Silliness with Carla Sonheim – a Video Hello!

Carla talks about her teaching gig with us this fall.
You can get a sense of the real-ness of Carla and her
lighthearted love of art and teaching art by watching this video:

Alumni – Lou Ann Haines – October 2011

When Lou came to Art Camp for Women last fall, she was on the way to her first ‘big’ art demonstration/teaching gig. Here is our interview in its entirety as she answered so graciously, articulately AND with humor to my semi-awkward questions.

1) Name:Lou Haines

Lou's Art at Camp

Lou's Art - in the middle of it!

2) When did you attend Art Camp for Women? October 2011

3) What had you choose Art Camp for Women – there are many to choose from.

LH: Honestly, I’m not sure.  It was my first “camp” and I really didn’t know what I should expect.  So, I looked around on the internet and found you.  The real draw (in the beginning) was the artist, Alisa Burke.  When I found out that she was going to be unable to attend and that Kelli Nina Perkins would fill in for her, then I was sure I wanted to come!  Besides, I thought Colorado was far enough from Ohio that it would really seem like a vacation!

4) Are you pursuing your art? Are you doing any particular piece right now or are you entered in any show? What I am trying to ask is what is happening with art for you now?

LH: Right after camp in October, I flew to Houston to participate in the International Quilt Festival. (the ‘big’ gig mentioned above)  There, I participated in “Make-it University” and demonstrated how to make my beaded felt bracelets.


Make It University - Houston

After that, I had an art show/sale at the university I work at, and have just finished my first online class for Joggles – doing my beaded felt bracelets.  I have a new addiction to Pinterest and have tried more than a few of the art/craft things I have found there.

Right now, believe it or not, I am working on turning a plastic toy elephant into a beautiful pincushion!  You might say my art is a “little eclectic”!  I’m also still trying to get the hang of journaling and watercolors…

5) What did you get the most out of at Art Camp for Women? Or said differently, what did you like most at Camp?

LH: I have used so much of what I learned at Art Camp.  New techniques, new friends, great food, and especially the time I spent with Lori W. one-on-one with her coaching was invaluable when I went to Houston for my first teaching assignment!  I learned that while you can try any number of things at Art Camp, there are a few things that will really stick with you and help you develop as an artist.  I am thinking specifically of Kelli’s paper beads and also finding out that I am really terrible at “writing” with a sewing machine!  There were just so many things that we could try and learn!

6) Did Art Camp for Women have a lasting impact on you?

LH: Most definitely!  The things I learned have helped me in so many ways.

7) What can you say to other women considering coming to camp?

LH: Do it, do it, do it!!  It is a wonderful experience!  If you love being pampered, making friends, meeting accomplished artists and learning from them, and being in the beautiful Rockies, this would be the camp for you!  I loved it (and I’m not getting paid to say this)!!

8) Is there anything else you would like to say about Camp and your experience of it?  LH: Lorri and Lori are the best, friendliest, and most caring ladies!  You will love the experience!

9) Do you have a blog or website you would like us to share with our Campers?

LH: Sure, although I am terrible at keeping it current…

10) Please send us a current picture of you or of you and a piece of your art.

Lou Ann Haines

Lou Ann Haines


Alumni – Sharon Liu – Fall 2009

Interview with Sharon L. Liu who attended Art Camp for Women in October, 2009


PJs to Breakfast

Introduction: Sharon works with a large company training folk on changes in software. She has a work schedule that makes one tired just to think about. She commutes from her home and office on the west coast to a hotel and office on the east coast three or more times a month. She also has a family.

At camp we had the job of making sure she made it to breakfast  as her time zone hopping throws off her internal clock. The class Sharon refers to in the interview was inside her Ph.D. program.

AC4W: Sharon, what had you choose Art Camp for Women?

Sharon:  I was looking specifically for an Art Camp with only women, so this one fit the bill. Also, there was a statement about encouraging women who may have been discouraged from pursuing art.

In fact, I went to the art camp as a class assignment. The assignment was to do something that is totally NOT YOU.

AC4W: Are you pursuing your art?  What I am asking is – what is happening with art for you now?

Sharon: I continue to journal (a new skill from the art camp) and I actively keep art in my life, such as stained glass and fabric art (another passion that was discovered during the class).

AC4W: What did you get the most out of at Art Camp for Women? Or said differently, what did you like most at Camp?

Sharon: The Art Camp for Women experience relit the spark of creativity and possibilities.

AC4W: Did Art Camp for Women have a lasting impact for you?

Sharon with her art

Sharon Showing her Artwork from Camp

Sharon: Yes. It has changed the way I look at things and how I interact with people.  I try to look at things with a new ‘eye.’ At work I now slow down, listen, focus, and don’t assume the person knows something that I think is obvious.

AC4W: What can you say to other women considering coming to camp?

Sharon:  Do this for you.  You will discover the you who you have forgotten.


“It is never enough just to tell people about some new insight rather you have to get them to experience”
John Seely Brown

AC4W: Is there anything else you would like to say about Camp and your experience of it?

Sharon:  This is what I learned at Art Camp for Women.

  1. Doing art released energy that I did not know I had.
  2. Drawing is a metaphor for life. There are no right or wrong answers; there are many approaches; life is in the process; beware of expectations;
  3. Try!; There are so many approaches; and
  4. It is relationships that create meaning
  5. Creativity makes us human.

AC4W: Thank you Sharon for taking the time to “talk” with us. Hope to see you back at Camp some time.

Alumni – Susan Preglow – Fall 2009

Susan came to our fall 2009 Art Camp for Women and was an accomplished quilter and owned a quilt pattern company before then.

Susan at Art Camp with samples of her art.

Susan at Art Camp with samples of her art.

Susan Journaling

Susan Journaling

When she arrived at Art Camp Susan had just begun exploring the mixed media art arena with paper, collage and stamping.  She says it was accidental brilliance on her part putting herself in Art Camp.

The immersion style at Art Camp, into mixed-media art really worked for her. The fact that the teachers were always there to not only answer questions, but to chat over dinner and discuss the ins and outs of different methods and products was invaluable.

In Susan’s opinion the interaction with the staff and other participants was as important as the classes.

Currently her regular life includes remodeling her kitchen, training a new puppy and being the best grandmother possible.

In her art she is still using the shotgun approach to find her own style and voice but feels that she is coming to the end of that particular phase.  Last fall she took a class with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer in stamp carving and has become addicted to the practice. It is soothing and meditative and she ends up with authentic art to include in her larger pieces.

Susan currently has several art projects in the works. She is making samples for a fabric arts class she will teach at local fabric stores in 2012 in the Cincinnati area.

She is working on several small framed quilts to for inventory for an etsy shop. She will also be making quilt pictures to sell in her shop. We couldn’t decide if the shop itself would be a work of art, but I am assuming it will be.

When asked if Art Camp for Women had any lasting impact in her life she was a definite yes. Just in allowing herself to go [to camp] Susan made a statement to herself of her own worth.  She also shouted to the world that her art was an important part of who she is as a person and that she is entitled to be that person.

Additionally she has become a person that keeps an art journal, in fact she keeps several.  For example, she has begun telling stories about her family to her grandchildren and the children ask her for the stories over and over again so Susan intends to record them in her art journals.

Another benefit is that she now regularly works and plays at her art. It is no longer relegated to “when she has extra time.”

Susan Paints a Rose

Susan with watercolor - a new medium for her

Susan, thank you for joining us at camp and for this interview.

Alumni June, 2009 – Jill Fasken

WARNING: There is a nude image in this post.  Please do not read any further if this is an issue for you.  Thank you.

“Doing even a little bit of art each day makes me more productive at everything else.”  Jill

Doll Wreath

Doll Wreath

When I finally was able to interview Jill, I was struck by how all of us are living life as fast as we can and doing everything we can to stuff in as much art in around the edges as possible. Jill is a wife, a mother of two and the office manager/bookkeeper for the family business.  At the time of this interview Jill was putting the last minute touches on her older daughter’s wedding, getting her younger daughter off for her first year of college and had just finished an art quilt for an international quilt show. All in a day’s work for a working mom and artist – right?

Jill art journaling at Art Camp for Women June 2009

Jill art journaling at Art Camp for Women June 2009

Jill’s forte is art quilting and doll making with all and sundry aspects of mixed media art wedged in around those things.

AQuA net, the Art Quilt Association of Grand Junction,  entered the Pacific International Quilt Festival 2011 and chose the theme Curvaceous.  The group entered 24 quilts – not all of the quilts get chosen to go as it is a juried show.

Jill  had to send her quilt in with a friend as she was involved in the local Peach Festival – very important if you live in Palisades, Colorado.

Her entry is titled “Blue Velvet,” she made it from one of her water colors pieced into a quilt. It will be shown in the Pacific International Quilt Festival 2011 in October.

Blue Silk Velvet

Blue Silk Velvet

Jill is also a member of a club named the Loosely Woven Doll Club. The club meets monthly and each year they make a collaborative piece. Last year (2010) their piece was donated to Western Colorado Hospice for their Holiday Fashion Show and Auction.

They made a doll wreath. Everyone made a little (less than 6″) doll and Jill made the mother doll, off center, shoulder, head and arms with huge dress that hoops down, with all the little dolls held in her lap.

One of the doll club members attended the auction and got so excited she ended up taking the beautiful piece home.

Doll Wreath closeup

Doll Wreath closeup

This year for the collaborative piece they are making a baby doll in a cradle with all the little dolly clothes and embroidered sheets and accoutrement.

When we got to talking about Art Camp for Women and Jill’s experience there, here is what she said:

“The tuition is more than pocket change and it takes you saying to yourself  (and maybe to others) that you are worth it.”  Many women have difficulty with this phrase not to mention with the concept.

“And then once you are there, you are treated as if you ARE worth it! Every meal is delicious, healthy and lovely in its presentation. The camaraderie of the other women is generous and comfortable. The setting is so beautiful you cannot help but expand.”

When asked about a lasting impact from Art Camp for Women, Jill said, “I finally got deep inside that I don’t have to wait for ‘free time’ to do art.” In fact, she has no free time and neither do most women.

We both agreed with the saying  “…art washes away the cares of everyday life.”  And in fact, said Jill, “Doing even a little bit of art each day makes me more productive at everything else.” 

When asked what she would tell other women about Art Camp for Women she said. “We are all busy, we have extremely busy lives. We have to learn to take the time for our self, we are worth it and it will have us be better at what we do.”

Thank you Jill for taking time out of your busy life to talk with us. We hope we see you back at camp in the future!

PS – I can’t help myself…

I have to show you the process Jill went through making the invitations for her daughter’s wedding. Just because she is busy doesn’t mean she cuts corners…LOL…There are rumors of an incredible Bride’s Book, but the bride was too busy earlier to send photos, and now she is honeymooning in Europe! Maybe another blog post in the future.

Wedding invitations, silk screening 1

Wedding invitations, silk screening 1

Wedding invitations, silk 2

Wedding invitations, silk 2

Wedding Invitations

Wedding Invitations

Wedding invitation, finished piece

Wedding invitation, finished piece