Winter Classes and Workshop 2008

Eight-Week Watercolor Classes
Two-Day Drawing Workshop
I am adding a Thursday evening watercolor class - I will still be doing the regular Wednesday morning and Thursday afternoon classes. I'm also offering a two-day drawing workshop. Please check out the info.
Hope to see you in class!


Snow Globe and Blue and White Bowl

It is still snowing here. It looks like we are living in a snow globe. Good weather to stay inside and work on some sketches and paintings. Sooner or later I will have to get out to make a food run. Good homemade soup and bread weather.

I have found this bowl very difficult to draw. I am pretty pleased with the little painting at the top of the sketchbook page, but after struggling with the one on the bottom of the page, I still don't have it right. No matter how much I measured and studied it, it is still a little off. Curvy, rounded objects have fewer points of reference. Whatever. I had a good time working on it. Any time I pick up my pencils or brushes is a good time.


Geranium Cuttings

Since my class on reflective surfaces, I have been trying to pay a little more attention to reflective surfaces myself. Also, because it is winter (VERY winter) I have been trying to pay a little more attention to my indoor surroundings - the winter light in various rooms at different times of the day, the shapes and colors of things in our house, the views out of the windows . . .

This drawing is just a study of some geranium cuttings and the containers they are in. The black Hall Ware bowl (50 cents at the thrift shop!) looks a little squishy, but I was pleased with the shading on it. I find round curvy things much more difficult to draw than straight lines, so I am going to spend some time working on that. Right now I am going to venture out into the snow and cold to get things from the grocery for burger night. Burgers, baked beans, CHIPS. Round curvy things.


Reflective Surfaces

This is a very small watercolor of a tarnished silver cup on a checkered tea towel. We were doing small studies of reflective surfaces. I was going to polish the cup before class, but I really liked the warm reflection it had, with almost a rust color along the rim. The biggest challenge with the cup was to get the checks from the tea towel to look like a reflection instead of a pattern on the cup.

We never did get to the blue-green cruet with the pebbly surface. Maybe next time.

We have quite a bit of new, fresh snow. The kind that would have been so pretty back about December 15th. It's really not bad - it's fresh and clean, and today there was a little sun now and then. The Bay was beautiful. We have a long way to go with winter weather, but at least the days are getting longer. Tomorrow's class is going to be working from photographs. They aren't as much fun as the real thing, but they're great for editing and working out composition problems. And, we'll be a lot warmer.


New Treasures

Look what I found.
I probably should have been home working on sketches of interiors (as my new year goals dictate) but I never pass up a chance to go bargain hunting with my bargain hunting friend. The blue and white jar was a great find - "as is" for $10. I haven't found its problem yet - maybe that'll be a surprise someday. Then at the next place I found this great rug for $8!!! It is Turkish, but it's not wool and it's not old, but from what I could dig up on the internet, it may be worth about $80. The fringe is a little worn so it fits in well with my old ones, and the white fluffy dog hair that was all but obliterating the pattern vacuumed right off. I'm hoping that the dog hair is all that was in it. Maybe it should have said "as is, fleas and all".

It is snowing today - very wintery again. A couple of friends are coming over and we are going to try our hand at making a couple of very simple journals. Like we need more journals. But, we do need to be together creating something - everyone needs that and should plan it into their busy lives.


China Cabinet Sketch

This is a quick contour drawing of our china cabinet with a little bit of color added using Pitt Brush Pens. I think I might try this same subject using colored pencils and then another in watercolor. The plate at the side of the sketchbook is one of the plates in the cabinet on the top shelf. It is part of a set that was broken up and divided among my grandfather's siblings. I always figured they must have been very important to someone if everyone had to have a few pieces. Fortunately, my grandfather ended up with, among other things, the beautiful soup tureen.

I am trying to do a few drawings of interiors and see if they lead to some paintings. I would like to go from interiors this winter to porches in the spring - chairs, tables, windows, doorways. It's nice to have a plan. Even nicer to do it!



I haven't painted or sketched a thing in days. I am doing my annual nesting and planning.

I have to get my new pages in my planner, and I always have to print out and paste together a years worth of calendar pages. A palm pilot would never work for me! I have to see it all as each week relates to the next. A regular calendar works great to post events, but for planning I need to be able to see how the weeks run together with minimal boundaries for the months.

I could spend the rest of the year planning the rest of the year.

Now I think I need some sticky notes - "Paint Paint Paint"!!!!



An experiment with under-painting.
I'm not crazy about paintings done in watercolor with an underpainting or toned paper. What I like about watercolor is the sparkle of the white paper showing through here and there - whether it is planned or just by chance as the brush skims over the texture of the paper. BUT, I do think it is fun to watch the objects and shapes emerge from the lightly painted paper. It's a challenge to make it work, and I always think a challenge boosts our creativity a bit. This was a lesson in my class this morning and everyone did a really nice job with it. It was a good warm up after the holidays - everyone is just getting back to real life. We painted the paper in kind of a bull's eye pattern leaving some white in the center, and then painted the objects the colors that we saw, layering to get the values (lights and darks) that were needed to bring the objects out of the background colors. I wouldn't really call this a keeper, but I would really call it a fun way to stretch a little.


Playing in the snow

Grandpa, the cardboard tent/fort builder, with a couple of granddaughters.
I guess this is about it for Christmas Vacation. It's back to real life tomorrow.
It was a nice, snowy holiday here - perfect for building a couple of snow forts, a trip or two to the little sledding hill at the playground, lots of hot chocolate, jigsaw puzzles . . . .

Of course we really missed the California kids, but somehow knowing they had a very "Michigan Christmas" in northern California with lots of snow and sledding, made it better.

I don't really make any resolutions, but I could probably do with a few goals. A few good goals never hurt anyone. But then I get carried away making lists, trying to work it all out so I can see it all written out so I don't forget anything (except where I put the list!) and then I have to read everyone's organizing and goal setting blogs to see how the experts do it, then I have to print out the perfect calendar pages and worksheets and . . . Okay, so I think I'll just get in bed with a good book. Today on someone's blog I read that she has set a goal to read seven books a month, which certainly wouldn't be impossible. I'm just going to go to bed.