Born and raised outside of Youngstown, Ohio, in the small town of McDonald, Nancy Oleksa has been involved in the visual arts from her earliest years.

Having her artistic talents recognized early enabled her to develop a portfolio from which she received a full scholarship to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. There she developed her skills and used her degree in Visual Communications to propel her into a position as first a color separator and then an illustrator for the American Greetings Corporation. It was at American Greetings that she diversified her abilities to include calligraphy, character development, writing and design.

It was in San Diego that Nancy Oleksa’s freelance career as an artist was realized. She became illustrator and graphic artist for the cities of Santee and El Cajon as well as lead illustrator for A La Carte Art Studios. Her clients included Bank of America, Century 21, the American Dental Assoc., and many others.

After the birth of her daughter, she realized a love of children’s books, and began to use her skills to explore the world of illustration for children. Her art experience grew to include illustration for Cricket Magazine and Atheneum Books. She then became an adjunct instructor for Palomar College in the Community Education Department and remained in that position for 23 years.

This award winning artist is now a popular jurist, workshop and watercolor instructor known for her passion for color and light. She has enjoyed instructing watercolorists in San Diego County for over 30 years.

The meeting will also include nominations from the floor for CVWS Board positions and the election of officers for the 2017-2018 Season.

This will be the last Painter of the Month competiion to be eligible to take part in the Painter of the Year celebration at the May 8th General Meeting. At that meeting ribbon winners may enter a painting of their choice. All entries will all be critiqued by the judge, who will then award 1st, 2nd and Honorable Mention  ribbons.






Now showing in full color! By the time you read this, our Mini Masterpieces Show will be up and running. Congratulations to all those who won ribbons. If you haven’t seen the show, do call in at the Historical Society in Palm Desert and tell your friends and neighbors. The show is open Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, 10am to 3pm until February 13th. Don’t forget that pick-up is on Tuesday 14th from 12-2pm.

Be in it to win it!  Following in a few weeks’ time is our annual show which this year will be more extensive than ever with categories for Traditional and Open Presentation as well as Plein Air paintings.  Entries must be postmarked by March 2 and intake is on March 9. If you haven’t yet entered please do take part. In particular, we encourage those that haven’t entered a judged show before to give it a try, as there is a special ribbon and $50 prize for the best ‘Emerging Artist’. Full information on our website

You, you and YOU! - We are also in need of more volunteers. There are many opportunities both during the set-up and take-down as well as when the show is open to the public. If you haven’t been asked yet but are available, please call Traci or Ian, or sign up at the next meeting.

Lucky Draw - In addition, we need prizes suitable for our raffle  Last year we raised a very important $900.  Prizes in any category are needed. You can make an attractive basket or just  bring an item and the committee will put a basket together for you.  Please bring these to the meeting on February 13.

Show them your tricks!  This year we are replacing our formal demonstrations with a series of painting stations where visitors can see our members in action. If you are happy to spend an hour or so painting and chatting with our visitors about your work let us know. All very informal. Volunteers will be able to display extra work for sale.

Tell the world! There will be plenty of promotional cards at the February meeting, so do take some to invite your friends and leave a few in your local coffee shop. The show is at the Palm Springs Air Museum with an artist’s reception and sale 5-7pm Thursday March 9 and runs Friday and Saturday, March 10 and 11, from 10am to 5pm.  The show is open to the public at all of those times.

Traci Davis 907 252 3227

Ian Cooke 760 408 3313

Forms are available below for the  MARCH 2017 ANNUAL SHOW 

Deadline for Entry, March 2, 2017

  • [pdf size= 16 href= ""]Prospectus[/pdf]
  • [pdf size= 16 href= ""]Entry[/pdf]
  • [pdf size= 16 href= ""]Bin Ptg list[/pdf]


The General Meeting in March will feature Demonstrator Charles Henry Rouse.

Charles was born in Detroit, Michigan, and made his way to California by way of a stint in the Marine Corps. Within three years he owned the sign shop that had hired him after leaving the Corps, had a wife and two sons, and went back to school to study art and design. Earning a California his teaching credential, he began his 24 year career as a college art instructor.

The years flew by. He decided to take early retirement. His son took over the business and he moved on from teaching to pursue his love of watercolor. In a couple of years, Charles decided he was ready to compete and has earned signature status in NWS, AWS, WW, TWSA, and many more. He says he is currently in a "What comes next?" phase.

Please welcome Charles Henry Rouse to our March General Meeting.


GENERAL MEETING FEB 13, 6:30 PM, JOSLYN CENTER, Sterling Edwards, Demonstrator

Sterling Edwards, CSPWC, TWSA

February Demonstrator


Sterling Edwards is a listed contemporary watermedia master and photographer born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1951. He has been teaching national and international painting workshops for the past fifteen years.

In 2007 Sterling was awarded signature member status in the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour and in 2010 he was awarded signature membership status in the Transparent Watercolor Society of America.

Sterling was a featured artist in the Fall 2001 issue of Watercolor Magic Magazine in an article titled, “Ones to Watch” and has been featured in numerous other magazine and newspaper articles. In 2009 he was a featured artist in the book, Best of America Watermedia Artists by Kennedy Publishing Company. He is the author of the best selling North Light book Creating Luminous Watercolor Landscapes, a Four Step Process, published by F+W Publishing Company and is a contributing artist in six other books. Sterling is also the designer of a signature line of products that are marketed worldwide.

In 2013 Sterling had the honor of being  accepted into the International Watercolor Society. His award winning paintings are in private and corporate collections nationwide and internationally. Sterling works from his home studio in Hendersonville, North Carolina,  in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.





Here’s the schedule for the 2016 - 2017 Season. As a rule we paint from 9 to  11:30 or 12, with some painters arriving before 9 to get the lighting right, and stay to share our work over lunch at noon. Search the Web for more on the sites.

Old Town Palm Springs by Nels Femrite

Date    Location
11/1/2016    Palm Desert Civic Center
11/8/2016    Faye Sarkowsky Sculpture Garden
11/15/2016    The Living Desert
11/29/2016    Vintage Nursery
12/6/2016    Cahuilla Hills Park
12/13/2016    Moorten Botancial Gardens
1/3/2017    Coachella Valley Preserve
1/10/2017    Coachella Valley Preserve
1/17/2017    La Quinta Old Town
1/24/20171/31/2017    Indian CanyonsVintage Nursery
2/7/2017    Villa Royal Inn
2/14/2017    Downtown Palm Springs
2/21/2017    Nels Femrite home
2/28/2017    Jackalope Restaurant
3/7/2017    Cabot Pueblo Museum
3/14/2017    Haceinda del Gato Traditions Golf Club
3/21/2017    Whitewater Preserve
3/28/2017    Open to suggestions

Nancy Whelan, Field Mice Chair