"So take a shower, read a good book, then go to sleep. And do it now!"
A friend emailed me this advise a couple of nights ago when I told her that I was going to bed with a stack of papers that I had let pile up for toooo long.  Who knows what might be in that stack  -  bills to pay, checks to cash (YES!)
So under what category does making art fall?  Is it work or is it equivalent to reading a good book? 
This is a small mono-type with colored pencil.I inked the "plate" ( a piece of plastic), let it dry over night, and then printed it on a damp piece was 90lb hot press watercolor paper.
I love doing these  -  so I guess it falls under the category of reading a good book. 


Watercolor Canvas

18X24 Watercolor on Watercolor Canvas
I started this watercolor as a demo in a workshop I did using watercolor canvas and clayboard. I had intended to wash off the vase of flowers so I wasn't concerned about the fact that it was smack in the center. However when I got going on it, I was pleased with the colors and the way the paint handled on the canvas. In order to keep it, I had to figure out a way to salvage a bad composition. I'm not sure I succeeded, but I do like the painting anyway. I have been playing around with words in my paintings and had a good time with this.

It is the season for still lifes, but they do get tiresome after awhile. This week my classes are starting on composing from photographs. I always feel that artists living in cold weather winter climates should know how to do that. I am not a cold weather outdoor-on-location painter. I don't do the suffering artist thing - give me a cozy studio any cold day.



Watkins Cinnamon Tin and Apples
This is a watercolor on 140 cold press paper - has anyone else noticed the change in texture of Arches 140 cold press? I don't like it! It still handles the same, but I don't like the look of it. Oh well, nobody asked me - "they" never do, but I guess if this is the worst thing I have to gripe about today, I'm doing okay. And it is the worst thing.

This was a still life set up for my classes this week. It was a real challenge with the almost monochromatic colors, an over-crowded set up that needed editing, and the mixing of the reds and greens for the apples - that combination can turn to mud. Both classes really got into it!!! They worked for an hour on the drawing and composition, and then did a wonderful job getting in plenty of contrasts with lights and darks, and their color mixing was wonderful. I think everyone had a real feeling of accomplishment when they left.

As usual, I am not crazy about my background. It is a small painting - really just a study - and I didn't want to get into what might be going on in the background. But still. Any suggestions?


Spring Lake

Here it is October 6th, and it felt more like a hot day in August.
I was doing a watercolor journal demonstration and paint-along event for the Little Traverse Conservancy. I had chosen the Spring Lake location because it has shelter. First we needed it because of the sun and then because of the rain - and we were only there for two hours!

A wonderful group of people showed up. They were all eager to paint and they all did a great job. Some were new to watercolor, and some were experienced but liked the idea of the simplicity of a small journal page done quickly.

Thanks to Cindy from the Conservancy for spending the afternoon with us, and thanks to all of the participants that let me expound once again on how much fun watercolor journaling can be!


Pumpkins and Squash

When I mentioned to a friend that my Wednesday morning class wanted to paint pumpkins, she came baring pumpkins and squash the next day. That Cinderella pumpkin on the right has a beautiful shine to it - almost as if it had been glazed. They are all beautiful - great colors, interesting textures, and wonderful quirky stems.

The class met this morning and they did a fantastic job of painting them. They really captured those colors and textures.

Sooner or later I am going to have to cook some of these, but for awhile I'll enjoy sketching and painting them.


Guess Who Came to Dinner.

REALLY!!! A pileated woodpecker came to my little bird feeder today. We live in the city! Pileated woodpeckers live in the forest! I have only seen one other in my life. I must admit that I did not take this picture - I found it on a public-domain-picture site. The woodpecker didn't stay long - he took off as soon as I came near the window, but there is no mistaking this bird - nothing else looks like it. Except of course Woody Woodpecker.