Art-A-Day wrap up for 2013

I blinked and 2013 was gone.

As 2013 drew to a close my life became increasingly busy. Seasonal activities included the annual production of my holiday card design. I produce about 100 cards by hand each year. I usually cut a block to print in a key color and then hand color with watercolor. A pair of cedar waxwings proved to be a challenge in the watercoloring step. Those birds are very colorful. You can see the result — the last image in the set below.

Art-a-day really slowed down after Thanksgiving because of the cardmaking and school semester wrap up. Even so, I have a fair amount I did since the last post. You can see the images below. Click on one and it will open a slide show.

2014 began with a trip out to California to visit family and friends. It was a relaxing week away from the harsh weather of Minnesota and my ongoing work for my teaching.

Then back to the grindstone to prepare my classes for the semester. I dug in for days on end at my desk and in books to prepare projects, lectures and demonstrations. I am still at it as we dip into the third week of classes. The preparations are more intense than usual for me with 6 classes, three of which are new to me. Consequently, any art making has taken a back seat.

Art-A-Day was a wonderful project for me in 2013. I produced a total of 284 pieces of art. Luckily they are mostly quite small or I would have a bit of a storage problem. I posted all of them on my facebook page and now with this entry, on this blog. The responses from my followers were wonderful and motivating. I felt the project brought me closer to some people. It was a great way to be connected. People were very encouraging and that really made it even better.

I have decided not to continue the Art-A-Day project in 2014. Though it was a great project, it was demanding and the way my schedule is now, I don’t think I can keep up with that kind of project. I will still make art, and post about it. But it won’t have a project name or goal. Art-A-Day is not dead, however. I may resurrect it another time under another name. You’ll just have to stay posted to find out what and when that will be.

Wrapping up 2012

My last post of 2012 will recap the past few months of artistic adventures.

The Art Attack studio opening went well. Here’s a sketch from the view at the studio while there was a lull in attendance. My favorite part is the rolled up wool blankets and towels we use for the press that are stored under the work table. I used a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen for this sketch.

studio sketch

Metro Sketchers visited the American Swedish Institute in November.  I loved the architecture and green tiled roof. Here I used a Helix drafting pen and some watercolor.


In December Metro Sketchers went to the Bell Museum of Natural History. The Bell has wonderful exhibits of preserved specimens. I painted these pieces in gouache with some ink additions. I have been working with gouache to try to master it. A great help to me has been Roz Stendahl. You can learn a lot about gouache from her on her blog And specifically the gouache compendium she compiled.

ruddy ducks

Owl at Bell

Early December I took a 3-day watercolor workshop with Andy Evansen. Andy’s  method is new to me and I enjoyed experimenting with it in these few paintings I made in the workshop. I love one of his sayings “get in and get out”. It really embodies the spirit of watercolor as a fresh and direct medium.

Fairgrounds nocturn

Bela on the porch

At Visual Journal Collective we had a drawing scavenger hunt. One of the items to find and draw was a holiday decoration. So I drew this owl ornament on a tree there. Turns out about four other people drew this same little owl.

Owl ornament at MCBA

And finally, I completed my annual Christmas card. This one is block printed with watercolor hand coloring. I made 100 cards so this was some time investment but I am pleased with the results. The red breasted nuthatch overwinters in Minnesota. A cheerful nasal “ang-ang” call will let you know they are nearby.

nuthatch card


Open studio this weekend in Northeast Minneapolis.

Next weekend – Art Attack! November 2-4. I will have my studio open during this annual event in the Northrup King Building. I’m in studio 447 at the top of the main entrance stairway. Here’s a link to info. I will have artwork, lamps, cards for sale. This image will be on display and many like it. Come see lots of artists in one building. Hope to see you there.