News

My Classes for Summer 2017

Although we have several inches of snow on the ground up here in Door County, I'm busy planning my summer art classes. I'll be teaching pen and ink drawing, drawing with various water-soluble media, and a new one this year: using watercolor pencils to paint beautiful flowers. The new class will be two days, and we'll focus exclusively on using watercolor pencils. I'm excited for all my classes, and I hope to meet you there!

I'll be teaching at the Peninsula School of Art in Door County, WI
http://www.moontreestudios.org/

and at MoonTree Studios in Donaldson, IN
http://www.moontreestudios.org/

Check out the page "Classes and Shows" for descriptions of my summer 2017 classes.

Cheers!

New Paintings for Sale

Happy summer, everyone!

I've been teaching and painting this summer. Along the way, I've been doing more work with water-soluble media, such as watercolor pencils, water-soluble markers, and "Sketch & Wash" pencils. I have so much fun with these tools. More and more water-soluble products, like crayons, are coming out. I encourage you to check them out and experiment.

I've added a few watercolor pencil paintings plus a couple watercolor with pen & ink paintings to the site. 

What's Next?
I'm working on a new card series (done in watercolor and pen & ink) with lilies. My dear friend, Kathy Blankenburg, grows the most beautiful lilies of all colors in her marvelous garden. I hope to have the card series done and ready for sale at the end of the year.

As an artist, I feel like I need to keep trying new forms of art and new media. I've been painting with acrylics and have a couple ideas for sculptures. These are purely experimental for now, but I'll see what happens.

I hope you have a relaxing and temperate summer. We've been boiling up here in Door County.

Cheers,
Maren

Summer Classes for 2016

This year, I'm teaching the following classes:

  • Expressive Drawing in Pen & Ink
  • Self-Expression in Water-Soluble Media

I'm offering these two classes at the Peninsula School of Art in Fish Creek, WI, as well as MoonTree Studios in Donaldson, IN. So if you can't get to Wisconsin, go to Indiana.

I'm very excited about expanding my reach in teaching, since instructing new students in my favorite media is my passion.

The dates, times, and locations are listed on the "Classes and Shows" page. Please check it out!

The two classes at MoonTree Studios are back-to-back over a weekend in July. So why not make a vacation out of studying art?

Finally, Spring is here and I'm gearing up to do more flower paintings in my friends' beautiful gardens up here.

I hope you all have a beautiful Spring!

Cheers,

Maren

New! Miniature Watercolor Paintings

Greetings!

As I write this, I'm looking at beautiful drifts of snow among the trees in the forest around our house. This winter is so beautiful up in Door County, WI. It's perfect for cross-country skiing.

During the quiet winter days, I've been spending time painting miniature watercolor paintings. They are all original and range in size from 1-1/2 by 2-1/2 inches, to 2-1/2 by 3-1/2 inches.  Each comes in a small wooden frame. Prices range from $35 to $50. I've added a link to "Miniature Paintings" on the home page of the site.

These originals are perfect if you have space on a bookcase or in a little nook to display an original piece of art. If you like a painting that's been sold, contact me and I'll paint another one. It will be a bit different, of course, since it's an original, but I'll try to make it look as close as possible to the one you want.

Stay warm this winter!

Cheers,

Maren

New 3D Art For Sale

Greetings!

I hope everyone is having a great summer. We've had lots of rain up here in Door County, so the grass is a deep green and the gardens are lush with flowers. The corn is as tall as I am (over 5-1/2 feet)!

After designing, painting, and decorating my egg last year, I became interested in doing more with air-drying clay. Just for fun, I created two new pieces featuring table place settings with the clay. I hand-painted each of the clay items in acrylics. Then, I covered both completed table settings in resin to keep everything in place and to add a shine and a finished look. My two new pieces for sale are:

  • Summer Picnic
  • Thanksgiving Dinner

I even included food items on these pieces. I had so much fun creating these and experimenting with fabric, shapes, and colors. Along with a view of the entire piece, I provided a couple close-ups. 

