What makes Artful Gathering Instructors so special? They understand the importance of the physical integration of demonstrating their workshop subjects to you in their own real-life setting and working environment. By sharing their processes with you, you can in turn, learn from their specific and unique talents and contributions. Our instructors know what is like to perch themselves over the shoulder of an admired mentor; observing and listening intently. They also know what it is like to practice and apply new techniques and applications, integrating them into their own art while experiencing many enjoyable hours absorbed in their creative explorations. As part of the learning process, they have also encountered hours filled with frustration and do-overs, but these challenges culminate into experiences that lead to a broader field of expression and mastery. Through their experience they are a part of the kinship of sharing knowledge in the fellowship of art where we warmly invite you to join us.

LUTHIEN THYE. Like many who discovered art at a later age in their lives, I have never been to art school nor had any formal training in art. In fact, my early education couldn’t be farther away from anything that resembled “artistic” or “creative”, unless you consider “creative book-keeping” an art form! After graduating in Accounting & Economics, I returned home to Malaysia where I so much as worked 6 hours in my dad’s company and ended up totally convinced that the 9-5 managerial job was not my cup of tea. And so I pursued my first love … the Stage.

After many years on the stage dancing, singing and making a fool of myself whilst earning decent money, I did what my heart wanted me to do next … fall in love and start a family. And although the stage will always have a special place in my heart, I am now a mother to 2 of the most amazing little girls and a wife to the most steadfast, loving and encouraging man.

So here it is … my story … my little journey prior to how I finally fell into the world of making things with my hands. What I make reflects my experiences in life, my emotions, my feelings about certain things, my stories and of course, the many worlds that reside in my imagination. So when I say “I make art” … it just means that I am manifesting bits and pieces of me in a more tangible form.

Keith Lo Bue is a jeweler, sculptor, teacher and self-described ‘stuffsmith’ who has work in many major collections, including the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC and the Museum of Arts & Design (MADMuseum) in New York. Since 1990 his work has been exhibited all around the US and in Germany, Australia, New Zealand, France, Ireland and England.

Dozens of books feature Lo Bue’s work, including One of a Kind: American Art Jewelry Today, 1000 Rings, On Body and Soul: Contemporary Armor to Amulets and The Compendium Finale Of Contemporary Jewellery Makers (Germany) as well as Metalsmith, American Craft, Ornament and Belle Armoire Jewelry magazines (US). His workshops have been presented to enthusiastic reviews at Haystack, Penland and scores of other art and craft institutions across the United States, Canada, France and Australia, as well as online worldwide. Lo Bue lives and works in Sydney, Australia.

Penny McDonald was born in the Heights, Houston, Texas. She has been an artist all her life, with some formal studies in commercial art and interior design. She left college to marry the love of her life, Rob, in 1980. Penny is a firm believer in lifelong learning and many of her skills are self taught.

Penny’s art has been displayed in many exhibitions in the Houston area, and she teaches classes locally as well. In addition, Penny’s work has been published in Art Doll Quarterly. She lives and works in Houston, Texas. Her art is visible at www.penniesfromheavendesigns.com.

Sandy Babb. I am a sassy southern self-taught mixed media artist who usually has a pocket full of pebbles to keep me grounded as I generally have my head in the clouds. I am a wanderer of woodlands and waterways far and wide clicking pics and gathering bits of nature to use in my work. I am an idea chaser and a dreamer, an art maker and wordsmith who is a teller of stories that are woven together with scissors, paints, fibers, and glue in the form of but not limited to collage, painting, fiber & textile arts, book arts, and jewelry. My aim is to explore mediums and express myself through mixed media art as well as to inspire, educate, and encourage others in their own artful journey.

I live in the woodlands of “The Natural State” of Arkansas with one dog and my high school sweetheart husband with my adult children and grandchildren nearby. When not arting I enjoy loading up our wee glamper and heading out to camp, hike, kayak, and explore. I have a fondness for diy projects and an addiction to flea marketing. You can keep up with my artistic pursuits, wacky adventures, DIY projects, and flea market finds on my Blog, Quill Cottage Studio, http://quillcottage.blogspot.com where you will also find my social media links.

