Wednesday, December 13, 2017

An artist dilemma: recapturing the passion in a busy world.

As artists, we are forced to wear many hats and we can easily spread ourselves too thin. Many artists are amazingly skilled at juggling several balls in the air and when I was younger, I used to have that kind of energy!

It is a delicate balance to do everything with equal passion…..painting, commissions, teaching workshops, shows, competitions, publications and keeping up with social media, when we also have family, friends and neighbors that deserve our love, friendship and attention.

Teaching has filled my heart with joy beyond measure and I have been blessed with lasting memories and cherished friendships.  After my remaining workshop, which will be savored, I will retire from teaching and concentrate on painting.

I am anxious to get back in the studio and recapture the excitement that brought me on this journey. Perhaps by making my 'art life' less complicated will allow me that time, since life, in general, will be eternally complicated!

I love self-help books on 'editing possessions' and if you are a baby-boomer you know what I am talking about! One of my favorite quotes is "If the item is important to you, keep it in a condition that shows that it is important." The fact that everything in my studio is collecting dust tells me that painting is losing its importance in my life and my inspiration seems buried under the clutter of obligations, demands and distractions.

My goal is to lessen those demands and distractions so I am free to rediscover my love of least that's the plan! 

Wishing you many blessings in the New Year and finding that delicate balance in life. 💗

Monday, November 6, 2017

North Carolina Workshop January 2018

3-Day Children & Pet Workshop

10100 Park Cedar Drive Suite 188
Charlotte, North Carolina 28210 United States

Contact Person: Nancy Couick

Friday, February 5, 2016

April Workshop in Moultrie, Georgia!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

BoldBrush Painting Contest Honor

BoldBrush Painting Competition ~ July 2015
'Still Life with Riesling' was selected as part of the FAV 15%
Jury's Favorite 15% of the entries in Fine Art Studio Online (FASO) contest.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

PBS Vdeo ~ Workshop Interview

While teaching a portrait workshop at the Headwaters School of Music and Art, in Bemidji, Minnesota, PBS came and filmed my class (as well as a music camp) to promote this incredible school. I was a little camera shy (okay, I was nervous!) but it was a great experience for such a good cause.

To get a glimpse into one of my portrait workshops 
click on the link below:
Click here to watch PBS workshop interview.

New Workshop in North Carolina!

Children's Portrait Workshop set for 2016 

Nancy Couick has kindly invited me back to Charlotte, North Carolina 
to teach for a third year in a row! January 21, 22, 23 - 2016  Come join us!

Location and Contact Information:
Nancy Couick Studios and Gallery
10100 Park Cedar Drive Suite 188
                 Charlotte, North Carolina 28210 United States
Contact Person: Nancy Couick 

                         Photos: 'Cats and Dogs' Workshop ~ 2015

Napa Valley Wine Commission

Napa Valley Wine Commission

This commission was a dream and a joy to paint! It was a surprise gift to the winery owners (featured) on their anniversary. The family had secretly and lovingly chosen items that had meaning to them and arranged them on their special table, included their wine, pottery collection etc., in the midst of their California vineyard. Sigh.... 

Photos of Island Art Escape Workshop

Photos: Portrait Workshop  ~ 11-2014

Lovely workshop host Sam Boehner (bottom right). 

 Check out all their terrific portraits!
Flying into Victoria, BC is always a stunning sight!!!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Charlotte, North Carolina Workshop

My workshop at the Nancy Couick Studio & Gallery was fantastic! I had over 20 eager and talented students!
Nancy herself is on the right, in the from row. She was a wonderful host and spoiled me rotten! As you can see, her studio space and gallery are in two connecting and spacious rooms. It was an inspiring and comfortable facility.
I may be blessed with coming back next year to teach a workshop on painting cats and dogs!

14th Book Publication!

This is a cover of new book that I have contributed to, for my 14th book publication! I did a one page demonstration on painting eyes (page 23). The book is filled demonstrations from over 100 international artists in all mediums and subject matter. 
The publisher is David and Charles and the book was compiled by The Society for All Artist (SAA) in England. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Bold Brush Contest Honor

BoldBrush Painting Competition ~ November 2013
'The Guardian' was selected as part of the FAV 15%
Jury's Favorite 15% of the entries in Fine Art Studio Online (FASO) contest.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Midwest Museum of American Art ~ Awards Reception

Two watercolor paintings are currently on display at the  Midwest Museum of American Art 35th Annual Juried Regional Art Exhibit in Elkhart, Indiana until December 8, 2013. I have not entered this show in a number of years and I am very pleased that I did! 
'White Wine Still Life' won a Purchase Award!
'Creperie in Montmartre, Paris'
Hundreds were in attendance at the awards presentation October 11, 2013

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I Am Going Backwards!

