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President's Letter October 2023

Lindsay Ainsworth | Published on 10/8/2023

Dear Members,


Are you loving this WEATHER?!? It’s a great time for painting en plein air. If only I could find the time! Well, the truth is, I need to make the time. That is how I will get better.

I was taught that the best way to get better at painting is to paint, a lot! I sometimes struggle to prioritize my painting and fail to develop a regular painting practice. Are you often plagued by every day distractions like phone calls, bills, and all your other responsibilities? Sometimes it seems that every other thing in my life is more important than the time I plan to paint. When I have a day like this, I look for ideas and ways to adapt and shift my focus without getting caught up in a negative spiral that wastes even more time.

One way I adapt is to shift my focus so that I start with something mindless and simple, like organizing or cleaning my studio. Once I get started on something simple, I often find myself re-energized and motivated. Another strategy I use, if I can get myself in gear, is to practice a simple painting skill, a wash, playing with color, or practicing relative value relationships. If I make myself feel bad about not painting, then I DO feel bad and I don’t paint. If I just sort of redirect myself into something painting-related, things shift. Pretty soon I am thrilled and excited to get back to painting. Just some random thoughts. Hope your painting is going swimmingly!  

I know some of us rely on deadlines to carve out the time to paint, so I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the 54th Annual Juried Exhibition deadline is just around the corner. Remember to submit your paintings to before November 10, 2023.


David Smith is here this week for our MSW’s Fall Workshop. We have at least two 3 to 4-day workshops each year. If you were unable to get into this high-demand workshop, David will lead a demonstration on Wednesday the 11th at 7:00 p.m. Thank you to all our workshop volunteers, and to Paula Karina for chairing the Workshop Committee! Be sure to check out our future workshops here. We are currently looking at ways to expand this program. To do so will require more volunteers. You can sign up through the website under the “Volunteer” tab on the menu bar. 


Your MSW board is working constantly to bring you more member benefits and more opportunities to engage in all things watercolor. We are hoping to participate in this year’s Fall Harvest Fest in Hillcrest. Not only will it be fun to interact with the larger community, but we will be holding a raffle and make sure to have a member onsite painting live! We will need volunteers to help out and make this a success! You will receive an email shortly with more details from the very dedicated Bridgett Kasten. We are also increasing the number of “paint-ins” this year. Paint-ins are a great way to meet and engage with other artists! November 4th Carole Canino with lead a Holiday Paint-in. Where you can paint cards, gift tags, a project that needs your attention, or anything your mind can dream up. 

As we increase our activities and member benefits we still need more hands on deck. Any volunteer opportunity mentioned above is a great way to contribute, but we want to do more so we also need members who would like to be of service in the community and educational outreach program. MSW has a long history of community outreach and support for young artists. We believe doing so is integral to MSW’s mission. Please consider Volunteering in this way. 


Click here for an article about choosing the right watercolor paper. I found it interesting, and hope you find it helpful as well.


Take care, be well, and keep painting! 

Stephen Lanford 

MSW President