Virginia Beach 2017 Registration is NOW OPEN

To begin registration for the Virginia Beach 2017 retreat: click on the class that you're interested in and it will take you to the class description--scroll to the bottom and, if there's still space, it will say "Register for this class"--click on the link and it will put it in your shopping cart. Repeat the process until you have chosen all your classes and are ready to 'check out'. If a class is full, it will indicate that at the bottom of the description page, and it will not let you choose it.

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Nicole Austin

I am a full-time mixed media artist with a BA in Creative Arts. I have 18 years of experience teaching art to children and adults through community centers, public and private schools and private art gatherings. I am an avid art journaler and I love to experiment with a range of art materials including oil pastel, acrylic paint, watercolor, collage, gelli printing and digital art. I believe that everyone has the innate desire to create and has their own unique style of expression. When I’m not covered in paint in my sunlit art studio, you can find me spending time with family and friends or exploring the great outdoors.


Leslie Blackford

Nature is one of her biggest passions in life and one of the biggest inspirations in her work. It’s not uncommon to find that she has incorporated natural materials into her clay like, rocks, dirt, feathers, or the lavender she grows.

Leslie is known for her ability to express raw emotion in her work. What she feels flies out of her fingertips and becomes Leslie Art. This process is as natural to her as breathing. Polymer clay is the media that she expresses herself with.


Ruth Chandler

Ruth Chandler grew up in Japan where the vibrant color and texture of Japanese fabric, combined with the simplicity of Japanese design, caught Ruth’s attention. Ruth learned basic Sashiko from an elderly neighbor and at the age of four, and began to create and sew her own clothes at the age of ten which became an outlet for her imagination and creativity. She made her first quilt in 1990, a queen size, hand-appliquéd and hand-quilted Hawaiian pineapple quilt, and she has never looked back. In her own unique style she loves to use new techniques mingled with the old and her work usually shows the influence of her years spent in Japan.

Ruth teaches locally from her home studio and Blue Twig Studio, and nationally at Art and Soul Retreats. Ruth has written several articles for Quilting Arts magazine and blog posts for Havels’ Sewing. Her work has been published in several books. She can also be found on her blog. Ruth is one of the co-authors of the best-selling book, Fabric Embellishment-the Basics and Beyond. Ruth’s newest book modern Hand Stitching is in stores now. Ruth may be contacted for nationwide classes at ruthachandler@

Ruth lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado at the foot of Pikes Peak with her husband of 37 years. She has a daughter and son, both married and 6 beautiful grandchildren who are being introduced very early to all art forms.


Kathie George

Art classes weren't offered in her school when Kathie George was a child. But secretly she dreamed of being an artist, all the while not believing she could actually become one. So, she did not take a formal art class until after she was married when her
husband, Michael, signed her up for a local college course as a surprise. Little did he know what he was in for! That class changed their lives forever. From that moment on, every spare moment she spent painting.  Kathie is known for her friendly, caring and fun approach to teaching and has been a popular workshop instructor for over 25
years. She teaches in a step-by-step manner, enjoys beginners and introducing newbees (who may think they can't do it) to the wonderful world of painting.
Kathie's work can be found in Northlight books Splash 11, 12, 13 and 15, featured in Artist and Watercolor Artist magazines, among others. She has authored 4 watercolor books and is a signature member of both the Ohio Watercolor Society and the
Florida Watercolor Society.


Ruth Greening

Having a lifelong love of art, Ruth has a diverse background that includes air-brush, Australian cake decorating, stone sculpture, lapidary arts, and fine wire wrap settings.
Ruth is self-taught and enjoys learning from renowned teachers by attending classes taught in a wide variety of jewelry art disciplines.
Her introduction to PMC in 2000 was a dream come true - to be able to work in silver with a true freedom in design. As a Senior Instructor for PMC Connection since 2004 she has taught across the states and internationally. To Ruth the best reward is being able to share and enable others to create their own works of wearable art.


Judy Gula

Judy Vincentz Gula has been working in fiber since elementary school. Since middle school, she has been a weaver, a spinner, a dyer, and a collector. Later, she studied fashion design at Radford University, earning degrees in fashion design and business marketing. Judy now enjoys merging all that she has learned from her many interests and channeling that into making art quilts and samples for her shop, Artistic Artifacts.

