Saturday, September 12, 2009

We've Packed Up And Moved

We've started a new blog. Why? Well, we recently revamped our entire website and thought we'd update the look and feel of our blog as well. We have a beautiful new look and links to our facebook and twitter pages — and more! We'll be posting more often, having contests and giveaways, and keeping you up to date on everything Art & Soul! 

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Gallery Show

Last year, Jan Harris and Tracie Huskamp organized and invited me to join an art challenge. They named the challenge "Nature Gathered" and each month we had a different nature theme to use as our inspiration. Our pieces are now being displayed at a gallery in Vancouver, WA. I am so pumped!! My first time in a GALLERY!!! Holy Cow --- I can hardly believe its true.

The promo post card

Here is the press release:

A Perennial favorite comes to Sixth Street Gallery

Vancouver, WA, July 22, 2009 — Opening August 5, Sixth Street Gallery presents the Fifth Annual Fiber Arts Festival. Also showing is Nature Gathered, a show of twelve artists from across the country. The show runs August 5 - 30, 2009. Opening reception is during the First Friday artwalk on August 7 from 5 – 9:00pm and coincides with the second annual Art in the Heart Festival.

This year’s Fiber Arts Festival once again shows the vast diversity of the beloved art and craft medium. From weaving to stitching, from wall art to sculpture, from traditional to contemporary, this show has a little bit of everything. Twenty artists from across the country show work that ranges from playful to somber but is always beautiful.

In July 2008, a group of twelve mixed-media artists from across the United States, entered into a year-long art challenge to celebrate their love for all things in nature. Each month, the group chose a different nature-based subject to interpret and create in a variety of mediums, limited only in creating art that fit on, or within, an 8" by 8" canvas. Finished pieces use photography, paint, fabric, metal and fibers to represent the artists' vision of subjects as diverse as birds, seasons and the heavens. Each piece is a unique glimpse into the world of nature. For additional information, please view their blog at

Sixth Street Gallery is an all-volunteer, cooperative gallery located in the heart of downtown Vancouver. Since 2004, Sixth Street has been a venue for performance, spoken word, and visual arts as well as providing art education classes for all ages. For more information, please visit
Jan and crew just completed hanging our show -- is it fabulous or what????

The postcard sent by the Gallery for promotion

Huge congratulations to all who participated and a special thank you to Jan and Tracie who made it happen.

Summer Highs!

This is quite a summer in Boring, Oregon. Aside from the record setting heat wave, life is buzzing. Portland and Las Vegas classes continue to fill and it is most rewarding. The excitment about going Madison and our return to VA continues to thrill me. This has been my 10th year of producing art retreats and it never ceases to amaze me how quickly time has passed. I never dreamed that my passion for parties, people and art would eventually become my livelihood. How fortunate and thankful I am for this truly a blessing.

Abigail was just a baby when I first began rubber stamping. I made her birth announcements and was so proud of this feeble accomplishment! Embossing powder and all. (Does anyone else still have boat loads of colors of powders? I still love to use it.)

Now, Abigail is almost 11 and this weekend, she was chosen as the 2010 Oregon Pinto Sweetheart Princess! She and Secret have been in several shows this summer -- two in this miserable heat. Abby has amazed me with her devotion not only to her horse, but to learning everything equestrian. She is not afraid to get dirty or to try anything new. I am very proud of her.

Waiting for the announcement to hear who has been selected for the Court

The honorary lap around the arena

Dressed for the evening ceremony

Monday, July 27, 2009

Wisconsin, Italy, Greece and Turkey --- Oh MY!

I am happy to announce that our venues for 2010 are finally complete. We begin our year in February by traveling to fabulous Las Vegas. Art & Vegas --- what a combo!!

From there, in May, we will journey to the East Coast for our fifth year in Hampton, VA. Hampton feels as much like home as does Portland. The staff is already asking about our return.
Our newest venue will be in the Midwest ---- Madison, WI. Our host hotelier, John Q Hammons, has a spectaular property for us to utilize and we are anxious to bring our instructors to those of you who have been asking for a retreat in the center of our country.

Madison Marriott West
Registration will begin October 11, 2009

And then, just when you think there could not be anything new to excite you -- we have our first CRUISE! We are pleased to announce our affiliation with Walker Travel Agency in coordination with A&S cruises! Lesley Riley and Linda & Opie O'Brien will be our guest instructors on this most exciting venture.

We begin in Venice -- cruising down the Grand Canal. From there we go to Dubrovnik, Croatia - Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey - Santorini, Greece - Corfu, Greece and then back to Venice. We will utilize 2 days at sea for our classes and the classroom will be open in the evenings for our artistic endeavours.


The classes are as spectacular as the location!

Lesley is teaching:

Ancient Scavenger A Portfolio of Patina, Color, Texture & Treasures

You will learn how to create and recreate ancient surfaces: verdigris, rust, stucco, cracked plaster effects, peeling paint and more. We will create texture and patina sample cards and compile a color compendium using paint and collage, found ephemera, color and samples collected on your scavenger hunt through ancient lands. Yes, there will be a real scavenger hunt. You can work in teams or alone. The only rule will be to have fun. Your mini works of art will find a home in the portfolio case you will construct on your first day of class, a unique container constructed from 2 canvases which you will work your magic on to create texture, patina and color. A unique storage system will be devised and an ancient binding technique will complete the case.

Linda and Opie are teaching:

An Aegean Travel Atlas-Map Journal Sketchbook & More… Oh My!

Over the past year we’ve been collecting the perfect vintage map that shows the Greek Isles, Turkey and even a small portion of Italy, our starting and ending destination. We folded it accordion style so you can work on both sides, bound it with heavy book board and even added a hand-bound coiled sketchbook with heavy watercolor paper to the back cover for additional field notes, sketches, collages or whatever inspires you. Whether you make your atlas-map/journal/sketchbook a doll or not is up to you and a simple process that we will share, but each of you will receive an original vintage map in a handmade bound book to begin our adventure. ... Opie even made everyone a small photo journal to hold your Pogo prints, a very cool process that we will introduce you to. Pogo printers are very small and a great journaling tool and best described as what happens if you crossed a Polaroid snapshot with an inkless printer.
We'll spend our workshop time collaging, painting, pogo printing and embellishing our book inside and out with pop-ups, windows and incorporating the various treasures we collect along the way. Save everything… beginning with your airline tickets and boarding passes.
So let’s create a memory together.
A $20.00 material fee payable to the instructors includes your handmade and bound atlas-map/journal/sketchbook, a pogo photo journal and 5 zinc sheets, materials to add a head, hands and feet, hardware and more.

Registration is now open for the cruise by going to:

And our year would not be complete until we gather in Portland! Our "flagship" event, Portland continues to be innovative, creative and exciting. Hampton is giving Portland a run -- lets see what Madison does!!

Friday, July 10, 2009


We just returned from very hot -- but fabulous Las Vegas. Maria, her husband, Lars, Vonnie, Derek and I were invited by the sales staff at Ballys and Paris to check their properties in order to make certain that they would work for us in February. And boy will they work!!! The classroom space is huge, comfortable and happily smoke free. We were very impressed. The same was true of our sleeping accomodations -- clean, cozy and no smoke. Even walking thru the casinos, the air filtration is so good, that the only time I noticed any smoke was if I were right next to a smoker. It is pretty amazing.

Maria has a perfect spot for the store -- and the room for vendor night is --- well --- delightful.
We had dinner one evening in the tower. It was a 5 courses and we were stuffed. The guys had worn shorts --- it was 105 degrees --- and instead of being told that they needed a dinner jacket and/or tie, they needed PANTS. Which the restaurant provided. It was a hoot.

We took in the Las Vegas revue "Jubilee" at Ballys. The true old fashioned production.

The charming trio on our way to the airport

Lars & Derek -- Art & Soul Security

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Summer Musings

Every two years, we venture to Wisconsin for a family reunion. This is Vonnie's dad's family, and I love them dearly. My niece and two nephews have a piece of property just outside of Rochester, MN that they purchased 12 years ago to facilitate hunting. It is 160 acres of paradise with a huge 3 story barn that has been converted into a cabin....the perfect place to accomodate about 100 assorted family members.

Minnesota and Wisconsin -- the land of bratwurst and beer; dairy cattle, mosquitos and lightning storms. Gotta love it. Our family is spread out all over the two states --- we stayed in Onalaska, WI. I suppose there are times in the winter when it seems like Alaska. Not sure where the name came from.
If it is possible to fall in love with a grocery store -- then I did. Onalaska has the most fabulous store I have ever seen. The deli is amazing and produce to die for. It even beats Nature's. They were having a bratwurst sale.

Abby was a good sport. We just couldn't resit the photo op.

Yesterday, I went out to the pond to feed the koi and almost had a heart attack. The pond was filled with suds -- looked like someone had put a whole bottle of Dawn detergent in the water. I frantically called the pond experts all the while worrying that my fish were probably going fins up. As it turned out --- they were spawning! Koi spawning is interesting to watch. The females who are full of eggs are chased up and down the pond by the male fish. Two or three large males push the female up against the sides of the pond and force the eggs out of her. Then the male fish spread milt over the eggs. The "suds" were from the males fertilizing the eggs. We have 6 fish; four of them were pushing and shoving our largest fish, Maybelline----aptly named. The boys are Sushi, Filet, Gorton & Flipper. We also have Mrs Paul. Now Abby and I are anxiously watching the pond for signs of itty fishes.

Flipper pushing Mrs. Paul

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Danny Gregory in Portland!

I am so excited! Danny Gregory has agreed to come to Portland and be our Opening Night speaker! His lecture is entitled: The Drawing Habit: Get it Back and Change Your World. I have loved his books for years and never thought I would have the opportunity to listen to him speak.
Danny Gregory is an author, illustrator, creative director, copywriter and teacher. His books include Everyday Matters: a memoir (lauded by R. Crumb, Chris Ware, Ronald Searle and hailed as one of the best of the Year by Comics Journal; available in hardcover, paperback and even a Korean edition); and The Creative License: Giving yourself permission to be the artist you truly are (one of the bestselling art instruction and inspiration of the last year). Danny has illustrated books for Workman and F+W. His illustrations regularly appear in the New York Times, Black Book, Print, HOW, More, LA Weekly and other publications. He is also a contributing artist to The Morning News. He is an award-winning creative director who has created advertising campaigns for Chase, Crayola, American Express, IBM, Ford Motor Company, Burger King, AT&T and many others.
Danny was born in London, grew up in Pakistan, Australia and Israel, is a summa cum laude graduate of Princeton University and lives in Greenwich Village with his wife and son. Every day, thousands visit his website for discussions about art and creativity and a regular dose of his watercolor journals.

Read an interview with him on the artist site: Illustration Friday

He will be here Sept 29 at the Holiday Inn Airport Convention Center. Maria will have his books for sale -- and he will be available to autograph them after the lecture. Cost is $25 for registered attendees and $35 for non-participants. Tickets are now available on line (Merchandise Page) -- space is limited so sign up early!

Some samples of Danny's work.