A Contest of the Very Best Kind: Art Is You

Last September I wrote about the future of art retreats, wondering what’s in store now that Artfest has ended and the economy is scary and more and more workshops are available online so that you don’t ever have to leave your house. Even though it seems that not as many people are making the investment—time, effort, money—to attend real live retreats, I think they’re really important for a lot of reasons, not just because of the classes and making new friends and, you know, just getting out of the house, but for the reason that’s always been the most important to me: meeting other people who are like you. Going to art retreats gives me a chance to be among other people who have paint on their hands and carry notebooks around with them so they can capture ideas and who like to sit with a glass of wine and talk about color and fabric and paint and Making Stuff.

When I wrote about all that last year, Sallianne and Ellen, the founders and hosts of Art is You in Stamford, Connecticut, Petaluma, California, and—most recently—Nashville, Tennesee—contacted me and suggested a way to make their retreat available to someone who might not otherwise ever get to attend. We here at CreateMixedMedia.com have put our heads together with Sal and Ellen, and we’ve come up with a contest, but not a contest that you win for yourself; a contest you win for someone else. I’m going to let Tonia tell you more about it:

As Ricë just mentioned, this contest is special because it gives you the opportunity to try and lend a hand to someone else, and this kind of thing always makes us feel good about ourselves so we’re actually all winners! So let me tell you about the contest!

First . . . Sallianne’s and Ellen’s incredibly generous PRIZE!

  • To attend a retreat of the winner’s choice in 2013 – Petaluma or Stamford.  (Prize Value: 1000USD)*
  • 3 nights’ accommodation at our host hotel – King Room with Breakfast.
  • 3 Full-Day Workshops (Chosen by winner but based on availability) and Kit Fee subsidy ($20 per day where applicable).
  • Lunch each workshop day.
  • Full access to events such as Morning Motivators, Art Trunk and charity events.

Second . . . how to nominate someone to win!

  • In the comments section below, tell us whom you’d like to nominate to win the prize above and why you feel they deserve this special creative-outlet treat.
  • We’ll be making a new post here on Create Mixed Media each week for the month of June and we’ll announce the winner of the prize the first week of July. (Winning nomination to be chosen by Art Is You and Create Mixed Media.) You can leave a comment any week, but please only one nomination per person.
  • To spruce things up and increase the fun, we’ll randomly select one commenter each week to win a North Light book.

Be sure to stay tuned here at CreateMixedMedia.com for more, and watch our Facebook page for even more fun surprises!


* Fine print about the prize: Retreat attendance must be taken in the year offered (2013).  Travel to and from the Art Is You retreat is not included. Dinners and incidentals are not included. The prize cannot be split, exchanged, transferred or sold for cash.

Ricë is the author of Living the Creative Life, Creative Time and Space, and Destination Creativity. She also blogs at The Voodoo Cafe.


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83 Responses to A Contest of the Very Best Kind: Art Is You

  1. Seth says:

    I have to say that this is really an incredible and generous offer. I will be thinking about who I will nominate and will definitely spread the word!

  2. What a wonderful giveaway and I’m delighted to be able to nominate my friend Dawn. Dawn loves art and has a wonderful eye. Many years ago she owned a stamp store in Idaho. She loves mixed media art and has played in a bit but right now has been working mostly with watercolors. She doesn’t think she is good and certainly doesn’t consider herself an artist but I KNOW she is! She deserves a retreat like this to help her realize just how wonderfully talented she is. Best wishes to all the nominees!

    • As we prepare to review all submissions, we ask that you send to us via email at artis@art-is-you.com your full name and mailing address plus the full name and mailing address of your nominee. We have a special something to send to everyone at the end of the year. With thanks Sallianne and Ellen

  3. sharonrac says:

    are there any guideslines? how do you nominate with full information regarding the nominee?

    • Tonia Davenport says:

      It is not necessary to divulge full information about the person you wish to nominate. For the sake of sharing why you’d like to nominate someone, we don’t need info such as a last name or place of residence, etc. All that we ask is that you tell us a bit about the person and why you’d love to see your nominee win.

      Once a winner is selected, we will contact you via email for the winning nominee’s contact info. I hope this helps and if you have any other questions, please ask!


      • Dalai Camel says:

        In that case – I strongly cast my vote for Sharon Rachlin. I found her to be an inspirational source of creative imagination. She also exhibits a great love for personal expression regardless of “mistakes” and encourages that expression in all her students as well as anyone willing to give art a try. Her work exemplifies brilliant panoramas of color and deeply thought out themes that anyone can relate to. Her collages are magnificent pieces of creative imagination. – The Dalai Camel

        • As we prepare to review all submissions, we ask that you send to us via email at artis@art-is-you.com your full name and mailing address plus the full name and mailing address of your nominee. We have a special something to send to everyone at the end of the year. With thanks Sallianne and Ellen

  4. justjody says:

    What a wonderful “prize”! I’d like to add my friend Judy Harrison to the pot. She is a Life Coach and has helped so many people through some tuff times. This past year the tables have turned and now she is in need of a dose of “happy time”. I’d love to see a smile on her beautiful face again!

  5. lasuprock says:

    you guyz rock. I will gladly donate a spot in each of my classes. xo

  6. tidbitsandtype says:

    I would like to nominate my very good friend Aimee. Not only is she one of the sweetest people I have ever met she is my constant art inspiration and muse. Aimee also volunteers her time teaching art therapy for wounded warrior caregivers, giving them an escape from the stresses of their lives and a chance to see Art is for everyone! Aimee breaks art down in an easy way to show us all how we are artists in our own right and that everyone has a story to tell. It would be my joy for her to be able to attend this gathering and I know she would learn so very much.

