Our First Workshop In Our Studios For 2017 | Be Present Workshop With Jeanne Oliver


Please email us at contact@jeanneoliverdesigns.com if you would like to be placed on a wait list if there are any cancellations.

Join me in beautiful Castle Rock, Colorado on May 26-27, 2017 for a two day art workshop.

Our studio is light filled and surrounded by wooded property that lends itself to exploring, creating and relaxing.

You will have opportunities during the workshop to also make your way through some of our wooded paths and find a spot to create.

It is our heart’s desire that your time on our land and studio brings you rest and dreaming.


When you arrive on Friday morning you will be welcomed with mimosas and a light snack as we find our places and meet each other.

All main supplies will be provided for this workshop.

Our day will be filled with art prompts and techniques to help us all be present and connect with our worlds daily through our creativity. We will create our own journals using rust dyed fabric, watercolor paper, vintage ephemera, stitching and more. We will practice contour sketching and watercolor techniques, stamp carving and mark making to create abstract and realistic images.

Each day there will also be time spent in the beautiful land surrounding the studio including our lunch time in the garden.

At the end of day one I hope you will join me for dinner at one of my favorite local restaurants (this is not included) or explore our sweet town and find the perfect place to relax after a full day of creating.


|Some of the women at my last art workshop in our front yard|

Day two will be filled with more creating as we take some of our smaller works of art and create one larger abstract painting incorporating our painting, mark making, vintage ephemera and stitching.

You will leave this two day workshop with a journal full of your work, new possibilities in your art and hopefully a new eye to the ways you can connect more with the world around you.

Our time will end with cocktails and appetizers as we say our goodbyes.

While you are in the area we will make sure to point you in the right direction to all of our favorite restaurants, hiking spots and antique stores.

Our town has been ranked one of the best towns in America and we have to agree. I suggest you stay a few extra days to enjoy the beauty of Colorado!

Space is limited. If you have any questions please email us at contact@jeanneoliverdesigns.com.

You can register below or request an invoice.




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Wendy Brightbill is Coming to the Jeanne Oliver Studios!

My dear friend and respected artist Wendy Brightbill will be coming to teach at our new studio! This will be the last live workshop of the year at our studios and it will be a workshop that you will not want to miss.
This workshop is a two day event!. Come and read all about. This workshop will sell out so please do not wait too long if you want to register.  Our workshops are about getting away, enjoying the view, being pampered, connecting with other creatives and going home with fresh inspiration that you can apply in your own work.
Playing Big Abstract Painting Class
Is there something keeping you from playing big in your painting? Are you wanting to push through creative blocks and create the kind of art you see in your dreams? Then join us for Playing Big Abstract Painting Class.
This last year I noticed that there was a real disconnect in the art that I was making and the art I really wanted to make. For whatever reason, I just wasn’t painting what I really wanted to paint. So I gave myself permission to really play big! This class is all about taking big risks and putting it all out there. No holding back!!! Working on a large piece of watercolor paper, we will explore color, mark making, style and composition. Get lost in the process and create with abandon.
  • Gather inspiration for color palettes that fit your art personality.
  • Create your own style and color boards to draw on for inspiration.
  • Explore your very own abstract painting style by looking at some of your favorite abstract painters.
  • Create dimension in your piece by layering shapes and colors with watercolors and acrylic paints.
  • Discuss composition and how to balance your abstract pieces.
  • Work through creative blocks keeping you back from your most authentic work.
  • Make marks and lines to finish off your pieces.
  • Embrace the process of creating and find what brings you joy in painting to take home to your daily creative practice.

  • 4-5 sheets of large watercolor paper (Strathmore 140 lb Watercolor paper 18 x 24)
  • Large shipping tube to carry your paper (must be 20 inches at least)
  • artist grade watercolor set
  • watercolor mixing palette
  • different sizes of watercolor brushes and acrylic paintbrushes
  • oil pastels
  • pens and markers
  • acrylic paint in your favorite colors (especially white)
  • Inks in your favorite colors (Ranger color washes, acrylic ink or India inks)
  • photographs or pictures of paintings that inspire you
  • needle and embroidery floss/thread if you would like to add stitching to your pieces
  • favorite mark making tools
  • white acrylic ink
Provided for you:
  • small moleskin journals to keep track of your style inspiration
  • smaller pieces of watercolor paper for practice
  • white uniball signo

A peek into our beautiful studio!

If you have any questions please email us at contact@jeanneoliverdesigns.com or if you want to register please click on the image below!


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Field Guide: A Nature Inspired Sketchbook {The Next Live Workshop At Our Studio}

***This event can be purchased as a one or two day workshop***

To purchase Field Guide for Saturday, September 17th, 2016 as a ONE DAY EVENT.

To purchase Field Guide for September 16 & 17th, 2016 as a TWO DAY EVENT.


Today I had five children and three adults exploring our land. We were gathering flowers, branches and leaves.  The kids were finding the perfect walking sticks.  Every place we turned we found something new.  We then came back to the studio and the kids made maps of the land and also painted or sketched some of the treasures they found out on the land.  Inside I was beaming. It was the whole reason I wanted this land. I wanted a place to gather!  A place to explore, make art and be present.  Just simply connecting with what is around us is an honor and dream for me. It is something that we can do anywhere but on this new land of ours if feels so much easier and natural.




After our exploring on our land today I am even more excited to announce the next live workshop in our studio!  I would love for you to come join me on our land for a two day workshop this fall as we explore and paint with Michelle Wooderson.



To purchase Field Guide for Saturday, September 17th, 2016 as a ONE DAY EVENT.

To purchase Field Guide for September 16 & 17th, 2016 as a TWO DAY EVENT.


Field Guide: A Nature Inspired Sketchbook


John Muir said, “The mountains are calling and I must go.” I feel that same calling to the mountains and am so thankful to be able to visit them every year. If you have a calling to get back to nature then this class is for you. We will venture to Jeanne’s beautiful home in Colorado to study the mountains and nature while creating beautiful artwork. It sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?


In this two day class, we will learn to improve our drawing skills by sketching pieces of nature. We’ll begin inside and sketch beautiful nature inspired centerpieces. Becoming better at drawing helps every other aspect of our art. We’ll study simple line and contour sketches and learn how to compose a scene quickly. Capturing the essence of the scene in a timely manner lends us more time to add paint and move on to the next sketch.


We’ll then dive into studying watercolor landscape sketches. We’ll touch on atmospheric perspective and how to make our sketches look realistic with foreground, middle ground and background objects. To prepare for outdoor sketching, we’ll develop a color palette, using nature’s beauty as our guide. Value is so important in our art so we’ll work with composition and value sketches. We’ll develop brush strokes and marking suitable for painting nature. We all probably have some other art supplies in our stash too, so we’ll visit some mixed media techniques that meld beautifully with watercolor. We’ll work with gesso, charcoal, vintage papers, inks, pastels and more.


To prepare for en plein air painting, or painting outside, we’ll learn how to set up a travel watercolor palette and outdoor sketching kit. We’ll discuss the supplies needed and packing it all up with ease. I’ll show you some of my watercolor palettes and travel sketching kits and some of my favorite bags I use.


While in beautiful Colorado, this will be the perfect time to develop an artist’s mentality that puts us in a wonderful mindset of needing to paint daily, practice often and to make creating art a habit. We’ll learn that each sketch is practice for the next sketch and that practice is art. Gathering with a community of like minded people can be so uplifting and inspiring. We’ll share where we are in our journey and where we plan to be one year from now. This might just be our favorite part…sharing in the journey with others.


All of our practice lessons will prepare us to take out sketchbooks outside to Jeanne’s beautiful, wooded property full of trees and mountain views. We’ll create a simple, no sew watercolor field journal that will house all of our beautiful sketches. It will become a wonderful resource and beautiful piece of art that you will take home to treasure forever. Each student will receive a fun goody bag filled with items to inspire your art.


If you’ve wanted to travel and create art at the same time, this class is calling your name. Getting back to nature, creating art inspired by our beautiful Earth and being surrounded with artistic souls sounds like a little piece of heaven to me. I hope you will join me in this exciting journey to beautiful Colorado.


If you are curious, you do not have to take my Close To Home: A Watercolor Landscape Journey class to sign up for this class. However, the lessons studied in that class could help you jump start the Field Guide: A Nature Inspired Sketchbook class. Watching the videos will help you with practicing some before class starts and you can learn more about supplies and setting up your travel kit.


The Details:

*Two day workshop with Michelle Wooderson in the Jeanne Oliver Studios in Castle Rock, Colorado

When: September 16-17, 2016

Where: Jeanne Oliver Studios in Castle Rock, Colorado 80109

Cost: $395

Food: Lunch, drinks and light snacks provided



*The classroom with open each day at 9:30 and class will begin at 10:00

*Teaching with Michelle Wooderson each day from 10-12:00

*Lunch will be provided each day 12-1:00

*Teaching with Michelle Wooderson each day from 1-4:30

*Clean up at 4:30



(Revised)Class Supply List for Field Guide: A Nature Inspired Sketchbook 

Watercolor Palette suitable and already prepared for taking outdoors to paint. Folding metal or plastic palettes are a good choice.  12-24 paint colors of professional artist tubes are suggested.  You can view my 24 palette colors and how to set up a palette in the supply list of my Close To Home: A Watercolor Landscape Journey. You will need to prepare your palette and allow 24-48 hours for the paints to dry.  For a less expensive choice, the craft stores offer ready to go palettes for around $20 or less.

Small Spray Bottle-to rewet your paint palette. I get mine from the travel section at Walmart or Target.

Watercolor Brushes-I suggest good quality brushes in a size 8 or 10 round, a ½” flat brush and a size 0-2 rigger brush. If you’re just experimenting with this class, then an inexpensive size 8 round brush will work just fine.

Travel Water Cup-You can bring an old butter tub or look for collapsible water cups at art stores or online.  There are several styles to choose from.

Pencils for sketching-Suggested are a mechanical pencil with refill leads, .05 or.07 lead.  Regular lead pencils with an assortment of leads would be nice for value sketches.  You can purchase a small set online at places like Blick Art Materials. Lead ranges from H’s, HB and B’s are nice.  A regular school pencil will work too for all the lessons.

Charcoal Pencil-I like the kind where you can peel off the paper to reveal the charcoal. This is optional as a regular school pencil will work also.

Eraser-Kneaded or white

Watercolor Pad-This will be for practice lessons.  Select a size you can travel with easily, like 8 x 10 or smaller.   300 gsm, 140 lb, cold press spiral pads can be found inexpensively at craft stores, online or Walmart. Use your coupon.

Ink Pens-Optional, but if you like to work with ink for sketching then bring one along.  I like my Carbon Platinum Fountain Pen.  Search online and get some waterproof refill cartridges.  You want to use waterproof ink because we’ll be adding watercolor washes.  Lamy Fountain Pens and disposable Micron ink pens with various pen tips are other options.

Sketching Bag-You will need a bag that you can take outdoors and will be packed with sketching supplies.  Messenger bags have long straps that you can use to work hands free.  Also look for hiking backpacks or purses with pockets and dividers.  Camera bags have divided sections and lots of room.  Select something light weight and that you don’t mind setting down in the dirt. An old school backpack will work.

Pen and Paper Pad-Just in case you are a note taker.  Or want Jeanne’s autograph.

Attire for being outdoors-Prepare to spend some time outdoors, weather permitting. Dress casually and be prepared for Colorado weather the week of our trip.  Jeans and tennis shoes are fine.  Other items include jacket and clothing in layers like vests, hat/visor, sunscreen. We can inquire with Jeanne about what the weather will be like the week of our travel.  I am totally casual so don’t get dressed up for me.  J

Camera-A small camera or phone camera is not necessary but might be nice for capturing photos you can work on when you get back home.  Having photos is nice because you can use them as references for future paintings or print them off to work inside when the weather isn’t cooperating.

Other supplies needed for our lessons will be provided for you . Please keep your supplies simple and use what you have.  We want to focus on the lessons and learning, so any additional supplies are not necessary.  If you are taking the class with a buddy, feel free to share supplies where possible.



If you have any questions please contact us at contact@jeanneoliverdesigns.com

To register click on the image below

To purchase Field Guide for Saturday, September 17th, 2016 as a ONE DAY EVENT.

To purchase Field Guide for September 16 & 17th, 2016 as a TWO DAY EVENT.






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The Studio That Love Built {before and after photos}

We moved into our new home and land in February of this year.   The day before we moved in our town was covered in a blizzard and we scrambled to find someone to plow our new long driveway.

Only a few weeks after our move we announced our first workshop in the studio that had not been built.

Many thought we were crazy and had no idea why we would put that kind of time and financial pressure on ourselves.

We knew that having our first workshop would motivate us to get it done but in the process would be building ME the studio we had bought this land for in the first place.

The foundation and structure was already on the property but it was far from being a studio.

I have said over and over that this is the studio that love built and nothing could be closer to the truth.

This studio was built by our children, my husband, my mom, my brother and me. It was more hours and more money than we thought it would take (of course it was).

I had almost weekly emails from friends and customers asking how they could help. I never took them up on the offer but we had genuine and loving offers coming in to do everything from cleaning to painting.

Welcome to the studio that love built…

I am horrible about documenting projects so please bare with me as I probably skip tons of steps.  Now you know why I could never be a DIY blogger:-)

The first thing we did was have the whole studio wired for lighting and baseboard heating if we decided we would need it next winter. We then insulated the whole studio very well to help keep it cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.  Because I knew I wanted some of the wall space to be used to hang canvases for painting we decided to put drywall up on two of the walls and then plank the other two walls in pine.

 The biggest investment had to be our all view aluminum and glass garage doors. We bought commercial doors so we could have more natural light, enjoy the gorgeous views of the buttes, warm up our space in the winter (we are figuring out how to cool it off in the summer:-)) and to make it feel more like a creative space instead of a workshop or garage.

During our move and construction we didn’t have any place else to put the studio furniture etc. so we all had to move around (and often move) piles of furniture, art supplies and tools.

This was not ideal at all but we made it through.

It started to feel like we were really making progress when we started to paint the pine planking on the front and back wall. All of our wood for the walls, ceiling and window frames came from Home Depot.

When we had sold our last home we were in the middle of finishing the basement and I had purchased the coolest utility sink for the guest bathroom.

I wasn’t going to leave that behind and I am so glad I kept that because it worked perfectly for our studio sink!

Nothing surprised us as much as how LONG it would take to plank the ceiling with cedar planks! I am not even kidding.  My husband said, “We just laid a wooden floor upside down”!  Along with that they had to cut out holes for the 44 lights.  Some days they would work all day and get five rows done. This was two weeks of full time work by my brother and son. Kelly was able to help after work and on weekends.

Lights!  After the ceiling was completed it was so much fun to see the lights being hung and to see the design of the space coming together.

Right now we were about two weeks out in the photos and there were a few moments of panic that we would not get it complete in time.

My brother built beautiful window frames and I echoed the black window trim that is also in our home.

I did this in both spaces because I love the black metal windows of France and this was the affordable way to replicate the look.

Moments of rest didn’t feel doable until this moment. All of the construction had been completed and now it was up to me to pull it together and create a place I could teach and create.

Because all of our studio furniture and supplies had been around all of the construction we had a few days of just dusting, cleaning off and sweeping.

We  knew we still needed to get some more furniture and display pieces of furniture and we are so lucky to have Old Glory Antiques in Denver.

Holly and Sandy were incredible to work with (once again) and here is some of the awesome vintage finds we bought from them.

We collapsed a lot those weeks…

See those awesome portable walls behind a collapsed Kelly? Those can be moved around our space as needed but right now they are hiding all of our shipping supplies.  We got this idea from Alisa and Andy Burke. We saw larger versions in their studio a year ago and knew we would implement them someday into our own studio. Thank you Alisa and Andy! You guys are awesome.

This was the first corner I started working on and I was already falling in love with this new space of mine.

We were only days away at this point. I knew we would pull it together but it was all hands on deck plus a few more!

It is so hard to find good work:-)

It was so much fun to pull my vintage finds together.

Two days away!

We had been having bags made just for the grand opening! Seeing all of our product blending in with the new studio just pulled the space together.

The display piece was from Dwell Antiques and the clothing rack from Cost Plus World Market.

The chairs and coffee table had been in our last home and we found the awesome mid century couch on Craiglist.

This was the day before our first workshop and we were feeling so good about what had been accomplished!

This was the morning of our first workshop!  I was up early to finish up final touches, pray over the women and space and to just take a deep breath.

We had done it! As a whole family we had come together to build something that we knew was bigger than us. Not in a weird way but in a special way of knowing this would be a place to create and a place to gather.

That this place was just not for me, not just for my family but a place for so many that we do not even see the full picture yet.

The studio that love built!


I am sure you have questions about sources or about our choices. Please leave your questions here and I will do my best to answer them.

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