the dorm room

it actually IS in the details.

CGONLINE 580x441 it actually IS in the 2015 online creativeGIRL course is going live in just a few days – monday, march 16 to be exact.

this round is all about really focusing and growing your creative practice in a new way (well, old way for me – new way for you maybe). its about working small. really small. allowing yourself the opportunity to take the overwhelming BIGNESS out of creativity – the need to grab big canvases and fill up every single corner of them.  instead, we’ll soak up the white space, giving ourselves creative breathing room and a bunch of grace in the process. (and maybe your very own illustrated girl. yay!) a hearty dose of perspective, one of the backbones of my creative process. and a plethora of cuteness, color and imagination. (seriously. there is A LOT of color to be had.) and the best part? you’ll have an awesome new art journal to work in when class is over.

i hope if you haven’t joined, you’ll consider joining in on the fun. you can sign up here: 

big rainbowFILLED girls (art-is-you petaluma)

I am so happy to kick off my in-person workshops close to home. I am working on samples and taking notes this weekend – our two-day workshop will be all about big colors and even bigger rainbow-haired girls.  If you have wanted to learn how to incorporate watercolors into your mixed-media practice – this is the class for you! We will spend our time learning how to move through our watercolor palettes, make the most of white space, white ink, and white paint.

I will be sharing my sample-making process this weekend on Instagram and Facebook so come take a gander!

I hope my local and not-so-local California peeps will consider joining me! You can read more and sign up for my workshop here! ART IS YOU WORKSHOP Hurry up though – it’s only about a month away!

bigcolorsboldgirls 580x580 big rainbowFILLED girls (art is you petaluma)


In Big colors, bold girls, we will practice building rainbow-sized watercolor palettes with magical results. With our newly acquired color confidence under our belts, we will develop our illustrative skills by working small and imagining BIG. We’ll put all the pieces together and learn how to illustrate and watercolor directly onto wood panels. The end result? A stunning, rainbow-haired girl to take home and nestle in your corner of the world.

Techniques and skills included are: watercolor techniques including mixing harmonious watercolor palettes, illustrative sketching and imaginative drawing, adding depth to illustrations with pencil, illustrating simple faces and intricate hair, layering ideas and techniques to turn watercolors into fun mixed-media pieces.

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 -
9th September 2014 – Jane Davenport –
10th September 2014 – Joanne Sharpe –
11th September 2014 -  Jenny Lee Wentworth –
12th September 2014 -  Violette Clark –
13th September 2014 -  Chris Zydel –

YOU are here!
14th September 2014 -  Danielle Donaldson –

Head on over HERE tomorrow!
15th September 2014 -  Effy Wild –

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.

remember your goodness.

goodness 453x580 remember your goodness.

the past few months have been a whirlwind to say the least . all good things.

but for a girl who doesn’t whirl often and gets cranky when its windy.

well. i get overstimulated.

my noggin never shuts down when its slow. but when its fast. holy smokes. and i need to rest.

but really even when my body looks lazy. my brain isn’t. (i have a feeling that I am not the only one either.)

this week i actually had some moderate level, deep down panic. like what-if-i-run-out-of-ideas? (pfft. you say)

and then i remember. that is literally impossible for me.

remember your goodness and your greatness.

my new mantra. the presiding jesuit priest at cuteGIRL’s grad mass gifted these words to the class. and to me. and they have stuck.

remember the good in you and don’t forget the great stuff you add to this world. (yes, you.)

i am offering up the prettiest pieces of me.

DON 5509b 300 copy i am offering up the prettiest pieces of me.


all I can say is WHEW! this whole biz end of the art thing is EXHAUSTING. seriously.

but it is time to let go of some of my work that i love most. time to fly to different parts of the big blue marble.

i was telling sweetBOY (now age 20. ack!) about trying to sum up the courage to sell my originals. he said it was his favorite part of my process. it meant that pieces of me were everywhere. and how can that not be a good thing.

so there you go. i am offering up the prettiest pieces of me.

i was working on updating my portfolio with a new little twist. my originals that are available for sale have their own category. if you want to see if your fave is listed just head to my portfolio page and click on “original available for purchase”.  The size and price and such are listed right below the pieces that are now available. i will be adding more over the next few days BUT if it is in my portfolio and not on the “available” page – it has already sold (that is another batch of updates. argh.)

ps. if you are thinking – hey, danielle – what about prints? i am working on it. although i have a rule going into it. if the original hasn’t sold, there won’t be prints of it. so if you love it, make it yours. and i will be honored to have a piece of me in your corner of the world.


creativeGIRL class love.

classgoodness 580x580 creativeGIRL class love. Last week my first solo online class went live.  Wow. This online class thing is a whole new world to me. So much to share and learn and move forward with! (btw. the class content is available for a year so you can still get your creative on.  creativeGIRL: the land of light and shadows). and thank you again jeanne oliver for giving me the opportunity to shine.

(An amazingly awesome bit of love from kooky makes about my class inserted here)

My work always features translucency which is one of the many things I love about Danielle’s work. This made it easy to copy her techniques step by step in a few pieces but then create a piece of my own by substituting some of the materials with ones I love working with & changing the subject matter to things I love to paint.’ Thank you for such an awesome class. You and your badass self rock!

And about that creative practicing thing. you can read more about it HERE. Seriously. This class is such an inspiring example of positive and creative sharing and practicing. it makes my heart happy.

Over the course of the “live” week of my class, several members asked (in different ways) how to feel comfortable sharing and owning their work. it took me a while to find the right words. the words that might make sense to peeps. and then i think i put the right words together.

When comparison monsters rear their ugly heads and scare you out of sharing. (I know you know what I am talking about.)

I think (and this is totally my opinion) that often when I felt most insecure or worried about sharing stuff is when I hadn’t made the process or the piece my own. That step where you take the stuff from all that you see, all the classes you take, all the creative dreaming you do, and make it your own. That is not to say sharing the process (like when you are working on a specific project in my class) is a bad thing – it is an awesome thing!

True creative souls LOVE to build each other up and share the good, bad and ugly. BUT when you look at your work and feel like you have made something the world hasn’t seen – that is when comparison doesn’t matter and confidence takes over. Each of you have that in you. Take bits and pieces of what you learn and see and make it your own. You go, girls. You go!

So that sums it up. And then beautiful things happen. Here are some of the pieces my little creative souls made in the last couple of weeks. After watching me. After practicing my stuff. They made it theirs. I love that I can see little bits of me in them. And I love that they shared and owned it. Like rockstars.

  • doodle flower by Sara Fitton, Ditsy Bird Designs -
  • creativeFAIRY by  Veronica Hurly – FB
  • girl with words by Lindsay Ostrom – blog
  • rainbowish portrait by kooky makes -FB
  • beautiful flowers by daria pneva – blog
  • lovely blooms by lisa wright – FB

I am off for a great graduation adventure this weekend. cuteGIRL is so excited as is her super proud mom. catch all y’all on the flipside. it’s time to hit it!

goodness gracious golly gosh. says creativeGIRL.

goodness 580x580 goodness gracious golly gosh. says creativeGIRL.


my very first solo online class is starting on monday!

awesome projects. new stuff to give you a spark in your own super lovely creative way.

are you in?

if you aren’t, there’s still time to join me. just $34 and you have access to the videos for a whole year!

to read more and enroll just head over to creativeGIRL: The Land of Light and Shadows

creativeGIRL final logo 580x412 goodness gracious golly gosh. says creativeGIRL.

bigHUGE extra-exciting news (and a giveaway)

IMAGINATION 580x580 bigHUGE extra exciting news (and a giveaway)

sometimes you just have to imagine the goodness around the corner.

and then let it go and just do what you do to get things done.

and sometimes it feels like that corner is a bazillion miles away.

and you tuck in bits and pieces of what you love to do in the gaps in between all of it.

and then the around the corner stuff? it actually happens.

out of the blue. and it is flippin’ awesome.

i am so excited to share that i was asked to share my art and my process in a book with North Light Books!

creativeGIRL is going to be an author. seriously. so much happiness about this.


and to celebrate, just sign up for my newsletter on the side bar and leave me a note on this post and you will have a chance to will an original tutuGIRL – just for you.

so get to it (and sharing the love might just give you bonus points) I will pick a winner on Monday.


dusty soul here.

dustysoul 580x580 dusty soul here.

this pretty much sums it all up for me.

dusting myself off.

with color.

eraser bits.



creativeGIRL: The Land of Light and Shadows (my first online solo class)

tomorrow is the last day to join in on the fun for the earlybird price. it is going to be pretty darn good. i hope you will join me.

to register for my class, please be sure you are registered on as a member first. it’s free. once you are a member of the site, just click on creativeGIRL and join!