Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello! I just wanted to pop in and say Happy Thanksgiving to my favorite peeps! No matter how you celebrate, I hope you have a wonderful day. I hope you are surrounded by friends and family... and good food.

And during this time of thanks, I wish to thank all of you for coming to our events, being courageous enough to leave the world behind for a few days and explore your creativity. Without all of you, we wouldn't have an Art & Soul. You may think that you're just having fun and making art while you're at our events, but you're also enabling me to continue doing something I love... put smiles on all your lovely faces!

So thank you, thank you, thank you! Have a great holiday!

Much Love,

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Virginia Beach Classes Are Up! Registration Starts This Friday!

Will you come join us next Fall for our Art & Soul Mixed Media Retreat in Virginia Beach? Yay! We're so happy to have you. As always we've got dozens of full day and evening workshops to stretch your creativity, lots of fun events, an on-site store that's to dye for, a Vendor Extravaganza for all your hard to find knick knacks and amazing original art, and so much more!

We've put a preview of our classes online... you can check them out here. Registration goes live on November 20th and we have a very special EARLY BIRD OFFER for you! If you sign up by January 1, 2016, all of your full day workshops will be $135 and your registration fee will be $35! That's a $15 savings on both! It all adds up.... or should we say... subtracts!

Virginia Beach Art & Soul
September 26 - October 1, 2016
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!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Introducing... Our 2016 Theme!

We are so very delighted to bring you our new Art & Soul
theme and logo for 2016...
In The Enchanted Forest

We always try to think of a creative theme for each year and this one just conjured up all kinds of lovely into-the-woods visuals! Evoking images from fairy tales and magic, to tiny stone cottages and friendly forest foragers, we thought you'd enjoy it too.

This whimsical woodland artwork was created by longtime Art & Soul Instructor Leslie Brier. Well-known for her inventive (and often steampunk style) mixed media art and jewelry, Leslie also has a playful side that definitely came through in this logo design.

So put on your thinking caps my little mixed-media mavens! I can't wait to see what imaginative things you come up with for trades, swaps, themed clothing and oodles of ephemera to bring along to our Art & Soul Retreats this year. I'm sure we'll be enchanted!

And in the meantime, check out the amazing selection of mixed-media classes we have to offer in 2016! With 3 inspirational locations to choose from... Portland, Minneapolis and Virginia Beach, there's an exciting retreat event near you!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Virginia Beach Wrap Up!

Well... we wrapped up the year with Art & Soul Virginia Beach... and I just can't help but think how blessed I am to still be doing these events after all these years. I got a little nostalgic at our most recent retreat and started to reflect a little bit about what a great time we have at every individual event. So here's me waxing nostalgic about Virginia Beach...

Virginia Beach just gets better and better.  It is so delightful to return to a warm & cozy hotel with employees who remember us with a smile.  They almost anticipate what we may need before we do!  That is one advantage in staying at the same location each year. Virginia Beach has its own charm and even though we were in the midst of a storm, it was wonderful to see happy and talented faces each day.  Our attendees continue to amaze me with their creative energy and ideas.  And the camaraderie of pajama parties and impromptu gatherings warms my heart.

The Amazing Julie Haymaker Thompson!

If we were an art bootcamp (as some have called us in the past, lol), we'd have lots of "decorated" Sergeants that we consider our long-time teachers. We are blessed to have a selection of “faculty” with us at each event. These incredible instructors continue to offer new and innovative techniques attracting beginners and die-hard attendees alike. They have made a commitment to teach and I can always count on them — a very special attribute for our retreats. Our new instructors round out the retreat experience by offering something new.  This makes them very special and exciting in our program as we strive to offer all types of mixed media throughout all of our events.

At our retreats, we have plenty of special events, pop up parties, demos, vendor night frenzies and other activities of note. As much as we all love to create... we also love to play, be silly and let off some steam. After all, we're on playcation! And in true Art & Soul form, two of our attendees — Julie Armstrong and Sandy Lupton — organized a Pajama Party. It was a hoot and we have decided to make it an annual event.  There was lots of fun, revelry, laughter... and hey... I think even some art was created! 

Students from Gina Rossi Armfeld's No Excuses Watercolor Class

As for me, I have some favorite things as the event organizer. Having the opportunity to meet up with and catch up with old friends is always wonderful. I feel like I have so much "family" at these events. My other favorite love is watching new people find the joy and empowerment of Art & Soul. When people who had the courage enough to push their boundaries come out of the classrooms at the end of the day with giant smiles on their faces, well... that just makes my heart go pitter-patter.

A student's project from Jean VanBrederode's Family Jewels workshop

And we have even more excitement in store for our 2016 events! We're bringing in new instructors to delight and entice our mixed media crowd. We're creating confirmation packets again – one of my long-time passions. We've got a brand new Midwest location with our Minneapolis event! And, of course, we're finding NEW attendees and getting them hooked on the mixed media bug.

So thanks to everyone who makes this all possible... my right-hand chicks, our teachers, the adventurous students, our on-site store and staff, vendor night artists, the hotel crew, and everyone else. Together we've made something pretty special... and we've made it last. We must be doing something right!


photos courtesy of Jean VanBrederode, Julie Armstrong, Gina Rossi Armfeld.