Last weekend we spent two days painting near Leavenworth, Washington. A highlight was sitting on the north-facing slope of Ski Hill, just outside Leavenworth, painting glacier lilies, false hellebores, Oregon blues, and trilliums. Something about the location of that side of the hill really promotes the growth of flowers. Here you see students drawing and painting aslant the hill!
Please stop by the Elisabeth C. Miller Library at the University of Washington's Center for Urban Horticulture. This Friday from 5 to 7pm the Library is hosting a holiday craft, gift and art sale with refreshments. Come and meet library staff as well as the other craftspeople, who are offering works as diverse as jewelry, letterpress items and wetlands in a bottle! I'll have calendars, cards, and other art published by Pomegranate, as well as prints, framed and unframed, and watercolors. I'll have many of the prints that you see on my website. It will be fun to share some of my recent work with you, and to tell you about my latest projects. I will also have information about all the classes I intend to offer in 2017. Hope to see you, but if you can't make it, much of the work will remain until December 23rd. Library address is 3501 NE 41st ST, Seattle 98195 and there's plenty of free parking.
I've just returned from a trip to Yellowstone, where I taught a plein air watercolor class for the Yellowstone Institute. We visited numerous sites; the fall color this year was wonderful, probably the best I have ever seen there. Swan Lake displayed golden grasses and sedges along its shores, Sheepeater Cliffs aspens and willows, and fireweed was turning scarlet and maroon in several locations, too. Students enjoyed trying all these locales. I recently read an excerpt in the New York Review of Books from Wislawa Szymborska's Nobel prize acceptance speech and I thought of it as I saw the unique interpretations of landscape created by each student. Szymborska addressed Ecclesiastes, who wrote, "There's nothing new under the sun." She said: "But you yourself were born new under the sun. And the poem you created is also new under the sun, since no one wrote it down before you. And all your readers are also new under the sun, since those who lived before you couldn't read your poem. And that cypress that you're sitting under hasn't been growing since the dawn of time. It came into being by way of another cypress similar to yours, but not exactly the same."
William Carlos Williams wrote that there are "no ideas but in things." As I taught many groups of children this summer through the King County Library System, I watched them respond to the beautiful things that I brought to share and serve as examples for their drawing and painting. I set up a display with woodpecker skins from Seattle Audubon and mounted specimens from the Burke Museum of Natural and Cultural History, along with art I have created from my own outdoor experiences and which was later published by Pomegranate. All my art and ideas emerge from a connection to things. A boy painted this pileated woodpecker yesterday with the group that I taught at the Duvall Library.
On Monday, 9 students and I joined Jennifer Carlson of Haven Illustrated to learn the principles of cottage-style flower arranging. Jennifer brought plant material cut from her own garden, and chose perennial plants that are easy to grow, including foliage plants with dramatic and diverse foliage, and favorite spring flowers like columbine in its many guises--multi-petaled whites to rose to amethyst-violet singles. Afterwards we sketched the arrangements, using a gestural approach, and got started on watercolor paintings inspired by our sketches. Everyone had alot of fun and Jennifer and I hope to offer this class again in the fall, using a completely different palette of autumn hues.
This coming Saturday I am offering a program at 2pm at the Lake Hills Library (in Bellevue). I'm bringing all the art supplies for everyone, including some very nice watercolor paper and we'll be sketching and painting flora, fauna and landscapes of the national parks. I'll bring props and some of my favorite photos, like this one I took recently in Olympic National Park. This is the first of many programs I am offering for adults (there will also be programs for children 8 and up during the summer) for the King County Library System--it's a way for us to celebrate the Centennial of the National Park Service. You can sign up for the program at this link. Hope to see you there! Please see my recent blog post with a complete list of programs.
