Category Archives: Administration

CVWG Exhibition at The Center Opens Next Week!

A reminder that Central Virginia Watercolor Guild is found online at www.CVWG.art.


CVWG Exhibit at The Center June 1 – July31

CVWG is pleased that 21 member-artists will exhibit their paintings on the upstairs gallery of the beautiful new The Center, 540 Belvedere Blvd., Charlottesville starting next week. Due to COVID, The Center is not having receptions at this time but feel free to visit The Center on weekdays, 8:30-4:00 during June and July.

Exhibiting in the downstairs gallery at the same time is the well – known Virginia artist, Fred Nichols. Bring a friend to see the art and have lunch or refreshments at the Greenberry’s inside the lobby. Masks are only required for those who have not been vaccinated.

Exhibiting artists include: Linda Abbey, Vivian Attermeyer, Carolyn Belt, Janice Creasy, Joy Cross, Anne Deane, Judi Ely, Mary Ann Friedman, Adella Langham, Phyllis Koch-Sheras, Donna Koutrakos, Robin Adair Kuzen, Jane Matthews, Deborah Prum, Carolyn Ratcliffe, Patricia Richmond, Chee Kludt Ricketts, Susan Crave Rosen, Dianna Scott-Auger, Julliette Swenson, and Linda Verhagen.


News from Your Board of Directors

Twelve of your Guild Directors met on Tuesday, May 25, to discuss a number of topics of interest to our Guild and our members. Some highlights:

  • In-person Meetings– The location where CVWG normally holds our in-person meetings, the Church of Our Savior on Rio Rd, remains closed due to COVID. We have no insight as to when it may reopen. Our President, Donna Koutrakos, is looking for other venues at which we might safely start meeting once again. Stay tuned for more information.
  • Painting Critique Session– A member-artist has specifically requested that we hold a painting critique where member-artists can get professional guidance and feedback. Donna is looking at The Center to see if enough members could safely meet there and will see what we might be able to arrange. Again, stay tuned.
  • Donations– The Directors approved separate donations on behalf of our members to The Virginia Watercolor Society and to the 2021 Virginia Summer Residential Governor’s Schools (SRGS) for Visual Arts being hosted at Radford University.

More Workshop Resources for You

In her ongoing series to share insights and valuable knowledge of external workshops with the Guild, member-artist Karen Schwenzer has three new ideas. As we all wait for the Guild to be able to offer local workshops, click here to check out Karen’s suggestions on our Workshops page of our website.


Member-artist Linda Verhagen sent this resource for a local plein air workshop in early July:

Grace Episcopal Church in Keswick will have a morning of plein air painting, sketching and photography on July 3 from 9am-1pm. Artists of all level are invited to come and bring whatever you need including a picnic lunch. The public is invited to walk the grounds an interact with artists. Grace Church will provide a refrigerator, restrooms, water and views! Please RSVP to www.gracekeswick.org by June 18 if you intend to participate.

Grace Episcopal Church is located at 5607 Gordonsville Rd,, Keswick, VA 22947. Here is a link to their registration page.


CVWG’s Challenge! Show for May

Our May Challenge! featured the following 12 paintings from 10 member-artists at our Zoom show on Monday, May 24 all based on the chosen theme of “Raindrops“. The painting at the top of this post is “Fairy Floating in Rainbow Drops” by Phyllis Koch-Sheras and her granddaughter.

A reminder and preview that our June Challenge! is scheduled:

  • The theme is “Birds of a Feather“;
  • Send a photo of your creation along with title to CVWG’s Webmaster by the entry deadline of Friday, June 25;
  • Join the “Challenge! by Zoom” meeting at 1:00 PM on Monday, June 28 where the works will be shared in full-screen and the artists will share their “stories”.
  • All Guild members will get an invitation to the Challenge! by Zoom” meeting on the morning of the Zoom call. Friends and Followers of our Guild are welcome to show your painting and/or attend our Zoom meeting but you must send an email to our CVWG Webmaster to be included.

Please Share Your Activities!

We invite you to share any aspect of the artistic “you” with us…activities, muses, workshops, travel, etc. We are also always looking for ways to feature our member artists’ work and invite you to be featured in one of our periodic Featured Member Artist profiles. Simply contact the CVWG Webmaster.


We Welcome a New Director to Our Board

A reminder that Central Virginia Watercolor Guild is found online at www.CVWG.art.


(Re-)Introducing Karen Schwenzer, Our Newest Board Member

Central Virginia Watercolor Guild President, Donna Koutrakos, recently announced that member Karen Schwenzer will be joining our Board to help bring awareness and visibility to a wider range of water media workshops.

Karen Schwenzer

Karen writes:

Dear CVWG Members,

I have volunteered to be the workshop coordinator for the guild.  I will not be organizing de novo workshops, but providing information about workshop opportunities elsewhere.  My intention is not to keep a list of all possible workshops, but to share my and other’s experience. If you have had a particularly rewarding experience (or a particularly bad one) with a workshop company or workshop artist, please share the details with me.

Many members have experience with workshops, attending and teaching. But even the most experienced artist may benefit from new venues and new techniques. I love attending workshops, whether near or far.

My last in-person workshop was to Maine [see photo at the top of this post] in September 2019 (pre-pandemic). It was organized by Beverly Street Studio School in Staunton. The leaders were our very own Peg Sheridan and eco-historian/artist Betty Gatewood.  A great small group of artists, generous and knowledgeable leaders, and a dramatic venue made this a wonderful workshop.  BSSS had been running workshops, even international ones, over the years. For the Winter of 2021 BSSS is advertising two workshops, one in person and one virtual, as well as classes. Check out their website www.bssschool.org for details.

So, as we get this pandemic behind us and more people get vaccinated, many of you will want to travel and work on your art. So, feel free to contact Karen for ideas!


Reminder: Only 1 Week Until Challenge! Paintings are Due

A reminder that our February Challenge! Art Show by Zoom is coming up on Monday, February 22 at 1:00 PM. All entries must be submitted to our CVWG Webmaster by next Friday, February 19. Our theme this month is “Faith…what does it look like?“.

In January, we had a great restart of our Challenge! program with 18 member-artists showing 19 paintings and 30 members joining in on our Art Show by Zoom. As of this posting, fewer paintings have been submitted than last month so let’s get busy, finish those paintings, and get them submitted.

All members will be sent an email by 11:00 AM the morning of each month’s show (February 22) providing the web link to join our Zoom Art Show. Friends and Followers of CVWG, please feel free to join in as well— contribute a painting or just join the show, up to you– but you need to send a specific request to our CVWG Webmaster to be included and be sent the invitation and Zoom link.

If you need a refresher about our Challenge! program, please visit our dedicated page at https://cvwg.art/challenge/.


Reminder: Call for Artists– CVWG’s Exhibit at The Center

Member and Past President, Linda Verhagen, is leading our efforts to show members’ artworks at The Center in Charlottesville in May through end of June, 2021. Entry for this show is open so contact Linda to enter your work. Our webpage for that exhibit has been updated so please check out that page for latest details.


Member News

We did not receive a single piece of member news since our last posting. I know that mid-winter is depressing and, between the weather and this COVID nonsense, we are not able to to as much. Still, I know that many of you are working on your art.

We invite you to share any aspect of the artistic “you” with us…activities, muses, workshops, travel, etc. We are also always looking for ways to feature our member artists’ work and invite you to be featured in one of our periodic Featured Member Artist profiles. Simply contact the CVWG Webmaster.


A New Look for Our Guild

A reminder that Central Virginia Watercolor Guild is found online at www.CVWG.art.


Check Out Our New Look!

Many of you might recall that the Guild formed a Publicity Committee last year to review our logo, branding, and other matters and update how our Guild presents itself to our communities. That Publicity Committee was completing its work for our printed media just as COVID-19 took over and forced restrictions.

At the end of 2020, several Directors– representing our Publicity Committee, Website, Membership, and Leadership– restarted the work to modernize our web presence. In the past few weeks, we have built a temporary test website and tested different logos, backdrops, color schemes, etc. In addition, a new streamlined use of menus on our website makes it easier to navigate, especially with mobile devices which are quickly dominating our society.

The resulting header image is shown above and is now “live” on our website. Check it our on http://www.cvwg.art.

A special Thank You! to members Bill Snow for his original art for our logo, Mary Spear for her leadership on the Publicity Committee, Linda Verhagen for her original art used as our backdrop, Rosemary Connelly for her help with redesign of the menus, Donna Koutrakos for her current leadership of the Guild, and our Board and all our members who helped in many ways!


Last Call if You Need Help Using Zoom

This is the last notice that our CVWG Webmaster, Mark Fitzpatrick, is planning to host a “CVWG Test Meeting by Zoom” where you can join, get some pointers, ask your questions, and get any tutoring you might want in using this increasingly popular “app”. This meeting will be set up in coming few days. You have to take the action to send an email to Mark to be included in this special session.


Reminder: Call for Artists– CVWG’s Exhibit at The Center

Member and Past President, Linda Verhagen, is leading our efforts to show members’ artworks at The Center in Charlottesville in May through end of June, 2021. Entry for this show is open so contact Linda to enter your work. Our webpage for that exhibit has been updated so please check out that page for latest details.


Member News

We are glad to see that member-artist Bill Snow is getting recognition beyond our Guild and within the neighboring communities. The Fluvanna Review newspaper published, back in mid-autumn time frame, a very nice article about Bill. You can read the article at this link. A special Thank You! to our ever-alert member Bunny Creasy for seeing this and sending us the notice.


Please Share Your Activities!

We invite you to share any aspect of the artistic “you” with us…activities, muses, workshops, travel, etc. We are also always looking for ways to feature our member artists’ work and invite you to be featured in one of our periodic Featured Member Artist profiles. Simply contact the CVWG Webmaster.


Good Riddance, 2020! Welcome 2021!

A reminder that Central Virginia Watercolor Guild is found on the web at CVWG.art.


A Message from Our 2021 Guild President

2020 has been a crazy difficult year that I am looking forward to putting behind us. But it does give us the opportunity to count our blessings and show appreciation to all those who helped make it happen.

Thanks to all of our members for hanging in there, to all our Board members for their work this year, for Mark for helping us with our meetings on Zoom, and I would also like to take this opportunity to thank President Linda Verhagen for the fantastic job she did leading us through the last 2 years.

So as we bid 2020 a farewell I wish everyone a safe and happy Holiday Season and here’s to a prosperous and healthy 2021!

Donna Koutrakos

Early Results of Our Survey

We have closed the Survey Monkey poll that we started just before Thanksgiving. In the four weeks it was open, we had 49 respondents sharing their views and perspectives. The full results are being reviewed by our Board of Directors to influence what programs and offerings we attempt this coming year. Some key findings that your responses are providing our Directors:

  • Only 12 responders would consider attending Guild meetings in a face-to-face environment;
  • Online exhibition(s) and monthly Challenge(s) are a popular idea supported by about 70% of respondents…read on!
  • Of various online meeting apps, our responders were familiar with more than 8 different ones with Zoom being the single most familiar tool.

Our Board will meet again in early January 2021 so look for more feedback as we enter the new year. Thanks, again, to all our responders as this really helps our Board understand your ideas, perspectives, and desires for our Guild!


Early Call for Artists– A 2021 CVWG Exhibit

Central Virginia Watercolor Guild has been accepted to provide an exhibition of our members’ art at The Center in Charlottesville. The exhibit will run for approximately two months starting May 3 until June 30. This exhibit is open to all members and there is room for 42-48 paintings depending on the size. Details and the submittal timeline for this exhibit will be forthcoming in early 2021 but matting, framing, and identification marking will be similar to our non-juried Courthouse shows. A new web page has been added to this site to share information and guidance at this link: https://cvwg.art/2021-exhibit-at-the-center/.


Our Monthly Challenge is Returning by Zoom!

Given your responses on our survey, a couple of Directors and Volunteers are in early planning to resume our monthly Challenge paintings. Look for details in January but here is an overview:

  • We will hold our Challenge “meetings” by Zoom at our regular monthly meeting day and time, the 4th Monday of every month at 1:00 PM.
  • We’ll post the monthly Challenge themes on our web site and via this blog;
  • Artists are free to paint anything remotely related to the monthly theme;
  • Artists will take a photo of their painting using their phone or tablet device and email it to our CVWG Webmaster, Mark Fitzpatrick (cvwgwebmaster@gmail.com) by each months’ deadline, generally the Friday before our Monday Zoom meeting;
  • All paintings will be posted on our web site;
  • All interested artists will be sent a Zoom meeting invitation;
  • Our host will convene the Zoom meeting then share each painting in full-screen color for all attendees to see. Each artist will be given 2-3 minutes to discuss their muse, their technique, or any other aspect of their painting.
  • Attendees will be able to ask questions and engage with each other after each painting is presented.

Let’s all shake off our COVID and mid-winter blues and get painting!


Member News

Only one member has shared any information with us since our last blog. As always, we are very interest in hearing about any news, reviews, interesting online tutorials, or other information we can share with each other. Send all input to our CVWG Webmaster.

