Now Open! "Podtastic"

Now Open! "Podtastic"
Painting, journaling, color mixing and more!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Experimental Art: When You Explore...You Become Brave With Each New Step You Take

When I first posed the idea of creating this class to a couple of people that I work with in a parallel sort of way,  they were unsure of it's appeal because of how different it is and how dark it can be compared to my other work. 

Sometimes darkness equates with not so nice things like death, macabre, destruction.

But there are ways to put light into darkness and to come full circle from the different to the enlightening.  

In some ways, that's what we accomplished this week in my first full length live version of my class Grunge, Ink (which has been for almost a year an online class of mine).  I've done demonstrations first with high school students and then with a small group of artists, but this was my first time teaching it on location with a group of adventurous artists.  

The venue for so much inspiration?  The Art More Place in Melbourne, Florida.  As you'll see from some of these pictures, the place is HUGE. It's colorful. It's inspiring! It's a electric!
I'ts magical.  First because of the space, but secondly and most importantly because of the people at the helm who are fostering all of this creativity,  Sherri Otcenasek and her 'gift daughter'  Jane. Then those people at the helm keep multiplying as more and more artists meander their way through for residencies and for classes, all of which attributes to the magic that abounds through the air as soon as you walk through the doors.

Some of the questions I heard from students about to take the class or who were taking the class but still unsure if they were going to like the process...

But do I have to use this?  Is there anything else besides Yupo.  I don't want to use black.   Can I use ....can I do...

The answer I had to say at least for this instance was to just trust me.

Trust that I'm going to lead you down a path of discovery.

It's going to be experimental.  You are going to either love it or hate it.  My goal in either of those cases is to guide you into a experimental zone of creativity.  To open up your mind and help you explore what is possible.  Be open to what can happen when you simply EXPLORE.

 When you become brave with each new step you take.

You also enter a world of discovery when you step out of your comfort zone.

When you are not tied to the outcome, you leave room for break through moments.

 The more you experiment, the greater chance for success that you have.

I'm so glad my students chose to trust me and to enjoy a day...a weekend of play and experimental processes!

The room was overfilling with joy and many aha moments.

Let's try this with that....

Why not???

How about I do this? 

Can I????

Wow! Look at this??

Is this not cool?

Pieces, papers, artwork, paint,  tools...oh my...everywhere!

I started off with like 200 hundred sheets of paper and every sheet was either used or sold at the end for additional practice at home.

That's a lot of art!!!!!

Here's some of the students and a piece or two that they chose to exhibit from their 'collection'.

I love the diversity of each and everyone's work!!

I love the fact that every student took a chance on their self and did something that may have been way out of their comfort zone or so unlike what they normally do.

It's not easy to be immersed into something new with a room full of friends we haven't met yet.

Despite any initial hesitation,   we all saw that inspiration from each other fed into our own work and that led to some pretty fantastic moments throughout the entire weekend.

I also saw many students work with each other as is the case in all classes.  You didn't have to look far if you needed encouragement or advice, or even to use something someone else had brought along.  Artists are so giving and kind.  

I think the hardest part is being kind with ourselves.  

We are our own worst critic.

We need to get out of our own way to soar to new heights. 

Everyone around us is cheering us on...just look.  You can find the support system you need to do whatever it is you want to do...just look!

I'm so grateful this entire group took the plunge and joined in our workshops this weekend!  Having never taught in Florida before, I was entering into uncharted territories myself and was even rather nervous about it!!
I'm always nervous before teaching...especially when I'm teaching something I haven't taught (in person) or in a new place.  

If I let my fear of doing something new...trying something new,  going someplace new,  experimenting with new ideas...well I would have missed out on a great opportunity to work with 
fantastic artists such as all these women and more that I'm featuring today.    

The bigger picture...I'd miss out on really so many things that my career has blossomed into.
The list is endless.

For those of you who missed this weekend of workshops at Art More Place,  great news--I will be back next year!!!  I am super excited about returning!  We are still working out dates and possible classes but whatever we do,  I hope you decide to join in on the fun. As you can see from the pictures, its a wonderful venue in so many ways and on so many levels!!!!

My next class for Grunge Ink (Live) will be at Random Arts in Saluda, NC where I kick off a weekend of workshops with this class at the end of September.  Random Arts is another little magical place nestled in the mountains of North Carolina that I love love love so much.  It's a smaller venue so be sure to sign up soon, the class is limited to 12 students. 

