The WSA routinely hosts artist demonstrations and critiques. These events are open to the public. For those who cannot attend, we are pleased to share some of these events in the following videos. We hope you will find them to be inspiring and enlightening.

John MacDonald Landscape Demo in Oil and 2017 Library Show Awards


John attended Washington University in St. Louis, where he received a BFA in 1979. Following college, he attended a four month intensive printmaking workshop at the Institute for American Universities in Avignon, France. Returning to the States, he received an MA degree in drawing and painting from Purdue University in 1982. For nearly thirty years, John worked as both a freelance illustrator and landscape painter. He has won awards from Print Magazine as well as having work appear in the Society of Illustrators annual show. He now paints full time. His paintings are held in private and corporate collections throughout North America.

John is currently represented by the following galleries:

The Iris Gallery, Boston, MA & Aspen, CO
Warm Springs Gallery, Charlottesville, VA
The Lily Pad Gallery, Watch Hill, RI and Milwaukee, WI
Sorelle Gallery, New Canaan, CT
Christopher-Clark Fine Art, San Francisco, CA

His workshops have taken place from New Hampshire to California. Recent workshops have been held in the Bascom Center, North Carolina; The Falmouth Art League, Falmouth, Massachusetts; The Weathersfield Academy, Wethersfield, Connecticut; and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia.

Professional memberships have included the Creativity Coaching Association, Society of Illustrators, the Illustrators Partnership of America, the National Association of Plein Air Painters, the Graphic Artists Guild, and the Oil Painters of America.

To learn more about John, please visit his website at

Susan Swinand Critique

In our annual Margaret Fernside Memorial talk, the WSA invited members to bring two paintings for critique by Susan Swinand. Sue is a painter with a preference for water media. Although her work is usually abstract, the structures and forms of nature are a big influence for her. Sue received a BFA in painting from Moore College of Art and studied in Europe following graduation. When she returned, she studied the Philosophy and Appreciation of Art. Sue taught studio classes at the Worcester Art Museum for more than 25 years and visual communications, design and painting at Clark University. She currently teaches painting at Wellesley College Greenhouses. 

Sally Meding Watercolor Demo

Sally Meding, a WSA exhibiting member shared her creative process in a painting demonstration entitled “Realism through Abstraction”  at the Wellesley Free Library. The demo was preceded by the WSA Fall show awards presentation. 

Sally Meding, a native of London, obtained a PhD in Freiburg, Germany and immigrated to the United States in 1990. She is a signature member of the New England and Southwestern Watercolor Societies, as well as the WSA. As a versatile artist, Sally creates mostly semi-abstract works in watercolor on paper. In her artwork, she playfully uses color and shape in a game of “contrasts,” particularly pitting warm against cool, bright against dull, and light against dark. She enjoys the challenge of painting a wide variety of subject matter where a “contrast” catches her eye. She has appeared on HGTV “That’s Clever” and is published in Nita Leland’s book, “Confident Color” (North Light, 2008). She has a studio in Natick, and teaches watercolor at all levels in the Metro West area. Sally’s artwork is in private and corporate collections in Germany, the UK, California, Texas, and Massachusetts.