Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2015 Best Nine on Instagram

According to the number of "likes" on my Instagram feed, these are the top nine for 2015.

What are your favorites?

I don't know if it's just because they are more recent, but I like the beach "snowman" and the "butterfly" a lot. The butterfly page has 9,746 hits on Flickr with 93 likes so far and has been "Explored". Visit my Flickr Photostream.Here

Friday, December 25, 2015

A Relaxing Day at the Beach

We spent a wonderful day at the beach. Our son and his family built a beach "snowman", complete with a yellow pepper schnozzola. It has been tropical-style rainy lately, so today was a welcome respite.
Here's one view of my South Pacific "studio".

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Green Sea Turtle cupcakes

Triple chocolate fudge cupcakes, cream cheese frosting, gummies for decoration. 
Leila's friend, Charlie, came over and I made some "green sea turtle" cupcakes for everyone. After all the baking, frosting and letting the kids decorate them, it was a matter of moments and there was not a crumb left! This was so much fun!
Photo credit: (Top) turtles dot com (Bottom) National Geographic Kids
The real turtles live nearby. I know a place where I can swim out and watch them graze on the seaweed on the ocean floor. When they come up for air, you can hear a loud exhale while they rock around in the waves like a platter with feet.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Butterfly Emerges

My watercolor line and wash sketches
There were two caterpillars who each made a chrysalis in Leila's mason jar. Today the last one emerged. After hanging upside down in the jar for a while, it began to open and close its wings. Then we took it outside and our granddaughter, Leila, let it climb out onto her hand. She carried it on the back of her hand and kept it safe for more than four hours until it was ready to fly away.

Oh, and incidentally, Leila also does gourmet food styling out of flowers and leaves. This is her lemongrass "soup".

Monday, December 21, 2015

A Gingerbread House

As it sometimes happens, many of our building materials mysteriously vanish off site!
Our two granddaughters, their father and I finished up a building project tonight! So much fun to see the excitement of these little girls as they piled all the candy they could fit on our gingerbread house.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

To the North Shore

We took a family Sunday drive to the north shore on a windy, stormy winter's day. It was cooler than usual, about mid 70 degrees F.
My post card size sketch of Kokololio Beach
One of my favorite shops in Haleiwa. I REALLY like this tea pot!
They had some new rubber stamps in the shop so I got the "honu" (turtle) which means "family" in Hawaiian. Couldn't wait to try it out on the back of my watercolor post card. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Sunset at Ala Moana Mall

Last night, we had an early dinner at Jade Dynasty Seafood, a dim sum restaurant and favorite choice at Ala Moana Mall. (See reference to last year here)

We reached a balcony just as the sun was setting on the west side of the shopping center. Sunsets in Hawaii don't last long, so you have to sketch fast!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Sunday Market

My sketches of the fresh coconut stand, the flower vendor and her flowers at the Sunday Farmers' Market. 
We all went out for breakfast at the Kailua Sunday Market this morning. It's situated next to the elementary school and has vendors selling fruit/veggies, flowers/potted plants, smoked fish, grass fed beef, smoked fish, jams, jellies, butter, cheese and free range eggs:
yelp.com/biz_photos/kail…yelp.com/biz_photos/kail… We sat at tables under the tents, facing the fresh coconut stand while eating our crepes.
Had to buy some flowers for the house. So pretty!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

One more live broadcast on Periscope finished!

Here's the live demo and the original from today, side by side.
Thank you for watching, for the comments and for the hearts! Missed it? You can still see the replay and send hearts for a few more hours on Periscope.tv/michelecoopart  
Periscope videos vanish after 24 hours!

Would you like to see me do the background next?

News Flash! An Artful Touch, in Kirkland, just got in a whole selection of Lamy pens (Safari and Joy) and extra nibs of varying sizes! 

Up Periscope-live watercolor demo today!

Today at 2:30 pm Pacific time, I plan to broadcast a short watercolor demonstration: simple figures in watercolor. I'm okay with the content, it's just a challenge figuring out a decent rig for my iPhone!
No worries! Something will work out!
You will see this image when the live broadcast begins. 

Here's how to watch:
  1. Download the free Periscope app to your tablet or smart phone.
  2. Sign up with your Twitter account or email.
  3. Maybe watch a few live broadcasts to see how it works. 
  4. Follow me and allow notifications so you won't miss the live broadcast.
  5. Sign in just before 2:30 or tap the Options prompt when your phone whistles for you.
  6. Be ready to tap, tap, tap the screen to send me hearts. :)
  7. If I like the broadcast, I will leave it up for 24 hours and you can replay it or send it to friends. 
  8. My channel is Periscope.tv/michelecoopart
I will post announcements and photos of finished demos on my Instagram account. I plan to do a Giveaway of some of these demos soon! My Instagram is michelecooperart.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Swag and Swagger at Gage Academy Drawing Jam

I had a blast Saturday at Gage Academy's Annual Drawing Jam. Thank you, Gage and sponsors for the free art supplies, models and music! Here's a photo Tina took of our ad hoc group of Seattle Urban Sketchers. I'm second on the left.

