Putting Intention Into The Universe

My Mom is going to hate this post but here goes. It’s been a dream of mine for many years to take off into…

My Mom is going to hate this post but here goes. It’s been a dream of mine for many years to take off into the unknown and paint. I’m not sure what that means other than letting go of everything that feels safe and sound and getting in a car/RV and get painting.

Two years ago my mom and I drove from Portland to Albuquerque in my minivan. We hit some of the most incredible spots in the West; Arches National Park, Sedona, Grand Canyon, Monterrey just to name a few. It was amazing but way, way too short. So many of the places I wanted to stay for a couple weeks and really paint and soak in. I’ve traveled extensively throughout the states to teach workshops, but rarely do I really get to linger in one place to get the flavor and feel enough to get a connection to paint a place well.

I’m not getting any younger, but I’m getting braver! So I am hatching a plan with a friend to venture out on an extended trip. Rent or buy a suitable RV, fill up on canvas, paper, paint and pastels. He will need other gear, but that’s over my paygrade as it involves big cameras and lenses. He is only game so far, so I’ll go solo for most of my journey as I see it. But, I know that there are a lot of badass women painters out there to join up with!

I’ve been totally inspired by some other painters, like Aaron Schuerr and Mitch Baird. I think it’s easier for men, (sorry but it’s true for me), to think about venturing out on extended trips. Ladies, prove me wrong please!

Calling all badass lady painters, past students with a room to share for a night in exchange for a lesson, a small painting or just a good conversation about painting! I’m coming your way! My plan is to start in Portland, end up on the east coast after about 4 months then hop on a plane to Italy and spend another 3 months in Europe or other! Now that sounds exciting!


Adventure Time

If you want to have me teach a workshop in your area in 2021 contact me!

If you want to hang out and paint some cool stuff, contact me!

If have have ideas about beautiful painting locations that I should definitely see, contact me!

This is all in an embryonic state, and I want to plan well. All ideas are welcome and appreciated!

18 Responses

  1. Bravo, Marla! I live just west of Denver, so if you want to paint the mountains, I’m your girl! The possibilities are endless. I have lots of room, and you and your friend are more than welcome to stay with me as long as you like. I’m a beginner, but there’s no doubt we could connect with other painters in the area. Check out the Evergreen Artists Association (https://www.evergreenartists.org/) or the Art Students League of Denver (http://asld.org/). It’s possible that they’d organize a class if you want to give one while you’re here.

  2. How terrific for you!!! Coastal GA: Savannah, St. Simons Island, Jekyl Island, and Cumberland national sea shore are beautiful spots….wonderful for a workshop! Southeast coastal estauaries are very special, and fortunately enjoy much protection. Am enjoying, albeit at a very slow pace, your mark making workshop, and my friend just ordered the new workshop for painting trees. We so appreciate what you are providing online and would love to experience an in person workshop. We are In Atlanta (actually in Decatur aka Berkeley meets Mayberry)….between the two of us plenty of space if you decide to come this way.
    Thanks for all you do.
    Sandy Porter

    1. If you visit the wonderful ladies above, you have to come North through the foothills to the Appalachian Mountains. I live on Lake Hartwell and in our area, we are officially designated by National Geographic Magazine, as having the most waterfalls on the planet earth. Should be enough hiking with breath taking Rhododendron and Mountain Laurel against the waterfalls, lakes, and little rivers to make some interesting photos/paintings. We have a cabin with kitchen and bath and AC/Heat and a fireplace to make you comfy. A screened porch with rocking chairs so you can drink your hot beverage looking out on large lake cove in the morning and a cold one in the evening. I think the Appalachian Pastel Society would love a workshop from you and Ashville, NC is just a couple hours away. So, that would be a great trip to meet up with fellow artist as Ashville is known for being an artist colony. You have done the west now come and enjoy the south. I do recommend GA as I am an Atlanta Native and raised in Decatur. So, the above wonderful ladies can host you on the mid-to south South and I the North SOUTH!

    2. Thank you so much Sandy! I’m very interested in coming to your neck of the woods! I’ll keep your contact info and let you know as my plans develop!



