Sensational stormy Saturday show and tell

This has been a week of frustrating tech woes and long calls to support people (all resolved, hopefully), so I was especially looking forward to yesterday’s Show and Tell at my Studio. I hadn’t heard from many people and there were more storms predicted in our area, and I didn’t expect a crowd. Surprise!

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Almost thirty people came to listen and learn, network and eat, and enjoy the creative company. These informal Saturday afternoons have become my favorite Studio event because it’s a happy free-for-all marathon of collaborating and brainstorming. Take a look at the video and you’ll see what I mean – it was a fun day, even when the storm knocked out the power! Hope everyone got home OK :). And if you’re around next month, be sure and join us – details coming soon.

Mixing it up with Lesta

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Art Book: Lyn Belisle

I love teaching with Lesta Frank. She’s imaginative, patient, talented and funny, and she has a huge following of devoted students, some of whom met us at the Studio yesterday for a special workshop. Our idea was to create mixed media accordion books that would function as a little showcase for 6×6″ collages. The collages feature hand-decorated paper and digitally copied faces enhanced with oil pastel. You can see the prototype I made, above.

1The workshop was scheduled for half a day, but as soon as Lesta got into demonstrating surface design on paper, I could tell that we should have scheduled a full day because everyone was having so much fun.

We did manage to make a bunch of gorgeous paper, construct several small collages, put our gallery books together, and have time for a critique. We’ve invited the participants back for an extra two hour bonus session following Show and Tell this coming Saturday (more about that soon).

I think you can tell from the video below what an enjoyable mixed media afternoon this was – and you can be sure that we will schedule another one soon. Thanks, Lesta!

PS – congrats to artgirl3313@gmail.com who won the Friday Freebie Beeswax and Collage download – I’ll send you the download link right away, and thanks for subscribing.

eBook and Friday Freebie

TGIF, y’all – some of you hopefully downloaded the free eBook I did on Dimensional Collage for the Gaian Soul Retreat on Whidbey Island  in March. And some of you have asked for more information on my new beeswax collage process, especially since last weekend’s workshop was such a success.

3 So – tah dah! I’ve written a new eBook called Behind the Veil: Beeswax and Collage The 34-page PDF eBook describes my new encaustic process, gives suggestions for photo sources, and includes a gallery of examples.

This one isn’t free. I’m embarking on my first step toward a publishing empire – yahaha. Only kidding. But I did want to see how selling eBooks online worked, so I figured out how to set up a PayPal button on my website. And this little gem of a book can be yours for a mere $5.99. That’s less than a Double Meat Whataburger! I started to ask $6 but marketing people say do the 99 cent thingy. Here’s the link to my first-ever “eBooks For Sale” page.

beescoverwebadMy friend Rosemary, who encouraged me to get this thing done and out there, just read it and said, “It’s like being in the room with you!  Everything seems to be here, the pictures make it clear.  It’s really wonderful!” My first review! Yay!

Anyway, Behind the Veil: Beeswax and Collage is available on my website, and I will give away a free download as a Friday Freebie to one lucky subscriber to SHARDS, name to be drawn Sunday night.

If you decide to buy the eBook, and something doesn’t work, for heaven’s sake let me know! But so far, so good. Thanks for reading my blog!! Happy weekend.

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Beeswax Collage Workshop – five stars!

noraIf you’ve kept up with my new work, you know how excited I am about my beeswax collage series using early 20th-centure photographs.

Along the way, I’ve developed some techniques for using beeswax and pigment on paper that have worked well for me, but I hadn’t taught the process until yesterday afternoon at the Studio.

I wasn’t sure if other people would be able to get the same results, but it was fantastic! Everyone was so happy with their finished pieces, and had a million ideas about taking this process to new levels with their own personal photos. Take a look!

 

Easy color-to-sepia photos for beeswax collage using iPiccy

Sunday’s workshop at the Studio is Beeswax Collage (it’s sold out, yay!), and I’m going to ask the participants to bring a sepia-toned photo to work with. I’m sending them the link to this post to show them how to do a sepia effect with iPiccy, and you can find out, too, by following these instructions!

