My next Soulidarity Art Journaling workshop is on Saturday, November 8 here in San Clemente, CA. Here’s the link to sign up.
My next Soulidarity Art Journaling workshop is on Saturday, November 8 here in San Clemente, CA. Here’s the link to sign up.
I spent Saturday morning in Los Angeles at a seminar for creative entrepreneurs put on by The Creative Residency. I took in so much information that my brain is swimming with fantastic ideas for taking my art and my brand to the next level. You might see some changes happening around here and that seminar is why.
Justina Blakeney and Dabito are the super inspiring, remarkable people behind The Creative Residency. It was so worth it, I couldn’t recommend it more. Artistic pursuits tend to be solo gigs so it can sometimes feel like you’re working in a vacuum. It’s so soothing to get out and connect with other creative souls.
Okay, I’m off to start my day and put some of these creative ideas into place. Stay tuned folks.
My family and I just got back from a little getaway to the gorgeous town of Ojai, CA where we stayed at the Ojai Valley Inn. I’m not sure I have enough words to convey how overwhelmingly quaint and beautiful it was. From the views to the bike paths to the twinkle lights in the old oak trees… there was a certain bit of magic in the air, we felt it from the moment we arrived.
I think the most magical thing about Ojai is that its sunsets are particularly spectacular. They take on such a vivid rosy hue that every evening you are treated to what locals call “The Pink Moment”. And trust me, the pink moment does not fail to dazzle.
Ojai touched us deeply and enveloped us in its own unique brand of cozy loveliness. I felt overwhelmingly inspired; visually, artistically, emotionally. Cannot wait to go back.
In January I moved into a new studio space and I’m not exaggerating when I say that it has changed my life. There is just something about having a designated space to do the work you love that couldn’t be more inspirational. The building is old, a bit rickety, filled with sunlight and quirky as all heck. I love it from the bottom of my heart.
The best part is that I share it with a few other artists. At any given time, there are other artists here working on various projects and just being around all that creative energy is incredibly uplifting. I also have enough space to teach my workshops here so it couldn’t be more perfect for me.
I feel as though there has been a distinct shift in the work I have created in this new space. When I enter this studio I am focused solely on the task of creating. I’ve started to take a few more risks in my work and the outcome has been very satisfying. I feel like I’ve been much more free and loose with these last few paintings. I have planned less and improvised more. I am certain that my new surroundings are filling me with energy and creative vibrations.
I’d like to share a few of my latest pieces with you.
All my latest works are now available in my Etsy shop.
I have to admit, this has been a HUGE challenge because I have never taught an online workshop before and I have so many time constraints that it’s been difficult to find the time to just sit down and crank it out. But here I am, CRANKING IT OUT!!
Friends, let me tell you, I have created photo shoots, written agendas, taught myself how to create videos, gathered it into a cohesive workshop… it has been fun and hard and cool and miserable and inspiring and fun again! I am exhausted and also exhilarated at the same time.
Even though it’s been a challenge, I couldn’t be more excited about it. Everything is almost completely ready and I have shocked myself with my ability to bring it all together. Teaching a workshop in person is one thing, but transforming that workshop into an online course is a horse of a different color. It’s an entirely different undertaking but a process that I have thoroughly enjoyed.
This entire Soulidarity workshop I teach, whether in person or online, comes from deep within my heart. My passion for it is immeasurable. I only hope I am able to convey that in this online format. I believe in the power of art to transform lives and I will preach that until I no longer have the breath to preach it.
I’m thankful to the universe and also to Connie Hozvicka of Dirty Footprints Studio for taking a chance on me and giving me this incredible opportunity. Stay tuned because more info about this special workshop (AND EVEN A GIVEAWAY) will be coming soon!
I am a firm believer in fate. It has always been my experience that things happen when they are meant to happen. People have come into my life exactly when I needed them to or I have heard an idea right at the moment that it made the most sense to me. For whatever reason, that seems to be the way things work for me.
So when I tell you how I found a new art studio space quite by accident, you’ll understand why I chalk it up to fate again.
