Hurricane worries

Yesterday, I was working on a blog post about a new project, and, as all of us here in South Texas, was distracted by worsening news about the hurricane looming off our coast. That blog post is on hold until the storm is over – too hard to think about anything else.

The photo above is the current view of Hurricane Harvey as I write this. It’s a menacing spiral, not the nice kind of spirals we use in design, but spirals come from nature, and this is definitely a natural but blessedly rare example. We have friends and family in the Corpus Christi area, and some have already evacuated here to San Antonio.

What do artists do when they have to wait and worry? Well, one way they cope is to use the event for inspiration and try some creative distractions. It helps with the waiting.

Here’s the first creative distraction – spirals. I found this tutorial on drawing them.

How to draw an Archimedean Spiral

This is an easier method than trying to draw the “Golden Spiral” that you see in ammonites (and hurricanes).

And while I was thinking about tidal surges and monsoon rains, I remembered another project that I used to love (and still do). It’s called “Monsoon Paper,” and it was invented by art and business coach Quinn McDonald.

Quinn McDonald’s “monsoon paper”

It involves literally allowing rain to create natural pattern on paper that has been prepared with water media. Here’s a link to the instructions.

Quinn McDonald Monsoon Paper Tutorial

Now it’s back to watching the Weather Channel and waiting for updates from loved ones – be safe, everyone! Like all storms, this one will eventually pass.

 

On and off Fred

Dale Jenssen

Heads up! One of the best studio tours of the year is coming up this weekend, and six of the best artists I know will be at Dale Jenssen’s studio showing and selling their work. The tour is called On and Off Fredricksburg Road here’s the info.

Dale’s work is gorgeously edgy (you may remember her workshop at my studio), and her 5 guest artists –  Michelle Belto, Lesta Frank, Thelma Muriada, Linda Rael, and Alison Schockner –  represent the best in diverse mixed media.

Alison Schockner

Linda Rael

Dale’s studio at 1651 W. Woodlawn will be open Saturday the 18th, from 11-6, and Sunday from 12-5. Catalogs with directions to all of the studios will be available at the tour.

And be sure to take in the opening Autograph Party at Bihl Haus Arts on Friday night. 6-9 pm, 2803 Fredericksburg Road, across from Tip top Cafe. Music by Los Nahuatlatos, hors d’oeuvres & libations.

Hope to see you on and off Fred! Meanwhile, I’m headed back to the studio to finish a painting in time (hopefully) for the San Antonio Art League’s 87th Annual Artists’ Exhibition.

y painting in progress - 30x40" - who knows what this one will look like when it's finished!

My current painting in progress – 30×40″ acrylic on canvas – who knows what this one will look like when it’s finished!

Hey, and check out the San Antonio Art League’s new website if you have a chance – I designed it – and it’s another work in progress!

 


 

Après-turkey Saturday, out and about

ASmith Gallery 103 N Nugent Ave, Johnson City, TX

I’m headed to Johnson City on this beautiful fall morning to take some work to Amanda Smith’s Gallery. It’s a new gallery for me, and I can’t wait to meet Amanda.

They specialize in photography, but do some amazing workshops with photoencaustic. The show I’m participating in is called, simply, “encaustic” – it opens December 17, 4-8 pm. Click this link to see all the accepted work. I especially like Sandra Carrion’s “Dragonfly.”

Sandra Carrion

Then it’s off to the Pearl for the San Antonio Clay Arts Festival.  I’m hoping that some of my favorite potters will be there, like Marcia Dahlman – love her work.

Marcia Dahlman

Marcia Dahlman

And then — TAH DAH – I’m going over to the new studio to do a little planning and a little art.  It’s so nice to have a comfortable space close to home to hold workshops and explore new directions for my own art. If you missed the newsletter yesterday, here’s a short video preview of the space – not quite settled, but almost.

A new place of creative belonging . . . from Lyn Belisle on Vimeo.

Oh, if you did miss the newsletter, another exciting happening is an invitation-only trunk show and sale with Monika Astara on December 10th from 11am-1pm at my home. If you’d like to be on the list and get details and an invite, just email me.

Monika’s designs are perfect for the holidays – elegant and easy.

The icing on the weekend cake will be a Sunday get-together with uber-talented Michelle Belto – we are planning an exciting collaborative website for 2017 that will be totally unique.

Michelle and I have worked together for several years – here’s a video from one of our first collaborations – always fun to revisit.

I hope YOUR weekend is a happy one – thanks, as always, for keeping up with SHARDS and me!

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Santa Fe, Round Two

My workshop on Saturday at the Artisan Exp in Santa Fe once again proved to me that starting with a good grasp of composition works magic in any collage-based process. I discussed my Composition AB3’s ( Alignment, Breathing Room and Thirds) and demonstrated how easy it is to master these guidelines.

Voila! Every person produced a really good encaustic collage, all different, but all strong in subject, vision, and composition. Below are some of the pieces in process, and some that are completed. (If you can’t see the images, click here to view them in your browser.)

One of the participants, artist, author and tarot reader Arwen Lynch-Poe, documented her process and with her permission, I’ll use her photos to show you how she put her piece together. (If you can’t see the images, click here to view them in your browser.)

So between Encaustic Bling with Michelle Belto on Friday and Engraven Images on Saturday, the Santa Fe workshops were super fun and successful!

And if you want to take this workshop, you still can. I’m teaching the all-day version, plus a Wax, Earthenware and Fiber Talisman class at ViVi Magoo in Round Top in three weeks.

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Update note: Since I returned from Santa Fe on Monday, I’ve looked at a couple of places for new workshop venues – and there are several good possibilities.. . .more soon.

But the good ol’ Studio isn’t closed yet! We still have a fantastic event coming up a week from today. It’s Monika Astara’s popular trunk show and sale of exquisite, artistic fashions!  Here’s more info – hope to see you there.

monika

Right now I’m off to the Trinity Alumni Art Showcase where I’ll be showing and selling my Encanto earthenware and sari ribbon mixed-media pieces. Wish me luck!

earth5

 

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Santa Fe Whirlwind

So I went to Santa Fe – yeah, I know, I didn’t call, I didn’t write – I definitely didn’t blog! It was a crazy experience – fun, intense, exciting, exhausting. 

The huge Buffalo Thunder Resort Hotel just outside Santa Fe was the venue for the giant Artisans Materials Expo where I taught two encaustic workshops as part of the Encaustic Art Institute (EAI) and International Encaustic Artists (IEA) conference and retreat. Internet reception was very spotty there (that’s my excuse for not keeping in touch).

However, they did have an astonishingly extensive collection of Native American art pieces throughout the huge hotel – some traditional , some contemporary. It was eye candy for the soul 🙂

Michelle Belto was a great teaching teammate and travel partner. She is also a riot to hang out with. She taught a solo workshop on Thursday, we co-taught on Friday, and I taught a solo workshop on Saturday. Here are some photos from our Friday “Wax and Bling” class. There was glitz everywhere – fun stuff.

Friday night was the opening of  the Making Your Mark juried exhibit at the EAI Gallery in the Santa Fe Railyard art district. Michelle and I both had pieces in the show. The juror, David Limrite, was at the opening and gave a gracious statement about the 57 pieces work he selected for a field of over 200 entries.

The exhibit is a showcase of the many ways in which artists work in wax.

Here is a video presentation I made for the Santa Fe conference. It introduces the finalists for 2016 La Vendéenne Awards which honor excellence in encaustic painting. The awards took place on Saturday night.

This introduction will give you an idea of the depth and breadth of expertise present in artists who practice the versatile and ancient art medium of encaustic.

This ends Part One of the Santa Fe Report – stay tuned for Part Two later in the week which will include a couple of interesting links for you to check out as well as more photos……..

