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Exciting News! Demonstration – Watercolor and Ink

Watercolor and Ink

Ridgeline Junipers
Watercolor & Ink 4×6

I have exciting news.  I have been invited to do a demonstration of watercolor and ink painting techniques for the Southern Oregon Society of Artists of Medford, OR in August 2016.  Naturally, I accepted!  I feel honored and humbled!  There are many fine, experienced artists in the area.  To be invited is amazing!

I have long admired works in watercolor and ink.  Over the past couple of years I have used this combination of media for my on sight paintings.   Now, I get to “ramp it up”.  Fun!

I thought I’d post two samples of my work.  The top piece is from our recent camping trip in September.  My husband and I had our campsite facing a rocky ridge with junipers.  I drew and painted this piece in late afternoon.

The bottom piece is from my “Drawing Talent” series.  It is of one of the local houses that happens to be a dental office.

Watercolor and Ink

Thank you for sharing my good news with me.


The post Exciting News! Demonstration – Watercolor and Ink appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

Letter Box

I’m always on the lookout for new subjects when walking the streets of our town, Talent. Sometimes I’m drawn to familiar subjects with subtle differences in light as with this letter box.

Pole Shoe II

This is one of a number of old shoes nailed to posts along a rural road near Montague, California.

Wild Field

A field of weeds along The Bear Creek Greenway just north of Ashland, Oregon

Octagon Box In Progress

My friend, Sheli, and I are working on making some octagon boxes. My first step was to take apart a Victoria Secrets box a friend gave me a number of years ago. I then made myself a template in Adobe Illustrator.

The opening in the top of my box is a little big, so I used a big bead as a handle to pull up the top of the octagon box.

The opening in the top of my box is a little big, so I used a big bead as a handle to pull up the top of the octagon box. It’s still a work in progress.

My friend, Sheli, purchased some Roylco Painting Boxes from Dick Blick. They are flat circles of paper with scoring and perforations that are painted and then folded into dodecagon boxes (twelve sided boxes).

Roylco Painting Box shown painted and folded. They can be ordered from Dick Blick.

Roylco Painting Box shown painted and folded. They can be ordered from Dick Blick.

The painting should be done on the dull side of the paper, not the shiny side. It’s not easy to fold the box, and the instructions aren’t as clear as they could be.

Roylco Painting Box shown open.

Roylco Painting Box shown open.

I decided that I would play with an octagon based box rather than a dodecagon box first as I assumed an octagon box would be simpler. Simpler, yes. Simple, not really. But fun, definitely.

Octagon Box from Victoria Secrets.

Octagon Box from Victoria Secrets as seen from the top.

The Victoria Secrets box has a ribbon in the center which is used to pull up to open the box. There is a knot in the ribbon that makes it stay in place when the box is closed.

Victoria Secrets Box as seen from the side.

Victoria Secrets Box as seen from the side.

Sheli and I are working on making a template for the octagon box. We’re still modifying and playing with possibilities.

Octagon box before folding.

Octagon box before folding.

I must admit that I haven’t managed to get the folding down quite to my satisfaction yet. It’s not as easy as it looks. I’m hoping to share a template as well as techniques in a future blog post.

One variation of our octagon box almost folded.

One variation of our octagon box almost folded.

Enjoy, Candy

Ashland Open Studio Tour – October 10 & 11th, 2015 – Dana Feagin Art

It’s that time of year again – the second annual Ashland Open Studio Tour! It is a free, self-guided tour through 23 private working studios in Ashland, Talent and Phoenix on Saturday and Sunday, October 10th and 11th from 11AM – 5PM. Pick up a map at any Ashland gallery, or use your phone and find the map here.

If you ever wondered what our private working spaces look like, now is the time to come by and take a peek.  I am stop I on the tour map – 188 Alida Street, Ashland (between East Main St and  Siskiyou Blvd), so stop in and say “hello”.  I will be starting two new cow paintings and the studio has been given a thorough cleaning so there will be less rabbit hair on the floor than usual!


Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 3.10.54 PM

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Drawing While On The Road

Drawing while on the road I find challenging and rewarding.  I would like to share my thoughts on time, subjects and materials.  My guiding principle is to make it easy to draw anytime, anywhere and anything.

Drawing While Travelin

Ink & Graphite
Pentalic 3×5 sketchbook
People waiting for the start of the Ben Harper & Innocent Criminals Concert, Les Schwab Amphitheter, Bend OR. 6 Sep 2015


My husband and I have been on the road traveling to see family, friends and the West.  For those of you who know the West, distances are vast.  We can spend the better part of the day driving to get from point “a” to point “b”.  Then there are the necessary tasks such as having breakfast, lunch and dinner.  With the onset of the fall season, daylight hours are getting shorter.  With so much going on, I had to purposely find the time to draw and paint.  I’d like to share what I do.

  • I carry a small 5″x3″ drawing book in my back pocket and a pen.  I tell myself I don’t need to finish a drawing, just get started.  If the book is handy, I am more likely to start a drawing.
  • I use sitting around waiting time to pull out my pocket drawing book and sketch.  For example, while waiting  for my morning espresso to brew, I draw what’s in front of me.
  • My husband and I make drawing part of our look-at-scenary time.  At the end of day, I also sit comfortably and draw what is around the campground.
Drawing While Traveling

Drawings done while waiting for morning espresso to brew
ball point pen
September, 2015
Big Trip


Oddly enough, considering subject matter can be a stumbling block to consistent drawing.  There is so much to see when traveling.  How does one decide what to draw?

When I’m making our espresso, I just draw something near the stove so I can keep my eye on the espresso.  The hardware of our camper is interesting, as are bottle tops, soap containers and shoes.  They all have lines, shapes and shadows to look at and study.

One idea that has helped me in finding subjects is to view drawing as a method of investigation.  I don’t have to worry about composing the next great drawing or painting.  I just need to study what is available like picnic tables, juniper trees, rocks and more rocks!  I’m investigating as I am seeing and drawing.

Drawing while traveling and hiking

Graphite and ink
Pentalic, 5×8 sketchbook
Done during big trip 2015


I think it is important not to let materials be a stumbling block either.  As I alluded to above, I have found pocket size drawing books to keep handy.  I used 5×3 and 5×8 sketchbooks (journals) from Pentalic.  I use them often.  But, any pencil and paper will do.

For drawings that I might want to use as a record of our travels, I will consider lightfastness of the inks and archival quality of the paper.  I use good felt tip pens like those by Faber-Castell or Sakura.  If I’m feeling intimidated by the subject, I start in graphite.  Pretty soon I’ve switched to ink and am deep into drawing.

I like ball point pens too.  Many are not lightfast.  However, pens have the benefit of being portable and easily available.  Plus, I like the feel of the pens.


Recently, I have been following artist James Gurney’s blog.  One thing that has struck me is that it he is constantly drawing.  Have five minutes?  Pull out the pen and draw.

And, so it is.  My drawing goal for this trip is to keep on drawing.  Make it easy.  Make it fun.  Do more!

Drawing While Traveling

Steens Mtn, Page Springs Campground
September 2015


I wrote this post while we were on the road.  However, due to technical difficulties, like wi-fi not being available, I didn’t get it published.  Still, I wanted to share my thoughts and I hope you enjoy them.  Thanks!



The post Drawing While On The Road appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

SOAR Welcomes Joan Franklin to the artist directory!

Theo Drive II, painting by Joan Franklin

Theo Drive II, painting by Joan Franklin

The Southern Oregon Artists Resource is so excited to welcome artist Joan Franklin! You can find her new listing here:

To introduce Joan to those who might not know her name, here are a few words from the artist about her journey as an artist.

I fell in love with painting in a private class in Dallas, Texas, where I grew up. I applied to Pratt Institute where I spent the next four years as an Interior Design major, taking fine art classes on the side. Over the years, I continued painting as I pursued busy “art-related” careers. While working in New York as a designer, I completed an MFA at NYU Graduate School of Film and Television. I worked for 20 years in the film industry and as a musician and songwriter for a theater company.
Theo Drive III, painting by Joan Franklin

Theo Drive III, painting by Joan Franklin

But it was painting where I found sustained passion and a sense of calm.  I love the way art transports me into heightened awareness and enables me to “see.” Watercolor is my favorite medium. It’s the shapes, light and immediacy that attract me most.
In 1995 I left New York for Philadelphia and began working for myself , both as a Painter and Organizing Consultant. As I helped people organize their homes and offices to create simpler lives, I myself was creating a simpler lifestyle with more time to paint and study art. In 2004, I moved to The Rogue Valley with my partner, David Lorenz Winston. We love it here.

North Valley Art League Call to Photographers


This show is open to all photographers residing in Northern California and Southern Oregon defined as follows: Sonoma, Napa, Solano, Yolo, Sacramento, El Dorado counties and all counties north to the California border, and the southern Oregon counties of Coos, Douglas, Curry, Josephine, Jackson, Klamath, Lake, Harney, and Malheur.  Work may be shipped or hand-delivered to the NVAL Carter House Gallery.
Images previously accepted into a NVAL Juried Photography Show are not eligible – with the exception of images accepted into a NVAL International Juried Photography Show as a Silver Selection.
All forms of photographic expression are encouraged, with the stipulation that all images must be the original work of the artist, i.e. both capture and post-processing, excluding resizing and printing.

AWARDS — $700

  • First Place — $400
  • Second Place — $200
  • Third Place — $100
  • Honorable Mentions
  • Only juror-accepted work submitted to the Carter House Gallery exhibit is eligible for awards


We are proud to have Michael Eichwald from Redding, CA as the juror for the 2016 show.  
Michael Eichwald is an award winning photographer living in Redding. While in Europe as a young student he was strongly influenced by an uncle who was a professional photographer in London, and also by a second uncle who was active in the academic study of art and visual perception. From these early experiences came a continuing interest in visual aesthetics.
            For many years his personal photography took a back seat to the practice of dermatology. With retirement, however, he was able once again to pursue his interest in what makes one image art and another simple craft, as well as to actively support the local appreciation of creative photography.
            He is an active member of the North Valley Art League, and for some years was the chairperson for the league’s Regional Juried Photography Show. His participation in the local visual art world includes membership in the North State Photography association, Artist’s Gathering, and the Salon Artists Group.
            Mike’s interest in judging comes, then, from a broad perspective that includes a continuing desire to recognize, define, and encourage photography as an art form. He has judged local competitions and was named a preliminary judge for the prestigious Michael Kellicutt Juried Competition of 2011.


  • Entry period opens October 1
  • Entry deadline is Monday, November 30, 2015
  • All entries will be online.  The procedure is quite easy and is explained in the Prospectus
  • You may enter as many images as you wish
  • Entry Fees — $33 to enter three images, $8 each additional



Go to the NVAL website, — select Shows, Photography, Regional, 2016 Regional Photography Show or  Click Here

The entry link is at the bottom of the Prospectus

QUESTIONS — Contact show chairman, Andrea Penners

  • Email — [email protected]
  • Phone — 530-474-1746

Studio Snapshot – Making Portfolio Books For My Earth Spirit Vessels

The majority of my time this past week has been putting together four portfolio books for my Earth Spirit Vessels. I made two different types of portfolio books, two have 8″ by 8″ pages and two have 4″ by 6″ pages. Each format required a different layout for the photos.

Pages for my 4" by 6" portfolio for my Earth Spirit Vessels.

Pages of my 4″ by 6″ portfolio for my Earth Spirit Vessels.

When I started, I figured it would take me a day to complete as I already had started on these portfolio books when I first started making my Earth Spirit Vessels. However, as I started working on the portfolios, I realized I needed to start from scratch and come up with a layout that worked for showcasing both Earth Spirit Vessels that were for sale as well as ones that had sold. I had originally had 2-page spreads for the vessels I had for sale and a single page for the vessels that had sold.

Pages for 8" by 8" portfolio book of my Earth Spirit Vessels.

Pages of my 8″ by 8″ portfolio for my Earth Spirit Vessels.

Since I have sold quite a few vessels over the past few years, there wasn’t enough room to include as many photos as I wanted to include for each vessel. I also wanted to make it easy for me to keep the portfolio books up to date. My previous format hadn’t been optimal for that. The result was that I made new formats and  even changed how my files are organized on my computer.

Two different sized portfolios for my Earth Spirit Vessels.

Two different sized portfolios for my Earth Spirit Vessels.

I now have a system that will be easy to keep up to date. All four books are organized the same way. I have templates made so that I can print out everything I need for all four books plus the information that goes with the vessel itself, all at the same time. While it took me a week to accomplish, it will save me lots of time in the future. It was well worth the extra work.

Enjoy, Candy