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The Most Romantic Day of the Year, With a Whimsical Twist!


lbwalleyAhhh....L'Amour! C'est mon favori! Everything is red and pink, roses are abundant, we blush a little more, and we are reminded once again of that first tingly, giddy sensation when your current love was little more than a sigh-worthy crush! Unless you're me, then you use the opportunity to pull elaborate pranks on your dear guy, such as the hijinks of '08, which found me filling his entire car with red and pink balloons on a very cold night while he was working and attaching a pin to the door handle with a note saying, 'Pop your way in!' Again I say, ahhh....L'Amour! Strange, sometimes cruel L'Amour!

No matter how you slice (or, ehem, pop) it, Valentine's Day is the BEST! Even if you're happily unattached and free as a bird, I still think it's the most fun thing ever to pick a friend and ask him or her, 'Will you be my Valentine?'

There are still 24 days until Valentine's Day arrives, but we know you like to plan special surprises to spoil your better halves ahead of time, so we wanted to tell you how WE plan to spoil YOU for the occasion!

On Saturday, February 14th, we have an extra-special date night painting event planned just for you and your sweetie pie!

We are going to paint 'Keep It Flowing', a brand new series by mastermind and artist-extraordinaire Lindsey! It comprises two paintings that are oh so cute and absolutely perfect for the wine lover (and let's face it, folks. If you're reading this blog, I surmise that you're a whimsy fan, and therefor a burgeoning sommelier)!  These two paintings are designed to flow seamlessly from one canvas to the second one, giving you and your darling an opportunity to work together and create your own special love-language through the medium of paint! Wouldn't you like to say that you bonded and were reminded of what an incredible team you are together on Valentine's Day 2015? I would, that's like 800 times better than a box of chocolates!

As always, you and yours are welcome to steer your own path and create something entirely different!

So now I ask, will you be our Valentine? We wanted to ask now before your dance card got too full!

If I've peeked your interest, I highly suggest you head on over to our calendar and register yourselves to join us for 'Keep It Flowing' on Saturday, February 14th! Then, grab some Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory goodies and bring them inside!

Stay warm in this suddenly chilly weather, friends!

Shannon 'Doesn't Do Romance Very Well But Tries' Hodgson

Art-portunities For The Particularly Addicted Whimsian


You know the feeling. You get itchy,


can't sit still, pop online to keep yourself distracted for a little while longer. You're overdue for a whimsy fix, and nothing will satiate the need until you're sitting on a cozy stool and have that brush in hand, and enjoying a peach Izzy.

You're the type that checks our calendar weekly for new art, or maybe to see if the painting you've been waiting to do (AGAIN!) has made its way back to the calendar yet. (Some of you reading this are saying, "What is she jabbering on about?! No one is that crazy about painting!" To those folks, I'm saying YES! We Whimsians are that crazy, and this is me peer-pressuring you to drink the crazy water with us, you'll love it!)

My dear, fellow Whimsy fanatics who want a new way to get your kicks, I'm here to tell you that Whimsy has a Meetup group specifically for the artist who is looking to try something a little different from our traditional classes but keep the fun, all while meeting new friends that love Whimsy as much as you do!

In past Whimsy Paint and Sip Art Club sessions, we have painted pumpkins, enjoyed an outing to the zoo to sketch the animals, learned to paint from our cherished photos, and covered some more in-depth landscape painting skills.

Lindsey, our amazingly talented lead art instructor loves the classes because she gets to cover techniques that aren't always part of a typical Whimsy class and has more one-on-one time to help the artists develop their own style of art. She says, "I enjoy sharing different processes to build up a painting. Teaching people how build upon their own compositions and ideas. Different techniques. Its a great way to get people together and enjoy different activities and learn new things."

We have some amazing new ideas for Whimsy's Art Club in 2015! We're bringing in new items to paint on, guest artists, new techniques, maybe a craft or two, and definitely a few fun field trips! As always, all experience levels are invited to attend!

