In response to the request to post a materials list for my workshops, here it is: MATERIALS & SUPPLIES FOR WATERCOLOR WORKSHOP: pencils, erasers, & sketchbook (or white printer paper for sketching ideas and doing… More
To get to Puerto Vallarta to catch our flight back to the States, we broke our journey into two days. We took the ETN bus to Guadalajara and spent another night at the Hotel Dali, then took our final bus ride to Puerto Vallarta, again staying at the quaint Hotel Bellmar. We like to stay on the top floor, which is a huge grunt with luggage, but the view is worth the climb. We stay in Viejo Vallarta Centro, so no beach views. Instead one looks out on the busy, colorful street life.
Our flight was scheduled to leave at 4:30, so that gave us time to make one last drawing before leaving Mexico. I took many photos of street life, charmed by the papeles banners, the shiny piñata-like sculpture banners, and other handicrafts Mexicans create to celebrate life. I captured Calle Iturbide, an appropriate ending to my Mexico sketch journal. (Iturbide was another revolutionary independence hero.) The view is looking toward the ocean. The street ends in a plaza on the beach where many artists display their work. I wanted the emphasis of this drawing to be on the banners, so I eliminated the ocean view. I chose to add paint only to the banners to further emphasize the celebratory theme of this ink drawing.
photo collage left to right/ top to bottom: Tlaquepaque street view with shiny miller piñatas, Puerto Vallarta papeles, Ajijíc papeles & street vendor, door knocker San Miguel de Allende, door knocker Pátzcuaro, veterinary clinic Ajijíc, antique bicicletas at the tire shop in San Miguel de Allende, street musicians Pátzcuaro, street view San Miguel Deb Allende.
an article from Navigator Editor, Janine Rusnak
An award-winning, colorful square quilt hides twenty gems; a collection of four watercolor dream horses takes you to exotic places; a delicate, yet heavy handwoven copper piece boasts the title “Asian Study #6.”
These spectacular art pieces are now on display at Backstreet Bagel Company in Montrose and capture true, local talent in mixed
With a grand reception Friday, September 29, the Backstreet Gals exhibition features three local artists. Each artist comes to this exhibition with a background in fiber art. Though the artists create in diverse media, this common influence of fiber art is referenced in the collected works on display: including strong underlying composition and design, the ability to bring harmony to bright color schemes, and the use of geometry within a pictorial subject.
All That Glitters
Prior to her weaving career, Lynn Vogel made doll cloth- es as a child. She discover- ed the world of hand weav- ing in her early 20’s. “The hand weaving process was natural for me. It was like a puzzle— intricate, complex, beautiful —one that would take me a complete,” Vogel said. She received a large, handmade loom as a birthday gift one year which led to her and her sister making and selling clothing for several years in small boutiques and galleries throughout Denver. A decade later, she found herself sitting on the library floor in the art section and became drawn to a new medium—copper. She said someone once told her it couldn’t be woven on a loom. She proved them wrong, and for the last 20 years has been weaving copper as her primary medium. The end result? Beautiful, one-of-a-kind works of art consisting of embossed copper and semi-precious stones. Vogel will have one of her looms present at the open house with the intention of offering a brief, yet in- formative, demonstration of how she creates her masterpieces.
One Stitch At A Time
Debbie Watkins has been designing her own quilts since 2014 after joining a small group of local quilters. Their encouragement and feedback helped her to achieve her goals of creating unique quilt designs as well as incorporating unfamiliar techniques and non-traditional media in each quilted piece.
Watkins began quilting in 1980 and since she moved to Montrose she has been a member of two of the Montrose quilt guilds and is also heavily involved with the annual Black Canyon Quilt Show. Labels displayed with her work indicate what prize those pieces have won, including this year’s first place winner in the Mixed Media category at the Black Canyon Quilt Show titled, “Dragon Fly By.” This is a vertical piece that came to fruition by way of another piece Watkins ended up not liking. “Mistakes are creative opportunities!” Watkins exclaimed.
In this show, Watkins’ quilts combine crystals, fabric paints and dyes, photos, painted and heat-stressed Tyvek, as well as buttons, beads, organza and more, all resulting in dynamic, one- of-a-kind pieces. Also displayed at the Backstreet Gals exhibition are an assortment of “quilted” greeting cards, handmade by Watkins, and a 79” x 92” quilt.
Living In A Colorful World
Artist and painter Cheri Isgreen is fascinated by the relationship between light and shadow on natural forms. “If you get the values and shapes correct, any beautiful color will look compelling, even a purple horse,” she said. Isgreen seeks fresh, unexpected color mixtures through the spontaneity of wet paint mixing on the paper. She strives for a sense of mystery and narration in each painting. As a former art educator, she taught the gamut of media, styles, and subjects, giving her the strong range she draws upon today when creating her watercolor compositions. Currently Isgreen’s work reflects her passion for horses, flowers, and travel, with each piece conveying personal meaning.
Isgreen maintains an active studio schedule, winning awards in juried exhibitions, showing in four Colo- rado galleries, accepting commissions through her galleries and website, and teaching art workshops through regional art centers and Western State Colorado University. Isgreen’s work has been showcased in museums, galleries, and publications both in the United States and abroad.
Isgreen’s colorful, contemporary watercolor paintings complement Vogel’s copper compositions and Watson’s art quilts. And with Isgreen’s elements of mystery and narrative, viewers will discover personal meaning in each painting for themselves.
All three artists will be available for questions and discussion at the public open house. Special exhibition pieces will be on display only during Friday’s open house. These women will transform the entire restaurant into a colorful gallery that embraces different media in a comfortable space.
The works displayed in Backstreet Gals is modern but not abstract. “It fits in all décor styles,” Vogel said. There will be over 30 pieces displayed and are all for purchase.
Backstreet Bagel Company is owned by Scott and Debbie Cassidy. They offer an array of breakfast and lunch items as well as gourmet coffee drinks. Backstreet Bagel is located at 127 North Townsend Avenue in Montrose.
The public is invited to the Backstreet Gals Open House Friday, September 29, from 5-7 p.m. There will be music, complimentary wine, and gourmet appetizers available.
If you look on my Exhibition tab, you will see that it has been a busy summer. Along with painting for the shows and commissioned work, I am quite busy designing courses for Montrose and Gunnison. The Workshop Tab will be updated soon to announce the many course offerings. I have also been asked to offer a tab for purchase of card sets and prints from my sketch books. Stay tuned for that.
Because of all the new endeavors, I have not had time to keep the website as current as I would like. Today I was asked to write a newsletter article for the Montrose Visual Arts Guild. As I was putting the finishing touches on it, I realized this would make a good blog post. The article gives a background of my beginnings in the art world and features my latest projects. Hope many of the local readers can come to my Open House.
Cheri Isgreen works in watercolor, mixed media, and pastel. Throughout her life, Cheri has created art. Her first installation, at age three, was a self portrait with her twin sister scratched into the headboard of her bed. For many years, Cheri worked as a master weaver with work featured in collections and publications in the US and abroad. As an art teacher for 25 years, she taught the gamut of media, styles, and subjects. She served as an Art Fellow with US Dept of Ed and consulted with Colorad Dept Ed, universities, and private companies. Retiring from public education in 2010, Cheri began painting professionally. She draws inspiration from her passions: horses, gardens, and travels. She and her husband look forward to spending two months as visiting artists capturing the beautiful Baroque city of Guanajuato, Mexico this winter.
“I am fascinated by the relationship between light and shadow on natural forms. Compositions for paintings develop as I respond to the interplay of light and dark shapes. I seek fresh, unexpected color with spontaneous wet brushwork. I strive for a sense of mystery and narrative in each painting.”
Cheri shows widely in galleries and exhibitions. Recent awards include First Place, “Scent” Western Colorado Watercolor Society, (Sept 2017) . Colorado Watercolor Society, (August 2017) Second Place “Orchid’s Glow” & Honorable Mention “No Hoof No Horse.”
Collaborating with Scott Cassidy, they transformed Backstreet Bagels into an accessible gallery where Cheri regularly rotates new work. On September 29, 2017 Backstreet will host an Open House for Cheri, Lynn Vogel, and Debbie Watkins. Each artist comes from a background of fiber. Their current work in painting, woven & embossed copper, and art quilts complements as a unified showing of creative exploration. Please plan to attend 5-7 PM, 9/29/17, Backstreet Bagels & Gallery, 127 N Townsend Ave, Montrose.
The Colorado Watercolor Society first show on the Western Slope opens at the Gunnison Center for the Arts Friday, Aug 4, 2017. I will show three works; two florals, “Orchids,” “Cosmos,” and an equine themed work, “No Hoof, No Horse.” The two florals celebrate the glory of light on natural forms. “Orchids” is backlit, providing for a dramatic composition, while “Cosmos” shows reflected light of flowers in full sun. “No Hoof, No Horse” explores lost and found edges and the fading of form through the phenomenon of smoke.
both paintings image 7.5″ x 22″ (frame size 13.5″ x 28″) copyright C Isgreen $350 each
In the upstairs gallery, the Arts Center is showing its annual fundraising exhibition, “Tiny Treasures.” I have submitted two watercolor paintings of birds inspired by Japanese scrolls. These “tiny treasures” were painted in a diamond format to give them a dynamic composition. Both watercolor on paper and oil/acrylic on canvas will be offered.
from GAC website:
Upper Gallery: Tiny Treasures “Fortune Cookie Quotes”
Celebrate the little things in life! For the third year in a row, the GAC’s fundraiser, Tiny Treasures, really is proof that good things DO come in small packages. Featuring a plethora of tiny treasures on canvas, all created by local artists. Treasures will be on sale at affordable prices all month where 100% of the profit goes to the GAC. A theme has been added this year; artists will pick a fortune cookie quote to use for inspiration. Enjoy tiny appetizers, a live tiny gallery concert with tiny instruments and more at the First Friday ArtWalk & Music!
New works at GAC:
In keeping with this month of tiny treasures, I am offering framed prints from my travels ($25) and small framed floral watercolors, all affordably price below $200. I also completed an aspen series, where I fractured the light. (see featured image preview above) These charming small works will complement the small niches in your home.
I just completed a new work, inspired by the flight of starlings. For years I have watched in awe as a flock of birds take flight to dramatically form a series of changing patterns in the sky. In perfect synchronicity, the flock swoops, changes direction, and the pattern seamlessly morphs into a new shape. The shapes are liquid in the sky, as they blend from one organic shape to the next. Inspired, I wondered how to capture this on paper with paint?
This spring, I took a 1/2 sheet of watercolor paper and poured a sky that blended from blue to golden as it touched the desert horizon. Big sky in Nevada. By pouring paint in a series of glazes, underlying layers are preserved while developing a depth of color and enhanced luminosity. This beautiful background needed a center of focus- the birds I have been forever dreaming about!
How to start? How to capture the dynamic fluidity of this aviary phenomenon? Each night I dreamed how I would approach the painting. Each morning I awoke and found I couldn’t attempt it. I didn’t know how to begin; I couldn’t feel “the flow. ” Finally I settled on my pigments- Windor blue shade, alizarin crimson permanent, and burnt sienna. I made a small practice painting.
Encouraged with the results of that bird study and before I could “chicken out,” I jumped into the large painting. I knew the painting would either end as an unmitigated disaster, or it would become a delightful surprise. Each time I reloaded the brush, I added a different pigment to my palette mixture from my base colors to influence the tone. The dynamic shape of the flock subtly changed in hue as it grew on my paper. I continued to add defined bird shapes to the edges and loose bird groupings in the center, striving for a strong abstract shape and interesting movement throughout the painting. The painting succeeds in capturing the dynamic movement of a flock of birds in the dance of flight.
Nature inspires wildlife to create beautiful creations of their own. Enjoy this video showing a pufferfish creating a beautiful mandala to attract a mate. Pufferfish
Left to right, clockwise: Millipede, exhibiting its main defense mechanism, curling into a spectacular spiral, which protects its legs inside its body. A celestial spiral, the Aurora Borealis, in the skies above Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. Finally, a collection of diatoms, microscopic algae. These images were found on National Geographic. Enjoy more here: National Geographic link
The Ah Haa School of the Arts in Telluride is still accepting registrations for my watercolor class. To register, click the following link: Cheri Isgreen Watercolor Workshop
The wildflowers are blooming, the mountains shine, and rainbows appear in the evening light. Summertime in Telluride! It’s time for a weekend mountain getaway. Relax in beautiful Telluride while exploring some new watercolor techniques. I will teach “Poured Watercolor” through the Ah Haa School of the Arts, Friday – Sunday, July 28 – 30, 2017.
