Monday, December 30, 2019

Something to do before January Watercolor classes begin

Now that the holiday season is winding down, you may be looking for a project or two to refresh your watercolor skills before our usual class schedule resumes.

As always, daily sketching and painting will keep you busy and be an enjoyable way to get your art skills going again. Charlie O’Shields has his January prompts ready at Here’s what he says about next month:

January is the start of winter and the days can be a bit dark and gray. Thankfully, with the help of a sketchbook, a bit of creativity, and lots of lovely color any day can be made bright and beautiful. So, this month is a celebration of colorful things from flamingos to macarons. And a wonderful chance to practice with color, try new mixes and have a totally delightful time in the process!”

Another option is to join a Facebook group that inspires your watercolor creativity.
      Two Facebook groups that I enjoy are Watercolor Enthusiasts
      And 30x30 Direct Watercolor 

Each of the other two above mentioned FB groups have challenges of their own.       
1. The challenge at 30x30 Watercolor is to paint directly without any preliminary drawing.  This group is the home base for a participatory art project started in 2019 and hosted by Marc Taro Holmes and Uma Kelkar.

2. Here’s what Watercolor Enthusiasts did for their December Challenge:
    “Here comes our DECEMBER CHALLENGE! Let's get creative, take out your brushes and paint "Magical Forest". The winning entry will be published as the group's banner. This time it is also a Member's Choice: a winner will be chosen by the number of "likes" given by members.”

Go to to see the winning artwork.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Pen Envelope and lunch with a Friend

A friend from urban sketchers wanted some pens like the ones I use in my sketchbooks. So we arranged to meet for lunch, sketch, chat and then I could hand off the pens to her.
Here’s the sketch I did during lunch.

And here’s the little surprise I made for her to keep the pens. She liked it so much that she said she’s using it on her next trip to India.

The envelope was made of heavy decorative card stock. I sewed all around the liner with my sewing machine.
 I attached a sari silk ruffle and button closure with elastic wrap.
The button was attached with two decorative brads. 
 I included a postcard and notepad inside the envelope
I made a curly paper clip dangle with an elephant and three silver bells. 

Thursday, October 31, 2019

inktober 2019, Day 22-31

Dark, coat, ride

I wanted to play with three values: dark, medium and light. For dark, I have Noodlers ink “Dark Matter”. The eggplant is often darkest in a still life, but this time it’s the middle value with the lemon being lighter.

Rolling on a second coat of paint.

Toys R Us used to carry this vintage wooden Radio Flyer Scooter but the lettering was more like children’s printing.

Injured, Catch, Ripe
I just had to draw one of the fishmongers at Pike Place Market catching a “flying” fish.

I don’t know about you but I have the hardest time judging the right time to open an avocado.

Yay! Finished!

My personal time has been very limited this month. Although I knew that I would probably have to play a game of catch up this time and post late for much of this year’s Inktober, I love the challenge of daily sketching and the way Inktober generates involvement around the world. How could I resist? So here I am posting my last six drawings with one page left at the back of my sketchbook.

Thanks again, Jake, for another set of inspirational prompts.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Inktober 2019, Day 21-25

Day 21-25
Treasure. Ghost, Ancient, Dizzy, Tasty
treasure, ancient, dizzy, tasty
Ancient Greek columns were made to flare out slightly at the top so that at human eye level they would appear straight as the receded upwards.

I love fresh strawberries. 🍓🍓🍓

So where’s the ghost, you may ask? I have something in mind but I’m waiting for delivery of some white ink that I ordered. 😁

Monday, October 21, 2019

Inktober 2019, Day 18-20

Day 18, 19, 20
Misfit, Sling, Tread

 Misfit, Sling, Tread
 When my father wanted to express the idea of someone being a misfit he would say “It’s like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.“

My Sling style backpack holds a lot of my favorite sketching materials.

 This time of year proves to be an irresistible opportunity for children to stomp around in muddy puddles and then leave their boot treads and muddy footprints all over the floor when they come indoors!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Inktober 2019, Day 14-17

When I read the prompt for Day

Grandfather Cuts Loose the Ponies photographed in 2012
Grandfather Cuts Loose the Ponies (also known as the Wild Horse Monument) is a public artsculpture created by David Govedare in 1989–1990 and situated near Vantage, Washington. It consists of 15 life-size steel horses which appear to be galloping across a ridge above the Columbia River. Presented as a gift for the centenary of Washington's statehood, the sculpture was conceived as a memorial to the wild horses which once roamed the region. According to the Seattle Times, it is one of the most-seen public artworks in Washington state.

Overgrown  legend, wild, ornament 
John Singer Sargent is the legendary painter who is my art hero. As I looked over my ink wash portrait of him, I couldn’t resist tweaking it a bit. Here’s the result.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Inktober 2019 - Day 8 - 13

Day 8, 9, 10
 Frail, swing, pattern
A frail broken butterfly wing, a golf swing and a sewing pattern
The air is like a butterfly
With frail blue wings.
The happy earth looks at the sky
And sings. - Author: Joyce Kilmer

Day 11, 12, 13
Snow, Dragon, Ash
A snowy mountain, Seattle International District dragon, cigarette ash

Monday, October 7, 2019

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Fall Schedule for Weekly Watercolor Classes, 2019

After enjoying a summer full of family and art adventures of my own, I am excited to share more new watercolor adventures with students in my weekly classes.

