Figure Drawing with Ellen Borison


I think one can never do enough figure drawing.


I certainly never do enough!!ūüėÄ


So this fall I signed up for a class with Seattle artist Ellen Borison, through Arts East. We had our first session a little over a week ago and ‚ÄĒ wow! ‚ÄĒ I just loved Ellen’s approach. She¬†gave us¬†unique and innovative exercises, which kept things moving and is just the kind of drawing class I like to be in.

With these three, we were to tear the figure in paper first and glue down to our papers. Next, we just drew in the highlights in chalk. And finally, we finished with line.

Thank you, Ellen!

And, Seattleites: There is still room… sign up! (No affiliation here, I just think she is wonderful!)

Ink & Eyedropper Drawings





Hi everyone! Happy Monday.

These four drawings are the best¬†of 25 drawings I did in under an hour as part of an assignment for the Spark! class… at the time I was working on Lynn Whipple’s “Wordplay” class and so was inspired to¬†put words in¬†(#5 and #21),¬†and I had recently been bit by a dog as well (#9). But I don’t know where #13 came from!

I hope you have a wonderful week!

My Dogs


Hello everyone!

The above “list painting” is totally inspired by Lynn Whipple’s current Wordplay class… I am so inspired after filming our artists that I usually go right home and do the assignments¬†(though this is a simplification¬†of Lynn’s assignment).

Recently I have been revisiting my childhood in lots of my sketchbooks, and this list is “mostly” dogs I had as a child (all but Roxy)… sweet and sad memories both with this list, as all of our dogs lived too-short lives for one reason or another.ūüė¶

I’m of a mind to delete that last paragraph (a downer!), but it is what it is, and art lets us process these things.

Yay, art!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Introducing a NEW Teacher, Cat Bennett!

We have a wonderful new teacher in our lineup, Cat Bennett from Boston, MA! She is teaching a 6-week online class on working in our sketchbooks. Please consider joining us! NOTE: Cat is offering to send a copy of her book, “Making Art a Practice” to the first 10 people who sign up!¬†We’ve got the first 10… thank you!

“Sketchbooks: Making Art a Practice”¬†with¬†Cat Bennett
Six-Week Class; 6 Video Lessons
Class Dates: October 6 РNovember 10


How can the sketchbook be a place of discovery and growth in our art practice?

In Cat Bennett‚Äôs 6-week course, “Sketchbooks: Making Art a Practice,” we‚Äôll use the sketchbook to explore how to make our art practice a vital one. We‚Äôll draw and paint in experimental ways, find inspirational images to include in our sketchbooks, look at where we‚Äôve been and where we might go, and consider how to grow our ideas for our art. We‚Äôll also grow our drawing skills and discover our own best strengths so we can build on them.

Each lesson includes a video with demonstrations of various drawing and painting techniques, regular assignments, and a Facebook group to share sketchbook explorations. Cat will also offer daily inspiration (Monday to Friday) with general comments on the work and some further exercises for the super motivated!



Week 1: Making Marks‚ÄĒDrawing in an abstract way to grow our creativity.


Week 2: Drawing Nature‚ÄĒExploring different ways to draw what we see.


Week 3: Drawing Our Daily Life‚ÄĒFinding what speaks to us.


Week 4: Portraits‚ÄĒDrawing people and finding our own style.



Week 5: Bringing in Imagination‚ÄĒPlaying with images and growing our vision.



Week 6: Growing Our Ideas‚ÄĒTracing our art history and seeing where we might go.


Each week, Cat also addresses issues we all face as artists‚ÄĒ

1. What can we do when we feel blocked?
2. How can we overcome the inner critic or feelings of inadequacy?
3. How can we find the time to make art in the midst of busy lives?
4. How do we find our own style in our art?
5. What are great reasons for making art?
6. How do we keep our art practice vital?

Participants can also share positive suggestions of their own each week regarding these questions and on the Facebook page.

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Join this class today, and spend 6 weeks together with Cat Bennett! CLICK HERE.
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Cat Bennett is artist and author. In her Saturday Morning Drawing Club, she teaches drawing as a way to meet the true creative self. Her book, The Confident Creative: Drawing to Free the Hand and Mind, published by Findhorn Press 2010, was a gold medal winner in the 2011 Nautilus Book Awards. Her book Making Art a Practice: How To Be the Artist You Are, and her newest book, The Drawing Club of Improbable Dreams: How to Create a Club for Art, are also published by Findhorn Press.

Cat worked as an illustrator/designer for about thirty years. Her illustrations have appeared in The Boston Globe, The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, The Wall Street Journal, The Baltimore Sun and Time Magazine, Houghton Mifflin, Scholastic, Harcourt Brace and many other publications. She has also made short animations for CBC-Sesame Street, Nickelodeon TV, WHDH-TV, WGBH-TV and various non-profits. She has exhibited her art in group shows in Boston, New York, and Tokyo.

Her essays have appeared in The Huffington Post, The Los Angeles Times, LA Yoga Magazine, Yoga Magazine UK, Integral Yoga Magazine, Red, The American, Lightworker, High Spirit Magazine and others.

Check out Cat’s wonderful books (#3 is forthcoming October 13, 2015).

catbook1     catbook2     catbook3

We feel really lucky to be working with Cat! If you would like to get to know Cat even better, listen to her INTERVIEW with “Choosing to Be Fit” site¬†HERE.

As Jobs Go…


As jobs go, I have a pretty good one:

‚ÄĘ I work for myself, which means, mostly, I can start my day when I naturally wake up.¬†(During “live” class weeks, this is later and later, as Steve and I are often up well past midnight finishing a night’s lesson.)

‚ÄĘ I get to work with talented, caring artists and get first insights into how they think and work.

‚ÄĘ I get to play at my studio table and call it “research,” and write off all of my art material purchases.

‚ÄĘ I get to work with my husband/best friend, and I get to dress how I want most days (usually just one step up from pjs).

Like all of life, though, these benefits have their flip sides: a lack of routine can become unbalancing; people are people and there can be difficult conversations; I never spend enough time at my studio table; Steve and I sometimes butt heads; and not getting dressed up each day has a psychological effect on me, not always positive.

One of my favorite statements I’ve read about an Indian artist was, “All his weaknesses are his strengths.” (So sorry, I’ve lost the reference.)

But I think it’s just as true that all of our strengths are our weaknesses, too…

I think life is so amazing that way…


Have a great weekend, everyone!

Elephant Parade

Recently I did a bunch of watercolor paintings in one timed sitting in preparation for a Spark assignment:

photo 1-4

After a while I settled on elephants, trying to get the “perfect” one…

I got…

Elephants Grumpy,

photo 5-3

Elephants Sad,

photo 3-2

Elephants Strange,

photo 5

and Elephants Mad!

photo 5-2

Though I liked many of my elephants, the best one of the day (to me) looked more like an anteater!

photo 5-4

In any case, it was a great assignment to do… 25 watercolor paintings in 2 hours…¬†you should try it!

Artwork for Sale at Etsy

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Hi everyone!

Over the summer my daughter-in-law, Christi, began adding originals and prints to my long-neglected etsy site! Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 11.42.46 PM

It’s pretty full now with lots of stuff!

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I don’t have a gallery presence anymore (it’s hard to do everything, and my focus has been on the online classes), and some of this¬†work has been sitting in boxes for five years… it’s time to let it go!

Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 11.43.28 PM

Christi is getting paid on commission, so please know that any purchase helps a young family get on their feet!

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Thank you for taking a look!

Happy day to you!

Registration Now Open for “Wordplay Painting” with Lynn Whipple!

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“Wordplay Painting”
with Lynn Whipple
Two-Week Class; 6 Video Lessons

Class Dates: September 15-26, 2015


Hello Hello!!!

A giant, warm welcome to Wordplay Painting.

I am so excited to share with you the many wonders of infusing our artwork with compelling, meaningful and irresistible words!

We will begin our class by finding and preparing a few used books and turning them into what will become our Art Books.

Think of your Art Books as small laboratories for exploration, inspiration and play. There we will use words as inspiration, as graphic elements, as lists, and as the subjects of small paintings and drawings. We will also work, much as a writer might, by considering things such as composition, editing (room for the eye to rest), titles, and character development.

We will explore through prompts poetry and personal handwriting as well as make one larger piece that will combine the techniques we have gathered along the way. Even our book covers will act as canvases!

I look forward to spending time with you and delving into the rich set of possibilities that we will find together when focusing on working with words in our work!

All my best!
with love, Lynn

You will create:
Word Paintings…


List Paintings…




… and more!

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I’m really looking forward to seeing this class in motion… it’s such a great class!
For more information, click HERE!

Registration Now Open for “Fingerpainting : Fingerpainting” with Carla Sonheim

Fingerpainting : Fingerprinting
A Three-Lesson, “Bite-Sized” Class with Carla Sonheim
Painting, Acrylics¬†‚Äʬ†$25
Class Dates: September 8-11, 20115


Fingerpaint like an adult!


One of the goals of all of our classes is to encourage you¬†to find techniques, approaches and subject matter you ENJOY. And oftentimes¬†this involves helping recover a more child-like, spontaneous approach to creating… and¬†nothing says “kid” more than fingerpainting!

Join me for this fun exploration of flowers, figures and animals using the following three items: paper, acrylic paint, and your fingers!

One benefit to fingerpainting as an adult is you can bring your grown-up sensibilities to the process.

We’re going to have lots of fun with this one!



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Your itinerary:

Lesson 1: Fields & Flowers
Fingerprint color fields and then flowers from life.
Tuesday, September 8th


Lesson 2: Figurepainting
Loose, expressive gesture drawings to warm up and then painting figures with your fingers!
Wednesday, September 9th


Lesson 3:¬†Let’s Get Messy!
Start with a mess and end up with a messy (but wonderful) end result.
Friday, September 11th


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Join this fun class today! Click HERE for more info.

For this class you will need one mixed-media sketchbook or 8 sheets of watercolor paper, acrylic paint, and a small piece of vine charcoal.

Lunch Hour Art!
This class is the first of our “Lunch Hour¬†Art!” series of “bite-sized” classes. For more info, click below:




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