  3. Come to Newburyport, MA; a summer vacation paradise. We have the Parker River Wildlife Refuge (7 miles of beaches with no buildings), glorious architecture from First Period to mansions of the Clipper Ship days. We have seafood galore. We have the Merrimack River. We have everything. Do some reading on this area just 35 miles north of Boston, close to the natural beauty of coastal Maine (where there are lobsters!), and the mountains of NH are only 1.5 hours away. When you are finished painting everything here you can hop on a plane to Europe from Boston’s Logan Airport. Oh! and read about the Newburyport Art Association !!!

    1. Hi Donna,
      I love your area of the country and definitely plan on getting there! I will keep you posted on my plans for sure!



  4. I’m west of Denver in the foothills as well- Conifer (Jefferson County) which is just on the otherside of the mountain near Evergreen. . Would love to help however I can! I’m a beginner , mostly pastels lately- just a retired hobbiest but I go to a free monthly art class in Douglas County and have met some ladies from the Bailey Art Guild in my area closer to Park County. Hubby & I have a small motorhome and do hit the road when weather permits. This will be my first year attempting plein aire–as long as I can gather some decent travel supplies. Last year we drove to the Great Sand Dunes, then Pagosa Springs, then down to New Mexico and accidently ( because we love back routes) drove right through the Georgia O’Keef museum & her home area etc. Amazing geography, unbelievable terrain and pastel art possibilities along this route.

  5. I invited you in the reply area of an invitation by some wonderful GA painters. See my reply. If you want to just come paint in our area, Foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and not teach we have a wonderful cabin you can use and just come paint with me. The cabin is separated from the main house and you would have your privacy. Kitchen, bath, fireplace, screened front porch, bedroom and then there is the lake. Agh!!!!!!!!!! Sigh!!!!!!!!!!! Again, you have painted the west come enjoy the south.

  6. How incredible and exciting! I’m down in beautiful San Clemente, CA – about an hour north of San Diego and 20 mins south of Laguna Beach. I have an extra bedroom and bathroom that you’re welcome to use if you’d like to hang out and paint the area. There’s no shortage of amazing scenery. And our claim to fame is our incredible year-round weather.

  7. Good. For. You!!! I’m so stoked for you, Marla. Yes. Wow. I’m doing something similar, though more localized, heading back to the U.S. after years overseas, and putting all my eggs in the creativity basket. Keep us posted! You do great work and we’re looking forward to seeing what comes of it. I’d love to catch you before you leave Portland, if at all possible (we arrive June 3). Let me know. Yeah, Mitch Baird, Aaron Scheurr and Joshua Been are huge inspirations for me, too. Gotta get out there more. Paint on!!!!

  8. Thank you so very much Linda. I will write back to you later this week. I’m excited about visiting Colorado again. I’m working on a series of paintings right now from a trip there!

  9. Come visit the Nature coast of Florida and stay in our cabin on the chain of lakes in Floral City and enjoy old Florida at its best. Pontoon boat to explore in. Several fans of yours to paint with nearby if the urge strikes you!

  10. I just moved to Bluffton, SC, which is close to Hilton Head, SC and Savannah, GA. Let me know when you get to my area. We could discuss you visiting and possibly teaching a class in the community where I love.
    Anne Small

  11. I live in Niagara On The Lake, Ontario, a picturesque historical little town 20 mins from Niagara Falls. If your up New York State way and want to step across the border into Canada for a peek at the Falls I’d be happy to have you. We have a finished basement with a bedroom, private bath and sitting area just waiting

  12. Hi Marla – I sent you an email. You are welcome to stay at my place in Saratoga Springs, NY in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains. We are close to Lake George and about 90 minutes from the stunning landscapes of the Adirondacks. Nearby Washington County is also quite beautiful. I have a studio/gallery in the arts district here and would love to host a workshop for you. Hope you can make it to upstate NY on your big adventure!

  13. Marla, Leigh Taylor here. Currently taking your class in State College Pa. I have a terrific van for sale. Smile.

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