Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wine, Friendship and Art!

Women, Watercolor & Wine!

Anna Mastronardi Novak, Instructor

May 20, 2013 (6-9pm)

Tuition: $65

Join us for a few hours and paint a watercolor painting while sipping a glass of wine in a relaxed atmosphere. This mini-workshop is instructed by Whidbey Island Artist, Anna Mastronardi Novak (

Each adult is responsible for bringing their own painting supplies:

■3-5 sheets of watercolor paper (several sizes under 20 inches)

■Watercolor set (bring a palette if you wish to use tube watercolor paint set)

■2 brushes (1 medium, 1 small)


■Jars/tin cans

■A few inspirational images/sketches you wish to paint from

I welcome additional drawing materials you wish to incorporate.

Due to wine being served, participants must be at least 21 years of age.

Note: although the title suggests this is a “women-only” session, men are welcome to attend as well!




Friday, April 12, 2013

Finding Your Artistic Inspiration

So why do I always find creative solutions and answers to life's questions when I run? Well, apparently there are many reasons to back up my theory behind the power of running and be solving issues or questions at the same time!  It may be different for everyone but read this insightful newsletter that we subsribe to and get artistically inspired, whatever your medium may be.

We subscribe to the Robert Genn newsletter and even if you are not an artist, or don’t think you are one...we still find it a great read every week! Here is what we gleaned from the most recent newsletter and thought it was worth sharing:

When do ideas happen?

Recent research, aimed at finding specific triggers that result in good ideas, better solutions and bouts of creativity, has confirmed my own favourite times when stuff happens. Here are a few:

When we step away: Focusing at your workstation doesn't always work, particularly if you do too much of it. Leave your cubicle or studio and step into a new environment. Great stuff is ready to grab out there, floating in the ether.

When we're in transition: Waking up, falling asleep, showering, tubbing or going to the bathroom are hot times for new ideas. We need to trust the possibilities of fleeting brain waves at these times and take the trouble to knock them down for further study.

When we're drinking: Moderate drinking gives confidence and gusto. A 2012 study at the University of Illinois at Chicago found that students who drank enough to raise their blood-alcohol level to 0.075 performed better on tests of insight than sober students.

When we're doing chores: This may be one of the reasons why so many artists prefer to have their studios at home. I absolutely don't want this sort of information passed around, but I personally find stimulation in washing cars, taking out the garbage, and helping our gardener move bags of manure.

When we're satisfied: A relatively fulfilled life calms the mind and enriches the ground for idea growth. I've tried frustration, anger, disappointment, tiredness and misery, and they all work to a degree, but joyous satisfaction and a sense of élan work best.

When we're daydreaming: It turns out that daydreaming is one of the most valuable things that creative people do. Even the fantasizing of chicks that bedevils a lot of men apparently hastens bubble-up ideas from the subconscious that have nothing to do with women. What women need to fantasize, I'm not sure.

When we see green: Green surroundings, whether green-painted walls or the green outdoors, suggest new growth, rebirth, fertility and renewal--just one of the reasons why a walk in the park can be so fruitful. Feeling non-creative in the studio? Squeeze out some green.

Best regards,


PS: "When students were given creativity tests, those whose test-cover pages had a green background gave more creative answers than those whose pages were white, blue, red or grey." (Sue Shellenbarger, reporting in the Wall Street Journal)

Esoterica: Personal and unique fetishes can be useful as well. For a steady flow of creativity, easel-time foot-massage has been recommended, as has military marching music played loudly. I notice slight rises when I consult or share minor triumphs with Dorothy the Airedale. She is non-confrontational, always eager, never critical, and I know she's quite fond of me. Sometimes she likes my creativity so much she sleeps on it. In other words, she's a low-maintenance muse. 'Scuse me, she just came in, and now she wants out.

Read this letter online and share your thoughts about triggers for good ideas. Live comments are welcome. Direct, illustratable comments can be made at

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Meet Seth...

We have the most interesting visting faculty one of them.  Seth Apter will be here in May offering two back to back Mixed Media workshops.

Here is a link to an article we found on Seth and helps you get acquanited before his workshops begin:

By the way, we still have spaces in both of his classes:  Mixed Media Dossier May 15-16 and Mixed Media Memoire May 14-14th.  Here are the links:

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

It's Scholarship Time!

One of the most rewarding activities of the Pacific NorthWest Art School, aside from the 80 plus workshops we offer and free community events, is our annual awarding of scholarships to well-deserving students. This year we have been pleased to honor three students with scholarships.

New this year is our Betty Jane Miller Watercolor Scholarship. Betty Jane was an active member in the early days of the school and her estate has left the school a wonderful legacy in the gift of scholarship funds specifically for watercolor students. We are proud to have awarded our first annual Betty Jane Miller scholarship this year.

Also, another beloved and well known artist in our community was Joan Brosnahan. This year we were thrilled to award a scholarship for a Mixed Media student who has received the “Joan Brosnahan Scholarship”.

Finally, in the medium of photography, we were able to award the “Marilyn Winter” photography scholarship to a deserving scholarship applicant.

We are also actively seeking donations for these three scholarship funds as well as for our Coupeville High School Scholarship and our Youth Art Scholarships. In order to continue to give the gift of art we need the support of the community to perpetuate these funds. If you would like to donate to any of these funds, we have made it easy for you! Simply visit our website at and click on “Donate”. You will be taken to a page where you can donate any amount to a list of scholarship opportunities.

Consider leaving a lasting legacy by setting up a provision in your estate planning by making a gift of art education. We are located at 15 NW Birch Street, Coupeville and we encourage you to stop by and visit us.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Art of The Container...


The Art of the Container

Steve Atkins, Instructor

April 27, 2013 (1-3pm)

Cost: $25

Bring your own outdoor container, dirt, plants and your imagination. Steve will provide the inspiration, the ideas and examples of what you can do. Steve is the owner of Root Design and Landscape located here in Coupeville. Steve’s “canvas” is his own home and client’s homes on the Island and in Seattle. He is knowledgeable, personable and will help you create that perfect container plus give ideas on creating more!


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Help a Scholarship Student Today....

So in talking to a local Coupevillian the other day about this and that it came up to that the individual I was talking to knew one of our recent scholarship applicants.  We shared some memories about the "old days" before the Highway went in, when the over pass was built and how his wife was on the of official cutters of the ribbon to open the overpass.  However, being a young High Schooler in her formal and tiara she was more concerned that her highly laqured "Do" would be messed up by the wind than she was impressed with the significance of the event.

However, back to our scholarships and our applicants!  It seems that one of our applicants was in such a severe auto accident that by rights he should not have survived.  Only a gift of a fly fishing kit in the hospital to help him with his motor dexterity got him on the road to recovery.  This lead to his drawings of different flys to attract fish being highlighted in a local fishing club's guide to fishing and a discovery that he enjoyed art and had some talent that if nutured could grow.  What a remarkable recovery this young man has had.

We have a limited number of scholarships to award each year.  My point being, the more donations we receive for scholarships the more well deserving budding artists we can assist.  We shared just one story but there are countless others like his.  We see their applications as they come through the door. Your donations can directly impact a student.

If you would like to make the gift of an art class a reality for someone please consider donating to our scholarship funds. You can follow the link below to make a donation now.  Any amount helps. We have scholarships for Youth, Painting, Photography and Mixed Media and would love to start one for Fiber Arts.


Monday, March 25, 2013


If you missed last Saturday's free lecture and presentation by David Julian, then don't miss our next one with Eddie Soloway!  Eddie will be here offering his workshop "Eyes Wide Open" and on Friday night, April 12th will entertain and inspire us with a lecture and presentation.

So mark you calendars and be here! 

Saturday, April 12th, 7:00 p.m. FREE and Open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Eddie still  has openings in this terrific workshop, click, below for details and to register:

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Carrots, Eggs or Coffee Beans?

                           Which are you?

What kind of artist are you?  A young artist went to her mentor and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her.  She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up.  She was tired of fighting and struggling. 

Her mentor took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water.  In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placd ground coffee beans.

She let them sit and boil without saying a word.  In about twenty minutes, she turned off the burners.  She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl.  She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.  Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to the young artist, she asked, "Tell me, what do you see?".  "Carrots, eggs and coffee", the artist replied.

Her mentor brought her closer, and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft and mushy  Her mentor then asked her to take an egg and break it.  After pulling off the shell, the artist observed the hardened egg. Finally, the daughter was asked to sip the coffee.

