Happy Spring!

February brought us a really splashy Splash with heavy rain on Sunday. Despite the weather challenges we had over 900 attendees! Congratulations to our winners – we had some magnificent entries. Many thanks to all those who entered. Thank you to all the volunteers who made it happen (over 50% of our membership).

BWS president Terri Mahnken, J. Susan Cole Stone and Ruth Fein awarding Susan with the 2024 Splash win for her painting Fifty Shades of Grey #2.

BWS president Terri Mahnken, J. Susan Cole Stone and Ruth Fein. Susan’s painting “Fifty Shades of Grey #2” was the overall winner of Splash 2024.

Laurie Griffin did another amazing job in coordinating everyone and making Splash as success for individuals, the membership and the community. This was her last year as coordinating and we are in need of someone to take on the role for next year.

Long time member, Barbara Brook, led a 2-day workshop on Batik watercolor. We had 15 attend. Over the two days we created two major pieces and some smaller ones. I am always so astonished and appreciative of the skills I learn during workshops.

Happy group of artists at Barbara Brooks’s 2-day Batik Workshop.

Many of you have requested social events, beyond general meetings and workshops. The Board will be meeting in early April with part of our agenda being planning one or two for you. We’ve received lots of ideas!

We have one general meeting left before our Summer break, on Saturday, May 11, 1-3 pm. The next general meeting after that, in September is……Elections. You know where I’m going with this. 😊

  • We’ve had one member come forward with an interest in the Presidency or Vice President/Workshop position. We will be talking more to see if the presidency is a fit for her. We must have a President and really need the VP position filled so the presidency isn’t a full-time job.
  • We need to know by the May meeting if we can fill these positions so we can familiarize everyone with their roles and have them be ready to step in, in September. Conversely, if we don’t have interest in the positions, we’ll have to prepare to dissolve the non-profit status. Please contact me if you will help.

Thank you again and still for the outpouring of support. I enjoy hearing from all of you with your feedback and ideas for the group. You’re the best.

See you all soon!

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”
– Vincent Van Gogh


– Teri Mahnken

Teri Mahnken
President, Brevard Watercolor Society

Holiday Greetings from the President

(Painting by Therese Ferguson)

Happy Holidays, everyone!

I hope this finds you enjoying the preparations and not feeling stressed out. I do my preparations early and use this time to wind down and reflect on all I’ve accomplished and hope to take on in the new year.

I didn’t get as much painting and learning in this year as I had hoped. I’m looking forward into 2024 for the opportunities to spend more time with a brush in my hand. The first quarter of 2024 is going to bring on lots of opportunities for BWS members to meet and learn. Let’s take a look….

  • General Meeting, Saturday, January 13, 1-3pm. We need a person to demo the last part of the meeting – who can help us out?
  • Mini Workshop, Winter Landscape with Ed Carlson, Saturday January 27 11:30am-3:30pm (special time). Two spaces available. Please email me directly.
  • Splash of Watercolor, Saturday and Sunday, February 17-18, 2024. Volunteers needed to keep the show fabulous! Prospectus is online.
  • General Meeting, Saturday. March 9, 1-3pm. Demo artist will be Barbara Brook demoing Batik.
  • Watercolor Batik on Rice Paper – 2-day workshop with Barbara Brook. We’ve been anxiously awaiting this one! Register online.
  • Mini Workshop – Overcoming Plein Hurdles, Plein Air Painting with Susan Blakeslee, Saturday, March 30, 1-3pm. Register online.

As you can see above, we now can register online for the mini-workshops. Your confirmation will include the artist’s supply list.

The Board is working on some social offerings for us – not meetings and workshops, but opportunities to socialize and sometimes just paint together. More details to come.

A few reminders:

  • Annual memberships are due in January, no later than your Splash entry! They are tax deductible, so December might be a goal to get that taken care of. CLICK HERE to take care of it. We value you as a member. Your beautiful art and souls are the heartbeat of this group!
  • Splash needs helpers for the show – Please reach out to Laurie Griffin if you can assist.
  • We still have two mini-workshops in 2024 that need artists to lead: August 24 and September 21. I would love to put the scheduling to bed for 2024.

The Board and I wish to thank you all for your contributions this year – for your participation, for your time, and for your support.

I wish you all much joy for the rest of the year and in 2024!

