Tagged creative nomad


A Mixed-Media Life

There’s been so many different things happening in my world lately.  It’s a mixed-media-life dontcha know!

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a class with Misty Mawn.  I’d never met her, but had done her online classes.  Misty is so funny and a truly generous soul.  The girl over-delivers let me tell you – I have enough ideas to keep me busy for the next year!

The combination of story and painting is something I’ve been musing on lately.  Misty’s class dove deep into that process.  I will share more as it unfolds in my studio.  Meanwhile, here’s a couple of quick sketches and a small painting from the class.










Tomorrow, I begin another workshop with Katie Kendrick!!  I went to one last year too – but couldn’t resist another opportunity. Katie is beyond talented!

Ya know, I have done many classes, both online and in-person.  But I dig the in-person workshops so much, I’m trying to do that as often as possible.  Being in the company of other artists touches my creative soul like nothing else can!

There’s also been art play in the journal too.  The writing journals I use are hand made by Jenni Bick and are a combination of writing and “artist” papers.  My latest has so many watercolor papers, I’ve been inspired to do more “art” than I usually do there.

A bit of paint or marker, some quick and clean collage and ta-da!

Purty pages!!



There’s been work on the easel too.  I think my daily walks are leading to lots of abstracted flowers and nature-inspired paintings.  Here’s a new one.

"Honeycomb and Fae"
“Honeycomb and Fae”

Speaking of walks.  I believe today is day 141 of my self-imposed-daily-challenge.  Because I can never resist starting my day like this….


As for who I’ve been hanging with, a stray kitty has adopted me.  Sigh. He’s the loviest-most-affectionate cat ever!

Too bad my mean dog won’t have him in the house.  I’m working hard to find him an inside home.  It’ll be safer for him (and the neighborhood birds).


And well, these birds – they may be the funniest/coolest people I know!  They keep me young and maybe a bit hipper than I would’ve been without them in my life.

Yeah . . . I’m probably not ever been hip.



Art-On-The-Go “Kits”

I do have some mad organization skills!  That, combined with a lifelong purse obsession, a tendency to hoard art supplies and a desire to tote them everywhere is the “perfect storm”!

It’s manifested in an crazy array of “art to go” kits.  Perfect for jaunts to desert or beach, art journal picnics or attending yet another art retreat.

I thought I’d share them with you today.  I’ll put some links to various supplies in case you’re interested – and BTW the links do NOT earn me affiliate fees.  They are things I really use and love.  Almost everything can be had on Amazon.

This first kit is for “traveling light”.  I use this set up most often – it’s great for road trips or for a sketch date at the beach.

In this hand painted clutch I can fit a travel set of watercolor, a sketchbook or journal, and a zip case full of pens, tape, scissors and glue.  I also love to include my portable photo printer.  It prints pics from my iPhone and even has sticky back paper – perfect for sticking straight into my journal!  

It’s not unusual for me to pack an inspirational book – this one’s about Dan Eldon – the guy who first inspired me to art journal!


In my world, everything is an art project.  I love to take canvas or cotton totes and alter them with paint.  I use regular acrylic paints and find they do not fade or wash out.  The flowered tote below was originally a gift-with-purchase bag from Victoria Secret – it’s at least 5 years old and hasn’t faded a bit.


What’s organization without a pen bag?  It holds more than I really can ever use – it’s awesome!  My husband’s bag (the green one) is filled with his cigar accessories and other man gear.  No, I do not smoke cigars lol!


My second art kit has many more supplies to choose from.  It’s the perfect “portable studio” for longer travels or for an in-person art journaling class.


The organizer is really cool!  It has a lift out tray for sketching or art journaling in my lap – and of course being plastic, it’s waterproof.  It holds quite a lot.  In it goes tapes, a sharpener, glue, water brushes, a spray bottle of water, standard watercolors, little jars of shimmery water colors and water-soluble markers and pencils.

There’s plenty of room for a sketchbook or two – I may even throw in a guided journal like one from Shiloh Sophia McCloud.  Again, I love to carry a camera for taping in photos.  This one prints self developing mini’s similar to the old polaroid cameras.




This final kit is full blown!  This amazing box allows me to carry everything needed for a days long painting retreat, except the canvas itself.

In it, I can carry paints, brushes, paint pens, a painting shirt or apron, an art journal (or two), a full size camera and more.  Pretty much anything can find a place.  Well maybe not the humungous inspiration book . . . it’s an incredible collection of art journal images by Peter Beard – another favorite artist of mine.


I bound the journal to the right of the white camera myself –  it’s soft and mushy which I love.  I ripped the cover to size from one of my own un-stretched paintings on canvas.  I filled it with luscious creamy 140 lb. hot press Fabriano watercolor paper – the best paper ever made in my opinion!!


They even make the box in other colors and sizes.  I’m seriously lusting over the turquoise one. There’s even a cool fabric one (that I will not admit to owning – uh huh).  I believe this box may have changed my life – well, my creative life – a bit, anyways!  


Tell me . . . do you HAVE to tote art supplies wherever you go too?  Am I alone in this?  Do you go on sketching dates and art journal picnics and painting retreats?




The Drums Are Calling You


Registration opened yesterday for The Creative Nomad and already there’s only 5 spaces left!  








Hoping you’ll join us . . .

All details and registration is found here.



An Interview With Brian Kasstle

Over the past couple of years,

I’ve come to know Brian Kasstle

during art journaling workshops we’ve both attended.  

I was always too shy to rip his journal from his hands

and take a closer look, but oh I sure wanted to!  

So when he and I met up a few weeks ago

and he brought a stack with him, I didn’t hold back!  

His journals are rich and thick with color, texture,

collage and meaning!  

Damn if they don’t even smell good!