Sumiyo Toribe was born in Kyoto, Japan. She studied art throughout her education, but began painting seriously when she joined the graduate painting program at the Savannah College of Art and Design in 1996. She currently resides in central Massachusetts. She has been teaching college art courses since 1999. Her works have been published in several magazines and newspapers and been featured on local television. Most recently Toribe has completed the art book Painting by Lyrics with lyricist Mark Stevens. Awards include the Outstanding Achievement Award (1998) and Outstanding Alumna Award (2004) from Savannah College of Art and Design and the Award of Merit from the exhibit National Art Encounter in Naples, FL (2012). A 2010 grant from Worcester Arts Council resulted in the watercolors and exhibit Worcester Sketchbook. She is a highly rated seller at the online marketplaces Etsy.com and Ugallery.com. She produced one painting a day between August 2009 and September 2013 and posts her painting process and tutorials on the YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/storibeart. She participates in several juried art shows throughout the year. All upcoming events and related links can be found on the official website, www.sumiyotoribe.com.

Toribe expresses her daily experience through watercolor, sumi ink, and oil paint. The work is variously sized. The outcome of her work is between expressive and impressionistic, abstract and representational, and western and eastern influences can be detected. She enjoys exploring and experimenting with medium, form and concept. The subject matter varies from figurative to landscape to floral. Recent thoughts and ideas are focused more towards her home country of Japan. Toribe’s watercolor technique is known to be new and unique; using the flow of water to make spontaneous marks and a lively flow of energy.

Karen O’ Brien. I am a self taught mixed media artist and painter of soulful characters. I try to find a story of simplicity and harmony in each piece of art I make.

I started my creative journey as a teddy bear artist and developed a love of vintage toys, children’s books and all things handmade. I am influenced by shape, color and patterns, both created by hand and found in nature. When I create, I let my muse take me where it wants to go. I play and enjoy the process, while looking for my imaginary characters to make an appearance.

Teaching is an integral part of my artist’s life, sharing techniques and learning from my students. The core of my teaching is to share the value of playful curiosity, learning to see with your heart and trusting the process. I wrote my book “Imaginary Characters: Mixed Media Painting Techniques for Figures and Faces” with that philosophy in mind.

You can follow my artist’s journey from my website, which includes links to my Urban Folktales blog, Facebook and Pinterest pages. Please visit: http://KEObrien.com

“Growing up in the outer suburbs of London I never dreamed that I would end up living up in a tiny town in rural Australia and loving every minute of it”.
-Kate Buxton, Quisnam Jewelry

Kate Buxton grew up in South West London, moving to Australia twenty years ago; first settling in Melbourne and then Mirboo North, a small rural town in South Gippsland where she raised her family. Having always been passionate about creating, Kate launched Quisnam, her etsy shop, in 2011. Prior to this she founded a social enterprise, helping a local charity transform unwanted computer parts and other recycled materials into jewelry.

Kate is endlessly interested in the meaning humans attach to things. This is why a lot of her work incorporates objects that are considered amulets and talismans in some cultures. Her jewelry aesthetic reflects her passion for using recycled and salvaged materials. Rust, flaky paint, frayed ribbon feature heavily in her work. Having long been a frequenter of charity thrift shops (following in the footsteps of her mum) Kate loves utilizing ‘found’ objects’ and incorporates them in her designs as often as she can. ‘What else could this be?’ is a question she often asks herself, hence her shop’s name Quisnam, which is Latin for ‘who’ or ‘what’.

Kate’s pride and joy are her two grown up children and her husband, who is also an artist. She lives in a ramshackle house, surrounded by an equally ramshackle garden visited daily by parrots, Rosella, possums and the odd guest appearance from a wombat or kangaroo!

Hally Levesque is a doll artist/enthusiast hailing from the Canadian prairies. Her love affair with dolls began in childhood and grew from there into a passion for doll collecting and doll making.

Her earliest doll making venture was in the area of bisque (aka porcelain) reproductions. It was there that she learned the basic skills of doll making and before long she began to follow her own creative visions by making sophisticated hand-crafted cloth dolls in historical dress. The response to her dolls was so positive that she set up a shop on Etsy where she continues to market her dolls to this day.

Over time, Hally has tried her hand at making various types of dolls. In 2012, she was invited to sell dolls at a handcraft gallery in her home town for the Christmas season. This marked the beginning of the primitive-style pancake and stump dolls that have graced many a Christmas tree and home during the holidays.

Hally’s current focus is on mixed-media dolls made of clay and cloth in both traditional and primitive styles. She is particularly intrigued with applying new techniques to the stump doll form which she believes has enormous potential for creative expression. “Dolls, in general, do not receive the credit they are due in the art world. In spite of the amazing work being done by doll artists around the world, many people are still quite surprised to hear the terms “doll artist” or “art doll”. When I tell a person that I am a doll artist, I am almost always met with a blank expression,” Hally laughs, “and yet, if I were to say that I am a sculptor or a painter, that would not be the case, even though as a doll artist I employ those skills and many others besides.”

Hally’s dolls have appeared in publications in the U.S. and Canada. She is also a member of Cult of Doll, a collection of original doll artists from around the globe. This is Hally’s third year with Artful Gathering Online Art Retreats and she is thrilled to be given another opportunity to share her passion for doll making with others. Examples of Hally’s work can be seen on her website: www.creativedollworks.com

Monika Astara. Creating with my hands is something that I need like air and water.

After moving to the US in the mid eighties from Germany, where I had taught and worked in a prison and public schools, I took the plunge to fulfill my dream: designing fun, casually elegant clothes that make women feel radiant, confident and alive.

From 1994 to 2007 I had a  boutique at the Hot Springs Resort in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. It was a funky yet casually elegant place, where I dressed women for everyday life, special occasions, and presidential inaugurations. Oprah called it “the best boutique” on her cross country tour.

During those years, in addition to making fun clothes, I got hooked on making jewelry in unusual color and textures combinations with beads and components from all over the world. It was the perfect complement for the eclectic array of clothing that I carried. It was so exhilarating using the clothes and jewelry to work with women to find the “right” pieces for THEM, that make their eyes light up, and they radiate from the inside out. That is true beauty. Women – from cashiers to duchesses – called it the transformation place, where we all could  play, hang out as women and discover  ourselves via the power of textures, colors, styles and designs of clothing and jewelry.

In 2007 one of my clients bought the boutique and we moved to Austin. Since then I have mostly been making clothing. Hand painted in bold designs, with the techniques that I developed. It sells in boutiques and galleries. Even though I enjoy shop owners telling me how happy women feel in my clothes, I treasure the times when I still get to personally work with amazing women at my studio and at private trunk shows in other cities.

Now, with Artful Gathering,  I get to delve back into creating jewelry. I am thrilled to combine my love for teaching and hand painting fabrics, with using the textures and colors of beads, metals and wires in fresh and exciting ways. Visit the artist www.MonikaAstara.com

Mary Jane Chadbourne is a self taught artist who has spent decades working in a myriad of artistic forms. She has a passion for bright, vivid colors, textures and metals and known for creating one of a kind art pieces that are thoughtfully infused with meaningful themes which evoke words and symbols as messages in her work.

Originally from New York, Mary Jane now resides in the desert southwest. Her artistic vision is constantly inspired by the intense colors of the sunrises and sunsets and the vibrant landscapes of the desert.

Mary Jane has taught workshops and teaching is one of the things she gets the most pleasure from! Sharing her techniques and experience with others is something she values immensely. She also enjoys donating her artwork for fund raising art auctions in her community to help raise funds for many deserving and needy charities.

