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Happy Holidays From Your President

Stephen Lanford | Published on 12/17/2023

I hope everyone is making time to enjoy this holiday season! It is always a busy time of year for me, and I’m sure for everyone else as well. Most days it is all I can do to keep up. As the year ends, we tend to reflect. I find gratitude is uppermost in my mind. This year, as I count the blessings in my life, I have to include Mid-Southern Watercolorists as an organization and as a  part of my extended family. I have been rewarded by my choice to serve our community. I have met and developed lifelong friendships. It has been a joy to have a front-row seat to the generosity and creativity our members pour into MSW and their own work. J. M. Barrie said,  “Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.” Thank you all for allowing me to be of service.  

Denise Spence, Chair of the New Members Committee, is organizing a dinner to showcase our new members from 2023 on January 22nd in Maumelle. Keep your eyes open for more information. It is a chance for our new members to share their works and connect to the wonderful network of artists that is our membership. I look forward to seeing you there.  

Your MSW board members are busy wrapping up things for 2023. This past year we: initiated our first Zoom access to Paint-Ins, started the Working Artist Initiative, reestablished and began committees needed to grow MSW, filled vacant leadership roles with new chairs, increased member benefits, made our website and app more user-friendly, and continue to improve upon our culture of inclusiveness and service. Those who have taken part, know the bonds that have been forged. I am grateful we have been able to expand upon the high-quality services for which MSW has a reputation.  

The MSW board is working hard to strengthen and build our organization to be of service to  ALL of its members no matter their location so that we will not only survive in the future but thrive. As you reflect upon your year and the strides MSW has made in 2023, please consider ways you can contribute in 2024. I am always ready to talk with you to figure out the most ideal way to utilize your desire, skills, and time. You are vital in the enrichment of MSW.

I look forward to an exciting year of change, possibilities, and growth! I am excited to meet and get to know all of our members in the coming years! Again, please reach out to discuss how you may be able to serve MSW and its membership.  

I wish you all possible blessings during this holiday season and a very happy New Year!  Happy Holidays!  


Stephen Lanford, President MSW  


One way we can improve as artists is to study the work of other artists, both from our collective past and our contemporaries. Here is a list of watercolor artists I ran across that  I thought you might find interesting. Take a look and let me know which artist intrigues you.