Friday, August 22, 2014

summer of art+love

It has been a summer of art + love.

As a hardworking photographer, I am humbled by the intimate occasions I am invited into.  Each project is unique.  Moments so beautifully tender I often have to fight back tears to get the image I want. I find myself praying (expectantly) for soft filtered sunlight, for divine moments, and for a trusting heart to believe it will happen.  You must be very brave & very humble.  It is true, you must.

I thought you might like a peek?

This beautiful wedding was on a local sheep farm.  When I was told that, how could I say no?  Even though the sheep are away at camp (in the mountains), the bride's dog was here to greet me when I jumped out of my truck.

A bride in the dirt?  At a sheep farm?  In boots?

Oh yes...I knew right then - this was going to be good.


The images that tell a story --they stay with us and captivate our hearts don't you agree?  

Sometimes just being reminded of goodness and love -- seeing it displayed in all its color, story, and glory is enough to keep me going.  It is the divine shimmers that keep me passionately engaged in this life's journey.

We all need these love stories, don't we?  

Thank you Zeb and Aimee for letting me have a glimpse into yours...

With love,

And, the after parties are always a load of fun too...xoxoxo

Friday, July 4, 2014

Farmer's Market - the open house

Open House Saturday

I am so happy you are here...Come on in! 


 *Our Farmer's Market | Summer Workshop*

This spunky summer workshop is not just fresh inspiration for our creative minds, 
it is a lick-the-goodness off our fingers kind of class, too...

Oh, yes...Yum!

little markets | Rome, Italy

In anticipation of the markets we are visiting this morning, I have planned ahead and 
grabbed an extra bag for the both of us.  Just toss in your sketchbook and camera and 
let’s be off!

It is always fun to see what each market has to offer. Can I introduce you to a local one I love?

market inspirations || video 

Dream big, dare greatly, and shine brightly

When we step into these inspirational adventures, like a Farmer's Market, our "brave" muscles grow and our art rewards us with beautiful treasures. Pick a few weekends this summer to experience a hometown market. And please share with us what you find!

*Make sure to jump into our facebook group the first day of class*


Let's have a sneaky peek into our classroom...

Yes, deliciousness & goodness from our summer sketchbooks 
and kitchen counters right now: 

 In this class I will show you how to get the most out of your inspired mornings. We will talk about summer sketching and photography tips, ideas for art journaling, tasting and preparing beautiful recipes/menus with our watercolors, and capturing wonderful stories in our sketchbooks (to last us all year long).  We will also have a simple daily study/practice that will make you smile and your sketching muscles grow!  Our projects will be a fresh mix of acrylics, watercolors, pen and ink, and will have every opportunity to choose your mediums.  That is the best part of these kinds of can choose.

I haven't even shared the other half of is sooo yummerlishous!
Honestly, it is pure artistry to watch Rhetta (our visiting artist) create food...
you will adore every dish.  So much love, attention, and thought goes into her work. She has a beautiful way of sharing, I know you will be enthralled.  I am!  

I am excited to learn alongside you, too!


Here are our delicious offerings today (and make sure you get seconds).  I love it when Rhetta 
makes all the food for my Open House weekends, it smells and tastes so good!
"I get so distracted by all the wonderful things in my yard this time of year. I love taking a snack outside with me but I need something that will happily wait for me while I pull a few weeds, set a sprinkler, and watch the baby quail dart around the rhubarb. What can I take out in the garden in a bowl with a spoon?
It's summer time in the garden and my yard is full of rich aromatic berries...strawberries, raspberries, blackberries. A big mound of fresh buttermilk biscuit dough is on my counter getting cut into fat rounds of heavenly shortcakes and I'm dusting the tops with extra sugar to make it crunchy! A quick filling of ricotta (shall we learn to make our own this summer?) mixed with thick yogurt, lemon zest, and a drizzle of honey is all we need to sandwich our shortcakes together. Let's smash some of our berries with fresh mint and powdered sugar to draw their juices out and pour that on top of our shortcakes. Can you see how the juices soak into the shortcakes? Mmmmmm.... 
It warms up fast outside so I'm filling big glasses with frozen lemonade ice cubes and pouring iced black tea on top. Simple syrup is a great way to sweeten tea and there are nice glass bottles of mint and lemon syrups waiting for each of you to add as much or as little as you like. I have fresh mint sprigs and cute paper straws to use, too, just like grandma's house. 
Our extra biscuit dough is being saved for tonight's picnic dinner. We're going to tuck little marshmallows and chocolate chips in the middle and bake them into bite size s'mores balls. We can bake them this morning while our oven is hot then toss them into foil and put them on the grill to warm them back up. Feeling gutsy? Drizzle those balls with melted butter and roll them in graham cracker crumbs for the full s'more experience! 
Bring your bowl and spoon and I'll see you on the back steps!"

Yes...If you think this sounds good, wait until you see the deliciousness prepared right before your eyes.  I will even sample them for you, too!  (the best part, yum)

Food as Art. 
Art as Food. 

A little welcome project  || video


  If you want to join in on the fun this month, please do!  
All summer workshops are yours to keep - no time limits. 
This class will be open all year long and is loaded with 
yummy & meaningful projects.

Class begins Tuesday, July 15

Part of the uniqueness of my courses is also the teacher involvement.  I am here for you!  Springtime is always busy with sheep and family, but summertime is meant for sharing art.  I will be available in our online facebook community every day during class this July and by email.   You are the most important part of this class and I love to see your fresh art. 

 Here's to us...

To our fresh summer class...
to all the food & art we will create
and share together!

love & gesso 
(and lots of prosecco)


Monday, May 5, 2014

farmer's market - online workshop

Yummy food and yummy art...
Well, some things are just meant to go together. Am I right?

(I am getting hungry just thinking about it) 

My sister and I think so!  We have decided to team up this year for a culinary & artistic mix of delicious pairings.  Yes, food and art.  What could be better than that?   Everyone loves deliciousness.  We crave those peaches, plums, and berries.  We dream of those warm loaves of homemade breads with savory cheeses, fresh herbs and violet jellies.  We love to see those boxes fresh off the truck -- full of melons, corn, and tomatoes.  And don't get me started on the greens and radishes...I will take heaping basketfuls of those, too.  

But, I am always drawn to those big buckets of blooms -- those beautiful tall stems of wild, luscious flowers.                                  
Are some of these your favorites too?    

In our Wildflowers Online Class, we dreamed about Farmer's Markets.  We talked about the great variety of fresh food and the delicious eye-candy they offer.  It is the perfect place to sketch and create art.  All of that farm-fresh inspiration for art journaling, photographing, and creating canvases of art.  Having been to markets near and far, I have lists and lists of beautiful, delicious, silly, and wonderful art projects to try.

You want to come with us...This will be too fun to miss!  
We have too much goodness already planned...yes, yes...yes.

 My sister, Rhetta, is a master of great cuisine.  Her creative mix of ingredients and making food that is not only delicious but healthy is a masterful art.  Her love for fresh-from-the-market ingredients will instantly rub off on you. She makes everything look simple and easy (she has dozens of ideas for fava beans...honestly?)  and her dishes always taste amazing.

You may know my sister by the fun menus she puts together for each of my online Open Houses.  

I know you will adore her infectious passion for creative food!  

We will have three FULL weeks of our most favorite food & art.  Our baskets will be full of delicious recipes.  We will have tasty morsels, nibbles, and sips to try along with sketchbooks full of art!
Great inspiration, wild bonus material and as always...time together!   Yes.  

Delicious projects to keep your fingers, tummies, and  hearts full of creative fun~ 
available all summer (and all year) long!

Class Begins Tuesday July 15  

Each week's projects will be immediately available on Tuesdays, 
and you have access from any computer with your passwords.  Simple!


You will receive an email confirmation and welcome letter within 24 hours of signing up.  
          *Please make sure to give me your preferred email address when you complete your payment.  

***Special Open House, Saturday July 5 - Save the date ***

I can hardly wait...summertime is going to be so much fun with you!  

love & gesso,

If you haven't tried my favorite Summer Class you should...all of the information is here:
Wild Art Summer - Wildflowers

Sunday, April 20, 2014


a new friend this spring 

I invite you into this tender place for just a moment today, I have something for you.  

The barnyard is full of new life.  The pasture is filled with playful white lambs jumping and running at full speed.  The pens are full of munching ewes snacking on their favorite food. And the sweet Mum's with newborn-babes are snuggled in their warm hay, resting.    

In all of the things I have learned about the littlest of lambs this season, this one thought has stayed with me and touched me deeply,      

Lambs love to be held.  

Love to be Held

As I contemplate the work and words of Jesus on this blessed weekend, I am overwhelmed by what this means.  
What does this say about the Lamb of God?

*     *     *

He loves to be held 
and He loves to hold. 

He is with us, 
holding us closely, 
tending to our soft and overwhelmed hearts.

He knows what holding us does to our brokenness, it heals. 
He know what holding us does to our mourning, it brings joy (the oil of gladness).

He knows our hearts, 
our bodies, 
our faces 
need to be held

in His divine hands.  He knows.

We are so loved! 

“I will not leave you orphaned.  I’m coming back. 

In just a little while the world will no longer see me, 
but you’re going to see me because I am alive 
and you’re about to come alive. 

At that moment you will know absolutely that 
I’m in my Father, and you’re in me, and I’m in you."     


John 14 | the message bible

Oh, how He loves us...
love & lambs,


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

retreat with me

*The beginning of a three-part series on Art Retreats | Artist Dates*


With being a bit of a word-nerd, I often peruse the meanings of simple words.  I find that subtle treasures usually hide right below the surface.  May I share this word with you?

    • move back or withdraw.
      synonyms:go out, ebbrecede

    • change one's decisions, plans, or attitude
      synonyms:change one's mind, change one's plans

  1. 1.
    an act of moving back or withdrawing.
    synonyms:withdrawal, pulling back 

    • an act of changing one's decisions, plans, or attitude, esp. as a result of criticism from others.
      synonyms:about-face, U-turn

  2. 3.
    a quiet or secluded place in which one can rest and relax.
    synonyms:refuge, haven, sanctuary; 

    hideaway, hideout, hiding place, escape

    "her rural retreat"
    • a period of seclusion for the purposes of prayer and meditation.
      seclusion, withdrawal, retirement, solitude, isolation, sanctuary
      "a period of retreat from the world"

    • __________________________________________

Nurture Your Creative Seed | Winter 2014

I wanted to go on an art retreat years ago.  I don't even remember the first one that caught my eye, but the words and images called out to me...and I labored over the idea.  I wanted to go so badly!

At the time I was busy with too many little boys and endless days of tight schedules. I didn't know how to take time off. Traveling alone and the thought of traveling someplace full of unknowns was frightening. Spending time and money on myself was frightening too. Have you wished and been so scared too?

Then an art retreat came to me.  

At my local college I met an artist that I had admired.  We talked about how she occasionally taught out of her home.  I invited myself (of course) into this opportunity to paint in her studio/kitchen. No long drive. I already met her and liked her.  I would invite my parents as a holiday day gift and we could paint in a beautiful (but unknown) space -- it would be my own mini-retreat.

Gina Garner Studio | Spring City, Utah

After this beautiful experience I realized I had been severely limiting myself.  I had learned so much from a great teacher and I was much more brave than I knew!  Getting to know her was something I loved.  The adventurous aspect of stepping into a new space became a new dare (in my creative life) and planned to take the next opportunity without so much fear.  

Then it happened.  

I loved Serena the first time I met her: beautiful, grounded, nurturing, and perfectly made for this kind of art-world women's-work.  I grabbed a spot in her Nurture Your Creative Seed Workshop at the last minute and with all of the chaos of getting ready and getting there I really didn't have time to get nervous.  

The women attending were wonderful and the teaching was inspiring.  I only had a few moments of freaking out when I realized I was amongst all women (it happens every time with every retreat), I am just so used to being around boys and men.  I remembered laying on the floor in my room telling myself "I am okay."  

I am sure I am not alone in first-time-freak-outs.  

Overall, the weekend painting foray went splendidly and I was not only captivated by the place, the Pacific Northwest, but by the friendships I made and the inner connection I felt to each of the women attending.  

It was really that good.  

Teresa Ryan wrote beautifully about her experience at the retreat, she captured it better than I can ever retell it and it may touch your heart like it did mine.  HERE.  (

 See life in a new way  
step back for a moment   
take a fresh accounting of life
try a new path  
open the door to possibility 
try a new palette
sketch something new
see what you didn't see before  
turn the page
laugh and cry at the same time
hold hands

My Artist Date | NYC

I believe that every Artist Retreat I venture into is loaded with divine reasons.

With open hands and an open is always a gift.  

I am meant to be here, We were meant to be here.  

 In my explorations this spring, I want sort through some of these good things.  I think it is valuable and helpful to see, with an honest eye, what helps move my life forward as a "whole-hearted" artist. 

I have my own inside/insights into art retreats & artist dates - I am no expert, but I have some deeper thoughts.  I want to give you a fresh picture of what some of these amazing women and men are doing in this aspect of creating.  I also want to share with you my favorite retreats and where I am going next.    

 Beginning this week, I will be sharing:  what I have most recently loved and adored, the growth/challenges in building a creative life with others, what I have learned from big groups and intimate settings, how you have to risk to build brave muscles (it will make sense), and what my take aways are from these blessed events.  Join in with your questions and comments, I would love to hear.  

I do love these two

Always, in grace & peace,

Monday, March 31, 2014

the art of spring - updated

In all of the changes I am making this year, I wanted to include some of my favorite projects from last spring.  I hope you will join me in celebrating brand-new-life that comes from God's amazing creation and love. Seeing the beauty that He spills into our daily lives when we live with open and loving hearts.  

It is Spring...   

(a watercolor project for the Art of Spring)

I have been hiding in my studio, I can't help it, it is just what I needed.   

It is the time of year I am most prolific, productive, plenteous, effluent...(I do love juicy words).  
Projects pile up along long counters, bits of paper and paint stick to my sweaters, bright sketches fill 
up my sketchbooks, and calendaring out days of deadlines...  

It is a colorful and happy mess -- a very happy place.

I know in my heart that winter is pulling away.  Snow and ice still hang on my home, my trees, my muddy boots, but I feel the change in the air and it brings new energy and life to my days.  Can you feel it coming?

The sun streams in the sunroom windows.  Birds are busy outside the kitchen window making my poor cat crazy.  Little patches of green are poking through the muddy snow, making my eyes hunt for those bits of neon.

Perhaps it's why my paints exploded in color this spring~ I am so hungry for nature to come alive.  

March is always a month of messiness.  

A year ago (now two),  I launched a brand new workshop called "The Art of Wild Abandonment".
It literally made a mess of my schedule for the entire year~ new creative ideas, collective projects, new friendships, wild new sketches, and so much goodness.  I suppose this workshop is a spring celebration of that art-sprouting-wonderfulness.

Or simply a celebration of God's goodness and love.
Messiness in life and art is to be expected ~ birthing and growing is full of colorful chaos.  Yes and amen?

Would you like to join me for a new adventure this Spring?  Perhaps you are sprouting for something new, too?


Now, newly released for this Spring 2014

This is a 12 project, art-at-your-own-pace, online workshop
(This was a live workshop last Spring).
  If you missed the fun last year or are wanting to get started with some fresh Spring inspiration, 
this is a wild and colorful bundle of creative goodness.

These are some of my most favorite projects for spring... 

With so many adorable projects in all types of mixed media 
we will fill our sketchbooks, art journals, canvases, and spring studios 
with the season's most precious gifts:

spring meadows
little lambs
a wild mess of chicks
windows of grace
baby moos
potting tables
springtime watercolors
pretty piglets
and more... 

Once purchased, this Art of Spring workshop is yours for two full years.  
I will send you the link/passwords and you are welcome to get started today!  

The Art of Spring



***PLEASE NOTE: This is the same Art of Spring Class that I taught last year, 
I have updated the format on my website and you are welcome to the material for 
two full years -- no stress.  I will send you your link & password within 24 hours.  

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