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5 AAG Members in SC Watermedia Exhibition

Five members of the Anderson Artists Guild had pieces selected by juror Frederick Graff for the South Carolina Watermedia Society’s 44th Annual National Exhibition. The show opened on August 2 and runs through September 24, 2021. There are 72 pieces in the show, including those by AAG members JoAnne Anderson, Rebecca Lawson Carruth, Jamie Hansen, Al Morris, and Wesa Neely. Reflections about their pieces are showcased below.

To view the entire show, visit

Table for One? By JoAnne Anderson

“The painting was inspired by a photo of a waiter I took while on a trip to France. I wanted to catch his upbeat attitude and used a combination of watercolor and gouache. The most challenging areas were the lettering on the sign and the highlights on the glasses he was holding.”

Foxfire Forest II by Rebecca Lawson Carruth

“I was inspired to paint a second Foxfire Forest when the first one won three awards and sold during the last show it was in. I had originally painted it for an upcoming SCWS show two years ago, but I decided it didn’t hurt to enter it in other shows until then. I did not think about it selling, so that did not happen and it’s okay. I am honored that Foxfire Forest II made it into the show and has a chance to go on the road. I used 300-pound hot press watercolor paper.”

This Is Chris by Jamie Hansen

“This is a 30” x 40” watercolor mounted to a wood panel. My husband, Chris, is a musician who will tell you that choral conducting is his primary instrument. But I know that guitar was his first—his native language. When the COVID lockdown started last year and all the choirs were unable to gather, he started buying guitars. He purchased four of them over this past year. He never told me why he needed them, but they arrived in our quiet home and I realized that these beautiful guitars were his new creative outlet. Isolated from his choir, the man who was at ease on an elevated podium was now sitting on the floor alone with a new acoustic bass guitar. He could no longer stand in front of a group of singers, but he needed to create.

“This painting is mounted to a cradled basswood panel and finished with a UV-resistant varnish and wax medium. Panels make my art sturdy and easy to transport. They allow me to work bigger. I begin by painting the backs and sides of basswood panels with latex paint. I glue the watercolor paper to a finished wood panel with permanent glue. I paint directly on the paper in inks and watercolor. Once this work is complete, I spray the watercolor with several coats of UV-protective varnish. I finish with wax mediums for a semi-gloss finish that protects the art and accentuates the texture of the ink lines and watercolor washes.

“My current watercolor series is a group of portraits about musicians’ experiences during COVID. The finished works will be on display at the Anderson Arts Center, opening on September 10, 2021, in the Atrium Gallery.”

Cigars by Al Morris

“My entry depicts the neon signs in the window of an old cigar store. The inspiration was an old friend's cigar store—Ye Ole Tobacco Shop—which can be found on East Bay Street in Savannah, Georgia. The window is actually on the side that overlooks the Yamacraw Bluff River Street access ramp.

“The biggest challenge originally was getting the picture. I was actually trying to photograph the store front and was on the crossover bridge above the access ramp. Looking at the photographs later, I liked the view of the window. As you can tell from the original photograph (above left), it was only a small part of the picture. Luckily it was a high-resolution photograph which allowed me to enlarge and crop just the window. The original painting was an 8 x 10 version, and I gave it to the owner for his 83rd birthday.

“My wife recently challenged me to paint it again, only larger. After much consideration, I decided to paint it again, only about seven times larger. I hope everyone enjoys the results.”

Hydrangeas by Wesa Neely

“This is a watercolor on paper that I did to show different textures and the simple beauty of flowers. I left the background white so that the composition would be the total focus.”


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