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Going Mobile

My webmaster and I are upgrading this blog to be more mobile-friendly.  The changes we are making will make the blog easier to load and see on mobile platforms.  

Naturally, having the blog load fast and easy on desktop and laptop computers is always desirable.  That capability remains.

Just for fun, I'm including one of my recent paintings, "Old School, New School".   It seems appropriate.  New school in this case is a mobile ready blog!

Old School, New School


By the way, "Old School, New School" earned an award at the recent Watercolor Society of Oregon's Spring Aqueous Exhibition.  For more about the award, please see my "News & Events" page.  


The post Going Mobile appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

Aer, the second painting in my alchemy series, is part of the…

Aer, the second painting in my alchemy series, is part of the group show Principia Alchemica, and will be on display at True Love Art Gallery through May 10th.

The air element is associated with the Octahedron which, in the painting, serves as the winged body. The greek work Pneuma means breath, or Holy Spirit which descends through the air on the wings of a dove. The Octahedron is adorned with the hermaphrodite symbol, combining the masculine of heat with the feminine quality of moisture.

My alchemy series is now on view at True Love Art Gallery in…

My alchemy series is now on view at True Love Art Gallery in Seattle through May 10th.

The fire element is associated with the sun which, in alchemy, influences the heart. Adorning the heart are orange blossoms, a flower governed by the sun.

Rabbit & Egg, Still Life Drawing

Which came first? :)

Just a fun play on the chicken & egg question.  

I've been working on my drawing stills.  I use still life set ups of my favorite odds and ends as subjects. I find it interesting and entertaining.  

Please enjoy! 

Rabbit & Egg, Still Life by Margaret Stermer-Cox


The post Rabbit & Egg, Still Life Drawing appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox – Watercolor Artist.

STAMPING WITH MICAS: LightGarden Glass Art Video

1086 Washburn
Medford, OR                                   Tues-Fri 10-5pm                 Sat  10-1p
(541) 779-0272                                 Closed:  Sun & Mon.

The next video from

LightGarden Glass Art


is now online!



Learn how to embellish your fused glass with sparkling mica.


 This class is now available as a free video!


Three Kitties, Six Faces (Cubism)

Say What?

Three Kitties, six faces?  How?  You guessed it, Cubism.

Cubist Influences

I would like to tell you a little about my Cubist-style cat paintings.  So, lets begin at the beginning.

Watercolor painting inspired by Cubism; its a double face cat!

I grew up looking at art books.  Cubism was one of my favorite styles.  I was intrigued by the different approach to perspective.  I wanted to know how they did it; what was it all about.

As you might imagine, I looked at the masters of Cubism to get an idea about how I might create a face.  Naturally, I looked to Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque first.  But, in one of my art books, I found some sculptures and drawings by Henri Laurens done during his Cubist phase.  Aha!  Cubism is sculptural!  Yes, I'd read it, but now I could see the link and could imagine 3D on a 2D surface.  "Regal Kitty" is inspired by Henri Laurens works; "Star Gazer" and "Merry MsMaggie" by Picasso.  (You might notice that I included a different version of "Merry MsMaggie" in the previous post).

Merry MsMaggie

The Idea

To over-simplify, one of the Cubist ideas was to show different sides of something, say a cube, as if all the sides were on the same plane.  Imagine a cardboard box before the sides are folded in, stapled or glued to make a box.  Conversely, imagine a cardboard box with all of the sides un-folded.  Its a flat object.

That is one of the ideas behind the double face seen in Cubist portraits, for example.  One is looking at a three dimensional object flattened as if it was two dimensional.

Cats Look And Don't Look

Hmm, I liked this idea and thought that a cat would make a perfect subject for a Cubist style face.  I love the way cats look at you but they don't.  They can accomplish this feat without moving a muscle.  To show this way of looking or being, I figured the double face would be perfect.  That means a half face is superimposed on a full face.  The viewer needs to be able to see both the half face and full face.  The ambiquity of which view dominates can be fun and mysterious.

What I'm showing you today is three variations on a cat showing how I resolved this problem of the double face.  I created the design for "Star Gazer" first, followed by "Merry MsMaggie" and "Regal Kitty" in order.  

Can You See It?

Can you see the two faces – looking sideway and looking forward?  In the first two designs, the sideway or profile view is to the right; the head-on view merges left and right.  The last design, "Regal Kitty" has the profile half to the left; the entire head makes the forward or head-on view.  I tried to use color and tone to differentiate the views.

I hope you enjoy my kitty paintings!  Thank you!

Cat, design influenced by Cubism


The post Three Kitties, Six Faces (Cubism) appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox – Watercolor Artist.

MsMaggie – Kitty In Green

Green Painting Retrospective #Four

Time to throw in a green kitty.  I'm continuing on with my green in March painting retrospective.  

Ms Maggie on the Rug - Painting in Green

Background and Intentions

I painted "MsMaggie On a Rug" in 2008.  I purposely chose a green dominate color scheme, just to see what would happen.  My intention was to create a design used contrasting green and red without it feeling like a Christmas painting.

