Friday, March 6, 2015

Morning Ritual

I'm an early riser.  I love the morning, it's my favorite part of the day, and I love it most when I can witness the sunrise with a hot cup of tea in my hand.

I am predominantly and tea drinker, and an old-school one at that.  

I like loose-leaf tea, preferably Sri Lankin or English black tea, made in a pot.  The former is unheard of where I live, and the latter is very hard to find so I mostly get it online.  I also like to drink it from a tea cup and saucer.  I don't favor big mugs for my tea because it goes cold too quickly, I like my tea hot.

So, today I'm sharing a sketch I did late last year of my tea cup and tin.   It's watercolor and ink in a Stillman & Birn "Epsilon" series sketchbook.

Enjoy your day, and thanks for stopping by. xx

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

In Need of Spring

This past few months has found me very consumed with family, private art, and other projects.  Although I had no intention of taking such a long blog break, sometimes it just works out that way. 

Rather than continue my silence, I thought I'd start sharing my daily sketchbooks, which are far from noteworthy, and often not even interesting.  But they are my anchor to a daily sketching habit, and it's all I've been able to manage.

Winter is a tough time for me, and particularly so in the mid-west.  It's usually the time I make bad decisions, withdraw, get grumpy, and shut down.  This winter has been no different. But taking time out for other pursuits, and re-calibrating my priorities have been helpful.

This page I did yesterday is more about my yearning for spring rather than a record of my day. It is watercolor in a Stillman & Birn "Alpha" series sketchbook.  Not my usual choice of paper, I prefer the "Beta", "Zeta", & "Epsilon" books, but I have this "Alpha" and I am surprised to say I am enjoying it immensely.  

Maintaining a sketchbook habit has powerful and profound benefits and I have been constantly reminded of this so far in 2015.  

Perhaps this is going to be a year of reflection and discovery for me....I guess we'll see!

Thanks for stopping by. xx

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Let's Talk 2015 Classes

Most of my class offerings over the past 5 years have been online.  When I originally started offering classes they were delivered in eBooks.  A format that was hugely popular, but after about 2 years I, like many others, moved to online classrooms.

However, with an abundance of new teachers offering online art classes these days, the cost of online class platforms has skyrocketed.  Therefore I have decided to focus my efforts this year on live workshops, and offering my classes in eBook format.

That's not to say that my current online class offerings will change...they won't!!  These classes will remain open and available for purchase for as long as participants are interested in taking them.  

So, to begin my 2015 offerings, I am thrilled to announce a one-day "Watercolor Sketchbook" Workshop.

This will be a full day masterclass on Saturday May 2nd, 2015 from 10am - 4pm, delivered at the beautiful "Waterloo Center for the Arts" in the heart of the Cedar Valley, Waterloo Iowa.

This amazing facility is built right on the banks of the Cedar River in Downtown Waterloo.

I joined the WCA Instructor Team in 2014 and have loved teaching watercolor classes throughout the year.

This year I once again have a full schedule of 6-week classes, and this will be the first of several 1 and 2 day live workshops planned for 2015.

"Watercolor Sketchbook Workshop" will be held on Saturday May 2nd.

This workshop is aimed at beginning sketchers of all ages, as well as watercolor, mixed media, and visual artists who want to explore the art of keeping a sketchbook journal.

In this class, I will be taking you through the fundamentals of keeping a watercolor sketchbook as a visual journal.

Here's what to expect.

Participants will arrive between 9am and at 9.30, and we'll begin our day with a welcome coffee and a short tour of the Waterloo Center for the Arts, including the galleries, studios and the Phelps Youth Pavilion.

At 10am we'll gather in the "Visual Arts Studio" for our morning session where we'll begin straight away with sketching and painting.  

In this session we'll be covering...

Keeping a Sketchbook - Materials & Sketch-Kits

Sketching Basics - Observation, Shape, Value, Color, & Texture

Watercolor Basics - Color, Washes, Strokes, Shadow & Tone

At around 12:30 we'll enjoy a refreshing lunch provided by the "Art House Cafe", then we'll take our sketchbooks outside (weather permitting).  

In this session we'll be covering...

Field Sketching - Time, Lighting, & Composition

Following a Process -  Pencil Sketch, Watercolor Wash, &  Ink Detail

Using Other Media - Watercolor Pencil, Water Soluble Markers, & Watercolor Pastels

At 3:30 we'll move back into the Visual Arts Studio and finish up with an brief exploration on visual note taking. 

In this session we'll be covering...

One-Minute Thumbnail Sketches
Sensory Icons

The Visual Matrix

Using Dates, Words, & Headings

Participants will receive a recommended supplies list upon registration, and are encouraged to bring whatever supplies you have.  

If you are flying in from out of town and don't want to travel with your own supplies, then you can purchase a class "Sketch-Kit" from me directly. 

Please let me know by email if you will require this. 

The cost of this full day workshop is only $96 per person...YEP, only $96 for the entire day, including lunch & refreshments throughout the day.  

The best way to sign up is to call the Waterloo Center for The Arts direct on 319-291-4490, or you can go through their website (click here), then click on the "Registration Form" link in the right side column.

If you're coming in from out of town, the Waterloo airport is a quick one our flight from Chicago, situated five minutes from Cedar Falls in one direction, and five minutes from Waterloo in the other.

Or you can fly into Cedar Rapids Airport which has direct flights from many cities around the US including Chicago.

Cedar Rapids is a 1 hour drive north on I380 directly to Waterloo. 

There is an abundance of choices for accommodation in either city, with a host of top class restaurants, shops, and recreation.  Here are some links for more information about visiting the area.

    For information about Waterloo tourism, including accommodation, flights, & attractions, click here.

For information about Cedar Falls tourism, accommodation, & attractions, click here.

I hope you'll consider joining me for this exciting masterclass, and remember, places are strictly limited, so get your registration in quickly.

If you live in the Cedar Valley, then you might like to join me for either of my spring 6-week sessions: "Introduction To Watercolor" and "Watercolor Flowers in Spring".  Click here for more information.

To get a full list of my 2015 current class offerings, as well as what's coming up, click here.

If you have any questions, please email me, or leave a comment below.

Stay tuned for more class announcements over the coming weeks.

Thanks for checking in. xx

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Day 5 of the Art Challenge

 Today is the last day of my 5-Day Art Challenge.  
Today I'm sharing a series of "Blossoms" in anticipation of spring.

All of these paintings were done in Stillman & Birn Sketchbooks using watercolor, watercolor pencil, and for the first painting, acrylic.

Enjoy your weekend and thanks for stopping by. xx

Friday, January 30, 2015

Day 3 & 4 of 5 Day Art Challenge

Here's some art of my you've probably never seen before.  For Day 3 of the 5-Day art challenge I thought I'd share some old, old life paintings I did when I was still in my 20's.  

I still love to paint life but my focus has shifted.  These were all done in pastel, a medium I love.  But it doesn't work so well in a sketchbook so I don't do as much pastel work as I used to.  Something I'd love to get back to.

The technique seems pretty rudimentary, but they were fun.  

And for Day 4 I thought I'd share some "Fruit on the Branch".  

These were all done in a Stillman & Birn "Zeta" Series sketchbook using watercolor and watercolor pencil.

Have a fabulous day and thanks for checking in. xx

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Day 2 of The Art Challenge

Today I'm sharing a series of "Dragonfly" paintings I did over the past few years as part of the "5 Day Art Challenge".
I do love dragonflies, and I love love love to paint them.  

This first one was done using ColourArte's Silks Acrylic Glaze and ink.  

I've been getting a lot of questions about my class "A Taste of Silks" and I'm thrilled to tell you that it will be available in eBook format this year.  
I'll be announcing an early bird special really soon.

This dragonfly is done in watercolor and ink in a Stillman & Birn "Beta" Series Sketchbook.  
I love to splash and scribble in these beautiful hard bound books.

This last dragonfly was done using ColourArte's beautiful Twinkling h2O luminescent watercolors.
They are truly glorious watercolor paints that are vibrant and shimmery beyond imagining.  

