Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Kekaulike Mall with USK Oahu

When you have blue skies, warm breezes, palm trees and a bustling market square in Chinatown, it begs to be sketched. A few of the USk Oahu sketchers were kind enough to meet with me on Saturday afternoon for an impromptu outing at Kekaulike Mall in downtown Honolulu.
Here's my finished spread with my cool new USk Oahu fridge magnet from AJ! Thanks, AJ!
Check out more photos by Sebastian and our sketches on Flickr!
We met at the intersection of Kekaulike and North King St at 1:30, exchanged sketching stories, browsed each other's sketchbooks and realized we should probably get busy! That's Sebastian, Harald and A.J. (above) making the most of the hour of intense sketching we did during our visit to Kekaulike Mall. Sebastian wore an official orange USk Oahu tee shirt for easy recognition.
We felt that we could have spent a lifetime there, but accomplished a decent start in our sketchbooks. As we shared our sketches, we promised to get together again in early January for another outing. 
I liked the way the bananas are hung on a rail above boxes of fresh produce. It's illuminating to take the time to read the produce signs, even if you can't read the part written in Chinese. There are so many new and interesting subjects here: a rainbow display of shiny plastic housewares, a variety of brooms made in all sizes, shapes and materials and a gigantic durian which was mercifully intact! I  had to go back for another go at the sketches I started, finishing up some text and adding color.

A bit of history about our location: Much of Chinatown in Honolulu was rebuilt at the turn of the century after two fires. In the 1980s the city developed both Maunakea Marketplace and Kekaulike Mall to draw in commercial ventures. Along with O`ahu Marketplace, these centers teem with immigrant entrepreneurs selling fresh produce, seafood, clothing and household items.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Beach panorama

Here you go, all those wearing warm socks, indoors with a blanket by the fireplace. 
I posted a video on Instagram showing step by step progression. 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Candy from a stranger

Would you? Take candy from a stranger? And then follow them to another location out of curiosity?
Sounds like the plot from a horror film. And yet.......
I realize this seems like a lure, but I promise, no malware lurking while I paint something sweet on Periscope today.
That's what happens all the time on social media. A common malady on today's social media is "comment spam". Has this happened to you:

You open your blog and see that you have a new comment or two. As you start reading a compliment about your content, images, etc. you begin to feel gratified that someone has taken the time to communicate their appreciation. Then annoyance and disappointment set in. There are two suspicious links and a request to visit their website for thousands of free followers on your Instagram or blog. It's a little like taking candy from a stranger. Don't click the links in the comments!

Up until now, I have allowed anyone to post their comments here immediately. Recently I have received a few manageable comment spams which I delete as soon as I see them. But to avoid wasted time and energy, I need to be able to manage them effectively.

 Therefore, I am putting a protective measure into place. I will set my comments to moderation. For a short while, you will need to fill in the secret wobbly letters or numbers to prove that you are a real person, not a spam robot. Please take the time to go through this extra step, just for a while until the robots go away.

Your comments matter. There’s no doubt about it. I particularly enjoy reading what you have to say on any particular blog post here.  I want you to feel that my site is a safe place to be. And I want to know what you are thinking. I am energized and invigorated from reading legitimate remarks from real people like you – engaged readers adding thoughtful and insightful discussion to my content.

Don't worry about my links in these blog posts. They are safe. Just don't click links in readers' emails or tempting sales websites in their comments. Meanwhile, you can always comment on my Instagram posts where blocking spammers is easy and there are no problems for readers who want to comment.

Now. Who wants chocolate? What's your favorite candy? Watch my periscope.tv/michelecoopart today at 4:30 Pacific Time while I paint a sweet watercolor demonstration.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Yesterday's Drybrush Demo on Periscope

It was fun demonstrating live yesterday afternoon on periscope.tv/michelecoopart 

We had people from Camano Island to Seattle to Virginia to New Zealand watching as I shared some tips on drybrush technique in watercolor. If you missed it, you can still watch the replay.

I enjoyed sharing the process of discovery as I played with a granulating, low chroma palette of Daniel Smith colors. For those who asked, the easel I used can be viewed here.

Thanks again for watching!
"Snowline"--Original Watercolor by Michele Cooper (8x10" on Arches 140lb Rough)

I was inspired by this photo from the North Cascads Institute Instagram

Thursday, December 1, 2016

A Seasonal Turning Point

The end of November and beginning of December creates a shift in the landscape here in the Pacific Northwest. The North Cascades Pass is now closed until May. Fall colors fade and disappear under new snowfall as the snow line comes down lower into the foothills.  (View and comment on Instragram) Watch live on Periscope at 4:30 today for a watercolor demo of similar scene.

