Creativity Conquers the Monster

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So much art to do, so little time.

I want to share some art with you.  I’ll start with one piece that is in progress.

Here’s the story:

A year or two ago, I despaired of doing art the way I dreamed of — big strokes, splashes of color, passion, projects that could lay out on a table and not be put away for dinner, projects that took time…  Yes, I would stick to small things I could stick in my purse and take with me wherever I went.  Journaling with both words and pictures and coloring with pencils, pens, and watercolors would need to be enough.  Enough to sustain me.  I thought I could be okay with that.  I thought about giving away most of my art supplies.  Instead, I dumped bins of rocks, shells, glass, tile, broken ceramics, etc. out into my landscape making a colorful river that sparkled in the sunlight.  It was beautiful — for a short period of time.  Fall came.  Leaves and pine cones fell and soon the beautiful, shiny things were buried.  No one would even have a clue what lay beneath the debris.

Then the day came that I had dreamed of and given up.  My parents gave me room in one of their farm buildings to do art and teach classes.  July 1, 2016 saw the opening of Denny’s Workshop.  I quit my full-time teaching job. In the fall I’ll be substitute teaching but as my workshop picks up, I hope to cut back on subbing.

Back to the story. Several days ago, I went back out to my landscaping and scooped aside the fallen debris.  My sparkly treasures were now dull, stained, mossy, embedded in dirt. I started digging them out.  I brought them up to my workshop and began to wash them.  Then I started to arrange them…  A monster emerged.


The monster looked a bit too friendly however so the hat had to go, it gained horns, eyebrows, and more.  All the pieces came from my recovered stash.  Then I started organizing some of the beautiful, sparkly pieces.  It’s far from done and, I’m sure, will be rearranged many times.


The piece is already speaking to me.  This monster tried to kill my creativity.  To eat it all.  To render my life dark and unappealing.  But even the monster and his friends (eventually you’ll see eyes shining in the darkness behind the monster) could not control creativity.  It is a force to bright, too powerful, too full of life and meaning to be snuffed out.

Stay tuned for updates as I begin fine tuning the piece.

Week of July 25, 2016

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July 26, Tuesday night, 7-9 pm — Art Journaling

We are continuing to work on background pages for journaling using gelli pads and stencils.


July 27, Wednesday morning, 10 am to noon —Art, Crafts, and Kids

Kids explore the use of gelli pads to create backgrounds for sharpie illustrations….

July 27, Wednesday afternoon 1 – 4 pm — Open Studio Time PLUS

Tuesday, July 26, 1-4 pm
Denny’s Workshop

This is not a class but a mutual exploration. We’ll experiment and learn together. Cost? $5 to cover cost of paper and dye. I’m preparing the paper tonight so please let me know if you will be coming. Beat the heat and come have fun!

July 30, Saturday night, 6 – 9 pm — Coloring Together — FREE

Bring your coloring book and a friend and come color with me.  Use your own markers and pencils or try one of the ones I have.  Note: I have coloring books for sale if you do not have one yet.

Please RSVP by email or phone to attend any of these sessions.  Limited seating.

503-866-0180 — Please leave a message.

Marbling Paper

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Wednesday, July 27, 1-4 pm
Denny’s Workshop

This is not a class but a mutual exploration. We’ll experiment and learn together. Cost? $5 to cover cost of paper and dye. I’m preparing the paper in advance so please let me know if you will be coming. Beat the heat and come have fun!


Week of June 18

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Join me tomorrow, Tues. evening, from 7 to 9 pm in Denny’s Workshop to do some art journaling. I’m creating my own pages for a future class in junque journaling. Come and create with me!
Wednesday is Arts, Crafts and Kids from 10-112. RSVP required.
Wednesday afternoon is Open Studio.. Bring whatever project you’re working on and spread out in my space and use my stamps, embossing folders, stencils, and more! 1 to 4 pm.
This beautiful leaf was cast and painted by artist Janice Hattenhauer.  If you’d like to learn how to make them yourself, please let me know.  Janice is willing to come out to the Workshop and offer a class!

Artist Trading Cards

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July 14, 2016

This afternoon I worked for a while on ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) for the group I am a part of at the North Plains Library.  (Join us Thursday, July 21, from 6-7:30 pm.)  The theme for this month is “Happiness”.  I am making two of most cards because I hate to give them away.  Instead, I make one for me and one to trade…




Spray paint freedom

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July 14, 2016

Recently I watched a video on painting with spray paint.  The artist (whose name I can’t remember) talked about the sense of freedom she had with using spray paint as her medium.  You can layer.  Stencil.  Let it run.  Don’t like it?  Spray back over it.  I tried it for the first time this morning and enjoyed the process.  I will definitely do it again.  Perhaps on a day when I don’t need rocks to keep the paper from flying away…  I used a glossy paper and will keep these for inclusion in a junque journal.






I especially liked this final painting — partly because the stencil stuck to the paper and tore off the top layer of the paper when I tried to remove it.  I tried to redeem the torn part and like how the words are indistinct.  The whole thing says something about identity to me.  I think the woman herself is beautiful, creative, and strong.

Gelli pad fun!

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July 13, 2016

Today during Open Studio I played with my gelli pad.  I needed to make a bunch of pages for a future junque journal so this was a start.  It was soooo much fun.  No need for skill or perfect lines.  Just a brayer, a gelli pad, a few colors, and a brayer.  Drop a piece of paper on it.  When you lift it off you have a cool print.

Week of July 11, 2016

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Just a quick note to let you know what is happening at Denny’s Workshop this week and to welcome everyone who visited the workshop during the Lavender Festival.  It was a fun time talking and making cards together.  I also came away with lots of great ideas.  Keep them coming my way!


Tomorrow, Tuesday, night from 6-9 pm, I will be hosting a FREE coloring session in the workshop.  Come when you can, leave when you must.  I’ll be coloring in my favorite book.  Bring yours or buy one in the Workshop.  Paints, markers, and pencils will be available for use.  Coffee, tea, and water served.  It will be a great time to unwind, color, and get to know new friends.  I hope you can make it!

Wednesday from 10 to noon is our Art, Crafts, and Kids class.  $20 per class or $60 for a four class pass.  Please reserve a space.  Our featured activity will be building with clay.  Other activities will depend on age of students participating.

Open Studio is $15 on Wednesdays from 1-4 pm.  It’s an opportunity to come use my equipment and work on your own personal project.

Upcoming:  I am thinking of offering Julie Fei-Fan Balzer’s class on Junque Journaling beginning in August.  The course would involve watching Julie demonstrate her techniques via video and then working together to create our own journals.   Visit for more information on Balzer’s class.  The class would be once a week for eight weeks.  Cost and date yet to be determined.  Let me know if it is something you’d be interested in taking.

Also upcoming is Brene Brown’s course based on her book “The Gifts of Imperfection.”  I’ve taken the class and found it very helpful and inspiring.  Learn more at


End of the Lavender Festival

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July 10, 2016

This face says it all:


We had three successful days at the festival making new friends, meeting up with old friends and making lavender-themed greeting cards.  LOTS of fun.

I also got to share my vision of the workshop.  I want to explore art with people of all ages. I want the studio to be a place of fun, relaxation, learning, healing, and more.  Lots of good ideas for classes were shared so watch the website for upcoming releases.

I am thankful for those who assisted me — Charlotte, Allie, and Kelly.  You’re the best!  Finally, the winners of the drawing for a free class are Vickie Moar and KC Lewis!  Congratulations…

Helvetia Lavender Festival

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July 7, 2016


Friday, July 8, is the first of three days of the Helvetia Lavender Festival.  This is a once a year event where you can drink in the scent of blooming lavender, hum with the song of the bees, visit Oregon vendors, listen to live music, eat tea and scones, enjoy kids’ activities and, for the first time, visit my workshop!


Denny’s Workshop will be open from 10 to 4 all three days.  We’ll be making lavender-themed greeting cards and Artist Trading Cards.  Cost is $2 and no reservations are needed.

Visit the workshop and sign my email list and you’ll be entered for a drawing for a free class!

Hope to see you there.