oh my gosh.

it’s september already. sheesh!

here’s what is happening in my corner of a drought-filled-would-give-anything-for-a-rainy-day world.

i have one more in-person weekend retreat at the end of September in Bainbridge Island, WA to share the creative love and there are a couple of spaces left. i am teaching two of my favorite processes   “a timeline of you” from my book, creativeGIRL and a seaside version of my “storyblocks” video project that will be coming out on DVD soon. in other words… this class is a one-of-a-kind experience.

If you would like to join me (and I would love it if you did!), you can read more about it here – Nurture Your Creative Seed.


Say what?! Yep. DVD lessons! Here’s a little peek at them. So exciting right? They will be available in the North Light shop next month.  Each video uses lessons and techniques from my book, creativeGIRL taken up a notch of course. I’ll post here and on FB as soon as they are available.

(oh. and I may possibly be in cahoots with a certain entity to create a coloringBOOK. that’s sounds fun, right?)


last, a little sampling of what is on my lap right now. stretching my creative wings. gosh i am sore!

danielle-septemberkeep on creatively truckin’ peeps!

creativeGIRL blossom challenge

ribbonflowercloseupso sometimes life things get priority over art. the last couple of weeks have been a mixed bad of the most wonderFILLED goodness with my book, creativeGIRL finally landing in a whole lot of doorsteps everywhere.

but other things were more important. things like family and health and grace. and the attempt to get back on track. the flipside to all of it is now I have SO much to do that i just want to go back to my couch, pillow and pups and watch a good dose of fixer upper, say yes to the dress or chopped. so after I share my (FINALLY) finished my rainbow blossoms for last weekends challenge , that is where I am headed.

(i must admit that the music did not fill my room as it usually does. quiet everything is better right now. but i listening to Fantastic Voyage by Lakeside which barely counts because it came out in 1980 – but i skated a lot of laps at Roller King to it and it makes me smile.)

In my book, I share how I create lots of stashes of creative leftovers and such – this project uses practice pieces and stuff I had thrown away and pulled back out to repurpose ina lovely new garland of colorful goodness!

flowerspoonsHere’s a quick breakdown of my version of the CHALLENGE:

  • Recycled Garland – lovely recycled paper towels full of watercolor leftovers cut into strips then sewn together in a super messy string of awesomeness
  • Geometrical Leaves – fun grids of watercolor squares turned into funky, geometrical leaves then sewn onto the Recycled Garland (my ode to 70’s funk music)
  • Rainbow Roses – a yard of white ribbon dipped in pools of watercolors on a white-erase lapboard then cut into three sections, pinned in a messy spiral and sewn with love. a couple of Geometric Leaves sewn on and added to Recycled Garland

To be honest, I have NO idea what I will use it for. So to store it until I do, I wrapped it around a piece of white cardstock and clipped it to a miniature hanger. Now I can return to the couch. 🙂storage

Of course, I needed to pick out a winner for Giveaway no. 2 – so sorry it’s been a very delayed announcement!

The winner is Jackie Jones! So exciting!

pssst. you can sign up for my newsletter below if you want first dibs on future creative eye-candy!




creativeGIRL giveaway no. 2

As promised, another giveaway! This time you have to get creative! I know, I am so mean. NOT!

In my book, creativeGIRL, I talk about my process a lot. How I organize my practice and new opportunities to grow my art by re-purposing the old, the ugly and the learning moments to make new, beautiful art. In addition to an insiders look on how my process works, I share a really fun way to connect with your creative kindred all around the globe. The weekend giveaway is a peak into the challenges I offer in my book. I started these with a sunshine-filled and sassy girl named Kelly Barton several years ago. Whenever we got into a creative slump of sorts we would come up with a challenge that included a subject, specific music, and a medium or two. It really gave both of us a little kick in the creativePANTS and an opportunity to see each others process. Although my challenges in my book don’t have a deadline – ours always do. This really, really helps – especially when you are in a funk.

So grab your stash of supplies and get going! Just follow these simple rules…

  1. create HAPPYrainbow blossoms
  2. listening to 70’s funk (Try Pandora Radio – it’s free and awesome!)
  3. cut them out and add a magnet to the back and add them to your fridge or glue them on push-pins for your bulletin board (some fancy creativeGIRL repurposing)
  4. share a photo of the finished project or part of the process on your FB feed with the hashtag #creativeGIRLgoodness
  5. last but not least, leave a “mission complete” comment on the “GIVEAWAY NO. 2” blog post on www.danielledonaldson.com/words.

I will choose a winner at 10 am PST, on Monday, July 20. You are not eligible if you don’t leave a comment on THIS POST on my website. The winner will receive a signed copy of my book, PLUS another little happy bit tucked inside from Kelly Barton. Be sure to check out her shop on Etsy and Society6. You’ll see what a big influence she has been on me in MY art! Because that’s how you learn and grow as an artist, right? hey. You can get 20% off on orders over $35 in Kelly’s Etsy shop through Sunday. Use coupon code — getcreative 
good thru sunday

creativeGIRL book shenanigans 

creativeGIRL: mixed media techniques for an artful life. My very own book is now officially shipping to all sorts of creative corners of the world. Pretty darn amazing.

And I couldn’t have done it without you. YES. You.


Over the course of the next few days and weeks, I will be sharing little bits and pieces of my thought process when writing my book along with some art that I am working on now using some of the techniques and ideas that I have mish-mashed together in new ways.

I am an INSTAGRAM/FB girl so lots of little updates and pretty pictures will be shared in both places.

Thank you again for all your love and support. And what are you sitting here reading this for?! Go dive into your own copy of creativeGIRL and share your favorite parts! If you haven’t purchased your copy, you can buy it on Amazon with this LINK. (Can’t wait? You can grab the Kindle version HERE.)

GIVEAWAY NO. 1 IS OFFICIALLY CLOSED! Robin Beam is the lucky winner!

PS. You didn’t think I was going to add a giveaway, did you? Today’s  giveaway is a signed copy of my book. (If you already have it, you’ll then become someone’s BFF because you can gift your copy to them!) The winner will be announced on Thursday, July 16 at 10 am PST. Want it? Just find and follow/like me on INSTAGRAM and on my FB ARTIST PAGE (not my personal page). I will create a post (Officially named “Giveaway no. 1”) on my FB Artist Page – please leave me a comment that you have completed your mission and you will be officially entered into the drawing. If you are already following both or if you don’t have insta, its ok – just let me know in your comment.


some sugary spoonfuls of creative time.

I’ve mentioned I’m a perfectionist, right? Well, I have been waiting and waiting (and working and working) on my new website. And it is awesome and will be even more awesome in the coming weeks. But I just have to share a few things in the meantime!

My very own book release party at the Kennedy School in Portland is SOLD OUT! So excited to have a group of lovelies to share the love with when by book, creativeGIRL: Mixed Media Techniques for an Artful Life hits the shelves and ships out on July 16th. I will be having a fun give-away when it does, so keep checking back!

http://danielledonaldson.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/creativegirl-colorado.jpgIn mid-August, I get to spend some quality time with one of my favorite girls ever, Jeanne Oliver! And bonus! I will be teaching a one-day workshop in Denver where we will be creating our very own coverGIRL just like my book cover! Only a couple of spaces remain so if you are in the area, come join us! You can read more about it and get registered HERE.

thehappiestordinary-finalAnd last, but certainly not least – Serena Berry (Nurture Your Creative Seed Retreats) has put together a whole weekend of fun and colorfulness on Bainbridge Island, WA which includes a full weekend of art with me! The Happiest Ordinary is based on a new process of mine and will only be shared at this workshop this year. There are a few spaces left and its only July – so if you want to join in on the fun, you can read more and sign up HERE.

More to come on my studly new website over the next few weeks. And I may just make the time to paint a little today. Whew!

it actually IS in the details.

my 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: http://jeanneoliver.ning.com/group/storybooks-and-studious-girls?xg_source=msg_mes_network 

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!

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.


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.



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!


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

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. 🙂


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!


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.


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!



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 above 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!!