Mary Lou Peters



Mary Lou Peters
P.O. Box 855
Mackinaw City, MI 49701
(231) 627-8069
(231) 818-6365 (cell)



This is the 100th edition of my newsletter! Marta Olson, owner of Mintaka Design and the creative genius who puts my words and paintings together so they make sense, keeps track of this kind of thing. When she told me about #100 I was floored. Hard to believe that many editions have been published, that many paintings have been shared, and that much information has been spread to my readers. I'm grateful to all of you for reading my newsletter and hope to keep producing it for many years to come! A special thanks to Marta for all your patient work on my newsletters and website updating and a very special thank you to all my readers, customers, and students. You're the reason I do what I do.


The Grand Hotel Cupola at Lilac Time looks like it’s straight out of a dream. Thank you, Pam and Mike Day, for letting me use your reference photo of this gorgeous scene. And also for this one—the big long building on the hill with all the red-trimmed windows. What a place! This home for horses is so clean you could eat off the floor—seriously! Another reference photo from a friend prompted this cute Geranium Bike—Thank you, Lynn Leone. So typical of Mackinac Island—bikes and geraniums!

How about a new set of winter bookmarks? These might be just perfect as a gift for a friend. Buy them individually or as a set of four: Holly, Juniper, Snowberries, and Cedar—all found in northern Michigan forests.


My first ever Watercolor and Writing Retreat last August was such a success that we’re planning to do it again. Save the date: August 18-20 at the beautiful Kettunen Center in Tustin, Michigan. Come and be part of the fun--we’ll be having some of the favorite events from the 2019 retreat plus some brand new writing prompts and painting exercises to challenge and entertain you. Registration will open after the first of the year, so please let me know if you’re already interested.

I am preparing for my busy teaching season this winter on Sanibel Island, Florida. While I’m there (Christmas through end of February 2020) I won’t be near my home production studio to fill orders, so please plan accordingly. Thank you!


I’ve had an exciting opportunity to show my work—a new art gallery is opening in Milford, Michigan, an upscale suburb of Detroit. It’s owned by a friend of mine, Natalia Wohletz, a summer resident of Mackinac Island. Natalia is a dynamic young woman who is an artist in her own right—her award winning linoleum bock prints grace the homes of fans nationwide. Her gallery, Main Street Art, 304 N. Main Street, Milford, Michigan 48381, will be opening November 11, 2019 and I’ve been invited to have my original watercolor paintings and reproductions included in their offerings. If you’re in the neighborhood, please stop in to check out their new gallery and frame shop!


I’ve had a request to use an image that I designed several years ago for our local food pantry here in Mackinaw City, Michigan. It was used for greeting cards at Christmas time here at home and then at two other food pantries in the United States. Now my design has spread to Canada and will be used to promote the Musquodoboit Valley Food Bank Association in Middle Musquodoboit, Nova Scotia. I’m so pleased that my Christmas Tree design will be used in promotion by another organization to feed hungry people.


Some of my best selling designs from previous years are available for you to order on my website. Limited numbers of these designs are available so to avoid any back order situations, please place your order by phone (231) 818-6365 for Christmas cards as soon as possible to make sure I have what you’d like to order.


It’s been a busy summer teaching 34 class sessions in my studio, in my garden, at Lavender Hill Farm, on Mackinac Island, and in my hometown of East Tawas, Michigan. Now I’m looking forward to the classes I’ll teach this winter on Sanibel Island, Florida. It’s always fun connecting with students in my classes. Some haven’t painted since kindergarten, some have never picked up a brush, and all of them overcame some obstacles to show up in class. They are anxious, eager to find success, and I am there to help them find it. There’s no other feeling like it when I see a big smile and hear, “I did it!” Summer classes on Mackinac Island and at Lavender Hill Farm will be scheduled in the spring, so keep watching my newsletters and website for dates and details.


Call 239-395-0900 to register for all of these BIG Arts classes and to learn where class will be held.

January 7, 2020, 1:30-4:00: INTRODUCTION TO WATERCOLOR PAINTING. All supplies will be provided, and you will leave class with a painting of the famous Sanibel Snapper in your choice of tropical colors, suitable for matting and framing to an 8x10. All skill levels invited. $55 member, $69 non-member.

January 13, 20, 27, and February 3, 2020, 1-4 p.m: WATERCOLOR PAINTING FOR ALL LEVELS Students will paint their own choice of subject with demonstrations and one-on-one guidance from me.

January 21 and 22 from 10-4 we will have a special offering—a GARDEN JOURNALING class on the lush grounds of the Sanibel Moorings complex, 845 East Gulf Drive, a certified botanical garden. Students of all skill levels will learn to see the natural world of these beautifully manicured gardens with new eyes as they slow down to observe colors and details of this beautiful island. Simple pen and watercolor techniques will be taught. We will meet in the conference center for instruction, then have plenty of time to paint in the gardens. This will be a special opportunity to paint lots of tropical flowers and trees in a lush and relaxed setting. Check in at the Sanibel Moorings office first—parking is tight and they will direct you. Carpooling or bike riding is encouraged. Cost for this unique class is $179 member, $224 non-member. Bring a brown bag lunch and a camera or simply use the camera on your phone.


On August 5, 2020 I’ll be teaching a class at the Tawas Bay Art Gallery in my hometown. I always look forward to visiting my hometown each summer and seeing it through new eyes—as a tourist! Next summer we will be painting a lighthouse that’s dear to my heart—the Tawas Point Lighthouse. All materials will be provided and you will finish a painting suitable for matting and framing in an 8x10 format. Cost is $49 and you may register at the gallery (302 Newman St, East Tawas, MI 48730) or call them at (989) 362-5613.


The scheduling of summer classes will begin in February 2020. Keep watching future newsletters and my website as well as the websites of Mackinac Arts Council ( and Lavender Hill Farm ( for more information.


My books make great gifts for anyone on your holiday list. Check out my offerings: Mackinac Island Meditations, Garden Meditations, and Jerrye’s Simple Etiquette, all available for sale on my website.


Come join the fun as I post a painting on Facebook nearly every day. I love interacting with my followers—if you are already a follower, thank you!  If you’d like to become one, go to my FB business page, Watercolor Paintings by Mary Lou Peters.




“Creativity doesn’t wait for that perfect moment. It fashions its own perfect moments out of ordinary ones.” (Bruce Garrabrandt, artist, author, speaker)

Some of my students have asked me about when my best creative/productive time is. I don’t really have a particular time for being creative. I find that I can’t schedule when creativity will strike. I keep baskets of little 2x3 scrap papers in several places in my house. When I get inspired, I quickly jot down an idea and file it or tack it to my bulletin board for the next time I have set aside time for an optional project—one that hasn’t been requested by a customer. Sometime though, I get so excited about an idea that I drop everything on my to do list and go for the new idea while I’m so inspired. Oh boy. That’s when I get into trouble. The things that I SHOULD be doing go to the end of the line while the project I’ve been inspired to do takes off full speed ahead. Somehow it all gets finished in its own time. And then I’m happy. For a while anyway. until the next big idea comes along. What’s the word for this—putting one thing ahead of another that’s not necessarily what you SHOULD be doing? Jumping ahead? Re-prioritizing? I like words, and I’m looking for a label for what I’m doing. Please let me know if you have an idea for the label I’m searching for. I hope it doesn’t turn out to be “procrastination!”