Category Archives: Resources for Members

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.

Less Than 1 Week Until Challenge! Returns!

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


Challenge! Deadline Is This Friday, Jan 22

One final reminder that your Guild is (re)starting our monthly Challenge! and there is less than a week to get your painting entered. You can read about this activity on our Challenge!2021 webpage including the monthly themes, entry deadlines, and Zoom Meeting dates. Again, a special Thank You to two longtime CVWG members and directors Bunny Creasy and Carolyn Belt, the Challenge! for leading this.

We remind you:

  • January’s theme is “New Year for All“;
  • Send a photo of your creation along with title to CVWG’s Webmaster by the entry deadline this Friday, January 22;
  • We will hold a “Challenge! by Zoom” meeting next Monday, January 25 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.

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 Karen Schwenzer emails:

For many years I’ve been doing travel journals   And I did one for the only trip I took in 2020 -February in Zanzibar and the Seychelles. I then started a series of sketch books and watercolor journals for the entire year. I always had one or both with me. I attach a selection of what I’ve been doing in my isolation. 

The image at the top of this post is also Karen’s.


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.

Challenge! Returns…Let’s Get Painting!

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


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 www.cvwg.art/challenge/.

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.

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.