Monday, December 31, 2012

Let's Wrap It Up!

Well, what better time to finally get around to wrapping up October's Portland Art & Soul than the last day of 2012... right? As many of you know, I practically went right from the event to a hospital bed where I had gastric bypass surgery done. However, I did not want to "bypass" talking about our amazing new venue and what a great time it was. So here goes...

The Red Lion Hotel located right on the Columbia River was just a spectacularly inspirational location. I mean... imagine having this view to begin your day! Fire in the sky... mountains in the background... surrounded by water... ahhhhhhh. I can just feel my body relaxing just remembering this! The hotel staff were the epitome of hospitality, and the food was great. And there were lots of great restaurants and shopping all within walking distance.

The classrooms were spacious with floor-to-ceiling windows — many having views of the river — letting in the natural light. Perfect for making art! And it was really nice to have all the classrooms in one location, inside the hotel. No more waking up to catch a shuttle. Woohoo!

But the things that define Art & Soul did not change. We still had an amazing and diverse selection of classes for all levels of attendees. Whether you like to be meticulous in your craft, like Suzanne McNeill's class where you get to carefully and thoughtfully Zentangle on a gourd...

...or maybe you like to throw caution to the wind... create a mess... and actually be the mess, like the students in Jesse Reno's classes! There was definitely something for everybody.

And our teachers. I just cannot say enough about them. They are all amazingly talented individuals who have been hand picked for our retreats. Some have been with us for a very long time and others are visionaries on the cutting edge of today's newest techniques. But all of them take the time to give our students individual attention on projects, gently guide them every step of the way, and they even double as psychologists!

You see... sometimes, going outside our comfort zone in art makes those pesky little insecurities come up. But our instructors are all so good at helping you not only discover a new technique... but also helping you feel comfortable with who you are and how you express yourself. It's actually pretty amazing to see these connections — between your art and your soul, as well as those between teacher and student — take place!

And then there was Vendor Night! It's always a feast for the senses... and the credit cards! I kind of like to do a once-over and then go back to pick up my favorite finished pieces and supplies. But there's always those one or two items I must buy on-the-spot, for fear someone else will like it as much as I. But really the level of jewelry, collage, assemblage, dolls, as well as the amazingly unique ephemera, findings and antiques that the instructors and other vendors bring to this night make it a most delightful shopping experience for attendees and the general public!

Art & Soul Portland was the first major art event that I made happen. It's like my first born. And although it has grown up a lot over the years, and gone through some changes, and even had some growing pains... I love my baby.... and all of you that make it happen. All my attendees... my instructors.. my helpers... the local vendors... the on-site store owners... the hotel staff... and on and on and on. I couldn't do Portland — or any other venue — without all of you. And now that this year is coming to a close, I'm getting a little teary eyed as I think about all that I have to be grateful for.

Have a Happy and Creative New Year! See you in Twenty-thirteen!


Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Craftmas & Happy Glue Year!

When the hustle and bustle of retail extravaganzas and big box store bonanzas has become the new norm, handmade gifts and cards sometimes get lost in the shuffle. But not here in the creative realm of Art & Souler's, I bet! I'm sure you crafted a darling little card, or hand made some gifts this year. Maybe you prepared an amazing table setting for guests, or decorated the house with extra flair. No matter how you expressed your creativity this season — be proud of yourself for keeping the true spirit of art and individuality in the Holidays! 

And thank you all so much for your support of Art & Soul Retreats. Each and every one of you! Students and teachers alike. Taking time out to replenish your soul in a creative way is no longer a luxury — it's a necessity!  And I appreciate you choosing to play and have fun with us year after year. You are part of our success and I wish you the Happiest of Holidays and the Most Creative New Year Ever!

~ Glenny xo

Monday, December 17, 2012

Earn Feathers Toward Your Art Wings!

We are so excited to introduce our newest points program...

Art Wings!

Where you can earn money to spend in our online store and even get yourself a free class!

Share the excitement and connectivity that you love so much with an artsy friend and earn your wings with our Art Wings Points Program for Art & Soul! All you need to do is refer a NEW attendee to any of our Mixed Media Art Retreats. When they register for an all day class, YOU will receive a feather for your Art Soul Wing. Each feather is worth $20 to spend in our on-site store — Artistic Artifacts — or take $20 off a class of your choice. Special bonus: if you refer 5 people who each take at least one all day class, you get a free class!

So spread your Art Wings and let your soul soar while you lift up your creative friends! E-mail me directly with your new attendees at

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Art & Soul Radio... Tune in for Vikki Pignatelli, Nurturing Your Creative Spirit, Dec. 17

Vikki Pignatelli is a self-taught artist who entered the world of quilting in 1991 at the urging of her sister. A non-sewer at the time, Vikki attended a beginner's class and quickly fell in love with the art of quilting. Now a full-time professional quilt-artist, designer, international teacher, lecturer and author, Vikki and her quilts have been featured in many books, national publications and exhibitions. She has won 32 awards in national and international competitions and exhibitions including a first place award at the International Quilt Festival at Houston and Best Color and Design for Passages of the Spirit in the 2002 NQA annual show

She is the author of two quilting books, Quilting Curves and Quilting By Improvisation  and numerous “how-to” articles for quilt magazines. 

Vikki also founded Sacred Threads Quilt Exhibitions and has now self-published Nurture Your Creative Spirit which we will be talking about Monday.
So please join us for this inspirational chat...

Art & Soul Radio featuring Vikki Pignatelli
with Lesley Riley
Monday, December 17th
7:00pm EST

And don't forget, Art & Soul Radio's interviews are also available on demand, to listen to at your leisure. Check out what other mixed-media artists are doing and how they're living their lives with passion any time!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Pass the Gravy, Please...

So, I'm now on the last phase of the recovery diet plan. This means that I can begin to introduce real food to my life again. WOW! that sounded so wonderful! ...and I could not wait to have an actual dinner with the family. 

Thanksgiving was lift off.  

I love Thanksgiving. It is the only time that I enjoy cooking. My grandson could eat an entire turkey by himself! He LOVES food and it is a joy to watch him. His football coach continues to encourage him to bulk up, so eating is not an issue for him. I cooked for two days with heavenly anticipation. I was careful... sticking to soft foods (easy at Thanksgiving — mashed potatoes & dressing!) and making certain the turkey was moistened with gravy. No problem there!!! And then I think I ate about 5 bites and was done. That was a good thing.  I felt satisfied and was thrilled.  

Fast forward to the next day.

Blood sugar was elevated a bit, resulting in an insulin injection which always makes me ill. Needing to eat, I tried a scrambled egg and apparently ate it too fast. The resulting pain is up there on the same scale as a kidney stone. I swear — it does not let up — and is excruciating. It takes time for the food to pass through the itty bitty opening — so add being nauseated to the pain and it was a day to remember.  That is the bad part of all of this. Every day is an experiment with my new body (planned or unplanned!).

Remembering to eat slowly and chew to a pulp is something that I struggle with.  I've always grabbed something to eat on the run and washed it down with a glass of water. Not so much anymore. All these behaviors that we have known for years and never follow are now coming back in spades. Eat slowly... Put your fork down between bites... Do not drink while eating.  

When I was in Italy, dinner was a two hour affair.  Everyone visited and enjoyed the time together — how did we get so far away from the old traditions?  Now food is gobbled up in less than 10 minutes and no one talks about their day.  Unless they text.  No wonder we are an obese nation!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

How to Train Your Dragon... and Other Animal Stories!

Have you seen this awesome Dragon! class taught by two of my favorite instructors Ty and Marcia Schultz at Art & Soul Virginia? It's a chance for you to breathe life into your very own mythical creature as you learn to create the basic form that supports your dragon and decorate it any way you wish! Ty and Marcia will be by your side to guide your sculptural side and share secrets of the prop-building trade. It's an evening that will have you breathing fire... in a good way!

Take a look at this fun little video as Ty explains what you'll get to accomplish in this unique evening workshop! 

And in case Dragons aren't your thing, maybe you have other hangups? Perfect! Then check out Ty and Marcia's Animal Hang Ups workshop. You'll get to make your very own animal to hang on the wall!

This impressive duo will magically show you how to create realistic-looking animals using everyday materials. You'll surprise yourself as these experts (26 years in the biz) show you how easy it can be to make something so beautiful!

Or maybe you don't want to sculpt from scratch yet but you've always wanted to make a mold from objects you already have? Awesome! In their Moldmaking class, Ty and Marcia can show you the step-by-step process of creating a two piece silicone block mold as well as a few other types of processes. If you ever needed more than one of the same item for an art piece, then this comprehensive class will be invaluable!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Art & Soul Radio... Tune in for Christina Rosalie: A Field Guide to NOW, Dec. 3rd

Christina Rosalie is a writer and mixed media artist whose award-winning work has been featured in print and online. She is also an adventurer, four-leaf clover finder, autodidact, and optimist, with a tendency to forget things on the roof of her car and a knack for getting paint on her jeans. Christina has an MFA in Emergent Media and lives with her husband and two wonderful boys in northern Vermont. 
Christina’s new book, A Field Guide to NOW: notes on mindfulness and life in the present tense is a jewel. The perfect gift for a daughter, friend, and most of all yourself. Her writing is raw and genuine and beautiful all at the same time. There is wisdom on almost every page that I want to remember now and forever. You all might know I’m a quote junkie. I’ll be quoting Christina till the end of my days.

So please join us for this inspirational chat...

Art & Soul Radio featuring Christina Rosalie

with Lesley Riley
Monday, December 3rd
7:00pm EST

And don't forget, Art & Soul Radio's interviews are also available on demand, to listen to at your leisure. Check out what other mixed-media artists are doing and how they're living their lives with passion any time!