Montgomery Art Association

  • 5 Jun 2020 8:36 PM | Martina Sestakova (Administrator)

    By Martina Sestakova

    Let's create together! One idea, many unique interpretations. If you follow our MAA Members Facebook page, you know we enjoy painting together. This blog highlights our latest project: an amaryllis photograph by Susan Farrer who took this photo in early March at the Philadelphia Flower Show. This activity aims to celebrate the diversity of MAA members' work so join in and show us your artistic point of view. Scroll below to see how our members interpreted the inspiration.

    Original photograph; credit: Susan Farrer

    And here we have our members' interpretations ... 

    Ellen Yahuda, 5" x 7", Pastel on paper

    Jamie Downs, Digital Painting

    Susan Farrer, 8" x 10", Acrylic on paper

    Tena Turner, 8" x 10", Colored pencil on drawing paper

    Marti Wells, 8" x 10", Watercolor

    Joanne Lamm, 5" x 5", Oil on paper

  • 27 May 2020 3:30 PM | Martina Sestakova (Administrator)

    By Bonnie Carlson 

    I started to think about chairs on a walk about a month ago. I saw empty park benches, cafes with no one at them, no one in line to buy a movie ticket to sit in the soft, red velvet chairs of a theater, and even, on returning home, the chairs in my own living room, where we sit, but where we can invite no friends to join us.

    I wanted to express what those empty chairs meant to me, both for better and worse: the lost jobs, shuttered businesses, the inability to sit with a friend, the loss of a friend to this terrible virus and the chair he or she will never sit in again. I thought of hospital waiting rooms where families cannot wait to see their loved ones, and so many patients coming through and sitting in chairs waiting for a lifeline.

    But not all of my thoughts turned to loss. I look at the chairs in my home, or the chairs at the table in my back yard, and I plan for our return to the day when we can safely meet, and think how sweet that time will be – a barbecue, maybe a birthday party, where little kids’ legs dangle from the too-tall chairs, party hats on, waiting for the pizza. It might be a wedding delayed that we can all finally celebrate at together, taking a chair or sliding into a pew next to a beloved aunt, leaning in and taking her elbow to say hello to her as we wait for the bride to come down the aisle.

    Some of these chairs are a memorial to those who will not sit in them again, but others are a plan for the return of friends and family. These chairs are an invitation to sit a spell, have a seat, or to enjoy coffee and a slice of cake, balanced on a knee, sitting in the living room with the one you have missed the most.

    This pandemic will not last forever. And when it ends, when we have a vaccine or a treatment, there’s a chair here, and it’s waiting for you.

    Currently all paintings are untitled. They are 8" x 8" acrylic on canvas.

    All rights reserved. Bonnie Carlson. 

  • 27 May 2020 7:46 AM | Kathleen Tynan (Administrator)


    New Member Spotlight -- Teresa Jarzynski

    Lives in:  Bethesda, MD.


    Social Media:

    Why you joined MAA:  I joined MAA in order to participate in the Creative Expressions Online Exhibit juried by Lee Newman, whose work I highly admire, and it is as well a great opportunity to become more a part of the regional art community.

    Something fun about you:  Something fun about me is that I am first generation Polish-American, with both parents born in Poland, and have spent my life traveling there for family visits every several years. From 1989-1990, in my very early twenties, I lived there working as a nightclub manager for the first Western company (Marriott) to open up in Eastern Europe following the fall of communism. Arriving in Warsaw about a month before the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 9th, 1989 was an interesting time to be living there.

    Artist Biography:  Working in oils and occasional watercolors, I paint the people, places and things from my personal life experiences as a way to document my presence.  Direct observation is the starting point for most of my work, and usually remains the central approach, but I allow myself to incorporate imagination, memory and photo reference when compelled to do so. I am fascinated with the everyday and the challenge of making the ordinary into the extraordinary.

    Teresa received her Associates Degree in Painting at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC and her BFA in Studio Art at Lorenzo De Medici in Florence, Italy. She divides her time between her Bethesda, MD studio and her Harlem, NYC studio and has exhibited in both solo and group shows throughout the United States. She is the recipient of the 2015 Best in Show award from the Anne Arundel Arts Council, and recently one of her portraits made the cover of DC’s HillRag Magazine.