Once a month, we will provide you with details about our Whimsy Art Club activity in our email newsletter and on Facebook. Most classes cost $25 unless we go to a location outside the studio. To sign up or find out more details about the current month's event, visit:

We are so excited to treat all of our fans to some really special experiences that will awaken your inner artist or give him a lil' jolt! Never fear! If you're jonesing for some paint on your hands, we've got the perfect anecdote! Can't wait to see you at the Whimsy Paint and Sip Art Club Meetup!!!

Shannon "Got Those Art-Itches" Hodgson


Past Events:

Techniques and Processes!


Sketching at the Zoo!

Painting from a Photograph!

Painted Pumpkins!

Doing Good in an Artful Way


describe the imageLife is wonderful, isn't it? We are so lucky to have the ability to hug our loved ones, smile at strangers, and feel the familiar tug at our heart when we see kindness done for another human or creature. I think empathy is one of the most magical things that we humans possess!

It's also one of the things that makes Whimsy such a fun place for us to work! Just the smile of satisfaction on one of our burgeoning artists' face when they paint that tree that they didn't think they could gives us a case of the fuzzy-hearts!

It's in this same spirit that Whimsy does so many fundraisers annually. As you may recall my saying before, there is really no comparison to the feeling when we fill our studio with artists who are all painting and laughing together for a common cause! There is a special warmth in the air that we enjoy so much! It's like having fifteen baby bunnies hop all over you while eating cotton candy. Yes, it really feels that good! So, what are you waiting for?

Do you know someone who has a great cause and needs to raise some money towards it? Perhaps the best part about our fundraiser program is that YOU get to design your special party! Any special foods that you would like to bring in, special words you'd like to say about your cause? We would love to coordinate with you to make it happen!

Let us help you! Call us or stop by to hear the details of how Whimsy can help you towards a very special goal while also letting out your inner Monet!

Happy second week of the new year, artists!

Shannon 'Going Out To Buy A Baby Bunny Now' Hodgson

Let's Bring In The New Year, Whimsy-Style!


newyears copyOur bellies are full of left over egg nog, we are still tossing out the remnants of gleefully torn off wrapping paper, strutting around town so that everyone can admire our new wares, and Santa's elves are enjoying their beers, clinking their steins together because, 'Whew! This year was a doozie, and now we can get back to our favorite shows on Netfix!'

That's right, Christmas is now another 360 days away! We now turn our focus to the year ahead, the goals we have, the adventures yet to be had, the hopes we have for our loved ones.

I always feel like the air has a special buzz to it, because there's so much excitement in all of us and we are all feeling that 2015 is going to be the best year of our lives! And why shouldn't we?

New Year's Eve is an opportunity to celebrate how far we've all come together and individually, to honor the past and begin anew. What do you wish for in this next, magical year? Remember, the sky is the limit and no matter how far away a goal seems, if we put intention and heart into it, it will always come true!

You may remember a blog post for earlier this fall in which I talked about the health benefits of putting a little art in your life. Do you have ambitions to decrease stress, boost memory, or just let your inner child out to giggle more often? Whimsy is an excellent place to start! Several of our artists who started by frequenting our classes have gone on to become excellent painters without instruction! You should see the things they come up with during Open Studio, our uninstructed painting events! All it takes is the gentle task of retraining your brain to analyze what it sees a little less, and to free associate a little more. We were all born with this innate ability! Whimsy's job is just to beckon that little boy or girl to come out and play!

As we bid adieu to 2014, your Whimsy team is looking forward to the most magical new year possible, full of awesome new art and wonderful new ways to get you painting! We hope that your 2014 was the old 'best ever', and that 2015 becomes your 'best ever-er'!

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Happy New Year, Artists!

Shannon 'Blowing a Kazoo' Hodgson


The Man Behind the Beard: Some Musings About Mr. Santy-Clause


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What are Santa's favorite cookies? In my humble experience, he's decidedly
un-finicky about what type of cookies you leave out. Ironically, it always
seemed to me growing up that he had the same favorite cookie types as my
parents. I can't explain that. Except that they have the same great taste in

 Did your parents (or do you moms and dads) also leave out some carrots for
Rudolph and his pals to nibble on? I think it is always a good idea, just to
be safe. Those guys work hard, too, and an oversight like that could cost
you something at the top of your list.

My mom used to leave a little hot toddy out for Santa, too, to warm his
bones. I won't be telling the North Pole Human Resources about his potential
drinking on the job. That could put any one of us on the naughty list. That
little cup would always be just an inch or two shorter by morning, and my
mom would have the hiccups. I also can't explain that.

Is your tree ready? Did you clear your chimney for the Jolly Guy's arrival?
If you're without a chimney, don't fret. I have it on good authority that
Santa has a great deal worked out with the nice guys at Fed Ex, aka some
really amazing elves at this time of year.

As you've all been out getting last minute goodies for your little
pajama-monsters to open on Christmas morning, your art-elves at Whimsy have
been holding some very spectacular and full classes for our fellow artists
who began their celebrations early. We've been getting the warm-tinglies
because so many of our Whimsy-fanatics have been bringing in aunties and
grand-dads, and it is so crystal clear how special the time together has
been for them! We love being the hosts for reunions!!

While our classes are finished until the day after the holiday, we ARE open
Christmas Eve for any last-minute gift certificates, or if you just want to
pop in and say hello!

We wish you many warm hugs (and maybe a lil mistle toein') on this very
special holiday. May it be filled with laughter, yummy things and crinkling
wrapping paper!

Shannon 'Santa Fan' Hodgson

Our Neighborhood is the Bee's Knees!


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Our original, tried and true fans will remember us being located in downtown Erie for Whimsy's baby years. It was a wonderful location and we had the honor of making art in a beautiful historic brick building on Briggs Street. It was perfect for us! We loved being a part of the thriving downtown Erie bustle, so close to so many great shops and restaurants. We really felt like part of a family! But the time came where we were ready to move Whimsy onto its next exciting adventure. That location is here at the Orchard Town Center!

We love being at the Orchard because we have the opportunity to make so many new friends, yet it's still close enough for our Erie family to visit us! It also gives us an opportunity to really spoil our visiting artists with additional amenities that allow them have a special night out!

If I were to plan a super fun night out at Whimsy, here is what I would do; pick up a yummy smelling lotion for myself at Bath and Bodyworks and go a little too crazy at the brand spankin' new H&M, enjoy a little lunch at Which 'Wich, visit the Macy's cosmetics counter, then meet up with my friends for a little glass of adult grape juice at Wine and Cheese.

When good and ready, we would stop by the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for some (in my dreams) calorie-free goodies, and then just walk twenty paces into Whimsy, reserve some seats, order a bottle of wine to share, and get settled in with our choco-covered apples for a really, super fun night. (In my Whimsy-dream, I also totally win the nightly Grease Dance-Off to roaring applause and get a free drink, but that's a different story for another week.)

That's just one variation. You can also throw Target shopping in there and then a movie at the AMC, or The Cheeky Monk and then some dainties at Victoria's Secret.

We are so unbelievably lucky to be part of such a wonderful outdoor mall that has such a warm, yester-year sort of feel, but also has so many fun things going on, all within finger-length of one another! It has been such an asset to what we do at Whimsy! PLUS we are open at the same time as all of your favorite shops, so you can visit us and take advantage of Open Studio during weekdays, you know, when the shopping just gets too much and you wanna let that inner artist out!

Next time you're shopping at the Orchard Town Center, come visit us! We are easy to find, always very easy (and free) to park, and if I do say so myself, very easy to love!

Come get addicted!!!

Much love,

Shannon 'The Art Girl Next Door' Hodgson

Are You Getting The Holiday Jollies and Tinglies? We Are!!