  7. We are so thrilled to be working with the CreateMixedMedia team. This is just the tip of a fabulous beginning to our plans that will fall into place in the fall. Can’t Wait! and Lynne…you totally rock as usual!
    Sal and Ellen

  8. DellaLuna says:

    I would love to see my friend Zura win this prize. She has such a passion for art, I know she’d love to go to an art retreat, but times being what they are, money is just too tight. She has been my personal art guru for about 8 years; talking me down when my inner critic is just too much, helping me find what’s “not working” with a piece, endlessly encouraging me to keep going, keep trying, keep PLAYING. She’s an art journaling genius and has taken on learning to draw by practicing daily. Without Zura, I honestly would’ve given up on art years ago. She deserves an art vacation.

  9. What a lovely contest! I would have to nominate my friend Patty. She is a joy to be with, and I love working on artwork with her because of her bubbly personality and excitement about trying new media. Her upbeat outlook really shows through her work, and though she has no formal art training, she immerses herself in learning about painting, mixed-media, collaging, anything that helps her express herself artistically. I know she would love the opportunity to go on a retreat like this.

  10. mocknet says:

    Hey gals, I’d like to nominate my sister-in-law, Karen. She lost her husband (my beloved brother-in-law) just about a year ago and is having a rough go of it. She’s super creative in a lot of areas; pottery, painting and even jewelry making. She lives in Wyoming and it’s pretty remote from any major, artsy kind of event like Art is You. She doesn’t often get a chance to socialize with other artsy folk. She lives alone, now, and is having a tough time getting her creative mojo back. I think winning this would be the perfect cure! Thanks so much for offering it. Ya’ll are so generous! xxoo Deryn Mentock

  11. jodiohl says:

    What a great opportunity to reward some deserving person! I’d love to nominate my friend Ophelia who is an artist who loves journaling, she teaches here locally both art and in her day job as a social studies teacher. She gives her all to her students day in and day out. You always know when Ophelia is in the room as she the best personality that everyone just is drawn to. She is so genuine and fun and truly just a good person over all…but she gives her all to her students all during the year and then to her own kids at home that there is little time left for her to enjoy time away for herself and has never been to a retreat. I think this is a great way for her to take a much deserved break and to get to know others outside of our area in this once in a lifetime chance! In the spirit of giving, I’ll throw in an art supply prize pack for the winner that will include paints, texture material, a canvas or two…collage papers and whatever else that I can find that will help the winner out in most classes (other than jewelry making…lol) Jodi

  12. laforet says:

    I would like to nominate Sharon Rachlin! Sharon takes mixed media creativity to new heights! She not only creates incredible collages from the most imaginative ‘things’ and ‘stuff,’ but what I found most amazing is the formerly drab hillside behind her home. Sharon transformed this space into a cross between a nature lover’s wonderland and the enchanted castle at Disneyland…two ‘places’ that are near and dear to the artist. To make this barren slope come to life, Sharon planted ‘whimsy’ in the form of unexpected figurines (large and small) found at garage sales, shiny marbles, sparkly garden butterflies,…and the list goes on. Tapping into her inner gardener, she planted flowers and shrubs with the intention of introducing texture, color and pizazz. Stepping into Sharon’s backyard is like staring at a rare oil painting. There is so much to see and ‘experience’ that you absolutely have to pull up a lawn chair and take in the view!

  13. SandyJ04 says:

    First of all, I would like to thank you for sharing this contest with “us”.
    I would like to nominate my friend, Theresa Barnes, for this amazing opportunity, experience and prize.
    Theresa lives in a small, rural town in Maine with her husband, Bill, and their five furry kids.
    Theresa is a very creative person. She enjoys painting, collaging and incorporating mixed-media in her art work. This would be an amazing learning and sharing experience for Theresa.
    Theresa is a talented, kind and generous person, she truly deserves this opportunity.
    Thank you,

  14. Moonfaerie says:

    I would love to nominate my friend Patty. I met Patty at Art Is You in a class and we have been friends ever since. She is an talented artist and amazing doll maker. She has had a real string of bad luck in the past few years that have kept her from attending ART Is this year. She is very caring and always thinks of others when they are down. She organized a quilt block making group and she put the blocks into a quilt for another Art Is you loved one that had lost some precious jewelry. No matter what life keeps handing her, she tries her best to be positive and makes the best of the situation, no matter how hard it is. I feel she deserves a break from all the bad luck she has had and Art Is would be just the cure!

  15. mmaloney92@gmail.com says:

    I need to nominate my friend Christine. She is the most active mother of 4 I have ever seen. She never forgets me, or any of her friends on birthdays, Valentines or any other special days of ours. She sends fabulous, thoughtful handmade gifts to us all the time. She enters her local county fair with bakery, pies jams and jellies that she makes herself . . . And wins many 1st place ribbons. She is active in all of her children’s events including school events and extra-curricular. Christine is extremely creative decorating over 75 trees at Christmas time! By all counts, she has quite a life! Problem is . . . No time ever for herself. All she does is give to others. That is why I nominate my friend, Christine. Thank you.

  16. RedDogGirl says:

    I would love to nominate my friend Edie. I met Edie online just under 3 years ago. I was immediately drawn to her creative energy, her supportive attitude and her humor. Edie has run her own blog, Etsy shop, and online courses along with raising her son and being a military wife. Edie has persevered through multiple relocations, both national and international, as well as maintaining her family’s life while her husband has been deployed for months at a time. Most recently Edie has experienced has found herself at a crossroads regarding her art. I know that a retreat would be an amazing gift that could help light the spark she needs to continue her journey. Edie has given so much to so many other people I would love to see her pampered with this incredible gift. Thank you for the opportunity to nominate her!

  17. GlitterGirl says:

    I would like to nominate Louise Ullom for the free give away for art is you. She is one of my dear friends who is so creative she would just sparkle at Art is You! She is a very hard working and generous preschool teacher with a unconditional love for her students and their families.

  18. carrie clayden says:

    I nominate Casey Rasmussen White for your giveaway. She is an avid artist who loves to make anything from nothing. She is a dedicated Mother to 3 boys and I think she would go bananas to have an Art Is YOU experience. Casey is tutu much fun, a huge supporter of the arts and a wonderful woman. I don’t think she has ever attended an art retreat and I know she would be hooked forever more. fingers crossed.

  19. terryinNH says:

    I would like to nominate my friend Linda E. Linda in an incredibly talented and giving person. Last year she organized and ran an art auction for the benefit of Amelia’s Place in NY. It is an eating disorder center. She spent countless hours doing the work herself. She is known to go into stores at Christmas to talk with clerks about needy families and she pays on their layaways. She will also go into grocery stores and anonymously pay for someone’s groceries. I am sure there are MANY more things that no one knows about. Last year she was able to attend Art Is You for the first time. She spent time at the trunk show helping people out at their booths so that they could take breaks. Linda is always looking to see what she can do for other people. I would love to see something special done for her.
    Unfortunately this year she can not afford to attend this year, so this would be the good Karma coming back her way.
    Thank you!!!

    • lasuprock says:

      I have to second this motion Terry even without know half the stuff you just mentioned! She extends her hand to others and is a behind the scenes hero and helper to many. sooooo I will nominate her officially in my post!

      • PattiG says:

        and I will third it…Linda Esterly you rock and I am so glad I met you last year. You were a good fairy to so many at Art is You in your own special quiet way that it touch my heart and obviously others too….

  20. MariaMcGuire says:

    What a wonderful thing! I would like to nominate a mutual friend of both myself and Carolyn Dube. Her name is Christy McBride. She is the best friend, listener, advice giver and traveling companion anyone could ever ask for. As of late, Christy has her hands full with a job and family that leaves very little, if no time, for herself. She is a school counselor, adviser, administrator and gives-gives-gives. I would love for her to be on the receiving end of something incredible! Not to mention we would love to have her experience Art-Is You with us! Thanks Create Mixed Media and Art-Is-You for this opportunity!

  21. TinaFaxas says:

    I would love to nominate my children’s art Teacher Sharon Rachlin. She is such an inspiration to not only my children but to me as well. I admire her patience and excellent teaching skills. The creative work that comes out of her small studio is absolutely amazing. The children flourish. Sharon works hard to share her knowledge with her kids and it shows in the work that they do. I know that Sharon makes many sacrifices to be there for the children and barely has time for herself and her own creativity. She would really truly benefit from this retreat. Thanks for this opportunity.

  22. terryinNH says:

    I made an error. The name of the center my nominee did an art auction for was Ophelia’s Place.
    Sorry for the mistake.

  23. c3l3st4n says:

    OMG I have the perfect person to nominate! My mother is an amazing artist. She uses all recycled material and paints gorgeous pieces. The deal is, she NEVER thinks of herself. She puts everyone else first, especially her children. This is something that she deserves more then anything, something she could do that would be JUST for her. I would like to nominate my mama….my best friend.

  24. mrs.estrada says:

    I nominate my stepmom Theresa Barnes for this opportunity. She is a amazing creative artist. I peraonal love her work. She is talented and inspires her grandchildren to be artistic also. I know she diserves this and im honored to nominate her for this. It never surprises me the beautiful painting and rugs she makes. I love watching from start to finish to see the end results. Keep up the amazing work theresa love ya.

  25. Gina Parent says:

    I know the rules say you need to nominate a friend, but sad to say I have no friends who do mixed media art! I live in Northern Maine and am kind of a “lone wolf” in the mixed media art world. I own an antique shop and have some of my art for sale there and many people don’t seem to understand it. The only way I can learn new techniques is through the internet or books. I have many mixed media “friend” artists on facebook who teach at these wonderful retreats and I just wish so much I could go to one and be a part of the magic for at least a day! I read their posts about what classes they are offering and wish I could go. So…therefore, I am nominating MYSELF to go! Crazy Huh? But what the hey….I am the only one that I know that would appreciate one of these retreats! Please pick me! I’m creative…I’m fun…I have a good sense of humor, and I think you would enjoy having me along!!!!! Gina XO 😉

  26. michelle vv says:

    It would be my pleasure to nominate the delightful Joan Kriete! She works two jobs, has a family and still is able to be so clever and creative! Her sparkling personality just shines through all her projects. We do our crafts together and is such an thrill and joy to create with! She would the perfect choice to partner with to brainstorm and design anything you desire to dream up!

  27. irishfitter22 says:

    I nominate my incredible wife Kelly. She has more organizational and artistic talent in her pinky than I do in my whole body. She is a driven, compassionate hard-working mother of two who always seems to find time in her busy schedule for crafting. She is extremely deserving of this retreat because she has been this family’a strength and foundation for without her we would surely crumble. She is an excellent wife and even better mother of two beautiful children. Please choose her .. Give her this key to help her creative drive: thank you! .. Kpb ..

  28. LikeMyHats says:

    I would like to (also) nominate Deryn Mentock’s sister in-law, Karen, because I’ve been there and I think we should reach out to her. Would she need help with travel expenses? If so, I’m in.

    Jan-Marie Cassidy

  29. pixiegypsy says:

    I would like to nominate my friend and I think everyone’s friend Patty Deneen. I say that because if you have ever met her at Art Is You….you call her your friend. Patty is the kindest most generous spirit you could ever meet. Last year I was waiting to see Patty at AIY and a few friends mentioned that they didn’t think she would be able to make it. Patty had had a rough year struggling with many obstacles. Next thing I knew someone tapped me on the shoulder…..and it was Patty. She was just stopping by to drop off a beautiful doll that she had made for the charity auction event. That’s Patty for you coming just to drop off her donation. Always thinking of everyone else! She really is super special!!!!

  30. pixiegypsy says:

    I would like to nominate my friend and everyone’s friend, Patty Deneen. I say that because if you have ever had the pleasure of meeting her at Art Is You….you know how fabulous she is. Patty is the kindest gentle spirit you will ever meet. Last year at AIY I was waiting to see her and a few friends said they didn’t think she was able to make it this year. Patty had struggled with many obstacles this past year. I was very sad to hear that she wasn’t coming. Next thing I know someone is tapping me on the shoulder….it was Patty. She had come to AIY just to drop off a beautiful doll she had created for the charity auction. Also to say hello to everyone. That’s Patty for you. Always thinking of others. She’s a doll!! Love her!!! Thanks for the chance to nominate her!


  31. JoanK says:

    I would like to nominate my friend Michelle! WHY Michelle?!! Because she is the most creative person I know..no project too big or too small she can make it! She can look at something in a store or magazine and create it putting her own personal spin on it!!! She has opened my crafting world up to mixed-media and I’m a convert!! I love working with all types of paper, fabric, paint, metals etc… You know she is creative because I think her hands are permanently stained with marker, ink, etc..all the time!!

  32. pixiegypsy says:

    Sorry……didn’t think mine posted…..reposted it. Really excited about it!!! Sorry

  33. lasfibers says:

    I have a friend who has had a difficult and challenging year that involved single parenting two amazingly energetic and bright girls, a move, and a lifestyle change. She avidly journals and creates beautiful work. For her this is healing. I know if she were to have this amazing offer given to her it would mean time to be away from everyday stress, center herself, and have a breath of fresh air (so to speak) rejuvenate her soul. I nominate her.

  34. red snapper says:

    It would be my honor to nominate my friend Michelle Vician! Her clever and creative ideas never fail to impress people. Her dedication to the smallest detail always gives her projects and creations that wow factor! She’s one of those types that is continually brainstorming her next project. The encouragement she gives people while crafting with them is inspirational and never fails making everything fun while doing it! Her motto is “There is NO mistakes in Art!” Her Wacky approach to what ever she tackles has always been an amazement, no scrap or leftover doodad is safe from being incorporated in her next creation! Michelle has just recently lost her job due to the company closing and I think that this would be the perfect venue and chance to for her to go crazy and do what she does best!

  35. LauraAnne says:

    I’m sorry if this a duplicate, I nominated my sister-in-law yesterday and it looks like it did not post.
    I would like to nominate my sister-in-law Lorraine Lopez. She is an amazing and talented woman. I was in a very deep depression the end of 2012. She encouraged me to seek help. I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder in February of this year. Lorraine called me everyday and would even come stay at my home for mini art vacations at my dining room table. Art has always been therapeutic for both of us. We have taken many mixed media classes together, one being with Michael DeMeng. We were both registered to take the retreat to Petaluma this year, it was her suggestion to give me something to look forward to. Just as I was starting to come out of the depression, my husband of 31 years was diagnosed with stage 3 Multiple Myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow. Needless to say, our world turned upside down. We had to cancel our reservations because we did not know my husbands prognosis. He is now responding to chemo and the doctors told him he can look forward to years to come because of the new medications being developed. Lorraine has continued to either visit, text, email or call me on a continued basis. This would be a wonderful way to thank her for being so selfless when I needed her the most. Thank you for this opportunity.

  36. lasuprock says:

    Oh my! I have read through these replies thusfar and am so excited about everyone who has made a nomination! There are SOOOOO many deserving people that it will be hard for our fearless leaders to choose!
    We all are being empowered by Sal and Ellen and The Creative Mixed Media team to do something big here! And that said, by nominating someone to come to Art Is You means that we can make a difference in someone’s lives so that they can arrive in a special place….. to join all of us in life, love, and making art!
    My nomination is someone that I met actually at Art Is You, but I feel like I knew her for a long, long time before that. There is a wit and wisdom about her, and she is fearless and tireless in both deed and spirit. My friend is Linda Esterley. Would love to be able to see her there! She is a beautiful person.

  37. Naieva Bookist.blogspot.com says:

    I cheesily have to nominate myself (since no one else will). Most of my friends aren’t artsy and would never even see this site. When Art is You came to Nashville, my home, I finally had the chance to join in with Artist people. What heaven – to concentrate on Art with Artists for an entire day without duties and distractionss! I could stop daydreaming about working with these fine artists and actually meet them! Pam Carriker’s Bust Out class was so much fun, I wished I’d signed up for the Paper Bag Journal too. The Metal Rustic Books that we learned in Leighanna Light’s class has me now scouring junkyards and yard sales looking for the perfect piece to go in my next hand-maid journal. I showed the journal to Mike Wolfe of American Pickers and he said if I made more of these, they could sell in his store. Always with camera on my shoulder, if I were to get another opportunity to attend an Art Retreat, I’d Photograph and Write and Blog about the Entire experience! Also, whatever new techniques I learn, I’d share it at our local Library. I’ve been on the Linebauh library board for years and they could use a little more art in their lives. As you can see, anxiously Daydreaming about a chance to do more art.

  38. Naieva Bookist.blogspot.com says:

    I would love to nominate my alter-ego Eva Graalman. She is a very cool gal who loves to write children’s books, take photos and do altered-art journals, If you picked her she would promise to photograph the whole event, upload those photos and write about the adventure on her blog, plus she would share some of the art techniques at the local library. She’s day-dreamed about attending one of these events ever since she read about them in art magazines. When they came to Nashville, close to her hometown, she finally had the chance and not one minute of it disappointed her. She learned from Leighanna Light how to make Metal Art Journals, and has since scoured junk yards and yard sales for the perfect pieces. She met Mike Wolfe of the American Pickers and he said that they are cool enough to put in his store. To be able to meet up with the friends she made, to make new friends, and also learn some more art techniques, would keep all this happiness going.
    (Sorry if this is sort of repeat, I don’t know if the other actually posted or not?)

  39. clementine says:

    I would love to nominate my friend Alice. She is such a fun, happy, and giving person. Recently she lost her husband, the love of her life and her soul mate. He and their son were playing in a lacrosse game when he had a massive heart attack. I know her heart is aching and she is missing him terribly. Her children are grown and she is unemployed. She loves to travel and she loves artsy things. I think it would be so helpful for her to get out and meet new women. And most importantly learn some new art techniques that would allow her the ability to grow and develop while home. She can make long time friends and possibly find a new passion. I just adore this woman and I would love for her to be considered. Thanks so much!

  40. I would like to nominate my daughter Heather Wasankari. I have been a professional artist since 1998 but I have been on a bit of a hiatus for the last 4 years and it’s been difficult to include art in our every day lives as a mother daughter pair. The main reason is that we started a micro farm and the HUGE amount of time that takes, on top of which we live in a rural area, the closest good sized town is 55 miles away. We home-school and I want art to play a larger role for her. I’ve been pulling back a bit with the farm side of things (goats for milk and meat, rabbits, chickens, gardens etc) and trying to pull things back into more of a balance but it has been a bit of a challenge and while I can handle it (the pain of not being able to sit down and create whenever I want to) I suspect it has put a bit of a damper on her creativity. Couple that with young influential fools out there that think an artist is only an artist if they SELL their art and you can see my frustration. I had been considering some home school events such as writing for my daughter but when I saw this I thought, Yes indeed! This would be perfect for her!

  41. dkarfs says:

    It is my honor to nominate my friend Beckie. An art retreat would be a healing luxury for this extraordinary first grade teacher, wife and mother of two. Hurricane Sandy wiped out the entire first floor of her home resulting in Beckie and her family having to bunk with another teacher’s family for 131 days. Even then they moved back into an unfinished house with no kitchen. Setting aside her own difficulties, Beckie helped organize her community to begin cleaning up after the storm’s devastation. They persevered, gutting hundreds of homes and working tirelessly to put their community back together. At the same time, Beckie was simultaneously working on restoring her own home and continuing everyday to teach a classroom full of weary storm traumatized children. The healing in her community continues and Beckie will be there helping every step of the way.

    Beckie is creative and full of more heart than you can imagine. An art retreat would be something she would not and could not indulge herself in but I believe the ripple effect it would create for Beckie and her students would last for years to come.

  42. Jean Skipper says:

    My nomination is for that of my lifelong friend, Lydia. She works a 9 to 5 job. She’s strong, humble, thoughtful, and giving. And I’m forever grateful that she’s a part of my life. Lydia’s never thought of herself as particularly creative. Recently she joined me and a small group of my artsy friends on a getaway. Afterward, Lydia described our time together as “a life changing experience”. She was amazed at the variety of work that we created…jewelry, painting, bookbinding, collage, etc…; she was touched by the manner in which she witnessed us supporting each other through the transitions in our lives; and she was inspired by the bravery that’s inherent in the pursuit of our dreams (A quality that we often take for granted ourselves.) By the end of our time together, Lydia was creating with us. I know that this is just the beginning for her, and the gift of time spent at “Art-Is You” would propel her to heights that she hasn’t even begun to imagine.

    Thank you for this opportunity, and good luck to all involved! I don’t envy the task of selecting a winner from so many deserving nominees.

  43. gemsbyjulz says:

    I would love to recommend my lovely friend Donna Moss who lives in America. Donna is one of the most loving and giving ladies that I know. Donna has never been able to afford the luxury’s in life and has no cushion as I call it to make life less of a struggle accept for her arting which allows her to plunge head first into a creative space. I really hope that she wins but if she doesn’t that it goes to some lovely American citizen who is equally deserving and has not been to retreat, does not offer courses for art on line and does not live outside of the US because if they can afford the airfare to fly to the US then they can afford the course methinks and in the true spirit of your contest you said recommend a friend but sadly some people I have seen who have huge followings have recommended themselves to their fans and followers which I think is both poor judgement and not in the spirit of selfless love and friendship which is what Donna Moss Harris embraces to me. Cheers Julz

  44. PattiG says:

    I would like to nominate Linda E. last year at Art is You in Ct was the first time I met her and I was very touch by the way she was always looking to help out the teachers, the vendors and other students. Linda was the good fairy to anyone who needed a hand. She did all of this without calling attention to herself. She ran an art auction last year to benefit an eating disorder clinic. The many things she does for others are often done anonymously just to bring joy into their lives. It would be a wonderful thing to see her joy by being nominated.
    Thank you AIY can’t wait to see you in October….