**I'm also planning on a couple more in person classes in 2016 for this workshop as it is just really fantastic and 'needs' to be shared! lol!!!   

If an in person class is not in the cards right now for you,  I do teach a version of this class online over at  Click here for more information.

EVEN if you have taken the class online,    I recommend taking the class (and vice versus) in person.  It's kinda like buying a cd from a favorite musician and then going to a concert...or like I said, vice versus.  There are benefits to both options that are just as energizing and educational.

More happy smiling students and new friends!

I love all the colors everyone chose for their work!

I love the marks they made and awesome texture discovered!!

So back to the questions I had from many of the students before we began....

When you ask why,  I respond with why not?

Can I?   I say,  it's worth a shot,   I don't always know an outcome when I venture into an 'experiment'. I don't always like what I do, but I always learn something new.

And there are times when I venture into something I new...I fall in love in ways I never thought were possible!   That's the moment you feel most alive!

We communicate with others through our art.  It's hard to say what you don't know, until you just say it while following your instinct.  That's how you get passed the unknown fear. You do it so many times until it becomes second nature and more about your vision, than your idea if that makes sense.

Here's Sherri, the Owner of Art More Place   she is the magic behind this amazing venue!

The more knowledge we gain through experiments and unbridled learning,   we become more confidant.

Knowledge breeds confidence.

Don't be afraid to learn.

Thank you for trusting your experience this weekend in me...and thank you to all of you who have trusted in me in the past to teach you not only about art, but hopefully a little bit about yourself.

***Looks like a missed a few peeps in their 'exhibit' shots'.....sooooo sorry!!!!!*** But here we are all together!!!

See you next year or sooner!

Keep experimenting.

Keep being brave.

Keep believing in yourself!!!

Keep arting!!


Until we meet again!


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Pick Up Your Paint Brush and Join Us!!

The other day someone mentioned geez...if I had known sooner that you were coming to town, I would have signed up for your class.  Just when I think everyone has seen my message, I realize once again...there are many others that haven't heard yet!   Here's my creative public service and fun announcement!!

This week I'm heading to Florida for two classes at the new and amazing studio and creative learning space called, "Art More Place".      This will be my first time visiting Florida to teach and couldn't be more excited.   We still have a couple spaces available for both workshops, so if you are free this weekend and want to join us, please do!!  More info can be found on my 2015 workshop page.

After my trip to Florida I'll have a mini break and head back home to NY to see my family and friends for a bit then I will be taking most of the summer to dive into more classes online (filming and production takes a long long I appreciate all of you who have been waiting for a new class from me, it won't be long now!!).  I'll also be working on developing a new body of work for a upcoming show and of course for future classes/galleries and Etsy.  My primary focus will be on my online classes though...well there are a couple other big things in the works but you'll have to stick around for that to be revealed ;)

Following  my summer respite, I'm heading  just outside of Asheville for a return visit to one of my all time favorite shops ever,  Random Arts in Saluda, NC.  I'll be teaching 3 classes over three days September 25-27th including two new workshops.  Wild Flowers featured below is a uber fun painting, printing and collage class that is just well, amazing and colorful. You'll learn so many techniques plus go home with a fantastic inspiring piece of art! 


Grunge Ink - September 25
Skinny Little Mini Cities-September 26
Wild Flowers-September 27th  (rumor has it some peeps want to add birds to their pieces and I'm totally down with that!)
There's limited space available so be sure to contact Jane Powell at Random Arts to reserve your space today!

We JUST added a new workshop in Missouri coming up in October and the weekend is about 1/2 filled with students all ready!!

I'll be heading west to see Kristen Powers at her studio Rubber Moon Studios where we will be splashing away for 3 days working on 2 different projects.

First up we have a 2 day  class called Funky Little Neighborhoods and Journal Jam.    You'll learn all sorts of textural tricks and how to design a quirky neighborhood on canvas with acrylics and more.  In between painting on canvas, you have a few journal exercises to explore and paint along with.   Tons of fun for everyone.  

Did I mention that for  each of the workshops at Rubber Moon Studios 99% of the supplies are included.  PLUS  lunch, drinks and snacks will be provided!!!  Whooohoo!  Just bring your favorite brushes, apron, water container and palette...we will supply the rest!

We will end the weekend with one of my favorite classes,  a 3 hour workshop called Angelic Inspirations.      Short and sweet but ohhhh so powerful,   this is another class not to miss!

