Monday, July 13, 2020

Fun with Watercolor on Location at Langus Riverside Park

Friday, July 10, 2020
It was a beautiful afternoon for a watercolor workshop along the banks of the Snohomish River. The scent of wild roses hung in the air as kayaks silently glided across the ripples and reflections in the lazily flowing water.

The hum of traffic in the distance could be heard now and then but the twittering of wild birds captures ones attention as they go flitting among the branches of the trees. Now and then a couple in quiet conversation strolls by.

A man walking his dog on the sidewalk past my car stops for a moment to compliment my work. He says his wife enjoys painting watercolors, too. He wears a face covering and keeps about 10 feet away. I have had my mask on while we talked and put it in my pocket in case I feel the need to wear it again.

I'm parked in a good spot, a safe distance from most passersby.

It's so nice to see the smiles on the faces of my online students, safe and comfortable at home, yet together here with me at the park.

I have detailed knowledge of all my favorite spots for summer outdoor painting. I have decades of experience in painting on location and teaching watercolors.

I'm going through dozens of practice runs on how to set up my filming and broadcast equipment for live interaction. So far, so good. Except once in a while the internet gremlins show up with a new glitch. Still, it's pretty close to being there face to face.

PS. I'm still training my assistant, but if you hear snoring from under a distant tree, it's NOT the internet gremlins.

Here are my 3 little ATCs from our location at Langus Park. We are collecting these for each of our summer workshops. At the end of the series, we'll have a swap among those who attended.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Schedule Updates for Outdoor Online Workshops

Until it is practical to meet in groups, our workshops will be live online through Zoom
This summer I am sharing some of my favorite outdoor painting spots through a series of 5 watercolor workshops. Check here for updates on Location and start times for our live online interactive summer sessions.

Registered students will receive a private video of the scene the evening before the workshop. This will help you get familiar with some of the subjects available, ambient sounds, etc.

Register for workshops 

Tentative schedule (there is room for adjustment due to weather, unforeseen circumstances or request by participants-i.e. switch from am to pm) Updates will be published here on my blog, Facebook Art Page and Instagram 

1. Friday, July 10 (the majority favors pm) 2:30-5:30 pm
Location: River reflections, trees, mixing greens, kayaks in action, basic composition on location
Zoom live interactive on location 

2. Tuesday July 21 -- 2:30-5:30 pm
Location: Coastal scene, embankments, inlets, wildflowers, meadows and marshland, clouds, driftwood beach, foreground composition on location
Zoom live interactive on location

3. Wednesday August 5 — 2:30-5:30 pm
Location: Picturesque vintage harbor, tidal estuary. Options include boats moored in the marina, wildlife in the estuary, boardwalk, old harbor and buildings, dry dock and the channel leading out to Gardner Bay.
Zoom live interactive on location 

4. Monday August 17 (pm)

5. Wednesday Sept 16 (am)

I am flexible on the start time for classes. Initially I plan am classes from 9:30-12:30   and  pm classes from 2:30-5:30. This takes advantage of the light conditions in summer. Please let me know your preference.

I don’t expect especially large attendance, so we can check in the day before and see how it goes with the weather and the group. It really will be like a small group of friends planning a paint outing for the day.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Register for Summer Watercolor Workshops 2020

Save your spot, register now for our summer series of Five Online Watercolor workshops. Each workshop will be 2.5 to 3 hours depending on subject matter and student engagement.
There will be two workshops in July, two in August and one in mid September.

Tentative schedule (there is room for adjustment due to weather, unforeseen circumstances or request by participants-i.e. switch from am to pm)
Friday, July 10 pm                           Wednesday August 5 pm
Tuesday July 21 pm                         Monday August 17 pm

Wednesday Sept 16 am

Participants will receive full details about the virtual meeting place, materials, expectations, and other useful tips before each workshop. Scroll down for information about registration, level, and cancellations policy. For questions contact Michele Cooper

Workshops are designed for all levels of participants from beginners to advanced painters. Instructor will provide guidance and tips necessary to get started for beginner painters while more seasoned artists will be challenged to further their skills with a fun array of fast-paced subjects and themes. Some previous experience will be helpful but not required.