Her work has been exhibited in art galleries in Las Vegas and Utah. www.DesertDreamStudios.weebly.com

Book artist Leslie Marsh is driven by her love of nature and a fascination for cultural and family history. Using metal, stones and vintage findings, she forges relic-like book covers that call to mind medieval treasure bindings created during the Middle Ages. Leslie also spends a lot of time experimenting with the marks left by leaves on paper by steeping the two together. The resulting ecoprints form signature wrappers used in most of her work. Her books are held in private collections across the US, Europe and Australia. She works from her home studio in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Visit her at Leslie-Marsh.com

Kim Williams. Salvage from the past to make life richer in the present” is my mantra. A BA in Theatre Education and 30 years in the classroom has provided me with years of creative expression in all areas of design. In 2007 transitioning from teaching theatre to retirement came with some challenges. Desiring to channel creative energy, mixed with a little inspiration for the love of collecting antiques and vintage jewelry, sprinkled with a passion for fashion history all came together in a blinding bolt of lightening when I began a new adventure creating repurposed jewelry. I began taking jewelry and mixed media classes refining my style, which I describe as, Gypsy Vintage. In 2014, I was honored to be a member of the ICE Resin Creative Team.

Recently I have been teaching jewelry arts and mixed media classes at CobbleStones Bead Shop in Beaumont, Texas. Joining the Artful Gathering Faculty is especially thrilling having been a participant for the last few years. It is an honor to be included among such esteemed artisans as the Artful Gathering Faculty.

me5smDarlene Olivia McElroy. The richly textured mixed media paintings of Darlene Olivia McElroy reflect the vision of an artist whose involvement with man’s primal origins, sins, and religious conflicts has developed an imagery at once sensuously primitive and startlingly sophisticated. Weaving through textural surfaces, found objects, and rich symbolism, the viewer is drawn into a visual world where color plays the role of an atmospheric veil encompassing the personal myths of the artist.

McElroy, born and raised in Southern California, is descended from an old New Mexico family of artists and storytellers. She has been deeply influenced by the summers she spent growing up on her family’s ranch in Santa Fe where the rich tapestry of Hispanic life filled the nights and brightly colored the days. She currently lives in Santa Fe where she enjoys the skies, the color and the art.

Rosemary Frew began her creative journey using fibre. As a young child in England she began knitting scarves and socks at the age of 7. She discovered her intuitive use of color, fiber and texture resulted into designs and creations that were unique….. at that young age a spark flickered, a flame was lit….and a beautiful creative journey began with a passion beyond compare.

Going through the fiber spectrum to feed and nurture her creativity, Rosemary began looking at other mediums to experiment and play with. Her creativity lead her into a design world as a freelance designer for international yarn companies, and consulting work for new exciting textural yarns being created back in the 1980′s. Rosemary then began her own woolen design and export company, with an indigenous Australian design range.

As with all designers, they like to experiment with new textures (or toys as she calls them) and fields, and soon was commissioned to design quilts & patterns – a love of fabric that grew. Her love of color and texture has led her to design embroidery and cross stitch patterns for thread companies and retail outlets.

Moving along through the years, and with work commitments receding almost into retirement, she now has more time to play, and at last she is able to spend more time in what she calls her ‘toy room’. At a Brisbane craft Quilt and Craft show, she discovered a beautiful fabric called mohair – which is a traditional fabric for making Teddy Bears – it was and still is love at first sight. What a powerful combination – texture, color and fiber all wrapped up together to give endless creative satisfaction. Bliss!

As always, her creative juices started to flow, and her own designs started to form, and soon Luvly Bears were born. She has been creating and making bears for nearly a decade, Still developing and creating, and ever inquisitive, she is creating with different mediums to use with her bear creations.

If you ask Rosemary what is her favorite pass-time, she will always reply: letting my mind and hands wonder through the lushness of fiber, texture and color or in other words – playing in my toy room.

Lauren Mantecon– MFA  has been a practicing visual  artist  and educator for over twenty years Currently living in Santa Fe, she is a former professor of art from the University of Portland, Oregon and teaches workshops on the creative process throughout the country. She is currently represented by Friesen Gallery, Ketchum, ID, Muse Gallery, Columbus, Oh and Hilton Head, S.C and Imogen Gallery in Astoria, Or.

Lauren spent her childhood moving between the East and West Coasts, negotiating the terrain of identity and place in the middle. After settling in Southern California as a young adult, she earned her BA in conceptual photography from Cal State Fullerton, where she was deeply influenced by the work of Cindy Sherman and Lorna Simpson, who worked in self/cultural photo documentation.

Lauren earned her MFA from Portland State University, in 1997 in which she began to deepen her focus on transcendence and beauty leading to a visual practice anchored in navigating the crossing points between the material world and the atmosphere of spirit. Lauren currently resides in New Mexico and teaches workshops on the creative process in art centers around the country and in her Santa Fe studio. Visit: www.laurenmantecon.com

jacquelineJacqueline Newbold’s life journey gives her a never-ending source of inspiration to represent gems of the world in her color-filled paintings. Using a warm and playful color palette, Jacqueline enjoys exploring ways to incorporate mixed media into her art. She teaches watercolor and art journaling classes both nationally and internationally. At home, her two Jack Russells, Olive and Mischa, keep her company in her Central Oregon studio. You can visit at www.djnewbold.blogspot.com

Michelle Belto. I have been interested in art and education all of my life. My background in theater schooled me in many artistic disciplines: designer, choreographer, director, actress, but after twenty years and more than seventy productions, I ran out of theater steam somewhere around 1984. I entered graduate school to do my own artist work and found myself stepping back into theater with Hildegarde of Bingen, a one-woman show I wrote and performed internationally. The rest of my career has been varied– from performing for such groups as the National Conference for Immigrant and Refugee Rights to showing my encaustic paintings in Sydney, Australia. I’ve transformed a nineteenth century opera house into a dinner theater and created a center for spirituality and art in a renovated barn.

For the last fifteen years, though, I’ve been primarily a paper maker and exhibiting visual artist and an educator. It was a chance meeting that introduced me to wax. With the addition of encaustic on my handmade paper canvases, I knew that I had discovered a media and a direction that will take me the rest of my life to explore. Today I live in San Antonio and work full time as a visual artist and encaustic instructor. Artful Gathering adds a new dimension to my work as both an artist and educator. I love that with online classes I have the excuse to explore different expressions of encaustic and that I can invite students into the intimacy of my studio. I am excited to be a part of this exciting and growing community.

Cathy Pendleton is a self taught folk artist living in Connecticut. She began her business in 1993 and created one-of-a-kind holiday creations for shops and galleries across the country. She was featured in several publications and her favorite part of her work involved creating a number of unique pieces and then dressing and decorating an entire store window display.

In 2007 she shifted focus and began a pattern and kit business, designing original folk art ideas for consumers who wanted to make their own family heirlooms.

It has always been her passion to find unusual and quality fabrics and supplies and translate them into treasured keepsakes.

Another feature of her unique folk art is using vintage and antique items, textiles and clothing to create a piece that, not only evokes a history and tugs at the heart strings, but also has the complete uniqueness of repurposing.

headshotsawomanlynLyn Belisle is a lifelong artist, educator and author from San Antonio, Texas, who has worked in an eclectic range of mixed-media arts and graphic design throughout her career. She became a self-proclaimed artist at the age of two. Lyn taught art in public schools for three decades and was a finalist for Texas Teacher of the Year in 2000 for her art and technology program for at-risk students. She offers numerous popular mixed-media workshops at Lyn Belisle Studio in San Antonio which she founded in January of 2013. Her favorite media are earthenware, beeswax, paper and fiber, and she has recently began a new series of PhotoEncaustic collages, one of which won Best in Show at the 2015 Artists Who Teach exhibit.

She has authored two articles for Cloth Paper Scissors magazine and a coloring book on the folk art of Mexico. Lyn has had six one-person gallery exhibits since 2011, and her work was recently accepted into the 2015 National Juried Encaustic/Wax Exhibition in Santa Fe, NM and to the International Encaustic Artists National Juried Exhibition in San Luis Obispo, California. She is represented by La Vida Gallery in San Antonio and Dan Pfeiffer Gallery in Fredericksburg, Texas. www.lynbelisle.com

riki newRiki Schumacher. A popular and recognized artist/instructor, Riki studied graphic arts and teaching, earning a B.A. degree in Visual Communications, focusing on drawing, printing, graphics, and photography. Family member artists, exposing her to painting, music, ceramics and more, were plentiful. For Riki, art is as important as the air we breathe. She recognizes art heals and focuses her, satisfying a burning desire for expression.

After retiring from a grinding career in media, she returned to her passion…art. A jewelry designer for fifteen years, Riki has taught for the last half dozen. She began with mixed media jewelry making, studying with the masters of the craft. Lately she has explored watercolor and acrylic painting. With her love of travel, watercolor art journaling is a new passion.

In the past, you could find her designs in juried art festivals, as well as various boutiques nationally. Riki even had her own line of cast dog image jewelry for many years. She has been featured many times in prestigious art publications such as Stampington’s Belle Armoire, Jewelry Affaire and Belle Armoire Jewelry.

Teaching has become the focus of Riki’s outlet now. She often teaches at national mixed media retreats like Art Unraveled, Adorn Me, Vivi Magoo and Art is You. We’re proud to say this year marks Riki’s fifth year as an instructor with Artful Gathering. She enjoys teaching on line workshops, saying “I love being able to reach students worldwide, in the convenience of their home”. Be sure to check out Riki’s workshops. Students come back often with glowing reviews about her fun classes, saying she provides highly detailed instruction, packed full of techniques.

debbyDebby Anderson is a self-taught metal smith, jewelry designer and mixed media artist.

Eight years ago she started her company, “Romancing the Bling” with a focus on unique one-of-a-kind jewelry design. Her work is influenced by various time periods in history ranging from the Renaissance era through the Art Deco period. She has an affinity for incorporating religious icons, whimsical French collage, inspirational quotes and sparkling gems into her work.

Inspired by found objects and vintage jewelry components, her inspiration is found in the discovery of objects found at flea markets, antique shops and rummage sales. These “found” vintage pieces are then re-purposed and given a whole new life, by deconstructing and combining the pieces as well as altering the original finishes to form unique configurations.

All of Debby’s original creations are developed organically without sketches or the use of computer aided design programs, each piece taking on its own identity as she works through each and every step of the design. Her elegant, sophisticated designs are not complete until the back of her work is as pretty as the front! Debby’s product line, Vintage Romance have also been sold in Michaels stores.

Hi I’m Pam Gracia. I started “Soft in the Head” back in 1997 as a way to keep myself busy and out of trouble, and it was cheaper than a shrink. What started out as a hobby due to my love of all things primitive and rag dolls has turned into a booming pattern business and the home of some pretty hilarious characters.

“Soft in the Head” has been published in such magazines as “Better Homes and Gardens”, “Art Doll Quarterly”, “Prims”, “Doll Collector”, “A Primitive Place” and “Country Sampler”. Through the years “Soft in the Head” has become a member in juried groups such as EHAG and PFATT and also an artist for the amazing Halloween event “Ghoultide Gathering”. Recently my husband and I have had the honor of becoming the new owners of the online market “PFATT Marketplace” which has been running strong for 14 years.

I love “Primitive” soft sculpture and over the years I have discovered my own unique style by combining whimsical with primitive…like to call it “Primsical”. I hope by taking my class I can share this with each one of you and help you find that “primsical” spirit inside. Mice are one of my favorite characters to create since they seem to thrive on whimsy! www.softinthehead.com

Jean Van Brederode is trained as a teacher, yet she has been an artist all her life. Creating with metal and enamels gives her nearly as much enjoyment as teaching others the joys of doing it, too. Her experience includes instructing in in her PA home studio, along with several Art and Soul Retreats, Cloth Paper Scissor’s Create Retreats, and Bead Fest locations. Enjoy spending time with Jean this year at Artful Gathering, for a well planned, upbeat, and animated class where every student leaves with a finished project!

Jean’s additional credits include her artwork features in 500 Art Necklaces, Steampunk Magazine, Belle Armoire Jewelry, Cloth Paper Scissors, and Green Craft Magazines.

Elitia Hart is a South African born metal artist and mixed media explorer living in Calgary, Canada. Having worked with and explored a variety of artistic materials and techniques she found her true medium of expression when introduced to metal sheet embossing in 1999. Metal Embossing is the process of creating an ornamental 3-dimensional design in malleable metal sheet, giving volume and texture by raising, engraving and/or embossing with the use of basic hand tools to create decorative effects.

Elitia creates one-of-a-kind metal embossed art pieces including custom hand tooled pewter mirror frames, boxes, journals etc…frankly, she sticks metal on pretty much anything that stands still long enough….

