At Biosphere 2
We just returned from a lovely trip to Tucson.
One week of sunny blue Arizona skies was a great break from our gray Michigan winter! There are so many wonderful things to see, including the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and  Biosphere2, "where science lives"! We enjoyed a great tour and I highly recommend the trip. 
Disturbed Prairie Dog
ⓒ Barbara Goodsitt

Sonora Desert Museum
ⓒ Barbara Goodsitt
Sonora Desert Museum
ⓒ Barbara Goodsitt

ⓒ Barbara Goodsitt

I recently completed a composite pet portrait for my outstanding pet sitter Bobbie Mann who owns Lit'l One Pet Sitting & Dog walking. She is a wonderful person who takes great care of our pets when we are gone. She is the proud owner of SEVEN Havanese! They are so cute and wonderful companions.


Happy Holidays 2011

ⓒBarbara Goodsitt
 May your life be blessed with much affection, beauty, balance, harmony, optimism, trust and understanding in the coming year. 


AAWA 60th Anniversary Juried Exhibition

ⓒBarbara Goodsitt
I hope you can come to the 
Ann Arbor Women Artists 60th Anniversary Juried Exhibition
December 15, 2011 ~ January 3 2012 at the Pierre Paul Gallery.
Artist's Opening Reception   
Thursday, December 15 6 PM- 9 PM.


Benefits of Participating in Creative Arts

I wanted to share some of the work my WCC students are doing this session.  It is exciting to see how each person explores art in their own way. These students come from diverse backgrounds.  Many people discover a talent they did not know that they possesed. Some of my students studied art many years ago, but left it behind to pursue a more lucrative career or raise a family. People who participate in creative arts benefit both emotionally and physically.  
You can be creative with visual arts, music, dancing, cooking, and the list goes on... I hope you all find a way to add creativity to the things you do.  Life is good!



ⓒ Barbara Goodsitt
Peace & Happiness

One of the exercises I give my class is to design a personal mandala. I urge them to work spontaneously, letting their subconscious guide their design and color choices. 
Drawing and painting mandalas can help you to harmonize your harsh emotions, ease your pain, regain your trust in yourself and believe in your life again.  As one who absorbs thoughts and feelings from others, I find creating a mandala as a way of becoming empowered with my own values and common sense.

We also incorporate some color blending techniques into the piece. 
Here are some meanings of color choices:

Red – strength, enthusiasm, passion, willpower, authority, survival.
Yellow – intelligence, curiosity, vigilance, new goals, arrogance.

Orange – vitality, ambition, self-respect, optimism, joy.
Green – change, fertility, rejuvenation, healing, freedom, carefulness
Blue – harmony, contentment, calmness, trust, communication, loyalty
Pink – sensibility, vulnerability, protection, care, unconditional love, melancholy.

Brown – "roots”, stagnation, safety, self-doubt, solidity, suppressed energies.

White – relief, innocence, clarity, timeless. 
Purple – humane, idealistic, spirituality, meditation, passivity, estranged.

Black – loss, depression, fear, secrets, rebirth. 


Cloud on Mt. Haleakala

Cloud on Mt. Haleakala
ⓒ Barbara Goodsitt

The natural beauty of Hawaii is too exquisite for words.  This photograph was taken several years ago. I hope that many more generations will be able to enjoy this special place.


Foreground vs. Background

ⓒ Barbara Goodsitt
Here is a new project from my Colored Pencil Drawing class at Washtenaw Community College. The purpose of this project is to teach the student-artist how to differentiate the foreground from the background when painting or drawing.

The artist can blur the background and keep the foreground in focus. One can also use more intense colors in the foreground. This project demonstrates both approaches. I also utilized the impressed line technique with the veins in the leaves and in my signature. 
Coincidentally, there was  a recent article in the Huffington Post about a new 4D camera that will take interactive photos. It allows you to select and adjust the point of focus in your photo after it has been taken. The camera sharpens and intensifies your chosen point of focus, and blurs the other areas by using data it collects from 11 million rays of light!


Plein Air

ⓒ Barbara Goodsitt

I have had the pleasure of occasionally joining our Ann Arbor Women Artists Plein Air Group, whose outings are organized by Sandra Difazio.  Tapu and Sally Silvennoinen, one of our members, owns the historic Geddes Farm in Ann Arbor. We have been painting there each season over the past year.  This project will culminate in an upcoming art show at Moonwinks Cafe, located on the east side of Ann Arbor.

En Plein air is a French expression which means "in the open air", and is particularly used to describe the act of painting outdoors. The first time I did it, many little animals including rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, birds, and bees came by to visit me. This added to the magic of the experience. It was as if I became "one" with the landscape while I painted it.  Every worry in the world just dropped away. I would love to do more plein air work in Michigan and perhaps other locations!

I hope you can stop by Moonwinks in November and see what some of our plein air painters have created.


Impressed Line Technique

It is fall, so drawing leaves seems appropriate.  
We will start working on using the impressed line technique in some classes.


