Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Kansas City Art & Soul... a Spectacular Event!

If this looks like a smorgasbord to you... If this makes you take a quick breath in and sigh with delight as that same breath flows back out... If you think you've landed at the buffet line in Art Heaven.... well, then... you've either been to one of our mixed media retreats... or you need to attend one!

And although we are in the midst of our Portland event (are we even allowed to have this much fun in one month?), I just had to share with you what a spectacular time we had at our Kansas City Art & Soul Retreat!

Every year we return here, we feel more welcome, more excited, and more overwhelmed with the positive response we get from attendees. It makes my mixed media heart go pitter-patter!

We had lots of smiling teachers — who actually travel from all over the US (and other countries!) — just to share their creative projects and techniques with our students. We're pretty lucky.

We also had lots of smiling students! Their zest for learning never ceases to amaze me.

...and yes, sometimes we let Marie out to play! Just look at that gorgeous fabric book she's working on.

Put them all together and what do you get? Some pretty amazing artwork. Like these alcohol ink prints made in Cathy Taylor's class.

...or this spine-tingling mixed media necklace made by a student in Jean VanBrederode's Gruesome Griselda workshop. 

In Leslie Brier's Santos class, students really pushed the limits of form and function to create these doll reliquaries using all sorts of bits and baubles. The quiet moments in the classroom let you know that there's something good going on. That's the sound of concentration and being in the moment!

Here's a student all tangled up in Zentangle, taught by the very talented Suzanne McNeill. I'm telling you... if you ever start to Zentangle... you will never stop! It's doodling at its finest (and funnest!).

And speaking of addictive hobbies... have you played with Gelli Plates yet? Go ahead... I dare you! And I won't even say, "I told you so!"

No matter what your artistic inclinations may be... and no matter what your level of creative experience... there was something for everyone at Art & Soul, Kansas City. We pride ourselves on being an open, welcoming group for all levels of artists.

Besides the workshops we had to offer, it's the sense of community that you find at our retreats... the formation of friendships... and the bonding over new creative adventures that seem to bring our students back year after year. That's the reason I do this. So thanks to all of you who attended, my right and left hand chicks (Marie and Liz), our talented teachers, our lovely hotel & spa The Elms along with their staff, and our on-site store Artistic Artifacts. Together we make one tribe!


P.S. Want to see more awesome pictures from our Kansas City Retreat at the Elms Hotel? Check out our photo album on the Art & Soul Facebook page.

© 2014 photos by Liz Kettle

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Portland Art & Soul is Next Week! Exciting Events & More...

Okay, whew... we just finished up Art & Soul Kansas City, Missouri... and now we're off to Portland, Oregon for our next event! But just wanted to pop in to say that it's not too late to get some fabulous classes at the Portland Art & Soul. Online registration will continue until this Saturday, April 5th, and you can also register in-person at the hotel on Sunday, March 6th!

April 7-13th, 2014
Red Lion on the River
Portland, Oregon

And we've got a pretty amazing lineup of events for our attendees. Check out what's going on...

Sunday, April 6th
Opening Night Party
Sunday Eve 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Meet-and-Greet with the Instructors, view their artwork, class samples and mingle with attendees. Demos and Make-n-Takes by Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts. Enjoy snacks and a no host bar.
Saturday, April 12th
Vendor Extravaganza
Saturday Eve 6:00pm - 9:00pm

The vendor event is free to registered attendees and is open to the public for a fee of $10 at the door. We will have approx. 25 vendors, offering finished artwork, art supplies, vintage findings, fabrics, jewelry, collage items, assemblage... something for everyone! A no-host bar will also be available to enhance your evening. Please join us!

Make-n-Takes — Schedule
We will have various instructors and companies throughout the event. Demos will be in outside the store in our meeting area at 5:00 pm each eve. Be sure to look for:
Monday, April 7th 
Debbie Rijns Great SWARVOSKI Melt
Tuesday, April 8th 
Doris Arndt Watercolor ATC with White Ink Pens
Wednesday, April 9th 
Cathy Taylor Get Real Alcohol Inks

Friday, April 11th
John Creighton Petersen from IMAGINE CRAFTS will be featuring:
New StazOn Midis
GlazOn Layer Protectant
irRESISTible Texture Sprays
Memento Luxe Ink

ICE Resin, Iced Enamels, Mica & Glitter

Saturday, April 12th
Kari Futeft STRATHMORE Mixed Media Greeting Cards

There's tons of fun stuff to do at our Portland event outside of the amazing workshops we have to offer... So, get more info, and register now at! Can't wait to see you there...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Cryptic Encaustics with Linda Lenart McNulty: Encaustic Jewelry Making DeMystified

I’m Linda Lenart McNulty, the artist/owner of Luminous Encaustics (, and I want to share an technique I created called “Cryptic Encaustics”.

Encaustic art involves the painting and pouring of warm, pigmented beeswax and tree sap, which is then layered and scraped, revealing its naturally luminous and transparent nature. Encaustic Painting is transformed into a wearable form in my work and classes. If you’re not familiar with encaustic art or with encaustic jewelry, take a look at this Step-Out below.

P.S. I’ll be teaching at Art & Soul in Portland in a couple weeks so come take a workshop or come introduce yourself to me at the Luminous Encaustics Table on Vendor’s Night for more encaustic surprises (I’ll have encaustic jewelry kits too!)! See you there!


Cryptic Encaustics – by Luminous Encaustics (and now by you!!) 


Well... thanks so much Linda, for sharing this comprehensive and delightfully creative step-by-step tutorial! We're so excited to have you at our Portland Art & Soul event this year... 

Portland Art & Soul 

Wearable Encaustic Shrines - Thursday, April 10, 2014 
Encaustic Daguerreotype Paintings - Friday, April 11, 2014 
Luminous Layering in Encaustic Painting - Saturday, April 12, 2014 

So check out her classes and the entire Portland event on our website

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Springtime is in the... Mail?

Springtime is a great time to learn something new... like Mail Art with Jennie Hinchcliff! We're so happy to welcome her to the Art & Soul family, as she'll be teaching two workshops at our Portland event this year! As a “near-native” of San Francisco, Jennie has been teaching classes in bookbinding and related arts since 2001. Her work often incorporates one-of-a-kind elements such as found typography or handwritten correspondence, harkening back to the spirit of Dada artists and writers.

Jennie's personal work can be seen in several books, and she is a co-author of "Good Mail Day", which explores mail art and correspondence in its' many styles and formats. Her blog "Every Day Should Be A Red Letter Day" promotes the idea that letter writing can be done anytime, anyplace, anywhere by anybody.

So here's Jennie to tell us a little bit about herself, her classes, and get you excited...

someday, I'll live here...
someday, I’ll live here…

March: in like a lion, out like a lamb! In my case, it’s actually the other way around, with things busier than ever. My calendar is quickly is filling up with neon pink pen marks and cutie Japanese place markers – sure signs that good things are on the horizon.

well of course -- mail art!
well of course — mail art!

I’m already looking forward to April: not only is it my birthday month (Aries people, REPRESENT!) but the weeks will be filled with multiple teaching gigs. Starting the whole thing off, I’ll be in Portland, Oregon for the Art and Soul Retreat. If you’ve ever wondered when I’d be workshopping in the great Pacific Northwest, now’s your chance to come and play!

"the yes men", made for cascadia art post...
“the yes men”, made for cascadia art post…

I’ll be teaching on April 12th (Saturday) and April 13th  (Sunday); Saturday’s “Hidden Surprises” carousel book class promises to be filled with TONS of creativity, rubber stamping, and book arts brainstorming!

And then on Sunday, I’m at it again, schooling students in the ways of mail art mayhem…

a little bit of outgoing mail...
a little bit of outgoing mail…

…which means MAKING and SENDING! Through a series of individual and group projects, students will learn about mail art practices, as well as gain inspiration from others in the class.

there's that mailman rubber stamp again!
there’s that mailman rubber stamp again!

We’ll spend part of the session creating faux postage (a.k.a “artistamps”) using a variety of techniques. Students end the day with sheets of artistamps they have created, ideas for future mail art projects, and the know-how to get involved in “the Eternal Network”.

working small...
working small…

After that, I’ll spend a couple days with friends and family in Portland (Powell’s Bookstore: LOOK OUT!) and then it’s back to San Francisco. My travel time to Portland is short, but I’m always on the lookout for fantastic new places to go. What do YOU suggest? SCRAP, Collage PDX, and the IPRC are all longtime faves, but I have a hunch that there are things I have yet to discover in Portland’s neighborhoods – let me know what cannot be missed!

discovered last year, in corvallis...
discovered last year, in corvallis…

Also: Red Letter Day readers may notice that I’ve made a small change to the layout of the RLD blog. To the right, I’ve added a column for “Classes & Sightings”, so that RLD readers can see upcoming workshops and Co-op meetings at a glance. If you’re looking for detailed info about any of the posted items, visit the “Classes & Sightings” page of the RLD blog – venues, registration info, and descriptions will be posted for your perusal.

the act of creating -- what fun!
the act of creating — what fun!

That’s a lot of exciting info for a Tuesday! If you register for a class at Art and Soul, be sure to post a comment and let me know – it may turn out that there’s a little surprise waiting for you in the classroom!

In all things postal,

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Mark Your Calendars!

Well, folks... we're on the heels of two spectacular Art & Soul events... our Kansas City retreat (in mere days!) and our Portland venue (April 7-14). So what better time to let you know about Art & Soul's 2015 event dates! Mark your calendars and start dreaming up what types of classes you'd like to take!

Here we go!!! Art & Soul dates for 2015...

Portland, OR
Red Lion on the River
March 16-21, 2015

Kansas City, MO
Elms Resort & Spa
April 13-17, 2015

Virginia Beach, VA
Virginia Beach Resort Hotel
October 5-11, 2015

And, if you are an instructor of the mixed-media kind and would like to teach at our retreats, send us your workshop proposals! We welcome classes in all kinds of creative areas such as... collage, assemblage, jewelry, bookmaking, art dolls, fabric creations, painting, sculpting, printmaking... you name it! So send us your ideas. Portland proposals are due by March 31, 2014 and Virginia Beach proposals are due by June 15, 2014.

Can't wait for another exciting year with all of you!


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Weaving a Story with Donna Crispin...

Sometimes a story is woven right into a piece of art. A story of creativity. A story of artistry. A story of history. A story of inspiration. Receiving inspiration and weaving materials from the natural world, Donna Crispin has been creating baskets since 1986. She has lived in some of the most beautiful places of the western US, where she has seen and experienced the lessons of the earth. Although she is now living in an urban area, her pieces often reveal the spiritual and physical connection she has developed over decades of time.

We are delighted to have a guest post from Donna today, who will be teaching at our Portland, Oregon Art & Soul... coming up very soon! She is going to share with us a little bit about her longtime passion. So... take it away, Donna...

Basketry and fiber arts have been my passion for over 27 years now. Since my focus is on basket weaving, I'm also interested in other cultures, and how people have used plants to make baskets, textiles, paper, and more. I'm always learning techniques and finding new plants to weave with. Last spring, I was introduced to basswood fiber by a farmer in a nearby town, and later found out that it is also spun and woven to make a traditional Japanese textile, called shina-fu. So I feel like I'm on a constant learning adventure.

My newest interest is Japanese paper yarn and cord making, or shifu and koyori.  Washi paper is cut into a continuous strip, sometimes 2mm wide, then roughened up a bit, and spun.

I recently found a photo of a lovely old kimono with a repeating circular pattern. 
I decided to make some woven slippers with a similar design.  I purchased some Thai unryu paper, and painted my own circles on several sheets.
I cut the paper into a 1/2" continuous strip and spun it into cords to weave.
Then I constructed the soles, added the warp (vertical weaving elements), and wove two little shoes.

I hope that you will step out of your comfort zone at Art & Soul Retreat in Portland, OR, and join me as we explore weaving with seagrass and other plants in my Saturday workshop, or learn paper weaving with me in my Sunday class... 

Donna Crispin

Saturday, April 12, 2014
Sunday, April 13, 2014

Wow, Donna... that was simply amazing! What a creative transformation of materials. I can see why there's only a few spots left in a couple of your classes. If you'd like more information about Donna's classes, simply click on the links above. And if you'd like to follow Donna's adventures, you can head on over to her Facebook Page and follow her there.