Jeanne Oliver loves Van Gogh

Jeanne Oliver

In Studying Under the Masters, Jeanne Oliver chose the very prolific Vincent Van Gogh as her master. She studied his paintings, painted like him and then created her own art in his style. The upcoming Living Studio Amsterdam workshop is a dream trip for Jeanne as she takes us to the Van Gogh Museum where there are over 200 pieces of his art.

Portrait of the Postman Joseph Roulin by Van Gogh


Some interesting facts about Van Gogh:

  • Vincent shot himself in a wheatfield in Auvers, France but did not die until 2 days later at the age of 37.
  • Vincent’s brother Theo died six months after Vincent and is buried next to him in Auvers, France.
  • Vincent’s brother’s wife collected Vincent’s paintings and letters after his death and dedicated herself to getting his work the recognition it deserved.
  • In a short period of ten years Van Gogh created 900 paintings.
  • Vincent only sold one painting during his lifetime and only became famous after his death.
  • Vincent van Gogh did not cut off his ear. He only cut off a small portion of his ear lobe
  • In the self-portrait shown right, Van Gogh was looking in a mirror so the bandage is actually not on the correct ear.
  • Van Gogh created his most famous work The Starry Night while staying in an asylum in Saint-Remy-de-Provence, France.
  • Vincent’s earliest career aspiration was to be a pastor in the Dutch Reformed Church like his father.
  • Van Gogh wrote over 800 letters in his lifetime, the majority written to his brother and closest friend Theo.

Van Gogh first painted portraits using peasants as his models, but soon found that he could not afford even them so he became his own model, painting over 30 self-portraits. Here is a short video.

In this Living Studio workshop, we will meander in the countryside on a leisurely bike trip, float along the canals, visit Rembrandt’s House, visit flea markets, and have many opportunities to create art with Jeanne in both a studio and as we explore this beautiful city.

There are only a few spots left for this May 10-17, 2016 workshop. More details are here.

Use the contact form below if you would like more information or would like to join us.

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Painting Workshop 2016 with Michelle Allen and Sunny Carvalho

Michelle Allen wrote a beautiful post on our trip to Oaxaca.

Here’s what she has to say about herself.

“I have never found anything completely flawless in this life and yet there is beauty everywhere I turn. I love the imperfect, slightly eccentric, witty quality of the world I see around me. It’s the unpredictability of even the most mundane things that I try to recreate in my art. Often, if something seems too perfect, I will skew it towards the unrealistic to capture the essence of a whim. Although the pieces I design are practical, my hope is that my art will never become so serious that I betray the uniqueness that inspires me.”

Yep, she’s a keeper, that girl. She and her art are fabulous. Can you imagine what it is going to be like painting with her? Or making that exquisite piece of art shown above? I’m counting the days.

Come join Michelle, Sunny and me for a painting workshop February 2016! For more details go here. If you would like to join us or have more questions, use the form below. Saludos!

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It was a rusty weekend with Pam Nichols

Students came from Calgary, Ontario, Wisconsin, Texas, Santa Fe, New York, Portland and Seattle to attend the third Dyeing To Rust workshop with rust goddess, Pam Nichols.
Despite the scorching heat (unusual for us here in the Pacific Northwest), the nine artists created gorgeous rusted papers and fabric to incorporate in their encaustic paintings. img_2659-0

This group worked hard and created some beautiful art. img_2660

Our next class will be in Bend, Oregon next spring. We will go picking for metal before starting class. Ooh. Thanks, Pam. Having way too much fun.

Here she is with one of her creations from our second Dyeing To Rust workshop.


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Terry Turrell at Patricia Rovzar Gallery

A friend recommended that I go see the Terry Turrell exhibit at Patricia Rovzar Gallery. Boy, am I glad that I did. A mixed media artist from the Pacific Northwest, Terry dedicated this show to his late wife, Loni who recently passed away last fall. According to the gallery, he created over 100 works for this show entitled, Forever.

Terry  Turrell

Turrell is a self-www.kathievezzanitaught outsider artist who uses many different mediums, like the picture left painted on tin with encaustic. He uses found objects, woods, oils, acrylics, and a lot of tin. Apparently, he and his wife collected retablos from Mexico.

Katie Kendrick and I were very pleased to see these since we had painted ex-votos with Judy Wise on our trip last fall in Oaxaca.

Our Ex-Votos made with Judy Wise

Katie Kendrick and Carla Sonheim

I fell in love with Turrell’s sculptures that combine wood, tin, nails, paint and other materials to create these fantastical beings. Most of the ones in the gallery had red tags on them. Here’s Katie and Carla in front of two of his magical pieces. Now you can appreciate the scale of them.

I highly recommend that you see this exhibit which is up until Jun 28. If you are a painter, assemblage or encaustic artist, you will be amazed at his body of work. Really, go.

Here are two more pieces not currently in the exhibit.

Here is a link to see more of his work in ISSUU.

Be sure to peruse the books on the table that chronicle Turrell’s love for his wife filled with love notes, drawings and words that held special meaning to them.

So glad that I went.  Thanks, Kristina and thanks Katie and Carla for going with me.

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Year of the Spark continues in Oaxaca with Carla Sonheim and Lynn Whipple

Carla Sonheim and Lynn Whipple are thoroughly enjoying themselves this year in the Year of the Spark, a year-long online course. Their purpose was to infuse MORE of it into their participant’s lives….more art, more creativity, more time, more inspiration, more motivation, and more FUN!

Can I tell you how excited I am that they are going to continue the Year of the Spark in Oaxaca for a week long workshop February 28-March 6? I am freaking jumping up and down, people.

I met Carla shortly after she moved to Seattle and she was my very first local art instructor. How lucky was I that I came across this special soul and then she teamed up with some remarkable teachers in her online network, including one of my all time favorite mixed media artists, Lynn Whipple. So, here they are and we are going to Oaxaca together for a lot of fun, good eating, and lots of laughter.

Carla wrote some fun facts about Lynn on her website. Pretty heady facts!

While in Oaxaca you will “make stuff”

  • Draw with Carla
  • Paint a Mexican Muse to music with Lynn
  • Make a mini book with Carla
  • Collect and collage with “local flavor” with Lynn
  • Draw and paint imaginary animals with Carla
  • Create a mixed media and water color painting with both Carla and Lynn
  • And whatever else these two come up with between now and when the trip starts – we are guaranteed to be dazzled by their creativity

The trip starts and ends in Oaxaca and costs $3100  based on double occupancy and includes:

  • All the creativity noted above with Carla and Lynn
  • seven nights accommodation at Casa de las Bugambilias
  • all meals except one dinner
  • an opening reception
  • cooking class at Susana Trilling’s Season of my Heart Cooking School
  • visit to black pottery studio with master potter
  • visit to a master woodworker of albrejis (the colorful wooden animals)
  • Farewell Dinner at coveted restaurant in Oaxaca with special menu planned for us
  • Market tour
  • Visit to museum and paper store
  • Art supplies
  • Time to explore Oaxaca and its many artful offerings
  • Opportunity to sign up for massages and/or a temazcal
  • A new art tribe 

Excludes airfare to/from Oaxaca and taxi to/from airport (approximatley 250 pesos)

Las Bugambilias, a family owned and run B&B led by the beautiful matriarch, Emilia Arroyo Cabrera is our home base. Seeing what Emilia wears each morning is a visual treat for a bunch of artists as are the place settings at our breakfast. The motto of Las Bugambilias is that “we do not receive hosts, we receive friends.” Emilia and her family and their staff truly do make you feel as though their home is yours. Here are some pictures from our last trip.

The trip will be limited to 12 participants and there are just a couple of single rooms so register early if you want one. A nonrefundable deposit of $1000 is due now with the remaining payment due by November 17. Installments can be made for the remaining balance.

Join Carla and Lynn for a little Spark in your artful practice!

www.kathievezzani.comIf you have questions, please use the contact form below.

TO REGISTER:  Click the Pay Deposit image below. Paperwork will be sent once you have registered and paid your deposit.

Please join us for Spark in Oaxaca!

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Painting in Color, Oaxaca with Michelle Allen and Sunny Carvalho

Can you see me jumping up and down?! I am so excited that my friends Sunny Carvalho and Michelle Allen have agreed to do a workshop in Oaxaca. Their whimsical, colorful style of painting is absolutely perfect for Oaxaca and its colorful array of artists who use a lot of animal imagery in their paintings. I love these two and their work and am counting the days until we can all play together in Oaxaca.

Michelle and Sunny have come up with some brilliant projects for the week-long workshop. Michelle will be exploring her style of mark making as we paint along with her and then we will focus on making a niche with a clay doll. Michelle is a successful artist who actually makes her living creating whimsical, colorful offerings to stores throughout the United States, often traveling to China to oversee the factories who produce her products and attending the many gift shows necessary for people who sell their products to mainstream retail. She has a lot of great stories about her travels.

When I first met Sunny and Michelle at Artfest four years ago, Sunny was painting pretty girls, but not anymore. Her work has evolved from the sketches I saw in her journal four years ago to the hugely recognizable styled paintings that she does now, along with her clay dolls, pendants and necklaces. Oh and the purses and, well, if you know Sunny, you know that she is very prolific and who hasn’t followed her Friday night painting posts on Facebook? Look at these fantastic projects she will be teaching. So Sunny! We will also paint with Sunny and together they will do a project on our last day.

These two are just a blast to be around, combining that with great food and the magic of Oaxaca, it’s destined to be one of the best times of your life.

The trip starts and ends in the City of Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico and costs $3,100. It is limited to 12 and is based on double occupancy.

It includes:

  • 7 nights accommodation at Las Bugambilias
  • Painting and creating with Sunny and Michelle all week
  • Welcome fiesta
  • Cooking lesson at Seasons of My Heart Cooking School with Susanna Trilling
  • Market tour
  • Visits to artisans – black pottery and alebrijes
  • Visit to museum and paper making demonstration
  • Art supplies
  • Transportation within Oaxaca
  • Time to explore Oaxaca and its many artful offerings
  • Opportunity to sign up for massages and/or a temazcal
  • A new art tribe

Excludes airfare to/from Oaxaca and taxi to/from airport (approximatley 250 pesos)

TO REGISTER:   Click the Pay Deposit image below.  I will send paperwork to you once you have registered.

We hope that you can join us for this joyful time in Oaxaca. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me using the contact form below.

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Oaxaca with artists Michelle Allen, Sunny Carvalho, Lynn Whipple, Carla Sonheim, Lisa Pressman and Daniella Woolf

Can I tell you just how excited I am to tell you about four trips to Oaxaca next year? I have been sitting on this for awhile but finally I am able to share it with you.

The first is with two friends who have been with me since the beginning of my artful journey four years ago. Squeal! It is Michelle Allen and Sunny Carvalho! They are teaming together to bring their two colorful styles of painting for a week long mixed media workshop February 20-28, 2016.

The second trip is with, here I am letting out another squeal, Carla Sonheim and Lynn Whipple! They are continuing the Year of the Spark in a week-long workshop that marries their work over the past year. This is going to be so much fun. Their trip starts immediately after on the 28th and ends March 6.

Then in October there are two more trips. The first is with the uber-talented Lisa Pressman October 14-22 who will teach mark making, and incorporating oil sticks into cold wax paintings. No experience is required!

And then the lovely, hysterical, Daniella Woolf will be introducing a new direction in her workshops for the Day of the Dead celebration. You will be honoring your ancestors and the people you love. This trip starts October 25 and ends November 3.

Daniella and Irena

Daniella and Irena

My amiga, Ana Elena Martinez and I have been taking groups to Mexico for over 20 years with Culinary Adventures, Inc. so we know a lot of people in Oaxaca with whom we have developed long standing friendships. We will visit some of them, enjoy their food and stay in our friend’s lovely B&B.

Ana Elena and moi

Las Bugambilias, a family owned and run B&B led by the beautiful matriarch, Emilia Arroyo Cabrera is our home base. Seeing what Emilia wears each morning is a visual treat for a bunch of artists as are the place settings at our breakfast. The motto of Las Bugambilias is that “we do not receive hosts, we receive friends.” Emilia and her family and their staff truly do make you feel as though their home is yours. Here are some pictures from our last trip.

Each trip will be highlighted in a separate posting with greater detail. Hope you can join us!

Here are some of the quotes from people who have traveled with us.

I think combining the art workshops with tours and sampling of fine food is brilliant and I look forward to participating again. Byron Grush

You know what you are doing, you do it beautifully and you give great value for the money. Shelley Unger

Kathie’s thorough trip packet inspired confidence before I arrived and having everything so well organized meant I could relax, go with the flow and really enjoy myself. Fifteen out of ten! Dawn Curtis

As someone who has worked in the travel industry planning incentive trips for 21 years, I am very familiar with all the behind-the-scenes logistics required to host a tour with international participants. I was impressed with Kathie’s trip from the minute I registered (1 year prior to travel) all the way through until I was on the plane flying home. – Kimberly Owen

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Free Spirits Amsterdam with Katie Kendrick and Judy Wise

May is beautiful in Amsterdam, the tulips decorously dotting the landscape with everyone outside enjoying the beautiful weather either walking or riding a bicycle along the many picturesque canals and bridges. This will be our backdrop as we explore Amsterdam with Katie Kendrick and Judy Wise next May 21-29.

This trip is going to be jammed packed with opportunities to create. Katie will be sharing her techniques in exploring our interior world through abstract and/or expressionist painting. Watching Katie paint is a mesmerizing experience and she inspires you to trust your intuition, learning to feel more comfortable metaphorically “walking in the darkness” as we paint, gently supporting and following the flow of the sacred mystery in our work as it reveals itself. Yes, this is how Katie talks about her paintings. Told you, mesmerizing.

Judy will explore and share Rembrandt’s shading techniques that we will see in his paintings and etchings inside his seventeenth-century home and studio. The guided tour will be illuminating, followed by lessons with Judy. This will be an intense day of learning with Judy. Here is a short video of an exhibit now at the Rijksmuseum.

