Anne FrankHouse

Have you read Anne Frank’s Diary ? It’s the story of a young Jewish girl who hid from the Nazi’ for 2 years with her family in the attic of her father’s business. While in hiding she kept a diary which her father published after he came home from the concentration camp. He was the only survivor of his family, as Anne, her sister and mother died in the concentration camps just before the war ended.

We listened to a short presentation before we toured the attic rooms. It explained about Hitler’s rise to power and how he placed restrictions on the Jews of Amsterdam so they were not allowed places, could only shop in certain stores, could not go to public places and were not even allowed to sit in in their backyards. Then we toured the attic rooms which were emptied by the Nazi’s after they took the Franks away on the last train to the camps. I had’’t known that they might have survived if they had stayed in hiding a little longer. I also learned more about the dedication and risks their friends took to hid them. I am so glad we were able to visit her home and see the reality of her life.

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Amsterdam

We arrived in Amsterdam yesterday afternoon. The city is very easy to navigate and charming sketchable scenery is everywhere. I was too groggy with jet lag to take many pictures and most of my focus was on crossing streets without getting in the way of a bicycle and not losing the humongous umbrella I borrowed from our hotel.

We did get caught in an afternoon downpour so clutching the umbrella all afternoon paid off. We visited the Van Gogh museum which has an amazing collection of his paintings and great explanations. I learned he only painted for 10 years!

Here are a few views from our dinner last night.

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Anywhere Art Goes Onboard

We are in Minneapolis making our way to the Netherlands where myself and 16 students are going to be traveling on a barge through the canals while we scribble and paint in our sketchbooks for 7 days. Next posting from Amsterdam!

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Top Secret Watercolor Protector Paper Reveal

I was able to preserve the painting in my journal I did this afternoon by using the “Page Protector Paper” I found at the Sacramento airport. See the results in the pictures below and judge for yourself if you want to use this “special” page protector paper in YOUR watercolor journals

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Finding Travel Art Supplies at the Airport

Discovering what art supplies work best for travel watercolor painting has become a quest for me. Until a few minutes ago I hadn’t found the right material to lay on top of a not-quite-dry watercolor painting in my journal. Sometimes you need to close your painting journal at a moment’s notice and get on a bus, plane or or train or get out of the way of a parade.

I always advise my students to use the words, “ what if” to stimulate their creative thinking skills. So, I looked around the airport and happened on some paper designed for another purpose, that looked like it just might be thin and crisp enough to not absorb and remove too much wet watercolor paint when pressed between the pages of my watercolor journal. When I land I’ll report how well it worked. And by the way I also found some artist’s tissue in the same location I found the page separating material.

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August Drawing Practice For You

This summer I have been having a lot of fun with the classes I have been teaching at Miracosta College. I may have mentioned that I put together a new class topic, which I call “Mindful, Observational Watercolor Sketching”. Oh wow! You could call it call it MOWS!

What is MOWS all about you ask? It is a combination of drawing techniques that help you focus closely on what you are seeing and drawing + some cognitive therapy techniques to stop you from criticizing your drawing which interrupts your drawing process and takes you out of the present, mindful mood you slip into when you are observing closely and drawing.

I have prepared a worksheet for you which I hope you can print out and use at home. Below is a daily calendar for August. Do you think you might want to look at something once a day and sketch it in its corresponding date box? I’ve started with some examples in the July boxes so you can see the drawings don’t have to be complex or perfect, just draw the lines you see and throw in some shading if you are in the mood.

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Pen & Ink + Watercolor Class

Have you have always wanted to learn about writing, drawing, lettering and painting with dip pens, fountain pens and felt tip pens?  This 3 hour class will give you all you need to know to get started using pen and ink. Sign up today by emailing me: anywhereart4u@gmail.com*

 

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* I will be teaching a 5 session version of this class at Miracosta College beginning on Sat. June 22. 

What the Heck is a Mindful Art Class?

This Sunday, June 2, I will be teaching my first Mindful Art Class at Artist & Craftsman Supply in Hillcrest in San Diego. There are still 4 spaces left open in this workshop and you can register by emailing me at anywhereart4u@gmail.com The fee is $35.00.

 

What is Mindful Art, you ask? Is it some hippie dippy touchy feely class? Has Barbara gone over the deep end into new age practices? You might even wonder did the new beagle push her into this? 

Mindful art making is learning to observe and sketch, paint and draw what you see around you in your  environment. It’s goal is NOT to produce a finished painting to hang in the Louvre but to help you see what is in your world at the present moment. 

