Trending Articles

Friends of SOAR

For great posts about the business of art, check out The Artsy Shark HERE! reviews competitions and appeals seeking creative content, listing those that respect your copyrights and highlighting those that don't. Art Matters! publishes calls to artists, and not all of them may be compliant with ABoR's standards. Visit their site to learn more.
We support the Embedded Metadata Manifesto.  Metadata is information such as copyright notice and contact info you can embed in your images to protect your intellectual property, save time when uploading to social sites and promote your art. Click to visit the site and learn more.

My New Website


I am thrilled to announce

that My New Website

is Now Launched!!

And I would really love for you to visit me there…

My incredible website designer is

Cheryl Stockton

from Stockshot Studio

She's been so wonderful to work with! 


My River Garden Studio blog will stay up,

so you can still see all my posts…

but I will be writing on the new blog from now

on my website.






Wildland Creatures, New Stencil Designs


I am excited to announce the Release of my New Stencil Designs…for StencilGirl!


Let me tell you a little about them…


My Wildland Creatures are a part of a new series that include the birds, fish and animals that I love to watch and include in my artwork. I hope that you will love to use my new designs in your art as well!


These animals are a part of my life in the Pacific Northwest.

Each stencil design represents an animal that I love. I have even written legends to go with them to inspire you in your art making. You can read more about my Wildland Creatures on StencilGirlTalk 


I have walked the fields where the horses and cattle roam, climbed over rocky cliffs where the rams once thrived, waded in the ocean water with the fish and watched the hawks fly.


These stencil designs can be used as a focal point or a background… or both.

They are wonderful in a painting or collage or a page in your art journal. Pan pastels, distress inks, permanent inks and gesso are my favorite tools for stenciling.

The emblems that go with each creature symbolize their characteristics and the passage of time. I really enjoy mix and matching them with other stencils.

Please visit here to read more about them and visit here to see them in the StencilGirl Products Shop 



Sea Grass

Sea Grass web

This deep pool reminds me of my first snorkeling experience off the Big Island, Hawaii in Captain Cook Bay.  I had never witnessed the aliveness of a coral reef with it’s vibrant forms and color, not to mention the depths of it’s caverns. It was staggering and life changing. I eventually learned to scuba dive but that expansive, first experience has repeatedly been reflected in my most recent Paper Sculptures. I introduce “Sea Grass”.

Creating Felt Fabric Collage


Felt and Fabric pieces for Collage

Felt and Fabric pieces for Collage

Fabric Collage refers to the creation of a new cloth from a collection of different types of textiles.  I have been playing with my stash of handmade felt, fabric and scraps to make unique textiles that can transform into a vest, pants, wrap or a scarf.

I begin by pulling out different types of complimentary textiles and laying them out on a big table. I like to work with one bigger piece of fabric that will be the base fabric around which patterns and themes can emerge.  Once I have my base fabric and a few anchor textiles, I begin the adding and subtracting process.  My fabric scrap collection contains lots of little treasures that can be added as design or accent elements.  I love working with selvage and raw edge scraps.  Prints with words are also fun to incorporate into the design.  I like to have my pattern pieces on the table as well so that I can begin to think about fabric placement.

The next step in my process is to start stitching some of the fabrics together.  I like to overlap

Collage pieces attached to base fabric with free motion stitching

Collage pieces attached to base fabric with free motion stitching

the fabrics as this creates more texture and interest.  Once I have a few pieces of my textile stitched, I place them on the pattern to see where they might look best.  An important tool in this process is a dress form as it allows me to see where on the garment certain designs will fall.  If you don’t have a dress form you can hold the pattern pieces up on your own body to see how the textile will flow.




Once I stitch all of the fabrics together for the pattern pieces, I am ready to construct the garment.  If I am lining the vest, I will sew in the lining and then sew the shoulder seams.  I try the garment on to make sure the armhole and bust area’s fit my silhouette.  Next I pin the side seams sew them together and I have a one-of-a-kind piece of wearable art.

Collage Vest, Felt and other complimentary fabrics

Collage Vest, Felt and other complimentary fabrics

felt vest

Collage Vest made with all felted fabrics



That Time In Between


Mandala with Blessing Sticks from Art Unraveled…

These are the days between midsummer and late summer. Here in my perch above the Klamath River the flowers are reaching as tall as they can before they go to seed.


I am nestling in the way I always do after I travel… especially when I teach. I have been to Colorado where I taught with my dear friend Leslie Marsh in the vacation home of my other dear friend Hasty Pearl, (Laura Roberts). Such an inspiring setting with rugged cliffs above the jubilant singing Crystal River. And such inspiring students as they created with all of their hearts and soul. See photos of Crystal River book arts here.



Pages in Progress by Marline


Student Artist Books

And I taught in the mountains where I helped raise money for the wonderful Klamath Outdoor School… this is the land of blue-green spring water and ponderosa pines, long lush grass, wildflowers and butterflies. This workshop included nature walks and talks by my friend, Marjorie Glass, a wildlife biologist. We slept in a big yurt and the stars were amazing. Please see photos of "Nature in the Mind's Eye here.


Artist Book by Christine


Kandis Artist Book Pages

And lastly I taught three workshops at the amazing Art Unraveled in Phoenix, Arizona where I was welcomed with open arms, encountered my first Monsoon and realized again just how strong the pull of art Is. Please see photos from my three workshops at Art Unraveled here.


Artist Book by Helen


Artist Book by Chrissie

In each place I got to spend time with old friends and new and be amongst other women who know how important it is to nourish themselves. 

One of the things I love the most about teaching is when I walk away from someones worktable and then return after awhile the amazing surprises I encounter!


Victory Shield by Laura


Blessing Sticks by Helen

To Find Your Art


Summer days,

mornings filled with wonder.


Sleepy afternoons,

daydreams with wings

and stars that smile.


I awake each day to find my art,

to hold on to it 

and then let it go.


To find myself,

and then relax into being who I am.

To find your art

This is what I am learning.



Solstice Bed

Solstice Bed

While browsing the garden for inspiration, I discovered that the Bamboo I thought I had secured within a deep walled box, had run amok and was vigorously sprouting throughout the adjacent flowers. While snapping them off hoping to at least slow their march, I was taken by their primordial feel. I watched their wrapped leaves unfurl as they dried in my studio.  Prompted by curiosity I followed the nudge and created numerous layers and parts. This circuitous route ended with the forest sprouting from a coral bed . It was the Summer Solstice. Magic always happens then.

Summer Bundle Sale

Due to popular demand my

June Bundle Sale

is now a

Summer Bundle Sale!!June Bundle Sale



 Because my two online workshops


The Thread That Weaves


Nature Journaling

 compliment each other

so delightfully…

I'm offering a bundle discount so you can enjoy both!

Bundled Workshop Price:$106.00

(Your savings is $50.00)


Videos and blog posts will guide you through each project, with space to share and communicate with me and fellow classmates.


You will love these workshops!

Art and Nature Collage

Student artwork inspired by nature.


I've tailored the lessons so you can enjoy the process whether you are brand-new to the world of art, or even if you are a seasoned professional!

The Thread That Weaves, Student Work

Student Artworks 


 As always with my online workshops, go at your own pace as we observe, discover, and create together, finding inspiration in nature and ourselves.


All About The Thread That Weaves

A wonderful opportunity for you at any level of experience with mixed media, my online workshop The Thread That Weaves provides instruction and insight through videos with accompanying blog posts.

The rich content of the class leave your hands full of gorgeous art you created yourself.

Like all of my online workshops, once you register, you always have access to the videos and  groups, and access to the blog for two years. After that you can email me and I will put you back on the list of readers… 

The course is divided into four weeks of projects where you can go at any pace as we make a small book from pages we fold, enforce, and collage over in fun, new ways.


Kim Henkle's lovely pages…

Through the weeks, we explore a variety of materials to use, and we create backgrounds, make a mini book, experiment with collage, and learn techniques to attach, embellish, and stitch different items. As we weave our way through the course, we discuss design, composition, and focal points.

The Thread That Weaves has additional projects involving collecting, writing, and photographing in ways that enhance each week's lessons.

I respond quickly and am easily accessible through the group blog and e-mail. Discussions and suggestions are more than welcome in the blog so everyone can benefit from the conversations that spring from this course.

We can share our work on Instagram at


or #naturejournalingwithroxanne

This workshop connects like souls from around the world – one more golden stitch that makes it irresistible. 



All About Nature Journaling

Whether you already love it or you want to try observing, writing, drawing, painting, and photographing outside, Nature Journaling online offers new ideas and techniques. You'll collage in conjunction with nature and wildlife and create gorgeous projects that include found objects.

The course enriches creativity and vision and fosters greater observation of the natural world, helping you be more at ease with writing what you see and feel, freeing you to be more perceptive and reflective.

I've constructed the course to be for all levels, so first-timers and experienced artists alike can reap the benefits of the beautiful content and inspiring lessons. 

Each week's projects include experimenting with painting, drawing, writing, collaging, mixed media, and often photography. Throughout the workshop, we will take a closer look at and play with flowers, leaves/twigs/grasses, butterflies, trees, and birds. We also ecodye in the garden and make a beautiful accordion book to hold our observations and creations. Gorgeous pictures and inspirational quotes accompany the lessons, blogs, and videos.

As with all of my online workshops,

I want to help you find your magic and make each project uniquely yours.

Go at your own pace – there is plenty of room to return to a portion or to repeat as many times as you like!

Plus, once you register, you continue to have access to the lessons, blogs, videos, and groups forever after.

This online workshop pairs naturally with another, The Thread That Weaves, so I've created a discounted bundle option for those of you who would like to take both classes!

For your convenience, I have added a Buy Now Button below. 

Bundled Workshop Price:


If you want to purchase just one of the workshops, they are their regular price on the individual post.


I feel like a raindrop…


Hope whispered my name,




Light danced through the glass.




I'd go to the corners of the earth for you.




Live your dance,




tread gently but strong…




and love the moments




of this day.


Studio News and Workshops from Karen O’Brien

KEO Art Logo - Karen O'Brien

Imaginary Characters book cover, by Karen O'BrienStudio News

I have just added a new workshop in sunny San Diego, May 21 at Art on 30th. It is a beautiful new art and workspace. You will have a chance to not only make some art, but also be inspired by original art in the gallery space and on almost every wall. Details on the class are below.
My book Imaginary Characters: Mixed Media Painting Techniques for Figures and Faces is now available from Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Bring your copy to any of my teaching events and I will be glad to add a little drawing and signature. I thank everyone who has given such wonderful reviews. I am enjoying the art from some of the projects, on Facebook. Keep the photos coming!

Creating Character, workshop with Karen O'BrienCreating Character: May 21, 2016 at  Art on 30th San Diego, CA.

We will spend a fun filled day exploring the world of whimsical character creation, using drawing exercises and mixed media techniques to help you discover you own unique style. You will come away with a multitude of new techniques, characters and ideas for future projects.  You can view the space and sign up for class now by contacting them on the website or calling  (619) 894-9009.



Magical Characters, workshop with Karen O'BrienMagical Characters: Painting with Fluid Acrylics

at the Pacific Northwest Art School on beautiful Whidbey, Island, WA July 9-10, 2016. 2 full days of painting magic. I will take you on a journey from inspiration to your finished piece. I will cover drawing, faces, backgrounds, transfers and how to use my favorite paint techniques and provide plenty of individual guidance and encouragement along the way.



Mixed Media Tip from Karen O'BrienMixed Media Tip

To add texture to a surface, try using anaglypta wall paper as collage. Anaglypta is a paintable texturized wall paper, found at your local home improvement center. It can be glued down, like collage, to your surface. Paint will pool in the patterns and give your painting depth. If you can’t find textured wall paper, try using gel medium through a stencil. This example shows the use of both techniques. Have some creative fun with this!