Tuesday, December 27, 2016

NEW Petals & Paint Retreat Available!

HOLY SMOKES you guys! A few weeks ago a announced that I will offering a retreat in my studio this year and a week and a half later it sold out! I still have many of you wanting to come so I decided to add another Petals and Paint Retreat to the calendar. Below are the dates and details.

PETALS AND PAINT: A Floral Art Retreat
March 24-26, 2017
$650.00  EARLY BIRD SPECIAL $550.00 Until January 22nd

Join me in my studio on the Oregon Coast for three days of color and creativity! We will be immersing ourselves in my favorite subject matter- flowers. Throughout the three days, I will be demonstrating all kinds of my favorite techniques, tips, tricks and materials for creating beautiful and expressive floral paintings. From watercolors to acrylic paint, exploring color, layers, materials and working big and small, we will dive into all things floral. Whether you are a beginner or an intermediate artist, you will come away with tons of inspiration and new ideas for creating floral art.


$650.00 Early bird special $550.00 until January 22, 2017.
Includes supplies, lunch and snacks all three days
Please note- we have limited space available for this retreat, if all spots are filled we will open up a waiting list.
Single day classes are not available.

If you have any questions about registration or payment you are welcome to send an email to alisaburke@gmail.com

For more information, details or to register, visit my shop HERE


I've been teaching art since 2004 and while I have a formal education in fine art, I love to break the rules! As a teacher, it's my mission to share simple techniques that artists at any level can use to create bold and colorful art. I also like to cram as much creativity as I possibly can into my classes! My goal is to inspire my students and provide new ideas, techniques, live demonstrations, one on one support and the space to make creative discoveries. One of my favorite parts of teaching live, is the having the time to connect with my students, get to know other creatives and answer questions about art, life and business.


Retreats are held in my art studio in Seaside, Oregon.

We do not provide lodging or transportation services.

Seaside is a small town and regardless of where you are staying, everything (from the beach to downtown to the grocery store to my studio) is within minutes (driving) of each other.

The Oregon Coast has very unpredictable weather that can change at a moments notice. Some of our activities could change or may depend on the weather but be assured rain or shine- we will be having lots of fun together!

If you need recommendations or have any questions about class content, travel, lodging or the area feel free to email me at alisaburke@gmail.com.

There is no supply list for my classes. To keep things simple and easy for you- I provide all supplies. If you have favorite supplies (pens, brushes, watercolors or paper) feel free to bring them but they are not required.

Cost of class includes supplies, lunch and snacks all three days. Cost does not include dinner or any optional activities. 

It is so exciting to have a creative space to open up for my classes and retreats! My studio is located in my fabulous hometown of Seaside, Oregon – a lush coastal community with miles of beautiful pristine beaches and vivid ocean views. Seaside is a small coastal resort town surrounded by nature’s wonders: Elk wander freely in our yards; seals mingle with the surfers; gray whales and dolphins graze offshore; tide-pooling at dusk; beach combing after a winter storm unearths treasures washed up from far-off lands half a world away. It’s a combination of the historical past (near Lewis & Clark’s final destination) and quaint modern coastal community. The vintage 1920’s promenade boardwalk skirts the Pacific Ocean for a mile and a half and in the summertime the town is buzzing with activity. This is my hometown and the magnet that has been pulling me back North for so long. It’s been my greatest dream to offer classes and retreats in Seaside, Oregon and to share the wonders of the Oregon Coast with you. 

Monday, December 26, 2016

end of the year sale!

I've got one more sale to end the year! Prices on online classes are marked down all week!

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

Thursday, December 22, 2016

merry christmas!

I am signing off for the rest of the week but first I just wanted to say thank you. So much of what I do depends on my customers, my students and my readers and I so appreciate the support for my crazy creative business. I want to wish everyone out there a joy filled holiday. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for being a part of our life!

I'll be back next week with an end of the year sale, a big giveaway and lots of inspiration!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

watercolor gift tags for you!

Need last minute tags for your holiday wrapping? I've got three pages of watercolor gift tags that I created from a variety of my paintings for you!

Download watercolor tags HERE

Monday, December 19, 2016

gingerbread house wrapping

There is nothing that I love more than simple ideas that can be executed on a budget! One of my favorite holiday tricks is to simply use a roll of brown paper, a white pen and a little creativity to make unique wrapping paper.

Brown paper can typically be found at the hardware store or home improvement store- a roll will coast around $5. There are all kinds of white pens out there by lately I am loving the Uni-Ball Signo Gel Pen.

Start by wrapping your presents with brown.
Then get creative adding simple, decorative and whimsical house drawings!
The result is pretty little packages that have the look and feel of gingerbread houses.

Looking for more holiday wrapping inspiration?

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

the art of chasing a dream: fashion illustrator

Tell us about yourself and your journey chasing your creative dreams.