I’m so so happy to feature

a few of his art journal pages

and a brief interview here today.  

Brian is one of two amazing teachers

I’ve scheduled for the upcoming 

The Creative Nomad, An Art Journaling Adventure.

The retreat will take place at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club

in Palm Springs CA, January 21-24, 2016.

Registration for The Creative Nomad opens July 21!

Spread 165 - Restless

*When did you first know you were an “artist” – tell me about the journey to claiming that.

Growing up in Montana, I recall drawing a picture as a child and my mother looking at my drawing and mentioning “you are not as artistic as your brother and your sister”. It was a very simple harmless statement. Yet I internalized it and from that moment on I believed it and did not think I was an artist for many years.

I took the very minimum of art classes as a kid and young adult.  I just never tried – I felt that was not for me. In college I had an interest in pottery and I focused on that as a creative outlet as a young adult.

I moved to California and took a few basic art classes out of what I finally realized as a need to be creative. One day one of my instructors in an intro to art class took me aside after one of my assignments and asked “you are an art major correct?” I told her “No, my focus was psychology and counseling.”

She commented that I, more than any one in her class, showed the most promise as an artist and that she hoped I would continue to be an artist. It scared me. It went against anything I believed about myself. I did not take further art classes for several years. I eventually took a life drawing class and it peaked my interest again in art.

I was looking for an art outlet and scrapbooking looked interesting, but I quickly found it was not for me. I did realize my interest was in paper. I was still searching. I found some online classes for art journaling with Mary Ann Moss. I took several from her and loved it.

I was looking for local Los Angeles art journaling classes and found Orly Avineri and her workshops. I devoured every class she took. One day, after a class, the owner of the shop where Orly was teaching asked me if I was an artist. I said “no”.

Orly bolted out of the back of the shop and took me aside. She looked me in the eye and said, “Brian you ARE an Artist, believe it!” I took personal classes with Orly and she pushed and prodded me to teach and share the techniques I was learning on my own.

Spread 188 - Sheep Herder

*What inspires you as an artist – what are your influences – the things that spark your desire to make art…?

What inspires me as an artist is varied. I enjoy living a creative life. I garden, I love to cook, and keep a vintage home. I try to do it all in an expressive, creative way. That tends to inspire me.

I get creative ideas doing the most mundane of things. I might see a metal door and it might spark an idea for a journal cover. I enjoy seeing graffiti in my travels in Los Angeles.

Some of my artist inspirations are Jean-Michel Basquiat, Robert Rauschenberg, Dan Eldon, Lyle Carbajal, Massimo Nota. The journals of Bob Fisher and Tracy V. Moore, Orly Avineri, Juliana Coles and Seth Apter. Also, the countless graffiti artists I find out and about in my travels.

What inspires me to do make art? Life! Once I start art journaling, it is something I just HAVE to do! It is a part of my life.

*What methods do you use to keep yourself fresh and inspired?  (ie.  “Artist dates” (what’s your ideal “artist date”, play dates with other artists, etc.)

I have do have frequent artist dates with friends. I recently went on a weekend long retreat with a dear friend up at another friend’s cabin in the mountains of Lake Arrowhead, California.

We made wonderful food, had some deep sharing, lots of laughter – we journaled and took a couple side trips. That is my perfect idea of an artist date. I also have several collaborations with friends which keep my on my toes. Those collaborations are winding down, so I want to focus on some other areas, which I will get into later.

191 - Lion Sleeps Tonight

*How do you balance your work life/family life/creative life?

I work 40 hours a week in the airline industry. Creating keeps me sane. I am very lucky in that I am off work usually at 1:30pm.  I have lots of free time for creating and down time before my partner returns home.

I really try to live a creative life. We have a vintage home we love and a beautiful garden that also inspires me. I love to cook and have friends over. We enjoy traveling, which I also find very inspiring.

*What drew you to teaching?

I started teaching at the urging of Orly Avineri. She saw my drive to help others and to share the techniques I was learning. What keeps me teaching is spreading the fun and the many introspective aspects of working in your journal.

*Why do you love it?

I love seeing folks that have never done art journaling, or think they are not “artists” blossom and create beautiful, meaningful spreads. This creates an excitement in them and a drive to go on and do it on their own. I love seeing that spark, and you can actually see the joy in their faces when they are so happy with their spreads and learn something about themselves.

Another aspect I love about teaching is you can teach a room full of 20-30 people and each and every one of their spreads will be completely different and will be meaningful to them.

 186 - No Demads

*What are your desires for your students?

I hope to impart in my students that they can do art journaling on their own, and to continue and grow and learn. My spreads mostly occur over time – fifteen, 30 minutes here and there – in a few days time you have a beautiful spread.

 *What’s next for you creatively?

I love art journaling and it will always be my first love, but I really have an urge to work on large canvas and translate what I do to larger canvases.

*Anything else you want readers to know about you?

I really would like folks to know that I started from a belief that I was in no way artistic. I worked hard, I did lots and lots of ugly spreads. I found my artistic self. I actually never have creative blocks. I constantly come up with ideas. Just having my journals around me and touching my paints, pens, paper inspires me.

Spread 134 - Grrrrr

* * *

See more of Brian’s fascinating art work on his blog:


You can also find him here:

tumblr: http://artistjournals.tumblr.com

flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/grizzzcub/

twitter: @BKasstle

* * * 

Join Brian Kasstle, Roxanne Coble and me

live at the upcoming four day art journaling adventure,

The Creative Nomad.

Registration opens July 21!

Space is very limited.


(Stay informed by signing up for Dream Digger Studio

updates at the bottom right of any page on this website.)

Also, I’ve posted an interview with The Creative Nomad’s

second teacher, Roxanne Coble, here.