“Art is nothing but humanized science.” – Gino Severini

– Teri Mahnken

Teri Mahnken
President, Brevard Watercolor Society

President’s Message – November 2023

Happy Thanksgiving Eve to everyone! I hope you are starting your celebration in whatever way suits you best – family everywhere or quiet moments to yourself.

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and express our gratitude for those who enrich our lives on a daily basis. Caught up in the hustle and bustle of the 21st century, we often don’t have the opportunities we did in the past, to think about the things that nurture us.

This group, BWS, has brought so much to my life: the beauty of watercolor; inspiring teachers; the opportunity to know involved and caring members; and an opportunity to serve.

Thank you all for coming together and making this a truly wonderful and caring organization.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

“The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.” Friedrich Nietzsche

– Teri

Teri Mahnken
President, Brevard Watercolor Society

President’s Message – October 2023

So much has been happening, it is difficult to know where to start!

Our new board members are settling in and adding their talents to leadership. I’m grateful to have such a great team. Good things are happening! As we start gaining traction, please let us know how we’re doing! Thanks again to all of your for your support last year of the previous board and myself. You truly keep me going!

I did a review of our website and had our webmaster, Grace Delanoy, update a lot of information. One last task that I’ll be tackling this week is getting the New Members’ letter updated. Please take a moment to look around the site and offer any suggestions you might have to make it more useful to you.

We had the opening reception for the Florida Flora and Fauna Art Show on Sunday, October 1. The show continues through November 29: 11am-4pm, Monday-Saturday, Highland Art Studios & Gallery at 1425 Highland Ave, Melbourne, FL. You can also visit during the First Friday Eau Gallie Art Walk. Many thanks to Therese Ferguson and the Highland Studio artists for hosting this show!

Watch your emails for opportunities to help with Splash! This being our biggest show of the year, requires a lot of help. The nice thing about Splash is the commitment can be small or large – there are so many options and opportunities.

The Eau Gallie Library is hosting a Community Art (Supply) Swap on November 4, 2-4pm, 1521 Pineapple Ave, Melbourne, FL 32935. I emailed the flyer to members on October 12 with details about take-in and the event. This is a fun opportunity to pick up some supplies to try a new technique or clear out one or two of your less favorite items. If you missed the email or want a copy of the flyer, please email me at BWSPresident@outlook.com.

I’m starting reminders now about 2024 Membership since the end of the year is nigh. BWS Memberships for the coming year are due January 1 and are definitely due no later than your Splash entry the first week of February. They are tax deductible and are for January-December time period. You can renew here on the website by clicking the button below, or by sending a check to Membership 2024, Brevard Watercolor Society, Inc., PO Box 361076, Melbourne, FL 32936-1076. Dues are $50 for Individual Memberships, $60 for a Family Membership. An added incentive for membership is that our non-member workshop fee is increasing to $25 in January.


And last but not least, a reminder to those who signed up for Dorothy Koliba’s “White isn’t Always White” workshop coming up on October 28, 10am-4pm (we cannot enter before 9:45) at the Wickham Community Center. If you find you can’t attend, please email me: BWSPresident@outlook.com. We have several people on a waitlist who would like to attend if you aren’t able to.

Dorothy’s workshop will wrap up 2023’s workshops. I heartily thank all the artists who participated. I learned so much and the feedback has been fantastic. Gina Olsen will be starting to promote 2024’s events shortly. The ones which have artists scheduled are on the website. We still need a few more artists to fill 2024 – would you consider sharing your talents with us? Contact Gina at georginaeolsen@gmail.com.

Enjoy our unique Autumn, and keep those brushes wet!

Watercolor painting of a black cat sitting on a tree branch.(My first water color, not that long ago…)

“The object of art is not to reproduce reality, but to create a reality of the same intensity.” – Alberto Giacometti

– Teri

Teri Mahnken
President, Brevard Watercolor Society

President’s Message – September 2023

Hi Everyone!

I have some summer sunshine to share with all of you! With not having meetings during the summer, it could be perceived as a quiet time for BWS, but that really isn’t the case. Put on your shades and read what all has been happening!

  • Thanks to Laurie Griffin we had remote workshops this summer.
  • Verne Foster led an amazing mini-workshop last week.
  • Susan Smith kept the displays moving at the Eau Gallie Library.
  • Plans were put in place by Therese Ferguson and Darleen Hunt for October and November’s Florida’s Flora and Fauna art show.
  • Ten of our artists have offered their talents for workshops and demos – almost all the way through 2024!!!
  • Georgina Olsen, Linda South and Sheila Harnois started preparing for their new roles on the Board.
  • Laurel, Kathie and Michele working toward easy transitions from their roles.

Isn’t that amazing!? That’s a lot of activity in a “down” time. So many, doing so much to make sure members have a place to learn and share their talents.

August completed my first year as President. I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve this group. I have learned so much. Thank you for responding to all my requests for volunteers for various positions. I want to thank you for your support, feedback, ideas and friendship.

Just a reminder that our Election / General Meeting is 1-3pm, Saturday, September 9, at the Wickham Park Community Center, 2815 Leisure Way, Melbourne, FL.

Please come hear about our upcoming events and help elect the new volunteers for the Board. (Remember not to come too early, 12:45pm is the soonest we can get in!) Please bring new or gently used watercolors to donate to the college.

P.S. We are filled for Ed Carlson’s September and Dorothy Koliba’s October workshops!

– Teri

Teri Mahnken
President, Brevard Watercolor Society

President’s Message – July 2023

Hello everyone!

Have you been taking advantage of World Watercolor Month this month? There has been a lot of online activities supporting this wonderful medium. I hope you’ve had a chance to enjoy some of them while escaping the heat!

Speaking of online opportunities…for those of you who attended the online workshops Laurie Griffith coordinated for us this Summer, Pat Dews and Vlad Yeliseyev, please provide feedback to us on what you got out of the event(s) and any other feedback you’d like to share. If you chose not to attend, please share that also. This will help us determine if this is something the organization should continue to offer. lbgriffi@att.net and bwspresident@outlook.com.

As we round the corner into autumn, our mini workshops pick up again. An email with details and registration information will follow shortly. They are also posted on our website at: https://brevardwatercolorsociety.org/events/category/workshops/

We still have mini-workshop leader openings for 2024 – May 25, August 24, September 21, October 26. Please consider sharing your talents!

And a few more events to look forward to: September 29-30 – 2023 FWS Annual Convention & Trade Show (let me know if you’re attending, we have a display board and society info that needs a ride); October 2-November 29, Florida’s Flora and Fauna show – a BWS favorite. In March, Barbara Brook will join us for a two-day workshop on Batik.

And another Autumn milestone – Elections! September 9 will be our General and Elections Meeting. We currently have two volunteers to vote on: Linda South for Treasurer and Sheila Harnois as Secretary. Donna Ware will stay on as Vice President – Membership, for another year. We still have a DESPERATE NEED for volunteers to fill Board and Chairperson roles. Several programs are at risk if support is not offered. I’ll be sending out an email with our needs. PLEASE, please, please consider offering your time. Many hands make light work. Following the General Meeting, Diane Harmon will be demonstrating painting on black paper.

Lolly Walton made a wonderful suggestion to me that I’d like to promote: Member Mentoring – established members pairing up with new members to help with knowing what all BWS has to offer, helping prepare for shows, sharing experiences, etc. If you’re willing to be a mentor or a new member wanting to make the best of your membership, please email me at BWSPresident@outlook.com. I’ll be happy to play “matchmaker”!

Think back to Splash! Did you notice all the painting submissions from the college students were black and white? It was because they only have black paint! We’d like to expand their palettes. Please go through your stash of paint tubes and find a few to donate! They can be partially used or full tubes, duplicates, etc. Or buy one or two good quality paints. Please bring them to the August workshop or to the General Meeting in September. We’ll get them to the college.

Due to my day job taking a huge chunk of my free time this summer, I’ve not had much opportunity to pursue the feasibility of a single space to display our art, hold meetings, workshops and lessons, but I will keep plugging away at it. I still need to review our finances to know what we can commit to or what we have to do to generate the funds to sustain a space of our own.

Stay cool and keep doing what you do best – creating beauty.

“Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.” – Pablo Picasso



Teri Mahnken

President, Brevard Watercolor Society

President’s Message – May 2023

Hi everyone! I hope this finds you well and all our snowbirds are settling into their summer homes.  So much to share with you this month – I’m not sure where to start. Let’s start with Art Shows/Displays!

