Workshops at Craft Fusion in Mesa, AZ


I had so much fun teaching at Craft Fusion in Mesa, AZ to two groups of lovely students!  In our morning class, Abstract Backgrounds, we created our own unique collage papers using a variety of marks and texture rubbings using oil pastel, stencils and rubbing plates.  

Then we added spray inks and acrylic paint through stencils and topped it off with stamping with found objects and kids' art tools.  We repeated the techniques and layers in our art journals and made a lot of fun, messy discoveries! 

In the afternoon, we made our own collage paper, built up layers in our art journals and then learned the basics in drawing faces.  We drew our faces over the backgrounds and then learned to add color and texture, playing with opacity & transparency using oil paint sticks.  

I would LOVE to see you in  class sometime!  Whether it be in-person or online, everyone at every level is always welcome!  Check out my class offerings HERE (or go up to the to of the page where it says "workshops.") I've got a FREE art journaling mini course happening right now!  You can find out more HERE or sign up below:

If you have any special requests for classes, or would like me to teach at a store or studio in your town, let me know! I will travel anywhere in the US (or abroad!)  You can contact me at:

Thank you and as always, happy creating! :)


Weekend Workshop at Art Lounge on 101


I had an amazing weekend teaching at Art Lounge on 101!  My students were wonderful and made really beautiful, unique works of art!  I'm so proud and inspired by them.

Artwork by Nancy Walter

Artwork by Nancy Walter

 I was so lucky to be able to return to this amazing space before it's closure at the end of June.  I'm so sad that they are closing their doors, but so glad to have had the opportunity to teach to some cool, creative women!  

Thank you, Cindy and Nancy, the founders, for opening up this beautiful and inspiring space and for giving me and other instructors the opportunity to teach there and connecting us to other creatives in the art world!  


Free Art Journal Mini Course!


For those of you who are not able to make it to my in-person workshops, I've put together a FREE Art Journal Mini Course for you!  This is perfect for those of you who are just beginning in the art journaling or mixed media world, or if you are a seasoned pro!  This mini course gives a sample of my most favorite supplies, and most-used techniques over two journal pages.  I take you step by step through building up layers to create two, beautiful backgrounds and then show you how to sketch and color in a portrait.

 It's easy to join in on the fun!  You can sign up below and the class is yours to keep forever!  You can download the videos and materials list PDF.  You'll also be notified if I add any extras or update the videos.

I'd love to see you in the classroom!  If you'd like to learn more about my in-person workshops or how to host your own workshop, please visit my class listings here!


Making Art as a Momma


As an artist and mom, it is sometimes challenging to find/make the time to create.  I find it is easier to blend the two together and either incorporate my kiddos into the art project in some way, or make it so that I can do art while they play (win-win!).  Here are some of the ways I like to create balance in my life as an artmom/momartist:

First, it is totally OK not to make art everyday just as it is totally OK not to read books at bedtime every night.  We as artistmoms can't do it all, and that's OK. :)  When I find myself longing for more time in the studio or more time with my kiddos, I find that it is best to tell myself that the art supplies and my dream studio will always be there, however, my kiddos will grow in an instant and it's best to slow down and just BE and hang out with them as much as I can before they're all grown up!  I've got 5 kiddos total (two are already all grown up and living grown up lives of their own!) and I can tell you that when I look back, I can honestly say that I wish I had spent more time with them!  I'm sure I did, and we have plenty of great moments big and small, but looking back, If I had the chance to travel back in time, it wouldn't be to paint more, it would be to make a bedtime pizza out of them with blankets and pillows (something we used to do with the older two! The bed was the pizza and they were the ingredients, followed by sheets and blankets as each additional topping!), or to take more walks to 7-11 for Hot Cheetos and Slurpees, or to pack their lunches one last time.  If I've learned anything from how quickly the first two grew up, it's that it's essential to take time with the last three because it'll go by in a flash!  

