study in violet

Study in Violet
, acrylic, collage on w/c paper 10 X 10"

Imagine With Art Newsletter

Issue No.31

June/July, 2012   
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I welcome your comments!

Table of Contents:
  Art Play
  Mind Mapping
  Vitality Quest
  Food for the Muse

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2550 Lewis Dr.

Sebastopol, California 95472




Contact Us
2550 Lewis Dr.
Sebastopol, California 95472
 My studio is once again filled with the sweetly piercing sounds of baby chicks, seven of them. They are all different breeds, because of course my interest is not just the eating of the eggs, but the enjoyment of color and shape and texture!  I'm thinking of a Muse Group lesson with the Egg theme -  you know, birth and cracking open and transformation and such themes, with lots of those pregnant oval shapes . .

June has been a month liberally spiced with humor and play, with a week spent at Wavy Gravy's Camp Winnarainbow, a children's camp for adults only. I learned to sleep in a Tipi, do Zen Clowning and Hip Hop dancing and a very serious form of Japanese dance called Ankoku-Butoh, as well as Metaphora Card painting.  I also spent a lot of time dressing up in costumes found in the capacious costume tent.

It was all the stuff my seven year old self loved to do, and now I know, still adores!  So I'll be finding ways to incorporate something I learned in Zen Clowning to my upcoming Muse Groups "adding humor to the equation". Maybe I can even work in the costume part?

Vacation's over for now though, and we're hard at work here at Imagine With Art and Color Folio creating a new interactive, multi media Muse E-Course called In the Company of Muses:  Adventures in Mixed Media Art Journaling.  Included will be mixed media lessons with picture and video demos, recorded meditation instructions and more.  Stay tuned for the first in this exciting series of course offerings designed to keep your art tail wagging.  It should be available by the end of summer.

There's a new art play lesson and more in this issue, so read on!

Art Play:  Color Me Yellow (or green or. . .)    

acrylic, dark wash pencil, collage on w/c paper, 10 X 11" 

Most of us paint because we love to play with color.  But when you're learning how to paint, which by the way is an activity that luckily never comes to conclusion, it helps to choose to use a framework for your explorations so you don't constantly end up in the weeds, or rather, in the mud.

Whether you're finding your color choices have become boringly predictable or you start off each painting clueless about how to pick colors, you might want to try this idea in your art play time.  (You DO have art play time, I hope.)

Coat your paper with gesso first and let it dry.  This gives you more working time with acrylic paint.  Now pick a color as your dominant color, one that you're going to put almost everywhere, so that we will know that's the color of the painting.  Pick two or three contrasting colors that will accent it and place them mostly in the focal point you want to emphasize.   (Use the Burridge Goof Proof color wheel for some great combinations.) While the color is still wet you can lift off some color if you want to get back to pure color.

In the painting above my dominant color is yellow and my accent colors are blue and magenta as well as black and white.

We all know that colors have personalities, emotions, singular impacts.  In art journaling we can use the color "skew" to connect with unconscious content.  Start  writing (a five minute free-write, stream of consciousness) with "Color me yellow (or whatever your dominant color is) and find out what the "Yellow" parts of you have to say in that moment in time.  Now do one for each color on your chart!

      Mind Mapping and Creativity 


I just got finished reading Tony Buzan's book, The Mind Map Book:  Unlock your Creativity, Boost Your Memory, Change Your Life.  Wow!  Who wouldn't want to read a book that promises so much?!  I suppose if I did all the exercises in the book, my like would change. But since I don't have time for that, I'll keep my stunted memory and simply enjoy and share some of the discoveries of how the creative mind works.

The good news is that the storage capacity of the brain is infinite because we are "radiant thinkers".  Each bit of info, whether it's visual, kinesthetic, auditory etc, which enters the brain, is a center from which radiate millions of new associations.  And each one of those radiates more associations and so on.  Picture the roots or branches of a tree or ripples of water in the ocean.  So when we use this infinitely radiant capacity of the mind to branch out into new associative territories, we're mining the motherlode of creative expression.

It turns out that images are like steroids for the memory!  They automatically focus the eye and the brain, triggering numerous associations while pleasing the mind.
Recent studies have shown that doodlers are better thinkers, so when you have run out of ideas, try doodling, drawing, and painting.
Buzan incorporates lots of art into his mind mapping techniques, because they work best when you make the process and the product fun, letting your associative mind flow and welcoming absurd or silly ideas, which often contain the greatest breakthroughs.  (There it is - adding humor to the equation!)