    Reflections on The Thieving of Orchids and Other             May Flowers 36x24

    Love Stories_oil on canvas36x24

       Television Night 11x9

  • 20 May 2020 6:14 AM | Anonymous

    We are pleased to announce MAA's 2020-21 Board of Directors. The term begins June 1, 2020.


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  • 19 May 2020 2:25 PM | Martina Sestakova (Administrator)

    By Martina Sestakova

    Let's create together! One idea, many unique interpretations. If you follow our MAA Members Facebook page, you know we enjoy painting together. This blog highlights our latest project. Member John MacArhur shared a photo of Mount Vesuvius from his trip to Italy in 2018. Scroll below to see how our members interpreted the inspiration.

    Original photograph; credit: John MacArthur

    And here we have our members' interpretations ... 

    Alan Rich, Post It Note, 3" x 3", Pen/ink/colored pencil

    Tena Turner, 6.5" x 10", Prismacolor on Borden and Riley Vellum

    Ellen Yahuda, 11" x 7", Oil on paper

    Susan Farrer, 5" x 7", Collage with hand painted paper

  • 19 May 2020 1:58 PM | Martina Sestakova (Administrator)

    It is sad but true; there will not be a live, three-day MAA art exhibit in the Kensington Armory on Labor Day weekend this year. The town of Kensington has confirmed that the events will not take place due to the pandemic quarantine.

    But MAA is getting so adept at putting on online exhibits that we are pressing ahead with six online events to make up for this!

    We are keeping the name Paint The Town (PTT) but there are no restrictions about Kensington art this year. Each month from July - December we will conduct a judged online exhibit for a specific category. We will hold an online Zoom reception/award meeting with the judge (each show will have a different judge). We will also hold an online Zoom Artist's Salon during the exhibit to encourage artists to share background about their painting.

    Here is the schedule (Reception / Salon dates may change):


    June 12-19 Call for entries

    July 1-31     Landscape exhibit online

    July 5          Reception & Awards with Judge

    July 19        Artist's Salon

    Urban Landscape

    July 12-19     Call for entries

    August 1-31  Urban Landscape exhibit online

    August 2        Reception & Awards with Judge

    August 16      Artist's Salon

    Plein Air

    August 12-19     Call for entries

    September 1-30 Plein Air exhibit online

    September 6      Reception & Awards with Judge

    September 20    Artist's Salon


    September 12-19 Call for entries

    October 1-31        Portrait exhibit online

    October 4             Reception & Awards with Judge

    October 18           Artist's Salon


    October 12-19     Call for entries

    November 1-30   Abstract exhibit online

    November 1        Reception & Awards with Judge

    November 15      Artist's Salon

    Still Life

    November 12-19 Call for entries

    December 1-31   Still Life exhibit online

    December 6        Reception & Awards with Judge

    December 20      Artist's Salon

    Registration for each online show will be $5 and will be limited to 1 entry per exhibit. MAA membership is required for participation, and renewals will be needed for the September and beyond online exhibit. As previously mentioned, MAA memberships will be reduced to half price ($25) for renewals prior completed prior to September 1.

    Please contact Anastasia Walsh ( with any questions.

  • 13 May 2020 9:03 PM | Martina Sestakova (Administrator)

    By Martina Sestakova

    Several of MAA members undertook a fun project. They captured 'their view' during these times of staying at home. Elissa Poma kicked of the activity by sharing this watercolor capturing the backyard of her home. 

    Ellen Wilcox added her artwork in oil on canvas. And what a treat, she is part of the view. 

    In his "Quarantined" painting (oil), John MacArthur captured neighbors gathering out front during the Covid-19 pandemic. His piece (sold) was done en plein aire. 

    And finally, Jamie Downs added a close-up of bees (acrylic and ink on canvas). She said of this painting, "While isolated in my home, I have been painting the things I look forward to each Spring. For years, I admired bee balm at our family cabin in Pennsylvania and tried to bring it home without success. Now I have it spreading across my yard and can watch the bees and humming birds enjoy it." 

