emily cline art

gettin' my ya-ya's out

Save the Date: Art Journal All Day


Save the Date AJAD.png

For years, I’ve spent much of my time and energy hoarding art supplies and gathering people to play with them. It’s always been a dream to open up the back studio, yard, and driveway to fill the space with art journalists. It’s time.

Saturday, June 15, we’re gathering. We’re playing.

You may have heard this somewhere before, but I wholeheartedly know it’s true:

If you build it, they will come.

*Art Journaling All Day will be a free event, co-hosted with the incomparable Brian Kasstle. Details will be coming. Email us to RSVP.

“FOUR!” Looking Back at 2017


We’re all doing it. Looking back over the past year. Gratefully. Sadly. With frustrations. Or for some, with joy. A mixed bag. Like mine.

I started here. Looking through my art journal.

2017 vision pages

In one class, we created a double-page spread of what we’d gift ourselves if we could. Beautiful symbols of what I wished for in my 50th year on earth. (FITTY!)

little book lines

Then, we carved lines out of vintage books to create a story. The black branches at the bottom were from a hand-carved stamp I made. The little kitten (lower right) was a delicate contribution from a sweet 11 year old friend, reluctant to mess up my pages.   (As if.)


This image is so delicious to me — it’s like cake decoration. I could eat it. It’s so sweet. The little spots of color peeking out. The big, red “FOUR!” — an abrupt exclamation, like a golfer’s yelp.


And toward the end of last spring, dear new friend, mentor, and co-teacher announced she and her family had decided to move to Oregon. Images of California goodness swamped my mind and pages — “How could they leave this amazing land!” ALLOW. (Harrumph.) Yes. ALLOW her to go and grow, like my loved ones have allowed me to go and grow.

And then this image (below) stopped me from looking back any further. (I think it’s my favorite but don’t tell the others.)


See, I clean everyone’s palate after every class. I am an artsupplyhoarder: I can’t just throw away left-over paint. So I plunk it in my journal. Piles and scrapes and swishes and blobs. Then somehow this solitary reindeer wandered in. Unmoved in a blizzard of color.

Words also jumped out of my thick, messy pages.

Notes reminding me to check out Joe Henry’s music for his beautiful lyrics, like, “Prayer is just a laugh unfurled.” I bought the whole album.

And other reminders, gifts from my students, woven in…

Where you stumble, there is treasure.

Your heart is a chrysalis through which I see colors that reflect my own.

It seems that we are meant to inhabit and live everything that comes toward us.” (John O’Donahue)

‘”Be a little deaf” — advice for love and work.’

Follow the arrows and that’s where you’ll find me.” (Stefanie Schamber, friend, mentor, co-teacher)

A rough year. I’m still looking back. Finding arrows, treasure, and love. “FOUR!”


Kid Treasures


My kids are back. (Insert huge *sigh* of happy.) They’re wiggly. goofy. intense. needy. chatty. singy. full of life.

And I treasure them.


Kid A thew down with the India Inks. Her creative passion flows through her dancing too.


Pretending she didn’t understand what a focal image was, Kid C reworked this page touting Girl Power! Which she promptly displayed by fashioning an “iPhone Hotel” (below) — pure genius!


The Kids check in their phones in at the beginning of class, and check them out afterward.


Kid Newbie A has a gift for layering and doodling. This summer she spent a month-long road trip with her parents diving in, finding her gorgeous, amazing voice as an art journalist.


Kid M gobsmacked me with her collaging skills. She’s putting words in, too, unmasking her personality.


And This Kid. This Kid is a first timer. Can you believe it? She took a lighthouse, flipped it upside- down, threw it in an ocean of wave-like of paint, then repeated waves and bridge-like marks on the opposite page. FIRST TIMER. I Kid you not.


And this little gem was just a little piece of somethin’ I found on the floor. It’s one of the many little treasures I get with these Kids.

*Special thanks to the unwitting Tim Schamber for the Kid (Letter) idea! I appreciate the anonymity and kuddos it allows.



ALLOW 2017.jpg

My co-quilting co-teacher, Stefanie Schamber, and I are nearing the end of our third session of Art Journaling + Women’s Support classes. I’m still finding new feelings, ideas, transitions. I am forever grateful to Stefanie and the  brilliant, brave students we’ve journeyed with this past year. What a wonder-filled kismet this has been.

This summer, Stefanie is moving to Portland, Oregon. I’m sad that she’s going, but knowing a little something about big moves, I am deeply happy for her. She’s doing what I did: moving for her family, for a better way of life.

We all have different visions of what happiness is. Her’s happens to look like Portland, mine looks like South Pasadena.

No matter where we are, we are all part of the same quilt. She is sewn into my life, just as are my dear ones in New York, North Carolina, Minnesota, Colorado, Texas, and Iowa. I could never cut them out! They are part of me, the fabric of my being; stitched in, held gently with batting and love.

Knocking My Socks Off



For years I’ve heard the adage ‘teachers learn from their students’, and I always thought, “What a nice thing to say..”


Then I noticed: my teen/’tween art journaling class knocks my socks off every single week. Sure, we’re all kinds of creative, working in our art journals, cutting, pasting, painting, writing. But there’s so much more than that going on.


We talk about our ‘roses and thorns’ — the best and worst part of our day. They tell me how their tests went, how someone made them belly laugh; they share little secrets, what they dream of being when they grow up. They tell me long-winded stories that have no plot or ending, but they just need to be heard.


They break my heart wide open with their creative, beauty-filled, vulnerable, adventurous selves.


And all the while, we make art, knocking my socks off.


It’s *FREE*!

Stop by and say “Hello!” this Saturday, May 6 at the *FREESouth Pasadena Eclectic Music Festival and Art Walk! I’ll be set up in Artisans Alley, selling my wares, enjoying a great afternoon and evening of music, art, and fun!

Details and directions here: The Eclectic Rocks. Remember, it’s *FREE*!


We Are Not Only Black and White



We are not only black and white. We are shades of gray, brown, red, pink, blue, yellow.


We cover our soft underbellies with a hard shell, hoping we appear smart enough, capable enough, strong enough.


But really underneath it all, our vulnerability is our power. It is our intelligence. It is our strength.

These three spreads were made for and with Stefanie Schamber and my’s Art Journaling + Women Support classes last week. Doing them brought up my anger and my will: I will not hide my light. I will not mute my colors. I am black, white, and every color in between.

Box City Build Out: We Celebrated the Arts!


Just over a year ago we moved to South Pasadena, full of high hopes, even though we didn’t know anyone. In the short 15-months we’ve been here, we have come to love this community, all things “South Pass”, especially all things Marengo Elementary. We have been thriving; we found our jam!

This past weekend was a perfect example of that “jam”!

One of the reasons we chose South Pasadena is because of the thriving art community here. Years ago, Hope Perello, (SPACE’s mastermind) started several all-school, PTA-supported creative programs in her daughter’s elementary — which happened to be ours — Marengo Elementary. She started a monthly lunch-time art exploration “Art Happenings”, a winter gift-making workshop “Holiday Workshop”, and a big creative playdate every November “Celebrate the Arts”.


Having attended only once (last year) and being more than a little bit naive and hopeful (surely someone will sign up to be co-chair, right?), I volunteered to be the chairperson for “Celebrate the Arts” this year.  Walking in big footsteps, I got crazy lucky with sage leadership from Saida the Energizer Bunny PTA president, and some strong, resourceful, devout volunteers!


We created “Box City Build Out”, inspired by a Corita Kent, a summer camp activity with Heather Arndt, and 5 moves in 6 years. We took all our family’s moving boxes and instead of burning them to ashes like we’d really wanted to, we re-constructed, painted, decorated and repurposed them.






Parents and children built inventive sculptures and structures big and small — with details like hand-sewn pillows and carpet inside; shingles, welcome mats, and mailboxes with mail outside; faces, hearts, flowers, and love all over! Upbeat music blared (who knew the PTA prez is also a DJ!) Parents danced with other parents. Kids raced around scavenging boxes while devouring rooter floats. They drew all over their playground and even made old-fashioned kraft paper cut-out selfies!



When we started to run out of boxes, (yes, my nightmare) the very same parent who graphically designed our postcard (et hem, that’s you, Brook Collins!) hopped in his truck and dashed around town finding more. Parents with middle school kids threw boxes over the fence! Last year’s co-chairs even gave enormous support: one came with her whole family even though they were sick, the other drove up with her whole Jeep stacked full of boxes — right before she went to the ER with bum ankle! (Feel better Danielle and Lisa!!)


All that, roughly 25,000 steps, a sun-burned back, and only two broken nails. I’m humbled, grateful, exhausted. I can’t believe we did it!


%d bloggers like this: