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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Judy’s Barcelona Journal

Judy Brinton-Bleak turned in her workshop journal last night. She got an A+ 

Judy followed the directions and biund her pages into the journal you see below. She chronicled her trip in pictures and a few words and is enthusiastic, creative and a wonderful traveler.

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A Visit to Monserrat

Today we visited Monserrat which has a church , an abbey that contains monks, and an art museum. It took about an hour to drive their from Barcelona. Once there some of us visited the church where there is a statue of a black madonna  which people were lining up to touch.

 

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The art museum contained a very good collection of paintings. 

A watercolor painted by John Singer Sargeant

A watercolor painted by John Singer Sargeant

Report from Barcelona

The morning began in the breakfast room with all of us choosing our coffee from the mega coffee machine.

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Then we proceeded to the buffet. 

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After breakfast we rolled into the hotel’s conference room which we are using as a studio for painting. 

After a few hours of painting we wandered out to explore more Barcelona. Some went to the museums and a few of us went to visit a local yarn shop called All You Knit is Love, where Bette, the champion knitter of our group bought some locally made yarn. She helped me fine a remedial knitting project for myself to knit on the plane ride home.

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We were then so exhausted we had to get some protein. 

After that we stopped by the Santa Caterina market, which was filled with stalls displaying extraordinarily delicious looking foods. 

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What Do You Know About Salvador Dali?

I thought I knew something about surrealism before I visited Salvador Dali‘s art museum today. I knew Mr. Dali painted melting clocks and placed unrelated objects together in his paintings. I knew very little about how he used symbolism in his artwork and thought symbolism was very complex. Visited this museum knocked my socks off!

All of my workshop attendees and myself took a guided tour led by Elena of Barcelona Day Tours today. 

The building with the eggs on top is the museum. The children were mezmerized by the lady in the hat who drew Dali style moustaches on them. The melting watch painting is hung over Dali’s mock up of his dream bedroom.

The building with the eggs on top is the museum. The children were mezmerized by the lady in the hat who drew Dali style moustaches on them. The melting watch painting is hung over Dali’s mock up of his dream bedroom.

Elena explained that Dali used several symbols in his work; shells, eggs, a cane and more. The cane symbolized his dependence on his wife. The shells and eggs symbolized his hard exterior and sensitive interior.   WOW!  

Sunday in Barcelona

We have been enjoying bustling Barcelona. Every neighborhood has a distint flavor.  We spent some time exploring the Barri Gotic neighborhood today.  Here are a few photos of my observations and a new friend.

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Gaudi Architecture and Spanish Omelette

Barcelona is the home of several buildings by the architect, Antoine Gaudi. I’ve read descriptions and seen photos of his work but really didn’t know what to expect. Would these buildings stick out like a sore thumb amongst the neighboring buildings? I had heard his buildings described as looking like they came out of a Dr. Seuss drawing.  Here are a few I previewed today from the top of a hop on-hop off tourist bus.

 

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This bulding was is known as La Pedrera or Casa Mila.

 

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This is the Sagrada Familia Church. See the crane near the top? It’s still a work being finished from Gaudi’s original drawings. 

The buildings don’t look like Dr. Seuss designed them. To me they looked wonderfully organic and gave me chills. What do you think? 

Have you ever tasted a Spanish Tortilla? Its made with eggs, potatoes and onions and I had one today because I have been dreaming of eating one since my first trip to Spain in 1975. It was delicious!

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