February 27 - March 3, 2014
An Artful Journey is a fabulous, all-inclusive, 3-day retreat held in the Santa Cruz mountains of Northern California. I'll be teaching a journal workshop with painted photos, a book bag, and loads of fun, mixed media technique. Come join the fun!
April 4 - 6, 2014 Come visit beautiful Florida in the spring! I'll be teaching a 3 day journal workshop at Everything Scrapbook & Stamps in Lake Worth, Florida. We'll have fun painting photos and creating a journal.
Workshop in Bruges, Belgium. Stay Tuned for details! ***********This 2014 workshop has been postponed. Don't give up though... the coordinator is working hard to make it happen in 2015! ***********
I'm SO excited about teaching in Belgium! It will include photo walks in Bruges (Belgium's Little Venice of the North) where we'll explore, photograph and soak up the ambience of this beautiful city. We'll then paint and create with our photos and make an art journal filled with wonderful Belgium memories.
October 23-26, 2014 Come take a workshop with me at Donna Downey Studios in Huntersville, North Carolina! We'll go on a photo walk, print some of the photos that we take, then paint on them, and create something fabulous. I'm not sure of the details yet, but as soon as I know, I'll let you know!
Just finished this journal and will be listing it in my etsy site in the next couple days. Email for details if you're interested in purchasing before I list it. It's 6"X6" and a little over 3" thick at the spine. Each signature is wrapped with a hinged, painted page. Pages within each of the 6 signatures are blank. Enjoy!
EDIT... journal is sold. Thank you!
Spine with vintage lace and shoe buttons
Signature wrap and inside front cover
Signature wrap lining and first painted page
Above and below show 2 of the hinged pages wrapped around the signatures
I used techniques in this book that I'll be teaching in Italy this September. Here's the link if you'd like to check it out! I've shown most of these pages before, but they look a bit different bound in the book, plus sometimes I change them around after finishing them, so here they are again: book spine signature wrap- this wraps around all three signatures (groups of pages) friendship is a rose without thorns loving words sunprinted feather created by Elizabeth Woodford a true friendship loves not for what it may receive, but for what it may give. most delightful fullness of the heart friendship will throw out the life line of hope when storms are nearbits of gorgeous hand dyed fabric used throughout the book created by Arlee Barr friendship on me smilea sweet word multipyeth friends fill their lives with sweetness
Beautiful, ancient, Orvieto is on my mind as I create journal pages using techniques that I'll teach in my September Painted Photo workshop in Italy. I'm feeling so blessed that on the heals of my incredible Australian adventure, I get to travel to Italy and teach there again in September. I fell head over heals in love with Italy last year, and have such sweet memories of my time teaching, and shooting a bazillion photos as I hiked, and explored every corner of Orvieto. I'm beyond excited that I get to stay an extra week and explore Venice with my friend Nellie and our cameras this year! So excited about all the fun and new memories we'll make! Bill and Kristi's adventures in Italy are unique in that each of the 5 bliss filled days include time in the studio creating, as well as time exploring Orvieto's history and the joys of Italian culture, including a cooking lesson with an Italian chef (and then we get to eat what we cook!), wine and olive oil tasting, and an Etruscan cave tour. For my workshop, we'll also be shooting photos at one of the most gorgeous cemeteries I've ever explored, and collecting treasures at the market to add to the journal we'll be making in the studio. And this time, I'll get to see Italy in the fall. Spring was gorgeous last year, but wow, I can't wait to see and taste the richness of fall. And, there are still some spots open in the workshop if you would like to experience an incredible adventure in Italy with me this September! burnout velvet created by Lorri Scott
I'm so excited that I'll be teaching another painted photo and journal workshop in Orvieto, Italy in just a few months! I'm still sighing and thinking about my trip to Australia (I still have more to share about my amazing time there!) but with September approaching, my thoughts and my heart turn toward beautiful Orvieto, and memories of last year's dreamy adventure fill my mind. I fell head over heals in love with the beautiful Italian people;
rolling terraced vineyards, and narrow, one-way cobblestone streets winding through ancient villages clinging to cliff walls; the golden afternoon light; the many family run boutiques, markets, and restaurants blending food, art, and community; and the ancient history, breathtaking architecture, and heart-stirring sculpture. I also fell in love with Giovanni, the head nun running San Lodovico, the 400 year old convent/B&B where we stay and create art. Honestly, I wanted to adopt her and bring her home. She reminded me so much of my sweet grandmother. I can't wait to give Giovanni another great big hug!