  • 4 May 2020 8:29 PM | Anonymous
    by Ellen Yahuda

    During this time in quarantine and solitude, I decided to try something different and challenging in my painting. I noticed on the MAA Members Facebook group a schedule for models. I have tried on several occasions to arrange for a get together with models and fellow students, and it worked only once.

    To me, these new Zoom-based sessions provided a fantastic opportunity to have it all, at my “doorstep,” with no driving and no organizing of others. And, there was plenty of time to meet a new challenge.

    I emailed Gazelle, the first model whose date for posing suited my timing. Her reply was helpful and encouraging. The cost was only $5.00 per hour, and about an hour before the time for the class, a Zoom ID and password is sent to your email address.

    In that first reply, Gazelle explained the details of the arranged poses and dress of the model in the time allotted. Gazelle also helpfully sent me the calendar for the whole week for all of the models.

    I did two sessions this past week with two different models. During the sessions the model and other students interact both before class and during the breaks. For instance, yesterday I asked what each person was using, whether it was charcoal, pastel or pencil. It turned out I was the only one attempting oil painting and was cheerfully told I was brave. That art community out there is so friendly.


    These sessions are under the auspices of the DC Art Model Collective. My experience is that the sessions are professional, with attention paid to lighting, background, dress and pose. The models are all supportive of each other, announcing the next model’s session at the end of their session. There have been 3-5 participants and some models in the sessions I have attended. Art friend have been in sessions with up to 10 artists.

    I have already decided which sessions I will do next week. It’s really good to have a choice to do one-, two-, or three-hour sessions. With both models, there were 5 and 10 minute warm-ups.

    The models ask kindly that you don’t take photos and if you want, they will send you a photo depending on the quality for either $5  or $10 I am still working on two oil paintings and asked for photos to be sent to me.

    It was all so smooth, serious and exhilarating. I highly recommend these events.

    If you are interested in participating in a Zoom-based session, with the DC Art Model Collective, look for details on the group's calendar, Facebook page or Instagram page.

    Sketches courtesy Ellen Yahuda

  • 30 Apr 2020 1:10 PM | Kathleen Tynan (Administrator)

    Ally Morgan 

    Lives in:  Rockville, MD


    Social Media:

    Media and subjects:  Watercolor Mixed Media.  

    Why you joined MAA:  I joined MAA to get to know other working artists in the area.

    Something fun about you: I love playing video games.  It is one of my favorite things to do in my spare time. 

    Artist Biography: 

    Ally Morgan is a visual artist and art teacher working in Montgomery County, Maryland.  In 2010 she received her BFA in painting from Salisbury University and she received her MFA in drawing and painting from Arizona State University in 2014.  

    Ally is a mixed media artist, focusing on watercolors, pens, and colored pencils.  Inspired by the lectures of the French philosopher Jacques Derrida, she endeavors to explore the identity of the “Animal Other” as well as her own personal relationship with them.  Derrida suggested that “the animal looks at us and we are naked before it… thinking perhaps starts here.”  This statement about seeing the animal and the animal confronting our gaze of them has continued to lead Ally’s artistic investigation.  

    For more information, visit

  • 29 Apr 2020 10:08 PM | Anonymous

    An exhibition not to be missed! To celebrate it's 65th year of continuous support for the artists of Montgomery County the M AA  will hold an online exhibition from June 1 to June 30, 2020. Normally held at the Friendship Heights Village Center this show is popular with MAA members and is held annually.

    This show is always an array of interesting artwork from abstract to realism.  One entry per person. Your entry  will be submitted into one of  five categories - Landscape, Portrait (either people or animals),  Still life, Abstract or Miniatures. Awards will be given in each category for first, second and third places.

    The 2020 judge will be Lee Newman (shown), one of the founders of the Washington Studio School in DC. Newman is an established artist in our region who has artwork in the National Gallery of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He is a committed art educator as well as an award winning painter and printmaker.

    Entries can be submitted from May 10 until May 19. There is a $5 entry fee.

    Be part of the action and submit your art to the Creative Expressions show 2020! See more details, including the show prospectus. on our Event page.

    -Jan Rowland, show co-manager

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