Three Trees



Here are three trees that I’ve worked on over the last several months; the top one is a collage using a wood burning tool; the second is a pencil drawing; and the third is a quick collage made this morning.

I’m not sure WHY making stuff feels so good to me, but it does.

Have a wonderful day!

Two New Summer Camp Teachers

Happy Sunday!

Today I want to introduce you to two new artist/teachers who have contributed classes to this year’s Summer Art Camp!

First, Seattle artist Rickie Wolfe is co-teaching a class with Stephanie Hargrave titled “Collaborative Collage,” where they will show two ways to transfer images onto wood, then work together to add collaged papers, the transfers, paint, and other touches to collages on wood. Here are some samples of some finished pieces made with the techniques taught in this three-day workshop:



And here are a few other collages from Rickie:

mono1 mono2

Rickie has taught printmaking and other classes at Pratt Fine Arts Center in Seattle and we are really excited to have her teach this summer! See more of Rickie’s beautiful work at

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Second, I want to introduce Niya Christine, who will be teaching a one-day mini workshop titled “Cows & Canaries!” This is a class for “painters who want to write and writers who want to paint,” and is based on a year-long project Niya completed in 2013, which culminated in her self-published book, “The Art of Daily Cultivation: A Celebration of 365 Story Paintings.”



Perspective Story3-150

In January 2013 Niya envisioned a 12 chapter book of 12 lively story themes. April was all about Cows and Canaries; she found the dynamics of these two organically unfit characters created easy fiction. In her class this summer Niya will walk you through her process!

Niya’s book tells two stories — the story of her personal journey back to a creative habit she once loved and the stories of each day’s painting. To find out more about Niya’s book, click HERE.

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and Niya are two of eight teachers featured in this year’s “Summer Art Camp.” Camp begins Monday, July 28th and includes THREE weeks of fun classes! Sign up today and save $20! (Early bird special ends tomorrow.)

Lynn Whipple’s Surface Design Paintings

Happy Wednesday!

Today I want to show you what Lynn Whipple will be teaching in this year’s Summer Art Camp!

Her 3-day class is called “Surface Design & Paint,” and in it we will be working on a large canvas, throwing acrylic paint on in a zillion ways… with fingers, spray bottles, stencils, stamps and even the occasional brush (though not too much of that!).

Just look at Lynn’s beautiful pieces:

abstrac2goodws abstract1 abstract4ws collage6pale omglynned

Lynn’s Artist Statement:

I am deeply grateful to live my life as an artist. Play and discovery are my dearest and most constant companions. There are a zillion tiny challenges in each art making experience, and so often I find, just as many small, sweet victories. Without a doubt, living creatively is the most enjoyable and satisfying game I know.


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 is one of eight teachers featured in this year’s “Summer Art Camp,” where she will paint a large surface design painting with you. Camp begins Monday, July 28th and includes THREE weeks of fun classes! Sign up today and save $20!


Lynn’s work-in-progress from the 2014 Online Summer Art Camp Class, “Surface Design & Paint” with Lynn Whipple. 

And, for fun, on set while filming in Winter Park, Florida!


The Wonderful Imagined Animals of Karine Swenson

Happy Tuesday!

I want to introduce you to my friend Karine’s series of imagined animal paintings. They are huge and FANTASTIC!

“Bacon.” Oil on canvas, 20 x 20 inches (sold)gator
“Gator.” Oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches (sold)mama-roo
“Mama-roo.” Oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches (sold)polar-bear
“Polar Bear.” Oil on canvas, 30 x 30 inchesseated-giraffe
“Seated Giraffe.” Oil on canvas, 20 x 20 inches.

About this series, Karine writes:
Why do we think things that are cute or fun are only for children? Why is it that only children get to have fun? People see something cute and they say, “Oh! That would be so perfect for a child’s room!” Or “You should illustrate a childrens’ book!” As it turns out, I didn’t paint these little toys for children. I painted them for adults. I painted them so I could explore how light and shadow look. I painted them because I loved looking at them and I thought others would too. I think adults need art like this a lot more than kids do. Life gets so serious when you grow up. These paintings have a combination of cute and serious combined. If you look closely at them, you will see that yes, they are cute, but they are also much more than that.

These paintings are based on tiny collectible Japanese erasers made by a company called Iwako. When I found out that toys are often copyrighted, I wrote a letter to the CEO of the company to get permission to create paintings of them. I was granted permission to paint them, with a promise that I would not sell prints or reproductions of the paintings. These are special works of art for that reason.

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is one of eight teachers featured in this year’s “Summer Art Camp,” where she will paint a small monster with you, with a special emphasis on values. Camp begins Monday, July 28th and includes THREE weeks of fun classes! Sign up today and save $20!
From the 2014 Online Summer Art Camp Class, “Paint a Monster” with Karine Swenson.

Vases of Flowers



It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m looking forward a week of last-minute preparations for our yearly ONLINE SUMMER ART CAMP, which begins in just over a week!

I so look forward to sharing 18 different creativity & drawing exercises with you! Plus you will get access to 7 more classes for just one reasonable price; payment plans are available. And save $20 with the early bird discount if you sign up by July 28th!

The teachers this year are the wonderful Lynn Whipple, Fred Lisaius, Karine Swenson, Diane Culhane, Steve Sonheim, Niya Christine, Rickie Wolfe and Stephanie Hargrave! We will draw, paint, spray, twirl, twist, glue, rub, write, and click! Join us HERE.

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Our 11-year-old niece is visiting us this weekend from Colorado and asked if we had a wood-burning tool. I didn’t, but I’ve wanted one. So $9.95 later and I have a new art tool to add to the studio! The above flowers created with watercolor, markers, and “burning.”

Have a wonderful rest of your weekend!



Trashy Birds

trashybirdy1 trashybirdy2 trashybirdy3

There aren’t too many scraps of paper that make it into a “recycle bin,” but instead end up the “collage drawers.”

A few weeks ago I strung some scraps on some thread to create these little Trashy Birds, which are now hanging behind my desk in my studio.

They’re easy to make… take scraps of paper, make a bird head and body, cut some scraps large enough for wings and tails, and then just thread them up and tie off.

Have a fun week everyone!

Registration OPEN for “Summer Art Camp 2014″


Hello! Welcome to our 4th “Summer Art Camp!”

I’m so excited about this year. We’ve gathered eight artist teachers from all over the country, each sharing his or her unique techniques, projects and inspiration in painting, drawing, photography, collage, and story. Each teacher will teach a short “mini-class” within the longer, three-week camp.

In addition, I will be hosting each day, working alongside you and giving you daily warm-up drawing and creativity exercises based on my book, “The Art of Silliness.”

We are excited to bring this group of classes and teachers to you, and our goal with this year’s Summer Camp (and always!) is to help develop the creative side of you that is so important in all of our lives.

Plus, we get to do it all together! Join us!

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“The Art of Silliness” Summer Art Camp
3 Weeks of Classes (July 28 – August 17, 2014)
8 Instructors Teaching 7 Classes • Plus “The Art of Silliness” each day

COST: $195 for the whole shebang! $175 early bird signup (sign up by July 28th)


You will enjoy these 8 mini-classes during the 2014 Summer Camp! For more detailed descriptions, go HERE!

“Summer Watercolors” with Fred Lisaius
“Surface Design & Paint” with Lynn Whipple
“Paint a Monster” with Karine Swenson
“Birds of a Feather” with Diane Culhane
“Photo Scavenger Hunt” with Steve Sonheim
“Cows & Canaries” with Niya Christine
“Collaborative Collage” with Rickie Wolfe & Stephanie Hargrave
“The Art of Silliness” with Carla Sonheim
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Please head over to my website for all the details and to sign up! Remember, $175 early bird signup (sign up by July 28th)! I hope to see you soon online.

“One More Bird Before I Go”

Oil on paper.

Hello and Happy Tuesday! My available painting hours are numbered this month, as later today we open registration for our yearly “Summer Art Camp,” and Lynn Whipple’s collage class is in full swing. So here’s one I worked on last night, a “goodbye” gift to myself for a month. ;)

Here’s a detail… luminous oil!

Have a wonderful day!

Happy 6th!

Greetings from the studio! I spent some time last night messing around with oils… I’m hooked, I think. They definitely fit my personality, as they stay wet longer and “feel good” to me when laying down the paint.

And painting these really calmed me down. I started out all tied up in knots and went to bed a happy woman.

What better testimony for painting and being creative is that? (The world needs happier people.)

Here’s a detail, and you can click the birds to see larger versions as well.

Happy 6th of July!


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