21 SECRETS Summer Studio 2018 Teacher Bios
IMMEDIATE ACCESS | 21 WORKSHOPS
Below are the bios of the talented teachers in 21 SECRETS Summer Studios 2018: Just Add Water + The Great Outdoors
Cynthia Morris is an author, artist and Certified Professional Co-Active Coach. Through her company, Original Impulse, she has helped hundreds of people successfully navigate the challenges and joys of the creative process. Her books about writing, creativity and travel inspire others to enjoy their unique way of being in the world, and her watercolor illustrations bring a childlike joy and wonder to light.
Evan Leah Quinn
Evan Leah Quinn is a mixed-media artist based in Tacoma, Washington. She describes herself as having a scientist’s mind with an artist’s heart. Her work features highly pigmented, rich and bright colors, generally paired with doodles or found elements. Thanks to several forms of synesthesia, Evan has an intuitive relationship with color and the way it sets a mood or influences our perceptions. By day, she runs a digital strategy and web design studio called SixteenJuly. Outside of the studio, she’s a competitive powerlifter and mama to three large dogs.
Faith Evan Sills
Faith Evans-Sills is a painter, wife, mother and teacher making her home in sunny Charleston, South Carolina. In her work, Faith draws inspiration from nature’s wild and small moments; from love, textiles and most importantly, the relationships that shape her. Classically trained in painting with a BFA from Skidmore College and an MFA from Parsons School of Design, along with over twenty years of personal painting experience, Faith enjoys inspiring others to manifest their most heartfelt ideas through creating art. She is the coauthor of Painting the Sacred Within, and well-loved teacher both online, across the United States and internationally at her annual art retreats in Morocco, Costa Rica and Mexico. Faith’s paintings have been exhibited widely and included in numerous books and publications including Painted Blossoms, Paint Lab, Color Lab, Seventeen, Better Homes & Gardens, and Mabel Magazine. Her art has also been featured on designs for Anne Taylor Company Lou & Grey.
Faith lives with her husband Frank and their three children by the sea where they enjoy exploring southern beaches and maintain a close connection to nature through frequent trips to wild places. Learn more on Faith’s website.
Gina Lee Kim
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Gina Lee Kim is a self-taught watercolorist with a nursing and biology background. She has four watercolor Art Lessons for Cloth Paper Scissors (F+W Media, Interweave) and four watercolor DVD/videos exploring textures, resists, monoprinting & watermedia (F+W Media, ArtistNetwork). Gina lives north of Chicago with her husband, their young son and a white pet rat named Tofu.Gina loves to make watercolor approachable and achievable, especially when infused with fun mixed-media elements. Her artistic vision is to amaze the eye and empower the heart.
Gina Rossi Armfield
Gina is the author of No Excuses Art Journaling (North Light, 2013), No Excuses Watercolor (North Light, 2015), No Excuses Watercolor Animals (North Light Nov 2016) and No Excuses Watercolor Oceans (Northlight 2019). Her approach to watercolor is that it should be fast, fun, and intuitive without a lot of rules. Art is intuitive and an expression of who we are.
Julie Comstock started her career as the co-founder of Cosmo Cricket, a craft and hobby brand. She has worked as a creative director and licensed artist for the past 12 years. Her work can be found in stores across the nation including Francesca’s, Target, JoAnns, Hobby Lobby, and TJ Maxx. Julie has a love for watercolor and passion for teaching it to others. It is her medium of choice when she’s just painting for fun.
Kathy Glynn is an artist, calligrapher and the author of Hand Lettering Step by Step: Techniques and Projects to Express Yourself Creatively (Get Creative 6, February 2018). Her lovely abstract paintings in watercolor and acrylics are sold nationally in West Elm, and online at Domino Magazine (Domino.com), and Minted.com. Her calligraphy has been featured on popular wedding blogs, Style Me Pretty, 100 Layer Cake and Wedding Sparrow. Kathy shares her creative musings on social media as Artsy Canvas Girl.
Kathy’s first book, Hand Lettering Step by Step: Techniques and Projects to Express Yourself Creatively (Get Creative 6, February 2018), will help you to master hand lettering, brush lettering, and pointed pen calligraphy—to create lettering that’s expressive and authentic to you. After explaining the basics, Kathy explains how to combine styles, add embellishments, and even digitize lettering. The book contains more than 20 DIY projects including wedding invitations, temporary tattoos, DIY fabric, metal etching, and a custom family tree.
Kristin is a creator, painter, art educator, wife and mother to her sweet three-year old son. Growing up in the Fox Valley area in Wisconsin, she always knew she wanted to do something creative with her future. After attending the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and receiving her BFA in Art Education, Kristin went on to teach art to students ranging in grades K-12. Now living just west of Milwaukee, she currently is an elementary art educator having taught for ten years now.
The creative bug has always been a part of her; continually painting, creating and making. After the birth of her son, her passion for watercolor came alive again and she started experimenting more with abstracts. Painting more than ever, she wanted to share her work and passion with others and began to sell her work again. She is driven by the “surprise” of what water and paint can do; being able to let go of that control—to work with the beauty that unfolds when adding more water to a piece is what makes her work special to her.
Mou Saha is a coloring book author, mixed-media artist and avid art journaler who has been widely featured in craft publications, appeared on TV shows and taught workshops around the United States, abroad and online for Creativebug, Big Picture Classes, Online Card Classes, Donna Downey Studios and more. For nearly a decade, Mou has been a brand ambassador for Faber-Castell. She lives in Chester, New Jersey with her family and loves to sketch daily.
My name is Tanyalee Kahler and I call myself an artist. By day I work in the corporate world as a social media consultant, but by night (and every spare second I have) I make art. I love to explore many different mediums, but my one true love is watercolor. I primarily work in art journals, but have begun exploring canvas and other substrates and am just loving the process.
I publish an art magazine called Brush Magazine, specifically to celebrate artists all around the world.
The great outdoors teachers
Annamieka Hopps Davidson
Annamieka Davidson is a fine artist and art teacher, and she leads adventurous art retreats in the wilderness of Oregon. Hers is a lively mixed-media painting process that combines collage and drawing with acrylic paint. As her student, you will feel encouraged and at ease. Her popular online painting class, called “Wild Wonder,” is designed to be a wilderness painting retreat you can do from anywhere in the world.
Annie O’brien Gonzales
Annie is a painter, teacher and author in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her work is represented by galleries across the US, shown in juried shows, collected by art lovers and recently was included in a museum permanent collection. She is a docent at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and a tour guide at Ghost Ranch for the Georgia O’Keeffe Landscape Tours. She teaches painting workshops across the US and Canada. Annie is a Certified Golden Art Educator and the author of two recent books on painting by North Light Books: Bold Expressive Painting and The Joy of Acrylic Painting.
Jamie Ridler is a creative force! From her popular Creative Living with Jamie Podcast to her inspirational Behind the Scenes vlogs; from innovative workshops to inspirational blogging; Jamie helps others bring their creativity to life! As founder of Jamie Ridler Studios, she has helped thousands of women around the world find the confidence and courage to discover and express their creative spirit, whether that means re-discovering their artistic self or bringing more of their creative capacity to their life and business. Jamie is a magic maker, a possibility awakener and a deep believer in dreams!
Hi, My name is Jana (Yana). I’m a self-taught artist working mostly with watercolors. I’ve loved painting since I was a little girl. During my teens and early twenties I painted a lot. Then my husband and I moved from Europe to the US and a little later our family started to grow, so the priorities shifted.
In 2012, when we moved to Sweden temporarily, I started painting again almost daily as well as practicing calligraphy and hand lettering. Since then I have filled pages on pages of watercolor paper and I’m not tired of doing so yet. There’s always something that needs to be painted.
I share my work mostly on Instagram, but also on Facebook and on my blog.
I walk my artist’s path in bare feet with my face toward the starry sky. I create from a place of lightness, ease and not-so-ordinary magic. Following the soft voice of my inner guide has shaped the artist I am today.
As a child, imagination and creativity were my sanctuary, and it was always that which I made with my hands that delighted my spirit and made me the most proud.
Today I find joy and a sense of true purpose in not only bringing beauty into this world through the art that I make, but also in nurturing the creative longings of others. As an online art instructor and certified creativity coach, I’m grateful to be able to share the gift of inspiration each and every day.
Through all extensions of my work, I aim to capture the whispers of fairytales, the lighthearted beauty of imperfection and myriad emotions through layers of light. As you view my work, it’s my heart’s desire to connect to that deep place that resides within you and is simultaneously in every one of us—that inner knowing of the soul which you can’t put into words but feel is more true than anything else you know.
I love connecting with creative souls all over the world on a daily basis. When I’m away from the studio or my computer, I enjoy spending quality time with my husband, William, and our two children in the Loire Valley of France where not a day goes by that I’m not inspired by the sheer beauty of my surroundings.
Laurie Blackwell is a teacher, artist, writer and traveler who lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband, cat and dog. She has been journaling for over 40 years and hosts gatherings for other journalers, both in-person and online. Laurie believes that expressing yourself on paper is an essential component of self-care, spiritual peace and personal growth. One of her favorite new projects is creating zines, which are handmade, limited edition publications.
Louise Gale is a British mixed-media artist who creates in her art studio overlooking the sea in sunny southern Spain. She is the author of Botanical Mandalas: Draw, Paint and Create Expressive Mandala Art Inspired by Nature and believes that nature is our medicine, helping us reconnect with our true selves. Her art is constantly inspired by the beauty that surrounds her in the natural world and her intention is to combine the healing energy of nature with the meditative process of creating botanical motifs and mandala artwork.
Hello! I’m Melanie of Melanie April Art. I’m an artist, teacher, wife and mum. I live in sunny Sarasota, Florida where I have an epic little studio. I am self-taught and enjoy painting in watercolor, acrylic, and mixed-media (but watercolor is my jam!).
I believe with all my conviction that creating is a need of the human spirit. A fire whose hearth is in our belly. Being able to teach others how to tap into their inner artist is one of the most fulfilling aspects of my work in the world. I believe art connects us in ways words can’t and allows us a freedom of expression that heals—heals us, and in turn, heals the world.
When she’s not immersed in the joy of her work with Dirty Footprints Studio, Tonia Jenny supports creatives in the process of sharing their messages of inspiration with others. Prior to owning her own editorial, writing and life-coaching business, Tonia enjoyed her adventure as a North Light editor for over a decade. Passionate seeker and “sacred maker,” she never grows tired of learning from the talented artists with whom she adores working.