I hope this newsletter finds you safe and healthy as we are full swing into the Christmas and winter Holidays. Right now the view towards Whidbey island is mostly white and silvery blue. The snowy field is perfect for a Christmas week, and is extra special, knowing it will be melted in only a few days.
How different it looked that early summer morning I was heading out to the garden, and I looked across our field to see this amazing view. A coastal breeze was blowing gently across the waves of grass which were just setting their seed heads. Abandoning the garden shears, I set up to paint “en plein aire.” The cloud layers beckoned across Saratoga Passage, to the islands beyond. All of those layers of texture and color made such a delightful view. Painting this piece was one of those experiences where time seems to disappear, and the beauty around me just carried me away with brush in hand. Final brush strokes of sunlit distant clouds and the rooftop of the neighbor’s barn completed this amazing morning.
"Clouds Over Saratoga Passage" (14 x 20) is in Annapolis, MD at The McBride Gallery. We had the pleasure of visiting that wonderful city for the show opening in November. The painting recieved an Honorable Mention award sponsored by "Fine Art Connoisseur" magazine, and given by our esteemed WAOW show Judge, Hiu Lai Chong, such a wonderful surprise. Between waterfront strolls and admiring the colonial architecture, we sampled local seafood and met many kind folks at the WAOW show "East Meets West." The artists participated in a 3-hour paint-out competition, and my small painting "Yellow Door" took 3rd place. Paintings are still up for viewing at the gallery through January 7. If not sold, both will will be available through direct studio sale.
Please mark your calendar for the 2023 Camano Island Art Studio Tour!
New Work, New Inspiration
We’ve had an extended cool, rainy spring this year. The Studio Tour was very successful, with many wonderful visitors, both old friends and new, and even had a few sunny warm days. Soon after that, however, our weather regressed back to April, it seemed! Normally I would be doing much more outdoor painting “en plein aire,” but with cold and blustery days, I took advantage of some figure drawing sessions from life.
Those drawing sessions were so engaging, I felt swept up in the moment. The time flew as I went from pencil, to fountain pen, to charcoal and sumi ink. Small sketches gave way to large drawings, then sketching with ink and brush using large gestural movements. Finally, I was ready for paint and canvas. The painting above is the first in a series of paintings featuring the portrait and figure in interior scenes. I think that several of these will fit well in the theme of “Balancing Act,” September’s show at Fairweather House and Gallery in Seaside, Oregon.
Be sure to check back and sign up to receive “From The Studio” in your inbox. Painting workshops begin this summer! So excited!
Light and Growth
Are you noticing it? The longer days, even just a bit longer makes such a difference. Here in the Northwest, the cherry trees and daffodils are blooming. You might see bright yellow blooms on the Forsythia branches. Many of us are planting seeds, anticipating the flowers we'll see from them in a few months. I have added some new varieties for bouquets which will make it to the homes of friends and neighbors, as well as into my new paintings.
Along with growth in the greenhouse this year, comes growth for MJFA. This will be the first year we join the Camano Island Studio Tour and the first time we open the studio to visitors for direct art sales on site! I hope you can join us and also check out many other artists on the tour. We have about 20 studios, including a couple of galleries in the Stanwood-Camano area. For more info, click the link above, just keep in mind it's Mother's Day weekend Friday, Saturday and Sunday, plus an "Encore weekend the following Saturday-Sunday only.
The studio will be filled with paintings available to purchase on site, in a range of sizes, and we will also have a new item at the request of our friends and patrons: FINE ART GICLEE PRINTS! I have chosen a few favorite paintings to reproduce in 8x10 and 11x14 inches. When you visit, you'll notice that I've been really busy making lots of new work. I'm so excited to share it with you. Thank you so much for all of your support throughout the years. We hope to see you soon!
I'd like to try updating this space with news more frequently. Please feel free to comment below and let me know what you'd like to see here, if you have questions about the studio, the art, etc. Happy Spring, art friends!