NewGypsyJust finished teaching for four days up in Mount Vernon, Washington at Dakota Pastels. This is a work in progress of the horse that we all painted together and what fun we had!

Not only do we enjoy each others company and have fun learning together (I always learn something new from my students every time!) …

…but also what fun to have Pastel Mecca just through the door so that any time we want anything we could run over there and have every pastel known to artists within reach!

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"Girlfriends" by Marianne Harris

“Girlfriends” by Marianne Harris

Lesley is away on safari… literally. She is in the middle of a trip to Africa where she is getting the opportunity to photograph big cats in their natural habitat. Before she left I made her promise to not try to pet the kitties… you know how much she loves cats!!! So while we are waiting for her return I thought I would entertain the troops with one of my newest creations. I took the two workshops from Lesley on painting children and decided to put what I learned to the test. This is what I came up with. I call it “Girlfriends.” This is my grand niece Emma with her best friend Rogue. From what I hear the two adore each other… and I was overjoyed when Emma’s Mom (my niece Tina) sent me this photo with permission to paint the two. It is exactly what I had in mind when I decided to learn to paint kids with animals. And again I must thank Lesley for showing me the way. And I’m sure everyone is waiting excitedly for what will come from her African excursion.    –Marianne

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Just want to tell everyone that there are three spots left in my workshop on How to Paint Horses (in pastel) at Dakota Art Pastels in Mt. Vernon, Washington, September 11-14. Contact them at or 888-345-0067 (ext 5). Hope you can come paint with me!! It’s fun!

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“Every time you finish a panting you’re shouting out this is who I am. At least for today. That’s what makes art true.”

Anybody want to tell us what this makes you think of personally with your art? I can start but maybe it would be nice if I didn’t influence you :-) by going first. I promise to jump in with both feet and tell you what it makes me think of with MY art… but first, what about  yours?


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Sorry to say the August 31st painting party with Lesley HAS BEEN CANCELLED! Lesley is going to AFRICA!!! to photograph for a client. WOW!!! This is why being an artist is so darn exciting. You never know what’s coming around the corner. Have a great trip Lesley… we’ll all be excited to hear all about Africa.

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"On The Lookout" by Kim Martin

“On The Lookout Post” by Kim Martin

Today’s guest artist is Kim Martin. It was a wonderful surprise when I opened the link to Kim’s painting “On The Lookout Post”. I wasn’t expecting such a prickly subject… and Kim did a masterful job with it. What a darling little guy!! And yes Kim… Lesley is the voice in many of our heads!! I believe I hear her daily!!!   ;-) –Marianne

Kim Writes…
“I have attached a photo of my pastel painting that is 22″x25″ titled “On the Lookout Post”.  I took this reference photo at a local Sanctuary near my home in Ontario, Canada. It was awesome being so close to this gentle animal I had only viewed as roadkill prior to this experience.

One of the biggest highlights of my art journey thus far is to have participated in Lesley’s first workshop in Spokane, WA in 2009. I still carry with me the words of wisdom shared there along with the superb techniques and I will always be inspired by the pure joy felt from both Lesley and her art. (I am also the proud owner of 3 originals!!!)  She is the teacher whose voice I still hear in my own head at times when painting… however, I am feeling the need for an update and am hoping to attend another workshop soon.”

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