Check out "New Products" on the home page.

I'm teaching a pen & ink class to kids later this month. I'm excited to be introducing this medium to different age groups.

And I'm getting back to painting in watercolor. I've got some beautiful flowers to inspire me!

Enjoy these summer days with green grass, lemonade stands, softball games, and swimming.

Cheers,

Maren

Summer Classes in 2015 - Peninsula School of Art

Hello!

I'm excited to begin a new season of summer workshops at the beautiful Peninsula School of Art in Fish Creek, WI.

This year, I'll be offering two classes:

Sketching with Water-Soluble Ink, Pencils, and Colored Pencils
June 15, 16, 17 (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday)

Expressive Drawing in Pen and Ink
August 17, 18, 19 (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday)

______________

In Sketching with Water-Soluble Ink, Pencils, and Colored Pencil, we'll be creating sketches and drawings with water-soluble pencils (Sketch 'n Wash) first, then moving on to looser sketches with a black water-soluble ink pen. This pen plus a water brush allows you to quickly sketch a scene and add values in just minutes! I take my water-soluble pen and water brush to Paris every time I go. It's one of the first things I pack.

After working in black and white the first 1-1/2 days, we'll turn to color and review the color wheel and practice layering color with the watercolor pencils. Layering color helps create depth in color sketches and drawings. We'll be sketching and drawing flowers first, and then applying our knowledge to a landscape drawing.

I encourage my students to use more than one of the water-soluble media in a drawing. Since the media produce different styles, the mixed media piece is fun to do and can show off your creativity!

______________

Expressive Drawing in Pen & Ink is a class in which we learn and practice the different types of strokes used in pen & ink drawings. We'll start with a few exercises for you to practice the strokes and create value with them. Next, we'll apply those strokes and create value in drawings of flowers and barns. Finally, you'll apply all you've learned to a drawing of your choice--landscape, garden, or cityscape. We'll also play with watercolor washes on our drawings to add the dimension of color. This is my area of specialty, as you may know.

I love pen & ink drawing, and I'm excited to share its beauty and its challenges with you!

_____________

Finally, for the first time, I'm teaching a pen & ink drawing class to teens! I've had teens in my adult classes, and they've done extraordinary work. This class is:

Exploring the Art of Realistic Drawing and is on July 27-30 at 1-3:30 p.m. on each of the four days. We'll practice the strokes of pen & ink drawing and apply those to drawings of flowers and a still life or two. Our final drawing will be of a landscape or a floral arrangement or garden. We'll even experiment with watercolor washes on the last day.

_____________

I'm really looking forward to teaching this summer! Teaching is one of my passions, and I enjoy watching my students progress and seeing the spark of creativity in their eyes. They always inspire me in my work.

Have a wonderful summer, and I hope to see you in one of my classes!

 

Cheers!
Maren Larsen

Unique Summer Projects

My summer is starting with three unique projects--none of them related to watercolor. But don't worry. When all these are done, I'll pick up my brush, watercolor palette, and paper again.

Project #1

Egg Harbor, the town in which I live, is celebrating its 50th anniversary as a town. For its celebration, called the "Eggstravaganza," artists submitted designs last year to get a chance at designing an egg for this year's celebration. I submitted my design last May and was chosen to be one of 50 artists designing an egg that is on display from now until August 23! On that date, the city will hold an auction. 

My design for my egg centers around the seasons of Egg Harbor. I enjoyed working on this project because I used media and materials I'd never previously tried. I painted the egg--made of polystyrene--with three coats of gesso before I began painting the scenes. I painted each scene, then used my own stencils to add animals or objects that symbolized each scene. I painted everything with acrylics.

To add more interest to the egg, I created a clay garland that wound through the seasons, also with objects that represented those seasons. I used air-drying clay and mini cookie cutters to cut the shapes, then painted them with acrylics. So snowflakes fly around the winter season; birds, and flowers in pots continue through spring; sunflowers wind through puffy clouds in summer; and fall leaves blow across the autumn season. Since the egg will be out during sun and rain, I used resin to protect its surface. That was the messiest and most frustrating part, but everything worked out well in the end. And I learned much from working with resin on a three-dimensional object!

The wonderful thing about these eggs is that each one is unique. Every artist took a different perspective when creating his or her egg. So if you come to Egg Harbor, you'll see a variety of eggs from those with simple designs painted on them, to intricate mosaic pictures with sections that expand from the egg. One artist created a turtle coming out of her egg. To see all 50 eggs, you can take the "Egg Walk," which is at least a couple miles. I see tourists photographing the eggs every day when I'm out and about in Egg Harbor.  

The eggs are about 3 feet high, and with their attractive black iron stands, they rise to around 7 feet. A gracious volunteer screwed all the eggs to the stands and then bolted them into the ground where the city placed them. 

Below, I'm attaching several pictures of my egg. Enjoy!

 

 

Next time: Project #2 (Hint: It's an animal that eats grass, and probably your Begonias, too, if you had them.)

 

Is Spring Here Yet?

Well, not in Wisconsin.  Earlier this week, we got about 4 inches of snow! Then some of it melted, and we got more. I love snow. It's so fresh and clean and makes the landscape look almost magical. But April is here, and hunting for Easter eggs in the snow won't be fun for the kids. I'm sure any day now my daffodils will come forth from the ground and herald the new season. Speaking of the new season, I have my summer classes scheduled and will post them on this site. I'm really looking forward to teaching again. Of everything I do with art, teaching is my favorite. I enjoy teaching children and adults, and I always get new ideas for my own work from every class I teach. So I learn as much from my students as they learn from me.

I hope everyone has had a good winter and is experiencing Spring now. Happy Easter to all!

Maren

A Change of Scenery

We've had quite a winter up here in Wisconsin--lots of snow and cold temperatures. To get some sun, warmth, and inspiration for my painting, I traveled last week to Sedona, Arizona. Wow! What a beautiful array of colors! I had my camera with me and captured the reds in the rocks as they changed throughout the day. The Sedona area definitely inspired me to paint. And I'm looking forward to adding some more reds to my palette to show the beauty of the warm red rocks of Sedona.

I hope you're all having a good winter and are staying warm. I'm sure glad we have a fireplace in our house.

- Maren

A Tree Grows in New Zealand

As I write this, snow is blowing across the cold, empty roads. Winter has arrived in Wisconsin, this year colder than the past couple years. I love the quiet of winter and the preparation for and celebration of the holidays. This year's holiday card depicts a tree that grows only in New Zealand. So while many of our trees up in the Northern Hemisphere are bare, trees like the New Zealand Christmas Tree in the Southern Hemisphere bloom in festive red and green colors. I have never seen a tree like this. My husband was in New Zealand last December on a business trip and got the chance to see many of these beautiful trees. They grow more outward than upward because of the sandy soil in which they thrive. Some even grow on beaches! I hope this cheery tree helps keep you warm and inspired in the early darkness and cold days. 

Prints of the New Zealand Christmas tree are available.

Stay warm!

Maren

Welcome to November

I looked at my previous blogs, and I realized that the last one I wrote was on September 3. Wow. September and October flew by, and now the November chill has come to northern Wisconsin. I love this time of year, though. When I think of November, I recall memories of baking pumpkin pies, sipping hot apple cider, and sitting by the fire in my favorite blanket reading a good book.  Now, I also think of November as the beginning of the "slow" season up here, which is a great time to concentrate fully on my painting.

I've completed the painting for my holiday card.  It's a little unusual.  I'll let you wait for the newsletter to see what it is. I hope you'll like it. I painted it three times in three different ways, and I'll also post the other two versions I painted after the newsletter is published

Have a good week. Sip some apple cider and stay warm!

