Miss Mendon Diner with Deb Bottomley

Miss Mendon Diner Watercolor Painting with Deb Bottomley

On November 22, 2022, talented artist Deb Bottomley presented a wonderful workshop on watercolor painting and watercolor colored pencil use. The focus for this workshop was the Miss Mendon Diner, in Mendon, Massachusetts. The Miss Mendon Diner is a historic Worcester Lunchcar Diner created in 1950. It’s located on Route 16 in Mendon, Massachusetts.

Deb Bottomley’s workshop is perfect for all ages and abilities. To make it easier for brand new artists to get started, we’ve segmented the workshop out into pieces. That way those of you who want assistance with learning about brushes, paints, and paper types can watch those videos and get your supplies ready. Those of you who already have the supplies and want to jump right in to the painting process, that video is available.

Ask with any questions! We LOVE to help new artists get themselves going. All questions are encouraged. Thank you to the Mendon Cultural Council for supporting this project!

First, here is information on the Miss Mendon Diner and some photos Deb Bottomley and Lisa Shea took of the diner. You are welcome to use ANY of these images as a starting point to trace for your artwork. In particular, here is the photo Deb uses in her workshop:

You can print that and trace it to use as the starting point for your own painting. Here is the full set of images you can use of the Miss Mendon Diner:

These next videos from Deb Bottomley get you started with the basics of supplies for watercolor painting and watercolor pencil drawing.

Here is the main 2-hour-long demonstration video of how to paint the Miss Mendon Diner. Deb uses the photo we showed earlier as her base. She uses both watercolor paints and watercolor pencils in this project. You can feel free to use whatever suits your mood!

When painting with watercolors, there is often “waiting time” while you wait for a section to dry, before you can move on with the next step. During the “waiting time” in this workshop, Deb showcased a few other watercolor techniques. Here are the two additional sections Deb created for us.

Ask with any questions! Thank you to the Mendon Cultural Council!

Massachusetts Cultural Council
Massachusetts Cultural Council

Perfect Presents – Milford TV Art Show Dec 2022 – Feb 2023

The Holidays are coming at the Milford TV Station! We are starting up our show schedule again after a long break due to the pandemic. This will be our first full show in a while! Come out and participate! This show is open to all current BVAA Members and is FREE to participate in.

“Perfect Presents” showcases anything ideal for gift-giving. Usually smaller, less expensive items (relatively) work better for sales. Explore the possibilities!

Wednesday, November 30th, 2022
9am – 7pm

Public Reception
We are still determining the date of our public reception.
Milford TV will supply the food and wine for the public reception. Family, friends, and artists are all welcome! BVAA artists should feel free to bring along bin art, notecards, business cards, and other similar items as they meet-and-greet our visitors.

Milford TV Station
138 South Main Street
Milford, MA

Show Details for the Artists
The Milford TV Station employees create the labels and perform the hanging for us. There is no need to use the BVAA online submission form to indicate what you’re bringing. Simply be sure to label the back of each piece with its title, your name, contact info, and the price. This show is for BVAA members only and is free to participate in.

The Milford TV station does not take any commission on sales. Neither does the BVAA. This is an ideal sales venue, and we do see sales regularly at this venue.

Most artists bring in three to four items but if you have more which match the current theme that’s great! Please bring a maximum of 8 or so, to allow room for everyone to participate. The items can be any size or shape – Milford has a great hanging system which can accommodate pretty much anything.

Ask with any questions! Share the news!

Sketching Basics on the Grafton Common with Scott Nelson

On October 28, 2022, talented artist Scott Nelson took us on a walk through the beautiful Grafton Common in Grafton, Massachusetts. We stopped at various locations around the common exploring the composition of the scene, from landscapes with trees to classic architecture to railway lines. At each stop, Scott explained to us what made a scene intriguing and how to sketch it.

These skills are useful no matter what type of artwork you’re interested in creating. Some people focus on the sketch itself as a finished form. Others use the sketch as a starting point to then later create a watercolor painting, an acrylic painting, an oil painting, or another form of art.

After our exploration of the Grafton Common, Scott took us back to his home art studio where he displays some of his artwork and runs his virtual art classes for the Worcester Art Museum.

In early November 2022, Scott then painted a watercolor painting of one of the scenes he sketched. He recorded a section-by-section description of how he approached that watercolor project.

Here are the recordings from these three sessions. If you have any questions, let us know! We love helping new artists learn and grow.

Thank you to the Grafton Cultural Council for supporting this art project! And thank you so much to Scott Nelson for providing his time and expertise in both sketching and painting! You can learn more about Scott Nelson here:

Massachusetts Cultural Council
Massachusetts Cultural Council
Mike Zeis Tea Bag Printing

Printing on Stained Tea Bags with Mike Zeis

When I stopped by the Open Sky Community Art Gallery last Saturday to pick up my ”Doll Heads” contribution to the 2022 Macabre Art Show Pop-up, Lisa said that quite a few people at the reception wondered how I made the photo. I gave her a brief explanation and showed her some of the steps I had taken. She asked me to share my process, so here are some photos and commentary about the basic steps.

