A new website – and it’s mine, all mine!

TAH-DAH!! New studio, new website - life is bueno!

TAH-DAH!! New studio, new website – life is bueno!

Whew! My new website is finished (or as finished as those things ever get – tweak tweak). Take a look!

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I built it myself so I could include things like links to my Etsy page and a “Your Page” place to show video tutorials for you guys. It also has a super easy link to the Behind the Veil encaustic collage ebook, which makes downloading a snap.

Creating a new site was hard, but worth it! And it works sooooo much better than the old website, which had been around since the dawn of the Internet.

SHARDS readers are the first to see this, and I would greatly appreciate any feedback or suggestions, positive or negative (sometimes negative is a very good thing).

Yeah, I know the studio workshops aren’t up yet, but they will be soon, and the check-out process should be simple and easy.

So here’s the link – thanks for checking it out!! And stay warm and dry this weekend – here in South Texas it’s gonna get nasty – brrrrrrrr.

Secret spaces and free stuff from the Graphics Fairy

What do you think? Actually, this is not really the new studio space, but it has possibilities . . .

So I found a studio space. I can tell you just a few things about it at this point . . .

  • It’s very close to my new home – yay!
  • It’s cozy, smaller than the old studio, but still roomy
  • You’d never know it was there – it’s very hidden
  • The number five (my lucky number) played an important part in finding it

I’m in the process of moving this week and will keep in touch. With luck (and the creek don’t rise), I’ll offer a December workshop there. You SHARDS readers will be the first to know, I promise.

In the meantime, here’s a little creative inspiration from The Graphics Fairy. If you don’t know about this site, you should, especially if you work with collage and mixed-media. Here’s an example:

I’ve downloaded three more vintage scripts and graphics for you to print out (below), but you can search the Fairy’s site yourself to find many more. Just right-click on the images to copy them. They look especially cool printed out on tan parchment paper. Print ’em out, then rip ’em up and play with the pieces!

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 OK, back to moving – stay tuned!

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A workshop and visit with Julie and Greg from Australia – wow!

How often have I had an Australian come to Texas for a workshop with me? Well, never – until now.

Greg is amazed by Julie's talent!!

Greg is amazed by Julie’s extraordinary talent – of course!

Australians Julie (Julz) Dandelyon and her husband Greg Dodge had been in touch with me for a while about a possible get-together when they visited the States, but I never thought their visit would become a reality.

It did! We’ve just finished the most amazing two days together at my new house working in mixed media, making molds, firing earthenware, and creating collages on canvas. We also ate, drank, visited, talked for hours about their extensive world travels and plans for the future. Total bonding!

Julie was such a quick study with clay – it was her first time working with the shard face process, and she quickly developed her own unique style, making her own molds and embellishments. Take a look at the video of some of Julie’s work over the past two days – beautiful stuff.

Of course, she did everything upside down . . only kidding. I hope to get to Australia next year to work with Julie on several projects that we discussed – what a dream that would be! Thanks, Greg and Julz!

 

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.

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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!

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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.

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 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!)

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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!

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Summer Solstice Studio Party with Pablo Solomon

This is our fourth year together! The annual Solstice Party with Pablo and Beverly Solomon is always delightful. This year, Pablo premiered his new paintings, which are filled with color, energy, and his iconic female figures.

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In his artist talk, Pablo discussed how the act of painting can represent a cathartic release of emotions that speak to certain people on many levels – almost like a secret code. The multi-talented artist also described his love for ecological stewardship and recycling old materials into re-invented art.

I invite you to share their Solstice celebration in the video, below – thanks, as always, to Pablo and Beverly! And today, as is our tradition, we get to go junk shopping with them for new art fodder!! Hooray, YeYa’s, here we come!

 

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Cat Shamans, a serendipitous surprise kitten and a Friday Freebie

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Meow —  and Happy Friday. Yesterday was all about cats.

I’m teaching a class called The Mystical Cat Shaman at Artful Gathering this summer, and a group of local friends wanted to try it out. So we scheduled a custom weekday workshop held yesterday (you can do this too, by the way) and created a litter of Mystical Cat Shamans at the Studio!

The “serendipitous surprise” came as we were just starting. Roxanne was late, and she called in with a voice message, “Can you hear in the background why I’m not there yet?”  We all heard kitten mews on the speaker – adorable!

She brought the newly-rescued three-week-old kitten to the workshop and we took turns holding it while we worked. Roxanne is a consummate animal rescuer – she even had some kitten milk replacement formula with her. The little guy was pretty hungry.

Of course, the kitten found a home before the workshop was over. Whether it was the kitten surprise or the group energy, the Cat Shaman creations were amazing – each one different, each one magically personal. Take a look.

So if all of this inspires you, be sure that you are subscribed to SHARDS by midnight on Sunday. One name will be drawn to win the Friday Freebie – a Shaman Cat Starter Kit complete with Heart Box body and kiln-fired earthenware head, ready to finish. Even “dog people” are eligible, so feel free to share this post. Hmmm – are Dog Shamans in my future?

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Saturday Show and Tell, April 30th

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My cup runneth over with good stuff! Yesterday’s Show and Tell was a feast of creativity and sharing. It was an almost serene experience – everyone’s work seemed to be somehow connected, and the afternoon flowed from fiber to metal to painting to digital images and poetry.

When other artists and friends take the time to come to these sessions, it truly makes Lyn Belisle Studio a Place of Creative Belonging. Thanks to all of you – I am pretty dang blessed.

If you see some work here that you’d like to know more about, feel free to email me and I’ll put you in touch with the artist. Happy May Day!!

Little shardz

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Mama Didn’t Tell – earthenware assemblage, Lyn Belisle, 2016

I love working in clay, making little pieces that become parts of a whole. When people ask me what my favorite medium is, earthenware is right up there because it’s my first love. In the 70’s, I learned handbuilding and production pottery with Tracy Dotson, (miss you, Tracy). He told me to stick to painting! But I still love making small clay shards that tell a story all by themselves of as part of an assemblage.

Last night after getting ready for Monika’s Trunk Show (today, 11-3, Studio, be there!), I started finishing some small pieces that can be used as components in assemblage or just as little mysterious bits of clay to frame or put in your pocket for a lucky charm. They are tagged as “Shardz” because my little alphabet stamp set didn’t have two S’s. I kinda like “Shardz.” I’ll have these at the Studio on a regular basis starting today. Priced from $4-$12, they invite you to pick one for yourself to use in mysterious ways! Hope to see you today at Monika’s Sale!

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Framed “Shardz” – looks just like a Pre-columbian relic!

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What a weekend – high fives all around

I absolutely love showing off my students’ work, and this weekend I had two workshop opportunities to give a round of high fives!

Saturday, the talented Karen McCauley, artist and teacher at the Coppini Academy, brought her group over to the studio for three hours of encaustic  collage exploration. Here are some of the details of their work – notice the depth and texture that the beeswax layers produce. (Remember, if you can’t see the photo gallery, click on the top of this post to take you to the original site)

Lots of people ask me about the foil that produces those fine gold lines – encaustic artists call it “Book Foil.” I learned about it from Michelle Belto. You can order it under other names, including this one from Amazon. Just remember, it takes a few layers of wax to make it stick to the surface of your work.

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On Sunday, I taught an acrylic painting workshop inspired by some of the techniques I learned with Jane Davies at our Big Fat Art Weekend – line, shape, texture pattern, layering (thanks, Jane!).

This was not an easy workshop to grasp, particularly for beginning painters who had just three hours to practice the process. but they did it! The abstract acrylic studies they produced are beautifully symbolic and richly constructed over layers of marks and color history. Take a look!

I am convinced that there is some sort of magic synergy that takes place at the Studio when a group gathers for a three-hour workshop. The students never fail to amaze me – and themselves – with their insightful artwork. They help make Lyn Belisle Studio a true place of creative belonging, and, dang, am I grateful! Good work, everyone – what a winner of a weekend!