Spencer Celebration of Art 2020

Spencer Celebration of Art 2020

Spencer Celebration of Art 2020

Welcome to the beauty of Spencer, Massachusetts! Spencer was first settled in 1717 and was incorporated as a town in 1753. Over the years it has been a location known for its amazing inventors, its powerhouse factories, and its stunning landscape.

Thanks to the Spencer Cultural Council, the Blackstone Valley Art Association was able to create a celebration of art and beauty centered on the St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer. We have workshops on oil painting, photography, watercolors, sketching, pencil, and much more.

We are also holding a virtual art contest! Submit up to five artworks you have created which feature the town of Spencer. The art can be painting, photography, sculpture, you name it! Send the JPGs to info@bvaa.org to participate, along with your name. Please submit your entry by November 30, 2020. All levels and abilities are warmly encouraged to participate! We’ll create a slideshow of all the entries and select the winners!

Here are some videos featuring Spencer to get you inspired.

We look forward to seeing what you create! Ask with any questions!

6th Annual BVAA Macabre Virtual Art Show – 2020

Macabre Show 2020

It’s creepy and it’s kooky! Mysterious and spooky! For 2020, our 6th annual Macabre art show is going virtual!

About the Show
Spooky. Unsettling. Wisps of mists and dark shadows. Macabre brings out the fascination with the off-beat side of life.

The online submission deadline for the Macabre show is Monday, October 26th, 2019. You don’t need to use the online submission form – you can simply email the JPGs to us. You can submit up to five works. It’s open to all BVAA members. This is not a judged show so you CAN enter things you’ve entered in previous shows (including previous Macabre shows).

The Video
Usually when we make a video show, we have each artist talking about their motivations behind making the images. Many of our viewers love learning the inspiration and techniques. With Macabre being such an atmospheric topic, we’re going to try two things.

First, the main video we release for the reception with be a “moody” version. It will have a soundtrack and the images showing one by one. It will be something you could have going in the background at a spooky dinner to add ambiance.

Then, separately, for each artist who wants to, we will create individual videos of the artists talking about how they staged a scene, or set up the lighting, or why they were inspired, or so on. These are very popular with our fans and help us all build our skills. So the ‘talking workshop’ versions will still be available for those who are interested.

I suppose, thirdly, if any artist likes doing videos and wants to make their own moody take on their art, and send that video to us, we would be happy to include that as well! The more macabre the better!

Virtual Reception
We’ll have our virtual reception – a premiere of the video slideshow – on Saturday October 31st at 7pm. If you aren’t able to participate online, the video will be available for watching at any point after that.

This show is Halloween. Spooky. Shadowy.

Here are photos from previous years –

 Macabre Show 2016

Twisted Dolls Show 2015

We look forward to seeing your spooky work!

Here’s the video from this 2020 show!

Be sure to also watch Dennis Smith’s super-spooky video –

2020 3rd Annual Uxbridge SketchFest Community Art Project

Here are some of the sketches submitted for the 2020 Third Annual Uxbridge SketchFest Community Art Project! This show is free to enter and is open to all abilities. We warmly welcome all community members of all ages to participate! All sketches must be done of scenes in Uxbridge Massachusetts. For 2020, the month chosen to focus on was September, so all sketches needed to be done between September 1st and September 30th, 2020.

Email your sketches in to us to participate!

This is a wholly virtual show in 2020 because of the pandemic. We will post the URL to the narrated YouTube slideshow as soon as that is ready.

Click on an image to see it in its full proportions.

Current participants are:

Alexandra Spano
Carol Frieswick
Dennis Smith
Duncan Rasmussen
Jennifer Nichols
Judith Potter
Laura O. Cenedella
Linda Nelson
Lisa Shea

Full details of the Uxbridge SketchFest –

Paint a Rocket! Online Celebration of Auburn’s Goddard Park

Come join us virtually this Saturday morning August 22, 2020!


It’ll be casual, relaxing, and fun.

We’ll draw, paint, or heck Play-Dough mold the Polaris Missile in Auburn’s Goddard Park. Explore your creativity!


Here’s a photo taken by Lisa Shea that you can download and print, to use as a guide!

Pastel Workshop with Laurinda O’Connor

Are you interested in the beautifully soft colors of pastels? Come join us for this amazing hands-on workshop with award-winning artist Laurinda Phakos O’Connor! We will be wholly socially distanced while working so PREREGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. There are limited in-person seats available for this. We will also broadcast this live and provide video so all community members can enjoy it.

Location: Fairlawn Christian Church, Whitinsville MA
Date: Saturday, September 26th, 2020
Time: 10am-3pm

Thank you to the Northbridge Cultural Council for helping to support this community art event!

To see Laurinda’s amazing works, visit: http://laurindaoconnor.com/

Laurinda’s description of this workshop:
Let’s push the boundaries and explore new ways to approach our paintings. Starting the day with small studies, we will let what captivates us about the scene drive us through our exercises into a larger painting. We will highlight our style through gesture, value, composition, color, and mark making. There will be a demonstration and plenty of individual instruction.

Perfect for intermediate and advanced artists using soft pastels, oil, or acrylic paints. Please bring your own photographs. See full supply list below.

• Bring your soft pastel, acrylic, or oil supplies
• For beginning exercises, you will need at least 3 small surfaces (4×6, 6×6, 5×7, or whatever you prefer). These surfaces need to be able to handle wet media if you are using pastels (Uart, ArtSpectrum, Pastelmat, or hand gessoed surface). They can be boards or any paintable surface for oil and acrylic painters.
• At least 1 Larger surface to work on, your choice, but at least 9×12, 12×18, etc. Can be square, but bigger is key. Acrylic and Oil painters can bring bigger canvases. Whatever you are comfortable with (or … push yourself and go bigger!) Pastelists need Uart, ArtSpectrum, Pastelmat, or hand gessoed surface.
• Photographic references

Additional Supplies
• Alcohol for underpainting (for use with soft pastels)
• Any Black ink (Yasutomo Liquid Sumi Ink is waterproof when dry, good if working in acrylics)
• Magnum Black Sharpie (if you have it)
• Black Tombow marker, or a brush/drawing marker (optional, but I use to draw with)
• Watercolor brush
• Paper towels
• Sketch paper/vine charcoal
• Masking or artist tape (no blue, yellow, or green painter’s tape)
• Back board such as foam core to attach surfaces while you work
• Glassine or document bags to protect work on the way home

Here are all the videos from Laurinda’s amazing demonstration:

Thank you again to the Mass Cultural Council and to the Northbridge Cultural Council!

Massachusetts Cultural Council
Massachusetts Cultural Council

Watercolor Workshop – Sept 2020 Monthly Meeting

September is the start of a new BVAA year! And for the first time since March, we are holding an in-person monthly meeting! It will be on Tuesday, September 15th, 2020 from 6:30-8:30pm. It will be held at the Linwood Mill. We will also broadcast it LIVE on YouTube so you can paint along from home.

In-person attendance will be limited and you MUST REGISTER BEFOREHAND to hold your space if you wish to attend in person.

We will be doing a watercolor workshop! For sanitary reasons, please bring your own watercolors and brushes. We will have paper to share if you need it. We will have a few watercolors available for those who do not have any. Let us know what you need when you register.

Arches 140lb watercolor paper
Cobalt teal, yellow ochre, and burnt sienna watercolor paints
(sky in particular was mix of cerulean & cobalt)
start with biggest brush you have; rigger (smaller brush) later for detail

The instructor is the talented Diane Bell. You can see more of Diane’s works as well as read about her credentials here on her website:



This watercolor workshop will be held at the LINWOOD MILL in Northbridge. We currently do not have access to the Uxbridge gallery due to the Pandemic. When you register we will provide you with exact directions to the space we have available.


For those who cannot attend in person for whatever reason, we will be streaming this video live on YouTube. You don’t need any account or subscription or anything else. You simply go to a link on YouTube and you can watch this LIVE. You can ask questions and get answers! We’d love for you to take photos of your work and send them to us, to see how you did.

We will provide the YouTube link as we get closer to the event.

To Register

If you wish to attend in person, please use our online registration form to pre-register for this event. MAKE SURE YOU GET A HUMAN CONFIRMATION THAT THERE IS SPACE. You will get an automated confirmation that we received your request, but we will then still need to make sure there is space left. We will then manually write you back personally to let you know there is still space available and that you are set to attend. We will provide the directions and further information at that time.

Ask with any questions, and we look forward to exploring watercolors, either in person or online!

Here is a photo of the image we will be working on. If you right-click on it, you can open it in a window of its own, to print it and use it as a model.

Here is a black and white version of the same scene, to use to determine your values (amount of light or dark in a section.

Full 1.5 hour workshop on YouTube:

Below is an example of one of Diane Bell’s watercolor paintings, to get a sense of her style.

Diane Bell Watercolor

3rd Annual Uxbridge SketchFest – September 2020

The BVAA Uxbridge SketchFest is back for its third year! We normally hold these in the late spring but the Pandemic interfered this year. After waiting a few months in the hopes that we could do this in person, we have decided it’s safest to do it virtually. So grab your pads of paper, pencils, and pens, for it’s SketchFest time!

Here’s the plan.

Sometime between September 1st and September 30th, head out to your favorite locations in Uxbridge. Make sketches of whatever catches your eye. Send them into us at info@bvaa.org. Each person can send us up to two sketches. Please have the last JPGs in to us by midnight on September 30th. Participation is completely FREE!

We will make a virtual gallery of the sketches and also a YouTube virtual presentation! We’ll share all the beautiful artworks for the entire community to enjoy!

All ages and abilities are warmly encouraged to participate. This is open to the public!

