Mary Lou Peters



Mary Lou Peters
P.O. Box 855
Mackinaw City, MI 49701



I spent January and February on Sanibel Island, Florida painting and teaching classes—the weather was glorious! So were the tropical colors and beautiful gardens. I filled one whole sketchbook with Florida color and another with research for a new class I’m developing. I won’t be making cards of these pages, but I just wanted to show you some of my watercolor sketches.

During March I took a few days to go to Chicago with part of my family—the play “Hamilton” was lively and entertaining, and the Art Institute was awesome. As I sat for almost an hour among Claude Monet’s paintings in the Impressionist Gallery, a little girl about four years old walked in with her mom. “The water lilies!” she cried, and jumped up and down in pure delight. That’s how I feel about Monet’s paintings too. What a wonderful experience!

While in Chicago I turned my ankle on an uneven sidewalk and fractured my foot in two places. This has forced me to slow down and do things in a different way. It’s a lesson in patience, for sure. In a couple of months it will be healed and I’ll be driving again and on my way to the ferry dock and to Mackinac Island a few times a week as usual for classes and demonstrations.


I tried my hand at painting a lampshade and a candlestick-type lamp and was quite pleased with the result. This is a one-of-a-kind project, but who knows where it will lead?

I’ve been experimenting with small acrylic paintings and am ready to try larger sizes now.

I found that I really enjoyed oil painting as I did a cloud study. This was a one-time class—the morning session was yoga, during which we loosened up and released all sense of judgment of ourselves or our abilities to hold a yoga pose. Somehow that state of mind carried over to the afternoon painting session where everything flowed smoothly and I was not judgmental about my painting abilities using this new-to-me medium. I don’t plan to continue with oils, but any of the techniques I learned that day carry over to acrylic paints as well. I’m exploring some ways of incorporating that into my bag of painting tricks.

While on Sanibel Island I took a class called Collage, but it was so much more. To prepare the papers for my collage, I first created patterned and abstract pieces from watercolor and acrylic paints using textured backgrounds. It was a long, complicated, and messy process, but I like some of the backgrounds I came up with and am looking forward to painting on them. Here are two paintings I’ve done on these special backgrounds. Of course, they are lilacs and geraniums!

The only one that I’m having made into prints and cards is “Tulips on a Hill,” inspired by my thoughts that spring will surely come soon!


My classes and demonstrations have been scheduled for the summer and now I’m busy planning for them. I’m excited about teaching a new class (two sessions of it) in Watercolor Nature Journaling. My sketchbooks and I are close friends—working with it is when I have the most fun in the summer and I want to spread that joy I feel to my students.


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In my home studio and garden (Between Mackinaw City and Cheboygan):

I’ll be teaching new projects and page layouts with an emphasis on nature journaling—combining drawing, painting, and writing instruction. It’s fun, it’s low-stress, and it’s great for beginners or established sketchbookers who want to add something new to your journals. Supply list is on my website. This will be concentrated into a two-day class to fit more easily into your busy summer schedule. June 21 and 22, 10-4, bring a lunch. Cost for this class at my home and garden is $149. Please register with me by calling my home phone, (231) 627-8069 or my cell phone (231) 818-6365 or by emailing me at or by sending a check to me at P.O. Box 855, Mackinaw City, MI 49701.

Another WATERCOLOR NATURE JOURNALING class will be taught at Mission Point Resort on beautiful Mackinac Island on August 30 and 31, 10-4 with an hour lunch break. (See previous paragraph for details.) Please register with Mackinac Arts Council director on their website ( or by phone at (906) 984-4124.


MACKINAC ISLAND CLASSES: Manoogian Art Museum will be the site of four evening classes (6-8:30 p.m.) on June 13 (lilacs), July 17 (geraniums), July 18 (sailboat), and August 15 (hollyhocks). Each is a completely separate class. Everything for these classes is supplied—you don’t need to bring anything. It’s a good way to try watercolor painting without investing in any supplies, and it’s a wonderful way to spend an evening of your vacation on beautiful Mackinac Island. These classes are sponsored by the Mackinac Arts Council which subsidizes the cost to keep it low—only $10. These classes will fill quickly so register soon by calling (906) 984-4142 or register on their website,

TAWAS CLASS: An Introduction to Watercolor class is scheduled for August 8, 2018 from 10 till noon at the Tawas Bay Art Gallery at 302 Newman Street in downtown East Tawas, Michigan. All supplies will be furnished and the cost is $35. We will be painting pretty hollyhocks that morning. Call the gallery to register for this class: (989) 362-5613.

PRIVATE GROUPS: I am available to host a group in my home studio for a class that I call “A Gentle Introduction to Watercolor Painting.” I will furnish all supplies for this class and you will leave with a painting that you’ve created suitable for an 8x10 frame. Cost is $35 per student with a minimum of six students. Call for more information and to arrange a date for you and your friends. (231) 818-6365.


In addition to all the classes I’ll be teaching this summer, I will also be doing some watercolor demonstrations at Artists Market on Mackinac Island’s Main Street: June 15, June 29, July 13, and August 17 (all Fridays) from 2-4. I always look forward to seeing newsletter readers at these events. It feels like I’m meeting old friends. Please stop in to say hi!

Watch future newsletters and Facebook posts for announcements of more upcoming events.




All of my books would make perfect gifts for Mothers Day or any occasion for family members or friends. I loved writing these books and painting  the illustrations for them. Order them through my website.


Come join the fun on Facebook! Please like my page, Watercolor Paintings by Mary Lou Peters, where I post nearly every day. I love connecting with my viewers!





There’s always an excitement that comes for me when the calendar turns to May. I can’t wait to get out to my garden and paint. It feeds my soul! I know I’m not the only one who feels it, and here’s what Vivian Swift, author and illustrator, has to say about spring in her beautifully illustrated book When Wanderers Cease to Roam: “There’s a strange new sound everywhere, a roar of murmurs. It’s the May breeze rustling in the trees, the leaves making the sh-sh-shushhhhhing sound of a thousand secrets.”  Listen carefully and you’ll hear spring secrets in your own garden this year.