inspiration

NEW Online Portrait Class

Hello there creatives,

I'm thrilled to announce that registration for my BRAND NEW CLASS is now OPEN.  I've had so many requests to teach my expressive portrait techniques, so I've finally created this mini portrait class.

I'm excited to share not only my tools but also how I use both my left and right hand to activate both sides of my brain in the creative process. It's truly been a game changer for me! Click below to learn more and register...

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I believe that sometimes less is more with portraits. Some of the most expressive work is created with simple materials and often times a lack of color. The focus becomes emotion, line, form and of course shadow and light. These portraits pull us in, make us stop in our tracks and feel!

So, I invite you to join me for this special class where we will explore some of my favorite tools, tricks and tips for creating evocative, expressive portraits. 

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I'll look forward to seeing you in class!

xo,

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Vulnerability + love = JOY

Hello lovely blog readers, I hope your week is going well. I have been down with a bad cold but I'm on the mend. All that time in bed, let me truly reflect on all that has happened in the past month.

Many of you know, I had an Art Retreat on Bainbridge Island about four weeks ago - the Intuitive Muse Retreat.

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Where we focused on trusting our creative instincts and quieting the critical mind. We set intentions, journaled and made A LOT of Art! It was an amazing experience and a great honor to teach on this magical island - a place I had been two times prior but as a student! The women that joined me were incredible souls, all beautifully open and excited to delve into learning more.  (Little did I know, just how much I would learn along the way.)

So let me share with you a little about the journey...

Robin and I were lucky enough to stay in a sweet spot just a few steps away from the farm. It was the perfect place to center myself for the teaching that lay ahead and with a view of Seattle like this...well...it was beyond gorgeous and did much to soothe my anxious mind.

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The days leading up to the retreat were spent drinking tea and practicing my lessons with Robin. She was so kind and patient, listening to me go over things a thousand times! LOL.

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That's the funny thing about what I do - it kind of terrifies me! I actually get very nervous when having to speak in front of a crowd. Online, in front of the camera, it is somehow easier but sitting in a room with a many sets of eyes on me - oh boy - it makes my hands shake and my nose sweat. (Yes, my nose sweats when I'm nervous, it's very attractive - I assure you.) 😜

I knew that the hardest part would be the first night. The introductions. The part where I have to talk about myself.  I knew that if I could make connections, I would soon relax. I wanted to get to THAT place as quickly as possible but as time would have it, I needed to experience each stage as it came. There was no fast forward button on this gig.

That first night, we gathered at the ranch house for the welcome dinner.  I was greeted with beautiful, warm hugs and even a few excited tears. It humbles me each and every time I meet a student "in real life". The connection I feel for them and them to me is a true thing. What a gift to receive. It amazes me to this day, how powerful the internet is and how very real the connections can be. Invisible heart strings that somehow manage to go through the computer screen. Magic indeed.

When it came time to sit in a circle and do our introductions, the ladies did the rounds first and I listened intently,  shaky hands folded in my lap. Each woman lit a single candle to represent her presence and placed it gingerly on a beautiful old artist's palette - a treasure from Serena's family. It was a sacred thing to behold.

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I was stunned at the similarities of our stories. Before me, was a group of 10 women from all different backgrounds, all different ages and family situations but the common thread was apparent. We were all seekers. We had lived a life seeking out our creativity, searching for our joy and the connection to our soul. We had all jumped through careers, or passions - each coming in with force and usually fizzling out until we followed the next pull. The next insatiable curiosity. Photography, crafts, scrapbooking, cooking, gardening and even creating skin creams! We had all jumped through multiple phases on our journey towards Art. The fact is, Art is seeking. It becomes the vehicle of expression to discover the deeper layers, the hidden parts, the shadowy darkness and the shining light we all carry within us. So, while on the outside we had our differences, really, we were of one mind. One heart, hungry for more.