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My Thursday Shareables – Billy Keen and other charming things

Billy Keen, “Becoming Human in the Morning”

Sometimes I get excited about a couple of artful things that are totally unrelated, but very shareable. Such is the case today.

The first item is artist Billy Keen’s comprehensive one-person show which opens at the San Antonio Art League and Museum this Sunday from 3-5.

In a word, it is stunning.

Billy’s work is best described in his own words:

“The works are about transcendence. They explore the tension between beauty and fragility, between our reptilian brain and our higher thinking, between fate, faith and free will. They combine the representational, the abstract and the sculptural. Objects are created, painted, or found. Combined, they become parts of a visual vocabulary exploring the life journey or spiritual pathway.”

I was at the Art League yesterday for a meeting and the show had just been installed. It was an overwhelming experience to walk the galleries alone surrounded by Billy’s work, much of it quite large and looming and magnificent.

Here are some photos that I took, none of which do justice to the work:

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Can you tell I’ve always been a huge fan of Billy Keen and his work? I’m lucky enough to call him a friend and a huge inspiration (and, yes, Billy, I do rip you off, every chance I get!)


The second shareable is little and all mine . . . Thai Buddha Talisman Charms.

talisman

 I recently found a source for these little Thai Buddha prayer charms and decided to incorporate some into portable amulet “shrine charms” that can be clipped on a bag or worn on a scarf. (They have a small steel caribiner clip as well as a split ring on the top for attaching the amulet charms to whatever you choose.) Hmm. they’d even clip to your doggie’s collar to protect him.

Here are the first four prototypes – I’ll have more at the Earthworks show that Linda Rael and I are opening tomorrow at my Studio (see bottom of post for your invitation!)

an1 an2 an3 an4

Hope your Thursday is great – hope to see you at the Studio tomorrow from 6-9, and I hope that you’ll share something nice with someone else today!

earthworks copy

The week that was and the weekend that will be . . .

It takes a village to make a Studio – and that’s what it felt like this week – all kinds of creative people graced the place – yay!

On Monday, our 3M Writers Group met at the studio for the monthly pot luck. Poets and novelists are also great cooks! And the conversation is always inspired. Special congrats to Bryce Milligan (below, center) whose Wings Press just celebrated its 40th Anniversary – a huge accomplishment for this multicultural, environmentally-aware company. Wings is indeed The Corazón of American Small Press Publishing.

3m2

From left: Anne Alexander, Mary Milligan, Harold Rodinsky, Mike Belisle, Bryce Milligan, Jimmy Adair

3m1

From left: Lou Taylor, Leslie Provence, Craig Donegan, Jay Brandon, Jasmina Wellinghoff

Next came a Wednesday Workshop – this time, it was Encaustic Exploration. We worked with wax and images in a larger format than usual.  The workshop critique was outstanding – thanks to all who waxed and shared!

I found some time on Thursday to play with a large painting called “Domino Theory.” Rosemary Uchniat sent me a heads-up about artist Nancy Reyner’s book on gold leaf and acrylic painting – lord knows, I have plenty of gold leaf around the Studio, This piece still needs glazing, but it’s fun to watch where it’s going. The process may turn into a new workshop – more soon.

domino theory
Today, I’ll be clearing the decks for Monika Astara’s trunk show that goes on from 11-3:30 tomorrow – don’t miss it!

Monikacard copy
Lisa Stamper Meyer‘s Silk Screen workshop is Sunday, and in between all this, I’m going to get over to the Fred Road Studio Tour. 

I hope your week was great, and that your weekend is fun-filled and art-filled and joy-filled – spring is definitely in the air!

Saturday catch-up: collages, challenges and show&tell

It’s been a busy week – I taught a beeswax workshop with the San Antonio Art Education Association at a workshop on Tuesday, and then spent Thursday at the Studio with Gloria Hill and Lisa Stamper Meyer.Here are our collages from that art playdate – can you believe that three artists with the same challenge could come up with such different results? Fascinating.

rosemarychallenge2 copy copy

And speaking of collages and challenges, congrats to Rosemary Uchniat who won the random stuff challenge with this powerful collage. I saw her “before” pile of stuff and am in awe of the way she pulled it together – it belongs in a gallery!

