Strut Your Mutt Portland



Friends, I am so excited to announce my participation in Strut Your Mutt this year on September 10 at Sellwood Park Riverfront Park in Portland! Strut Your Mutt is one of the largest and most exciting fundraising walks and festivals for local rescues in town. We will have field day games and fun activities like little dog races!

I’ll be there with Wilfredo and I’ll also be judging some of the contests, so come say hello!

Strut Your Mutt is in its 5th year in Portland, with usually over 500 people in attendance and raising over 50,000 for local animal rescue organizations. We have our largest fundraising goal ever, so we really want to get the word out in the community. Learn more about the event and register here. Out of town folks can also donate here.

Have a great Wednesday, friends!


Sketchbook Roundup: France Edition!



{PS: I learned after I drew this that the wording above should be La Chèvre, not Le Chèvre! My apologies!}

One of my favorite times to draw in my sketchbook is while I am traveling, especially when I am traveling alone (by the way, if you are interested, I wrote an essay on traveling alone which you can read here).

Last month I traveled in France for two weeks (to Paris, Nice and Antibes), and I drew several spreads while I meandered through these cities (though truthfully I don’t draw WHILE I am meandering). I love observing what is around me — architecture, animals, plant life, people, the general vibe of a place — and then drawing my interpretation. Here are some of the spreads I made on this trip:










Do you dream of keeping a sketchbook but don’t know where to start? I offer two different sketchbook classes to give you a jumpstart. You can take Sketchbook Explorations here or More Sketchbook Explorations here (both via Creativebug, which is a subscription online class platform for only a few dollars a month). I also teach several other classes at Creativebug. You can see all of my offerings here.

Happy sketchbooking!


Help Me Develop a New Suite of Classes!



Hello friends! I am considering offering a new suite of short, manageable online class modules in the area of setting up and running a successful art business. The modules will be affordable and set up for you to take anytime at your own pace. For those of you interested in taking classes from me, I’d love for you to fill out my very short survey (will take you less than a minute!). It is an information gathering tool to help me decide which modules to develop and roll out first. I appreciate your input!

Have a great weekend!


Two Upcoming Portland Events!


Hello friends!

I am so happy to announce two different Portland events in which I will take part, one TOMORROW NIGHT and one in OCTOBER

First, The Portland Art Museum Monster Drawing Rally!


No, we won’t be drawing monsters (the “monster” part refers to the size of the drawing rally!). Monster Drawing Rally (MDR) is a drawing event and fundraiser featuring more than 75 Portland-based artists. Part performance, part laboratory, part art bazaar, MDR is an incredible opportunity to watch some of your favorite Portland artists create original drawings from a blank page. The event begins promptly at 6 p.m. in the Museum’s courtyard and consists of three one-hour rounds that each feature approximately 25 different artists drawing simultaneously. As the drawings are completed, they are immediately hung up and made available for a flat price of $35 each. If more than one person wants to purchase a particular work, the winner will be determined by drawing straws. Proceeds support free school and youth programs at the Museum. The Monster Drawing Rally provides a unique opportunity to watch a drawing come to life, and to purchase a work of art minutes after its completion.

I will be drawing from 7-8 pm! Please come say hello, watch artists draw, bif ! Going to be a great event!

Second, I am so happy to announce I will be the opening keynote speaker at this year’s THE HELLO SESSIONS in Portland on October 7th (more info below the photo!)


I am offering 15% off the ticket price with the code CONGDON15. The Hello Sessions is a one-day, workshop-based conference for creative entrepreneurs, which takes place in Portland, Oregon. Joy and Melissa, who run the conference, like to keep things intimate and that means they only have 100 seats in total. You can purchase your ticket here.

I gave a workshop at The Hello Sessions last year and it was so much fun. You can see a list of this year’s speakers here and learn more about what they’ll be talking about here.

Don’t forget about my discount offer! And register today!

Go Portland! And hope to see you at one of these great events.


There Are No Rules


doodling manifesto_quarterly

Pictured above is a Doodling Manifesto that I wrote a few years ago. At the time, I was beginning to teach a Basic Line Drawing class through Creativebug — mostly for people who don’t self-identify as artists — beginners, really. My goal in designing that class was to simplify the practice of drawing into some very basic principles and to give people permission to draw without worrying about making the thing they are drawing look “realistic” — which, for most people, is the most intimidating part of drawing. I also wanted people to understand that drawing isn’t just about drawing actual “things” — that it is just as much fun to draw shapes and weird patterns — and that that act (which we commonly call “doodling”) — is just as much a valid form of art-making than anything else, especially if you are a beginner.

The class became wildly successful and still today, four years later, it’s a very popular class on Creativebug. It may sound obvious to people who identify as artists that creative expression doesn’t have to be complex or layered or perfect, but for beginners, the notion that they can pick up a pen and draw lines and circles to create basic shapes (and eventually patterns and other designs) — and then call it “art” was mind-blowing.

Technically, my Basic Line Drawing Class is not designed to teach you “how to draw” — at least, not in the traditional sense. In the class, I teach a form of drawing that embraces wonkiness and imperfection, simple lines and use of negative space. I went on later to record a 31 Day Drawing Challenge, which you can also watch on Creativebug, in which I guide you through drawing 31 different everyday objects and things in nature in several different, very simple ways. The goal is to get comfortable drawing things, and embracing all of of the imperfections, which in my opinion add charm and interest.

Mostly, I want people to understand that you are in charge of what you create. There are no rules for the right or wrong way to draw something (despite what your elementary school art teacher may have told you). I have made a living (as have many other artists) in drawing everyday things & scenes in unconventional, stylized ways. I also draw very realistically when it’s called for in my work. I love approaching drawing in different ways. You can see my love for diverse approaches reflected in my portfolio.

Curious about the class? Take a look at the trailer below and ignore the fact that it says “COMING THIS MARCH” — this video is several years old and the class is available for viewing now! And yes, my hair has grown a lot since then!

You can take the class (or my 31 Day Drawing Challenge or subscribe to Creativebug for free for a month) here. This class is also great (and super appropriate) for kids!

Have a great weekend, friends!