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!


Christmas in October



My little classroom that could.

My little classroom that could.

Ever since I stopped acting 9 years ago, I have been working toward this: my own little studio. I have dreamt of teaching art journaling to ‘tweens — to give them a safe space to create freely, to be themselves, to find a place where they can go with their secrets.

Just as strongly, I’ve hoped to reach women. Women who need to be heard, who have value, who have so very much to offer in this world beyond taking care of laundry, meals, homework, and driving to and from soccer practice. Women who had thriving careers until they gave birth, then realized they needed to be home to take care of the little soul they brought into this world, but now, as that little soul grows up and becomes more and more independent, they’re looking at themselves trying to figure out what Chapter 2 is.

Now it’s happening. The ‘tweens come every week. I see their eager faces every Tuesday and my heart swells and soars: this is it! This is how to make a difference!

And today, for the first time, women are coming to art journal. Through incredible support from my generous, patient husband, my Yemma Tribe, by making tough choices that brought me to this town I love so much, and with the magical kismet that brought my wise, patient, talented co-teaching partner (and certified art therapist!) Stefanie Schamber into my life, women are coming to the *table.

We’re gathering our wagons, setting down our burdens, sharing our stories, and picking up pencils, brushes, scissors, and finding our way back to ourselves.

It’s like Christmas here, with all my cousins coming, presents under the tree, and all the lights I could find, hung up around the car port which is now my sweet little classroom that could.


*OUR TABLE: A deeply heartfelt “Thank you!” to the hard-working, believing souls that anchored SPACE ART CENTER here in South Pasadena all these years. I am grateful you’ve entrusted me with the table that has created so much. It will continue to share your dream. Thank you.

Art in the Park!


Art in the park!

A day in the park with a few 10 year olds. Who knew it could make hearts so happy, so light!


Traveling art supplies.

I set out the supplies, they came  — with their open hearts and a willing, eagerness that knocked my socks off. Heart-and-book-smart young souls. Exploring, trusting their instincts, embracing it all! They found their own great ideas:


Gesso first, then paint? Got it! But what happens when I smush the pages together?!


This one totally got the craft of *journaling* in art. She snuck in secret wishes, writing over and over the words so they’ll be forever hidden, known only to her.


Then she DIY — and made her own envelope for secret stashing.


Or try this, your own envelope design with washi tape on the side. No patterns necessary.


Love washi tape? Make a whole washi mosh-pit!


The whole afternoon was one “Bon Jour”!

*Special thanks to Lisa Henderson for coordinating this fun little event, and to the moms who trusted their courageous creative young souls into my care.




Our afternoon of Art in the Park was only the beginning! Weekly art classes start in August, in my South Pasadena home!

Art Journaling Classes for ‘Tweens!

$100/month = after-school pick-up + snacks + art supplies for a 2-hour class!

Students will start to create their own special Wayfinding Journal, for as they go.. along their way. They’ll take home:

  • At least one new and unique art technique each class!
  • Creative writing — enmeshed into the pages!
  • Their own personal self-expression!
  • Safe space for memories, wishes, and secrets!
  • One-of-a-kind album for ticket stubs, greeting and post cards!
  • Use of magazine pictures, doodles, photographs, stickers!
  • A community of kindred spirits and new friends!

Email me to sign up! Space will be limited!

My Studio Mess is Legit!


(Aka: My Three Ways of Art Journaling)

Finished journals

My studio table is a hot mess! It’s not just because I have a plethora of wacko supplies–obviously paint, brushes, water — but also Gramma’s antique sewing patterns, string soaking in tea, packing tape and a heavy duty dispenser…

No, my studio mess is mostly because I juggle several journals at once — kind of like how in the business world one might have several clients or projects going on at once. These different journals help keep me fresh while working different skill sets. Totally legit!

I have:

  1. (Regular) Art Journals — for creative, exploratory and emotional freedom
  2. Way finding Journals –simple; more visual, using things I collect along the way
  3.  Gina Rossi Armfield’s No Excuses daily art journal — my daily nudge to do anything
Art Journal mom made

My mom, artist Karel Cline, made this journal for me!

art journalingart journaling3art journaling2

1. My regular Art journals (above) are where I work out; where I get my “Ya-Ya’s” out. I let myself work ugly, pretty, frilly, drippy, dark, detailed, muddy, free. I used to hurry and bang these pages out in 20-30 minutes, now they go on for days!

Wayfinding 2016

My latest Wayfinding Journal.

Inside Wayfinding2016

Washi tape, an envelope for secrets, cut-outs from magazines, and postcards in my Wayfinding Journal.


2. Wayfinding Journals (above) are my journaling records of how I go along my way… Greeting cards, ticket stubs, quotes, stickers, photographs, magazine cut-outs all go in here. I let them be fun and aesthetically pleasing, kind-of like a funky, creative modern-day scrapbook. I adorn those pages with washi tape, stencils, dots, lines, words.

Way finding Journals are what I teach children (at Makers Mess!) and adults, giving them a safe and super affordable place to play and experiment. (Check out more class info here!) Students use these not only as portable time capsules (i.e., covering the year of 2015 or a special vacation), but also for gifts (birthday, anniversary, graduation, baby).

2016 No Excuses

NO EXCUSES Journal 2016!

No excuses2January page


3. My No Excuses day planner journal (above) helps me remember the who, what, where, and when of the year. Gina Rossi Armfield is genius in her creation of this project! There are no judgements. It doesn’t have to be pretty. It just IS. When I’m really stuck, that’s where I go. Just to get something on the page!

Sometimes all three crash in a hot mess~ sometimes it almost looks civilized. But it is all legit!

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