Friday, November 20, 2020

Join Me Live on Periscope Sunday, November 22 at 9:00am PST

 👋😎 Hey! It’s been quite some time since we had a chat and a live tutorial on Periscope, hasn’t it?

Join me live on this Sunday, November 22 at 9:00am for a tutorial on binding and making a cover for your DIY watercolor journal/sketchbook. Just drop in to say hello or play along with this fun and easy craft project.

I’ve been sketching comfort food with my watercolor class lately and I have to make a cover for my DIY sketchbook.

If you want to do this along with me, see below for a materials list. You probably have everything you need right there at home.


  • 3 or 4 sheets of 140lb watercolor paper (8x10 or up to 11x14)
  • an empty cereal box or other recyclable cardboard 
  • scissors, ruler, pencil, bone folder
  • thumb tack or push pin
  • yarn/string/waxed binders’ thread, Choose one
  • long needle with large eye for the thread, like a darning needle or book binder’s needle
  • You can use wrapping paper or fabric big enough to cover the cardboard.
  • Elmers glue will work to glue the paper or fabric to the cardboard cover but takes time to dry. Extra strong glue stick is nice. Fabric Tac glue works great but it’s expensive. 
I think that’s it. See you there! 😊

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Fall Watercolor Classes Begin Sept 30

Classes are all held live via Zoom.

Zoom is an easy videoconferencing program we’ve chosen in order to create the feeling of being with your instructor and classmates while you’re safe and healthy at home. 

What kind of technology do I need? I’m a little nervous!

You can use Zoom with a phone, tablet, or computer with a camera! We promise, it’s easier than it sounds and we’re here to help.

Skagit Valley College

Painting Watercolor class details

Painting Watercolor with Michele Cooper, Wednesday 6 - 9pm Live Online

10/7 - 11/11,  2020

If you have taken classes at Skagit Valley College, here is a quick link to register

You may call CouriAnne for more information or to register  Call (425) 822-7161

Kirkland Arts Center

Intermediate Watercolor with Michele Cooper, Friday 11:00am to 2:00pm Live Online

10/2 - 11/20, 2020

Information and Registration 

Contact Ashlie Beach for more information or to register  Call (425) 822-7161

Kirkland Arts Center

Introduction to Watercolor Workshop, Saturday and Sunday  10:00am to 4:00pm Live Online

11/21 - 11/22, 2020

Information and Registration

Contact Ashlie Beach for more information or to register  Call (425) 822-7161

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Make a Pocket Sketchbook for your Travels

 Many of my artist friends are taking a little extra free time this summer to make a few road trips. Along with your usual snapshots wouldn’t it be nice to have a pocket sketchbook with you and spend an hour under the shade of a roadside tree sketching the colors of summer?

Take a few of these in your day bag while traveling.
Choose your favorite watercolor paper for your DIY pocket sketchbook.

It’s fun to choose decorative papers to create a theme for each little pocket sketchbook.

At the end I share a flip through of my sketches from Roosengarde in my own DIY pocket sketchbook.

Here’s my YouTube tutorial on how to make one for yourself or as a gift for a friend. 

Tomorrow I’m leading an online on location watercolor workshop at another stunning garden. Join us!

More info on the summer workshops here.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Fun with Watercolor on Location at Langus Riverside Park

Friday, July 10, 2020
It was a beautiful afternoon for a watercolor workshop along the banks of the Snohomish River. The scent of wild roses hung in the air as kayaks silently glided across the ripples and reflections in the lazily flowing water.

The hum of traffic in the distance could be heard now and then but the twittering of wild birds captures ones attention as they go flitting among the branches of the trees. Now and then a couple in quiet conversation strolls by.

A man walking his dog on the sidewalk past my car stops for a moment to compliment my work. He says his wife enjoys painting watercolors, too. He wears a face covering and keeps about 10 feet away. I have had my mask on while we talked and put it in my pocket in case I feel the need to wear it again.

I'm parked in a good spot, a safe distance from most passersby.

It's so nice to see the smiles on the faces of my online students, safe and comfortable at home, yet together here with me at the park.

I have detailed knowledge of all my favorite spots for summer outdoor painting. I have decades of experience in painting on location and teaching watercolors.

I'm going through dozens of practice runs on how to set up my filming and broadcast equipment for live interaction. So far, so good. Except once in a while the internet gremlins show up with a new glitch. Still, it's pretty close to being there face to face.

PS. I'm still training my assistant, but if you hear snoring from under a distant tree, it's NOT the internet gremlins.

Here are my 3 little ATCs from our location at Langus Park. We are collecting these for each of our summer workshops. At the end of the series, we'll have a swap among those who attended.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Schedule Updates for Outdoor Online Workshops

Until it is practical to meet in groups, our workshops will be live online through Zoom
This summer I am sharing some of my favorite outdoor painting spots through a series of 5 watercolor workshops. Check here for updates on Location and start times for our live online interactive summer sessions.

Registered students will receive a private video of the scene the evening before the workshop. This will help you get familiar with some of the subjects available, ambient sounds, etc.

Register for workshops 

Tentative schedule (there is room for adjustment due to weather, unforeseen circumstances or request by participants-i.e. switch from am to pm) Updates will be published here on my blog, Facebook Art Page and Instagram 

1. Friday, July 10 (the majority favors pm) 2:30-5:30 pm
Location: River reflections, trees, mixing greens, kayaks in action, basic composition on location
Zoom live interactive on location 

2. Tuesday July 21 -- 2:30-5:30 pm
Location: Coastal scene, embankments, inlets, wildflowers, meadows and marshland, clouds, driftwood beach, foreground composition on location
Zoom live interactive on location

3. Wednesday August 5 — 2:30-5:30 pm
Location: Picturesque vintage harbor, tidal estuary. Options include boats moored in the marina, wildlife in the estuary, boardwalk, old harbor and buildings, dry dock and along Union Slough leading out to Gardner Bay.
Zoom live interactive on location 

4. Monday August 17 (9:30am-12:30pm) has been switched to (9:30am-12:30pm) because of weather watch for extreme heat (TBD by registered members of the class)
Choose Dates
Location: A secluded area in a public garden. 
Options include mass plantings of perennial flowering shrubs, ancient trees, an English garden complete with phone box garden seat, fishing pond with lilies, a cool shaded creek with small wooden bridge, drought plantings, vegetable garden, children's garden and more.

Zoom live interactive on location 
5. Wednesday Sept 16 (2:30-5:30pm)
Location:  Rural scenery
Options include: barns, fields, farm equipment, animals, winding country roads, early fall color

Zoom live interactive on location 
I am flexible on the start time for classes. Initially I plan am classes from 9:30-12:30   and  pm classes from 2:30-5:30. This takes advantage of the light conditions in summer. Please let me know your preference.

I don’t expect especially large attendance, so we can check in the day before and see how it goes with the weather and the group. It really will be like a small group of friends planning a pai9nt outing for the day.
Choose Dates

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Register for Summer Watercolor Workshops 2020

Save your spot, register now for our summer series of Five Online Watercolor workshops. Each workshop will be 2.5 to 3 hours depending on subject matter and student engagement.
There will be two workshops in July, two in August and one in mid September.

Tentative schedule (there is room for adjustment due to weather, unforeseen circumstances or request by participants-i.e. switch from am to pm)
Friday, July 10 pm                           Wednesday August 5 pm
Tuesday July 21 pm                         Monday August 17 pm

Wednesday Sept 16 am

Choose Dates
Participants will receive full details about the virtual meeting place, materials, expectations, and other useful tips before each workshop. Scroll down for information about registration, level, and cancellations policy. For questions contact Michele Cooper

Workshops are designed for all levels of participants from beginners to advanced painters. Instructor will provide guidance and tips necessary to get started for beginner painters while more seasoned artists will be challenged to further their skills with a fun array of fast-paced subjects and themes. Some previous experience will be helpful but not required.

You can register for individual workshops, take the entire series of 5, or pick and choose any 3.

One workshop at a time $45

I am All In (Take all 5 workshops at $37/workshop) $185
Pick and Choose 3 ($40/workshop) $120

Avoid fees and register by emailing with your choice of workshops.
You can send your payment by:
  1. Venmo (@Michele-Cooper-49)
  2. Cash App ($MicheleLCooper)
  3. Paypal ( Keep in mind PayPal charges a small fee unless you use the "friends" option. 
  4. Check to Michele Cooper 
Because of the uncertainty of this time you can cancel any workshop or package at any point for a full refund. Transaction fees will be charged if applicable.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

New 2020 Summer Series of Live Online Watercolor Classes

I found a lovely spot to paint in a nearby public garden.

Let’s paint on location this summer. I would love to share a few of my favorite spots with you where we can paint together, apart. As we follow official guidelines toward gradual reopening where we live, let’s share the joys of sketching and painting outdoors. Join me live online every 10 days or so as we explore the season with watercolor.

  • Live watercolor demo from  Michele Cooper

  • Suitable for ALL levels of painters 

  • Plenty of Q & A

  • Take advantage of the “mobile studio”

  • Interact/chat with other attendees

  • Paint along with me or paint later

  • Send me a photo of your painting and I will critique and showcase in a special video on YouTube!

I am running a free live online informal meeting with a brief watercolor demonstration on Wednesday, July 8th at 6 pm PDT.  Wherever you are, join me for this Q&A session about the upcoming summer series of workshops and a free live demo of people walking dogs. To join, please fill out my 2 minute survey.

This online workshop is suitable for painters of any level.  Each session there will be an interactive demonstration/tutorial in Watercolor.  I will go at a slow pace and describe with commentary what I am doing and the techniques I am using.  The commentary will only be in English, and I will try and speak slowly in case I have any attendees where English is not their first language.
All you will need is a good/reliable internet connection, and a headphone or PC speakers to hear me and to hear each other .  If you want to, you'll be able to ask plenty of questions as I go along.  There is a $45.00 USD fee to attend this live session.  It will not be uploaded to YouTube (as a Public Video) or available to anyone apart from the attendees who have paid to watch.  I should be able to send you a link to the recording of the demo afterwards, which only you can see.  
The demo might be an hour to an hour and a half in duration (depends on how many questions/comments I get!).  We will paint at a slow speed and in stages.  So you can paint along with me if you want, or wait until you receive a link to the recording. I suggest that you find a quiet spot outdoors to follow along with the recording.

What you will need (apart from paper and water)
  1. See my Sketching Equipment page for suggested on location equipment.
  2. Your normal palette of colors (I mainly use, organic vermilion, alizarin crimson, burnt sienna, raw sienna, cerulean blue, cobalt blue, ultramarine blue, aureoline yellow and new gamboge yellow, white paint for highlights).  You don't need to use these colors.
Hope to see you online!
Contact me if you have questions.

Watch my series on “Flooded Fields” ahead of time for tips on painting on location.
Here’s a free series to demonstrate my usual approach, special techniques and methods during a typical outdoor watercolor excursion.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

World Watercolor Month Returns!

Join our Summer Outdoor Painting Watercolor Workshops, Live Online
Bring your Watercolors! July/August, 2020
More information 

I’ll share some of my favorite painting spots with you.  

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Come to Online Watercolor class Wednesday, May 20

The weather has been unpredictable this week, but the studio mannequin is singin' in the rain. He's excited about the new online watercolor class that starts tomorrow evening!

We're very happy to welcome you to Watercolor Painting from the shoeless classroom tomorrow evening at Skagit Valley College online.