 For the past 16 years Elitia has enjoyed sharing her knowledge and technique through teaching introductory and advanced metal art classes and workshops at her home studio, retail stores and social groups across North America. Elitia was the 2015 guest artist for the Tesoro Del Corazon Retreat group Royal Santos project in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Until 2010 she had worked almost exclusively with pewter sheet until a chance introduction to the Ten Seconds Studio website and their colored aluminum metals. A bra-free weekend in Dallas, Texas and an inspiring TSS Metal Certification course later she found herself obsessively experimenting and creating small artworks with these great tools, beautiful colored metals and versatile texture molds.

Elitia’s Mixed Media and Metal Art Box article was published in the July/August 2015 Issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors Magazine and also appeared on the cover.

Elitia is passionate about sharing her knowledge of the art of metal embossing and looks forward to be part of the Artful Gathering online teaching community. http://pewterart.ca/

Lynn Leahy. I grew up in Portland Oregon and was lucky to have a mother and grandmother that were teachers and artists. They nurtured my love for drawing and painting and very early on I knew I would be an artist. I studied art and business in college and obtained a Bachelors degree in Business Administration. College introduced me to sculpting and that became one of my passions along with painting. Over the years I have explored many artistic mediums one of these being; reverse painting on glass.

I first discovered it at an art gallery in San Francisco. I was mesmerized by these tiny Eastern European reverse painted glass tiles of a circus theme. The Circus is a theme I’m particularly fond of. They were beautiful and I knew I wanted to find out how to do this. After much research I discovered there wasn’t a lot of information on this art process so I came up with my own modern version of this very old technique and have been enjoying it as well as refining it for years. I am happy to be able to share this with others and enjoy the process of teaching immensely.

When I’m not working with glass I sculpt with clay. PaperClay is a particular favorite and in the past few years I have added it to my workshop teaching curriculum. For the past six years I have participated in designing and teaching a workshop retreat in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico with my artist group Tesoro Del Corazon.

In addition to this, I have been fortunate to add La Cascade, a workshop in Southern France. Travel adventure and foreign culture is a great passion of mine and to be able to combine my art/teaching and travel together is pure heaven. Many of the countries and cultures I have been exposed to influence my artwork and photos from my travels serve me well for inspiration .

Publications include articles in Cloth Paper Scissors and Expressions magazines.

I am blessed with two grown sons and beautiful granddaughter all of which are very good artists and a supportive husband who, by the way, is not artistic but certainly loves to appreciate art.


joannaJoanna Grant (aka “Joanna Banana”) is a Canadian mixed media artist who specializes in using recycled materials in her colourful, funky art. For the past 20 years, she has been reclaiming material that would otherwise end up in our landfills and turning it into one-of-a-kind artistic treasures for others to enjoy.

While some would find working with such material limiting, Joanna is fearless in experimenting and successfully incorporates wildly divergent media into her unique art. She is well-known in the mixed media art world for her bold use of colour and uplifting, hopeful themes. She draws inspiration from her love of music, nature and travel.

Joanna is a published artist and her art can be found in collections worldwide. In addition to a full time professional career, she enjoys sharing her love of mixed media and art journaling with her students in classes all over. She also enjoys sports and motorcycling. She divides her time between her desert homes in the beautiful Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada, and Sun City, Arizona.
Find her shop at: www.joannagrantart.etsy.com

Paul Cristian Cordos is a self taught wire artist based in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

He crafted his first wire pieces in 2002 and in 2011 founded Art Bending Studio. He started as a wire bender and street artist on the streets of Cluj-Napoca, Sibiu, Vienna and Paris. He gained national recognition as a wire artist a few years later after being invited to write articles and give interviews to several online and printed magazines, but also TV shows appearances.

To this day he has manufactured more than ten thousand wire pieces and art installations. His art has sold in Europe, Asia and U.S.A. In Romania he is considered a wire art pioneer, his art is a source of inspiration for many wire artists from all over the world.

Art Bending is all about minimalism, the philosophy is: soulful wire art for all. For more info visit: www.artbending.ro