Friday, January 6, 2017

A Look Back at 2016

In looking back at the year 2016, I have to say that it was the worst year of my life.  And, March of 2016 was by far, the worst month of my life.  That was the month that I lost my oldest son, my first-born child -- after he suffered a massive heart attack.  He was only 45.

Todd, 2nd from the left -- with his three brothers

This is not the place to go on about what a devastating loss this was.  All of us who knew and loved him are forever changed.

But, he touched many people's lives, not just my own -- and was an inspiration to so many.
This was true while he was alive, is still true now, and will continue to be true, way into the future.

We all wear our orange TODDSTRONG wristbands every day, to remind ourselves what he was all about.

Todd was a big supporter of my work and my blog, so I continued with my workshops.  I couldn't bring myself to do much painting or blogging, I'm afraid -- but, I did manage to have three successful workshops last year.

The First Annual Art Retreat in Estes Park, Colorado

We had an amazing group of 18 women, and everyone had a great time.  We will definitely do it again in 2017!

Here I am, preparing 18 little palettes for everyone -- that was A LOT of squeezing!

Here are a few scenes from the retreat:

A yoga session every morning, in the crisp mountain air.

Painting a Color Wheel Mandala

Our yoga teacher, Mo, also prepared a healthy and delicious lunch for us every day.

The Art Studio

The 3rd Annual Workshop at the Winery in Norton, Ohio

This workshop has become a lovely and fun tradition --


We paint in a beautiful big room at the winery, surrounded by lots of windows

We have a core group of people, who attend the Ohio workshop each year -- largely, made up of friends and family.  And, each year, a few new students sign up -- and quickly become friends and part of the core group.  


In 2017, I will be expanding this workshop to three days, since two days never seems enough!

My Last Durango Workshop at my Home/Studio

It was a bittersweet 4 days, for a lot of reasons.  This was my last workshop at my home/studio in Durango -- after 11 years!  We will be moving in the spring of 2017, to Littleton, Colorado.  I'll be happy to be much closer to my kids and grandkids, but it was sad to say goodbye to all the ladies that I've come to know over the years, through my workshops.  

The good news is that I will still be offering a Durango workshop in September of 2017. My friend and fellow artist, Diana Willson, has graciously offered to host a 3-day workshop at her beautiful home/studio at Vallecito Lake, near Durango.  Yea!

Some shots of the 4-day workshop:


This year, I also started offering some of my step-by-step tutorials as PDFs, and will try to offer more of these for sale, in 2017.  I currently am offering 6 of these, including the following:


Two of the portrait commissions I was able to complete this year:



Looking Forward to the NewYear

- I just hit 1,000,000 views on my blog, so I'm looking forward to continuing my posts and tutorials.

- I was accepted into the Colorado Governor's Show, which will be in April/March.  More on that later!

- Workshops planned for Estes in July, Ohio in August, and Durango in September.  Dates will be posted in a few weeks, and details for each will follow shortly thereafter.

- My on-line mentoring course continues, with more students all the time.

- And, lots of family time!

We all showed up to watch my son, Zach, paint a mural at Columbine Gallery in August.

The entire family went to the Bronco game in Denver, on a cold night in November -- even Todd was there with us!

I thank everyone -- all my readers, followers, students, family, and friends -- for your patience, understanding, love, and support!!!


  1. Oh, Wow!!! I am so, so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine what you have gone through, and yet you managed to hold it together enough to honor your commitments and give two workshops and paint those beautiful portraits. I hope 2017 will be much better for you and your family.


  2. I am very sorry to hear of you and your families loss. We suffer so much when a loved one leaves us. Some days are very tough, others show a glimmer of hope for the future. Overall it is the support of family and friends that give us the strength to accept.
    Best wishes for 2017.
    Regards Janine

  3. This news of your son’s death is heartbreaking, Pat! I have not yet known the profound grief you must have felt, must still be feeling--nor the deep well of strength and vulnerability you must have found to continue with your work as much as you were able. I’m glad you shared an appreciation for creativity and art with Todd, and it looks like with at least one other son as well! You have a beautiful family, and I wish you all a blessed 2017.

  4. I am so sorry for your loss, Pat. It looks like you have wonderful memories. Due to work, I missed the Ohio event, but looking forward to this years!

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  6. I am so sorry for your loss. I admire your work so much, and I am inspired by your courage to carry on each day after this loss. Blessings and peace to you and your family.

  7. Please accept my condolences for your loss. Thank you for sharing your lovely watercolors and techniques. I'm a beginner and they are helping me tremendously.

  8. You are a strong woman, I admire you. Go on painting, smiling, making your workshops. I'm sure your Todd would be happy about it. I'd like to open a short parenthesis: your four sons are all beautiful boys, congratulations! Gloria from Italy.

  9. Really sorry dear for your loss. It is really heart rending but you have to bear this. My boutique of wishes for you and your work with Todd. Best wishes for 2017