Wednesday, May 25, 2016

free coloring page for you!

I just want to say thank you so much for the really wonderful response to my summer line up of online classes. So many of you have registered and I am super excited to share more creativity with all of you! I've been making online classes since 2009 and even though I am old pro at it, I always get the butterflies when I release anything new so your support and participation always means the world to me.

The only way I know how to say thank you here on the blog is by making something for all of you. Today I've got another free coloring download. Print one out for coloring or even use it in your mixed media projects. ENJOY!

Download the page HERE

Looking for more coloring inspiration or free downloads?

1. my favorite ways to color and a download  2. succulent coloring page download  3. coloring outside the lines  4. fall leaves download  5. spring coloring page  6. using kids markers to color  7. mandala coloring download  8. tips for coloring with colored pencils  9. ways to use a coloring page and a free download  10. tips for using crayons  11. flower download  12. candy coloring download

Sunday, May 22, 2016

new online classes for summer!

I've been hard at work over here and I've got a fun lineup of new "micro" classes for summer. Micro classes are small classes focussed on one topic. It's the perfect solution for those on a budget or those of you who have a busy schedule but are still looking for inspiration and an excuse to create.

The best part is that I created these classes for all ages so everything that I teach can be used with kids, adults or even both together. Each micro class is designed to teach you something very specific. Like the rest of my classes they pack a PUNCH! With demo videos, photos, prompts and downloads, each class is designed to give you a burst of inspiration and creativity.

Class goes live JUNE 13th
Handmade rope baskets are so much fun to make but I am taking the process a step further and using mixed media techniques to create one of a kind bowls. In this class I will be sharing how to create rope vessels (with and without a sewing machine). Then we will use all kinds of simple supplies, to transform them into colorful, embellished and unique bowls.

register for class HERE

Class goes live JULY 4th
Flowers and watercolors make the perfect pair! In this class I will be sharing all kinds of really simple techniques for transforming your favorite flowers into expressive, beautiful and colorful paintings. 

register for class HERE

Class goes live JULY 25th
While I love drawing and painting, clay makes it possible to create art that has dimension. In this class we will using air dry clay and transforming it into flowers. I will be sharing a variety tips and tricks to use hand building, sculpture and painting to create a beautiful clay bouquet.

register for class HERE

Class goes live August 15th
I carry an art journal or sketchbook wherever I go, even when I travel! The result are pages and page full art, free writing and collage inspired by my experiences. In this class I will be sharing some of my favorite concepts and techniques for keeping a journal dedicated to travel and adventure.

register for class HERE 

$50  $40
Individual classes each cost $15 OR purchase the "SUMMER Micro Bundle" at $50.00 to receive a $10 savings! And for the rest of the month I am offering an early bird discount of an additional $10 off.

Register for bundle HERE

There are many online workshops out there at different prices with different content. Back in 2009, when I decided to offer an online learning option, I set out to create a structure that is similar to taking a "live" class from me.  My mission is to provide an affordable class with a learning environment where you are watching lots of demos, learning techniques and then creating on your own art.

  • I have three different structures of online classes: 
Large Class: These classes are $50 and have 5 HUGE lessons that include videos, photos, written information, prompts and more. My large format classes dive deep into a variety of techniques, projects and information.
    Mini Class: My mini classes cost $30 and have 3 HUGE lessons that include videos, photos, written information, prompts and more.
    Micro Class: These classes cost $15 and have 1 HUGE lesson that includes videos, photos, written information, prompts and more.
    • My classes are a combination of video learning (with demos, techniques and me talking) and lots of photo steps outs of inspiration, techniques and process.
    • All classes are all filmed in my studio. Since 2009 I have been tweaking my gear and my process with the hope that video/photo content gets better and better. My #1 goal is to provide inspiring lessons and visuals that are easy to understand.
    • My classes do NOT have a required supply list. Instead I share the supplies that I like to use and then give you a variety of options and inspiration to use supplies that work best for your process and your budget.
    • All of my classes have unlimited access which means once you register you can create and access at any time and work at your own pace. Whenever I "release" a new class- I release each lesson "live". Many people enjoy working in this format, as the lessons are posted each week but once all information gets posted there is unlimited time to access everything. I have found that some people prefer to work along with the live format when I release a new class, while others will wait months until they have the time, money and the schedule to register for the class. Either way works- just know that once you are in- there is no deadline or pressure to create.

    Head on over to my shop HERE to view all of my class offerings!

    Thursday, May 19, 2016

    exploring smith rock state park

    The last part of our road trip adventures were spent exploring Smith Rock State Park. Oh my goodness you guys, it is beautiful here!

    The park is located in Central Oregon about 25 minutes from Bend. The park covers 650 acres and full of compressed volcanic ash and welded tuff rock faces.

    This place is AMAZING! With trails and huge rock walls for climbing, Smith Rock Start Park attracts hikers, horseback riders, climbers, trail runners and mountain bikers. It is a destination for all things outdoors!

    We picked the River Trail, one of the easy and more kid friendly hikes but there are numerous trails and places to explore and even picnic areas with incredible views.

    The Crooked River runs right through the middle of the park which makes everything even more beautiful!

    Sport climbing at Smith Rock is world famous so you are able to spot all kinds of climbers scaling the rock walls. 

    Another must see Oregon attraction!

    You can check out all of our family adventure HERE

    Wednesday, May 18, 2016

    exploring sisters, oregon

    During our little getaway to Central Oregon we wanted to find an in-between point that we could use for coming and going. Since lots of time on the road with a 4 year old can be challenging, we wanted to find a nice location that could be our home base. We looked no further than Sisters, Oregon. 

    Sisters is a small and charming town in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. The name Sisters comes from the three Cascade peaks along the southwest skyline known as the Three Sisters. Fun Fact: The three peaks are nicknamed  Faith, Hope and Charity

    Twenty- five minutes from Bend and two hours from the Painted Hills (the big reason we wanted to venture out to this area) made Sisters the perfect home base for our adventures.

    While we really enjoy camping in our van, it was Andy's birthday so went all out and booked a room at the Five Pines Lodge. This was a big deal because it was Lucy's first time (since being a baby) staying at a hotel. I've never seen someone so excited for the hotel experience! 

    I am crazy picky about hotels and I was SO happy that we picked Five Pines Lodge because is was such a beautiful and relaxing place to stay! They have 25 cabins and then a grand lodge with rooms. They have a beautiful property with lots of walking trails.

    It was really nice to come back to lodge in the evenings after driving, hiking and exploring all day.

    This trip we kept our meals pretty simple- we brought food for most of our meals but we also  enjoyed take out from Three Creeks Brewing Company, dinner at Rio and YUMMY doughnuts and coffee from Sisters Bakery.

    Central Oregon is a playground for outdoor activities and Andy had a blast renting a mountain bike and riding the Peterson Ridge Trails

    While Andy was mountain biking Lucy and I had fun strolling around downtown Sisters. A few of our favorite shops- Alpaca by Design, Ken Scotts Imagination, Stitchin' Post, Clearwater Gallery

    We had a great stay in Sisters and again, it was the perfect home base for all of our outdoor adventures!

    You can check out all of our family adventure HERE

    Tuesday, May 17, 2016

    staying inspired on the road

    We are back home from our whirlwind adventures in Central Oregon and I am busy "downloading" my brain and all the inspiration, ideas and images that I soaked up from this little trip. As an artist I feel that it is so important to keep myself fresh and inspired and that is why we always make time to get out and explore.

    Today I am sharing some of the best advice I can give when it comes to staying inspired and creative on the road!

    When we are on the road exploring, I spend most of my time taking photos that I can bring home and use as inspiration in my art, my classes and my blog posts. I also have paper, my drawing pens and watercolors on hand. While I don't take lots of time to make art when we are exploring, I do use small chunks of time to jot down ideas, create fast expressive sketches and try and capture colors that catch my eye. 

    I have found that having simple supplies on hand (that can go anywhere with me) helps keep me inspired draw, sketch and doodle whenever and wherever I am.

    1. A sketchbook- preferably one that is not too expensive. I keep a number of the Strathmore sketchbooks on hand- my favorite size is 6.26 x 8.5 inches- it is big enough to have a nice page to work on and small enough that I can throw it in my purse.
    2. I keep some kind of tape on hand (washi tape is a favorite) because I like to adhere things (like lists and sketches that I create on scrap paper) to the pages of my sketchbook.
    3. I always have some kind of paper towel or rag.
    4. A water brush- I almost always have a water brush with me because it cancels out the need to bring a water vessel. You simply put your water in the handle of the brush, squeeze the handle and water comes out of the brush.
    5. I always have a pencil and pen with me.
    6. I prefer to add color to my pages with watercolors- they are easy to use and most important- very portable and easy to pull out when you are on the go. My favorite watercolors to use are Sakura Koi Watercolor Sketch Box

    TIP: Keep your sketching supplies in your purse or in your car or by the door. If you end up somewhere inspiring or even have time to kill (doctors apt., road trips, picking up kids from school, soccer games, etc) pull out that sketchbook and get creating! Use your surroundings (no matter what they are) as your inspiration.

    I always have a camera on me- sometimes its my fancy camera, sometimes its my iphone while other times its my Instax MINI. In addition to sketching, I am always snapping photos of my subject matter. This process enables me to not feel rushed while sketching on the go. Instead I am able to use my photos as reference and keep sketching once I get home. 

    For some reason, sketching outside or on the go is more challenging for me. I still love it but I tend to be more concerned about perfection than when I am working in my studio. It probably has a lot to do with time constraints (I often feel rushed) and comfort (sitting on a large rock is not as comfortable as my couch). Over time I have learned that its ok to be challenged or a little uncomfortable and I use these moments to work on letting go of perfection in the sketching process.

