Posts Tagged ‘art’

Cover 2019

The 2019 Outer Coast calendar is available from www.theoutercoast.com, or buy in stores in Sitka, or bookstores in Alaska and a few select places in the North West – including Powells Books in Portland and Elliott Bay Books in Seattle.

I’ll also be at WhaleFest in Sitka November 2-4, at the Alaska Juneau Public Market on Thanksgiving weekend, and at the Sitka Artisans Market December 7-9. I’ll also have original wood engraving prints and notecards, which are also available on the website.

Calendars are printed in color on heavy, vellum-surface Natural colored paper by Alaska Litho in Juneau, Alaska U.S.A.

This calendar features my original art, poetry by Alaskans and other greats, gardening reminders for southeastern Alaska, and wilderness anniversaries. It opens out to 11 x 17 inches (8 1/2 by 11 closed), has a handy hole for hanging, and, has complete year of 2019 on the last page. The price is $15 but there are discounts starting at two.

This year’s calendar is built around the theme of imperfection – nobody’s perfect, and that’s ok.

Poetry includes lines from William Wordsworth, Shakespeare, and Beat poet Lew Welch (1926-1971).

This calendar also features work by John Straley, novelist and poet, and some beautiful, inspiring work by Caroline Goodwin.

Below are the images from the 2019 calendar:December2019February2019January2020July2019 (2)June2019March2019May2019November2019October2019September2019image only



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A Still Life by Henri Matisse

The very beautiful still-life paintings by Ms. Love’s Fifth Grade class in 2015. I’ve been meaning to put these up for a while. The students first learned about color mixing. They did these paintings in one session, painting from still lifes set up with colored cloths and fruit. They are done with tempera paint on canvas board (just because the teacher had some she wanted to get used!).img_2132smallimg_2133smallimg_2134smallimg_2135smallimg_2136smallimg_2137smallimg_2138smallimg_2139smallimg_2140smallimg_2141smallimg_2142smallimg_2143smallimg_2144smallimg_2145smallimg_2146smallimg_2147smallimg_2148smallimg_2149smallimg_2150smallimg_2151smallimg_2152small

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Raven in Snow

Raven in Snow

Muskeg in the Fall

Muskeg in the Fall

Bluebells in a Whiskey Bottle

Bluebells in a Whiskey Bottle

Spring Stars

Spring Stars

Poulson wood engraving Summer Sunset Troller

Poulson wood engraving Summer Sunset Troller

Poulson engraving Opheim Skiff

Poulson engraving Opheim Skiff

Kachemak Bay T-shirt Design

Kachemak Bay T-shirt Design

My pal Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock recently published a young adult novel, The Smell of Other People’s Houses. It’s good! She has a really nice touch, it’s super well done, and gets some of that flavor of growing up in Alaska in the 1970s and 80s, which might be kind of like growing up in a lot of rural places in that era. It’s authentic without trying too hard. I read a lot of young adult novels, reading to my kids at night, and skimming things my kids bring home, and this is the cream. It’s a good book by any standard, a real gem.

Anyway her publisher, Random House/Penguin/Dell commissioned me to make pictures for the “part titles” for the four sections of the book, and a picture for the title page.

This was last summer, and the Kachemak Bay Wooden Boat Society commissioned me to make a t-shirt design for the Wooden Boat Festival, for which I did a wood engraving of an Opheim Skiff.

All these wood engravings are available as prints, hand-printed from the block on a vintage 1929 hand-cranked proofing press.

They are all cut from 3″ x 4″ blocks, some of them, like the flowers and the skiff, on the diagonal.

They are $30 each, and can be ordered thru my website www.theoutercoast.com, or send me a message thru this blog, or FaceBook (Rebecca Poulson).


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At the 2015 Elementary-age Sitka Fine Arts Camp, I got to work with the 3rd through 5th graders. The first day we made abstract paintings, after looking at slides of paintings by Wasilly Kandinsky. Then we drew for two days, and the next, we painted their counselor modeling, or, if they wished, a figure, or anything they wanted.

Each group of 15 kids rotated through four classes:  music, theater, dance and visual art through the mornings during one week.

The only thing I asked on this one was that they mix three new colors for their picture.

