Monday, September 4, 2017

Heartwarming | *brand new* Online Autumn Workshop

 Italian summer evening...heaven.
I will agree, the summer days are still too warm, and long, and the gardens just ripening.  I know the lush gardens here are full of juicy tomatoes, fat onions, and delicious squashes. Are you finding the same?  I love the beauty and feel of summer. Wildflowers. Open windows. Fuzzy peaches. The long evening walks with crickets singing, having children home, trips to farmers markets, and (can I also share...) I do love to have tan legs and pink cheeks.  I do love love love summer.  You, too?

I really love when the days turn cooler, too.  It is one of my most favorite seasons (I can't pick just one!)...are you an autumn loving girl, too?     

In my time away from doing workshops online I loved being able to sketch to my hearts content.  To work alone is sometimes necessary as an artist.  It really is. For me, it was a time of purpose, of gathering hope upon hope, and keeping my feet forward -- looking to the time I could jump back into a wonderful artist community.  I came up with so many wonderful, new ideas and just couldn't wait a moment longer to jump back in.

But mostly...I really, really love you, my sweet artist friends!
Yes, you!!!

It is important to care for your inner artist.
She needs quiet moments to pursue her heart's inspirations. make the art.

 * * *
It really is almost that time of year...and I wanted you to be the first invited!

Heartwarming Online Workshop
{an emotionally warming and uplifting collection}
Our brand new Fall Online Workshop

* * *

Wonderfully simple and wildly colorful projects.
Simple instruction, easy to create and share.
Joyful messages of hope.
Fresh imaginative sketches.
Encouraging ways to grow your artistic passion,
and full of organic deliciousness, too.


You really can't find a more wholesome and fresh mix of fun.
This year I have made a huge list of projects to try...
There is  so much goodness planned!!!  
We will be creating all kinds of goodies I love:
beautiful barn collections 
pumpkin potagers
fall berries with crisps & cream
autumn gathering watercolors
a bloom and a bee
"be a blessing" - Thanksgiving art
farm to table art &
a garden in every pot
autumn stories, quotes, and prayers 
and *new* coloring pages, too.

With sketches to last you all season long!

You are welcome to use:  art journals, canvas art, block art (a favorite medium of mine - instruction in class), watercolors, acrylics, pen & ink, and loads of photography ideas. 

Every class I offer is filled with silly and sweet inspirations. Every day we spend together will be a treat for us both - creating new meaningful collections of art, sharing our hearts, and being reminded again and again...

You are a beautifully unique artist and you are so loved! 

I will be online during our live class (October) and a I will be a daily support in our online artist community daily throughout the season. Our online community is full of some of the most kind, friendly, helpful, and silly-wonderful friends you could ever meet. 
We do have the most lovable artists around!
Oh yes...silliness is always encouraged!

Heartwarming Online Workshop

We will have three FULL weeks of inspiring and spirited art
& a delicious mix of fresh organic treats.

A workshop full of projects to keep your fingers, tummies, and  hearts full of creative fun~ 
with lifetime access to all class materials!

Class begins October 1 

& will be instantly available online after October 1st

Each week's projects will be immediately available on each Friday for three weeks. 
You will have access from any computer, tablet, or phone with your passwords.  
So simple!


$32 early price - before October 1st 
($42 regularly priced)
an amazing price for so much content!

You will receive an email confirmation and welcome letter within 48 hours of signing up.  
          *Please make sure to give me your preferred email address when you complete your payment.  

Heartwarming:  a Harvest Party Open House

Open House...a delicious and festive welcome to class will be right here, 
starting September 20.  All questions and class materials needed will be available.

I hope to see you soon!!!

Sweet all her autumn glory


Sunday, September 3, 2017


This short delay is simply a matter of wet paint, weekend distractions, and too many good ideas! 
New classes will be announced Monday...
 only a day away! 


Thursday, August 24, 2017

I have missed you!

Hello dear friends!
I have missed you so much!!!

I know it has been a long time.  I have missed my time online with you!  I really, really have!     

You, my sweet family of artists -- that I love so much -- have been such an ongoing blessing to my heart. Your compassionate words, timely letters, encouraging art, and heart-hugging prayers have touched me and my family.  Watching your creativity flourish has been my weekly inspiration.  Even if I wasn't able to participate online this past year...I could see and cheer in all of the amazing things you have done!

Our artist friends are such treasures!  We know just what we need, don't we?

 ...a playful sketch, a bit of paint on a fresh page, and a sip of of ginger tea? 
afternoon espressos? or fresh Italian bellinis?

And a bit of quiet time to take care of precious family, too.

To make a difference in someone's life you don't have to be brilliant, rich, beautiful or perfect. 
You just have to care.    - unknown.

My life this year has gifted me with a new expansive & much softer heart.    

My year-long sabbatical of caregiving -- a long and precious story I hope to be able share someday --  started with individual family challenges that compounded and became overwhelming.   Because of the cherished nature of my relationships, I wasn't able to share my reasons for having to step away from my art workshops and online projects.  I actually thought, more than a dozen times, that I would be able to jump back into teaching quickly and be able to do more than my daily work.  Nope.  There are no easy fixes for some things.  Through it all, we have worked hard as family (and support peeps!) and without realizing it, we are slowly mastering that amazing art of resilience.

On the quiet days at home, I found so much joy and overwhelming peace in my art studio (at home and at the farm).  I know you have experienced these moments, too.  When things seem to slow down and we find ourselves happily creating out of our own hearts. Yes, it is so good.  I think it has been instrumental in my own self care to remember those moments.  I hope to share some of my experiences with you as I resurface in my workshops and teaching.  Yes!

 The things that make me different are the things that make me.
― A.A. Milne

I am finally ready to step out again in my own signature way -- Messy, with arms full of lambs, piles of sketches with wet paints, and a heart that is smiling from cheek to cheek!

*  *  *

Calendars and sketchbooks are filling up again and I want you to be the first to know,
I have a bit of news to share about my limited schedule this coming year.

My hopes are high that we can meet up for one or more of these great new offerings:

Orvieto, Province of Terni, Italy - Pilgrimages

Please, don't miss your place in this unbelievable experience of faith, art, and adventuring with me! 

I was thrilled to be able to lead an art workshop in this amazing place last year and couldn't be more blessed to be headed back in the Spring (May 2018).  Small groups & big fun!!!

In all of my travels, this is one of those places that takes you right back in time.  It is a real life fairytale!  It just puts its arms right around you (it is small enough to make you feel right at home) and captivate your heart forever.  I am in love.  The only thing that could make it even better -- is for both of us to be there!  Me and you!

We will be staying in a monastery right in the middle of the city, filled with unbelievable art, views that will take your breath away and we will have our very own art studio.  Also, an espresso bar, restaurants, cobblestone paths to views, and beautiful chapels within the block.  The daily activities, amazing meals, local wines, espresso dates (with me), and artisan gelatos will make you swoon. 

(MORE pics and favorites in Orvieto to share with you this weekend.)

Michelle is organizing our week and I am already captivated with her vision and excitement.  If you have Q's you can reach her here:

 My cousin Mimi in the vineyards just down the hill from our Orvieto monastery.   Amazing!

*** Orvieto is between my favorite Italian cities of Rome and Florence.  If you want to extend your trip, come with me!  When you sign up, I will contact you about my plans and we can meet up!  Easy peasy. 

*  *  *

Plans for upcoming Online Workshops are in the works!  I have had loads of requests for new Online projects and I promise, I am almost ready!   With all of this studio time, I have come up with so many new ideas and I am actively working on brand new content to share.  Information for online projects will be released September 2.  I am so thrilled!!!

Donna Downey's.  If you have made plans to come to North Carolina in October...I will see you with all new projects for fall. We always have sooo much fun at the annual Downey Fall Workshops.
I can hardly wait to see you!!!  There may be one spot it meant for you?  

So much love from me and my lamb loving heart! 
I am so grateful for the strengthening words, prayers, and hugs.  See you soon!

love & gesso, 


Friday, July 8, 2016

There still is time to jump is a blessed adventure calling you!

Along with my online *Pilgrimage Workshops* this year, I have some special offerings that you are personally invited to attend.  I would love for you to join me!
I will be traveling in Italy in September.  I will be teaching all kinds of beautiful and meaning rich -- art and faith at two favorite locations: The Art&Faith Retreat in Lake Como and the very next week in Orvieto, Italy.  They are both incredible locations with uniquely wonderful experiences. 
 They are both my favorite!

