Friday, July 3, 2020

More Juried Show Acceptances!

I'm absolutely over the moon with joy to receive two letters of acceptance into juried exhibits this week! Good thing I ordered more shipping boxes!

Toes in the Water, 14x20 watercolor by Annie Strack

My painting "Toes in the Water" is juried into the Montana Watercolor Society 38th National Juried Exhibit. I will be framing it and shipping it off to the show in Montana for August.

Portrait of Chris, 20x14 Watercolor by Annie Strack

And this painting, "Portrait of Chris," is juried into the Alaska Watercolor Society 46th National Juried Exhibit.

posted by Annie Strack @ 10:43 AM   0 Comments

Monday, June 22, 2020

Pileated woodpecker feeding fledgling

I was on my patio hoping to video some fledgling wrens leaving their birdhouse, when this Pileated woodpecker flew up to the birdfeeder. Watch as she then feeds her fledgling waiting in the tree!

posted by Annie Strack @ 11:44 AM   0 Comments

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Featured Artist, Yvonne Mucci!

This week's featured artist is Yvonne Mucci, BWS.

Yvonne Mucci is primarily a watercolor artist and teaches painting and drawing in workshops and classes. She travels throughout the region and the mid west to compete in plein air events and is considered to be the top plein air watercolor artist in the region. Although she lives just across the Delaware river from me, I first met Yvonne many years ago at a plein air competition in Wisconsin. We now paint together regularly, and serve together on the Plein Air Brandywine Valley planning committee.

Yvonne's artist statement:

"As a regional watercolor artist living in Southern New Jersey, I have the good fortune of
being surrounded by beautiful shore lines, rich farm lands, and picturesque towns.
These diverse landscapes allow me great opportunities to draw upon for much of my
I grew up in Chicago and graduated from the American Academy of Art. Irving Shapiro
was my mentor in the medium of watercolor. I have enjoyed 30 successful years in
advertising, but felt it was time to get back to my roots with this wonderful unpredictable
medium and have not looked back.
My goal in painting is to recapture my initial feeling for a subject and convey that to the
viewer. I am a participant in many plein air competitions and enjoy a camaraderie with
other artists. Juried into Plein Air Brandywine Valley, Chadds Ford Paint Out, Cohansey
Riverfest in New Jersey, and Cedarburg Plein Air in Wisconsin. I also exhibit in local
shows and galleries."

Here's where it gets interesting...

Yvonne is a Guest Teacher at my studio this summer! She will be here to teach watercolor painting on Thursday, July 16th. 

Summer classes at my studio in Kenett Square, Pennsylvania start on July 9th. As always, classes are every Thursday for 7 weeks. 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. New this year, we will have our classes outdoors on the spacious patio!

  • Each artist will have their own table and patio umbrella. 
  • Tables will be 8 feet apart.
  • Masks will be required.
  • Social Distancing will be enforced.
  • Frequent hand washing and sanitizing will be encouraged. 

Guest teachers this year include Yvonne Mucci, Karen Berstler, and Karen Frattali. This is a special opportunity for art students to expand their knowledge and skills by studying with the region's most popular and respected art teachers. Class size is limited, so send me an email to reserve your space.
the full schedule in on the workshops page of my website. Each 3 hour class is $45 per person. 

posted by Annie Strack @ 11:40 AM   0 Comments

Wednesday, June 17, 2020


I'm disappointed to announce that once again I was not accepted into the National Watercolor Society's annual juried show. This is the painting that was rejected...

Planning Committee, watercolor by Annie Strack

However, I have some good news -- I was juried into the Georgia Watercolor Society members show this summer with this painting:

Toes in the Sand, 14x20 watercolor by Annie Strack
Always something new. I'll be framing this one and packing it up next week to ship off to the exhibit in Georgia.

posted by Annie Strack @ 3:47 PM   0 Comments

Friday, June 12, 2020

Summer classes!

Weekly Watercolor Classes will resume July 9th at Annie Strack Studio in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania!
Classes will be held OUTSIDE on the patio this summer, each student at their own umbrella table.
Masks are mandatory and Social Distancing will be enforced.
Enjoy this opportunity to study with Award wining artists Karen Frattali, Yvonne Mucci, and Karen Berstler! Each of these popular teachers is coming to us to teach a class this summer!
Send a message or email to sign up!

Schedule of teachers:
July 9th -- Annie Strack
July 16th -- Yvonne Mucci
July 25th -- Karen Berstler
July 30th -- Annie Strack
Aug 6th -- Karen Frattali
Aug 13th -- Annie Strack
Aug 20th -- Annie Strack

posted by Annie Strack @ 3:39 PM   0 Comments

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

New brushes from Dynasty!

I always enjoy trying out new art supplies, so I was thrilled to open a box of new brushes from Dynasty Brush that came in the mail yesterday. It's one of the great benefits of being an Artist Ambassador! I've been playing with these all morning, and they have quickly become my new favorite.

This line from Dynasty Brush is called Water Lily. It is synthetic, but it's much softer and more absorbent than usual synthetics. Dynasty has created a synthetic hair that mimics the qualities of natural kolinsky hair more than any other synthetic brush that I've ever used. Everyone knows how much I prefer kolinsky brushes -- but now I've found an excellent vegan alternative that gives me the same identical performance. Over the years, Dynasty Brush has rolled out new lines of brushes and each has been better than the last. But they have really raised the bar with this latest product line. I can't begin to describe how amazing these new brushes are -- you simply must try them!

posted by Annie Strack @ 11:30 AM   0 Comments

Saturday, June 6, 2020

New paintings!

Since all my workshops, classes, demos, exhibits, and competitions have been cancelled through the end of the year, I'm finding more time to learn and grow my own skills. I just finished these figurative streetscapes painted from photos that I took while I was teaching plein air painting in Provence, France.

The Book, 16x12 watercolor

The Break, 16x12 watercolor

The Dog Walker, 16x12 watercolor
I should be busy packing right now to go back to France to teach this summer, but because of COVID-19 my workshop at Sennelier in Brittany has been postponed until June 2021. On the bright side, Air France has refunded the full amount of my cancelled plane tickets. Hopefully it won't be long before I can book my travel again.

posted by Annie Strack @ 12:40 PM   0 Comments

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Beginning Watercolor Painting Tips & Supplies To Get You Started

My old friend Lori McNee of Fine Art Tips has produced this video which explains all about the essential supplies for watercolor painting! Check it out!

posted by Annie Strack @ 7:22 PM   0 Comments

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Beautiful weekend weather

We finally had beautiful weather! It was warm and sunny all weekend, and I spent the week puttering around in the garden more than the studio.

My peonies are just starting to bloom! I have 6 plants, and 3 are going to bloom this year. I may have planted the other three too deep, so I'm going to to remove about an inch soil from around the plants to see if that improves them for next year. 

It's great weather to paint outdoors and I'm itching to set up my easel out in the garden. I miss being able to paint with friends, but at least we can still gather via live-stream. 

posted by Annie Strack @ 10:22 AM   0 Comments

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Baby bluebirds

Spring has sprung! My irises and peonies are in full bloom and the windows are open to let the fresh air in. Squirrels are busy digging up my garden (Grr!) and birds are hatching. This birdhouse is one of many in my yard, and is the closest one to my patio. We watched a few leave the nest before I went and got the camera to catch this last one taking his first jump!

After the last bird left the nest I cleaned and washed it out and hung it back up. Another pair of bluebirds came to check it out right away!

posted by Annie Strack @ 5:36 PM   0 Comments

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

watercolor sketchbooks with toned paper!

A couple of years ago I started using an ivory toned watercolor sketchbook from Hahnemuehle and I immediately got hooked on toned paper. They just sent me two new watercolor sketchbooks, one in a lovely shade of cool grey and another in a warm soft brown.

These arrived yesterday evening, and I couldn't wait to open them up and get started!
You can order these books now at Wet Paint. In Canada, Above Ground Art Supplies and Gwartzman’sArt Supplies have ordered it but it's not yet on their website. These are the first stores to roll them out.

Using toned paper allows an artist to use the paper to provide some of the color in the painting. It's especially fun with pastels, gouache, or other opaque media. I used traditional watercolors in these paintings, accented with opaque white from a felt tip pen. On the right side of the photo is the fact sheet -- it's printed on glossy white paper, and you can see the color differences in this photo between the white of that paper, and the grey and brown paper in the sketchbooks.

I used the beige paper to create a sunset effect in this scene with a lighthouse, by leaving the paper to provide the color for the sky and some of the water. A white pen provided a bit of white for the lighthouse and it's reflection in the water.

In the beach scene, I let the grey paper color the sky and added a few brush strokes of payne's grey to create a dark stormy cloud. I left the paper color for the sand, and just washed it lightly with sepia to warm it up. Lastly, I added the whites of the crashing waves with a white pen.

The sketchbooks come in two colors, cool grey and warm brown. Each color is available in three sizes: 4.13 x 5.83 inches, 5.83 x 8.27 inches (that's the size I used in these photos), and 5.51 x 5.51 square. The 60 pages of 95 pound paper is acid free and age resistant, and has a slight texture that's just a little smoother than standard cold pressed. The books have a color coordinated linen cover and matching elastic band, giving it an elegant sophisticated feel. Although these would make fabulous gifts for any artist, I'm keeping both of these for myself. 
Want to keep up with the latest products from Hahnemuehle? Follow them on Facebook! There you will learn the latest news and updates. 

