My summer teaching schedule in Crested Butte, Colorado, has begun and I always learn so much from the students and the community of creatives. Even though some folks might not self-identify as creative, I find the wide open vistas and magnificent location offers an opportunity to slow down and open up to endless possibilities. There are more trails to explore, more views around the corner, more wildflowers to learn about - just more opportunities to experience "wonder" and amazement. To me, creative energy rides the wave of wonder and amazement. I count every minute here as a gift and every one of my students as a chance to learn and build community.
Fay lives in Canada and is on my e-newsletter list. She requested the template to use with collage and then followed up with a heart-felt amazing email sharing the work of some of her clients using collage to explore mental health. Here is an excerpt:
A lady experimented with interpreting the birds with different materials - we talked about flexibility in our world and that there are many ways to express both in our work and our words - and they all have a place.
I am always touched to hear about the ripples that are created when we all put out sparkles of creativity in the world. Don't you agree: we often don't know how things are received and that little things have potential to bring meaning to people and places we can't even imagine? This is the best part of our digital world and I am so grateful that Fay shared her experience.
Jill asked about my travel kit for art journaling and I created this short video to share my tools. Since I am mainly concerned with portability and efficiency while here in Crested Butte (I take my journal and kit all over the mountains, sometimes hiking sometimes driving lots of times walking around town) I am focused on the simplest materials. Of course if you are looking to create more collages than sketches on your pages then I recommend adding a glue stick and whatever other fun and small items you like to play with on a page. For instance, you might want to bring a small stamp and mini stamp pad, some decorative tape, and other colored pens. To see what I am carrying while here in Crested Butte, Colorado for the summer, check out this short video:
I finally closed the boxes and made the drive to my happy spot on this planet last week. Crested Butte, Colorado was blazing with full sun and not a drop of moisture for almost 7 days but still welcomed me with cool breezes and amazing vistas. My "sacred perch" looks over the valley...and today we celebrated rain!!! Amazing. I am playing with painting clouds to prepare for one of the Simple Sketch classes I'll be teaching in July (focus on clouds) so today was perfect. I am trying to keep things really simple with a limited palette, working in a watercolor Handbook. After a few more cloud challenges I'll move on to mountain scenes, trees, flowers and all other things Crested Butte (architecture as well). If you are interested in getting to the coolest air in the US please join me up here! Info and links on my workshop page.
LOL! No offense to either Carol Ann or my doggie, Zev...but today was such a hoot. I am leaving for Crested Butte (Colorado) in the morning but had to complete one more project before heading out. Carol Ann and I thought it would be fun to create a video preview of our upcoming Sept Mixed Media Adventures workshop so we laughed our way thru the process. Here it is! We reminisced about our first video tutorial attempts - with a flip phone! Believe me, this was not much easier. And we did NOT have the darling hair and makeup artist from Craftsy to help (so we are behind the camera the whole time). We are hooked on the process; watch for more tutorials coming in the fall. Consider registering for the workshop also!
It sure seems like marketplaces are the new "it" spot in Denver. I can think of 3 or 4 that have opened in the past few years. My new favorite is the Stanley Marketplace . It is so comfortable and full of terrific people watching.
I love an adventure! I grabbed a few wonderful and creative friends and we headed to the RINO neighborhood this morning for a street art tour with Cori Anderson. She runs Rebel Tours and provided information about all kinds of street art (murals, graffiti, tags, etc.) and pointed out fabulous work all over this neighborhood. If you ever have a few hours and some visitors, check it out! You will walk away with a new appreciation of this neighborhood and the work on the walls.
What a grand adventure!! I just returned from a few days in California where Carol Ann and I worked with the amazing Susan Cornelis. We had a 2 day private class as Carol and I love the way Susan works with such lyrical lines and watercolor in her urban sketching. What a blast! Spending time with both women was wonderful; full of laughs and quiet work time, sharing our stories and approaches to various subject matter. Seeing Susan's studio and local haunts was so much fun and dealing with the water in all forms (rain, floods, ocean, hot tubs)was so different from my life in Denver. There is nothing like a completely new environment to clear the brain and bring in some new colors and a refreshed spirit. I can't wait to put some of our lessons into practice here at home. Huge thanks to both remarkable women!!
Talk about a stretch! Craftsy invited me to be one of the artists in their 4 part series about self portraits and I was challenged in a way I have not been previously. First I had to take a good look at my process and insist that I stay true to my art journal expression rather than do a self portrait in a more traditional manner (mixed media or acrylic or watercolor, etc.). Next I had to take a good look at myself; hahahahahaha. I realized that if I could somehow keep the playful aspect of my work in tact then I might be able to convey an approach to self portrait work that is far from precious. Sure; turn the page! So off I went. 2 full days of shooting and the final result has been launched on Craftsy Unlimited. This format of a subscription service (like Netflix) is new for Craftsy and they are providing lots of free and unusual content for the members. If you get a chance and are so inclined check it out; you can get a free trial to see some of their more art-full, unusual series that are not available thru the regular Craftsy offerings. And self portrait work? I learned so much and found wonderful fodder for long walks and journal pages. I'm planning on writing about it more in an upcoming newsletter. I hope you might consider creating your self portrait and sharing your experience.
Whew. What a weekend! 24 students (including our angel, Joyce) met on Friday to kick off our annual Mixed Media Adventures weekend art retreat. What a great group! The Hilton Garden Inn (Cherry Creek) provided a great space with plenty of room for us to explore our unique creative approach to creating vessels, books, cards and a canvas. Lots of fun with laughter flowing almost as rapidly as the acrylic products. Thanks to Mary Morisson who brought tons of samples from Golden and added so much to the weekend experience. We were honored to spend the time with this amazing group of adventurous women!