Travel is always a gift.  Every special trip I have taken has changed me, strengthened me, given me friends I cherish, and wild adventurous experiences.  I have traveled with family and alone to Europe, it really is so simple. The lovely hosts on these weeks to Italy are well traveled and have all the answers and help you could ever need.  I will be with you, too! 

I would love to have you join me for any and all of this amazing adventure.
It is a pilgrimage of a lifetime!!!

Pilgrimage 2016
This September...just enough time to pack and plan.

You are sooo invited to come along with me...
I would love to be with you in Italy!

September 10 - 17 
An unbelievable journey into a fairytale~
one you will love, dream of, and will never ever forget.
I can vividly remember my very first night in Bellagio - it was so enchanting! I had tears of love, joy, gratitude, and awe. I could see clear across the most beautiful lake imaginable with a golden, pink and purple sunset and see the tops of the Alps. It is one of those divine feeling that stays with me. It was truthfully, a life changing trip.

Is it time for you to step into a pilgrimage of your own? 

I so hope you will join me!

Early morning walks, fresh lemon gelatos anytime you need one, and taking in the unbelievable views from your balcony.  And one of my favorites, sipping espressos outside the beautiful church with the locals.  Laughing together as we make fresh pasta, art journal in cafes, drink bellinis, and sit by the pool. Dinners are always extravagant, it is always a visual and culinary treat.  I still dream of the food!

We will immerse ourselves and live our lives (for this time) in these small towns, 
we will be living out our Italian dreams!

Art & Faith:  Breathing in the gift it is to share in God's goodness, creating new art in our Illustrated Bibles, handcrafting a beautiful Italian art journal, playfully sketching the markets, photographing the beauty of the water, painting the gorgeous churches and estates, the unreal landscapes and beautiful people!  The local people stole my heart, they are so lovely and helpful.  It will be another gift to make new friends, right?  

I seriously can't imagine a more amazing place to share with you.  
Italy is an artist's dream...and it will be for us too!

All the details for Bellagio are right here:  Art & Faith Creative Retreat

* * * * *

Pilgrimage 2016
This September...just enough time to pack and plan

September 18 - 24 

 I have been dreaming of this....

We will walk the streets of pilgrims 
- experience for yourself the wanderlust and holy moments -
let your heart be immersed in love and beauty.  
Join me for a week of pilgrimage in Orvieto, Italy.
All the details are here: Adventures in Italy

Many beautiful images of Orvieto here.
(photos are the Steiner's - our lovely hosts)

I am sooo in love with Italy. 

It is the palette of colors, the softness, the golden filtered light that the sun "gifts" to those that hug the Mediterranean. The beauty here is one of those treasures you have to experience for yourself. For me, it is a dream come true to find our pilgrim feet in this artist sanctuary, me and you. 
We are going to be met (and completely captivated) by divine moments as we share this space - a sweet convent in Orvieto - with our small circle of friends, all-the-while working and playing in our very own Italian studio. 

Just imagine...
waking up in the most beautiful fairytale,
daily exploring and creative play,
 adventures with joyful wild-artist friends,
walking cobblestone streets full of visual delights,
holding & sharing prayers on our pilgrimage paths, 
painting, creating, laughing and eating   
all with a sketchbook (and wine) in hand!  
Yes and Amen to all of above!


Friday, February 5, 2016

Open House -- Traveling Brightly Workshop

Open House Weekend
Hello friends....I am so happy you are here!  Welcome!


Traveling Brightly  
 online open-studio workshop
art journaling + daily discovery + favorite block art
Finding the beauty in life's everyday moments & celebrating them in our art...
(all while laughing at our wild antics)

I have been hoping you would stop by - here's a big hug, a nice warm fire, and a hot cup of tea.  Do you want to put your feet up? 

How are you? 
How is your art?
How is your heart? 

I have been thinking of you.

These winter months can be such a gift of rest, rejuvenation, and for some of us -- hibernation.  They can also be a busy season of new projects and new art.  I think it is reasonable to want a healthy mix of both, don't you?  (That is why they make such darling pajamas, right?  We just get so much done in them some days!)

I am quite sure I could curl up in a big blanket with my sketchbook and be happy every weekend! How about you? 

Grab your sketchbook and join me for an Open House Project!!!

