Friday, June 2, 2017

New Studio Workshops Added

Fresh from my retreat at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico, I am ready to get back to teaching. I have decided to do a series of classes on Mixed Media Acrylic Painting. The first two will be all about expressive fun painting, no drawing or drama! Eventually, I have hopes to get a basic acrylic painting series going, so let me know if there is interest. Her are a few teaser photos. You can get the scoop on the classes by clicking on Studio Workshops to the Right.....

Thursday, April 6, 2017

My first ONLINE Workshop the Stuff of Dreams

I am so excited to be part of the Artful Gathering 2017 Workshops. This will be my first official online class and it is PACKED full of info, explorations and techniques.
Both painting and doll making!
Here is a video teaser of what is included.

You can get the scoop on registration here:

everyone who attends my workshop will have a chance to win:
Grab the secret word 

 if you have not been collecting you can visit the other blogs on the hop to catch up and get a chance to win awesome prizes:

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Re-visiting My Creative Roots

I have set a goal this year to expand my mixed media work by returning to my first love....fabric! I am lucky enough to join a local "journal quilt" group which meets monthly. 
Journal quilts are generally small - often A4 size or 12” x 12”, are made regularly – weekly, monthly etc and are used as a way to experiment and to document. No rules except the size. 
My first journal quilt was last December. I shared the results in my last post, but I could not stop myself from using the shape to make a doll. Here is my finished quilt:

and here is the doll:

And a "series" is born! 

For 2017 our theme is colors and January was Grey. 
Here are photos of my process.....

Playing with ideas...

Things are taking shape

Faces done on vintage paper that is collaged to muslin so I can sew them on.

Ready for hand stitching....

 And here is the final piece....

 I just could not bear to cover up the beautiful hankie so.....

Here are photos of the doll I made, inspired by the quilt
The bear was made from an old grain sack and the sweater is a sleeve from an old sweater I felted.
The sweater had holes, so I made them a feature!
A quilt, a doll and now I think, a painting inspired by them....

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Looking Forward to 2017

I always take time to review how things went during the year. I traveled alot. Santa Rosa, San Diego, Port Townsend, Whidbey Island, Phoenix, Denver to name a few. I met some amazing and inspiring students and artists. Visited wonderful museums and participated in an Open Studio weekend in my home town.

I am truly grateful, but tired! In the process of teaching and traveling, I can see I have neglected no only my blog, but also myself. I did not leave much room for silence, solitude, personal creative time or self care. This is why I am slowing down in 2017. I feel the pull to regroup and move into new challenges. This break will allow me to do some different and exciting "small" teaching venues and actually have time to paint and work on new techniques and classes. 

With personal growth in mind, I have joined a local "journal quilt" group and I am excited to see where this takes me. I am thrilled to be working with my beloved fabric stash again! A journal quilt group sets parameters on size, monthly challenge and we usually pick out a fat quarter of fabric which may or may not be used in the monthly challenge.
This was my first journal quilt inspired by Austrailia. I love the process of researching Australia and came across some amazing rock paintings done by the native aboriginal people. Click here to see to these amazing paintings.
I gathered what I had in my stash, the challenge fabric (the dotted fabric in the left corner) and some vintage buttons and a key. I decided to rust the muslin to look more like a "rock" surface. This turned into a real mixed media challenge and I loved it.

I am currently in the process of filming my first online class that will be offered through Artful Gathering  in the early summer. It is too early for the class offerings to be posted, but you can sign up for notification on the link here. This is a total learning experience and I am hoping after I am through, I will be able to do more filming and offer regular online classes.
I will also be teaching at Annie Hooten's New Tricks Art space in Albequerque, NM in late September. There will also be a SURPRISE announcement in February, of another exiting teaching venue happening late October, so stay tuned!

In the meantime....I have 2 local classes that are coming up. One at my studio in January and  and one at the Grants Pass Art Museum in March. Click on the links above for more info and I hope you can join me if you are in the area.
I wish you a peaceful and healthy 2017!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

New Local Class Added!