The photo was printed on tea-bag paper, salvaged after I made sun tea last summer. Somewhere I had heard about using tea-bag paper for printing and art projects, and in the summer of 2021, I checked out a few how-to videos on YouTube. Of course there were a variety of techniques and applications, and, while all of the artists/crafters produced fine-looking results, I did not see an immediate application.

Nonetheless, I started salvaging tea bags. Tea bags are really a folded paper tube with a crimped seal along the length of the tube, and a single staple at the top holding the whole thing together.

I removed the staple, but one can cut just below the staple and save some steps. At first, I worried that flecks of tea would attach themselves to the paper, so while the tea bags were still damp, I removed the tea and rinsed the remaining leaves off of the paper. The result was a very thin but sturdy fine-grained sheet, with an evenly-distributed hint of tea stain.

Mike Zeis Tea Bag Printing

With the next batch, I left the tea bags intact until they dried completely. When I unfolded the dried tea bags and removed the tea, I saw areas of deep stain, broad areas of light stain, and a few unstained areas. I felt these would be more appropriate for what I had in mind.

Mike Zeis Tea Bag Printing

When the call went out for pieces for the BVAA Macabre 2022 pop-up display, I figured I would give tea bags a try. I knew my printer would not feed this lightweight paper, so I had to attach the unfolded and flattened-out tea bag to a carrier sheet with masking tape, as I did a few years ago when I was printing on rice paper. The assembly fed through the printer without a problem. When I removed the tape to free the paper, I saw that the paper is so thin that ink had sprayed through the fibers onto the carrier sheet. “Sharing” the ink with the carrier sheet diminished the density of the image on the tea bag sheet itself.

Mike Zeis Tea Bag Printing

So for my photo, I needed to attach the tea-bag paper to the carrier sheet permanently with spray adhesive (I used 3M 77). Also, it’s more manageable to print the entire image in a single pass instead of on separate sheets that then would need to be matched up. Teabag paper measures 3 ¼” by 6″, so I needed glue four sheets down to reproduce the photo. If you know they’re there, you can spot the seams in the finished print.

The photo was taken at a vendor’s booth at the Oddities Flea Market in Brooklyn NY in December 2019. The vendor said that they are molds for doll heads that she found on a visit to Germany. If I remember right, she wanted $60 each. I left her collection intact. An event space isn’t ideal for taking pictures, mainly because of poor lighting. So most of the Photoshop work on this photo was to straighten the lines and adjust brightness and contrast. My non-tea bag image is in color (link below), but I converted the photo to black and white for the tea-bag print so the color would not distract from the grunginess of the tea stains.

One of many YouTube videos about printing on or with tea bags:
Link to the “standard” version of the Doll Head photo:
Info about the Oddities Flea Market:

Ask with any questions!

Jennifer Behymer Charcoal Sketching Demo

November 2022 Charcoal Sketch Demo with Jennifer Behymer

The BVAA is excited to bring you a hands-on workshop with Jennifer Behymer on sketching with charcoal. You can just watch if you’d like, or you can give it a try!

Come enjoy a charcoal sketch demo of a seasonal landscape scene. Charcoal is a versatile medium that can capture a wide variety of value ranges quickly and efficiently. The demo will help you explore ways to capture the essence of light and shadow in your landscapes with a variety of textures and methods.

If you’d like to bring your own materials, recommended supplies:
Nitram Charcoal soft (B), medium (HB), & hard (H) (Or charcoal of your choice)
Kneaded eraser
Toned paper – 1/2 or 1/4 sheet Mi-Teintes or pad of pastel paper 
Blending stump
Paint brushes for blending

If you don’t have materials, the BVAA has some basic supplies that you could borrow. Alternatively, Jennifer is happy to make up $5 baggies with the supplies, for those who would love personal kits they could take home to keep playing with it.

If people prefer to work in graphite, bring your pencils and sketching supplies and that works too!

Jennifer will bring copies of a reference photo to work from.

Our November 2022 monthly meeting will be held on Tuesday, November15th from 6:30-9pm.

BVAA Open Sky Uxbridge Community Gallery
5 South Main Street
Uxbridge, MA 01569

The space is fully handicapped / disability accessible with no stairs. It is immediately next to a large free parking lot.

This meeting and workshop is free and open to the public. No experience is necessary. The fun of our workshops is that we all try new things we’ve never done before.

Our meetings cover BVAA organization business from 6:30-7:00pm and then go into the workshop part of the evening. Feel free to come for whichever half interests you the most. In general, our monthly meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month unless otherwise announced.

All are welcome – this workshop is open to members and non-members. Feel free to bring along a friend! We’d love to see you there to try some new things and explore your creativity!

Ask with any questions!

This session was recorded. The video is available to all BVAA members to watch at any time.

A quick timelapse version of this workshop is found here to get an overview –

Jen teaches classes in Westboro MA – please take a look at her great offerings!