- Maren

The Fascination of Pen and Ink Drawing

Last week, I taught a 3-day class on pen and ink drawing.  I enjoyed the preparation and the teaching of the class because I got to draw in pen and ink for several days in a row.  I had forgotten how much I enjoyed this medium and how exciting it was to see parallel lines and a few scribbles make scenes realistic.  I showed my students the book Treasury of Pen-and-Ink Illustration, 1881-1938: 236 Drawings by 103 Artists by Fridolf Johnson. The illustrations depicted scenes in everyday American life, and some of them came from Life magazine.  The captions for some of the drawings were quite entertaining, too.

I don't see many pen and ink drawings these days. I see them with watercolor, an art that I do, but not many pure pen and ink illustrations. Is this a lost art?  I hope not. I'm going to get back to more pen and ink drawing, so you'll probably see more of these drawings on the site. I encourage you to pick up a fine line pen, like a Micron pen (no more dipping a pen in an ink bottle), and try some scribbles and lines and see what you get.

 

Happy drawing.

- Maren

Learning All the Time

Even though I've been painting in watercolors for about 13 years, I feel that I always need to keep learning and improving my craft.  I'm lucky to have a wonderful art school just 10 minutes away--The Peninsula School of Art in Fish Creek, Wisconsin. This past weekend, I took a figure drawing class from Chicago artist Stuart Fullerton. I admit that I need lots of practice in this area of drawing. The human figure is so complex and measuring the proportions of torso and legs is very important. I've been on both sides of the easel as an artist, as well as a model.  I really appreciate how hard holding a pose for an hour is. So kudos to all you models out there, too!

The Arts Abound in Door County

Door County is in the midst of its busy season. Concerts of every type of music, and gallery shows of all types of art abound. Classes are in session almost every day at the Peninsula School of Art.

If you've looked at our "Classes and Shows" page, you've noticed that August is a busy and exciting month for me with shows and my last class of the season, "Expressive Drawing in Pen and Ink."

For my "Artist of the Week" show at the Door County Art League Gallery, I wanted to create a theme to tie my work together. One of my favorite places on earth is Alaska. I'll have a variety of paintings depicting various aspects of Alaska in my show.

If you're in Northern Wisconsin, stop by the Door County Art League Gallery. It's in Fish Creek in a group of shops called the "Top of the Hill Shops." Since the gallery is a co-op, all of us artists take turns working there. I enjoy talking with the people who come in and browse and hear where they're from and what art interests them.

I hope you're adding some art to your summer, either by taking a class or browsing through a gallery.

Cheers,

Maren

Adriana Saavedra Hosts Poolside Show in West Hollywood

One of the new artists to my site, Adriana Saavedra, is hosting an art show on July 20 from 6-8 p.m. The venue is a very creative one--the poolside of Adriana's friend's (Annmarie Cullen), apartment in West Hollywood. (On a side note, Annmarie Cullen is a very talented singer with the band "Saucy Monky.")

I wish I could be there to see Adriana's terrific work, but I know the show will be lots of fun. I'll add more details about the event to our "Classes and Exhibitions" page.

Cheers,

Maren

Exciting Additions to the Site!

This week, I've had the fun of adding several works from a new artist: Adriana Saavedra. Adriana, who is from Barcelona, Spain, paints in acrylics and uses vibrant colors. Her works are featured under the "New" section. Her style adds good variety to our site.

I added a new page titled "Classes and Exhibitions." I teach several classes each summer at the Peninsula School of Art in Door County, WI, so you will find the dates and descriptions of my classes on this page. I'll also post information about exhibits in which Ashleigh, Adriana, and I show our work. So go to this page often to find out what we artists are doing.

Be sure to check out Adriana's wonderful paintings. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. 

I hope to see some new faces in my classes this summer. Teaching is my passion, and I'm excited to work with students.

Cheers!

Maren


 




Summer Is in Full Swing!

 "The season," as we call it in Door County, begins Memorial Day weekend. At that time, all shops open, galleries host receptions, and tourist activities begin.  From May through October, Door County is a mecca for vacationers from all around the midwest--Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan, and of course, Wisconsin.