Just wanted to let you know I am adding classes at my studio this summer. The first class will be:

June 11, 2016 - The Fantastic World of Collage

You can click on the page link above "Studio Classes Grants Pass, Oregon" to find out more about the class. I will be adding additional classes and posting them here on the blog.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Why I Participate in Art Retreats

Participating in an art retreat as a student, teacher, vendor or all of the above is always an adventure. The travel planning, gathering of supplies, anticipation of what is to come is all part of the fun.
There is also our fair share of stress - will my supplies get through security? Will the paints explode on the way....

What if I don't bring the right supplies? I have been to many retreats and can honestly say I have never been left stranded with the wrong supplies. Didn't bring the right supply? Usually it mysteriously arrives, between "trades" folks make as a getting to know you gesture and/or generous classmates. I have developed a zen philosophy about this, and I chant it as I am packing for each event. "Whatever I have or am given is enough." It has NEVER failed me. It enhances my experience by forcing me to "make do" with what is in front of me.

I have met some lifelong friends at art retreats. Attending an event where everyone there has something in common with you is a great ice breaker. Even if you are shy or nervous, many creative people have an outgoing nature and pull you into the conversation to put you at ease. Meeting folks who have traveled a long way to attend, hearing their travel adventures - both good and bad provides inspiration to take a risk and travel somewhere you had not considered.

Most artists work in a fair level of isolation and an art retreat allows you to clear the cobwebs off and get real feedback on your work - not just the negative talk that sometimes runs in your head.
I recently attended Art Is You - Mixed Media Retreat in Santa Rosa. A wonderful event run by the tireless Sallianne McClelland and Ellen Legare. These women really know how to create a community.

I met so many amazing, wonderful people this year. I wanted to share a few new friends who touched my life in special ways.

Scott Stabile was the "morning motivator" who helped us gain some focus, before running off to our classrooms. He is one of the most compassionate, gentle humans I have ever met. I loved just hearing him speak, bringing a fresh, kind perspective to life. He has a wonderful book out titled "just love" - which really says it all.....Beautiful inspiration!

Julia Watada a talented jewlery and doll maker. In conversation we found out we both had a common interest as teddy bear artists in the past. It was so fun to find an unexpected connection!

Elena Lai Etcheverry is the founder of Charity Wings Art and Craft Center, in San Marcos, California, my old stomping ground. Elena is a woman of many talents and passionate about giving the gift of art to all. She definitely inspired me to get involved and give back to others the joy that creating has given me. 

Last, but not least, my students provided such memorable experiences. It is always a wonder to see where other creative people will take your class idea. I was blessed with some amazing artists and learned so much from each one of them. Here is a sample of their work:

I hope you will consider attending an art retreat in the future, You will receive much more than new art skills!


Friday, March 18, 2016

What's Next

I am one of those folks who needs a plan. Since my book was finished, I have been wandering around creatively. Playing is really important to finding your way and wandering is part of that process.
I have dived into exploring watercolor - supplies I have on hand that are under-used.

Figuring out what I actually own was fun. 

Just laying down colors and seeing what looks good. 

Doing my search for a character shape. 

I will be teaching a wonderful class on how to create a doll and then create a painting with the doll as an inspiration for Art-Is-You, Santa Rosa, April 13-15. There is still time to sign up!!
I love this class because it invites me to use fabric as well as all my other mixed media tools.

By working on these two things at the same time, a lightbulb went off. Why not reverse the process. Paint a painting with a character of unusual shape and turn that shape into a doll. Use watercolor and watercolor pencils to finish the doll out!

By doing this in a non-traditional order, I was challenged to interpret the shape I had painted in a way that could make a great doll shape. It was not as easy as I thought.
I really enjoyed the process and have 3 more paintings on their way to becoming dimentional.