1. Make art with your kids

This is super easy and can be a great way to get some down-time and non-screen time (um, yes, even you, mom!).  It doesn't have to be complex or complicated.  Just a few canvases, or art journals (or just loose pieces of paper) some simple art supplies and your kiddos.  It can be an individual or group experience.  I find that it can be a lot of fun to incorporate my kids art and writing into my own artwork, so a lot of the time, my canvas or art journal becomes a place for my kids to start a page and then I can go back and finish it, allowing some of their marks to show through. It's a collaboration of sorts! :) 

It's also fun to do projects that correspond with a holiday or special event.  One Halloween, I bought a couple of little pumpkins for me and my kids to decorate instead of carve.  I got out some paints, brushes, and paint markers and we had fun decorating our pumpkins! I just threw a large piece of canvas down on the floor and spread out all the materials.  It was pretty easy with minimal prep and clean-up and the results were really fun!


2. Make art near your kids

This can be a serious life-saver!  I can remember when my second youngest was a baby and she did not let me sleep for more than 2 hours at a time for at least the first 18 months of her life. (ugh!) I remember yearning for sleep but also yearning to get back into my art journals.  My solution while she was awake was to drag a blanket out to the front yard and spread out all my art supplies and just make art for as long as I could with my baby right by my side.  Sometimes she'd be sleeping in the carseat next to me, or on warmer days, having "tummy time" or laying on her back, looking up at me or at the trees or at her older sister who also liked playing outside.  Those early days worked best when she'd nap out in the shade next to me, but once she got mobile, I definitely had to adjust tactics!  When she was a little older, that turned into trips to the nearby university that was within walking distance.  I could pack two strollers--one with her the other full of art supplies! My older daughter would help push the other stroller and we'd walk to the middle of the university and hang out in the shade of the trees nearby a water feature the two could play in.  I would set up a picnic blanket (an old sheet--ha! you can use anything!) and all my art supplies plus snacks, etc.  It was a little slice of heaven!  

Now that we live in the desert, trips to the park or making art outdoors can be a little trickier--three months out of the year it can still be up to 95 degrees at NIGHT, so, trips to the park might be out of the question, but that doesn't stop me from getting creative!  It might mean driving a little up north for the day, finding a little shady spot in the grass in my old college town--that will be an adventure on my checklist this summer! Or, like tonite, I just put a blanket out in the backyard and enjoyed that last few minutes of daylight with my art journal while the kids played in the dirt making mudpies and sand castles!

3. Make art when your kids are asleep or at school 

This is one I do often, for practical reasons.  Especially when I just need long stretches of time (and silence!) to make art and just relax.  This can mean getting up extra early before everyone else is up (me: nope.  Not a morning person!) or while they're at school (if you are a stay-at-home-goddess) OR making art after everyone else has gone to bed (ding ding! This is my fave.  I've always been a night-owl).  

I like to have a place that I can spread my art supplies out and not worry about having to clean it all up or put it all away--it's always ready to go when I have some time (and energy!) to dig in and make something.

4.  Plan to have someone else watch the kiddos while you make art

This can be hard if you are a single parent, but if you have trusted friends or relatives that live nearby or the other co-parent, they can give you a little break so you can create (or sleep! sleep is good, too! or just vegging--I do plenty of that! You'll find no judgements here!) My mom lives nearby us now, and it can be great to have her help with pick-ups or even take the kiddos for a night and that leaves me plenty of time to make art (and sleep and veg!)

5.  Have a basic art supply bag ready with your favorite supplies

Something I also find very helpful is to always have a bag of art supply essentials ready to go at a moments notice, so that I don't spend too much time searching for all the right supplies OR (even worse) once I get out of the house and ready to make art, find that I'm missing ONE key element (like a glue stick! or water in the waterbrush! or a pencil sharpener! All, which have happened to me and while it's nice to improvise, it feels even better to have everything you need right at your disposal!)

What's in my travel art bag:

+5.5" x 8.5" Strathmore Mixed Media Art Journal

+Stabilo marks-all pencil


+Ranger Mini-mister

+Spray inks (Various: Dylusions, Hero Arts, DecoArt, Mister Huey's)

+Stencils & Masks (6x6" and smaller: The Crafter's Workshop, Stencil Girl, Dina Wakley, Artistcellar)

+Washi tape

+Basics: kids scissors, glue stick, pencil sharpener

+Paint pens (Liquitex, Molotow, Sharpie water-based)

+Oil pastels

+Folded up packaging paper/paper bag or kraft paper (to use as a make-shift table protector)

+Scrap paper/collage paper/tissue paper/magazine images

Nice to have but not always in my bag:

+Acrylic stamps (I'm loving a bunch of Aha Arts sets with abstract shapes and fun marks)

+Acrylic paint (2-3 bottles in a few fave colors: DecoArt Americana)

+Mini stamp pads (like Ranger Distress or Hero Arts neon)

+Mermaid Markers by Jane Davenport (these are pre-filled watercolor brush pens)

I like to add that this is a perfectly safe bag to take on an airplane as your carry-on as long as you follow the 3-1-1 rule, which is that all of your liquids must be less than 3 oz each AND all fit inside of ONE quart-sized ziplock bag. I usually reserve that for my spray inks and then just fill up my water brush or mini mister once I've made it through the security check-point. Just be sure to empty the extra water before you go back through security on the return trip.  Also, I've never had trouble with the kid scissors, as long as they are 5-inches or less in length.  Just be sure to check with the airline and the TSA regulations in case they change.  But as of the writing of this article, I've been able to travel with these items in my carry-on with no problems.

So, I hope some of these ideas help to inspire you, encourage you or just reassure you that you are a great art momma and you GOT this! (And that it's OK if you don't  or at least don't FEEL like it, cuz that's how I feel most days, too! But it feels good to know I'm doing my best and that others out there are, too!) . I'd love to see/hear how you go about your creative day with or without your kiddos. I always love hearing how others create or what inspires you to create.  Feel free to share in the comments!


How to Paint Mixed Media Mason Jars


I love the mason jar craft craze just like everyone else, but decided to put my own mixed media take on it!  I love to layer bright colors and bold marks with a variety of materials, and I especially love to make something unique and true to my own style!  For the full tutorial, head over to KitKraft and get inspired to make something bright, bold, and uniquely YOU. :)

If you've ever wanted to learn how to paint mason jars but wanted to add your own unique twist to it, this is the perfect tutorial for you!  They make great gifts or are just a fun way to display and contain your favorite art supplies!  Have fun creating!


Guest Post on Life Documented


I'm honored and excited to be the guest for this week's prompt at Life Documented!  Take a moment to check it out.  There is a lot of great inspiration and prompts if you need some motivation or inspiration to create.  


This is just a little sneak peek of my project. To see the full tutorial, visit the Life Documented blog. :) I'd love to see what you made and how the prompt and project inspired you to create!


Keeping Inspired with Art Challenges

Prompt: "Vertical", Day 14 of 30 of #ArtMarks30dayChallenge

Prompt: "Vertical", Day 14 of 30 of #ArtMarks30dayChallenge

Do you ever just need a little boost of creativity every once in a while? A way to keep you motivated and keep you feeling excited about your artwork?  I think every artist knows that it's common to slip into the doldrums and feel unmotivated to create.  I think it's a natural part of being creative.  It's good to take a break and to step away every once in a while.  But what do you do when you feel stuck in a rut and can't get out!?  Art challenges are a great way to keep motivated and creating on a daily basis.  Even if it's just one little scribble in your journal or a couple brushstrokes on a canvas--that can be enough to keep that creative flame going!  Art challenges also help you think outside the box and try new things.  By being given a prompt each day, some of the decision making is taken out of your hands and that can make it easier to make something if someone else is giving you the kindling to start the fire.  Or it can be seen as a challenge; a way to think outside of your normal constraints and maybe make something you've never done before by simply choosing a different color paint, an unusual mark or drawing upon a theme with which you are unfamiliar.

Prompt: "Vine", Day 14 of 30 of #MarticeSmithArtDaily30

Prompt: "Vine", Day 14 of 30 of #MarticeSmithArtDaily30

I'm participating in two daily art challenges this month: one is Martice Smith's April Art Challenge (#MarticeSmithArtDaily30) and the other is Rae Missigman's Art Marks 30 Day Challenge (#ArtMarks30DayChallenge).  I don't always get time to create something for every prompt, but when I do, it feels so good!  I can feel myself stretching a little bit more and growing new artful connections.  It's fun to be part of a challenge, too!  There is a social element involved, because you can search Instagram or Facebook for others who are also participating and you can see how they've interpreted each prompt.  I'm always pleasantly surprised by the variety of styles and how everyone can have something completely different even though we're all using the same prompt each day.

