Wednesday, May 29, 2013

An Impromptu Dance with Watercolor

"Sunlight on the Sidewalk"
Original Watercolor by Michele Cooper
Size:10x9. Sold

The sunlight dancing on the colors of the tulips by my sidewalk caught my eye.
I was interrupted from painting the "last five strokes" so I put this on the easel and glanced at it from time to time. Click here to see the beginning of this piece.

Every once in a while, I engaged in a light flirtation with the negative shapes, a stroke here, a stroke there. It was an impromptu dance with watercolor until I stopped today. I think it's done now.
"A painting is never finished. It simply stops in interesting places." It's a bit like dancing, isn't it? We're never really finished dancing, either.

Friday, May 24, 2013

How to fix a Watercolor

Cattle Point Light
Original Watercolor by Michele Cooper
Size: 5x7"       Price: $75 (with mat and sleeve)

Here's the corrected painting after I fixed my demonstration from this morning.

As you can see below, I removed a lot of the dead, overworked paint in the background trees. I lifted the dry previously painted area with a clean damp brush, gently scrubbing until enough was removed.

Once it dried, I reapplied softer, more varied middle tones and better tree shapes. I still wanted the contrast of the darker background against the white of the lighthouse, but with more atmospheric edges.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Bandon Lighthouse

Bandon Light
Original Watercolor by Michele Cooper
Size 5x7"   Sold
Here's an example of my "Warm/Cool--Light/Dark" method of painting the watercolor wash on a line drawing.

Lower left is the line work done with a Micron pen.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Still life Composition and Concept

These are two still life set ups that I composed for my classes. The assignment was to create two compositions that expressed different concepts and/or approaches.

These floral still life compositions can be approached with theses suggestions:

1. This has a more formal arrangement with geometric shapes, quiet meditative color, subject matter, and more serious concept. It was inspired by a documentary that I recently viewed, "The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom", about the effect that both had on the people of Japan. I painted this in line and wash to express the clarity and gratitude that you would feel after an experience like this.

2.  This one has a much more lighthearted concept: The simple joy of picking flowers from my garden and setting them in a marmalade jar in the window. The cheerful complementary colors, plain white cloth and simple jam jar communicate  the idea of a moment of  beauty and joy. It was painted simply and loosely wet on wet.

I am posting the reference photos now and will update with my watercolor paintings soon.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Line Drawing for Spring Blossoms

Here's what's on the easel today. I am about 2/3 of the way through the line work on a line and wash painting.

Yesterday I put a handful of flowers in a glass of water and left it in my kitchen window. I haven't been able to stop looking at it. So, in between the rest of my life this weekend, I plan to see if I can capture the cheerfullness of life during my garden's spring bloom.

Come back for a visit tomorrow, when I plan to do the watercolor work.
Update: Sorry if you have experienced broken image link. Having trouble with uploading images this weekend. Working on it. Soon as I can, I will post the wash stage of this one.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Lilacs, Roses and Green Apples

 "Lilacs, Roses and Green Apples"
Original Watercolor by Michele Cooper
Size: 22x15   Price: Framed or unframed

The white lilacs grow in my backyard along the edge of a swale and the roses run up the corner of my studio in front of the house.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


Original Watercolor by Michele Cooper
Size: 11x15"  Price: $200

Here is a loose watercolor of a bowl of potpourri with a dominance of warm color. I love the interplay of light and shadow on the circular shapes and the complementary orange/blue color scheme.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Watercolor Florals in a Glass Container

"Garden Flowers in Glass Jar"
Original Watercolor by Michele Cooper
Size 15"x11"      Price: $200

Sometimes you just have to put down the gardening tools and pick up your brushes!
And eat the last of the pickles so you'll have a jar to hold the flowers.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

My Paintings in the Window at A Guilded Gallery, Stanwood, WA

I have 3 new framed pieces in the front window at A Guilded Gallery during the annual Mother's Day Tour on Camano Island.

You can see the large blue "Delphiniums" here on the right side of the photo, but you'll just have to visit the gallery for a better view of the small tulip fields with barns (lower left) and medium size "Hollyhocks with a View" (above right). :-)

Please let me know if you got to visit the gallery and/or enjoy the tour.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Camano Island Studio Tour this weekend

On my way out to visit friends and colleagues during their studio tour today. It's the first time in 15 years that I have been in town to be able to do it and I am excited!

I have a few pieces in the window at A Guilded Gallery. Stop there first to pick up the brochure and map. It's #2 on the list.

See the studio tour on Camano Island this weekend and next.
Follow this link for more information, download the app or brochure.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Gallery presentation on Paul Cézanne tonight

Paul Cézanne was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th-century conception of artistic endeavour to a new and radically different world of art in the 20th century.

Come to the Kirkland Arts Center Gallery tonight where I will give a presentation on his life and work from "an artist's view".  See right hand column for details.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Dandelions in a Little Blue Vase

"Dandelions in a Little Blue Vase"
Original Watercolor by Michele Cooper
Size: 7x5"     Price: $60

What perky, yet contrary little weeds dandelions are. I know that in some countries, they are loved as wildflowers. Not here, though. I had quite a hunt today to find any left after my husband rigorously worked on the lawn last weekend.

And then, as I was painting them, they decided to switch completely around. Guess they wanted me to paint the back, too. The leaves wilted, but I remember.

"Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them," A.A. Milne

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Pink Flower Basket

Pink Flower Basket by Michele Cooper
15x 22" image
22 x 28" framed

I liked the contrast of the soft, colorful pink flowers against the rougher, earthy basket.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Tulip petal

Fallen Tulip Petal     Sold
ACEO 3.5x2.5"
Original watercolor by Michele Cooper
Price: $30  (free S&H)

When is a tulip petal not like a tulip petal?
When the painting looks nearly like a leaf of radicchio?
Or when the goldfish think it may be one of their own who jumped out of the bowl?
Last night the bouquet of tulips in my studio lost a petal and started me on this unexpected detour from what I thought my day would be like.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Summer Shadows

"Summer Shadows"
Original Watercolor by Michele Cooper
Size: 14x19"

I love painting flowers in watercolor and I'm always challenged by the attempt to capture the contrast between loose and definitive edges/high and low chroma, as well as light and shadow effects.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Spring Sun Break

Spring poured into a little corner of my busy life this morning.