21 SECRETS Paper, Glue, Scissors Teacher Bios



Below are the bios of the talented teachers in 21 SECRETS Paper, Glue, Scissors

Alma de la Melena Cox

Alma de la Melena Cox

I get jealous of things like sunsets, deeply petaled roses and hummingbird shimmer. The Universe makes creation look so easy! I want THE magic wand to create beauty that inspires deeply. AND I want to be surprised and enchanted! Making art and writing books are the closest things I’ve found to wielding magic like the Universe does—and I thank my Soul for that every day. I even quit my corporate job in San Francisco a year ago because listening to my Soul’s guidance is essential …

These days, I follow inspiration like a blissed-out puppy: like writing and finishing a Magical Realism novel, co-authoring a non fiction book with a good friend, taking lots of photos, travel near and far, collecting fabric, creating layers of meaning—on the canvas and as I write and, using technology to captivate me. I live in Portland, Oregon. I’ve been a professional artist for 20 years, I teach at art retreats, I meditate daily, I practice Bikram Yoga and I love life.



Amy Bruce

Amy Bruce is an artist and an art educator who has been teaching for twenty-seven years. She currently teaches Studio Art, Computer Graphics and Photography at the high-school level in Alexandria, Virginia, has taught in both K-12 settings and was an adjunct for Virginia Commonwealth University. She specializes in mixed-media photography, pulling images out from behind the formality of glass and frame and lets them breathe on canvas, paper, wood and other alternative surfaces. Amy’s work taps into the energy of the moment captured in her photographs by exploring both archival and digital photographic processes merged with various mixed-media techniques.



Amy Maricle

Amy Maricle is an artist and art therapist who teaches people to dig deeper and create playful, meaningful art on Mindfulartstudio.com. Her writing and art have been featured in the New York Times.com, The Washington Post, Psych Central.com, Art Journaling Magazine, Brush magazine, and Spirituality & Health Online.



Connie Solera

I create art, teach, travel, and write in order to inspire every woman to pick up a paintbrush, let go of her fears, and sink into the artist her heart is calling her to be.



Cynthia Shaffer

Cynthia Shaffer is a mixed-media artist, creative sewer and photographer whose love of all things artsy can be traced back to her childhood. At the age of six, she learned to sew and, in no time, was designing and sewing clothing for herself and others. While she loves the inclusion of all kinds of mediums and techniques in her artwork, inevitably stitches and photos seem to make their way into most of her current artwork. Numerous books and magazines have featured Cynthia’s mixed-media art and photography work: she is the author of Stash Happy Patchwork (Lark, 2011), Stash Happy Appliqué (Lark, 2012), co-author of Serge It (Lark 2014), author of Coastal Crafts (Sterling/Lark 2015), and Simply Stitched Gifts (Sterling/Lark 2015). Cynthia lives with her husband Scott in Southern California.



Dawna Kinne Magliacano

Dawna Kinne Magliacano is a multi-discipline artist who considers herself a visual storyteller and art adventurer. “I am in love with exploring processes and then combining those processes to tell a story.” From traditional portraiture and painting to sculpting, printmaking, assemblage and collage, her work leans toward the whimsical and enchanting with often amusing story lines.

Generally a self-taught artists, though she had several years of formal art training early on, her college focus was English. She has been an artist for over 45 years, but officially and full-time since 2007, when she left two 20 year professional careers – trial paralegal/professional comic. In the past 10+ years she has intensified her art study and earned a number of accolades for her work. Her work is collected internationally.



Denise Braun

Denise’s first memories of art occurred around age 8. Her second-grade teacher, Mrs. Hirsch, told her, “You are very talented and artistic, but you need discipline.” So naturally, Denise rebelled against any formal art training and found herself doodling all over her high school and college notebooks. Her mother, a professional artist, would drag Denise and her sister to every art museum west of the Mississippi, hoping her daughters would catch the “art bug.”

But when college rolled around, Denise decided to pursue a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology. So naturally, today, Denise merrily combines art, therapy and inspiration into her own style of creative and flowing art. Her focus? Joy. Her mission? To open up the creative vault in every person who happens to smile when they see her eclectic and bright pieces. Her favorite way to create? Quickly, without thinking. “It helps clear the cobwebs out of the judgmental part of our brains.”

Denise is a certified hypnotherapist and intuitive clinician who supports adult and child clients as they overcome multitudes of blocks and symptoms. She enjoys traveling to teach art workshops across the US including Art & Soul and has been a featured artist for Ivy Newport’s online workshops. Denise’s first book The Fraud Fable will be available on Amazon, December 2018. In her free time, Denise adores creating at her small art studio in Atascadero, CA, where she lives with her husband, three daughters, 9 chickens, Chihuahua, four cats and four-month-old Golden Retriever puppy. Oh. And she enjoys playing the Ukulele. Find her on Facebook and Instagram as The Real Denise Braun.



