November 2017 Guest Artist: Louisa McHugh

This month we welcome Louisa McHugh to Valley Watercolor Society. Louisa will be demonstrating in our monthly meeting, and offering a one-day workshop.

Meeting and workshops are held at:
San Fernando Valley Arts & Cultural Center
18312 Oxnard Street
Tarzana, CA 91356
Click here for directions from your location.

About Louisa McHugh:
“My journey began when I started college at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. It was there I first studied watercolor… After just the first year, though, I fell into the common misconception that art is not a job, so, I wandered off in search of a more technical career that would be more likely to generate a stable income. In 2005 I graduated from Columbia College in Chicago with a degree in Cinematography. I came out to CA shortly after graduating, and, got into the union as a camera assistant. After a very brief stint in the film business, I decided to return to my roots as a painter. I took a class at Otis, and soon my style began to really develop. I toiled away on my own and studied magazines as I experimented with different methods and techniques. Soon I was winning awards and receiving significant recognition. My work is figurative and, now, is moving away from being so laden with detail. I’m concentrating on developing a looser, more expressive style with an emphasis on the human form.”

Visit Lousa McHugh’s website.

Meeting Information:

Louisa McHugh will be demonstrating in our monthly member meeting, Thursday, November 9, 2017. There will be a meet & greet from 6:30 to 7:00 pm, followed by meeting and demonstration at 7:00.

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Workshop information:
Date: Sunday, November 12, 2017
Time: 9am – 4pm
Place: San Fernando Valley Arts & Cultural Center
18312 Oxnard Street
Tarzana, CA 91356
Click here for directions from your location.
Cost: $60 members, $80 non-members

To register, send email to Selina Cheng.

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Plein Air Paint-Outs Announced for October 2017

This month’s paint-outs have been scheduled! Open to sketchers and painters, members and non-members, our paint-outs feature beautiful locations, artistic inspiration, and friendly camaraderie.

Here are the paint-outs for this month:

Wednesday, October 18, 2017, 9am – ?
Leonis Adobe Museum
23537 Calabasas Rd.
Calabasas, CA 91302
Click for directions from your location.

Historic buildings & wagons, live animals, wonderful gardens,  lots of subject matter to use in art creation. Since there will be a student bus tour and period dressed docents we should dress western (if possible): jeans, western hat if you have them. We will be the plein air artists of the late 1800s! Locate around the student tour area, look for David Deyell when you arrive.

Email David Deyell at if you think you’ll come and he’ll keep a lookout for you.

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Saturday, October 21, 2017, 9:00 am – ?

Lake Calabasas
23401 Park Sorrento
Calabasas, CA 91302
Click here for directions from your location.

Please call Paula Diggs at 818 223 9153 to let her know you are coming. Bring a sandwich or a packed lunch. Paula will also bring a treat to share.

Photo of Lake Calabasas - Calabasas, CA, United States. From my bedroom window. Love the ducks.

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You can always check further ahead on our paint-outs page.

October 2017 Meeting & Workshop Announcement

The next meeting of the Valley Watercolor Society is coming up Thursday evening, October 12, 2017, at 7 PM.

We meet at:
San Fernando Valley Arts & Cultural Center
18312 Oxnard St Tarzana 91356 CA
Click here for driving directions from your location.

Meetings are free for members, $5 for guests.
Click here to see our full meeting schedule.

This month we are excited to welcome Debbie Abshear to give a demo in our monthly meeting on Thursday, Oct 12, and to host a workshop for us on Friday, Oct 13, from 9am to 4pm.

Debbie Abshear en plein air

Debbie Abshear is a watercolor artist specializing in Plein Air landscapes. She has exhibited at the Santa Paula Museum of Art, California State University of Dominguez Hills and for the past three years, at the Watercolor West Exhibition held at the Brea Gallery.

Debbie earned her Signature Membership in the Watercolor West organization in 2014. Debbie was recently honored to be included in the Northlight Publishers book, ‘Splash 15’, featuring the best 100 watercolor artists.

Debbie has been a Governing Board Member of the National Watercolor Society for the past 6 years. She holds membership in the American Watercolor Society, National Watercolor Society, Watercolor West, South Bay Watercolor Society, and the Pacific Art Guild.

Debbie teaches a weekly beginning and intermediate watercolor class to adults in El Segundo, California.

In 2014, 2015, and 2016 Debbie painted extended Plein Air trips to Calico, Valley of Fire, Zion National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, Manzanar and has participated in Plein Air competitions in Mendocino, California. She regularly paints Plein air in and around her home in Southern California as well as daily studio painting.

Debbie recently exhibited paintings, and sketchbooks at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center in Fullerton. This National Watercolor Society invitational exhibition features plein air artists work from around the world.

Debbie is well known for her accordion sketchbooks which feature value studies of the landscape. Many a time she will arrive on site with a group of artists who all ask to see her most recent sketchbook.

We hope you will join us Thursday evening, Oct 12, for Debbie’s demo!

To inquire about attending Debbie’s workshop on Friday, October 13, 2017, from 9am to 4 pm, email Cost is $60 for members, $80 for non-members. Workshops are also held at SVFACC (directions).

Click here to visit Debbie on the web.

Check out our full workshop schedule here.

See you there!

Some of Debbie Abshear’s paintings

September Meeting Announcement

OUR NEW SEASON BEGINS Thursday evening, September 14, 2017, at 7 PM. We meet at at the the San Fernando Valley Arts & Cultural Center, 18312 Oxnard St Tarzana 91356 California.

We are really excited to welcome the brilliant watercolorist Carol Carter as our speaker and demonstrator. Carol is an established St. Louis painter with a MFA from Washington University, St. Louis. She is one of the most interesting artists working primarily in large-scale watercolors today. Her precise control of washes and transparent color harmonies make her watercolors some of the most unusual contemporary works in the medium. Carter’s work is known for its washes, which she charges with additional water and pigment to produce her trademark wash blossoms. The remarkable aspect of this technique is its riskiness: the movement of blossoms is very difficult to anticipate or control, yet Carter uses them sculpturally, in the highlights or shadows on figures or objects, where the blossom must contour and shade exactly or the three dimensional illusion will be spoiled. Carter accents these soft water effects by placing them in a very strong composition.

Carol Carter has exhibited extensively both regionally and nationally, including many one-person exhibitions and numerous invitational and group exhibitions. She has been published in countless magazines and books internationally including the cover of International Artist. She teaches workshops all over the world, and we are fortunate to offer her 3 day workshop from Fri-Sun, Sept 15 , 16 & 17, 2017, 9 am-4pm.

See you at the meeting!

Carol Carter Workshop Sep 15-16, 2017

Our first workshop for the 2017-2018 membership year features Carol Carter.

Carol Carter with Swimmer

Carol grew up in Florida and finds inspiration for her painting in water as an environment for human activity, depicting the nude swimmer, sugar cane fields, egrets, muck, cane cutting, sugar farming in her work, using vibrant saturated color in both watercolor and acrylic.

Join us September 15, 16, & 17 as Carol offers a tutorial each day. Each day’s class will consist of a demonstration, instruction, painting time, and informal critique. We will be painting floral, still life, and animal or waterscape.

The workshop will be held at:

San Fernando Valley Arts & Cultural Center
18312 Oxnard Street
Tarzana, CA 91356

Cost: $240/member, $300/non-member

To enroll, contact Selina Cheng, workshop administrator, at: (insert email)

Visit Carol’s website at:


Welcome to the new VWS Website!

Welcome to Valley Watercolor Society’s new website, updated for the 2017-2018 membership year. This website will be a work-in-progress over the coming year, as we gradually bring the content from the previous website over to this one.

Members, your input is valued! Please let us know what you would like to see on the website. Email your suggestions here: