Thursday, December 13, 2012

Where is that feather I was saving?

"Excuse ME?
Original Watercolor and graphite by Michele Cooper
Price: $45 for canary, or $145, framed with two cats

I'm having a little fun with the characters in this little drama that's unfolding. SOMEBODY has "borrowed" a little yellow feather, just to see how it tastes. (See yesterday's post.)  You know I would never let anything drastic happen to the canary now don't you?

Anyway, I think they fit pretty well together in a special frame that I have been holding onto for a while now. What do you think?
"Where is that feather I was saving?"

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Who Ate the Canary?

Who Ate the Canary?
"He Said" Original Watercolor ACEO, 3.5x2.5"
"She Said" Original Watercolor ACEO,  3.5x2.5"
Price: $30 each, sold as a diptych

Here's today's pair of watercolor cats in my series of complementary diptychs. Each one complements the other: i.e. in this pair one is dominantly warm, the other cool, one high contrast, the other soft contrast, one masculine, the other feminine, one innocent? the other guilty?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

"Out on the Town"

"Out on the Town"
"Alley Cats 1 & 2"
ACEO Watercolor, Pen & Ink
Each 3.5"x 2.5"
Price: $30 each, sold as a diptych

Here is the first pair of watercolor cats. They're out on the town, meeting and greeting as they do.

Note: If you're shy and you're a cat, you can always hide behind a drainpipe.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Cat Sketches - Line and Wash

This is half of a page of sketches I did of cats. The large one is pencil and the others are pen, all on 140 lb watercolor paper.  The small ones are diptychs, paintings meant to be viewed as two together. The concept is opposites.

What kind of titles would you give them?
Tune in tomorrow to see the watercolor "wash" part of line & wash. :-)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Packaging and Shipping Framed ACEO

First, I usually don't ship framed artwork. Although I believe my choices are professional and may I say, elegant, I think the collector already has an idea of where they will hang it and what type of frame they want. I could never guess.

Having said that, if the artwork is small enough, I can make an exception, i.e. ACEO and anything up to 8x10" outside measurements, or thereabouts. You can see how I package them in the example here. Another layer of packing fits over the bubble wrap before the box is sealed.
I usually don't ship any artwork larger than this with glass. However, these small sizes, securely wrapped and padded have arrived safely. Take them out of the box and hang on the wall. Instant gratification!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Custom Mats and Frames for ACEO

 "Autumn Leaves" triptych
Original Watercolor by Michele Cooper
3.5"x2.5" each watercolor leaf
Price: $90 (for all three) does not include mat/frame

Also shown: "Red Orange Leaf"
Original Watercolor by Michele Cooper
4.5"x5.5" in acid free 5x7" photo mount card
Price: $48

After the intensity of creating a triptych of autumn leaves comes the energy-sapping task of properly matting and framing. I prefer that my collectors would take the original work to a reputable framer and have them do it. "I'm an artist, Jim, not a framer!"
If you do want to be sure that the framing is properly done, here are some do's and don'ts:
  • Choose archival, acid, lignin, solvent free materials to preserve the quality of original art
  • Select a mat and frame that gives enough room around the artwork to separate it from its surroundings.
  • Keep mat and frame colors minimal and not competing with the artwork.
  • Use a dust cover on the back and wire, not sawtooth hangers.
  • Never frame so that the artwork presses against the glass. Over time,  moisture will transfer pigments and ruin the artwork.
  • Never glue, laminate or otherwise permanently attach the whole artwork to backing. It devalues the painting. Framers have acid, lignin, solvent free tape for attaching it to the mat.
  • Never use cardboard or wood against the back of the painting. Acid erosion and foxing will damage the artwork.
  • Never spray glass cleaner directly on the glass. Spray onto a soft cloth and then clean the glass. Cleaner could creep under the frame and soil the mat and/or artwork.
Daniel Montoya has a very nice tutorial on DYI methods for framing these small paintings.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Snow Birches ATC

 Snow Birches
Original Watercolor ATC
3.5x2.5"  (traded)

Here's a fun little project. For a good practice session, paint it 4 or 5 times, card size or ATC size, with a time limit.

I think it might snow on Saturday. Winter is coming!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Third Plum for Triptych

Plum Half with Pit
Original watercolor ACEO
Price: $30 sold

There! It's the last in three paintings I made from a single red plum.
First, I painted it whole, then cut it in half and painted the two sides, the side with and the one without pit. And that's how you get three paintings from one plum. :-)

Red Plum Triptych
And here's what they look like together.
I've lined them up vertically and I like them that way, too.

They were painted as a three-part painting and to be sold that way. "One Ripe Plum"', triptych (3x $30)  sold

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

"Coming About"

 "A Quiet Day"
Original Watercolor by Michele Cooper
5"x7"    (Price:  $60 including S&H)

This is the small painting that inspired "Dream of Sailing" and the one below, "Coming About".

They are all inspired by countless trips to the San Juan Islands and memorable sailing experiences.

(Left) "Coming About"
Original Watercolor ATC by Michele Cooper
3.5"x2.5"  (traded)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Two in a Triptych of Plums

"Without the Pit"  sold
Second  in a triptych of plums.

So when you feel like painting a series and you have only one plum, what do you do?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

One Ripe Plum

"Red Plum"    Sold
Original ACEO by Michele Cooper

I had saved two red plums as still life prospects, but only one survived.

I truly enjoyed spending as much time on this tiny painting as I would have for a larger version. You still have to compose, observe, interpret and execute with the same techniques as always.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Dream of Sailing ATC

Dream of Sailing
Original ATC by Michele Cooper
2.5 x 3.5"

This is a recent ATC of mine that I traded to a friend. It makes me think of the atmosphere and the experience of being in the San Juan Islands.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

ATC Swap 3 and 4

 What a lot of fun! First, making the ATCs, then swapping them with my students.

Here are two "first swap" collections. They are true pieces of art, though tiny.

Click the images for a closer look.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Choosing a Still Life Composition

 With my one little red plum, I started investigating the possibilities of composition.

I already painted it whole, so I cut it in half. No turning back now!

Each half is different: with and without the pit still in. The hollow half shows a different set of shadows inside. I could choose a variety of viewpoints....looking from above or different side angles. One way, it would show both the inside and outside of the plum.

Turn it this way and that, shine the light just so, and soon I realize how much like a jewel this little red fruit could appear.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Winter River

 Winter River
Original Watercolor 5x7"
by Michele Cooper

The Stillaguamish River is only a bit down the road from our house and provides endless possibilities, painting included. I hear the brown trout are running, but it's cold out there!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sketchbook page with Value Study and Ink Sketch

Here's a page out of one of my sketchbooks. I have two sketches, room for one more and a haiku that I wrote about the experience of being in the high mountain atmosphere of Colorado.

The value study is done with 3 pens, a 30% warm grey, a 60% cool grey and a black Micron pen. The same Micron pen was used for the ink sketch.

There was no opportunity to do this on location as I took this photo from the bus on the way to Silverton. We rode the old mining train back.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Studio Open House Winner

"Sunset on the Stilly" Sold
Original Watercolor by Michele Cooper

Congratulations to Bonney L. for winning this framed original at Michele's NW Studio Open House.

For all who attended: It was a wonderful day of meeting you, your friends and family members. Thank you, everyone, for coming, visiting, signing the guestbook and becoming collectors of my work.

Even though they didn't have to, some brought flowers, wine, and goodies. Thank you. They are very much appreciated.

 At 5:30 pm, Bonney's name was the one drawn from the entries of those present. She chose to use her gallery credit of $100 on this painting. Then we proceeded to enjoy the great wine, cheese, fruit, meatballs, and more, prepared by my fabulous Andrea and Ashley.

Friday, November 9, 2012

ATC class swap

Michele's ATC card  
We had an ATC swap at the end of class today. It was a review of everything covered this quarter: color, composition, value, line and wash, etc. cleverly disguised as a fun project. Here's the one I put in the bowl.  See below for the one I got (the very stylish cowboy boots, yahoo!) and the others in the batch. We missed you, Karen and Kim.   Open House at the studio tomorrow!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Original Watercolor, Line and Wash
by Michele Cooper

I coveted this house on a beautiful view lot in Anacortes for more than a decade. No one ever bought it and it's falling down now.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Pike Place Market Line and Wash

"Pink at Pike Place"  Sold
Original Watercolor Line and Wash

This was a class demonstration. As usual, I used no preliminary drawing. I started with the head, using my Micron Pigma pen.
 Once I finished with the line work, I used watercolor, selectively, to complete the composition.

A lot was left out and a few things changed from my photo reference.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Fun with ACEOs

A set of Three Leaves and a Seed Pod
Original Watercolor ACEOs
$30 each (Free Shipping)

Having a little fun in the studio tonight.....when I probably should be sorting out things for the open house next weekend. Can't help it. Gotta paint!

Buy the Set or Purchase Individually

Friday, November 2, 2012

BMW, Parked in the Shade

Parked in the Shade
Original Watercolor by Michele Cooper
Part of my Limited Edition Sketchbook Project

This 5x7" line and wash painting is in the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Art Library, Brooklyn, NY.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Autumn Leaves, Last of the Collections

Here's the final page in our album of student work on leaves.

Great work everyone! Thank you for sharing them with us.
(I posted a few minutes ago, but the photo was a bit blurry. This one is better and you can click it to zoom in.)

Hurricane Sandy delays Sketchbook Tour

I am pleased to announce that my sketchbook has been selected from thousands of others in the collection to go out on tour with "A Landmark and a Mission", curated by Christopher Jobson over at Colossal. He describes his blog as a place that explores the intersection of art, design, and physical craft.

The tour was scheduled to start in Pittsburg, PA, on Nov 6, but has been delayed due to Hurricane Sandy. I am happy to relay that all the people at Arthouse, the sketchbooks and the Brooklyn Art Library are safe and sound.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Yellow Autumn Leaf

Original Watercolor, 5x7"
by Michele Cooper

 It's hard to pick just one.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Red Autumn Leaf

 Original Watercolor, 5x7"
by Michele Cooper

Demonstration for my class.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Leaf Collection 4

My students went over the top this time! This collection of autumn leaves had to be photographed from atop a table. It's 5 feet long!

Lost a bit in the perspective but you can still zoom in to see both sides of the collection.

Beautiful! Great work everyone!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Watercolor Leaf Collection Chapter 3

Here's yet another chapter in the "Book of Leaves" that my students are creating this month.

Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 12, 2012

Two More Leaf Collections

 Here are two more collections of autumn leaves from talented students.

Which one is your favorite?

Autumn Leaves, Watercolor Class

A recent batch of fresh watercolors from students in one of my classes.

Beautiful work!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

John Singer Sargent Gallery Presentation

Muddy Alligators by John Singer Sargent

You're Invited!
Art History lll, John Singer Sargent, an Artist's View | Gallery Presentation by Michele Cooper
Kirkland Arts Center
Thursday, October 4, 2012
6:30pm - 8:00 pm

John Singer Sargent (American, 1856-1925) was an American painter by birth-right. He loved his country yet he spent most of his life in Europe.  He was the most celebrated portraitist of his time but left it at the very height of his fame to devote full time to landscape painting, water colors and public art. Why did he do it? What happened at the White House when he was preparing to paint a portrait of President Theodore Roosevelt? Michele gives an overview of Sargent's work from the viewpoint of a practicing artist.
Please call KAC for your reservation:  (425) 822-716
Fee: $10 per person

"To live with Sargent's watercolours is to live with sunshine captured and held, with the luster of a bright and legible world, ‘the refluent shade’ and ‘the Ambient ardours of the noon.’ (Evan Edward Charteris)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Watercolor Pea Pod

"Pea Pod"
Original Watercolor sold

More fun with "green".
It never ceases to amaze me how many more colors there are than green in objects that are supposed to be just green.

Note: Artwork purchased here is sold without mat and frame unless otherwise stated.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Green Onions

Playing around in watercolor with green. You would be surprised at the "bouquet" of greens we have here, in the "Emerald City" this year.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Strawberries in the Studio

Two Strawberries & Leaves   sold
5x7" Original watercolor

I love the beautiful weather we've been having. And the strawberries in our patio pots are still coming!

To get the shadow composition I wanted, I had the strawberries up on a stack of books in another part of the studio and moved back and forth from there to my easel to paint them.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Harvest time

Original Watercolor 5x7"
by Michele Cooper

Watercolor can be so expressive. From pale, sketchy, "English Style" washes, like yesterday's post to the bold expressionistic strokes of this one.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Spring sketch

From the Watercolor Sketchbook
Original Pen, Pencil & Wash  7"x9.5"

"Is she still there?"
"Um hmm."