An Artful Week in New Orleans with Golden Paints

Kid in a candy store
Opening night party with mardi gras and glitter tattoos

Opening night party with mardi gras and glitter tattoos

My sister drove down the packed French Quarter street. Sunday afternoon in October and it was still hot and muggy. A tall man in a mesh miniskirt sauntered down the line of cars. As he passed, he ran his finger along my sisters’ arm, which rested on the open window. We watched his thong-clad rear end disappear into the rearview mirror. Welcome to New Orleans!

I came to New Orleans for a week long Golden Paints workshop. 20 artists, 3 assistants, and one dynamic teacher. I’d been using their paints for years, because the color is unbeatable, and I wanted to learn more. I applied and was accepted to the Art Educator program –Lucky me!

Queen Bee Patti Brady of the pill box hat

Queen Bee Patti Brady of the pill box hat

Queen Bee Patti Brady pulled off purple hair and a pillbox hat like nobody’s business. Complimented by a polka dot dress and a magnetic personality, Patti’s lifetime spent as an artist included 20 years in San Francisco and a degree in print making. All this with an immense knowledge of acrylic paints, gels, pastes and mediums. We were in great hands.

As the Director of GOLDEN Certified Working Artist Program for 21 years, Patti spent the week teaching us everything we could hope to learn about how to use these magnificent products, through project after fun project.

Far from staid color mixing, we tried everything from group paint splashing to playing with graffiti pens, decorating transfers with glass bead gel, creating skins, experimenting with Gelli prints and stencils, layering paint with mica and MUCH more!

Artful experimenting through endless fun projects

Artful experimenting through endless fun projects

The organization of the flow of projects was a marvel and all due to Patti’s planning and her three lovely assistants, Kevin, Kevin, and Samantha Queen of cool shoes. All of this was a thousand times more than I expected. But wait, there’s more…

Pat Pirrone, Golden Paint’s Mastermind Fun Planner (which should be her title), orchestrated our hotel, meals, lunches and entertainment  – all within walking distance of the French Quarter’s stunning Hotel Mazarin. I have never had a more beautifully planned trip.

True to French Quarter living, Hotel Mazarin surrounded a lush courtyard, hidden from street view. This is where all true living happens in the Quarter.

Hotel Mazarin's lush courtyard

Hotel Mazarin’s lush courtyard

Each of our grand rooms were styled with marble floors and chandeliers. And each room opened onto the courtyard – a true sanctuary, with a large, bubbling fountain as its centerpiece.

At night, Pat arranged for us to have one classic New Orleans meal after another in some of the finest establishments. (Take THAT hips!) Antionne’s, Cafe Adelaide, Cochon Restaurant, and even a cruise on the Nachez with a bootie shakin’ band! Did I mention the 4 o’clock wine and cheese hour?

For those not quite ready for bed, a sweet stroll to the cozy French Quarter bars were the perfect place to sip bourbon, dance and laugh some more.

Taking Five at the 21st Ammendment

Taking Five at the 21st Ammendment

The sax, the trumpet, the piano, the company. The 20 amazing women who rocked my world. Their talent was so diverse and creativity so outa sight –this was the greatest treasure, just to meet them all. I wanted to spend a week with each one, to see their techniques, to hear their stories, and what moves their souls.

I came away from this week feeling like I’d found my tribe.

A few of the 20 lovely ladies I got to hang with this week!

A few of the 20 lovely ladies I got to know this week

I came away feeling that despite the fact that we artists love to spend countless hours alone, lost in creating, I wasn’t alone. These women also understood and strived for the same expression and creative freedom I did. They were driven to live a life of artistic exploration, and all of us had no choice but to pour our souls into the world for all to see.

Thank you Golden Paints!

Stay tuned for my new online workshops , featuring all these saucy mixed media techniques!



  1. kat says:

    Oh my Gosh Kellie….Sounds and looks like you had a fabulous time!!!! What a way to see New Orleans!
    I have my art show on the 19th of November and am collaborating with a photographer and a painter (acrylics/watercolors. All of us from Port Royal and it should be fun. Working hard right now to finish up pieces and then a little break. Will move upstairs and work on some canvases!!!!!

    Keep in touch …kathleen

  2. I would love to get some kind of news letter or any kind of information re: art workshops. Jane

    • Kellie Day says:

      Hi Jane,

      Thanks for your interest in taking an art workshop with me. You can either sign up for a workshop in-person with me, or take a class online, on my website.

      My workshops are all listed here:

      My online classes, which you can do in your home, are listed here:

      All of my in-person workshops incorporate Golden Paints and products, and I can teach you more when we meet.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions, I would love to paint with you!


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