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!
Oh my gosh, did you ever try to keep a straight face when you really felt like giggling? Do you know what RBF means - ?!!
I had such fun last week but it was fraught with challenges to keep my facial muscles relaxed. Craftsy asked me to film a segment on Self Portraits as part of their content for members of their new subscription service. I started out journaling in a huge sketchbook in a coffee shop (Black Black Coffee) with terrific lighting. Then went on to create some collage papers using spray dye inks, then ripped and glued things in place. The filming in public, pretending to be in my own world was a riot. The make up was a riot! The film crew were a riot! All in all it was a great day full of fun as I was reminded of all of my giggle outbursts when I was a kid and how it feels to try to get serious on command. Sigh. Thank you Craftsy, Amana, Dave and Nick for a delightful day!
Ahhhhh....we just returned from a week at the beach. It was blissful! Three elements of the vacation came together in the most amazing way: first, our family was together for a few days, second: the weather was phenomenal, third: the place was gorgeous! I had packed a few of my go- to art journal supplies and had such a great time exploring different ways to work with watercolor in this wet environment. I even had time to play around with the iPhone apps I had learned about in the iPhoneography class with Holly Higbee Jansen (on Craftsy! I have an affiliate link on my site for a discount). I particularly loved playing with the exposure and focus settings as the sunset on the beach was a huge event each day (check out the picture with the shells in the foreground). It was wonderful to pause from the everyday and re-charge the energy, and continue to walk in gratitude towards the end of 2017.
How can I resist a black and white challenge? Carol Ann and I are creating endless examples for our upcoming Mixed Media Adventures art retreat ("Luscious Layers in 3-D", Feb. 16-18) and I was challenged to work with this limited palette. I love the drama in this simple combination! This fiber vessel stands about 8" tall; students will create a few of these during the retreat and will have the opportunity to explore all kinds of surface treatments. We will also be working on textured canvas paintings plus a crazy way to elevate simple card stock into lovely, textured work.
The process of preparing for a retreat is different than preparing for a one or two day class. We are constantly talking about ways to build the community and create the fun, supportive environment along with the mixed media offering. We still have a few spots left for the Feb retreat; it is guaranteed to be a blast! Please let me know if you have any questions or might be interested in joining the fun.
And yes; it is that time of year when the days are getting so short and the darkness challenges us to find the light from within. I am sending festive and rest-ive thoughts to all. Wishing for peace and health....
I know it is hard to believe, but sometimes I have to admit defeat and throw the failures away. (This from the woman who seems to save everything as a potential project!) It is hard to do and getting to the point of no return can take a long time, but there was something quite refreshing about just sticking these dreadful canvases in the trash. It all started when Carol Ann and I began planning for our Feb, 2018 art retreat and we have been experimenting for months with various mediums and ways to combine fibers and fine art. Yesterday we had our break thru during our workshop "dress rehearsal"; and we are so excited. It all came together, and some things went out! What have you thrown away (or recycled) lately that tells a story or had you learning a big lesson? I do love the notion of embracing the failures as an integral part of the creative process. In this case, Carol Ann and I figured out how to integrate canvas, hand stitching, molding paste & some amazing painting techniques....now I can't wait to play with all the possibilities and share them during the Mixed Media Adventures art retreat. Onward!
Whew. I can hardly believe that the Magnificent Spain; Sketchbook Adventure trip is actually in the past! Danny (Adler & Marlow Travel) and I planned for 14 months - longer than I planned my wedding - and we finally met the students on Oct. 5, a few days into the Catalan Independence movement. What a great group of adventurous folks to travel with! What a fun 6 days together! There were so many joy-filled moments (like seeing the Mediterranean Sea thru the vineyards on our first day), amazing wines and gourmet meals. We all wished we had more sketching time but no one wanted to miss the next sight or interesting walking tour. Here are a few highlight photos; my travel journal will be up-loaded on Youtube (I will link in my next blog post) and you will see how I worked from photos to allay the time constraint frustrations. It really is interesting to look back on an adventure for which so much planning and imagining took place. Don't you feel like this when you re-enter? There is a bit of a let down as I find my footing and routine. It is not quite jet lag, but, instead, it is a lack of walking miles in awe and the 'not knowing' aspect that I miss. Ah yes, the travel mind vs the routine mind. I am happy to get back to my studio and creative work, but I do miss the group and the excitement of the trip.