En plein air painting and sketching at the Gordon Skagit Farm

En plein air painting and sketching at the Gordon Skagit Farm

Several of my women friends, old and new, met for a day of painting outdoors at the Gordon Skagit Farm.  There was no shortage of vegetable models and colorful views to inspire our art making.  And we fit right in with the celebratory spirit of art in the country, surrounded as we were by Eddie Gordon’s paintings.

Painting has been largely a solitary pursuit for me, and I have come to love these informal meet-ups to paint with kindred souls.  Several of these women meet regularly and take classes together.  Someday when I’m retired I hope to be just like them!

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Bonnie's sketchbook

Bonnie’s sketchbook

The painters were a magnet for curious kids

The painters were a magnet for curious kids

Nancy's pumpkins

Nancy’s pumpkins

Judy at work

Judy at work

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Maryam's pumpkins

Maryam’s pumpkins

Jude at work

Libby at work

The inspiration for my first watercolor painting

The inspiration for my first watercolor painting

My watercolor sketch of the vintage International Harvester truck

My watercolor sketch of the vintage International Harvester truck

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Inspiration for my second watercolor sketch

Inspiration for my second watercolor sketch

My watercolor sketch of turban squashes

My watercolor sketch of turban squashes

 

Sketching Bay View

July 21, 2014

The sketchbook of one of the Let's Sketch Bay View participants, Michele Cooper

The sketchbook of one of the Let’s Sketch Bay View participants, Michele Cooper

Yesterday I participated in an outdoor sketching event in the Skagit Valley, “Let’s Sketch Bay View,” hosted by Edna [Breazeale]’s Neighbors.  Bay View is a village on the shores of Padilla Bay, an estuary near Anacortes, WA.  Artists were invited to draw, paint and sketch from a choice of sites including the Breazeale Interpretive Center and its trails and grounds, Bay View State Park, and the Bay View community.  Several residents opened their private gardens to sketchers as well.

Morning rainbow over Padilla Bay

Morning rainbow over Padilla Bay

Hollyhocks by the blue house in Bay View

Hollyhocks by the blue house in Bay View

Ed and Mary's garden, Bay View

Ed and Mary’s garden, Bay View

Any day is a good day if it finds me with a paintbrush in my hands, especially after a too long break from sketching.  I found a comfortable spot in Ed and Mary Epps’ garden where there was a wealth of natural subjects.  It was a time for meeting a special group of friends and kindred spirits with whom I originally crossed paths because of this blog.  What a talented and fun group they are!  Sometimes I am floored by the miracle of friendship.

“Let’s Sketch Bay View” was well organized and the planning resulted in an atmosphere that was welcoming to artists of all skill levels.  Informal, yet productive.  At the end of the afternoon the participants met up at the Breazeale Interpretive Center to share their work, mingle, and enjoy cookies and lemonade.  Community and art-making — a convivial combination.

Another painter in Ed and Mary's garden

Another painter in Ed and Mary’s garden

Bonnie in the garden

Bonnie in the garden

Bonnie's sketch of cabbage (those jewel-like colors!)

Bonnie’s sketch of cabbage (those jewel-like colors!)

Jude's painting in progress

Jude’s painting in progress

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You can see more of Michele's work at www.michelecooper.com

You can see more of Michele’s work at http://www.michelecooper.com

My watercolor sketch of geranium foliage from Ed and Mary's garden

My watercolor sketch of geranium foliage from Ed and Mary’s garden

For another look at the day of sketching, follow this link to the Anacortes Sketcher’s blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those Photos Untaken

February 2, 2014

Young father photographing his child

Young father photographing his child

I am still thinking about a few lost photos from our recent road trip in California.  Sometimes I see something interesting from the car, but we are going too fast to stop or the road has no shoulders to safely pull over.  Sometimes we do not take the time to backtrack because we are getting tired, and sometimes the moment is gone, and the photo opportunity, too.

I collect photos of weird animal crossing signs, and I regret that we did not go back to photograph a warthog crossing sign off Hwy 1.  I remember a bougainvillea-covered storefront and a farmer surveying the irrigation system in his field, gone in a flash by my passenger-side car window.  I wish I had taken a photo of the sign that said, “FREEDOM Next Exit.”

Today I will share with you a few miscellaneous California photos that won’t be expanded into a full post.  They all form part of the memories of my journey — those captured in my lens:

Seagull at Baylands Nature Center

Seagull at Baylands Nature Center

The bird with the spats

The bird with the spats

Egret

Egret

En plein air painter at Baylands

En plein air painter at Baylands

Another painter

Another painter

Fishing off the pier at Pillar Point

Fishing off the pier at Pillar Point

Fisherman with bait for crabs, Pillar Point

Fisherman with bait for crabs, Pillar Point

Roller skater at Golden Gate Park

Roller skater at Golden Gate Park

Urban sketcher at Golden Gate Park

Urban sketcher at Golden Gate Park

Saxaphone player under a bridge at Golden Gate Park

Saxophone player under a bridge at Golden Gate Park

Outdoor musicians, Golden Gate Park

Outdoor musicians, Golden Gate Park