Map Art Stencils Blog Hop & Give-Away!

Artistcellar Signature Series Map Art by Jill K Berry.

I am still travelling in the USA and today was my last day of teaching. You have heard me say it before, and you’ll hear me say it again: one of my super-powers is attracting awesome people. It’s just a skill I have!  I have had such a great time with my students over the last two weeks.

In preparing for this Blog Hop, I played with Jill K Berry’s new Map Art stencil series on artwork I created in class for my Girlimals workshop last week in Memphis.


I used them as design elements with pencil and I love them! They helped me add a whole new look and direction to the artwork. These are all works in progress, so I’ll be adding to them on my looooong flight home.


That’s what I love about stencils, you can test out ideas without committing.



There are 4 stencils in the set, and guess what? I have a set to give-away!

Screen Shot 2014-05-11 at 4.39.03 pm

Just leave a comment  below about
where your ultimate art retreat location would be!


You can get the stencils here:




Follow the Blog Hop here:

May 9th – Artistcellar
May 11th – Jane Davenport
May 12th – Orly Avineri
May 13th – Rachel Peterson Urista
May 14th – Jill K Berry -
These are the other cool new releases from Artist cellar:

I did it! I did it! I did it!

I am dancing a jig, bouncing from foot to foot! I just uploaded the last image of hundreds and hundreds of images for my book.  The design files, the manuscripts, the PDF’s, the cover ideas – the glorious list goes on. Five solid months worth of devoted time.

And I am a week early on my deadline ( round of applause). This is even more amazing because my computer TOTALLY pooped itself last week, and I had to complete the last stages of the book on a new machine. No tantrums, no dramas.

I leave for my big trip to the USA this weekend and instead of feeling a bit of pre-travel stress over it, it feels like a reward for all my dedicated work.

Aside from this flush of joy of wrapping up a big project ( which looks amazing, but them I am totally biased), I am feeling quite calm. How is this possible?

jill berry workshop 1Well, right from the get-go, I planned some stress relieving, eye freshening, head clearing field trips  spaced out every few weeks during my book creating process. I knew I was going to need them.

And it has worked like an absolute charm. I arrived at my finishing line with energy and clarity.

My first planned holiday was a weekend workshop with Orly Avineri, the next was a little time in Perth to visit family and to host a workshop of my own, then I went up to Brisbane for a 3 day workshop with Jesse Reno,  next I hosted a workshop at ‘The Nest’ and the final fun excursion was last weekend with Jill K Berry.

Jill is an artist, author, workshop leader and one of my Stencil Sisters with  Her book ‘Personal Geographies’  and upcoming book ‘Map Lab’ are devoted to her love of maps, art and journaling.

The workshop was dedicated to creating maps of our lives, and as I discovered a map can be virtually anything!

In this map my landscaping fantasies are bought to life:

jill berry workshop 2

The three days passed in a flurry of colour, paint, drawing….

jill berry workshop 8and… le gasp…. sewing!

I actually took my much ignored Pfaff on the trip and we stitched up a storm! Not exactly a map, but I disapeared into my own little world and bonded with my sewing machine. We are like best buds now!jill berry workshop 7

I had a ball ‘drawing’ with a needle on the coloured papers I created in the workshop the day before. Rather addictive!jill berry workshop 6

Unfortunately I can’t show you any more of what I created just yet because I used Jill’s upcoming stencil collection on them, and that’s all hush hush until they are released ( which is soon!).

It was a small workshop group and over growing mounds of colour tissue, maps and muslin, we all chatted away. Creative people are lovely, rather naughty and very funny. I had a delightful time!

The highlight for me was Jill gifting me with  a ‘Hand Turkey’.

Jill Jane and the Handturkey

Jesse Reno mentioned these creatures several times during his workshop, but there was too much else going on for me to ask what he was referring too. When Jill referred to one, I demanded to know what exactly was this ‘Hand Turkey’!  Apparently every kiddo in the USA grows up drawing these little critters around thanksgiving… so Jill created one for me – laughing the whole time – he went straight into the journal!

This is Jill and the workshop’s organiser, Anne from Timeless Textiles, a wonderful gallery dedicated to textile arts in Newcastle. We were having a giggle during my ‘Selfie’ lesson! ( Anne made a fig, chocolate and ginger slice that will be waiting to open the Pearly Gates for me when I expire someday. )jill-jane-and-Anne--selfie

Thank you Jill for coming on a tour Down Under and Anne for organising the Newcastle workshop.

I hope we keep enticing such wonderful artist teachers to come all this way!


This is Jill’s next book: map-art-lab


I’ll try and keep you up to date as I travel in the USA. I have SUCH awesome adventures ahead, and I’ll be meeting lots of fabbo peeps in ‘real life’ in all my workshops, and I can’t wait for all the fun to unfold.


Jane/ Danger

January sped past in a woosh of creativity.

journaling with kids 2 (2)Where did the start of the year just go? Oh, that’s right… I was consumed with writing my book.

It’s been a herculean effort so far. But I am enjoying it immensely. So far my teaching has always been verbal and demonstrative. I am in videos or there in person and able to talk you through a concept and show you when words fail me.

Writing about the creative process is a whole different process. People can’t raise their hand or ask questions in a forum.

So I am approaching my material in new ways. There is a lot of problem solving going on and I am enjoying the challenge.

I am at my most creative when I have a few boundaries in place. For this project, I set a timetable with built in art holidays so I don’t get depleted. You have to give that creative well time to refill!

My first art break was heading down to the South Coast for a weekend workshop with Orly Avineri. 01. Jan.-Aus. workshop

What a treat it was! I stayed with Orly at Tracy Verdugo’s gorgeous home. We stayed up late and had a great chin wag while Tracy cooked the most incredible Taco soup for the next day’s class. I knew many of my fellow students from my own workshops, so that added to the fun.

I really let my creative hair down and had a mind refreshing two days. In workshops, I really try to get out of my own way and let the teaching wash over and through me. I don’t worry about trying to assert ‘my style’ or bending the teaching to my will.

journaling with kids 4

In the last few hours of the last day I went into an absolute art trance. That’s how it is for me in all workshops that resonate with me. I become completely uncommunicative… entirely focused…I move with purpose..I am oblivious to all noise and everyone else in the room. At some point, I ghost.

I’ve seen photos of myself in this state and I was quite surprised. I don’t look happy. I’m not beaming as my soul expands. I don’t even look like I am enjoying myself! I am neutral. I am in my quiet and calm art frenzy. The way I am in my studio.

I had several signs that the Art Trance i went into under Orly’s tutelage was a deep one… Horned figures were turning up everywhere. As they do when I am really in that creative flow. When I am calm and happy, but still thinking about my art, mermaids fall out of every pencil and brush.

journaling with kids 3 (2)

When I am am in a purely intuitive creative mode, its the aurochs horns… antelopes, Loki, harlequins … They probably mean something. But I’m not interested in deciphering myself. The meaning of them is hinted at, it tugs at the sides of my conciousness, but I feel no need to sort the reasons or meaning. It just is.

journaling with kids 1 (2)

When I come out of my art trance, I feel exhausted and exhilarated. My feet feel like they are a foot beneath the ground and I’m wading through earth. My mind is still in the clouds. I feel discombobulated.

Thankfully there is always the sharing part of the Workshop. I love this final hour or so where all the participants bring their work together and we show what we have been up to.  It’s fascinating how creativity settles differently on everyone and it gives me a chance to come back to myself before entering the ‘real world’ again.

journaling with kids 7

Orly  teaches all over the world and I recommend her workshops and her books. Her workshop was challenging and shape shifting. I would like to do an even longer one with her in some exotic location…( hint hint Orly –  Get planning something in Italy for 2015 please! or maybe I’ll get to Mexico in Nov…)

journaling with kids 6

My next art break is  a 3 day painting workshop with Jesse Reno and I am looking forward to that already!

Express Yourself online art workshop starts on Feb 3rd

express-yourself-logoThe whole class has been moved from the Artini Site and everything is ready for the NEW start on Feb 3rd!

