Sunday, March 30, 2014

Studio corner with still life and plein air sketches

Springtime gets the creative juices flowing, both in nature and in the artist. It's a time when one has renewed hope, a feeling of joy and an new outlook on the possibilities life can present.

Here's a peek at some of the things I find inspirational; objects that I always have available in the studio and some sketches from an impromptu engagement with the outdoors.

I trust it may give you the spark you need to renew your efforts to improve your own work.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

All Green

All green.......that's what you see. And then, you realize this little ranch house is tucked away in the perfect spot off the road at Kualoa ranch.

I finally had an opportunity to sketch this for my 2014 Sketchbook Project.

It's just the left side of the 7x10" composition.

This sketchbook is currently on an international tour. Head to the official tour page for even more details. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Joy of Spring

What does spring mean to you? Can you express it more fully in a painting than in words? What aspect of spring is your work communicating? Those are the questions I ask myself when I look for a subject.

I wanted to paint something to express being overwhelmed by the joy of a beautiful spring day. For me, it's always about the light. Sometimes it seems that there's music in the light.

"Joy of Spring" by Michele Cooper
Original watercolor, Size 10x10", Price: $100

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Sunset on the Stilly
Original Watercolor by Michele Cooper

Thinking of the light on the river.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Weekend painters

I have an idea for a regular or semi regular feature on my blog here. I've been wondering how many weekend painters there are out there who just like to stay at home and have a little fun with watercolor on their own.

I love to paint but I also enjoy teaching almost as much. Part of the enjoyment of teaching is thinking of lessons that would help other painters improve their skills. What would you think if I posted a challenge like the one on a previous Sunday and then just let you have your way with it?

If you're in, then let me know how often you think you'd  like to do this: once a month, every other week, every Sunday?
Since I teach regular classes and workshops, this would have to work with my time available, of course. :)Sund

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Intro to Watercolor II, Winter, 2014

Here's the instructor's view of our busy classroom on Saturday for my Intro to WC II workshop.
We worked all day until the room was full of color swatches, brushwork exercises, color wheels, greeting card crocus (croci, crocii, crocuses; all are correct for the plural according to the dictionary) and a shoreline landscape with figures, a boat and a kite at the end.
There was even a drawing where Gail won her choice of 3 fun art sets. Congratulations, Gail!

Join us for the next one April 26 and May 24 at Kirkland Arts Center. All new projects and skills to learn each time you come.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Cafe society

Here is another page from my 2014 sketchbook project.

It's fun to combine two favorite pastimes, people watching and sketching while enjoying a break at a restaurant.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Painting Animals in Watercolor

Although this book is now out of print, I just had to share the cover with you. Lian Quan Zhen has such a loose, yet authoritative way of capturing the life and movement of animals and anything else he wants to paint. Fortunately for us, he is willing to generously share his approach and special watercolor techniques. Search the rest of his books on painting with watercolor.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

All Perked Up

All Perked Up used to be the name of this coffee stand. I remembered the cute coffee pot shape while reminiscing about those restaurants shaped like milk bottles, teepees, dinosaurs, etc.
It was a fun part of traveling during my childhood.

This coffee stand has changed hands and been repainted. The whole idea of drive through espresso has taken a turn in recent years, too, but that's another subject. :)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Rocky Shoreline sketch

Ruckle Park Sketch
Original Watercolor by Michele Cooper

Here's a sketch I did on location with a group of students at my workshop on Salt Spring Island. Timing is everything if you want to get just the right lighting for your rocky shoreline.