Here is Dennis Smith’s great map of wonderful locations in Uxbridge. Click on it to get a larger version along with details about each location. This is a starting point. You can make your sketches anywhere in Uxbridge.

Dennis Smith Map of Great Sketching Locations


What Is A Sketch?

Just what is a sketch? We’re glad you asked!

For the sake of our SketchFest, a sketch is a quick representation of a scene done with pen or pencil on paper. It can then be colored in with colored pencil or watercolors. Here’s a beautiful example done by Dennis Smith of a lawyers’ office building on Uxbridge Common.

Pamela Siderewicz – Uxbridge Common Building

At our 2019 in-person Uxbridge SketchFest we had the amazing Laura Sfiat from the Urban Sketchers Boston group come guide us through sketching. Here is one of Laura’s examples (not of Uxbridge) which provides a few details about how she works.

Laura Sfiat City Sketcher Boston

Here’s Laura’s website which has all sorts of great information and advice:


Here’s a video of the afternoon session with Laura, which focused more specifically on portrait sketching.

Here’s a 22-minute YouTube video by Alphonso Dunn that goes step by step through how to create an urban sketch. You can skip the first two minutes – those are an ad for his book :).

Ask with any questions, and we look forward to seeing your beautiful sketches!

Here are some of the sketches we received:

BVAA Series Art Show 2020

The Blackstone Valley Art Association is sponsoring an art show which celebrates the magic of creating artwork in a series.

This show is for all BVAA members to participate in. You can submit from two to five artwork items as your series. They can be related to each other in any way that you wish. It’s wholly up to you to define the theme of your series.

You can mix your artwork styles. Do one photo, one sculpture, and one watercolor painting. Explore your creativity!

September 2020


Entering the Show
Since this is a virtual show, entries should be emailed to us at info@bvaa.org by the deadline of midnight Sunday September 13, 2020. You can email from 2 to 5 items. This is open to all active BVAA members.

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

BVAA Sunflower Show August 2020 – Images

Here are the submitted images by BVAA artists for our August 2020 show at the Booklovers’ Gourmet in Webster MA. Thank you to all the artists who participated.

Click on any thumbnail to see the full image for that artwork. For information on purchasing any art, contact us!

Alexandra Spano
Becky Smith
Betty Havens
Bob Evans
Bob See
Carol Freiswick
Dennis Smith
Frank Robertson
Jennifer MacNeil
Laura Cenedella
Linda DeFeudis
Linda Nelson
Lisa Shea
Marty Jo Henry
Mary Foley
Michele St. Pierre

Video Slideshow:

For more information on the 2020 Sunflower Show, visit here:

2020 BVAA Sunflower Show at the Booklovers’ Gourmet

Image by Alexandra Spano

Our Fourth Annual BVAA Sunflower Show celebrates the sunny beautiful flower! The art show is in conjunction with a stunning lush garden of sunflowers out front of the Booklovers’ Gourmet.

The sunflower art show is held at the:
Booklovers’ Gourmet
Webster, MA 01570

About the Show
If there ever was a flower which symbolized glorious summertime, the sunflower is the one. Did you know that nearly all of the 70 species of sunflowers are native to North America? They can grow to be up to six feet tall and they even tilt as the sun moves so they always face it!

The Blackstone Valley Art Association is celebrating this sun-shaped delight with a sunflower show throughout the month of August at the Booklovers’ Gourmet in Webster. Come on out to admire the live flowers, appreciate the artistic versions, and explore the shop’s offerings!

The submission deadline for the sunflower show is Monday, July 27nd, 2020. We have limited wall space here for 18 items sized 16×20 so what we’ll do is have each member submit one JPG of an artwork via email to info@bvaa.org they’d like to include. If we get too many for the wall space we’ll do a Facebook vote. All submissions will be in the virtual version of the show.

This show is open to all BVAA members and is free to participate in. This is not a judged show – it is primarily a visibility and sales opportunity. Any sales will include a 30% commission taken by the shop. The BVAA takes no commission on this show. Full BVAA terms: BVAA Show Terms and Conditions

The drop-off for the Sunflower Show is Friday, July 31st between 10am-5pm. If you can’t make this date, contact Lisa via the info@bvaa.org email and she’ll arrange something. The Booklovers’ Gourmet shop will take care of hanging the items.

Public Reception
For safety reasons there will not be an in-person public reception. We’ll arrange a virtual reception with the online video, date to be determined.

Pick-up for the show is Tuesday, September 1st, any time during their open hours.

This show is all about sunflowers! The Booklovers’ Gourmet is well known for their beautiful sunflower garden, which will be in full bloom during the show’s run.

Here’s a look at previous shows, to give you some ideas!

News Clippings from the 2017 Sunflower Show

Photos from 2017 Sunflower Show

Photos from 2018 Sunflower Show

Sunflower Show 2019 – Image Collection