As I sorted through my studio yesterday, I picked up this half sheet watercolor and decided to make a few adjustments. Not a lot, just a few refinements and then signing it. The contrast of soft, rough and hard edges is a challenge to ones watercolor technique, brushwork and timing. Sometimes it takes a while to allow the initial impetus to fade and to see the painting on its own terms.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

A sunset series Inspired by color

I painted this sunset live on periscope.tv/michelecoopart about an hour ago. I wanted to experiment with some new Daniel Smith watercolors. The colors are listed as the Shirley Trevena set.
Earlier, in my morning class at the gallery, I combined some of the new colors with some of my own in this demonstration.
I think it's a good idea to work in a series as you experiment with new colors, comparing their properties to those of your accustomed pigments.
I never copy a photo reference. It is sadly lacking, compared to the real thing. However, this photo is what inspired my ongoing sunset series.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Two new paintings from our UK trip

I painted two watercolors from our recent trip to the UK this past summer. They were offered during my Annual Studio Open House on Saturday.
Village corner, Dobcross original watercolor by Michele Cooper - Available
After the 2016 urban sketchers symposium in the city of Manchester, some local artists offered to show us around a village in the countryside. I was charmed by the village of Dobcross, near Oldham and Uppermill. Having streets with names like Lark Hill Road, ivy covered brick and stone houses and window boxes overflowing with summer flowers, how could you not be enchanted?
"Red Car, Dobcross, UK" original watercolor by Michele Cooper -- sold

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Congratulations to the Studio Open House Prize Winner!

Thanks to all who attended my Annual Studio Open House on Saturday. It was wonderful having you there to see where I work, to visit for a while and to offer you our hospitality.

One of the highlights of the day is at 5:00 pm when we have a prize drawing. The winner may choose a studio credit of $100 or a painting chosen by me for the occasion. Then we celebrate with wine, cheese and good conversation. Maybe even another prowl around the studio.
Congratulations, Shar! She chose to apply the studio credit to this original piece, "Red Car, Dobcross" from our UK trip.

Incidentally, we defused the Lancashire cheese bomb and it was delicious!
I highly recommend their 2 year aged cheese with a nice Pinot Noir, some grapes, dates, nuts, art and friends.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

22nd Annual Studio Open House Today

Welcome to my studio! We are open from 10 AM to 7 PM today.
Gallery entrance to my warm, cozy studio. There's another room full of artwork in the studio, too!

Come visit a real working artist's studio. Choose a painting for your collection or as a gift for someone special.

Visit with the artist, Michele Cooper, other artists, collectors, students and friends any time from 10:00am-7:00pm today.

Special events:

There will be a drawing for $100 studio credit at 5:00 pm at which time the Lancashire Cheese Bomb will be defused and consumed!

Refreshments: Wine, Cheese, Chocolates and Nibbles

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Periscope Watercolor Demo Today

Just finished this watercolor on periscope.tv/michelecoopart Showing a few tricks with a razor blade, white gouache, white ink, spatter and wet embossing. 

Silver light, the moon
Casting shadows as
Birches catch the soft snowdrops
-m. cooper

Thanks for watching to those who were there. If you missed it, the replay is available.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Great Wall of Art

Built by beginning watercolor students in just two days, the Great Wall of Art is up this afternoon at Kirkland Arts Center.
We had a great time painting watercolors together this weekend. Superb work, everyone!
And here's a view from a second floor window after lunch today!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Beginning Watercolor Workshop Today and Tomorrow

After an introduction to basic watercolor methods, my students brought leaves from outside into the studio and painted these! Aren't they great?
Everyone is off to lunch, but you can see that they have begun building the Great Wall of Art!
We are definitely making inroads on the first pad of watercolor paper! Return for updates tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

When does Inktober End?


Thirty days hath September,
April, June, and November.
All the rest have thirty-one,
Except for February alone,
Which hath but twenty-eight days clear,
And twenty-nine in each leap year.
And then, of course, there is Inktober
With as many as it takes me 'till it's over!

So, obviously, I am still catching up on random days I missed for Inktober 2016. Never fear! I am determined to finish up all 31 "daily" prompts. Procrastinators, soldier on!
Here's a tree for Day 14.
So here's one for Day 21 and Day 22, from the prompt for Big and Little. I thought it would be fun to draw a big baby elephant and a small adult mouse.

And then, here's another for the prompt "One Dozen" conveniently provided by my butterfly collection. These are all supposed to be Pacific NW varieties. I usually do all my InkTober sketches in black and white, but it just seemed wrong to rob these butterflies of their color. Besides, by Day 24, I am absolutely DYING for color!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Fantastic Art Found in 100 year old Building

News Flash! A fantastic collection of original art was discovered at the end of this mornings' Intermediate watercolor class in the Skylight Studio of the Kirkland Arts Center.
The results below are the collection of results at the end of today's watercolor lesson with Michele Cooper.

Ed note: I used pre designed magazine covers from an app called Moldiv to present these paintings.
I think they are amazing!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Inktober - Relax, Wet and Squeeze

Three more for Inktober. Still playing catch up!
I like to relax with my feet up, watching art "How To Watercolor" videos with cozy socks, a warm fire in the fireplace and popcorn.