Our meetings are supported in part by grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Blackstone Valley Art Association Sponsors
BVAA Great Gifts Art Show December 2022

BVAA Great Gifts Art Show – December 2022

The Blackstone Valley Art Association is showcasing a delightful selection of photography, watercolors, acrylic paintings, oil paintings, jewelry, and more for the month of December 2022. Be sure to stop by and see what we have available! Perfect for gift giving! We’ll also have fun events on every Saturday in December to entertain and intrigue you!

November 25th 2022 to January 7 2023

BVAA Open Sky Uxbridge Community Gallery
5 South Main Street
Uxbridge, MA 01569

There is a TON of free parking immediately next to this building. It is fully and easily handicapped accessible.

BVAA Alternatives Uxbridge Community Art Gallery Information

Entering the Show
This show is open to BVAA members only. The theme is wide open. Any topic can be addressed as long as it is family-friendly. Artwork can be any size. That being said, please contact us first if you plan on bringing anything over 20″ x 30″ in size. We need to arrange for space for those separately.

This show is NOT judged (no ribbons, no prizes) – it is primarily about providing visibility and sales for artists during the holiday season. For that reason, you can enter pieces that have been in previous shows. We suggest you enter pieces you think will catch a buyer’s eye and serve well as a gift.

All wall-hanging items must be properly wired for hanging. Our hanging system does not work with saw-tooth or triangle hangers. If you are new to preparing artwork for shows, read our page on How to Mat and Frame a Photo. Please also check out our Show Terms and Conditions

To submit your entries use our BVAA Online Submission Form. This show is free to participate in. Each artist may submit up to five items under 11×17 or up to three items if they’re 11×17 or larger.

Drop Off of Works
Drop off your works on Saturday, November 19th from 10am – 3pm.

All work which is brought in will be hung (as long as it is properly wired and is family-friendly).

Opening Reception
The opening reception will be on Friday, November 25th from 5-7pm. This is Black Friday so hopefully we’ll get some visitors in to rest and relax! And buy!

Pick Up
The pick-up for the Great Gifts show will be on Saturday, January 7th from 10am – 3pm.

Address any questions via our BVAA Contact Information

Ask with any questions! We look forward to seeing your entries!

Amazon Charity Smile Program = Support the BVAA

Please consider selecting the BVAA as your designated Amazon charity.

By choosing us, you help to support our community art programs!

It’s wholly free for you, and a portion of every purchase you make goes to help the BVAA expand its mission.

Just go here and select Blackstone Valley Art Association.

Ask with any questions!

Carol Arnold Oil Painting Class

Carol Arnold Oil Painting Class – First Thursday

Painting from life, (painting from photos is okay, but from life is preferred) all levels of development welcomed. Bring what you want to paint. If you have no idea, you can paint my still life that I demo from, and we can discuss how to make a decision on what YOU want to paint.

I will demonstrate the first hour and then students paint for the remaining two hours. I will help everyone and answer questions as I walk around to each student for one-on-one advice and helpful information. 

This will be a fun and positive environment where everyone is free to express their creativity and bond with other artists. 

This monthly class usually meets on the first Thursday of every month from 6-9 pm. PLEASE ALWAYS RSVP. That way I know who will be there, in case of weather or other situations that might involve cancelling.

The maximum class size will be 10 students, to ensure plenty of hands-on time for each one.
Cost is $20/hour.

Invite your friends! Share the news!

First Thursday of Each Month
6pm – 9pm

BVAA Open Sky Uxbridge Community Gallery
5 South Main Street
Uxbridge, MA 01569

There is a TON of free parking immediately next to this building. It is fully and easily handicapped accessible.

BVAA Alternatives Uxbridge Community Art Gallery Information

This class is open to the public. It is open to all ages and to all levels of painting ability.

Please make sure you register beforehand so we know how many to expect. Carol will send you a supply list to get you started.

To register, please make sure you email:

To learn more about Carol Arnold and to view her painting gallery:

Follow Carol on Facebook!

Carol Arnold Fine Art on Facebook

Follow Carol on Instagram!

Uxbridge Antique Fire Museum

Sketching at the Uxbridge Antique Fire Museum

Are you a fan of Uxbridge history? Love fire trucks? Want to practice your sketching skills? This morning event is perfect for you!

Come and meet Roy Henry, local historian and retired fireman. Roy will talk to artists briefly about the town of Uxbridge’s Fire department and the museum.

Then there will be an Artist Demonstration by talented artist Laura O. Cenedella! Thank you so much to Laura for setting this event up and offering her time!

Uxbridge Antique Fire Museum
18 Depot Street
Uxbridge MA

Saturday, October 22, 2022
10am – 12 noon

Bring along your camera, your sketchbook, your pen or pencil, and your imagination!

A prized collection of firefighting equipment is carefully curated at the Uxbridge Antique Fire Museum. Local retired firefighters created and staff this museum, which features a large collection of items used in firefighting from days of old, including a 1940 Seagrave Pumper. Latest acquisitions include a piece of steel column from the World Trade Center.

*Donations recommended and collected at the event