Friday, December 14, 2018

A Study of Madonna and Child and Motherhood

For many moons Christmas has been a challenge for me, a challenge for as many reasons as moon rises I would say. There have been beautiful moments and difficult moments, and because of this, this Christmas I opted to face this season a bit differently. The Madonna and Child memories of my childhood were all connected to Sunday School or holidays. I knew little history of them, but always found them to be a visual marker of the coming holy season and I loved them. 

Over the years, I have seen these images more so in uncommon places, stuck in between shelves of chachkies amidst the books and bobbles of antique shops. Occasionally they would land on the cover of a periodical or adorn the vestibule of an entry foyer. I am aware that these places are not what reflect the reverence they call for, but nonetheless the juxtaposition adds another layer of interest for me. 

With every passing glance, a seed was planted in my imaginative brain that kept a candle lit for their purpose and presence. This Christmas that candle was lit a bit brighter and I chose to spend a focused few weeks praying, pondering, and allowing not only the Madonna and Child to impact my experience, but Motherhood as well and hold my attention. 

When December landed its first day this month I began to spend time having quiet days of redemption and reflection about the role mothers have with their young. I have considered this in light of being a mother, a step-mother, of having an amazing mother, and watching young mothers work so hard in the business of loving and living. With every sketch and brush stroke, I found myself pulling back tears or memories of amazing mothers, of moments that were hard and dark, and at the very nature of mothering. The experience has been deeply satisfying and restorative. I also considered the stories I was taught about Mary and Joseph, the birth of Christ, which left me deeply curious about Jesus's life as a baby, toddler, and young boy.

The paintings below are the pieces I have created using this focus topic to paint through. I am beyond grateful with what they taught me, with what they revealed about my connections and beliefs around motherhood, and about the Holy mother. This Christmas has brought me so many new facets of what the spirit of Christ's birth means to me and how I can in turn love others well. They are each a bit different, representing different types of mothers and moments and full of the emotions and feelings I worked through. 

Madonna and Child II  (sold)

Madonna and Child III (available)

Madonna and Child IV (sold)

The Protection of Wueenmother (sold)

Madonna and Child V (available)

Painting is my calling, and as I live a life of painter, using my creative gifts to honor motherhood and the Madonna was such a beautiful way for me to bring a bit more healing to the Christmas season. It was also a way to connect my visit to Tuscany with my own personal connection of art history. I hope that you enjoy viewing them as much as I enjoyed painting them. If you are interested in purchasing a print you may visit 

If you are interested in acquiring one of the remaining originals feel free to message me at for details or visit 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Travel, Gather, Create Ireland!

When I close my eyes and consider what it would look like to take a week of respite in a country that is chock full of creative narrative, the shores of Ireland top that list. This coming June, I am deeply thrilled to offer a very special Travel, Gather, Create workshop at the beautiful Essense of Mulranny Studio in Mulranny, Ireland on the west coast. 


Travel, Gather, Create workshops are designed a bit differently than a traditional painting workshop. We gather in an inspiring part of the world for a week with the desire to take a breath and reset our creative spirits. Part of that gathering involves learning how to move through a week full of history, culinary, musical, and textile experiences with an emphasis on gathering creative spark and fodder to use as the impetus for a painting which is reflective of the experience. Do you need to be a professional painter, no. If you desire a creatively connected travel experience with an emphasis on story, creativity, narrative, and imagination, this is your trip. 

I teach core strategies of how to tap into presence with full creative lenses through this course and I teach how to paint directly inspired by the experience with a study of color, line, expression, and narrative figures, in an extremely fun, loose, expressive way. 

There will be time for writing, for quiet, for exploring the countryside and high living as we tour the local town, shores, castles, shops, and experience the life of an Irish coastal town with deep history. We will have daily movement activities to wake the body and evening moments to reset and capture golden nuggets from our day. 

