Two and a half years ago I cornered CarolAnn Waugh and suggested we put together a mixed media workshop that would challenge us as artists and teachers, and offer our students a chance to see "how the other side" works. It has been an amazing ride! We taught our 4th workshop this past weekend, and had the honor of working with 18 students from 3 states and all around Colorado. I am so grateful for the generosity of our participants, and especially CarolAnn, who all share their process and creative energy. We had experienced fiber artists, experienced art journalers, newbies to all forms of mixed media and everyone in between. It was such fun and the two days were filled with growth, humor and layers and layers of color, texture and patterns. Thanks to our "angel", Diana, everything ran smoothly and everyone stayed well hydrated. Thanks to Debbie, our resident baker, and Marj we all stayed snack-full.
Tomorrow (Tues, Sept. 5 - first Tuesday of the month) is the annual World Art Drop day. The concept is to drop off a painting or sketch so someone can randomly find it and enjoy....and to spread art and peace! I'm excited to be dropping two pieces (above). I love a stealth act of gifting! Both pieces are mixed media, using maps at the base layer, then paper towels, then watercolor & pen for the top layers. One will be dropped at the Washington Park boat house, the other at one of my favorite coffee shops in town (Nixons on Washington and Louisiana). I look forward to hearing from whomever picks up the work. Nice way to welcome the fall season.
I created this video for the students going with me to Spain in Oct, 2017 - but anyone about to take a trip might enjoy seeing how I started preparing the pages.
Is your cell phone full of pictures you "might" do something with down the road? Here is a quick and satisfying way to use them so you can actually hit the delete button at some point. Print them off (in a small size if possible), cut out the section you'd like to use, attach to the journal page, then continue the picture in whatever way brings you delight! Top left, i extended the picture with just pen lines, and some imaginary elements (the larger lamp post does not exist). In the middle image, I cut out a part of a selfie, finished my body in ink and watercolor and had a good laugh. The image on the right was extended with watercolors trying to match the "value" (darks and lights). My Sept. Adventure Journal Newsletter reviewed portable printers (another way to print from your phone) but you don't need to spend much ; printing your pictures on your home printer works just as well. Once I have used these images in my journals I happily delete, delete, delete. Its almost as fun as cleaning out a drawer!
I love any technique that allows endless variations. I never grow tired of the simple paper bag book! I found that machine stitching holds the bags together nicely (used as the binding) and can also be a lovely decorative element. To learn how to make the bags, check out my Craftsy class: Expressive Pages (discount link on the Shop page).
My son (recovering from a broken leg) and the dog and I are waiting for the natural miracle of darkness to pass overhead here in Denver. I have enjoyed all the hype about this eclipse; such a welcome break from the normally upsetting news cycle. I subscribe to a monthly astrological newsletter (Power path) and they described this as a time to reset, and I certainly see it my own orbit!
I have considered a few, new, personal goals as I look at resetting (and my birthday coming soon, oh my!!) and one is to play with video more often. Here is my first of a planned series of new Youtube videos (link here). If you like it please subscribe! Another goal is to explore some new materials for my art journaling and basic sketching approach and I am thrilled to be exploring gouache these days. Can't wait to share some thoughts in coming newsletters and videos.
Another goal is - wait! - this would be a great journal page as I love to work with lists; so I shall reset right now and grab my journal.
Our 2 day, Mixed Media with Your Mountain Muse weekend concluded Sunday eve and what a great workshop! We became a community of 17 creative women pretty quickly, especially after we shared what we had in common and what we found on our "pleasure wander" (thanks to Ivy Walker for that term!!). Look at the joy in the colors below; wow. It was an intense time, with so much creativity emerging in the form of two different collages. Who needs utensils for lunch? I had a "yummy" weekend with this group and am so grateful for the time and connections. Huge thanks to our angel, Margot, for her loving directions keeping us all going. A little white wine toast at the end (thanks Celeste!); I miss everyone already.
Woohoo! - my first Craftsy class will be up and running sometime today. Unbelievable. It has been such a growth experience and I am walking in gratitude! So many of my art buddies had never heard of this on-line platform, or they heard of it and thought it was JUST crafts...well check it out! I noodled around the site with encouragement from CarolAnn Waugh who was one of the first instructors. I was so pleased to find it and immediately started purchasing classes in the art area. I learned so much from the perspective and figure drawing classes, the watercolor and acrylic paint classes...that I wanted to be part of this community so I pitched a class. It took a few years but I finally heard back; and now the class on art journaling is a reality. What fun. For a launch discount just use the link on my shop page. You'll even see me in my Dive Bar element (and that is CarolAnn next to me along with the wonderful Anna who was my Craftsy connection). Woohoo!
(Hurry up to wait, ever hear that expression? I'm facing that challenge today as I wait for the Craftsy class to launch and try to get ready for the big giveaway(s) on Facebook and thru my newsletter. It should be released early next week (wait - aren't there fireworks scheduled for Tuesday?!). In the meantime I'm on pins and needles while packing for Crested Butte and looking forward to a book signing at a delightful spot in the town. Rumors anchors Elk Ave (the main drag); I'm going to set up outside to catch some of the farmer's market traffic on Sunday, July 9. I can't wait to see who I run into randomly which is always a cosmic tickle.
I love the internet and the connections to real people! I am enjoying the Craftsy class I am taking on Creative iPhonography and wanted to reach out to the instructor, Holly Jansen, to tell her that I was going to feature one of the apps she describes in her class on my recent e-newsletter. Bada-bing-bada-boom....we have now connected thru email and the world shrunk. She lives in California and offers fabulous photo workshops, someday I hope to meet her in person. She offered to guest blog; great idea! Hoping to do that in August.
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!