Judy grew up in a family business, Electrodyne, which designs, manufactures and supplies automotive accessories for European automobiles. Her entrepreneurial spirit was born of this real-world education, preparing her to conceive and open Artistic Artifacts. Her family also imbued in her the “family collector gene,” which allows her to see the potential in what others have discarded.

Judy generally instigates artistic high jinx with everyone who visits her shop. Judy travels to shows, conferences, and guilds to share her excitement about what’s happening in today’s art quilt and fiber world. Her lectures and workshops highlight how today’s artists are using materials from many different disciplines to create mixed media collage work and fiber art.


Chad Alice Hagen

Chad Alice Hagen has been happily and intensively exploring resist dyeing and surface design of hand felted wool since 1979.  Textiles, fiber, fabric, material, felt, cloth – these words are more exciting to her than “You have won the lottery!”  Starting from a textile history background, she has supported herself through her BA and MS from University of Wisconsin and MFA from Cranbrook by weaving rag rugs from thousands of pairs of corduroy pants.  Why?  Because of the color!!  When she discovered feltmaking and the way the wool felt absorbed color through dyeing in the late 1970’s, there was no turning back. Chad Alice has written extensively on art and feltmaking and her artwork has appeared in and on the covers of Surface Design Journal, Fiberarts and Shuttle, Spindle & Dyepot Magazine. She also is the author of three books; "The Fabulous Felt Scarf" (2007), "Fabulous Felt Hats" (2005), and "The Weekend Crafter: Feltmaking"(2002) all published by Lark Books. She has taught hundreds of classes and workshops since 1979 throughout the United States and Canada, England, Ireland, Holland and Germany - from the early felted boots through hats and scarves and artworks.  Her large scale felt work can be found in major collections including the Mint Museum of Craft and Design in Charlotte, NC, The Knoxville Convention Center, TN, and the Minneapolis Institute of Art. B.F. Goodrich Corporation Collection. Chad Alice maintains a full-time felt and book studio in Asheville, North Carolina. 
Chad has been exploring the amazing world of Bookmaking for the last 12 years starting with her use of her resist dyed felt as the covers. She loves teaching how to use textiles - new and found - as the covers of journals and sketchbooks using different binding techniques.


Liz Kettle

Liz Kettle is a fabric and mixed media artist with a passion for teaching others the joy of making art and enjoying the creative process. Liz began her explorations in fabric by following a traditional approach to quilting. After filling her tool box with the skills needed for success in the traditional arena she began to delve into the world of art quilting and discovered a world of freedom and fun in mixed media. Liz’s eclectic work is influenced by her beautiful surroundings in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, her love of vintage textiles and history. She incorporates layers and found objects to tell stories of the land and people. When she isn’t creating visual art, Liz writes about creativity and the creative process. Her articles appeared regularly in Quilter’s Home Magazine. Liz is co-author of Fabric Embellishing: The Basics and Beyond and Threads: The Basics and Beyond. Liz lives in Colorado with her very supportive husband and is the mother of three amazing sons who are just beginning their own journeys.


Mindy Lacefield

Mindy Lacefield is a mixed media artist who draws inspiration from the nostalgia of her childhood. Creating from the heart of a 7 year old, rainbow colors find themselves mingling among bursts of neon. Intuitive mark making with oil pastels tell the story of the child that still resides so vividly in the soul. Working quickly, letting go, and allowing spontaneous splashes of color just happen has been her approach to facing the blank canvas. Being in the moment and enjoying the process of painting with no specific plans of the outcome continues to thrive as Mindy's method of creating. Exploring the duality of nature, the dark against the sweet side - evolve and marry together - to awaken the dream-state that resides in layers of the soul.

Mindy is a full time artist living in central Arkansas with her hubby and two pooches. When she’s not in the studio, she loves to watch independent films and is inspired by the movies of Tim Burton, Alfred Hitchcock, and Stanley Kubrick.


Susan Lenart-Kazmer

Susan Lenart Kazmer’s work is built on years of researching cultures, repairing ethnographic adornment, art school, training in the craft of metallurgy and a strong fashion background. This has made her work that she calls “Expressive Adornment” a unique voice in the industry. 

Susan’s work includes building talismans, prayer boxes, amulets and magic for the fashion, museum, gallery and commercial world for over 20 years.

Early on in her career, Susan built a handmade and commercial line of jewelry for 
Henry Bendell, Banana Republic, Nordstrom, Ann Taylor, as well as various independent and upscale boutiques. She recently built the successful commercial line of components called Industrial Chic. 

Susan’s work has been in numerous traveling exhibits including the Smithsonian Museum and the Art Institute of New York. She is the author of Resin Alchemy, which was on Amazon’s 2013 best seller list. It includes a pioneering ten-year body of work combining metal and ICE Resin®, a jeweler’s grade resin she developed and brought to market. Susan authored her first book Making Connections: A Handbook of Cold Joins for Jewelers and Mixed-Media Artists in 2008. 

Susan’s innovative new work can be seen in the March 2014 issue of U.S. ELLE magazine as she re-enters the fashion world and on the runway in New York and on her website at 



Nancy Prichard

Nancy B. Prichard is retired from full-time teaching after 30 years in the Virginia Beach City Public Schools where she taught artistically gifted students and was involved in fine arts curriculum development. She is an emeritus member of Piedmont Craftsmen, Inc., has exhibited widely and been included in numerous publications. Currently, she is on the adjunct faculty of the Virginia Commonwealth University Off-Campus Graduate Art Program and Virginia Wesleyan College. In addition, she presents workshops for art teachers and students of all ages that emphasize mixed media and creative processes.


Janice Richie

I’ve always done something artistic. I’ve done Macramé, stained glass, sewed all my clothes, knitted, crocheted, needlepoint, embroidery, and even combined several for my own type of “mixed media”. Art helps me keep my sanity and gives me such satisfaction. Through the years I’ve found making jewelry and books to be my two biggest obsessions. I love to teach, and in particular, book making.


Debbie Rijns

An independent studio artist, Debbie was born in New York. Arriving in this country at an early age (8), South Africa quickly became her home.

A porcelain restorer by profession, Debbie has been creating from a really early age. A photo of her at age 3 painting the wall of the house with mud testifies to that talent.

Debbie offers courses and workshops in various media all over South Africa and other exotic places on an ongoing basis.

“I have been given a wonderful gift, of being able to see, design and create in a multitude of mediums. This gift gives me great personal satisfaction, and to be able to share this with others is just awesome”.

Debbie gives credit to her father for her creative streak, he once told her “Just because a tin can is a tin can, doesn`t mean it`s only a tin can….”.


Susan Rossiter

Susan has been creating art, teaching and learning for 30 years. She studied Fine Art at Millersville University and taught informally in Pennsylvania before taking a telecommunications career opportunity in Minneapolis.

Heavily influenced by her original art family in Pennsylvania; Her paintings and creations have always included mixed media before she knew the term. Favorite materials seen commonly in her pieces include shredded money, eggshells and items found outside on the ground. Many pieces are tediously assembled using micro brushes and tweezers to place tiny parts into place.

Susan currently teaches in her Ohio studio, various galleries and local creative spaces. She is particularly fascinated with helping people get past the fear of a blank canvas and creative camaraderie.


Nancy Sacco

         Nancy’s Fancies Jewelry

Originally from Maryland, I have lived most of my adult life in Pennsylvania, where I currently reside in Shrewsbury with my husband (and biggest fan), two dogs, and two cats. Our children are all happily married and busy raising our grandchildren. In 2006 I retired after 30 years from McCormick & Company and started work in earnest on my real passion of creating jewelry. My workshop is in my home, where I also enjoy teaching my craft.

Making jewelry has been a passion of mine for years, and over time I discovered I especially loved working with sterling and fine silver and beautiful gemstones.

I’m a member of the Central Pennsylvania Bead and Jewelry Society, the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen, the York Town Craft Guild, and a juried member of the Yellow Breeches Craft Guild.


