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Art Inspires Ashland 2014

You’re Invited! 


Art Inspires Ashland

November 14 – 16, 2014

Early Bird special for Evening Presentations tickets ends on November 1!
Art Inspires Ashland 2014
Join us for Ashland Art Center‘s third annual Art Inspires Ashland
Three amazing visiting artists will give TED-style presentations on Friday night, November 14, at the Ashland Springs Hotel, and then they will lead hands-on workshops and demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday, November 15 and 16, at AAC.

This year’s visiting artists are: 
contemporary classical realist master painter, NYC
ground-breaking fiber artist and designer, Berkeley, CA
award-winning body painter, Bend, OR
Art Inspires Ashland 2014
Art Inspires Ashland 2014 FlyerYou can purchase your event tickets and 
register for the workshops & demonstrations either at 
Ashland Art Center, 357 E Main St. (across from Pasta Piatti)
and join the the event pages for Dan, Jean, and Natalie‘s events. 

Get the Details!



Evening Presentations

Prepare to be entertained, informed, and inspired! 

Our three visiting artists will share stories about who they are, 

what they do, and what inspires them in 18-minute, TED-style talks. 


Friday, November 14, 6:00 – 9:00 pm

Doors open at 6 with live music, hors d’oeuvres, and a silent auction

Presentations start at 7:30

@ Ashland Springs Hotel Ballroom, 212 E Main St, Ashland

$30 early bird sale price, $35 after Nov. 1 

Art Inspires Ashland 2014 Dan Thompson Workshop flyer

Workshops & Demonstrations, November 15 – 16

Click on the class titles below for more information and to register.
NOTE: Need-based scholarships are available for youth and students.
Email for more information.

The Portrait in Red Chalk with Dan Thompson 

Create a portrait in red chalk and red crayon on hand-toned paper. 
The workshop includes a demonstration and a hands-on class. 
Saturday, November 15, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
$85 Members, $105 General
Art Inspires Ashland 2014 Jean Cacicedo Workshop Flyer

Notan: The Dynamics of Design with Jean Cacicedo 

Learn the principles of Notan (the interaction between positive and negative space) step-by-step while we each work on creating several paper collages.
Saturday, November 15, 4:00 – 8:00 pm
$65 Members, $80 General

Body as Canvas: A Demonstration with Natalie Fletcher

Watch award-winning body painter Natalie Fletcher work her magic: painting a camouflage illusion onto a figure to blend them into a background.
Sunday, November 16, 11:00 am – 2:00 pmArt Inspires Ashland 2014 Natalie Fletcher Workshop Flyer
$25 Members, $30 General
Thank you to our past and current sponsors:
  • Adroit Construction
  • Anne Hathaway’s B&B
  • Ashland Chamber of Commerce
  • Ashland Gallery Association
  • AZ Catering
  • Bruce Richey, Architect
  • Golden-Fields Construction
  • Grape Street Design Group
  • Grizzly Peak Winery
  • Hearts & Vines
  • Jefferson Public Radio
  • Jennifer Miller
  • Kistler + Small + White
  • Lithia Springs Resort
  • Mercedes Benz of Medford
  • Ram Offset
  • Sam Vierson Family Foundation
  • Smithfields Restaurant
  • Sneak Preview
  • Southern Oregon Media Group
  • Southern Oregon Public Television
  • Spring Life Productions
  • TOT Restaurant
  • Wells Fargo
  • Wendy Seldon 
With Art Inspires Ashland, Ashland Art Center’s mission is to bring together some of the world’s most creative minds for a weekend of inspirational presentations, workshops and discussions. This community event is an important yearly fundraiser for the Art Center. All proceeds go to AAC’s children’s classes, education programs, and professional artist services. The Art Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to serving the visual arts community of Southern Oregon and supporting local artists. 

Hanging Art Shows: Tips and Plans


My purpose today is to share some tips and ideas about hanging art shows outside the home or studio.  Planning and preparation are key to an efficient and smooth operation.

Recently, I was talking to one of  my sisters about hanging art shows.  My sister has hung art shows in her home, but not in a gallery type venue.  She is getting ready to hang a show of my Father’s artwork in Albuquerque this November.   As I started sharing tips, it occurred to me that this might be something to share with others.

Margaret Stermer-Cox with Paintings

Successful Hanging Day

Hanging Art At Home – v – Not Home

There is a big difference between hanging an art show in your home or studio and hanging in a gallery or non-traditional venue.  Here are some major considerations:

  • Time.  You may have limited access to the gallery space.  The show must be hung within a defined timeframe.
  • Materials.  You may have to bring all the hanging materials with you; do not assume the venue will provide them.
  • Assistance.  The venue may or may not have someone available to assist you.  You may need to bring your own help.