I wasn’t exactly looking for a new space but teaching my workshops in my backyard was not ideal and painting in my tiny guest room was not my favorite situation either. So in the back of my mind, I guess I was always kind of keeping an eye out for a space that would work.
The day after Christmas it happened. I saw a flyer at my local art store about studio space for rent so I called. Let me just say, this studio is perfect for me! It is run by a very inspiring ceramicist named Jennifer Joyce. She makes beautiful pottery and teaches pottery/ceramics classes. She also rents out a few work spaces to other artists.
When we got to talking, we realized that our vision was aligned. Art, teaching and working all in one space is the vision she had for her studio and it’s the vision I have for myself as well. There’s even a gallery space for shows.
It’s called Artist’s Studios of San Clemente 131 Avenida Navarro and it’s my new home base.
There’s just something magical about finding the right environment to work in. It is soothing and inspiring. I predict lots of creativity will come out of this new space. I couldn’t be more excited!
My next art journaling workshop will take place on January 25 and it will be held in this new workspace. Come and join me. Here’s the link to sign up.
About a month ago, I was invited to take part in a new creative collaboration called We Are The Contributors. The goal of this venture is to establish a creative community built around inspiring monthly projects. Founded by Sandra Harris of Raincoast Creative Salon and Melanie Biehle of Inward Facing Girl, We Are The Contributors kicked off its first monthly project today.
I am excited to be part of this inaugural program. It was incredibly inspiring to meet this challenge head on and to see what the other artists contributed.
Project #1 was based around The 1913 Armory Show where modern art was first introduced to the US exactly 100 years ago in New York City. Three pieces were chosen from the original Armory Show. Contributing artists were asked to use one or all of these pieces as inspiration for a new project of their own. The three pieces we focused on were Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 by Marcel Duchamp, Madonna by Edvard Munch, and Woolworth Building No. 31 by John Marin.
I chose Madonna by Edvard Munch as my inspiration.
Here’s what I wrote for the WATC website to describe my contribution:
For this project I was most inspired by Edvard Munch’s “Madonna.” I love to paint women so I think this piece was a natural fit for me. I interpreted this painting in a very personal way. Rather than paint the woman as an object, I wanted to convey a sense of feminine power and self-awareness. I did not intend for this piece to be a self-portrait but I did find myself very personally connected to this woman, embodying her radiance. She embraces every facet of herself: mother, lover, and divine being. She is in tune with her spirituality and how that connects every part of who she is, the good and the bad. I used acrylic on canvas and the words in the background are all the ways she might describe herself: ambitious, determined, sexual, nurturing, insecure, etc. Her pose is inspired by Munch’s figure but in my version, she is meant to be deeply and completely loving and accepting of herself and radiating sacred feminine energy. This project helped me to examine my own creative vision and to push my personal boundaries.
This is my final piece.
I love being challenged as an artist and this project was definitely a challenge for me… in the best way. It’s always healthy to push yourself into new directions and I love the growth that comes from it. I’d like to thank Melanie and Sandra for inviting me to be part of such an inspirational community of creative minds. You two brilliant souls have inspired me with your vision and your fearless pursuit of artistic enlightenment.
I just spent this last weekend at Camp Mighty in Palm Springs at the Ace Hotel. Camp Mighty creates an environment for creative types to organize their goals, share resources, and hear from experts on how to improve their businesses and give back to their communities.
It’s kind of difficult to describe the experience I had. I could tell you that it was inspiring. I could tell you that it was rejuvenating to be surrounded by so many creative people doing amazing things. I could tell you that I met wonderfully fascinating kindred spirits. I could tell you about the super delightful space-themed bash. I could tell you it was fun to be in such a relaxing town at such a cool retro-vibe hotel. Or I could tell you that the most special part was hanging out with one of my best friends who I don’t get to see very often.
I suppose I could tell you all those things but I think what I’ll do is just let the pictures do the talking. It was a “Mighty” fine weekend indeed.