Below are a few shots of last year's students and the fun we had together. There are spots left in the September workshop, so if you're interested, or have questions, email Kristi,Bill or myself, and any of us will be more than happy to answer your questions.
Bill and Kristi, our amazing host and hostess!
painted photo of an angel from the cemetery near Orvieto
Dearest Orvieto, I look forward to meeting again soon, so I can once again wrap my heart around you while closing my eyes and breathing deep of your magnificent beauty and charm.
When Bevlea and I boarded the plane and headed north to Queensland, we both had jackets on as it was a bit chilly in Melbourne. When we stepped out of the airport in Cairns, we were hit with super high humidity and about 90 degrees- and it was only about 9:30 in the morning!
Mossman Gorge -a section of Daintree National Park
We picked up our adorable lime green rental car and headed north, filled with excitement and anticipation. I was so looking forward to seeing and photographing the bird life,
and the gorgeous, tropical scenery, Josephine Falls
as well as just being there and soaking it all in.
Bevlea on Thala Beach
The plan was to drive north on Captain Cook Highway to Port Douglas for the night, then Breakfast with the Birds the following morning, and continue up to the Daintree River area.
We would spend the night there, go on a guided 6:30 AM cruise the next morning in hopes of seeing some crocs, and then continue exploring the area for another day (unfortunately, we didn't see any crocs on the cruise, but I was able to shoot one at the Wildlife Habitat in Port Douglas a couple days later).
We would then spend the remainder of our holiday driving back down to Cairns, stopping at a few planned locations, as well as wherever our artistic mood took us, and then fly back to Melbourne at the end of 6 days.
the route we traveled
The trip far exceeded anything I had hoped for. Every inch of Queensland is relaxing, tranquil, out-of-this-world gorgeous, and filled with energetic fun and adventure all at the same time. The excitement of photo ops at every turn, the fun of traveling with a girlfriend who loved the birds and hearing the shutter click as much as I did,
The great zipper pull heist- and yes, he ripped it completely off of Bevlea's backpack!
and the beauty- there are just no words to describe the hypnotic non-stop beauty. It was almost overwhelming with its enchanting dazzle and spellbinding loveliness. There was so much to see and all of it a potential photo op, but how can you stop at every beautiful scene when it's ALL so beautiful? Well, you can't, but we did make a valiant effort, and managed to cover over 550 miles in our 6 days!
We spent the first night at Thala Beach Resort in Port Douglas. What a fabulous way to begin our holiday! The resort is situated on a private beach, with immaculate bungalows amidst lush, tropical landscape,
and a delicious restaurant perched above the treetops overlooking the Coral Sea. We were greeted with a yummy fruit drink to enjoy while our bags were delivered to the bungalow.
It was all so dreamy...and such a magically wonderful time! The following morning we were up at dawn to greet the sunrise down on the beach,
After classes ended, I had a few days before we flew up north on our tropical photo safari. You'd think I would want to rest and relax a bit, but my love affair with Australia wouldn't allow it- I didn't want to miss one photo op and managed to fill just about every second of those days exploring and shooting photos. On one of the days, Lucy and I went to a gorgeous nearby park (sorry, I can't remember the name) that had many varieties of birds, and a beautiful walking path around the lake. mmmmmm...Black Swans with their gorgeous red embellishments, and graceful everything... make me swoooon! I love that the Black Swan is featured on Western Australia's flag, and is both the state and bird emblem. It also appears in the Coat of Arms and other iconography of the state's institutions. Another bird I enjoyed at the park was the common Australian Magpie. Ahhhh... but no matter how common it is, I've fallen under it's spell, and adore those black and white spots and orange eyes :-) The Indian Myna bird is an introduced pest bird, and is tolerated with annoyance by many because they're such territorial and highly aggressive birds who compete with, and displace native wildlife for habitat areas. Even though they're a bother, I still think they're beautiful birds :-) Not sure who the guy eating the crawdad is. He was continually diving and moving, and it was tough to get a shot of him because I had to guess where he would come up after diving. No time to locate him, and then try to focus the camera after he came up from a dive because he immediately dove again. So glad I got one out of the 40 or so I took!
I can't leave out Australia's Silver Gull. Love the bright red circle around his eye!
