the retreat

Join Us and Get Your Journal On!

It's been a busy year, and it's just getting busier. If you missed us at one of our events over the last couple of months, don't fret. We've got more in the works, so it's not too late. So, grab a journal, and join us for one of these events over the upcoming months.

In May we are participating in Strathmore Artist Paper's free Online Workshops. All you have to do is register, and each week of the month, Strathmore will post a new 15 minute video that covers some of the basic ways we work in the visual journal. With registration you also have access to free instruction sheets that accompany each video. We'll also be participating in the online discussion after each video to answer any questions and give some feedback.
May 5 - Workshop 1 - Engaging the Page with Watercolor Paint
May 12 - Workshop 2 - Building Layers with Watercolor Pencil
May 19 - Workshop 3 - Using Writing and Text as Graphic Devices
May 26 - Workshop 4 - Collage, Image Transfers, and Transitional Spaces

If online workshops aren't your thing, and you want more "live and in person", then come to Ashburn, VA for our 4-day Visual Journal Retreat. Journal Fodder Junkies: The Retreat is four days of pure journaling bliss, so join us at the Embassy Suites Dulles - North/Loudoun June 26-29 for this one of a kind experience. Registration is open now, and there are Artistic Accomplice discounts for registering with a friend or two. This is the ultimate way to get the Journal Fodder Junkies Experience. Check out the retreat page for more info.
June 26 - Arrival, Introductions, and Easing into the Journal
June 27 - Engaging the Page
June 28 - Delving Deeper and Rich Layers
June 29 - Wrapping up, Saying Goodbye

July and August
At the end of July, beginning of August we will once again be in Pheonix, AZ for Art Unraveled. We will be teaching two all-day workshops as well as participating in the Shopping Extravaganza. If you enjoy the heat, sun, and sand, come join us in the Phoenix.
July 28 - Meet the Artist 7-9PM
July 31 - Alternative Approaches to the Self Portrait
August 1 - The Illustrate Memoir: Writing a Chapter in the Book of "You"
August 2 - Shopping Extravaganza

We hope to see you at one of these events, and please share with all of your friends and family.

Early Bird Registration Extended Until March 31!

The JFJ would like to announce that we are extending the Early Bird Registration for our summer retreat until March 31, 2014. If you would like to attend Journal Fodder Junkies: The Retreat, June 26-29, 2014, and you want to save a bundle of cash, register now. If you want to save more, register with some friends to take advantage of the Artistic Accomplices Discount.

Regular registration is $450 for four days of journal fodder madness. You could save $150 if you take advantage of the discounts. See the Retreat Registration page for details.

Please share this with all of your friends, and we hope to see you there!

Goodbye 2013

It's hard to believe that this is the last day of 2013. It has been such a busy year that it's hard to believe that we're at the end. So much has happened, and time has marched quickly by.

First Dave and I were busy doing our thing - promoting our books, attending conferences, and providing workshops. We hit the NAEA Convention in Fort Worth in March and the VAEA Conference in October. We provided a handful of workshops at a variety of schools, art centers, and universities. We even put on our own retreat in June, and we are planning another for June 2014 (sign up now for some big discounts). We had a joint art exhibit at Eastern Carolina University in Greenville, NC in August, and we both exhibited our work at a variety of other places as well. We have also been working on a couple of new ideas for books, and we're hoping that 2014 will bring a new book by the Journal Fodder Junkies.

Of course there's been my regular teaching gig at an elementary school in Leesburg, VA. It's my 18th year of teaching, and my second at Tolbert Elementary. I can't believe that I've been teaching for nearly two decades. My students continually astound me with their creativity.

On a more personal note, 2013 was also a year of loss. We began the year with the loss of our beloved shepherd/chow Percy. In November my uncle, one of my mom's younger brothers, lost his battle with leukemia. Uncle Ed was always ready with a joke and had given nearly all of my cousins and me silly nicknames. He was only 60.

Most recently, my wife and I had to say goodbye to another beloved dog. Poi (pictured at the top of this post) lost his battle with cancer. He had to have a couple of surgeries and quite a few chemo treatments, and the year saw him slowly deteriorate. In the end, he passed away in my wife's arms just a few days after Christmas. We miss him terribly.

Here's hoping that there's a lot less loss in the new year.

2013 saw a new direction in my art as I became enamored with web imagery. I explored drawing it, painting it, and cutting it out of paper. I even began a collaborative project based on it. Although I have always seen this type of imagery as dealing with connection, I never felt like I had a lot of meaning and intention behind it. I found that intention as I wrapped up the year with two pieces that utilize the web imagery to explore our connection to places - specifically the places that we have lived and called home. I began my "Home" series with a painting where I overlapped maps of the places I have called home. Using Google Maps and a projector, I projected each address onto a 20"x30" piece of paper, and used red acrylic paint to create the web. I created a second "Home" painting using my wife as the subject. As a former naval officer's wife, she has lived in many places, so her painting is much more dense than mine. I'm looking forward to exploring this idea more in the upcoming year.