  45. mike9 says:

    I would like to nominate my best friend Lorrie to win your amazing prize of an ART RETREAT in Petaluma. She looks at your website often and has said so many times how great this would be. She has been holding me and our business together since I was shot in the back a year and a half ago. She feels she can’t take a moment to herself at home as she’s doing paperwork or always helping me somehow. She would LOVE to sit and think of nothing else but art. I know this would be a great chance for her to have the break she truly needs. She calls herself an “artist in training”. She has done: tole painting, stained glass, glass mosaics, drawing tangles, and scrap booking to name a few. Her current desire is to learn how to make multi – media altered journals. Please give her the gift that would make her so happy. Thank you for considering Lorrie. She’s a lot of fun and witty and would be a great addition to your classes. Sincerely, Mike

  46. greeleygirl says:

    What an amazing opportunity 🙂 I would love to nominate my sister Regan Tomlin to win this incredible prize. Let me tell you a little about her. In 2011 she decided that she wanted to compete in ArtPrize 2012. This is an International Art Contest held in Grand Rapids, MI. Prior to that she had never displayed her art in public. She was certain that she wanted to create a piece of Art that would make an impact on all who came to see it. She was walking around and noticed the homeless people all around her. She had found her idea. She chose to photograph homeless people in Grand Rapids, Michigan. From the photos she created 52 incredible water color portraits. The portraits were posted on a wall at the Amway Grand Plaza hotel during the event. Thousands of people saw her art during ArtPrize 2012. You would think that she would be floating on cloud nine. And trust me, she was beyond excited. But the greatest part of the entire experience was when her subjects came in and saw their portraits. THAT is what made the entire experience for her. This is the kind of woman my sister is. She is a passionate caring woman that puts everyone ahead of herself. She is a mother of three teenagers and a wife. She would never think to do this for herself. But I know it has always been a dream of hers to take off and explore her artistic abilities. I hope you will consider her for your giveaway. I know winning would mean everything to her. Good luck to all of the nominees!!!! Sincerely, Gayle

  47. greeleygirl says:

    What an amazing contest!!! I would like to nominate my sister Regan Tomlin. She is so deserving of this trip. My sister is someone who always puts others first. She has always dreamed of creating art that moves people. In 2012 She competed in ArtPrize in Grand Rapids Michigan. She chose to highlight the homeless population. She took their photos and from the photos created 52 water color paintings. The piece was displayed and viewed by thousands during the competition. But…….her proudest moment was when her subjects came to her venue and found their portraits on the wall!!!! She new she was on to something. She was working to give the homeless a face. And she succeeded. I hope you will consider her for your contest. It is a lifelong dream of hers to go on an art retreat. It is something she would never do for herself, but she would have the time of her life. Thank you for considering her. Gayle Greeley

  48. Riki says:

    This is such a wonderful opportunity, I would like to nominate my friend Iris. This is an alias name for her, because I don’t want her to be embarrassed by her name being mentioned here.

    Iris was enjoying her life in Montana, running a successful business with her husband, as well as being a talented and impressive artist in many mediums. One day she was feeding her trees, looking down, and came up so quickly, she knocked herself out. When she came to, she not only had a concussion, but had done permanent damage to her brain. This immediately had a horrible impact on her life. She had very little hand-eye coordination, preventing her from working, and just as tragic, she could not do art work. She hadn’t been able to drive, or enjoy life in so many aspects that we take for granted every day.

    Well fast forward three or so years now. After much therapy, she is driving some, able to begin back to work with her husband, and is dabbling in art work again. It was so tragic to talk to her over the past few years, and hear the sadness in her voice about not being able to do any art. She missed that the most. So I am nominating Iris, who needs an art retreat so very much, to lift her spirits, help her get back in the saddle, and give her the encouragement she needs to remind her of how talented a lady she is. She needs art sister company big time, and lots of love and understanding. Not everyone would even want to continue art work after this kind of a horrible injury, but she has fought hard to get to this point, and I would be so ecstatic if she were chosen for the grand price of inspiration and motivation. The end. With lots of love, Rki

  49. artgirlblue says:

    I am nominating my mom. She is a high school art teacher and gives her kids 110% every day. It is her amazing spirit that guides these students and fills them with a love for art. She spends countless hours planning exciting projects for them. She works with a varied level of student from beginner to Advanced Placement level, in a school that is diverse both academically and economically. She treats each student with kindness and respect and is so loved by all of her students. This contest is an opportunity for my mom to take some time for herself. To recharge her battery so that she may continue to give all her best. Creativity breeds creativity! My mom has touched so many lives in her classroom over the last 15 years and she really would appreciate this opportunity. Thanks so much!

  50. TABrown says:

    I would like to nominate my best and lifelong friend Valarie Holm. Although she’s never been able to attend an art retreat, she dreams of not only attending one, but actually creating one in her home state so that others can also have the experience of gathering together with like-minded people and simply creating and connecting, possibly changing their lives too in the process. Valarie is creative in all kinds of outlets…mixed media, assemblage, photography, jewelry making, soap making and more…she’s always learning and trying new things. She also teaches classes in several of these areas in her own art/home décor shop, and constantly encourages others to try things and not be afraid of how it will turn out. To her, experimentation is a big key to having fun with art! Valarie is an extremely talented giving person. Giving of her time, friendship, and resources of supplies and knowledge. She is a complete joy to be around. When you part ways for the day, you know you had fun and laughed, a lot! Attending an art retreat would truly be a dream come true for her, and the effects would ripple out to all the people she connects with back home.

  51. pjcollect says:

    I would like to nominate my friend, Lisa. She is a talented artist and a hard worker. Lisa is a loving and caring person who always does a lot for others. She is a very supportive wife and has spent countless hours helping her husband with his passion/new business as a craft beer brewer. She designed the logo for the business, and has been a cheerleader for him. Lisa goes out of her to help others and has put on an art exhibit with her art depicting hearts to symbolize children who have had heart conditions. I truly think that Lisa would appreciate and enjoy an art retreat.

  52. irenestone says:

    I would like to nominate my friend Linda Hardy. she is a wonderful, creative mixed media artist. she is also an insightful and thoughtful teacher. I just finished a class she taught and had a wonderful time and learned so many techniques she has developed. She certainly deserves an art retreat and can not afford to go to one. I know she would appreciate the opportunity.

  53. janette9 says:

    It is probably rather tasteless to nominate oneself, but I really need to go to Art Is You this year and I have some financial concerns.

    I went to Art Is You in 2010 and really liked it (Suze Weinberg’s encaustic class inspired work in a whole new medium that I hadn’t though I would like.) I had to skip 2011 because it was scheduled during Yom Kipper. Last year I really wanted to take the classes with Laurie Mika and Serena Barton so, despite feeling sick-ish all summer, I registered for them. Then, in late September, I was diagnosed with leukemia. Between starting treatment and feeling pretty crappy, there was no way I could travel from western Pennsylvania to Connecticut, so I missed 2012.

    Only a few weeks later, in mid-October, my house caught fire (probably caused by a senile cat setting off a heat gun.) The house was not totaled, but there was considerable smoke and water damage and I am still in temporary rental housing while it is being restored. Everything in what the restoration people call the “burn room” is ashes, including most family pictures, several thousand dollars worth of books, lots of art supplies and, most tragically, almost all my completed artwork and a number of works in progress.

    Although the temporary rental has a small room I can use for art and insurance has replaced some of my supplies, I just haven’t been able to do anything creative since then. I need an art retreat to be around other artists and to force me into doing something with color and clip art, paint and fancy papers, glue and clay. If you want to see the type of work I was doing, check out http://medievalmixedmediamostly.blogspot.com/ .

  54. TABrown says:

    I posted a nomination but don’t see it, do some of them not show up?

    • joneam says:

      Hi TABrown and all commentors,

      We’ve been having a bit of trouble with an over-zealous spam filter. We’re working on a fix but until then, I’m going through that spam filter with a fine-toothed comb. So if your post doesn’t show up immediately, it should within about 24 hours.

      Thanks for your patience and keep those great nominations coming!
      Create Mixed Media

  55. wenbrun says:

    I am very happy to have a chance to nominate my mixed media artist friend, Linda Hardy for this free workshop opportunity. Linda and I have been friends since our daughters were toddlers and now that the children are grown, she is able to pursue her dream of an art career. I have seen her progress through the years from painting my kitchen and refinishing tables for me, to doing decorative wall art in mutual friend’s homes, to selling her art at FFA Craft Shows to support her daughter’s high school, to selling even more amazing art at the First Saturday Art Market in the Heights here in Houston, TX. Linda has in the past year or so been able to license some of her designs and just recently she got her own studio space, where she can use a community area to teach classes, so I got to learn how to make a mixed media birdhouse along with other women attending the fun full day class. Boy, o’boy I learned a lot of new art techniques this past weekend. Linda’s art is what keeps her going, because she has some physical restrictions that might stop some people in their tracks, yet she has to keep doing her art! Linda is so close to realizing all of her dreams for her art. She knows quite a bit about mixed media art, yet don’t we all want to learn more about the things we love? Linda would so enjoy attending the mixed media workshop, if she wins the prize. If you would like to know more about the challenges Linda has overcome to reach this point in her artistic endeavors, her blog is at: Doorno2.blogspot.com . I could keep pouring out good reasons why you should award this workshop prize to Linda Hardy. If you need any more information, let me know. Cheers, Wendy B

    • llindarae says:

      Wendy you left tears in my eyes. Thank you for all the years of your friendship. xoxox

  56. Aleta says:

    I would like to second Moonfaerie’s nomination of her friend Patty. Although I have yet to meet, I am aware of her big heart and giving personality. I am sorry she is going through a difficult time.

  57. beckyjs63 says:

    What a great thing you are doing. I have a friend, Marsha Mees, I met her through online craft and art groups. She lives in Northern California and is an amazing artist. But more importantly she is a generous and kind and caring soul. She has opened up her home to me and others that she had never met before so that we could attend classes near her and go on junking trips. She welcomed me with open arms and I know she would love to attend Petaluma and may be registered already for one class. U know she wanted to take more but could not afforded to stay. I would love to be able to spend time with her there. So I am nominating her for this amazing gift. Thanks so much, Becs

  58. Sanna says:

    My friend Marva Plummer-Bruno deserves to go to this wonderful retreat. She not only lost her husband this year after years of illness, but also her beloved dog. She has two children who are just now full grown but too young to have lost their father and pet especially in the same 6 weeks. Marva is such a nice person. I have known her online for many years and she has always been kind and thoughtful toward everyone. I own several groups and she has always been a joy and never a problem. She shares her art when people are down or when they are celebrating, it’s her turn now. She also has to sell her house this year so she has really had a ride through hell. She deserves some fun and if anyone has earned it it is Marva! Please really consider her when you are giving out this very generous prize! Thank you, Sanna

  59. stonemaiden says:

    Great contest! I nominate Linda Hardy for this award/prize/gift. I met her at the First Saturday Arts Market about 4 years ago where we both are vendors. Her work is amazing and she is a great teacher. I especially admire her creativity and use of unusual items for supplies.Very resourceful – she thinks outside the box and makes you look at ordinary items differently! She is a jewel and I am proud to call her my friend!

  60. cmania1 says:

    what a wonderful gift you all are giving….to create is to live and I can think of no better way to share in its joy! I would like to nominate my best friend, Kris Stamps. We’ve had each other’s backs for 28 years, through divorces, single parenting, job losses and whatever else has come our way. We both worked so hard supporting families while running our own small businesses that there were times that it seemed we wouldn’t find our artistic selves again. I was lucky enough to have my art and business one and the same but Kris was not as lucky. While I grew in my capacities she had to set that side of herself on a shelf. I found my new loving family of Art-is-you artists many years ago and would love to bring her along this year! She works so hard and plays so little…..I know she would just blossom there!!!

  61. landrylow says:

    I would like to nominate my mother, Ann Low, for the opportunity to participate in a retreat!
    My mother has sacrificed so much for me in order to be able to go to the art school that I attend in Brooklyn, NY (Pratt Institute). My life has benefited so greatly from the impact of an amazing education as well as a like-minded community surrounding me at school. I would love for my mom to be able to experience this as well. She is so passionate about her work and always so eager to learn more. I know this is something she has been interested in doing for a long time – I would love, more than anything, to be able to help her to grow her creativity and passions, the way she has for me. As a mom, she always spends her time doing things for others, and she deserves, more than anyone I know, to do something for herself!

  62. zsoka says:

    What a great offer! I would like to nominate the super talented Lexi Grenzer, a wonderfully creative artist and absolutely fantastic teacher, who is beyond generous with both her talent, time and resources. I’m lucky to be able to call her a friend as well! Hope she gets to win, as I know she would love to attend the retreat. Thanks in advance.

  63. erinnhardy says:

    I would like to nominate my mother, Linda Hardy. Not only does her art speak to so many people, it is a source of creative therapy for her. For almost 10 years my mother has fought through several orthopedic surgeries involving her knees and back, but still finds the inspiration and strength to get up everyday to create. She is one of the strongest and most deserving people I know, and I think we all want to give back to our moms in some way. She connects with so many people just because of her struggle, and truly touches the hearts of everyone who has the pleasure of hearing her story and owning one of her pieces. I will say as her biggest collector (30 original pieces and counting) that she is a pleasure to work with and learn from. I love her a lot and hope to fill her creative shoes someday. If anyone deserves a vacation filled with art and the passion for it, it’s Linda Hardy,

  64. TanyaP says:

    I’m excited to have the opportunity to nominate my dear friend and cousin, Gina. She would liven up your retreat with her classic and quirky artistic talents, her sweet disposition and caring demeanor, but most of all, her larger-than-life sense of humor. Since we live in a remote rural area, arts training/workshops are rare in our small town and the distance/expense factor are prohibitive for Gina to attend out-of-town or out-of-state workshops. To be chosen to attend your workshop would be a checkmark off her bucket list. She’s your girl!

  65. Brittany says:

    I would love to nominate my mother and best friend, Debra for the opportunity to attend Art Is You. For 26 years, my mother has gone above and beyond to provide a wonderful life for me. She supported me while I attended art school and continues to do so today as I own my own studio and gallery. My main reason for nominating my mother is because I truly believe she has finally found her calling. She is most happy when she is creating and attending art retreats. Growing up, my mother never had time to herself or enjoyed life fully as she was always working. In fact, I rarely saw her. After she divorced my father, she was finally able to start living her life and found art as an outlet. I have seen a tremendous difference in my mother over the last 2 years both as a person and as an artist. We attended our first art retreat together in 2011 and since then her creativity has grown substantially with new techniques and processes. I have been working with my mother to start her new artistic career and would love for her to continue to attend Art Is You Art Retreats. This past year has been financially difficult for my mother as her house needs a new roof. I would love nothing more than for her to spend her Birthday month (October) in Stamford, CT where she can be herself!

  66. I’d like to nominate my niece, Alison. She’s a newlywed, working her tail off in grad school, and busy with all those roles entail. She’s also an absolute doll, and a warm and creative soul, and I’d so love for her to be able to experience the nurturing environment at Art-is-You!

  67. mmacyartist says:

    I want to nominate my friend and fellow artist Lindy Hardy. Linda is a talented and hard-working artist. She is very committed to her craft. She exhibits almost every month at the First Saturday Art Market in the Historic Houston Heights. She shows her work regularly at local art galleries and has her own studio where she creates works of art and teaches art classes. If given this wonderful art retreat opportunity, Linda can not only incorporate the ideas gleaned from it into her art, she can share the experience with her fellow artist friends, touching peoples lives and inspiring others!

    • llindarae says:

      Thank you MM ~ While I would love to incorporate what I learn into my art, I promise I would not teach it! That’s a big no-no 😉

  68. I am going to nominate someone that I met as we were both beginning our journey into mixed media. She is a gentle soul and has a passion for art that I admire so much. She is someone that lifts everyone up around her even while going through daily struggles of her own. She has been fearless in diving into various forms of art…altering books, jewelry creation, fabric work, assemblage and more. She has really blossomed into a well rounded artist and she craves more and more knowledge so that she can incorporate more techniques in to her lovely creations that she now sells. While I know her family’s financial struggles have been tough due to job loss and the economy her outlook, demeanor and how she responds and helps those around her has been unfalteringly positive. She truly is the essence of what Art Is You is all about and I would love to see her be able to attend and event without having to worry about the cost to their household.
    Lesley V

  69. svankittycat says:

    I would like to nominate my friend Linda Hardy. She is so deserving of this honor. She has a family that she takes care of and never misses a day to make art in her new studio. She has had many orthopedic surgeries and some days, just getting out of bed is a chore for her but has a passion for art that is unstoppable. Linda has been a good friend to me from the minute we met at First Saturday Art Market here in Houston. I admire her mixed media art but what I truly admire is her passion for life. And she deserves this nomination.

  70. I’m nominating Linda Hardy (https://www.facebook.com/llindahardy) She is one of Houston’s talented mixed medium artist. Her work is bright, cherry and beautiful! It seems to reach people on many levels. Linda herself is someone who has suffered a lot of pain (physically and emotionally) yet seems to over ride that daily through her art. No mater what, she is always pushing further and harder to bring joy to the world one canvas at a time.

  71. I would like to nominate Patty Deneen, I just feel that there are times when a person needs a lift and even though Patty has been to AIY in the past, regrettably life has meant that she has had to give it a miss and for her to miss it another year would be tragic.
    There are people on this planet who think of others, unswervingly, who care, who have a good heart and soul…Patty is one of those people. I met her at AIY in 2011 and you could just tell what kind of person she was..she quietly does good. She doesn’t sing and dance on rooftops telling people what she has done, she just does it – so my nomination is for Patty – maybe I will get to give her a hug when I return to AIY in CT in October