First, you need to choose a photo that you want to transform to sepia, and remember what file it’s in so you can find it to upload it. Then go to iPiccy and choose Start Editing!

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You’ll see a window that asks you to upload a photo.

sepia0 Browse to the file on your own computer that has the photo you want to change from color to sepia and select it

sepbird    Your photo uploads into the editing window.

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Look on the left side and find the bar that says Colors.

sepia5Click on it and scroll down that list until you come to the bar that says Sepia – choose the sepia tone that you like.

sepia3Once you’ve transformed the image to sepia, you can click on the Save icon at the top right and save it back to your computer

sepia7Give it a different name so it doesn’t overwrite our original color photo. Now you are ready to print it out and use it for your beeswax collage – or whatever creative purpose you desire!

Happy weekend, everyone!

How to describe your personal art style using Pinterest as a tool

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Lyn Belisle, “Corwin,” Assemblage 2015

“Oh, you’re an artist? What kind of art do you do?” I get that question fairly often, and I usually just say, “Mixed media.” But if you need to think in terms of a fuller description (such as when writing an artist’s statement), you might need to come up with adjectives that are more specific to your personal style.

One way to do this is to  start a Pinterest board with images of the kind of art that resonates strongly with you – chances are, these images will reflect your own aesthetic. For example, here’s a recent selection from my own Pinterest “Stealboard” (as in “Steal Like an Artist”):

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From this small selection, I can see that I gravitate toward a neutral palette of grays and rusts. I like organic shapes, twig-like lines, and odd and mysterious iconic faces.Not surprisingly, these elements show up consistently in my own work.

Now compare my favorite images to the Pinterest board of North Carolina artist Eileen Ross:

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I don’t know Eileen, but from her selections, I’d say she likes elliptical shapes, whimsical impressionist content, deep pastel colors, washes of paint, and calligraphic elements. When you look at her own work, you can see the strong relationship between what she likes and what she creates. Interesting!

What if you don’t have a Pinterest favorite art board, or even a Pinterest account? It’s easy and free to set one up. Just go to Pinterest and follow the simple directions. I would also suggest that you install the Pinterest browser button – here’s how. This little tool allows you to click on your browser’s tool bar to add a picture from the Internet to your Pinterest favorites board instantly. Be warned, though – once you start collecting, pinning, and analyzing the kind of art work that you love, you can get addicted!

Painting with Ellen Rolli in Boston

Gloria Hill and I just got back from Boston last night. It was a journey that involved a lot more than miles – it was a painting adventure and self-exploration of artistic motives and direction. Thanks to the incredible Ellen Rolli for being our guide and mentor. Here’s a video of some of the work we did during the two-day workshop.

When we weren’t in the studio, Gloria and I were lucky enough to experience a few spectacular spring days in Boston. The Public Garden was ablaze with tulips, and all the trees were in bloom. ACHOO!

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It was a fantastic trip. We even got to see the newly installed arial sculpture by Janet Echelman in downtown Boston – you’d think it would be easy to find a one-ton floating construction, but it took us a while to track it down. Well worth the effort, though!

So glad to be home, re-inspired and ready to go to work in my own Studio!

Musings about mud and more

I’m packing for Boston, eager to see Ellen Rolli again and to paint with her. I’ll send an update during the five days I’m there, but meanwhile, your homework is to watch this nine-minute film about Paulus Berenson, craftsman, pottery maker, environmentalist. This is what poet Mary Oliver says about him:

“Paulus Berensohn, whether he’s speaking, slowly and thoughtfully as he does, or just smiling, is a gift. With his presence, life takes on a new radiance and energy. He teaches. He shines.”

     —-Mary Oliver


Paulus and Clay
from TOTM Film on Vimeo.

After you’ve seen the film, treat yourself to some inspirational “dessert” by looking through India Flint’s blog. I think you’ll see a visual and philosophical connection. Art is life. Life is good. 🙂