It’s already Thursday again, how did that happen?

I’m still painting bugs, just a bit more slowly as my month has gotten really busy suddenly. I am already planning next year’s year-long class, and we are filming three new classes in the next three weeks… phew!

One of these is a new Kids Art class… hurray!

And more very soon about the other classes as well, but in the meantime don’t forget about Anita Lehmann’s new Watercolor Workshop which begins on Tuesday!

I learned so much during the filming… she has a wonderful way of teaching and I hope you can join us! Scholarships given for those in need. Click HERE for more information about the class!

As always, thank you for being here and part of our community.

Goings On

Notes taken with watercolor and ink while listening
to a show by Chris Wells. Page inspired by Martha Rich and her
Words & Pictures assignment for us back in January!

I send a twice-monthly newsletter out and one went out on Wednesday… here is a link to it if you would like to take a peek: newsletter. And if you would like to subscribe, go here!

I’ve had a good week and hope you have, too. Summer break is over and we are moving into filming our Fall lineup of classes and planning next year’s year-long. Personally I have been listening to a book by Dr. Mike Dow called “The Brain Fog Fix,” and am implementing some of his vitamin recommendations (and do feel more clearheaded!).

I’ve also been tuning in each morning to The Secret City Daily Show with Chris Wells… and today he read to us a beautiful poem by Stuart Kestenbaum titled “Holding the Light.” These lines… wow:

it all comes down to this:
In our imperfect world
we are meant to repair
and stitch together 
what beauty there is, stitch it 

with compassion and wire. 

* * *

I hope you have a beautiful weekend.

Registration Open for “Watercolor Workshop” with Anita Lehmann!

Watercolor Workshop with Anita Lehmann
Class Dates: September 15 – October 1, 2020
7 Lessons • $72.50

Dear Creative Adventurers:

In seven creative sessions we will develop an understanding of transparent watercolor, discover its characteristic four variables and work with the beauty of the paint. Whenever I work with watercolor I am excited to see where the paint takes me!

Painting with watercolor has its challenges, and in this class I’ll share “cut-to-the-chase” techniques for making vibrant and expressive pieces. We will try to eliminate some of watercolor’s challenges: muddy paint, weak colors, paintings overworked, feeling a lack of control, or too many colors to manage. These step-by-step lessons begin with getting comfortable with your tools: paint, water, a few brushes and paper. We will investigate properties of color, color strategies and working with color’s key partner “value.” Awareness in watercolor’s four variables will be presented to simply break down the thinking process while painting: wetness, composition, value and color. 

A must-have class for your mixed media toolbox… The adventure begins. Let’s paint!


Class begins September 15th… learn more HERE!

Weekend Bugs, Enchanted Lion Books & The Secret City!

I hope you had a good weekend! We spent some time with the grandkids before they go back to school this week and a few more bugs came to life.

These are all made with watercolor and ink only… I think I have had watercolors on my mind lately because we have been working on putting up a new watercolor class with Anita Lehmann… Registration opens tomorrow!

I am giving a Monday-Friday blog post commitment a solid try, as I have wanted to share more of what I am working on and about what is coming across my desk… books, podcasts, teacher news, etc.

Here are the two things I wanted to share with you today:

  1. If you love children’s picture books and don’t yet know about Enchanted Lion Books, you should! They create and publish the most beautiful books. They recently put up a Kickstarter to help them through these tough times… I just supported them at the $27 level and am going to get a copy of our own Kara Kramer‘s forthcoming book, “Make Meatballs Sing: A Story of Sister Corita Kent” due out in Spring 2021. Congratulations to Kara!! And HERE is a link to their Kickstarter campaign if you would like to donate. (Kara has taught two classes with us!)
  2. The last few months I have been part of a writing group led by a guy named Chris Wells. I have so appreciated his straightforward and insightful coaching, and I am making some very slooooooow but steady progress on a book project. Chris is the founding artistic director of The Secret City and hosts a daily livestream at 9amPT/12pmET on Facebook or Instagram: The Secret City Daily with Chris Wells. “Art, Joy, Community.” We have so much to watch and listen to these days, but I do encourage you to check it out as I really enjoy the mornings I can tune in.

Have a wonderful day and check back tomorrow for information on Anita’s NEW class!

P.S. Notes while listening to Chris’ show this morning:


Hi everyone!

In the last two days I made a few more bugs but struggled with them yesterday.

This is a common routine… I start a new series with kind of “beginner’s luck” — everything goes fast and smooth and I think that making bugs on flowers is the easiest, most fun thing I could ever do.

But then about the third day in I start to have trouble. I seem to get timid for some reason, and then, in response, overwork stuff.

This bug-in-tree was in the overworked category big time, but it looks better now that I’ve scanned it.

The recent bugs aren’t the only bugs I’ve made. Here are a few I did two years ago for a friend… their three-person family.


Bed, Bugs & Adorable Chickens!

Did you know that Steve’s office is one thin wall away from our bedroom? I mean, my temporary office?

My back got slowly better over the course of the day, yay.

I even went upstairs and painted a few bugs:

And here is a collection of adorable chickens from Christine M.’s 4th graders (she had them do the Chicken! exercise which is part of our free Drawing Blast offering):

That’s it for today.

Daily Weekday Blog Posts – Day #1

Hi everyone!

Our annual August online class sale ended yesterday and Steve and I want to thank everyone who bought a class! We appreciate you so much.

I have been wanting to add daily weekday blog posting to my job description, and today was going to be the first day. I had plans!

But I did something to my back yesterday morning — I’m pretty sure I strained it while loading the dishwasher, so I won’t be doing that anymore — and my time in front of the computer and/or drawing table has been limited the past two days. At least I’ve caught up on my sleep!

I had really wanted to post some new work but instead am sharing another elephant from a few years ago that you might not have seen… I think it only exists as a scan, as I was moving all of the parts around and then tacking the pieces down temporarily for some reason.


So now I’m going to ice my back again and hopefully by tomorrow I can begin for real.



Checking in on an August 9th


It’s August 9th again!

Yesterday Steve and I got some boxes out of storage and I’ve been slowly sorting through them. I wanted to share this image I found with you.

It’s one of the first illustrations I did as an adult (I was 29). At the time I was working as a graphic design assistant in Illinois, and on my break one day started a portrait of our little family using Adobe Illustrator. I got so into it that I asked if I could take a “vacation day” and spent the rest of my work day (unpaid) finishing this illustration.

My boss at the time, Kathy Lay Burrows, took a look over my shoulder late in the afternoon when I was nearly done. She smiled, and said: “It’s too perfect and that’s all I’m going to say about it!” She ambled away chuckling, leaving me to figure out what she meant.

It took me a minute before I understood what I needed to do: muss up Batman’s hair and untie one of his shoelaces, making him a bit more human (since he really was my four-year-old son Christer and not a real superhero).



Our Annual August Sale of all of our online classes is now running! 25% off any class… we have 59 of them in our catalog right now from 18 teachers. Sale runs through August 23rd.