Therese and Darlene have been working on this year’s Florida’s Flora and Fauna show, October 2-November 29. More details and prospectus to come. (I heard from a reliable source, that because it says Florida instead of Brevard, flamingos will be allowed. 🙂

The displays at the Eau Gallie Library continue – June’s theme is Sea Life, Sea Shells, Sand Castles, Dolphins, Sea Turtles, Summer Fun, walking on the beach, surfing, etc. July is Red, White and Blue! We are welcome to display the paintings we have done in classes. Just be sure to give credit of the source on the back of the painting. The themes for the rest of this year can be found on our website. Contact Susan Smith at Smithskaters@cfl.rr.com to reserve your spot.

The November theme at the library will be Olde Brevard. This is a theme that was done for BWS shows in the early 2000’s which received much notoriety. Space/entries are limited. For reference photos, please contact Therese Ferguson at ThereseART@aol.com.

A quick update on workshops.

  • Mini-workshop – Body in Motion, Witha Lecuesta, May 27 – last call for sign-up! bwspresident@outlook.com
  • Zoom Workshop – Pat Dews, June 24 – free for members. More information to come. Sign up with Laurie Griffin, lbgriffi@att.net
  • Mini-workshop – Eyes linger longer with Textures, Lolly Walton, August 26 – more information to come.

Congratulations to our members Therese Ferguson, Lori Jenkins and Frank Spino who have been recognized by the Florida Watercolor Society for being accepted into their shows more than ten times. They will be receiving a Distinguished Signature Member award at the upcoming Ocala show.

My summer project – I will be looking at the feasibility of a regular/permanent space for our merry band of artists. Right now, I only have a list of things to think about, costs, savings, revenue, sponsorship, opportunity, risks, benefits, etc. Over the summer, I will bring this idea into focus and present it to all of you for your feedback in the fall.

September’s General meeting, September 9, will focus on elections: We have three positions open, two have volunteers who have stepped forward: Treasurer, Linda South and Secretary, Sheila Harnois. If you’d be interested in the Vice President role, please contact me: bwspresident@outlook.com . Diane Harmon will demo painting on black paper.

Thank you for all your support as the first season of my presidency comes to a close. I admire and appreciate all of you! Have a fabulous summer!

A little historical trivia to lead into this month’s artist quote. Did you know Winston Churchill was a prolific oil painter? He partook as a stress reliever. I visited Chartwell House and have seen many of his pieces.

“Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse.”

              – Winston Churchill


Teri Mahnken

President, Brevard Watercolor Society

President’s Message – April 2023

President’s Message – April 2023

What drives you to the palette and brushes every chance you get?

I didn’t know I had artists in my family. No one really talked about it. Many referred to my art as “my little hobby”.  One brother, whom I didn’t grow up with, was a professional watercolorist who helped organize the Arts Guild of Sonoma. His love of art had actually been downplayed by our father as “folly”. Once we connected and built our sibling relationship, I had the inspiration I needed to pursue watercolor. It is now a daily priority for me and my skills are growing with that commitment. Everyone one of us has a story of how we came in to painting being a passion and/or a business. Share your stories with me – I’ll share it in future messages with the group. Your inspiration may help a new member find the courage to let their passion grow.

Workshop News:

  • This Saturday is the Yupo workshop. We have a few spots left. No special supplies are needed. Email me if you’d like to attend. There will be donated books and supplies available (donation please). The Belks Charity promotion tickets will also be available for purchase.
  • May’s Mini-Workshop will feature member artist Witha Lacuesta. She will teach us how to quicky sketch a human body to be later developed into a painting. More information about this soon.
  • Laurie Griffin has been working to coordinate some Summer Zoom workshops. More information coming!
  • Many have expressed their disappointment about discontinuing our 2-3 day workshops. We need two primary things to make these happen: 1) A VP to coordinate the acquisitions, cost evaluation/validation, and event management.  2) Enough attendance commitment to support the artists’ fees and expenses. The Board will look at identifying more localized artists to keep costs down and possibly supplementing funding. Hopefully the summer workshops, if we can pull them together, will help fill the gap for now.

