June Sketch Crawl – Sierra Azul Nursery – June 22

Sierra Azul Sculpture Garden

The first of our June sketch crawls will be at the Sierra Azul Nursery and Sculpture Garden, Watsonville.  Let’s meet up from 2 pm to 4;30;  don’t forget all your outdoor essentials and be prepared to spend quality quiet time among the plants and art! Bring an empty pill container or Daniel Smith half pans and a favorite tube of watercolor to share with others.

Click here: Directions to Sierra Azul

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Santa Cruz Art League Weekend Workshop – Journaling/Field Sketching – June 1 & 2, 2013

SCAL weekend workshop june 1 and 2, 2013

Yvonne, Joan, and Pat work on color theory assignment.

The sun was super HOT, but that didn’t diminish enthusiasm among class participants.  What a lovely and dedicated group of artists!









Kris sketches Eucalyptus pods

We met at the UCSC Arboretum and took advantage of the amazingly strange and beautiful plants in the Australian section of the garden.      


Dan’s sketch of Banksia framed!

It was pure serendipity that the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History was hosting a Pop-Up Museum near us!  We were invited to exhibit our sketching efforts as part of their exhibit.  Fun and gratifying to have our work admired.

Sangjun & Estrella: celebrate her birthday by taking the workshop.


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November Sketch Crawl – San Juan Bautista

San Juan Bautista Mission garden

The little town of San Juan Bautista is chock full of fun things to sketch and paint. Let’s meet up at the Mission on November 11 from 2 to 4 pm. Dress for the weather……


Town chickens roam the streets. Many colorful characters!










For those who enjoy architecture….the mission is fun to sketch.

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Open Studios Art Tour 2012 – October 13-14 & 20-21

Santa Cruz Open Studios Art Tour 2012

Shared studio space at Linda Cordy’s home


Through my friend Linda’s encouragement and support, I screwed my courage up to apply to this year’s Open Studios Art tour…..and was accepted. It was a fun and successful 2 weekends. Below are pix of the studio space and set up just before the tour began.

Entrance to Linda’s studio and my shared space







Work in progress and process board







Display area in Linda’s back yard….I’m grateful for the fine weather we had!







Display area. I loved Linda’s whimsical pedestal sink planters.



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Open Studios Art Tour, 2012


Open Studios Art Tour - Cynthia ArmstrongHello Friends,

You are cordially invitedto come visit the next two weekends during Open Studios Art Tour.

I’ll be featuring oils and watercolors. You can find me sharing the studio space with my friend and fellow artist, Linda Cordy at her home studio in downtown Santa Cruz (308 Maple Street, across from Louden Nelson Center). Look for the bright green Open Studios signs, #231 -Armstrong, and #232 – Cordy

Bring a friend! I look forward to seeing you.




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October Sketch Crawl – 10/28 UCSC Arboretum, 2pm to 4pm

October Sketch Crawl - UCSC Arboretum

October Sketch Crawl – UCSC Arboretum


While the good weather lasts, let’s get out and enjoy it! This month’s sketch crawl will be on October 28 at the UCSC Arboretum, from 2 to 4 pm. Of course, if the weather changes, I’m still game. (Have you ever sketched in the rain? Try using salt on those watercolors and experiment).

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Field Sketching at the Marin Headlands

Sketching at the Bolinas Lagoon.


Foggy weather didn’t keep us down! Saturday, we headed to the shelter of Bolinas Lagoon to sketch the misty hills and marshlands.

Sunday’s weather was glorious! Great views of SF/Golden Gate from the headlands.

View from the Marin Headlands


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I can dream, can’t I?

From my show in New York. As if……..

Found a fun website that allows you to insert your images into museums around the world. Check out Museum to have your own fun.






Bigger is soooo much betta!











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September Sketch Crawl – Sierra Azul Nursery

Sierra Azule Nursery

Sculpture installation at Sierra Azule Nursery

We are so incredibly lucky here in the Santa Cruz area! Many think summer is at it’s best in September – the fog hangs back, the tourists are gone and one can notice the light starting to change…..hinting at autumn. There’s no better time to get out and journal!

This month’s Sketch Crawl will be at the Sierra Azul Nursery & Garden in Watsonville, September 15 from 2 to 4 pm.

In addition to being such a lovely nursery with tons of gorgeous plants and trees, they are also exhibiting their “Summer Sculptures in the Garden” series, which features 60 works of art by 30 local artists.

Sierra Azul Summer Sculpture in the Garden series

Directions to Sierra Azul Nursery & Gardens: Click here

Again, we will have a “Palette of the Day”, so bring your empty half pans or re-purposed pill organizers along with a tube of scrumptious watercolor to share with others.

Hope to see you there!






Garden at Sierra Azul Nursery



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Daniel Smith Watercolor Ground

Just HAD to try it! This specialized gesso allows you to paint watercolors onto any surface. I tried it on a number of field sketching journal covers and LOVE it!



Daniel Smith Watercolor Ground







Just paint it on, let it dry 24 hours and you are good to go. Paint with watercolors as usual. Seal it with UV resistant spray varnish.

Use artist’s tape to cover binding edge; paint on the watercolor ground; let dry 24 hours.








Paint cover and then use spray varnish to seal.








More cover art using D.S. watercolor ground. Recent trip to France featured on this one.

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