Watercolor Sketching with Cathy Johnson

Cathy Johnson is a long-time member of EBSQ. In 2012 she did a series of free workshops with Strathmore Papers. Those video lessons are now on Youtube!

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Free Watercolor Workshop with Cathy Johnson

Cathy JohnsonEBSQ’s very own Cathy Johnson will be hosting a free 4-week workshop on Watercolor Sketching in March 2012. I know March is a little ways off and you’re probably focused on the holidays right now, but sign-ups have already begun and Cathy will be sharing the class supply list on January 23rd! Cathy’s workshop is a part of Strathmore’s 2012 Online Workshop Series. Here’s what Cathy had to say about her workshop on her blog:

I’ve been asked to do a 4-week workshop as part of  Strathmore’s free workshop series, and I was delighted to say yes!  It will focus on watercolor, but we’ll also cover mixed media and journaling.

Register Now

Follow the link above to register for Cathy’s workshop or all three of the free Strathmore workshops. Then they will send you a link where you can sign-up for the class via their Strathmore Online Workshops community. You get your own page where you can upload some of your art, meet other classmates, etc.

Cathy Johnson Strathemore Workshop

I’ve already joined and can’t wait to start Cathy’s workshop. If you decided to join, come sit by me (a.k.a be my friend) and we’ll take the workshop together!

EBSQ Blogger of the Week: Cathy Johnson

Artist Cathy Johnson

Who and where are you?

Actually settling on a name is a bit hard these days, but though I remarried a few years ago, I use my professional name “out here in the world.”  So, Cathy Johnson…(my friends call me Kate, and my married name is Ruckman…)  I live in a small town in the Midwest, about 30 miles from where I was born—Independence, Missouri.

Winter Morning by Cathy Johnson

How did you get started art blogging?

I began selling on eBay years ago, and made friends with a group of other really neat sellers, most of whom loved art and antiques; they invited me to join their consortium, a discussion list.  They told me several of them had blogs, and I checked them out…liked them, so started one of my own, the Quicksilver Workaholic on Live Journal.  It’s been crazy, ever since!  I now have 9 in addition to that one–two that I use for classes, two group blogs, and my own stuff.  I wanted to be able to focus rather than trying to throw everything into the Workaholic blog…some focus, eh??

Pepi by Cathy Johnson

Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?

I’d say think about what and what you actually want to do on your blog.  Do you just want to share your work?  Do you want a place to put up good-quality images?  Do you want to open discussions on art and what it means?  How interactive should it be?  What should it look like?

Then research what the various services offer.  Do you want a free blog, or are you willing to pay?  Do you need one that’s user-friendly, or can you do your own .html?  Will you pay to have someone else design it?  Do you want to put it on your own website?

Do you want to sell?  Have links to places like Amazon or Dick Blick?  Teach? Run a group blog?  Some sites won’t allow commercial use of any sort, including classes, some are fine with it.

I know a lot of artists who use WordPress or Typepad, and they do look rather elegant and offer a lot of options; I found WordPress a little hard to navigate.  My original blog is on Live Journal, but it’s more difficult to add links and such; most of my newer ones are on Blogger.  It’s free, it’s user-friendly (though customer support isn’t all that handy if you DO have a problem), and it does allow commercial use; I teach classes right there, and also have a gallery blog where I sell my work—when I actually list something!

My group blogs are wonderful—one is Sketching in Nature, which features artists from around the world.  It’s here: http://naturesketchers.blogspot.com/  The other grew out of the new book, below…Artist’s Journal Workshop, here: http://artistsjournalworkshop.blogspot.com/  We discuss all aspects of journal keeping for artists.  (I also belong to the international group blog, Urban Sketchers, a wonderful group of artists sketching on the spot.  http://www.urbansketchers.org/)

I forgot to add not to let it get too addictive, too outward-focused.  It can be very time-consuming, photographing your work, uploading it, writing about it.  If you set  yourself a goal of posting every day, you WILL burn out.  It can make your creative time very surface, and can become a burden.  Remember, you don’t owe anyone but yourself, really…you’re not obliged to post, it’s a way to share.  If life gets in the way and you don’t post for a while, there’s no need to apologize…it’s your blog.

Old Dairy by Cathy Johnson

What’s your musical inspiration of choice when you’re working in your studio?

Sometimes I listen to Bach or Vivaldi, but mostly I prefer natural sounds and as quiet as I can manage.  I built a tiny shed/studio last summer, after many years of working wherever, and find it’s very conducive to working.  Sometimes I take a little time for meditation or visualization before starting…but mostly the flow is so ever-present I just reach for something to work with, and jump in that moving river!

Pods by Cathy Johnson

What’s coming next from your easel?

I’ve become hooked on plein air work, and seldom use photo references any more, so whatever catches my eye.  Usually it’s the way light falls on something…or some detail of nature.  I love being OUT there…
I keep an artist’s journal, and in fact my newest North Light book, due out in June, is Artist’s Journal Workshop…I invited 26 other artists to share their journals, tools, methods, thoughts, feelings, reasons for keeping a journal.  It’s been fascinating!

I’ve journaled for more than 40 years and written about it for magazines as diverse as The Artists Magazine, Watercolor Artist, Personal Journaling (no longer published), Family Adventures (also no longer around), Country Living and even Sports Afield!

So “next from my easel” is more likely to mean next in my journal, really…

Thank you Cathy for being an EBSQ Blogger of the Week!

If you are an EBSQ Artist and would like to be considered for Blogger of the Week just add us to your blogroll. I’m searching EBSQ profiles weekly for links to artist’s blogs. If you aren’t an EBSQ Artist, what are you waiting for?

EBSQ Member News: Cathy Johnson Watercolor Demo

Johnson Demo (2)Friday, June 12
2nd Friday Art Crawl
5:00-8:00 p.m.
Olde English Garden Shoppe
115 E. Broadway, Excelsior Springs, MO 64024

North Light books artist and author Cathy Johnson will demonstrate her techniques for watercolor painting at the 2nd Friday Art Crawl in Excelsior Springs, MO.

Johnson is the author of 34 books, including 9 for North Light Books, (one of two major publishers of art books), the Sierra Club Guide to Sketching in Nature and The Sierra Club Guide to Painting in Nature, for the Sierra Club.

She has judged art shows all over the USA, and done a number of presentations and workshops for arts associations from Maine to Nevada, as well as offered field sketching classes at statewide Nature Centers for the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Johnson spoke to the first international gathering of the Sierra Club in San Francisco in 2005 on sketching and painting in nature.

She is currently working on a revision of her 1988 book, Watercolor Tricks and Techniques, and will be demonstrating some of the techniques included in that book.

Come see some of the innovative techniques in person, at 115 E. Broadway in Excelsior Springs, Friday, June 12.

Johnson regularly shows her work at Olde English Garden Shoppe, along with Polly Jaben, PhD, photographer of scenes from Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales as well as the USA.  Jaben’s eye for the perfect shot and Johnson’s watercolors and drawings work well with the boutique’s offerings.

The 2nd Friday art crawl will include a number of other shops and galleries in downtown Excelsior Springs, including Gallery 105, Frame of Mind, the Mercantile, and others.  There will be music, wine tastings, and food–join us for an exciting evening!

Have member news you’d like to share? Drop us a line!

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