The main elements of memory are imagination, color, shape, association, structure, and loci (locations).  It turns out that art is simultaneously a potent form for creative expressions, but also the mother of all brain builders.     


I am tough.
 Painting Laboratory for Creative Expansion!
There's still space in the Tuesday Muse Group which starts in July and goes weekly for 6 weeks.  New lessons include crinkled Masa paper for fun textures, Sumi ink quick sketch/writes, collaborative painting and more!

Learn to paint intuitively, capturing thoughts, feelings and intuitions in the playful format of art journaling.  Each session features a different mixed media painting technique which you can add to your repertoire - from textured collage to painting techniques with inks and acrylics.  Meditation and writing are added to the mix to evoke that powerful Muse energy!


When: July 17-Aug 21, 2012 (meets weekly for 6 weeks)  
Time:  1:30-4:30pm   
Cost: $210 for 6 weeks, $40 for drop in session if space allows  

Inks and Textures Galore!
Learn to express your inner voice in this playful mixed media workshop.  Your imagination will take flight as you paint, draw, stamp, comb and splash colorful inks onto papers textured with collage.  
When:  August 11, 2012  
Time:  10am-4:30pm  
Cost:  $80  

The above workshops are held at Susan's north Sebastopol studio.  
For more information and to register email Susan or call 707-824-8163.  

Free demo at Rileystreet Art Supply!  
Art Journal Fun with Image Transfers  
Free Demonstration at Rileystreet Art Supply, Santa Rosa 
Sunday, July 8, 12-2pm 
Do you love the sense of mystery evoked when images and words are superimposed over painted surfaces?  In this demo Susan will first create a spontaneous abstract underpainting using fluid acrylics and fingers only!  Then she will demonstrate a method to transfer a transparent image onto the painted surface using clear contact paper, a toner copied print and acrylic gel.

Participants will also be introduced to a practice of art journaling as an ongoing practice to experiment with new art materials and techniques while accessing inner wisdom. 

To save your spot contact Rileystreet Santa Rosa at 707-526-2416 or email


Vitality Quests at Osmosis Day Spa 

 It's a little bit of paradise. . . 

osmosis nature spot

We've all got different visions of paradise, but this day quest, created by Osmosis Day Spa in Occidental contains a lot of the basic ingredients: a warm and detoxifying Cedar Enzyme Bath, a sound healing session in the new hammock garden, which lowers brain wave activity to the most restful and creative cycles, a 75-minute massage session to fully unwind with healing gift of touch, and a gourmet box lunch enjoyed in the quiet and beauty of the secluded 5.5-acre property. And that's just the beginning. . .


On July 22 I will be leading the afternoon portion of the quest "Tapping the Creative Nature", an afternoon of guided meditation, art instruction and reflective alone time spent in the secluded nature sanctuary.   


Quest participants will have exclusive access to the secluded back three acres of Osmosis on each afternoon the program is offered. The environment is a riparian area that includes a 400' stretch of Salmon Creek, 4 massage pagodas that can be used as retreat huts, and 7 specially chosen private places along the creek that have been created for the questers (11 total) to use during their quiet time. There is a covered area with seating around a magical fountain where the group will gather for learning.  


Practicing sensory awareness you will draw with eyes closed and open, expressing on paper the qualities of touch and movement, form and space. As words arise in the flow of the moment you will learn to capture them with your "net" and incorporate them in your art pieces.  You will experience drawing as a natural impulse, which not only reveals your personal uniqueness, but also reflects the elements of nature.    

It's a little bit of paradise. Read more about the July 22 Vitality Quest and see if this remarkable offering fits for you.  

Food for the Muse 

If you would like a regular twice a week dose of art talk by a renowned painter who is also a great writer, you may want to subscribe to  Robert Genn's newsletter. 

And if you wish you were able to do an artist residency and devote yourself totally to your art for a period of time, but you can't because you have to stay home, etc., then you might be inspired to join the Caerus Art Residency, created by Suzanne Edminster and Karina Nishi Marcus.  Read about it on Suzanne's blog and find out how to sign up.

Check out the latest painting series by my favorite Robert Burridge, irreverant as ever, titled "Impure Thoughts" which is currently on exhibit at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art til July 22 or see it online.  A water media artist venturing fearlessly into the realm of pastel, ash, chalk and powders.  
friends at camp

 Butoh Susan and Sgt. Suzanne, camping it up.


Remember to add humor to the equation this month. . . 


and to visit me on  my blog or on  my Facebook Page   


See you back here next month. 





-Susan Cornelis



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