My online classes Mastering Twinks 1 & 2 are available now.  
You can take sign up for one class at a time, or take advantage of the bundle discount and sign up for both classes.  
These are wonderful, exciting, and jam-packed classes that cover everything from watercolor technique, color theory, sketching and drawing lessons, and the fine art of working with luminescence.  

For more information on Mastering Twinks 1 click here, for Mastering Twinks 2 click here.

Enjoy your day and thanks for checking in. xx 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Paintings From The Past

I've been sharing some of my past paintings on Facebook as part of the "3 Paintings a Day for 5 Days" Challenge.    The three paintings I'm showing you today were done about 4 or 5 years ago.  They are pages from my watercolor sketchbook.

I thought I'd share these with you on my blog as well, because I know not everyone likes Facebook and I do appreciate you stopping by here as well.

I have been really busy with my family and other commitments this month, which has kept me away from my blog, but I have had my hands full with lots of art projects and trying to decide what teaching projects I'm able to commit to this year.   

I hope to have an updated schedule for you sometime next week, so thank you for your patience. 

 Once thing I can tell you is that I will be teaching a one day workshop in May called "Keeping A Watercolor Sketchbook".  It will be an live full-day workshop held at the beautiful "Waterloo Center for The Arts" in Waterloo Iowa. 

If you've been wanting to take a live class with me, this could be your opportunity to visit the beautiful Cedar Valley in Iowa for a full day of fun and art with me. 

You can check out the WCA Class page here . Scroll down on the center panel to see all the teens and adult classes scheduled for spring 2015.  Spaces in this class will be limited, so now is the time to reserve your place.  

You can also download their class registration form by clicking the link in the left side-panel.

Just so you know, Waterloo is a 1 hour flight from Chicago, and there is an abundance of accommodation, rental cars, and recreation to be had here. 

Thanks for checking in. xx

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Welcome 2015

"There are years that ask questions and years that answer."

 -Zora Neale Hurston

Whichever it is for you, I wish you courage, wisdom, and patience.

Happy 2015!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Looking Ahead

It's the holiday season once more, the eve of Christmas and the dusk of another year gone.  This has been a huge year for me with lots of ups and downs.  I've spent much of it feel a little out of control with too many balls-in-the-air, so to speak.  

I've had some joyful moments, some nail-biting minutes, and I've burned the candle at both ends, but I've had a great 2014 and as I look forward to another beautiful Christmas with my little family, I'm brimming with gratitude.

As my children get older, and their needs intensify (especially Thomas') I am in a constant state of reassessment about my priorities and where I need to direct my precious and extremely limited time.  So many unexpected factors have nudged me in different directions and many well laid artistic plans have fallen through the cracks.

I am still working through how I will direct my time in the coming year and what I will be focused on.  I haven't released a 2015 schedule yet as there is still so much up in the air and I don't want to commit to anything I can't honor. 

I am still deciding whether I will produce any new online classes this year as I have several live workshop commitments that I would like to honor, plus, the online class realm is feeling very crowded these days, many with questionable quality and student expectations that are changing in ways not necessarily for the better. 

I have several heart-stopping opportunities on my slate, and surprisingly I am hesitating with commitments to them.  As a creative, I have very powerful waves of inspiration that leave me breathless, but as a professional artist I can rarely indulge these as I am committed to delivering a particular product.  The frustration can sometimes be overwhelming. 

But one of the elements I have craved desperately, and that is to paint for the pure joy of it.  I've done so little of this in the past year and I feel that this coming year may need to be a learning and growing year for me.

So, I will let you know of what to expect from me as things fall into place.

In the meantime, I would like to thank all of you for your continued support this past year, especially to those of you who have taken my classes and let me guide on this stage of your own artistic journey.  It's been joyful to see so many of you blossom as artists. 

I would also like to thank Stillman & Birn, ColourArte, DecoArte, Inchies Art, & Lindy's Stamp Gang for their commitment to creativity, and their support of me, other bloggers, and artists alike.

I hope you have a wonderful, peacful, joyful, love-filled holiday season, however you celebrate it.  And I especially hope that 2015 brings you all wonderful things.

Thank you for stopping by.  xx