Sunday, July 28, 2013

Landscape accessories

Sometimes as I'm scouting for possible subject matter, I'll look back through my rear view mirror and discover a little jewel. It's nothing significant other than a few landscape accessories. But the interplay of light/dark and warm/cool is enough to satisfy me.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Travel Light with Plein Air Watercolor

Yesterday, I took the most minimal kit I could think of:
Hat, spray bottle with water, Kilimanjaro paintbook (bound with both watercolor and sketch pages) , and my zip up kit with the 12 color Yarka pan set, brushes, pencil, etc.
Put keys, camera phone in your pocket, find a log or rock to sit on and have a great day learning from nature.

Except for the Yarka pan set, here's a peek inside the carry case.

Just in case this one is not compact enough, try this pencil case set.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Gallery Walk Friday Night

The Guild's 20th Anniversary, and the gallery's 1st birthday  will be held on July 26th, which is also an Art Walk evening, and a Farmer's Market afternoon. Everyone is invited. Come celebrate with us, and spend time in town on this special Friday. Visit A Guilded Gallery, in Stanwood, Wa.

I was there earlier today and even have some work on the wall and in the window. Everything looks so good! Great job, everyone!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Hollyhocks for Summer

 "Hollyhocks for Summer"
Original Watercolor by Michele Cooper
Size: 5x3.5"  Price: $35 plus S&H

Once the painting is dry, I usually erase the pencil lines. Sometimes, though, I think keeping just a few lines from the original drawing can make it a touch more personal. You can get a glimpse of the artist's creative process from start to finish.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hollyhocks and Hot Weather

This extremely hot day reminds me of my childhood summers in Eastern Washington and my Grandmother's garden.
As she watered the flowers along the side of the house, the smell of petunias filled the air and sometimes a few blossoms would fall off the hollyhocks. I would take them into the shade and pretend they were ballgowns for beautiful fairies and princesses.

Check back tomorrow to see how this one turns out.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Watercolor with Friends

Today I had the pleasure of teaching a private workshop at my NW Studio. The weather was perfect for painting outdoors in my shady and secluded blue and white garden. We kept up our energy with snacks and beverages.

Some of the group had never painted in watercolor before. As you can see, everyone did a great job. (One person is missing from the class photo, but her artwork made it!)

Why not schedule a private workshop for you and your friends? Especially while we can paint in the garden! The weather is supposed to hold up for at least 10 more days. I provide everything, art supplies, beverages, door prizes and more! Click here for more information.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Outdoor Workshop August 2, 3, 4

En Plein Air is a French expression for \"in open air\". You will be taught to travel light in my upcoming outdoor watercolor workshop on Camano Island. It's one of the Pacific NW unspoiled treasures and one of my favorite places to paint. The tidal estuary here at Iverson Point is just one example of this. Come paint with me. Whether you are a seasoned plein air painter or trying it out for the first time, let me share some of my tried and true ways of simplifying the outdoor landscape with you.

August 2, 3 & 4, 2013--Friday, Saturday & Sunday 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sponsored by A Guilded Gallery, Stanwood, WA 98292
Phone: 425-493-4422
Instructor: Michele Cooper Website:

 Please visit this link for details.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Private Workshop

 We've been preparing the garden for a private workshop coming up this Sunday. It's one of my "Watercolor with Friends" series.

If the weather forecast is correct, they will walk under the "Welcome" banner and back into the outdoor studio in my blue and white garden. It's going to be a lot of fun!

See what it's all about. Click the link right here.

Sunday, July 7, 2013


I was a little girl alone in my little world who dreamed of a little home for me.
I played pretend between the trees, and fed my house guests bark and leaves, and laughed in my pretty bed of green. Attributed to Lieka Romeijn.
Summer is my favorite time of year, except for Spring and Fall. :-) The reason I love summer in the Pacific NW is that we get these weeks of beautiful sunny days to enjoy the lush green landscape that comes from the previous rainy season. Sprinkled all around are colorful wildflowers...they grow all by themselves along the shoulder of the freeways and on top of ridges with views of the ocean.
I discovered the poem above that perfectly expresses my own childhood, too.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Plein Air Vineyard

"Richard's Vines"
Original Plein Air Watercolor by Michele Cooper
Size: 8x10

What a fun day I had!
There's a new winery and vineyard preparing to open in October. It's not too far from where I live and today I decided to go out and see what the sunshine, warm temperatures and summer light had to offer.

Here I am on location with the subject (tiny in the distance from this viewpoint).

I finished the painting about 99% in the field and then brought it back to the studio for a few little tweaks.

This is my "Plein Air Car Kit" ready for action. When the weather is this nice, the passenger seat turns into a nice shady mobile studio. No easel necessary. I stand outside in the shade and paint away.

When the weather's not so accommodating, it all works just as well while sitting inside the car.

Want to put together a kit of your own? Click the link for a description of the zip up kit and its contents. (I used the Yarka 12 pan set from the Starter Kit today.)
My Watercolor Starter Kits for Beginners have everything but the sponge, cup and water bottle. See here for more information.