Tapestry and Roses

Goomaxtapestryd morning! The winner of the Threads of Blessing tapestry, as drawn by random number, is Peggy Mahan. Peggy is a wonderful artisan who will give this beautiful story-embroidery a happy home – if I can get Max off of it. He thinks it’s his.

And now for something new and very cool (and a little scary for yours truly) – Roses on my Table is the new home of my virtual classroom. I mentioned inmakingfaces an earlier post that I’d be creating some video lessons online, and the first one debuts tomorrow. It’s a 30+ minute art lab on creating shard faces and small decorative objects without a kiln using air-dry clay.  It includes materials lists and such and a gallery that I’ll create for student work. I’m giving an in-person workshop on the same subject at the Studio on Oct. 13th, but if you can’t make that one, join me in cyberspace!

It would be great to have a familiar face or two in my online lab. What you won’t see is an outtake of me trying to unscrew a stuck top on a bottle of paint and saying a bad word – LOL.

The finished altar: Guardian of the golden Bough

The finished altar: Guardian of the golden Bough

One last quick note: Celebration Circle’s Altar event closes tonight at the Bijou Theater with a great fund-raising auction and  gala – hope to see you there! My altar has quite a few bids on it – and it could be yours! Come and bid on one of these beautiful, spiritual creations.

Friday Freebie! Threads of Blessing tapestry

Last Sunday I visited with the Threads of Blessing people at Cathedral House and am sharing one of the wonderful embroidered tapestries with a SHARDS subscriber (thanks to all of you guys). Subscribe by this Sunday evening to be in the drawing. If you don’t know about Threads of Blessing, it was founded a group of Episcopalian women from the West Texas Diocese who organize workshops in Honduras, Mexico, and Uganda that encourage the local women to share their creative skills. Pretty cool. Here’s a photo of a workshop on the grass in Uganda.Workshop on the grass

Today’s Friday Freebie is a fanciful embroidered tapestry by Ugandan artisan Esther Byaruhanga depicting a group of people planting a garden. The little seeds are tiny white stitches – maybe corn? The colors are vibrant and the people are happily working – it’s a labor of love, for sure.


After receiving her gift of payment, one of the Ugandan women on the Threads of Blessing site wrote, “With the second gift I was able to get the school results for my second child and buy land for them. How to build a house was a problem. With this third gift I can now continue with building our house.” So the Friday Freebie will be a gift to you! Thanks for supporting artists everywhere, including me :). I’ll announce the winner of Esther’s tapestry on Monday morning.

Cooler weather contemplations

This first really cool morning truly felt like fall – and I think a lot of us feel a pull toward thoughts like those Mary Oliver expresses in the poem Fall Song:

Another year gone, leaving everywhere
its rich spiced residues: vines, leaves,
the uneaten fruits crumbling damply
in the shadows . . .

I started a little construction yesterday and worked on it again early this morning – it seems to fit. Bones and seeds and clay and cactus skeleton – there is something so poignant about fall.



Wax and Wings workshop takes flight

Saturday’s collage and encaustic workshop was wonderful – it is so inspirational to work with Michelle Belto. And what a fabulous group of participants we had – Chris, Janak, Glo, Mary Beth, Shirlene – your work is amazing!  There will be one more opportunity to take this workshop – Saturday, October 5th. It’s a pretty transformative experience, at least it was for me – thanks, everyone, especially you, Michelle ♥ Can’t wait till our next session. Here’s a video to share.



Rainy Friday . . .

. . .and that’s fantastic! We’re in such a drought that no one is complaining. Rain is supposed to continue through most of the weekend – yes! Tomorrow Michelle Belto and I are collaborating in our Wax and Wings workshop. It will be a good day to gather around the Studio worktables, listen to the rain, and  talk about nesting and shelter and how we can create those concepts through collage and encaustic. I’ll post the photos from this first session later. Here’s one from my practice time in the studio this afternoon, just the collage “nest” part. Michelle’s in charge of the inside encaustic part – she’s so good. Check out her book.


BUT WAIT, there’s more – (drum roll please) – I’m about to boldly go into cyberspace with a new series of video art labs. Zinnia Galliher, an amazing artist and techno-wizard , has developed two sites where artists can teach lessons and present projects. She invited me to teach a class on her Roses site, then I’ll be developing some longer classes for the 2014 Artful Gathering. It’s really exciting and a totally new adventure – man, all this and rain to boot! And it’s Friday!! Life is pretty darn good 🙂 Hope your weekend includes some rain and some art and a nice comfy nest.



Photography vs. snapshotting (and a cool dove)

Before he left San Antonio this afternoon, my friend Ramesh wanted to go looking for birds to shoot – with his camera. We went to the Judson Nature Trails, the place that Whiltley Streiber said he saw aliens. No aliens, and actually, not many birds, although we heard a bunch of them. I took a picture of some trees. Zowee. Here we are heading for the trail.

Check out Ramesh’s camera – he didn’t need to go on a trail to take a great bird shot. When we got home, he took a fantastic photo of a dove outside the kitchen window. Now that’s the difference between a photographer and a snapshotter like me – you can even see the dang dove’s eyelid, and look at those feathers! I love this photo. Thanks, Ramesh, and happy trails home!


Tonight’s opening and a poem

It’s  Fotoseptiembre  – and I’m especially delighted that my friend Ramesh arrives today for the opening of his photography show, TERROIR. His Oregon wines arrived before he did, and are waiting to be opened and shared with tonight’s guests. I’ve already purchased one of his spectacular orchid photographs. This one – wow.

Each photo is printed on stretched canvas and other forms of prints will be available by special order. I love Ramesh’s work (and I hear those Oregon wines of his are pretty good, too!). Please come to the opening.

Anyone who creates anything know that it takes work, imagination and most of all, tenacity and optimism – so here’s a Friday poem to remind us all of that.


More and more I have come to admire resilience.
Not the simple resistance of a pillow, whose foam
returns over and over to the same shape, but the sinuous
tenacity of a tree: finding the light newly blocked on one side,
it turns in another. A blind intelligence, true.
But out of such persistence arose turtles, rivers,
mitochondria, figs — all this resinous, unretractable earth.

 ~ Jane Hirshfield ~

Thanks to Joe Riley and Panhala for sending this along today. Hooray for figs and turtles and friends and art!



Small graces on a Sunday afternoon

My next door neighbor, Elizabeth, just came to the door with these lovely fresh eggs from her chickens – she said she hoped the chicken scratching and cackling didn’t bother me, and I said, no,  that it reminded me of the farm in Louisiana where I grew up. What a thoughtful gift, even visually. It called for a photo.eggsliz
And I’d also like to share a note with you from a person who had bought my shard faces before on Etsy and was reordering some. I always try to add a little personal touch to the package when I send it, and I don’t think much about it,  but this brought tears and a smile – you never know, do you, how little things make a difference?

Dear Lyn, Time to order more of your lovelies for a workshop I’m hosting in October. I received my last order on January 7th, 2013 and have to tell you how special the timing was…the package arrived as I was getting ready to attend my husband’s wake…I felt I was surrounded by loving spirits and the sprig of rosemary that you enclosed went into his buttonhole for remembrance…thank you…that lifted a heaviness from my soul.

Wow. . . . I hope *your* Sunday is touched with small graces.



Air-dry clay

If you read the Studio newsletter today, you’ll know that there’s a whole lot going on in September – if you missed it, click this link. But I’ve had some time to plan a new workshop on an alternative way to make shards and adornments even if you don’t have a kiln. Sherrill Kahn got me thinking about this (Hi, Sherrill!), and you know I’ve been playing with molding compound. Well, I’ve discovered that you can make molds with air dry clay which, with a few tricks, work just about as well as fired clay. Look at this photo and see if you can tell which ones are air-dry and which ones are fired.P1090280

It’s not easy to tell – and I used some air-dried clay buttons on the piece that I submitted to the juried FASA show (below). You can see how nice they look with an iridescent finish. So sign up for the October 15th workshop and learn how to do this stuff! TGIF, y’all . . . .



Workshop Video: Spirit Boxes!

Oh, my – Sunday’s workshop was great. I am sharing the video, below, because I loved each and every Spirit Box that was created, start to finish, during the two hours we were together. My pal J. Janak brought two of her foreign students, and their work reflected their cultures. One Spirit Box had Spanish nuances and the other reflected the Asian culture. It was very cool. Thanks to all of the participants. The next regular Sunday workshop won’t be till Sept.29th – it’s Collage on Canvas, but on the 21st, Michelle Belto and I are collaborating on a very special all-day collage and encaustic workshop called Wax and Wings.. More details about that later in the week, but email me if you’d like to join us – it’s gong to be an amazing experience. Anytime I get to work with Michelle is a very good time indeed!