New Class Exercise

Rainbow of Peppers
© Barbara Goodsitt

Here is a preview of our first project in Colored Pencil Drawing 1.  
We will be learning some color theory and how to transfer an image from a photo reference.


The Cardinal: Signs and Symbols

Cardinal, Mixed Media © Barbara Goodsitt

Cardinals are beautiful birds. They are plentiful near my home and so musical. 
I love their song, which you can enjoy at this link http://www.birdjam.com/birdsong.php?id=3.  In animal symbolism it is said that "Those who attract the cardinal as their totem are naturally energetic, love life, and happily help others where and when they can".  

This mixed media piece alludes to the way animals, (as well as songs, and passages in books) can appear to be signs if we stay alert. This cardinal breaks the boundaries of its borders. Perhaps it operates in different levels of consciousness. 

Artist, Carol Hanna, a friend from Ann Arbor Women Artists, creates huge, beautiful, and abstract paintings that interpret bird songs. She is inspired by the color of their feathers and the vibrations (wavelengths) of their songs to guide her compositions. 


Haiku In Anticipation Of Autumn

Colored Ink and Colored Pencil
Ⓒ Barbara Goodsitt

Beautiful colors
up in the air, falling down
now floating away

- BG


Michigan Colored Pencil 2011- Art Show at Lotus Arts Gallery

I am very honored to have had two pieces juried into the show "MIchigan Colored Pencil 2011".  This show features some of the best of colored pencil art in the state of Michigan.  The Juror is Zdislaw Sikora, Professor of Fine Art at the College of Creative Studies.
The show is presented by the Detroit Area Chapter of the Colored Pencil Society of America  and the Lotus Arts Gallery, located at 995 West Ann Arbor Trail, Plymouth, Michigan.
The Opening reception is Friday Sept 16 from 7 to 9 PM.
 Exhibition Dates are September 2-29.


Ann Arbor Chamber of Commerce Show

Starting June 16,  I will be included in a group show at the Ann Arbor Chamber of Commerce, located at 115 West Huron Street, suite #3. I will be exhibiting some of my work that celebrates produce!


Cat on Colorfix development in steps

Step 1
copyright by Barbara Goodsitt

step 2
copyright by Barbara Goodsitt

Step 3
copyright by Barbara Goodsitt

Step 4
copyright by Barbara Goodsitt

Step 5
copyright by Barbara Goodsitt


Creative Drawing with Colored Pencil

Jane with pastel and colored pencil art
AA Rec and Ed
I just wrapped up teaching the winter session of my colored pencil classes at Ann Arbor Community Education (see photos) and Washtenaw Community College.  Despite the terrible weather, both classes were well attended and I thoroughly enjoyed my students. The classes were made up of a diverse group of people: all ages and abilities.

I enjoyed seeing how each person expressed themselves through their art.  It is so rewarding to see beginners who fall in love with the medium of colored pencil, and more advanced students who get excited by exploring and improving their techniques and creativity.  I have new ideas for more creative projects this spring.  Thank you to my WONDERFUL winter students. It was a great experience for me to work with you!
AA Rec and Ed

AA Rec and Ed


Flowers in February (work in progress)

I am making some progress on this piece.   The warmer colors are put down dry and in sharper focus to bring the flower image to the foreground.  I am adding waterdroplets to the flower in the forground and using solvents and burnishing to create a blurry background area.  I think this is 80% complete. 


Flowers in February (work in progress)

Our thermometer read -1 degree Fahrenheit this morning!
I have been working on this floral piece while the temperatures plummet. I think it is keeping me optimistic that spring will be here soon.  I am using this piece as a lesson in one of my Colored Pencil Drawing classes on combining solvents with colored pencils. This is also an example of how to make some objects "read" in the foreground, and make other elements fade to the background. Working on beautiful flowers is a joy for me, especially in the winter.


True Grit!

Ann Kullberg is publishing a new Colored Pencil Magazine.  I am very excited about having an article in this  publication. I wrote about my process drawing the Red Ginger Tower Plant. It is titled True Grit.  In my case, the grit is 800 UART sanded pastel paper. This piece has also been featured on the U-Art Website.  Colored Pencil enthusiasts  will love this magazine. The art work and articles are informative and inspiring. 
If you are interested in buying this edition of the magazine you can go to the following link:  http://www.magcloud.com/browse/Issue/156121


Jewish Mandala

Here is my latest mandala. This was done as a donation for the local Jewish Community Center in Ann Arbor.  I kept thoughts of peace in mind while working on this painting. 
I recently became aware of the Charter for Compassion

This idea comes from Karen Armstrong who eloquently articulates noble aspirations for peace and harmony on our planet:
"...The Charter for Compassion is a document that transcends religious, ideological, and national difference. Supported by leading thinkers from many traditions, the Charter calls on us all to activate the Golden Rule around the world"...
Here is an excerpt:
"The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect..."


Cherokee Quote

I came across this quote today and thought it was worth sharing...

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.  He said, "My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil - It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego".

"The other is Good - It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"   The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed".