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The "is" in this

All the swallows sing of sky,

& I try to wintry listen

to the is of this

the is in this. 

AGA January Art Opportunities

Ashland Gallery Association logo AGA

Ashland Galleries
January Visual Arts News
January = Art Opportunities

We’re excited to share a handful of fun and diverse art opportunities that are being offered this month to foster your inner creativity. 

Jenay Elder, Oranges in Sunlight, Acrylic on Canvas
Jenay Elder, Oranges in Sunlight, Acrylic on Canvas

Art & Soul Ashland
Backlit Citrus Paint Night with Jenay Elder
Friday, January 20, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Join Art & Soul Ashland and Jenay Elder to learn more about acrylic painting techniques while referencing brightly lit citrus. Best known for her textured notes of color, representational quality, and sensitive subject matter, Jenay has developed a sharp eye for depicting subjects that instill insight and familiarity. Registration includes materials, wine, and refreshments. 

For those who are interested in participating, please click here for more information. 

Dennis McNett, Good Medicine, Woodblock Print
Dennis McNett, Good Medicine, Woodblock Print

Schneider Museum of Art
Saturday Salon: Pushing the Press
Saturday, January 21, 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Join the Schneider Museum of Art, Executive Director Scott Malbaurn, Curator Josef Zimmerman, and Featured Artists Kathryn Polk and Dennis McNett for a private tour of Pushing the Press: Contemporary Printers Redefining the Medium. Following the tour will be an intimate brunch with the opportunity to have lively conversations with both the curator and artists.

For those who are interested in attending, please click here for more information. 

Grants Pass Museum of Art, Untitled, Graphite
Grants Pass Museum of Art, Untitled, Graphite

Grants Pass Museum of Art
Drawing and Composition with Kristen O’Neill
Saturday, January 28, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Join the Grants Pass Museum of Art and Kristen O’Neill to learn more about the basic fundamentals to create a strong composition. Using graphite tools and drawing from a simple scene, individuals will learn how to create a range of values while reviewing the principals of design. 

For those who are interested in participating, please click here for more information.

Fiber Arts Collective, Untitled, Mixed Media
Fiber Arts Collective, Untitled, Mixed Media

Fiber Arts Collective
Art Supply Swap!
Sunday, January 29, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Join Fiber Arts Collective for an Art Supply Swap! Artists are encouraged to bring one to five items that they would like to trade in exchange for other items. All supplies should be in good and usable condition. 

For those who are interested in attending, please click here for more information. 

Coffee Shop Conversations – The Series

Greetings I recently realized that I had never done a blog post on my “Coffee Shop Conversations” series that I created a few years ago.  And, I thought it would be fun to see them all in one place. Series Background. A bit of an explanation first, though.  I like to work in a series in …

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The post Coffee Shop Conversations – The Series appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

Solstice Song

Inspired by reading Wintering
this Solstice morning…

Solstice Song

Winter comes, kind & slow—

unseen behind the glitter of other gifts.

Outside, the trees root deeper.

Inside, the fire glows brighter.

And further inside, the spirit asks to rest—

asks for fewer shoulds & more stillness.

For less noise & more silence


& more silence



& more silence



& the winter lovers listen.


Mixed Media Magic in Scotland!

nov 2022

Hello you wonderful friends and artists! Sending you love and light from the Pacific Northwest! It is a wintery day here at River Garden Studio! The sun is shining between snowfalls. I have been enjoying time in my studio, but I’m also making some exciting plans for next year that I want to tell you all about!

Immerse yourself in Scotland in the Autumn with me!

I can hardly believe I get to teach…a Mixed Media Workshop in Scotland!

I am so excited to teach twice in Europe next year, in the hilltops of Italy September 16-23, 2023, then in the Highlands of Scotland September 28-October 6, 2023!

Mixed Media Magic, my mixed media workshop in Scotland, is a Wandering Craft Retreat, artfully curated so we get the most enjoyable experience as artists, from private tours to mixed media classes to Scottish Hospitality, with time to soak in all of the beauty around us factored in, too.

We will visit Edinburgh, the Highlands, and the Isle of Skye, while we stay in an 1880’s-era lodge perched on the edge of a remote Scottish loch and enjoy delicious, seasonal meals.

I am so looking forward to finding Home in the Highlands with you!
Won’t you join me for Mixed Media Magic in Scotland?!

To where are you drawn?

I have realized I am drawn to small villages and countrysides. I love experiencing local customs, food, and the people in a new place. I recently discovered much of my ancestry is Scottish, so that is a special tie for me on this adventure. My workshops in Europe are spaced enough that I have time to travel, rest and explore between them. Both venues are absolutely enchanting and have charmed me into having adventures with them! It would be so special if you would join me at either magical location!

Draw inspiration from our majestic surroundings as we make Mixed Media Magic in Scotland!

Won’t you join me?!

I would love to share these magical adventures with you in Scotland and Italy next year!

Which of these places beckon to you for the new year?

Storytelling with Collage: An Art Journey, September 16-23, 2023, in Montelparo Italy!

Mixed Media Magic in Scotland September 28-October 6!

Online Classes (E-telier) At The Art Students League Part 2

I would like to share more with you about the online classes I took through The Art Students League of New York’s E-telier. Marcelo Doldoce, Figure In Watercolor. Continuing on with my studies, I took a “The Figure In Watercolor”, with Marcelo Doldoce after Ms. O’Neil’s class (see previous article). Mr. Doldoce’s online class was …

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The post Online Classes (E-telier) At The Art Students League Part 2 appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

The Long Game of Joy

I am delighted to announce the release of my new book on the first year of marriage!

The Long Game of Joy is the book I wish I could have read before I said “I do.” It’s a blend of memoir, manual, and meditation; interwoven within the story of our first year of marriage, you’ll find practical advice from savvy relationship experts and bits of poetry for those moments when no practicalities will do. You’ll encounter a wild mix of the sacred and mundane—the Enneagram, rivers, the wound-that-heals-us, RITZ-cracker communion, the True Self, corn dogs, and a key thing called zimzum. This is a playbook for couples looking to up their game by practicing grace to live in gratitude, faith to trust, and forgiveness to love. May we celebrate marriage in all its mud and wonder, all its stains and stars. Here’s to the learning curve of love for the win. 

Below you’ll find a bit of the first chapter, “We Fought About What?” 




I titled this book The Long Game of Joythough I’m not a huge fan of games—there’s usually just one winner. But I discovered that on the playing field of marriage, both players can win. On this Unified Field of Love, two can become one and know joy. 


Which might sound sweet…. 


But it’s also a marvelous-hard healing process! 


I confess: the first year of marriage was rough for me. And I’m pretty sure it would have been rough regardless of whom I’d married; I had too much of my own unlearning and learning to do—even though I thought I’d done it. 


That’s one of the many things I wish I’d known but discovered only after talking with people who’d been married 10, 20, 30, 40+ years. And after reading poems to help with mystery. And after reading books on marriage to help with practicalities. All of which I’ll reference often in these pages. Like this bit of wisdom from Winifred Reilly: 


I thought of how helpful it would have been to have learned, early on in my marriage, that not every problem can be solved and not every irritant can be negotiated away, that a good marriage is a mixture of delight and disgruntlement, that unhappiness comes from expecting it to be otherwise.*


That’s good advice for the long game.


And what is the long game? 


A long-term endeavor. 


A marriage…. 




You can read the rest in the book (both as paperback and eBook).


My gratitude to Bo Stern-Brady for her lovely endorsement:   


Anna Elkins has the ability to capture a world of emotion, turmoil, joy, and hope in just one sentence. In her newest book, The Long Game of Joy, she tells the story of her first year of marriage with a mix of disarming transparency and delightful self-awareness that only serves to elevate the magic and mystery of love. This is the book for those who suspect that true love still exists, but it is messier, sturdier, and yet more beautiful than the fairytales have led us to believe.Bo Stern-Brady, author of Beautiful Battlefields 


Here’s to grace, faith, and forgiveness in all realms of life,


Anna (pictured here with my husband, Jared, at the start of our long game)


PS: If you enjoy The Long Game of Joy, please do leave a review!

PPS: And do share it in social-media-land: #TheLongGameOfJoy


* Winifred M. Reilly, It Takes One to Tango: How I Rescued My Marriage with (Almost) No Help from My Spouse—and How You Can, Too (Gallery Books, 2017), 236.

November 2022 Guest Exhibit

Inspired by the Elements: Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water

The Calligraphers Guild

As the November 2022 guest artist for Art Presence Art Center, The Calligraphers’ Guild has chosen “Inspired by the Elements: Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water” for its theme. This puts the focus on our planet, especially during times of extremes in our weather.

The Guild has been active for more than 30 years, providing educational offerings, opportunities to exhibit, and comradery for those who appreciate beautiful writing.

The reception on November 5th, from 1 to 3 pm, will give you a chance to meet these incredible scribes.

The post November 2022 Guest Exhibit appeared first on Art Presence Art Center.

North Valley Art League Announces Regional Juried Photography Show Winners

NVAL News – Oct 8, 2022 NVAL Carter House Gallery48 Quartz Hill Rd., Redding, CA 96003Wed-Sat, 11am – 4pm, 530-243-1023Click on the NVAL logo to go to Newsletter Summary NVAL 2022 Regional Juried Photography Show Winners Oct Second Sunday Workshop with Chuck Prudhomme – Oct 9 Annual Dues (July 1 – June 30) are NOW Due October Exhibit
October Exhibit September 28 – October 29 NVAL 2022 Regional Juried Photography Show
It’s time again for our annual Regional Juried Photography Show! This year we are honored to have internationally recognized photographer Brian Rueb as our juror.

The Award Winning Photographs
1st Place – Mark Coggins
2nd Place – Ian Dalziel
3rd Place – Charlotte Bryson
Merit Award – James Berger
Merit Award – Stephanie Luke
Merit Award – Bernie Bryson
HM – Shelley Edwards
HM – Laura Barbeau
HM – T.J. Hankins          HM – Charlotte Bryson HM – Stephanie Luke

Second Sunday Workshops with Chuck Prudhomme October Class is Sunday, Oct 9 12 to 4pm at NVAL Carter House Gallery Learn to Paint an Impressionistic Painting from a Photo! Bring your own photo or let Chuck provide one for you Oil or Acrylic Cost $40 per student, Sign up in the Gallery or online. Click here for details 

Chuck Prudhomme brings years of experience along with an innate artistic ability to create lovely compositions of landscape, cityscape and people using his signature impressionistic style.
The North Valley Art League is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the visual arts in the northern California region.

North Valley Art League | 48 Quartz Hill Rd, Redding, CA 96003 530-243-1023

Book Brinking

It’s almost that time…publication time! My newest book has a November due date, and as I wrap up all the pre-pub stuff, I remember all of the resources that helped me write my own. 

This photo shows a fraction of the (way-too-many!) books I read and quoted in my own upcoming book about the first year of marriage. I am immensely grateful to the authors who shared their wisdom on relationships and communication, and I hope that my writing will be helpful to others, too. 

And so, on this brink of a new book, I thank the brave souls who write about the hard things. My already-deep respect for you has grown!

Here’s to forging joy….