I am super excited to let you know about a fantastic new project that I am proud and honored to be a part of. 21 Secrets Online Art Journaling Workshop is the brainchild of Connie Hozvicka of Dirty Footprints Studio. She contacted me recently asking me if I’d like to join her and a group of 19 other artists to teach this online course. I was immediately drawn in by Connie’s creative and soulful approach to leading workshops and I knew this was a wonderful fit for me.
21 SECRETS’ mission is to spread creative and healing energy through the powers of art journaling. With 21 heart-centered Artists as your guides, you will receive hours and hours of clear instruction, inspiring techniques, and unique approaches to creating in your art journal. All experiences and skill levels are welcomed!
Each 21 SECRETS art journaling workshop is lead by an inspiring, heart-centered Artist that is eager to share their passion and love for creativity with you. Through videos, written content, and tons of visuals you can journey your way through this tapestry of inspiration, creativity, and healing energy!
21 SECRETS is celebrating itʼs fifth year of delivering inspiring art journaling workshops with a total make-over! 21 SECRETS is now a downloadable eBook with all 21 workshops beautifully contained and at your access 24/7. Not only do you pick and choose which workshops you do when–but you now get to keep these workshops forever and ever! Plus–there is both a private Facebook community and Flickr gallery where you can share, receive feedback, and meet others art journaling along with you!
21 Secrets does not officially take place until April of 2014 but the pre-sale started today. The earlier you sign up the better the discount you will receive.
If you’ve never taken an online course before, it is truly an awesome way to learn something new. You can go at your own pace and do it all in the privacy of your home while still connecting online with other students.
I am so excited to be a part of this workshop and to be in the company of these other remarkable artists, some of whom I have already been following for quite some time. Please contact me if you have any questions. I will be sharing more info as it becomes available. April can’t get here fast enough!
For more info and to sign up click here!
I recently finished another commissioned piece of artwork. The word “commissioned” is just a fancy way of saying “special ordered”. In other words, someone wants a painting with specific elements included rather than buying a piece that I’ve already painted. I love commissions because they challenge me. It’s not quite as easy as just painting whatever I’m inspired to paint and there’s always the fear that my vision will not match that of the collector. So far, I’ve been lucky that my commissions have always gone well (knock on wood). And this particular one went better than most.
A really close friend of mine, Michelle, had been telling me for years that she wanted one of my paintings. She could never quite find the right one because she had a specific wall in mind. So this past summer while I was down at her house for a little reunion with friends, she showed me the wall and described what she wanted. We agreed that I would get started on creating something specifically for her.
Her home is absolutely beautiful and the wall she had in mind was enormous. We knew we were going to have to have a canvas custom-made. After deciding on size, I asked her all the usual questions I ask: Did she have any preference for content/composition? What were her color preferences? What writing/poetry/lyrics did she want for the background?
Here’s a peek at the process:
She measured her space and figured out the exact size she wanted. I ordered the custom-made canvas and had it delivered.
After discussing content and composition she let me know that she really loved birds and also wanted to include sunshine. Based on that information, I worked up a rough sketch for her that she loved.
Then I got to work. That enormous canvas barely fit in my studio! I started with the song lyrics she chose that were special to her and her family.
It took me a little over a week working a few hours a day to get it finished.
We planned a day for me to deliver it to her. Luckily it just barely fit in my car.
Michelle decided that she didn’t want to see a photo of the final product. She wanted to keep it a surprise for when I arrived at her house. Luckily, her first reaction was excitement. She loved it and that made me feel great.
The painting looked so gigantic in my studio but on that beautiful wall it was perfect. Once we got it on the wall we all agreed that the size, color and sheer scale of it was a wonderful fit for that space.
It’s a lot of work getting a commissioned painting just right and especially an unusually large one. But when you see the final piece in its new home and you see the smile on the face of the new owner, it is more than worth it.
As Michelle put it so wonderfully, “I waited 7 years for this house and so I wanted ‘special, meaningful, beautiful, unforgettable’ on that spacious wall! You did all that and more!”
For me, that’s what art is all about. When a piece of artwork can bring such joy to a home, there is nothing I love more.