Jan Avellana

Jan Avellana was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii and has always been part fish. Perhaps because her true form is a mermaid, she has never quite found her way in the hustle and bustle of a traditional life. 

A wanderer at heart, Jan’s first creative inklings came through creative writing as a child. She was known to burrow herself away in snug, sunlit corners as she escaped into her world of books and writing. Much later, Jan discovered the visual arts, and found her wanderlust continued as she explored different media—collage, illustration, graphic design, painting, encaustic art and papier mâché, just to name a few. Even today, she is most at home with wide open seas and vast landscapes that allow her to follow wherever her heart leads.

Her newest body of patchworked collage paintings are a way of bringing all of her disparate parts together in a way that lets Jan say “yes!” to all the arty things she loves—gouache, acrylic, painting, typography, collage and words. All her loves bundled up together to tell a story—each element a part of her visual language. Jan’s art is a patchwork of everything that ever happened to her and also the things that didn’t, the lovely sum of her deepest fears and fondest hopes, images stitched together to tell a story full of meaning—bringing comfort and warmth in the telling of a life made up of scraps and treasures gathered through her wanderings.

Jan is an elementary teacher by day, an artist and writer by night. She is always a mom to her boys Seth, Cody and Momo the cat, and partner-in-crime to her husband, Steve.



Jessica Kovan

Jessica is a mixed-media artist and educator. Her art is characterized as thoughtful, storytelling and layered. Jessica uses her paintbrush, scissors and glue as tools for seeing and understanding. Drawing inspiration from the world around her, she expresses in her work what has captured her attention and heart. The additional inclusion of text in her  work serves as an important element for her own artistic expression. Growing up as the daughter of a teacher and a poet, Jessica naturally combines all of these elements.

Jessica’s artwork has been published in several books including Art Journal Kickstarter: Pages and Prompts to Energize your Art Journals, The Poetry of Presence and Incite: The Best of Mixed Media – The Art of Story Telling. She is an active member and signature artist of the International Society of Experimental Artists and the International Society of Acrylic Painters and is happiest when experimenting with new ways to create.

With a PhD in  Adult  Education, and as an Artist Educator for Golden Acrylics, Jessica truly enjoys combining her love for painting with her love for teaching. She offers workshops and classes both in person and on-line, focusing on helping people learn about themselves through creating.

Her paintings are in numerous private collections and have been exhibited and collected throughout the United States.



Jill Krasner

Jill Krasner is an award-winning artist who has participated in numerous one-person shows in North Carolina, New Jersey and Florida. She teaches workshops on mixed-media, watercolor, oils and cold wax as well as marketing on social media. Jill currently resides in Florida.



Kelli May-Krenz

I see the world in layers of textures, colors, details and stories; hope, cheerfulness and wonder.
I find meaning and discovery in the littlest of moments.
Sitting down with simple supplies, I move pieces around, taking time to notice the details. Noticing helps me know when a piece is complete. This exploration shows me my own authenticity again and again.
Art is my soul-filling place and I go to it each day. I teach by exploring techniques that are mindfully healing. Expressing feelings, using papers, paints, threads and words, I have the gift of showing others how to put away self-judgment and create from a spirit-filled, peaceful place.



Kim Henkel

I am a curious-minded maker of things with a constant need to create. I continually experiment with new ideas and often ask myself, “What if I try this?” The answers often lead me to unexpected creative places. I like working in a variety of mediums and enjoy sharing my creative makings and discoveries with others.

If you are looking for me, you can usually find me out hiking on a trail or happily creating in my home studio in Haines Junction, Yukon, Canada.



Lori Sparkly Franklin

Lori Sparkly Franklin is a mixed-media artist and photographer from northern Minnesota who leans in to listen to the stories of songbirds, flowers, trees, and forest creatures. Her artwork illustrates what she hears.



Marcia Chadly

My delight is creating. My passion is connection—with myself, my friends and family, my communities, and the Mystery around and in us. My belief is that the world benefits when we each express our unique wisdom and gifts.

The process of SoulCollage® combines it all: creating, connecting and bringing yourself to the world. I have been guiding people into connection with their heart and inner wisdom using SoulCollage® for over 12 years and am a trainer of SoulCollage® Facilitators.

I am living my dreams as a Transformation Midwife at the Creative Life Center in Westminster, Colorado. What will you find there? Fun ways to feel connected, follow your path, and enrich your life!



Mary Beth Shaw

Mary Beth Shaw swore off Art Journaling for many years until 2013 when she suddenly had little time to make her own artwork. She started slowly, but then found great solace in her journal. Today she teaches many types of workshops, but her heart swells when sharing journal techniques. She is author of Flavor for Mixed Media and Stencil Girl, is a columnist for Somerset Studios Magazine and a Golden Artist Educator. She is the founder of StencilGirl®Products, LLC. She has a tattoo of a shooting star on her right shoulder.



