Monday, July 9, 2012

Large Petal Watercolor Workshop in Sequim, Washington August 23-25 2012


Large Petal Floral - Watercolor
You will paint a ½ w/c sheet floral, using large area methods of painting and glazing for smooth luminous petals. (new floral image) Three days of in-depth study in color and techniques. Plus composition, critiques and more….
• Dates: August 23rd-25th three days
• Time: 9:00am - 3:00pm
• Fee: $240.00
• Notes: Includes materials used in class
• Location: Straitside Studio, Sequim, WA

Call or email for a brochure of the 3 day plan.
Sign up with Gail in Sequim 206-459-6876 or email

Inspiration is like a Warm Chocolate Chip Cookie!

I just baked two chocolate chip cookies and took them out from the oven. I plan to eat one now and save one for later (we will see if that works). I know instinctively and by experience I don’t dare bake the whole batch! 

I am sitting in my comfy chair viewing the pastoral view out our window, watching the cows and enjoying my morsel.  The hot gooey chocolate chips melt in my mouth with each bite giving me more pleasure. What could be better at this moment?  I am enjoying a time of solitude with the quiet moment to relax and reflect.     

With cookie in hand, I realize this is a similar emotion to the creative experience I get as an artist.  Creativity too, like the cookie, can flee quickly. In the moment of creativity the juices are flowing and it is a pleasured high. The ideas just come and I try to get them on the watercolor paper quickly before the moment passes.  These are the moments that keep us going as artists. When our art doesn’t have the same passion on a particular day we need to reflect to the success of the past and be encouraged. 

Hard continual work as artists keep these “cookie” experiences coming, becoming more frequent as well as more inspired.  As we continue to grow to the next level of our art our experience continues to take us to a height undreamed of.  

Go create and wait for the inspiration to catch up with you. I am off to create in my studio…since my second cookie is gone!

Happy Creating...


Friday, June 22, 2012

Reflections by the Spoonful

Linda Aman ©  

When I saw the light and color in my basket of spoons, I quickly took a photo and started thinking of the painting “Reflections by the Spoonful”. I was excited and wanted to interpret the photo in an abstracted method of design.  As the painting developed I made a number of changes in design and decisions along the way.  Thinking I was finished, I had it professionally photographed, then sent the image off to an art competition. After submitting the image, I decided to rework an area of the spoons, but needed to wait until I knew the painting was accepted or rejected before changing anything.  I did receive a rejection notification so I began working on the "changes" or "corrections” some of which were minor -others major.  I had it re-photographed and submitted it again to a different competition... only to receive another letter saying it had not been accepted.  I don’t give up easily and I entered it for a third show. It received first place!!!

The moral of the story is…When you feel you have a strong painting, keep at it. Many times you just have to get it in front of the right judge! 

This painting had other interesting viewing experiences. Because the painting is somewhat abstracted, some viewers do not know what it is! When I ask them if they still like it, most say they do! They like the mood, excitement and mystery.

At dinner I was asked a question about my painting.  Linda - What is it?  I stated, “It is reflective spoons.” After a long pause my guest replied, “No that is not what it is!”  I kind of thought being the artist, I might actually know it was spoons reflected, since I painted it…we both had a great laugh. 

Enjoy your art, the conversations and the mysteries involved.  Not everything has to be exact for the viewer to still enjoy the painting. I feel it is important to have some mystery without too much confusion.  This painting has been a great journey for me in education, conversations, mystery on the edge of confusion. I have also been pleased that audiences are entertained by it.  I hope you enjoy it as well…comments are welcome by email...and yes, it is spoons with reflections!

Thank you for your “reflective” view!


Triads Color Watercolor Workshop in McCall Idaho

Comments from artists who attended...

Dixie and I with our works in progress

Last weekend, I stretched waaay out of my comfort zone and joined a great group of women in a color theory and watercolor class. Our teacher was so enthusiastic and excited to share her love of color. We made color triads, worked with complimentary and neutralizing colors, layering of colors…. my head was spinning, happily.

Blending color and feeling the brush on canvas was so calming and engaging, a really nice reprieve from writing and speaking.  One of our projects was painting bell peppers, a subject close to my heart. Painting is one way to indulge in the pleasure of colorful food. Another is creating a masterpiece on your plate, and then savoring every bite!

To Your Health and Happiness

Friday, February 10, 2012

Studio space-What makes it work?

Here we are in 2012 a new year with excitement, expectations and the challenges to meet as artists.

At the beginning of each year I set goals and reevaluate the past year looking to what the future brings to the coming year.

One area that always catches my interest is how I can produce more art in a comfortable and effective studio.

I have the privilege of teaching watercolor to a number of artists in classes and workshops in various states. I took a recent survey of student studio/work space and discovered a number of similar “what works and doesn’t work” scenarios. Some of the reoccurring problems in studios are: too noisy, can’t leave space set-up, too small, no storage, poor lighting, depressing wall colors, too cold/hot, distractions, pet and family interruptions, clutter, no water access nearby etc…. These are just a sampling of what keeps us from painting efficiently.

Our work spaces vary from: no studio or work space, card table in the laundry room, closet, dinning room/kitchen table, garage, basement, man cave, craft/sewing room, bedroom, and separate art studio. My work spaces in the past have included, a closet, corner in our bedroom, living room, kitchen, TV/family room and office.

There are a number of ways to have studios work for you. I have seen studios very organized with no productivity and one studio in particular that looks like her entire home had a tornado hit and left art debris behind its path. In her chaos, she produces art that is internationally recognized. She told me she has lost a number of top award winning paintings because she has no idea where they ended up! She also spends a large amount of time looking for and replacing materials.

In one of my surveys one artist wrote she couldn’t work in her space because “my spouse is too close to where I work and I can see his eyes roll in disapproval”. I told her to move her work space immediately even if it had to be in a closet! Another artist stated their dark red walls are depressing. Reevaluating where they work might be a good idea, or paint a wall.

One of the first things to consider when thinking about your space is to identify your studio challenges and your personal work style

Identify the challenges of your studio. Ask yourself:
  1. Is my studio a space I feel compelled to work, energized in creativity?
  2. Is my studio functional? Good lighting, organized, space for “stuff”, ample table space, good chair height, mirror, water source? Can I find my supplies easily? 
  3. Is my studio comfortable? Is my studio uplifting or depressing, is it free from noise, distractions, phone, emails, and traffic?
  4. Do I have inspiration available close-by? educational references
  5. Do I have studio hours? Set aside time for productivity.

Style of workspace do I have/desire? Ask yourself:
1.Am I the perfectionist-everything in place a place for everything?
2. Am I organized but can handle some clutter?
3.Am I in chaos-I know it is here somewhere? I take all my time searching for stuff.
(I am #2 in organization. I want to find things easily, but I can take some clutter to a point then I need to “dig out”).

Most of us find time and budgets a restraint in setting up and maintaining our work space. Since I travel, teach and create paintings I need to make the best of my time and space. My studio space has always included teaching watercolor, my personal work space that can be left up and a business office. This has taken quite the creativity use of space over the places we have lived.  

Come join me in an “open studio” tour. I have seen a lot of studios and office spaces over the years and have learned some ways to continually improve my work space. Please feel free to come and get some new ideas and share some of your own to add to your creativity this year. We have different methods that work for us, but one common factor- we can each get better productivity in a work space that fits us.

Open studio tour
The Idaho Watercolor Society has requested I have an open studio night on organization. You are welcome to join us at my studio Monday evening March 19th at 7pm in 7263 Southern Vista Ct. Star, ID.  

Linda is an artist and instructor who lives in Star and teaches in her studio. She also teaches in other locations in Idaho, Oregon and Washington. You can visit her website at or email for more information.                                                © Linda Aman January 2012

Next articles-tips on how to organize your work space, supplies.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Looking back at 2011-Looking forward to 2012

As many of you know I had a goal of 24 finished watercolors this year and another 50 "quick paintings" (quick paintings in my world are under one hour in completion) I have found that one of the best ways to accomplish a set of goals is to tell a lot of people.  As I was teaching watercolor classes this year I had hundreds of you keeping me focused on my goals. As of last night I finished the 50 quick paints and polished off the last of 28, more time consuming works of art.

I taught watercolor in Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and New Mexico throughout the year. Was honored to win a number of awards and be in wonderful galleries and shows.

Most of all I had the privilege to work along side of many of you in my watercolor classes, workshops and retreats. I so look forward to seeing what all of us will accomplish this year!

You so bless me.

Stay tuned for our next adventures in art-keep painting. My goals for this year are being set this week..

Hope to see you soon!

blessings in 2012