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September 2013



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One of my favorite demos

...was this one from my newest North Light book,

Creating Nature in Watercolor: An Artist's Guide. Colored pencil artist and writer, the marvelous Bet Borgeson included it as one of her Mighty Art Demos, here: www.mightyartdemos.com/mightyartdemosfrbks-c-johnson.html--you may have seen it before (but if so be sure to browse the site, new demos are added all the time!)

I remember the day so well. kateslover and I had taken his tiny teardrop trailer to the Adirondacks and then back toward home through the Poconos, camping with other teardrop owners on the weekends but having time alone together during the week--rambling, exploring, sketching, painting...we travel well together! Often, he'd say "don't you want to sketch that?" and he'd pull over so I could...I didn't even have to ask!

This is the 4 x 8-foot trailer we shared for the trip--he built it himself, from plans in a Popular Homecrafts magazine, the March/April 1939 edition, if you're so inspired! (If you'd like to see the progression it's in his Picasa album, here: s63.photobucket.com/albums/h157/JosephRuckman/Teardrop%20Construction/ --pretty amazing!  The drawing was from our first campsite, in New York...a beautiful, peaceful spot.  (And yes, the flamingos travel with us!)

I sketched and painted like mad for a week and a half! Many of the illustrations in the book were born on that trip...I filled a sketchbook and a watercolor block in record time.

The start of this demo was done the last day of the second weekend, when I was tired and needed some quiet time...J. dropped me off near the little creek to paint, and I followed the sound of water deep into the lush green woods. The rush of a small waterfall drew me in farther than I'd meant to go, but the sense of primal nature was just what I needed.

Painting moving water is always a challenge, so I zeroed right in on that, knowing I wouldn't have time to finish...quick sketches and a reference photo snapped after J. came looking for me downstream had to suffice, to finish the painting.  If you find water a challenge too, perhaps the demo above will help!


We're actually planning on building a teardrop! My husband already has the trailer and we'll be starting on it once things warm up a bit. I'm not sure if he has seen that particular set of pictures but it's fabulous, I've bookmarked it to show him.
Glad to help! It IS fabulous, isn't it? Do you belong to any of the teardrop discussion groups? Lots of help, there!
Hey there, Ms. Kate,

So sorry I've not been in touch much of late. Just busy.

Anyway...tonight I ran across this call for artists that I thought you might be interested in.


Over $15,000 in cash and medallion awards. A color catalog of prizewinners published, and every exhibitor receives one. Entry fee.

For a prospectus send a #10 SASE to:

Arts Center/Old Forge
Box 1144
Old Forge NY 13420

Thank you, Stacy, you're a doll! I hope you're well...I've been ruinously busy for months, too. TIRED.
Kate - that cover is just beautiful. I adore the coiled up fern frond.

I do hope your back is better soon - what a pain. I was really sorry to read about the loss of your cat too. I'll be such a wreck when Jerry finally leaves me one day.
Hope things get better soon.

(Stacy (if you come back and see this) - your Frida picture is genius - I laughed rather loudly!)
Thank you, Rachel! That frond was originally done for Country Living magazine, along with a lot of other nature subjects.

My back IS better, thank you...and yes, we do miss old Oliver. I think our other cats do, too!