Rosemary Connelly, Watercolor Artist

I believe you can recognize people who are living their dream. They are passionate about what they do, value living in the moment and are aware that life is an adventure to be savored.

Watercolor artist, teacher and writer, Rosemary Connelly, is clearly living her dream. Her eyes sparkle and her voice has a melodic lilt to it when she shows me some of the stunning art work and watercolor journals that are on display in the, Live Cheap & Make Art Studios, she shares with her photographer husband, Bob Connelly, in Milford, Delaware.

Bob works on his computer in their home studio to refine and fine tune as well as print his digital photographs, and Rosemary creates art in different mediums, primarily watercolor and acrylic but also in oils and pastels. She also hosts watercolor journaling workshops in the Live Cheap & Make Art Studios, as well as other locations.

Rosemary worked for over 20 years as a graphic designer and is a member of the Mispillion Art League, as well as the Dover, Milton and Rehoboth Art Leagues.

When the Mispillion Art League moved into the current gallery on Walnut St. in Milford, Rosemary used her skills as a graphic designer to create their new logo and marketing materials, including brochures. She was also part of the Marketing Committee for a few years before stepping down and turning the job over to someone else.

Milford is known as a river town, art town and hometown and at present, it is all three to Rosemary and Bob, but they did not grow up there. They are New York transplants who spent 30 years in Arizona raising a family until she and Bob pursued their long term dream of moving to Italy where they lived on Bob’s firefighter pension for two years while Rosemary documented their travels in watercolor journals and paintings, and Bob took photographs.

Rosemary & Bob Connelly’s Milford, Delaware, Live Cheap & Make Art Studios

They returned to the United States and finally settled down in Milford, DE, where they opened their first studio 4 years ago. On Nov. 1, 2014, they moved the Live Cheap & Make Art Studios to a brand new Milford location at Penney Square. The address is 39 N. Walnut St., Suite 105, Milford, DE 19963. The new studio is bigger and brighter, with more visibility being on the ground floor and having big windows to display Rosemary’s paintings and Bob’s photographs. Although the Grand Opening will be held during the 2014 Milford Holiday Stroll, the studio is already open for business and all paintings, photographs and prints have a 40% discount sale through mid December.

Though my original interview with Rosemary took place 2 years ago, I decided to visit her in the new location to take more photos and see the latest art work for sale. The studio is in a beautiful historic building that used to house J C Penney’s. Regular hours are Thurs. – Sat. from 11 am to 4 pm. Private appointment times can be arranged by calling 302-359-5534.

Rosemary greeted me like an old friend making me feel instantly welcomed, and after I took a few photos of her, we continued talking while I looked at the art work and photos that were on display, some hanging on walls and others in baskets that were fun to thumb through.

I fell in love with a brightly colored 9″ x 12″ Limited Edition Giclée print titled “Blue Door and Window, Cetara, Amalfi Coast, Italy”. Due to the Grand Opening Sale, the signed print was very affordable, and I’m going to hang it in my writing studio at home. I also purchased a matching set of 4 blank gift cards that will make great thank you cards since the recipient can display them in a small frame. Even though I was purchasing these items for myself, Rosemary wrapped them in brown paper and string, attaching one of her beautiful business cards to the bow she created.

The remainder of this article is about the original interview I had with Rosemary, and about previous watercolor workshops she’s hosted.

For a current list of upcoming workshops and other events Rosemary and Bob will be hosting please visit their website, http://www.livecheapmakeart.com .

“What is Watercolor Journaling?”

In answer to my question, Rosemary pulls out a leather covered journal that she originally received as a gift. Its once blank pages are now beautifully adorned with original watercolor drawings that she’s painted of things like strawberries, doors and other objects.

She tells me, “No object or scene is too mundane to paint in a watercolor journal- it can be a toothbrush, suitcase or breathtaking scene of a foreign country like Italy, but the common denominator is that the artist also jots down some thoughts about why she chose that object or scene and usually writes where she was at the time she painted it.”

I notice that the handwriting itself is beautiful and artistically placed upon the page.

“Yes,” she says, “Before painting I generally have an idea of what I want to write and leave space for the text.”

In Rosemary’s capable hands, the end result is quite stunning and no wonder because she has been doing watercolors for many years and teaches it to others in workshops geared to beginners, although experienced artists are always welcome to come and hone their craft. Rosemary holds the workshops in different locales.

For example, she held a spring workshop at Waterview Gardens Estate, a historic private home owned by Libby Zando & Bob Blayney in Milton, Delaware, and the participants created journals of the home’s stunning waterview gardens.

Another springtime event was a Haiku Poetry and Watercolor Journaling Workshop that Rosemary and Marylou Scheaffer gave in the beautiful wooded landscape of Marylou’s Milford home.

According to Rosemary, “Haiku is a form of poetry that works well in a journal because the verses are short and have a nature theme.”

“What is a Travel Watercolor Journal?”

According to Rosemary, “A travel journal has all the features of a regular watercolor journal but is based on the artist’s travel to different locales”.

An example of such a journal can be seen in a book that she published titled, “Watercolor Journaling in Italy,” which documented the years she was in Italy.

She also wrote a blog about the travel adventures that she and Bob had while living abroad and it explains how they were able to afford living their dream on a single pension.

Watercolor Journaling With Kids

In the summer of 2012, Rosemary and Bob taught Nature Journaling Camps for Kids at the Mispillion Art League in Milford, DE, and were featured in a segment on Public Television WHYY’s “First” program. The segment can still be viewed by logging onto http://video.whyy.org/video/2265822464 and scrolling to the last story at 23:24.

In the feature, Rosemary explains that, “The classes help kids discover the joys of creating a nature journal using watercolors, photography and writing. We teach them to incorporate basic shapes and vibrant colors into a personal nature journal. Another year we took the kids to Abbott’s Mill Pond and also for walks along the Mispillion River where they took photos of flowers, trees and wildlife. Then we returned to the art league studio where the kids created their watercolor journals using simple nature scenes. They had a lot of fun and our hope is that they’ll look at the world and color in a different way after this hands on experience.”

In addition to watercolor journaling, Rosemary enjoys plein air painting.

To learn more about Rosemary and her husband Bob, visit their website.

Better yet, if you’re visiting Southern Delaware be sure to stop by their new, Live Cheap & Make Art Studios in Milford.

New Location for Live Cheap & Make Art Studios

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Live Cheap & Make Art Studios:

39 North Walnut Street, Milford, DE 19963, USA

get directions

This is the new, Live Cheap & Make Art Studios in Milford, DE.

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