know how we can make the website more useful by contacting Mary Merz, Newsletter Editor, at or Marie Murrell, E-newsletter editor, at

They would both love to hear from you!


Welcome to our new Board members

All our Board positions are volunteer with only the gratitude of our members and the sense of accomplishment as a reward. With this in mind, I would like to welcome three new people who understand and appreciate the beauty and importance of transparent watercolor:

Dick and Christine Reichow are our new Awards Chairs. Christine and Dick live in Florida where Christine is an avid - and excellent, I might add - watercolorist. Dick is a retired executive who brings the business experience to the job. What a combination! I know this team will bring great new things to our organization. You can check out Christine's work at, or email any award leads or ideas to

Also joining us, another great artist, Joye Moon. Joye has been painting with transparent watercolor for quite awhile, and will assume the position of Final Screening Chair. Joye's job will be to inspect the paintings when they arrive at the museum to assure transparency and compliance with our prospectus. You can view Joye's work at

I can't stress enough how thankful we are to have such qualified and capable people on our Board. It makes the whole Board experience truly wonderful, and guarantees the quality of our exhibits will continue to be of the highest level.


TWSA Officers & Directors

Suzanne Hetzel
(847) 372-5622

Lenox Wallace
President Elect/Exhibition Chair

John Hull
Membership Chair
(847) 255-9529

Sheryl Fletcher Coon

Barbara Stubing

Carole A. Burval
Workshop Chair (847) 840-7731

Norma Lynn Zajicek
Workshop Assistant

Karen Willden
Entry Receiving Co-chair

Richard Helland
Entry Receiving Co-chair

Sally Konley
Entry Processing/Dinner Reservations

Joye Moon
Final Screening Chair

Christine and Dick Reichow
Awards Co-chairs

Nia Pirnat
President Emeritus/Life Member Chair

Catherine Nash
Signature Screening Chair

Marie Matthews
Web Designer

Mary Merz
Newsletter Editor

Marie Murrell
e-Newsletter Editor

Kristin Dam
Prospectus Requests

Gayle Mondie

Sheryl Coon
Dinner Reservations
(815) 941-9555

Christine Sweeney
Hospitality Chair (815) 695-9551

Peg Shea, Special Promotions
(309) 862-3793

Michael P Mosher, TWSA Attorney



Letter from the President

There are people who love baseball. They have the cap and the shirt of their favorite team. They watch the games diligently, rejoicing at victories and bemoaning the losses. There are also those who love the opera with the same fervor. Others yet who are passionate readers or cooks or line dancers.

As for me, I love transparent watercolor. I love the clarity of it; the depth and richness. I love the surprises it gives me every time I sit down at my drawing table or easel. And I love to see what others paint.

It's true for all of us. It's why we keep coming back to paint again and again. In spite of all the global talk and our world "getting smaller", I truly believe that it is connections and organizations of people who share our passions, like the TWSA, which hold us together and bring us the greatest joy.

At our most recent Board meeting, we affirmed this devotion by establishing a vision statement, which will be our focus for the upcoming years. It is based on the following values:

  • quality
  • integrity
  • creativity
  • passion
  • community
  • celebration

These things which we value, along with our Strategic Plan Questionnaire have led us to the following Vision Statement:

"TWSA will be recognized as the preeminent transparent watercolor society. We will offer and expand awards, services, education, and exposure to an ever growing membership of professionals, amateurs, students and patrons."

How can you participate in this lofty vision? There are several ways to be a part of the team, all of which are free and easy:

  1. Keep painting!
  2. Spread the word about TWSA. If you would like some extra membership forms, they can be downloaded from the website, or contact John Hull or myself.
  3. Let us know how we can improve for you
  4. Get involved. We now have Board members all over the USA, thanks to the Internet. Send me an email if you would like to know more.



Vice-President's News

What a wonderful venue we have lined up for the 2009 exhibit!

The new finish on the Kenosha Public Museum hasn't even worn off yet. It has stylish yet functional architecture with amazing views of the harbor through enormous glass windows. It's within a short train ride or drive from Milwaukee or Chicago. But most importantly for us, the KPM has a spacious display area. We'll actually be able to include another 15 paintings in our show! We're excited!

Look for the prospectus coming soon. You'll want to enter this one!

Congratulations to our Award Winners from the 2008 TWSA Exhibit!

Awards of Excellence: ($2000, $1500, $1000)
Skyledge Award: Jean Grastorf, "Work Break, III"
Members Award: John Salminen, "Empress of China"
Edgar Whitney Memorial Award: Gloria Miller Allen, "Divided"

Special Merit Awards: ($900)
John Singer Sargent Award: Prudence Barber, "Breaking Through"
James Whistler Award: Keiko Yasuoka, "Beautiful Morning"
Maurice Prendergast Award: Jacqueline Gnott, "Sunlit Iris"

Merit Awards: ($500-$300)

Daniel Smith Artists' Materials: Jean Kalin, "Siesta at Three"
Samuel and Anne Seeman Memorial: Kris Preslan, "Cars I'll Never Own"
John C. Dioszegi Memorial: David Forsthoefel, "Portrait of Jacob"
Vivian "Chevy" Chevillon Memorial: Kim Johnson, "Girls on a Windy Day"
Agnes Bossu Pirnat Memorial: David Ortega, "From the Ground Up"
Lehmann Memorial: Grace Haverty, "Kids on a Log"

People's Choice Award: ($300) Sue Archer, "Life is Just a .."




2009 TWSA Watercolor Workshop with Judy Morris, AWS, NWS, TWSA

The Transparent Watercolor Society of America is thrilled to present the award winning artist Judy Morris, AWS, NWS, TWSA as our juror and workshop instructor for 2009! Judy is an extremely accomplished artist and has taught numerous workshops nationally and internationally for the past fifteen years. Her award winning works are included in many books and magazines. Judy's sense of design is truly wonderful--all students will be challenged and inspired!

Since our June Workshop is already filled from pre-sign-ups during our 2008 workshop, we have added another TWSA Workshop with Judy from May 26th - 30th. Please see the brochure on our website ( for details and to sign up.

Our 33rd Exhibition will be held at the Kenosha Public Museum in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The workshops will be held just a block away at the Best Western Harborside Inn in the conference center. The whole area is surrounded by beautiful walkways, harbor scenes and inspirational lake views. A trolley takes you to various shops and points of interest in the area.

TWSA MEMBERSHIP BONUS - TWSA members always get first preference for workshop spaces and now a $50 workshop discount, too. Just another great reason to be a member! TWSA 2009 Workshop and Membership information is also available on our website at

Questions? Please contact Carole Burval via e-mail at

TWSA 33rd National Watercolor Exhibition

TWSA 33rd National Watercolor Exhibition, May 17 - July 26
Kenosha Public Museum
5500 1st Ave
Kenosha, WI 53140
(262) 653-4140
Admission is Free
Sunday-Monday, Noon to 5pm
Tuesday-Saturday, 9am to 5pm
Closed Holidays

Celebrate Watercolor Day and Awards Dinner is Saturday, June 6th, 2009.

The Best Western Harborside Inn has been reserved for our workshop and our sleeping accommodations from 5/25/09 through 6/7/09 at a fabulous rate of:

  • $65.99 per night (Hillside) plus gratuity and tax.
  • $75.99 per night (Harborside - waterview) plus gratuity and tax.
  • Refrigerator or micro $5 each/extra

We are finding out that room taxes are quite high in Wisconsin so, please take that into account.

Make your reservations soon and use our TWSA code to get the great rates!

Best Western Harborside Inn
5125 6th Avenue
Kenosha, WI 53140
(262) 842-0361


Thanks to Frank Francese for his generosity!

This spring, Frank Francese, TWSA Master Status, has donated TW0 paintings to our permanent collection. These beautiful full sheet landscapes are breathtaking examples of rich washes and excellent design. While one of the paintings is shown above, it doesn't compare to the original. The Kenosha Museum has generously consented to hang one of the paintings when the Annual Exhibit is not being shown. Thank you, Frank, for your continued generosity and support. You can view Frank's other works at:


Member News

Daryl Bryant had paintings accepted into the following: Valley Watercolor Society (won top honors!), National Watercolor Society All Member Show, California Art Club Gold Medal, TWSA 32nd national exhibition.

Art Jacobs had paintings accepted into the following: Aqueous USA, Kentucky Watercolor Society's 31st national juried exhibition, North East Watercolor Society's 32nd Annual International Open Exhibition.

Dick Green, TWSA Master Status had paintings accepted into the following: Watercolor West XL National Exhibition at the Brea Civic and Cultural Center, Brea CA 10/11 - 12/19, National Watermedia Oklahoma 34th Exhibition.

Gloria Miller Allen, this year's Edgar Whitney Memorial Award winner, is the sole juror for the 2008 Kansas Watercolor Society's Great 8 Exhibition.

Mel Stabin, AWS, NWS, TWSA had a 6 page feature article in the August issue of Watercolor Artist magazine. He also had paintings accepted into the following: 27th Annual Adirondacks National Exhibition of American Watercolors (won the Smith Packing company Award), Watercolor West Annual Exhibition, Rocky Mountain National Watermedia Exhibition.

Donna Janec Karamabelas had paintings accepted into the following: Restoration Exhibit at the Mayslake Peabody Estate, Oakbrook IL DuPage Art League Show (won a merit award) Ratindra Das, TWSA Master Status, AWS, NWS received the "Tina Wolfe Memorial Award" in the Adirondack National Exhibition of American Watercolors and was the juror for the following shows: Mid-Southern Watercolorists, Southwestern Watercolor Association, Mississippi Watercolor Society, and the Montana Watercolor Society. He also had a solo show, "Glimpse of Alaska", at Picrure Alaska Art Gallery, Homer AK.

Jan Fabian Wallake was judge and juror for the New Mexico Watercolor Society, September 2008 show.

Laurin McCracken achieved signature memberships in The American Watercolor Society, The Tennessee Watercolor Society, and the Transparent Watercolor Society of America. He won an award in the Tennessee Watercolor Society's 31st Biennial Exhibition and was juror for the 2009 Memphis Germantown Art League National Exhibition. He also held one-man shows at the Milan Gallery, Fort Worth, TX and the Southside Gallery, Oxford, MS. He was featured in the Star Telegram in Fort Worth in an article entitled "The Creative Life" and "Splash 10" published by North Light Books.

Verena Heroux was a finalist in "International Artist" magazine's Art Prize Challenge No. 47, Still Life and Florals. Look for the painting in the October/November issue.

Suzanne Hetzel is now a signature member of the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society and she won an award at the Wyoming Watercolor Society National Exhibit.

Dora Hagge, KA, had paintings accepted into the following: The American Artist Professional League 79th Grand National Exhibition , Allied Artists of America 94th Annual Exhibition. She is the author of a newly released inspirational book that contains 15 of her paintings: "Windows On His World," published by Tate Publishing & Enterprises. See her website for more information.

Kris Preslan made signature membership in the National Watercolor Society.

Marguerite Lyons had 23 paintings exhibited in a solo titled "Face Cards of Life" at the Faulkner Gallery West in Santa Barbara, CA during May, 2008.

Pat San Soucie's work will be featured in a new book edited and curated by Rachel Wolf (F&WM pub.) in the Splash series. Fifteen painters selected by Wolf present a full chapter about each artist's way of thinking and working to achieve their individual effects in watermedia. The book is expected to be available in early 2009.

Jeanne Dobie had paintings accepted into the following: National Watercolor Society Exhibition (won the Twinrocker Handmade Paper Award), Adirondack National Exhibition of American Watercolors (won the Pulsifer Award). She was named Ambassador for the American Watercolor Society for 2008-2010. A preview of one of Jeanne's DVD Workshop color lessons, "Turning Errors into Assets", is demonstrated on under the "Videos" caption.

Member Workshops Trips and Tours

Dora Hagge, KA: Hastings, Nebraska, October. See for details.

Ratindra Das: 2008: Dallas, TX; Jackson, MS; Kalispell, MT; Reedsburg, WI; Henderson, KY; Boca Raton, FL. 2009: Acapulco, Mexico; Ajijic, Mexico. See for details.

Jan Fabian Wallake: Albuquerque, NM and Ft. Worth, TX in October; Moose Lodge Art Retreat, NM. Call (651) 351-1301 for details. She also teaches classes once a month in Rosedale.


DVD Order Form

See the TWSA webdsite for a larger DVD order form (in PDF format).


Thoughts on Painting

by Jean Grastorf
Winner of the 2008 Skyledge Award

Regarding Influential Teachers

Several artists have generously shared their knowledge with me in workshops and seminars. I had the opportunity to study with Katherine Nelson, the Dean Emeritus of Painting from the Ceramics School at Alfred, New York. During sessions at her home in the hills above Alfred she stressed the need to keep a painting alive and "open." Miss Nelson studied with Hans Hofmann and was much concerned with the "push, pull" of objects in space. An ongoing theme was the portrayal of the three dimensional forms on the two dimension paper. That is, appearance is two- dimensional but it is moving in three dimensions. We studied the architecture of the picture plane--building planes in space using color and light. Miss Nelson often said, "In watercolor you put color into the paper, you don't put washes onto paper. When you put color down, the whole white area says something." As I paint, I hear her say, "Background. There is no such thing. It is part of the whole so integrate it. The space around an object is as important as the thing itself".

Another opportunity was presented to me when Sondra Freckelton and Jack Beal invited artists to come to their home in Oneonta, New York. We worked in the gardens and from still lifes. The particular properties of pigments, how clean, clear and transparent, were of great interest. The transparency of watercolors and their ability to portray light was a theme that I found especially appealing.

Pouring watercolors was introduced by Maxine Masterfield and Nita Engle. I believe that we all have the privilege as artists to learn from others, adapt this knowledge to our own needs, and then share with our students.


Transparent watercolor is the medium to which I respond the most. It is the medium's ability to be tight or loose, fast or slow, thick or thin, bright or subtle. While I sometimes use acrylics and collage I think and plan in transparent watercolor.


I have strong feelings about honesty in art. It is important to be your own person. Learn from others but rely on your own creativity when you paint. Your personality and talents are unlike any other person. It is tempting to pick subjects and techniques that are currently the prizewinners in watercolor exhibitions. As a juror, I look for paintings that are a reflection of the artist's unique point of view. When you tap into this inner vision, the result is extremely self-satisfying. Painting is about problem solving. Each artist creates his own problems and has the task of taking risks to solve them.


My palette was a reflection of rural New York state. Ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, yellow ochre, etc. When I moved to Florida, it changed dramatically. Here the strong sunlight eats out color of objects it touches and creates strong shadows of great value contrast. Palms, Spanish architecture, riotous flowers and open skies were made for watercolor. Cobalt blue, rose madder and aureolin along with phthalo blue and alizarin crimson became new members of my colors of choice.


Painting is a process of evolution. When I first moved, it was all about the subject--palm trees and sun and sea. Now I paint whatever moves me. I have a strong desire to share these feelings whether they are about people, places or objects. I do not paint to please anyone but myself. The subject and method are self-generated. The process of painting is important to me. Even though the result may fall short of my intentions in some way, the journey is always fulfilling.


Painting is one of the few things at which we continue to improve as we mature. We can keep exploring our world and ourselves, staying open to new ways to share our feelings. I think we become less interested in how people want us to paint and more involved in expressing how we respond to our internal world. Perhaps our work can be said to be more personal rather than reportorial.


It is hard for me to say how the watercolor medium is viewed by galleries and museums since the advent of newer watermedia. Perhaps they will now give watercolors more serious consideration and move them out of the category of drawings and preliminary sketches and into the painting selection. Maybe with the new surfaces such as canvas, YUPO, gesso and clayboard, they will not be called "works on paper" which seems to indicate fragility. As an artist I feel that transparent watercolor is a serious, permanent and totally legitimate medium that will always delight and entrance the painter and his admirers. The sheer size of the available watercolor sheets and rolls allow monumental work which the museums and galleries must take seriously. Artists such as Philip Pearlstein, Joseph Raffael and Carolyn Brady have certainly brought attention to traditional transparent watercolor through their monumental pieces.

Closing words

To again quote my mentor, Miss Nelson, "Learn from others. You are yourself. Learn to develop yourself. Build on history, your feeling, your ability to use your head. Above all, have a good time!".