Splash Updates:

  • It was brought to the Board’s attention the commissions for the artists’ sales were calculated incorrectly. It was determined there was an error in that the Sales Tax was deducted from the artist’s commissions. Sales tax is collected from the transaction and should not have been part of calculating artists’ commissions. Refunds are being processed and will be mailed at the end of the month. We regret the error.
  • We are still seeing a coordinator Splash for 2024 and beyond. Laurie will train and support

May’s General meeting will be held on Saturday, May 11, 1-3pm at the Wickham Park Community Center. Therese Ferguson will be doing a demonstration following the meeting.


Creativity takes courage.” — Henri Matisse

 Teri Mahnken

President, Brevard Watercolor Society


President’s Message – March 2023

President’s Letter, March 2023

This month, I’m writing about gratitude. As many of you know, a lot of the people who committed to helping with our various initiatives aren’t able to do their roles right now. As they are passing the baton to me for coverage, I get a chance to know them better and what they’re facing. As I am recruiting volunteers and covering those roles, I’m getting to know more and more people! I am grateful for the opportunity to serve this group and be surrounded by such talent, creativity and really fabulous personalities.

I am grateful to the Board members who help me out every day and Linda South and Sheila Harnois who have volunteered to fill the roles of Treasurer and Secretary in the September Elections.

Splash was a great success his year. We had 800 attend and made approximately $7500 after expenses.   2022 was 500 in attendance and approximately $5000 after expenses. Thank you to the many members who worked so hard and put in many, many hours to make this such a success!

Thank you all for the great turn out at the last March 11 General Meeting. The by-law modification motion unanimously passed: “Current President and Webmaster will get an honorary membership for the length of service. Past presidents, including the sitting president at the time of the adoption of the November 13, 2021 bylaws,  will be considered “grandfathered” under the previous bylaws with lifetime honorary memberships.”

We still have a few more roles to fill: Webmaster, Splash chair, Mini Workshop chair and Vice President.  Please consider helping! It really is wonderful to work more closely with our wonderful members.

Speaking of membership…..we’re down in renewals this year. If you didn’t rejoin and are reading this, please reach out to me. I’d like to understand why. During our next board meeting we will be reviewing last year’s survey results and see what we need to change, bring back, etc. You have our ears! BWSPresident@outlook.com

Barbara Brook’s workshop offered a “coming of age” experience for me. I finally feel like I know what I’m doing! She shared this tidbit with our group: Daniel Smith offers weekly watercolor demos. To sign up: https://danielsmith.com/newsletter-signup/ . To see previous demos: https://us1.campaign-archive.com/home/?u=f5d8893a5b120ae636b0bc171&id=d973a6a1dd .

We are grateful for the continued support of our Splash Sponsors. Please support them when you can and be sure to thank them for helping us out.



Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” – Pablo Picasso

Teri Mahnken

President, Brevard Watercolor Society


President’s Message – February 2023

President’s Message, February 2023

Happy February!

Is everyone recovering from their tremendous output of effort for Splash? It was a beautiful show with approximately 1/3 of our members entering paintings for judging. I know of four more who have committed to enter for the first time next year….let’s keep that momentum going! I spoke with a few of the student artists and hope they will become involved with us. Their art is edgy and new and there’s much we can all learn from each other. Award recipients and photos will be on the website soon. Some event photos have already been posted on our Facebook page.

Thank you to our many artists for their entries in the show this year. I’m so impressed with the talent we have in our group.

Many thanks to all the members who have given months of their time in bringing this all together and those who assisted this weekend. There’s always feedback to be shared during and after the show. The committee reviews all of it and applies it to next year’s event. Please take time to extend your compliments and thanks to the group and let them know their efforts are appreciated!

March will bring Barbara Brook our way with a 2-day workshop, March and 12 and 13th, with a demo during the General meeting. I have enjoyed talking with her and I think you’ll enjoy this former member’s workshop. We have met our minimum attendance count so we can still take registrations through March 4th. You can register online here: https://brevardwatercolorsociety.org/event/2-day-workshop-with-barbara-brook-know-your-pallet/

Please plan to attend the General meeting and Barbara’s demo. We have a lot of news to share. March 11, 1-3pm, Wickham Park Community Center, 2815 Leisure Way, Melbourne.

 “The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” – Aristotle


Teri Mahnken

President, Brevard Watercolor Society