Muses & Monsters

Muses, Monsters suggested by Cigdem Kobu

My muses and my monsters have been at war lately.

I have some of each, and they are pretty equal in terms of strength and influence, though one often gets the better of the other and I never really know who will win the tug-of-war any given hour.

When the Monsters are winning I don’t seem to get any drawing or painting or writing done.

This might seem a cop out, as if I’m blaming my lack of productivity on “monsters,” but I stand by this story and here is why:

  1. Even at their best and nicest, Monsters interrupt things. (Interruptions are not good for creativity.)
  2. When the Monsters are tired, EVERYONE is tired.
  3. Monsters get their feelings hurt easily, which is annoying and sad. And distracting.
  4. Monsters tend to be loud, and I am noise sensitive (just ask my husband and his blasting stereo).
  5. Monsters at heart are insecure, which is confusing to both me and the muses.

When I sat down to write this blog post, the monsters were out dancing around a bit, but in the end they decided to take a little nap!


Please comment here or at the blog with any two words (they can be related to each other, or two random words), and I will pick a pair and try to come up with a drawing or piece of writing based on those two words.

Two Words

Would you like to play the two words game again? I think I’m ready to take on another blog challenge… it’s been such a busy year getting the new website up, etc! I feel like I’m free again!

Please comment with any two words (they can be related to each other, or two random words), and I will pick one and try to come up with a drawing or piece of writing based on those two words.

Thank you!



Registration OPEN for a Repeat Session of Big Bold Bloom Wild Painting!

Big Bold Bloom Wild Painting!
Repeat Session • $165
Class Dates: September 4 – October 4, 2018

Hi Everyone!

We are starting off our Fall 2018 lineup by repeating Lynn’s most popular online class — Big Bold Bloom Wild Painting — starting September 4th! Have you already taken this class? You can follow along with this new class for a $25 administration fee. (Alumni: If you didn’t receive your discount code, email us at Thanks!)

PLUS! Be one of the first 100 people to sign up for a chance to win one of 5 copies of Lynn’s bestselling book, “Expressive Flower Painting!” Winners will be picked randomly and notified by email.

Click HERE for more information about this awesome class!





If you would like to learn from Lynn in an in-person workshop, she has just added a three-day Big Bold Bloom painting class from October 19-21, 2018! This will be held at her downtown Orlando, Florida art studio. Click HERE for details!

“Intro to Abstract Painting” LIVE!

Hi Everyone!

Many of you have taken one of our online classes, “Intro to Abstract Painting” by Karine Swenson.

Well I wanted to let you know that she is teaching an in-person workshop near Santa Fe, NM, on September 15-16, 2018!

Have you wanted to meet Karine in person? (She’s delightful.) Did you need a good reason to visit New Mexico in September? (This is a great one!)

(And if you can’t make the live class, consider the online version, which is now 20% off through August 28th… use the code 2018summer20 at checkout!)

Have a great day, everyone!



Class Description

Intro to Abstract Painting

Intro to Abstract Painting is a fun, fast paced class for those who want a non-threatening introduction to abstract painting. We will explore some of the ideas behind pure abstraction, as well as an introduction to using paint. Exploration and curiosity will be encouraged. The emphasis will be on helping each student discover their own aesthetic and personal way of making art. I will be using oil paint and teaching techniques with oil paint, but acrylic paint can be used, especially for those with sensitivities. My method of using oil paint does not involve heavy use of solvents, so it is a safe painting environment. We will also be drawing and using other media for composition and design. The class will be similar to my online class, but in a more intimate setting and additional tips and ideas.

The class is September 15th and 16th from 10 to 4:30 pm each day. We will break for lunch.

It will be held in Madrid, New Mexico, which is between Albuquerque and Santa Fe.





For more information, click here. If anyone has questions, email Karine at



Hi everyone!

I was lucky to spend a few hours last Saturday at the studio of Seattle Artist Anita Lehmann… Anita donated her time and the proceeds of the class went to the Seattle Architecture Foundation.

Six of us spent 3+ hours making monotypes. I love Monotypes! That day I tried to focus on abstraction and composition.

The first one (above) came really fast and was animal-like, but then I got bogged down in my head and it took another hour before I was able to print again. So weird, we are! Anyway, toward the end of our time I did these three.






Thank you, Anita, for a wonderful class!

P.S. Don’t forget that Kids Art Week 2018 begins Monday, July 23rd! Click HERE for more information and to sign up… it’s FREE!


Encourage One Another

I have a long-time writer friend, Wendy Murray, who has a Patreon where she publishes short devotions three times per week. Monday’s posting was titled “Encourage One Another,” and was particularly moving, and I wanted to share it with you!


Wendy’s Reflection

In this post I have used a photo of a poppy I took several summers ago when I worked for a season in a wealthy woman’s extravagant formal gardens. The gardens were vast, manicured, and filled with innumerable varieties of flowers, shrubs and trees. Yet, despite the extravagance of the garden, the essence of it still came down to the delicate petals of each plant. The petals of the poppy, pictured above, are more delicate than crepe paper. Yet they carry the morning dew and open wide to catch the life given from the sun. It is a picture of the human soul, I think. Our lives are short (on the landscape of eternity), and yet while we have life we each are given a purpose. Until we find that holy purpose, we are only half-way there, as suggested by George MacDonald’s words about uniting human will with God’s will. So I defer to the encouragement of the opening Scripture verse exhorting us to encourage one another as long as it is day. For our days are short and the petals of our lives are fragile. They need the warmth of the sun to rise to a full bloom. 

This reflection almost made me cry. We are here such a short time.
Thank you to everyone who has encouraged me over the years. I am so grateful to you.




I have been trying to organize and get rid of (ha!) some collage paper. (I laugh because I’ve gotten rid of almost nothing.) Then I got excited about making a 365 exercise out of some of the small scraps. Above was the first.

Here’s how the second turned out:


I liked it possibly better at an earlier itineration, so when I scanned it in I digitally took out the things added that I thought I didn’t like:


Now, not so sure if the earlier version was better.

And here’s a third one:


I hope you have a great weekend!