Winslow Art Center

In the fall and spring, I teach a six-week painting course at Winslow Art Center on Bainbridge Island.  My next session will be starting soon on October 18th, so if you have always wanted to learn how to paint in oils or acrylics but aren't sure how to start, let me show you how in this foundations course.  The environment is positive and relaxed, and you'll leave the class with a clear understanding of how to create your next masterpiece!  Click here to be directed to the Art Center's website.

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Pike Place Market

I spent about an hour at Pike Place Market yesterday looking for flowers for new still life pieces, and made a definite spectacle of myself on the ferry ride home trying to keep too many bouquets and bunches upright.  There had to be thousands of daffodils and tulips, cherry blossoms and hyacinth to choose from - it's impossible not to leave there happy!


Some people write journal entries; I keep a recipe book... paint recipes.  This comes in very handy when I need color inspiration, or when I'm working on a larger piece and need to remember how to mix a certain color.  I'd love to be able to write that these formulas just stay in my head, but that rarely happens!

The Raw Umber Experiment

Lately I’ve been painting playful landscapes in heightened colors that are designed to help the viewer feel like they are in an environment completely void of anything serious.  Stepping into these scenes erases all responsibilities to bills, schedules, emails, and people duties.  The brush strokes are largely unblended and the fine details have been omitted to give the eye a break.  We have enough figuring out to do – my hope is that everyone who takes the time to stare will leave the painting feeling light-hearted.

However, not every day is a bright, primary palette, and yesterday I decided to do a raw umber experiment.  Raw Umber, cool brown, or blah brown – they all mean the same thing and are a perfect way to dull the brilliance of any color you’ve mixed.

In this palette raw umber is the base for each color and I chose a simple reference image for the color study.  This photo was taken in California on the freeway to Monterey out the window of a moving twelve person van that included four kids.  No, I wasn’t driving:)   I’ve included the picture here.  It’s really amazing what paint can do to change a scene.  The result is a quieter, less bossy painting, and I'll definitely use this palette on a larger piece.

Back At It...

It has been two months since I've picked up a paintbrush, so this little study was to get me back in the swing of things, and it took a loooong time.  The move from Calgary to Bainbridge Island went surprisingly well - furniture showed up, car showed up, paints showed up, and they didn't leak all over the place.  We're back in business!  Waves of homesickness come and go, especially for the kids, but exploring and discovering has been the medicine.  Places like Bloedel Reserve and Fay Bainbridge Park are a painter's toy store - there is new inspiration everywhere.  It will be really easy to come up with a new series:)