Forgo the brush and experiment with the process of pouring watercolor to produce paintings with unique results. Learn the pigment rules, color theory, and pouring techniques to give your watercolor paintings glowing results. By pouring paint in a series of glazes, underlying layers are preserved while developing a depth of color and enhancing luminosity. Experience how this technique fosters a wide range of spontaneous colors while maintaining the harmony of a limited palette. Poured watercolor lends itself to a variety of subject matter. All levels of painters are welcome, including first-time watercolorists.
To register, visit the Ah Haa School of the Arts registration page: POURED WATERCOLOR REGISTRATION
I will be teaching part II of the sketch journal series, “A Sense of Place.” Learn how perspective works, how to simplify perspective principles, and how to use this understanding to capture a sense of place in your drawings. We will meet at the Montrose Plaza downtown under the covered pavilion on Tuesday, July 11, 4-6 PM. The image above is a winding street in San Miguel DeAllende, Mex. It simplifies a very complex street scene with multiple vanishing points. You do not need to be concerned with the complexities of winding streets, hills, vanishing points, etc. to capture a sense of the place you are drawing. Use this link to register: sketch workshop registration
Please bring a sketch book, pencil, eraser, and fine line ink pen.
If you wish to add color, bring a small portable watercolor set. For those without a professional pleine air travel kit, make a paint kit with the following items:
- box of Prang watercolors found in the school supply section. Do not buy Crayola washable watercolors; the paint has no color saturation. They also come in a plastic box which breaks over time. The Prang set comes in a metal box with a palette for mixing in the lid. This can be refilled with your choice of tube watercolors as the original set is used.
- watercolor brushes- at the minimum get a very thin round brush to complement the bigger brush that comes with the Prang set. A 1″ flat brush is also handy to have.
- a small container for holding water- go to a camping store and purchase a collapsible drinking cup. They are plastic and come in bright colors. They also come with a lid.
- sponge- cut the sponge into small pieces that will fit inside your collapsible water cup.
- old wash cloth- cut this in half- wrap your paint brushes inside the 1 of the washcloth pieces.
- large ziplock baggie or zippered pencil case; small ziplock baggie; paper towel- use the paper towel to blot your paint set when you are ready to put it away. Zip it into the small baggie. Put the whole paint kit into the large baggie: sketchbook, pen, pencil, eraser, watercolor materials.
Researchers say that teaching deepens the teacher’s understanding, so she is learning along with her students. As I have been preparing for numerous classes and workshops this summer, I paint examples that I can use in my workshops. As I paint, I reflect on what I’m doing, the decisions I am making, and the results of those decisions. These reflections go into my lesson plans. Often these reflections lead to experimental paintings.
“Cowboy Up,” explores lost and found edges despite using masks (hard edges) to preserve the layers in the pour. This was achieved from two approaches.
- in the initial masking by softening the edges through “scratchy dry brush” edge treatment
- after the mask was removed, I softened the edges while adding neutralized wash to the wet areas
“Cowboy Up” was painted for my poured watercolor class to be held at the Ah Haa School of the Arts in Telluride, Colorado July 28 & 29, the last weekend in July. Register through Ah Haa at this following link: Poured Watercolor Registration
“Upsy Daisy” (feature image) and “A Splash of Poppies” show a myriad of techniques to employ to create loose watercolor paintings, including outlining, dripping, splashing, and wet-into-wet alla prima painting. The next “Getting Loose” class is set for September 30th as a benefit for the Montrose Center for the Arts. Register for this very playful, relaxing workshop with this link: Poured Watercolor Registration
This summer, I am teaching every Wednesday at the Gunnison Arts Center through the program, Wednesdays at Western State University. You can register for the Gunnison classes at the following link: Wednesday at Western Registration Cheri Isgreen or by calling the university at (970)943-2885.
Sketch Journals– Wednesdays, 3:00 – 5:00 pm.
June 14, June 28, July 12, July 26, August 9.
Back by popular demand! Explore ways to combine text with image using creative expression, visual design principles, and art techniques. All levels welcome; beginners
will be given extra support, and advanced students will receive design challenges. 5 sessions, classes need not be taken sequentially. Instructor: Cheri Isgreen. $35.
Bringing The Art Masters Alive – Wednesdays, 3:00 – 5:00 pm.
June 21, July 5, July 19, August 2.
