Monday, October 26, 2015

My Very First Video Tutorial!

I am so excited!!!

I am a BIG believer that creating art doesn't have to cost a lot of money.  I believe in saving money where you can, so that you can splurge where you want.  I am also a huge fan of sharing ideas.  (I have even created some written tutorials in the past.)

Today, I am so happy to share my very first video tutorial that combines my belief in saving money, and my love of sharing ideas... How to create a professional looking wrapped gallery canvas using things you probably already have laying around the house!  

I've shared the video over at the Willowing blog and I really hope you'll check it out... Who knows, maybe you'll end up saving so much money on canvases that you'll finally be able to get the supplies you've been wanting to indulge in, or sign up for the class you've been dreaming about taking...  Either way, I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Random Thoughts On A Thursday

Tyler's note

I found this little message yesterday on a scrap sheet of paper... I love nine year old wisdom.

My heart sings every time I receive an email about my "Take What You Need" poster... It is so fun for me to hear about where in the world they end up! (If you'd like to download and/or print it, click here for a high-res. pdf version.)

I am trying to take some of my own advice and be kinder to myself.

One of the ways I've been trying to banish the negativity gremlins and self-doubt monsters from my studio is by listening to audio books that promote positive thinking while I paint.  (As a bonus, I have found that I am more productive when I do.)

I am a big fan of Kind bars... And not just because I love the name (although, I think that's pretty great too)!

I watched the movie "Wild", and now I'm thinking about reading the book.  Usually I read the book before I watch the movie, so that I can create my own images in my head... Do you read the book or watch the movie first?

A collaboration with Tyler.

It is supposed to snow this weekend.

I'm not ready for winter.

Seeing my "Tea and Cake with Gracie" interview is like a ray of sunshine on a chilly day...

I'm so excited to be offering a free art tutorial, a free downloadable print, and giving away the ORIGINAL Frida painting (in the photo above) to one lucky Willowing reader!  To read the interview and enter the Giveaway, please click here.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Yay!!! Registration For Life Book 2016 Opens Today!!!

To say I am excited is a bit of an understatement...

You may recall my mentioning that I will be teaching on Life Book 2016... Well, the time has finally arrived... Registration opens TODAY!

I have submitted my lesson titles and descriptions to Tam, and have begun the super fun process of putting together all of the ideas, tips, and techniques that I want to share with you!  (I can't wait for you to see what I have planned!)  It's sure to be a good time, and I'm joined by 23 incredible teachers to bring 52 (yes, 52!) original offerings over the course of 2016...  It doesn't get much better than that!

To find out more about Life Book 2016, and to join me on this amazing year long creative journey, please click here.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Random Thoughts On A Wednesday

The new "Peanuts Movie" comes out on November 6th.  I'm not sure how the movie will be, but I had a great time turning my family into Peanuts characters on their website:  (They didn't have a goatee option for Bob, so I added that in PicMonkey.)

Tyler has suddenly become very interested in cooking, and as a result has been helping me out in the kitchen a lot more.

I love my Scrub Daddy.

Snail mail makes me happy.  I received the most amazing package with the most adorable gnome socks and a super cute gnome magnet from a wonderful and generous friend... 
She gnomes me so well!

I love puns.

I just finished reading The Bell Jar by, Sylvia Plath, and am currently reading The Alchemist by, Paulo Coelho.  I am going to the library to pick up my reserved  copy of Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic today.  Tyler is reading Wonder by, R.J. Palacio... I read it too and highly recommend it.  (Our copy had a bonus "Julian Chapter" - If you can find a copy that has the extra chapter in it, get that one... The different perspective definitely added something to the book.)

I'm always looking for book recommendations, so I would love to hear what you're reading (or have read and loved).

The countdown clock from

The boys and I had a "Back To The Future" marathon this past weekend.  And, as an amazing coincidence, the "future date" in the second movie is coming up on October 21st, 2015! 

I am currently working on a children's book, and really need to get back in the studio...

I hope you'll share some random thoughts with me!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Life Book 2016 Giveaway Winner Announced AND Something For Everyone!

Wow!  I have been blown away by the amazing response to Life Book 2016 so far!  I am really enjoying meeting so many new people - it has me SO excited to teach next year... I wish I could giveaway a spot to all of you!!!  

But since I can't, and since I don't want anyone to walk away empty handed, I drew & painted a FREE (hi-resolution) inspirational piece of art for YOU...

click on image to enlarge, save, print, etc...
(personal use only please)

Please feel free to save it, download it, print it, frame it, hang it, etc... 
(As long as it's for your personal use).
I'm really looking forward to seeing where our imaginations take us next year!!!

Now, onto the Life Book 2016 Giveaway...
(My son, Tyler, was so excited to pick a random name from the hat!)
The winner of 1 spot in the AMAZING year long course is...

Congratulations Kim Costello!

Thank you to everyone for sharing your enthusiasm about Life Book 2016!  (It's totally contagious!)  For those of you still hoping to win a spot, there is still time to enter the other giveaways (see my last post for the list).  And (just in case), please be sure to bookmark this link to sign up for Life Book 2016 when it goes on sale on October 5th!

Don't forget to download my Einstein drawing, and I look forward to seeing you in class!!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Big News And A Giveaway!!!

If you are new to my blog, Welcome!  
(I hope you have some time to look around and come back to visit.)
If you're a regular, Welcome Back!
I'm always so happy to have you here!!

In my last post I promised an "amazingly awesome announcement", so without further ado here it is...

I am going to be teaching on Life Book 2016 next year!!!  
I am over-the-moon excited, honored, and privileged to be invited to teach with 23 incredibly talented teachers on this amazing year long art course!  I have personally signed up for this wildly popular course since it first began in 2012, so I know first hand how great being a student of Life Book is!  And, which is why I feel so fortunate that I am able to celebrate my birthday tomorrow by giving away a space in Life Book 2016 to one of you!!!  Keep reading if you want to find out more about Life Book 2016 and if you want to find out how you can win a spot! 

First let me tell you a bit more about Life Book in case you haven't heard about it yet... “Life Book, a celebration and honouring of YOU” is a year-long mixed media art class organized by Tamara Laporte from Willowing ArtsTam is joined by 23 incredible art teachers who are all gearing up to share their mixed media techniques, tips and tricks with YOU! Themed around self-development and healing, you’ll be creating several loose mixed media art journal pages per month which by the end of the year you will bind into a glorious journal (a Life Book)! You will have a wonderful keepsake that you can treasure for the rest of your life!

You can find out a lot more about this wildly popular course (it has been joined by over 8700 people in the past!) by clicking HERE

I'm currently planning my lessons, and while they aren't finished yet, I can tell you that I am happily going to be sharing some of my most favorite tips & tricks, and lots of information about how I create faces!

Registration opens on October 5th 2015 and the class begins on January 1st 2016.
Keep this page bookmarked so that you can sign up the moment it goes on sale!

Now then, onto the give-away and blog hop!  I can give away 1 space on Life Book 2016 to 1 lucky winner!  Yay!!!  And if you follow the blog hop (see below for links and dates) you can up your chances of winning a space by entering all the other giveaways also! 

How to enter the give-away:

1. Sign up for my newsletter.

2. Visit my Facebook page and "share" the post I made about Life Book to your page.

3. Leave a comment below letting us know why you would love to join Life Book 2016.

I will choose the winner by random draw and announce it on September 16th!

Here is the list of the other amazing teachers who will be teaching on Life Book – they will also be giving away a spot on Life Book so go check them out and enter their giveaways!

7th SeptemberTamara Laporte
8th SeptemberAnnie Hamman
9th SeptemberKristin Dudish
10th September Effy Wild
11th SeptemberFaith Evans-Sills
12th SeptemberGillian Lee Smith
13th SeptemberIvy Newport
14th SeptemberJane Davenport
15th SeptemberJenny Grant
16th SeptemberAngela Kennedy / PennyStamper
17th SeptemberLisa Viger
18th SeptemberMartha Lever
19th SeptemberMary Beth Shaw
20th SeptemberMelody Ross
21st SeptemberPam Carriker
22nd SeptemberPauline Agnew
23th SeptemberRae Missigman
24th SeptemberRenata Loree
25th SeptemberRoben-Marie Smith
26th SeptemberRoxanne Coble
27th SeptemberShiloh Sophia McCloud
28th SeptemberDonna Downey
29th SeptemberTracy Verdugo
30th SeptemberWyanne Thompson

Enjoy the blog hop and good luck!

Thank you for entering, this giveaway is now closed.

Monday, September 7, 2015

I Love Color! And Faces!! And Challenges!!! And Suspense!!!!

Faces 1 through 9 (29 Faces Challenge)

You may be able to tell from the title of my post at I am a wee bit 
crazy excited!  It has been a very fun and very full Summer, but now I'm ready to work.  Tyler is back to school, which means I am back in the studio full time and it couldn't possibly be better timing... There are lots of exciting and super cool things on the horizon that I can't wait to share with you!

But... Before I do, I wanted to post a series of rainbow faces I created for one of my very favorite challenges... 
Ayala Art's 29 Faces!

(Be sure to check back here on Wednesday for an amazingly awesome announcement!!!)

Saturday, June 27, 2015

A Wildly Colorful Post

When I heard that this week's Summer of Color colors were purple+purple+yellow, an image of a hippo with a bird on its head immediately came to mind.  Sometimes when you get an idea, you just have to run with it...

Well, I ran with it!  And boy, did I run wild...

It turned into another stream-of-consciousness-type theme...

I am still having a blast playing with the water soluble markers that I talked about in my last post!  
(I hope next week's colors lead to as much fun...)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Where Inspiration Comes From

Would you believe me if I told you that this drawing was inspired by an oil spot in a parking lot?!?

While walking through a parking lot after a storm last week, I came across a perfectly circular, perfectly beautiful oil spot on the wet pavement.  (Yes, I'm the crazy lady that stops in the middle of the road to take photos of the ground!)

The rainbow spot reminded me of the sharpie tie-dyed t-shirts that I had just helped Tyler's class make at their year end party.  That made me wonder if I might be able to re-create the same effect on paper.  So, after an unsuccessful attempt using sharpie markers, rubbing alcohol, and index cards, I pulled out my water soluble markers and started to play....

There is tremendous joy to be found in experimenting with supplies in new ways!  In the end, it turned out that the simple combination of water soluble markers and a spray bottle filled with water created some pretty remarkable results.

And to think, it all started after seeing an oil spot!  
It just goes to show how important it is to keep your eyes open, because...

Inspiration is everywhere!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

A Colorful Train Of Thought

This week, the colors for The Summer of Color were pink and orange.  Even though I don't use those colors all that often, I had a lot of fun with them...  They even led me on a 
"If You Give A Mouse A Cookie" type adventure!
Here is how it went:

If you give an artist a color (or three),
she will create a flower...

After she paints her flower,
she will want to put them in someone's hair...

The girl with flowers in her hair
will make the artist think of butterflies...

The butterfly will remind her of the pinks and orange
she started with...

And if she paints with those colors,
She'll want a few more!

(I can't wait to see what next week's colors are...)


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