Here’s Denise. She’s the winner of the spot in our Spain workshop next year. Congratulations, Denise! Get to know her…

The winner of our “Spain Giveaway” was announced last week, but Denise didn’t check her email until late in the day. She’d had a roller-coaster week and when she sat down to check her email, she had quite the surprise!

She responded to my email:

I’m soooo excited! I can’t believe it! I’m completely overwhelmed by your generosity– I can’t thank you enough! Yes, I will definitely be coming!
I’ve dreamed of taking part in one of your overseas painting adventures but didn’t think it would be possible until my kids are through school.

Here are some more facts about our Denise:

I was born and raised in Canada, in Saskatchewan. My husband accepted a job in the Twin Cities 16 1/2 years ago and we’ve been here ever since. We’re in one of the NW suburbs of Minneapolis.

I have two boys, ages 9 and 12. My husband is an engineer and I’m a stay-at-home Mom and artist.

I took my first decorative painting class in Canada about 20 years ago and was hooked! I started painting cut out wooden figures with acrylics. Shortly after that first class my husband and I moved to the Twin Cities. It took me awhile to find classes again, but I eventually found a Community Ed class. I kept taking it over and over again and the instructor, Cindy DeRuyter, became one of my best friends! With encouragement from her and from another Twin Cities teacher, Arlene Linton, I eventually joined the Twin Cities Decorative Artists Guild. There I found so many artists who were willing to share their knowledge and talent! I owe a huge debt of gratitude to so many who taught me painting techniques and made me believe that I could be an artist too! Carol Spohn got me started in transparent watercolor about 10 years ago. That quickly became my favorite medium! Shortly after I started in watercolor our group brought you, Kathie, to the Twin Cities for a weekend seminar. We did one watercolor batik, a watercolor collage project, and a piece with a lot of specialty Golden projects. I enjoyed them all, but the watercolor batik fascinated me! Last fall, I was fortunate enough to paint with you in your Batik Design class on Madeleine Island. That was a wonderful week and I learned so much from you Kathie! Today, I focus mostly on watercolor (including batiks!) and colored pencil, although I enjoy taking acrylic seminars now and again too.

And then, she also added this bit – and I have a bit to add after her comments…

I am ecstatic to be going to Spain to paint with you Kathie!!! I can’t thank you enough!!! It’s been a dream of mine to go to Europe to paint, since before I even started painting. I used to think that some people were born artists, but that I wasn’t one of them. Through decorative painting, I came to realize that much of painting and drawing is about technique and learned skills. Like anything else, art requires perseverance and practice, as well as passion! It took me a long time to feel confident enough to call myself an artist. Kathie, your classes and blog have really helped me with that. You’ve always been so encouraging and supportive. I confess, painting in Spain intimidates me a little–but I have almost a year to work on my drawing and composition skills. (I did most of your 30 day challenge and plan to work through your exercises again! They were very helpful!) I know, with you there to guide and encourage me, I’ll get over those fears and have a wonderful time! This is such an incredible opportunity and I thank you so much for providing it to me!!

DON’T WORRY, DENISE. You ARE an artist and will do very well with our group in Spain. You don’t need to work on your drawing and composition skills for the next year! RELAX and bask in the moment. If you can find time to draw between now and then, that would be fantastic. But you will be fine, whether you do or you don’t. Mr. EVIL BE GONE!

So, let’ officially welcome Denise to Spain 2015. CONGRATULATIONS!


I’ve been thinking about what I should talk about the next couple of weeks. I’m thinking ICE SKATING IN JULY? YES, Definitely!

Join us here next Tuesday for your first ice skating lesson.

See you then….and thank you so much for reading, and for your comments which keep me laughing, and loving you!

Kathie xo

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