Category Archives: Monthly Meetings

Challenge! Returns…Let’s Get Painting!

A reminder that Central Virginia Watercolor Guild is found online at

You are Challenge!‘d

With the leadership of longtime CVWG members and directors Bunny Creasy and Carolyn Belt, the Challenge! portion of our monthly meetings is returning in a safe, virtual manner! In short,

  • Artists are invited to paint an original work aligned to a different theme each month;
  • Simply take a photo of your painting and email it to our CVWG Webmaster;
  • Attend a Zoom video conference meeting to discuss your work and to see what your fellow artists have created.
  • Details– including specifics, monthly themes, and dates– are provided on our dedicated webpage at

We are planning to hold the Challenge! meetings by Zoom on the same day and time as our monthly meetings would normally fall, the 4th Monday of the month at 1:00 PM. We are asking that you submit your paintings by the Friday before so we can get the images loaded on the web page and get ready for the meeting.

  • In January, our meeting will be 1:00 PM on Monday, January 25
  • Photos of your work are due on Friday, January 22

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

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:

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 ( 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.

Mid-Summer Update

A reminder that CVWG can be found online at

A Letter from Our President and Board of Directors

The Guild’s President, Linda Verhagen, recently sent a letter to all members with key updates on our 2020 operations, exhibitions, and other business given the ongoing impacts from the coronavirus pandemic. The letter begins…

After a Zoom meeting on July 27 where some difficult decisions had to be made, the CVWG Board and I are sorry to let you know that with the exception of the Small Works Show in Crozet, all other planned activities of the guild have had to be cancelled for the remainder of 2020 due the Covid-19.

You can read the entire letter at this link.

The Board hopes all our members and followers the best of health and we look forward to resuming our usual Guild activities as soon as possible.

Member News

A special callout to member Dianne Phillips for sharing her painting “The Black Pearl” featured above and in our Member Directory. Dianne has been particularly patient with getting this added to our site.

Member Linda Abbey tells us that several of her flower paintings and drawings are being shown in Fellini’s Italian Restaurant on West Market St in Charlottesville since their “soft opening” last month.  Fellini’s just opened for inside dining every Thursday, Friday and Saturday– reservations, social distancing , and masks are required– from 5pm to 9pm. Fellini’s continues to offer take-out and delivery to select areas of Cville. You can view more of Linda’s work on her web site.

Member Janice (Bunny) Creasy reminds us that good advice and mentoring in our water media never goes out of style. She sent in the following three newspapers clippings from 2018 from the Fluvanna Review. Those of you with sharp eyes will notice another of our members, Bill Snow, as one of the leaders in these workshops. CVWG continues to be blessed with great members and mentors!

As always, we are interested in featuring your art in our member gallery, highlighting your activities during these “interesting times”, featuring you and your art in our Member Gallery, news, an online resource you have found, or any other item of interest. We need more members willing to show for one of our Featured Member Artist series. Simply email our Webmaster to begin a collaboration.

Update May 16

A reminder that Central Virginia Watercolor Guild can now be found on the web at

Club News

Cancellation of June Guild Activities

Due to the continuing spread of the coronavirus, its threat to our members who fall into the at-risk demographic, and out of an abundance of caution by our elected Board of Directors, all Guild activities for the month of June 2020 are cancelled. Our Board will continue to assess the situation through the future and we’ll update you as warranted.

Updated Guidance and Entry Criteria for Our Small Works Exhibit in September

Guild President, Linda Verhagen, has been working with the Crozet Artisan Depot gallery to adapt our Small Works Exhibit to the changed and changing business climate. Our Call for Entries page at this link has all the latest guidance. At present, we still have “room” for more artists’ works so email Linda to add yourself to this exhibit.

Our Next Featured Member Artist, Patty Richmond

A few days ago, I posted a new Featured Member Artist page celebrating the art and short biography of member Patty Richmond, Director for the Guild’s Workshops. One of Patty’s pieces is featured above. Take a few minutes to check out her page and appreciate Patty’s fine work.

I invite any member to be featured in a future page or to share any news with our members and followers. Please send an email to me if you are interested. I promise to make it as painless as possible for you.

Mark Fitzpatrick, CVWG Webmaster

Member News

Member Mary Spear sent a photo of one of her latest paintings. Check it out in our Member Gallery. As you work on your art during these unusual times, snap a photo and email it to me for posting into our Gallery.

Member Rosemary Connelly continues to bless our Guild with ideas for connecting to water media artists through their online web-based demonstrations. Professional artist Tom Lynch has another online demonstration you can view at this link. This was aired live on May 9 and should be viewable for several more weeks.

If, like Rosemary, you know about online workshops, demonstrations, museum walk-throughs, or other art-related “content”, send me an email and I’ll try to publish it so all our Guild might benefit.

Member Harold Hallock has a new email address. Our Member Directory has been updated to reflect his contact information. I apologize to those member who have joined since March as I am behind in updating our directory but will get it published “soon”.

Other News

Guild President Linda Verhagen recently sent out an email to all members regarding online classes from local Charlottesville artist Jane Skafte. Jane has two online classes– Watercolor starting May 26 and Sketching starting May 27– being offered by The Center. Registration is required and limited in number. Go to this link to read about the classes and to register.

A reminder to our members that Strathmore Artists Papers sponsors online workshops every year and have been featured in prior blog posts. Their most recent workshop on How to Draw Portraits started on May 4 but is still available to you.

Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff continues to be one of the larger online and mail order provider of water media art supplies with a diverse inventory of paints, brushes, papers, and almost anything else you might want for your art. Just today, Cheap Joe’s posted and announced an online watercolor demonstration by professional artist David R. Smith. Check out his demo at this link and while you are there, subscribe to David’s YouTube channel and bookmark the Cheap Joe’s site.

April & May Activities Postponed

Our Guild Board of Directors, continuing to prioritize the health and wellness of all our members, have voted to cancel all scheduled Guild activities through May 2020.

This is due to the ongoing and increasing threat of the coronavirus. As many of our members are over age 65, the board felt that this was the responsible decision to make at this time. There will be no change over of paintings at the Courthouse in April in order to keep members safe from any contaminated surfaces or group gatherings. This was to be the special judged Courthouse Show, however, the committee has decided to reschedule this event at the October 26 turnover date. In addition, the Peg Sherman Workshop originally scheduled for May 11 will be postponed to a date in the future.

You are all in my thoughts and prayers as we travel through a most difficult time. As artists, we constantly seek to find ourselves, understand the world we live in and to express what is important to us through the visual world of art. On a positive note, we have been given time to think or perhaps rethink what is truly important and how we as individual artists want to express this to others.

Linda Verhagen, CVWG President

Member News

“Going in Circles” by Susan Rosen

Susan Rosen reports that she has art accepted into two juried exhibitions:

Her painting “Going in Circles” has been accepted into the 2020 Academy of the Arts Annual National Juried Art Exhibition at the
Lynchburg Academy of the Arts. Susan reports that, to her knowledge, the art will still be hung and the Juror will still make awards despite the current state of closures and cancellations.

Susan’s art at the top of this page, titled “Harvest”, has been accepted into the 2020 Art Speaks Juried Exhibition for Virginia artists at The Bay School Community Arts Center in Mathews, Va now (re)scheduled for July 25.

Help Us Out

Please share with the Guild what activities and art you are working on during these challenging days. Send an email to our webmaster with images of your art, a link to an interesting web page, an online tutorial, etc. and we will get it on our web.

2020 Officers

At our last Guild meeting on October 28th, the Board presented the slate of officers for the 2020 term. A vote of the Guild membership was taken and the slate of officers unanimously passed. ( No surprise there).

From left to right are our 2020 Officers:

Brenda Hounshell ~ Treasurer
Donna Koutrakos ~ Secretary
Sharon Walker ~ Past President
Linda Verhagen ~ President
Susan Stover ~ Vice President/Programs
Trish Crowe ~ Vice President/Programs ……….(Not pictured)

Congratulations to our Officers with our profound “Thank you for serving”.

By Carolyn Ratcliffe