Beyond the Pandemic There is a Brightside

March 2021

Press Release by Norm Freyer

Are you tired of COVID-19 and all it has done to limit our activities as artists? Have you lost some of your desires that require you to open up your box of paints, review your selection of brushes, and your choice of paper? Do you still have the need to take that idea you have in mind and express it artistically? No? Have you lost the urge to get started? You are not alone. It is hard to establish the damage this virus has done to creativity in watercolor art. I have to admit that it has taken its toll on my dedication to creative watercolor painting.

A good part of this misery is what this virus has done to encroach on our regular activities. We miss our monthly Citrus Watercolor Society (CWS) meetings. We miss the monthly demonstrations by visiting artists. We miss the opportunity to interact with our artist friends. We miss the professional critiques of new artwork provided by our member artists. We miss the workshops presented by these talented visiting artists. We miss “Paining of the Month” competition. We miss the CWS Spring Show and Sale that has been cancelled. Let us hope that we can get back to normal soon.

So, let us take a look at the Brightside. We still have the CWS web site that is chock full of info regarding our art and member artists. Take some time and explore the contents of our website. In the Member Gallery you will find an online art show with paintings by twenty CWS members. Let us celebrate with Peg Lefebvre on her First Place Award in the Florida Watercolor Society 2021 Online Show, featuring her painting “New Red Sneakers”. And to Nancy Dias, whose painting “Fantasy Garden” was juried into the 2021 Central Florida Watercolor Society Show at the SOBO Gallery in Winter Garden, FL. Another winner was the CWS virtual workshop on Zoom with Kim Minichiello. This workshop was sold out with a waiting list! Coming in April, Susan Strawbridge has scheduled another virtual workshop live on Zoom with Jerome Chesley, FWS President in 2018. Watch for announcements.


Going Virtual with Bold and Dynamic Watercolor

February 2021

Press Release by Norm Freyer

The Citrus Watercolor Society (CWS) is going virtual! COVID-19 has suppressed most of the society’s planned programs for the past few months. But there is more than one way to skin a cat. Susan Strawbridge, society program chairperson, has scheduled a one-day virtual workshop with Kim Minichiello featuring “Bold and Dynamic Watercolor”. The workshop will be conducted online utilizing Zoom on one’s desktop, lap top or tablet. During this workshop participants will be painting a yellow bromeliad. Kim will cover painting techniques unique to her process: bold color focusing on water to pigment ratio, value structure, color temperature, and color theory. All are important to make images look three-dimensional on a two-dimensional surface.

Kim Minichiello is an internationally recognized, award-winning artist, whose career in art and design has spanned more than 30 years. As a designer for Walt Disney Imagineering, she worked on the concept development and design of shops, restaurants, and attractions, for Disney theme parks worldwide. Kim is a signature member of American Women Artists and the Georgia, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and Florida Watercolor Societies. She was also the 2019 President of the Florida Watercolor Society. She is a member of thirteen professional painting societies, and is a founding member of the Orlando, Florida Chapter of the worldwide Urban Sketchers Organization.

She has exhibited her work in Europe, China, Hong Kong and throughout the United States, winning numerous awards. Most notably the Winsor & Newton Award in the 151st American Watercolor Society Exhibition and the Southwest Art Magazine Award in “Making Their Mark: American Women Artists” at the Booth Western Art Museum. She has been in global publications including The Watercolor Artist MagazinePlein Air Magazine and American Art Collector. She was chosen as one of fifty-six artists worldwide for “The Fabriano Watercolor 2020/2021 Exhibition” at the Museo della Carta e della Filigranna, in Fabriano, Italy. Her work will also be featured in Splash 22: The Creative Spark.

Kim comments, “Visual storytelling and attention to detail is my impetus in my career as a designer and continues to be the driving force in my work. My background in architecture and design, passion for travel, study of various cultures, and ongoing interest in botany influences my creative process. I’ve worked in a variety of mediums, but the lyrical nature of watercolor captivates me like no other. I’m inspired to push the limits of the medium to create bold and dynamic stories.” Kim is a studio and plein air painter, view her award-winning work on her website at www.kimminichiello.com

This one-day virtual workshop will take place via Zoom on February 13, 2021 from 9 AM until 4 PM, with a break for lunch. For more information contact Susan Strawbridge at 352-212-4378 or at susand319@aol.com

Artwork: It Tends to travel

January 2021

Press Release by Norm Freyer

As members of the Citrus Watercolor Society (CWS), many of us participate in art shows where our works are purchased by art lovers and collectors. Have you ever wondered where these painting end up? I have, and I find it quite interesting. Here are some of whom I am aware.

I received a call from my brother regarding a party in Rhode Island who were interested in one of my paintings. They wanted to know if the painting I had completed of Manatees was available. I responded to their call and learned that they had seen a photo of the artwork and that they wanted to purchase the original painting. I had already posted a price on the painting which they accepted. In addition, they agreed to pay the shipping cost to their location. So, it was off to one of the packing and shipping centers to prepare for shipping. The painting arrived in Rhode Island without any mishaps, and the purchasers were happy with the artwork. Sometime later I tried to follow up with these folks only to find that they had moved to Ft. Worth, Texas, Manatee painting and all!

Manatees by Norm Freyer

I am not a portraitist! But for some reason I decided to paint a portrait of Ralph Erickson, who was a neighbor of mine. He recently passed way. Anyone who knew Ralph would agree that he was a happy go lucky guy, always with a smile on his face, accompanied by some jolly conversation. Ralph was a native of South Dakota, which was heavy with Scandinavian neighbors. He always celebrated May 17th, the date of his birthday and “Norwegian Independence Day”. In preparation of the painting, I took a number of photos of Ralph, but he just would not smile for any of them. I finally picked one of the photos on which I based my painting and completed it. He did like the painting, thank goodness. It now resides with his daughter, who acts as family historian located in Denver, Colorado.

I was exhibiting at a Citrus County art festival a number of years ago. Two ladies came into the booth, who I learned were sisters. One sister was from Alabama, the other from the county area. The lady from Alabama had a photo of her two sons sitting with their dog, and she wanted me to do a portrait of the group. I tried to convince her that I was not a portraitist. We went back and forth for a while and she insisted that I do the painting. I finally submitted. At any rate, I did complete the portrait and I felt that it looked rather good. I had my wife, the ultimate reviewer of my work, critique the painting and she confirmed that it was well done. I called the lady from Alabama and let her know that I was finished. She said that she would be visiting her sister locally soon and she would pick up the painting. We decided a place to meet and the date finally arrived. I exhibited the painting for review, and I knew I was in trouble right away. She did not like it! However, the sister was of a different opinion. She said, “Wow! It looks just like them”! Thank goodness for the opinions of sisters! Her opinion settled the deal, and the portrait went back to Alabama.

And so, CWS artists, do you know where your artwork ends up once it has been sold? If you are able, do some research. You will be surprised. Artwork tends to travel.

Painting of the Month 2019-2020

March 2020

Polly Boston First Place

Norm Fryer – Second Place


February 2020

Yolanda Barreto- First Place

Barbara Kerr – Second Place


January 2020

Polly Boston – First Place

Eva Rudnicki – Second Place


November 2019

Curt Bond- First Place

Julie Jamison – Second Place


OCTOBER 2019

Norm Freyer- First Place

Pamela Livesay- Second Place


SEPTEMBER 2019

Mel Rustom – FOUNDERS’ AWARD


Show & Tell – September 2019

Annual Members’ Show & Tell and Founders’ Award

Mel Rustom – Founders’ Award Winner

Paint-Around June 14, 2019

Press Release by Norm Freyer

Something new is about to happen at the June 14th meeting of the Citrus Watercolor Society (CWS). Something in the art world that, quite probably, you have never seen before. You are going to have to see this! The activity that will occur is a fun, and fast-paced event. The event is what is called a “Paint Around”.  A Paint-Around is an event where a number of artists each “paint-around” to create paintings. 

Artists participating have limited time to contribute to the paintings, with each member taking timed turns. Those artists who will be painting include Barbara Kerr, Suzanne Mahr, Nancy Fisher, Darla Goldberg and Wanda Boyd. These folks qualified for the Paint-Around by placing first in the CWS “Painting of the Month” contest during the past year.

These five artists ll bring a painting concept already drawn off, with a reference, ready to paint on paper for a finished painting of 12”x16”.  Each artist starts on her own painting and paints for 10 minutes.  At the end of this time, volunteers help move the paintings to the next easel and each artist has 10 minutes to paint on that painting.  This continues until the artists have painted on each painting. The last rotation allows the artist 10 minutes on their own painting and this concludes the paint-around.

Each painting will be signed by all 5 artists and raffled off as a fundraiser for CWS. Tickets will be sold, $1.00 each, or 6 for $5.00. Tickets to be used by dropping tickets in any of the provided containers bearing the artist’s name/numbered painting.  Tickets can be used any time up until drawing for paintings. The CWS President will announce raffle winners. The paintings will be presented to each individual winner at that time. So come, watch this fun activity as the CWS artists take turns putting their unique spin on a painting!

Homosassa Fall Art Show 2018

Citrus Watercolor Society announces juried art show winners

The Citrus Watercolor Society announces the winners in the juried portion of the recent Fall Show and Sale held at the Ellie Schiller Homosassa State Wildlife Park. Hernando artist Douglas Murray was awarded the Best of Show honors. His watercolor painting of “Peggy’s Cove” (pictured above) was the best of some very competitive artwork. Murray is an accomplished watercolorist and has won numerous awards for his artwork. Other award winners were First Place, Helene Lancaster of Crystal River, for her painting “PalmsAlot”; Second Place went to Chuck Chesnul of Floral City with his painting “Yankeetown Marina”; and Third Place winner was Norman Freyer of Homosassa and his painting “Crotonesque”. Two artists, Susan Strawbridge of Inverness, and Curt Bond of Dunnellon received Honorable Mention awards. A painting by Yvonne Brunelle of Floral City received the President’s Award.

BEST OF SHOW – Peggy’s Cove – DOUG MURRAY