Learning and Sharing Art, Making Friends,
Being Involved, and Having Fun
Group Painting Sessions (GPSs)
We enjoy painting together In Person or on Zoom. In our GPSs we share ideas, information, insights, skills, techniques, support, critiques, understanding and friendship.
Our In Person Group Painting Sessions (GPSs) meet usually three times every month. Our Zoom GPSs meet each week of the month plus an additional day or more in the month.
WOW! Paint Outs
Every year we plan several activities to get us out of our normal painting environment to paint in nature, in a garden, at a friend's farm out in the country, at a flower festival. The events change from year to year depending on what people want to do, but it's always fun and a reminder to be spontaneous and to keep our eyes connected to living inspirations versus simply beautiful photographs.
WOW! Art Shows
Our group holds an annual art show in August which is hosted by the Keizer Arts Association.
In 2023, fourteen of our artists chose to hang 66 pieces of art representing their best work of the year. A juror evaluated the show and awarded prizes at a lovely reception. We are planning to do more shows in public spaces in 2024 and beyond.
WOW! is committed to providing a special workshop each year with an outside instructor. As requested by its members, the workshop explores an artistic theme or technique(s), is specific and most likely project based with emphasis on elements of composition, specific techniques, color and value and/or textures.
Members have priority for WOW! workshops and space is limited. Space allowing, invitations are extended outside our membership to the larger art community.
Spring Fling Social
Each Spring, we shake off the winter blues with a Spring social at Debbie's Cozy Cottage in Salem. We gather in the light drenched studio space for food, sketching, and visiting, or kick around outside in the garden with games like corn hole. We invite partners and friends to share the love and otherwise decompress after a long winter indoors.
Retreats at Carol's Farm
Before the summer has breathed its last breath, we drive down to Salem and hangout at Carol's Farm for a day painting plein air, drinking tea and eating muffins, and once again getting out of our normal routine and space to find relaxation, refreshment, inspiration. Our friend Carol is a gracious host giving us a run of the place which has barns, animals, flowers, views. It is a great kick-off to fall.
Demos on Technique
Demonstrations are offered through out the year during selected Group PaintingSessions (GPSs). They provide opportunities for our artists to learn from artists in our group. Presenters may illustrate different techniques, share areas of expertise or discoveries, different skills or strategies, or assist in learning steps in writing an artist's statement, framing art, showing their art, or request an aspect of art to explore.
Members learn new ways of handling our medium or explore a themed subjects. We grow to be more knowledgeable about painting watercolor, various art techniques, and presenting, showing, and promoting our art for shows and sales.
Field Trips to Gardens
We wouldn't miss an opportunity to view the beautiful gardens in our area: Schreiner's Iris Farm, Oregon Gardens, Swan Island dahlia farm, Portland Japanese Gardens, or other beautiful gardens in the area.
We soak in the beauty, take pictures, study our subjects, and wander ruminating about life and comforted by nature, while witnessing the eternal and resplendent bloom cycles.
December Holiday Tea
The first Sunday afternoon of December we have a tradition of wrapping up our year with a holiday party that has nothing to do with art but everything to do with celebrating the friendships we have within our group.
There's plenty of eggnog (and adult beverage to spike it), great food (everyone brings a dish to share) as well as a fun anonymous gift exchange in the form of the classic Pirate Thieving Game which brings much hilarity.
Community Out Reach
So that the community gets to meet us in person where they are,
we set up a table at Jurgens Park in the early summer and connect with local residents. We bring our painting supplies and work on our projects. People from every age come up to us and ask about what we are doing.
For folks who are interested in pursuing art, we share about how to do that with resources we know about,
and we invite people to join us
for a GPS to learn more about us and maybe even join us.
Opportunities to Exhibit
In addition to our WOW! Annual Group Show (WAGS) in Keizer, our artists are encouraged to enter art shows at the major state associations, such as Watercolor Society of Oregon (WSO) and Oregon Society of Artists (OSA). Moreoever, WOW! has begun to pursue display opportunities in public spaces and galleries such as major area libraries for a second group exhibition. While not all of our artists are interested in showing their work, many are very interested in getting more visibility for artistic accomplishments.
The Living Room Gallery in the Tualatin Public Library
Many of our artists have been featured in the Living Room Gallery in the Tualatin Public Library, a program initiated by WOW! leaders going back almost to the time of the founding of WOW! The Library has a beautiful space dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments of local artists, and getting on the list for this opportunity is a possibility for our members who have enough framed pieces of a certain finished quality. If this is of interest, please talk to Angela Wrahtz who curates the library art program.