This helped ease me a bit as I felt the circle close. The bonds forming already - in a matter of minutes! But, my hands and slightly glistening nose gave away my nerves as I began to share myself with the group. I hoped they wouldn't notice but I know they did. I hoped it wouldn't matter or make me look unprofessional. I hoped, with all my heart, that I would be accepted. And there it was - Ahh - hello VULNERABILITY!

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This is where I was. Where I had to be. Exposed and vulnerable, yet doing what I wanted to do so very badly. Connecting and guiding and teaching. So with a deep breath, I accepted the uncomfortableness of it and just spoke my truth, trembling hands and all. I don't know everything that I said but I knew when I had finished that I was safe. These women made me feel so and I was grateful.

The rest of the blissful days glided by full of hard work and wonderful art! The women battled it out with their inner critics, we laughed and shared stories and helped each other solve problems in our compositions. I was at ease, in my role, soaking up the precious time I got to spend with each student. Carefully listening and helping to guide them through projects they could enjoy and learn from.

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They created pieces that pushed them out of their comfort zones, slipping into the unknown, the fear - where the good stuff starts to emerge. Where the left brain retreats and our intuition begins to lead us. The sweet spot. The flow state. I could tell from the class when people were going through it, they worked intently in silence, not pausing to judge or worry. Just moving. Creating. It is one of the most joyous things to witness as a teacher.

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Art time was interspersed with walks among the mystical places on the island,  like the Labyrinth where we silently followed the stones that wound us gradually to the center. And we all enjoyed the special Buddhist Bell that rings out after you have spun it just enough times while focusing on your truest wish and intention.

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Looking back on this magical weekend, I am so filled with gratitude for the opportunity. The chance to not only encourage others to trust themselves but a chance to step into my truest self as well. Each time I teach in person, I feel myself grow. Each time it gets less scary and every time I walk away knowing that this is what I am meant to do. It is where my JOY lives. If it means I have to push up against the vulnerability then so be it - I'm up for the challenge! 😉


 

A big thank you to our warm and gracious hostess, Serena Berry, who was nothing short of perfect - spoiling us with delicious food and ensuring everyone was comfortable. You made the retreat truly lovely and relaxing for our guests and for me too!

Thank you to the amazing women who attended! You each taught me something and inspired me with your open hearts and creative spirit. It was such a joy and honor to spend the weekend with you! I'll cherish the memories of this special time, always.

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Much love to you all!

xo,

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FREE Mixed Media & Encaustic Tutorial

Hi there beautiful creatives! Yah it's the weekend! Hope you have lovely things planned!

I have a special treat for you today - to celebrate my upcoming Italian Art Retreat, I’ve created this special, free tutorial video just for you!

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This wonderful landscape was a delight to create! Luminous layers of wax with luscious oil paint and collage = bliss! Plus, with the Italian countryside as your muse - you can't go wrong!

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Here's a little preview of the tutorial... [vimeo 185410455 w=640 h=360]

To get access to the FULL tutorial click the button below.

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You are going to love exploring these mixed media & encaustic techniques! I can't wait to see what you create!

Enjoy!

xo,

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Instagram Crush - Phillippa Stanton

Hello my lovely readers! I know it's been a little while since I've shared some yummy art or photography to enjoy but I'm here to make up for it with a delicious sampling of work from the incredibly talented Instagram icon and Synesthetic Artist - Phillippa Stanton.Wondering what a Synesthetic Artist is? Here's how it is described on her website:

"Being Synesthetic means that Philippa can see sound, taste and smell in shape, colour and texture, allowing her to create unique portraits of people’s voices, food and drink."

So cool right? I can see this gift reflected in her photography for sure.

Her photography and short videos make my heart pitter patter and I often let out an audible sigh. Her gorgeous shots embody stunning color, interiors of her fairytale cottage (in Brighton, England of course), delightful styling and her adorable siamese kitty. Her images make you want to step inside her world and stay...forever.

You must watch the precious videos she creates. They are magical moments of stillness and beauty.

Like this one... [vimeo 182917004 w=640 h=640]

Ok...I'll stop gushing. Just enjoy these and go visit her feed on Instagram.

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{All images via Phillipa Stanton}

Aren't they just beautiful? So poetic in the way she arranges each item, each petal and always a steaming cup of tea! She truly shows us how beauty exists all around us. In our belongings, our family table, out our window - we only need to take the time to see it.

Now, go take a minute for yourself. Breath in the beauty in your life. You deserve it.

I hope you enjoyed.

With love and gratitude,

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Ask Ivy - Composition & Style

Hi there lovely people, Well...I know I usually post my "Ask Ivy" videos on Wednesday but I didn't want to detract from launching my sweet friend's new online workshop! So - I am here today to answer some more of your questions.

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I hope this addressed some of your own concerns or inquiries! I love doing this so feel free to shoot me a question.

Also, here is a link to my NEW Resource Library where you can download those composition sheets I mention in the video. Very handy indeed! Plus, you can check out some of my fav You Tube videos, supplies, book and more! Enjoy this special library where I will be adding new useful info regularly!

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Have a fabulous weekend!

xo,

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Ask Ivy - the Inner Critic & Life Balance

Hi there readers, How's life been treating you? We are still recovering from the long weekend and are headed into a heat wave here in Portland! Yikes!

I have managed to stay cool in the studio and just finished shooting my next "Ask Ivy" episode. In this one, I answer a couple of questions about the inner-critic and finding (or not finding) balance in my life ;) ...check it out... [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiI14A7MESg] So here are a couple of books I would like to recommend on these topics that are sitting next to my bed...

Love this guy's whole belief that we are not actually after balance but rather satisfaction! I like that he de-mystifies the life-work balance concept...especially since it eludes me! lol!

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And this one just arrived on my doorstep. It is pretty, inviting and full of wonderful ideas, inspiration and creative ways that we can work with our inner critic...

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I'll be sharing some Art to Adore tomorrow from one of my favorite artists!

Hope you have a beautiful Wednesday!

xo,

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Memorial Weekend Sale

Hello there! Happy Friday! I hope your week went well! Mine was a bit of a whirlwind so I'm plenty ready for the long holiday weekend.

To kick it off, we are doing a Memorial Weekend Sale of select classes!

Enter Discount Code: CREATE30 at check out!

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If you didn't get a chance to take these workshops before, now is the time to scoop them up for an additional 30% off! Remember they are all self-paced, with life-time access and downloadable videos - so you can enjoy them on your own schedule. :)

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Have a fantastic weekend!

xo,

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Ask Ivy

Hello there and Happy Wednesday! 

I wanted to pop in and tell you that I've started a new segment where you - my fellow creatives - ask me your questions about creativity, art making and living an artful life. Every Wednesday, I post a video where I choose a few of your questions and do my very best to answer them. If you would like to submit a question for me, you can go here.

You can watch the first episode below...

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JsfdhARRxM]

Also, I would love to personally invite you to my Facebook Creative Community! A vibrant group of wonderful creatives have gathered here to support, inspire and connect with one another.  We would love to have you!

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Happy creating!

xo,

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Mother's Day Sale!

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY WEEKEND!

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It's time to celebrate Mom and what better way then to encourage and celebrate her creative spirit! One of our online, mixed media classes is just the ticket! Mom can access the class at her leisure with lifetime access and downloadable videos PLUS for the next 72 Hours you can get a fabulous 30% off our favorite classes! 

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One of our newest workshops is opening on May 10th and Mom is going to love the dreamy feminine projects taught by the talented Petra Hrziwnatzki! This brand new class is also included in on the SALE!

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Go here to pick from our classes to gift to your special Mama!

xo,

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Winner of Inspired Collage Giveaway

Hello lovely readers! I do hope your week is going well so far! I just got back from my Art & Healing Retreat - ArtWorthy and it was AMAZING! I will be writing more about that very soon!

Today, I wanted to announce and congratulate Kelly Landon!! She is the winner of our fabulous Inspired Collage giveaway!

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Congrats Kelly! For those of you who have not signed up for Inspired Collage, now is the time! Class starts May 10th and it's going to be a beautiful Mixed Media workshop!! Click below to sign up now!

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Much love and gratitude,

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A NEW Mixed Media Collage Class

Well hello there my creative friends!

We just launched a brand new Mixed Media Collage class taught by the wonderfully talented Petra Hrziwnatzki! I am so honored to have her share this beautiful class with you! Registration is NOW open! Class begins May 10th!

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Petra's light burns brightly and her artwork carries that glow within it. She infuses her work with meaningful words and quotes that resonate with her soul. Through the use of mixed media and collage she creates pieces that uplift, inspire and comfort.

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Now, she's going to guide you through her special processes so you can begin to make art that aligns with your heart and leads you towards your own inner beauty and desires.

Get ready! It's going to be a powerful and exciting journey!

xo,

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Spring Art Auction

Hello there friends! I hope you are all having a lovely Monday! I just wanted to pop in and let you know that tomorrow, I will be the featured artist in a big Facebook Art Auction! Go here to join in on the fun!

I will have over 36 pieces of my Artwork up for bidding including both originals and beautiful stretched canvas prints!

Here's a sneak peek at some of the pieces that will be up for sale...

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Red Petals on white

What Remains

Dark Waters

Distant Dawn

Paperboats at night

I would love to "see" you there! It's a very fun crowd and the bidding wars can be downright entertaining!

Wish me luck!

Have a beautiful afternoon!

xo,

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Poetry & Paint

Hello there and Happy Friday! Goodness! It's been so crazy around here! My ArtWorthy retreat is in just under two weeks, I'm in production on my new class , I spruced up the blog (it needed it) and well...I just got back from Mexico! I can't complain though because - truly it's all GOOD. Good crazy is just fine...right? I can deal with good crazy. ;)

I will be sharing pics from Mexico soon but I wanted to share some new work that I completed recently. These paintings kinda came of the blue for me...along with the words that followed. It always surprises and astounds me how much of our subconscious can emerge when creating art.

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This piece was inspired by the photography of Errikos Andreou. I just loved the pose. It spoke volumes to me. I used a mixture of charcoal, liquid pencil, acrylic paint and gesso to create this.

While trying to name this piece a poem came to me...

I hold the strands of my life. Ribbons of light, bone, blood. Memory. The tide has come in. Washed it all away. I am left with what remains.

It was both thrilling and a tad alarming to have these words spill from my pen onto the page. I am still slightly  unsure where these emotions came from...

Immediately after that one I created this piece -

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Again words accompanied the painting...

Clinging to the shore a tether to my heart. At once, I am engulfed beneath the waters. Silent. Reborn.

A third piece is in the works. I feel like a series has begun here for me - a new and exciting adventure.

Have you had poetry emerge with your art? I would love to hear about your experiences.

Have a beautiful and creative Saturday.

xo,

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Early bird registration!

Hello there! Happy Friday night! Hope everyone is doing well! I was gonna wait till next week to let you know but I just couldn't wait - I just opened up EARLY BIRD registration for my brand NEW online class - Sacred Landscape!

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Let me tell you a little more about it! [vimeo 161254830 w=500 h=281]

I think you will absolutely love making art this way - so come join me on this journey into abstraction, expression, color and composition!

You can read all about this NEW online class here!

Have a fantastic weekend!

xo,

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A New Mixed Media Collage class!

Hello, hello! More abundant sunshine over here in Portland! Everyone seems to have more energy and bigger smiles! Love that.

Today, I'm not only smiling because it's sunny - I'm grinning from ear to ear because I have some juicy news to share with you!

I'm excited to announce that I have the honor of hosting a gorgeous Mixed Media Collage class with the uber talented, Petra Hrziwnatzki!

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It's in production right now but registration will open very SOON! If you want to be the first to know head on over to my site and add your name to the waitlist! You are not going to want to miss this one!

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Petra's work is delicate yet powerful, infused with inspiring words and favorite quotes. Soft colors swirl through the pieces and are perfectly balanced with creamy whites while sparks of pretty collage papers peek through the layers. These dreamy pieces resonate a deep sense of peace and hope.

 

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Petra's heart is all about uplifting and inspiring others and you can clearly feel that through her artwork.

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In this class, she will be walking you through her beautiful process so that you too can create these meaningful and heartfelt mixed media collages!

To see more of Petra's enchanting work and learn more about this talented artist please visit her lovely site.

Petra and I will see you in class!! Don't forget to add your name to the waitlist so we can let you know the minute registration opens!

Have a fabulous day!

xo,

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Student Spotlight : Janet Reid

Hello there beautiful friends! We are bathing in Spring sunlight here in Portland and it makes everyone a little giddy - me included! I've been super busy in the studio preparing for new classes and exploring lots of new techniques.

My students have also been busy bees - creating the most gorgeous art! I can't even express how much joy that brings me! So much joy that I have decided to start sharing these amazing artists with you! I will begin to do periodic Student Spotlight posts so you can witness the talent and beauty emerging from these shining souls!

Today, I want to introduce you to Janet Reid!

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Janet has been a long time student and Facebook friend. I admired her work immediately and have since, seen her grow and expand her talents in great strides. She has an innate ability to compose lyrical and poetic arrangements. Both her digital and traditional collages beg the viewer to look deeper and wonder at the symbolism and mystery within.

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I asked Janet a few questions so you guys can get to know her a little better - a peek into her beautiful mind and creative heart...

What inspires you?

Honestly....everything!  I am so lucky to live in a beautiful place--Santa Barbara--and all around me I see color, and texture, and composition just naturally occurring every day. I'm inspired by fellow artists, especially on Instagram.  Everyday I check my feed and feel like I'm being bathed in beauty and talent.  It's like artistic nourishment.  And I'm inspired by the wonderful teachers I've been so fortunate to have recently and all the work I have seen that has been shared in class Facebook pages.  Ivy has been an invaluable part of my artistic journey. She is a true inspiration!

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What are you trying to express with your art?

Different things at different times.  Sometimes it's a story or an idea I try to express visually.  Other times the art has "a mind of its own" and the concept or message becomes clear to me only after it's finished or during the process itself.  That's when it feels magical.  Being a mixed media artist gives me a lot of freedom to work both abstractly and figuratively and at times to combine the two.  What I hope gets expressed is the joy I feel when I am doing it.  Right now, my work with encaustic collage is like a dream come true.

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How do you deal with your inner critic and trust your creative instincts?

Oh, that little voice....usually I can silence her by just continuing.  Sometimes, I will hear her say, "Ok, that was a failure," but I've come to almost welcome that point.  That's when I give up trying to make something work and just see what will happen--the "I have nothing to lose" feeling.   Many times something even more wonderful comes out of that moment--the giving in.  Trusting my instincts has become a learned process.  My advice to anyone who struggles with this is to simply keep working, keep creating.  Try to do something creative each and every day--a snapshot with your phone or a full blown painting--it doesn't matter.  Just keep looking and seeing.

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(I'm the proud owner of this one! I love seeing it hanging in my studio.)

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This is only a small sampling of Janet's stunning work. Please check out her Etsy store! It's a visual delight! Other places to connect with Janet - Facebook & Instagram (her feed is YUMMY!).

I hope you have enjoyed viewing Janet's work and stay tuned for more Student Spotlight posts!

As always, thank you for your love and support!

xo,

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Spring Sale Extended!

