Mary Lou Peters



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With your classes you've inspired me beyond belief. I'm creating art in ways I never dreamed I could!
Lana Qualey
Mackinaw City



NATURE JOURNALING: A WATERCOLOR/WRITING RETREAT at the Kettunen Center in Tustin, Michigan (just south of Cadillac) for August 20-22, 2019. It’s a beautiful conference center in the middle of 153 acres of wooded hills on Center Lake so there is lakeshore, a fire pit, picnic tables, kayaks, nature trails, and plenty of places to gather outside for instruction in the sun or shade, then we’ll separate for some alone time to write and paint in this beautiful natural space. The cooks at this retreat center are phenomenal, and they can accommodate all special diets. Meals and snacks are abundant. Rooms are comfortable and very clean. The whole inside is air conditioned and there is wifi throughout the buildings and a TV in the main lobby, although you might not even want to look at it. Leave the outside world behind for three days and connect with your thoughts as you take your journal in hand and reflect on nature and find the creativity within you through writing, drawing, and painting. Cost is $595 for 3 days and 2 nights, with supply kits available to purchase. Call or email me for more information and to register (231-818-6365, Enrollment for this retreat will be 15-20 participants. See for photos and more information about this lovely retreat center in the heart of the lower peninsula of Michigan.


All classes on Sanibel Island will be held at the BIG Arts Center. To register please call (239) 395-0900.

January 11, 1:30-4:00 p.m. : Introduction to Watercolor Painting, $45 members, $56 non-members (We will paint a sailboat, your choice of colors)

January 7, 14, 21, 28, and Feb. 4, 1:00-4:00 p.m. : Watercolor Painting for All Levels,  $145 members, $181 non-members (Students will paint their own choice of subjects)

January 15 & 16, 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. : Watercolor Nature Journaling, $149 members, $186 non-members (Class will be held in a classroom and on the grounds of BIG Arts)

MACKINAC ISLAND classes will be scheduled by March. Keep checking my newsletters, website, and Facebook for the most recent updates. Mackinac Arts Council is the sponsor and host of those classes. Their website  is usually updated for the new season by April—by then it will be filled with new classes for the upcoming season.


Already scheduled for 2019, it’s my annual trek to my hometown of East Tawas, Michigan. I’ll be teaching an Introduction to Watercolor class on Wednesday, August 7, 2019 at the Tawas Bay Art Gallery at 302 Newman Street. All supplies will be furnished for a cost of $35. You will paint an 8x10 sailboat suitable for matting and framing and jazz it up with colors of your choice. Beginners are my specialty, but experienced painters will be challenged as well. Call the gallery at (989) 362-5613 to register.


On Thursdays from 1:00-4:00 during the month of April (4, 11, 18, and 25) in 2019 I will teach a Watercolor Techniques class for all skill levels at my home studio between Mackinaw City and Cheboygan. Classes will follow a format of a demonstration of a technique with time for student practice, then you will work with my guidance on paintings of your choice from your own photographs. Beginners will learn a sequence of skills. All students will receive help as needed with plenty of time for painting. Cost is $140 for the series of four classes. To register, please email me at or call me at 231-818-6365.


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 8 x 10 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 or family to learn the basics of watercolor painting. (231) 627-8069 or (231) 818-6365.


Please watch the next edition of my newsletter and my Facebook page for additions to this class schedule.



Watercolor Paint in tubes: Purchase a "professional" or "artist" grade of paint, not a "student" or "academy" grade. There are many brands of paint. What you use will affect your success. I recommend Winsor & Newton (NOT the Winsor & Newton Cotman version), Holbein, or Daniel Smith brands. Colors needed: Alizarine Crimson, Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow, Cerulean Blue, French Ultramarine (blue) or Ultramarine Blue, Permanent Sap Green or Sap Green, Winsor Green (BS=Blue Shade) or Pthalo Green. That's 7 tubes of paint total. Buy the smallest tubes you can find to start with.

Watercolor Brushes: Synthetic; Round #2, #5 or 6," and #10 or 12. This is an assortment of small, medium, and large brushes.

Watercolor Paper: Arches 140 lb. cold press. You can purchase large sheets and tear them to size desired (I will teach you how to do this in class) or buy an Arches watercolor block. I will have sheets of Arches paper in class for you to purchase for $5.00 per 22"x30" sheet. As with paint, there are many brands of paper.

Watercolor Palette: Medium size, plastic, with a cover that can be used as a mixing area.

Eraser: A kneaded eraser (doesn't leave little eraser shavings)

Water containers: Two cottage cheese cartons work well—one for clean water, one for used water.

Sponge: A new kitchen sponge (buy at grocery store).

Pencil: A regular #2 lead

Reference photos of things you might like to paint

A large tote bag to carry your gear. (You do not have to buy a new bag—use one you already have.)

*** To make it easy for you, I have registered this supply list with Cheap Joe's Art Supplies (a catalog/online store). Just give them my name and they will know exactly what I have specified that you will need. You may buy all or part of the things on this list from them.

Cheap Joe's Art Stuff, 1-800-227-2788,

I suggest buying your supplies as soon as you register for the class to allow for any backorder situations.

Please call me at (231) 818-6365 (Cell) if you have questions about this list or about using supplies you might already have.


Journal with heavyweight paper (140 lb. smooth paper). I use Stillman & Birn Zeta Series, 5x8, hardcover, spiral bound sketchbook. Strathmore Visual Journal is also a good one.

Small palette: I use a Koi Watercolor Pocket Field Sketch Box by Sakura, 24 colors. Bring a large size zip lock plastic bag to hold your palette after a painting session.

Brush: I use the waterbrush that comes with the Koi Kit, or you can buy a travel watercolor brush size 6

Water cup with screw-on cap. Must be leak-proof.

Pencil with #2 lead

Uniball Signo white pen

Kneaded eraser (doesn’t leave marks or eraser debris)

Pigma Micron pen, black ink, point size 03. You may also use 01 or 05. Your pen MUST contain permanent ink.

Paper towels, 3 of them folded into squares in a sandwich size plastic bag.

Small tote bag to hold these supplies (you may use a plastic grocery bag)

A foldable chair to sit on while painting

You may want to bring a stool to place your supplies on while you’re painting.

Some of these materials may be substituted with things you already have. Please contact me with questions about this:
Phone: (231) 627-8069 – home;  (231) 818-6365 – cell

I suggest buying your supplies as soon as you register for the class to allow for any backorder situations.



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