Sunday, November 2, 2014

My Blog has moved! Please visit my new website

pencil drawing by Rosa Phoenix

I've moved! Please visit me at my new website

I'll keep this site up so you can look through the archives, but new good stuff is on my new site!

Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Rosa Phoenix Art Studio Opening in October 2014

Hello folks,

I'm moving on to do do more great work! 

In 2012, I started teaching art classes, just to try it out. 

I discovered that I have a real gift for teaching, and I love the community that I form with my students. 

What began as an experiment in life has become a full-fledged passion.

As I quickly found myself to be in great demand as an art teacher, that passion turned into a career and a calling.

Now I'm taking the next step, which is opening an art studio of my own where I can teach classes.

Rosa Phoenix Art Studio will open its doors on October 25, 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona with a beginner pencil drawing class for adults. 

I'm offering 20% off the price of the class to celebrate the grand opening. Click here to register.

I also have a new website and new blog. I've had a wonderful experience here on blogger for 5 years! But it's time to move on. I will keep this blog up so anyone can visit the archives.

I do hope you will visit me at my new place!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Tiny Desert Treasures

a tiny creature, hidden in plain sight!

"Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small.
We haven't time, and to see takes time -- like to have a friend takes time."
- Georgia O'Keefe

We all notice the big, bold, showy displays of nature, like the Grand Canyon or the Milky Way galaxy or Niagara Falls.

But the smallest things are just as miraculous and awe-inspiring. 

Most of the time we don't notice the daisy growing out of the sidewalk crack, the ladybug underneath the leaf, or the little spider spinning her web in a dark and forgotten corner of the house.

But if we took the time to see, we'd realize our world is teeming with treasures, just waiting for us to notice them.

Do you see the tiny frog in the photo above? (I apologize for the poor photos, they were taken with my camera phone.) Maybe you'll see it in the photo below.

He is perfectly camouflaged among the dirt and rocks, and he was sitting perfectly still! Look just above my thumb.

This is a little desert frog! One of the frogs who lives in the desert pond, who was jumping about after the monsoon rainstorm.

Here's a tiny clump of blue wildflowers on the hiking trail.

I have always loved tiny things! When you see them, it's like you found a hidden treasure!

And here's a really tiny little flower (sorry it's blurry! I need to remember to bring my real camera next time!)

After I saw these wildflowers at North Mountain Park this spring, I went to the Visitor's Center. The volunteer there was complaining loudly that "nothing is blooming this year!" 

But when I showed her my photos of tiny wildflowers she didn't say anything else. 

The most lovely and exquisite treasures are sometimes hidden in plain sight. 

The observant person will find them.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Teach and Learn, Pass It On

succulent rose
pen and ink sketch 
by Rosa Phoenix

Students are back in school now, with fresh school supplies and sharpened pencils. It's officially time to learn.

The truth is, the time for learning is . . . always. Not just during the school day or the school year.

Learning is a state of mind. 

It's being receptive, open, interested, curious, willing to explore, ask questions, make mistakes, experiment.

Learning means growing and developing as a person. 

Learning means keeping your mind alive.

Learning isn't over when you pass the test, graduate or earn a degree or certificate.

It continues on the job, in your daily life and interactions with others, and in your observations at all times.

A teacher once told me: "the best way to learn something is to teach it."

Since I began teaching art 2 years ago, I have found this to be true. 

Teaching motivates me to learn as much as I can, so that I have more knowledge and skills to pass on to my students.

My students teach me, too. 

I've learned art techniques from my students, and a lot of other things too. 

In a group art class, we all teach each other and learn from each other.

As a teacher, I stay humble. 

I'm not a fan of the authoritarian style of teaching that some of my early school teachers adopted to keep students controlled. 

I don't pretend to know all the answers, or use my knowledge to gain power over others.

I stay humble because I don't consider myself to be an expert or a master who knows it all. 

Rather, I'm just like my students: an artist on the journey to improve my skills and learn more.

I teach because I enjoy sharing the benefits of art and the creative process with others. 

Creating art helps me to be a happier, healthier, better person, and I want others to experience this too.

I also teach because so many people want to learn. 

Since I moved to Phoenix, I've found many people who want to learn art skills . . . and very few artists are teaching them. 

If you have a skill, even if you don't feel you have mastered it, I'd encourage you to teach what you know. 

Don't wait until your skills are perfect. That day will never come. There are people who want to learn now, and through teaching, your skills will improve, too.

If you enjoy something, teach others, so that they can enjoy it too. 

Share it, give it, pass it on!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Sketchbook: San Francisco

 Ocean Beach, San Francisco
pen and ink sketch
by Rosa Phoenix

Ah! Nothing like sketching on the beach, on a rare warm and sunny day in San Francisco!

It's important to refresh, renew, and see new sights. Travel is important for artists, to be stimulated by new scenery and experiences. 

This summer, I was thrilled to take part in Urban Sketchers' 2nd Annual West Coast Sketch Crawl in Portland, Oregon.

I'll be posting more sketches from my trip, so stay tuned.

I've been practicing drawing, and I can see that I have made a lot of improvement. Sketching has helped me a lot. I look forward to sharing what I've learned with my art students.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Teen Drawing Class @ Revival Art Collective featured in The Downtown Devil

I'm teaching a drawing class for teens at Revival Art Collective in Phoenix, Arizona. It made the news!

Arizona State University's student news agency, The Downtown Devil, followed my class and did a feature article on Revival Art Collective and my wonderful students.

Click here to read the article.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

How I Won the Love Lottery (and you can too)

Although I’m single now, I feel like I have more love in my life than I’ve ever had before ...

I feel like I won the Love Lottery!

This is a pretty big deal for me, because it wasn’t so long ago, that I struggled with depression, self-hatred and even suicidal thoughts.

If it is possible for me to cultivate great love and happiness, then I think it is possible for anyone.

Love is really about feeling deeply connected – to others, and to the world.

You don’t need a romantic partner to feel it. You just need to open your heart.

What allowed me to open my heart to love, 
was practicing the 5 tips that I’m sharing with you.
This is my Valentine’s Day gift to you.



Isn’t it disappointing when others don’t give you the kind of love that you would most like to receive?

You can’t control what other people do. If there’s something you want, you’d better do it for yourself.

Are you treating yourself well? Are you taking care of yourself and your life?

Give yourself the love and kindness that you desire and deserve!

Are the thoughts that you direct toward yourself loving and kind?

Or do you have an Inner Critic who is hell-bent on attacking you? Pay attention to when this Inner Critic starts bad-mouthing you, and shut it down! 

When you love yourself, you take good care of yourself. You look after your health and well-being, your body, mind, surroundings and belongings. You seek out and cultivate happy healthy relationships, and walk away from those who don't support you.

Caring for yourself makes you feel strong and vibrant so you are up for the challenges, and able to help others.


If love means feeling deeply connected to others and to the world, then that means that love is limitless.

Why must we define love so narrowly, that we believe it must look a certain way, act a certain way, come in a certain package, or happen in a certain series of events?

We’re all familiar with the Hollywood and fairy tale fantasy of love and romance – complete with the kiss and “happily ever after” with the Princess and Prince Charming.

In this fantasy, both Prince and Princess merge with “The One” – their soul mate for life, who will be their eternal source of all love.

This is a cute fantasy, but it’s only one, super simplistic, concept of love.

What if, instead of searching to find love in “The One”, you sought to find love in “The Infinite” – seeking to find a love connection with every person you meet?

What if you aspired to love:
not just one other person, 
not just members of your family, 
not just friends, but 
the entire world

... including animals, plants, mountains and oceans, the stars, moon, and all of Nature, and all of existence?

It may sound radical, but this is the love I seek.

This is mystical love, universal love, or some might call it spiritual love.

And no, I haven’t gotten there yet! Not even close. I fail every single day.

But I’m working on it! I have my moments.

I've discovered that, just by opening your heart to this potential, it is possible to feel a constant flow of love in your life . . . which you will never get from focusing on just one other person.

Challenge your heart by loving more every day!

Here is an experiment to try:

Before going to sleep, visualize your heart shooting laser beams of love in all directions. These laser beams will strike other people in the heart, and bounce back at you!

See what happens in the next couple of days.

   3.    BE CREATIVE

Your creative self might sing, write poetry, act, tell jokes, dance, cook, sew, tell stories, build a house, start a business . . .

In creative mode, all your senses come alive. You become a sensual, feeling, perceptive and receptive, complete human being with a unique gift.

You allow others to see your true spirit, which is necessary to make authentic, loving connections.

Everyone is creative in some way. If you don’t feel creative, you just haven’t given yourself enough opportunity to explore that part of you, and find the mode that is your own unique creative expression. 

Start learning about yourself! Experiment, explore, try something new!


Whatever it is that you love share it with others.

Connect with other people who appreciate the same things you do. 

Create your community.

Inspire each other, teach each other, support each other. 

This is your tribe. You need each other.

   5.    BE KIND

You aren’t the only one who wants love and connection.

Out in the world there is a sick person who wants a comforting touch; 
a homeless person who would like a genuine smile; 
a child who needs words of hope and encouragement;
a friend who needs someone to listen.

It doesn’t take a lot on your part to brighten a person’s day, or even change a life.

All it takes is kindness.

photo by Abdulhamid Al Fadhly

Let your own heart be the greatest source of love in your life. 

Watch it open and grow like a flower, and see what happens.

Happy Valentine's Day!

How do YOU create more love in your life? Please comment below!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 Art Classes in Phoenix, Arizona

pencil drawing by Rosa Phoenix

I'm teaching drawing and painting classes in Phoenix, Arizona. 

I'll be teaching a kids class at Revival Art Collective: Drawing for Teens. This class begins on February 1. Register before January 18, take 20% off the class. Use discount code: EARLY.

For my full class schedule, please visit my website: and click on Classes. 

Please contact me if you have any questions. 

It's a new year, a blank canvas we can paint however we like!

Let's make it beautiful!