A Week of Fourth Graders, Paiutes and Chuckwallas

Edith Bowen at Utah State

Edith Bowen at Utah State

I drove down into Cache Valley and even though my heater was cranked, the temperature in my car dropped. The cold seeped in around me. 11 degrees. First stop Edith Bowen Elementary on the Utah State Campus to visit three different classes, fourth and fifth grade, second grade and 1st grade talking about the life of a children’s book illustrator. But first I had to make my way into the school. I dragged my suitcase across the ice about half a block from the parking terrace to the school. The cold bit into my hands. Just keep walking and hurry. I made it to the school doors and read the sign. “For the students safety these doors are locked. Please enter through the north doors.” I thought I was going to freeze to death before I found the right door. I found the right doors and the right classes and the students were great. Day one down.

Evergreen Elementary

Greenville Elementary

The rest of the week was at Greenville Elementary as Artist-In-Residence. The fourth graders learn about the five Utah Native American Tribes and the teachers wanted me to integrate that into my visit.

 

 

 

Watercolor Demonstration

Watercolor Demonstration

I walked the students through a portrait of a Shoshone. We talked about the Southern Paiutes and listened to a bit of the Paiute language. The fourth grade art was amazing.

 

 

 

The Students at Work

The Students at Work

The students concentrated and drew carefully. The room was absolutely quiet except for the sound of pencil to paper. The teachers were very supportive and the art specialist jumped in with some great help with logistics.

 

 

 

Great support from the art specialist and the Cache District Arts Coordinator

Great support from the art specialist and the Cache District Arts Coordinator

Here is a picture of the art specialist and the Cache District Arts Coordinator. They were great.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amazing fourth grade portraits

Amazing fourth grade portraits

I saw one of the students sitting in the back and holding his portrait so no one else could see it. He was looking like someone had just ordered him to eat the rest of his over cooked broccoli.

 

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I went back to him and said, “That is a mighty fine portrait of an Indian.” He held up his feather that we were suppose to attach to the portrait. He had cut off the hole punch. I told him to bring it up front and we would punch another hole. I told him that is such a good portrait that he should give me a nice big grin. He stretched his lips thin but neither end curled up.

 

 

 

Chuckwallas

Chuckwallas

 

The next day we worked on drawing and watercoloring chuckwallas. He brought up his finished chuckwalla to show me. He held it out for my inspection and asked, “Does this look like a lizard?”
I said, “That does not look like a lizard. That looks like an amazing CHUCKWALLA!.” He gave me a genuine, full faced grin.

 

 

 

Using Japanese Dyes for Feathers

Using Japanese Dyes for Feathers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That is what these visits are for, sharing with students the joy that comes from creating art and letting them be the artist in charge of their own work. It was a great week.

(Thanks to Aurora Hughes Villa for many of the photos.)

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It’s the Little Things

The Bountiful Davis Art Center Holiday Show

The Bountiful Davis Art Center Holiday Show

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Is it “Hockey” or “Hake” Brush

The Utah Watercolor Society and Intermountain Society of Artist.

The Utah Watercolor Society and Intermountain Society of Artist.

The Utah Watercolor Society combined with the Intermountain Society of Artist for their meetings to watch me do a watercolor demonstration applying the John Salminen Workshop to my children’s book illustrations. The crowd started to gather.

Good support from my Mom-in-law.

Good support from my Mom-in-law.

 

 

It was great to have my Mom-in-law there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Putting on the apron

Putting on the apron

 

When I’m working on children’s book illustrations there seems to be inspiration I can use all around. Some of the techniques taught by John Salminen seemed perfect for the illustrations I’m working on now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Displaying the watercolor from the John Salminen Workshop

Displaying the watercolor from the John Salminen Workshop

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There are a lot of things you can do to create texture with watercolors but they have to fit the mood and design of the illustrations. Spattering with a bit of miskit can create some great texture and great sound effects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Masking the illustration with masking tape

Masking the illustration with masking tape

I masked out the trees and ravens with some masking tape so I could put a nice wash in the sky.

 

 

 

 

 

Putting in the sky

Putting in the sky

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes you have to make your own brush

Sometimes you have to make your own brush

John Salminen taught us how to use a hockey brush to make a wash.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Maura Naughton

Photo by Maura Naughton

I told the audience that there was a bit of controversy on how to pronounce hockey brush or hake brush but that Salminen pronounced it “hockey brush” so I introduced them to my homemade “Hockey brush”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to use the Hockey Brush

How to use the Hockey Brush

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I whisked the top of the wash lightly with the hockey brush. The audience was amazed with the technique.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The sky wash

The sky wash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sherry Meidell's water color piantino from the John Salminen Workshop

Sherry Meidell’s water color piantino from the John Salminen Workshop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking the tape off

Taking the tape off

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When the wash was dry I took the masking tape off the paper being careful to pull towards the edge of the paper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Atomizer

The Atomizer

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It was a great group of artists

It was a great group of artists

uws34Once the tape was off, I painted in the trees and then used an atomizer to put some atmosphere into the sky. The ladies in the front row got a bit of the atmosphere on there knees. Then like Martha Stewart I pulled the finished illustration out of the oven to show the audience. My illustrations will be better because of the workshop and instruction taught at the John Salminen Workshop.

The evening was great. It was a great group of artists and we had a very enjoyable night.

 

 

 

 

 

John Salminen’s Website

Utah Watercolor Society

Intermountain Society of Artists

Winsor Newton Masking Fluid

 

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Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween

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A Fine Watercolor Workshop

Flaming Gorge Resort

Flaming Gorge Resort

I traveled to the Flaming Gorge Resort to present my “Finding Motion & Life in your Watercolor’s” Workshop for the Uintah Mountain Artists last month. Dave and I wound up hair pin turns on a dark road the night before with blackness pressing in on the headlights and owls and racoons darting in and out of view.

Uintah Mountain Artists

Uintah Mountain Artists

The next morning the sunlight and a beautiful view met our gaze. A nice group of ladies met at the conference center

 

 

 

 

 

The mature group.

The mature group.

but you never knew what they were doing behind your back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The palette and the photo.

The palette and the photo.

Students brought a photo of a family member or an old photo of a relative to use in there paintings. I demonstrated some of these principals by painting a picture of a great grandmother.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sketch

The sketch

The portrait and the story.

The portrait and the story.

The face coming into view.

The face coming into view.

Working on the portrait and the mother holding her baby.

Working on the portrait and the mother holding her baby.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I did a quick sketch on the board of Colleen.

I did a quick sketch on the board of Colleen.

We talked about getting life into the figures we paint using angles and putting your mind into your painting. We discussed what makes a figure really say what we want it to say. Here is a sketch of Colleen with Colleen. It’s amazing how just a few lines can capture personality.

Have you ever tried to paint and talk at the same time?

Have you ever tried to paint and talk at the same time?

Working on her painting.

Working on her painting.

Colleen and the painting of her grandpa.

Colleen and the painting of her grandpa.

Flaming Gorge Workshop

Flaming Gorge Workshop

Flaming Gorge Workshop

Flaming Gorge Workshop

Talking about transferring sketch to watercolor paper.

Talking about transferring sketch to watercolor paper.

Demonstrating to the group.

Demonstrating to the group.

Painting for the group.

Painting for the group.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great conversation and painting during the day and mountain sheep and great views at night. It was a perfect two day workshop. Thanks to Deena Millcam for the invitation and for many of these great pictures.

 

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Robert’s Biking Shoes

Robert's Biking Shoes

Robert’s Biking Shoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On our recent biking tour of southern Utah, we went by the Bingham Gallery and the Thunderbird Foundation just outside of Torrey and on the way to Mt. Carmel. We were sagging past some road construction and I talked a few people into making a quick stop into the gallery. One of the ladies found the perfect painting for her husband. It was a small original oil painting on board of a pair of hiking shoes.
“I’m going to buy this for my husband.” She was so excited. He was outside and she was going to surprise him. He walked into the gallery. I had the painting in my hand and was ready to run interference but she asked her husband for a 10 dollar bill because she didn’t have enough change. One of the owners of the gallery was so excited that they liked her painting. She had said that the painting was Seven-Fifty. Robert’s wife thought great. What a bargain. The owner said, “No $750.00. That was a bit more than Robert’s wife wanted to pay.
We had a good laugh about it. She had been so thrilled. I told her if she had a pair of Robert’s hiking shoes, I would paint a watercolor of them for her. They didn’t bring a pair of hiking shoes because, after all it was a biking trip, so I painting Robert’s biking shoes.

Bingham Gallery

Thunderbird Foundation

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Young Heber Valley Artists

Talking about line, shape and angle. Photo by Ivana Radu

Talking about line, shape and angle.
Photo by Ivana Radu

 

I had the great pleasure of presenting and visiting with some young artists at the Wasatch County Library in Heber last Thursday Evening. I was greeted by Sally Baird who made me feel welcome and got everything set up with the help of three rambunctious girls. The pictures were taken by another mother, Ivana Radu who said I was welcome to use them on my blog.

