A Brush With Art

A very unexpected gift appeared at my house on Christmas Eve. My son gifted me with a new, updated website. I was so surprised and pleased. I couldn’t thank him enough. Now I get to share it with you too. It even has a place for blogging which my artist friends tell me is a great idea. So look forward to my progress in making “Art from my heart!” Happy New Year 2015

July 2015

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Thank you for attending the Oregon Society of Artists Rose Festival Art Show.  The orange rose, Imaginations Light, won an honorable mention.  This is always an honor.  Thank you Geoffrey McCormack for selecting my painting.


When I finish the paintings I am working on, I will get ready for Art In the Heart, the first Friday in August from 5 to 8 PM.  I will have marbled gourd bird houses, cards, a few paintings and other surprizes.  I will be inside Art on the Boulevard (210 W Evergreen Blvd.  #300 Vancouver,WA) for the festival.  There will be artists all around town that evening.  It is a wonderful event.  There will be food, wine, live entertainment and good buys on local art.  Please plan to attend this event.


I have been paintings more florals, trying to get ready for my gallery show this September.  It will be the first Friday in Septemeber at Art On the Boulevard, Vancouver, Washington.  I will be part of a three watercolor artist team; Faye Kahn, Denise Joy McFadden, and me.   You will love our show.  Please put the date on your calendar, First Friday Art Walk, September 4, from 5 til 8.  Please say hi and tell me you read about it in my blog.  I have a signed special gift for you!

August 2015

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Well,  I have been focused on getting ready for my gallery show on September 5th at Art On The Boulevard here in Vancouver, WA.  It will be a group show with 2 other wonderful watercolor artists, Faye Kahn and Denise McFadden.  You can find information and photos of our paintings at artontheboulevard.org  Keven Weaver is the gallery director and does a fantastic job of hanging each show.  I am just thrilled when I walk in and see what he has done.  If you come to the show, please mention that you saw this post.

So here are the last couple of paintings that I completed for the show.


Spring’s Promise


Dreaming of Summer


February 2015

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As you know I love to paint flowers so I decided to treat myself to a two week vacation in paradise, “Maui”!  I thought I would take lots of photos to get the creative juices flowing plus take a watercolor workshop.  I read an article in” Watercolor” magazine by Kathleen Alexander about painting plumaria.  I decided to try her style from the clear concise information she shared.  I was happy with the results but I knew there were still a lot of things I wasn’t clear on and so I had several questions prepared for her workshop in Haiku, Maui, Hawaii.


Kathleen’s workshop was very well organized in her lovely studio in Haiku.  One of the things she had us do was bring 300 cold press Fabriano Artistico paper.  I usually paint on 140 pound Arches.  Fabriano is much softer and smoother than Arches.  There is a learning curve.
The first day we drew our plumaria and painted the flowers.  I was terrified at the way she had us paint.  You first wet the entire 5 petals of the flower.  Then you apply juicy paint to it and start tipping the paper from side to side letting the colors mingle and blend to where there are no visible brush strokes.  I was afraid that paint would run every where.  But it did stay within the wet canvas area much to my surprise and pleasure.


The second day we painted the leaves and the remainder of the background.  I liked her technique of using prussian blue for the vein work.  It made glazing the leaves very quick work.
This is a photo of my workshop painting.  I think it is more vibrant and alive than my first study.
Her is a photo of her painting and mine together.  Mine is the top painting.  Kathleen’s is the bottom one.

I had wished I could stay for her hibiscus workshop but there were two weeks in between and even though Hawaii was calling, so was HOME.  Aloha! A hui hau
Goodbye Until we meet again.


July 2016

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“Midnight Peace”  I am going to take a workshop from Soon Y Warren this fall.  I bought her video on painting flowers.  It is excellent.  After watching it, I decided I needed to try to put in practice what she had shared in her video.  I picked a peace rose from my garden, bought a Murano bowl and took photos late in the afternoon. This is my attempt at doing what she does.  WOW.  This was a struggle and push for me.  But….. I am happy with the results.  Midnight Peace web size

Art Depart Print Winner

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The winner of the Art Depart drawing was Kathleen.  She has her choice of foral, landscape or still life and possibly a color choice, if she chooses a color that I have a print in. Congratulations Kathleen.  Thanks to all who participated in my Art Depart give away!

Clark County Open Studio Tour

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MJ Larson will be participating in the 50 artists of Clark County Open Studio Tour the second weekend in November.  Please save the date.  Saturday November 11th and Sunday the 12th from 10 til 4 PM.  There will be a preview of all the artists work at a reception in the Esther Short Building on Friday the 11th from 5 to 9 at 610 Esther Street, Vancouver, WA.  You are invitied to attend this fun event.



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My studio, #23 is part of the Clark County Open Studio tours November 12th and 13th.  You can download a map from their website or pick up a brochure at their many sponsors of the tour.  I look forward to meeting you at my studio, where I will be paintings and answering questions about my studio.  2016_CCOS_social_media_promo_v2

Midnight Peace

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This is one of the completed paintings that will be on display during the open studio tour.  I will be working on two other paints so you can see how I create my art.  I will post the photos here once they are completed.  Midnight Peace web size


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Another ART DEPART opportunity is here for all who attend my CLARK COUNTY OPEN STUDIO TOUR.  I will have a drawing for a free print of my original art work. All you need to do is give me your email address so I can notify the winner by email.  Hope you will stop by and sign up.