My Process

I took several photos of MsMaggie on a rug on the floor of my aunt's home.  The floor was tile and inspired the grid-like pattern.  As is my habit, I used the photo for inspiration, then created drawings from memory and imagination.  This painting is based on one of several drawings that I did over many months.  The paintings became part of my "MsKitty" collection.

One problem I worked on in this design was creating a Cubist-style kitty. The Cubist devise that I was interested in was the double face.  I wanted MsMaggie cat to be looking at you two ways: head on and in profile.  I like the mystery and ambiquity.  Plus, I think cats make the perfect Cubist subject.  Cats are masters at the "looking at you but not looking at you" ability.

If you look closely, you will notice that MsMaggie is looking two directions.

Once I have a design I like, I enlarge it then get to work painting. 

About MsMaggie

This watercolor painting is one of a series of paintings inspired by my Aunt Mary's cat Maggie, also know as "the Magster", "Maggiemagnificat", and other various nicknames.  Maggie was a sweet, beautiful kitty.  She wasn't particularly vocal.  She talked with her body language and her eyes.

I enjoyed creating this particular green painting.  I hope it brings you joy.  



The post MsMaggie – Kitty In Green appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox – Watercolor Artist.

Nature’s Gatherings

Today I am very excited to share my newest stencil designs with you! As I carefully sketched and laid out each page I  hoped that they can be wonderful additions to your journal pages and collages. You will see how I used these stencils in the photographs below, and where some of my ideas came from.




My new nature inspired stencils are from my own sketches of things that I love, birds, insects and flowers.

My inspiration for this little bird and my stencil "In The Garden" came from a sweet little stone bird I have outside in my brick patio, and the beautiful flowers of English Phlox.




I demonstrated this drawing and much more in my Nature Journaling online workshop that you can read more about here!




I also love using symbols in my work. My Earth Song Symbols began when I cut them out as stamps, which you can read about here.

Then I drew smaller versions and designed the stencils you see below. I used these images in a book as a tryptich, using shades of black and white and gray.

I enjoy stenciling on different papers and fabrics and I especially like to apply them with pan pastels.




This is how they began…


_DSC0070 2

This stencil "Under The Sun" portrays my favorite bird, the Great White Egret that thrives along our river and marsh lands. These graceful birds never fails to bring a smile to my face.




What do you see out of your windows today… is it almost spring time like it is here? 


_DSC0026 3


Here is my Earth Symbol book all folded up… I've discovered symbols are everywhere, carved on the sides of old churches in France or doorways in England, symbols representing the letters in alphabets from other cultures and especially symbols on walls of caves from times long ago.


_DSC0030 2


And here is another project where I used some of my stencil designs. 




For more about my new stencils… Nature Gatherings or Earth Song Symbols hop on over and visit StencilGirl!

And to order these, to be shipped today go to the Stencil Girl Website here!



Green Three – View Across The Valley

Continuing on with the theme of green, this is a small watercolor painting I did in 2006.  The subject is a valley in Southern Oregon and is based on a drawing I did on location.  I liked the long view in front of the buildings across the valley.  And, typical of this area, I like the mountains in the distance.

Green:  View Across the Valley, M. Stermer-Cox

The special significance of this painting to me is the learning and personal growth.  At the time when I was working on this painting, I read somewhere that some of Hudson Valley School of Artists used to apply thin glazes to their paintings to achieve the special glow to their landscapes.  I'm not sure the source of my information.  

Regardless of the source, and inspired by the Hudson Valley School, I tried some thin glazes of green gold and VOILA!  I was so excited; I liked what the thin layers of gold did to the greens.  

Sometimes, a painting is a "keeper" as much for the learning as for the result.  I like this painting because of the subject, the education, and it makes me feel good.

 Please enjoy my third take on green.  See the previous two posts for more green!





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Women’s “Art Discoveries” Retreat

Women’s “Art Discoveries” Retreat

Women's "Art Discoveries" Retreat with Elaine Frenett announcement
TITLE: Women’s “Art Discoveries” Retreat
DATE: September 13-18, 2015
TIME: Six day, ALL-inclusive (meals, lodging and instruction) retreat
PRICE: Two prices available, depending upon chosen lodging (see website)
LOCATION: Lake Alpine Resort, California Sierras (between Ebbets Pass and Bear Valley)

Dreaming of an artist’s escape? Envision the air autumn-crisp, with golden leaves reflected in the sparkling lake, pine scent weaving through the trees and thoughts turning to introspection. Such is the setting for the sixth annual Women’s “Art Discoveries” Retreat, September 13-18 at Lake Alpine Resort near Bear Valley California. These experienced professionals, Jean Warren and Elaine Frenett, have reshaped this year’s format to weave paints, mixed media and words together to expand our creativity using collaboration, abstraction and exploration. This all-inclusive (meals, lodging and workshop) retreat is for the spirited woman who loves painting, journaling and the energy of other women (2 scholarships available). For more information: feel free to contact Elaine Frenett your retreat leader at 541-944-2196.