Rosemary, your prize is an Artist Sampler of Three Face Shards to use as you like. What will you come up with this time? It’s always interesting.

toni copyToni Curtis from LA also sent in her wonderful collage which morphed into a journal cover – nice, Toni!  Check out Toni’s Heart of the Gypsy Facebook page. It’s fun to challenge yourself to an out-of-the box diversion – try it.

And finally, today is the first Show and Tell of 2016 – my favorite Studio event!

In the lineup today are painters, poets, authors, card makers, fiber artists – and Chef Mikey himself, who will share the Studio’s signature dessert recipe of Sopaipilla Cheesecake. Hope to see you there from 2-4!

Fire – update, luck and reassurance . . .

5f

There was a fire at Carousel Court last night that severely damaged the space next door to the Studio, but the Studio itself escaped almost unscathed – hooray! We were alerted by ADT about 11:00 pm, and when we got there, we had to park across the street because 14 emergency units, including firetrucks and many police, filled the parking lot. There was a lot of smoke and noise – scary stuff.

2f

The fire fighters had to come down through the ceiling of the Studio to do their work, so they took out several ceiling tiles and a lot of insulation, then opened my door from the inside. That set off my alarm system. The fire was under control a little after midnight. The property management people were there immediately and are sending out a team to try to get rid of the smoke smell today. What saved the Studio was the concrete wall between the fire next door and my space – it kept the fire from jumping over. I am so lucky!

Firefighters work at the former CycleHub space next door to Lyn Belisle Studio

Firefighters work at the former CycleHub space next door to Lyn Belisle Studio

Unfortunately, my friends at Shear Image Salon on the other side of the vacant space were not so fortunate. They suffered heavy damage. Please send good thoughts their way.

6f

Inside Shear Image Salon – they were not as lucky as I was

It will be business as usual after a little bit of clean-up today (there’s a strong smoke smell that the property management will take care of), and Clare O’Neill’s workshop this weekend should not be affected. I am profoundly grateful to the fire fighters who kept everything safe – they even stacked paintings up so they wouldn’t be damaged after they came down into the Studio.

Thanks to everyone who helped keep us safe. I’ll have an exciting story to tell you guys at the next Show and Tell!

 

 

Making stuff – a LOT o’ stuff

Hope your Thanksgiving was super – mine was blessedly relaxing – a real day off from work. For some reason, I had forgotten what it’s like to get ready for a studio sale since encaustic exhibits and guests artists have been my focus lately, but I was hard at work all day in the Studio Tuesday and Wednesday getting ready for Saturday’s Big Ol’ Sale with Lesta, Michelle, and Alison.

This morning I’m finishing up some earthenware pieces.  I’m especially excited about the new little “B Beautiful” dishes because a portion will go to The Honeybee Conservancy for research to combat Colony Collapse and ensure that the bees will continue to thrive and produce honey and beeswax. Can’t do encaustic without beeswax. Can’t enjoy a sopaipilla without honey! Here’s a preview of the B Beautiful dishes. They are a perfect size for rings, paper clips, cough drops, hearing aids (what?), jelly beans – and at just $10 each, they make lovely hostess gifts for a cause:

bdozen1

Other pieces I’ve been making are be-ribboned Encantos (charms) and HeartShard Blessing holders (larger wall-hung clay pockets). All are made from fired clay and enhanced with sari silk ribbon. Here are some of those – I especially like the new ivory ones from white clay……

Finally, I’ve created some new pendants and face shards – some are strung as necklaces and some are loose, ready for you to play with.

home2 pendants

If you’re in San Antonio, don’t let the predicted cold weather keep you away from the Big Ol’ Art Sale – it will be cozy in the Studio and there will be lots of beautiful art and tasty refreshments. OK, back to work!! See you tomorrow, 10-4 at the Studio!