Last month, I was asked to give a speech to a watercolor society about my journey as an artist and the supplies I use and why. Writing that speech gave me time to reflect and I realized that I am going backwards.....but in a good way!
One of the perks of getting older is I have more time to LEARN.
When the kids were young, and painting time was limited, I grabbed my paints and jumped right in. There was no time to study and understand 'paint properties' or how each color responded. In fact, ignorance was bliss!
The amazing artists that I have met over the last few years have studied and know their paints and have shown me the importance of knowing. I am basically self-taught, never went to college, and have fumbled along on my own. I readily admit to my students that I bought and used colors because they 'looked pretty'! For the last several years I have been on a quest to learn more about my paints.
I like to think of it as continued ‘research’ rather than seeing myself going in ‘reverse’. I have the life experience and technical skill and now I am learning why I need to make certain choices and save myself and my students’ frustration.
Creating color charts are a helpful tool. I note the brand and indicate if the colors are transparent,
semi-transparent, opaque, staining, granulating etc, and encourage students to do the same.
Many of my fellow artists paint with opaque watercolors, many are purist and use only transparent pigments, and others like myself, mix it up and use both. I like to think there is not a right way or a wrong way, (consider all that you learn from instructors, blogs, books, videos and magazines,) and find your way! The bulk of my ‘research’ is from these very sources and I keep 'Post-it' notes on hand to record the invaluable information that I come across on a daily basis.
Whether you contribute to a blog, have authored a book or article, or have been a student, you have all shared in my growth and I want to express my sincere and heartfelt gratitude for filling my 'Post-it notes' with knowledge which has helped me to become a better artist and teacher. Thank you!
Richard Back said “You teach best what you most need to learn.”

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” Benjamin Franklin

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Heartland Artist Show

Today I attended the reception for The 25th Heartland Artists Regional Show in Plymouth, Indiana. Two pencils (seen in top photo) and four watercolors were accepted into the show and my drawing of Window in the Cotswolds won a Merit Award and a Purchase Award 8.25" x 10.75".  What a delightful surprise!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Portrait Workshop ~ Headwaters School of Music & Arts - Bemidji, Minnesota

My students did a fabulous job with a tough subject. Many students have studied under my talented friend, and Bemidji native, Jane Freeman for many years. They learned from one of the best and were way ahead of the game! Thank you Janie. Their strong foundation made my job much easier.

While I was teaching, the host had arranged for a PBS taping of the workshop to promote the arts at the school. I will post a link to the interview when it becomes available....unless I made a fool of myself!

 Beautiful flowers from one of my students, straight from her garden. 
Standing beside them is the host of the workshop, the incredible Janet Brademan

 Here are my wild, crazy and amazing artists and dear friends from the Artcolony.
Left to Right: Janie Freeman, me, Mary Jansen and Janet Belich.

 My first canoe ride with 'experienced canoeist', Mary. 
We enjoyed the setting sun on the lake that Janie lives on. 
Now we know why Janie paints as beautifully as she does.
Her home setting is an artist paradise.

These gals are a hoot! 
Nothing better than being able to mix business and pleasure...a joy and a blessing. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

'Splash Retropective' Book

North Light has a new book coming out titled :
Splash Retrospective: 20 Years of Contemporary Watercolor Excellence 
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the editor of the Splash books, Rachel Wolf, has included my painting A Quiet Moment.The model for this painting is my friends son, Josh, who is now, bravely
serving our country in Afghanistan. We pray for his safe return.

A Quiet Moment (watercolor) 16.75" x 14.25"

Monday, July 1, 2013

Bold Brush Contest

BoldBrush Painting Competition June 2013
'Long Road Home' was selected as part of the FAV 15%
Jury's Favorite 15% of the entries in Fine Art Studio Online (FASO) contest.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Louisiana Watercolor Society International Show & Workshop

My wonderful, gifted class! Two students missed the photo op due to flooding rains 
but were with us in spirit.
Susan Copping (left) was the show chairperson and did a fabulous job!
Show Opening / Awards Reception

Louisiana Watercolor Society...43rd Annual International Show 2013
I had the honor of being the judge and juror for the show this year and taught
a portrait workshop. Both events were held in May, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Award winner Carrie Waller (left) next to her beautiful painting. What a joy to meet her!

Click here to view show catalog

Our unique workshop location....a converted gas station.