Have you ever attended an art class where the hours flew by? While you painted and drew you may have not noticed time passing? That phenomenon comes from using the right side of your brain. Betty Edwards developed this concept in her book, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. 

In my workshop you will learn and practice drawing methods that help you move into this right brain state. But learning to access and use your right brain is only a little part of my class.  I’ll teach you observational drawing and note taking skills that will open the door for you to be more in touch with the environment around you. You’ll learn how to wake up your senses, get out of your to-do list mind spinning cycle and hopefully relax, notice, appreciate and enjoy the world around you

My objective in teaching this class is to equip you with a method that will help you get out of your head and have your mind full with the wonders of the world around you.

I will be teaching a 5 session version of this class at Miracosta college beginning July 6th. from 1-4pm. You can register for this class by calling MiraCosta College Community Education at 760.795.6820 

Adventures in Oil Painting

I have been taking oil painting classes for a while now. My motivation to learn to use oil paint came about when I learned about water mixable oil paint. When you use water mixable oil paint you don’t need to use turpentine oil linseed oil and can clean your brushes with soap and water. Also, there’s no toxic fumes wafting around.   

It took a while to find teachers that helped me “get” the ins and outs of oil painting. Trying out teachers helped me be more understanding of my students too and I found I liked the teachers best who didn't paint all over my picture to show me a concept but instead they explained what I needed to learn. Here are two paintings I finished recently.

 

Provence Tunics for Sale

Provence Tunics for Sale

Cottage in Chipping Campden

Cottage in Chipping Campden

Patti Takes Her Paints on the Road

Patti packed her paints when she visited her home town recently.  She sent me these photos of the temporary studio she set up and the painting she painted in her journal.

 

Only 4 items to fit in your suitcase if you find a water container when you arrive.

Only 4 items to fit in your suitcase if you find a water container when you arrive.

Nice! I am proud of Patti!

Nice! I am proud of Patti!

Art Studio Assistant

Pace is fully adopted now and I’ve put him to work as my studio assistant. I am having difficulty convincing him to file my papers.  He seems to prefer to sniff my paints, lick my watercolor paper and critique my work. He feels I should paint more animals and not too many flowers. 

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Since I need marketing advice on what type of subject matter sells I am taking the beagle’s advice and painting animals.

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I am working on this boho elephant, using lots of thin glazes of watercolor + raspberry ink and white paint.   

The Beagle Situation

Alert: this post has nothing to do with watercolor or travel painting, but it is about me.

You may have seen a beagle or two in my artwork from time to time. We lost our elder beagle, Socks last May. Just recently the little beagle I rescued from laboratory testing (after she was released), passed away from cancer at age 13.  I was bereft! Ollie was my pal, spiritual advisor and muse. 

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My search began for a pup to fill the big hle in my heart created by Ollie’s passing. I perused every animal rescue site I could find. When I couldn't find a dog that looked like a good fit for our family, I widened my search to sites in other states. 

Slowly I figured out what to look for in another companion pet. Not too big so it would pull me over when we walked and not too small either. I knew deep in my heart I needed another soulful hound with floppy ears. I’ve traced this hound fascination back to my earliest childhood memories. I think I was raised in the wild by a pack of beagles, then brought to civilization  at age 6 months and dropped on the doorstep of my human family. 

After settling my search on a hound, I studied the websites for Beagles and Buddies as well as Nor Cal Beagle rescue and Southern California Basset Hound Rescue.  

On a recent rainy night, a lightening bolt struck me and I googled Craigslist Beagles. Magically on my screen a listing appeared listing an 8 year old beagle free to a good home. I replied immediately and within minutes the listing disappeared. 

After numerous emails a small beagle wearing a bandana appeared on my doorstep. He came in sniffed everywhere and set down his suitcase. He was supposed to stay for an hour but he is still here, 6 days later. We all adore him. He hasn’t filled Ollie’s shoes ( no one can) he fills his own shoes and the hole in my heart is closing. 

 

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Pace, our newly adopted beagle. 

HAPPY MOTHER’DAY! 

Finish Your Spring Free Watercolor Lesson

Let’s finish our Spring painting before Summer is upon us. Study the painting below. If you squint at it how many values do you see? Does it look flat, dull or lackluster? We my friend are in the “yick” stage with this painting. Yick is a technical term for when you look at your painting and say “yick!” 

 

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To get out of the yick stage you need to add more values ( usually but not always you need to add your darkest dark values.) 

