Archive | drawing and watercolor RSS feed for this section

The Joy of Teaching in Lake Country

Marilyn and meClass best effortsBoating, jet skiing, relaxing at a lake cabin?   Our “Land of 10,000 Lakes” is a summertime treasure when we know long winters are ahead.

I found my joy last week at Lake Cormorant, MN, but not on a dock or a pontoon.  I had the pleasure of leading a group of 16 wonderful women in my 3 day “Creative Journey: Exploration in Drawing and Watercolor” workshop.   It was sponsored by the Cormorant Area Art Club and held in a spacious, sunlit room that ensured amazing art would emerge.

Ione and Marilyn doing value sketchesWhile some may find the basics of drawing a bit tedious, I believe this is the starting point for creating works in art.  Understanding basic forms, the effectiveness of lights and darks (also called value), and composition are the foundations of an effective painting.




Comments from participants at the Lake Cormorant workshop included:

“Barbara’s approach to everyone was very positive and non-threatening.  She is an excellent art teacher.”

“I learned the very basics, which Barbara said would be taught at this workshop.”

“The encouragement of the teacher was most helpful.”

“I liked everything.  I do suggest she add vitamins to the supply list!”

“Barbara was very structured and encouraging.  I learned I can draw!”

“I liked that Barbara started on time and had a definitive lesson plan.”

Having taught for 30 years in the public school and BIA school systems, I have learned that lesson planning, starting on time, and being organized are important to me.  Teaching and working with amazing artists in beautiful Minnesota lake country made it a fabulous workshop for me, too!

I look forward to the upcoming year as more community workshops and art events are on the horizon.  Here’s a summary of what ahead this fall, so mark your calendars now!-

Community Classes

Sept. 13th    9-12 a.m. Seeing Things Differently: The Short Course in Sketching – Red Door Art Gallery, Wahpeton, ND   701-591-1010

Sept. 20th   9-12 a.m. Seeing Things Differently Part II – Red Door Art Gallery, Wahpeton, ND (must have taken Part 1)  701-591-1010

Oct. 19th     6 – 8:30 p.m. Seeing Things Differently: The Short Course in Sketching – Moorhead Community Ed  218-284-3400

Oct. 26th     6-8:30 p.m. Seeing Things Differently Part II     218-284-3400

Nov. 9th      6- 8:00 p.m. Sketching Cartoon Characters the Easy Way – Moorhead Community Ed    218-284-3400


Sept. 8          Featured Artist Art Reception – September 8, 2016 Art Gallerie on Main Art Reception, Bismarck, ND  701-425-8439

Oct. 1-2        12 noon – 6 p.m. Studio Crawl – Mourning Dove Studio (Barbara’s home studio) 809 20th Street North Moorhead, MN

And as usual, I will be working at Gallery 4 at 114 North Broadway in downtown Fargo a few times a month.  Please stop by to say hi!



Interested in subscribing to my new newsletter that will keep you informed of all of my upcoming classes and events?  I promise to limit newsletters and emails to about one per month, and would never share or sell your email address.  If interested, please send your first and last name and your email address to me at with the word “subscribe” in the subject line.  Thank you!


At the Zoo

David's family and me at Chahinkapa ParkLast week I met my artist friend Grace  at the Chahinkipa Zoo in Wahpeton to paint animals. We painted and sketched kangaroos, bears, and snow leopards, but our favorites were the gibbons- they are entertaining monkeys! It’s fun to laugh and paint at the same time! I met a family who now lives in North Carolina and they loved my grizzly bear study so I gifted them with it in exchange for their permission to show this photo online. Thanks to David and his family!



Grizzly Bear StudyKanga   Little Gibbon





Possibilities Endless: My upcoming solo exhibition and one-day workshop in Bismarck, North Dakota

National ChampionI am pleased to announce that I will be having a large solo exhibit titled, Possibilities Endless, held at the BAGA Gallery, 422 E. Front Ave, Bismarck, ND from June 28—July 22. There will be a public reception on July 8th from 5-7:00 pm. In conjunction with the exhibit,I will be teaching a one-day workshop, Creative Journey: Exploration in Drawing and Watercolor on July 9th at the BAGA gallery. This workshop is geared toward all levels of ability.  Workshop information is printed below. Contact the BAGA gallery at 701-223-5986 for additional information.



The Creative Journey I: Exploration in Drawing and Watercolor

This one day workshop is an overview of drawing and watercolor techniques to spur the creative energy of all levels of artists. This course includes topics such as sketchbook journaling, making effective value studies, making sense of the color wheel, tips on creating strong compositions, and learning to deal with the “inner critic.

Fee per student: $125 plus supplies.

Supply List: If this is your first time painting, please consider purchasing high quality materials as this will make a huge difference in your painting experience.

Sketchbook (at least 8.5”x11”)

Pencils: HB (No. 2) and a 6B drawing pencil

Pencil sharpener

140 lb. professional watercolor paper– I prefer Arches or Fabriano Artistico 100% cotton paper. You will need at least 5-6 sheets of 11×15 paper. If you purchase 22”x30” paper, you will need two sheets. I will supply practice papers for exercises. If you purchase large sheets of paper, I will show you how to tear them to the size needed. Do not cut them.

Professional grade watercolor paint in .5 ml size . Hues listed are suggestions. If you have other paints close to these, that is fine.

One tube of yellow (Cadmium Yellow, Aureolin, Hansa, or Lemon)

One tube of blue (French Ultramarine, Cobalt, or Phthalo Blue)

One tube of red (Cadmium Red, Permanent Red, or Alizarin Crimson)

One tube of Payne’s Gray

One tube of Quinacridone Burnt Orange (Other paints are welcome, but for the workshop, you will need only these five tubes.

Support- (a firm surface to support your watercolor paper) should be at least 11”x15”. I use Gatorboard OR Masonite board OR lightweight plywood painted white

Plastic Palette for mixing paint- I use a Frank Webb or Robert Wood palette, but any palette with a large mixing surface will do.

Watercolor Brushes

-One large round brush (size 8 or 10)

One small round brush (size 5 or 6)

-1” flat brush

Container for water, such as an ice cream bucket


Four binder clips

One roll of  1″ or less masking tape

Roll of paper towels

A household sponge

An old terrycloth towel