Of course, there are special projects planned, museums to visit, cafes to eat in and markets to explore. Michel Fletcher, our friend and fellow artist who is moving to Amsterdam with her family assures us that there are wonderful places to share a meal in on every corner, one more fabulous than the next.

Accommodations will be at the boutique Hotel View, a very modern B&B that overlooks the canals. The hotel is just fifteen minutes from Daneilla Rubinovitz’s to die for Atelier Molenpad where Katie and Judy will teach.;; is graciously sharing her studio with us for the week and will be teaching a class as well, in fact with a live model. Very excited about this. Here is Daniella, she looks like she is a lot of fun.

Judy will talk about gestural drawings in preparation for this class.

You can read more about Daniella on her website or on Facebook.

Amsterdam with Katie and Judy, May 2016

The trips starts and ends in Amsterdam. The trip costs $3,300, is limited to 14 (there are 7 spots left) and includes:

  • 8 nights accommodation
  • Opening reception
  • Lessons with Katie and Judy throughout the week
  • Live Model/Lesson with Daniella
  • Visits to the Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Rijks Museums
  • All but two meals
  • Cheese tastings, canal cruise, and many other surprises.
  • Farewell dinner at a very special restaurant
  • Time to explore Amsterdam on your own
  • New art tribe

Price does not include airfare to/from Amsterdam. Single rooms are limited and priced at $500.

A $1,000 nonrefundable deposit is due upon registration with the final payment due November 18. A payment schedule can be made, if needed. To register and pay your deposit, click on the image below.
If you have questions, please use the contact form below.

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Dyeing to Rust with Rustaholics

The recent Dyeing to Rust workshop with rusting guru, Pam Nichols, was dusty, crusty, rusty and waxy. We’ve added 9 more rustaholics to our art tribe.

We prepared for our 9 artists.


Pam explained the process and unveiled.image (2)

All the artists worked/played very hard.
image (3)

They created a lot of pretty things.

image (1)

It was a wonderful weekend with a great group of women. Pam and I can’t wait until our July workshop where we will be creating corsets. Oh my. See my previous posting of Pam’s corset series.

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Living Studio Amsterdam with Jeanne Oliver

Jeanne Oliver and I are teaming up again for the Living Studio, this time in magical Amsterdam May 10-17, 2016. If you participated in Studying Under the Masters course on Jeanne’s network, you know how much she loves Van Gogh. A special visit to the Van Gogh museum is planned coupled with a canal ride for Jeanne and the Living Studio artists.

Whenever you see pictures of Amsterdam there are bikes everywhere, tied to light posts or bridge railings with their baskets filled with flowers, and others being ridden along the canals and in the countryside. We will begin our time together on a bicycle tour that will start in the city, then travel out to the country, stopping frequently for cheese tasting, eating lunch and visiting a small windmill along the way. We’ll also see how clogs are made and there was something about cow tipping on the bike tour site?!

The boutique Hotel View is just a couple of blocks away from the gorgeous studio that we will be creating in.

Imagine creating along the canals as you watch the boats cruise by, or capturing the image of the many bicycles leaning against the railings, wandering the streets among the historical buildings and unique row houses, admiring the many antiques and hipster clothing stores, and strolling through the parks with sketchbook in hand. There will be a lot of opportunities to sketch at cafes, along the waterways and in the museums that we visit. We will create art in the studio and on the street.

The art will be focused on sketching (charcoal, pastels, pencils etc.), studying the pattern making of Van Gogh, painting, mark making, working from a live model, finding your own story and how to gather from around you to tell your story through your art, sketching, painting and creating out in Amsterdam and making the whole city your studio! The curriculum will be rich in art, growing as an artist, history and connecting with this city.

The trip starts and ends in Amsterdam. The cost is $3200 and includes:

  • Seven nights accommodation (double occupancy) at the Hotel View
  • Welcome dinner
  • Classes with Jeanne throughout the week
  • Bike trip along the Amstel River, with frequent stops to taste cheese, see sites and to have lunch
  • market tours
  • Canal cruise combined with a visit to the Van Gogh Museum
  • Visit to Rembrandt’s house
  • Free time to explore Amsterdam, and of course, shop
  • Visit a flea market or two
  • All meals
  • Beautiful studio to create in and lesson with local artist
  • Farewell dinner at Restaurant de Kes inside a set of greenhouses from the early 1920’s
  • A new art tribe

Price does not include airfare to/from Amsterdam. Single rooms are available on a limited basis at $500.

A $1,000 nonrefundable deposit is due upon registration with the final payment due November 18. A payment schedule can be made, if needed.


If you have questions, please contact me using the contact form below.

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