Saturday, January 20, 2018

Sketchbooks and Art Journals - New Year, New Start

Travel Sketchbook - "Handbook 5"x 8"

I always start my new year with 2 brand new sketchbooks. A travel sketchbook that I take with me everywhere and a studio book. I wanted to share the books I use because it seems most artists pass over that part. I have tried many, believe me! I like the Global Arts Handbooks for my travel book because they can handle light watercolor and the pages are more matte than the Moleskine books. They also come with the handy back pocket to stash paper in.

Studio Book - "Stillman and Birn - Gamma Series 7"x 10"

I prefer a spiral book for the studio, as it lays flat. I can open it up to sketches and ideas for my paintings and try color combinations out in it easily. I like the Stillman and Birn because the paper is sturdy - 100lb. The Gamma series had ivory paper - the Alpha has bright white, depending on your preference.

My first order of studio business each January is to decorate the covers. Every year, every book is a different expression and document to my continued growth as an artist. I love looking back at my progress and getting excited about old ideas that I can make new again. When I first started this process, I had a lot of blank pages left in the books, but felt it was important to start with a clean slate each year. Now I pretty much fill them up, as they have become a part of my artistic process. I am a big believer in documenting my journey with each piece of art that I make. Most of my ideas for larger paintings come, in some part, from these books and my art journals.


My new favorite art journal to work in is the simple kids books with a stapled spine. You can purchase them for pennies at libraries and used book stores. They lay flat because of the staple binding, are easy to slip into a bag to go to the coffee shop and do not require page removal because they are soft covers. I buy clear vinyl by the yard at Jo Ann's to make a simple protective cover. I just cut it out, make flaps, tape the edges and slide the book cover in - same way we made covers for our school books (back in the "old" days) If my pages become loose or un-stapled, I just poke holes in the center and bind it with waxed linen. 


The pages wrinkle a bit, but once you add collage to each side and put your book under something heavy over night, they flatten nicely. 
I hope this gives you some ideas for making a creative start in the new year!


Another way to start out the new year would be to join me for :

Unearthing Imaginary Characters

A whole weekend of exploring different ways to "find" your own imaginary characters!

March 10-11, 2018

Way Art Yonder Studio  - San Diego, CA


Saturday, September 2, 2017

Teaching in Albuquerque, NM


I am teaching Urban Folk Primitives in Albuquerque, NM, September 30-Oct 1, 2017. There is still room to join me. I love this workshop because it is a true "mixed media" experience. We get to make a doll (no prior sewing skills required) and use my favorite technique for creating a face on fabric. I just love to make these primitive "stump" dolls. They require minimal stitching and can be made to look as aged or contemporary as you want. We will use our doll for inspiration for our prim painting on wood. We will use pencils, acrylic paint, fun fabric and vintage paper collage elements.

Here are some samples done by students:

The possibilities are endless...

More details on the class HERE



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:

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


AND....
 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.