Minted 2013 Holiday Challenge Submissions

Hanukkah Designs 2013 board by Laura Bolter Design. See more holiday cards

The Minted holiday challenge is the biggest challenge of the year. This year over 3000 designs have been submitted. If you want to see one of my Hanukkah designs offered this year, take a few minutes to vote. You'll need to create an account if you don't already have one, it won't take long at all. And, then you can catch up on what's been keeping me busy and help me out at the same time!

Holiday 2013 board by Laura Bolter Design. See more Minted holiday cards

Perhaps you'd like to vote on Christmas designs, too! Have a look and let me know what you think! Thanks!

Art and Soul Retreat Kansas City

For quite some time I've considered signing up for an art retreat, but I haven't found one close enough to KC that allowed for driving rather than flying. ;-) Sometime last year I saw that Art and Soul scheduled a retreat for The Elms, a resort hotel up north of KC in Excelsior Springs, MO. I was flabbergasted. Their retreats have always been held in Portland or Vegas or Virginia Beach, or some other far off place, much more exotic than KC, that would involve getting on a airplane, driving for days or hauling a locker full of art supplies half way across the country. So distance was no longer an obstacle, only my fear of painting with other artists in the room. It's been a very long time since those college days back in Lawrence and Ft. Collins.

I signed up and actually eagerly awaited the beginning of April for the retreat date to arrive. I took two classes at Art and Soul: Whimsical Landscapes by Jenni Horne, whose blog I'd been following for quite some time and who was a participant in the Get Your Paint On online workshop I took a while back (in the comfort of my private studio. Jenni's whimsical and uplifting art was attractive to me—her use of color, incorporating words, and I'd read about her black line technique. She's a very energetic, fun teacher, who's probably tried just about every creative outlet I'm interested in under the sun, with a great sense of humor and loves to share her tips with students. I decided to incorporate my Judaic sense to the painting I created in her class. My painting wasn't completed during the class time, so I spent the evening in my hotel room enjoying a quiet evening of painting.

Strength to Strength 8 x 10 acrylic on wood panel
Strength to Strength 8 x 10 acrylic on wood panel

The following day I was enrolled in Jane Davies Abstract Landscape class. A complete departure from the kind of painting I've done, Jane taught us mixed media techniques using handmade collage items, acrylic medium and lots of Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold, her favorite paint color. Wow. So many amazing techniques I took away from that day with another great teacher who's style is very down to earth and giving. I was intimidated at first while we worked on small studies, moving back and forth between pieces, layering on collage and paint and waiting for the layers to dry. Rather than having a plan in mind, we laid down paper or paint spontaneously and then responded to that composition when moving on to the next layer, often completely covering what was put down in the beginning. It was fascinating to see how the images evolved. In the afternoon we moved onto a larger study and we were encouraged to try a larger canvas. I attacked all of those with my typical bright color palette, and even Jane was impressed that I didn't hesitate about working on a cradled canvas any more than I would working on paper. I enjoyed our discussion about that. At the end of the day we had a critique of sorts, where everyone shared their constructive and positive comments after we introduced our work. It was a great experience, and I learned I don't have to be afraid about painting in a room full of talented people. Kansas City and The Elms made for a successful venue for Art and Soul, so they've scheduled for next year already and I'm looking forward to going back.

Mixed media on printmaking paper and gallery wrapped canvas
Mixed media on printmaking paper and gallery wrapped canvas

Minted + West Elm Challenge

As part of the voting process for the Minted + West Elm art challenge, Minted asked designers to create inspiration boards incorporating decor and furniture from the West Elm website. Below you'll find my submissions to the challenge along with the boards I created. Enjoy perusing these and if you'd care to take a few minutes to vote, simply click on the board, which will take you to the site.

target practice.jpg
Urban Quilt.jpg
Urban Quilt II.jpg
Determined Direction.jpg
Passing Storms.jpg
Sunlit Journey.jpg

Minted's First Inspiration Board Challenge

Are you a closet designer? Do you like to mix and match images, textures, patterns, decor? Do you "pin" on Pinterest? Why not put those talents to work and enter Minted's First Inspiration Board Challenge?! They have $3400 in prizes available with three weekly winners through November 18th. Click on the link and follow the instructions, and most of all have fun.

P.S. If you enter, come back and leave a comment with the link to your board so I can check it out!