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Paint Grand Traverse Recap

Heather Martin

Paint Grand Traverse Recap

After days of anxiously packing, unpacking, and repacking (and unpacking and repacking)...I was ready. Ready to fly back to Michigan for a juried plein-air event in Michigan. While the mitten state isn’t new to me (I had grown up there for the first 18 years of my life), seeing it with my new “art eyes” and painting its beauty was. Just being accepted to the Paint Grand Traverse event was such an honor. It's set in one of my favorite cities in all of Michigan, Traverse City. Known for its mouth watering cherries, fantastic views of Lake Michigan, and an abundance of popular...


Staying Smart in the Heat - Plein-Air Painting

Heather Martin

Tags heat, hot, plein air, products, summer, tips

Staying Smart in the Heat - Plein-Air Painting

If you’ve been a plein-air painter for a while, you’ve probably experienced this. The sun is scorching, your sweat and sunscreen is dripping fire into your eyes, your paints are dried to tiny crusty bits, and you want to finish but literally just...can’t. While I’m no pro at managing the heat, here are a few tricks I have up my sleeve to make it slightly more tolerable. Simply avoiding the heat isn’t an option for me, living in the “deep east bay” of California. Temps easily get over 105 in the summer, and boy the summers are LONG. Before I...


"Catching Light" A workshop recap!

"Catching Light" A workshop recap!

It’s a wrap! My very first workshop, as a part of the SF Bay Area’s Urban Sketcher 10x10 Workshop series, “Catching Light” is now in the past, and a bit of weight is off my shoulders. Ok, a LOT of weight. Pretty sure I gained a handful of grey hairs from this, although the whole process was made much easier thanks to those that patiently and kindly helped me along the way. Special shoutout to the giant-hearted Suhita Shirodkar and Laurie Wigham! Also thanks to all the guinea pigs that helped me do a test run to iron out any kinks, and implement improvements...


An introduction to Gouache

Heather Martin

Tags art lesson, gouche, introduction

What is gouache? Gouache, rhymes with squash, and wash. When I started painting in it, I had the worst time spelling it, and nobody knew what it was anyway. So a simple trick, go- u - ache.  This medium is growing rapidly in popularity, but has been around for a loong time. It was commonly used in old advertisement illustrations, but I see it a lot now used with entertainment industry artists. I think art heroes like James Gurney, Mike Hernandez, and Nathan Fowkes (some of my personal favorites) helped it be come so popular. Technically, it is opaque watercolors, and is thought of as...