Cat Bennett wins a gold medal

Congratulations to Cat Bennett for her book Making Art a Practice winning a gold medal from Foreword Reviews, the go-to indie book review for libraries and bookstores!

Cat recently returned from a drawing workshop in Greece on the island of Skyros. She wrote about her experience there with students from around the world. Here is an excerpt.

“Most of the students were from England, Ireland, Scandinavia and Italy. I was impressed how quickly everyone allowed themselves to abandon traditional ideas about drawing with accuracy and getting things “right.” We drew in abstract ways, with our eyes only on what we were drawing and we drew even with our eyes closed. We drew from memory too. We got interested in what we were seeing and discovering, and the ways we could go into uncharted territory to create new experiences and invent. We looked at the things we were telling ourselves as so many of those things can hold us back. Part of our work became watching the mind and changing any negatives to positives. This really opened us up to boldness. And we learned to ask good questions. Why? Why not? What do we see, what can we do with it, what can we offer of ourselves? And what do we see of ourselves in the work too? We each have a unique perspective, our own story and sensibility, so working together is a great way to see our perspective as well as appreciate that of others. Working in a situation like this brought people from different parts of the world together and our assumptions became more evident. It was great. Art is so wonderfully immediate as a way of sharing insight and spirit.”

Cat standing in front of her bamboo hut on Skyros

While this hut is “cute,” this is the hut where we will be practicing our art at the The Jungle Lodge at the Costa Rica Yoga Spa in February.

Costa Rica Yoga Spa

A pleasant surprise is that during our retreat, we will have the chance to dance with Amber Ryan, a frequent teacher at the Yoga Center. Amber is a healing artist with an embodiment and articulation of the 5Rhythms® that inspires depth and expansion. The 5Rhythms® is a simple yet profound moving meditation practice created by Gabrielle Roth. It is designed to bring out each individual’s creative potential as well as being a catalyst for deep healing in the body, mind, and soul regardless of your age, shape, gender, or physical endurance level.

With a rich background in theatre and dance, Amber’s professional credits include two time dance captain to Emmy award winning choreographer Mia Michaels, Manager of Productions at The Moving Center New York, and faculty for Gabrielle Roth’s first 5Rhythms Reach Out program for kids.

Paint with Cat and Katie, eat organic food picked from the finca (farm), dance with Amber, practice yoga, fly through the treetops and kayak? Sounds wonderful to me, especially in February.

We still have space left for Create Costa Rica with Cat Bennett and Katie Kendrick scheduled for Feb. 6-13, 2015. If you would like to join us, please use the contact form below.

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Lisa Pressman – Painting the Light Within

Lisa Pressman discusses the changes in her work with John Thornton at the Rosenfeld Gallery in Philadelphia.

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Paint Mexico City

Judy Wise and Katie Kendrick are so excited to have you join them in Mexico City next March. They can hardly contain themselves as they busily weed and harvest their gardens with their husbands this summer while thinking of their time next March with all of you. You know, there is a lot of time to be thinking while you are canning, preserving and freezing your bounty for the winter months. Who knows what they are going to come up with, I just know it’s going to be fabulous. Our projects in San Miguel last fall were so much fun and I know that this September in Oaxaca we have a full schedule of exciting activities. Mexico City is going to be even more over the top just because it is Mexico City. We are going to float down the canals, visit Frida and Diego’s homes, visit markets and eat our way through the Condesa neighborhood. Oh, and did I mention chocolate will be involved? Award winning chocolatier in Condesa, people.

Paint, draw, plaster, shopping, eating, floating, observing–all your senses will be tested on this trip.

We’d love to have you join us. If you have any questions, feel free to ask! There are more details here.

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Create Costa Rica with Cat Bennett and Katie Kendrick

Create Costa Rica Art Retreat with Cat Bennett and Katie Kendrick –Artwork by Cat Bennett

It may be sunny and warm right now, but it is going to be wet and cold in February. Think sun, dipping pool, expansive vistas, howler monkeys, delicious organic meals, a glass of wine at the end of the day as we talk about what we created that day. Oh, and then there is going to be that rip roaring zip line ride through the tree tops and a little kayaking in the estuary. And don’t forget more art and trips to the beach. What are you waiting for? Come play in the tree tops with us. More details about the trip here. Isn’t this on your bucket list?

February 6-13, 2014, Create Costa Rica with Cat Bennett and Katie Kendrick.

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See San Sebastián, Spain the Moore Way

8/5/14  This trip has been cancelled.

San Sebastian, a jewel of a city by the shimmering Cantabrian sea, ringed by the Pyrennes, is shrouded in mystery. Donostia, as it is known in the Basque native language, offers visitors a rich tangle of history and intrigue and who better than Tracy and Teesha Moore to lead us through this beautiful Spanish coastal city that will bear the title of European City of Culture in 2016. San Sebastian with the Moores

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Painting a portrait with Jon Houglum

Through the wonders of Pinterest, I found these videos by Jon Houglum that I wanted to share with my students from my Plaster and Wax class. The class is ongoing and up for a year (from May) so you can still join in the fun.

To my students, although he is working with oils, you can apply the same technique using acrylics. This is a fantastic lesson.

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Mexico City with Jane Davenport


Mexico City with Jane Davenport, scheduled for April 11-18, 2015 is filling up so if you have been on the fence, now is a good time to sign up. Viva Frida! There are more details here.

Don’t you just love this drawing of Frida that Jane drew?! Here are more pictures of Mexico City on my See.Mexico City Pinterest board.

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Puget Sound Book Artists Show at UPS

Isn’t it always funny when someone from out of town tells you what is going on in your own community that you had no idea was going on? During our workshop with Daniella Woolf, she told us that she was going to stop by at the University of Puget Sound to see the Puget Sound Book Artist Show in the Collins Memorial Library as she was heading south to visit her cousin in Olympia. The show is open until the end of the month in Tacoma and features 57 handmade books created by 39 artists from Puget Sound area. Laurie, Mary Ann and I met Daniella and Kim on campus to visit the show.

When you walk through the doors, make sure that you look to the right and to the left. To the left you will find Eco, the gray whale made from ocean debris.

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Picking and Waxing, a Dream Workshop

The very talented and funny Daniella Woolf’s Encaustic Improv workshop at the Pacific Northwest Art School in Coupeville, WA combined two of my favorite passions–picking at a garage sale and waxing. No, not my legs or eyebrows, waxing what we picked from the Lion’s Club garage sale. Daniella didn’t give us much direction, just be open to what we could find that might be “waxable.” Well, that was a pretty broad directive. As long as it wasn’t slick, shiny or plastic, we could give it a go back in the studio. Daniella is known for unusual encaustic installations of gigantic proportions and unusual materials, albeit now she is working on some very small projects that my friend, Irena and I were privileged to see in Daniella’s studio on Whidbey Island, and where Irene picked up Daniella’s very cool, yellow with zebra-striped-taped handlebars LeMond touring bike which Daniella had ridden in a few long-term bike rides, in a tutu, no less. Yep, saw the picture. But I digress……back to the garage sale.

I have to admit, I was a little unsettled with so little direction because I knew if I was picking that it would be for assemblages. Time and time again, I am drawn to combining my assemblage and encaustic work. I think I am just going to have to give in and concentrate on those two. Daniella says that I need to take a workshop with her friend Wendy Aiken. Road trip, anyone?

Daniella was up to teaching us anything that we asked, so the white board in the front of her work station was filled daily with new requests. I happened to see a wonderful piece of work on Pinterest and asked Daniella how the effect was achieved. She showed me and Remembering the Way is the result.

Daniella is a hoot, wears great glasses that we coveted that her wife, Kim, found on line. Zinni will be getting a few hits from workshop attendees. Daniella has committed to teaching the class again next year so if you are interested, be sure to sign up for the school’s newsletter because it will fill up quickly.

Kim and Daniella

Here are a few pictures of some of the other attendee’s pieces. My very talented friend, Irena, has the most wonderful sense of color and composition. And Shannon Cobb’s meticulous work was very inspiring.

A special shout out goes to my friend, Karen Raines for letting Irena and me crash at her house. Here’s what awaited us the morning that we left the island.

Sunrise on Whidbey Island

Thanks, Daniella, for a wonderful workshop. I’ll be seeing you soon and look forward to our next adventure.


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The lull of a water wall

Our water wall that we can turn on and off with a remote!

Last summer, we built a shed behind the house so that we could move the garden equipment into it which gave us more room in the garage for our “projects.” Assemblage materials and encaustics for me, and tiles and wood for Builder Bob. This summer’s project was to finish the wall that I had envisioned as a water wall. Bob did the engineering figuring out how to get the water, electricity and structural elements aligned with my vision. He is so good at that and I am quite spoiled that I know that he will always figure out how to make what I see in my head work in real-time. Bob left for Home Depot to make yet another run for that one more item that we needed and I took that air gun and went to town nailing the reclaimed wood that I had torn apart from existing tables and chairs. It was liberating and I had so much fun. By the time he came back, I was done and we don’t live that far from Home Depot. It just came together so quickly. Like my painting, I didn’t think it through, just grabbed pieces of wood and nailed them.

We finished just in time to share it with our friends from college who came to our house for a little mini-reunion. We all met at college with the guys sharing the Sig Ep fraternity at Washington State University. We had a beautiful evening with great drinks, food, and friends.

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