Found some rusty bits

Pam Nichols shared her favorite scrapyard in Redmond, Oregon with me and another artist. Days after I returned from my Europe trip, I drove to Portland then continued on to central Oregon with Pam and Jeanne.

Standing in front of just one of the many lovely piles of rust at McCormick


But first we had to tour Pam’s rustarium and studio in Portland.

We spent 1 1/2 days picking at Swift and McCormick. It was amazing and I could have picked for a week and not been satisfied. The price? A whopping 30 cents a pound.

The primary reason we were picking rust was to gather items for our Dyeing To Rust encaustic workshops Mary 29-31, and July 17-19.

We have room for two in each workshop. Use the contact form at the bottom of this post if you are interested in joining us. You can read more about the workshop here, here,and here.

Sisters Mountain Range

We spent the evenings in Bend, attending the Artist Walk Friday, and visiting some of Pam’s artist friends on Saturday. The mountains were beautiful while we were there and Pam told me how many of them she has climbed. I was impressed. It was a delightful weekend.

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Jane and Frida = bliss

Jane wrote a lovely post about our Viva Frida trip to Mexico City. She is such a wonderful photographer. I know that you will enjoy reading and seeing our visit to Frida’s through her eyes.

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London is not falling down

It is booming with gorgeously dressed men, boots to die for, a plethora of plays and FREE admission to art museums. This was my second trip there but this time I saw it with friends who are artists. We crammed as much as we could into three days before Judy and I returned to the states and Michel left for Amsterdam to do some scouting for future trips (announcing soon!) and her next pied a terre.


Judy Wise, me and Michel Fletcher in front of the National Gallery Museum

Ate great Indian food here and in Scotland
Saw the London Marathon

Visited The National Portrait Gallery, and the National Gallery

Saw Marlene Dumas, The Image as Burden at the Tate Modern


We walked our assets off.

Bought a trinket – you may now all swoon my assemblage friends.  Order of the Buffalo!


Attended The Commitments and  Sunny Afternoon where we caught up with Alexis and Jeanne.  Love the theaters in London they are so civilized, you can drink your wine while watching the show and you don’t have to dress up to the nines!

Judy standing in front of the theater – she thought the lead sang “his guts out”

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Moments with Gillian in Gardenstown, Scotland

There are special moments in your life that you know that you will hold close to your heart forever. Traveling to Scotland to Moments in Time workshop with Gillian Lee Smith is one of those. I made the long trek from Mexico City to Aberdeen via Houston and Frankfurt (where they forgot to put my luggage on to the plane), then a bus ride to Banff where Gillian greeted me for the last trek to Gardenstown.


What a beautiful place for a workshop. The scenery was breathtaking, and literally did steal your breath away when you walked up the hillside to the church and cemetery. I felt like I was in a movie.
imageI was fascinated by the cemetery and remains of the church on the hillside and climbed up there twice, once with Julie and once with Judy. I knew that if Judy didn’t go up there, she would regret it.

Gillian is so dear and my is this woman talented. Her sketchbooks were amazing and we all felt like we were looking at precious drawings that should be made into coffee table art books.

The studio where we worked had views of the sea, the town’s rooftops, the hills and boats in the harbor. It was difficult to not stare out the windows and just relax and breathe in the salty air. Water does that to me and as the week wore on, I grew quieter and more serene.

We sketched, did timed exercises and painted, some more than others (Kijsa!). It was a small group of wonderful women and three of whom I knew, my roommate, dearest Judy, Jeanne Oliver, and Alexis Garrett which made the trip even more special. It was a magical time.

Gillian has opened her Unearth Gather Create on-line course to self-study. I advise you, if you have not already, purchase the course. You will thank me. Truly, it is like going to art school. She is a wonderful teacher and her course is so full of information that you will go back to it over and over again which is why you have lifetime access. We were all in awe of Gillian, including Judy. It was so special to watch those two together, the respect that they showed one another was touching.

The town people were so nice to all of us and welcomed us to their only pub and tea house.

I can’t wait to frame my artwork from Gillian and add them to my collection of treasures.


I bought the picture in the upper right hand corner -and three others as well (not shown).

You will be hearing more about Gillian, she is a talent that we want to support and promote. In fact, she is going to come to Seattle and Portland in April 2017 for two workshops. Yep, she’s coming here! Let me know if you are interested because the workshops are limited to 12 and will fill quickly. She has another new online workshop coming up soon, so be sure to look for that as well.

I fell in love with Scotland and can’t wait to return. Here are pictures that I took from our van as we were leaving. The hills were dotted with baby ewes, calves and daffodils.

Thank you dearest, Gillian, for a special Moment in Time.

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Jane Davenport is a hoot!;

Jane showing how she excels at taking selfies or in this case, posing mid-stroke for a pic.

It is so wonderful to meet a person who is exactly as she appears in her online courses. Spending time with Jane Davenport in Mexico City was a dream come true and to watch her enjoy the schedule of activities we planned was a lot of fun.

Did I mention that she is a power shopper? She now has a cadre of colorful shirts to wear to remember our time together with 12 other artists who attended Viva Frida. She bought this beautiful coat to wear during our trip.


This stunning painting by Felipe Ferguson hangs in the lobby of the Red Tree House, our wonderful home for the week.
The staff and owners, Jorge Silva and Craig Hudson, made sure that all of our needs were met, including the opportunity to visit Felipe’s studio where we saw another painting of Frida which Jorge purchased the very next day!

Jane and Mandy in Felipe’s studio. Aren’t Mandy’s glasses cool? They are made from vinyl records!

Watching Jane paint in person is a fabulous opportunity to observe every stroke and to watch a painting transform, even while waiting for our dinner to arrive.


We spent time visiting Frida and Diego’s Casa Azul which was a dream come true for many of the artists. We also visited Dolores Olmeda’s hacienda now a museum.

Visiting Carlito Dalceggio’s studio was another treat after we stopped by El Moro for churros and chocolate. And a visit to the Pasteleria Ideal with enormous wedding cakes that you buy by the kilo.

Jane has more trips planned for London, Bali, Italy and Paris. Take it from me, traveling with Jane is a real treat. We plan to do it again in Oaxaca. Let me know if you are interested and I will keep your name on a contact list. Here are a few pictures during our last show ‘N tell with our wonderful group of artists.

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An interview with Judy Wise – Bali

Our trip to Bali is just around the corner and I am getting very excited to learn new (to me) dyeing techniques with Judy Wise and Sue Stover. Judy was recently at my house painting for another trip that I will be talking about very soon (painting BIG in Spain) so I took advantage of having her captured in my back yard for this short interview about Bali.


Here are three more of Sue’s recent work using indigo dyeing and encaustic with a little rust thrown in, too. Stunning!


To see more details about the trip go here. Contact me if you are interested in joining us. There’s room! Use the form below to contact me if you have questions or would like to sign up.

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When I grow up I want to be just like Judy Wise

When you speak to Judy Wise, you have her undivided attention. She is one of those people who looks you straight in the eye and actually listens to what you are saying. She is multi-talented and has earned her living as a very successful artist. Any question I have about art, I just ask Judy and she can explain it.

As I have traveled with Judy this past year, I have to keep pinching myself that she, the equally adorable and very special and talented Katie Kendrick and I are a team. We are planning trips clear into 2017!

And do I love Judy’s work ethic. She mentions she is thinking about adding another online course and two weeks later, it’s up, she’s advertised about it and is taking sign ups. She has online courses about painting faces, making sculpey dolls, hot wax, plaster, cold wax, and journaling. Her journals are amazing and part of her daily art practice. She even illustrates her wardrobe when she travels so she can see it and choose combinations from her journal.

I love that Judy, despite her years of practice, is still curious and continues to attend workshops. In fact, I am meeting her and our friends from our San Miguel trip, Jeanne Oliver and Alexis Garrett in Scotland right after my upcoming trip to Mexico City, to attend Gillian Lee Smith’s A Moment In time workshop in a small fishing village on the northern coast of Scotland. Scotland, people, I am going to Scotland and then to London to go to a few museums before returning home. This, too, will be an opportunity to learn from Judy. Like I said in the title, I want to be just like Judy when I grow up.

Our next trip and another great learning opportunity is to Bali in September with Sue Stover. The two of them have incredible knowledge and experience with dyeing. Combine that with the beauty of Bali….I am very excited to see and experience it all. Pinch me someone before I wake up. What a ride I am on.

We still have room on our Bali trip, contact me if you are interested or want more information on this trip to Bali or if you would like to be contacted regarding future trips with Judy and Katie — Amsterdam May 2016, Spain Sept. 2016, Chiapas and Italy in 2017.

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Viva Frida and Danger!;

Several years ago, Jane “Danger” Davenport created her very first online course and I was one of the participants. Since then I have followed and taken almost every one of Jane’s courses. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited that I am actually going to meet her on Friday and that I have organized a trip for her and her peeps to Mexico City. If you know Jane at all, you know how much she loves all things Frida so I know that this is going to be a very special trip for her and I am excited to be there to experience her joy.

See you soon, Danger!

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Paint Mexico City – Part Four

More special moments during Paint Mexico City with Judy Wise and Katie Kendrick.

A very special evening was spent with friends photographer Nacho Urquiza and his wife, food stylist Laura Cordera in their beautifully decorated, art filled home where they provided a very special meal for our group based on the book, Fiestas de Frida for which Nacho was the photographer. Laura selected recipes from the book and we happily indulged ourselves and listened to wonderful stories told by Nacho about his family’s association with Frida and the story behind his shoot for the cookbook.

We traveled to Frida and Diego Rivera’s Blue House which was a moving experience for many in the group. It’s quite the experience to actually see where Frida lived for twenty years, see her studio, where she slept and her clothes including the many braces she endured while wearing them. Interesting note, Nacho told us that while he was photographing for the Frida cookbook, he was allowed with special permission to take pictures in the house for only 30 minutes. If you have ever been on a shoot before, you understand the impossibility of that time frame. Of course, Nacho did it and accomplished what he needed.

Next up was Dolores Olmeda Patina’s enormous house with quite a few paintings by Frida and Diego. There is a lot of controversy over her collection and how she ended up with the paintings. We actually saw the dogs pictured in this painting.

We finished the day on the ancient waterways of Xocohmilco where we floated, like Frida,  in our trajinera accompanied by musicians and another boat that provided us with delicious mole.

Visiting Chapultepec Castle was another fabulous moment on our trip. Set high atop what is known as grasshopper hill, it has wonderful vistas that overlook the city and Chapultepec Park. We wandered through what was Emperor Maximilian and his wife, Carlota’s castle for three years during his reign. It is filled with beautiful artwork and furnishings.

One of my favorite museums in Mexico City is the Arte de Popular filled with popular art from throughout Mexico. Here are just a few pictures of what is inside.

After eating comida at the blue tiled Sanborns near the zocolo where the filming of the latest 007 movie with Daniel Craig was wrapping up, we stopped in at the Pasteleria Ideal where enormous cakes bought by the kilo were showcased upstairs in the 2-story bakery. The first floor smelled like heaven with its enormous collection of breads, cookies and gelatins. You grab a tray and pile it high with your goodies before checking out. It was a sight! Luckily we were full so we were not tempted.

Our final meal together was at Pleno, a neighborhood restaurant that was just outstanding. Chef Alberto Kalach and his staff provided wonderful service, beautifully plated food which tasted as great as it looked. We had a wonderful evening and it was hard to say farewell to the this wonderful group of artists (and significant others) but we welcome each of them into our art tribe. Until the next trip – Bali with Judy and Sue Stover in September, and then San Miguel de Allende in October, and a hint as to what is to come in May 2016.

Last dinner at Pleno

Amsterdam with Katie and Judy, May 2016

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Paint Mexico City – Part Three

Two of the highlights for me on the Paint Mexico City trip was spending time with Craig Hudson and Carlito Dalceggio. Craig is co-owner of the Red Tree House with his partner Jorge Silva. Carlito is their friend and has painted two walls in the Red Tree House and a beautiful mural that hangs in the stairwell.

Mural by Carlito Dalceggio

Craig is very talented and I love the assemblages that he makes. They are witty, playful and irreverent, have moving parts and are made with a lot of love. Craig used to teach which is obvious when he starts talking about his work which he does with great infectious enthusiasm. He is a set designer having worked in Ashland, OR for many years and still travels every few weeks back there to work not only on sets, but he is also in the throes of designing a restaurant. The man can do anything!

Not only is Craig a fabulous artist, but he and Jorge are great collectors and supporters of local artists and their fabulous B&B is filled with eye candy everywhere you look. Not only is the Red Tree House a beautiful place to stay, but the staff is so wonderful that you will never want to stay anywhere else once you have stayed there. You are truly spoiled by the beautiful accommodations, service, and camaraderie that you share with the other guests. We had a lot of fun explaining why we were at the Red Tree House and other guests were intrigued to hear what we did each day. Here is some of the beautiful artwork that hangs throughout the Red Tree House.

When we met Carlito at the door of the building where he has his art studio, we knew we were in for a treat. His aura is very special and you know that you are in the presence of someone who is a human being filled with compassion, generosity and a unique spirit. He travels often, living where it inspires him before moving on to the next city. Toward the end of our visit he calmly walked over to his desk, grabbed some ink, a brush and some paper and proceeded to sit on the paint-strewn cardboard covered floor and drew a picture for each one of our artists in the space of about 15-20 minutes. Remarkable. To say that we were awed is an understatement.

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