The workshop includes: 

All Teaching Instruction

Lodging from the night of June 10th with departure on June 16th with private rooms

All Tour and Excursion Fees

Meals Prepared by a Chef with an emphasis on delicious and healthy

All meals except 2 lunches and 1 Dinner

Separate Kitchen access for Workshop Members

Basic Painting Supplies (list will be supplied later)

Transportation from from Galway to the Studio (It is recommended to fly in to Shannon or Dublin) AIRFARE IS NOT INCLUDED

Cost is $2995 

Message me at with any questions!


We invite you to imagine standing on the panoramic hillside of our studio, taking in the spectacular views of Clew bay and Croagh Patrick (Ireland’s holy mountain).
Open your heart to the profoundly moving drama of constantly shifting Atlantic skies, reflecting a ever changing light show on the bay. The wildness and drama of this spectacular area belie the peace and connection you will feel to Ireland and to this very special place.
Lay on a blanket in the heather and watch the stars emerge on a clear night or walk along the rocky shores, to gather shells, driftwood and memories. Find yourself letting go of the stress of everyday life, feel the mystery and beauty of this land, awakening your senses.
This unspoiled place provide a safe place of inspiration and experimentation to stretch your skills in whatever medium you are working on.
You are warmly invited to stay awhile.


This beautiful learning center is complete with well equipped mixed media/encaustic art studio, private bedrooms, a cozy gathering room with fireplace and group kitchen for those midnight snacks! All meals will be included and prepared by an on-site private chef and will focus on delicious, healthy cuisine!


Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The Distortion of Portrait Workshop at Kara Bullock's Studio

As I am finalizing my 2019 teaching schedule, I wanted to go ahead and open one that I am super thrilled to be teaching next year!  

When an idea of a character reveals itself to my imagination I immediately begin to tap in to the visual elements I could use to bring this 'presence' to canvas, and it almost always has to do with distortion. Pushing past the ordinary when it comes to proportion, surface, contrast, and shape is something I absolutely adore as part of the painting process and I will be bringing that love to a new workshop in California. 

 Kara Bullock has shown a deep respect for offering space to teachers who share a rich understanding of portrait and 
expression, so I was thrilled to be invited to head to the West Coast in May 2019. 

My workshops are uniquely built to offer the painter the opportunity to question and formulate their own ideas of concept and technique. This one specifically will explore these learning curves: 

Learning How To Combine Your Current Sketch Ability With A Dynamic, Expressive One

Learning Specific Techniques To Push Distortion Of The Figure

Learning How To Push The Use of Contrast To Convey Mood And Drama

Learning How To Define The Details Of A Portrait To Convey Story And Message 

Learning How To Sketch Freely To Build Collage Elements In Unexpected Ways

Learning How
 To Capture a Pose or Light Field For Reference

Learning How To Use The Rules of Portrait Building To Break Them Creatively

Learning How To Paint With Creative Narrative As Your Point Of View

Learning The Stages Of The Layering Process To Self Critique And Know When To Call It Done

For 4 days we will gather and move the line while sharing and exploring our discovery of the mixed media and sketch practice as it pertains to portraits. There will be deep discussions around process, around how our point of view impacts our visual language, and how to find the balance between pushing past our default abilities even if it means losing something we love. 

This class is for the painter who is looking to dive deeper in to their own practice and push their love of portraits to more imaginative outcomes. We will work on paper and canvas, use materials in unorthodox ways, and learn strategies that will push out out of our comfort zone to reach distinct visual outcomes based on expressive portraits.

Sold out!

Our class size will remain at 10 to give us ample time for one on one direction and personal connection, as well as space. Specialty supplies will be provided as well.

Supply List:
Supply list will be posted one month prior to workshop.
Studio Location:
Kara Bullock Art Studio
145 W. Main St. Suite 110
Tustin, CA 92780

*FREE PARKING - located at studio
Airport Information and Other Hotel Accommodations Nearby:

  • You will fly into John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California
  • Hotels within ten minutes include:
    • Embassy Suites has a shuttle service that runs from 5am to 11pm.  Embassy Suites and Country Inn both offer complimentary breakfast.  Transportation is not included at Double Tree or Country Inn, but Uber and/or Lyft are affordable and used regularly.
Workshop Policies: Due to limited class size, payment is non-refundable, but may transferable, keep reading. If you purchase a workshop and are unable to attend, AND if there is a wait list for the course, we will put you in contact with the first person on the wait list for the workshop. If that person agrees, he/she can pay you for your spot in the course. Once that transaction is completed, we will substitute that person for your spot in the course. If you are unable to attend the workshop, and the workshop has not sold out with a wait list, we will not be able to refund your purchase.

Cancellations: If the event does not reach the minimum number of participants, workshop may be cancelled. In the very rare event of an emergency or unavoidable natural disaster or act of God, the class may be cancelled. If this is to happen, all purchased workshops will be reimbursed to students in full.

Monday, October 8, 2018

The Balance of Business and Art Webinar

15 years ago I really never dreamed I would be a full time working artist. I was facing huge medical challenges at the time, and simply turned to art as a way of expression and having something to do that I enjoyed while I healed. The experience of turning to art to facilitate my healing path, along with a deep love of self study, paved the way for me to come off of disability completely and choose the art industry as a career path.

Today, I make a beautiful living as a painter, teacher, consultant, and workshop presenter. The years were filled with days where I never thought I could do this to jubilant moments of nailing my business goals and realizing this path is the achievable with hard work, devotion, and passion. When I was getting started I so wish I could have afforded to sit down with an artist living the life I 'dreamed' of to have an honest, realistic conversation about what that actually looks like. 

The Balance of Business and Art is designed for just that. It isn't one on one direction for your business, but it is an opportunity to listen, learn some valuable insight, and move forward with a check list and action steps towards the business model that is a best fit for you! It isn't at all how to get more followers on IG or shortcuts to creating a false sense of perceived value either. It is a realistic conversation about what this path really looks like, good, bad, ugly, and beautiful. 
This is my studio in Mobile, Al!

Hosted in a secret FB group with a live feed that you can view at any time, I will be sharing for several hours the core topics that became relevant to me as not only a self-taught painter, but one who moved from painting for a hobby to painting for a living and became a creative entrepreneur.

Some of the concepts I will cover will be: 

1. Do I really have what it takes to make a living at this? 
2. Am I technically ready to go from hobbyist to business?
3. The importance of being realistic about time management and setting short, mid, and long term goals for success. 
4. What exactly are action steps and why are they so important! 
5.  How does market impact the decisions I need to make as a creative business person?
6. The acceptance and use of seeing myself as a brand. 
7.  The Laborious Need For Business Structure
8. Revenue Streams and how they make or break your success. 
9. How approaching social networks with realistic expectations matters in the long run. 
10. State resources for small business are super helpful!
11. Why getting active in art circles helps build connections and networks. 
12. The difference between creative play and creative focus when it comes to impacting your skill sets. 
13. Studio needs and design. 
14. Should I teach workshops? 
15. Knowing the difference between customers, audience, and investors....and how to reach them.  
and so much more.... 

If you have followed my journey you are aware that I am a self-taught painter and business woman. I don't hold a business degree, still have tons to learn about mastering that, but have passionately devoted myself to building a profitable career around my art profession and have a well filled with knowledge about what made huge differences in my success so far. 

To check out my bio/cv, head over to my website HERE!


****You must friend me on Facebook, if you haven't already,  to be enrolled in the classroom after you register!

Saturday, September 29, 2018

To Wreck A Painting And Find It's Path

What does it mean to be willing to wreck a piece you love to find the brilliance you stopped short of? A few years ago I painted the piece below as part of a sister/brother pair called "The Sentient Twins," and I LOVED them. They are part of the children's book I am ever so slowly percolating forward and at the time, I felt I would never change them. I loved their connection to Colonial portraiture and the odd proportions they had, as well as the push of contrast. 

