Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The jam that wasn't there

Original Watercolor by Michele Cooper
Size: 10"x8"
Price: $100

We like it. A lot. Look at it in the light!
Here's what's left of our apricot preserves after Sunday morning breakfast.

Here's the set up in my studio. I needed to get the eye level and light from the window just right, so I stacked up some things until it worked.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Ink line drawing of jar

Here's my contour drawing of the jar. I have a few indications of highlights and apricot preserves, but would rather save the rest of the shapes and use the watercolor wash for some soft, diffused edges.

No preliminary pencil lines were used on the jar. I just started at the lower right edge of the jar with my Micron #.01 pen on Arches 140# CP watercolor paper. Size 8x10"

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Big Foot Java

"Big Foot" drive through
Original Watercolor by Michele Cooper
From the 2014 sketchbook project

They have had these "Big Foot" chain coffee stands around here for quite awhile now. SO very Northwest!
I think the one in my town has taken over two years to finally open. Guess I ought to try it out instead of  just lurk nearby sketching and taking photos from the car! Java!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Coffee Cherries

Coffee Cherries  (7x5")
Original Watercolor by Michele Cooper

Are you dying for some color about now? Me, too!
Here's a page from my 2014 Sketchbook Project with more than grey for color.

We've been taking our crisp, cold, blue skies for granted this past week, and now we're suffused with the usual wet, grey winter atmosphere.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Chosen for the entire Sketchbook Tour!

My sketchbook is going on THE ENTIRE 2014 TOUR!! This year the Mobile Library will be taking to the road with thousands of sketchbooks visiting more than 20 amazing cities across the United States and Canada with MY work. Head to the official tour page for even more details

Little did I know that my modest entry into the Pacific NW tour would evolve into international exposure!

Starting in New York on March 14, you can see the pages I've posted so far, and then some! I guess I should have gone to greater effort in dressing up the cover! Oh, well, never judge a book by it's cover. :)

Make sure you spell "Michele Cooper" correctly when searching for it!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Kualoa Ranch

Three-section foldout from 2014 Sketchbook Project
Original Watercolor by Michele Cooper

I finished my sketchbook and mailed it from Hawaii this year. For those who've been asking, I'm finally posting a few of the sketches from "Michele's South Pacific Studio." :)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Cold Weather Coffee Break

Sketchbook page from 2014 Sketchbook Project
Original Watercolor by Michele Cooper

Last November, I was teaching a watercolor class in Seattle, and I took a walk around the block for a break between sessions.

I took a snapshot of this worker warming up across the street and finally got the opportunity to add it to my sketchbook this winter.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Winter Garden

At this moment, it's snowing lightly, the hummingbird feeder has been frozen solid for a week, and the chaise has an extra layer of snowy upholstery. Roads are a bit too slippery right now, but I hope I can get a few sketches before it melts away. 


Update on hummingbirds, art and life:

I like to keep this blog mostly about the art side of my life, but that frozen little snow capped glow in the dormant lilacs was like a candle in a window. It kept beckoning me and I felt like sharing it.

I wondered if my short comment would raise concern. Not to worry. In the fall, we stop filling the hummingbird feeder to encourage the birds to move on with the migration. Last time he was in the garden, I guess my husband filled it with water, intending to rinse it out. He must have forgotten all about it while busy with other yard work.

Thursday, February 6, 2014


"Suspended" by Michele Cooper
Original Watercolor Size: 22x30"

When I am alone in a snowy woodland, I feel suspended. Somehow the snow muffles the sharpness of the sounds and sights around me.....time stands still.

I suspended the figure in the near center of this snowy world of warm and cool greys in an attempt to communicate this feeling.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Coffee, White

Original watercolor by Michele Cooper
Pages in the 2014 Sketchbook Project

This is the solution I came up with when I first started taking coffee breaks at work, even though I didn't actually like the taste of coffee.

I've overheard people ordering "coffee, white" when they want milk or cream in their coffee. That's the inspiration for these sketches: everything white that has to do with "black" coffee. It was fun to meet the challenge of painting white objects with transparent watercolor. No opaque white or masking fluid was used to preserve the whites.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Stir it all up

Original watercolor from the 2014 sketchbook project

So if you don't really care for the taste of coffee, but you have mandatory coffee breaks, just fill up your cup with cream, sugar and a few drops of coffee, stir it all up and pretend it's hot cocoa.

Did you notice how I used the color of white and black coffee for the "equal" sign? :) I have to say that my monitor doesn't quite show the real color as it appears in the sketchbook. You'll just have to see the book in person in New York at the Brooklyn Art Library or catch it on tour when it comes to the Pacific NW this year.
(This is a page from my 2014 Sketchbook Project. Click the link for the Digital Library, then search my name for any digitized pages from previous projects I'm in.)