And so that's just a small smattering of some of my happenings in 2013. I hope that you all have had busy and prosperous years, and here's to a happy, healthy, and productive New Year.

Journal Fodder Junkies: The Retreat Registration

Are you looking for a great deal on this Black Friday? Are you looking for the perfect gift for the creative types in your life - or even for yourself? Well, the JFJ have both for you.

We are excited to announce that registration is now open for our Summer 2014 Retreat. So, if you weren't able to join us last June, and you want to save $50, $100, or even $150, act now. We are offering both Early Bird and Artistic Accomplice Discounts for our June 26-29, 2014 Retreat.

Register now for our four-day visual journal retreat, and you can save on the regular $450 fee. Our Early Bird Discounted rate of $400 is good now through February 28, 2014. Fifty bucks savings not good enough? Then sign up with a friend or two or three, and save another $50, $75, or $100. In order to take advantage of these discounts, all registration fees must be paid in full at the time of registration, so make certain you click the appropriate Buy Now button after you submit your registration information. For your security and convenience, we only use Paypal for all of our registration payments, so we can accept all major credit and debit cards.

New this year, we will be able to offer 3 graduate credits through Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV for those educators seeking Professional Development credit. This option will require additional payment and coursework, and more information will be forthcoming. Make certain that you meet all of your state requirements in regards to Professional Development/Recertification.

For more info on the Retreat, visit the Retreat page.

To register, go to the Registration page.

JFJ: The Retreat

Dave and I were extremely fortunate to conduct our very own art retreat this week. It was an intimate affair with just five participants, but for four days we explored the visual journal at the Embassy Suites in Ashburn, VA, just 30 minutes from my home.

The group gelled very quickly, and we ended up eating lunch together and hanging out far beyond our scheduled time. Since we had the same room for the entire four days, it didn't take long for the art bomb to drop, and with three big round tables, everyone was able to spread out in order to take full advantage of the small group size. Besides sharing our perspective on the visual journal, we initiated several of the group into the ways of Farkle - a dice game where newbies swear that you're just making up the rules as you go.

With the creative energy and the camaraderie, it was fantastic group, and we felt very lucky to have Kathy, Kristy, Joe, Nicole, and Jackie join us for our inaugural retreat. We are definitely going to have another retreat next year hoping that it will become an annual tradition. We have even tentatively set the dates, June 26 - 29, 2014. We'll confirm up those dates later in the summer or early fall, but if you weren't one of our fortunate five this year, don't miss out next year.

Mark your calendars.

Have You Registered?

June is quickly approaching, and we're hoping to have our very own retreat. But we need your help, and we need people to register ASAP. We're getting to a point where we are going to have to decide if we're going to have it or not because we have yet to meet our minimum. If we don't reach the minimum by May 15th, we're going to have to cancel, and we don't want that.

So many people have said they were coming but haven't registered yet. If you've been waiting to register or simply have been putting it off, don't delay any longer. Even if you can't come, we still ask for your help. Please share this as much as you can. We ask that you please post on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Your friends, family, and readers may be interested, and we would greatly appreciate the help.

Details for Journal Fodder Junkies: the Retreat
Thursday, June 20, 2013 - Sunday, June 23, 2013
Embassy Suites Dulles - North/Loudoun in Ashburn, VA (just minutes from Dulles International Airport)
$450 for 3 full days of journaling madness
Participants are responsible for all lodging, meal, and transportation costs.

Please visit the retreat page for more info and to register. Don't forget to click the Buy Now button just below the registration form to complete the registration and reserve your spot.

We hope to see you in June.

Journal Fodder Junkies: The Retreat

Now that the new year is in full swing, we can turn to promoting our biggest event of 2013 - OUR VERY OWN RETREAT. After teaching workshops across North America in 2012, we decided to try something a bit closer to home, and we have booked a space at a local Embassy Suites in Ashburn, Virginia. We are offering three full days of Journal Fodder Junkie madness from June 20-23, and will share ideas, techniques, and concepts taken from our two bestselling books. But don’t worry, we have enough surprises in store to keep it fresh, exciting, and new.

The cost is $450 which covers the tuition for the workshop, and we are limiting this special retreat to 30 people. Participants are responsible for travel, lodging, and food expenses, and we do have a special rate with the hotel.

For more info or to register for the retreat go the retreat webpage. Hopefully you can join us for this amazing journey, so make certain that you reserve your spot soon. If it’s a success, maybe it can become an annual thing.

Journal Fodder Junkies: The Retreat

Have you been wanting to take a workshop with the Journal Fodder Junkies?

Now is your chance.

We are excited to announce that we are holding a three-day retreat next summer in Northern Virginia at the Embassy Suites Dulles - North/Loudoun in Ashburn, VA. It will run from Thursday, June 20 through Sunday, June 23, 2013.

The cost is $450.00 for the whole workshop. Participants are responsible for lodging and meals.

We hope that you can join us.

Click The Retreat button at the top for more information and to register, or go here. We expect the retreat to fill quickly, so register soon.