From Northstar Watermedia Society

Northstar Watermedia Artists’ Market Begins Today

Northstar Watermedia Artists’ Market at the MN State Fairgrounds

Celebrate the magic of watercolor with Northstar Watermedia Society’s members. Artists’ Market runs from May 19-21 at the Fine Arts Building at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Every artist begins with a tube or a block of paint. Every artist’s work is different. Come to be astonished. Enjoy free parking.

Explore Golden High Flow Acrylics‘ Fern Feet, aka Bloom

Learn how to add this feature to your work. On Sunday May 21 at noon, I will be present a demonstration focused on this feature of Golden High Flow Acrylics, and showing off the powerful colors of this line. I will also (again) thank Bonnie Cutts, our Golden Brand Artist in Residence, who reassured me that the fern feet were an actual feature of this paint that I’d picked up from a discount table at Dick Blick. I thought I’d gotten a bad bottle.

Golden High Flow Acrylic Fern Feet at Northstar
Golden High Flow Acrylic Fern Feet at Northstar


Paper Mosaic: Not Ceramic

The other part of my Sunday demonstration will be a step-by-step guide to creating mosaics from paper that look like ceramic tile. In my demo kit: gesso, watercolor and acrylic paints and mediums, TerraSkin, Golden Self-Leveling Clear Gel, offset spatula, scissors, and a heavy dose of imagination.

Orange 4-inch square magnet mosaic
Orange 4-inch square magnet mosaic

Artists’ Market: Celebrate Watercolor Magic

Magic of Watercolor

Artists’ Market, the Northstar Watermedia’s Annual Show and Sale, celebrates the magic of watercolor. Just watercolor.

Held each year at the Minnesota State Fair’s Fine Arts Building with convenient and free parking, this is a two-day deep dive into the variety of artwork that comes from just watercolor.

Each artist begins with a tube (or a cake or a bottle) of paint. Every artist’s work is different from every other. The show is an astonishing display of creativity and imagination. The range of work from very detailed to exuberantly abstract, will take  your breath away. I promise.

Historical Note

Dear friends and fans: The Lost Cave Paintings of Saint Paul were more or less born in a magical moment at this event in 2012, when I saw Paul Boecher demonstrating gesso on board and paper. I looked at his work, my brain said “cave walls,” and the rest is prehistoric history.


Artists' Market 2016
Artists’ Market 2016

My work for Artists’ Market: all about connections


Big Neighborhoods 2
 Big Neighborhoods 2: a colorful representation of my vision of people and things and ideas working together and getting along.

My plan is to bring a series of abstracts including the original Big Neighborhoods 2, pieces from the series “Friendship: Complicated. Sometimes Messy. Beautiful if you’re lucky,” and some new paper mosaic magnets and frames made in the spirit of the critical importance of connections and links.

Paper Mosaics — magnets, frames & more

Paper Mosaic Magnets
Paper Mosaic Magnets
Framed Ram
Framed Ram

Exploring tiny shapes and spaces

Tiny Bit of Tieton
Tiny Bit of Tieton

It’s clear that I love tiny shapes and spaces, and think that fooling around with a triple-zero brush is fun.

But I’d never counted just how many tiny shapes and spaces that I routinely fill in one of these explorations. Not until today. In this bit of “Conversations Connections for Tieton,” I found 108 painted shapes in this 1.9×1.6″ of an 8×8 painting. That’s all the math that I can do today.

Conversations Connections for Tieton 2015
Conversations Connections for Tieton 2015

The Klimt Bird is a Super Fan of Gustav Klimt (click that Artsy link to see why). I made him at the “artists at work” table at Northstar Watermedia’s Artists’ Market (2015). Hanging around with artist pals was a blast. Watching this little guy come to life from a doodle was enchanting. He is made with the ever-faithful double zero brush and a Micron pen.

Klimt Bird #1: A Super Fan
Klimt Bird #1: A super fan
Conversations Connections for Black-and-White
Conversations Connections for Black-and-White

While prepping for and participating in three art shows in three weeks, I was also working on a black-and-white version of Conversations Connections for a contest focused on black and white work. Making tiny shapes and spaces with shades of black and gray was engrossing. No word on the results yet, but it did give me a chance to find a new pen (Grafik very very fine line in graphite gray) to use on the connecting lines. Thank you, as always, to the amazing staff at Wet Paint. They always find the solutions to my art problems.



Next up! Artists’ Market

Lucky for me! I spent 2015 Art-a-Whirl at the Keg House Arts Building with members of the Polymer Clay Guild of Minnesota. Their work inspires me.

Artists’ Market!

Next up! Northstar Watermedia’s Artists’ Market (formerly Art-on-a-Line), an all-original watercolor show at the Fine Arts Building at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, May 29 and 30. (Free parking, of course)Northstar-postcard-2015-FRONT

All original watercolor

This is a miraculous show. 80 artists start with the same tubes of watercolor or acrylic, and each artist’s work is different from all of the others. You will see this on the Artists’ Wall which has a sample (for sale, of course) of each participants’ work. Be prepared to be astounded at the originality and creativity. Then, remember the tube.

Some of my new work

Yes! Original Rooster portraits from The Backyard Roosters of Saint Paul (but not the book) will be at Artists’ Market. Not all of them, of course, but some.

Max the Cat: Muse and Snacks Manager

Max the Cat will be out in force with lots of new images. He is proud of his current job as Manager of Snacks. Each of the Whimsical Creatures who visits my studio is always hungry for snacks. Max makes sure that everyone is satisfied. Fortunately for me, both the creatures and the snacks are Whimsical, otherwise the snacks budget would dwarf that of some small countries.

Round and Round: a painted wood project


Very Old Flamingo Appearing at the WARM Show 2014
Very Old Flamingo Appearing at the WARM Show 2014

When I had the Big Flamingo cut from a full sheet of plywood in 1996, I had a dozen sets of bookends made, and the leftovers were cut into 8-inch rounds.  Plans for them were made, and forgotten. They have aged like fine wine (not old cheese), and now I have a use for them.

Along the way, I acquired round pieces of 140# paper, which I can attach to the rounds with gesso. To make the painted wood possible and workable, I put a layer of gesso underneath to act as glue.

Here is the first, a work-in-progress, using the design of the Friendship series. My plan is to finish the links, paint the sides, and spray the whole thing with archival spray to protect the watercolor. I will then cover it with blazingly shiny acrylic medium, inspired by Dar Bunde, of Northstar Watermedia Society, whose brightly colored work with acrylics inspires me every day.

Wooden Round Work-in-progress
Wooden Round Work-in-progress