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By Karen B. Butler

Many American Watercolor Society members in addition to being painters, teach classes, do illustration, conduct workshops and write books. The tradition of sharing knowledge, technical skills and wisdom has been an important part of the organization's membership from the very beginning. This year's demonstrators each point to an AWS member from the past or the present that have had an important influence in their evolution as an artist.

Three programs will be presented by AWS members during the 2011 annual exhibition.
All demonstration evenings are open to the public.
Each evening will begin promptly at 6PM. Seating is limited.
Demonstrations and presentations are held in the
Upper Gallery of the Salmagundi Club
47 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10003, USA

For more information call: 212-206-8986

APRIL 12, 2011 6:00 PM

Mel Stabin finds watercolor painting to be always exciting, unpredictable, immediate, and challenging because of its magical, elusive, spontaneous, and transparent qualities. "Watercolor provides a means of expression for me that no other medium has. For me, the joy and real reward of painting is in the process itself."

Mel will emphasize design principles with the objective of building a strong painting by seeing and thinking simply, painting quickly and energetically, and focusing on the "idea" of the painting. Mel will complete a painting, demonstrating his loose, representational style. In an interview on the Artist Daily blog, Mel said: "There is a tendency for artists to tighten up at the beginning of a painting. To exploit the unique beauty of the watercolor medium, being spontaneous in one's approach to a painting and very focused on the essence of the subject will result in a credible piece of work. Watercolor is at its best when it is set free. Of all the elements involved in the painting process, color is the most expressive, and the choice is personal. Be true to your own feelings about color, but base your choices on knowledge."

For over twenty years Mel has conducted plein air watercolor workshops with groups on location throughout the country and abroad. Mel has written the books, Watercolor, Simple, Fast, and Focused and The Figure in Watercolor: Simple, Fast and Focused. His paintings are in many private and corporate collections, and have been the recipient of numerous national awards. Mel has had seventeen one-man exhibitions. His work can be seen on his website: and The New American Gallery website:

INFLUENCED BY: "It all began with Edgar Whitney who was my professor and mentor at Pratt Institute, where I painted the figure in watercolor. He lit the fire. I also studied with Ed for six years painting landscapes on location. Ed had an amazing personality. He had strong convictions about art and life, which he presented in a powerful and dramatic fashion to his students. Searching for the essence of a subject before painting it was one of the most memorable things I learned from Ed." (Artist Daily blog interview)

APRIL 19, 2011, 6:00 PM

"Whatever my subject, I need to find some aspect of it, some visual aspect, that I can fall in love with...usually something to do with the light and how the subject is revealed and concealed by the fall of light."

Bill will paint with acrylics on a large board demonstrating various techniques, such as: combining transparent and opaque paint, applying washy over-painting, and layering wet over wet. He will be working from a still life or a live model.

"I came up through the workshop system, and back when I was studying there was really nobody teaching acrylics. So I worked in transparent watercolor for a long time, picking up acrylics on my own. Fortunately, there were some good books available, and after all, acrylic paint is just pigment in a transparent, water-soluble binder that dries fast…not too different from watercolor. My experience with watercolor informs my painting in acrylics."

Teitsworth regularly paints outdoors, a practice that he finds essential for "recharging my batteries," or "taking my bucket back to the well". He says: "For the water media artist, 'landscape season' is over once your paint water starts to freeze." His subject matter varies and includes landscape, still life and figures.

Bill has received numerous national awards for his paintings. In 2005 he won The Silver Medal Award in the American Watercolor Society's Annual Exhibit. Bill teaches water media workshops for Coastal Maine Art Workshops and other organizations. He has been featured in many books and authored numerous articles. His work is represented in the BOI's Gallery in New Hope, Pennsylvania. His website:

INFLUENCED BY: Serge Hollerbach, Composing in Acrylics; Bill's friend and teacher.

APRIL 26, 2011, 6:00 PM

AWS is happy to announce a third Watercolor Evening this year having an Associate Member as demonstrator. This will become part of our annual schedule. Associate member, Lisa C. Budd will give this year's demonstration.

In the 2009 American Watercolor Society Annual Exhibit Lisa won the Paul Schwartz Memorial Award. She is a member of Philadelphia Watercolor Society and The New Jersey Watercolor Society. Lisa Budd's artwork is inspired by the surrounding beach and marshes where she lives in New Jersey. She has always been fascinated with watercolor and strives to capture the light and luminous qualities of her subjects. "The infinite possibilities of pigment and its medium allow for a dynamic that can be controlled or let go, depending on the mood of the piece - or myself."

Lisa will demonstrate how she paints on non-absorbing synthetic paper. She explains that the paint remains on the surface of the paper and has wonderful lifting capabilities. She will start by covering the paper with paint, tilting the board to encourage mixing, and adding a spritz of water if she needs more flowing paint. Finding interesting patterns and soft edges is the goal of the first wash. The paint and water remain on the surface and allows for a longer mixing time. Different textures can be achieved by adding multiple combinations of watercolor pigments.

"To begin, I typically have a small pencil sketch, with an overall concept of lights and darks. I also refer to test strips of the pigments I plan to use, how they mix or repel each other. I pre-mix paint in small bowls – not each color, but the blues, since I use a lot of blue and have large pointed brushes. Other colors are ready to go on the palette – usually with a separate brush for each color." As the first wash dries Budd decides where she wants the light areas and removes the paint. This is unlike working on watercolor paper where you leave the white of the paper. One can even wipe off all of the paint and start over! Lisa' website is:

INFLUENCED BY: Mel Stabin's workshop and book, Watercolor: Simple, Fast and Focused.