Sunday, February 18, 2018

Spring Flowers

This spring, I'm working on a couple of commission pieces that will be hung in the new Valley Children's Medical Center in Bakersfield, California. The process of working on a commission of this size is pretty new to me, and a little daunting.

The first step was to produce some "sketches" to be evaluated and approved. They were looking for spring and flower images, so I did these:

Orange Azaleas
Watercolor, 2017
DaffodilsWatercolor, 2017
Yellow TulipsWatercolor, 2017
Cactus Blossoms
Watercolor, 2017
Red Tulips
Watercolor, 2017
California Poppies
Watercolor, 2018
So, now begins the challenge of producing the final paintings of the two images that were chosen, Yellow Tulips, and California poppies. These paintings will be larger (24" x 36") than any previous watercolors I've done. I'm excited about getting started!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Its Open Studio Time Again

For the 7th year, I am participating in the Stanislaus Artist Open Studio next weekend, April 22-23. It sure seems like I don't get very much art made sometimes, but after going through the studio and trying to get things in order, there is actually quite a bit of new material!

To start with, we've had a really nice figure drawing group going down at Mistlin Gallery. So I have quite a few figure sketches and drawings. I switch up my medium every few weeks, so there is quite a variety, from ink to watercolor to charcoal and pencil.
Figure sketches, Linda Knoll, 2016/2017

Last fall, my dad and I embarked on a woodworking project using my drawings. We digitized the drawings from Nature Beauty (my coloring book), and took them to our local maker space, the Downtown Tinkertank, to laser etch lidded boxes and ornaments. I originally meant for my coloring book stationary to go in the boxes, but as many customers just like the boxes... and I have to admit they turned out pretty cool. For the tour, I will still have an assortment to choose from, and I'll take custom orders too!

Wood boxes with laser etched drawings, approx. 7 x 10 inches

Laser cut wood ornaments

I have a box of my Nature Beauty coloring books left over from last year. I'll be giving some away to Open Studio visitors. I think I've finally got the courage to color the original drawings too.

Along with lots of paintings, collage, and drawings, I have my children's books, Over in the Valley and Patient for Pumpkins, and our family cookbook, Bernie Bread.

Joining me at my studio are good friends, Chris Obers and Kate Pethoud. They have some awesome work to share as well.

I will have tour guides (your ticket) for $10 which lets you into my studio and the other 55 around Stanislaus County. Or you can purchase them at Mistlin Gallery. Please email if you have any questions. I hope you'll join us.

If you can't make it, I have some art in a couple of different venues for the next month or so. Three of my pictures are at the Ironstone Vineyards Obsession Art Show in Murphys, CA. One piece, Morning Shadows, won an Award of Merit!
Pieces showing at Ironstone Vineyards: Cows at the Cross 10x10" watercolor, Morning Shadows 14x20" watercolor, and  The Cat and the Hat 12x18" watercolor.

Many of my older pieces are hanging in the book sale room at the Groveland Public Library through June. Its nice to find friendly folks willing to get art into the public eye. This show is open Saturdays from 11-3 on Highway 120 in Groveland, CA.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Painting the Irish Countryside

Three Harbor Views, Kinvara 6"x6" watercolors, Linda Knoll
I've just returned from a trip to the Southwest part of Ireland. Our group stayed in a little town called Lisdoonvarna, a small town know for it sulphur water and Matchmaking Festival. Our hostess at the Burren Painting Center arranged daily trips to points of interest and gave us lots of time to sketch and paint.

We ventured to several coastal towns, castles, and natural wonders in the part of Ireland called the Burren, a plateau of limestone rock jutting out of the ocean. The history, natural and cultural, was fascinating. There were rock walls everywhere, filled with fossils and flowers!

Rock walls cover Innisheer island.

Four days of the trip were occupied with a plein air watercolor workshop presented by Grahame Booth, a wonderful watercolor painter from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Below are a few of my favorite photos, and paintings I did while I was there. More paintings to come now that I'm back in the studio!

Cliffs of Mohr, on sample paper 5x7" watercolor

Cattle Crossing, 5x7" watercolor pencil

Irish Clouds, 6x8" watercolor

Lilac, 5x7" watercolor

Our tutor, Grahame Booth

After the holiday weekend at Kinvara

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Resolved to Create a Happy 2016!

