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City of Portland

Oil on Panel 10" x 16"

Oil on Panel
10″ x 16″

City of Portland from the Bluff — University of Oregon campus

Recently I got to paint a spot I’ve been dying to paint for a couple of years and I got to paint out with a  Portland artist I’d been dying to meet in real life — Gabriel Liston.  His work is fantastic, he documents life and history and the news in a contemporary Rococo influenced style.

Filed under: Inspiration, Landscape, Paintings Tagged: 2015, landscape, painting, plein air, portland

Upstream People International Award


Eve Margo Withrow


Artist EVE MARGO WITHROW of MEDFORD, OREGON has received FIVE Special Recognition Awards  in 

the “2015 Exposition of Awarded Artwork WWW International” 

hosted byUpstream  People Gallery of Omaha, Nebraska, U. S. A.. This international exhibition received 

approximately 225 art entries  from around the world and 24 artists were selected by the juror 

Laurence Bradshaw, Professor Emeritus of Art at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, U. S. A.

Professor Bradshaw states the following about this specially recognized work:

“‘EVE MARGO WITHROW of Medford, OR uses mixed water media on paper and succeeds with “Alaska Sunset” which gives a sense of the extreme cold and bright sunset. And “Birth” gives a sense of excited expectation with the general overall radiance. Her “Dreams of Men” with the array of organic texture and radiating structure is quite compelling. “Personal Practice” with the wonderful characters and textural qualities is nicely presented in the desaturated color. Also in the same palette, “The Guardian” is amazing with her textural treatment.”‘

Alaska Sunset, painting by Eve Margo Withrow

Alaska Sunset, painting by Eve Margo Withrow

Birth, painting by Eve Margo Withrow

Birth, painting by Eve Margo Withrow

Dreams of Men, painting by Eve Margo Withrow

Dreams of Men, painting by Eve Margo Withrow


Personal Practice

3.Withrow-The Guardian

The Guardian

The exhibition will be featured online during November, 2015 at and continue indefinitely in the archives section of the website.


Framing – Lessons Learned

Metal Framing Hangers

Snap in hanger on left; screw in “Euro” hanger on right
Wire ends wrapped

Framing Question.

When it comes to frames and you don’t know what to do, ask your local framer!   Obvious, no?  I would say not-so-obvious to me.  I’d like to share this last week’s framing lesson in the hope that it might save another “do-your-own” framer some frustration.


I have been framing my artwork for the past 13 years, give or take.  I started out using wood frames that I painted myself to match the art.  After ten years, I was pretty good at my own process.  The paintings looked good and I received compliments on the framing.


Things in the art world change and framing is no exception.  In the past few years, I’ve been submitting to exhibitions that require metal framing.  Consequently, I’ve had to learn how to put together metal frames. How hard can it be?  There are step-by-step instructions that come with the frame; easy as can be.


The metal frames are fairly easy to put together and yet there was a problem.  The hanging hardware that comes with the frames is the “snap in” kind.  They are not easy to snap in.  If you get the hardware to “snap in” without bending the frame or hardware, you’re lucky.  If you get the hardware snapped into the track without raising your blood pressure, you’re also lucky.


Naturally, when I first had trouble with the hanging hardware, I did a search on the internet.  I found an article on Cheap Joes Art Supplies’ Blog about sliding the “snap in” hardware, rather than snapping it in.  Its a good article and I found it helpful.

However, they hint at the next problem with the snap in hardware.  It doesn’t stay where it’s supposed to; snap in becomes slide in and keep on sliding in.  I knew there had to be a better way.

This week, I finally had a pivotal moment.  As my frustration level started to rise I thought there has to be a better way.  After all, framers do this everyday.  Then, AHA!  Why don’t I ask the art supply store where I bought the frame for recommendations?  They have on-site framers.  They have to know a better solution.


I called our local art store, Central Art Supply in Medford, OR where I buy my frames.  I talked to their framer and asked how they get the snap-in hangers to work.  She told me they don’t use the snap-ins; they use screw in types like “Euro-hangers”.  I was so excited, I forgot to ask her if they had any in stock.  Another phone call and a trip to the store and I was set.  (I found examples of screw-in type hanging hardware at United Mfrs, Supply Inc).


For less than $2.00, I had six Euro-hangers.  It took me just a few painless minutes to slide the hangers down the frame track.  Screw in place and voila!  A secure hanger for my frame!  Sometimes the simplest things make me so happy.


The other thing the framer told me was how to deal with the ends of the hanging wire.  She suggested wrapping them with masking tape.  I had been trying different tapes like black electrician’s tape, but the tape wasn’t holding.  Good old masking tape does the trick!  The ends are neat and tidy.  I don’t have to worry about wire gouging anyone.  The framer said that they have gone to the plastic encased wire so the ends are not a problem.

Bottom  Line.

Support your local art supply store and framer.  The internet can not beat a live person to talk to about a problem.

Bottom Line #2.

I can learn new tricks!  The challenge – asking, and knowing who to ask!






The post Framing – Lessons Learned appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

Watercolor Study: Two Coffee Cups

Watercolor Study: Two Coffee Cups

Watercolor and ink
Arches 140lb CP Watercolor paper


Greetings.  I thought I’d share one of my recent watercolor and ink studies.  I thoroughly enjoy working with watercolor; its almost surprising when a painting emerges.  With this particular study, I was working on seeing the still life as a simple light and dark pattern.

Over the last few months I’ve been following the blog by artist James Gurney.  I have been impressed by his commitment to posting work daily.  Sometimes its a simple study; other times its a more involved discussion.  I have been inspired to share some of my daily work and hope you enjoy it.  Thanks!


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Glass Reality, 12″x12″, oil on woodFor purchase…

Glass Reality, 12″x12″, oil on wood

For purchase inquiries, visit

Firehouse Gallery, Rogue Community College

Firehouse Gallery December Invitational

December Invitational

I am honored and thrilled to say that I have been invited to show in the Rogue Community College’s December Invitational at the Firehouse Art Gallery, Grants Pass, OR.

The exhibition dates are November 24th through December 10th, 2015.  First Friday Artist Reception is on December 4th from 5:30 to 8:30 pm.

The gallery is located at the corner of H and Fourth Streets in the Historic City Hall, Grants Pass, Oregon.   Business hours are Tuesday – Friday, 11:30am to 4:30pm, or tours by appointment.  For more information, I invite you to visit the Firehouse Gallery’s website.

Exhibition Statement

About the show, the curators say:

“An exhibit of work by Anne Baxter, Shoshana Dubiner, Denise Kester, Rio Montero, Micah Ofstedahl and Margaret Stermer-Cox. Fire Mountain Gems will exhibit their annual art show in the Community Exhibits Room.”

The invited artists work in several media and a variety of styles.  I was told by the art director that the artists selected have a common quality of a fantasy or whimsical approach to their work.  On a personal note, I can hardly wait to see the exhibition!  It should be fun and fascinating!

Peggy’s People

I will be showing five watercolor paintings from my “Peggy’s People” collection.  I’d like to share with you my thoughts on the collection:

“People have been one of my favorite subjects for drawing and painting since childhood. It seems natural for me to create images inspired by family, friends and strangers. I work from life, memory and imagination. I like to draw designs that suggest that something is happening or a story.   My goal is to go beyond the surface and show the joy and beauty of life.”

Personal Invitation

If you are in the area, I would like to invite you to please drop by and see the exhibition at the Firehouse Gallery in Grants Pass.






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Go-Go, A Story


Watercolor over graphite

Meet Go-Go.

I created this small painting of Go-Go the poodle as a thank you for special friends Betty Jo, Vic, and naturally, Go-Go.  The three helped my husband Robert and me when our truck was in for unexpected maintenance in Boise, ID, during our recent big trip.  We had a hole in our radiator; ouch!

We met Betty Jo and Vic about 20 years ago when we were in Madrid, Spain.  We were staying in the same hotel and would meet for afternoon drinks after siesta.  Vic and Betty Jo were teachers.  Robert and I were living in Germany at the time; I was in the Army and Robert an Army spouse.

