Demo by James Nutt: “The Art of Sketching”

James Nutt
Join local artist, architect and constant sketcher James Nutt as he shares his technique and tools. In the spirit of the urban sketchers “seeing the world one sketch at a time” he has developed a method to fit art making into our overly busy lives.  James is always in possession of a paint kit and creates art everywhere from church to airplanes and has even been known to paint in the dark.

James’ work is equal parts sketching and painting and is typically done onsite.  In this demo he will describe his set up, tools, subject selection, and format decisions.   During the demonstration James will discuss ways to improve your sketching fundamentals to create order, depth and energy.  He will also discuss the benefits of inks and a limited color palette. In a series of sketches he will demonstrate capturing stories with pencil, water soluble carbon, watercolor and a portable ink wash method.

James maintains a studio in NE Minneapolis at the Solar Arts Building, teaches at the White Bear Center for the Arts, and practices architecture at BWBR. Samples of his work and prices can be found at and



LAST MEETING: N0v. 16, 2017

Demo by Jan Johansen:

“Acrylics – Hot Colors and More”

Jan Johansen 1Former NorthStar member, Jan Johanson, demonstrated a procedure she sometimes uses with acrylics. She covered the surface with hot colors, applying the paint randomly with a flat brush. She let these background colors dry, then began to create her subject – a still life with lilacs in a vase. She used cool colors of the lilacs, balancing blues against the random hot colors in the background. The result was a beautiful still life in an impressionistic style.

Jan began her art life working in watercolor and pastel which earned her signature status in TWSA and PSA. Turning to acrylic and oil, she made a name for herself in the 1990s when she became involved in the western art world, mainly the Charles Russell Auction in Montana. She painted four buffalos “large enough to be seen a block away!” This experience taught her that she could make the viewer look where she wanted them to look. She also painted scenes from the life of Sacagawea and the Lewis and Clark expedition after doing much research.

NorthStar was fortunate to have this former member return with a great painting which demonstrated her current style.

Jan Johansen 3 Jan Johansen 2 Jan Johansen 4