For registration and more information, Click HERE

October will be whirlwind of events as soon as I return from Missouri....I'll have a couple of days break and then will be turning the car around and heading East to our beautiful Outer Banks for 2nd 2015 ReMe retreat fall retreat on Ocracoke Island.   We ONLY have 2 spaces remaining so if you want to join in on the magic...don't delay.    Our  May 2016 event is already booked up so this may be the last opportunity until late 2016 to sign up for a ReMe event!!!

ReMe is an all inclusive event (other than travel).  Arrival will be on Monday afternoon and departure Saturday Morning.  In between that time you will enjoy art parties,  all your food for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, cocktail hour,   3 classes PLUS all of your supplies,  special events and more...much much more.  If you read through some of our blog posts and peruse all the tabs on our blog, you will get a little taste of what ReMe is all about.....but nothing replaces actually being there and experiencing the magic that happens between all of our guests.

Check out the blog HERE.

BREAKING NEWS....It was just announced that for the first time, I will be heading to the famous Donna Downey studios (outside of Charlotte, NC) in January 2016.  I'll be kicking off their teaching season with a brand new 2 day workshop titled,  "It's a Whimsical Life" .  We will be painting funky houses in acrylics in a layered contemporary style that is almost a fusion of impressionism and mixed media.  Not almost, it is!   Students will also play along in their journals where we will explore color, design, shading and other fun techniques.   

This weekend workshop includes all supplies for the students, lunch and snacks!!  How can you beat that?  

Dates  January 16th and 17th.

For more info, click HERE.


Sprinkled in between all these events, I will be opening new online classes,  releasing 4 DVD's with FW Media this Fall,  hosting a few local classes at a new venue...(stay tuned),  working on some product designs,  having a solo show in October, and maybe one other out of town weekend in November.  I'll be sure to update you as soon as I have concrete information, dates, times, descriptions, etc.!     

I finally reached my 100 item goal that I set out to achieve last December in my Etsy shop.

Stop by and see tons of new paintings and products!!

**Any orders placed from today through Monday will be shipped out June 23rd as I will be travel teaching and away from my studio this week.**


As always, I want to thank you for following me along. I appreciate your enthusiasm, kindness, inspiration and comments.  It's hard to believe it's been almost 9 years since I first started this blog and my artistic journey!! much has happened during that time. I'm excited to see where this next decade and beyond will take us!!

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Giveaway winner and MORE.

Wow....just wow!   Those of you who stopped by last week and left a comment on the post about moving past your fear.  There were so many powerful messages of victory in the face of adversity,   about rising above anxiety to reclaim one's life,  and comments about rebuilding one's life after the loss of a loved one to name just a few.

The strength and resilience we have as people is sometimes unknown until it has to be tapped into.   Hearing how YOU have tapped into your reservoir of fortitude has been inspiring in itself!
I truly think that there is so really good stuff in this topic that we should explore it some more....hmmmm...I'm thinking, I'm thinking!

In the meantime.....
Thank you for sharing a little piece of your story with us!  

For those of you who missed last weeks post--do go back and read it along with the comments. I'm sure you'll be blown away, too!

Now that I'm 'kinda' done with gushing about my readers, I want to announce the winner of my $40.00 gift certificate to my Etsy shop  (to be used by the end of June).  

Drum Roll.....

Here's the winner's (randomly drawn) comment:

I started taking classes and painting again after over 25 years of NOT painting or sketching. I had put my passion for art on the back burner while I raised my family and worked, but became an avid scrapbooking storyteller. And, I had essentially become a hermit - hahaha! I chose to face the fear of learning (and, re-learning) with groups of strangers at workshops and retreats. I'm happy to say that I've rekindled my artsy interests, learned some wonderful skills, and made some amazing friends in the process. I'm inspired by your quirky colorful images and appreciate the chance to win absolutely anything you'd be giving away!!

Congratulations Rhonda Kay!    If you will email me at   and I will tell you how to redeem your prize.    

Don't forget, there is still time to get in on my 'hellosummer'  Etsy coupon for 10% off anything in the shop.  Coupon valid through 6/12/15.  I still need to get a few more things uploaded to the site, so check back often!!



Are you in or around Florida??   

I'll be teaching in Melbourne,  June 19th-21st at the Art More Place.  I'd love for you to join in on the fun!!

For more details, click HERE.

Until next time....each day is a gift.  Use your GIFTS each day. 
The circle of life.