Mackaye Harbor

Two summers ago I had the chance to travel to the West Coast of both Canada and the USA.  One of the places that I will never forget from that trip was Lopez Island, where I took a watercolour workshop with Tom Hoffmann. The skies on Lopez are amazing. The clouds must swirl around the San Juan Islands constantly because they often look like smudges in the sky. When I returned home that summer I painted a full sheet watercolour of the view of Mackaye Harbour, but I never got around to photographing it until today when I was shooting some other large format watercolours.


54 Comments on “Mackaye Harbor”

  1. Wow, I love the moodiness of the sky! Great!

  2. Jane Hannah says:

    This is totally breathtaking Shari — I love it!

  3. Gayle says:

    Absolutely stunning!

  4. Carol Balabanow says:


    You can tell everyone that you have your own island!


    Sent from my iPhone


  5. Janice Kelly says:

    So dramatic and so inviting into the scene.

  6. Chris Rusk says:

    A gem. Well done!

  7. andre savard says:


  8. Oh Shari this is one of my favorite places. We used to sail our boat up to Lopez. There was afavorite resturant there that I loved. You captured this beautifully. Sharon

  9. This is GORGEOUS. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Alison says:

    Wow, this is really something else! You really captured a stunning moment.

  11. SusanA says:

    Wow, what a luscious, fluid sky!

  12. Janine says:

    That is so amazing, Shari!!! Wow! I am curious, for a whole sheet, what size brushes did you use? Did you use flats, rounds, other shapes? I am working on sizing up from 1/8 sheet size sketches and 1/4 sheet size “paintings,” such as mine are. Any tips for going large? Thanks!

    • Go with big brushes Janine. I use 2″ or even 3″ flats when I start these off. I wet the whole sheet first and worked most of it wet-in-wet. My big brushes look like house painting brushes.

  13. Mary says:

    Shari – your sky is stunning! How about a class on skies?!…

  14. Mary McLaughlin says:

    oh Shari – this is such a powerful and moving sky. What paper is this on?

  15. Missy Walsh-Smith says:

    Wow! You’ve really captured the dramatic view from Lopez! Beautiful! We’ve had northern light displays recently too, but at 3:00-4:00 AM!

  16. mary sanchez says:

    Beautiful. Thanks

    Sent from my iPhone

  17. Beste says:

    So beautiful… Amazing capture of the view 🙂

  18. wow that is spectacular ! so moody!! I’m excited too because I’m doing a Tom Hoffman workshop in April in San Francisco and I’m hoping ot learn to work big!

  19. gail katz says:


    Sent from my iPad


  20. Margie Beedle says:

    Hi Shari,
    This is so nice. I’ve recently become aware of Tom Hoffmann’s work and am considering taking his workshop on Lopez Island. Can you tell me if he gears his workshops to all abilities. I’ve taken both of your online craftsy classes (which I loved) and Liz steels watercolor classes. Lopez island is just a short hop away from Alaska, with many of the same outdoor scenes.

  21. Vicky Porter says:

    Shari, this is wonderful and captures perfectly the look and feel of the San Juans, the water and the sky. I keep coming back to this. I think it’s the drama and the serenity together that make it so compelling.

  22. Linda Murray says:

    What can I say??!!!! Just gorgeous! Love the colors!!

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