Category Archives: Monthly Meetings

Giving Thanks While Hoping for a Brighter Future!

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


As we enter late autumn of 2021, we give thanks for all the blessings and grace in our lives. We rejoice that our Guild has adapted to the year’s special challenges and recognize our leaders for their works on our behalf.


Final Member Meeting of 2021– Oct 25

Our Guild held its final member meeting of 2021 on Monday, October 25 with a full program of refreshments, social time, a short business meeting, the Challenge! show, and a program. Our guest artist leading our program was Eleanor Cox. You can read about Eleanor in our last post and see her art on her website, https://eleanorcox.com/.

While, in “normal” years, we would enjoy a pot luck luncheon, the CVWG Board decided that posed too much of a health risk for our members so that event is not planned. Our next in-person meeting will be January 24, 2022. Look for more details in the coming weeks.


Membership for 2022

Our Membership Chair, Rosemary Connelly emails:

Starting in 2022, annual dues will be $25.00 for a single membership and $30 for a family of two, minimum age 18. Make checks payable to CVWG and send with our membership form at this link to:

Robin Kuzen, CVWG Treasurer, 848 St. Charles Avenue, Charlottesville, VA 22902

If your contact information changes during the year, please notify Rosemary Connelly. Changes in email addresses are particularly important as emails are the principal way for officers and other members to contact you.


Call for Artists– A CVWG Exhibition at Westminster Canterbury in Charlottesville

Member and Past President, Linda Verhagen, is leading the Guild’s exhibition at the Westminster Canterbury village. Linda, in a recent email to all members, says:

CVWG will be having an exhibit at Westminster Canterbury of the Blue Ridge Dec. 1 -31 this year. There are still spaces available for a painting from you. Please open the attachment to read all the needed rules to follow in order to enter. If you have any questions, please contact me at linda@cyrusfirst.com .

Open and download Linda’s information at the following link.



Member News

Member-Artist, Susan Rosen, emailed the following announcement:



Member-Artist Juliette Swenson emails:

I am pleased to offer watercolor painting classes lasting 2-5 weeks. These will specialize in animals and flowers. I have taught for some years now and have a large open room in which to teach in Staunton. My next series of classes starts in April 2022 on Thursday evenings from 4.30-7pm.

See Juliette’s website at www.julietteswenson.com for information about her classes.


We’d Love to Hear From You!

Drop our CVWG Webmaster an email to let everyone know what you are doing and how your artist journey is progressing.

Back to In-Person Meetings, Calls for Artists, and More!

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


Guild Member Meetings

Our Guild resumed our monthly meetings on Monday, September 27 with a full program of refreshments, social time, a short business meeting, the Challenge! show, and a program. The photo at the top of this post shows many of the members in attendance.

Twenty-nine (29) of our members and guests attended. Here are a few photos of the meeting, the 7 member-artists who met the monthly painting Challenge! interpreting the theme of “Quiet Valley“, and the program by Patricia WIlliams entitled “Stop Hating Critique and Learn to Love Your Failures“.

The next CVWG meeting is October 25:

  • President Donna Koutrakos has called a meeting of the Board of Directors for 10:45 AM;
  • Members and guests should arrive at 12:30 PM for refreshments and social time;
  • The business meeting will begin promptly at 1:00 PM and is expected to end by 3:00 PM.

The Challenge! theme for October is “Favorite Book” and our featured program artist is Eleanor Cox who will demonstrate her painting of Virginia landscapes. Our Meetings and Programs web page has been updated and provides a map to aid you in finding us.

Featured Artist Eleanor Cox

Eleanor Cox is our special guest-artist leading our program at our meeting on October 25 (se above).

Eleanor specializes in watercolors that feature color and light in the landscape and garden. Her work focuses on Virginia but she has traveled abroad annually for 30 years to paint en plein air in England, Ireland, France, and Italy. Holding a BFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, she has won many local and regional awards including honors from the Southern Watercolor Society, the Baltimore Watercolor Society, the Potomac Valley Watercolorists, and the Virginia Watercolor Society, all of which she is an artist member. Her work is in many private and corporate collections, including Forbes Magazine, Wachovia Bank, Philip Morris Corporation, CSX, Capital One, First Union Bank, and James River Corporation.