You can register for individual workshops, take the entire series of 5, or pick and choose any 3.

One workshop at a time $45 
I am All In (Take all 5 workshops at $37/workshop) $185
Pick and Choose 3 ($40/workshop) $120

Avoid fees and register by emailing with your choice of workshops.
You can send your payment by:
  1. Venmo (@Michele-Cooper-49)
  2. Cash App ($MicheleLCooper)
  3. Paypal ( Keep in mind PayPal charges a small fee unless you use the "friends" option. 
  4. Check to Michele Cooper 
Because of the uncertainty of this time you can cancel any workshop or package at any point for a full refund. Transaction fees will be charged if applicable.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

New 2020 Summer Series of Live Online Watercolor Classes

I found a lovely spot to paint in a nearby public garden.

Let’s paint on location this summer. I would love to share a few of my favorite spots with you where we can paint together, apart. As we follow official guidelines toward gradual reopening where we live, let’s share the joys of sketching and painting outdoors. Join me live online every 10 days or so as we explore the season with watercolor.

  • Live watercolor demo from  Michele Cooper

  • Suitable for ALL levels of painters 

  • Plenty of Q & A

  • Take advantage of the “mobile studio”

  • Interact/chat with other attendees

  • Paint along with me or paint later

  • Send me a photo of your painting and I will critique and showcase in a special video on YouTube!

I am running a free live online informal meeting with a brief watercolor demonstration on Wednesday, July 8th at 6 pm PDT.  Wherever you are, join me for this Q&A session about the upcoming summer series of workshops and a free live demo of people walking dogs. To join, please fill out my 2 minute survey.

This online workshop is suitable for painters of any level.  Each session there will be an interactive demonstration/tutorial in Watercolor.  I will go at a slow pace and describe with commentary what I am doing and the techniques I am using.  The commentary will only be in English, and I will try and speak slowly in case I have any attendees where English is not their first language.
All you will need is a good/reliable internet connection, and a headphone or PC speakers to hear me and to hear each other .  If you want to, you'll be able to ask plenty of questions as I go along.  There is a $45.00 USD fee to attend this live session.  It will not be uploaded to YouTube (as a Public Video) or available to anyone apart from the attendees who have paid to watch.  I should be able to send you a link to the recording of the demo afterwards, which only you can see.  
The demo might be an hour to an hour and a half in duration (depends on how many questions/comments I get!).  We will paint at a slow speed and in stages.  So you can paint along with me if you want, or wait until you receive a link to the recording. I suggest that you find a quiet spot outdoors to follow along with the recording.

What you will need (apart from paper and water)
  1. See my Sketching Equipment page for suggested on location equipment.
  2. Your normal palette of colors (I mainly use, organic vermilion, alizarin crimson, burnt sienna, raw sienna, cerulean blue, cobalt blue, ultramarine blue, aureoline yellow and new gamboge yellow, white paint for highlights).  You don't need to use these colors.
Hope to see you online!
Contact me if you have questions.

Watch my series on “Flooded Fields” ahead of time for tips on painting on location.
Here’s a free series to demonstrate my usual approach, special techniques and methods during a typical outdoor watercolor excursion.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

World Watercolor Month Returns!

Join our Summer Outdoor Painting Watercolor Workshops, Live Online
Bring your Watercolors! July/August, 2020
More information 

I’ll share some of my favorite painting spots with you.  

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Come to Online Watercolor class Wednesday, May 20

The weather has been unpredictable this week, but the studio mannequin is singin' in the rain. He's excited about the new online watercolor class that starts tomorrow evening!

We're very happy to welcome you to Watercolor Painting from the shoeless classroom tomorrow evening at Skagit Valley College online.