This little girl didn't mind the wet rainy day at all. She was puddle jumping in the rain.

I will absolutely squeeze every last grain of pigment out of my watercolor tubes!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Okay, Just One More for Today

Here's the one I just finished for Inktober 2016 Day 13. Yeah, I'm way behind but no worries. I'll catch up. Maybe I will do 3 or 4 more tomorrow. 

This was for the prompt "scared". It was the scariest movie I've ever seen as a child. Especially the part where he played dolls with the little girl and then........the empty swing!

Watch the replay ink shading on periscope.tv/michelecoopart and the Hyperlapse drawing on IG at michelecooperart. 

Two More for Inktober Today on Periscope

Having fun in the studio today, drawing two more for Inktober, "Transport" and "Worried". The vintage streetcar that runs down the waterfront in Seattle and stocking up on groceries for the biggest storm that never was! Those weather reporters really had us worried!

Catching up on Inktober on Periscope today

I am waaaay behind on my Inktober "daily" drawing. So today I plan to catch up. Tune in after 12:30 pm. On periscope.tv/michelecoopart to watch and chat a little. Tell me what prompts you used and I will share a story or two as I draw.

By the way, this one is for "Jump". Can you guess what they are?

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Inktober Big vs Little

You know me, I always like a little bit of a twist when I interpret the prompts for Inktober.
How about a baby elephant for the prompt "big" and an adult mouse for the prompt "little"!?
Inktober Day 21 and 22. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Live on Periscope before the big storm

I did a quick live demonstration of a grove of autumn trees on Periscope today. Catch the replay to see it and a couple of other examples of fall color in watercolor. Periscope.tv/michelecoopart 

I wanted to get something in before the big storm comes and wipes out internet and electricity for who knows how long!

Stay safe out there everybody!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Announcing 2016 Studio Open House

"Snow Bird" Art Lesson on DVD
Our 22nd Annual Studio Open House takes place on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016. Hours: 10am-7pm

5-7pm: Wine, Cheese, Nibbles and a drawing for $100 worth of Art from Michele's NW Studio

We are excited to show new works and welcome artists, students and friends. Enjoy some nibbles, conversation and perhaps take home a painting, DVD or just the experience of visiting a real working art studio.

Save a spot on your calendar and come on over!
Contact me for map and directions. Send email to michelec12 at gmail dot com

Monday, October 10, 2016

North Cascades by Brush, Twig and Pin

Of our National Parks John Muir said, “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. 
The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”
It was my pleasure and privilege to teach a watercolor workshop at the North Cascades Learning Center this past weekend.
We made our own watercolor sketchbooks after dinner on Friday.
On Saturday, there was an epic rainstorm! The rain gauge registered almost 4" between 6 am. and 6pm.

We sketched under the shelter near the library, gathered specimens from the woods and brought them inside to paint. We used twigs from the forest to make ink drawings of local mushrooms gathered by the students in the class next door.

The rain finally stopped so that we could go out Sunday morning and paint the mountain views.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Inktober Day 9-Broken

A tree fell across the rocks and was carried down the waterfall, broken

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Inktober Day 7 and 8

Day 7-Lost
Looking out the back door of our cabin and a sunbreak across the path reminded me that not all those who wander are lost.
Day 8-Rock
All the buildings at the North Cascades Institute are beautifully integrated into the landscape. Our front door had this huge rock for a natural privacy screen!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Inktober Day 6 - Hidden, a Live Periscope Demo

In case you wanted to see a demonstration of how I do my Inktober sketches, I did a live broadcast
on periscope.tv/michelecoopart this afternoon. If you missed it, you can still see the replay.
There's a birdbath in a hidden corner of my garden. A favorite bathing spot for birds.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Inktober Day 5--Sad

I don't know about you, but I find it a bit challenging to use the prompt "SAD" for today's Inktober sketch.
I am sure that when I look over the sketches with #inktober2016day5 on them I will find some very heart rending, touching, sorrowful images. Without minimizing the need for expression that generates these renditions, I personally don't feel like going there today. So I will take this opportunity to express  the lighter meaning of sad; actually two ways of interpreting it.

The parked cars at the top left and bottom of this page are from a small village in Yorkshire, which I was sad (regretful) to have had only part of a day to spend drawing and painting on location. I wish I could spend weeks and months there.

The single occupied vehicle above right illustrates the sad state of affairs during gridlock on my commute to Seattle each week. This car was "parked" directly in front of me in the middle lane of I-5, waiting with the rest of us in the same situation to move forward, inch by inch. I hate having to take over 2 hours on a trip that should only be 45 minutes.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Day 2--Noisy

The neighbor across the street considerately waited until after 9:00 this morning before mowing his lawn. It's day 2 of Inktober 2016 and the official prompt is NOISY.

I hid behind the living room blinds while sketching. Hehe. Oh no! I've become the urban sketchers' version of Mrs. Kravitz! (Retro TV-Bewitched)