Plan a Creative Escape in Myrtle Beach

                                               Springmaid Beach Brochure


A creative escape is a little time-out-of-time that you carve from your schedule to devote to running away TO your art!     Eric Maisel

I have always loved Julia Cameron’s idea of scheduling “Artist Dates” as a way of nurturing your creativity and inner artist. Scheduling a “Creative Escape” is another excellent way to nurture the artist within. Taking a workshop at Springmaid Beach Resort & Conference Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is a fabulous place to enjoy your creative escape because you won’t have to think of anything else except painting for five glorious days! Three meals a day, a private room, instruction, and unlimited access to the teaching studio are all covered in the cost the workshop.  Plus -the resort is spread across 30 ocean front acres!

This year I am returning for the third time to Springmaid Beach Resort to teach my workshop, “Adding the You Factor to Paintings.” The dates are March 5-11, 2016. Please join me in Myrtle Beach for an excellent creative escape!

On another note – I have cut back quite a bit on my workshop schedule because I want to spend more time in my studio painting. At this point I have only three workshops scheduled in the future, so if you’ve been thinking about taking one of my workshops, you might consider taking one this year.

Live well and paint a lot!

Setting Art Goals for 2016

zzzzzmagesIZBU01MKI want to wish all of you a joyful, amazing, vibrant, and art filled 2016!

I love this time of year and the accompanying feeling of new beginnings and fresh starts. One of my favorite things to do at this time of year is to perform an annual art check-up where I re-examine my painting goals and set new ones for the upcoming year. I begin by taking a look at my current body of work and determining what’s working and what needs improvement. Then I sit down with my art journal and write down my findings. I also list ideas for improvement, ideas I want to try from books and magazines I’ve read, ideas gleaned from artists I admire and from looking at paintings that I love, content ideas, series ideas, and plans, plans, and more plans.

If you would like to perform your own annual art check-up, here are 12 prompts to help you get started, excerpted from my article, Watercolor Chronicles, originally published in the October, 2009 issue of Watercolor Artist magazine.

Image 3

Live well and paint a lot!

Turning Points


  • Turning point: a point at which a significant change occurs (Webster’s Dcitionary)
  • “In every life there is a turning point. A moment so tremendous, so sharp and clear that one feels as if one’s been hit in the chest, all the breath knocked out, and one knows, absolutely knows without the merest hint of a shadow of a doubt that one’s life will never be the same.”  Julia Quinn

Forty five years ago, I was a full time mom with a two year old toddler and a three month old baby girl. I was happy as a lark. I loved my husband, my family, and my beautiful life.  But one day, browsing through the day’s mail, I came upon a catalog from a book store that contained books on how to paint. I didn’t know that you could actually teach yourself to paint by reading books! And I thought, “when Tom and I retire, that’s what I’m going to do – teach myself how to paint!” And then the next thought that entered my mind was, “why wait until retirement – if you begin now, you’ll have a really good head start.”

Fast forward to today……………Tom’s last day at work – he is retiring today!  It feels as if those forty-five years flew by in an instant!  And I can’t imagine what my life would have been like if I hadn’t decided to follow my heart so many years ago and pursue my dream of becoming an artist. That one decision was a major turning point for me.   

When I first began my journey, I decided that I would educate myself by creating a curriculum that one might pursue in getting an art degree.  My goal was, and always has been, to learn everything I could possibly learn about how to put together a fabulous painting. And I discovered that I’m as passionate about researching and learning about art and art history as I am about creating it. I’ve explored many paths over the years and my art journey has lead me to places I never could never have even imagined when I began. It has provided me a place to get to know, grow, honor, and express myself every single day of my life, and an opportunity to share my passion and my discoveries through my teaching and writing. Seeing and experiencing life through the eyes of artist has given my life grounding, meaning and purpose. I am so very grateful to have this very precious gift in my life.    

So, today a new chapter begins for Tom and me - and I wanted to mark it because have a feeling it will end up being another turning point in my life!

Happy Painting!

Current News

Small Res

I have two happy announcements to make! First of all, I am honored to be the June 2015 Artist of the Month on I hope you’ll enjoy visiting the website and reading the article.

Secondly, I am honored to have a painting juried into the 2015 China/National Watercolor Society Small Image Exchange Exhibition. The images submitted by National Watercolor Society artists were juried by Zhou Tianya, and Linda Doll was the juror for the Chinese artists’ paintings. The paintings will be exhibited in the Shenzhen Art Museum in December, 2015. In 2016, the paintings from both countries will travel from China to San Pedro, California and will be shown in the National Watercolor Society Gallery from July 30 to August 28, 2016. The painting in today’s post is my entry. The title is In the Garden, and the size is 6.5 x 8.5 inches. 

Happy Painting!

Upcoming Workshop News

Uptown Girls

                    Adding the You Factor to Paintings

My next Adding the You Factor to Paintings workshop will be held in Traverse City, Michigan July 20-23 at the Crooked Tree Arts Center Traverse City (formerly The Art Center Traverse City).  The emphasis of this workshop is getting past the “explanation factor” and zeroing in on the most important factor of all in your work – you! You will learn how to create and rely on a personal rather than a rule based approach to composition and design. The focus will be on painting an eye-catching arrangement of value masses and color shapes rather than description and details. In addition, there will be talks on working effectively with color, working with opaque watercolor, and adding gesture and personality to the picture surface with line, texture, and pattern.
All levels are welcome. I will be using watercolor and white gouache in my classroom demonstrations but this workshop is open to all media, with the exception of oils. Students will work from their own reference materials (photos, sketches, still life set-ups, etc.).
Here is a direct link to sign up for my Crooked Tree Arts Center Traverse City workshop:

Main website:

New Email for the Traverse City Crooked Tree office:

Phone: 231-941-9488 (same as the old one)

New Address: Crooked Tree Arts Center Traverse City

322 Sixth Street

Traverse City, MI 49684


Lunch in Old TownGirl-With-the-Pink-Umbrella-low-res

2015 NYC 085a

My painting, Holding Her Near, was juried into the 2015 American Watercolor Society International Exhibition. I’m thrilled and honored!

Happy Painting!



I am a watermedia painter and I teach painting workshops all around the country. As anyone who knows me or has taken one of my workshops can attest to, I love talking about art, thinking about art, reading about art, writing about art, looking at art, and practicing art - so grab a cup of coffee, join me in the studio and let's talk art!

NEW! Donna's DVD



March 7-11, 2016
Springmaid Beach Watermedia Workshops
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Phone: (800) 770-7198

May 3-6, 2016
New Mexico Watercolor Society
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Phone: (505) 235-1375

October 3-7, 2016
Hawaii Watercolor Society
Honolulu, Hawaii
Contact: Rochelle Weidner,
Phone: (808) 349-4179

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