Over the years we maintained the friendship through annual Christmas cards, always intending to meet again.  And, then our truck broke down in their home town.

We called them up and explained our situation.  We were treated to three wonderful days of camaraderie. We enjoyed their town.  We talked and caught up on 20 years of travel and adventure.  Such generosity!

It was amazing; thank  you Betty Jo, Vic and, naturally, Go-Go the poodle.  Go-Go was politeness through out the visit.


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Hanging Paintings at GoodBean Coffee

Paintings at GoodBean Coffee

Hanging Day at GoodBean Coffee
Me with my paintings.


I would like to invite you to stop by and see my paintings at GoodBean Coffee in historic Jacksonville, OR.  The paintings will be showing through the month of November.  The address is 165 S Oregon St; winter hours are 6am to 6pm daily.  And, they make wonderful coffee!

Hannah, Thomas & Joel

This past weekend, my husband Robert and I hung paintings from my MsKitty and Toy Pony collections at  GoodBean Coffee.  I am pleased with the show; its a treat to see my paintings at the coffee shop.

I’d like to thank Hannah of Hannah West Designs and GoodBean Coffee for the opportunity to show.  Hannah is the exhibition curator for GoodBean Coffee.

Hanging Day at GoodBean Coffee

Thank you Thomas and Joel!

Thomas and Joel (Hannah West Designs) generously helped us hang the paintings.  As you can see from the photos, we had to hang the paintings on a ledge.  This is because GoodBean Coffee is in an historic building and there are limits on the number of nails that can be put in the wall.  Thomas, Joel and Robert are tall enough to reach the ledge; I am not without the aid of a ladder.

The other wonderful thing about having the assistance of Thomas and Joel was that we could get the paintings up efficiently and quickly.  We were hanging during regular business hours.  We completed the hanging in under an hour.

GoodBean Coffee Show

MsKitty & Toy Pony at GoodBean Coffee

MsKitty & Toy Pony

I would like to share some background information about the MsKitty and Toy Pony collections.  Initially, I started drawing the MsKitty and Toy Pony designs as an exercise on creativity.   The idea is to explore a theme through coming up with at least 20 variations on the particular theme.  What happens is that one is forced to go beyond the obvious solutions to design problem.

It works; I did seek creative solutions, and sometimes bizarrely creative!  And, then I became intimately involved with subjects.  I came up with stories, and those stories became the genesis of more stories.

GoodBean Coffee

Paintings by Lamplight

In the meantime, I took my favorite designs and started painting them with watercolor.

The result is three series of paintings: one about a cat; a second about still life with a toy pony; and then a third with MsKitty and Toy Pony going on adventures.

The MsKitty and Toy Pony collections are about joy. I use color and shape to tell stories about my subjects; my intention is to delight.

I do hope you will stop by GoodBean Coffee if you are in southern Oregon during the month of November.  If you would like, I invite you to take a look at the collections from my gallery pages:  MsKitty and Toy Pony collections.

GoodBean Coffee

Groovy Kitty and Other Paintings







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Pathways and Wanderings

Dear Artists and Friends…

the time is finally here for me to announce

the early registration

of my new online workshop…


Pathways and Wanderings

January 3rd- February 6th

Now that my work is finished for my book, Storytelling with Collage,  I am very excited to offer you this workshop and fill you with inspiration and creativity that will affect your whole life as an artist and lover of art.

During this five weeks you will create your very own Book of Wanderings… bound together with a very easy technique I created for one of my workshops earlier this year in Mendocino, California and have loved ever since.

We will have five weeks of 


_DSC0030 - Version 2


Wandering through… a new day and a new year. 

Wandering through the seasons.. a Winter landscape, 

Wandering through… the renewal of Spring,

Wandering through… the warm glow of Summer and

Wandering through… the winds of change in the Autumn. 


During this five weeks, 

There will be four components or sections to each week's theme. The main projects will be in our Book of Wanderings, but there will also be a "Pathways" component, "Letters to Myself" and "Studio Moments." Each of these will sections will have videos as I gently guide and inspire you through our projects.