The young artist smiled as she tasted its deep flavor and inhaled its rich aroma.  The artist then asked, "What's the point?"

Her mentor explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity-boiling water-but each reacted differently.

The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting.  However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it became weak.

The egg had been fragile.  Its thin, outer shell had protected its liquid interior.  But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however.  After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water. 

"Which are you?" she asked her young artist friend.  "When adveristy knocks on your door, how do you respond?  Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?

If you are the coffee bean that actually changes the hot water-the very circumstance that brings the adversity, the pain, the hardship-into something quite wonderful.  When the water gets hot, it releases its fragrance and flavor.  If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better, and change the situation around you for the better. 

Be that artist that changes the world!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Personal Expression:  A Design Approach
with Donna Watson, May 20-23, 2013
$475 Tuition

This workshop is for all types of painters--- whether they paint representational, abstract or nonobjective. It is also for all types of mediums – watercolor, acrylic, gesso, gouache, or mixed media. The emphasis is on searching for personal content, design and composition--- three steps to fabulous painting. Participants will work on composition, explore personal aspects of their painting and work on their design elements and principles. They will have the option to work with different mediums and explore the use of collage. There will be slide talks, assignments, exercises, sharing processes, personal and group critiques, and discussions. By the end of the workshop, the painter will have a stronger understanding of composition, design elements and principles and personal expression. By emphasizing certain elements and principles, and choosing more personal content, paintings will become more unique, recognizable and successful. to sign up now!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Library, Scholarships, FREE lectures...

Did you know we have a great little Members Library here at the school?  Well, we do!  We have over 1,500 volumes on art history, famous artists, how to books and more.  All members are entitled to use this lending library. Come visit us!

Also, we are getting ready in June to award a graduating senior with a $500 scholarship.  For the past four years we have been able to give out a scholarship to a happy graduate of Coupeville High School. Our funds need to be replenished and YOU can make that happen! Visit our website, or click on this link:

Finally, we invite you all to attend our first "FREE" lecture of the season...

Friday, February 15, 2013

See the world through "Eyes Wide Open"

Fresh back from Hawaii and Cuba, let this talented and gifted photographer show you how he sees the world through "Eyes Wide Open".
Eddie will offer a free lecture and presentation on Friday, April 12th at 7:00 p.m. Following that lecture will be Eddie's workshop.  Click the link below for all the details!  We hope you can join us for both events.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Wiegardt, Albala, Westerman...start 2013 off right!

From "The Wisdom of Notan:  Light and Dark Composition"  to "Create KILLER paintings!" we have something for every painter this April and May. Join Eric Wiegard, Mitch Albala and Arne Westerman as we kick off 2013 in a big way.  Improve skills, learn new ones and enjoy learning from our talented and gifted faculty.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

It is all how you look at it....

"Last November in Japan, I found my self looking up into the forest canopy, and then I did a double take. There was a branch floating in the air! I couldn't see the what was holding it there, perhaps a spider web, but I smiled. It would have been so easy to have missed it."

Here is just one example of the creativity, inspiration and instruction you can expect when you take an Eddie Soloway workshop!  Won't you consider joining Eddie on beautiful Whidbey Island this Spring?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


We need your donations!  If you are planning on cleaning out your studio, garage, attic and have some gently used art supplies or items, WE WANT THEM!  You can bring your donations to the school, 15 N W Birch St, Coupeville, Monday-Friday, 9-4:30 p.m. so we can sell them to local artists at our upcoming Art Mart Garage Sale on January 26, 2013 9-3 p.m.!

Also, if you have items for sale and want to "rent" a table from us for just $25 then you can sell your items yourself.  It's a win-win for everyone!

Call if you have questions, 360 678 3396

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Think your family is crazy????

Come enjoy a rollicking good time at the Whidbey Playhouses's production of "It Runs In the Family" and help two great not for profits!  The Pacific NorthWest Art School and the Coupeville Soroptimist Club are partnering on this joint fundraising event.  Tickets are only $25 and entitle the patron to tea sandwiches, cakes, tea and admission to the matinee performance of this hilarious Bristish farce.

So have a grand time and support two worthwhile organizations at the same time!  To purchase tickets please call the Pacific NorthWest Art School at 360 678 3396 or drop by at 15 N W Birch Street, Coupeville and visit us Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.