Saturday, December 30, 2017

Ready made nature studies

Flora and fauna around the house.
All kinds of fun sketching opportunities await just steps away!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Registration for Winter classes

Class size limited. Waiting list taken when full. Please follow the link in the sidebar to the right for classes in your area.

Monday, December 25, 2017

10 AM

 This morning we took two backyard photos at 10:00 am with the Pacific ocean inbetween. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

My South Pacific studio and a Historical location with UskOahu

Michele Cooper in Hawai’i
Dec16, 2017–My son and I, along with my two granddaughters joined USK Oahu at historic Washington Place from 2:30-4:30  to enjoy its 170 year history.

The Eternal Flame is a bronze and copper sculpture dedicated in 1974 to the men and women of the State of Hawaii who served in the Armed Forces of the United States. The memorial is located just outside the estate. 
Over a dozen urban sketchers met on the grounds and former residence of Queen Lili'uokalani as tours were given of the interior. 'Aha Mele Hawaiian musicians and dancers performed on the lanai.

Docents in long white dresses and leis led the tours indoors where two lovely parlors displayed rare Koa wood furnishings.

The Greek revival palace was built in 1848. It was the former residence of Queen Lili’uokalani and later became the official residence of the Governor of Hawai’i. It is a National Historic Landmark, designated in 2007. The current governor’s residence was built in 2008 behind the historic residence and is located on the same grounds as Washington Place. 
I began with a sketch of my 8 year old granddaughter, Leila.
A “backstage” tent was set up on the side lawn for performers.
My finished spread includes a group of performers, garden lamp, section of the mansion and side garden landscape. Leila has been going out sketching with me since she was 4 years old.
Leila likes sketching trees and people.
Leila's sketch of the hula chanter with her drum. Her 4 year old sister, Ocean, sketched the lanai roofline and trees. 
I took advantage of the opportunity to abandon a hand painted greeting card near the lanai. It vanished within 20 minutes!

Thanks to USK Oahu for making this rare experience possible at Washington Place.
Be sure to check out our sketches on Flickr !
See Urban Sketchers Oahu blog for more about this event.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Mobile Blogging is a Challenge

Warm and wintery in the South Pacific 
Well, it’s been a bit challenging to post on blogger from the South Pacific studio since my granddaughter accidentally updated my iPad. I use the blogger app while posting from my mobile devices and the app hasn’t been updated for IOS 11 yet. Aaargh! I’m pared down while traveling with my iPhone for photos as well. So until I figure out a workaround any photos I post here and on Flickr and Facebook won’t be like those I usually get from scanning. See weekend sketches from my latest outing with O’ahu Urban Sketchers here.
Nevertheless, the Hawai’ian sights, sounds and tropical weather are a welcome respite from the chilly blast friends and family are getting right now in the Pacific Northwest.  Compare day/nighttime temperatures on O’ahu of  75°/ 68° to  40°/22° in Snohomish County near Seattle.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Explored on Flickr!

I painted this and posted it on my Flickr Photostream yesterday. I am honored that it was Explored and now has 2.9k views. (Update 8:30am Saturday-6.1k views)

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Studio Snowscape with Salt Wash

See my Instagram for short video on salt wash
Having some 5x7”” fun in the studio today. I started out with the idea of posting a simple video tutorial on my Instagram feed, but the techno gremlins got me. Actually, the first video post came out great. You can view it by following the link in the caption above.

Here's the finished landscape before adding figures and the chimney with smoke. See my Instagram feed for the final version.
Closeup of salt wash while wet.

A few tips:
  • I'm keeping to a limited palette of Fr. Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna
  • I don't usually tape all around the page but this is a small 5x7" and won't be affected by wet paper expansion
  • Make sure you brush off all the salt once the wash is dry. Salt particles are abrasive to natural hair brushes.
  • Salt water takes longer to dry than fresh water, so your paper needs more time to dry than usual.
  • Since the salt effect wasn't as pronounced as I would like, I added light blue spatter and Uniball Signo White gel pen for more snow at the end.

Monday, November 13, 2017

A Nod to Wyeth

A nod to Wyeth.
Sometimes as a way of doing preliminary studies I will make several versions of a painting as greeting card sketches. Often, that's all they will ever be, just explorations.