Prompt: "Filled", Day 8 of 30 of #ArtMarks30DayChallenge

Prompt: "Filled", Day 8 of 30 of #ArtMarks30DayChallenge

What challenges have you participated in or are currently involved in at the moment?  What are your favorite kinds of challenges? Most challenging prompt?  I'd love to hear!


I'm teaching at CraftFusion in Mesa, AZ!


I'm excited to announce I will be teaching two workshops at CraftFusion in Mesa, Arizona on Saturday June 10th, 2017!  The first will be Abstract Collage Backgrounds from 10a-1:30p and the other will be Luscious Layered Portraits from 2p-5:30p.  Most materials are supplied and you have the option to take one or both workshops!  Space is limited, so you want to sign up early to guarantee your spot!

We are going to have a lot of fun getting messy in our art journals.  I'll show you all my techniques for building up beautiful backgrounds full of color, texture and love!  We will work with a variety of materials: oil pastels, spray inks, stencils, gelli plate, acrylic paint.  I'll show you my favorite go-to techniques: oil pastel and watercolor/spray ink resist, making making colorful, unique collage paper, where to start and how to make those pages work when you feel stuck.  Each class covers different techniques--you can take one or both!  I'd love to see you there!


I had a blast teaching @ Art Lounge on 101


I had an amazing group of ladies join me at Art Lounge on 101 in March 4 & 5.  Many had never painted before or hadn't painted in a long time.  They were amazing and their artwork was expressive, creative and so unique!

Our first class was all about painting BIG!  We each had a canvas about 24" x 24" and we experimented with adding layers with oil pastels, acrylic paint, spray inks and collage to create fun, messy, abstract backgrounds.  The second class focused more on faces and portraits on a smaller background.

We started by using an assortment of texture tools to create rubbings with oil pastel, then adding stamps with oil pastel and spray inks through stencils to create our own unique collage paper.

The end results were just stunning!  Here are just a few examples of what was created in class that day...

I absolutely LOVE teaching art!  Ever since I was a kid, I've always wanted to be an artist, a teacher and an author.  Two out of three aint bad (and there's still plenty of time to check off the third!) I love to create, but I also love to inspire and share my knowledge with others.  I'd love to see you in class sometime!  Check out my workshops page for my upcoming classes (check back often, as I'm always adding new dates and venues!)  Don't see a location near you listed?  Contact me and we can set something up!  If you're a shop owner, retreat coordinator, have your own studio space or would like to gather friends for a private event, feel free to drop me an email!  


Drawing faces in my art journal


I am having a lot of fun in my art journal lately.  I love to add a quick sketch of a face to an abstract background and let some of the marks and layers show through.  This face was done in my 5.5" x 8.5" Strathmore mixed media art journal.  I always keep journals of various sizes on hand while I'm creating.  I like to work in several journals at a time, going back and forth between two or even three of them at a time!  It helps keep me going and creating without having to wait for layers to dry.

I start most of my pages the same way, by adding marks with pens, oil pastels and paint markers.  Then adding collage, spray ink, watercolors, etc.  I try to let some layers dry in between--you wouldn't want to try to collage over wet areas, for example (although, if you're in a hurry, you CAN use wet paint as a kind of "glue" and that always has an interesting look of its own!)

Next, I'll draw right over the top with my stabilo pencil and fill in the face with Shiva oil paintsticks (usually a little bit of titanium white, blend it with my finger and then yellow ochre in the darkest areas of the face--sides of the nose, under the nose, under the bottom lip, sides of the face and the hairline, and under the chin on the neck--and blend in again.  You can also add white again on top for the highlights: bride and tip of the nose, cheekbones, forehead, chin, eyelids, bottom lip--these are the parts of the face that stick out more.

Then I'll go in with my stabilo again and redraw any parts of the face that might have been covered up with the oil paintsticks.  I'll also add details to the eyes with paint pens (you can also just use acrylic paint--something opaque that will allow the eyes to really stand out).  I'll darken the hair with watercolor (or just add water to the stabilo pencil and let some of it drip down the page).  Collage bits are also fun at this stage.

You can view how I draw faces in my art journal by going to these blog posts or by visiting my Youtube channel.  Or you can join me in an in-person workshop by visiting my workshop page.

Thanks and happy creating!