Member Peg Sheridan sends the following updates:

  • I’m looking forward to offering a Zoom class through Beverley Street Studio School.
  • My painting “Late Evening on the Cowpasture River”, which won Best Watercolor in the August “Plein Air Salon” is in the December-January issue of Plein Air Magazine.
  • I had two featured artist shows in November, at CoArt Gallery in Staunton, and at 7 East Gallery in Woodstock.
  • I am keeping my mind and body active during this time. Painting certainly helps my outlook! I have taken a 2-hour online class in gouache from Manon Sander, which was really fun! I am also taking a 4-week online watercolor class from Vermont watercolorist Tony Conner.
  • More information is always available on her website and Facebook pages.

We Give Thanks!

Central Virginia Watercolor Guild is online at http://www.CVWG.art.



How often do we look at all of creation– the sky, sunrise and sunset, trees, flowers, rivers, oceans, birds, family, friends, art– and fail to see all the gifts and blessings given us?  How often do we stop and say “thank you”?  All too often, we take all these wonders for granted.

At this traditional time of the year for Thanksgiving, please take time to really look at, appreciate, and express gratitude for the glorious bounty in your life. 


Two Members Get Statewide Recognition!

Two Guild members are recent recipients of awards given by the Virginia Watercolor Society (VWS):

Member Trish Crowe’s painting “Where is Alice“, the feature photo at the top of this post, recently won the Award of Distinction. Says Trish,

I am pleased to receive the award. It is more significant, I think, to know that our CVWG members are producing art that gets recognized on the state level.

Trish serves us all as Vice President and Program Coordinator for our Guild. Trish’s website is www.trishcrowe.blogspot.com.


Member Don Whitson shares that he, too, has been recognized by the VWS:

I’m thrilled to announce that I have received an Award of Excellence for my painting currently juried into the 41st Annual Virginia Watercolor Society exhibition at the Virginia Museum of History & Culture in Richmond.

Take a look at Don’s website at www.donwhitson-art.com.


Last Chance to Share Your Thoughts on Our Survey

All our members and friends of this site should have received our email invitation on November 11 to share your thoughts and suggestions on our survey. We’ll be closing that survey next week so, if you have not yet responded, please take 2 minutes to help influence the future of our Guild. Please contact our CVWG Webmaster if you did not receive the invitation and still want to contribute.


Email Us Your News

We are always looking for our member artists to send information about your art, your muses, mentors who inspire you, any travel painting you may be fortunate to enjoy in these strange times, etc. We are always looking for anyone who might be willing to be profiled in the next installment of our Featured Member Artist series. Email our webmaster with photos of your art.


Member Survey Coming!

Central Virginia Watercolor Guild is online at http://www.CVWG.art.


Your Board Wants Your Opinions & Ideas for 2021

While our nightly news highlights successes and setbacks with the spread of COVID-19, its treatment, and possible vaccines, in fact, it may be many more weeks and months before it is safe enough for us to restart our monthly meetings and other programs. Your elected officers and the Board of Directors continue to meet and brainstorm ideas for what the Guild can offer our members. But, frankly, we’d like your help.

Your Board has designed a short 7-question survey using the online app Survey Monkey to gather your thoughts and ideas. We’ll be sending the survey to all members to your email address. Please keep an eye on your email inbox (and SPAM/JUNK folders in the event our survey gets routed there).

Please take 2 minutes to share your opinions, thoughts, and ideas with us so we can see how best to meet our members’ needs and desires in the coming months.

Donna Koutrakos and Linda Verhagen, Presidents

Member News

Our members continue to find ways to be creative and advance their art.

Chee Ricketts announces…

My watercolor, “Catching the Light” [above], has been selected for the ArtUnlocked show that opens soon at McGuffey Art Center.

Also, I will be teaching, “Watercolor Technique Tune-Up”  through UVA’s online OLLI program,  beginning on November 10. It was a treat to look at the roster and see some familiar CVWG members’ names. We’re going to have fun!


Peg Sheridan emailed us:

I hope everyone is doing well. I have two shows starting:

  • My show at CoArt Gallery in Staunton, “New Watercolors” features some new subject matter and techniques. It is open now, and runs through November.  
  • Starting this Thursday afternoon, I will be the Featured Artist at 7 East Gallery in Woodstock.  

 I miss painting with all of you and I hope you stay healthy.  Keep checking my website for classes; the next Saturday workshop is November 14. 


Reminder About 2021 Membership

A reminder that your Board has extended all membership through 2021 at no additional cost. We also welcome new members at a fee of $25 through that same time frame. Membership information, new member form, and password-protected member directory can be found here.


Email Us Your News

We are always looking for our member artists to send information about your art, your muses, mentors who inspire you, any travel painting you may be fortunate to enjoy in these strange times, etc. We are always looking for anyone who might be willing to be profiled in the next installment of our Featured Member Artist series. Email our webmaster with photos of your art.