Nichole Rae

Artist Nichole Rae is a creative guide. She carries the Art of Daily Practice, a creative healing arts practice to inspire your creative spirit and cultivate the connection to your present self though a collection of art journaling + affirmation practices. Artist Nichole Rae is here to begin with you and guide you through practices that create space, bring inspiration, healing and guidance to your life. Her creative journaling and affirmation practices have been inspired by her own creative practice and studies in the A Course Of Miracles work. Nichole has been creating since she was young and has over 20 years in mixed media book arts and art journaling. Nichole leads workshops, 1:1 sessions and carries a collection of creative tools for you to practice with her. Nichole has been part of the North Dakota Today Show, had her works published in many local and national magazines and is the author of the book Art Journal Art Journey, Collage + Storytelling to Honor Ones Creative Process. Nichole’s intention in her work is for you to “Create What You Most Need To Find” and go forth together into a creative daily practice.



Petra Hrziwnatzki

I can absolutely say that art was not in my life until about five years ago. If you asked me before that if I was into art I would have laughed and said I couldn’t even draw a line. But, I dabbled in scrapbooking, collaging and photography, so I was creative without even knowing it!  A few years ago, I had just had my third child and I was feeling utterly lost. I was giving so much of myself to my family that I had lost my connection with Me and was searching for something to do to bridge the gap. That was when I stumbled across mixed media. I took a few online classes and that was it—I was hooked! For me, the hardest part was letting go of the idea that everything needed to be perfect. Once I get out of my head and allow the creativity to come on its own, that’s when the magic happens. There is something special that happens when you bring creativity in.  Using that part of your brain on a regular basis does something incredible to your life.
“It is not about creativity, it is about the person you are becoming while you are creating”
—Charlie Peacock



Raven Skye McDonough

Raven Skye McDonough is an award-winning Florida artist with deep ties to her native New England upbringing. Raven started out her art career as a painter, using both oils and acrylic. Raven now creates using a mixed-media collage technique she developed over the years, and most recently incorporating soft pastels, to create truly unique artwork.

Classically trained at The School of the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts, Raven currently draws her inspiration from nature, wild life and her nightly dreams. Her deep spiritual connection and social awareness also has her tackling subject matter ranging from war, environmental issues, political concerns, and the human journey to become enlightened beings.

Raven has exhibited in group and solo shows in New York, Florida, New England and other East Coast art markets. She’s sold many works of art to private collectors, and was selected as Florida Artist of the year by Twin Cities TOSCA Art & Culture magazine for its American Artist series 2013.
For more information about the artist and a list of her current workshops offered, please visit her website.



Ro Bruhn

I’m a graphic designer but gave up full-time work six years ago to concentrate on my art and teaching. I’ve been an artist, in one form or another, all of my life. My passion is painting in acrylic and pastels, working with fabrics, papers and jewelry. Color plays a vital role in my work; its influence can be seen across all forms of my art.

I’ve exhibited in numerous exhibitions and also sell my work on-line. My artworks are in Australian and International collections. I’ve had my work published in Belle Amoire Jewelry Magazine, Australian Get Creative magazine, Australian Beader magazine, Cloth Paper Scissors Gifts and Cloth Paper Scissors. My art has been published in the books Plaster Studio, The Mixed-Media Artist, Storytelling with Collage, Textile Collage and Artist Journal Pages and I was recently one of six artists featured in Maggie Grey’s book Approaches to Stitch.

I teach workshops on a regular basis from my home and at other venues and have taught with overseas tutors at retreats here in Australia and New Zealand.



Roben-Marie Smith

As an artist, blogger, woman of faith and small business owner, my mission is to serve others and help them get the most out of their art as a hobby or as a business. My own desire to learn and an unquenchable curiosity keeps my fingers messy and my heart happy.
I have been a working artist for the last fifteen years, and am self-taught, so I believe that anyone can cultivate their creative spark. I’ve taught mixed-media art workshops at retreats across the US and my work has been featured in countless books and industry magazines.



Sheri Gaynor

Artist, author, life coach, therapist and wild-woman at heART, Sheri Gaynor is the founder of Creative Awakenings International. For over twenty five years, she’s been facilitating people to step into their dreams to live passionate, creative and big, bold, lives through her coaching, workshops, experiential retreats, and training. Sheri is best known for her book Creative Awakenings: Envisioning the Life of Your Dreams Through Art, published by North Light Books in 2009. When she’s not in the studio making a colorful mess, you’ll likely find her in a pasture, with her dog Blue and her horse DreamWeaver Sunday.