We are just starting a fun project that we will be completing 
together the first week of class.   All you need is a 
sketchbook and a mechanical pencil.  

 * * * * * * * * * * *

This workshop is a wild mix of favorite block art, special sketches, and inspiration from my love of the creative journey...a pilgrimage of faith & art.

It isn't necessary to have taken any previous block art or Pilgrimage courses.  This is just a delightful couple of weeks to get out the bright, sparkling, and joy-filled art that our hearts need and spend a few moments together -- playfully and prayerfully investing in the art our heart's crave.

A collection of spirit filled, lighthearted loves...of taking this journey together
 -- adventures and all --

"We're all just walking each other home." 
 Ram Dass

simple supplies + beautiful colors + a big dose of wild inspiration

A list of some upcoming projects: 

traveling brightly deliveries
hearts grow fonder
light sparkles
the smallest joys
stained-glass mosaic

peaceful toes
Brother Lawrence stories
rooted & grounded in love
fresh french bouquets

daily stretches and creative discoveries
dozens of sketches
amazing creative community of support

and of course, mischievous lambs and others from the 
blessed barnyard!


* * * * * * * * * * *

Along with our original supplies (that I email you), here are a few extra things to have on hand - keep it simple:  
(You don't have to purchase all the supplies listed, these are simply a guide for what is used in upcoming projects. I like to use what I have on hand and encourage you to do the same. Be creative!) 
Wood blocks  - typically 2x4's cut in various lengths (3, 4, 5, 6 inches), a 2x6 cut into a squared shape, any other wood pieces you come across.  I cut at least a dozen, at random lengths, at a time, you may want to start with less.  Hardware stores will cut them for you, just ask a nice looking person to help you.  If you don't want to use wood blocks you can use canvases in any size, art journal pages, or simply sketch along with us in your sketchbook.  Once you try a wood will be addicted.  Fair warning.

Sandpaper #100
Sketchbook (one you will use) and mechanical pencils
Book paper, torn from an old book
Pieces of colorful paper.  I recommend cardstock weight (heavier, thicker), but any will do.

Acrylic paints - any colors that you love right now.  Include white/cream and black to your mix.
Heavy body acrylic paints - titanium white (golden brand is what i use) and any other colors you love the most.
Acrylic brushes - in assorted sizes.  Purchase a small inexpensive package if you need variety.

White gesso - I love the cheap gesso (Daler Rowney)
Decoupage or Mod podge - matte finish is my favorite
Neocolor ll crayons or a set of simple watercolors - we use brown quite a bit.
A couple sheets of 8x11 hot pressed (smooth) watercolor paper, you don't need an expensive brand.

Black sharpie fine point pen
White sharpie poster paint pen, fine or medium.  I have a hard time finding these outside of
Texture helps - start collecting little pieces of punchinella, sheet rock tape, or bubble wrap if you like the look of texture in your work. (Find things around your creative) 
Clear glitter, ribbons,and small sharp scissors.

* * * * * * * * * * *

In all the courses I have taught (many, many) I have learned that the greatest gifts are found in a collective mix of artists coming together with goodness in their hearts, kindness on their lips, and an eagerness to build inspired moments for all.   
I see you, my friend, as one of these blessed souls.
You are the most important part of your art
I believe in you.  I know you have it in you...

I am honored you will join me and our group of amazing artists as we embark on a new adventure in lighthearted creative play.  You may just find your new creative muse in the mix!

* * * * * * * * * * *

love & gesso



Do I need to take a block class (Saturday Mornings) or your pilgrimage class (the Art of Pilgrimage) for this class?  

Nope!  All of my workshops stand independently from one another.  Sometimes it is fun to build upon a collection you may have started earlier, but it isn't necessary.  You are always welcome to jump in and see for is always brand new!

 Traveling Brightly 
 online open-studio workshop
art journaling + daily creative discovery + favorite block art

[ The second in a series of workshops
on Pilgrimage 
-- a beautiful collection for each season]

a perfect mix of all things wonderful --

a light & fun approach to mixed media art, watercolor, and playful

daily sketching, stories, and devotions.

Workshop opens: Wednesday, February 10  


Once purchased each workshop is yours to keep - 
the doors are open anytime!

*If you already purchased this course through our first pilgrimage class, 
you should be receiving a confirmation email from me. 

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