Teaching at Sitka: Part 1

I had the privilege of teaching two classes at Sitka Center for Art and Ecology. The first, June 30-July 3, was in the smaller of the two studios at Sitka, Smith, and with ten students, it was the perfect space.

I taught two classes at Sitka, the first class was in the smaller, lower studio and the second class was in the spectacular upper studio, Boyden.

Because I was teaching two classes and they were back-to-back (I had the 4th of July off between the two classes), I got to stay at Morley House, which was a first for me. I loved this space!

This is where I got to stay for ten days: Morley House.

Now to the good stuff. The class. I could babble on about it, but instead I’m going to share photos – a fraction of the photos I took, but it gives a good look into our four days of art making. The group was talented, energetic, spirited, and hard workers — and they wanted to know if they could sign up for my 2023 class on the final day!

Brand new overalls! Soft fabric . . . and WHITE. I’m ready.
How I set up the oil paints I bring for the class to use.
A demo board.
Picking up supplies.
Pink+handmade holey paper = beauty.
Making room for a beautiful ring.
Just a beautiful blob of paint.
An old wallpaper roller I bought at a flea market in Europe years ago was a huge hit.
All the colors!
Working, working, working.
Blotting with tissue paper, lifting paint, and moving paint around.
Spreading and scraping paint.
Mixing oil paint with cold wax medium.
Such a strong use of color!
Another lover of color!
Carol experimenting with using a solvent to create drips.
A lovely example of a grid composition.
Regina and Liz confer.
Beautiful swaths of color.
Jill contemplates her next move.
My favorite stencil: circles.
Colorful, powerful, and fascinating example of a grid composition.

R&F Pigment Sticks – making a monoprint.
Selecting pigment sticks to try out.
A beautiful, finished painting. Carol started this one in a class with me a few years ago, brought it with her, and brought it to a beautiful finish.
Work in progress.
Encouraging and supporting each other.
Experimenting with drips!
I love the variety of color and marks in this series.
This is a monoprint of the original oil and cold wax painting (Marc let me have the monoprint and it is hanging in my studio).
Looking in . . . .
A beautiful series of magical marks.
Paintings drying in the courtyard,
Mini abstracts.
Ripping off tape to reveal small beauties.
Final day show and tell.

And then I rested.

I’m Teaching! Four Days of Oil and Cold Wax

Lisa Pressman Class (36)

If you’ve ever been interested in working in oil and cold wax, I have a great opportunity to immerse yourself for four consecutive days of art making in a beautiful new space. I will be teaching my Abstracted Play class at the Salem Art Association’s newly revamped and remodeled Art Annex on October 6-9, from 9:30-4:30. There will be plenty of time to dive in, learn new techniques, experiment, be inspired, inspire each other, work hard, and, of course, play. But first, this is the bright, airy, new space, located in the heart of Bush Park, where we will be meeting. And my class is the very first to be offered!




This class is for everyone. If you have previously worked with oil and cold wax, this class will help take you to the next level, but it also works well for beginners with no experience at all. Oil paint mixed with cold wax is a versatile medium that creates rich luminosity and interesting surfaces. We’ll experiment with laying down paint, adding texture, scraping paint away, and then doing it all over again. And maybe yet again.


During the four days, we will work on multiple pieces, working intuitively and abstractly, exploring texture, layers, composition, design elements, and use of color through oil paint and pigment sticks. We will explore making marks using graphite pencils, twigs and awls, solvents to remove paint and leave marks, and oil pigment sticks. We will be working on wood substrates as well as Arches oil paper.


Oil paint mixed with cold wax allows the layers to dry quickly (and without much odor), and clean up is done with mineral or baby oil, so our use of solvents is very limited (or even unnecessary).

Lisa Pressman Class (47)
The cost for the four full days of class is $350 with a $20 supply fee. I provide some materials and share all of my paints and pigment sticks. To register, just go to the Salem Art Association website using this link.

Abstracted Play: Three days of oil and cold wax

Class June 2016 (1)

The paint was flying last week when I hosted a three day oil and cold wax workshop called Abstracted Play. The class was held in the classroom at The Art Studios at Mission Mill, so I kept the number of students to five to maximize space. But we had a kitchen, an espresso machine, lots of snacks, and a lovely art lounge to hang out in, so we made do.

Class June 2016 (13)

The class consisted of demos, work time, one-on-one assistance, more demos, feedback and support. Photos tell the story better than anything I could say.

Class June 2016 (12)

Class June 2016 (10)

Class June 2016 (8)

Class June 2016 (5)

Class June 2016 (31)

Class June 2016 (29)

Class June 2016 (22)

Class June 2016 (14)

Class June 2016 (11)

The artists created some lovely work during the three days. Here is a sampling.

Class June 2016 (19)

Class June 2016 (41)

Class June 2016 (55)

Class June 2016 (54)

Class June 2016 (49)

Class June 2016 (47)

Class June 2016 (43)

Class June 2016 (42)

Class June 2016 (38)

Class June 2016 (39)

Class June 2016 (40)


Such a fun, hard-working group of women. They assured me they cycled all the way from number 1 to finally landing at number 6. Whew, but it was touch and go for a while.

Class June 2016 (52)

Class June 2016 (34)


Abstracted Play: Creating With Plaster, Oil, and Cold Wax

Class (27)I’m just home from teaching a three-day workshop in Portland at Stacey Mattraw’s imaginative, magical studio, Arcangelo Productions, in North Portland.

Class (47)

Class (46)Our three-day workshop actually started on Thursday evening when Stacey hosted a get together so everyone could meet and get their painting supplies set up.

Class (48)Friday morning, we began our three-day marathon. We spent most of Friday preparing our boards, adding paint, plaster, and more paint, so that when we started to layer oil and cold wax, we would already have a nice layer of texture to respond to.

Class (43)

Class (37)

Class (36)

Class (18)

Class (16)

Class (17)

Class (39)

Class (31)

Class (32)

Class (25)

Class (33)

Class (34)Class (11)

Class (35)

Class (40)

By the end of the first day we were already applying layers of oil and cold wax.

Class (30)On Day Two it was oil and cold wax ALL DAY LONG.

Class (24)

Class (28)

Class (29)

Class (22)

Class (15)

Of course, breaks were taken.

Class (20)

Class (38)

On Day Three we gave each other feedback on some of the art in progress, painted, then ended the day with a walkabout.

Class (14)

Class (12)

Show and Tell (2)

Class (9)

Class (8)

Class (7)

Class (2)

Class (3)

And then we collapsed!

Class (5)It was a great group of artists, so full of enthusiasm, energy, and talent — and they all worked so hard. Most of the ladies had traveled quite a distance to attend: Bellingham, the San Juan Islands, Alaska, California,  as well as Portland and Silverton.

Class (4)

A sampling of their beautiful work . . . .

Class Work (9)

Class Work (11)

Class Work (15)

Class Work (13)

Class Work (10)

Class Work (1)

Class Work (2)

Class Work (8)

Class Work (3)

Class Work (4)

Class Work (7)

Class Work (5)

Class Work (6)

Class Work (14)


Curious About Oil and Cold Wax?

Strengthened By Silence

Buoyant With Light

A Muddy Fog of Memories

A Shadow of Elegance

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be teaching my Plaster, Oil, and Cold Wax: Abstracted Play class in August. It will be held at the wonderful studio of Stacey Mattraw, Arcangelo Productions, located in a hip, diverse, funky area of North Portland.

Stacey Mattraw Studio

The class will be held Friday-Sunday, August 14-16, 10 am-5 pm every day.

Painted boards


The first day we’ll be painting our boards and applying plaster and by Friday afternoon we’ll be learning oil and cold wax techniques (I provide you with a pre plastered board so we don’t waste a minute of our precious time.)

Boards Plastered

On Saturday morning, we’ll sand our plastered boards.

Boards drying


And quickly seal them with acrylic paint.

Staining plastered boards

Boards painted (1)

By Saturday afternoon, we’ll be applying layers and layers of luminous, buttery, oil and cold wax.

OCW Process

I’ll be sharing lots of techniques throughout the weekend on how to add interesting texture, add text, scrape back, and so much more.

OCW Process 2As an added special bonus, on Thursday evening, 5-6:30 pm, we’ll meet at Arcangelo Productions for a pre-workshop gathering hosted by Stacey. We’ll have snacks and drinks and get to know each other in advance of the class beginning on Friday morning. We have also scheduled a field trip to Collage, a delightful, and full-to-the-brim art supply store on NE Alberta, where Maria is offering a 10% discount on all purchases.

collage on alberta

The cost of the three-day class (with some supplies included) is $375. A $100 deposit holds your space, with the balance due on July 14, 2015. If you are interested, please contact me: dayna@alleyartstudio.com and I’ll e-mail detailed information about what supplies are included, what you need to bring, and my refund policy. Also, if you’re coming from out of town, I can send you information on places to stay in the surrounding area.

Everything Drifted Into Stillness

Movements of Habit

The maximum number of students will be 12 and five spaces are available as of this posting.

Me teaching the Abstracted Play class in Gig Harbor, WA
Me teaching the Abstracted Play class in Gig Harbor, WA


If you’d like to see photos from previous classes, here are two links. Number one and number two.

And I’ll leave you with a few more samples of my plaster, oil, and cold wax pieces.

Transparent Excuse

"The Journey Home: The Ease of Slumber"  Venetian plaster, oil, cold wax
“The Journey Home: The Ease of Slumber”
Venetian plaster, oil, cold wax
"Insatiably Curious" 16x16, plaster, oil, and cold wax
“Insatiably Curious”
16×16, plaster, oil, and cold wax
Visual Language
Visual Language

Abstracted Play: Three Day Workshop

IMG_1251I’ve just spent the past three days guiding six beautiful women through the process of using plaster, oil, and cold wax. This was the first workshop held at The Art Studios at Mission Mill and it was a huge success. We went from this:


to this:


The women bonded instantly on Friday and by the end of Sunday, my sides were sore from laughing so much.


Friday afternoon we painted our boards and applied plaster.








Then on Saturday morning the ladies sanded and stained.





Before lunch on Saturday, I had the women applying initial layers of oil and cold wax.




And by the end of Saturday, the hall was filled with drying art.


Sunday morning, we were back at it.



We had snacks available all the time . . . .


. . . and on Sunday, Howard delivered a salad bar lunch to us.


Before we knew it, it was time to clean up and prepare for show and tell.









Here is a sampling of the incredible work the women created. A sampling, I tell you!














It was an energizing, exciting, creative three days.


Messy, Messy, Messy


I was asked by the Salem Art Association  if I would like to participate in their high school mentorship program. It took me all of seven seconds to respond with a big fat YES. It is a rigorous program for the students who apply. They first have to complete an application, responding to a series of questions, provide two letters of recommendation from their art teachers or principal, then they go through interviews; there are only 15 available spots. Once they are accepted into the program, they attend two events per month during the school year. As part of the program, artists are invited to mentor students based upon what the student has indicated as art goals. I was invited to mentor three students: Olivia, Madeline, and Simon.

I met with each of the students for an initial consultation so I could get to know each of them and find out their art goals and how I could help them be accomplished. All three students were interested in mixed media, plaster, oil and cold wax, and experimenting. After meeting with all three students, I was excited as they were.

IMG_0947Since all three were interested in some of the same types of experimentation and exploration, I scheduled a couple of mini workshops during their holiday break. For the first workshop, we prepped boards with a variety of materials: gesso (white and colored), plaster, and venetian plaster. They all jumped right in.









On Friday, we’re getting together again to make decisions about the next step for the boards. Acrylic? Oil and cold wax? Paper? Pencil? So many choices.

Abstracted Play: On the Road

Show and Tell 2

I was invited by Kristina Trudell, a Washington artist I had met in a previous workshop, if I would be willing to teach my plaster/oil/cold wax class, Abstracted Play, either in Salem, Portland, or Washington. Since I have a daughter in Tacoma, I decided to make it a road trip. Of course, if I’m on an art road trip, it usually involves Tory Brokenshire.  I invited Tory to join me, and she did the driving; we picked up two artists along the way and made the trip north last Friday afternoon.

Tory surprised each of us with a goody bag for the drive north.
Tory surprised each of us with a goody bag for the drive north.

The class was held at the home of Kathie Vezzani, who lives in Gig Harbor.  Oh my. She prepared a wonderful space for the workshop and provided several gourmet meals. (Side note: Kathie arranges art trips around the world, so check out her blog and get on her mailing list for information on her upcoming trips.)

Bridge to Gig HarborFriday night we prepared our boards with paint and plaster.








IMG_0231By morning, the plaster was dry and ready for sanding and more paint.

Stack of boardsIMG_0251





Before noon on Saturday, we were laying down layers of oil and cold wax.




The food Kathie prepared was delicious, and the weather was perfect.



Then back to it.

Irena WorkingIMG_0273IMG_0274Saturday night we took a little road trip to the Key Peninsula for dinner at Leslie’s house. It was a magical and dream-like evening.


Francie Dayna Tory


Saturday night dinner

Saturday night evening

Sunday was our final day. A time to work on our pieces, resolve problems, start over, scrape back, scritch, scratch, and finally, lay out our pieces for show and tell.


Oil and Cold Wax 2


Oil and Cold Wax 1

Doug and Leslie








Oil and Cold Wax 4Oil and Cold Wax 3

What a great weekend. And this was our view on the drive home Sunday evening.

Sunset on way home


To Teach or Not to Teach: I Say TEACH

BLOG painted hands

To teach or not to teach. I used to teach quite a bit, then I took a year and half hiatus to focus on my art. The time away from teaching allowed me to dedicate more time to creating my own style of painting, and I’m glad I temporarily stepped away from teaching. But I’ve been feeling the urge to teach again. I’ll be teaching a plaster, oil and cold wax class later this month in Gig Harbor to a closed, private, group of artists. I’ll also be teaching my Layers of Memory plaster class next May in southern California (details on that will be shared later). And I’m ready to begin teaching regularly in Salem.

My good art friend Tory and I recently leased studio space with a group of artists at Mission Mill (Willamette Heritage Center) and there are two common areas that will be available for offering classes. I’m in. But what to teach? That’s where I’m seeking input. For those who know me or have taken classes from me in the past, what would you like to see offered? If you don’t know me and have never had a class from me, what would interest you? Here are some ideas that I’ve been thinking about.

Layers of Memory
Working with plaster to create texture and interest.

BLOG Plaster Painting

BLOG Plaster grid

BLOG Plaster class painting

Oil and Cold Wax: Abstracted Play
Creating abstract pieces using oil and cold wax.

BLOG Oil and Cold Wax

Oil and Cold Wax with a Punch of Plaster
A combination of both the plaster workshop and then the addition of oil and cold wax workshop (this is how most of my pieces of are created).

BLOG Lead Image

BLOG Oil and Cold Wax Painting

Visual Journals
Building a journal from scratch, then incorporating visual journal techniques on the pages.

BLOG Visual Journal photo

BLOG Visual Journal pages with supplies

BLOG Visual Journal

Visual Journal in a Deck
A couple years ago I created a visual journal using oversized flash cards. This class would go from prep to art on the gessoed cards, incorporating a variety of techniques and prompts.


BLOG Journal pages loose

BLOG Journal card deck

Prayer Flags
I’ve just finished a summer of creating and overseeing the creation of prayer flags through my Scattered By the Wind Prayer Flag Project. This class would be basically a time to create a personal strand of prayer flags.


Art Dolls
Why not be a kid again. Paint and embellish a tall, skinny muslin Bendi doll.

BLOG Art Dolls

Please let me know what class or classes you would be interested in and  I’ll put together a schedule of classes. Contact me with your thoughts: dayna@daynajcollins.com/curele.

BLOG Me Teaching

Is there something else you would like to see me teach? Let me know that, too.

Trifecta of Classes. . . . and a bit of sightseeing, too

Blog clocksI recently returned from a ten-day road trip with my friend Tory Brokenshire. On the first leg of our trip, we were in Cleveland where Tory was teaching three classes at Small Studio. The classes were all found object assemblage classes with a big dose of sculpture. I’m good with the found object part, not so much with the sculpture, but I gave it my best effort.

Story Tellers

From a pile of junk and a flurry of arms and legs, I created Mr. Songbird.

Blog Pile

Blog clay man partial

Blog clay man head unfinished

Blog clay man head

Blog Tin Can Man

Sail Away

Day two was titled Sail Away and involved sculpting an entire body AND making a little wire boat. Tory was a great and patient teacher and I managed to create a companion for Mr. Songbird, but her boat, well, it sunk.

Blog Tory

Blog body partsBlog Lady in bits

Blog Dayna working

Please meet Miss Pennington.

Blog Clay Lady

The good news is that Mr. Songbird and Miss Pennington hooked up at the end of the second day, although Mr. Songbird’s nose put out Miss Pennington’s right eye.

Blog Lady and Man


On our final day, we created a Santos. Fortunately, we only had to sculpt the head!

Blog Doll Head

Blog Heads in ovenThen we got to dress our Santos, which was great fun.

Blog Dayna working on Santos

Blog Santos headThe finished crew of Santos (mine is on the far right).

Blog Santos in a rowPost Script: After three days of classes, we spent a couple of days in Cleveland sightseeing, then we rented a car and drove to Chicago, where we spent a few more days.

Blog Rock and Roll

Blog Garfield

Blog cenetery

Blog Amish

Blog Lion

Blog Skelton

Blog Locks

Blog Bean

During the ten days I was away, I spent an entire 30 minutes in my travel journal. A whole 30 minutes!

Blog Art Journal