Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Play, Plunder & Pirates In Portland!

Ahoy, Landlubbers! Well what can I say? We just wrapped up an amazing Art & Soul event in Portland!

The energy was at an all-time high and everybody seemed to embrace the spirit of play and adventure even more than usual this year.

There's just something about getting out of the house, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, putting chores on hold for a few days, and dipping your toes (and fingers, of course) in the creative waters here at our mixed media retreats!

And speaking of waters... although it wasn't necessary to make anyone walk the plank, we did have our usual round of suspects!

Who managed to stay out of and get into trouble in ways we never even thought possible! (wink).

Our Treasure Island theme for this year was absolutely infectious! From pirate themed goody bags, filled with lots of plunder and booty...

...to our guest of honor Jack Sparrow, being admired by some lovely lasses during our opening night festivities...

....to the hotel staff and our resident bartender who even joined in on the fun, creating signature drinks for the attendees. Aaarrrrgggh! Avast ye seadogs.... I'll be servin' up the grog and makin' sure no scallywags get three sheets to the wind!

A whole bunch of art was made.

We found our inner spirit.

We embraced our inner weirdness.

And we learned lots of new, interesting stuff, made kindred connections, and some really creative projects that will live on beyond our time here.

So I'd like to give a big giant thanks-so-much to all who attended! With special appreciation to my team... Marie Kennedy, Karen Rosselli, and Phoenix Sagen for helping out in every way possible so I could get some much needed behind-the-scenes stuff taken care of. My gals did a fabulous job. I can't even imagine an event without them!

And a happy welcome to Maria and Collage as our onsite store. She's always there with a smile and a fountain of knowledge about art supplies of all kinds. She had great demos and make-n-takes throughout the retreat and it added a special touch to our event.

Well, I gotta go... Minneapolis starts in a week and boy do I have stuff to get done!

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Tactile Textures To Tempt You In Minneapolis...

Wow! Art & Soul Minneapolis is just around the corner...in fact it's less than 2 weeks away and there are still a few spots left in some amazing classes. Whether you're already registered or were thinking about joining us... we'd love to be able to squeeze you in!

Now that we've got your attention, we'd like to tempt and titilate you with some tactile textures you can create in some of our unique mixed media workshops. For example, take a look at Ruth Chandler's sew and stitch class Vintage & Romantic Woven Quilt. Remember weaving strips of construction paper when you were a kid? In this class you'll get to revisit that childhood technique using fabric, lace, and ribbons, to create a wonderful woven piece that you'll stitch little extras onto for a sweetly romantic look.

Ruth grew up in Japan where the vibrant color and texture of Japanese fabric and the simplicity of Japanese design caught her attention... so she knows a thing or two (or three or four, and more!) about creating visually tactile designs. She's also the owner of Blue Twig Studio, our on-site store and sponsor for the Minneapolis event. Ruth will be teaching 4 fabric-centric workshops at this event. Check out what else she has to offer!

Look at all the gorgeous color and pattern in this example from Susan Rossiter's meditative and relaxing Watercolor Fish Zone evening workshop! Using micro paintbrushes, you'll create small designs, add tiny details with ink and watercolor, then get lost in the joy of repetition. Whether you've been drawing all your life, or this is your first time, this class is lots of fun.

Susan has been creating art, teaching and learning for 30 years. Heavily influenced by her original art family in Pennsylvania, her paintings and creations have always included mixed media before she knew the term. She is particularly fascinated with helping people get past the fear of a blank canvas and creative camaraderie, so Art & Soul is the perfect place for her to shine! See all the workshops Susan will be teaching in Minneapolis.

Remember tin ceilings and how gorgeous and intricate those designs were? Well, if you take the Rusty Tin Tile Book workshop with Janice Richie, you won't have to "look up" to appreciate them! In this class you'll create an 8" x 8" book using rusty tin tiles for covers, learn how to bind with coptic stitching, and fill your book with new and old papers, stickers and stampings for the ultimate charming little journal.

Janice Richie has always been artistic. Whether she was doing Macramé, stained glass, sewing all her clothes, knitting, crochet, needlepoint, embroidery, or her own style of mixed media... art helped her keep her sanity and provided a great deal of satisfaction. She loves to teach, and she can't wait to show you some new skills. Jan is teaching 2 workshops in Minneapolis, check them out here.

How about this gorgeous Bezel Set Stone Ring you can make with Nancy Sacco, our jeweler extraordinaire! Making jewelry has been a passion of hers for years, and over time she discovered she loved working with sterling and fine silver and beautiful gemstones. Nancy has so many fancy things to make (that's probably why she calls her work Nancy's Fancies Jewelry), and she's bringing her expertise to Art & Soul! Her work is very textural and visually exciting to look at and fun to create. You'll get to use all kinds of unique techniques and tools to make your own jewelry. Nancy will be hosting 5 workshops in Minneapolis including classes on making a swirly cuff, de-vine bracelet, a swirly pendant, spinner ring and the bezel ring.

And check out all this juicy texture you can create with acrylics in Caitlin Dundon's Spontaneous Painting workshop! Are you feeling brave? Do you want to learn how to listen to your inner voice? Well, whether you're new to acrylic painting or need to break through your artist’s block, this workshop will help you fill page after page with color, brushstroke and mark making, and learn lots of interesting techniques as you allow spontaneity to be your muse.

Caitlin is a mixed media artist and professional calligrapher with over 20 years of experience. Her artwork has been featured in well-known mixed media magazines and books, and she teaches at multiple venues all over the United States. We're so happy to have her teaching 3 classes at Minneapolis Art & Soul.

April 26 - May 1, 2017
Crowne Plaza Aire Mall of America Hotel

So, I hope we tantalized you with a taste of the amazing workshops you can still take at our Minneapolis Art & Soul Retreat. And we still have more classes available in collage, assemblage, painting, journaling, fiber and fabric, jewelry, sculpture, dolls and more taught by a hand-picked group of inspirational instructors. We’ve also got on-site shopping, a Vendor Extravaganza and lots of fun activities. But don't delay, sign up today.... it's really only a few days away!! Visit our website for more info and to register.

See you soon!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Last Chance for Virginia Early Bird Pricing!

Carol Spohn's workshop, Baby It's Cold Outside

The early bird catches the best classes at Art & Soul retreats! Isn't that how the saying goes? Well this mama bird sure would love it if you joined us this fall for our Mixed Media Retreat in Virginia Beach, and got to take advantage of our special Early Bird pricing. If you sign up by April 1st, your registration fee will only be $35 and all of your full day workshops will be just $135. That's a $15 savings on both! So be sure and take advantage of this special discount, and getting in on your favorite classes before they fill up.

Sculpt blackbirds, ravens and crows with Leslie Blackford

As always we've got dozens of full day and evening workshops in collage, assemblage, jewelry, drawing, painting, journaling, sculpting, fabric, fiber & stitching, bookmaking, and so much more... all geared to stretch your creativity.

Susan Rossiter's class, Chicken Painting for the Soul

We've got amazing instructors who are all artists themselves, many of them published in the pages of your favorite mixed media magazines and authors of their own how-to books.  We kick off the week with an opening night party and have lots of fun events, contests and gatherings throughout the week. We've got an on-site store that'll knock your socks off, and a Vendor Extravaganza featuring peddlers with hard to find goodies from ephemera to assemblage components and amazing original art by your very own instructors!

October 2-8, 2017
Virginia Beach Resort Hotel

So visit our website and get more information about our Virginia Beach Event... our relaxing beachfront Hotel... the creative Workshops we have to offer... and our fabulous Instructors! Sign up today and give yourself the playtime you deserve, amidst like-minded souls... you'll make some amazing art and friendships too.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

A Great New Class... We Ain't Lion!

Need to fill your Friday afternoon in Minneapolis? Well... Erin Keck has a brand new class she's offering... Trash To Treasures - Creating Vintage Collage Jewelry. In this half-day workshop, you'll learn how to take scraps of broken vintage jewelry along with other embellishments and turn them into unique modern-day statement pieces. You can bring jewelry bits and bobs of your own, or Erin will have a treasure chest of junky jewels to sift through.

Minneapolis Art & Soul
Friday, April 28th, 1:30-4:30

Come join us for this fun, laid-back and informative workshop! You'll leave with your own personal wearable art piece that's unlike any other. For more information on Minneapolis Art & Soul, visit our website and check out all we have to offer...

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


Our newest Minneapolis Art & Soul event will be going on it's second year this Spring, and like our other long-running events, there's no lack of amazing attributes to this Midwest retreat. So we'd like to spell it out for you, and tell you how this marvelous mixed-media meetup will thrill and delight all levels of creative individuals...

M is for Making Amazing Art
Whether you like drawing, painting, collage, assemblage, dolls, fabric, fiber, jewelry, journaling, bookmaking, and the like... you're going to make some amazing art here. 

I is for Inspiration
There's no lack of inspiration at Art & Soul! Whether it's the instructors, your fellow attendees, seeing other students' work, our amazing on-site store filled with goodies, new products to try, demonstrations to watch, or finding just the right thing-a-ma-bob at our pop up Vendor Extravaganza, you'll be inspired beyond measure.

N is for New Friends
When you are gathered amongst like-minded souls, kindred spirits and creative individuals, there's just something that clicks. Friendships that are made in a moment, last a lifetime. These are the kinds of friends you'll make in Minneapolis. And now with social media, it's easier than ever to keep up the conversations and creative sharing.

the other N is for  Newfound Courage
Sometimes it's hard to go outside your comfort zone and try something new, but at Art & Soul we'll help guide you through that process. By taking that first step and showing up for a few new classes, you'll open up something inside of yourself that will make new possibilities (in art and your life) seem exciting and engaging.

E is for Engaging
And speaking of engaging... boy will these workshops accomplish that! As I make my daily rounds, without fail, I will walk into classrooms that are completely silent. What's going on you might ask? The entire class is completely and totally engaged in what they are doing. They are in a state where nothing else but the tools and materials in front of them are inspiring so many new thoughts and ideas that they have to be quiet so they can hear their muse.

A is for An Experience
You're not just attending a retreat in Minneapolis, you're having an experience. A real live, interactive creative excursion that will engage all your senses. That's why these retreats are etched in your memory for the rest of your life. All the reasons above and below come together to make this the playcation you've always dreamed of. And when you leave, you'll take a part of it home with you. You'll never be the same.

P is for Projects
Wow, projects! There is just no end to the type and diversity of the projects we're offering you.  With workshops that show you how to make finished drawings, paintings, embroidery, sculptures, rings, necklaces, handbags, chimes, journals, tin can dolls and so much more... you'll be hard pressed to even choose which classes to take!

O is for Opportunities
Besides our full day and evening classes, there are so many other opportunities for you to get creative in Minneapolis! We have an opening night party, our on-site store to peruse and try out new products, our Vendor Extravaganza where you can pick up hard-to-find mixed media supplies, and we've been known to have a late night pajama party or two as well as other impromptu gatherings. And like a small ant colony, our attendees are constantly navigating the hallways between classes and bumping into other creatives who want to share a bite to eat or get a nibble and chat. You won't be bored!

L is for Learning
We have so many opportunities to learn new techniques, work with new tools, try new products, and expand your creative repertoire. Your head will be spinning with all the information you'll get from taking our unique classes.... in a good way!

I is for Instructors
Our instructors are hand-picked just for you. Plucked right out of your favorite magazines, art and craft books, and popular websites, these talented and professional artists will teach and guide you in a caring, supportive way. They'll take you under their wing and help make you soar to new creative heights!

...and S is for Support
We're here for you. Our staff, our store, our teachers, our students. We are a family. The Art & Soul family. And we support each other and lift each other up. You are not alone. You'll be amongst a tribe of like-minded people who carry themselves in a positive manner and make sure you are taken care of. So come join the family!!

April 26th - May 1, 2017
Crowne Plaza Aire Mall of America Hotel
Minneapolis, MN

This year's Minneapolis Art & Soul Retreat will knock your creative socks off. Chock full of mixed media workshops just ripe for the picking, taught by our very talented instructors. We have so much to offer... we'd love to have you as part of the family. Come join us!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Refer-A-Friend & Save in Minneapolis...

What's better than going to our Minneapolis Art & Soul Retreat? Going with a friend! And right now, if you refer a friend to join us for at least one 6-hour, full day class... we'll give you a $25 credit! That's right... all you have to do is encourage, persuade, motivate, coax or influence one of your best buds to go, and we'll give you a little bonus.

So go ahead, regale your friends with tales of Art & Soul's past, bring some of your amazing projects over to show off, and send them over to our website so they can check out all the amazing classes we have in Minneapolis this year. And when you find out that they were totally convinced to go, and how could they have passed up on an opportunity to play and create like this... just send us an e-mail and let us know. And you'll be $25 richer! That's like paying for a class kit fee, or some new art supplies in our on-site store, or a little treat for yourself on Vendor Night.

April 26 - May 1, 2017
Crowne Plaza Aire Mall of America

Thanks a bunch and we look forward to seeing you and your friends in Minneapolis this Spring!