You can join here: click

If you are already a member, Angus will move you across to the new classroom by Feb 3rd. Just wait for the email with the instructions, as we are doing most of the work for you.

Express Yourself is an in-depth online Drawing Workshop that shares exactly how to get expression and feeling into your artwork. We will be exploring a whole range of human emotion and how to successfully convey that into your mixed media faces.

Drawing is theatre and in ‘Express Yourself’ I share how to add life and drama to your artwork.
All of these people that live in our pencils and pens are facets of ourselves that want to be heard.

Being able to draw confidently unbottles your creativity and delivers a joy that flows into the rest of your life.


“Last night I watched all the videos in the ‘subtle changes’ lesson. Thank you for showing the wonderful birth of a character in your creative process, I learned so much! I love the way you share knowledge – your teaching and communicative skills are extraordinary. Every day I wake up excited to travel in a world I’ve always wanted to journey through and you are providing the skills and the chance for me to practice the skills I need for the adventure.  Express Yourself is a dream come true.

Thank you, Jenni Edgar”

(We will launch straight into the expressions, so if this is your first class with me, you may be best starting with Supplies Me where I teach the basics of constructing the face as well as show you how to use your art supply stash.)

Express Yourself contains 10 Lesson showing a variety of artwork and techniques.


Lesson List:

  • Creating an ‘An Emotion Map’.
  • The Expression Gallery.
  • Subtle Changes: the power of eyebrows!
  • Growing Up: taking a face from childhood to adulthood.
  • Realistic Eyes: a lesson involving socks and a lemon that will have you looking at eyes in a whole new way!
  • Laughing.
  • Pouting
  • Determined, haughty, arrogant and beautiful upturned faces
  • Downturned Faces: Shy, wistful, sleepy
  • Advanced Shading for all these new expressions!


All of these people that live in our pencils and pens are facets of ourselves that want to be heard.
Express Yourself will show you how to introduce realistic flourishes into your whimsical faces.


Live class starts on Feb 3rd!

Workshop FAQ’s

Journal making with the kids

I just spent a joyous few days with my dear little nephews and niece.
journaling with kids 5
The big news with them is they got a little bunny each. It’s so cute watching the way they cuddle and look after them.

journaling with kids 2

not sure which one is cuter…!

Sketching the bunnies became a very fun personal challenge, and I was flooded with memories of my own beloved bunnies over the years.

journaling with kids 2 (1)

journaling with kids 3 (1)

Sophie and I have been drawing together and making journals for quite some time, but the boys have not really shown an interest until now – and wow! How things have changed! Sophie had a pre-arranged play date and disappeared for half the day. I was a bit sad at first because I live so far away from her, and I was looking forward to every precious moment. But it turned out wonderfully because it gave me and the twins some time together – just us.

We spent HOURS painting and making little folded journals. No stitching, but lots of painting! This high energy tag-team were so absorbed with making different colours for each page. It was a truly wonderful way to spend a very hot afternoon and I’ve never seen them so quiet in waking hours. They took great delight in making the most unusual, amazing colour and pattern combos

journaling with kids 1

Even Buttons joined in! It was interesting for me that the boys did not want to ‘collaborate’… they were very much wanting to work on their own books. Whereas Sophie and I have always worked in conjunction with each other when we are arting. I wondered if that was their age, or that they are little dudes, or just an individual thing?

journaling with kids 3

When Sophie joined us with her little friends later in the day, we all made Pizzas. (Angus made the dough and was very chuffed with himself – they were totally delicious!). We listened and danced to ‘What does the fox say’ a million times.

journaling with kids 1 (1)

The days passed in a whirl of laughing, drawing and music! I made two Journals with Sophie – we used cardboard from Christmas present packaging  for the covers. Freddy and Oscar ended up making 3 journals each – right down to little mini ones – it was a hoot! They were filling them with drawings of rabbits when I left – and I hope they keep it up for a while.
It’s so awesome to experience how a bit of paper, and a few paints make for so much fun and bind hearts closer together.

Do you have a little one you can make a journal with?

Joyful times!