A little creative space

Did you know I have a website dedicated to my online lessons and free mixed media tutorials? Yes, I do! You'll find it here: (I've removed the site as of August 2014)

This afternoon I finished adding PayPal buttons for all of the workshops I offer there so that the lessons could be delivered to you immediately by e-junkie, via a download link. I have wanted to do this for months!

It's really so amazing how a deadline will drive me.

; 0 ) I knew it would be next to impossible for me to send the lessons as pdf files when we will only have dial-up at the cottage -- and we are leaving in a few days! So, now it is all done, hooray! This web work also gave me the chance to go over the whole site and update everything . . .  I hope to add more content when we return but in the meantime, there are 4 great workshops that you can purchase anytime and do at your convenience. The lessons are very complete and I have received rave reviews! There's a fabric book/quilties workshop, a collage workshop, a photo-art journal workshop and a fabric stamping and painting workshop. I hope you check them out. Yours, lenna

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

   ~ Leonardo da Vinci

messy fun: charcoal & pastel

I'm back to class on Mondays at Longboat Key Art Center with Bill Buchman - whoo hoo!


Bill showed us exercises we could do with charcoal to warm up and
he wanted us to think about using movement in our drawing . . . 


Below shows another demo by Bill with colored pastels.
I love watching Bill work and always learn a lot.


Most of the class we watch and listen.
For perhaps 1/3 of the class we try out what we have been seeing.
Below are two close ups of one of Bill's compositions.


I love how he selectively added color with pastels and brought this to life!

Below is one of my class pieces. I'm trying to incorporate all I have learned this afternoon . . . . movement, color, variety . . . freedom plus fun expression - go with the flow. Let the painting speak to you. Hmmmm, it's funny. No matter how it comes out, I always feel good doing it.


The name of this class is Creative Breakout!  I am learning & enjoying.

With Bill's permission I took photographs in class and a short video. I will embedded the video in my post, but if you cannot see it, please click on this link to view. It is just 1 minute 24 seconds long. 
I am learning how to make videos with sound, photos & video clips. I hope you enjoY - I think it came out good! 




: ) Lenna



collage for the soul

Sometimes it seems like there are so many things I could write about and share with you that I don't know where to begin! Does that happen to you? Well, I decided I would at least share something about a fairly major event for me; teaching an IN-Person class for the first time since I moved to Florida over 2 years ago.

The photo above pretty much sums up what the day was like . . . happy! That's me on the right, with my friend Cheryl Wilson next to me; she hosted the class in her home. Gail Condrick, one of my Nia movement instructors is to the left of Cheryl working on her collage, and Jean, another Nia student and friend is up close in the red shirt. My friend and fellow Nia student Ann is taking the photo! I would say the class was a success. It was a lot of work for me, especially since I have not done this in a while, but I received many wonderful comments and we all enjoyed.

Tom wrote, "Lenna, I greatly enjoyed meeting you and taking your class. Thank you." 
He is already interested in a second class, which is in the works!
Jane wrote, "Your class was just what the doctor ordered! It really help palpitate my soul! Totally inspired."
Cheryl wrote, "Wonderful Creative Day with friends old & new. Lenna - amazing teaching, art and facilitation."
Ann said, "Creative Lenna's Collage for the Soul Workshop -we had so much fun and she is a great teacher!"
Wow! Thank  you all so much. What a lovely way to be welcomed back into teaching classes in person.

my students at work (play)

The lovely Zoe came by to visit (left) while Gail is working 

Gail's most wonderful collage!

Ann is working on her collage, lovely.

Jane had a blast and was very inspired! 