Anni Schwabe

Anni’s mixed media work has been published in over 30 issues of Stampington’s many magazines, most being by-line, authored articles. She was also asked to author a chapter in a Workshop issue involving step by step instructions and many samples on the subject of Liquid Media.
Anni has taught many private scrapbooking lessons, which also included paper arts. She makes art everyday.


Eric Scott

Eric M. Scott is one half of the Journal Fodder Junkies, and he is dedicated to helping people discover their artistic potential and cultivate their creativity. He is a mixed media artist, an educator, and an author, and he provides workshops, presentations, and seminars across North America on the visual journal and mixed media art. Eric is coauthor of the bestselling books, The Journal Junkies Workshop (2010) and Journal Fodder 365 (2012), both released by North Light Books.


Carol Spohn

Carol’s painting journey started in 1989 when she learned to paint with acrylics during her lunch hour at the office where she worked. If not for the step-by-step process of decorative painting, she would not have been introduced to the world of painting. In 2000, Carol started painting primarily in transparent watercolor and her teaching career was launched. Carol is an Ambassador for Mission Gold Watercolor by Mijello and paints primarily with watercolor accented with multimedia.
Carol’s workshop is a perfect opportunity for the beginner painter as well as the experienced painter to learn techniques enabling them to complete successful paintings. Carol shares her step-by-step approach to painting with students of all levels. All projects include written instructions, a line drawing and a color photo. Drawing ability is not necessary, allowing the student to focus on the mechanics of painting.
The creative backgrounds in Carol’s paintings set her artwork apart from other artists. Her use of color and textures invite you into her joyful paintings. Each lesson is designed to introduce the student to a new technique or way of looking at art. Students paintings are successful when they “trust the process” of Carol’s methodical instructions. No two paintings are alike, and that is a good thing!
Like many of us, Carol works full time and therefore, takes her painting time seriously and perhaps has a greater appreciation for time spent painting. Painting is her joy and often times, her therapy. As much as she enjoys painting, Carol’s love is teaching painting to others. Carol is a popular instructor at decorative painting conventions sharing her joy of painting with watercolors and mixed media to over 500 students throughout the North America each year.
A lifetime resident of Minnesota, Carol lives in a 100+ year old house in Saint Paul, Minnesota with her husband Coz and their two cats, Mickey and Bailey.



Kate Thompson

Kate's experience as a fiber artist was working with fabric and fiber to create abstract 3-dimensional forms. In 2009 she started painting and hasn't stopped since. Her current work is the combination of the two disciplines. Using watercolors, acrylics, inks and pastels she paints on substrates such as layered vintage linens, fabrics, laces, plaster, paper and wood. The portrait or figure is the focal point and she works at creating images that parallel her spiritual and personal life.
She teaches art online and on location. She is as passionate about teaching as she is creating. The creative process is where all the energy is and she loves and gets energized by sharing her artistic journey.
To learn more about Kate visit her at:


Jean VanBrederode

I was trained as a teacher, but art has always been a part of my life. I feel fortunate to have found an art form, enameling, and also making mixed-media jewelry, that brings excitement into my life each and every day. My work is always changing, always a surprise! Having been seduced, empowered, enriched, & invigorated by metals & glass, I happily dedicate myself to creating and teaching others the joys of enameling!
My work has been featured in 500 Art Necklaces, Steampunk Magazine, Belle Armoire Jewelry, Cloth Paper Scissors, and Green Craft Magazines.
When I’m not teaching workshops or hosting other instructors at Charmed I’m Sure Studio in south-central PA, I am tending to three Etsy shops – Enamel Warehouse –, Art Girls’ Tools –, and Charmed I’m Sure Studio -
I can be contacted at


Proud Sponsors for Art & Soul

For your convenience, you may pre-order your materials for classes! Your materials will be waiting for you at the retreat. And you can always purchase additional materials at the retreat.

Artistic Artifacts

Artistic Artifacts is our onsite store and sponsor for Virginia Beach Retreats.
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Collage is our onsite store and sponsor for Portland, OR Retreats.
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Blue Twig Studio

Blue Twig Studio is our onsite store and sponsor for Minneapolis, MN. Retreat.
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