For brightness and pizazz I added some flowers to the olive plants ( don’t tell mother nature). I used that same pink flower color for the basket handles as well but toned the color down a bit so it receded into the background. 

Try this at home and send me your results! Happy Springtime Holidays! 

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Free Spring Watercolor Lesson

Here is a Spring themed step by step watercolor lesson for you. 

1. Here’s the photo, I am using as reference. I took this photo in the South of France. It’s a display set up on the steps of a flower shop. 

 

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2. I drew a quick sketch where I rearranged the objects in the photo, moved around items and left out some of the items I thought were distracting. 

 

I added shading with light medium and dark lines to give the drawing dimension. 

I added shading with light medium and dark lines to give the drawing dimension. 

3. I started by painting the background area first, then painted the pots and watering can by dropping paint into areas already wet with clean water.

Tune in Tomorrow or Friday to Finish Your Painting? 

 

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Want to Cruise Through the Netherlands and Learn Watercolor with Me this Summer?

You have a till Sunday April 14 to decide and sign up to spend a week with me watercolor painting, exploring and relaxing on a barge tour of the small towns of the Northern Netherlands.  

You’ll meet up with our group in Amsterdam on the morning of August 17 and journey in a private van to our barge. You’ll spend 7 days on your private charted 125 foot barge visiting villages, museums and having daily painting lessons. Plus all your dinners, breakfasts, one lunch, lodging and transportatations for the special half off regular price of 2,199.00  (in a shared room, bathroom ensuite)! Email me to reserve your space. At anywhereart4u@gmail.com. 

 

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Upcoming Succulent and Flower Painting Class at Miracosta

I’ve been practicing flower and succulent painting in order to break it down into easy to learn steps. This coming Saturday, April 6th I’ll be teaching a 4 session class at Miracosta College, Encinitas Campus, from 1-4. Sign up today if you’re interested. There’s still room in the class. Painting and drawing Spring blooms is a mindful method of putting you in closer touch with nature and yourself.

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Art in the Kitchen

Isn’t this soup beautiful? One of my very kind watercolor students came by and gave me a cooking lesson yesterday! I wanted to learn how to make chicken soup from scratch and she showed me all the spices, techniques and gave me the recipes for the soup and several other dishes as well. The soup was mouth watering delicious!

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Also painting in my kitchen in between naps to recover from jet lag. My little travel box and palette work well for at home painting. Its nice having my art supplies simplified, organized and containerized in one portable box.

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Best Traveling Art Box For Me

I tried out new materials on my Spain workshop to simplify painting away from home. I came up with a lightweight box, a self made sketchbook that has pull out pages, a minimum number of travel paints in a light weight palette and a folding plastic board portfolio desk.  

I am happy to report that my new traveling art supplies worked successfully for me.  I was able to find my supplies easily, they were compact and light enough to carry all day, plus they worked well tgether wherever I painted. 

The basic parts of my travel supplies

The basic parts of my travel supplies

A page from my travel journal

A page from my travel journal

Inside the travel box

Inside the travel box

The travel desk in action. I painted this scene in the 9th floor restaurant of a department store while looking out one of the windows. 

The travel desk in action. I painted this scene in the 9th floor restaurant of a department store while looking out one of the windows. 

If you have any questions on the travel art studio, please let me know. 

Bye Bye Barcelona

The workshop finished, the sangria pitcher is empty, we’ve gotten to do some painting and we’ve taken photos to use as reference for painting at home. 

We’ve visited several museums and feasted our eyes on world class art and architecture. We’ve learned some things about the history and politics of this region of Spain. We have met some lovely people from Barcelona, Latvia, Colombia, France and other spots. 

Traveling makes me realize my world is just a tiny fraction of the universe and I am awestruck by how many different parts there are to our planet. Traveling also opens up more windows in my mind and I always come home with new things I want to learn more about.  

 I’m bringing home some new directions and inspirations I want to explore in my painting, new flavors and foods I want to try to cook at home and some new sandals that the sell in the Barcelona shops whose design came from the farmers in Menorca.

Some of Barcelona for you. 

Some of Barcelona for you. 

Menorquinas sandals

Menorquinas sandals

Picasso Did His Homework

Yesterday we visited the Picasso Museum in Barcelona. The museum contains his early artwork from age 13-19 and his much later in life artwork. 

I enjoyed seeing his ink drawings and his early artwork. He was a mastercraftsman painter at age 15!   The collection contained many studies he did before he completed his finished paintings. He planned and tried out several different ideas, compositions and techniques before he produced his finished painting. So you could say that Picasso did his homework.

 

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