Tom did a marvelous job - love his contrasting colors

Ann & Cheryl adding to their art

Jean's lovely collage with a beach theme

Cheryl  is happy : 0 ) 

It was a great experience. After I rest up I will certainly be ready to do it again!!
Thanks to all of my students for your enthusiasm & wonderful art. yours creatively, lenna

Creative Breakout class with Bill Buchman

Over a bridge out on the barrier islands but not very far from me, is the Longboat Key Center for the Arts - a division of the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota. When I discovered that exhibitions and classes were held there, I jumped at the chance to view and participate. I attended an exhibit of paintings and collage in October that I enjoyed very much and yesterday I went to my first class with Bill Buchman. I was very attracted to the title of his workshop ...Creative Breakout: Release the Power of Your Creative Imagination and the description: This course is a journey of self discovery through art – a complete hands-on exploration of what creativity is and how it works. Sounds good, does it not? Below are sections of one of the exercises I did yesterday in class using a new tool for me, Cretacolor AquaBriques. These are artist quality water soluble bricks of color that you can purchase in a set, or I found the single blocks at Jerry's Artarama. Like watercolor crayons, but better! Bill said this quality of artist grade tools would serve me, or any artist well. Bill wanted us to make a simple composition with rectangles and circles, thinking about color: opposites, similar colors and warm/cool colors.




The whole piece when it was dry this morning - click twice for detail.

After a brief lecture, Bill had us start working in class doing a warm up exercise with paint. He mixed tube watercolor with water in a small plastic shot glass and showed us how to get the right consistency for what we were doing. He lay down a drop cloth on the new studio floor so we would not get paint on the new floor and then he demonstrated pouring & splashing on a piece of watercolor paper followed by making a gesture in the air with your paint brush filled with paint. We are going to add to these paintings each week with a new exercise each time over the next 3 weeks. The idea is that besides the techniques we'll learn, there will be time to think and rediscover our pieces when we work on them again, looking at them with fresh eyes. Here is Bill in action:



He's picking up excess paint with a brush for faster drying

 Another student Elmer, is trying out the exercise

 his result 


 One of my favorites is below - by Barbara, I believe.

 Bill's example for us for our second exercise using shapes and color . . .

students working during class -so much fun to see the variations.

Bill's second piece he worked on while we worked on our shapes and colors - I love it!

I am very happy I registered for this workshop! Visit Bill's website where there is lots to see in the Galleries, plus instructional Art DVDs and even a book!

Dorthe, me and mail art!

I met Dorthe Hansen I believe, in one of Mary Green's vintage paper collage classes. Dorthe was always so kind to me. I found her blog and visited her - she creates beautiful things and has a warm & lovely spirit. Dorthe often visits my blog too, but is very busy with her shop, Den Lille Lade - located where she lives on a Danish Island in the Baltic Sea.

One day Dorthe remarked in a comment on my blog, how much she like the mail art I did for an exchange and that she had never received any. I thought to myself, ah ha! I could send Dorthe some mail art! I asked her for her address. It took me a little bit of time, but I made a simple mail art envelope and enclosed some lace and things I thought she might like or could use for her dolls or collage. I heard her birthday was coming up and that really spurred me on. Below is what I sent Dorthe; this simple card I made held my goodies for her:


 My envelope for Dorthe, front and back:
Yes, this card was going on a journey, to the Baltic Sea!
Dorthe wrote about receiving this envelope along with some other lovely gifts HERE.

Yesterday, I was honored by receiving from Dorthe, her first piece of mail art, which is absolutely gorgeous, look!!

And not only did I have the beautiful envelope to gaze at, but inside Dorthe added a special handmade card with a beautiful driftwood angel she made attached! 
Thank you so much, Dorthe. 
It was certainly my pleasure to send you your first mail art! 
: ^  ) lenna

earlier post today: orange peel in dark chocolate!

ArtJournalEveryDay: June 4+5

ArtJournalEveryDay: June 4+5 by creativelenna
ArtJournalEveryDay: June 4+5, a photo by creativelenna on Flickr. 
Click on the photo to see more of my photos at flickr.
A Tip-in page/photo -is one thing that I added to my art journal when I got home from my Garden Inspired writing workshop held at Selby Gardens in Sarasota, FL. I downloaded my photos and found the one that was the same scene I drew at Selby gardens. I printed it out onto a 4" x 6" glossy photo paper. Then I ran a nice line of Tacky glue down the middle of my journal where I wanted the photo to be tipped in, and pressed the edge of the photo firmly in the middle so there was a little bit of glue on both sides. I used my bottle of Dye-Na-Flow to prop the photo up for good positioning. I left it to dry that way overnight and thought I might have to add a bit of tape for reinforcement when it was dry, but I did not. It seems very firmly positioned in my art journal!

I really had a wonderful time taking advantage of this workshop at Selby Gardens. It worked for me on many levels. First, I drove to Sarasota by myself. It is not that far from us in Bradenton, maybe 35 minutes but I have avoided going there by myself because it is even more "city driving" than where I live! Usually, I would tend to let my husband do any of this trickier, busy, city driving. But I wanted to go and I was ready to try it on my own and it really was not bad! I have bought a membership to Selby Gardens which means free admission, so you know I will be returning! This in itself was empowering to me. It takes a while sometimes when you move somewhere new to get used to your surroundings. This was a good step for me.

The workshop itself was great! There were 11 women in the class and 2 instructors, so the room was full of both people and energy. There were 3 writing exercises, discussion, sharing, observation and meditation -yes! I learned a simple breathing exercise that I was comfortable with because it is much like the breathing I do with some of my exercises . . . . filling up the lungs and the abdomen and then letting it all go. We were doing this to slow down and observe - and then write. I found it so helpful simply for calming purposes. I have already used it a number of times since. My instructor Gail, who is also my Nia dance teacher, told us if we could come away with one thing from the workshop we would be doing well. That was definitely my one thing.

Let me show you what I did in my art journal while there -click on any photo for details:
The photo was not there, it was in my camera at the time  . . . . .
I did the drawing and the writing (in black) at Selby Gardens.
I did the drawing in watercolor crayons but adding some of these pastel 
crayons to the mix later when I was home.
I added a bright green Dye-Na-Flow to the page with a sponge, today.
The gardens themselves are really beautiful and I saw a good part of them. Our workshop was held inside the mansion where the Selby's once lived; they donated their property to the community when they passed away. While I was there a special juried photography exhibit was being shown on the bottom floor of the Selby mansion (we were upstairs). It was spectacular! Directly in front of the mansion there was a butterfly garden. I have visited butterfly gardens before but I think this one was truly magical. I have never seen so many butterflies flying about and they did not seem to just be flying! They were floating on the breeze. I could watch them rise and fall and then dance around, 3 or 4 of them like a choreographed modern dance. I was quite mesmerized by this butterfly garden and spent most of one of our observation periods there.

I have photos of the gardens, the mansion, the fig & banyan trees, the koi and a few more of my art journal uploaded to this set on my flickr account. Once there, you can click on the slideshow link top right for larger photos that move along by themselves, or click on individual one in the grid. Oh! I met the woman sitting next to me during  the writing workshop. Her name is Suzi and she lives on Anna Maria Island where I take Nia dance classes. When she saw my art journal sitting on the table, even just closed -she was enthralled. I encouraged her to look at it. She did- she took my card -has visited the blog and wrote me an email to say she needs to take a day off to look at everything, but in the meantime please come visit her on the island!!!
: ^ )) lenna

your vintage gluebook class on sale!

I just read on Mary Green's blog that she is offering her Your Vintage Gluebook online class on sale! Just click on the link to find out all the details on how to register for a special price. Mary is offering 30% off in celebration of having 300 students register for this class in just 1 years time! It is a fantastic class that I enjoyed so very much. It really inspred me to produce a lot of art . . . let me share my favorite pages created in Mary's class with just paper-mostly class images, scissors & glue . . . well, I added a little ink here & there - shhhh . . . don't tell!







Click on any image for more detail and go register for this class!
It is a huge value at this celebration sale price!

creativity classes


Have you heard of creativity classes? This is a new website put together by Zura Rickman as a "central place where students can go to learn about all online art/creative classes." I was delightfully surprised when she wrote me an email and told me she had created pages with information about my online classes, wow! You'll find my classes listed under Art Journaling (Open the Door class), Mixed Media (Collage on Canvas), and Fabric Art (Fabric Stamping & Painting, and Mini Art Fabric Quilt Book) -some samples are in the photo collage above, click on it for a larger view. Plus, there are lots of other classes listed there too for you to check out and it is all in one spot! If you have taken a class of mine before, it would be so great if you could add a comment under that particular class about what you thought of it . . . thank you in advance! This is the grand opening week for this website and Zura is having a week of give-aways! So check out creativity classes when you can. A brand new class that is not listed there yet is one I just signed up for myself: collage Coterie Online Workshop by Mary Green. I love Mary's classes!! Hope to see you in a class soon!

an adventure


Christmas was very simple for us this year with our move from Connecticut to Florida . . .  no big celebrations; just a quiet visit with my mom & dad (well, and 4 dogs!) and my mom had a small and most delicious party on christmas eve. Presents were very minimal this year, and it was actually nice! Steven did go out and buy me a few lovely little things (he said he just had to!) and I really wanted to make him a small piece of art, shown above. It is the same size as the first piece of art I gave him in 2004 when we had just connected again, which is shown below. Wow, both pieces use the same masking tape background technique. I think this, the small size, and that they are made for him especially, is why he likes them!

Well, moving here is a huge adventure in itself, so that is part of the reason for the words on my christmas collage for Steven. Since moving to Florida, Steven has made a point of getting out every day to explore the area either by himself or with me and the dogs. He has taken the single-man canoe my dad made for him out many, many times since we've arrived, when the tide is right. Below is a photo of my dad with the "featherweight" canoe he made for Steve in 2006.


Here in Bradenton, FL we are surrounded by water. We have the Manatee River, Palma Sola Bay and Tampa Bay, plus lots of other waterways I am not even familiar with! The tide makes a huge difference on when you can paddle or even motor boat, this much I know. I would say my Steven is definitely a 'boat guy'. He grew up summers right on the St. Lawrence River in Canada with all kinds of boats: motor boats, row boats, canoes, kayaks & sailboats, and he was an avid white water paddler when he was in his 30's and 40's. Now he loves to flat water canoe.  I wanted to create something for him that reflected these adventures he has lately been embracing.


For his collage at the top, I started with one of the backgrounds I teach in my collage on canvas online workshop, a masking tape background. I laid masking tape down on a small 2.5" x 3.5" canvas and covered it with a Halo Blue Gold Lumiere paint. It is hard to tell in the photo but it has a true luminescence to it and changes colour when you shift the canvas. I chose that color for it's water-likeness and then looked for a few words and images i might have. I think the small photo in the middle is of my nephew dale, at the same family get-together as the picture of Steven & Asia above. When we lived on a small lake in Avon, CT in 2006, we had a BYOB - Bring your Own Boat (a handmade Dale Andrews boat!) party. We had 3 wee lassies (single man) canoes, 2 larger canoes, and 1 sailboat all made by my dad out on this teeny tiny lake, Secret Lake! Another photo from that day is below - my mom & dad are getting the Melonseed sailboat ready, the same boat Steven & I towed here 3 weeks ago along with 5 other boats!

In my collage for Steven, the words and the transparency image of the woman  are from ARTchix Studio.com. The words are from ARTchix's Tell me More collage sheet. There are so many great words you can add to a collage on this sheet; as usual, Helga has done an awesome job! I also added a bit of rubber stamping with permanent ink on top of my masking tape background, as I often like to do for depth. To me the stamping of the branches represents the mangrove trees here and all the canoeing through tunnels, and other new adventures that Steven has been having! merry christmas, steven!
-lenna young adnrews - december 27th, 2009

water media class (I am taking)

water color on canvas paper - brought home and added to with my sewing machine!














Before we even decided to sell our home, I signed up for a "water media" class at the local West Hartford Art League with Frank Federico. His paintings have been exhibited in New Orleans, LA, Florida, California, New Mexico, New England, Brunei, Stockholm and Tokyo, in group and solo exhibitions. I am so glad I signed up for this class, even if I've had to miss a couple of sessions because I was getting our home ready to put on the market.

A few years ago I had taken class with Frank and was absolutely charmed by him. I cannot paint anything like the way that Frank does, but he has always encouraged me to use whatever I can take from his example and combine this new knowledge with my own mixed media art, and my own style. Such a great teacher! I love watching him demo his painting techniques at the beginning of every class. I find his demo so magical! This week I've taken photos while he was demoing and created a slide show to share. In class I've also learned a lot from the other students, many who have been taking class with Frank for many years. To find out more about the artist Frank Federico, please visit his website. Besides teaching at the Art League, Frank gives many workshops around the country throughout the year. One particular workshop at the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops in New York, coming up this September, really caught my attention. The example of his painterly pastel on the workshop page is so beautiful!

Here is a slide show of Frank's demo - he's painting a dock scene in Gloucester, Massachusetts from a photograph, for our class on May 28th, 2009. Frank starts with a few pencil lines, then he adds paint with a fat brush, switches paint, switches brushes, tells us about the color palette he's using and what he's doing, and 45 minutes later, voilà! It is amazing.






I have had so much fun in this class, even though I am not a"water color artist". I usually take my attempts home and then add something very mixed media to them (see the top of this post) like fabric or I'll cut my water color papers up and create ATCs (Artist Trading cards) out of them! I did this recently with a neon painting I fooled around with in class, brought home, added rubber stamped quotes to -- and then surprised Frank and my fellow students with a few ATCs in the next class as gifts. This was all new for Frank and my classmates, and I think they really enjoyed!




















Thank you, Frank!! xo lenna

mixed media collage

This collage done on a canvas panel, is one that I actually finished working on a few weeks ago, but did not make time to upload it here, until now! I started working on the background of this piece for a demo during one of my

collage classes

held earlier this fall. Below you will see how the collage began, far left:

After applying a wash of paints and rubbing alcohol, I was showing my student Joyce how to add things like paper napkins peeled down to the thinest layer and tissue paper for texture. I also showed her how she could rubber stamp with permanent ink on to white tissue paper and then adhere it to her canvas so that the tissue paper would not be visible.

My next step was to add some figures . . . and on the top right I added a wonderful image from ARTchix Studio's Loveliness collage sheet, which has been in the collection for many years, but is still one of my favorites.

In the bottom left corner, I added a favorite image from Alpha Stamps' British Queens 3 collage sheet. I like how both heroines are gazing outward.

From there I added a Victorian Scrap paper butterfly and words from an ARTchix collage sheet, Tell me a Story. I also cut out wings from another ARTchix Studio sheet: Wonderful Wings. I think this was perfect with the way she is looking at the butterfly and the words from the collage sheet! The gold "fence" at the bottom of the panel is a gold German scrap paper from ARTchix called Gold paper Mesh.

collage11.16.08-+01213.jpg

I ripped pieces of shiny gold paper and adhered them with gel medium, added some scrapbook and other paper bits, did more rubber stamping -- this time directly on the canvas. It was curious for me to reach for a postage related rubber stamp and find one addressed to Trieste, Italy. This is where my son Dallas is living now while doing an internship at the International School of Trieste. Pretty amazing!

I added tiny gold beads as well with glue -- click on any photo for more detail.

A real canceled postage stamp from an envelope I had received and saved because it was so cool, was also added . . . see below for a close up.

. . . . I added oval lines with a permanent marker around the word I stamped (See) to accentuate it. Finally, I framed it with a simple black frame because I plan to sell it!

Thanks for visiting my blog! : ^ ) lenna