A Still Heart and Loud Laughter {Part Two}

IMG_8303_zpsgw6ax9rf

I can often be heard saying that I feel peace in the country and alive in the city.

I have had multiple international trips where I have purposely chosen to spend time in both the city and countryside…and the combo is magic!

My trip began in Gardenstown, Scotland in a tiny fishing village by the sea.

I shared a peek into my time in a previous post.

When it was time to say goodbye to the sea and our cab was pulling away I had my head turned to the sea until it had disappeared from site.

As we passed pastures, flocks of sheep and stone fences…we knew that what we had just experienced was real and deep.

It was time to board a plane to London and to experience as much as we could in a few short days.

I have to start off with food because our first night in London we had the most incredible Indian food at The Red Fort.

I have to tell you that until my time in Scotland and England I had never had Indian food.  How is that even possible? The most fascinating fact I learned was that Indian food was becoming the official food of England.  Baby, we have come a long way since I was in England 20 years ago and I thought fish and chips was the jam.

I am now pretty much obsessed and I must find good Indian food in Denver (so if you know of one please let me know).

Even though some of the other women from the retreat were also spending time in London this was really a time for Alexis and I to end our trip together all alone.

We were able to meet up a few times with Judy, Kathie and Michel but also to explore on our own schedule.

It was marvelous.

We spent a whole morning at The National Portrait Gallery viewing the visiting exhibit of John Singer Sargent. I never get tired of seeing his incredible use paint to create light. It makes you gasp sometimes.

{A tiny bit of one of the most gorgeous paintings I have ever seen. Ambrose McAvoy}

Because a friend had told me how wonderful the food (and view) was from the gallery’s upstairs restaurant we took our time with lunch and then just walked around London.  That night we just popped into a restaurant near where we were staying and did what we do best…talk and dream and scheme and laugh.

The next morning we headed out to the Tate.  Good stuff I tell you!  I was in heaven and I could have spent all day looking at the art, drinking coffee and just spending time with my friend that gasped at the same paintings I did.

We were able to see the Marlene Dumas: The Image as Burden  exhibit and it was one of my favorite exhibits I have ever seen.

It is one of the sweetest gifts in the world to have a dear friend that shares your loves.  To travel, create, explore with my dear friend is a true treasure and something I hold onto until our next adventure.  Our conversations never run out and it covers family, faith, art, children, dreams, somedays…all of it.

After the Tate we made our way back to the hotel for massages (tough I know) and then to get ready to see Sunny Afternoon! Our seats were incredible and the cast was phenomenal and truly sang and danced their hearts out.  I can’t wait for the show to come to the US and to get to see it again.  Our night ended with dinner and drinks with our other traveling friends and then everyone headed back to bed for early flights back home.

I think it takes days, weeks and sometimes years to fully understand the beauty that comes from taking time for yourself and seeing the life that grows from it.

In bits and pieces I am beginning to process this incredible dream trip and what it means for me.

I hope you do something small or big or bold or quiet just for you.

Be a deer and
leave me a comment.

5 Comments

Read More About

Learn About Upcoming Classes

The Living Studio Along the Danube {Prague, Vienna, Budapest and more}

thelivingstudiodanubeFB_zpsg1eybeu6

Ever since I have been a little girl I have been a lover of history, architecture, art and I have ALWAYS known…I would travel.

I am greatly driven by my desire to learn, explore and to discover more of this world.

My family makes choices all of the time that will make it possible for us to travel more and to have less of other things.

We want to collect adventures and memories and not just things.

I have an extremely exciting announcement to make and we have been working on it for awhile now.

For all of you lovers of adventure, history, art and travel…this is for you!

Join me in October 2016 for The Living Studio Along The Danube! 

Imagine exploring and creating in Prague, Regensburg, Vilshofen, Passau, Linz, Weisskirchen, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest!

Just imagine…

Explore different cities and villages and never have to repack your bags!

Enjoy gourmet food, cooking classes, lectures!

We will have structured art classes on the ship and then creative prompts that will encourage you to create in the cities and villages.

THIS is the heart of The Living Studio!  It is my desire that you make the whole world your studio.

This is not just for painters and sketchers…this is for all of us!

If you love history, art, architecture, live music, wine tasting, cooking classes, lectures, bike tours…this is for you!

The best part is that you get to choose each day what you do or don’t do. You can participate in the classes or you can lounge by the pool…or both!

The details…

How about grabbing a bike from the ship and exploring an ancient village?

Here is a more detailed itinerary if you choose to include Prague into your trip.

I hope you choose to explore and create with me!

To read more or to sign up click HERE.

If you have any questions at all please leave your comment below or email me at contact@jeanneoliverdesigns.com.

