Wonderful workshop weekend – not just one, but TWO videos filled with great ideas

Well, happy Monday, everybody! Hope you had a great weekend – as for me, I had the most fabulous time at the Studio. On Saturday, ten amazing NEISD art teachers met to experiment with Citra-solv altered magazine pages as collage components. And on Sunday, a flock of beautiful Spring Goddess Spirit Dolls were born. Thanks to everyone who graced the place with their creativity – take a look at what they did! (Oh, and congrats to talented and generous Vicki Siptak, random drawing winner of the Milagrito Friday Freebie.)

Art Teachers’ Workshop

Spring Goddess Spirit Doll Workshop

Friday Freebie: a new series – milagritos, the “little miracles”

I was working in clay last night and suddenly “saw” an earthenware face with holes at the top for a wire hanger and holes at the bottom for tying sari-silk ribbon and milagro charms. I could see it hanging on my porch beside the front door to welcome guests with a wish for an everyday miracle to come their way. Here’s a prototype (put together this afternoon) from a face I’d made from an earlier firing.

There are a dozen more like this in the kiln right now that will be wired and be-ribboned for the Spring Fling art sale next Saturday. milagrito1_edited-1I call these mixed-media hangings “milagritos,” which means small miracles. And if you are a SHARDS subscriber before midnight on Sunday, you will win one if you name is randomly drawn.

If you do not happen to win this one, you can see more of them at the Spring Fling show and sale this coming Saturday, May 3rd, at the Studio. Prices for these charming hangings will range from $12 to $20 – such a deal. Even better, you’ll get to see work done by my pals Alison Schockner, Lesta Frank and Jan Longfellow when you drop by the Studio on Saturday.

So save the date, encourage your friends to come (and to subscribe to this blog – just click the link on the top right) and maybe a milagrito will come your way! Here is the invitation to Saturday’s fun event. Hope to see you there, and happy spring!



Citra-solv for artsy effects

I had so many comments on the painting I did that incorporated papers treated with Citra-solv that I thought I’d share the process with you if you didn’t already know about it (I didn’t until I saw Bonnie and Rosemary’s Show and Tell at the Studio). Here’s the painting – it’s a mixed media piece with altered paper, acrylic, and encaustic on a 16×20′ stretched canvas. Do you see the door in the middle? That’s a weird Citra-solv effect, very strange:


I used torn strips of paper created by slathering Citra-solv cleaning solution all over the pages of an old National Geographic magazine. The results can be fascinating. I’m especially interested in how you can sort of control the dissolution of the images by the amount of the solution you put on the pages. Here you can see that portions of the original image show through the distortion.

Citra-solv effects and result

Citra-solv effects and result

Page with small amount of Citra-solv

Page with small amount of Citra-solv

Here’s a page done by artist Eva Macie that uses a lot of Citra-solv.

Christopher Staples has a great tutorial on his blog! Finally, here’s a link to a tutorial on the Cirta-Solv website – they are now selling their product at art stores like Jerry’s Artarama. It’s a fun process to play around with if you are into unpredictable results and eerie effects!



All kinds of treasure for you . . . and ARTFUL GATHERING on the horizon

Lyns large bannerThis is such a cool new adventure for me! I’m a part of the Artful Gathering faculty this summer, and it’s just unbelievable because the other faculty members are artists and craftspeople whom I’ve heard about and admired for years – people like Keith Lo Bue and Riki Schumacher. Who knew I’d be teaching alongside them? Zowee.

So here’s the deal with this particular post – there is a treasure hunt going on with the Artful Gathering site – you can see a list of prizes here – and you can play along in the Artful Gathering Treasure Hunt. Find the Big Red Square somewhere on my blog to get your secret word! It is in a red block on my side bar.  Look for the crown! Then go to www.artfulgathering.com to read all about the rules and prizes. I hope you’ll sign up for at least one of the classes – and you might even win a class if you play the Treasure Hunt.


Steal like an artist . . . .

From time to time, I’m going to post other artists’ tutorials for my own reference (I know I can always find them if I put them on my own blog!) and also to share with you if you are interested. This one has a nice technique for using a Titan Buff glaze. It’s at the end of the video and gave me an idea for a painting series that I’m working on called Badger Dancers – here are a couple of my own first paintings in that series, and right below these is the demo video by Chris Cozen whose ideas I am happy to steal – with gratitude :).

Ironroot Dancer

Lyn Belisle, Ironroot Dancer 30×30″, Acrylic 2014


Lyn Belisle, Badger Dancer, 30x30", Acrylic 2014

Lyn Belisle, Badger Dancer, 30×30″, Acrylic 2014

Art is alive and in good hands . .

Last night I was invited to Night Gallery 14, the annual spectacular showcase of student art from North East ISD. What an eye-opener! I was part of this show for 30 years when I taught art in NEISD, but, I swear, it’s just getting better! The teachers inspire, the students respond and the results are thrilling. Take a look at the video – and say congratulations to my wonderful friend Gloria Hill, who is retiring as Visual Arts Director for NEISD to pursue her own painting career. You can see her work on her blog, Open Doors.

Cheers all around to these dedicated and talented teachers and students – thank you for enriching our world with your creativity!

They came, they showed, they telled

My brain is overflowing with all of the tips I learned and the notes I took at Studio Show-and-Tell Saturday – wow! It was so cool. I hope you were there – if you couldn’t make it, we will definitely be doing it again, probably in early May, so stay tuned. Thanks to everyone who came and especially the wonderful artists who shared. Here’s a video – sorry that the sound isn’t better but I was using my phone camera for the video segments – next time I’ll be better prepared for the spectacular demos!

Show-and-Tell Saturday

Citra-solv art paper

Tomorrow afternoon from 3-5 at the Studio is the time to show all and tell all (art-wise, of course). This is the first time I’ve asked you all to teach me how you work – what new techniques and ideas do you have to share with the rest of us? Most of us, including me, will be watchers and note takers. It’s a very informal set-up – we’ll just decide who wants to do what, and there’s no “official” schedule. It’s going to be so much fun!

I know that one of the “shows” will be using Citra-solv to create altered art paper from National Geographic magazines. The results look amazing. Even though I’ve never tried it, I did find a very cool video (below) on how to use these papers in collage, so if you want to learn how to DIY, drop by the Studio between 3:00 and 5:00. There will be refreshments and libations as well, of course. Hope you’ll join us tomorrow to show, tell, listen, sit, chat, steal ideas, give suggestions and hang out in a place of creative belonging!