You can work with me or go at your own pace. The videos and blog will be yours to access forever!

Our projects will begin with constructing our books using a very easy and fun technique. Next I will share and guide you through my processes from the backgrounds, to collaging, and lastly to embellishing and adding the final details.


Here are some of the things we will be doing:

– Working with pan pastels, inks and watercolor paints.

– Collaging with texture papers and fabrics. 

– Adding different elements to our collages including metal and wood, wire, threads and found and collected objects.

– Stitching by hand, wiring, attaching, constructing and assembling, painting, collaging, designing and most of all creating.

– Arranging, photographing, (any camera or your cellphone will work), and writing. 

As many of you know, I love arranging everyday objects into still-lifes and vignettes. And to find beauty in the natural world and even the smallest details… I would like to share my processes with you during this workshop. Photographing your art space and easy and using creative art and writing prompts will also be included in this workshop.

Note: these photographs are samples of some of the things we will be doing, not the exact book we will be making!

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This workshop will include: 

  • Five weeks of inspirational projects, ideas and prompts.
  • New posts with links to the week's videos will be posted every week for five weeks.
  • Over 20 high definition videos to inspire and guide you, filmed in my River Garden Studio and my home.
  • A private blog that will help you organize your projects from start to finish and where I will share more ideas and art that goes hand-in-hand with our themes.
  • A private Facebook group where you can share your projects and get to know other like-minded souls.
  • An Instagram page that you can link to: #pathwaysandwanderings
  • Extended access to the blog and videos to last indefinitely (forever!)
  • Beautiful photographs and quotes throughout the blog and videos.

Extra items: 

* High speed internet is recommended as well as a google account.

* A list of course materials will be provided later, after you join the workshop.

* The private Facebook group will be opened in December.

* Sorry, no refunds after the class begins.

* All levels of skills are welcome

 No matter where you are on your artistic journey, 

this workshop will


something just for you!


Early Registration is just


* When you pay through Paypal

you will be automatically signed up for Pathways and Wanderings! 

(for now through November 22nd) 

then the price will be


(registration may be limited)

Kevin Smith, Wildlife Photographer

Camper, Kevin Smith Wildlife Photographer

Camper, Page Springs Campground, Steens Mt, OR (SE near French Glen)

Hi!  I’d like to tell you about a chance encounter with a wonderful wildlife photographer from Oregon, Mr. Kevin Smith.

My husband Robert and I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Smith while camping in the Steens Mountains of southeastern Oregon recently.  He and his wife were parked in the spot next to us at the Page Springs Campground near French Glen. We chatted as camping neighbors do after a day of wondering around.

Kevin Smith had interesting life stories.  Among other things, he was in the Army, he was a photographer assigned to the White House under the Johnson administration.  Yes, some of the black and white photos of President Johnson were Kevin’s.  I was in awe; what an experience that must have been.

These days Kevin focuses on wildlife photography and birds in particular.  Indeed, nearby Malheur Wildlife Refuge uses some of Kevin’s photos on their post cards.

We had the privilege of being invited to go with him for a photo shoot of some Virginia rails.  The birds lived just upstream from the campground.  Kevin and his wife had flushed the rails the night before.  Naturally, Robert and I were delighted to go.  We followed along, trying our best to be quiet observers.    On this occasion, he had camera in hand and smart phone.  Yes, smart phones are good to have if you are a bird photographer.

As we came to the area where the Mr. Smith had seen the rails, we sat quietly on the bank.  Kevin took out his smart phone and called up an app that had the Virginia rail’s bird calls.  Pressing “play”, Kevin called out the rails.  After a couple of times, the rails called back.  A few more calls later and a cautious Virginia rail walked out of the rushes.  What a delight!  Kevin had his photos; Robert and I had a fun, memorable experience.  Thank you, Kevin, for the treat!

The image above is an ink and watercolor sketch of Kevin’s camper, without the truck.  If you’d like to see Mr. Smith’s photography, I invite you to go to his website:  To see Virginia rails, I did a search:  

Thank you!

PS.  No, I did not sketch the Virginia rail.  I was trying too hard to be still!  :)





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