Wild Joy Blooms Retreat in Portland Oregon

First off, I want to warn you that this is a long post because I have so much to tell. Trust me, it will be worth it. There are not many artists that I would fly 2000 miles to go see, since I had not flown since 2002, but Carrie Schmitt is one of them. I have been following her for many years and love her intuitive paintings. When she sent out the email that she was having this workshop I thought for maybe a minute before making the decision and grabbed the opportunity. This is what we were greeted with and I knew it was going to be a fantastic experience. I was so excited to meet everyone, or as I say, the other artistic souls. Now they are soul sisters.

The workshop was held in Flora Bowley’s large studio which was awesome with all her originals hanging around on the walls. She rents this out and so it was all set up for workshops like this.

Flora’s paintings are the top ones and then there are stations for the artists with ways to hang canvases on the walls. This picture is kinda dark which the room was not, with big windows at one end. The decorative lights were fun.

Carrie is talking about her painting and how she is doing it. See the large windows at the end. This is an old building that was redone with artists studios. We all had tables and carts, everything an artist needs. We had women that came from all over the United States!

A better picture of Carrie painting.

This area is where we started our day in a round with various activities and much of sharing our stories. From the first day we all felt comfortable with each other and had a lot in common, it was all so interesting. The beauty shown is Melissa who was Carries’ friend and she was always there to help with everything!

There were maybe 20 of these carts to use in the studio, just like my one at home. There is my painting apron, my goddess crown, a painting that Carrie made for all of us, of a rose. I love the drippy wall behind it.

Many artists contributed to these drips.

A favorite picture of Carrie and myself.

These are wings that were drawn on fabric and were to be painted by everyone. It became a late night endeavor and I had gone back to my hotel and what a surprise it was the next day. They were beautiful!

We all had many pictures taken in front of the wings. Here is one of me talking saying what should I do?

This is Lauren, she came as a photographer and had not painted before. Behind her is a bit of her painting and she definitely developed her own style. She was a gentle and sweet soul sister and was my painting buddy on the right.

This was a mural on the side of a building I saw coming from lunch one day. Tara and I had to go take each others pictures in front of it, since we were making history in Portland also.

This is an early stage of someones painting. Not sure who was painting it though.

The early stage of one of my paintings. We had two canvases we were working on.

Another stage and it was crazy and screaming at me. It will not end up looking like this.

Here is the final result that I had shipped home from Portland. It has found a permanent home here on my picture shelf.

This I saw at a shoe store at the Portland Airport while waiting for my flight to leave.

The Rocky Mountains outside of the airplane window.

Our first lunch delivered. A salad, hummus, stuffed grape leaves, pitas, chicken kebobs, rice. It was all good!

I saw these in several places, you must be able to rent them.

This is Jen and she was my painting buddy on my left. She lives in Washington State and we found we had many of the same interests. She is a beautiful and sweet lady.

Another set of early paintings.

Maria from Florida came over to talk and we noticed her hands and had to snap a few photos of them.

This tall beautiful woman is Sophie from Georgia. She is our Goddess Crown leader. One of the evenings was set aside for us to make these crowns and it was great fun. I tell her she is a breath of fresh air.

She had brought many of her crowns and she had one on here. Her face was painted and her tassel earrings are just perfect. She sat at the edge of the angel wing and this picture turned out just gorgeous! One of a kind.

This is Zippy Lomax who is a professional photographer and she came to take pictures one whole day and to take pictures of all of us professionally. I look forward to seeing all of them. She is a very fun person.

This was an activity one evening, a rose ceremony and Qoya hence the yoga mats. I participated in the Qoya but did not get down on the floor because I did not want to have to get up off the floor.

Here I am showing off my Goddess Crown that I made with the help of Sophie. I love the feathers.

Angel Wings that I started and had shipped home. When they are done I am going to hang them on the wall.

This is Tara who came all the way from New York City. She was my painting buddy behind me.. We did a lot of talking and I had many questions for her since she lives right in NYC and I had visited there this last summer. She is also our Qoya leader and she is an artist and she and I took our pictures in front of the mural. She is doing many things and take a look at her on her website. So as you can tell I had the time of my life. It was well worth the trip and I am so glad I got to do it and met all the fabulous women! One person that I do not have an individual picture of is Dvora Troshane who was the coordinatior of this retreat.  She runs the Soulshine Studio and just worked tirelessly on this.  Please look at her website because she is always doing something interesting.


new sketches


Working on different owls to put into a mixed media painting. I think owls are fascinating. Here I am working more on size and deciding how I am going to place feathers and not so much on minute details.


Same thing here, burrowing owls and a snow owl.


Possible placement on the painting, nothing is set in stone just ideas.


Starting out with a blue and black textured 18 X 24 canvas. Hope to have it finished this week. As Always, thank you for stopping!

Camera Play

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I have gotten all my decorating done and that is a good feeling. Now we can sit back and enjoy it. This morning I got the camera out to play with the modes and the tree lights. This one is no flash and a little movement.

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Using flash, not nearly as pretty…too stark.

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No flash, with no movement. It was too bright outside to get a good movement effect. The shutter wouldn’t stay open long enough and I didn’t want to go manual.

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This is a snowman with lights in a much darker area.

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Shutter stayed open longer and I moved the camera back and forth. I think that’s really neat.

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Here it is with just two movements.

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Little tree with colored lights in my husbands office. I liked the reflection of the lights in the window.


I shut the blind so it would be dark and moved the camera sideways.


I also moved it down. Reminds me of the glow sticks that can be bracelets or necklaces.


I then moved it up and down quickly. Nothing like some cheap amusement.


I had my son Kevin get some 2 X 4’s which are not exactly that size (a little puzzling) and cut and sand them. I saw blocks like these in a store front with paper letters on them. I am going to paint decorated letters and see how they turn out. I will keep you updated even if they don’t work out. This is my door paint color from the HGTV collection, I love it.


Books that I am reading right now. The Big Magic I received yesterday, it is written by the author of Eat, Pray, Love. Another artist recommended it and said that she will not view creating in the same way. The other book I received from my friend Colleen and it has been on my bedside table and it is high time I finish it. She greatly enjoyed it. I have also been watching my Roosevelt’s DVDs and love it all over again. I was sad when Theodore died at age 60. I am sad now because the USA is trying to recover from the Great Depression and Pearl Harbor has not been bombed yet but we know it is coming. I have been rooting for Franklin and his Polio and and had to look up if there had been any cases of polio in the US recently. The vaccine certainly took care of it…I knew three people who had it, when I was growing up,  all approximately the same age. Eleanor just worked tirelessly during the FDR’s time in office. I just try to picture how bad it was and I wish my parents were alive to talk this over with them.  


So I have had my afternoon coffee, filled out some forms for a new doctor I am going to tomorrow and going to work on my grocery list. It’s a nice day….hope you are having one too! Thanks for stopping!

Happy Birds Mixed Media Painting


I started out with a 14 X 18 wrapped canvas. I wanted a specific aqua color that popped. I took a blue, added mixing white and a touch of green and hit the color I was aiming for.


Adding black to the top and bottom just as a framing technique. I knew I wanted a woodpecker, blue bird and blue jay. Drew those out with a china pencil and added paper elements to two of them. The lattice looking paper came from wallpaper that I cut to achieve the lattice. Using a tree design stencil and embossing paste the tree came alive for the woodpecker. I inked it up with distress inks when it became dry. I then started painting in the birds with white acrylic paint.

Happy Birds 72 DPI with Watermark

Here is my finished painting. I also used some dimensional paint and added sponging and if you can find them sunflower seeds.


I picked up this beautiful frame at a shop in Noblesville, Indiana. It is repainted and distressed and I love it, love it. I am hanging it on the wall with Happy Birds inside of it. This print can be found in my Etsy shop. Just click on the link on my home page. Thanks for stopping!