It's not too late to join us! Call, sign up online or email to register:

Update: May 19, 2020
Online watercolor classes have been scheduled at Skagit Valley College 
For more details and How to register for SVC Wednesdays please follow this link.

  • Dates: 5/20/2020 - 6/24/2020
    Days: W    Times: Arranged  

CouriAnne Williams
Continuing & Community Education Director Mount Vernon Campus
Register by phone 360.416.7638

Thursday, April 30, 2020

New Online Zoom Watercolor Class in 8 Days

 I see the studio mannequin is busy taking selfies for his Zoom profile.
Get ready, get set,.....Paint! 

In just 8 days our brand new live online watercolor classes begin! The studio is all set up. I dove into the deep end of my crash course on teaching watercolor remotely. I’ve been practicing on Zoom with my students from previous classes. I’m sure there will be some adjustments to be made during the process of using an online format but we’re doing it!

It’s so wonderful seeing those smiling faces and hearing the voices we’ve been missing. Nothing can replace the experience of being there for an actual in person watercolor class as we have been accustomed to in the past. However, there is a certain personal perspective and relaxed comaraderie one can enjoy while learning in the shoeless classroom. We can safely be up close without a mask while looking over the details in a painting.

All the features of our usual watercolor class will be there: slide references, videos, Q&A, assignments to work on in class, time to work on your own and live demonstrations to watch. There will be group and private critiques. Some days we may even venture outdoors to enjoy the beautiful spring weather. When the day’s class is over, you don’t have to pack up and get in your car because you’re already home! If you miss a session you may access a recording, or just go back to review something you want to understand better.  The familiar class email with homework assignments will be sent after class as usual.

One day we will return to the Skylight Room and sit together side by side as we explore new ways to experience the world of watercolor. Meanwhile, come to class live online and indulge your creativity with a wonderful family of watercolor painting friends at Kirkland Arts Center.

Update: May 1, 2020
Online watercolor classes have been scheduled at Skagit Valley College 
For more details and How to register for SVC Wednesdays please follow this link.
  • Dates: 5/20/2020 - 6/24/2020
    Days: W    Times: Arranged  

CouriAnne Williams
Continuing & Community Education Director Mount Vernon Campus
Register by phone 360.416.7638

For more details and How to register for KAC Fridays please  follow this link.'
Office Hours:   Monday-Friday, 9 AM-5 PM
Register by Phone: (425) 822-7161

Materials list-Suggested only-You may work with what you have at home.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Tulip Day

My extremely modest ‘rows’ of tulips

 I’m thinking about our daughter in California today, whose favorite flower is the tulip. When she was a child, our family would go out to the fields where thousands of tulips made a colorful patchwork as far as you could see. We were allowed to park along the roadside then. Kodak would choose a particularly dramatic view and build a platform for anyone to climb up and get some great snapshots.

Today we are under “shelter at home” self isolation because of the Covid-19 pandemic.  California has not been under this quarantine as long as we have. I have been self in self isolation since March 28! If that is what it takes to protect ourselves and others from infection, then that is what we’ll do!

In the Skagit Valley they are already clipping off the tulip heads to promote the development of the underground bulbs. We are discouraged from venturing out to the tulip fields and causing traffic problems for the locals. So today I offer my modest little “field”.  I’ve left them to bloom beside the road for those on neighborhood walks to enjoy. Later today, difficult as it will be, I will cut these flowers down so that they will grow and propagate next year. I am pleasantly surprised that our feral rabbits haven’t already munched these down!
Again! Despite warnings to stay out of the rows, the studio mannequin can’t resist stepping in to get a few selfies.

Watercolor Tulips

Looking back at another spring season full of tulips and time spent on the deck with watercolors.
Painting watercolor tulips in the sunshine out on the deck.

I divided up my Arches 140 lb. CP paper with painters’ tape and drew with a Micron waterproof pen.
I love the way natural light infuses the shadows with color! 

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

New Online Watercolor Classes Coming Up

I see the studio mannequin is busy taking selfies for his zoom profile.
My interactive online watercolor classes are about to launch! We will be starting in May. 
If you’re interested DM me on Instagram @ michelecooperart or leave a comment here on my blog. 
Even though we are apart, we can still paint together. 