Their work:

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Oregon, August 2014: waiting for the play in Ashland,

and, the Saturday Market in Eugene.


And Sitka today, in September: jumping into Beaver Lake,

and hiking back down to Herring Cove.

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It’s here! You can buy on line, or from stores in Alaska and beyond, in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho! Cover 2015

More about the calendar, as well as original prints and notecards, the order form and more are at my website The Outer Coast (theoutercoast.com).

I’ve published the calendar since 1995, and in full color since 2008.

I am very proud of it being printed in the United States, in fact in Juneau, Alaska, at the employee-owned Alaska Litho.

Here is a slide show of the other images in the calendar. The poetry and quotes are by Alaskan poets Caroline Goodwin, John Straley, Pete Weiland, young poet Anja Brooks-Schmidt, with classic lines from Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edward Lear, William Wordsworth, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and Walt Whitman, on a theme of being in the moment.

I think it’s the best yet, but I always think that. Enjoy.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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I had the chance this year to teach two classes at the Sitka Fine Arts Camp Middle School session: Printmaking, and Natural History Drawing and Watercolor. This is an outstanding camp in every way, with some of the best instructors in the country – practicing artists who have also figured out how to bring young people on that ride. The students are also remarkable, in how they support each other. It was fun to get students to the next level in their art work, but just as neat to see them making connections with each other.

These are some pictures, from the final show, from the Natural History Drawing and Watercolor class. I had 18 middle school students – which is a big group, but they were a good group, and all worked hard.

The first day we did drawing exercises, to get into drawing what you see. Some very effective exercises including blind contour drawing (not looking at your paper) and very fast, timed sketches.

Some drawings from the first day

Some drawings from the first day

Then, next day, shading:



IMG_6334smallwith the idea of using light and shadow to do what they wanted it to. All this was from observation, I set up clamp lights for the shading exercises. First we did strips of various kinds of shading.

The idea I had was to show how to make art starting from observation – but with the idea of making a picture.

Our last exercise session was to copy a watercolor landscape, The Blue Boat, by Winslow Homer, in watercolor. I helped them with color mixing, and pointed out the techniques used to create the illusion of space and depth. In this first photo (these are all taken at the final show, looking down at a table), you can see the picture we were copying.




So this was an experiment but it worked really well. You can talk all day but it’s much better to just do it. I had them try mixing three different greens.

Next was drawing the landscape from observation, and another instructor had mentioned starting with the horizon. Drawing in the horizon is magic. Check these out:




As they were drawing, I also helped them see how how close things are to the horizon tells you how far away they are, and some linear perspective for the students drawing buildings or pavement –

We went outside two more times, once drawing in pen, trying to convey some sense of writing pieces we’d been given by the Writing and the Visual Arts class. The last time, we painted our own landscape in watercolor. That was where I was really impressed with the students. I think most of us would be a bit intimidated by the task but they went for it.

watercolor painting the landscape

watercolor painting the landscape




Also by this point, the last day of a 2-week camp, they were exhausted.

In one class we drew and painted objects we brought in from outside, as well as still life things in the room, in various sizes, and one day we drew some live 5-week-old chickens I brought from home. The chickens seemed to enjoy it as much as the students. Chickens are curious creatures and seem to like outings.



Did I mention Dr. Who was popular at camp.

At the end, we made tiny books, with hard covers covered with paper they’d decorated, and pockets to hold the tiny pieces of art they’d made.




And – poetry. We loaned tiny paintings to the Writing and The Visual Arts class, who wrote poems, on tiny papers that fit in our books. Here are some of the pairings – well, actually, all of them:

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Anyway, good work, guys! The one thing is I wish I’d taken the time to look at our work. It went so fast, and everyone was gone, I was in serious, serious withdrawal the next day. It’s intense, and I really enjoyed all the kids – bright and just plain interesting to talk to. So the next day, when I saw some of the students downtown, I was asking them how they liked camp, though – being a shy person – one girl I ran into but was too shy to talk to. I’m still kicking myself. Because she did really well, I really enjoyed her,  and I never got to tell her so. Well ok Amelia you rock. There now!

I’d love to teach again, maybe just landscape, or people – in a landscape – and I have an idea for drawing a graphic novel. I did that with elementary school kids last fall, I think it would be really cool.

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