Says Eleanor,

I paint for the joy of painting. It is a natural way to express my ideas, impressions and reactions to nature, color and mood. Using landscape, the garden and still life, I am able to paint my responses in a way that expresses my sheer excitement of putting the brush to paper with watercolor paint, making marks, creating edges, washes and using brilliant color. Local regional scenes as well as traveling abroad give me endless opportunity to paint en plein air and in my studio. Gardening, cooking and teaching are passions I share with my brush.

Eleanor can be contacted through her email, eleanorscox@gmail.com. Her website is www.eleanorcox.com.


Call for Artists– A CVWG Exhibition at Westminster Canterbury in Charlottesville

Member and Past President, Linda Verhagen, is leading the Guild’s exhibition at the Westminster Canterbury village. Linda, in a recent email to all members, says:

CVWG will be having an exhibit at Westminster Canterbury of the Blue Ridge Dec. 1 -31 this year. There are still spaces available for a painting from you. Please open the attachment to read all the needed rules to follow in order to enter. If you have any questions, please contact me at linda@cyrusfirst.com .

Open and download Linda’s information at the following link.


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. Please contact Carolyn Ratcliffe if needed.


Member News

Member-artist John Hancock emails great news:

My Fall has already been busier than usual, especially with classes and sending out pieces of my work to several exhibitions around the country. I was especially pleased to be invited to be in a group exhibition at the Alexandria Art Museum (Louisiana) and in the 2021 Rocky Mountain National Watermedia show. Here is a link to the catalog of the RMNW exhibition. Aside from my solo exhibition back in February, those two were certainly among the most exciting of my several exhibitions around the country so far this year.


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.



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.


Member News and April Challenge! Paintings

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


Member News

Member Don Whitson seems to be keeping quite busy. He sent in the following notices:

I’m thrilled to have been notified that my painting, “The Apprentice“, has been juried into the 42nd Annual Virginia Watercolor Society Exhibition. To be held at the Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center, Portsmouth, VA – June 12 – September 12.

Also, I just received notification that two of my paintings, “Hangin Out in the Reeds” and “Hedge of Heron” have both been juried into the show “Bird is the Word” at the Flagler County Art League in Palm Coast, Florida. Because of COVID-19, the gallery is closed so the show will be on-line May 23 through July 24.

You can keep abreast of Don’s paintings and successes on his website at www.donwhitson-art.com.


Member Chee Ricketts, likewise, has two big announcements:

I will be the guest speaker in a virtual Zoom program sponsored by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UVA. My topic is “From Cats to Clouds: A Circuitous Creative Journey” and it details my life-long journey as an artist and teacher. I will be showing images of my work and sharing the often surprising circumstances that have influenced my years as a painter. The talk will be presented on Zoom in the monthly OLLI Virtual Happy Hour format at 5 pm on May 18. Registration is free, but needs to occur through OLLI. It would be fun to see some familiar faces on my computer screen! Hope you will be able to join me.

Also, I am beginning another class session of teaching watercolor on Zoom. Classes begin on May 25/26 and conclude at the end of June. If interested, please feel free to contact me: chee@cheekludtricketts.com or on my cell 434-825-8654.


Gloucester Arts Festival in June

Ever-alert member Janice Creasey sent in news of the upcoming Gloucester Arts Festival in a few weeks. You can read all about it on their website.

CVWG’s Challenge! Shows for April & May

Our April Challenge! featured the following 18 paintings from 17 member-artists at our Zoom show on Thursday, April 22.

The image at the top of this page, titled “Daffodils at Easter” by member Linda Abbey, was also part of our Challenge!

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

  • The theme is “Rain Drops“…how do they fall on flowers or other surfaces
  • Send a photo of your creation along with title to CVWG’s Webmaster by the entry deadline of Friday, May 21;
  • Join the “Challenge! by Zoom” meeting at 1:00 PM on Monday, May 24 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.