See my free watercolor demonstrations on my YouTube Channel here. 

Monday, March 23, 2020

Hip Hop Handwashing Song

Here’s a fun hand washing song for all ages that will make you smile. 😄 Watch the classic performance from “The Wedding Singer.
Screen shot from “The Wedding Singer”
If you wash your hands through “try to move your feet” and rinse them off, you should be up to 20 seconds.

i said a hip hop the hippie the hippie
to the hip hip hop, a you dont stop 
the rock it to the bang bang boogie 
say up jumped the boogie 
to the rhythm of the boogie, the beat

now what you hear is not a test--i'm rappin to the beat
and me, the groove, and my friends 
are gonna try to move your feet
see i am wonder mike and i like to say hello
to the black, to the white, the red, and the brown,
the purple and yellow
but first i gotta bang bang the boogie to the boogie
say up jump the boogie to the bang bang boogie
let's rock, you dont stop
rock the riddle that will make your body rock
well so far youve heard my voice 
but i brought two friends along 
and next on the mike is my man hank
come on, hank, sing that song


Saturday, March 21, 2020

Mountains and Wordsworth

Original Watercolor by Michele Cooper (15x22”)If you follow my instagram or Facebook art page, you have probably already seen this painting and the following quote. I include it here for those who haven't seen it yet.
Mountains can reflect emotional influences, so as to lift the spirit and powerfully affect for good the moral life of humanity. William Wordsworth expressed this in his poem "Tintern Abbey", published in Lyrical Ballads (1798):
Therefore am I still
A lover of the meadows and the woods,
And mountains; and of all the mighty world
Of eye, and ear, well pleased to recognize
In nature and the language of the sense,
The anchor of purest thoughts, the nurse,
The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul
Of all my moral being. 

Monday, March 9, 2020

Watercolor Class Winter/Spring 2020


Wednesday, March 11, night class at Skagit Valley College is cancelled until further notice.

Friday, March 6 Intermediate watercolor class is postponed. King County Health has issued an announcement asking for people 60 and older or anyone with underlying health issues not to go out and so that means many of us. Also anyone who’s pregnant 🧐

I am sending you a link to that announcement and you’ll probably see it on your nightly news tonight. 
Presently, I am not aware of anyone that we are associated with who has this virus. So stay healthy, take care of yourself and I will check with you before class next week.

Session 2 of the Guilded Gallery watercolor class is cancelled. Because of under enrollment due to caution regarding community spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) we are canceling watercolor class previously scheduled for March 5-April 2, 2020. It is hoped that this epidemic will have passed sufficiently to allow class to resume sometime in April. Meanwhile, I trust you and those close to you will stay calm, safe and healthy.
Please subscribe for further updates or follow me on Instagram @michelecooperart.

Painting Watercolor with Michele Cooper, Wednesday 6-9pm
Skagit Valley College, Mt Vernon
Winter Registration: 360.416.7638
January 22-March 11, 2020

  • Spring Quarter 
  • April 8-May 27, 2020

Watercolor with Michele Cooper at A Guilded Gallery, Thursday 10am-1pm
Stanwood, Camano Island 
Winter Registration: (360) 629-2787
Series 1: January 23, 30, Feb 6, 13, 20

Series 2: March 5, 22, 19, 26, April 2

Intermediate Watercolor, Friday 10am-1:00pm
Kirkland Arts Center
Winter Registration: (425) 822-7161;108
January 24-March 13, 2020

Introduction to Watercolor Workshop
Kirkland Arts Center
Registration: (425) 822-7161;108
March 14 & 15, 2020
Saturday and Sunday (10am-4pm)

Intermediate Watercolor Friday 10am-1:00pm
Kirkland Arts Center
Spring Registration: (425) 822-7161;108
April 10-May 29, 2020

Find me on Instagram @michelecooperart