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In February, our MATS Bootcamp mini assignment was plate scenics. If you're scratching your head at that, know that you are not alone...I was irritated. What the hell is a plate scenic? I'm supposed to sketch plates? Or the scenes on plates? As always, Lilla provided some guidance and inspiration – lovely photos of vintage plates, with romantic little scenes painted on them. I still couldn't quite wrap my head around it. I asked myself what kind of plate scene would appeal to me, and the answer was clear – the same kind of scene that always appeals to me – adventurous nature. I immediately began sketching various National Parks and wilderness destinations we've visited in our travels. Just like January, I started out annoyed and overwhelmed by the subject and ended up in love.

When the main assignment came out the next week, we were to create our art on wood slices – a perfect fit for my natural theme. This also gave me a chance to stretch my painting muscles as well as pick up a new skill (although skill may still be a generous term for it)...wood burning!

Devils Tower in Wyoming

The assignment called for one finished piece, for the wall art market. I made several to test the waters and really play around, and ended up with 5 pieces that I love, all of which are now hanging in my guest bathroom.

See more of my favorite pieces here, and check out my final submission and those of my MATS buddies here.