This 5x7 gives me an opportunity to play around with a bit of Wyeth metaphor in the imagery. Here's a list in case you haven't caught the implications on your own:
  1. A colonial wrought iron candle stick holder. Something that would have been common at Chad's Ford during the Revolutionary War.
  2. The candle is colonial style, too. 
  3. Eggs, as in egg tempera, the medium for which Wyeth became known.
  4. The jagged edges of the broken egg shells remind me of the jagged edges on a log of fire wood outside one of Wyeth's window compositions.
  5. There is the window, of course, with the windows of the building outside peering in as Andrew might have done.
  6. The autumn season was one of Wyeth's favorites as was the same limited palette I'm using here.
  7. Andrew used a bit of underlying drama to create a certain amount of unease in his compositions. I have alternated symmetry and asymmetry to leave the viewer slightly off balance. The candle flame, almost but not quite touching the window handle causes a bit of visual tension.
  8. And then there are the shadows reminiscent of the shadows on the ceiling at Kuerner's. This time they're on the tablecloth. 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Painting the last of the Autumn Leaves

Here are the amazing leaves that my students painted in class today.
Congratulations, Margo L!
Not only did Margo's concentrated effort yield great results with her class project, she found my abandoned art for the day! See my countdown to #USKGlobal24hrSketchwalk
Margo allowed me to add a few autumn colors to the abandoned art she found in the gallery this morning.
Two days down and two to go with my Abandoned Art Project. Where will tomorrow's piece be hidden? Who will find it?

Egg Tempera and Autumn Leaves

We had so much fun at Skagit Valley College with our autumn leaves and our handmade egg tempera. Inspired by Andrew Wyeth and nature itself! SVC night class, YOU ROCK!
Class demonstration--trying out a few recipes for egg tempera

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Countdown to #USkGlobal24hrSketchwalk Four Days Left!

On Saturday, November 11, 2017, Urban Sketchers around the world will be participating in a 24 hour Sketch Walk to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Urban Sketchers. I'm going to start counting down today!

In addition, I am going to try something for the first time. I will abandon these 4 hand painted art prints, one a day, culminating with abandoning the last one on Saturday, Nov 11 at King Street station in Seattle!  Which one is your favorite?
See Art Abandonment Project here for more info. The image is fresh, printed from my original urban sketch drawn just a few hours ago and hand painted with watercolor! Please email me if you find one! Maybe with a photo of you finding it?

This morning I heard the street sweeper as he drove slowly around our neighborhood. Very rare on our street! I dropped my pen and lost a shoe in the rush to get the sketch before he was gone!
My original bona fide urban sketch, fresh off the sidewalk this morning!
See my Instagram feed for more photos of the excitement of urban sketching, posted in action!

Monday, November 6, 2017

TA DA! Finished 31 drawings, ink and watercolor in 31 Days, Inktober 2017

So, initially, I thought I would interpret "Mask", the prompt for the last day of Inktober, with a drawing of my masking fluid collection. I left it too late on Oct. 31 to post before midnight, so the pressure was off.

Life continued to interrupt until after having visited the Seattle Art Museum and the Andrew Wyeth Retrospective Exhibit; I glanced over at the light on this old abandoned house this afternoon. Filtered through my recent experience of Wyeth's metaphor, it seemed as though the house was looking out through mask-like windows at the world passing it by. In a way, the exterior of a house masks from the outside world the lives that are lived inside. Sometimes, we get a glimpse through the windows, but in this case all their secrets have disappeared along with those who formerly lived here.
Mask-Day 31
Inktober Days 24-31. See my Instagram feed for "United"-Day 29
Ship, Squeak, Climb, Fall
I couldn't resist giving an Acme Sketch Kit to the sketcher out on the precipice. :)
I love the soft, filtered light that comes through the pleated fabric blinds in our bedroom.
From my reading chair. Day 24. Coziest, most comfortable sketching spot yet!
And that's a wrap until next Inktober! Thanks for the inspiration, Jake!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

A Day with Andy

I spent most of the day with Andy (Andrew Wyeth) at the Seattle Art Museum today. The exhibit is a retrospective of over 100 paintings done throughout Andrew Wyeth's life of 91 years.
On the steps at Seattle Art Museum for the Andrew Wyeth Exhibit
Some of my students from north of Seattle carpooled to join me. What a wonderful group with whom to share such an inspirational experience! Not to mention a delicious lunch at the museum cafe, Taste.

And, at first, I thought Helga had stopped in for a visit as well!

On location with a palette like Wyeth's

Watercolor in my "Perfect Sketchbook" - on location on Camano Island, Feb 2015.
Whether it's intentional or not, certain paintings of mine will look Wyeth-influenced. I sat in my car on Russell road and painted this while rain pattered on the roof. The limited palette, both from nature and by choice from my watercolor palette, give this piece its somber mood. The texture comes from drybrush technique, easily achieved on the 140 lb. paper of my Perfect Sketchbook.

EXPLORED AGAIN! Wow! This one was picked by Explore from my Flickr Photostream. I am very pleased!

Monday, October 30, 2017

A Special Day to Catch Up

After a super busy week or two on our own projects, my husband and I took the day off to catch up......with each other and for me to catch up with my Inktober project. We took advantage of the beautiful autumn weather drive up to Anacortes.

The prompt for the 29th was "United". Since I was teaching a workshop yesterday, I took today's opportunity to "unite" all my sketching tools in a single sketch. I thought the idea of a ferry crossing that unites the mainland to Guemes Island was a nice little extra touch on the theme.
The quietude, time to listen to the waves, seagulls and wind soughing through the grasses......what a restorative time we had. AND I'm all caught up until the last day of Inktober tomorrow!

As I placed the rose hips I "Found" on the weathered picnic table, I also found that their round shapes were repeated in the round knothole and bolts. Inktober, Day 30, "Found"

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Annual Studio Open House

"Snow Bird" Art Lesson on DVD
Our 23rd Annual Studio Open House takes place on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. Hours: 10am-12:00 and 5:00-7pm

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 to 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! Please note the change in open hours this year: the studio will be closed between 12:00 noon and 5:00pm.
Hours: 10am-12:00 Noon and 5:00-7pm
Contact me for map and directions. Send email to michelec12 at gmail dot com

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Inktober 2017, Day 19-22

For some reason, I've been inspired lately by animals to represent the official Inktober prompts.
Day 20 - Deep (There are several pods of Orca here who swim the deep channels up the coast to the Canadian Pacific)
Day 21 - Furious (I have no idea why he is so upset, but it's hard to take infuriated squirrels seriously)
Day 22 - Trail (Ewwwww. We have snails AND slugs leaving lots of trails in this rainy season.)
Day 19- Cloud (You can hear the geese flying south above the clouds)
Although I am surrounded by glorious autumn color, it is still immensely satisfying to draw something with ink every day. Thanks, Jake Parker, for the inspiration!

Watercolor Workshop for Absolute Beginners, Sat and Sun Oct 28 & 29

Follow this link for more information or to register
Not sure if watercolor is for you? Tried watercolor but need a little help? Gotten rusty and want to revive some old skills in watercolor? Come on over to Kirkland Arts Center next weekend and have some fun discovering what an expressive medium it is with Michele Cooper, NWWS!

You don't even need to purchase an expensive collection of supplies! Get unlimited use of all supplies from the instructor for $10 per person per day. Take home the art you make.

Take home your own painting of Autumn leaves.
This hands-on workshop presents all the basics for the first-time watercolor painter or a great review of color mixing, brushwork, and painting techniques for the out-of-practice painter. You'll learn how to set up your work area and arrange your palette. We'll discuss different types of paint, brushes, and paper. You'll get to compare student and professional grade paint, cold and hot press paper, and different types of brushes. Learn how to do dry brush, wet in wet, flat washes, and graduated washes.
Discover how to mix and layer colors and how to mix a complete color wheel from just three colors. Continuous hands-on demonstrations will show techniques first hand.

Education Office
(425) 822-7161 x181
Sat, October 28, 2017
   10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sun, October 29, 2017
   10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Monday, October 16, 2017

Catching up with Posting Inktober, Days 10-14

Inktober Day 10-Gigantic (See my Instagram for caption)
Inktober Day 11-Run, that's what you do if you see this! My parents had a pair of geese that terrified our 4 year old son.
Day 12 - Shattered  (Condition of the cell phone and the owner who just realized the damage)
Day 13 - Teeming (The coral reef is teeming with life. May it ever be so.)
Day 14 - Fierce (Fang toothed Moray eels are truly fierce...the way they look, their fangs and the fact that they anchor themselves in the reef, latch on to their victim and don't let go!)

For high resolution photos of these and other work not shown here, please visit my Flickr photostream.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Walking with Andy

If you look carefully, you'll see a tiny figure walking at the top of the hill. In anticipation of the upcoming Retrospective Wyeth Exhibit at SAM, opening on October 19, my watercolor students are practicing some important aspects of watercolor. Wyeth is a prime example of the hard work involved in creating fine art.
Playing with drybrush, my preliminary value plan with water soluble graphite and initial inspiration.