Discussing book dummys photo by Ivana Radu

Discussing book dummys
photo by Ivana Radu

 

 

 

We talked about the importance of getting in the sketch book habit. We discussed making books and talked about illustrating stories and what to think about when we hear the words and how do we get the pictures we see in our mind down on the paper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

From story board to book dummy to finished book.

From story board to book dummy to finished book. photo by Ivana Radu

 

I dropped some dye in water for some marbling and when I pulled the paper out, there was an appreciative gasp. I loved to see the art the kids produced and answer their questions.

Dropping the dye into the water photo by Ivana Radu

Dropping the dye into the water
photo by Ivana Radu

The dyes are dramatically brighter on the paper. photo by Ivana Radu

The dyes are dramatically brighter on the paper.
photo by Ivana Radu

 

We put all the art together at the end to let everyone see what the others had made. One student came up to me after the class and quietly asked, “Whose art did you think was the best?” I told him, “Everyone is at different levels with their art and everyone has their own style. You can’t really choose if one is better than another.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Here is the Marbling die from Bolu-Undo photo by Ivana Radu

Here is the Marbling dye from Bolu-Undo
photo by Ivana Radu

Picking a postcard

Picking a postcard- photo by Ivana Radu

 

 

 

I paused and he looked up at me and then I said, “But I can say that your art was very nicely done.” He got a big grin on his face and said he was going to be an artist when he grows up. We had a lot of talented kids in the class. It was a great evening.

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Watercolor Workshop at Flaming Gorge Resort

Sherry Meidell plein air painting Bountiful, Utah

Sherry Meidell plein air painting Bountiful, Utah

 

Last Saturday was the Bountiful Music & Arts Festival on Main Street. It was a fine day for painting outside. I met some great people and checked out the new location for the Bountiful Davis Art Center.

I will be doing a two day watercolor workshop for the Uintah Mountain Artists on September 26th and 27th at the Flaming Gorge Resort’s Conference Room in Dutch John, Utah. If anyone wants to join us for the watercolor workshop in some beautiful country, you can call Lori Burchinal at 435-828-3668 to register. The info is below:

The Sherry Meidell’s “Finding motion and Life” Watercolor Workshop will be September 26th & 27th from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. The price is $150.00 per person.
The material list:
sketch book 9 x 12 or so
pencils & kneaded eraser
black pilot pen
one or two 1/2 sheets 140 lb. or 300 lb. arches watercolor paper, watercolor paints, water and brushes and everything you need to paint a picture

photos of people in motion and a nice face or old photos of grandparents or great grandparents or random people

We will discuss drawing and painting people in our watercolor paintings, how to get motion in your paintings and people. We will talk about finding the stories in our paintings.

Come join us.

Painting the view across the street.

Painting the view across the street.

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Biking Shoes and Watercolors

 

Stopping in at Gallery 24 at Torrey, Utah

Stopping in at Gallery 24 at Torrey, Utah

 

Our friends, convinced Dave and I to take a 430 mile, or so, bike ride through some of the most beautiful back country of Utah. We started in Blanding, went to Lake Powell and wound our way through Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, The Grand Staircase National Monument, ending in Zions National Park. We met some of the greatest people. The bike ride went through Torrey, Utah. I was able to stop into Gallery 24 and see a couple of my watercolors that are on display there, part of the prize for winning best of show at the Capitol Reef Plein Air Competition.

The picture was taken by one of the ladies on the ride. My friend nick named her the Green Hornet. She is 76 years old and she beat me on the uphills and the downhills.

Being passed by the Green Hornet in Capitol Reef National Park

Being passed by the Green Hornet in Capitol Reef National Park

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The Boy Scout Motto “Be Prepared”

Sketching at the Days of 47 Parade

Sketching at the Days of 47 Parade

 

 

 

 

Packing your sketch book around is a great idea. There is always that question, “Do I bring it or not?” “Will I have time to sketch?” Will it just get in the way?” I’ve found it’s better to have it on hand. If something comes up, I’m ready.

On the 24th or July our extended family stakes out a spot at Liberty Park for the Days of 47 Parade. It’s a great opportunity for picture taking and sketching. Below are some examples from the day.

Kids love to have you draw their picture

Kids love to have you draw their picture


I
t’s also a great way to make new friends. People often ask me, “How do you draw people? My answer is get a sketch book and start sketching people from life. You will teach your brain and your hand to see.

 

 

 

Sketches can catch the personality better than a photo

Sketches can catch the personality better than a photo

These sketches are in your book for reference on future projects.

These sketches are in your book for reference on future projects.

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