Hello everyone,

Due to the site being down for a period of time this morning, I've decided to extend the sale for an extra 24hrs! The sale will now end on March 24th.

Please enjoy this extra day to select your favorite workshops. Remember, all my classes are have lifetime access, are self paced and downloadable! So, even if you are busy with other classes - this is a great opportunity to stock up!

Looking forward to seeing you in class soon!

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Enjoy your Sunday!!

xo,

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Spring Sale!

Hello my creative friends! Happy First Day of Spring!!

Everywhere flowers are blooming and trees are budding with new life! To celebrate this season of growth - we are discounting our top selling workshops by 30%! Spring is the perfect time to try something NEW!!

Come shop the sale now!

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We would love to have you join us! So come create something and revel in this beautiful season of renewal!

xo,

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Horse Art & beautiful interiors

Happy Friday my friends!

For the past couple of days, the sun has been out for us here in Portland and we couldn't be more pleased! Sunshine, daffodils and pink blossoming trees! Sigh...Spring is almost here!

Along with the flowers, I've also been completely delighted by the artwork coming out of the first session of my online Mixed Media workshop - Spirit Horse!  Such beautiful expressive work right?! Some of my students are painting horses for the first time! It's so exciting to see that! Other's are very experienced equine artists who are allowing themselves to loosen up and joyously paint their hearts out in this new and freeing way!

 Artists from top left, Mayrse Perdriat, Jane Alice Strand, Patti Sandham, Denise Milledge, Deb Weiers

Check it out! Registration is now open for the second session of this class! Click below to join us!

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This class has brought me so much joy, since I for one, had never allowed myself the pleasure of painting horses - why? -  because I simply believed I couldn't do it! I pushed through that limiting belief and painted bold, beautiful horses that made my heart happy!

Here are a few of my pieces! I took the liberty of putting them into beautiful rooms digitally so you could get a feel for them! How gorgeous is this first room by Danielle Oakley? She's one talented lady!

These three colorful girls I titled -"The Three Graces"  - Such a fun and playful piece that I loved creating!

{Interior Design by Danielle Oakley}  

This one is called "Beloved" and is glimmering with gold leaf. It's inspired by the work of Erica Nordean - an amazing equine artist! This one was also a delight to create. Working large was expansive for me and really helped me express the horse!

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And here is my Painted Horse Collage you may recognize from the Sprit Horse promo! He looks quite handsome in this room I think!

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{Image via here}

Thanks for taking a peek at my horse art. I hope you have a gorgeous weekend! Happy creating!

xo,

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Collage Workshop with Crystal Neubauer

Hello there! I hope your week is going smoothly! I just returned home from Bainbridge Island, WA yesterday. The workshop with Crystal Neubauer was amazing!

She is a kind, passionate and generous teacher. I loved learning more about not only her process but the emotions, symbolism and personal meaning in her work. There is nothing better than hearing from an artist why she does the things she does in her creations.

The first day we foraged for natural elements to create our own mark making tools! We bundled up and went beach combing. Here are Robin and I out to find natural treasures!

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I came back with a pretty nice stash...

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It was such a delight to construct beautiful brushes to create gorgeous and unique marks with black india ink! Perfect for creating collage papers!

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On the second day, we got a tour of the beautiful Wacky Nut Farm - where the workshop was being held. This beautiful location is an exclusive equine center with the most exquisite horses you've even seen! After just doing my Spirit Horse class, it was quite a treat to connect with these majestic animals. This is Indigo - a sweet Fresian mare. I loved her!

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After our barn tour, we got right back to work. Piles of delicious collage papers awaited! Under Crystal's lovely guidance we created all day long! She showed us wonderful techniques and composition tips too!

I came away with these collages...

11220796_10156701818240074_3164401928466737739_nLoved this workshop! A big thank you to Crystal and to our lovely host Serena who took such good care of us!

Also, if you guys haven't already bought Crystal's book - it's a must!

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Much love to you all!

xo,

Ivy