My name is Beth Briggs and from the moment I first held a crayon I loved drawing beautiful ladies, fashion and flowers. I have always been an artist! I majored in Art History/Studio Art at Wellesley College then moved to NYC in 1986 in the hopes of becoming a professional Fashion Illustrator. Alas, timing is everything and at that time fashion illustration was quickly being replaced by fashion photography, video and MTV! So my life continued on a different path which included a more traditional career and three kids. Then, two years ago, at the age of fifty, I picked up my paints again and started posting "Fashion Stories" on Instagram (illustrated collages featuring a fashionable character). I began to get requests for fashion portraits which led to my custom illustration service and even moved back to New York City from Boston last year to pursue these interests!
Instagram has been an amazing platform for me. I encourage all artists to post regularly. You never know who will see your work and what opportunities might come your way. In addition to driving traffic to my Etsy Shop and Website it has also led to live fashion sketching gigs and teaching opportunities. For example, I recently shared my tips and tricks for creating "Fashion Stories" on Instagram with basic iPhone technology at the Upper East Side Apple Store. It was a fun event including an interactive exercise where participants created their own artistic vignettes which they then photographed and posted on their IG accounts. It's a great time to be an artist! 

What are your favorite materials and supplies to work with?

I like watercolors, gouache, watercolor pencils and copic markers…..I also prefer a very smooth digital card stock paper as opposed to the more traditional cold press watercolor papers. I work quickly and like a fast drying surface. My technique is also a bit unusual as I prefer to lay down washes of color first, then fill in details with pencils or markers afterwards. I find this technique allows for the most movement, spontaneity and "sketchiness" in my illustrations. I also never do a first draft of an illustration. I do my best to make this clear when discussing a custom order with a potential client. I enjoy getting lots of initial input via photos or descriptions but when I put paint to paper I want to be spontaneous!

How do you go about finding inspiration for your illustrations?

I find inspiration everywhere–everything from shoes lined up in my closet to a stylish girl with a great pair of sunglasses I might encounter on the subway. Pets are a very fond subject matter as well. I am consistently inspired by the fashionable women and pets of New York City and everywhere else I may travel! I take long walks up the East River Esplanade and a favorite hangout for sketching pampered pups is Carl Schurz Park, home to a couple of puppy playgrounds and beautiful landscaped parks featuring whimsical statues and secret gardens. Flowers, pets, chic women and charming children are my inspiration.

I love seeing how other creatives set up their work space. Can you tell us a little bit your your space?

I am blessed to be living in a very sunny 1 BR apartment on a high floor in midtown Manhattan – literally under the eagles of the Chrysler building which is as quintessential New York as you can get! NYC apartments are small so literally every inch counts. My studio consists of a large table top and shelving unit I ordered from IKEA when I moved in! But honestly I don't need a lot of space. Give me some paper, paint and markers and I'm good! To make the move to NYC I had to bring only the essentials with me and commit to a lifestyle including very few possessions. I didn’t even bring a TV! What I have received in return is an unprecedented feeling of freedom which has re-energized my art. I’ve never been more productive! My space is modern and sleek with amazing views of the East River and midtown Manhattan. I’m truly enjoying this space and this moment on my journey while also remaining open to where my journey may take me next!

What is a typical day like for you?

I'm enjoying a transitional time in my life now that my kids are older and more independent. Some people call this "empty nest syndrome"...I call it "amazing!!!" All kidding aside, I'm truly luxuriating in this opportunity to "chase my artistic dream" and create a life for myself that will reap rewards for many years to come. Although I have a demanding day job I have been able to work out a schedule that allows me to maximize my creative time which feeds my soul. 

Monday through Friday I work as an Executive Assistant in Manhattan. I typically get up by 5am and review emails and post to my social media accounts and if I have time I will spend 30 minutes or so at my table top easel before heading to work. I usually don’t work on custom orders until the weekend but I do like to create fun fashion sketches and photos for Instagram on a daily basis. This is my “creative meditation” time. Evenings are reserved for a walk or run, reading and getting 8-9 hours of sleep no matter what!

On the weekends I do all my custom work, fill orders and create new listings for my online shops. I’m an avid runner so I fit in plenty of time for long runs as well. Health is everything! When I'm getting enough sleep, eating well and exercising I am a better artist and happier person! I live within walking distance of the some of the best art museums and galleries on the planet so I take full advantage of that luxury as well. The MOMA is my favorite and an amazing source of inspiration.

What are your goals for your illustration business?

In addition to my custom illustration service I am also constantly adding prints, watercolor clip art and original paintings to my Etsy Shop and Website. Ultimately I would like to travel, teach and encourage others to follow their creative dreams as I have been able to do! After all, life begins at 50 :-)

You can find of more Beth here-


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