The 7 Palettes Today

We are a group of women joined for the purpose of increasing our immersion in art. Individually we were all doing well, but we found that in working together, we could pool our resources and accomplish more, plus support each other and have more fun. We could be honest with each other about aspirations, about the foolishness of some ‘rules’, and about our art work.

Our original seven included Sara Becker, Nancy Butler, Helen Gallagher, Caroline Orrick, Ann Rossilli, Penny Smith and Maureen Ward.

We lost our friend Helen in 2020, but she is still very much in our midst, guiding our brushes and imparting her humor, creativity and intrepid spirit.  Read more about Helen and see some of her late works. We are delighted to again be a full complement of seven, with the addition of long-time friend and fellow artist, Kathy Stowe. Read more about Kathy here.

How We Met.  In 2012, we were enjoying a morning figure painting class at the Yellow Barn in Bethesda, MD.  After the sessions, whoever was available went for lunch together.  By the time the course ended, we had bonded and our lunches were almost as important as class itself. We decided to keep getting together for plein air painting, visiting art exhibits, and critiquing each other’s painting. These activities gradually morphed into group painting trips, exhibiting collectively under our ‘7 Palettes’ moniker, and collaborating on this joint website, It allows us to share our individual and collective enjoyment of art with others.

How We Formed. Artists through the years have formed groups—art can be a pretty lonely endeavor—and each group is unique. Though we have seven quite different personalities, backgrounds, and styles, we share a hunger, a passion to produce the finest art we can, not to mention that each of us deferred our art while we led productive work lives and raised families.  It is not as if none of us picked up a pencil or a brush while waiting for retirement.  Most of us played around with art in our own ways, enjoying what we did, and developing some kind of style. We variously sought professional guidance, knowing it would spur us to produce works that would really satisfy us.

How We’ve Grown. We’ve come a long way since 2012. Not only have we painted and hung out together, we’ve had six major exhibits and participated in at least eight ‘destination’ workshops. We’ve also commissioned private workshops on zoom to continue learning during the pandemic.

Since forming the 7 Palettes, we have made gains in understanding art principles, learning techniques to achieve goals, and assessing our own abilities. We are moving from being generalists to becoming more specialized, but as we grow, those interests too will change. What has not changed is the personal involvement we put into our work, which hopefully communicates itself to viewers.

A new exhibit is imminent. And, going forward, check our blog regularly and visit our individual websites for updates about our schedules and individual art! You can get to our sites by clicking on our individual photos above.

A Bit More Backstory. Here is a short clip about our group, captured while Helen was still walking among us.

























3 Responses to The 7 Palettes Today

  1. Sara H. Becker says:

    Watch out world here we come! Well, at least in the Maryland, DC area, for now…

  2. Caroline says:

    Hi Seven Palettes! I’m a reporter for Capital News Service of Maryland and I’m very interested in producing a feature on your work and story – please let me know if this can work! Thank you – Caroline Cummings

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