There was plenty of swagger in the costumed model studio! According to Gage's website: 
Drawing Jam features a cast of over 50 models throughout the building – including dancersmusicians and costumed performers serving as gesture models, as well as nude figure models available for traditional sessions.
Costumed models include The SeaFair PiratesFox ChalkerComic Book Characters for CausesNikita BreznikovNoah DuffyThe Goddess Kring and more!

Although I was aware of the event before, this was the first time I actually attended. Each year, the Academy opens up its doors to the community to provide models, live music, open studios and art activities for the whole family – plus, there were two gourmet food-trucks today, courtesy of Off the Rez and Wicked Pies!
And here's the swag! No matter where you went, if there was an activity, the sponsors had a way for you to engage. Paper, pencils, charcoal, clay and more were free along with easels, chairs, etc. You could have arrived with no supplies of your own and still have been able to draw, sculpt, etc.
These were the posed models that I drew. The Hawaiian dancer gave 1-3 minute poses, so I really had to go quickly with my pen and added color a bit at a time in between poses. They were the only color sketches of the day.

I brought my own Aquash water brush and Lamy fountain pen, with water soluble Lamy ink. I had a new Fabriano soft cover notebook that I was anxious to try while working on figures or character studies.  I ended up drawing my fellow artists, all unaware, as they focused on the live models. There were Disney characters, pirates, medieval tableaux, Hawaiian dancers, and more! (I posted these sketches in my article on Seattle Urban Sketchers' blog since they fall within the guidelines of the USK manifesto.)
My sketches of the other artists focused on their work. 

On the first floor of the Main building, you walk straight ahead down the hall and turn in at the last room on the right. It's a room packed FULL of kids, with instructors and volunteers making sure they had sticks, clay and whatever else was needed to sculpt their small masterpieces!

So much to see! So much from which to choose! The dilemma is not what to draw, but what to sacrifice because of the time allotted. The Academy was open from 9am to 6pm. I lasted until a bit after 3pm. Tina posted a picture of me waiting in line at 8:30am.

What to do? Draw from the plaster casts, sketch medieval characters while listening to music, watch John Rizzotto demo a still life?
After rising at 6:30 am, driving for an hour, traipsing up and down three double flights of stairs and sloshing back and forth in the rain between the main building and Skinner Auditorium, I had to say "Enough!". (Anyone who knows me can tell you that I seldom sit while sketching, so I only got a total of about 20 minutes chair time during lunch. It really felt good to have a seat while driving the hour back home!)

Pizza, Ceasar Salad, Tacos, Burgers and Indian Fry Bread--Yummy and Hot!
They were out there, playing a rousing rendition of hava nagila in the rain.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Wooohooo! A package in the mail!

Using my new rubber stamp for the back of handmade postcards
Look what I got in the mail!
We have been doing some handmade postcards in the last series of my watercolor classes and someone knew what I was wishing for! Thank you so much, B. !

As you can see I have been going crazy with my new vintage postcard stamp all morning! These are some postcards that I have been getting ready for a giveaway on my Instagram soon. I am only taking a very brief break to share this with you!

Then back to practicing for my first live broadcast on Periscope! Download the free app today and get signed in so that you will get a notification when I upload my first broadcast!

PS. I like to choose my own watercolor paper so that I get the effect that I'm looking for, instead of just using the purchased  watercolor postcards.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Just Practicing

Screen shot of raw rehearsal
I am practicing with video demonstration for upcoming broadcasts on Periscope. The studio lights are a bit random tonight. I think I prefer natural daylight.  And I could do better contouring the eggshells. Well, that's what practice is all about, isn't it?

By the way, these are left over eggs from some elaborate still life set ups that I did yesterday for the last two watercolor classes of the term.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Bonus Sketch Meetup at the Burke Museum

Sunshine and shadows this morning at the Burke Museum entrance
Seattle Urban Sketchers arranged an Ad hoc meeting this morning to accompany Laurie W., a visiting sketcher from San Francisco. On a cold, frosty November morning, it was so nice to be indoors, discovering something to draw in the current exhibit. Kate sketched everything, both inside and out!

In the lobby, a woman in a white lab coat was seated at a small table holding jars of preserved snakes. She was counting the scales to determine which of three varieties of garden snakes they were.
We also shared the venue with a group of school children, some of whom gave encouraging comments on our sketches in progress.
Fossil Whale Exhibit
The first thing that caught my eye was the fossilized remains of a 30-million-year old baleen whale found on the Olympic Penninsula. I can't imagine the effort it would take to assemble this from pieces found in the mud. Other fossils, such as shells, were displayed with it on a bed of sand.
I used watercolor pencils while sketching fossils in the museum.
Since water media isn't allowed in the exhibit area, I used watercolor pencils to sketch, then went out to the lobby to blend the drawings with my water brush. The fossilized whale head, upper right, is how the pencil looks before adding water. The 180 lb. paper in my Stillman & Birn Beta sketchbook works great for this.

Afternoon sketches, parking ticket, lunch, etc. (tap to zoom)

Home in time to enjoy the sunset!
After sharing our sketches at 12:30pm, some of us went to the University Book Store for lunch in the cafe and shopping in the art department. I sketched a sandwich and Tina sketched me!

 Laurie brought her Moo Card collection of bird sketches (she let us choose one of the 50 in her series.) I got the hummingbird in its nest!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Thoughts about Still Life

"Stop thinking about artwork as objects, and start thinking about them as triggers for experiences. That solves a lot of problems: we don't have to argue whether photographs are art; or whether performances are art or whether Carl Ander's bricks or Little Richard's 'Long Tall Sally' are art, because we say, 'Art is something that happens, a process, not a quality and all sorts of things can make it happen'... [w]hat makes a work of art 'good' for you is not something that is already 'inside' it, but somethings that happens inside you - so the value of the work lies in the degree to which it can help you have the kind of experience that you call art." -Brian Eno

Why do artists paint still life? Examples and explanation

Art Otter says Still Life is not Boring

What are your thoughts/experiences with still life as an artist or as an appreciator of art?

Sunday, November 22, 2015

All 31 of my Inktober 2015 sketches

After enduring a rough nine days with the cough, cold, fever yuck that's been going around, I finally feel like scanning all my Inktober 2015 sketches and posting the collection. (Tap or click to zoom)
Bee Super Deluxe 6x12"sketchbook, Lamy pen, watersoluble ink & Aquash water brush.
My faithful Lamy fountain pen lasted until the very end. In fact, I think I could possibly do one more sketch with what's left in the cartridge. Wouldn't want to waste any ink now, would we?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Have you ordered your Perfect Sketchbook yet?

Want a "custom designed" sketchbook with your name embossed on the cover?
Read all about this Indiegogo project here or search #theperfectsketchbook
I carry my pocket sized perfectsketchbook everywhere. 
It just so happens that two of my favorite watercolor papers are used in these sketchbooks:
Saunders Waterford in the pocket version and Fabriano Artistico in the new larger B-5 version. 

There is still time to get one! I got some with my name embossed on the front.
You might even win a pocket version and a travel brush! There are just 11 days left! Check it out!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

21st Annual Studio Open House Today!

Hours: 10 am to 7 pm

I have straightened the rug and put on the kettle. Coffee is done. Madeleines fresh from the bakery.
What would be cozier on a rainy Saturday morning?

I will be posting updates on Instagram throughout the day!
Update! Mary R. won the drawing! This is the original piece she chose:
Mary won! And everyone else is so happy for her!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Fun with Leaves

I gave my demo as a door prize
I had a great time with brand new watercolor students today. It's Day 1 of my two day Introduction to Watercolor Workshop.

One of the lessons was practicing several color mixing and watercolor techniques while painting leaves. During lunch we picked up leaves outside and then came in to have some fun.
Here's what they did! Aren't they amazing students! Thanks, Kate K, for the photo!

After everyone left, I made my final Inktober sketch while cleaning up the classroom for tomorrow.
Inktober Day 31-Finished! Yay!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Light in the Autumn Trees

Can't forget those beautiful trees yesterday. So I went back to do a line drawing and demonstrated my ink wash technique and color sketch for classes today.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Country Mouse, City Mouse

The crows roost in a tree across our street, pumpkins are everywhere and I visited two farms on Monday
It seems that I am alternating my sketching days this week: a day on a city street, then a day out on a farm, then city, then country. It's a fun way to keep finding something new to capture. Each round trip is about 90 miles, though, so I have fallen behind in scanning and posting my Inktober sketches. These are the ones for days 24-27.
The sun came out and gave me great shadows today at the Arlington Municipal Cemetery.
I was hoping to enter an online painting challenge today, but although I spent the better part of the day on location at the Arlington Cemetery, I still didn't get my 9x12 plein air piece done. So far, all I want to show is the value study of one of the gravestones that I did to warm up. (Conveniently, it serves as my Inktober drawing for the day!) Most of this section of the cemetery had stones from the early 1900's, people who were born in mid century 1800's. Many of the markers were leaning, especially the ones set on a steep hillside.

The light came over the fence and threw beautiful shadows down the grassy hill, catching a carpet of fallen leaves and turning them into gold. I'm not giving up on the painting just yet. So I will let you know when it's ready and post it here when I feel it's satisfactory. The thing that's taking me so long is that I am working in gouache, an opaque form of watercolor, and it's a bit of a brain twist from my usual transparent watercolor.