Take a peek into life on the ship…

Be a deer and
leave me a comment.

2 Comments

Read More About

Learn About Upcoming Classes

Is The World Your Studio? {a glimpse into Savannah}

IMG_6982a_zpsex6aaugi1

A few years ago when I came up with the concept behind The Living Studio I had hopes of traveling with women, connecting with different cities and creating outside the studio.

My heart’s desire was to encourage women to get out of their comfort zone and to implement daily practicing.

I wanted us to become those we had maybe admired for years in the parks, museums, cafes.  To become those that were creating whenever the opportunity arose.

As of this date I now have had two Living Studio retreats.  The first one was in Bellagio, Italy and the second one just finished in Savannah, Georgia.

I learn each time more about myself, my creativity and where I want to take The Living Studio.

I also am reminded that we need this. We need this creating wherever we go and to not limit ourselves to our studios.

I see the difference it is making when we know…really know…that our creativity needs to be honored and nurtured.

Here is a peek into our week in Savannah, Georgia…

I came in early and was able to get away for the morning and enjoy the beach on Tybee Island.  When there was a snowstorm going on in Colorado this was a beautiful change of scenery!

Before I share our week I have to share our hotel!  When Kathie (my partner in crime that helped make the retreat come to life) and I saw this hotel we KNEW this had to be the location for The Living Studio Savannah!  Welcome to The Brice!  Seriously, the staff was outstanding and the whole place was an artist’s dream!

Our first full day together started with a rainy walking tour of Savannah. I think next time we will take the trolley:-)

At least I had a cute umbrella and some goofballs to hang out with.

After a wet morning we decided to create in our pajamas. Maybe I was the only one that did that but let’s just act like everyone did!

Our days were full of gorgeous shops, sites, architecture, food (oh, the food), creating and a lot of laughter.

This was an incredible group of women!

One of the highlights for me during a Living Studio retreat is to spend time separate from one another creating in the city.

This day we spent time creating in Forsyth Park and I know this time was just as meaningful and heart changing to the girls.

I am not a journaler like many of the artists I love and admire. My journal is where I play, make mistakes and practice. Usually it is only for me to see. I think everyone should have a safe place to explore and make mistakes where you don’t have to worry about anyone looking over your shoulder.  That is what daily practicing should be about…no matter what your creativity is.

We had so many good days but one of my favorite days of exploring was when we had a tour of Bonaventure Cemetary.

It has been many years since I have been in this cemetery but it was just as inspiring as ever.

Have I mentioned the food? Oh, I have?

I love being a collector of patterns wherever I travel!  It is just such good stuff for creating later.

One of my favorite days was when we went to the SCAD museum and we were even able to sneak into an illustration class and do some quick sketches along with all of the art students.

That was a day when my heart was so full and I felt like we all went home with an extra special treasure!

It didn’t hurt that we also found an antique store on our way to lunch.

Pretty much the best cappuccino I have ever had!  Doesn’t hurt that I also have paint all over my hands.

The week went so fast and our days were so full of good stuff. When it comes down to it this photo makes me so happy because it was all about women connecting with themselves and others.

I am still processing all the goodness of our time in Savannah and already my brain is busy with ideas for how to make the next one even better!

I have a Living Studio Normandy coming up in October that is sold out but you can email me at contact@jeanneoliverdesigns.com to get on the wait list.

The next state side Living Studio retreat will be in Seattle, WA next year.  If you would like to be notified when registration opens for that retreat please email me at contact@jeanneoliverdesigns.com.

If you are looking for other retreats this year I encourage you to check out retreats that are being hosted by my good friend Kathie Vezzani!  She has some beauties coming up!

She helped me bring The Living Studio Savannah to life and you will love all of her gatherings!

Be a deer and
leave me a comment.

Read More About

Learn About Upcoming Classes

The Living Studio Giveaway Winner

WALKS1_zps0355883317

Thank you to everyone that shared their excitement over the new Living Studio retreats and the online series coming soon!

Thank you for also sharing the two new retreats coming up in 2015.

I would love to explore and create with you in Savannah, Georgia or Normandy, France!

The winner of The Living Studio giveaway of the portable art studio, all of the courses on my creative network and the $200 Dick Blick gift card is…

I would love to see a retreat at Abiquiu, N.Mex. What a treat that would be to explore the region. I just returned from Paris where I saw many works by Van Gogh and wanted to tell you that your course featuring this artist made my visit with him so much more meaningful. Thank you. And would love to win this give away!

Congratulations!

Please email me at jeanneoliverdesigns@gmail.com with your address and we will get your goodies out to you right away.

{All prizes must be claimed by December 14, 2014}

Be a deer and
leave me a comment.