Put another way, when you’re hanging in your studio or home, you control the situation and deadlines.  You can be as efficient as you want to be.  However, in a gallery or non-traditional venue (cafe, coffee house, winery) you will have constraints based on the venue’s daily operations.

Tape measure - essential tool

Tape measure – essential tool


My husband and I have had the pleasure of hanging several shows.  Some of them we have had to travel several hours to; some were in a different state.  In order to accomplish our task of hanging the artwork within the allotted time, we had to get efficient and establish procedures.  We pre-plan the operation and have assigned duties.  My husband hangs; I assist and am the gopher.


  • Think through the hardware that you will need; create a “hanging day” toolbox.  I have such a toolbox and a list of essential ingredients.
  • If possible, get the wall dimensions.  Once you have the wall dimension, you can develop a hanging plan*
  • Create checklists for tools, equipment and documentation.  Please see checklists at the bottom of the page
  • Take extra paintings just in case and changes in situations
  • Preplan and, have a “plan b” with a little redundancy.

Art Plan

* Here a step-by-step outline of how to develop your hanging art plan.

  • Get the dimensions (height & width) of each wall or space available to you.
  • Get the dimensions of the framed artwork you wish to display.
  • Consider the margins, or how much space you want around you
  • Then its a matter of arranging and adding up measurements.

For example:  Wall space equal 70 inches wide.  I have five paintings I am considering.   There widths are 14.5, 22.5,  23, 20 and 14 inches respectively.  If I wanted to hang 22.5+23+20 paintings, I’d have 65.5 inches committed to paintings.  That only leaves me 4.5 inches between the three paintings (two spaces equaling 2.25 inches).  Maybe that’s OK; maybe that’s too crowded.  That will may be an issue decided on hanging day.  Its a matter of style.

I like to come up with two or three options.  I present them to my husband.  The final decision on layout is usually made on hanging day.


In summary, taking the time to plan and prepare before art hanging day may help you have a smooth, efficient operation.

And, what to do when you’re done?  I might go have a nice cup of espresso with a fudge brownie to celebrate a smooth art hanging operation.   How about you?  And, for those of you who have done art hanging operations, suggestions?  Your lessons learned?

Sample Checklists

Equipment Checklist

Equipment Checklist

Sample Document Checklist

Sample Document Checklist


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Downtowne Coffee House, Drawing Talent Series

Time To Draw

Yes!  Today was a lovely fall day!  Sky blue, temperatures mild, calm winds.  That means time to go outside and do another “Drawing Talent” piece!

Armed with stool, paint tool box, paper, water, sunscreen, hat…etc, OFF I GO!  It was late morning on a Sunday.  Certainly there will be no one around and I can draw and paint in peace.*  Well, no.  There we a lot of people at the Downtowne Coffee House!

Downtowne Coffee House, Talent OR

Busy At Downtowne Coffee House

Cars, dogs, people everywhere!  The Downtowne Coffee House has outside tables and they were full of patrons.  Judging by the coming and going of cars, I’d say the inside seating was doing pretty good too!  I was pleased to see such a hopping, thriving business on a Sunday morning.

It did make it challenging to draw and paint.  I worked quickly to get the big shapes of the cars before they moved; which they did.  And, others took their place.

I have had coffee here several times.  I particularly like their espresso.  As a matter of fact, I sat at one of their outdoor tables to do one of my previous “Drawing Talent” pieces, “Drawing Talent:  Joe Dunbar Designs & Talent Cafe”.

It was a fun morning.  When I walked home, there were several young people at the skate park.  For what I call a sleepy town, Talent certainly was active today!


* I enjoy interruptions by interested passersby.  That is one of the points of my “Drawing Talent” project.  I get to know Talent; Talent people get to know me.  Win; win!



The post Downtowne Coffee House, Drawing Talent Series appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox – Watercolor Artist.

Going to California – Just Sayin’…

Show Time

YES!  For the first time, one of my paintings is going to California!

My painting “Just Sayin’ V8b” has been accepted into the California Watercolor Association‘s 45th National Exhibition in Pleasanton, CA.

Stermer-CoxMargaret-Just Sayin'… V8b


California Exhibition Details

Exhibition dates are January 15 through February 21st.  The location is the Harrington Gallery at the Firehouse Arts Center.

The Juror of Selection is Mr. Eric Wiegardt.  The Juror of Award is Mr. Gary Bukovnik.

I am thrilled and am thankful!  Two of my art friends are also in the exhibition: Myrna Wacknov and Ruth Armitage. Congratulations Myrna and Ruth!

You may see the complete list of accepted artist’s at the CWA website on the exhibition page.

Just Sayin’…  The Story

This watercolor painting is part of my “Just Sayin’…” series, inspired by our culture, and cell phones in particular.  One of my sisters served as the model.  We were home visiting my Mom.  I went in to the kitchen and found my sister on her cell phone.  Her phone was to one ear and finger to the other.  I thought the gesture was funny and typical of our times.  I’ve been having fun working with it ever since.





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Arts & Alzheimer’s documentary to air on Oregon Public Broadcasting

The filmmakers contacted us yesterday to announce exciting news – “I Remember Better When I Paint” will  be airing on Oregon Public Broadcasting TV station on November 19, 2014 at 7 pm. Put it on your calendar so you don’t miss it, particularly if you have a friend or family member with Alzheimer’s! There is hope ~ all is not lost when there is art to step in and help with communication.

Remember Better When I Paint, narrated by Olivia de Havilland, is the first international documentary about the positive impact of art and other creative therapies on people with Alzheimer’s and how these approaches can change the way we look at the disease. Among those who are featured are noted doctors and Yasmin Aga Khan, president of Alzheimer’s Disease International and daughter of Rita Hayworth, who had Alzheimer’s.

The inspiration for the documentary was the painter Hilgos, who grew up in Portland, Oregon. In her later years while struggling with Alzheimer’s, she stated “I remember better when I paint.” With art students facilitating, Hilgos began painting again. Painting allowed Hilgos to maintain, and even regain, some of her core identity, and her extraordinary enthusiasm and energy, while living with profound memory loss.

This film, directed by Eric Ellena and Berna Huebner, is presented by French Connection Films and the Hilgos Foundation. To learn more, visit our previous post, the film’s website, and the Hilgos Foundation Wikipedia page.

Here’s a trailer:

On Writing a Solo Art Show Statement

Art Show Coming Up

In my head I’m having a discussion with my sister Dorothy about art show statements.  Dorothy is in the process of putting together a solo show of my Dad’s work, artist John H. Stermer (1920-1991).  The show will be at the University of New Mexico’s Popejoy Hall (Albuquerque, NM) this November.

The Problem

How does one go about writing a statement for an art show?  What might an art show statement look like?

kittykitty by margaret stermercoxResearch

Thinking off the top of my head, I thought I’d do some online research.  This is not a new requirement, there ought to be lots of articles are art show statements, shouldn’t there?

What I found was that  there are plenty of articles about writing an artist’s statement, but I couldn’t find one specifically about a show or collection statement.  I know they’re out there, but?

I Need Your Help

Since I didn’t find a satisfactory article, I would love to read your suggestions and experiences.  To get the ball rolling, so to speak, I thought I’d write this article.

Brain Storming

Here’s a brain storm type list of what I think a solo art show or collection (we will go with art show) statement might look like.

  • Short.  To the point.  Smallish sentences for easy reading.  Three to five short paragraphs long.
  • Its a story about the collection used in the art show.
  • It introduces the audience, which are potential collectors, to the collection and gives them a clue about what to see, discover or feel.
  • It’s not a bio.  It’s not the artist’s childhood.
  • Written in the first person.
  • Used in publicity and marketing.
  • Specific to the collection of art being shown

Still Life with Toy Pony D25

Sample Statement

I have written a couple from time to time and found one in my archives.  It was for my “MsKitty & ToyPony” collections.  I thought I’d include it as a sample art show statement..ummm, after some editing!

“MsKitty & Toy Pony”

Welcome to the “MsKitty and ToyPony” show!  Its about humor, family and friendship.  Its also about color, boldness and discovery.  Shown here are the highlights of two series of watercolor works:  “MsKitty” and “Still Life with Toy Pony”.

The “MsKitty” series was inspired by my aunt’s cat “Maggie”, also known as “Maggie-magnificat”. I gave her the names “MsKitty” and “KittyKitty”, because she is a proper, modern cat. I like the stoic, subdued expressions of kitties. I also like their ability to go from nap to full tilt boogie in four seconds flat. In the MsKitty series, I am exploring the expression of the individual. Others are implied, as in “KittyKitty”; the text refers to someone off-paper. “Regal Kitty” is a nod to the Cubist sculpture of Henri Laurens. In “Groovy Kitty”, I again include Cubist devices, such a face that can be read as head-on or in profile.

I started the “Still Life with Toy Pony” series after working on “MsKitty” for a year or more. Where “MsKitty” is about the individual, “Toy Pony” is the family.   The objects are arranged to tell stories about family relationships. Sometimes the four objects are all linked as a unit. At other times, I grouped the objects either as pairs, or in an un-even 3-1 arrangement. Each arrangement influences the mood and expression. Another device I used was the animate object, “Toy Pony” contrasted with three in-animate objects, the candlestick, espresso cup and vase. I believe that “Toy Pony’s” character is easier to reveal because of a natural empathy with animals. “Toy Pony” became the star; the candlestick, espresso cup and vase the supporting cast. On a personal note, I seem myself as the espresso cup.

Even though both series were started independently, they took on a greater personal meaning together. They reminded me of my sisters and me. While each painting is designed to stand on its own, together they reflect my feelings about my family. And, if they bring joy or delight to the viewer, so much the better!


I would love to hear your recommendations and suggestions about what an art show statement should be about.


Paintings From the MsKitty and Toy Pony Collections



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i·chor ˈīˌkôr/ noun Greek Mythologynoun: ichorthe fluid that…


Greek Mythology
noun: ichor
the fluid that flows like blood in the veins of the gods.

Roguish Affair – WSO Aqueous Convention

October 3-5, 2014

WSO Watercolor Society of Oregon logo

By Deanna St. Martin, reposted from Watercolor Society of Oregon members can register for the Fall convention from the original post (link at the top of the page) or at the Fall 2014 Convention registration link HERE.


Now is the time to plan your visit to the center of Oregon’s new “Wine Country”, October 3, 4 and 5, 2014. Autumn is so lovely in Southern Oregon; summer weather is still here. There is no better place to come and paint.

Convention Chair Deanna St. Martin has been busy planning a fabulous weekend full of inspiration and educational opportunities.

Downtown Medford will be the center of this convention’s activities; the Rogue Gallery and Art Center and many restaurants and focal points are within easy walking distance from the hotel.

Registration begins Friday afternoon at Inn at the Commons, formerly the Red Lion Inn and continues with the Meet & Greet on Friday night, October 3rd. Members will get a chance to meet Juror Linda Baker and catch up with WSO friends, both new and old. Juror Linda Baker has heard so many good things about WSO and can hardly wait to see and paint our lovely vistas.

The new Lark’s Restaurant at the Inn at the Commons is a local favorite and a sure place to “perk” up your morning before the convention activities.

Saturday Break-Out sessions include many of our local artists presenting classes as well as holding Paint-Outs at the many beautiful locations in the Rogue Valley. Members may choose from many varied events.

Hannah West will hold a session on how to capture your buyer’s attention amidst all the online ads with “How to Create a Fabulous Online Presence.”

Jane Hardgrove will help members to get creative with paintings they wonder should be tossed out or salvaged into something else. As a participant you’ll bring in three paintings that you don’t like and turn them into masterpieces.

Winnie Givot will hold a Paint-In on creating “Out of the Box Backgrounds.” Winnie utilizes underpaintings as a basis of her fabulous artwork. These will be the inspiration for this break-out session.

Kara Pilcher with a panel of fellow artists will hold a critique session on “How to Run a Successful Critique Group.” Artists who participate in critique groups can certainly attest to their value.
In addition to the great break-out sessions, Linda Baker will hold two Juror Critiques. These events are often the best attended during the conventions. They provide valuable feedback for the artists who submit painting images as well those who attend the critiques.

On Saturday, Paints-Outs will be led by members Norm Rossignol, Steve and Sue Bennett, and Sue Eakin, just to name a few. Lithia Park, the Commons, the Rogue River, and Belle Fiore Estate & Winery are some of the fabulous locations chosen by our Paint-Out leaders.

On Saturday afternoon the Artists’ Reception will take place a few blocks from the hotel at the Rogue Gallery and Art Center where the 80 juried paintings will be displayed. Food and beverages will be served, and all who attend will have a chance to vote for the “People’s Choice Award”. Then it’s back to the Inn at the Commons for the Awards and Dinner.

Sunday morning events start at 9:00 a.m. with the Members’ Business Meeting (and raffle) followed by a lecture and demo by Linda Baker. Following the convention, WSO is pleased to present a Linda Baker Workshop to be held October 6-10 at the Rogue Gallery. Registration began in May, with a registration form in the May issue of The Watermark.

For a complete schedule of WSO Fall Convention events, meetings, workshops, paint outs, presentations and more, please click the following link to download a pdf with all the info, dates and times: Watercolor Society of Oregon Fall 2014 Convention Schedule

Congratulations to all the Oregon watercolor artists whose paintings were accepted into the Fall Show!  Accepted artists include Southern Oregon Artists Resource member Margaret Stermer-Cox and friends of Southern Oregon Artists Resource Betty Barss, Lynda Haghan, Marilyn Hurst, Cecilia Pestlin, Charlotte Peterson, and Eve Margo Withrow.  Click here for a complete list of all accepted artists and their paintings


30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

I joined the “30 Paintings in 30 Days” challenge sponsored by Leslie Saeta even though I had projects coming up that might prevent me from finishing the challenge.  Why take on the challenge?  I thought it was worth the start and good practice.  Even if I don’t post, its worth the discipline to paint daily.