Fall Schedule 2019:

Stanwood/Camano Island: Watercolor, All Levels
A Guilded Gallery
10/24 - 11/21---------5 weeks
Thursdays, 10am - 1:00pm
Register online or Call to register:  (360) 629-2787

Kirkland, WA: Intermediate Watercolor
Kirkland Arts Center
9/27 - 11/15-------8 weeks
Fridays: 10am - 1:00pm
Register online or Call to register: (425) 822-7161

Kirkland, WA: Introduction to Watercolor Workshop - Beginning Level
Kirkland Arts Center
11/16 - 11/17------2 days
Saturday and Sunday: 10am - 4pm
Register online or Call to register: (425) 822-7161

Skagit Valley College - Mt. Vernon, WA
Watercolor Painting - All Levels
9/25 - 11/13 -------8 weeks
Wednesday Evenings: 6pm - 9pm
Register online or Call to register: 360.416.7638
Info:  email

Palette Layout and Colors
(Please email for current layout and colors)

Monday, July 1, 2019

It’s back! World Watercolor Month 2019

Charlie O’Shields, the creator of Doodlewash®, is the founder of World Watercolor Month. His own love of the medium led to the creation of a blog and social artist movement dedicated to promoting and connecting the vast community of watercolor artists all over the world. The blog has featured hundreds of artists sketching and painting with watercolor on all seven continents. According to Charlie, “There’s something magical about watercolor, and it’s my passion to bring all types of watercolor artists together to celebrate each other’s work and the medium we all love!”
Find out more at

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Multitasking the May 2019 Prompts

On this first day of the Every Day in May challenge, I realize my schedule for the coming days is going to be more than full. Aside from classes to teach today through Friday, we have our daughter, granddaughter and new great grandson coming to visit on Friday! As soon as family comes over, all other plans take a backseat!

With that in mind, I am going to try to get a little ahead on this year's commitment to sketching, drawing and painting on a daily basis. I'll do my best to go with the prompts, but daily sketching, no matter what the subject, is priority. So here goes:
“Some fruit, blueberries”—-“True Blue”

Many of these prompts overlap, so I can post to EDiM, Doodlewash and this weekend, to Moment sketchers. Check them all out and see which list appeals to you!

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Doodlewash Prompts for May 2019

You might want to combine the two big art challenges for May as you rev up your sketchbook next month!
Here's what Charlie O'Shields has for his list of prompts:


rainbow watercolorThis month is a thrilling exploration of color and an opportunity to get creative! Paint and draw whatever comes to mind when you think about these fun color sayings, or simply use the month to play with color combinations you’ve been wanting to try next. Though if you DO play along with the prompts, it will be super FUN as we see what’s True Blue for all of YOU! And it’s a great segue from last month’s return to childhood as your inner child will be a wonderful help this month. That kid always has the coolest ideas! So play and enjoy and see what you’ll think up this month as we enjoy a color a day in May!  Visit the link for rules and more information.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

New Prompts for EDiM

For those who wanted to know, here are this year’s daily prompts for EDiM 
Why not try out daily sketching for a week? Join the EDiM Facebook group and post your daily art!

Have fun with this!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Notre Dame

For artists there is an avenue of expression in their work, a way to process shock, sadness and disbelief.
"Notre Dame Burning"  Original watercolor by Michele Cooper
 A catastrophic fire engulfed the iconic Notre Dame cathedral in Paris on Monday, April 15. I started this painting the next day as a way to realize the loss of such an amazing historical edifice.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

May 18, 2019--Urban Sketching Workshop Announcement

I’m looking forward to meeting my students in Seattle for the new USK 10x10 2019 Spring series of urban sketching workshops.

My class is  listed as #4, First Steps into Visual Journaling. May 18, Saturday.
Registration is now open for this one day workshop 

Ready to take your “First Steps into Visual Journaling”?

Registration begins Saturday, March 16, 2019, 9 a.m.The cost for each 3½-hour workshop is $60 through our “early bird” date, April 1, 2019. After April 1, the price is $70 per workshop. Registration will be processed by the event management website, Brown Paper Tickets. Please see the program schedule and workshop details and read  the FAQ for registration information. 

Have questions? Send email to:

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

The Story of an Icicle

I am excited about two things this morning:
  1. I was given a Winsor and Newton Series 7 brush last week and can't wait to try it out. It's just the right size, #5 round, for adding watercolor to my ink sketches. (I'm not about to take such a treasure out of the studio, so I need to find something here to paint.)
  2. An icicle is forming on the mailbox outside!
So I put on waterproof boots, two sweaters, a scarf and my woolly beret. I grab my sketchbook and a pen. I angle my white sketch paper to avoid snow blindness.

Standing in the driveway, focused on drawing the snow, the mailbox and the icicle, I hear the sound of an approaching motor.

It's the mail delivery truck!

I receive my mail by hand and chat with the courier for a few moments.

I prepare to resume my sketch only to discover that the action of opening the mailbox has completely dislodged the icicle and it lies in shattered fragments on the ground!

No worries, I already sketched my icicle. I go into the studio to warm up and lay in a few watercolor washes. Then when I go back out to compare my sketch with the scene for a few finishing touches, I discover that while I was painting inside, a new icicle was beginning to form on the edge of the mailbox. The circle of life!
My finished sketch of an icicle
A new icicle begins to form while I am warming up indoors.

Monday, January 21, 2019

National Squirrel Appreciation Day

Mischievous little critters, squirrels! And yet today is  National Squirrel Appreciation Day.

Relevant video follows here: