Hello Beautiful People!

I am delighted to bring to you another year of awesome, super-duper, fantastical, out-of-this-world, amazing creative artists to guide you on this very special artistic journey of finding your voice as we paint portrait and figurative artwork, every week, for the entire year!





"I love painting faces because each one is unique.  Each one has a different expression.  I never get tired of it!"


I live in southern Oregon with my Husband and two crazy boys! I work at home as a freelance artist for Penny Black Rubber Stamps and in my spare time I make art! I would say I am a mixed media artist. My favorite mediums are colored pencils over acrylic but I also really love watercolors! I can’t remember a time when I was doing something arty or crafty.




"I think I love to draw and paint faces, because I can identify with a face. Every creation, light or dark, is in a way – me, a bit of my soul. Faces also speak to us through art, they are messengers or love and light. I never get tired looking at faces in photography and art."


I am an artist and a teacher from South Africa, but I am originally Russian. My most favorite subject in art is a face. I tend to fluctuate in styles and media, as I am constantly curious about new possibilities in art. I can describe my style as symbolic soulful story art. Occasionally I gravitate towards surreal, then to realistic, then to expressive. My favorite color palette is muted or monochrome, but I do venture into full color blast areas of art and find it exciting as well. I am excited to find out what we will all come up with creatively in Let’s Face It 2018!




"There is nothing more intriguing to me than painting the human form. All aspects of art comes alive within the contours and shapes of a face or figure. To capture the essence of a person is to capture their soul."


When I was a young girl growing up in rural Ohio, I knew I wanted to be an artist. My school had a non-existent art program and my family was not artistic.


So when I saw a ad for a commercial art school giving out scholarships and all you had to do was "Draw Binky", I was ecstatic! Binky was a dear like animal that appeared in the back of popular magazines.


Well, needless to say that might have been the beginning but since then I have received my Bachelor of Fine Arts from Miami University and have continued to study with some of the greatest living artists in the world.


I am a full time professional artist who works in oil and acrylic.




"I remember being of middle school age working furiously on a portrait in my room. There was this moment I recognized I had captured some of the person's likeness. Excited, I went downstairs to show family and I remember my Dad being impressed that I could capture likeness like that. It was a pivotal moment for me and I was hooked. I still seek that magical moment where I feel that spark of personality and life come forth in my work."


Carrie Brummer is an artist and art educator who helps artists refine their skill and develop their unique artist voice within her community Artist Strong.

Carrie's own art is influenced by living outside of the US for nearly 10 years, living in places like Dubai, UAE, Muscat, Oman and now Ottawa, Canada. She enjoys portraiture of women, painting mandalas, and textile work.

Carrie Brummer studied Art and Art History at Colgate University as well as completed a Masters in Educational Leadership with The George Washington University. She’s taught art to all ages, from elementary school through adulthood.

In her early 20s, Carrie Brummer was part of a touring exhibition of artists whose work was exhibited at both The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, as well as, The Smithsonian. Her work has been exhibited acros the US as well as in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and in Muscat, Oman.

Before this, Carrie didn’t think her work was important or valuable (or even really “art”) until she had a gallery showing. These negative misconceptions are part of what motivates her work with other artists today. Our world is better when we all celebrate and embrace our desire to be creative.




"I feel most connected to my own emotions or the emotions of others when I am drawing or painting portraits. I am often thinking about the person as I'm painting, whether the portrait looks like that person or bits of that person, it is the connection to that person and then to the painting that I am seeking." 


My name is Deanna Strachan-Wilson and I am a mixed media artist. I live on the Central Coast of California with my husband, Craig, and two cats and I work full time managing an employment program for people with mental illness who want to return to work.

Through art, I have found a place of healing and a way of coping with emotions that sometimes have no words. I have since come to describe this as “Telling Without Talking”. When I am creating, I am able to focus only on the present moment, which gives my heart and mind rest from that which I am currently occupied. As healing came, I found that I desired to learn from and share with others techniques and the process of creating.

Some of my current influences include Viktor Sheleg, Jylian Gustlin, Joan Dumouchel and Patricia Derks.

My greatest joy is participating in or contributing to someone else’s creative process; celebrating the frustrations, inspirations, discouragements, and achievements as they are all layers in this creative process of life.




"I am fasinated by people's faces, the lines, the shapes, the curves. The things you can see and the things you can't. I love the ability to hint at emotion, feelings, memories, thoughts and personality. Sometimes this is hard to explain and sometimes other people see expressions that you never really intended, this is great, this is telling a story and every face has one to tell."


Hi, my name is Emma Petitt, I am British but live in Rural Andalucia in Southern Spain.  I always did Art as a child and throughout school and finally completed a Degree in 3 Dimensional Design back in 1992, however that did not involve any painting at all...

Then somehow over 20 years went by with me not ever picking up a pencil, let alone a paint brush. But then in 2015, my Partner Paul and I decided to move to Spain! And something clicked in my brain, I wanted to do Art, I wanted to paint. I bought a kiddie painting set and a cheap sketch book from the supermarket and started, and never stopped.

I gave up my career in Retail in December and made the permanent move to Spain to be a full time Artist.

I paint people, faces, figures. I love texture, pattern and colour. I love to include a certain abstract quality to some of my work. I was never really taught the academic ways of painting, so I am learning as I go, finding my own techniques and probably breaking a lot of Art rules as I go!

It is never to late to find a dream and follow it.




"I have always been enchanted by the human face! I love the challenge of observing all the beautiful subtleties and forms as well as capturing the essence and emotion of my subject. Each face and expression is so unique. The eyes are always my favorite, although the curve of the bottom lip is a close second! The human face is endlessly fascinating and I fall more in love with portraiture - especially expressive portraiture - each time I create."


Ivy is a published artist, art instructor and creative guide. Her online collection, of artistic workshops, has served thousands of students, internationally, and she prides herself on giving devoted care and support to her student body.

She spent most of her childhood growing up in Sydney, Australia and received private art education from a well-known Australian artist as a young girl of 8 until her family was relocated to America when she was 16. She went on to finish high school in Connecticut and attended the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida, receiving her BFA in Illustration.

After graduating she relocated to Austin, Texas where she was employed to create an implement an elaborate art education program at a local Montessori school. Life then took her to New York City, where she was employed by the Whitney Museum of Art working in the President’s office and assisting both the President and the museum’s Trustees. Finally a move to Portland, Oregon led her into the interior design business as a design assistant. A few years later, she owned and operated her own successful Interior Design Company.

She left this fast paced role to become a mother to her two girls. While at home, Ivy engrossed herself in creative discovery and began to passionately shoot photography and author a blog. These endeavors ultimately led her to the online creative community – teaching both online and in person. Her domestic and international workshops offer rich and expansive creative experiences, with a focus on personal growth and renewal.

Ivy’s artistic message is to guide others to their creativity and nurture those special gifts in each of us. She strongly believes that every soul is creative and finding ways to express that creativity is paramount to joy and healing.

She has been published in several magazines including, Somerset Apprentice, Somerset Digital Studio, and Artful Blogging.




"Though portrait art is said to be the most challenging to draw or paint, when I casually picked up a brush 3 years ago, portraiture came to me rather easily to my surprise. Human faces are complicated and sensitive, hidden emotions are something intriguing to discover and express. When done properly, the fulfilling achievement for me is so much greater than still life or landscape images."

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Born and raised in Tokyo, immigrated to Canada in 1992. I am not the typical artist whose childhood was filled with a fascination towards drawing and painting. In 2014, as my autistic daughter graduated from high school in Victoria, I decided to dedicate myself to becoming her full-time assistant at Victoria College of Art. There, I was exposed to a serious fine art environment for the first time and was fortunate to make the acquaintance of a 82-year-old drawing and oil painting master, who profoundly influenced me until having moved to Edmonton in the summer, 2015.

My new lifelong passion is especially focused on creating human faces with this truly forgiving and beautifully mixable media.




I love painting and drawing faces, because it’s a great way to express universal emotions and soul.”

juna biagioni
juna biagioni charcoal portrait

I’m Juna Biagioni, a mixed media artist & art teacher, and I live with my husband in the beautiful historic heart of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. As a little girl I loved being creative, making music, drawing, and writing stories. Later my focus shifted, but a few years ago I rediscovered my creative source and started a new exciting journey into art.

My main focuses are mixed media, art journaling and monoprinting, but currently I mostly paint and draw faces. I try to capture some kind of ‘soul’ in my work – in an unpolished way. Soul can be soft, tender, and beautiful, but also difficult or raw. I hear from people that they are touched by my work, that they sometimes find peace in it, or that they read all kinds of stories in it. That’s what makes me happy.

Art for me is a means to connect with people, to express my own inner worlds. But I also like to leave enough open space for people to see their own stories and meanings in my work. The greatest gift is when people are somehow touched by my art, because it means that the artwork has its own power, separate from me, which is able to move something in another person. That’s just pure magic.




"I like drawing and painting portraits because I love the challenge of capturing the personality, emotion and spirit of the person I'm drawing. Since no two people or expressions are alike, there is an infinite amount of possibilities!!"


I was born in Los Angeles, moved to Orange County when I was nine and have lived here ever since!

For as long as I can remember, I have been able to draw. I took several art classes throughout high school and college but abandoned art for a “real” job in my early twenties. Shortly afterwards, I got married and had two sons. I realized how much I missed having art in my life so when my youngest son started kindergarten; I went back to college to earn an art degree. Over the next six years I attended school full-time, raised two boys and endured a long divorce, but I did it! I earned my Bachelor’s of Fine Art degree in drawing and painting.

Since then, my work has been exhibited in galleries throughout California and New York. I also remarried. My amazingly talented husband, Bryan, has been a huge support. We have collaborated on many works that have been exhibited nationwide as well as published in international publications. In addition to my practice, I teach art at the Orange County School of the Arts and I am a lead sign artist for Trader Joe’s.




“I have been drawing and painting portraits since I was a little girl. I have always been pulled to the face and I now know that comes from a desire to connect. I feel a purpose in connection to the subject, connection to the process and connection to the viewer. While I paint I am in communication with my subject. We are in our own world together. This is my vehicle for self expression and story telling.”


I create to connect. I connect to myself through artistic expression and I connect to others through telling their stories and sharing the vision. Art is a vehicle for growth and brings me closer every day to essence of who I am. I have always chosen portraiture as my subject matter because I am fascinated by the human spirit. There are so many layers to see and to work through. I am committed to my art and I am inspired to use my creative voice .




"I have always been fascinated by faces and from childhood , that is what I really wanted to paint and draw .All of my schoolbooks had doodles of eyes and lips , faces and figures . I remember clearly the discovery of perspective . I was about 7 years old and I had made a drawing of a group of people . Suddenly I realized that if I made a line behind the figures I could place them in a room ..From that moment on I was totally hooked . I loved the old master Portraits and would look at them for hours , copying them in my sketchbooks and later trying to paint them . It was a real voyage of discovery and the joy and wonder of it has never left me . I still feel such a sense of amazement when I look at faces and try to analyse how the light hits and the cheeks curve or how the halftones can render the sense of volume . I love how the placement of colour can indicate shadows or reflected light and I get such a sense of joy from a portrait that I am satisfied with .."

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Lora Murphy was born in Ireland and educated in Ireland , USA and Italy . Trained as an oil painter , she now works primarily in Encaustic and mixed media . Lora teaches workshops in Contemporary Portraiture in Encaustic throughout the world and online . She divides her time between Ireland and Denmark and maintains studios in both countries.




"I’ve always liked to draw and paint portraits. But the harder I try think about why I like to paint portraits, the more the answer eludes me. I think portraiture chose me, as much as I chose it."


Hi, my name is Lucy Chen. Coming out from depression as a result of denying my feelings and truth for years, it is now my mission to give you the inspiration and courage to fully love and accept yourself. I want to make a difference in your life through my paintings, online courses, private coaching and art commissions to facilitate your self-reflection, self-compassion and self-healing.



"I believe the figure exudes the most emotional content of any subject matter. People directly connect to figurative work; it’s a very personal experience. I purposely place my figures in ambiguous environments so that each viewer can respond with their own story and interpretation. My figures are often painted on top of abstract paintings and reworked many times so that there is a history to each canvas for the viewer to experience.

I prefer a sense of some mystery in the work. Of something occurring just “off-stage” that we aren’t quite sure of. "

Melinda Cootsona at Headshot Day in Menlo Park, CA
Fourth of July Girl

Melinda Cootsona is a figurative painter in Northern California. Greatly influenced by the Bay Area artistic tradition, her paintings focus on the strength of the female figure. Her paintings are created with layers of oil paint, applied and then scraped away revealing figures that fill the canvas in varying poses of contemplation or reflection in abstracted surroundings. Whether in a soft or harsh surrounding, the strength of the female figure is primary.

Teaching creativity and art to students all over the world is an essential part of Melinda’s work. She has been teaching painting to students of all levels since 2001, and has been on the forefront of eCourse instruction developing her first course in 2012.

Melinda’s work has been included in exhibitions at the Bakersfield Museum of Art and the Triton Museum in California, The San Francisco Art Market, The Coos Bay Museum of Art in Oregon, and Art Basel Miami, as well as many group and solo shows throughout the U.S.

Cootsona received her BA from the California College of the Arts. Her work can be found in collections in the United States, Europe, Australia, and China.




"Drawing/painting faces is pure magic. I always get such a buzz when someone appears on my page or canvas. It can be a short or long labour, and just as messy and unpredictable, but that's art and we wouldn't have it any other way!"


Pauline is a passionate artist and teacher, with a Degree in Fine Art, a Masters in Interactive Multimedia..

She lives in West Cork, Ireland, where the Gulf Stream meets the Wild Atlantic Way, and part of the time these days in Andalucia, Spain.  Her beautiful surroundings feed her art and her soul, and are expressed in paintings that are semi-abstract, full of earthy, vibrant colour. Her line and brushwork have a loose, expressive style  .

A huge believer in the magical power of art and technology , Pauline uses the connective superpowers of the Internet to invite kindred creative spirits from all over the world into her art studio, in the hills above the sea, where she lives with her family. Through beautifully crafted and intimate Ecourses, and in -person teaching internationally , Pauline manages time after time, to coax art work out of her students that they never thought they were capable of before they came under her spell.




"I create because I have to!  I am absolutely compelled to do it!  I like creating a narrative with my work and create some emotions.  This is one of the reasons that I am especially drawn to portrait work."

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I am Rob Kelley and I am a fine artist/illustrator with a focus on portraiture! I live in Stockton, California, and am a single dad to three children. I studied graphic design at UC Davis and then went on to study illustration at Academy of Art in San Francisco. Although I have had an extensive education in art, I abandoned art for most of my adult life.   That changed, 4 years ago, when my life hit a dramatic shift. At this time, I began looking at why I was in a constant state of low-level unhappiness and discovered that I had abandoned my true and authentic self. I knew that the one thing I needed that had been missing was art! Since then, I have adopted a sink or swim mentality!


"I like to paint portraits because, I consider them to be an expression of self.  The faces that I paint and the stories that they tell are a form of documentation.  They document emotions and they mark moments in time.  Everyone has a story...painting portraits is a way to share mine."



My name is Sharon Harkness-Dobler. I am an American expat from Cincinnati, Ohio now based in Germany.

I am a self taught artist, sewer and doll maker. I love mixed media art! The process for my mixed media work is very spontaneous. I build backgrounds for my paintings using various mediums such as acrylic paint, pastels, inks, crayons, fabric and collage elements. Once the foundation is laid, I abstract the subject from the background. I love this form of painting, I find it very freeing and often, very inspirational.

My goal is to create art that celebrates the beauty of women. I enjoy painting and illustrating my figures in situations and surroundings that reflect moments of happiness, meditation, reflection or, in communion with nature. My art is a reflection of how I see myself.



I am OBSESSED with drawing and painting faces! I will spend ages looking at a friends holiday snaps…so long as there are faces in them! I am fascinated about the universal themes and stories that we can identify and connect with in faces…the reflections and insights that we can glean about others and ourselves. There is a truth written in the eyes and expressions on faces; one that if we stare long enough and open our intuitive heart to; we will glimpse a deeper knowing about life and indeed the universe!

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'Frida's Courage' higher res

My name is Tanya Cole and I live in the beautiful seaside tourist town of Dunsborough, Western Australia with my husband and three gorgeous and lively boys! When I was a girl, I lived in a very rich inner world within my mind, accompanied by many other characters, ancestors and entities; immersed in the wonderland that is our creative right brain of imagination and possibility! Daydreaming climbing trees, reading, sculpting elaborate two story apartments out of my dads beer cartons for my barbie dolls and sketching my families faces whilst they watched TV.


With a background in Occupational Therapy and personal experience of domestic violence; in recent years I committed to honouring my soul again by reconnecting with my childhood creative self; bringing with me today, a passion for healing, spiritual development and helping others gain self insight, freedom and joy…through art making! I live and breath creating, both in my mind, my life and in my art. I discovered for myself 7 years ago that when we immerse ourselves in creative acts and sit in the silence; we can hear the universe, see our soul and view our inner landscape with great clarity. A union between the universe, our heart, mind and soul occurs and the joy and love experienced becomes so overflowing that it must be shared with others. It is the way to peaceful living and if we can gift this to ourselves and share with those around us; the world will become infused with it! 


I am an art mentor for people with disabilities, online art teacher; as well as counsellor, using a unique approach I have developed where I help people tap into their own creativity to effect and bring about not just solutions in their life but purposeful and joyful living. My focus in my personal art as an exhibiting artist is in painting portraits mainly using acrylic paints; however I do incorporate mixed media and am currently exploring oils too. I love to keep a balance between painting loosely and exploratorarily (not sure if that’s a word?) with lots of layers and texture, but also focusing on technique and pulling portraits into detailed focus as well. Occasionally, I bring in animals and flowers into my art but there has to always be a face and expression of soul. Oh…and I have been obsessed with painting the incredible Frida Kahlo, which I can't wait to share with you!




"My process of painting is a lot about allowing the subconscious to express. I tend to seek the raw and instinctive path. The human figure with its gestures, human emotion and relationships is my strongest inspiration."


I am an artist, a dance therapist, and mother of an almost grown up son. I am currently studying art at FIU Hamburg/Germany.  Born in 1969, I grew up in Spain and Germany.

My process of painting is a lot about allowing the subconscious to express. I tend to seek the raw and instinctive path. The human figure with its gestures, human emotion and relationships is my strongest inspiration. Working as a dance therapist refined my perception of physical expression, sensing the emotion, the trauma and the potential behind movements. I also draw a lot of inspiration from nature. I believe art can become a strong messenger for the subconscious, a path of healing, expressing all aspects of life. I am drawn to strong colors, lots of layering and abstraction. I get excited when I don’t quite know how a painting is going to evolve, actually I like to be surprised by my own creation.

I am now living a nomad life between Hamburg/Germany and Ibiza/Spain.



"Faces are my passion!  They evolve from spirit, without a real plan, and as they are created each one speaks to me with a message from her soul.  I have a loose and free style and I love to feel that freedom of scribbling with my pencil, encouraging my girl to emerge from the background."


Toni Burt is an artist who loves to mix any media she can get her hands on to create her soft and heartfelt artworks and journal pages.  She has quietly transitioned from her former life as an interior designer and now uses those skills and what she has learned so far on her spiritual path in her creative practice.   Her passion for the emotion that faces evoke means you will almost always find them in her work.  She believes that art and the creative process is a reflection of our soul.  It's wants, needs, desires and longings are expressed in her loose and free style.   She shares her home in the countryside in Queensland Australia with her little dog Griffin.  She meditates daily in the forest and loves to spend time with mother earth. You can follow her journey and find her work and online classes at toniburt.com.au.



"I believe that our purpose in life is to connect with others.  Connection is what makes us thrive.  I believe that I am drawn to painting portraits because I am constantly looking for that connection to people, even when I am alone.  I often create emotional portraits with the hopes that the viewer will also connect to the subject and want to come back again and again."


My name is Kara Bullock and I am an artist! I reside in Southern California with my supportive husband, Jeff, and our three daredevil children, Charlotte, Claire, and Brady. We also have two crazy Boston Terriers, Buster and Oscar. Our life is very full and busy! I have been teaching for the last 19 years. I began my career as an elementary school teacher in 1998 working with children ages six through 12. In 2008, I began teaching college courses, online, to adults studying to be teachers! I found it very rewarding to work with those that had a passion for teaching others! I continue to work in the education field helping others reach their dreams of teaching children. However, I am also living the dream of working as an artist, art instructor, and mentor! I truly feel that I have finally found my place in this world!


My art journey began as a child. My happiest memories are of times when I was given the opportunity to be creative, whether it was a drawing contest for school, or designing the architectural layout for the renovation of our home. I even created my own language in third grade! However, I didn’t fully immerse myself into a creative life until 2013 when my sister introduced me to some online courses.   My drive for art was immediately reignited and I have been going full speed since! I am completely grateful that art has become a regular part of my life. As an adult, I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder, and have found art to be the greatest therapy! I now offer online courses, live workshops, and mentoring services to those that are also seeking a creative life!   I feel very lucky to get to encourage and support others on their artistic journey!