Monday, July 16, 2018

Here We Go Again... Colorado Springs 2019!

Erin Keck's workshop, Adornments with Found Objects

Well, our inaugural Art & Soul Retreat in Colorado Springs was a smashing success! Not only was it a dream of mine finally fully realized, but for the attendees it was a much needed respite in the gorgeous Rocky Mountains. Our teachers flourished in this creative town. And our temporary home for the week —The Hotel Elegant√© — was just as happy to have us, as we were to be there. It definitely showed in the way we and our students were taken care of. So, we're going to do it again!

Watercolor Travel Journaling with Helen Shafer Garcia

That's right... Art & Soul will be going back to Colorado Springs in 2019! And not only that, but we've gathered up dozens of talented instructors, with fantastic mixed media classes to offer, and we've already put them online for you!

A beautiful Spool Journal from Ingrid Dijkers

We have 86 full day and evening classes to choose from in painting, drawing, doodling, journaling, bookmaking, collage, assemblage, sculpting, jewelry, fabric, fiber arts, sewing and more! Then there's the 26 talented and professional instructors teaching them! Plus we're offering you an Early Bird Special... sign up before September 1st and you'll get 50% off the registration fee. Usually $50 per retreat, you'll only pay $25. Just a little incentive to register now, before your favorite classes fill up.

Fabric Collage Prayer flags you can make with Liz Kettle

So, if you joined us the first time, we hope you'll come again. And if you didn't get to create in Colorado Springs yet, we hope you'll consider attending our next mixed media retreat in the Rockies. The camaraderie and excitement that you get to experience at our in-person retreats... well, we think you'll really love it!

May 28 - June 2, 2019
at The Hotel Elegante
Colorado Springs, CO

We know summer days and weekends can get pretty busy, so take a little break... grab yourself a cool beverage... and browse our website to pick your favorite workshops. You can browse our selections by class descriptions, by individual instructors, and even by example project photos. Sign up today to get in on our Early Bird special. Happy Browsing!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Virginia Teacher Spotlight: Jean VanBrederode


Well, our roster of attentive, caring, nurturing instructors would not be complete without Jean VanBrederode, who literally shines in these categories! As a longtime Art & Soul teacher, Jean is our resident enamel expert. She's taken the art to a whole new level by turning it into creative mixed media jewlery. And she's taken many of our students under her gorgeous (enameled) wings. With her exuberant nature, excitement about her craft and attentive guidance, Jean's classes are always a joy in the discovery of making. And keep in mind... Beginners are her specialty!

Jean VanBrederode was trained as a teacher, but art has always been a part of her life. She feels fortunate to have found an art form — enameling, along with mixed-media jewelry — that brings excitement into her life each and every day. Her work is always changing, always a surprise. Having been seduced, empowered, enriched, & invigorated by metals & glass, she happily dedicates herself to creating and teaching others the joys of enameling!

Bee Keeper
This class was inspired by a workshop with enamelist Ken Bova at the John C. Campbell Folk School last summer. Throughout the day, you'll learn basic simple metal sawing techniques as well as how to create a variety of extraordinary colors on copper using only liquid enamels. You'll learn application techniques along with torch firing skills. All of this and you will leave with a finished Bee Keeper Necklace!

Enameled Bib Necklace
A combination of enameling techniques merge beautifully in Jean's Enameled Bib Necklace workshop. In this full day class, you will learn basic torch fire techniques and how to work with basic mesh enamel, liquid enamel, sgraffito (scratching patterns in enamel), wet packing, and necklace assembly skills. And you will leave this workshop with a finished enameled bib necklace (you'll probably walk out of class proudly wearing it!).

Branching Out
Some things are just better in Black & White, right?! This workshop's Branching Out enameled pendant combines metalworking techniques along with enameling and jewelry design to create a stunning black and white tree pendant. In this class you'll learn how to create an enameled copper design using a torch, vitreous enamels, and liquid enamels as well as how to master the ancient art of sgraffito (scratching into enamel). And like all of Jean's workshops, you will leave with a finished necklace that's just so much fun to show off.

So whether you're a newbie or a novice at enameling or mixed-media jewelry in general, in Jean VanBrederode's workshops you will learn how to create a one-of-a-kind enameled pendant necklaces that will have people asking, “Where did you get that?” and you'll be able to proudly say, “I made it myself!” For more information about Jean's classes and our Virginia Beach retreat, visit our website...

October 1-6, 2018
Virginia Beach Resort Hotel

Jean VanBrederode's work has been featured in 500 Art Necklaces, Steampunk Magazine, Belle Armoire Jewelry, Cloth Paper Scissors, and Green Craft Magazines. When she's not teaching workshops or hosting other instructors at her Charmed I’m Sure Studio in south-central Pennsylvania, she is tending to her Etsy shops – Enamel Warehouse, and Charmed I’m Sure Studio.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Virginia Teacher Spotlight: Eric Scott

We love having Eric Scott teaching at our events! He is one half of the Journal Fodder Junkies, and he's dedicated to helping people discover their artistic potential and cultivate their creativity. He is a mixed media artist, an educator, and an author. He provides workshops, presentations, and seminars all across North America on the visual journal and mixed media art.

For Eric, the visual journal is vital to his mixed media art. As a place to explore and experiment, to document and reflect... he sees the journal as a testing ground for ideas, techniques, and imagery. All of these ideas and notions ferment in the journal before they begin making their way into separate pieces of art. Eric is an expert guide into the unknown, and he'll make you feel comfortable and free there! Check out what he has planned for you at Art & Soul Virginia this year...

Luminous Liquid Layers
In this full day workshop, you'll be pushing your creativity as you delve into the world of liquid acrylics. You'll explore a multitude of exciting techniques as you paint, drip, scrape, splatter, and stamp. Sure, that may sound like the basics, but you’ll also learn to use a wide range of unconventional tools and materials to create exciting textures and luminous layers. You can even throw in some of your favorite images and personal ephemera to add a mixed media flair to your work, or you can simply focus on building your painting skills. Either way, you’ll learn to open yourself to a new painting process as you build texture, embrace color, and develop rich layers. You'll definitely get to see how easy it is to develop dynamic images as you work, and you'll walk away with vivid pieces of art ready to hang on the wall.

Monster Maker Workshop
Eric's 3-hour evening class will help you unleash your mad scientist. You'll bring a variety of creatures of the imagination to life in this fun mixed media workshop! You will learn how to conceptualize and create cute & cuddly, or scary & menacing monsters with pencil, ink, paint, and collage. Build your creations from stock parts or invent your own. Customize your monsters with a variety of details, textures, and accessories, and walk away with your own menagerie of little beasts. Evil laugh is optional. Muah-ha-ha-ha!

Stencil Savvy
Stencils have become increasingly popular over the past few years, and we all look forward to the latest releases by our favorite mixed-media artists. But what if we could design and make our own? What if we could use our art, our handwriting, and our photographs to make personally meaningful stencils?

In this hands-on evening workshop, you’ll see just how easy it is to create your own distinctive stencils and templates. You’ll start the day by working with simple shapes and designs, and wrap up with using more complex artwork and photographs. You will leave with a variety of unique stencils and templates ready to be used in all of your mixed-media endeavors. That's pretty awesome!

So whether you love journaling, stamping, painting, drawing, stenciling, or just want to be brave and try something new, Eric has something for everyone. The great part is that everything you learn can translate to your own mixed media practice. What a great way to uplevel your art! For more information about Eric's classes and our Virginia Beach retreat, visit our website...

October 1-6, 2018
Virginia Beach Resort Hotel

As a former public school art educator, Eric Scott frequently travels and provides workshops on the power of art and the visual journal to schools and education organizations. In 2005 he officially teamed up with friend and artistic accomplice David Modler to present at a variety of venues, conferences, and retreats on visual journaling and the importance of authenticity in art education. Eric is coauthor of the bestselling books, The Journal Junkies Workshop (2010) and Journal Fodder 365 (2012), both released by North Light Books. He lives in Purcellville, Virginia with his wife and their menagerie of animals. You can find out more about Eric by visiting the Journal Fodder Junkies website.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Meet Our Team!

It takes a village... isn't that what they say? Well, when it comes to Art & Soul it's a tiny village, but when that group is considered more than just employees, you've struck gold. I'm so very lucky that all the people that work with me are friends and confidants. Not only do they help to keep Art & Soul running smoothly, but they help me keep my sanity! There isn't too much better than that when you're running a business. So, if you don't already know us, here's a little bit about the people behind the scenes at Art & Soul...

Glenny Moir - Event Owner & Producer

If you've ever been to an Art & Soul retreat, then you probably already know me. Being an independent woman business owner, I'm kind of everywhere... all the time! How did I get to this place?  Well, I'm actually no stranger to event planning. Prior to A&S, more than 20 years of weddings, anniversaries, bar and bat mitzvah’s, theme parties and festivals kept me busy, busy, busy. During that time, I sought an outlet for my artistic endeavors and discovered a few small venues for creative learning. When I realized that I could take my passion for creativity and education, and create a large-scale event for mixed media… Art & Soul Retreats was born!
I enjoy scouting for the most sought-after instructors as well as discovering up-and-coming artists and art trends that attendees find inspiring. In fact, several popular mixed media artists of today got their start teaching at Art & Soul Retreats. Besides the delight in running such an event, I love to watch the attendees push beyond their comfort zone and create something magnificent. The smiles on their faces as they walk from the workshops — projects held high — is all I needs to remind me that I'm on the right path. Today Art & Soul the longest running mixed media retreat in the country.

I live in Boring, Oregon (no, it’s not boring) with my furry, four-legged friends and just a few closets full of art supplies.

Marie Kennedy - Assistant

Having evolved creatively over the years, Marie has dabbled in everything from quilting and scrapbooking to collage and art dolls. Her official involvement with Art & Soul as my Assistant, began in 2009. She has become my right hand (and oftentimes left as well). Her never-ending enthusiasm for the success of Art & Soul was only part of what led her to be working side-by-side with me today. Marie is a great problem solver and someone who enjoys the challenges brought to her each day. She hopes that everyone who attends Art & Soul is able to fill their soul with friendship and love for the art process. I totally rely on her skills and judgement and cannot thank her enough for all that she does.

Marie lives in Novato, California with her husband, John. Her days are spent watching her darling granddaughter, Callie, and trying to teach her how to use all the art supplies.

Danial Powers - Social Media Coordinator


Danial has just joined our team as our Social Media Coordinator. As many of you know, I am clueless when it comes to promotion on all Social Media venues. When I started A&S, we didn’t even have Blogs....and I remember Leslie Riley telling me that I had to come into the internet century. I eventually did, kicking and fighting all the way.

Danial moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2000 from Michigan. She lives near Seattle with her husband, son, and three cats. By day, Danial has worked as the Director of Admissions at DigiPen Institute of Technology, a small college located in Redmond Washington, for the last eight years. Previously, she worked in the marketing department of Puget Sound Energy (PSE) promoting PSE’s energy efficiency programs.

Outside of regular work hours, Danial is a mixed-media artist. Her work was featured on the covers of body image zine Love Me, Love My Belly #001 (Porkbelly Press, 2014), and My Own Strange Beast (Porkbelly Press, 2017). Danial discovered Art and Soul in 2016 and has been attending the Portland retreat every year since.

Michelle Bernard - Graphic Artist

Michelle Bernard was already a longtime attendee of Art & Soul when we asked her to design the 2009 Rock & Roll themed logo. I liked the design so much, I brought her on as our permanent Graphic Artist. Michelle’s unique perspective and approach to advertising and promotion have helped to keep our attendees excited and engaged. When she’s not designing for Art & Soul, Michelle loves working in all facets of mixed media including painting, collage, assemblage, jewelry, sculpting, sewing, art dolls and anything else that gets her creative juices flowing.

As the former Art Director of Ranger Crafts, not only has she co-taught a few of our opening night classes in Virginia, but her exposure to innovative art products has helped bring her own mixed media works to a whole new level. Having started out doing craft shows and selling her creations online, Michelle now shows her work in multiple galleries and retail establishments. And she loves to let everyone know where it all began... at Art & Soul!

Michelle lives in the quaint Victorian seashore town of Ocean Grove, New Jersey with her 2 kitties and a house full of art supplies and found objects.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Virginia Teacher Spotlight: Chad Alice Hagen

We are so happy to have Chad Alice Hagen as part of our Art & Soul family! She has been happily and intensively exploring resist dyeing and surface design of hand felted wool since 1979, and delved into the amazing world of Bookmaking for the last 12 years using her resist dyed felt as the covers. She loves teaching how to use textiles — new and found — as the covers of journals and sketchbooks using different binding techniques. Textiles, fiber, fabric, material, felt, cloth – these words are more exciting to her than “You have won the lottery!” Here's what Chad Alice has in store for us at our Virginia Beach Art & Soul Retreat this year...

Miniature Book Necklace
How would you like to rite your secrets and daily thoughts on these adorable little books?! In this workshop, you’ll have the chance to make 2 tiny books, professionally bound in leather or paper. Each miniature book will have about 50 pages, and will feature a different binding style. You will learn how to tea stain paper, add ribbon bookmarks and two different closures, and finish your mini books with chains for wearing.

Perfect Little Notebook
You may not realize it, but most of the paperback books you handle in your daily lives have a glued binding, and to Chad Alice Hagen, that’s the perfect binding. When used in a handmade notebook, it becomes extraordinary. In this workshop, you will make a “Perfect Little Notebook” using this quick and marvelous binding technique as well as learn how to tea stain paper, create a cover from your favorite fabric, and make a ribbon & button closure.

My Favorite Perfect Sketchbook
There are sketchbooks and there are sketch books, but this particular one has become Chad Alice’s favorite... and we bet will be yours too! It opens totally flat, can be made from easy-to-find materials, and is finished with a textile cover. In this workshop you'll be making a 6" x 6" sketchbook with 120 pages of multi-media paper. You'll learn all the book making basics and then some...picking the paper you want, folding and tearing sheets with knives, gluing, piercing, sewing, all the fabulous bits that go into making a well-made, useful and enjoyable sketchbook/journal.

Whether you are a book lover, enjoy journaling, or having a unique way to jot down notes throughout the day, making your very own sketchbook from scratch with Chad Alice is going to be so very rewarding! So be sure and check out her classes and our entire Virginia event for this Fall!

October 1-6, 2018
Virginia Beach Resort Hotel

Chad Alice has written extensively on art and feltmaking and her artwork has appeared in and on the covers of several well-known books and magazines. She’s taught hundreds of classes and workshops throughout the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, Holland and Germany.  Her large scale felt work can be found in major collections including the Mint Museum of Craft and Design in Charlotte, NC, The Knoxville Convention Center, TN, and the Minneapolis Institute of Art. B.F. Goodrich Corporation Collection. She maintains a full-time felt and book studio in Asheville, North Carolina. You can find out more about Chad Alice Hagen by visiting her at

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Our First Colorado Retreat!

Wow! Our inaugural event was everything we could have hoped for! The vibe was incredible and everyone attending was as excited to be there as we were to bring our unique mixed media retreat to them. The location was picturesque and calming. Colorado Springs embraced us with amazing weather and beautiful scenery.

The range of workshops we were able to offer at this new location made me so very happy, and the students as well. We are just so lucky to have the caliber of instructors that we do. Professional on every level but at the same time so down-to-earth and nurturing. What a perfect venue for these generous souls.

Students enjoyed the wide variety of workshops and created some stunning works of art. I loved the immediate camaraderie of the attendees and how they recognized they had found their tribe of like-minded art souls.

And while each student had their own personal experience, the chemistry among attendees overall... was palpable. I know Colorado Springs is a magical place, but it was more that that. It was getting to watch these adventurous and creative individuals have a necessary play date with their inner child.

From the wide variety of workshops, all kinds of whimsical creations were made... like these tiny houses from Ruth Greening's Precious Metal Clay workshop.

And this adorable bunny with a little bit of attitude, from Helen Shafer Garcia's Animal Crackers class.  

And these visually poetic, Juicy Affirmation Cards made in Jennifer MacLean's class. But for me... most of all... it's the smiles on the happy faces of our attendees that make my heart sing. I applaud them for taking the time from this hustle-and-bustle world to give back to themselves. They really do deserve it. You all do!

The classes were so enticing, even the instructors took some time from teaching to have fun and learn something new... like Erin Keck did, when she made these gorgeous earrings in Mary Johnson Hettmansperger's class.

And, our instructors, well... they love to have fun! As much fun as their students. It's their ability to laugh and play and be lighthearted in their approach to teaching, that they are hand-picked to be a part of the Art & Soul family. And we hope to include more local artists in next year's lineup (yup, we're definitely coming back). Many of us visited the Cottonwood Center for the Arts as well as the gallery crawl and were blown away by the exhibits. So we'll have lots of talented artists to choose from!

Let's not forget to mention our amazing on-site store and the pop-up, one-night-only Vendor Extravaganza. It's wonderful to have these amazing shopportunities come right to our doorstep to satisfy our needs for those art supplies and one-of-a-kind items we absolutely can't live without!

I must say that it was a genuine pleasure to have our event at the Hotel Elegant√©. The staff went above and beyond to take care of us. Classrooms were cozy and had great lighting. The food was excellent. And ummmm... how many of us hit the Sweet Shop for ice cream? I won't tell how many times if you don't. I loved that the Hotel is surrounded with greenspace, especially the tranquil pond — complete with mama and baby ducklings. There were lots of places to sketch or just relax, and many attendees took side trips to see Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods and hiking! I'm anxious to return and spend more time in the area. 

At the Colorado event, there was inspiration everywhere, in everything. That's how Art & Soul retreats are. It's where we honor the creative life we want to live full time. It's where we get little glimpses of how to do that, so we can bring it home with us and start the process of filling up our souls.

And yes! We will be returning to Colorado Springs next year, so... mark your calendars. You'll definitely want to be a part of this relaxing, inspirational, creative retreat next year. We hope to have classes available on our website by the middle of July. Watch for a newsletter announcement coming to your inbox soon!

Art & Soul Colorado Springs, CO
May 29 - June 2, 2019 at the Hotel Eleganté

Thanks again to all of you who attended and everyone who made this first Colorado event such a great success! See you soon...