danielle

dedicated.

dedicated 580x580 dedicated.

so over the last few years i have worked really hard to pull my artist-self up to a place that makes me happy.

finding the balance.

working all.the.time. 40 hours a week for my day job. and another bazillion as an artist.

finding the softness.

remembering that there is always something ahead and behind. better and worse. scary and comfortable. awesome and awful. hopeful and realistic.

you get the drift.

finding me.

right in the middle of it. all of it. it is too much. but it is so good.

a few months ago i was finishing the last parts of my new book and for many reasons, my biography was by far the hardest part. cuteGIRL offered to write one for me. but wrote it from her perspective. i knew that it wouldn’t make it into the book because that isn’t how book bios roll. but. gosh. it was written into my heart.

so on the days where panic, judgement and overwhelm live and breath inside of me. i read it again. but this time, I want to share it. because the peeps that love you see you like cuteGIRL sees me.  pretty flippin awesome.

My mom can create in more ways than what she displays on a canvas. She has always been talented, coloring since she was little, as most tiny humans do. However, my mom was able to bring her artistic skills into adulthood. Her ability to do so brings me to the most prominent adjective I would to describe her as an artist: dedicated. She was a little girl who loved to draw, but she is one of the lucky people who is able to bring her talent to life. She showed me dedication to doing what she loved as she was able to receive her degree in Graphic Design. She has never stopped being dedicated-when my brother, Clay, and I were little, she dedicated her time to making sure that our childhood’s would always be remembered through scrapbooking. She was so dedicated to her work, as well as her family, that she was able to yet again bring in her innate talent of artistic skill and adoration of her loved ones into one place. Through her dedication to these two important parts of her life, she was published in several scrapbooking magazines, how-to books, as well as creating her own line of product. It wasn’t just talent that brought success. It was dedication.

Even though I have grown up and moved away from home, my mom’s art still tells me stories. I have a piece in my room, a girl with a squirrel. She tells me to remember to not lose myself. I have a piece in my first grade classroom. This one reminds me that I’m loved even though I’m far away. While I know that she doesn’t share every story she purposefully tells, I know that each piece resonates with every person so envision his or her own story.. Yes, her art is whimsical, light, delicate, and graceful, but behind every stroke and pencil mark there is so much more. The paint shows me a million colors, but behind that I see a dedicated artist, a loving mother, a memory maker, a story teller, and a brave woman who is willing to put herself out there for the sake of doing what she loves.

I’m so proud to be your daughter.

Love,

Lauren

Pretty powerful stuff.

PS. if you haven’t signed up for my online class “creativeGIRL: storybooks and studious girls” now is the time to do it! early bird registration is only $28 until february 2.  it is going to be pretty darn fun and I would love to have you join me!

i feel like it has been forever.

possibly because it has.

i must admit, blogging and website updates are not my faves. i wish i felt compelled to write more but if I have to choose between art and blogging. well. posts will be rare.

but there are so many wonderful things happening right now in my creative world that I thought I would just list them all and pretend for a moment to feel caught up!

I am the lucky recipient of my lovely friends newest and most wonderful book, Paper Hearts. Courtney Walsh was kind enough to ask me to be a part of her release party and you can find a little danielle donaldson downloadable to use as a device background or even to print and frame! I can’t wait to read her book. I just know it is going to be wonderful!

courtney 580x580 i feel like it has been forever.

I am so excited to start my next online workshop hosted by my delightful and sassy friend, jeanne oliver. I just finished all of my handouts and samples and am heading into my (garage) video studio this week to film all my projects. This class is going to be creatively EPIC peeps! $28 early-bird pricing is available until february 2 – then it goes up to $48. Personally, I think even if you end up paying full price (with LIFETIME access) you will NOT be disappointed. BUT why pay full price when you can sign up now! To purchase the class you must be registered (it’s free!) on www.jeanneoliver.ning.com first. Once you get confirmation that you are registered on the site (be patient though – jeanne and staff personally accept each registration to be sure the spambots stay away) you can look under courses and select creativeGIRL: storybooks and studious girls. storybooks 580x580 i feel like it has been forever.

I am also so excited (and possibly a little smidge of overwhelmed) about all of my in-person workshops that I have scheduled this year.  I have several workshops ranging from an afternoon to a three-day workshop scheduled. They are all over the map in the US and even one in Canada. A couple are just in the planning stages so stay tuned for more details on those!

  • My most wonderful class at donna downey’s studio only has 2 spaces left. I know a bunch of the participants from past workshops and even some sunshine-filled online friends that I am so excited to see in person!
  • For my canadian friends – I will be at sleepy dog farm in victoria, bc for a most relaxing and fulfilling workshop hosted by Andrea Soos – Six Breaths Retreat. I am pretty sure that it has only a space or two left. It sounds heavenly and I cannot wait!
  • I am teaching close to home and heart in april at art-is-you in petaluma, ca. my dear friend, lisa (who lost her brave battle with cancer last year) was a big part of art coming back into my life. because I work full time, i had not joined lisa at art-is-you in the past but I know that when I am there I will be surrounded by her spirit and those who continue to love her. Registration opens soon so keep an eye out!
  • I also part of a fab line-up of amazing artists at a roaring twenties affaire (artistic bliss designs)Kim Allistair Caldwell organizes the most beautiful luxurious events!
  • Life Book 2015 is under way but it is not too late to join in the fun and friend-making. I have been seriously impressed with the wonderful videos and community within.

And last, but not least – I have been working very hard on completing my first book, creativeGIRL: mixed-media projects for an artful life. it is full of some of my favorite projects and insight to my own personal art process including how I organize my little, creative world. although it is not available until july, 2015 you can pre-order it now on amazon.

  • I am throwing myself my very own book release party! I do have just a few spots left and it will be quite possibly the best party ever – I hope you will join me at the kennedy school hotel in portland, or!
  • I have a couple more central/mid-west book release workshops in the works and will do my best to actually blog about them when I have the details. icon smile i feel like it has been forever.

creativegirl portland 568x580 i feel like it has been forever.

Well, whew! I think that covers all my BIG stuff so far this year! (And I am sure I missed stuff) I will leave you with a little January eye-candy – a little glimpse of what is magically flying out of my fingers right now. And leave a comment, let me know what you are up to or if you have any questions for me!

jan15 580x580 i feel like it has been forever.

creativeGIRL: storybooks and studious girls (new online course!)

2015 storybookclass  566x580 creativeGIRL: storybooks and studious girls (new online course!)

 

well happy sparkly new year peeps! i hope that each of you had an amazing end to 2014 and a splendid start to 2015!

yesterday, earlybird registration opened for my new online course – creativeGIRL: Storybooks and studious girls (Content available March 16). And we are off to a roaring start with almost 200 sassy, creative souls in just over 24 hours! i am so thankful and SO EXCITED! (You do NOT have to take my Light and Shadow class to take this class – it has totally new content. But if you haven’t… you might like to take it while we wait for March to roll around!))

It’s time to work small and dream BIG! We’ll start off our week with by building a watercolor storybook from scratch – A big, yummy book with lots of room to illustrate everyday goodness, brilliant layers of water-colors, and colored pencil work.  Next, we’ll explore some of my tried-and-true techniques to help you grow and organize your creative practice in a brand new way. (Insert a few possible a-ha moments and a plethora of sparkly new ideas here.) Then we’ll spend some quality creative-time together imagining up an illustrated (and colorFULL) storybook superstar that you can call your own. But that’s not all! We’ll work through the basics of perspective drawing including color choices, one-point and two-point perspective. To finish up our week, we’ll smoosh all the creative goodness together and fill a page or two with a few of my favorites; a water-colored alphabet, comfy chairs, and a sweet little secret something.

BONUS CONTENT ALERT!

I also have a very special artist/book-binder/supersweet friend that will provide us with a BONUS video on bookbinding. Our storybook is a sweet little danielle-ish take on a golden book and Tricia Alexander has created an exclusive kit (it even has illustrated inside book art!!!!!) with almost everything you need (you just need to supply a few tools – they are listed in the classroom already!) to follow along OR if you want to take advantage of her most excellent book-binding skills, you can purchase the assembled storybook ahead of time and jump right into my lessons. You can order the kits and the books from Tricia’s Etsy shop HERE. PLEASE NOTE: This is not a required supply – you can use any watercolor journal or loose paper you have on hand but my lessons are set up to fill the book with all sorts of wonderful stuff. I do suggest ordering early to be sure you can have it before class starts!

So what are you waiting for?? Join me and a big huge crazy creative group of peeps – to read more and/or register come on over!

The early registration price is $28!

See you in class!

danielle

creativeGIRL: my very own book release party!

hello my crafty little souls! I am working away at my edits for my book and am so excited for it to come out next summer.

and guess what?

i am throwing myself a party to celebrate its release. i do hope you will consider joining me for my festivity-filled art day at the Kennedy School in downtown Portland, Oregon. If you haven’t ever visited a McMenamins property – you are in for a treat.

I have reserved a sassy and sweet little corner of the school called the library room – it has tables and couches and comfy chairs. After an art-filled day, I will be heading over to the detention bar and am happy to sign books for anyone who just wants to hang out.

So read below to get all of the details and I can’t wait to meet you there! oh. and this hotel sells out really fast so if you plan to stay the night – book early!!!

creativegirl portland 568x580 creativeGIRL: my very own book release party!

creativeGIRL: mixed-media techniques for an artful life

I am ridiculously happy to announce that my book creativeGIRL: mixed-media techniques for an artful life (just click on the title or the cover and it will take you to the right place) is now available for pre-order ON AMAZON peeps! I do hope that you will consider adding it to your holiday wish list. I promise it is full of fun and amazingly do-able techniques and projects. and leave a comment if you do pre-order to make this girl smile even more.

cover 448x580 creativeGIRL: mixed media techniques for an artful life

A Roaring Twenties Affaire

I am so happy to be a part of such a beautiful and artistic event, A Roaring Twenties Affaire  we be held on May 14-17, 2015 at The Belamar Hotel in Manhattan Beach, CA hosted by Kim Allistair Caldwell (Artistic Bliss Designs). The details and love that go into Kim’s events are just amazing.  My portion of the weekend will be filled with a fancy flapper girl made up of some fun illustration work followed by watercolors and some snippets of patterned paper and white ink. So much fun! Just click the photo below to read more about it!

artisicaffpost 580x580 A Roaring Twenties Affaire

love from the dorm room.

lftdr1 580x580 love from the dorm room.

 

lb2015 halfad finished 800 580x382 love from the dorm room.

Life Book 2015 registration is open my friends.

I would love for you to join me and a plethora of amazing artists who want to share the love. (And I would love for you to join by clicking MY link.)

You will automatically be added to my classPET list. there will be perks involved.

winner. winner. chicken dinner. (life book 20I5)

photo 4 e1410445817135 580x580 winner. winner. chicken dinner. (life book 20I5)

Leroy, my trusty studio companion has picked the Life Book 20I5 FREE SPOT. Thank you for all the sweet comments and playing along. And now for the winner……(leroy, start the drum roll.)

STEPHANIE SHARP – WELCOME TO LIFEBOOK 20I5! 
( You will soon be contacted with all the details.)

Be sure to check out all Life Book 20I5 teachers on the Blog Hop.

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Come join me for Life Book 2015 and don’t forget registration opens October 6th. And if you sign up through me, well lets just say there is an awesome prize for one very lucky girl! Just click here to get more juicy information. This is really going to be a fun ride.

lb2015 halfad finished 800 1 580x382 winner. winner. chicken dinner. (life book 20I5)

life book 20I5 – a blog hop.(and giveaway)

lb2015 halfad finished 800 580x382 life book 20I5   a blog hop.(and giveaway)

I am so stoked to be part of the Life Book 2015 gang. Registration opens October 6th, so get ready to take this year long journey with an amazing group of creatives. We each have some pretty amazing fun planned for you. I hope you will consider joining in. And did I mention we are going to have SO much fun!

photo 3 e1410445924615 580x580 life book 20I5   a blog hop.(and giveaway)

And to put the cherry on top. I am giving away on FREE SPOT. If you leave a comment on this post and sign up for my newsletter (its on my sidebar), I will enter you in the drawing. Your comment should include why you would love to be part of this next Life Book tour and that you have signed up for my newsletter. No really, easy peasy.  The winner will be randomly picked and announced on September 19th (thats a Friday).

lb2015 allteachers2 559x580 life book 20I5   a blog hop.(and giveaway)

Now just check out all of the juicy, creative goodness.

8th September 2014 – Tamara Laporte -  http://www.willowing.org/
9th September 2014 – Jane Davenport – http://janedavenport.com/
10th September 2014 – Joanne Sharpe – http://joannezsharpe.blogspot.co.uk/
11th September 2014 -  Jenny Lee Wentworth – http://jennyleewentworth.blogspot.co.uk/
12th September 2014 -  Violette Clark – http://www.violette.ca/
13th September 2014 -  Chris Zydel – http://creativejuicesarts.com/

YOU are here!
14th September 2014 -  Danielle Donaldson – http://danielledonaldson.com/

Head on over HERE tomorrow!
15th September 2014 -  Effy Wild – http://effywild.com/

Come join me for Life Book 2015 and don’t forget registration opens October 6th. And if you sign up through me, well lets just say there is an awesome prize for one very lucky girl! Just click here to get more juicy information. This is really going to be a fun ride.

your uniqueness

uniqueness1 580x580 your uniqueness

sweetBOY and I were chatting about the dreaded copying thing.  where the line is. what to say. when to be flattered.

i have talked a lot about creative practicing and what that looks like to me. when everything I have soaked up and studied becomes mine.

it’s ok to copy when you are practicing. some would disagree and that is totally ok. i know that when i need to learn how to draw a unicorn. i have to look at a picture of an unicorn. every single artist looks at other artists work. judges it in their own mind. mentally circles the parts that speak to her. crosses the other stuff off the list of possibilities. everyone. and if they say they don’t, i call bull****. unless they are a hermit with no power and no access to a mailbox. those guys get a pass.

when is it not ok?

for me. (and let me repeat it. FOR ME) it’s when you stare at it long enough that it is emblazoned in your noggin and you don’t even know it. and then you put it on paper. and you still don’t even know it but you pretty much recreated that tattooed mental image. when you hit the upload button and sweat it out a little inside. (pretty sure you know what I am talking about.) and then you share it as your own. often we don’t do it on purpose. sometimes not though. 

i am not the girl that is going to sit around and point fingers. i honestly don’t have the energy to spare. but I need a way to see it and let it go with goodness. and i need to give the world a little grace. and mostly i need remind myself to be flattered that someone loves my stuff enough to take time to work it into their own art and that the process makes them happy. because even creative goodness rolls downhill and I am NOT on top of the hill. not by a long shot.

sweetBOY listens to me as I decide which side of the fence to sit on today (hormones may be involved). and he says.

your uniqueness comes from style, not content.  -clay donaldson

and that puts me exactly where I need to be. no fences involved.