Do you love art? Bring it alive through creative discovery. Take a multimedia approach to exploring periods, movements, geography, and master artists through making art. No prerequisite; each session is a stand-alone class with new content each week Emphasis is on creative expression and discovery. We will not be copying masterworks. All levels welcome; beginners will be given extra support; experienced artists are given design challenges to deepen their understanding. 5 sessions, classes need not be taken sequentially. Instructor: Cheri Isgreen. $35.
A new workshop by popular instructor, Cheri Isgreen
Wednesdays at Western Series at the Gunnison Arts Center
3:00 – 5:00 pm.
June 21, July 5, July 19, August 2
Featured artists: (clockwise) Juane Quick to See Smith, Georges Braque, Paul Cézanne, Gulaab Gang folk art, Jasper Johns
Do you love art? Do you want to learn more about artists, composition, art techniques?Bring art alive through creative discovery. Take a multimedia approach to exploring periods, movements, geography, and master artists through making art. No prerequisite; each session is a stand-alone class with new content each week. Each week we will take a different artist as inspiration. Emphasis is on creative expression and discovery; we will not copy masterworks. Instead you will create your own “masterpieces” based on inspiration and techniques of the “artist of the week.” All levels welcome; beginners will be given extra support; experienced artists are given design challenges to deepen their understanding. 5 sessions, classes need not be taken sequentially. College credit available. $35 includes all materials. Call the Gunnison Arts Center for details. Registration www.western.edu/academics/extended-s or by calling (970) 943-2885.
Pre-registration is required.
We met today at Centennial Plaza, Montrose, Colorado for the first session in improving on site architectural sketching. Beginning with pencil, we practiced getting correct proportions in an elevation view of City Hall. After recording big shapes, we added smaller shapes, and finished with architectural details and foundation plantings. Using a fine tip waterproof marker, we refined shapes. Then students were introduced to techniques for adding watercolor to enhance their sketches.
Students learned new skills and gained confidence in their drawings. Said one participant, “I wish I had known this when I went to Durango last month.” We will continue these ideas next month, again focusing on elevation view and proportions. Drawing is a learned skill. With instruction, support, practice, tips, and techniques, you will learn to capture a sense of place in your sketch book.
Join us for the next “A Sense of Place” sketch journal workshop. There is always review of concepts and techniques, so don’t be intimidated if you miss a class. You can catch up in no time! Sign up using this link: WORKSHOP REGISTRATION
We meet monthly on the second Tuesday or Saturday of each month :
- July 11- Centennial Plaza 4:30-6:30 Tuesday
- August 12- Backstreet Bagels 2:30-4:30 Saturday
- September 9- Backstreet Bagels 2:30-4:30 Saturday
- October 14- Backstreet Bagels 2:30-4:30 Saturday
- November 14- Centennial Plaza 4:30-6:30 Tuesday
- December 9- Backstreet Bagels 2:30-4:30 Saturday
I am offering two approaches to sketch journaling this summer. In Montrose we will focus on capturing a sense of place through the study of onsite perspective. In Gunnison we will express our thoughts, ideas, and feelings through visual journaling.
The Montrose Class is designed for those
who want to use journals to record their travels, but have found perspective difficult. If you have struggled with perspective, I will present an easy system to convey accuracy in your drawings with perspective. Drawing is a skill, and it can be learned. Drawing is not just for “natural artists.” If you love to travel and want to make your trips more meaningful, join us at Centennial Plaza at Tuesday, June 13 from 4:30-6:30 PM. Bring a small sketch book, pencils, eraser, straight edge or drafting square, fine line black pen, small watercolor kit with a brush, (like Prang student watercolors), small cup for cleaning the brush, and a sponge. REGISTER HERE $25 We meet either the second Tuesday (4:30-6:30) at Centennial Plaza or Saturday (2:30-4:30) at Backstreet Bagels each month. Dates: TUESDAY- June 13; July 11; November 14; SATURDAY- August 12; September 9; October 14; December 9
The Gunnison Class is designed for those
who have kept journals or want to start keeping a journal with more pizzazz than simply writing about the day. We will use a variety of visual strategies to bring your journals alive with drawings, color, pattern, and text. Classes are held at the Gunnison Arts Center through a partnership with Western State Colorado University. Optional university credit is available for these classes. Classes begin Wednesday June 14, 2017 and run every other Wednesday through August 9th. To register, contact Gunnison Center for the Arts 970-641-4029 or use this link: GAC EDUCATION