Madeline Island Gift for the Holidays

Wrap up a free MISA hoodie to give as a gift along with a class registration for Metaphor and Magic (or any other summer class)

Madeline Island has a cute giveaway–sign up for a summer course (I’d love it to be mine, of course) during this weekend, and get a Madeline Island School of Arts hoodie to put under the tree (or next to the Hanukkah menorah or Kwanza candles).

It’s a great idea. You can surprise someone (or yourself!) with a gift certificate to a class, and have a hoodie to keep you toasty while waiting for summer Here’s the small print from the website:

To receive a hoodie, you must register between Wednesday November 21 and midnight on Cyber Monday, November 26, 2012.  We will be in touch with you to get your color and size preference (larger sizes are available to accommodate holiday eating!).

I’m a big fan of the color, too. Mostly, I am a fan of shopping at local stores for the holidays, and giving art handmade by artists whose work you like and admire. Buying locally keeps money in the community and helps small stores stay in business, contribute to the creativity in the community, and make art support your concern, too.

A plug for my Madeline Island class:
July 22-26 2013 at Madeline Island, Wisconsin
Magic and Metaphor: Mixed Media Conversations With Your Inner Critric.
An amazing art retreat in Lake Superior that covers deep writing and intuitive art. What will you do for five days? Join a class of creative explorers and confront your inner critic. You can read more in Quinn’s Workshops at the top of this page.

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Local Arizona Classes coming up in December and January
If you are staying local (or are in Arizona in December or January), I’d love to see you in Tucson, where I’m teaching two classes.

The box of magic words for One-Sentence Journaling.

1. One Sentence Journaling: Does having a journal sound more appealing than writing in one every day? You aren’t alone, and this workshop was designed to help you keep a journal by writing one sentence a day. A daily writing practice creates a GPS system for your inner journey—it helps you figure out where you are and how to get where you want to be. Using exercises including “magic words” and “17 syllables” you will see the power of writing just one sentence.  Explore the possibilities of one meaningful sentence when you write with awareness, intensity and all your senses
Thursday, December 6, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
University of Arizona Modular Classroom, 4101 N. Campbell  Ave. Tucson 85719
Cost: $60

Samples of Monsoon Papers

2. Monsoon Papers.      Date: Saturday, January 26 10am – 4pm
Location: U Of A Modular Classroom
4101 N. Campbell Avenue  Tucson, AZ  85719
Cost: $100 + Material Fee $5
Originally created in Arizona’s monsoon storms, this wild surface decoration technique is fail-proof. Pieces of paper transformed with inks and gilding into dark, rich colors or bright, intense ones. It’s messy and unpredictable, so leave your controlling urges at the door—and be surprised at how the paper develops! Use your papers for folders, book projects, constructions, collage.

The two classes in Tucson, are taught through Paper Works, the Sonoran Collective of Paper and Book Artists. While these classes are for Paper Works members, a year’s membership will cost you just $35.

-Quinn McDonald is not going to get up at 4:30 a.m. on Black Friday. She’s shopping local and from other artists.

Surprises in the Desert

You can tell I’ve been hiking in the Sonoran desert with a camera. But my camera failed me two weeks before I left; so I’m armed only with the iPhone camera. We drove South to Tucson from Phoenix. Passed some surprises–a large orchard. In the desert? Yes. I’m guessing they are almond trees, but I’m not positive.

And then a real surprise. On the desert floor, maybe 25 miles out of Phoenix, a number of descansos, grouped together. Descansos are roadside grave markers. These were about 100 feet off the road, but there were at least a dozen, followed shortly by others. Who were these people who died in the desert, and whose graves are marked and tended? Someone remembers and loves them, someone paints the crosses on their graves and paints them white.

At the Sonoran Desert Museum there were specimens of plant and animal life–all in their natural habitat. Snakes and spiders, millipedes and lizards were in viewable habitats, but much of the desert is outside, in the desert, in a wild habitat.mountain view

The views alone were breath-taking, but I was surprised to see animals, including white-tailed deer.

white tailed deer

There are hummingbirds in the desert, too. (See him in the center of the picture, below,sitting on a white cup feeder.) Like monarch butterflies, they migrate. Monarchs don’t migrate through Arizona, but they do wander in occasionally, to the higher and damper areas.

–All images and text copyright by Quinn McDonald, 2007 All rights reserved. Quinn McDonald is a writer and certified creativity coach. See her work at