Have you ever faced a million reasons to cancel your journal/sketch time? Sheesh! This past week I had a plan to meet my sketching buddy, Joyce, for a few hours and it was such a challenge to keep our date. But we forged ahead and I was so glad. It was as good as going to a spa for a 90 minute massage! We found shade, a delightful yellow house and some quiet, morning air. Ahhhh. What fun! I played with choosing some details and hinting at color (middle picture) then when I got home I added the text in blue in the sky area (then added a little water over the pencil to blend it a bit and hint at sky/clouds). It was a great reminder to slow down, plan some journal time, and relax a bit. Thanks Joyce!
The annual Summer Art Market, sponsored by the Art Student League of Denver is running this weekend and I gave a demo this morning. I love this fair, but hate the heat, so I was glad to be indoors! I met some delightful folks; some were seeking a place to cool off and others came specifically for the demo. It was great fun to introduce everyone to the magic of spray inks. My hubby was there and caught this moment where I am explaining the Joyful Pages journal kit, while other participants tried their hand with the sprays. Thanks ASLD!
After 4 days of filming for the new Craftsy class (Expressive Pages: Journaling the Everyday) it was fabulous to teach real students! Our Travel Journal class on Saturday had a blast; thanks to all the lovely women who pretended we were wandering in Italy. Beautiful pages, great tags, inspiration all around.
The film crew at Craftsy was wonderful; lots of laughter and every effort was made to help this novice feel at ease, but talking/teaching to the camera for 3 days was an unusual challenge...and in full makeup, LOL! The class should be released in early July, I am looking forward to seeing how the magic happens as the footage gets edited (including location shots in Tattered Cover, Nixon's Coffee House, Lincoln's Roadhouse and Washington Park). It was such an honor to work with such skilled professionals. I'll have discount links on my web site as soon as the launch happens.
What a riot! Craftsy filmed the journal process in 4 locations on Tuesday. We had a grand time in Nixon's Coffee House, Lincoln's Roadhouse, Washington Park and Tattered Cover. It was a slow and totally fun process, lots of laughing and lots of carrying of equipment. The dive bar scene included background footage of my son, Elliot, and CarolAnn's husband, Lloyd. The bartender even knew how to make a fake wine drink (it was 10am in Denver!) On to the real class shoot today.
I just returned from a wonderful, adventurous vacation in New York City. I am walking in gratitude for the opportunity to wander, create, muse, observe and eat in such an amazing place. It was a gift to have a few days to myself (in addition to spending time re-connecting with friends and relatives) finding my own rhythms. Ahhhhh...there seems to be something so rejuvenating when all I am doing is focusing on the present moment. Towards the end of my week CarolAnn joined me for a class on "Puzzling out the Picture" taught by the wonderful Veronica Lawlor as part of the Urban Sketch offerings. I'll post those pics next entry. Here are some images from my first few days:
About a year ago I was sharing a glass of wine with my friend and mentor, CarolAnn Waugh and mentioned that I was starting to think I was ready to get a book project off of my to-do list. She laughed and said the only way to get going was to actually get going. Make an outline, figure out the chapters, and start writing. Sure, sounded easy. But then I figured I should wait until the perfect time and environment, so I packed up my laptop and headed to my July retreat in Crested Butte. I was going to hunker down and write a few hours each day, then return to Denver in August with a completed manuscript and momentum. Hah! Turns out CB is such a gorgeous spot that I could not pull myself indoors long enough to open the computer. So I started August with not much more than the outline I had started months earlier, and absolutely no momentum. I had a good laugh at myself thinking that the situation had to be perfect before creativity would flow. Hadn't I been dismantling that myth for 20 years already? I realized that I had to approach this project just as I learned to settle into "interval art" when the kids were little. I had to stop waiting for perfect time, expecting perfection, and get on with the task, even if it was going to be in odd intervals. Like 15 minutes here, 45 minutes there, etc. Once I established this new routine I was off to the races; the manuscript got written, the art work completed and the editor hired. From first words to finished product took around 9 months, seriously. I'm excited to host the launch party next Saturday to complete the full cycle and celebrate with a little bubbly (and lots of spray inks!). My gratitude certainly stands before my expectations as I am humbled by the joy this project has brought.
Kellun T. created this beautiful lotus flower with the practice pages we completed as part of our playful pursuits.
The group met as the skies threatened last Saturday ( but the snow held off) and we had such a good time together. We sprayed, collaged, spiraled and "walked" a labyrinth. Mostly we laughed and chatted and the time flew by. Many thanks to everyone who shared their joyful energy so we all left feeling refreshed.
Carol and I were honored to spend the weekend with 24 fabulous, creative women who traveled from Nebraska, Miami, DC and all around Colorado to join us for the second annual Mixed Media Adventures art retreat. We held our class at the Table Mountain Inn; it was a great, 3 day home. We played with pattern and color, and explored creating layers on lutradur as we made banners and books. We created a stress-free space (parked all the stress in the corner), and pretty much laughed all 3 days together. Many many thanks to all the students. You inspire us!!
Look at this detail from a piece made by CarolAnn Waugh! Fabulous, no? !! Carol and I are planning our February Mixed Media Adventures art retreat and can't wait to share these techniques with our students. Pattern, color, composition; all components of creative expression. The retreat is sold -out but we are taking a waiting list and expect some movement as the winter wears on. Please contact me if you are interested.
The process of planning a class or retreat is always joyful and challenging. We start with some questions, and a goal of presenting only no-fail technques then take lots of time to actually work out the kinks. After a few dead-ends, or results that are not up to our standards, we stumble onto something magical. It is always amazing! This time around we found the magic in simple technqiues that play beautifully together. Just like the process of painting, sculpting or any media, creating a class takes the artist/teacher thru many mysterious twists and turns. There is a lot of trust involved; and when it works we jump for joy! I adore working with Carol and combining fiber art with all the other mixed media has opened doors I never would have imagined.
Last weekend we went to visit our son in Durham, NC and had a great time exploring the area. I had never been to NC before, so absolutely everything was new and surprising. I didn't expect the tall pine trees everywhere, the interesting and kind people we met, the fabulous art and terrific food. Here is a peak into my journal as I worked with pencil, pen and watercolor (plus a little collage). We stayed at the Morehead Manor in Durham - WOW. Fabulous, inspirational, welcoming and an oasis of humanity. Many thanks to Monica and Daniel (proprietors) who were incredibly generous with their time and insights.