The Drawing Club of Improbable Dreams / Now Out!

by Cat B on September 18, 2015

DC cover+Very happy to announce that my new book, The Drawing Club of Improbable Dreams, is now available in the UK and in the US. In the book, I tell the story of the drawing club I’ve been running in Boston for almost ten years. Each week we make experiments in drawing and so often discover more and more who we are as artists. And what we learn in making art we can bring into the whole of our lives. The book tells how to run a club and offers exercises for the first year as well as ways to invent new ones.

Here’s a beautiful quote from Kurt Vonnegut that says it all:

“Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or how badly, not to get money or fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.”






If you’re in the UK, you can buy the book here. And in the US, here.



Online Sketchbook Class!

by Cat B on September 10, 2015

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Class starts October 6th! Registration is now open!


Registration for my new online sketchbook class, Making Art a Practice, with Carla Sonheim Presents is now open! I’ve posted some sketchbook images on the CLASSES page so people can get an idea of the ways we’ll be working. There’s more on the sign-up page as well as a list of supplies.

I believe the simple act of drawing can open us up to all sorts of perceptions and even new ways of being. We’ll be working in the class to both uncover and forward the ideas we discover so we can bring them into our art-making. And, in the process, we may well discover more of who we are as artists. And we’ll learn from each other! I’ll be participating too and we’ll also address questions we all face as artists like what to do about creative blocks and the inner critic, and how we can find our own vision and style as artists.

The class is open to artists of all levels of experience.

Class starts October 6th, 2015 and goes for 6 weeks.

There are exercises to do each week and we’ll all share our work on a private Facebook page.

The code to enter this page and full instructions will be given upon registration.

Sign up at Carla Sonheim Presents.


The first 10 people who sign up will get a free copy

of my new book Making Art a Practice!



New Online Class—October 6th

by Cat B on September 3, 2015

I’m happy to announce that I’ve been invited to teach online for Carla Sonheim Presents which offers online art classes of various sorts taught by Carla and other artists. My class is called Making Art a Practice (just like my book) and we’ll be working with the sketchbook to explore freely and in some unusual ways. The goal is to bring our whole selves into our art through our art practice and to bring art into the whole of our lives. The course is six-weeks long and participants will have a chance to share their work in a private online setting. I look forward to seeing what everyone does and sharing what I do too. In my experience, so many good things happen when we work together in a collaborative way.

Carla works with her husband Steve Sonheim, a photographer, cinematographer and director. They came all the way from Seattle to Boston to film and they do everything in a highly professional way. Together they guided me with great skill through the whole filming process. I confess it can be quite challenging to talk and draw at the same time, live, on camera! But we did it and it was a lot of fun! It was so great to hang out together, and with my husband Allan Hunter too, and to talk about art. I’m so delighted to be working together!

Here’s a few shots in my studio from our four days of shooting—









The class is scheduled to start October 6th. If you’d like to join us, you can sign up at Hope to see you!


Sun Records at Boston’s MFA

by Cat B on June 20, 2015

When the call came to enter a piece of art into Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts auction, I decided to send in one of my “records” from my Sun Records series. I was really happy to be included and especially chuffed that for a night a piece of my art hung in the museum! Many, many thanks to the wonderful collector who bought it. Love when people buy art and I hope it brings a smile to its new viewers. I’m thrilled that some of the proceeds go to support our great museum here in Boston.

Calvin Perkins


The Drawing Club Book

by Cat B on May 13, 2015

Happy to report that I’m almost done with my new book, The Drawing Club of Improbable Dreams, about how to start and run a drawing club. It’s based on the club I’ve led for the last 10 years just outside Boston at The Arsenal Center for the Arts. It started as a regular drawing class but when we embraced radical support for each person surprising things began to happen. Everyone learned to draw in interesting ways, for one. Better still, we found a wonderful community and a sanctuary on Saturday mornings for wild creative exploration. Some really fine things have come from that.

It’s been such a wonderful and interesting project. And intense too. Most of the book has been done in the last six months which is fast for a book like this. Once again, many thanks to my publisher Thierry Bogliolo at Findhorn Press without whose warm support this book couldn’t be as freewheeling as it is. I’m now in the final days of making and choosing art for the book and inserting it into the design. It’s looking great and we are truly stretching the boundaries of how we can think of drawing. And art too, I hope.

In two weeks, the book will be off to the publisher in France! Out in bookstores in August!




by Cat B on March 22, 2015



















Very honored to have some of my art and an excerpt from my first book, The Confident Creative, on British artist/illustrator Vicki Turner‘s fabulous blog, PLUCKY! Vicki describes PLUCKY this way, “Due to the power of small things, I collect plucky stories and ideas to inspire us. To celebrate and support creatives who have the courage and determination to make a positive impact, ranging from bold mavericks to humble artisans.” PLUCKY is full of inspiration and simple pleasure! Do check it out! And thank you, Vicki!


Check out Vicki’s beautiful graphic art here!

And may we all be plucky!



New Book in the Works!

by Cat B on March 19, 2015

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Hello! I’m sorry for such a long time away and thanks for checking in! It’s been a very busy time here as, apart from shoveling mountains of snow here this winter in Boston, I’ve been writing and editing my new book for the last three months. The book is about how to start and run a drawing club like The Saturday Morning Drawing Club which I’ve led for the last ten years and which inspired my first two books—The Confident Creative and Making Art a Practice. I write about the ways we can work together with drawing and come to make art in our own best way. It includes lesson plans too. Next week, I’ll jump into making the art to illustrate the book. The final step will be putting it all into book form and getting it out the door before the end of May. I may need a little luck with that but all will be well.

Publisher: Findhorn Press, which also did my first two books and have been really great to work with.

Publication date: October 2015

Thanks for stopping by. I’ll be back soon with some of the illustrations from the new book.



Sun Records / 33 rpm Long Playing

by Cat B on September 18, 2014

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In the spring, I started work on  Sun Records, a “record company” that plays only visual music. It’s my homage to music, especially the blues, which has been such a transformative part of my life and of the planet’s too, I think. I spend a lot of time wondering about how we can get to that place of transformation and how to make art that might inspire happiness and peace, if possible. This is a very humble effort, of course, and one triggered by memory. No one listens to vinyl records any more but I love the idea that they were called “long playing” and that great music, or good messages, can just keep spinning around endlessly! There are 12 “albums” in the project.

Back in the seventies, when I was in my very early twenties, I was living in Montreal, an art and music imbued city. I loved rock music already but had only a vague notion of the blues. One day a love affair went awry and I was feeling like shit, just heartbroken and way down in the dumps. A friend of mine, in an act of great kindness, convinced me to go out that night and hear some blues. Howlin’ Wolf was in town and she said I’d be feeling better after hearing Wolf. I didn’t really believe her but went along anyway.

Howlin’ Wolf was one of the fiercest and most moving of blues singers; he howled and he raged. He did what a polite Canadian white girl couldn’t—he poured out his feelings with every fiber of his body. He raised his voice. He shouted and howled. He was already in his sixties the night I saw him and ill with kidney problems. That day, he and his band had driven all the way from Chicago in a couple of beat-up station wagons with all the instruments and amps squeezed in. The show started a bit late that night. When the band was warming up, Hubert Sumlin, Wolf’s great guitar player, stepped up to the mike to apologize for the tardy start. He smiled and said that they’d been driving all day and when they’d arrived they’d had to take Wolf to the Royal Victoria Hospital for a session of dialysis. He said the nurses were so kind to Wolf and the band was so grateful they’d taken such good care of him. He said that Wolf was a great man, still willing to give it his all even though he was ill and we should all give him a warm welcome, which we did. Shouts and howls went up with the applause.

Hearing this, seeing these people, feeling their good humor and grace in the face of such travails and hard travel, I felt my own sense of spirit open and my sadness loosen. Wolf then lumbered onto the stage, sat himself down on a stool and without a word began to play his guitar with an urgency that made your hair stand up. Twaaaaaaang. Over and over, so loud you couldn’t think. Then he started singing. Whatever blues I had that night, or had ever had, were cleansed by his singing. He carried our suffering away with his voice. You could almost see people lighten up as the night went on. We knew Wolf had suffered loss too, had failed at love, been cheated on, lost out. We knew he had money problems and broken health. That he was tired. We knew in a way that set us free that  whatever we faced we are not alone, ever. And whatever sorrows we faced would pass as mine mostly passed that night absorbed by the sound of one man’s heart and history, and a whole race’s history. It gave me perspective, a chance to stand outside of myself and see a bigger picture.

Now this spring, lots of years later, I got the idea to do Sun Records. How or why ideas come, I can’t really explain, but as I get older I see that ideas that come to me encompass many aspects and learnings from the whole of my life. Nice to get older! When ideas for art or writing come to me, I try to do them straight away as I feel quite honored to receive them really. So, I began. But then all sorts of things happened in our lives here and in June, when I went away on a teaching gig, I had to leave the project half finished, alas.

This week I finally got to pick up where I left off. Of course, I am not quite the same person I was in June. Everything changes, us too, and I find I see things a little differently, draw a little differently and mostly, today, I’d lost my technical mojo in laying the type down. The technique I had going for me in June seems not to work as well in September. But tomorrow I go back to the studio keeping the faith that things will move along as they are meant to. So, almost there with Sun Records and a new idea has already arrived. Feeling very blessed.


Back to the Studio

by Cat B on September 11, 2014

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It’s been a super busy year here both personally and work wise. All this busy-ness—writing, design work, family travel—has kept me out of the studio all summer. When I’m away from the studio for a long time, I almost forget what it is I’m doing as an artist. I indulge in looking at other art, get into a kind of free-floating space and wonder what is possible. This can be good. New ideas sometimes come this way but it can also feel unanchored and uncomfortable. It’s only in the doing that things gel, for me anyway. When I went in today, I started working on my record project which I started in the spring. I cut the records out of wood, painted them, created a singer for each then penned the words. I love the idea of songs playing endlessly, especially songs that say something. I’ll post the series once the last touches are in place. Good to be back.



Drawing Workshop in Greece

by Cat B on August 10, 2014

Just back from teaching a workshop on the Greek island of Skyros, part of Skyros Holidays that include the arts as well as yoga, tai chi, meditation, and sports. It was  great to do this workshop and visit this sparsely populated island, see its varied landscape, and visit the ancient village of Skyros, home once to Achilles. And to meet the wonderful participants and the warm and welcoming Greek people. We always get so much inspiration when we work with other people.

Here are a few shots of the place—





















Skyros village