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Sketching in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument

Sketch from "Hike & Learn" Field Sketching Class

Graphite on drawing paper
Done in Sarah F. Burns “Hike & Learn” class with the Friends of Cascade/Siskiyou National Monument
Just off the Pacific Crest Trail, south of Hobart Bluff Trail Head, in the Soda Mountain Wilderness

Greetings!  Yesterday I took part in a fun sketching class.  Sponsored by the “Friends of Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument”, the class was part of their “Hike and Learn” program.  The instructor was artist Sarah F. Burns.  You may have noted from previous posts, I’m taking classical drawing from Sarah.

I find landscape drawing challenging.  Sarah gave a demonstration on how to create a drawing, focusing on lights, darks and shapes.  She talked about how one organizes based on big shapes and aerial perspective.  She makes it look easy.

When faced with my own blank paper, I set about the business of sketching in the manner Sarah presented.  At the end of the session, we discussed my efforts.  I learned about drawing what I see and how it might differ from drawing symbols of what I see.  I had not noticed this tendency of mine.

The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument is not far from the Rogue Valley where I live.  It was a good experience.  I’m excited to go out again.

PS.  The “Friends of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument” have other Hike & Learn sessions.  I think they are a wonderful way to get to know this special place in southwest Oregon.


The post Sketching in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

Hike and Learn

The Friends of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument hold a monthly event called a Hike and Learn, where the invite someone to enhance participants’ experience of the monument with their expertise. They have invited me to lead a Hike and Learn on the subject of Landscape Sketching!  The monument is pretty neat because it has some of the greatest bio-diversity in a concentrated area in the United States.  I’m a big fan of using my art as a tool for documentation, so I’m looking forward to documenting this significant location this week and weekend.

The Hike and Learn is open to all, and is free to attend.  On Friday evening I will give a slide talk that goes over the basics of sketching the landscape.  Then Saturday morning, we will all meet up and head to Hobart Bluff to hike a little and sketch out in the wild.  We’ll meet back around lunch time and share our successes and struggles.

And the local paper – Ashland Daily Tidings has done an article on the event — check it out here.

bpennell sarahfburns

Photo by Bob Pennell for the Ashland Daily Tidings  – That’s me with the crazy grin, pretending to be on my way to do some landscape painting.

Details and Further Info:

Hike and Learn — FREE
Limited space, please sign up as space is limited by sending email to: [email protected].  Email title: Hike & Learn SKETCH  Email body: Your name, email, address, phone

Friday, August 21, 6:00-7:00 pm
Slide Talk at the Ashland Public Library

Saturday, August 22
Hike – Meet at the Shop-N-Kart Ashland Parking Lot at 9:00 am to caravan up to Hobart Bluff
Hike and Sketch from 9:30 – Noon

Filed under: Classes, Drawing, Landscape, Uncategorized Tagged: 2015, Ashland Daily Tidings, drawing, Hike and Learn, Inspiration, landscape, life, oregon, plein air, rogue valley, Sarah burns, sarah f burns, southern oregon

Embracing Gray

I’m evolving.  I’m embracing gray.

Once Upon A Time…

About 12 years ago I was called a “colorist”; I took it as a compliment.  I still do.

I had several paintings hanging in a gallery and it was Art Walk night.  A gentleman came by and we were chatting.  He observed that I was a “colorist”.  And, indeed, my paintings were colorful.

A Little Art History

To explain, a “colorist” is an artist whose focus is color instead of something else like gray tone.  Painters like Matisse and Bonnard created colorist works.

A “tonalist”, on the other hand, is an artist whose focus is on the tones: lights, darks and various shades of gray.  Whistler is an example of a tonalist painter.

Colorful Beginnings

I have been studying color as long as I can remember.  I bet you have too.  Remember crayons?  Did you ever layer reds and greens to make black?  Or, consider color choices when getting dressed in the morning?  Or, decorating?

My father taught my siblings and I the primary, secondary and tertiary colors.  He told us about opposite colors and how to mix them to make grays and browns.  Still, it was colors like red, blue, yellow, pink, rather than gray that caught my attention.

Red Hen And Eggs, color as symbol ©M Stermer-Cox

When I started my development as a painter, my approach was as a colorist.  In a colorist manner, I tended to use color opposites next to each other to achieve color harmony.  This works as long as both colors are used at the same strength.

My watercolor painting “Red Hen and Eggs” is an example of a colorist approach.  I used green and red as my color scheme.

Over time, I have accumulated more knowledge about the properties of color.  Slowly, I’ve added mixed dark colors to my paintings.  Still, I would characterize my approach as a colorist; colors are the focus.

Gray Evolution

As I said, I’m evolving.  I’ve been studying the classical academic approach to drawing and painting under the instruction of artist Sarah Burns.  The process is drawing, gray scale painting, then color.

Naturally, when I come home from class, I have to practice and experiment!

Embracing Gray:  Coffee Cup w/ Swedish Candle

Acrylic over Watercolor
d’Arches 300lb RP Watercolor Paper

I’ve been working on this small acrylic still life painting.    I decided to try to incorporate lessons I’ve learned from Sarah’s class.  I purposely used grays in my set up and my painting.  I liked the way the gray helps the red in the candlestick glow.

Bottomline.  I’m happy I’m embracing the gray side.  Its like having more tools in the tool box!




The post Embracing Gray appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

Breaking Rules – Birthday Card

"Twins" - An example of breaking rules.

Watercolor & Colored Pencil
By Margaret Stermer-Cox
Birthday Card for Michelle A Stermer

In drawing and painting there are “rules” or suggested conventions that help artists organize their creations.  I find many of the rules useful, though I find it helpful to remember that rules change with time.  Also, not everyone agrees on the rules.

In this small painting, I have broken a rule that I generally follow.  I usually do not put a white shape on the edge of a painting.  The reason involves some of white’s optical properties.  White advances in relation to other colors and tones.  Plus, a white, advancing shape at the edge leads your eyes off the edge.  There are implied things happening off the image.

So why did I break the rules and create a composition with a white shape on the edge?  I liked it.   My intention had been to paint the white cat shape a lighter blue.  But, while I was working, I liked the white and it supports my “story”.

The story?  This is an image on a birthday card for my twin sister Michelle.  We are fraternal twins.  She is blonde and I’m brunette, or we were before we started to turn gray.  Our personalities are different too, sort of like night and day.  The kitties represent us.

Back to the rules.   The wonderful thing about rules in drawing and painting, they’re not set in stone.  An artist is free to break the rules and make rules of their own.  And, if the composition works, so much the better!

I enjoyed creating my “Twins”; please enjoy!


The post Breaking Rules – Birthday Card appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

“Undulating Energy” is now available in my online store…

“Undulating Energy” is now available in my online store, $495

Diminishing triangles perfectly intersect with organic growth…

Diminishing triangles perfectly intersect with organic growth formation.

Purchase inquiries may be directed to [email protected]

Eve Margo Withrow – Creative Journeys and Adventures!

 Eve Margo Withrow logo header


One Anemone, paper sculpture on canvas by Eve Margo Withrow
My creative journey has always involved responding to an essential ingredient of an experience and following the threads of that flow to a magical finale.  I trusted the collaboration with an authentic source within and beyond myself. A huge curiosity about this journey has kept my enthusiasm at a fevered pitch for many years.

Recently, the intensity has waned a bit and neither the process nor the outcome has been as compelling.  I wondered if it was simply related to the aging/wisdom journey of slowing down but instead of settling into it, I felt like I was always waiting for an echo, a nudge, and an inspiration.

Going back to clay was not an option.  My hands are no longer strong enough and too arthritic to do the building and my body is no longer strong enough to do the hauling and firing. Plus, the gallery I am part owner of only shows paintings: only work that hangs on the wall. I had no ideas where to go next.

Drawn to the depths of my own presence to ponder I turned again to nature’s state of enlivened being. The seed pod, the ocean coral, the flower; all fully embody a direct experience of being. With this curiosity about the feeling experience of “being the thing” I began to realize that I am closer to knowing the “ME of ME”.

Now is the new beginnings of a new direction in my Artwork.  Sculpture and painting have merged.  I have become an inventor, an engineer and a researcher as I explore new techniques and forms to represent deeper states of being. No doubt there will be many twists and turns; some more successful than others.  The being is in the awareness of each moment on the journey.

10 new pieces will be hanging at Art and Soul Gallery beginning the first week in August.  Drop in and meet me on First Friday Art Walk from 5-8pm August 7th. They are also on my Website under Gallery/New Work.

Intuitive Painting Classes

Solar Wind, mixed media by Eve Margo WithrowAre you ready to explore the edges of your creativity?

Play with and follow the threads of visual expression?

Laugh with the joy available when you trust your intuition
to guide you?

Intuitive Painting at my Medford Studio

Experience and experiment with a variety of non-threatening painting processes. Artists who want to create with renewed enthusiasm as well as inexperienced artists will be delighted.
First Sunday Of Each Month

 12 noon – 3:00  pm
(This class is usually 1 pm – 4 pm. Time change is for August only

Classes are small and comfortable.

For more information or to register, contact me at 541-772-6888 or [email protected]

Fee: $45.00

You can also join me for Intuitive Painting Classes at
Rogue Gallery & Art Center

  • Thursday, Aug, 5th, 1 pm – 4 pm
  • Tuesday, Sept 1st, 1 pm – 4  pm
  • Tuesday, Sept. 8th, 1 pm – 4 pm

Experience the freedom of color expression as you explore a variety of painting processes and techniques. Work with liquid acrylics and collage to tap into your authentic creative self.

Fee: $190 Rogue Gallery members, $205 non-members, All materials are included

 NEW!  3D Sundays
3 D Sundays with Eve Margo Withrow

Beginning in September, I will be adding a new sculpture class on the 3rd Sunday of each month from1-4pm.

You will be introduced  to a variety of materials and techniques while experiencing the grounded tactile sense of exploring your creative depths in 3 dimensions.  That added perspective changes the creative process in such interesting ways.

You’ll love it.

Possible adventures may include Mask Making both from your own face and from scratch in other materials.  Personal Shrines, Paper-mache Figures and animals, Sculpture From Nature — as in the Andy Goldsworthy style of finding materials and constructing the sculptures on site in nature.

Examples of some of these projects can be seen on my website. Some of the adventures will take more than one class session to complete.

Fee: $50 (includes materials) You will want to bring personal items to embellish certain projects.

 Schedule a Party at my Studio!
Art Party with Eve Margo Withrow
Here is how it works:

  • The birthday gal or guy invite their friends to my home/studio
  • They all bring the food and wine
  • I provide a fun creative project
  • Everyone has a blast creating, laughing, eating and flowing in the enthusiasm of a shared creative adventure
  • All go home with their own creative expression and a joyful memory to cherish

Not just for birthdays! Also fun for any occasion: a date, a family experience or your own personal creative adventures!
To schedule a party contact me at: (541) 772-6888 or [email protected]

Eve Margo WithrowFor more information or to register for a class contact me at: [email protected] or (541) 772-6888

Cathy Dorris Studios has expanded into Kindred Spirits!

 Cathy Dorris Studios has expanded to become Kindred Spirits: Art, Ale, and Wine

Kindred Spirits: Art, Ale, and Wine is:
a gathering place for community, art, music and wine. We invite people to enjoy and create art while sipping a beverage of their choice. We offer over 30 different wines and a wide range of microbrews and cheese plates.

Wednesday and Thursday: 3:00-9:00

Fridays: 3:00-11:00
Saturday: 12:00-6:00
Sunday: 11-6:00


 Cathy Dorris Studios has expanded to become Kindred Spirits: Art, Ale, and Wine
KINDRED SPIRITS: Art. Ale, and Wine, LLC Copyright © 2015
All rights reserved.
Come visit us at:KINDRED SPIRITS: Art. Ale, and Wine

106 Talent Ave. #2

Talent, OR  97540

White light waves rise up and dark waves descend, intersecting…

White light waves rise up and dark waves descend, intersecting with each other in ripples on another plane and giving birth to an organic entities.

Student Drawings

Student Drawing - Still Life with Two Clay Posts

Graphite on drawing paper
Done in Sarah F. Burns Drawing class

Yes, I’m a student.

I think I will always be a student in the sense that one has something new to learn.

I am also a student of artist Sarah F. Burns.  I am learning about academic drawing and painting.

Oddly enough, since the beginning of my life as an artist, I’ve been drawing from life.  Doing still life drawing seemed to be the obvious choice.  I can create set ups in my home and work on my own.  Its a way of getting to know the subject prior to painting it.

Its been a long time since I’ve had formal instruction on drawing.  I’m enjoying the study.  I thought I’d show you my first two student drawings.  The still life with the two vases was the first drawing.  The still life with the two broken seashells and vase is the second drawing.

I thought it would be fun to share my classwork.  Soon, I’ll start working on painting the shells.  I’m looking forward to the challenge!

Student Drawing Still Life with Two Broken Seashells and a vase

Graphite on drawing paper
Done in Sarah F. Burns Drawing class



The post Student Drawings appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.