Yesterday I offered the first of many programs this season in honor of the National Park Service's Centennial. Everett Public Library hosted me and 20 happy painters joined to paint flora, fauna and landscapes of Washington's national parks. The following is a list of all the libraries who've invited me for this summer. Most of these are adult programs, but there are several children's programs as well, designed for ages 8 and up. All programs are free and require pre-registration.
Programs by Date
King County Library Programs:
Lake Hills (Bellevue), May 7, 2pm, for adults
Newport Way (Bellevue), May 26, 11am, for adults
Duvall, May 28, 1pm, for adults
Richmond Beach, May 31, 7pm, for adults
Maple Valley, June 4, 10am, for adults
Issaquah, June 4, 1pm, for adults
Federal Way (S. 320th branch), July 2, 11am, for adults
Snoqualmie, July 14, 1pm, for kids 8 years old and up
Kent, July 14, 6:30pm, for adults
Richmond Beach, July 19, 7pm, for adults
Newcastle (Bellevue), July 20, 1pm, for kids 8 years old and up
Carnation, July 22, 1pm, for adults
Fairwood (Renton), July 24, 1pm, for adults
Mercer Island, July 27, 1pm, for adults
Issaquah, July 31, 1pm, for kids 8 and up
North Bend, August 1, 1pm, for kids 8 and up
Algona-Pacific, August 6, 1pm, for kids 8 and up
Bellevue, August 8, 1pm, for kids 8 and up
Duvall, August 10, 2pm, for kids 8 and up
Yesterday I visited the Lake Forest Park library, and offered a program for adults and young people on spring nature journals. I brought birds' nests and eggs as well as beautiful magnolia blossoms donated by my next door neighbor. Participants had alot of fun sketching with pen, pencil and watercolor. Many thanks to the Shoreline Arts Council who sponsored and paid for the program, which included some very nice watercolor paper and other art supplies that I brought. Check out their website to see other opportunities to make art. I'm going to be offering many more programs in the coming season for King County Library in connection with the Centennial of the National Park Service. Programs will take place at the many branches all over the county, and begin in May and go through August.
April 4, 9:15am to 3:15pm: Wild Places of the West:A Watercolor Workshop. Learn palettes and techniques for the diverse landscapes of the west and also how to integrate local flora and fauna. Magnuson Park Art Studio. $90
April 25, 9:15am to 3:15pm: Arboretum Plein Air Watercolor with special guest, Ray Larson, Curator of Living Collections, UW Botanic Gardens. Begin the day with a short walking tour and lecture by Ray Larson on Arboretum trees and his personal favorites. Then collect your painting gear and head out to Azalea Way and other sites for plein air watercolor painting. $90
May 9, 9:15am to 3:15pm: Flowers: A Floral Arranging and Watercolor Painting Workshop with Jennifer Carlson. Spend the morning learning the secrets of floral design with innovative Seattle landscape and floral designer Jennifer Carlson. Learn how to arrange greens, flowers and seed pods from your garden in a casual cottage style bouquet. Each artist will create their own arrangement using seasonal organic flowres and foliage provided by Jennifer. Containers and handouts will be provided.Tthen after a short break I'll demonstrate a variety of flower painting techniques to help students find the best methods to express the beauty of their arrangements as well as their own personal style. Magnuson Park Art Studio. $140
This week I bought a pocket camera because I keep missing great things as I walk around the neighborhood, to the grocery, and other local outings where I don't want to bring my bigger camera. Here's what I missed: a red-naped sapsucker, a brown creeper and a hairy woodpecker--my cellphone camera just didn't do the job. I was so disappointed! So once again I went to my favorite camera store, Kenmore Camera, and got fantastic assistance, and bought the pocket version of the Panasonic Lumix--this lightweight camera has 30X zoom, image stablizing, and a viewfinder. Amazing! Yesterday I walked around our yard and took pictures of these early spring beauties. I am hoping to bring the hellebore blooms to a class I am offering at Newport Way Library this coming Thursday at 11am--you can contact the library to register for the free watercolor workshop.