What I would like to talk about are the projects I will be doing instead.  Camping and painting, naturally.  Plus, I’m volunteering my time to the Watercolor Society of Oregon (WSO) and the Northwest Watercolor Society (NWWS).

Dreamy Time Tea

Watercolor Society of Oregon

The Watercolor Society of Oregon has their fall convention early in October.  This year it is being held in nearby Medford, OR.  I am one of the volunteer workers.  I’m assisting the convention chair (Ms. Deanna St. Martin) with some of the sessions.   Currently, I’m preparing for the Juror’s Critique Sessions.  There are two sessions each with 20 images.  What is enlightening is seeing the good quality of art being submitted.

Which brings me to a lesson learned that is re-inforced in my brain.  In most any juried show, there are many fine paintings that are not accepted.  It is the nature of the beast due to the limits of juried shows.

Another lesson learned:  there is a LOT of work that must be done ahead of time to prepare for and put on an exhibition and convention.

My volunteer work with the Watercolor Society of Oregon is short term and will be done by conventions end early in October.

Northwest Watercolor Society

My work with the Northwest Watercolor Society is more long term.  I am one of the “Co-Chair” for the society’s Facebook Page.  These days, non-profit organizations, such as the NWWS, must learn and be active in Social Media.  By necessity, the society depends on volunteers.

I started volunteering with the NWWS in 2011.  I was their “Awards Chair”.  It was an interesting job.  My responsibility was securing award donations for their two annual exhibitions.  It was almost like a full time job.  It was also a job I wanted to do well as people were depending on me.

During my tenure as Awards Chair, I started posting on the society’s Facebook page.  I’ve been doing it off and on ever since.

Why Volunteer?

I have gained knowledge about art societies and participating in art exhibitions and conventions.  This is knowledge one does not gain merely by submitting an image.  Things like image preparation, paperwork, shipping and receiving artwork.

The art societies rely on volunteers to function.  Volunteering from time to time contributes to the success of organizations I am a member of, even if it is in a small way.

So, if I don’t post much until mid October, know that I’m busy working on the Watercolor Society of Oregon’s fall convention.  I probably won’t have time for new “Drawing Talent” work either.

Plus, if you have insight on growing a great non-profit organization Facebook page, PLEASE let me know!

Tea & Espresso

Now, I think it’s tea and coffee time!  About the two paintings shown, they are the latest two I completed for the “30 Paintings in 30 Days” .  Thanks!

Espresso & Tea Again


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Talent Library Entrance: Day 11 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Remembering My First Library Visit

Libraries.  Do you remember the first time you went to a library?  I do.  I don’t remember the book I checked out, but I do remember going.

Up until that  magical day, libraries were grown up places and I was too young.  

Talent Library Entrance, Watercolor by Margaret Stermer-Cox

We were living in Bayard, NM and the nearest library was ten miles away in Silver City, NM.  To drive to the library was a big deal.  My mother would go to the library and take my older siblings, but I was not old enough yet.

Then one day I wasn’t too young and got to go with my Mom.  I felt important.  I’m sure I read the book I checked out over and over again.  It was the start of a long relationship with libraries.

The Book Mobile

We used to have a book mobile come to our village too.  I remember happy visits and checking out books.  If a book was about horses or dogs, I was certain to be interested in it.

Speaking of book mobiles, I have a friend and fellow artist who used to be a book mobile driver/librarian.  What a special job!

Buying Books Through School

Though I’m dating myself, I will say that there wasn’t a book store in our village.  Periodically we could order paperback books through our school.  I’d pore over the catalog and take my time in choosing the book I was allowed to order.  It was special!

These were the days before computers and the internet changed our lives.  And yet, I think libraries are still important, perhaps more so than ever.

Local Libraries

Local libraries are our communities’ repository for the written word.  Thoughts, ideas, observations, musings and even gossip exists on the pages.  Stories, pictures, histories, its all there.  Rich and poor alike have access.  The library is a “living” monument to what we think is important.

It did strike me as appropriate to be drawing and painting the library on September 11th.  For me, the seeds of freedom can be sewn and nurtured in the library.

Our library in Talent is a branch of the local Jackson County Library System.  It serves us well.


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