Category Archives: Classes/Workshops

Guild Opportunities and Programs are Expanding!

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


With our communities having better success at managing around the COVID challenges, Central Virginia Water Color Guild (CVWG) members have an expanding set of opportunities to engage with your art!


A Final Reminder– Guild Meeting on September 27

As Donna Koutrakos, our Guild President said in a recent email to all members,

I am so excited to tell you that we will hold our first in-person meeting in over a year on Monday September 27th at The Church of Our Savior, 1165 Rio Road East, Charlottesville, VA with refreshments at 12:30 pm and Meeting at 1:00 pm. Due to Covid 19 variant status, masks will be required and must be worn at the meeting.

Set the date on your calendars and plan to join your fellow member-artists then. As a reminder, here’s a map to help guide you there.



After a break last month, our Challenge! paintings show resumes this coming Monday at our in-person meeting. The theme is “Quiet Valley…Real or Imaginary“.

As you should recall, our monthly meeting always includes a “program” related to water media. This month’s program is a member-painting Critique by Patricia Williams entitled “Stop Hating Critique and Learn to Love Your Failures”. Members who wish to participate should bring no more than 2 unframed original paintings. Patricia will offer an independent eye and provide verbal feedback.  Yes, you can use one of your monthly Challenge! paintings as long as it is not in a frame. Since we will not know how many members or paintings will be entered, please do not bring more than 2


Call for Artists– “Paint the Towne Greene” Plein Air Event in Stanardsville, VA on Oct 2

Member Chee Kludt Ricketts let us know of the Call for Artists and Visitors for the 2021 “Paint the Towne Greene” Plein Air event in Stanardsville, VA on October 2. The deadline for registering is this Saturday, September 25. You can read about it by clicking on that link or clicking here to view, download, and/or print the detailed instructions and form.


The Guild’s Courthouse Exhibit is Changing…A Call for Artists

CVWG’s current exhibit at the Albemarle County Courthouse has been on continuous display since January 2020 as COVID and courthouse protocols have prevented our committee from making changes. But that is changing!

A new set of paintings will be put on exhibition on November 15. All members are encouranged to enter a water media painting in this exhibit. Our Activities page has been updated with the details so be certain to look there for guidance including framing, hanging, labeling, and drop off. The Committee will provide guidance at our meeting on September 27 and you can contact Carolyn Ratcliffe if needed.


Abstract Watercolor & Design– A Class by Jane Skafte

Member and professional artist Jane Skafte is offering a new class in abstract watercolor painting. Says Jane,

I am offering a 4-week in person class in abstract watercolor design and painting. This class will help you loosen-up your painting style to be more expressive. I will teach you how to do work with abstract design principles, realizing there should be a firm foundation of structure for your paintings using shape, value, color, edges and center of interest. This workshop is primarily for those who use watercolor, but gouache, water-based color pencils, and mixed media are welcome. Age of students: Teen to adult.

The painting at the top of this post is by Jane as an example of what she will be teaching.

Dates & Time: Wednesdays, October 6, 13, 20, 27 from 6:00pm – 8:30pm
Cost: $160 to Register
Location: McGuffey Art Center Starnes Classroom 201 2nd Street NW, Charlottesville, VA
More Information: Jane Skafte (janeellen.skafte@gmail.com)

Website: https://www.janeskafte.com/product-page/abstract-watercolor-and-design-workshop

BozART Collective Exhibition at The Center at Belvedere

Member Juliette Swenson sent us notice of an exhibition by the BozART Fine Art Collective at The Center at Belvedere in Charlottesville. The exhibition, entitled “A New Rhythm” will run from October 1 through the end of 2021. The Center is located at 540 Belvedere Rd, Charlottesville, VA 22901. You can read all about it in the following announcement.


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.


A Special Offer for the First 3 CVWG Respondents!

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


A Special Offer from Member John Hancock

CVWG member and professional artist, John Hancock, is announcing a new set of online watercolor lessons and has a special offer for fellow CVWG members. Says John,

This summer I’ve been working a lot in the studio, sketching a good bit, and even getting into several exhibitions around the country. But perhaps of real interest to CVWG members, I have been working on some new live online Watercolor classes. I’m gotten some post beginner classes ready to start this fall and I wanted to introduce them by giving away a free registration to three CVWG members.

Read about John’s classes, the special offer, and how to respond in the following announcement prepared by John. These “slots” will fill up fast so do not delay!


Another Reminder: In-Person Guild Meetings are Restarting on September 27

As Donna Koutrakos, our Guild President said in a recent email to all members,

I am so excited to tell you that we will hold our first in-person meeting in over a year on Monday September 27th at The Church of Our Savior, 1165 Rio Road East, Charlottesville, VA with refreshments at 12:30 pm and Meeting at 1:00 pm. Due to Covid 19 variant status, masks will be required and must be worn at the meeting.

Set the date on your calendars and plan to join your fellow member-artists then. As a reminder, here’s a map to help guide you there.



The September Painting Challenge! Will Resume at Monthly Meeting

Our Challenge! paintings will resume at our in-person meeting in September (see above). The September Challenge!:

  • The theme is “Quiet Valley…Real or Imaginary“;
  • Bring your creation to the meeting on Monday, September 27;
  • Your CVWG Directors for the Challenge! program, Janice Creasy and Carolyn Belt, will be your hosts;
  • Guild members, friends, followers, and guests are welcome to attend and show your painting(s).

September Meeting Program

As you should recall, our monthly meeting always includes a “program” related to water media. This month’s program is a member-painting Critique by Patricia Williams entitled “Stop Hating Critique and Learn to Love Your Failures”.

Members who wish to participate should bring no more than 2 unframed original paintings. Patricia will offer an independent eye and provide verbal feedback.  Yes, you can use one of your monthly Challenge! paintings as long as it is not in a frame. Since we will not know how many members or paintings will be entered, please do not bring more than 2. 

So, go through those in-progress paintings and bring them along so you can benefit from Patricia’s expertise. It will depend on the number of paintings submitted but we expect Patricia to be able to give 3-5 minutes to each.


Call for Artists– “Paint the Towne Greene” Plein Air Event in Stanardsville, VA on Oct 2

Member Chee Kludt Ricketts let us know of the Call for Artists and Visitors for the 2021 “Paint the Towne Greene” Plein Air event in Stanardsville, VA on October 2. You can read about it by clicking on that link or clicking here to view, download, and/or print the detailed instructions and form.


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.


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.


CVWG’s Exhibit at The Center, February’s Challenge!, and More!

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


CVWG’s Exhibit at The Center– New Timing June-July

CVWG has been notified that, due to recent closure of The Center facility in Charlottesville due to health protocols, our exhibit there has been delayed and is now scheduled for June through July 2021. Member and Past President, Linda Verhagen is leading CVWG’s efforts for this exhibition. 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.


February’s Challenge! Show is Another Success

We again had a great response to the second of our monthly Challenge! programs. Eighteen (18) artists submitted paintings depicting the theme of “Faith…what does it look like?”. On Monday, February 22, over 30 member-artists joined our Art Show by Zoom to enjoy the paintings, hear from the artists, and engage with questions and feedback.

Please take a few minutes to page through the slide show, below, to view the paintings and to see what your fellow Guild members accomplished! The image at the top of this page was also part of our Challenge! titled “The Handshake” by member Rosemary Connelly.

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

  • The theme for March is “Hint of Spring“;
    • What is popping up?
    • What is budding out?
  • Send a photo of your creation along with title to CVWG’s Webmaster by the entry deadline of Friday, March 19;
  • Join the “Challenge! by Zoom” meeting on Monday, March 22 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.

CVWG’s Challenge! program is discussed further on our Challenge! web page.