Read More About

Learn About Upcoming Classes

The Official Launch of The Living Studio {and a huge giveaway too}

living-studioIMG_9546_zpsa426cd1d

I have been waiting to do an official launch of the new The Living Studio | City Art Walks Around The World retreats and online classes!

This is almost two years in the making and it is beyond fun to finally see it coming together.

I was waiting until I could do a huge giveaway and to also give you a hint at what will be coming in the new year.

My heart behind The Living Studio is that we will all learn to explore and create wherever we live.

I hope to inspire people to step out of the comfort of their studios and out into the world and boldly create based upon the beauty all around them.

The Living Studio combines my love of travel, creating and connecting with other creatives.

I don’t know how many times over the years I had walked past a person sketching in an art museum, painting in the gardens, practicing their watercolors in the mountains or writing at a cafe and I have stopped a moment to envy them.

They were doing it!

They HAD to be creative.

It is a practice and a preparedness that motivates you to create your studio wherever you go.

With practice and always having your tools with you…you live your creativity and the world becomes your studio.

To celebrate The Living Studio I am giving some of my favorite go to tools for creating a portable studio.

These are the tool I use that encourage creating at the coffee shop, in the car, at the park or in the mountains.

I suggest having a portable set in your car so you have no excuse not to create on the go.

When you practice like this I promise you that you will start seeing your art grow in new and exciting ways.

{one lucky winner will get everything seen here and a bit more}

 

{pretty yummy}

I have two amazing The Living Studio collaboration retreats coming up in 2015.

In February we will be creating together in Savannah, Georgia.

Join me in October in Normandy, France.

We will be ending our trip in Paris and I have more coming about that too!

What else is coming for The Living Studio in 2015?

Coming this January The Living Studio will also become a free online series!

This brand new series will highlight a different artist and include technique videos to help you expand your creativity and to encourage making the town you live in your studio.

More information will be coming soon and you can sign up for this FREE series and be ready for the first artist and videos that will launch in January.

**We will even be expanding The Living Studio to have an Art and Necessity Collection**

This will be collections of art supplies put together by artists you trust and admire.

Let’s get back to the giveaway and celebrating new things to come!

What I am giving away:

*One portable art studio set {valued at over $200}

*One $200 Dick Blick gift card

* One package of every class on my creative network {valued at over $790}

One lucky winner will get an art package valued at over $1,000!

How you can enter for the huge art giveaway!!!

To enter all you have to do is leave a comment on THIS post letting us know a place you would love me to host a Living Studio retreat or an artist that you would like to see in the free online series.

For additional chances at the giveaways you can…

* Facebook about the giveaway, the two retreats coming up and the new online series

* Pin this post and/or retreats to Pinterest

* Talk about the giveaway and/or new retreats on Instagram and use the hashtag #thelivingstudio

* Blog about the new retreats and new online series

* Share this post on Twitter

 Each time you share about the sale or this post please come back and let us know.

Thank you for sharing the new course!

{the winner will be announced next Thursday}

Be a deer and
leave me a comment.

Read More About

Learn About Upcoming Classes

The Living Studio Normandy, France {registration is open}

vine_zps481d038e

My heart behind The Living Studio is that we will all learn to explore and create wherever we live.

I hope to inspire people to step out of the comfort of their studios and out into the world and boldly create based upon the beauty all around them.

This unique retreat combines my love of travel and creating and connecting with other women.

I don’t know how many times over the years I had walked past a person sketching in an art museum,

painting in the gardens,

practicing their watercolors in the mountains

or writing at a cafe and I have stopped a moment to envy them.

They were doing it!

They HAD to be creative.

It is a practice and a preparedness that motivates you to create your studio wherever you go.

With practice and always having your tools with you…you live your creativity and the world becomes your studio.

Few places have changed my creative heart as much as France so it is my joy to announce my collaboration with Cat of Sunday Brocantes to offer you The Living Studio | Normandy, France!

Here is a peek into this luxury creative retreat!

Are you a writer, a photographer, a painter, a sketcher ?

Are you just starting to embrace your creativity or have you jumped in all of the way?

No matter how your creativity is expressed or the level in which you practice it…this retreat is for you!

October 9th-16th 2015

Your trip begins in charming Normandy villages, and stunning seaside resort towns, and concludes with exploring the world renowned Paris Flea Market.

While in Normandy take walks in small local villages, discover French country farms, cider mills and chateau’s, spend a morning experiencing the beauty of Monet’s gardens, take a bike trip along the famous beach-side boardwalk of Deauville. Enjoy an afternoon at the quaint stone French cottage of a local painter and have an aperitif in his private garden. Walk along cobblestone streets and see 300 year old architecture and churches…and absorb the culture of Northwest France.

 

Partake in local culture at farm markets, stylish bistro’s and fabulous restaurants … Shop for vintage treasures, explore the beauty of the French countryside … You will never just sit in a room and make art. Your art will be created out of exploring and experiencing Normandy. Imagine making art in small villages along the sea, at a cafe, in Monet’s gardens, in an art museum, among ancient ruins, inside a cathedral or in the quiet of the grounds of the manoir.

 

Each day you will be given prompts that you can use if you choose to be open to the art all around you throughout the villages of Normandy. We will also have a few structured art classes.

Our hope is that this will not just be a retreat…it will be opening up of your heart and mind to creating your studio wherever you go.

 

 

Tour dates: Friday, October 9th – Friday, October 16th
• Transportation to and from Paris and all local transportation throughout the tour.
• 6 dinners, 7 lunches at bistros, brasseries and fine restaurants.
• 7 nights accommodations in a classic 18th century seaside Normandy manoir with full service spa facilities, beautifully decorated bedrooms, large private bathrooms, WIFI, and all of the amenities,  breakfast each morning and sea-view outdoor spaces to relax as well as walking distance to the beaches and shops.
• Art inspiration and structured or in-formal instruction in small villages along the sea, at a cafe, in Monet’s gardens, in an art museum, among ancient ruins, inside a cathedral or in the quiet of the grounds of the manoir with Jeanne Oliver.
• Stops at vintage shops, markets and brocantes.
• A visit to Monet’s home and garden and stops to sites frequented by the French Impressionist artists and their students.
• A hosted visit to the home of a French painter, studio tour and aperitif in his charming garden.
• Afternoon strolls in centuries old villages, stops at ancient ruins and stunning cathedrals.
• Expert French speaking native to translate, negotiate, assist and share local cultural information  during your stay.
• An exclusive visit to Rabbit Hill.

October 9th-16th 2015

This retreat is $3995 double / $5495 single US Dollars

A $500 (non-refundable) deposit is due at registration

If you are interested in registering for this retreat or if you have questions please email Jeanne Oliver at jeanneoliverdesigns@gmail.com

Be a deer and
leave me a comment.

Read More About

Learn About Upcoming Classes

The Living Studio Savannah, Georgia {come explore and create with me}

savannah-collage_zps5213c371

This past summer I was able to launch The Living Studio | City Art Walks Around The World in Bellagio, Italy.

It was an incredible collaboration with veteran retreat creator Laura McCollough.

My heart behind The Living Studio is that we will all learn to explore and create wherever we live.

I hope to inspire people to step out of the comfort of their studios and out into the world and boldly create based upon the beauty all around them.

This unique retreat combines my love of travel and creating and connecting with other women.

I don’t know how many times over the years I had walked past a person sketching in an art museum, painting in the gardens, practicing their watercolors in the mountains or writing at a cafe and I have stopped a moment to envy them.

They were doing it!

They HAD to be creative.

It is a practice and a preparedness that motivates you to create your studio wherever you go.

With practice and always having your tools with you…you live your creativity and the world becomes your studio.

I am so excited to tell you about my first Living Studio retreat here in the United States!

I am collaborating with retreat planner Kathie Vezzani to bring you The Living Studio| Savannah, Georgia.

******

This is the heart of The Living Studio|City Art Walks Around The World…

“I want each retreat to be one of a kind.  Each city has a heartbeat all its own and I wanted to hear it and share it.

I want the retreats to revolve around the exhibits, some of the best food a city has to offer, finding the perfect cafe, creating art each day inspired by the art we experience and exploring based upon the city.”

Here is a glimpse into The Living Studio | Savannah, Georgia retreat…

Just imagine staying at a hotel that matches your creative heart with luxury accommodations with a funky and fun twist.

Each day we will head out to explore the historic beauty of Savannah with our supplies and artist’s journal.

We will spend time creating in the gardens, in the cemetery, along the water and among the architecture.

Our days will be full of the best food the city has to offer and small cafes and treats that only the locals know about.

We will have a few structured classes but also have daily prompts to encourage using different supplies and techniques during the retreat.

This creative time will include museums, high-tea, shopping, art stores, a riverboat cruise and so much more!

To read ALL of the details please go to Kathie’s blog.

I love intimate retreats where I get to really know the women, create together and one on one.

As an artist and teacher a retreat like this is truly a luxury and one of the many reasons why The Living Studio | Savannah, Georgia will open your heart to a deeper level of boldness in your creating.

This is a limited size retreat.

{images below to Paige Knudsen, Steve Robinson and Jeanne Oliver}

Be a deer and
leave me a comment.

Read More About

Learn About Upcoming Classes