It's not too late to join us! Call, sign up online or email to register:

Update: May 19, 2020
Online watercolor classes have been scheduled at Skagit Valley College 
For more details and How to register for SVC Wednesdays please follow this link.

  • Dates: 5/20/2020 - 6/24/2020
    Days: W    Times: Arranged  

CouriAnne Williams
Continuing & Community Education Director Mount Vernon Campus
Register by phone 360.416.7638

Thursday, April 30, 2020

New Online Zoom Watercolor Class in 8 Days

 I see the studio mannequin is busy taking selfies for his Zoom profile.
Get ready, get set,.....Paint! 

In just 8 days our brand new live online watercolor classes begin! The studio is all set up. I dove into the deep end of my crash course on teaching watercolor remotely. I’ve been practicing on Zoom with my students from previous classes. I’m sure there will be some adjustments to be made during the process of using an online format but we’re doing it!

It’s so wonderful seeing those smiling faces and hearing the voices we’ve been missing. Nothing can replace the experience of being there for an actual in person watercolor class as we have been accustomed to in the past. However, there is a certain personal perspective and relaxed comaraderie one can enjoy while learning in the shoeless classroom. We can safely be up close without a mask while looking over the details in a painting.

All the features of our usual watercolor class will be there: slide references, videos, Q&A, assignments to work on in class, time to work on your own and live demonstrations to watch. There will be group and private critiques. Some days we may even venture outdoors to enjoy the beautiful spring weather. When the day’s class is over, you don’t have to pack up and get in your car because you’re already home! If you miss a session you may access a recording, or just go back to review something you want to understand better.  The familiar class email with homework assignments will be sent after class as usual.

One day we will return to the Skylight Room and sit together side by side as we explore new ways to experience the world of watercolor. Meanwhile, come to class live online and indulge your creativity with a wonderful family of watercolor painting friends at Kirkland Arts Center.

Update: May 1, 2020
Online watercolor classes have been scheduled at Skagit Valley College 
For more details and How to register for SVC Wednesdays please follow this link.
  • Dates: 5/20/2020 - 6/24/2020
    Days: W    Times: Arranged  

CouriAnne Williams
Continuing & Community Education Director Mount Vernon Campus
Register by phone 360.416.7638

For more details and How to register for KAC Fridays please  follow this link.'
Office Hours:   Monday-Friday, 9 AM-5 PM
Register by Phone: (425) 822-7161

Materials list-Suggested only-You may work with what you have at home.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Tulip Day

My extremely modest ‘rows’ of tulips

 I’m thinking about our daughter in California today, whose favorite flower is the tulip. When she was a child, our family would go out to the fields where thousands of tulips made a colorful patchwork as far as you could see. We were allowed to park along the roadside then. Kodak would choose a particularly dramatic view and build a platform for anyone to climb up and get some great snapshots.

Today we are under “shelter at home” self isolation because of the Covid-19 pandemic.  California has not been under this quarantine as long as we have. I have been self in self isolation since March 28! If that is what it takes to protect ourselves and others from infection, then that is what we’ll do!

In the Skagit Valley they are already clipping off the tulip heads to promote the development of the underground bulbs. We are discouraged from venturing out to the tulip fields and causing traffic problems for the locals. So today I offer my modest little “field”.  I’ve left them to bloom beside the road for those on neighborhood walks to enjoy. Later today, difficult as it will be, I will cut these flowers down so that they will grow and propagate next year. I am pleasantly surprised that our feral rabbits haven’t already munched these down!
Again! Despite warnings to stay out of the rows, the studio mannequin can’t resist stepping in to get a few selfies.

Watercolor Tulips

Looking back at another spring season full of tulips and time spent on the deck with watercolors.
Painting watercolor tulips in the sunshine out on the deck.

I divided up my Arches 140 lb. CP paper with painters’ tape and drew with a Micron waterproof pen.
I love the way natural light infuses the shadows with color!