    When I am outside I am ALWAYS on the lookout for treasures that I can use as subject matter for sketching. Treasures for me are pretty feathers, shells, rocks, a pretty leaf, flowers and just about anything from nature! I like to bring my treasures back home and complete a page or two dedicate to things that I found. I like to think of this process a little like keeping a field journal and my sketchbook has become a place to record observations and findings from nature.

    Sometimes I don't have time to sit and sketch on the go but I still want to capture an idea or inspiration in my sketchbook for later. I like to take creative notes- I jot down a quick sketch, record the weather, the colors I see, shapes, pattern or texture. When I am back home with more time, I use my visual notes as reference for drawing and painting projects.

    Since sketching on the go can be challenging try to challenge yourself to "capture the essence" of your inspiration instead of feeling like you need to be perfect. Try to focus on the color, pattern, shapes and texture instead of perfectly replicating your subject matter.

    Monday, May 16, 2016

    exploring the painted hills

    It was Andy's birthday last week so we planned a fun family getaway to Central Oregon to do some exploring. We had a blast and were able to experience some amazing things and I came back very inspired. There is so much to share that I decided to break up our trip into a series of posts. So this week on the blog will be little different because I've decided to share all of our adventures! Next week we will return to regular scheduled programming. 

    First up is the Painted Hills. You guys, this place is amazing, especially if you are a photographer or an artist. While I have explored a lot of Oregon, the Painted Hills were on my bucket list. If you live in the Northwest or if you are planning a trip to Oregon, I would TOTALLY recommend making time to experience this magical place.

    The Painted Hills are one of three units of the John Day Fossil Beds. They are located in Eastern, Oregon about 6 miles off of HWY 26. The closest town is Mitchell, Oregon. They are basically in the middle of nowhere and require quite a bit of driving- but so worth it! We stayed in Sisters, Oregon (more about that another day) which was about 1.5 hours away. Since we travel with a four year old who always has the wiggles, we try and break up our driving into 2 hour blocks.

    As you drive along the 6 mile road you slowly come upon hills that look as if they have been covered with bright paint. The farther you drive, the more color appears until you are surrounded by an amazing and colorful landscape.

    Once upon a time, this area was floodplain covered in forests prehistoric animals. The colors that streak the hills were formed over 35 million years ago by volcanic eruptions and changing climate patterns. Over time, the layers of ash and different kinds of minerals and plants eroded causing the unique color. 
    The black soil is lignite, the grey is mudstone, siltstone and shale. The red/rusty color is laterite soil that was formed by the floodplain deposits back when the the area was warm and humid.
    And the crazy part is that the colors shift and change with different angles, light, weather and seasons. I took photos from a variety of angles, camera settings, locations and with different lighting, and every photo (out of the 600 that I took) all have shades of color and details that are different. It blew my mind!!

    TIPS: If you are a photographer or if you are looking to get some great photos, challenge yourself to really experiment and play around with angles. Also try planning the time of day-early morning and early evening will always be the best times to take photos. We arrived late morning and it was really bright (not my favorite conditions for photography) but I was able really play around with taking photos in different locations and at different angles. 

    Rain apparently intensifies the bands of red and orange color and during April and May yellow flowers grow in the nooks and crannies and down the side of the hills which adds even more color and contrast.

    What I found crazy is that from a distance the mountains look fuzzy or soft, like they are covered in velvet. But up close you see that the entire surface has a crackled texture which gives everything this really interesting blurry effect.

    The Painted Hills have all kinds of short hiking trails (perfect for a kid) that give you different views, lighting and angles of the color. 
    TIP: It is illegal to walk on the hills because it will leave footprints for years so a telephoto lens or a camera with some good quality zoom will enable you to get some great up close photos.

    Carroll Rim Trail (1.6 mile round trip): The best panoramic views of the Painted Hills. There is a small parking area at the trailhead.

    Painted Hills Overlook Trail (½ mile round trip): The trail of the Painted Hills follows a ridge just above the multicolored mounds, offering many places for photos. 

    Painted Cove Trail (¼ mile loop): Since you can't climb all over the Painted Hills, this is a fun trail because you are able to get up close on a short boardwalk trail. 

    Red Scar Knoll Trail (¼ mile round trip): This out-and-back trail gives you another close look at what makes the Painted Hills so colorful.

    Leaf Hill Trail (¼ mile loop): The Leaf Hill area has been the site of paleontological research. No fossils can be seen today along the trail, but an interpretive exhibit shows examples of a few leaves that have been found there.

    TIPS: Bring water and sunscreen. This place, even in the spring gets really hot and even a short hike in the sun will catch up with you. Also stay on the trails. This is rattlesnake country so it's always best and safest, especially if you are hiking with kids, to stay aware of your surroundings and keep to the the trails.

    We had such an amazing time exploring the Painted Hills and it is by far an Oregon must see!

    You can check out all of our family adventure HERE


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