What a beautiful city! I loved that I could wander alone with my camera and feel safe everywhere I went. Fabulous Street Art on famous Hosier Lane:
Portraits of lovely Melbourne...Well, once again, I've added so many photos that I fear typepad will cut off part of it if I add more, so I'll stop here, and take you with me to Queensland next post! Below is a screen shot of a great interactive map that Bevlea made using Google's 'My Places' to track our journey in Queensland. Check out the live version on Bevlea's blog, and see her great photos of our trip as well!
I have so much I want to share about my incredible 3 week teaching/photography adventure in Australia!
In my previous post, I wrote about the workshops and mini holiday on Phillip Island with Bevlea and Lucy, but most of the part about the trip to Phillip Island got cut off when I published the post. I'll finish sharing about our time on Phillip Island, hoping I can remember it all...and then post about my trip to Queensland with Bevlea in a separate installment.
While on the island visiting the Koala Conservation Center, watching the Penguin Parade, and enjoying Churchill Island Heritage Farm, we saw a pod of Australian Penguins. Such amazing birds! Did you know that Pelican Chicks can communicate with their mothers while still in the egg? Although I have no idea how experts know that they can let the mother know when they're too hot or cold, I've read that they can. They also listen to their parents from the egg, so when they emerge, they can identify them. Again, I have no idea how we know that they're able to do that, but it's pretty cool!
The Australian Cape Barren Goose is another cool bird that we saw quite a few of while on the island. Almost hunted to extinction by the 1950's, they are now protected, and thankfully, no longer listed as endangered. Their legs are a deep pink and the feet are black.
They have a short, black bill with an incredible, greenish-yellow cere (skin above the beak, where the nostrils are). Such marvelous colors! I guess all that beauty makes up for the fact that their call sounds a bit like the grunt of a pig :-)
After a very full day, we spent the night at Kil’nTime, a delightful B&B in Ventnor, between Cowes (the main township on Phillip Island) and The Nobbies Rocks (home to Australia's largest colony of fur seals).
original kiln before being converted into the B&B -image from www.kilntime.com.au
The converted kiln at the B&B is part of the island's unique Chicory farming history. Chicory has been farmed on the island for many years due to the cool, frost free climate. The root was dug up, washed, chopped, and dried in the kilns, then bagged and sold as a coffee substitute. Built in the late 1920's or early 30's, the kiln on the property was operated until the 1970's and converted into the B&B in 1990 by the present owners. Many kilns are still on the island, but now used mostly for farm storage.
one of the unused Chicory kilns still on the island
While at a nearby beach, we watched a lovely little sailboat come in for the evening. It was the perfect photo op... LOVED the bright red sail! I rarely see scenes like this, so I was beyond thrilled. And check out that cool cloud on the left. I didn't notice it when I took the shot, and was even more thrilled when I saw it after downloading. The following day, we headed back home to Melbourne relaxed and smiling. We did manage a few more quick stops on the way back though -you can never have too many photos you know!
The Purple Swamphen has huge feet, bright plumage, and a red bill and frontal shield. Amazing purple!
What fun exploring with girlfriends and cameras! Well, Lucy wasn't a convert yet... but she was great company even without a camera. Since I returned home though, she has purchased a camera! I'm so happy I was able to be there to help Bevlea corrupt her :-)
A couple days after classes were over, Bevlea and I hopped on a plane and flew up north to Cairns, in tropical Queensland. Stay tuned for tons of photos as I share another amazing chapter of the adventure in the next post!
I feel so bad that it's taken me so long to post about my incredible trip to Australia last month. I knew it would be wonderful, but everything - absolutely EVERYTHING - far exceeded what I had hoped for. Teaching was so wonderful, with an amazing group of women attending workshops. As excited as I was to head up north to Queensland for a photo safari with my friend and workshop coordinator, Bevlea after classes were over, I was sad when they ended. Some of the gals signed up for all of the classes, and it was especially nice to see the progress in their work, as well as get to know them better. My students were such sweet, sweet ladies... every one of them. It was a very special time. I told my sweet husband that if it weren't for him, family, and Tulla, I'm not sure I would have returned. :-)
Good news though! I'm SO excited that we're planning another adventure in 2015! Not sure of the details yet, but we're thinking about organizing something in Perth. It's not even close to definite yet, but I would love to see that side of the country! If so, I think I would offer one, 3 or 4 day workshop. Not sure what I would teach ... hopefully I'll be doing new things by then.
