Grunge, Ink

Grunge, Ink
Join in at any time!

NEW Online Class: "Extreme Portraits"

NEW Online Class: "Extreme Portraits"
Now open ended. Join in anytime!

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Breaking News! Art Journal Retreat in Austin, Texas!!!!! HURRY!

Hello Everyone!

I'm super excited to announce I am participating in a NEW retreat upcoming VERY soon,  November 2-5 in Austin, Texas brought to you by the editors of Cloth Paper Scissors and the event team at F&W media (who host retreats such as Create in NJ, Chicago, Dallas, and Seattle).    My artsy friends Kari McKnight Holbrook, and Australian artist Jen Crossley along with editor of Cloth Paper Scissors, Jeannine Stein and myself will be coming together to give you 2 1/2 days of classes, treats, inspiration and more during this  sure to be fun event.  


to learn new, exciting techniques from some of the best artist-instructors in the country, in a beautiful, relaxed environment. The Retreat at Balcones Springs near Austin, Texas, is the backdrop for two and a half days of classes focused on painting, collage, image transfers, bookbinding, and other techniques that will take your art journaling to a new level.

Instructors Kari McKnight Holbrook and Jodi Ohl will introduce you to new ways of working with a variety of journaling styles and materials that will add dimension, color and depth to your art journals. With Jen Crossley you'll learn how to make a beautiful metal journal necklace, perfect for making notes or sketches anywhere. On the last day you'll take the pages you've been working on and bind them into a gorgeous book, with easy instructions from Cloth Paper Scissors Editorial Director and book artist Jeannine Stein. In addition, you'll be treated to fun activities, presentations, and other surprises, while being inspired by the peaceful surroundings. We hope you'll join us for this amazing opportunity. Sign up now, registration is limited!

Did we mention that other than travel, this is all inclusive????   Food, classes and special events, lodging and many goodies for you are all included.  You will only need to bring minimal supplies and your favorite tools!

This retreat is a perfect way to relax before the busy holiday season in a beautiful location.  Don't delay in signing up as the spaces are limited!

For more information and to sign up for the event, please click HERE!

Hope to see you soon!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Deals, Deadlines, and News Part 3

Hopefully your head isn't about to pop off yet with my part 3 of my Deals, Deadlines, and News series of posts and updates! Mine   I don't think I could possibly pack anymore into my last few weeks than I have honestly.  As I said before though, it's all good and I'm soooo grateful to have all these experiences to share and awesome sauce news to get you up to speed with!

Some of you may know that I've been teaching all summer long at Create Mixed Media Retreats (ran by the folks at FW Media/ North Light/  Cloth Paper Scissors), first in July in Somerset, NJ (my 3rd year there!!!)

I just returned from a huge event in Chicago for Create where I met even more creative and fun lovin' peeps!   Oh my, what talent!!

4 classes, vending, open studio nights, demos, wine with my roomie Jacquie--I mean really what more could you ask for?  

Perhaps a do over in Texas???? Ya, let's get our boots on, grab the paint brushes, and head to Dallas! That's my big news for this post--My house is a pure T disaster as I have boxes of class schtuff, art to sell, paintings in progress, lists everywhere as I prepare to drive to this far and away but super cool place for Create Mixed Media Retreats, Dallas, Tx! NEXT WEEK!!

I've never been to Dallas before and I've certainly never driven that far so I'm excited, scared, can't wait, but need more time! lol all those things put together but in the end, I know this is going to be a fantastic first event and even better, you can join in the fun still! Yes, there are open seats in several classes (including mine!).  I'm looking forward to meeting a whole new group of students in just a few days.

I'll be teaching 5 classes, yes 5!!!! Holy cow, there is going to be a colorful explosion of fun and adventure down in the southwest!

Glazed and Not so Confused is a class that really rocked the socks off the peeps in NJ and Chicago, but we still have space in Dallas for you to join in the fun. Honestly, if I had a dollar for everyone that said they wished they had taken the class after they saw all the cool projects/samples and pieces that came out of each of the classes..I'd be able to buy me a new pair of cowgirl boots! :))!!  Seriously, I want to thank the folks at Ampersand Claybord and Colourarte for supporting me in my teaching efforts, you guys bring awesome products to the market and I'm thrilled to share some of the potential with everyone.  

One of my new classes, Water Flowing Selfie is also supported by Colourarte and the kind folks at Yupo Paper!   Believe me, this is a combination that is stunning -watercolors + Yupo paper creates some of the brightest candy like pieces you've ever seen!

There are lots of cool classes to choose from and as an instructor, I want you to know that I value you as a student and your choice to spend your hard earned money with me, trusting in my guidance and ability to lead you along this stop in the creative journey.  I hope if you were on the fence about coming to the event, you take that leap of faith and join us.  
If you can't take a class, there is always  the artist faire Friday evening to join in, it's free to browse--with lots of original art, prints, jewelry, unique supplies and more! It's only from 6-9 with a TON of drawings for door prizes from all the vendors, how could you resist??

The other day the folks at Cloth Paper Scissors blog asked me to share some painting advice so Here is a little article I wrote about some of my essential tools.

I have more deals, deadlines, and news to share but I think this is more than enough for one day (pheweeee, 3 posts in one day!!!!!).  Life is good. Hope you have a great weekend!

In case you missed the posts:

Deadlines--> Deadlines Part 2

Deals, Deadlines, and News! Part 2

As mentioned in my previous post, life has been moving at neck straining, back breaking speed--all in the name of art and living the creative life...which is a GOOD thing.  It's a GREAT thing actually.   LOVE my career path, even when I'm at the point of exhaustion trying to fit all the projects, travel, trips, paintings, FOOTBALL games (not me of course , but baby boys new thang as a 9th grade big little boy on campus), and all the other life happenings that go on in between.

I mean really, what' so bad about meeting new friends and having a cocktail after a busy day of splattering paint, laughing, and making a color mess that turns into a work of art???

Or being a part of an event that is bigger than yourself, as it impacts all involved in profound ways. Creative breakthroughs.  Friendships.  Artistic growth.  Generosity and kindness.  Charitable and philanthropic.   Laughter and Memories.

Art is YOU is a stellar event amongst the several art retreats available for your choosing, and I'm proud to be a part of their instructor line up for the 4th year in a row!!!   Sal and Ellen work day and night ALL year long to bring to you an event that has activities and goodies for you throughout your time at the retreat including  morning creative warm ups,  key note speakers, group demonstrations and activities,  day and evening classes, communal lunch,  snacks during some evening events,  an artist faire, breakfast together and more.  You get sooooo much for you investment!!

Here's the thing folks, registration for Stamford, Ct is CLOSING September 15th, 2014. If you want to be a part of this HUGE event (and it gets bigger and better every year), you need to act NOW!!! 

I'll be teaching 3 classes and vending during the artist trunk show with spaces available in 2 of my workshops. 

I know.. I know.. so much to choose from.  So many options, classes, retreats....I totally get it. I promise you though, investing in yourself in this way-by joining in a creative retreat such as Art Is You is so worth it. As an instructor, along with my fellow teachers--we all work very hard throughout the year to bring you the newest, coolest, cutting edge (along with the traditional with a twist) for you as a student to enjoy).

  All I can tell you is that I love what I do, and I hope you join in on the fun whether it is one of my 2 available classes at Art Is You, or with one of the other friends who are also super talented teachers...HEY..did I mention one of my  real life besties will be there for the first time as an instructor??

I adorn her jewelry all the time, well YOU could spend a day and learn from this uber talented, way cool and down to earth teacher--Jean Skipper.
Here's some of her work:

So what are you waiting for?  Join us at Art is You, October 9th-13th.  You'll enjoy every minute of it! :))
REMEMBER--last day to register is on 9/15/14!!!

If you missed out on Deals, Deadlines, and News, Part 1--check it out here!

Phew. That was a lot of artsy goodness!!  :))  Happy Friday!!!


Deals, Deadlines and News Part 1!

As per my usual MO lately, I have more on my check list than can humanly be finished in 3 months but I try to pack it in a week or two's time!  Is anyone else like that or am I the only crazy person here?!!!  Well I figured I'd update my bloggedy and Newsletter family/friends/fans in small chunks with all the big news of the last month and upcoming months in my mini series (haha):

Deals, Deadlines, and News!!!

Okey my first dealio has to do with my NEW online class. Oh my guys. I have been blown away by the response to it. It has fast become one of my best selling online classes and it just opened today!! whooohooo!       Because of that response and because I didn't get to advertise it on my newsletter just yet, we are extending the early bird price through Sunday, 9/14/14  (which is also my big baby boys 20th Birthday...Happy almost Birthday, Zach!!!!!)  

What are we going to be doing in Grunge Ink?  Well, first off we learn about some super cool shizzle we can do with the Inks, Fluid Acrylics, High Flow Acrylics, and Yupo paper; then we move on to several additional and more complex combinations of layers before moving onto 5 process demonstrations where you see how to create some cool bean paintings from start to finish using this "Grunge Ink" process.  Including this final piece here (a sneak peek).

I'm already thinking about a part 2 to this class so get in now, learn the techniques and then we can move on to an intermediate class and make even BIGGER and crazier grungy paintings!! ;)

Access to the class: Open ended and ongoing, no closing date scheduled for this class so as long as Icreateflix will host the class, it will be open for your viewing pleasure. Actual time it will take to work through the class? I suggest taking 3-4 weeks but you can work at your own pace/faster/slower whatever floats your boat.

My interaction:  I try to be ACTIVELY involved with all my classes the first 6 weeks on a frequent basis and then after that on an as needed, so if you need help and sign up 3 months after the class opens, no worries, I will still be there to guide you :))

Price--super duper reasonable,  85.00 is the regular price for a HUGE amount of video demonstrations and discussions (21 in all) and approx 4 hours of footage and 5...yes 5 main projects (you may want to get several pads of the Yupo paper and even perhaps one or two of their big daddy sheets as this process is addictive!!!

  SALE price:  70.00.  Don't delay though, that price ends this weekend!  9/14/14.   I strive to keep my prices affordable but to be honest, I am going to have to raise them slightly in the new year, so get in NOW at the lowest price it will be going forward!!!

That's about it for Gunge Ink!  Join us today!  OH no, one more thing---My WINNER for a free tuition to the class is Sara Schilling who won the spot out of my newsletter signups!  Congrats Sara!

More info and to register, click here:  GRUNGE INK

On to the next update:)  



Saturday, September 06, 2014

Special offer from Interweave-Back to school special!

. Save up to 50% during the Back to School Sale at Interweave

Save up to 50% at the Back to School Sale at 

Interweave. Valid 9/8-9/15.  (Click the above 

image to be taken to the shop!)

PS--I am a guest blogger today on the Cloth 

Paper Scissors blog!!  Take a look!

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Finding Home

When was the last time you dipped your toes in the water or sat down and read your favorite magazine or book? Yes, summer may be over but it doesn't mean that you have to forsake some of your most favorite relaxing activities.  I go back to creating those moments for you and me on my canvas time and time again.

Funky little houses, Mini Cities,  Beachscapes,   A place on the lake,  a downtown historic shopping area--are just a few of the many scenes that come to life in my collection of happy little homes.

 Some are grittier than others. Perhaps symbolic of the crazy life we all seem to lead on a day to day basis, yet when we get down to the root of much to be grateful for.
 Other little villages squish together in a great big colorful community representing our uniqueness as individuals, our personalities our as disguised as the houses we reside in. At the same time, we wouldn't be who we are without our family, friends and neighbors.

 Simple houses.
 Sending us reminders of what we need or what is important in life.
 Memories flooding back of walking along the lake at sunset or sunrise discovering 
ourselves in the peacefulness.
 Sharing how if we simply float for a bit, life becomes clearer so we can run with it all later.
 It's a crazy good life, messy and all. 
 I don't know why I keep coming back to the houses but I do. Well. I. Do. Know.  I've kinda sorta figured out that it's my way of connecting back to memories that I associate with love, family, friendship, community, and peacefulness.  And of course there's more.  I guess it is whatever you want it to be, that's the beauty of art in it's many forms. It is whatever you want it to be!
I'd love to share more with you this September at Create Mixed Media Retreats in Dallas.
Join me for "Mini City Live"   and create your own happy little city/town/neighborhood on canvas during this 1 day class, my last mini city course for the year.   :)
Sign up info here   Create Mixed Media Retreats.  

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

She's A Girl That's Untangling

A few months ago as I was preparing for my first round of classes at Art Is You in Memphis--I took out my watercolors and practiced working on my "Girl Untangled" and couldn't help but notice how delicious these colors were sitting on my palette almost like little jars of hard candy ready for consumption.   Watercolors were my first love when I started painting years ago. I loved the free flowing movement you could achieve that was somewhat unpredictable and a bit softer around the edges.   At the time, I just needed to flow with out barriers. Working in that medium allowed me to do just that. Funny how you are drawn creatively to exactly what you need when you need it (if you are open to that type of inspiration)

You can see from my original sample that the background is a melding of many different colors but the added surprise elements come from the doodles and candy like colors surrounding this "Girl Untangled".   In addition to first loving watercolors, I have always loved doing portraits and have seen an evolution of myself with each and every one that I do.   Creating portraits whether realistic or stylized can be another way to immerse yourself into an almost meditative state of creativity. At least for me, I almost make up stories about my subjects.  I've been told that many look like me. Not that I go around with head dresses or crazy jewelry or outfits (well maybe sometimes), but it's hard not to capture your own likeness at times even in the smallest of ways.

Not all watercolor artists use pen in their work, but we aren't regular artists, are we?  As a mixed media artist, I tend to try new things a lot, see what works, what doesn't, and push the boundaries from the traditional method of operation.    Doodling and watercolor seem to go hand in hand to me.  It is fairly portable, a great way to get lost, and most definitely a fun way to de-stress while still creating beautiful pieces of art that aren't exactly 'traditional'.
I'll be teaching this class again in October at Art is You in Stamford, Ct. If you are looking to explore watercolor (we will be using Twinkling H20's that I will be providing for you!!),  doodling and portraiture, consider taking this class with me.  We touch on drawing facial features so that you have a well rounded understanding on how to not just paint, but draw your "Girl Untangled" as well. I step out each of the steps for you and with you before we go on to our main project.
As you can see from this picture and my sample projects, I am one that uses a lot of color, even in my faces.  I don't know about you, but even without makeup, my skin tone is about 40 colors. :)  I can help you think outside the box and explore the 'not-so-traditional'.  You don't have to follow a formula.  You can just be you.  We will be working on traditional watercolor paper for this class, and truly, other than a few brushes and some pens--I have most everything taken care of for you.
Consider joining me and see how you can combine Twinkling H20s (watercolors), doodling, and portrait work in a relaxing atmosphere full of creative types just like you.  You'll walk in the class room by yourself or with a friend and walk out a new person with a new sisterhood of people just like you (oh and a super cool work of art, too!).

Take a look at some of the lovely students from Memphis and their girls in progress.  You can do this, too!    To find out more information on this class offering: Girl Untangled  click HERE.

UPDATE--PLEASE NOTE:  Registration for Art Is You this October in Stamford, CT  closes September 15th!!!! You need to register before then to get the classes of your choice and participate in the event.  (You can add on classes later if avail and not sold out..but you have to pick your main selections before the closing date of September 15th).

My other classes at Art is You:

My Gellis-HeART

Monday, September 01, 2014

Is There A Right Answer?

It was recently asked of me by a business coach,  am I an Artist who Teaches, or a Teacher who is an Artist?  My first response was that I am an Artist who Teaches but then as the discussion dug down deeper about what I do and why I do what I do...the question surfaced again,  "So I ask you again, are you an Artist who Teaches or a Teacher who is an Artist? Because you do realize all we have talked about for the last hour is about your teaching!"   I never really thought about it in those terms before and I'm not sure that there is any one right answer, but I do know that I thoroughly enjoy teaching art to my students who after several years of doing this --are all scattered throughout the world.  Some, I'm lucky enough to have met in person but even those who I connect with online are are ones that I'm blessed to have in my life. I'm lucky all the way around, whichever way you look at it and whoever it is I am, or whoever it is that I've become. I enjoy both creating art, and teaching about it.

I love seeing my students smiles when they are having fun and in their element. Or hearing about a breakthrough when they create something they didn't think they could do when first walking through the door.   I enjoy  them quietly (or not so quietly!!! )  share stories and getting to know one another as the day(s) progress during a workshop and retreat.

I feel compelled to share my own stories so that the students feel that we are connected in ways that they hadn't ever realized so that they know that they can do this or that too!   It isn't that hard once you roll up your sleeves and dig in.  You took the first step by showing up, now allow your muse to appear on the canvas. She may not be pretty at first but as you work through that awkward stage, you will come out on the other side to something amazing!  There are always many breakthroughs, some easier than others to work past but they are all, they are ALL....worth it!

Admittedly, I don't know all the rules or even all the answers but I will share with you practices and techniques I've come to favor and employ in my own work-the why behind what I do, what I use, and how I do it is shared and broken down so that you feel empowered to create from whatever stage in the journey you are on. There is something for everyone to learn, every day, and every time.

I teach you how to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes because Lord knows I make enough myself but I don't give up. Even when I give up, I don't give up if that makes sense. I figure out how to move past a slip up and turn it into a "Holy cow, I can't believe this worked or look at what this turned into now!".  Some of my best discoveries have come from mistakes or some of my best paintings were ones that I renovated the second or third time around.

Honestly, it is hard to master anything in one day or a several hours but I strive to give you the tools that you need when you walk out  of the classroom (or finish an online workshop) to lay the foundation to mastery, and the knowledge to realize that mastery is hardly ever found because we ALL continue to grow and evolve the more and more we do something.     I hope I give you, the student,  confidence to know that you are more than capable of greatness.   That is a secret sauce that goes into what I do when I teach.

I hope that when I teach you, you see that even seemingly simply design has many layers of love and time put into it. That good things don't just happen immediately but they do happen with more work, more love, more details, and more time put into them.  I hope that when I ask you to find that place that makes you happy when you create, you dig deep and find somewhere you can build on as you compose your own mini masterpiece that makes you smile while you immerse yourself in the process.

Going back to the original question, am I an Artist who Teaches, or a Teacher is an Artist--I think the answer is clear. I am a Teacher who at the core of her being,  couldn't do what she does without being an artist first and foremost.  They are all connected. I hope I can connect with you if you are ready to be one of my students now or in the future. Either way, we are connected and not that different from one another, I've seen and heard it many times over.   I know this above all, I enjoy what I do immensely and I have passion for who I've become and can't wait to share it with anyone who is willing to participate, listen, and create with me-or on the flip side, collect and cherish the art I've brought into this world.

That's the mark I've made so far in this journey.   The calling, the purpose after the main purpose which is to be a mother to my boys.  It's all connected in many ways. :)  I hope you find a calling or purpose that fills your heart with passion.

(All the above pictures feature classes I'll be teaching at Create in Dallas Texas in about 2 weeks!!!)

Waterflowing Selfie,  Mini City,  Glazed and Not so Confused, Angelic Inspirations,  and Ornamental--can be purchased through the Create Texas Website. Stop by HERE to find more information. PLUS I will also be vending at the artist faire that Friday evening. 

Dates for the event are September 17th-21st , 2014.

There are many opportunities to learn and enjoy yourself in one of my many classes over the next few months both in person and online! I'm going to feature some of those events/classes over the next few days so stay tuned!!!    My newest online class is being released,  September 12th.  We are offering a pre-sale price on this workshop  "Grunge Ink" through the opening so don't miss out on the opportunity to explore contemporary abstracts on a unique surface!

Stop here for more details and to register :)