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posted by Annie Strack @ 4:37 PM   0 Comments

Friday, April 10, 2020

Mid Southern Watercolor Society

I have two paintings out in exhibits right now, both were sent out before the lock down started. Upcoming juried shows and exhibits have all changed to online shows, eliminating the need to ship and hang paintings. In the meantime, here's a video of the 50th Annual Mid Southern Watercolor Society's juried show in Arkansas. I shipped my painting there several months ago, and it won a Merit Award. The show is not open to the public because of Covid-19, but someone video tapped the show:

I also have a painting out in the Western Colorado Watercolor Society's 30th annual juried show right now. That venue is also closed, but the paintings can be viewed on the WCWS website.

posted by Annie Strack @ 9:13 AM   0 Comments

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Covid 19 postponements.

Spring is postponed! Well, not quite, but it sure seems like it. I'm doing everything I can to reschedule events and change classes, workshops, and exhibits to online venues. Our plein air painting trip with Sennelier in France is now postponed to June 9 - 18, 2021.

This trip is sold out, however we are taking names for a waiting list.

posted by Annie Strack @ 2:50 PM   0 Comments

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Hunkered down in the studio

With the exception of picking up a few unsold paintings last week from the Chadds Ford Winter Plein Air, I haven't been out of the house in two weeks. It seems like months! All of my Spring workshops, classes, shows, and other events have been postponed. The Chester County Studio Tour has been postponed until September. The plein air trip to Brittany with Sennelier for June is still as planned, as that is still three months away and it is just too early to predict if we will need to reschedule it. In the meantime, I've been working to spruce up my gardens for the Spring (hard to do, as I can't go out to buy plants!) and working on paintings in my studio. When the weather warms up, I'll move my easel outside to paint.

This is a little sneak preview of a painting that I just started. I just peeled off the masking fluid...

posted by Annie Strack @ 12:55 PM   0 Comments

Monday, March 16, 2020

The Artists' Guide to Business & Marketing

For a couple of decades I wrote instructional articles about art business and marketing for the leading artist magazines, Art Calendar, The Crafts Report, and Professional Artist magazines. I have compiled the best of these articles into a 68 page book called "The Artists Guide to Business and Marketing" which is now available for digital download! For just $9.95 you can download your own copy to read at your leisure and keep for future reference! Click on the link to purchase, and after your transaction is complete you will be redirected to a new page where you can save the link to access the digital book online anytime, or download it, or print it.

68 page ebook by Annie Strack:   "The Artists Guide to Business & Marketing"  

On Sale! Regular Retail Price is  $16.75    Now only  $9.95 for a limited time only!

posted by Annie Strack @ 1:31 PM   0 Comments

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Postponing events for public safety

Due to concerns over the safety of our students, we have decided to postpone my annual Spring Workshop in Charleston. Helen, the organizer of Workshops in Charleston, is notifying all the students, and she will give them first dibs on our next workshop. We will let you all know as soon as we schedule a new date. 

Stay tuned, stay safe, and wash your hands. 
I know everyone is disappointed, but I will bring something extra to my next Workshop in Charleston to make up for it ;) 

posted by Annie Strack @ 9:32 PM   0 Comments

Friday, March 6, 2020

My one day off between events!

I just finished my winter semester classes and I'm exhausted! It's a lot of work to pack up and haul my materials and supplies back and forth to the art center every week, along with whatever props and reference materials I need for each lesson. Here's a few of the many demos I painted this semester.

 I created a series of lessons on drawing and painting glass, which are always a favorite with students. I get a kick out of seeing other art "teachers," who are trying to copy my lessons, post their copies of my work on social media! Folks, if you want to learn how I paint glass, just take my classes. My techniques are actually quite simple, but copying my finished paintings is not going to teach anyone the actual process -- you need to learn the steps. There's no shame is taking classes from another teacher to learn how to do something, but there IS shame in trying to copy her lesson plans without her approval.

 Each of these glass demos took me less than 5 minutes. I whip through the demos, showing my students the steps for seeing, drawing, and painting. So my lines might be a little off or my brushstokes sometimes go a little wide. But I then have more time to spend one-on-one with each student to help them with their own drawing and painting so that they can get great results.

I don't have any actual "time off," as I am heading out to jury Signature Members for the Baltimore Watercolor Society this weekend, and then next week I have to pack up and travel down to South Carolina to teach a workshop. I always enjoy that annual trip to teach at Workshops in Charleston, organized my good friend Helen Beacham. This year we are doing People in Landscapes -- another one of my popular workshops! I won't get to spend any extra time down there this year, however, as then I have to rush up to Delaware to teach at the Howard Pyle Studio. Spring is always a busy time of year for me, and this year is proving to be the same, but I have to admit that I love what I do  <3 nbsp="" p="">

posted by Annie Strack @ 3:58 PM   0 Comments

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Our Mansion in Brittany

Want to see the house we've rented for our Brittany Trip? Ok, then! here it is!

 This is the view from one of the seven bedrooms. Yep, that's a sea view, with moored sailboats and boats coming and going.

The house has a spacious deck with plenty of lounge chairs to sit in while sipping champagne and watching the boats go by.

The Music Room

Dining room

view of the beautiful gardens and sea from the house.

main parlor

The house! This stately mansion is named "Roc Fleuri" and overlooks the sea from the Le Richardais section of Dinard, Bretagne. I can hardly wait! 

Want to join me? We had one last minute cancellation! One space is open, but it won't be for long! Contact me ASAP to claim the last spot! 

posted by Annie Strack @ 2:55 PM   0 Comments

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

shipping to art shows

I shipped off two different paintings to two different art shows at the same time, let's hope I didn't mess this up! The larger painting is going to the Mid-Southern Watercolorists 50th annual juried show in Arkansas. The smaller painting is going to Western Colorado Watercolor Society's 30th annual juried show in Colorado.

In other news, the winter plein air exhibit at the Chadds Ford Historical Society is on display through March 13. If you haven't seen it yet, go now! Some of the top artists in the country compete in this challenging event. It was tough weather this year, with wind gusts 60+ mph, torrential rain, freezing cold, snow squalls, and tornadoes. Here's the four paintings that I turned in...

And finally, I just received this certificate of Signature Status in the mail from North Star Watercolor Society. I actually earned the award last year, and it is the 15th Signature Status that I've achieved from various artist societies. 

All of my 2020 workshops are now sold out. I haven't yet posted my 2021 workshops, and I'm still booking locations and venues. If you are a workshop coordinator (or you know one) contact me to get your group on my list! I only teach a limited number of workshops each year, and there is a waitlist for all of them.

posted by Annie Strack @ 10:16 AM   0 Comments

Sunday, February 9, 2020

plein air in Chadds Ford

Last night was the opening reception for the Chadds Ford Winter Plein Air. This event is always held during the first week of February, and the weather makes it the most challenging plein air event in the country. Although this year's weather was not the worst, it was a close second. We painted in pouring rain, freezing cold, wind gusts up to 60 mph, snow squalls, and even tornado warnings. Still, it was a great event and I enjoyed it immensely. I turned in three wet paintings, although I forgot to photograph the first one before I turned it in so I can only show you the other two.

Painting at Fenton farm with Anne Buck and Yvonne Mucci. My hubby bought me a portable propane heater for the event, and you can see it glowing between our easels. We all bundled up and tucked hand warmers in our gloves, but the cold was brutal!

I turned in two oils and one watercolor. The first day I painted at the Brandywine battlefield. I had a class to teach in the morning, so I had a late start to the event and only painted in the afternoon. Still, it was enough time. The second day I went to Fenton farm and painted this 9x12 oil of the pasture.

On the last day, I went to Pocopson and painted this 12x16 watercolor of the confluence where the Pocopson creek flows into the Brandywine.
And here I am at the reception, with friends Jane Ramsey, Yvonne Mucci, and Anne Buck.

Oh, and there's more! This event usually does not have awards, but this year Blick sponsored three prizes for the artists. I won second -- a $200 gift certificate to Blick art supplies!

The paintings remain on exhibit at the Chadds Ford Historical Society's Visitor Center through March 13th.

posted by Annie Strack @ 1:07 PM   0 Comments

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Concours d'Elegance in France

I have happy news to share! My painting "Garden Jewels" was juried into the Western Colorado Watercolor Society's "Rockies West" 30th Annual Juried National Exhibit!
Garden Jewels, Watercolor by Annie Strack
And in other news, I just learned that there will be a Concours d'Elegance during the Dinard Plein Air festival! Painting classic antique automobiles is a real treat for plein air painters!

We still have ONE SPACE left in our plein air trip to Brittany, will it be you?

posted by Annie Strack @ 9:27 AM   0 Comments

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Hahnemuehle Watercolor Blocks

Awesome news! Hahnemuhle is sponsoring my next workshop in Charleston by providing a 9x12 block of their Cezanne line of watercolor paper to each student in my workshop! I love the Hahnemuhle Cezanne papers, and this is a wonderful treat for my students to each get their own block of paper! 

Cezanne watercolor blocks by Hahnemuhle 

Winter Semester Classes at the Community Art Center in Wallingford start next week. There are still a couple of spaces left in my watercolor class, so hurry and register if you want in! This class fills fast with returning students so there is very limited space for a few new artists to join in each semester.

Annie's students at the CAC
And in other news, there is just ONE SPACE left in my plein air trip to France with Sennelier! This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for artists to go to Brittany on the invitation of the Sennelier company. There will be a wait list, and there is always a chance that a few artists will be selected from the wait list to go on this trip.

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posted by Annie Strack @ 9:42 AM   0 Comments

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