Sunday, June 28, 2009

Evidence from the Kick-Off Scene

Katrina and Alane knitting.

Alane drove up from Jupiter to meet with us. She is a member of the Mixed Media Madness group in Palm Beach Gardens, where I first met her. She is a multi-talented crafter, working mostly with paper crafts and knitting. Alane is a manager at Crafts & Stuff in Palm Beach Gardens, where I'm told they just started carrying a more complete line of fine art supplies. I'm anxious to get down there and check it out.

(Image copyright Stacie Williams)

Stacie is a metalsmith, jewelry maker and mixed media artist. When I saw this ring on her blog recently, I fell in love. I asked her to bring it to the Kick Off so I could see it in person. She is such a sweetheart! She not only brought the ring, she gave it to me! ♥ And in an amazing synchronistic twist, she looked over to my wall and in a bit of shock and astonishment, she asked if the flower painting (seen below) had been on my blog previously. When I told her that it had, she said the ring was crafted after that very painting. She had seen it on a blog, but couldn't remember where exactly. Amazing! It is such a small world and I love moments like this.

Tara spent the evening working on jewelry and painting while she and Katrina chatted about poetry and fiction. Both aspiring writers, you can see some of Tara's poetry on her blog and Katrina has just begun a new blog feature called Fiction Friday, where you can read an excerpt from one of her short stories.

Katrina's writing talent has been an enormous help with this blog. She has written most of our Feature Friday articles and she wrote a wonderful article about her experience meeting with us last month.

I snapped a few pictures of these three amazing pieces that Lori painted in the short time she was here last night. Her work is absolutely incredible in person. Have you had a chance to read the article Kat wrote about Lori for Feature Friday last week? Lori's talent and accomplishments are truly amazing.

Here is Katrina in action working in her art journal.

Thank you ladies for coming out and making our
Official Kick Off a success!

See you next month!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Feature FOUNDER Friday - Carmen Torbus - GIVEAWAY

I am passionate about creating art that encourages connection, validates emotion and nourishes the soul.”

–Carmen Torbus

This week we at TCWAA decided to turn the tables and interview our alliance founder: Carmen Torbus. Carmen is a young, dynamic new artist who feels that art, “fills my emotional bank. When all the things that aren't enjoyable begin to drain me, working in my studio for a few minutes always makes me feel better.” She recommends that new artists “do what comes naturally, artistically. Try new things. Seek other artists to connect with and toss around ideas and have get-togethers.” It is this philosophy that created the blog that you are currently reading.

Carmen enjoys mixed media art, often working on canvas or wood with acrylics and papers. She also enjoys creating encaustics, also known as hot wax paintings. Selling her first commission was a turning point for Carmen, in that it was, “when it really hit me and I felt confident referring to myself as an artist.”

Carmen loves pouring her heart into her work and is particularly proud of her Reach painting, which she also turned into a locket set by collaborating with Polarity.

Leave a comment and you could
win the locket set seen above!

Carmen is giving away a locket set to one of our lucky readers! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post by Tuesday, June 30th. the winner will be announced on Wednesday, July 1st.


Q: If you could only keep 3 art supplies what would they be?
Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide Paint, Black India Ink and paper

Q: How would you make art if you were stranded on a deserted island?
I would find or make some kind of carving tool to carve inspirational or motivational words into my surroundings... little reminders not to give up hope.

Q: How do you organize your art supplies?
That's a joke right? I have supplies everywhere. I think if my studio was neat and tidy I probably wouldn't be able to find anything.

Q: What comforts you?
Homemade potato soup, acoustic music, painting with my fingers and when all else fails, chocolate cake always works.

Q: Do you listen to music when you create? If so what kind?
I do. I have pretty eclectic taste in music. When I'm in the studio, I have a playlist that has a lot of acoustic, folksy sounding music mixed in with bands like Matchbox 20, Pearl Jam, Maroon 5, and Train; and also some Alanis Morissette, Natasha Beddingfield, Dido, Sara McLachlan, and Feist.

Q: Picasso had a blue period. If you painted in one color family what would it be? Why that color?
Hmm, I've always been drawn to fall colors. Golds, orangey-yellows, browns and deep reds, but lately I've had a thing for blue-greens. I'm not sure what it is about these colors. The fall colors are very comforting and soothing - they draw me in and give me a feeling of safety and security. The blue-greens are a little more bold and I think that is in direct correlation to the person I'm becoming. I'm coming out of my shell a little and letting a little more of my light shine. Stepping out of that autumn tinted comfort zone.

Q: What makes you happy? Sad? How does that appear in your art?
Big puffy clouds make me happy... always. And the stars. Maybe it's just the sky itself that does it. I could stare at the sky for hours. I love taking pictures of the sky and I love to share them on my blog. My blog is an extension of my art - another way for me to express myself creatively. I often express my emotions through my art and through my words and photos on my blog.

Q: What inspires you?
A: Other artists who are following their dreams really inspire me. Connecting with other women and talking about goals and dreams is another great source of inspiration for me.

Q: Favorite Artist?
A: Bridgette Guerzon Mills

Q: Tea or coffee?
A: Coffee - sweet and creamy!

Q: Cats or dogs?
I can't choose. I love them all.

Q: Monet or Warhol?
A: Van Gogh

Q: Trademark art symbol?
If you look closely, you will almost always find a scribbled flower on my paintings.

Q: Paint or Pencils?
Both! Lately I've been combining the two and I'm loving the results. If I had to choose one, it would be paint.

Q: Salty or sweet?
I like them together. Popcorn and M&Ms, Doritos and Hershey's bars, yum!

Q: You’re not in Kansas anymore are you Dorothy, er, I mean Carmen.
Ha! No and I don't plan to click my heels any time soon.

Q: What time of day do you like to create?
Late at night. My best work is done between 11:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m.

Q: What is your favorite adjective?

Q: With a full time job, 2 kids and the TCWAA how do you make time for art?
I don't sleep. Actually, I work on art when I can fit it in. I don't have a specific time. Sometimes I paint with my 7-year-old, she has her own little corner in our home studio. I almost always have my sketch book with me and sketch when I can. Most often though, my best artwork is done late at night when it's quiet in the house.

Q: What’s the weirdest thing you ever painted?
A: Does painting my kids faces before a hockey game count? Let's Go Buffalo!

Q: What’s your guilty pleasure?
Cinnamon Dolce Lattes and Pumpkin Loaf from Starbucks... and art books and magazines of course.

Carmen's work can be seen
on her blog:
Distracted by Design
and her Etsy Shop:
Torbus & Company Studios

We hope to see you all tomorrow
at Carmen's House!!

Our official Kick Off gathering will be on
Saturday, June 27th, 2009 at 6:00 P.M.
at Carmen's house in Port St. Lucie
email me for the address:
carmen.tcwaa @!

Don't forget to leave a comment
to enter Carmen's Giveaway!


Article and Interview by Katrina Kniep

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Come One, Come All


Our official Kick Off gathering will be on
Saturday, June 27th, 2009 at 6:00 P.M.
at Carmen's house in Port St. Lucie
email me for the address:
carmen.tcwaa @!

If you're wondering what to expect when you arrive, read this post or read Katrina's article describing her experience meeting with us last month.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Until we meet again (or for the first time),

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Feature Friday Artist of the Week - Lori McNamara

Some artists look to the human form for inspiration, others to common objects and some to their religious or political beliefs. Our Feature Friday artist, Lori McNamara, takes her inspiration from, “Florida’s natural beauty.” As leader of the Plein Air Artists of the Treasure Coast, Lori enjoys painting outside. She uses her paintbrush as a butterfly collector would use a net to capture the stunning quality of the Sunshine State.

Lori sold her first painting at the age of eight and is now, “one of the most prolific women painters in the United States, having painted well over 1000 paintings.” As a member of the Daily Painters online and the Treasure Coast Art Association, Lori produces oil paintings, often using a painting knife to create a texture that she prefers.

Lori does enjoy various types of media but states that she especially enjoys painting in oils. Although she spends time painting outside she also works in her studio. “I like small paintings the best, and I have done some miniatures that were the size of business cards.”

If Lori had to choose a painting she is proud of it would be a painting of, “some seagulls flying over the Indian River. I am proud of that one.” She is also proud to, “have stuck with it and not given up. I also have reached the stage where I like my own work.” Thank you for sticking with it and adding to our many inspirations, Lori.

You can view Lori’s artwork at, at the Grant Antique Mall, 5900 US1 in Grant, Florida and in downtown Fort Pierce at 124 N. 2nd Street.


Written by Katrina Kniep

Monday, June 15, 2009

Looking for something to do this summer?

Check out our friends over at the
Treasure Coast Art Association!

The gallery is located at
223 Avenue "A" Downtown Fort Pierce.

Phone: 772-240 2078

They offer Classes and Open Studio Days.
Visit their blog for all details!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Feature Friday - Tara Hartten

TCWAA Feature Friday Artist

Tara Hartten, an up an coming local artist has always love to create. Her first love is the pencil but just recently has been dabbling in acrylic paint with a little Mixed Media flare and jewelry making.

Tara said, "My inspirations comes from the sky,
the ocean and other creative people.
I love the high I get when I'm totally engrossed in a project."

You can find Tara here:


Thank You Tara!

See you on the 27th at the
Official TCWAA Kick Off!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

We have a WINNER!

Congratulations Kay Kniep
a.k.a. Kardvark!


Kay said her favorite items
in Lauren's shop are the soothing shells.

Email your address to
so Lauren can send you the gorgeous painted shells you won!


Be sure to check back tomorrow for our
Feature Friday Artist of the Week!


Monday, June 8, 2009

Feed Your Soul. Nourish the Artist Within. - What to expect at the Official Kick Off Gathering on June 27th!

Art journal page by Carmen Torbus

Bring your favorite art or craft supplies for an evening of art, conversation, laughter, tunes, food and fun.

Last month, Lauren brought her seashells and tiny paintbrush.

Katrina brought her art bag filled with her art journals and favorite pens, markers, collage elements and more.

Tara brought her portfolio with canvases, papers, pastels, and works in progress.

Christine came for some "me time" with no intention of painting and ended up picking up a paintbrush for the very first time. She said she's looking forward the next get-together and and now she even invited a friend of hers to join us!

Rumor has it that one of the attendees will be bringing her knitting and two other ladies will be working on their jewelry projects. Can't wait to see what everyone is working on. I get so inspired when I see other people doing what makes their heart sing. Don't you?

Something powerful happens when women come together for a common goal. The goal of the Treasure Coast Women's Art Alliance is simple - to empower women through art.

I've found that when I am around other women, each of us doing something creative that we love, it gives us the courage to embrace vulnerability, share our experiences and feel safe to freely create, with no inhibitions.

No pressure.
No negativity.
No right or wrong way to create - anything goes.

Whether you enjoy painting, knitting, sculpting, writing, poetry, jewelry making, collage, mixed media, scrapbooking, or anything else, I encourage you to come and spend an evening with us.

I've also found that when I do embrace vulnerability and share who I am, share my art and talk about my dreams and goals... I leave feeling empowered. I leave feeling validated. And most of all, I leave feeling inspired.

The Official Kick Off Gathering will be on June 27th at 6:00 pm. The plan is to meet at my home, as we did last month. If you plan to attend, please email me (, leave a comment here on the blog or RSVP on our Facebook Group Event Page and I will ensure you have the address. For reference, I live in the SW corner of Port St. Lucie between Gatlin and Becker.

Tara tells me she's bringing her famous 7 layer dip! Mmmm!
If you're famous for something yummy and want to bring it, feel free.
Anything chocolate will get you bonus points from me.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or email me at

I look forward to hearing from you and hope to see you on the 27th!

Much love,

P.S. Did you read Katrina Kniep's article sharing her thoughts on meeting with us for the first time?
P.P.S You can also read/see on my blog
the get-together that prompted me to start this group
and what I wrote about why I started TCWAA here!

Find the TCWAA on Facebook!


Find us on Facebook! There is a discussion area, event information, links, and more. Network with other members and get to know each other a little better!

Don't use Facebook? No worries, the really important dates and information for the TCWAA will always be available here on the blog!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Feature Friday - Lauren Brodsky - Giveaway!

Lauren Brodsky
TCWAA Feature Friday Artist

I'm a 27 year old Mommy of two gorgeous kids. As much as I love them, I also love having my own space. At night, I go into my aRtV. That's right, an RV dedicated just to my creative work space. I escape into my world where I paint with one of my most favorite things, the beach. The beach is my serenity. My place of love, higher power, and peace. Thanks for checking out my shop and sharing my peace and love. I also love sewing and making clothes, but until I get a new sewing machine that will have to wait. For now I continue to express myself through my beach art.

Lauren just launched her etsy shop, "I'm a Beach" and to celebrate the Grand Opening, she's having a Giveaway! She said:
The lucky winner will receive not one, but two special gifts. The first is a shell with the words, "suprise yourself" painted on the outside. The second is a tiny rock painted with a majestic beach scene. I hope you enjoy these shells as much as I enjoyed making them.

Here's how to enter!

Visit Lauren's etsy shop and leave a comment telling us what your favorite item from her shop is!

Contest ends Wednesday, June 10th at 8 pm EST.
The Winners will be announced on Thursday, June 11th.

Bonus Entries:

If you do any of the following let us know by leaving an additional comment for each one you do. If you do any of the following already, let us know in an extra comment. Please leave a separate comment for each bonus entry that you do or we can't count them. This helps make choosing a winner so much easier and it also ups your chances of winning!

  1. Follow our blog. (Just click the little Follow button on the top right.)
  2. Tweet about this giveaway.
  3. Buy something from Lauren's shop and get THREE extra entries!
Be sure to leave an extra comment for each bonus entry and leave your email address so we know how to contact you if you are the lucky winner!

Thank you so much for being our featured artist Lauren and congratulations on the launch of your etsy shop!

I look forward to seeing you at our Kick Off Even on June 27th!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Call to Local Artists

If you are a local artist and would like your work (paintings, photography, fiber arts, mixed media, poetry, jewelry, pottery, etc.) featured on our blog, please send your submissions to

We will be featuring a different local artist each week for Feature Friday!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Carmen Torbus’ Lonely Arts Club Tribe - by Katrina Kniep

I have a song stuck in my head. It’s the title track on one of my favorite albums of all time, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles.

“It’s wonderful to be here. It’s certainly a thrill…”

What does this have to do with anything? You might be wondering while you check the website address to make sure you are on the right page. Hold on, and I’ll tell ya.

For a long time now artists have been known for being solitary creatures. Their self-imposed loneliness was seen as creative and eccentric as well as necessary for their art. Today, this is not so.

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Carmen Torbus through the blogosphere. It was nice to hear from someone in my area who was also interested in art and I gladly accepted her invitation to an art night with her friends. As the date approached I found myself feeling much the same way I had when I was getting ready for a blind date. What should I wear? Will they like me? What should I bring to do as my project? What if they think my project is dumb and my art sucks? However, two years ago my blind date panned out and became the love of my life, so I didn’t let these nerves get the best of me.

I drove up to Port St. Lucie listening to music and enjoying the sunshine. My art bag was packed to the brim. When I got to our meeting spot I was greeted with hugs and candy, a snuffle from a friendly hound and the giggles of excited children.

I quickly sat down at the table and was introduced around. From the start Lauren, Tara, Carmen and Christine were welcoming and talkative. I didn’t feel out of the loop or ignored at all. In fact the first thing I was asked was to pass around my art journals, if I didn’t mind. I got a lot of compliments on my journals and enjoyed seeing what the other ladies were working on. There was a multitude of painted projects from seashells and canvas, to painted collage, mixed-media and abstract art.

I felt compelled to draw, paint, sing, munch and chat along with these women and I enjoyed every minute of it. I worked on a doodle page in my art journal with no insecurity. I had already realized that this was a safe space to be myself. We laughed and as we created art we also produced the foundation for friendships and collaborative community.

I stayed and chatted with paint on my hands for as long as I could stave off fatigue. When I left to drive home that night I was surprised at how easily we all shared our own lives and art and how necessary it is to feel a part of something that is bigger. I hadn’t realized that I had become lonely for people whose vision mirrored my own.

As I drove home, I sang along to my favorite lyrics one more time thinking about our new tribe and all of the fun yet to come. For these women artists and I, loneliness is so passé.

So May I introduce to you

The act you’ll know well through this site…

Carmen Torbus' Lonely Arts Club Tribe

Author: Katrina Kniep

See more of Katrina's work on her blog!
Contact Katrina:

Monday, June 1, 2009

Empowering Women Through Art

Saturday night, I invited some friends over for some artsy play time. Seeds of friendship were planted and fertilized with paint and chocolate. Budding friendships were nourished with chit chat and laughter. Blooming friendships were tended to with hugs and stories shared; and the roots are growing deep. I love these connections. I feel like I'm a gardener growing a beautiful garden... but it's so, so much more... these friendships - new and old, are such a blessing. So motivating, so inspiring, so empowering.

I've posted previously on my blog about soul tribes and I've dreamed of having a tribe of my own. I feel as if my tribe has been born. I now have this incredible little tribe of my own. People that I cherish. People that add so much to my life. ♥ But it's so much bigger than that... my dream that is. It's bigger than just me and bigger than having a tribe of my own.

You see, I have this dream of creating an avenue to empower women through art. And I feel deeply that it's time. The inspiration and shift I always feel after getting together with positive, strong, creative women is powerful. It's empowering... and I want to share my experience.

And so the Treasure Coast Women's Art Alliance is born. Join me on this crusade to create conversations, connections and community through creativity and collaboration.

Our first official gathering will be on Saturday, June 27th, 2009 at 6:00 P.M.
email me for more details:
carmen.tcwaa @
or join our mailing list for updates!

Enter your e-mail address to subscribe to our mailing list...

I look forward to many, many more soul nourishing, fun, food and art filled get-togethers!

Let's connect and create!

Much love,