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. and

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:

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 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 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

A quick update on workshops.

  • Mini-workshop – Body in Motion, Witha Lecuesta, May 27 – last call for sign-up!
  • Zoom Workshop – Pat Dews, June 24 – free for members. More information to come. Sign up with Laurie Griffin,
  • 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: . 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!

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: . To see previous demos: .

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:

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


President’s Message – January 2023

President’s Message, January 2023   Hello Winter! Our snowbirds are returning and excitement is building as the time nears for Splash! I am anxious to see the entries and all […]

President’s Message, December 2022

President’s Message, December 2022

Season’s Greetings and a big “welcome back” to our snowbirds.

As the holidays approach and 2022 comes to an end, remember to carve out some time for yourself. Count your blessings, set your goals, and do or create something just for you. When you nurture yourself, even for brief moments here and there, you re-energize yourself and are then able to better care for all of the people who admire and rely on you.

Congratulations to all our award winners from the wildlife show: Flora & Fauna of Brevard County! Photos of the winning entries are on our Facebook Page.  The entries were magnificent. Please take time out of your busy holiday schedules to view all of the paintings: Cocoa Library, Viera Government Building, floors 1-3 and the Eau Gallie Library. Many thanks to Therese Ferguson and Darleen Hunt and all of the volunteers who helped make this event such a success.

Splash is approaching fast!  February 18-19, 2023. You’ll find the Prospectus here. Open to all BWS members whose dues have been paid by January 1, 2023, or with the Splash application.

Speaking of which…..2023 Membership can be done on line. Membership renewal and application. Questions can be directed to Donna Ware.

A reminder and a plea – Laurie Griffin will end her role as Mini-Workshop Coordinator at the end of the year. We have not had anyone come forward to fill the role. We need someone to continue this high interest program for our group. Please let me know if you’re interested in bringing your ideas and commitment to the role.

We have another committee position coming open later in 2023. Michele Loftus-Trzcinski will end her role as Webmaster in December 2023.  Please let me know if you’re interested. We’re hoping to get an early commitment for a smooth transition.

Keeping the group active and informed is all done through volunteering. I invite you to contribute your talent and some of your time to keep us going strong.

Under the category of counting blessings – I want to thank the Board, Committee members and Diane Harmon who have been so helpful in familiarizing me with the inner workings of BWS. I was moved beyond words by all of the members who offered personal notes of encouragement at the General Meeting.


Wishing you all the best,


Teri Mahnken

BWS President

President’s Message, October 2022

President’s Message, October  2022


Hello everyone!


Congratulations to our members who received awards and recognition at the Florida Watercolor Society’s convention in Charlotte Harbor: Sue Doucette, Barbara Burkhardt, Janet Davis, Darleen Hunt, Lori Pitten Jenkins, Linda Schuler, and Frank Spino.


Have your paintbrushes been busy preparing for the Wildlife Show and Splash? Both are fast approaching!   Mark your calendars now for Splash the weekend of February 18-19, 2023.


Laurie Griffin will end her role as Mini-Workshop Coordinator at the end of the year. We need someone to continue this high interest program for our group. An email is being sent describing the position. Please let me know if you’re interested in bringing your ideas and commitment to the role.


Amazon has a program for giving donations to non-profit organizations and we have set ourselves up under the program. When you shop, they send a percentage of your purchase to your selected charity. All it takes is a one-time selection of the charity (us) and instead of going to to shop, you go to instead. That’s it!  Please consider setting this up before your holiday shopping begins. For more information, please see their Q&A page.


Many of us will be traveling in the next few months, either as an autumn getaway or for the holidays. I always take some art supplies with me. When you travel do you take your watercolors with you? A full set or a travel set? Do you take good paper, pads or books? Do you plan time paint or only if you can “catch” an opportunity? Drop me a note about your travel art and I’ll share in next month’s Message.


Keep creating!

Teri Mahnken
BWS President

President’s Message – September 2022

President’s Message, September 2022
Hello everyone!

Thank you all for your encouragement and support during the election last week. Many thanks to Diane for the service she has given for the organization and for all the preparation she did in passing the torch.

Please congratulate Jolene Bruce on her new (again) Vice President / 3 day workshops role and Donna Ware on returning for a second term and 2nd Vice President / Membership


A little about myself. I moved to Florida a little over eight years ago – it is my soul state. I’m still working full-time as a Quality Assurance Engineer for Satcom Direct, a local flight operations and satellite communications company. I am a beginning watercolorist and am learning so much from this group. I could not bear to let the organization fold and offered to fill the role of President.

The Wildlife Show is returning this year! The show will open at the old Brevard Art Museum in Eau Gallie for 2 weeks beginning November 11, 2022, and will include an opening awards reception for the artists, then will move to three other locations throughout Brevard for the month of December, the Government Building in Viera, the Eau Gallie and Cocoa Libraries.

Splash had its kickoff on Thursday, September 1. Splash is special to me as it was my introduction to the wonderful world of the Brevard Watercolor Society. Mark your calendars now for the weekend of February 18-19, 2023.

Thank you again for the warm reception. I look forward to getting to know each of you!
Teri Mahnken
BWS President