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In Memorium – Naomi Brotherton, SWS

5/24/2024


In Memorium – Naomi Brotherton, SWS

 

On May 12, 2024, Naomi Brotherton, the last founding member of SWS passed away. A beloved pillar of our society who encouraged so many of us through her mentoring, she continued to teach and paint well into her nineties. On April 8, 2024, SWS celebrated Naomi’s 104th birthday

 

Active in the Southwestern Watercolor Society since its founding in the 1960s, Naomi had served as President and been active as a leader for many years. As she became more frail in the last few years, visitors to Naomi at home report that she always wanted to hear news of SWS. Her enthusiasm and contributions to the society have been so notable that SWS named the Membership Exhibition Best of Show award in her honor. Up until the last few years, Naomi came to the annual receptions to congratulate the winners. 

 

One way to remember Naomi is to let her speak for herself. In March of 1977, the SWS SCENE Newsletter published a conversation with Naomi. It is a wonderful way to get to know her in her own words. 

 

A conversation with Naomi Brotherton

 

One of the most conscientious, hard working watercolor painting teachers in the Dallas area is Naomi Brotherton. Currently she is conducting classes at the Creative Art Center and Artist Courtyard.

 

Naomi said; “My first painting lesson at about 14 years of age was a watercolor and guess I was “hooked” even thenThe challenge of making the white paper work through the transparent pigment interested me in college but my first serious watercolor training was with Edgar WhitneyThree of his New England tours in two summers really sold me on specializing. I’d always hated cleaning oil brushes anyway so I gave the oils away and took up he serious pursuit of the evasive but fascinating Medium.”

 

She continued; “Watercolor painting keeps me humble – especially when I attempt “people” paintings. Figures and portraits are my newest interest although landscape and still life will probably always dominate my work.

 

“Transparency has always been the challenge, so I eliminated most of the opaque pigments from my palette which also helps me keep from getting muddy color.

 

“Transparent watercolor painting is not the fearsome medium it is thought to be. It does take a willingness to serve an apprenticeship to learn the control of watercolor. Then you have at your fingertips an exciting way of painting without limitation as to techniques. The endless panorama of the ever-changing countryside compels me to attempt symbolic paintings of it in this fresh, bright and permanent medium.

 

“Mood and atmosphere under different weather conditions such as fog, rain, sunshine and night have intrigued me.

 

“Design is particularly important. Some paintings evolve out of abstract free underpainting but pre-planning with a value plan always pays off.

 

“Many years ago while attending an opening of an exhibit I fell into conversation with a little woman near meIn answer to my inquiry as to whether or not she painted said; ‘I don’t paint as I used to, and I don’t paint as I’m going to.’ That statement by a stranger has meant much to keep me from ever becoming “satisfied”. I recall that incident and do constantly seek new direction in my work.”

 

Naomi has sought new direction in various places. An Art Graduate of Baylor University (BA degree), she went on continuing her studies at the Art Student League and Art Career School in New York CityShe has studied extensively with such nationally known watercolorists as Edgar A. Whitney, John C. Pellow, John Pike, Gerry Pierce, Rex Brandt, Robert E. Wood, Milford Zornes and Charles Reid.

 

Besides being a regular teacher in Dallas for over 16 years, Naomi is equally popular elsewhere. She taught her 10th summer workshop in Ruidoso, New Mexico, in July 1976 and will return for a second October workshop in Ruidoso in the fallShe has also taught many other watercolor painting workshops throughout the southwestShe has been a popular judge for juried shows. (How did she have time to paint for a total of 30 one-artist exhibits?)

 

In 1967-68 Naomi served as president of the Southwestern Watercolor Society and has attained the SWS Signature member status. She has served faithfully on the Board of Directors of SWS for a number of years and helped formulate its policies.

 

She is a member of Texas Watercolor Society, Texas Fine Arts Association, Coppini Academy of Fine Arts (San Antonio), Artists and Craftsmen Associated of Dallas and Oklahoma Watercolor Association. 

 

Naomi influenced countless painters and others through her passion for watercolor and her generous, warm nature. She is sorely missed. 

 


Michael Holter Presents - Varnish: It's Between You and Your Painting

Constance Corbett - 8/10/2023



Painter, instructor and SWS member Michael Holter shared his expertise in varnishing watercolor paintings at the May 2023 SWS Monthly Member Meeting.  This information is particularly timely, as SWS is allowing varnished and waxed paintings for the first time in its Annual Membership Exhibition.

Find his informative presentation here: Varnish: It's Between You and Your Painting!



SWS Hosts WFWS Exhibition in Grapevine, Texas

Dalynn Montgomery - 2/11/2023

SWS hosts the prestigious Western Federation of Watercolor Societies annual exhibition this year in Grapevine, Texas.

The Western Federation of Watercolor Societies (WFWS) was formed in 1976 by the New Mexico Watercolor Society and included nine other watercolor societies. The purpose was to make a large and prestigious watercolor exhibition available at low cost to members for small and often isolated watercolor groups.

Today, the WFWS includes over 5,000 artists in ten regional watercolor societies and guilds.


Map of WFWS

The WFWS encourages and recognizes artistic excellence and works to increase visibility of watercolor as an artistic medium through our annual juried exhibitions. The exhibitions are sponsored by WFWS and hosted by a regional member society. Delegates meet annually (usually at the current show) to conduct general business and discuss the next year’s plans. Each society hosts the show on a rotating basis.  This year's exhibition will be at the Tower Gallery on Main Street in Grapevine. 

There were 699 paintings entered for the exhibition. The juror, Mary Whyte accepted 90 paintings into the exhibition.  SWS had a tremendous showing, with 17 artists accepted:

E. Gordon West
Jo Williams
Jane Jones
Michael Archer
Mary Rylant Batson
Olivette Hubler
DonTaylor
Sondra Carr
Judi Betts
Kathy Elliott
Barbara Lindley
Sheilagh Cooper
Mary Elle
Dana Brock
Beverly Boren 
Cecy Turner
Jessica Kirklin

The opening reception for the exhibition will be on Saturday, May 6th. The show will be on display through June 2.


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