Monday morning I dropped in for a visit to my art mentor’s watercolor class. Jim is a wonderful artist and teacher and he never fails to inspire me-and, at the age of 92, he still teaches at least one class a week. There were 6 students in his class this week, all of whom were having a great time learning from him. I so enjoyed meeting the four people that I didn’t know, visiting with the two I do know and looking through Jim’s more recent class demos. It shames me to not be painting regularly, but it also motivates me, so perhaps that was exactly what I needed to stop being lazy and making excuses and to get me back into my studio and producing something!

Artistic Musings

A little catching up-

Have I mentioned that I am very proud to now be the president-elect of Spokane Watercolor Society? I love being a part of that group and I look forward (with some trepidation) to being the “leader” for the coming year.

I have gone to my second Spokane Sketch Club “meetup,” met several more members and enjoyed myself thoroughly. I joined to network with other local artists beyond SWS, not knowing how or if the group would fit well into my life – so far, I’m very pleased that I did so. We met in the Garland District Thursday of last week, where there was a local street music fundraiser going on to benefit our local Second Harvest Food Bank. Great cause, nice entertainment and wonderful subjects for sketching all over the place. Here is a bad photo of my quick sketch of the “Milk Bottle Restaurant” from that day.

Milk Bottle sketch-IMG_20130622_023509_022 copy

Tomorrow is a meetup at Manito Park’s Nishinomiya Japanese Gardens. It is perhaps the most unique and beautiful park garden in Spokane, although to me the rose garden, lilac garden and the perennial garden in Manito Park are all equally wonderful, all in different ways and at different times of the year! Because I haven’t been to the Japanese Garden in years and I don’t know just where my pictures taken there are filed on the computer, I’m borrowing one from a Google search just to show how wonderful this garden is.

Also, because I haven’t painted anything this week, I’m also including a photo of a view from my bedroom window that I took 3 days ago. It is of just a small part of the amazing perennial/rose garden I have in my yard. I will add that the reason I haven’t painted anything this week is that I’ve been busy working in my yard – it takes a lot of work to keep up with the weeding and plant care – and “playing” with friends! Not very disciplined, huh?!

Manito Park Japanese Garden from posted by bellemask in a blog there              backyard taken 6-18-13-1014332_4931935016337_104553087_n

Japanese Garden, post by                          6-18-13 in my back yard

bellemask in a discussion thread


Artistic Musings

Wednesday was such a fun and wonderful day. I had lunch with two great friends; one of them is here visiting her daughter and I haven’t seen her in about a year-great fun! Then later, Spokane Watercolor Society’s June meeting consisted of a visit to Kay O’Rourke’s studio and then a pizza party at a local Italian restaurant, Ferrantes. Great information, great fellowship and great pizza! What more could a day hold? When I got home, I checked my email and found a message from Wetcanvas about a comment on one of my posts – from 2008! How that painting post was “unearthed” this long later, I will never know, but the comment bumped it back up and I have gotten numerous nice comments since. It is great to have people seeing that particular painting again and especially nice having them like and appreciate it. I took the photos on a trip to the Washington coast, primarily for my daughter’s wedding. We then made our way to Mt. Saint Helens and eventually down the Oregon coast for a bit. But the sunset view of Mt. Rainier that one evening was spectacular and something I will always remember. Previously, I had only seen glimpses of the mountain driving down the freeway through Seattle. No matter what the view or when you see it, it is simply an incredible sight. So, today I am sharing that painting, “Mt. Rainier Sunset,” here and a link to the Wetcanvas post – just because…

Mt Rainier-my pic-rotated,resized2-SOLD

Artistic Musings

Isn’t the internet great? Just to name a few things, you can find information on almost anything you search for, watch video tutorials of all kinds, find old friends or others with like interests, easily keep in touch with almost anyone and join online art groups of all kinds! When I start a search, I’m looking for one specific thing, but often I see something that leads me somewhere else. I did that early last week. I read an article regarding the “Clandestine Cake Club” which began in the UK and has spread to many other countries. As I understand it, it started as a type of “underground” group of people who love to bake (and eat) cakes; they meet monthly in a pub or somewhere else, each bringing a homemade cake. It intrigued me – I LOVE cake and baking! Hmmm-I wondered if there are any such groups in Washington state, and maybe even near me… So, I “Googled” it and, while I didn’t find any such group locally (darn!), what I did find was almost as interesting. It was a listing for “Meetup” which is basically all types of groups formed for all types of interests-and something I was totally unaware of. I found there seems to be quite a Meetup movement here and I just had to look into it further. There were quite a lot of rather oddball-seeming groups, but also a few groups that caught my attention, including a photography group (not just for professionals) and one called “Stitch ‘n Bitch” for hand-crafters. But, not wanting to join more groups than I have time for, I chose the one that seemed perfect for me – the one art related, Spokane Sketch Club – and joined. At this point, I must mention that, in my opinion, one of the greatest things about the Spokane area is our abundance of beautiful public parks. The first meeting was Saturday at the one that I feel is the best of them all-Manito Park. I went and met up with two other members in the Duncan Gardens (a very formal garden in the park) – Don (the founder of the group) and his friend Kenny. It was a small turnout, or maybe others were there and didn’t find us, but a beautiful day in a beautiful setting. We visited and sketched from the back of that garden. Of course I didn’t create a great work of art-or even one I like very much. But the whole point is meeting more local fellow artists, learning and sharing with other members and simply drawing more. In my case, practice may not make perfect, but it most certainly does make improvement, which is what I am always after-improving my eye for perspective and composition, my drawing ability, my techniques, my art in general! I am a watercolor artist, but in order to paint in watercolor, I must be able to compose and draw the picture first. Only time will tell, but I am intrigued by this group I joined and look forward to more “meetups” and to meeting more members. Maybe the best thing about it is that it will force me to get out in my own community and appreciate all of the artistic opportunities right here in my “own backyard!” So, whether or not you join a group, get out there with your sketching materials, paints or your camera and enjoy what your city has to offer!

Painting Styles

I’m still struggling with getting back to painting, as I mentioned in my last post. Inspiration is not the problem at all. I have so many art projects running around in my head that I want to do-and I’m confident the day will come soon when I will be back at it and turning some of those ideas into paintings. Since painting is still not working at the moment for me and I NEED to do some kind of art project, I decided to do some sketching. Working at any type of art is practice and, after a couple of months of being stalled, is necessary for me. Today I did a quick sketch from a reference that caught my interest; I found the photo in the Wetcanvas image library. It’s in a tiny (5″ x 7″) sketchbook. I then did pen & ink on it for some depth and definition. It’s not great art, but good practice and it was fun to do. I may even add a quick watercolor wash in places tomorrow.

cat sketch-IMG_0664