While in Melbourne teaching, I stayed with my Aussie friend, Lucy, for around 10 days. That's a long time to visit and I felt like I was bordering on becoming a freeloader instead of a guest, and wanted to do some dishes, or vacuum, or something... but Lucy wouldn't let me lift a finger. Such generous hospitality. Thank you for your friendship Lucy (and John too!), and for sharing sweet little Otis. It was so good to have doggy fixes while away so I didn't miss Tulla so much. Isn't he adorable? Otis
I taught 4 separate classes while in Melbourne; one 4 day workshop, and 3, one day classes. The 4 day included making a journal using painted photos, beginning with a photo shoot day to capture images that would later be used in the journal. What fun it was!
talented ladies in the 4 day workshop
For our photo day, Bevlea scouted out the best places to shoot a variety of photos and decided on Montsalvat. It's an amazing place, and is Australia’s oldest working artists’ colony. It's filled with photo ops and beautiful character everywhere you turn. I couldn't get enough of the dreamy old historic buildings, including charming mud brick cottages filled with texture, grunge, whimsy, and gorgeous peeling paint. After an inspiring day at Montsalvat, we spent the following 3 days of class at a great venue where all 4 of my workshops were held. The classroom had fabulous lighting, and even a lake outside, complete with Black Swans! I think there are some students missing in my photos, and I apologize to anyone not shown here. I get so busy teaching that it's difficult to remember who I've taken photos of. I was so inspired by the talent in all the workshops-even with one broken arm, and a bad virus or possibly food poisoning! Both gals were SUCH troopers and didn't give up! Many of the photos shown below are WIP. Instead of trying to separate the classes, I'll add them all together.
There's no photography allowed at the Penguin Parade, so I purchased postcards. The penguins were so wonderful to watch as they come out of the sea after fishing all day. What an incredible little animal. It was fun to also visit adorable Koalas at the Koala Conservation Center while on the island. I'm not sure there is anything cuter than a Koala! Well, maybe puppies, but it's close...Churchill Island Heritage Farm was amazing as well. Churchill Island sits just off the Phillip Island coast and is bridge accessed. The farm gives visitors a glimpse of the bygone pioneering spirit of Australia. The island is only 57 hectares (almost 141 acres) and is open to the public as an historic working farm. It was a very enjoyable visit, but I think my favorite part were the rose-red Galahs! These incredible cockatoos had nothing to do with the wonderful farm other than being there, but I was so taken by them, it was hard to focus on anything else. They are the sweetest birds! They are highly social and mate for life. If their mate dies, Galahs have been known to become quite depressed, though they usually will eventually find a new mate. They show affection by preening each other's facial feathers and heads. Love these birds!
I also captured a few shots of the cute Willie Wagtail while at the farm. They're almost always on the move and rarely sit still for more than a few moments during daylight hours. Even while perching, it will wag its tail from side to side, twisting about looking for prey. So fun to watch. Another interesting native bird around the farm is the Masked Lapwing. They're common and found many places, but wow, what a great face! Love the yellow wattles and huge eyes.
Whoops... this post was much longer, but when I published it, a lot was cut off. Not sure if it was too long, or what. Sorry! I'll post another chapter as soon as I can!
My plane leaves for Australia in just over a week! I'm so excited to see everyone, and soak in some beautiful Australian sunshine.
Along with journal and painted photos classes, I'll be teaching a collage class using photos and acrylic washes. My goal when creating this class was to incorporate photos into a collage with a flowing, painterly look, but without the need to learn how to paint, or buy a lot of supplies. Since scanning, I've added a hanger made from a garage sale necklace and beads. The base is a 10"x12" vintage book cover.
purity of heart
determined to live in
Here's another painted Towhee photo:And the unfinished Towhee I posted a while back, now finished with added detail and words: It's been so rainy and cold lately, that I haven't been out with my camera much, so I don't have many new photos to share.
This Hawk visits our back yard frequently and I've been able to snap a few shots of him through the kitchen window.
And this gorgeous Owl was napping and let me take some photos of him while in Tule Lake, CA. As I watched the owl, I heard a covey of California Quail scurrying by right behind me, and couldn't believe it when this guy hopped up on a rock and posed perfectly as he called out chi-ca-go, chi-ca-go over and over. I think everyone is familiar with that sound, made famous by old western movies, but not everyone knows what bird actually makes the call.
I'll be finishing this journal as a demo while teaching in Australia, but wanted to show you the bits and pieces. Still needs some vintage buttons here and there, binding, and maybe a few images and words. I added some string to the front cover after I posted it last week: Spine: Inside cover lining: Another lining and a signature wrap: Flip side of the signature wrap: Another signature wrap: Some of the pages: And the back cover: