Carriers of the Light Mini Retreat

One of my favorite things about 2020 is the new collaborations I’ve been able to participate in. I’ve connected with my art community on a deeper level and worked along side some wonderful artists to bring some unique art experiences to a world wide audience. You see, with live on-line retreats you are no longer bound to your local area or even to places you can travel to.

This is certainly one of many bright spots I choose to focus on.

When designing this workshop with my friend Romi we both agreed that what is so necessary in dark times is LIGHT. And by light we mean hope. In designing the projects we took this literally and figuratively and have created something we hope you will not only enjoy making but will delight in displaying as a reminder of hope.

Click here to join us (at the time of this post only 11 seats remain)

Here are a few things you will learn in the 1 day mini retreat with us.

Yes, there are many more than 5 reason…this is just a start
If you are not familiar with Romi’s Zentangle artwork you should most certainly check it out here.
We were are thrilled to have Daniel Smith as a sponsor for our retreat.
The paints you get in your kit have been generously donated by them.
This may not seem super glamorous but oh the things you can build with chipboard.
I have designed a carrier for the booklets you will make so that you can have a beautiful vessel to keep them stored away.
Copper is one of my favorite metals to work with. Your kit contains 36 gauge copper tooling foil and I’ll show you how to get designs onto metal with some simple techniques. Everything you need is in the kit!
The illumination that can come through vellum is so lovely. Romi’s project will have you drawing on translucent vellum to be a “window” of sorts to let the light through.

So, hopefully this (ahem) sheds a little light on what the mini retreat will offer you. We have 11 specially curated kits all ready to mail. The final date for registration if you are west of the Rockies is Wednesday, September 23rd by 4pm Pacific Time (and that is cutting it close so please register before then!) If you can arrange to come and pick up your kit, you have until Saturday, September 26th.

Retreat hours will be Sunday, September 27th from 8am-5pm PST.

Click here to register.

I really look forward to connecting with you on-line.

Have you given up on 2020?

I know the feeling. I was just writing about it this morning (in my morning pages) this sense of weariness that seems to envelop me in a way I never imagined possible. Don’t get me wrong, I’m great. I’m thriving even though, I’ve managed to pivot my business and my mindset and have connected to more women in my creative world than ever before. However, there is this underlying sense of UGGH!

You too? I get it!

Today I start a journey of 3 months with a small group of women who will be working through the book, “The Artist’s Way” in community. This course has been pure transformation in my life since April. When I started the course I had dabbled in Morning Pages and was a big believer in their power for granting clarity and generating not only ideas but action in my life. I was just touching the surface of the power The Artist’s Way of life can offer.

Through the Artist’s Way I have shifted my mindset, gained clarity and really recognized what self-care looks like for me. I have learned to make micro shifts in my daily routine that result in huge shifts in the above mentioned mindset and clarity.

Working through this process with a group of loving and supportive sisters has been one of the richest gifts of this this time. The ability to connect through Zoom with women from all over who would not have normally gathered has brought me to such a place of deep gratitude. This truly is the antidote to that deep sense of weariness I mentioned at the start of my note.

Here are what a few of these sisters have to say about the Artist’s Way and the group approach.


What steps might you be willing to take in order to release your inner creative self? One essential step I took was to sign up for Andrea’s twelve week course working through Julia Cameron’s seminal book: The Artist’s Way.  As a result of committing to all twelve weeks, I was delighted to see that not only did I feel better about pursuing my creative interests (in my case, writing), but I was able to produce some of my best pieces throughout the duration of this class.  I know that my increased output and higher caliber of writing were no accident : Andrea and the other class members helped midwife my creativity and supported me through this sometimes uncomfortable process.  This course is important and worthwhile for everyone.  Even if you are ‘simply’ interested in finding out more about yourself and your gifts or have been considering using your creativity in a business venture, please sign up for this course.  I am so very grateful for Andrea’s gentle encouragement as she expertly curated our course to meet the needs of each participant.  I can’t wait to sign up again to gain an even deeper understanding of how to achieve my creative goals. (Gita Baliga-Savel)


I’ve had The Artist’s Way on my bookshelf for at least 15 years.  I’ve started and stopped it many times and even completed it.  But I never really got the spirit of it until I did it with Andrea.  What’s been so amazing about doing it with a group is that hearing others’ challenges and triumphs and doubts has helped me get past my own doubts and challenges in a way that doing the book alone never could. 

Andrea sets a tone that offers both acceptance and accountability.  She’s honest when she doesn’t do the work which makes everyone feels safe admitting when they don’t.  And she still encourages us to keep showing up because as she reminds us, “I don’t know why the Pages work, but they do”.   

The encouragement and acceptance I found in this group helped me step into the relationship I’ve sought with creativity, a joyful one.  I could go on and on about the ways this group has touched me and changed me, but for the sake of brevity I will say, if you want to get unblocked, do this! (Jill Borba)


If you feel the call to join us and finish 2020 on a high note this is the nudge you’ve been waiting for.

Click here to join us on Tuesdays from 11:30am-1pm (Pacific Time)

or Click here to join us on Thursdays from 8:30am-10am(Pacific Time)

Maybe you aren’t even sure if you have a block to remove but are curious. Reach out to me, I’d love to talk with you about this.

The Artist’s Way

Be honest. How many of you have had this book on your shelf for years (maybe even decades)? Me too! Back at the beginning of our mandatory shelter-in-place my dear friend (and studio manager) Noreen shared a photo of her porch she had transformed into a mini oasis. In the corner of the photo she had this book showing.

It was a flash of inspiration and I reached out to her and a mutual friend and said something like “we should do a good old fashioned book club with The Artist’s Way” during the shut down. They were game and so were 30+ other people when I put it out there on Facebook to say we were going to start this on April 1 (no joke).

We were not alone in the fact that most of us had the book for years (even decades) and most had never made it completely through on their own. So, that was the first goal. To do the book with whatever focus we could muster and to continue to show up each week.

Facilitating groups is not new to me. I’ve done this before and one thing I feel very strongly about is that it is important to just continue to show up. Even when life gets in the way and we don’t get to all the reading or tasks of the week. Just keep showing up.

I think it was week 2 or 3 that I embarrassingly admitted to the group that even their fearless leader had NOT managed to complete the weekly tasks and that I had internally struggled with the thought of lies of omission, just not admitting that I had not done the work. However, I showed up and I shared with transparency and made a point that, even though I hadn’t completed the tasks which were my weekly goal, I still just showed up. I think they appreciated that!

Each week, the participants did the same. Sometimes life showed up too and made it impossible to squeeze in any extra time for coursework but this time set aside to check in together as a group became sacred time for some. That group shifted and reduced as groups tend to do and we found ourselves nearing the end of the 12 weeks of lessons a bit hesitant to end. I think it was around week 9 someone said, “what will we do without this group to connect with each week?” to which I replied, we don’t have to stop…and we haven’t. 11 of that original Wednesday group has continued to meet and connect every week since the beginning and what a blessing it has been to meet a whole new group of friends. Only a couple of them have been in person students of mine from the studio but we all feel like family (in the best sense) now.

I didn’t set out to write this as a tale of what the connection of a special group of people can mean when working on a common goal but that is what came out.

About halfway through the 12 weeks I started with another group this time on Mondays. The response was overwhelmingly positive with more than 50 signed up from across the country (and even into Canada) this time. Same results, relationships were formed, creativity enhanced, real life shared and we (above all) just showed up. We showed up for ourselves and we showed up for our creative sisters.

The group that started with 50 ended with about 18-22 in the final weeks which is a pretty good rate of retention for a 12 week course if I do say so myself.

In facilitating both groups I’ve learned what works for me and what I would want in a future group and that is exactly what I’m offering starting in September.

So here is the bottom line of my extremely verbose post. I am starting a 12 week course I’m calling “The Artist’s Way Master Course.” We will be using the traditional text as our guide and you can come no matter what previous experience you have with the book.

Spoiler alert: At the end of week 12, Julia Cameron (the author) writes as one of the tasks ” Reread this book. Share it with a friend.” as that is part of the process. This is not something that is completed like a “to do” item to be checked off. It is a way of life.

This time I am limiting the group(s) to 12 participants as I learned that is the optimal number for everyone to get a chance to listen and share.

We will be checking in for the first 60 minutes of our weekly time and will spend the remaining 30 minutes focused on at least one of the tasks at the end of the weekly chapter.

I will be sending out weekly creative activity videos as a bonus. One of the tools we use in The Artist’s Way is taking a weekly artist date. These 15-20 minute videos are a built in option you can take if you are struggling to think of things on your own.

3 times during the 12 week course I will offer a full length(2-hour) creative class to participants. These will be recorded so if you can’t make the scheduled time you will still have access to the recording.

We will have a private Facebook group to connect outside of class time. This will be a place to ask questions and share what the chapter is bringing up for us.

There are 2 options for day/time available starting the first week of September

  1. Tuesday late morning from 11:30am-1pm (Pacific Time)
  2. Thursday morning from 8:30-10am (Pacific Time)

You can click your choice of day to be taken to the calendar for registration. If you would rather come to the first session and then make up your mind, send me an email ( and I’ll get you hooked up.

Latest 30 Day Canvas Project

Back in February I started painting on a large (for me) piece of canvas when I was still in the studio. I spent 30 days painting on this canvas and when it was finished I took it down, cut it up and created zipper pouches with the pieces. Those sold like crazy and I was excited to do another 30 day project.

The 2nd time I painted on smaller pieces one per day for the month of April. I still have a stack of those that I’m not sure what I’m going to do with but I have scanned some of them and used them as graphics for my Redbubble and Society6 products. Stay tuned, I will sell the originals eventually.

What I’m really writing about today is the fact that I recently completed a third 30-day project. Again, I went back to a large canvas on the wall format but this time it was here in my home “studio” (really I converted Hannah’s room into my art studio/zoom room) It has served as a nice backdrop to my zoom meetings and it took me much longer than 30 consecutive days to complete.

I documented this process (as well as the others) on my Instgram feed. If you aren’t already following me, please do!

This is a painting session around day 17

And finally, once I got the courage to cut up the final canvas, this is what I decided to do with them.

Final Project with 30 day canvas from home

I’ve started a list of people who are interested in purchasing one of these limited edition canvas portfolios. I will actually give you the opportunity to pick your 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice so hopefully I’ll be able to accommodate everyone’s desire in which canvas they get. If you would like to be on the list, send an email with your name and mailing address to titled “30-Day Canvas List”. Each portfolio is being pre-sold at $40 (plus shipping). Once I have them sewn and detailed out that price will go up to $49 if there are any left.


Juicy Soul Retreat Returns!

Click to register

I am over-the-moon excited to announce the return of Juicy Soul Retreat with Julie Valentine and me (Andrea) It will be held live on Zoom! If you’ve wanted to participate in the past but for whatever reason (distance or time) you haven’t, this is your chance. If you’ve never heard of Juicy Soul Retreat jump in and join us!

We long for creative connection and this is the exact event to not only connect you to a group of other creatives but connect (or re-connect) you with a regular art making practice.

Julie & I have both developed a habit of showing up for creative expression regularly. It is a daily way of life that manifests most of the time in small ways but sometimes huge ways too.

Juicy Soul Retreat was born from our collective desire to share this passionate way of creative living with others. We want to share how you too can make a creative practice that works with your lifestyle to infuse some visual art into your regular routine in tiny or huge ways and everything in between.

The retreat will go something like this:

Saturday night, Introductions and materials overview with some writing prompts and fun expressive mark making. Pajamas are the dress code so get comfy, pop up some popcorn and pour your favorite beverage and let’s play!

Sunday morning: We will review the writing and mark making prompts from the evening before and jump into tag-team demos.

Andrea and Julie’s approach to the visual journal page mesh together nicely but they each have techniques and processes they gravitate toward. We will start at the very beginning by sharing how we like to approach a blank page.

Breaks to get up and stretch and move will be every 90 minutes through our time together. An extended (45min) break for lunch but the room will remain open then back from lunch and our demos and surprise guest appearances will continue.

Our final circle will feature a visual showcase of your work and the AHA moments we all had.

I hope you will join us! Registration is now open and in order for you to receive your JUICY kit in the mail in time you will need to register by August 21.

Click the image below to register! Space is limited.

Art from Home Kits-Limited Edition Pt.3

I have a few more kits to share with you. Any of these can be mailed (for an added shipping fee) or delivered within a 15 mile radius of the studio (95126)

Gouache Resist Kit

In this kit you will receive a set of Savoire Faire opaque watercolor (gouache) a pad of Stonehenge Black Watercolor paper, a Pebeo Masking fluid pen and a Prima Resist Pen with needle tip applicator.

Retail price $83 for only $66
Click here to purchase
You will pay for shipping by using this link. If you choose to pick up that amount will be refunded.

15 Minute Watercolor Masterpiece Kit

This kit contains the book by Anna Koliadych titled 15 -Minute Watercolor Masterpieces, a Stilman & Birn Premium sketchbook and a 10 piece travel sized kit of Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colours which include palette, 8 colors of paint and a brush.

Retail $101 for only $75
Click here to purchase

You will pay for shipping by using this link. If you choose to pick up that amount will be refunded.

30 Day Canvas Zipper Bags

I’m so grateful to have started this project at the beginning of February. It has given me some much needed art escape since March 17th when we were ordered to shelter in place. The process was well documented here on Instagram

I have a total of 24 pouches available and 18 of them (as of 3/31/20) are spoken for. Here they are before the final stitching which will turn them into their final iteration as a zipper pouch perfect for holding any number of things.

If you are “on the list” I will be sending an email out today to have you select your pouch from a private shop online. Once all pre-order selections are made I’ll open up the shop to sell the remaining pieces.

Thank you for your support! It means the world to me to be able sell my art to continue to keep A Work of Heart Studio running.

Art at Home Kits – Limited Edition Part 2

I’m blessedly overwhelmed with your positive response to the kits I posted yesterday. We still have at least one of each available. I’ll remove the purchase link when they are no longer in stock. Some of you also reached out to have me create a custom kit and I’m thrilled to do that! Just ask!

Today we have some watercolor botanical kits, drawing kit, brush lettering and a mega mark maker kit filled with a beyond belief selection of markers, pencils and more.

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain
Retail $60 Value for only $48

This essential kit contains everything you need to learn to draw. The workbook takes you through sequential lessons that gradually build your skills. The Strathmore drawing pad has plenty of space for you to practice outside of the workbook and the Generals Drawing Class essentials has all the tools you need.

Click here to purchase
Free delivery within a 15 mile radius of the store (95126)

Acrylic Bitty Canvas Kit

Retail Value $32 for $27

This kit has everything you need to paint 4 mini masterpieces easels included! Liquitex brand acrylic paint, 3″x3″ canvases (x4) with mini wooden easesl and a #6 round brush. This is sure to keep you busy for hours.

Click here to purchase
Free delivery within a 15 mile radius of the store (95126)

Learn Lettering Kit

Retail Value $81 for $65

This kit contains the workbook by Lisa Funk titled “the Guide to Mindful Lettering” with a whole slew of brush pens for practice including the Tombow Black abt, Tombow black/grey brush pen, Pitt Brush Pen, Tombow 2 piece hard and soft tip brush tip and a Pental Pocket Brush Pen.

Click here to purchase
Free delivery within a 15 mile radius of the store (95126)

Modern Watercolor Botanicals Kit

Retail Value $109 for only $90

This kit contains the beautiful step by step instruction book by Sarah Simon titled “Modern Watercolor Botanicals” a set of 18 Sennelier watercolors in a palette, an 8×10 Beta Series Stillman & Birn Watercolor journal and 2 Princeton Heritage watercolor brushes in size 6 & 2

Click here to purchase
Free delivery within a 15 mile radius of the store (95126)

Mega Mark Making Kit
Retail Value $268 for only $190

Contains 18pc Stabilo Woody watersoluable pencils, Stabilo “Green” Colored pencils, 20 piece Ecoline Watercolor Brush pens, 2 sets of Prismacolor Pencils, 10pc set of Tombow dual brush markers, Set of 8 Posca Markers (.7mm) and a 12pk of Lyra Graduate watercolor pencils

This truly is a one of a kind set!

Sold out as a complete set

Limited Edition Art at Home Kits

These are the first of my specially curated kits of art supplies to keep yourself immersed in creative expression at home. Supplies are limited but I’ll be adding new kits several times per week. Delivery is free within a 15 mile radius of 95126 or for a flat rate of $7 (per kit) shipped domestically.

All kits except where noted will also include a special live Zoom call to give some tips for working with the supplies (up to 30 minutes of guidance) scheduled or available as a playback.

Black Creative Journal – Mandala Kit 

$31 value for $27

Contains Dylusions black creative journal featuring heavyweight black cardstock ideal for the application of paint, doodling, collage and other art journal techniques. Also included are 3 sizes of my favorite white gelly roll pen (.05, .08, .10) and a white charcoal pencil.  This is the perfect starter kit for my mandala drawing class and any art journaling class!

Click here to purchase.

Free delivery within 15 miles of the studio (95126) or flat $7 shipping domestically.

Field Guide to Color Watercolor Kit – $97 value for $77

Contains the book by Lisa Solomon titled “A Field Guide to Color” which is a workbook and instructional book that gets you started and continuing to work with watercolor.  Also included is a set of 24 watercolor pans by Art Philosophy and a 7.5”x7.5” watercolor journal by Stilman & Birn. Finally your kit is complete with a Pentel Waterbrush making it simple to paint from anywhere (on the couch or in a car!) and 2 of my favorite fine tipped permanent black pens.

Click to purchase

Free delivery within 15 miles of the studio (95126) or flat $7 shipping domestically.

Canvas Zipper Pouch Kit

$112 value for $90

Kit contains 4 (6.5”x9”) canvas zipper pouches, a set of 6 acrylic paints, set of 25 oil pastels, set of 8  (pc-1m .7mm) Posca paint markers, Stencil with 9 designs, 20 sheets of deli paper, 2 (.5) Permanent black pens and 2 (1.0) Permanent black pens (Andrea’s Favorites)

Click to purchase.

Free delivery within 15 miles of the studio (95126) or flat $7 shipping domestically.

Gelli Journal Messenger Bag Kit

$155 value for $120

Kit contains a circle gelli plate kit, and a 10×10 canvas messenger bag, set of 6 acrylic paints, brayer, matte medium, stencil (9 designs), Set of 4 paint brushes, Stabilo Woody watersoluable crayons, Art Foamies Stamps, a black and white solid paint marker and a 7×10 Canson Mixed Media journal suitable for acrylic, watercolor, pen & pencil.

Click here to purchase.

Free delivery within 15 miles of the studio (95126) or flat $7 shipping domestically.

Doodling in French Collage Kit – $52 value for $44

Contains the book by Anna Corba titled “Doodling in French” which features step by step instructions for sketching all sorts of French inspired elements like the Eiffel Tower, a fleur-de-lys or a sweet cafe chair.  Your kit also includes an ephemera pack filled with old stamps, scrap papers, images and more to create one of a kind collage. Finally your kit includes (4) 6×8 canvas panels, a bottle of Matte Medium and a water-soluable graphite pencil for doodling on your collage.

Click to purchase
Free delivery within 15 miles of the studio (95126) or flat $7 shipping domestically.

Stamp & Color Kit (only 1 available)

$109 value for $85

This Kit contains 9 individual paper doll stamps, a black archival ink pad, a 3.5×8.5 panorama watercolor journal and a set of 12 Stabilo colored pencils
*note* no Zoom call available for this kit

Click to purchase
Free delivery within 15 miles of the studio (95126) or flat $7 shipping domestically.

Annie O’Brien Gonzales

We are so lucky to have Annie coming back to A Work of Heart in May! She will be offering her “Painting with Matisse” workshop. The 2-Day workshop will take place Sunday & Monday, May 3 & 4. If you can only make the Sunday session there is an option for that as well here.

In this workshop we focus on the elements of master French Fauvist painter Henri Matisse’s painting style. For the first painting, we will work from one of Matisse’s celebrated paintings to learn more about the elements emphasized—flattened space, pattern, color and intimate interiors. Discussions will focus on learning from master painters and incorporating elements to create your own unique style. In the second painting we will work from photographs or you can bring your own “Matisse-like” images as inspiration.

Hello January

So all month long I’ve been “intending” to get back to the blog and post regularly. I even made content calendar for the entire year to help me with themes each month and projects to share each week and alas, here we are at the 21st and my first (of hopefully many) posts are just now being written.

Here are 20 thoughts so far this month (in no particular order)

  1. I actually like brussel sprouts when they are prepared well. Thank you Julie for taking me to Eureka and for the gift of catching up!
  2. Never understimate the value of “low manintenence friends” (reference to #1) We can carry on our own lives and come back together and not skip a beat!
  3. Morning pages are absolutely vital to my productivity. If you don’t know what morning pages are, check out The Artists Way and try them for yourself. Pure magic!
  4. I love teaching intuitive watercolor projects and while my students may enjoy wine to “loosen up” it doesn’t always mix well with the end of class when precision and following instructions are vital 😉 I had a fun experience teaching at a retreat this month.
  5. Training a kitten to stay off the tables in the studio reminds me much of parenting..sometimes I just want to look the other way.
  6. I am blessed beyond all measure with the core crew who support me at A Work of Heart! I don’t know how I would do it without you. I’m not going to name names but you know who you are!
  7. Along the lines of #6, I really appreciate people who put action behind our ideas and help me manifest things.
  8. Vision boards/books REALLY WORK. I can’t wait to work on monthly spreads in my journal in the Creative Entrepreneur Power Hour on the 4th Thursday of every month…(shameless plug)
  9. I need time to sit and do art with friends and it is possible to do so in my studio without getting distracted. It just takes a bit of time to get in the groove.
  10. Speaking your truth gets less scary the more you do it with a heart filled with love.
  11. 20 things sounded good when I sat down to write this..and now, not so much!
  12. I am grateful for my husband who is not only my best friend but my tech support, handyman, builder extraordinare and kitten entertainer.
  13. I’m grateful for the opportunity Nathalie gave me to be a part of her Creative Jumpstart last year AND this year. I’m thrilled to be among so many amazing artists (and by the way, my video hit today. Sign up here.)
  14. I’ve realized it isn’t that I’m not good at taking online classes, I just need them to be bite sized bits of information like Creative Jumpstart! This has opened up a whole new direction for my future online offerings!
  15. I love it when the studio is being utilized to the full potential like it was this weekend (26 on Saturday night, 16 on Sunday, 28 on Monday) but I also love the quiet mornings after.
  16. Kitten purrs are the frequency of pure love!
  17. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make a list of 20 every month but I’m almost there this month.
  18. There is so much power in kind words no matter how brief. I resolve to send more random notes of kindness after experiencing said kind words this morning (thank you Robin)
  19. I can do hard things.
  20. Abundance is my word of the year. I choose to approach all that I do with that thought in mind.

Why Creative JumpStart?

Have you ever felt like you really WANT to start down a new path toward a more creative life but you are overwhelmed and don’t know where to start? Have you seen me posting about Creative JumpStart and really don’t even know what it is?

What is Creative JumpStart? from Nathalie Kalbach on Vimeo.

Creative JumpStart is for you! It is anything BUT overwhelming with it’s very digestable and inspiring 10 minute video format you can have a bite sized bit of creativity daily as you take one step at a time toward a more regular creative practice.

Why Creative JumpStart? from Nathalie Kalbach on Vimeo.

Are you wondering if Creative JumpStart is for YOU? Let me assure you, no matter your level of Mixed Media experience you WILL be inspired by the 30 artists who join me in this endeavor. This is like a month long art retreat!

Who is Creative JumpStart for? from Nathalie Kalbach on Vimeo.

So, now that you know the what, why and who of it, what are you waiting for? Get signed up now and start your year out with a fun and creative resolution!