Sunday, April 13, 2014

Art Retreat at The Makerie

On Friday, I attended my first art retreat, and I am so glad that I did! It was organized by The Makerie in Boulder, CO, and held at the Colorado Chautauqua. I took Be Kid Creative with Jennifer Mercede, and Again! Again! (pattern creating) with Helen Dardik. I came home so inspired, and with lots of new knowledge to experiment with.

The Chautauqua backs up to the Flat Iron mountains in Boulder. Such a view! And the weather was perfect. (unlike today; we have gone from 70 degrees yesterday to snowing today!)

I took Be Kid Creative in the morning. My goal for this class was to help myself loosen up. I paint very tightly and tend to restrict myself. I always feel like whatever I paint should be usable for my work. This class gave me the permission to just let go.

We did a lot of gesture drawing and scribbling.

Then we started scribbling on large boards. (then I got splinters, so I sanded the board and then scribbled on it!) It didn't matter what marks we made, as we were going to paint over it.

We started out with our fingers (you can see how messy I got in the photo at the top of the page). Then we did my favorite part. We were blindfolded, and had to work with a partner. My partner loaded the brush with paint and put it in my hand. I didn't even know what color it was. All my senses were focused on just feeling the brush move around the board. I didn't know where or how it looked. My partner would reload the brush when it got dry. We both agreed that the sensation of just painting was wonderful. This is an activity I highly recommend!

I kind of stopped taking pictures at this point, because I just wanted to immerse myself in the experience. I brought the board home, with many more layers of paint on it, and now my son and I are talking about finishing it together. I would love to see how he adds to it.

After a delicious healthy lunch with some new friends and old, I took Helen Dardik's class on pattern making. Now, this was fascinating to watch her process. It was quite a switch to go from a very physical class to a cerebral one, but Helen was a charming teacher. I can't wait to get started putting my new knowledge to use!

I cam home absolutely tired, but happy and renewed. I will certainly keep my eye out for what classes the Makerie offers in the future! I have always been hesitant to spend money on myself to take these somewhat expensive classes, but it was completely worth it.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

New Fabric Collection

I am always so happy to see a new fabric collection. This is my new Neptune's Garden line. This is just a preview; the line will be in shops in Feb. I love how it came out!

The line is based on the wonderful trip to Key West we took this summer. I feel that in order to capture the feeling of a place in a painting you really need to go there in person.

The line will be available from Wilmington prints and sold in quilt shops.

Designing for fabric is such fun!

Saturday, August 10, 2013


I find it really hard to switch off from work-mode and to let myself just make art for relaxation, do you? I feel like everything has to be licensable. I am trying to break myself of that habit though, but it is making my art feel a bit stressed. I need to get back to just creating for the sheer joy of it, without worrying about the end result.

To that end, I got my journal back out. It has been ages since I just doodled. I thought I would share some of my journal pages with you, dear friends. Sometimes my journal pages are pretty basic and functional, like this spread above.
Sometimes I use lots of collage and paint. Sometimes I print out my scanned in painted pieces and collage with them! I also have fun with the set of antique stamps I bought in Wisconsin.
On other days, I am just in the mood for something fairly quick. A little pen and ink, a little watercolor, ta-da!
Sometimes I am happy to just leave things in black and white. I draw everything freehand with the pen; I don't draw with pencil first.
Sometimes I want to use lots of color and all sorts of media. here I have used pen, watercolor, Pan Pastels (love them!), collage, stamps, whee! After several days of letting myself have journal playtime in the evenings, I feel much refreshed!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Beachy Dreams

Oh, it is summer, and what a good summer it is! Except for my recent bout of pneumonia, of course! But thank goodness for antibiotics, because it means I was able to take a wonderful and inspiring trip to the Florida Keys. I even went snorkeling on a coral reef for the first time. Now, I know that according to my clients I should be painting Christmas designs right now, but I just couldn't bear to wait to paint all the beachy goodness. Hooray for the beach!

What is on your drawing table this week?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


The weather was beautiful, so my daughter and I decided to do some wildlife watching. We drove to Keenesburg, CO where there is a wildlife rehabilitation center. What a wonderful trip. I was especially fascinated by all the bears they have on the 400 acre property. Since the weather was mild, the bears were feeling very playful. It was wonderful to see them engaging in this behavior in a natural setting.
Of course, I had to do some sketching.
I got the wonderful chunky mechanical pencil from Aaron Bros. Art and Framing. I really like it, it is great for loose sketches. The sharpener is in the bottom of the pencil.
 I decided to do a watercolor study as well. Perhaps it is time for me to do another lodge series, featuring our friends, the Bears!

Saturday, April 27, 2013


Looks like most people signed up for the giveaway over on my Facebook page. And we have a winner! Hooray for Debi Matlack! Stay tuned, more exciting things will be happening soon.