I spent 3 wonderful days with Flora Bowley at the Teahouse Studio in Berkeley, CA. last weekend. It was a great experience having the time to dive into painting without the usual distractions of home. I realized that I paint better when I am surrounded by folks in the process of creating also. There is an energy that is quite different that working alone in the studio. The Teahouse is a great place to take a class and I highly recommend it. We were treated to fresh, healthy food and all the tea and coffee we could drink. The above painting went through tons of different versions before it arrived in its present state. I did my best to dive into Flora's methods and keep my own painting style. It has helped me with the most difficult part of painting for me, I never know what to do with the backgrounds. My "folk" come easily, it is those darned backgrounds!! I have 4 more canvases in process, trying to get ready for Artwalk in San Diego April 28-29, 2012.