We artists up here bring out what we've been working on all winter and assess what we can include in the galleries that represent us.  This year, for the first time, I'm a member of the Door County Art League (DCAL). This is a wonderful, friendly, talented group of artists who display their work in the Door County Art League Gallery in Fish Creek, WI.  If you're familiar with Door County, the gallery is in a group of shops called the "Top of the Hill Shops" in Fish Creak. So the gallery is not too far away from the Peninsula School of Art.  I'm showing several pieces in the DCAL gallery and will take my turns working there as well.  I'm excited to be part of this group.

Along with preparing pieces for the gallery and working there, I'm teaching three classes at the Peninsula School of Art this summer. Here are the dates and descriptions:

  • June 21-22 (Friday and Saturday) - "Sketch With Water-Soluble Ink, Pencils, and Colored Pencils."  We'll be using "Sketch-n-Wash" pencils with water to add interest to black and white sketches.  We'll also do that with markers.  I've got a variety of items to sketch, but I want to stress that these media are great for travel.  For your brush, you can use a water brush that includes a container of water.  On the second day, we'll work with watercolor pencils.
  • July 1-3 (Monday-Wednesday) - "Your First Painting in Watercolor." This is my beginning watercolor class. We go over the basics of mixing colors, using washes, adding different textures, and just becoming comfortable working in this medium. I love teaching beginners! And last year, I had a wonderful group. I hope to see some familiar faces and some new ones this year.  Each student who takes this class will get a Sennelier watercolor kit (valued at $75) to take home after class. The kit includes a #3 round sable brush and 14 colors.
  • August 26-28 (Monday-Wednesday) - "Expressive Drawing in Pen and Ink." Students in this class should have some familiarity with basic drawing concepts, like proportion, shape, and value.  We'll draw various items in pen and ink including flowers, buildings, foliage, and sky.  This medium can be loose or tight. The key is experimenting to find what you like.  And I encourage doodling in this class.

I hope some of you can take these classes.  I love to teach and I'm excited to do so this summer at the Peninsula School of Art.

I'll be updating the site with new art from two artists, who I'll introduce in the next couple of weeks.

Happy Summer!


- Maren Larsen






Welcome to Spring!

When I look outside and see the several feet of snow piled in my driveway, I don't think of the arrival of spring.  But the excitement and activity of shopkeepers and artists up here tells me that it's time to ramp up for the summer season.  In the summer, our Door County Arts League is very active and runs a gallery.  I'm looking forward to exhibiting in the League's gallery for the first time.

I'm realizing now that I'm past the winter months I use to create new paintings for the summer. Does anyone else feel that crunch?  I loved my winter this year.  I spent the time honing my drawing and painting skills and taking a couple classes. 

I added more products to the site that came from my exploration of drawing in colored pencil and pen and ink this winter.  I'm teaching a pen and ink drawing course at the Peninsula School of Art this summer, and I'm enjoying revisiting techniques while I work on new pieces.


Have a wonderful spring!
-- Maren Larsen





Launch!

Thank you for coming to MarenLarsen.com.  We have completely redesigned the site, expanded the product offering, and added some incredible artists that I vetted and met over the last few years.

We offer prints and originals of my artwork, done in watercolor with pen & ink.  The prints have been color-matched to the originals and formatted to replicate the look and feel of watercolor and pen & ink on watercolor paper.  They are not photographs of the originals. They are nearly identical duplicates with watercolor pigments on watercolor paper.

We have original works from the incredibly talented Ashleigh Sumner from Los Angeles, a mixed media artist who pours meaning and symbolism into her incredible pieces, which are painted on unique materials like birch and bamboo.

We also have a new artist to our store that I met in Europe.  She is from Barcelona and her name is Adrianna Savedra.  She paints large, thought-provoking pieces that have a beautiful symmetry to them.  I could not be prouder to call her a colleague.

Look for three more artists, all who work with different media, to join the store in the next few weeks!!

Enjoy, and feel free to email me or post any questions on Facebook anytime!

--Maren