 Over the course of a couple of years, this piece began to give me a creative itch. I couldn't put my finger on it but something about him just didn't rest well and when that happens in my creative heart I always trust it. The time frame was key though, letting him rest, spending time with him, allowing him to share his story with me. It was clear it was unfinished. After my trip to Italy, I returned to the studio with completely different lenses, and a deep love of gelato :) As soon as I saw him I knew it was time to let him go. Below are a few steps in that visual process of wrecking and reclaiming.

I actually loved this stage, but still....not ready.

Working on the gaze and beginning the initial back lighting.

Her ghostly face captivated me, but at this stage I knew her story and it called for warmth.

Oh the look....right?

The warmth, she called for it, she resonated full of life. 

Here is the before and after, all along I believe she was there.

"She Found Her Muse On The Isle of Skye" 
This piece is complete. She holds tremendous presence for me in her creative narrative not only from her expression but also from her dress and the energy of her spirit. I couldn't be more happy with the outcome as is the new owner. I have this saying when I teach, "Never marry your base coat." Although this piece was well beyond base coat, it just visually connected to me as not evolving as it was called for. I listen when my heart shares that. 

For some of my new works heading forward I am offering a signed, limited edition print run of 25 on Epson Hot Press Bright Giclees with pure pigment, archival inks. They are gorgeous, ship for free, and I have a few left at $140. 



A huge week ahead for me is filled with exciting changes and workshops. This week the Grand Opening of Sophiella Gallery takes place here in Mobile. They will be representing my figurative works and I am beyond thrilled to be represented by them. Stay tuned for details on that! 

I also head to Donna Downey's Studio this week to teach my studio workshop with an emphasis on Distortion. It is my last workshop of the year and is sure to by one of my faves as her studio is always a joy to work in. 

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Last Live Workshop Of 2018 Was So Fab!

Last week was a whirlwind of busy connection and experiences, the kind of days artists live for and are beautifully exhausted by. For the past three years I have had the tremendous pleasure of teaching an online class based around creative awareness. This week that course came to a close and I am retiring it. The day was bittersweet because many of these Creatives were with me all three years, have been a huge part of my life, and I am forever changed by them. 

In all artists lives, we have to seek out the balance between opportunities we love and ones we need to let go of. It was time. Not for the reasons that were obvious, but for the deep knowing that in order to make room for professional growth I cannot keep the pace I have which has brought me such love. My heart took a hit, but I know like I am breathing it was the right one for me. 

Along with that ending was the incredible experience of teaching our last 4 day workshop of the 2018 year. Shauna Meiri and I met with 5 talented artists in the studio and dove in to the practices which serve our points of view. We explored testing out mediums, techniques, ideas, and then challenged one another to do it again and keep the cohesiveness going by working in multiples. When artists come to workshops here they come seeking answers to their personal path forward. This week did not disappoint.

A Beginning WIP

 For the past couple of days I have been taking a bit of a respite to finalize plans for teaching in 2019. There will be new online opportunities, different scopes for workshops in my own studio, nationally, and abroad, and  new offerings that are free or self study. Teaching is my life, and I cannot imagine letting go of it entirely, so the changes coming forward are design to reach a specific group of creatives with a passionate desire to explore creative narratives and loose expressions on an intensive level. 

Since my visit to Italy, I have come to really value the art of slow living. The sky was brilliant the last day of our workshop. Nothing like the skies here in lower Alabama just before dusk. I also had a minute to really savor the friendship I have developed with Shauna Meiri. Full time working artists often lead quite alone lives when it comes to work, but she has been a beautiful light in my world and I am so thankful for those moments.

Thanks to Lisa Warren for the great pic!

Slow down and breathe through a day or two friends. I have come to believe it is one of the most powerful ways to move through the world in a way where we can actually experience the world as it was meant to, with the lenses of an incredibly beautiful life.