Ooh! Ooh! Look! Artful Gathering . . .

I feel like a happy dog running around in circles, wagging its tail – ooh, ooh! I just found out that my intro video is up on the Artful Gathering online art teaching site! Check it out – the video’s on the front page! Arf! <wag> OK, I’m being insufferable – but still . . .agphoto there’s a lot in it about San Antonio, not just ME 🙂

It’s going to be a fun experience, and working with the other Artful Gathering faculty artists is a trip. Some of them, like Keith Lo Bue, I’ve admired for years, and others I’m just beginning to get to know, but they all do fabulous work. One of my favorites is fellow AG teacher Luthein Thye from Malaysia. Her small constructions reflect her love of fantasy and magic and she’s an amazing craftsman (craftswoman?)luthien-portfolio-poster Watch her video if you get a chance and see the Malaysian village where she finds inspiration.

The Artful Gathering concept was developed by Zinnia Galliher. She’s got that rare combination of artistic talent and organizational vision that makes the AG group so rewarding to work with. Even though registration is still a ways away, I’d better get busy developing my lessons. But do look around the Artful Gathering site – there’s a ton of good stuff to discover.  Yay! Arf! <wag>


Friday Freezie

All plans are on hold here in San Antonio – it’s icy! People in colder climates may not understand why this city shuts down when the roads get ice-slicked, but, believe, me, it’s a good idea since San Antonio drivers go a little nuts (nuttier?) when the “s” word (“snow”) is even mentioned. So I’m home, planning workshops and catching up on email. Alyson Stanfield’s blog today had a great quote from Niel Gaiman, English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio, theatre and films, so I’m copying it here for your reading pleasure, especially if you’re housebound and seeking creative inspiration:

gaiman“Remember, whatever discipline you’re in, whether you’re a musician or a photographer, a fine artist or a cartoonist, a writer, a dancer, a singer, a designer — whatever you do, you have one thing that’s unique: You have the ability to make art. And for me, and for so many of the people I’ve known, that’s been a lifesaver, the ultimate lifesaver. It gets you through good times, and it gets you through … the other ones. Sometimes life is hard. Things go wrong — in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do: Make good art. I’m serious. Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. IRS on your trail? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Someone on the Internet thinks what you’re doing is stupid or evil or it’s all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, eventually time will take the sting away, and that doesn’t even matter. Do what only you can do best: Make good art. Make it on the bad days, make it on the good days, too.”

This quote is from a commencement address he gave at the University of the Arts in 2012. The whole thing is enlightening, takes less than 20 minutes, and is a fine thing to watch when the weather outside is freezing. Stay warm, y’all!


Back to Earth . . .and clay

Well, who woulda thought – the anniversary party was a huge success. If you were there, thank you! If you weren’t, there wouldn’t have been room!! Only kidding, but the joint was standing room only for about an hour. Incredible – I’m still floating around in the clouds, but it is back to the world of the working artist today. Shades of Green nursery, the prettiest nursery in the city, called for some more of my Sprig Shards, so I spent the day playing with little clay faces. Here are a few – they are still very wet, hope they can go in the kiln tomorrow. I need some new faces – time to hit the graveyard <grin>.

sprig1 This Sunday’s upcoming workshop is called Collage on Canvas with Transferred Images and we’re going to be experimenting with TAP paper. One of my own favorite pieces is a collage that my friend Harold owns called Starling, and that’s the kind of look I’d like to demonstrate,  except the participants are bringing personal photos. It should be fun.

That workshop is full, but if you’re interested in seeing how this TAP paper works, there are several good links on YouTube. Here’s one (the narrator has an awesome accent).

Finally, congrats to Rob Keogh who won the long-distance door prize of a Lyn Belisle Studio t-shirt – Rob, send an email to lyn@lynbelisle.com and tell me the size you want and where to mail it. OK, back to the clay and year number two – woohoo!


Starling: Lyn Belisle 2012, collage on canvas


Party preps

Countdown14tshirts to the First Anniversary Party at the Studio this afternoon from 3-6 – woohoo! Here’s an artful arrangement of door prizes guaranteed to promote the place – clever, no? I want one of the bags – guess I’ll make an extra one after the drawing’s over.

There are also over a hundred little Rune and Relic face shards. Each guest can choose the one that says “Pick me!” Speaking of picking, yesterday afternoon my dear and generous friend Ann Ash brought bowls and bowls of fresh-picked flowers for the tables. The Studio smells like springtime. 14faces

Chef Michael has been busy. Can you say “lobster pizza”? No kidding, this may become a spécialité de la maison (aka Studio). There will be a lot of food for guests to enjoy as well as wonderful classical guitar music by George Gaytan.

14lobsterSo why am I nervous?? I guess it’s human nature when you plan an event – some people seem to do it effortlessly. But, as Georgia O’Keeffe said, “I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing that I wanted to do.”

So on with the party! Hope you can come – far-away friends, you guys are in the drawing for door prizes, too. And if I get anxious about the anniversary party, I’ll just click here and lighten up.

Happy Studio Anniversary – hope to see you all this afternoon, in spirit or in person! ♥♥♥


Jill Scher – sneak preview – wow

I’ve invited award-winning Colorado fiber artist Jill Scher to the Studio for two felting workshops the weekend of February 8th and 9th. She send me an advance box of materials and samples which arrived yesterday, and I was just blown away by her work. I hope you can take advantage of these workshops (one on felted scarves and one on Nuno felting) – here’s the info link. And here are a few photos of some of her work. The felted scarf I’m wearing is a one-of-a-kind art piece, incredibly soft and light. I may have to buy this one and never take it off!

Consider joining us for this unique creative opportunity – a day of working with Jill at the Studio, lunch included, making your own felted one-of-a-kind art to wear. There is a limit of eight participants, and there are five spaces left at this writing. I’m sooooo excited!


Unpacking the box


Hand felted one-of-a-kind scarf, wool, silk mohair


Hand felted one-of-a-kind scarf, wool, silk mohair


A hanging at Cathedral House

Check out this new piece that I finished this morning for the Illumination exhibit at Cathedral House Gallery – I love it! (she said, modestly) I had forgotten how much fun it is to add found objects and sculptural details to a collage on a wood substrate. It’s called The Lottery and there’s a story involved about that girl and the lottery for her hand, etc. etc – artsy minds work in mysterious ways. But it was cool to use sticks and wood and clay and paint and all that good stuff.


Lyn Belisle: The Lottery, mixed media on wood panel

Gloria Hill, my hanging partner, and I met at the gallery this afternoon to put up our work for Sunday’s opening. Here are some photos – it was interesting because we were hanging paintings against a strong back-lighted window. You can also see the other pieces that I’m putting in the show, below.  Here’s a map to the gallery – it’s in a beautiful building owned by the West Texas Episcopal Diocese on spacious grounds near the headwaters of the San Antonio River, definitely worth a visit. Thanks to Patsy Sasek for inviting us to participate!

Copying Gwen Fox with unpredictable results

Gloria Hill and I have been painting together on Wednesdays at the Studio for a year and a half, and we always like to find inspiration from interesting sources. Today I said, “Let’s try to paint like Gwen and see what happens.” Gwen Fox is our beloved Taos-based painting teacher – she’s awesome. So I picked out one of her abstracts for us to copy, and off we went. Here’s the painting that we were attempting to forge (all in the spirit of artful emulation, of course). Scroll down for our results.


We got as far as the layout and background before we realized that copying wasn’t working for us. So Gloria went her way and I went mine – how can two artists who start with exactly the same idea and example end up with such different results?? Take a look (and rest easy, dear Gwen – you are an original, and while we have learned so much from you, we won’t be competition for your glowing abstract style!) Here’s Gloria’s:

And here’s mine – not only do they look like they came from two different artists, they look like they came from two different planets! Go figure –  but it was fun and very insight-full.


Oh, boy – a new year, and a party!

I’m so excited about the upcoming First Anniversary Celebration at the Studio. It’s just two weeks from tomorrow. Please know that you’ll be an honored guest, and there will be a free little face shard for all SHARD subscribers along with lots of food and fun and music . . .and . . well, anniversary celebration stuff!! And if you’re not from around these parts and would like to participate virtually, email me and I’ll put your name in the pot for a door prize drawing.

Here’s your invitation – now, please excuse me, gotta go back to party preparations. Oh, boy!!