Call for Entries– Taubman Museum of Art Sidewalk Art Show in Roanoke

Member Chee Ricketts has alerted us to this Call for Entries:

The Taubman Museum of Art is pleased to announce the 63rd ANNUAL SIDEWALK ART SHOW in Roanoke, VA – on June 5 & 6, 2021. This show provides an excellent opportunity to show and sell your works: Firstly, the show is a premier destination for fine art shopping that attracts thousands of art patrons to the streets of historic downtown Roanoke. Secondly, at our Online Art Sale, a newly added feature offering digital marketing efforts through the months of May – June 2021. 

Artists can select to exhibit in the physical show and/or the Online Art Sale.  Both involve a jurying process.  Mediums presented may include: fine craft, sculpture, original paintings, prints, watercolors, etchings, mixed media, jewelry and photography.

The application deadline is Friday, March 5, 2021 and the application can be found at this link: https://www.zapplication.org/event-info.php?ID=9066.


Reasons to Attend Workshops by Karen Schwenzer

In the second of our ongoing series, CVWG’s Director for Workshops writes:

My number one criteria when choosing a workshop is to travel to a place I want to visit. But, some of the best workshops I’ve taken have been local ones, including with CVWG.  CVWG has previously sponsored well-known artists for a couple dozen students in bright, airy spaces. More recently, CVWG was sponsoring two and three day workshops with more local talent.

The McGuffey Art Center is a local treasure located in downtown Charlottesville. The McGuffey Association consists of 150 artists, of which 46 have studio space at McGuffey. This winter and spring, McGuffey is sponsoring a variety of workshops and classes, online and virtual. The in-person classes are held at McGuffey, usually in the artist’s studio, or at a private studio off-site. Studio space tends to be tight, though there are a few larger classrooms at McGuffey. Regardless, class size is usually small which allows a fair amount of one-on-one attention from the instructor. There are also open, live, figure drawing sessions without instruction. I have attended a few of these sessions, getting into charcoal for a while. The studio back then was a windowless, dark, cluttered, basement room that I swear had an old coal chute. Now, live figure drawing sessions are being held in one of the upstairs classrooms and seating is limited. Check McGuffey’s website for more details on all of McGuffey offerings. You are going to recognize some CVWG members amongst the artists. www.mcguffeyartcenter.com

Karen Schwenzer

Member News

Member Dianne Phillips writes:

I have been notified by The Nelson Fine Art Gallery that I have been accepted to show my art from the 7th through all of April. A reception is being planned for the 9th from 5-7pm. I hope my CVWG friends and fellow artists can attend.


Member Peg Sheridan writes:

I am hoping we are all able to get out more in the coming months!  I am finishing up teaching a 6 week Zoom class, “Loosening Up in Watercolors”, through Beverley Street Studio School, in Staunton. It went really well! I had students from our area, Richmond, and northern Virginia. I also taught an in-person workshop, ” Small Splashy Paintings in Watercolor”, through the Shenandoah Valley Art Center, in Waynesboro. We kept the class size small, and followed CDC guidelines, and it went well. 

Peg continues to offer workshops– one of her next ones is titled “Make Your Watercolors Sparkle by Using the White of the Paper“– so check out her web page at www.pegsheridan.com/.


Peg Sheridan also sent in information about this year’s Highland County Maple Festival by way of a friend:

It’s that Sweet Season Again! While it is true that the Chamber of Commerce cancelled the (official) Highland County Maple Festival, there will still be LOTS to do in Highland County on Maple Weekends! All of the sugar houses will be open, and Back Creek Farms will be open for the first time! (Our hours will be 10 – 5 on Saturdays, 11 – 4 on Sundays.)

Since we normally have a booth on the Courthouse lawn, we are planning to bring that same festive atmosphere to Back Creek! We will have pottery, jewelry, lavender products, woodworking, baskets, chocolate confections and food including hand pies and streusel – yum!

We are planning to follow the current COVID safety guidelines, so please bring your masks for a tour of our sugar house and see where the “magic” happens! Vendors, food, etc. will be outdoors, with some shelters available. We do have handicapped accessible parking.

Some other sugar houses will also be hosting vendors, and Highland County businesses will be OPEN!

Please support Highland County!Plan to visit March 13 – 14 or March 20 – 21 – we’re looking forward to seeing you!

Valerie & Pat Lowry of Back Creek Farms

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.


January Challenge Was a Huge Success!!

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


A Great First Challenge! of 2021!

CVWG had a fantastic (re)start of our Challenge! program. Nineteen (19) paintings from 18 member-artists were submitted on subjects ranging from figure studies, landscapes, still life studies, and fantasy related to our theme, “A New Year for All”. The image at the top of this page was also part of our Challenge! titled “Celebration” by member Jane Matthews.

Please spend a few minutes to step through a slide show, below, to see what your fellow Guild members accomplished!

On Monday, January 25, at least 29 Guild members joined in on a virtual “CVWG Art Show on Zoom” of these paintings. Each artist was allowed 1-3 minutes to talk about their painting, their muse(s), their approach, the paints and media they used, and any other topic of their choosing.

Thank you all for the great meeting yesterday. The art work was creative and fun to see. Glad we were able to see some of the members and know we are doing well. Look forward to the next one!

Mary Ann Friedman

The Zoom online video conferencing app somewhat hampered a free discussion but we are working to improve for February. Please plan to join us for the February Challenge! Art Show by Zoom:

  • February’s theme is “Faith“;
    • What does it mean to you?
    • Not (necessarily) religion or religious;
    • Think about all the ways you have faith…families, loved ones, etc.
  • Send a photo of your creation along with title to CVWG’s Webmaster by the entry deadline of Friday, February 19;
  • Join the “Challenge! by Zoom” meeting on Monday, February 22 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 Monday morning. 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.

CVWG’s Challenge! program is discussed further on our Challenge! web page.


Do You Need Help Using Zoom?

Some of our Guild members had difficulties in joining our Zoom meeting, issues with audio, and other matters that (we hope) should be easy to fix. Our CVWG Webmaster (and resident techno-geek) is planning one (or maybe more depending on number of interested members) a “CVWG Test Meeting by Zoom” where you can join, get some pointers, ask your questions, and get any tutoring you might want. This meeting will be set up for early February. You have to take the action to send an email to our CVWG Webmaster 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

Member Susan Rosen sends the following information about a free workshop:

There is a free workshop with an artist I have studied with for three years.  He is generous and a great teacher and people who study with him advance so much in their art practice.  I have taken his extended 12-week course twice and will take it again this year. The free workshop begins on February 15.  The link below will get you there!
https://share.tellafrienda2l.com/a/a2lworkshop2021/Secbud821


Member Chee Ricketts emailed the following news:

After a long absence from teaching, I began working with adults again last fall through OLLI. Due to concerns about the virus, the class was taught online on Zoom. I hauled all of my equipment from my Greene County studio to the OLLI conference room in Charlottesville and taught there with the technical support  of the two amazing OLLI staff members, Tay Strauss and Steve Bevins.

When the class concluded, several of my students asked me to continue with online teaching. As a result, I have set up a space in my home studio and it seems to be working well. My eight watercolor students are incredibly good-natured and patient with me as I navigate between PowerPoint, screen sharing, and my webcam.  I’ve attached a photograph of my space, complete with my faithful studio cat, Harvey, who insists that my chair is HIS


Strathmore Online Workshops Return for 2021

Strathmore, known for their artists papers, is again offering a series of 4 free online workshops this year. The workshops cover a range of topics– watercolor and gouache, mixed media, drawing, and oil painting– so we hope you might find one or two of interest. Follow this web link to their workshops page: https://www.strathmoreartiststudio.com/.


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.