Catching Up on News

Instead of a thoughtful, long post on a deeply meaningful topic, I’m catching up with news. I’ve done two thoughtful articles in two days, and I couldn’t make it three for three.


Sycamore bark, gel medium and ink on Monsoon Papers.

Sycamore bark, gel medium and ink on Monsoon Papers.

The newsletter: It’s going to happen–soon!  I’m going to use Mail Chimp, which will allow you to subscribe and unsubscribe without my having to do the administrative work. And it will look like a designed newsletter, not like every other email you receive. But yes, it will be email. I’ll announce it on the blog with a link to my website, where the sign-up page will live. If everything works well, it will happen in the next 10 days.

The poetry class: Will start in early August. I know a lot of people go on vacation in August, but that may be the best time to start a poetry class. It will be six weeks long. We will not focus on traditional poetry forms (sonnets, epic poems, elegy, renga) except as definitions. We will explore shorter forms, like haiku, quatrains and quintains. We will practice imagery, metaphor, personification, allusion, rhyme schemes, line length, and punctuation. We’ll write poems and pieces of poems. Like collage, pieces of poems are scraps that can be combined to form surprising word images.

Registration will open on my website on July 1, with payment though PayPal or check. There will be a notice on the blog.

Using Yahoo Groups. The poetry class will be run on a Yahoo Group. After looking at many ways to do it, the Yahoo Group is a place that is private, has no ads, allows for each person to post, comment, and participate at the level they want. It makes sense for a writing class.

Paying it Forward: I haven’t taught an online class in a long time, but always  donate part of the price of the class to a charity. This time, the donation will be to Heat Relief, a group of City employes who use donations to supply the homeless with fresh drinking water in our broiling summer. The city has turned off most of the public drinking fountains, and many homeless adults and children die of heat stroke and lack of water. This is a grass-roots organization, so I will use the money to buy the water and deliver it to one of the locations. (Yes, it will be plastic bottles, and yes, the bottles are picked up by other volunteers for recycling.)

Madeline Island Class: I’m doing some give-aways to people who attend the class in Madeline Island, Wisconsin on July 22-26. I know it is expensive, so there will be four prizes, drawn throughout the week:

1. A month of free creativity coaching. Once you experience it in class (each person will experience at least one session that week), you will fall in love with the process that helps you free yourself from your sticky story and live the live you want. (A $324 value)

2. Two $50 gift cards; one each to Dick Blick and Daniel Smith.   That should help you continue working on what you started at the retreat.

3. Three packs of Strathmore Ready-Cut paper, the kind we will use in class. There are 25 sheets in a pack, so three people will be able to create a lot of inner hero pages when they get back home.

The combined value is just over the price of the class, and while i could not afford to give a scholarship, I think this will be a nice way to thank people for coming. You can read about the class here. You can register here.

Upcoming in-Person Classes: I’ll be teaching these three classes at Arizona Art Supply in Phoenix. It’s at the Southeast corner of Indian School and 16th Street. Each class is divided into two sections. The morning section explores the technique, the afternoon is spent making projects with the technique. Register for both morning and afternoon and get a discount.

Saturday, July 13: Monsoon Papers  10:00 am – 4:30 pm.  Make colorful  Monsoon Papers in the morning. Use them for art journaling, folders, photo mats, or envelopes. Then make two accordion folders with your paper in the afternoon.  Read about details or register. Class size is limited to 12 people.

Saturday, August 10: Paste Papers 10:00 am – 4:30 pm.  Learn an easy and beautiful surface-decoration technique using colorful art paste. Then collage postcards with your paper. Registration will be available on my website after July 15.

Saturday, September 7: Loose-Leaf Journaling 10:00 am – 4:30 pm. Create your personal 3-ring binder, then fill it with art journal pages, using different kinds and sizes of paper. I’m very excited about this class–loose-leaf journaling is an exciting new approach. And of course you can keep your poetry in this journal. Registration will be available after August 10.

Remember the tree bark? I pressed it and used it in a collage made with ink, gel medium and Monsoon Papers. That’s the illustration for today. The bark worked particularly well. I have also pressed eucalyptus tree bark, and it presses well, also.

—Quinn McDonald is a creativity coach and teacher. She loves doing both.