Tag Archives: Traverse City

One Thing Studying Art Has Taught Me — and How That Can Help You


There are no shortcuts to learning; you have to put in the time. Photo courtesy of Art Escapes Italy — a fantastic place to learn.

Reflecting on time set aside for learning, the one thing I can say is that there are no shortcuts. To make great art, one has to simply put in the time to learn. No one would ever sit down at a piano and expect to know how to play it, having never learned the scales. That’s the key to anything: “learn the scales” and practice. So where to begin if painting is what you desire to do?  Videos, books and classes.

My mentors all have fabulous videos available from their websites and YouTube. I have found Robert Burridge in particular to be a gracious and giving teacher. His videos are fantastic and he sends out a mini video to his mailing list every Monday. Sign up at http://www.robertburridge.com/
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See below for details on how to paint with me in Northern Michigan this month!

Sterling Edwards is a master watercolorist and has wonderful videos and a very helpful book available on his website: http://sterlingedwards.com/
The most helpful books I’ve found are:
 • “Alla Prima II Everything I Know About Painting and More”
• “Carlson’s Guide to Landscape Painting”
• “The Creative Habit” by Twyla Tharp
That should get you started! Now, I’d like to invite you to come study with me as well. I’ll be teaching two classes this month in Traverse City for TC Uncorked. Click here for the info.
Hope to see you there!

Project 24: Laurentide Winery



Walk with me through the vines. Every day would be fine. Each time I am afforded this luxury, I’m taken aback by the magic — and in awe of the hard work associated with maintaining a vineyard.

I can’t stress this enough. The wine you drink: It has been tended to by loving and extremely hard-working hands.

On a warm September morning, Susan Braymer, who owns Laurentide with her husband, Bill, was gracious enough to take me in her four-wheel drive vehicle onto her property.

(Please, my dear reader, do not tire of me speaking of the beauty of the land. I’m not trying to fluff anything here, I paint this land because it is special. It is breathtakingly beautiful.)


My appreciation of the land grew even deeper in meeting Susan, who is extremely passionate about it. She explained to me about the Laurentide glaciers, showing me all of the stones she had carried in her truck from where the vines grow to the tasting room. Susan wants people to see that the wine is about the land, and so do I. The soil is filled with these rocks, as well as shale and limestone and seashells left behind by the glacier 14,000 years ago. You see, the land is special, and with a view of the Whaleback and a peekaboo of Lake Michigan, this plot of land is simply magnificent, orchards and vines as far as the eye can see.


Susan asked me if I had time to walk in the vines. She — like I, no doubt — had a long “to do” list, but you simply have to stop and smell the roses sometimes, and I thank her for taking the time. I studied the vines as we walked and the grapes and how different grapes produce different foliage. And I enjoyed the landscape flowing on all around me. This is life: These are the moments of pure beauty and enjoyment.