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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Watercolor Journaling at Mispillion Art League

This workshop took place at Mispillion Art League on June 25-26-27. Our first lesson was photographed by Leigh Nagy of Minorbird who happened to stop by the gallery while I was teaching.

My demonstration painting

The first lesson was about drawing what you see, not what you think you see and an overview of what Watercolor Journaling is all about - a way of quietly observing the world around you and capturing what you see in a blank journal with your drawing, painting and writing. It's been extremely rewarding for me, sharing one of the things I love best and seeing these happy faces at the end of the session!

Onion as still life

Giving a Lesson

Talking about Shadows

Everyone Painted an Onion

Carefully Observing

Nice Work!

After journaling about onions (no subject is too ordinary for Watercolor Journaling!) we went out on N. Walnut Street

Lots of fun things in Minorbird's window to sketch

Watercolor Journaler is fun!

Focusing on the subject at hand

Their biggest complaint was that the sessions were not long enough! So we've aded two more sessions and out of the 12 people who came to the first 3, 5 are coming back.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Watercolor Journaling at Art In Bloom

In March of this year I visited my daughter in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and while she was at work one day I visited the Milwaukee Art Museum. To my delight, the annual "Art in Bloom" was fully underway - a four day "tribute to art and flowers" sponsored by the Milwaukee art Museum Garden Club and Sommer's Subaru. The galleries were open and included artwork-inspired floral arrangements and a Marketplace with gifts and accessories that I could not help but stop and sketch! The four days included lectures, tours and presentations along with art and music throughout the museum. It's a delightful event and I recommend it highly if you are in the Milwaukee area in March/April!

Here's just a sampling of my watercolor journal pages:

Our trip to Puerto Rico - photos & journal paintings

Bob's photograph of a Guard Tower

My painting of one.

The 500 year old forts are punctuated by these Guard Towers that are the quintessential Puerto Rican image

Thanks to our Puerto Rican friends David and Lizzette, Bob and I spent two glorious weeks in Puerto Rico recently. They live in San Juan and have a condo that overlooks the Seven Seas Beach and the Nature Reserve on the east coast of the island, in Fajardo. We decided to spend some time first in Old San Juan, at the historic Hotel El Convento at the beginning of our trip and had time for dinner with them and surprisingly, with friends Janet and George from Phoenix who just happened to be there at the same time (thanks Facebook!).

Bob took so many photos it's impossible to show all of them here, but here's a brief slide show of some of my favorites:

A street in Old San Juan - These next two should be seen side by side.

We explored the Old City, its 500 year old forts and skillfully designed museums and enjoyed, in spite of the heat and humidity, walking around the colorful streets and markets and eating the freshest seafood. Then, for a entire week, we stayed in Fajardo and only one day did we spend in the car driving down the coast as far as Guayamo to see its Spanish Colonial architecture, stopping in some of the little towns along the way and devouring the most delicious Red Snapper we had ever tasted at a restaurant with the most incredible views down to the sea.

The beaches were all that crystal blue/turquoise/aqua that you might expect from a tropic island and a good deal of our time was spent lounging in the water, snorkeling, soaking, swimming and generally relaxing. The snorkeling was fun and we did see some tropical fish and a starfish, but suspected we needed to swim further out to the reef for better views but weren't up to the challenge! I did my share of watercolor journaling and below are pages from my journals I'd like to share with you.

La Concha, with a private beach at Condado in San Juan is a sister hotel to El Convento, so we were able to use the pool and private beach there one day

We visited El Yunque, the Rainforest, where we swam in an icy pool below a La Mina, one of the spectacular waterfalls, took a tour of the Las Cabezas de San Juan Natura Reserva (where we saw a huge iguana (not native and quite a pest), a night time kayak trip through mangrove forest to a Luminescent Lagoon where we experienced the most amazing sight as tiny microorganisms turned the waters into showers of blue light. Incredible!

Puerto Rico is officially known as The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico - it is an unincorporated territory of the United States. It's in the Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of the Virgin Islands. Wikipedia has a pretty good history of the island so I won't go into that here. You can click on the link for more information but suffice to say, it was desirable to the Spaniards, the British and ultimately the United States because of its strategic location and navigable harbor. When Columbus arrived it was a virtual paradise. Many parts of it still are and we hope to explore more in a future visit.

The island has its problems certainly. The Europeans and Americans have left their mark. But there are so many beautiful places to visit, we have only scratched the surface and hope to return.

More pages from My Watercolor Journal of Puerto Rico:

These white flowers were growing in someones garden near one of the forts

A huge tree grows in the center courtyard of Hotel El Convento and we took advantage of complementary wine, cheese and fruit every evening on the verandas that faced the courtyard.

While we waited for our lunch, I sketched a detail in one of the restaurants at El Convento

Food we ate (and some of the restaurants in Puerto Rico where we ate)

Some of Puerto Rico's tasty snacks

Red Plants - someone told me they were Ginger Plants but I'm not so sure

Museum of the Americas (Museo de las Americas) - an absolutely stunning presentation of the Arts of the Americas - before their "discovery" by Europeans. I love to sketch items in museums.

There were so many different kind of palm trees, I couldn't sketch them all!

Plaza del Mercado - one of my favorite things to sketch - fruit and vegetables!

Sea Shells


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Watercolor Journaling Workshops: Register now!!

The workshop at Mispillion Art League is full and a waiting list is forming. At Gallery One in Ocean View there are still lots of spaces available - so if you live in that area and would like to discover how much fun this is, contact Gallery One at 302-537-5055. Gallery One is located at 32 Atlantic Avenue, Ocean View, Delaware.

A Teasing Rain

Lightning cracks the dawn
Thunder shakes the day awake
Teasing, the rain stops