art class

art journal class

Posted by on Mar 20, 2015 in art class | 3 comments

The short version is: It was every kind of awesome, and I love it, the end.

The (slightly) longer version is that after admiring from afar the class descriptions at Donna Downey Studios, I went to one last weekend.

Pam Garrison journal page

Artist Pam Garrison was the teacher. I love her work – the gorgeous summer-sherbet colors, the hand-lettering. It feels warm and welcoming, like a well-worn, well-loved quilt. (Speaking of, have you seen her big crazy summer journal quilt? It is gorgeous.)

I drove out to North Carolina last Thursday. It was about a nine-hour drive. That sounds like not a short time to be in the car by myself but it really went quickly, thanks to happy anticipation of art-making, podcasts, and the book I was listening to (A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny).

Friday morning I went downstairs for coffee and there, as I live and breathe, was Pam Garrison. Just sitting there having breakfast. I went over and introduced myself and told her how I was looking forward to the class. It was a flat-out fangirl moment, and she was really gracious about it.

She introduced me to the artist who was with her, Jennifer Mercede. Jennifer helped Pam during the class, and shared notecards of her work. We each also got an issue of Uppercase magazine that featured Jennifer’s work.

Jennifer Mercede Upperclass magazine

This was the first live and in person art class I’ve taken. Before I even left, I know it was going to be great big fun; I had decided it was going to be. And it was.

Donna Downey studios paintbrush bathroom 2This is the bathroom, for instance. (I know!)

Besides the paintbrushes everywhere, there was the sweetest atmosphere about the place. All the other students were so kind and encouraging; we were there to have fun and to play and you could tell. The whole place all but vibrated with good creative juice.

hanging paintbrushes Donna Downey


Keetha and Donna Downey

Donna Downey is every bit as much fun in person as she is in her videos and web site.

Pantone bathroom Donna Downey

The other bathroom. Color, color everywhere.


Pam Garrison & Donna Downey

aprons Donna Downey studios

Pam Garrison teaching Donna Downey studios

Pam’s art is a perfect reflection of her personality – warm, genuine, open, sweet.

Donna Downey art journal

A page in one of Donna’s art journals.

Donna Downey art journal

The journal is huge; she takes it with her when she travels to teach. It has its own suitcase.

Donna Downey studios paintbrush bathroom 1

More paintbrushes. I wanted to meet and talk to each artist who made them, sit down and say, “Tell me your story.”

paintbrush ART


This one really captured my attention:

Edgar Allan Poe mixed media art paintbrush

An Edgar Allan Poe-themed paintbrush! I love it because Edgar Allan Poe is one of my favorite writers – his beautiful poems, his deliciously creepy stories, how intrigue followed him even in how he died.

Then there is the fact that this artist decided to make an Edgar Allan Poe-themed paintbrush. She took something she is interested in (I’m guessing) and went with it. I love that! Own it, baby.

Maybe I’ll make a Johnny Cash paintbrush. Or Garden Spells! Or Mississippi Delta!

The possibilities.


Daniel Smith watercolor Keetha art journalJPG

I brought home some great things with me from the class. I made a roomful of new friends. I made an art journal. I have scrumptious new art supplies. And I’m already looking forward to the next class.








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My view this morning

Posted by on Mar 16, 2015 in art class | 0 comments

Keetha art Donna Downey

I just got back from an incredible three-day art retreat. I’m still floating.

The two turquoise-and-white chevron bags are full of yummy art supplies that I brought home. Seeing them just makes me happy.

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