2015 was a weird year. I felt unfocused about my art, and distracted by too many other things to really concentrate on anything specific.  I tried out a few new techniques: collage and watercolor combo, mono printing with a Gelli Plate; both fun and interesting. I did several collages with gelli printed textures and will be doing more this year.

Elizabeth in Purple, watercolor plus painted paper collage, 8x10"
Flamingoes in Flight, collage with acrylic printed papers, 8x10" 
I spent much of the summer just doodling in my journal, and finally decided to make a coloring book of nature themed doodles. Many of these were produced while caring for my mom, who passed away in September. She was a "birder" and I've been a little obsessed with "tree of life" images, so this page is dedicated to her.

Tree of Life, for my mom, ink 9x12"

Speaking of the tree of life, I also produced a group of wire tree sculptures based on that idea. The spiral ends are reminiscent of Gustav Klimt's tree of life painting. 

Copper Rainbow Tree of Life
My students inspired some other diversions, such as these ink blot trees.

But, I think I should probably get back to some watercoloring! I'm excited that my daughter and I are planning an art trip to Ireland in June, and there are endless inspirations from gardens to national parks to our own neighborhood. And I still have several picture book ideas floating around. Lots to do in 2016... wish me luck. Also, visit my Etsy store to order coloring books, custom wire trees, paintings and more to come.

Happy New Year to you!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Holiday Shopping in Modesto

Shop local markets this year and support local artisans and businesses.

My new coloring book, Nature Beauty, will be available beginning Nov. 28. I've worked hard to get this done for the holiday season. It has a dozen hand drawn illustrations, and is complemented by a few poems and some opportunities for you to add your personal touch.

I also have lots of original art, prints and cards as well as my two picture books, that I'll be taking out to the following events. I hope you can catch me there, but feel free to contact me if you'd like peruse anything at my studio. Email or look me up on Facebook.

Mod Shop Indie Crafters Market

Saturday, Nov. 28, 5 - 9 p.m. on J Street in downtown Modesto. I'll be set up at Mistlin Gallery at 1015 J Street. There will be music, poetry, refreshments and of course, art galore.

Dickens Faire and Farmers Market

Saturday, Dec. 5, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. in front of the McHenry Mansion at 15th and I Streets. My booth will be located right in front of the Mansion!

Modesto Spirit of Giving 5K Run (and vendor market)

Saturday, Dec. 12, 7 a.m. - 2 p.m. at 10th Street Plaza, downtown Modesto.

Artsy Folks Holiday Boutique (put on by Interfaith Ministries)

Saturday, Dec. 19, noon - 6:00 p.m. at Bethel Church, 2361 Scenic Dr., Modesto

If you can't make it out for any of these events, I have also re-opened my Etsy shop! You can purchase the coloring book there, and I'll be posting many more items in the next few weeks.

Happy Holidays!

Seafoam with Kelp, watercolor, 2015

Meadow Storm, collage, 2014

Winter Apple Tree, watercolor, 2014

Dancing Maidens, watercolor, 2014

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Jumping on the Coloring Book Bandwagon

"Drought Resistant" doodle with succulents. 18"x24" watercolor with ink. 2015
A few years back, I started making some "doodles". Truthfully, I've doodled all my life during meetings, classes and in waiting rooms. So, when I recently read (and heard from friends) that coloring books for grownups are a hot topic, I decided these doodles could fill the void.

My most recent doodles involved a little more planning, detail, and have become finished pieces with watercolor.  The problem? I neglected to scan most of my early doodles prior to putting the color in. Dummy!

So now, I'm in the process of making a collection of new doodles which will be collected in a book. Most of them will be plants, animals, insects, flowers and the like. I plan to have it ready for the holidays. Below are a few samples.

The original doodles can be seen in this post: or

Please let me know if you'd like to reserve a copy. Email for information.

Closeup of mushroom doodle.

Section of "Drought Resistant" succulent doodle.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Mono printing with Gelli Plate

Experiment number one...

Leaves printed in 3 passes with primary colors.
A little process video....
(sorry the sound is not too good)