New! Workshop eBooks! First one coming soon!

sold out

One of the most frustrating things that has happened since I downsized my studio last year is having to tell friends that the workshops are sold out. I mean, it’s sorta good, since it means that people like them (yay, thanks!!) but I want to share some of my favorite workshops, old and new, with everybody.

The other really nice thing that has happened is that I’m being asked to come do workshops in far-away places that I can’t easily arrange. Penny from Australia recently emailed after seeing my Talisman workshop with Joanna Powell Colbert:   “What would it take to get you to Perth to take a class or two??? Maybe I can arrange it….I’d love to make the talisman. They are wonderful!”

So here’s what I decided – what if I take the workshops to YOU? I have to plan them and do demos beforehand anyway, so I might as well video them while I’m doing it. They’ll be fun for people who can’t get into the in-person workshops (like Penny), and they will be a good review for those who have already worked with me. And they’d be cheaper than the in-person workshops.

I got to work, and TAH DAH – here’s a preview of the first Lyn Belisle Workshop eBook! This one is based on the class I did for Joanna in Washington:

covereboox

This one is almost finished. It has eight sections of step-by-step instructions and photos on making the mixed-media Talisman. It has eight short Vimeo videos of me showing you how to do stuff (including my usual goofy comments). And it has resources on where to get everything you need for the workshop.

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I’ll sell the eBook for $18 at my Etsy shop, the same place that I sell the Behind the Veil: Beeswax and Collage Book. And if some of the materials that are optional for the eBook project are at my Etsy shop, there will be a discount for those. For example, the Talisman Faces usually sell for $13 a pair, but if you buy the eBook, you can get the “special bookie” price of $7 a pair. (Those faces are all sold out at moment, but I plan to make more when  the eBook becomes an international best seller and the demand for shard faces skyrockets – YAHAHA. )

OK, back to reality – this is an experiment, I’m having fun with it, and I hope you like the idea. As far as this book’s availability, it should be finished by this coming Monday.

If it’s a success, I’ll plan on more Lyn Belisle Workshop eBooks in the very near future, probably starting with the NeoSanto Workshop so you’ll get to join in the fun even if it is sold out.

neosold

So what do you think? Thoughts? Suggestions? Dire warnings?? Thanks, as always, for following me on SHARDS, and stay tuned for the Talisman Workshop eBook release on Monday!

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Altered paper, enduring magic

Ahhh – the smell of Citrasolv was in the air yesterday afternoon. Brushed onto the pages of National Geographic magazine, it never fails to turn photographs into otherworldly abstract patterns. When strips and scraps of this paper are combined, magic happens!

No matter how many times I teach this workshop, the results are fabulous – fresh, original and intriguing. Here’s a short video of the workshop participants creating their outstanding work in yesterday’s Small Worlds: Abstract Landscapes and Altered Paper gathering (If you can’t see the video, click here):

Lyn Belisle Workshop: Altered Paper Collage from Lyn Belisle on Vimeo.

Each person chose one of his or her works to mat, and here are their favorites:

Wally

Wally

Mackenzie

Mackenzie

Claire

Claire

5

Jan

Pamela

Pamela

3 copy

Linda

I taught a comprehensive version of this class at Artful Gathering several summers ago, and the DVD is available here.

There are also a number of free, online resources on this technique, including this really good one from Cathy Taylor.

This is one of those simple processes that rarely fails and is a lot of fun to put together! Happy Citrasolv sniffing!

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The fiber world of Jude Hill – Feel Free

Jude Hill’s introduction photo to her Spirit Cloth 101 free and open tutorial

One of the best aspects of the “gift of fire” that is the Internet is the generosity of artists who share their passion. For free. As a wannabe fiber artist, I happily discovered Jude Hill – she freely gives her expertise, her thoughts and vision, and her extensive library of online lessons about creating personal statements in fiber.

Jude Hill – completed study

Her blog itself is called Spirit Cloth and the free lesson site within it is – Feel Free! It’s perfect for people who want to experience the idea of fiber art by working on small pieces and learning techniques while incorporating interesting concepts. Like cats! Like magic! Like magic cats!

Jude Hill “Conjure”

And . . . she grows her own Indigo!

Samples of indigo – Jude Hill

Take a look around Jude’s blog site – it’s packed with ideas and inspiration, and not just for fiber artists. I found myself sketching some nifty ideas for cat spirit dolls after I looked at some of her creations. There’s a place on her site to donate if you feel so inclined. I did. This is what she wrote about her teaching and sharing:

Here, at THIS place I call Feel Free, I intend to share something beyond the “thing”. Feel Free to look around and use what I share.  Feel free to share this place with others. THIS is my gift. THIS is not a business.

With Trust and Peace.
jude

Isn’t that perfect for a day when we think about the concept of freedom? Free to share, free to learn. Happy Independence Day, everyone.

Color sketch by Jude Hill

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The serendipitous landscape of fantasy

Landscape collages in progress

Landscape collages in progress

Now THIS is one of my all-time favorite workshops – perfect for any level, full of serendipity, with absolutely gorgeous results. Here’s how I described the workshop online:

Using the technique of DÉCHIRAGE (day-shur-ah j’) – distressed paper collage –  students will gain a solid grasp on composing little landscapes using a variety of altered papers, natural elements, and mixed media special effects. Lyn will also share art-enhancing framing suggestions that compliment your finished work so that your final display is both appealing and professional looking. Even a total beginner can create a stunning artwork with these fun distressed paper techniques.

Yesterday’s participants in the Altered Paper Landscape Abstractions class rose to the occasion with some stunning work. Some people created several collages, some just one, but all were beautiful and individual. The hardest part was choosing which piece to mat for display.

I loved this comment from Ellen, “I got frustrated because couldn’t make it do what I wanted it to do, but when I let it do what it wanted, I loved it!!” Talk about trusting the creative process – when you let go and accept the beautiful, unpredictable results, magic happens.

Take a look at the video, below, and then I’ll give you the list of materials for this project.

Lyn Belisle’s Altered Paper Landscape Collages: Materials List and Source Notes

For the basic collage:

  • A 5×7” piece of matboard, illustration board, or very heavy card stock
  • Glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Walnut Ink from
    Tsukineko
  • Altered paper (see below)
  • Metal leaf
  • Stamps and inkpad, your choice
  • Lightweight paper to rub down elements as they are glued
  • Metallic felt tip pens and ultrafine Sharpie (optional)

For the altered paper:

  • Citrasolv orange oil-based cleaning solvent
  • National Geographic magazines or other clay-base ink photos – I encourage you to experiment

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Sources of materials:

  • Mat board scraps can be purchased or requested for free at most frame and craft shops. Look for ones that are dark colored with white on the back for the most versatile design options
  • Citrasolv is becoming widely available in art stores because of this popular altered paper method. You can usually find it at organic grocery stores such as Whole Foods, as well. Online: Citra Solv is now being sold through Cheap Joes, Jerry’s Artarama, Stampington, and DickBlick
  • Tsukineko Walnut Ink is very versatile for many projects and can be ordered from Imagine Crafts, the Tsukineko distributor:
  • I use Scotch permanent glue sticks, but most good brands will do nicely
  • Metal leaf is available in craft stores or can be ordered here on Amazon.com

If you want a very in-depth look at this process, including other altered papers such as “ghost paper” with bleach on black construction paper, I have a DVD called Small Worlds, published by Artful Gathering, that offers an intense discussion of how-to-do-it instructions, videos and demos. Happy new week, All!

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Artful Gathering, Artful Abstraction

180 wingsAs you might guess, I’m excited to be teaching at Artful Gathering Online Art Retreats 2016, June 6 – July 17 and July 16 – August 26. The preseason kick-off includes the Artful Gathering annual Hop Contest.  I’m one of the featured  instructors this week! Just follow this link

These are the two uber-nifty classes I’m teaching for Artful Gathering – both designed by yours truly
A Story Within a Story: Narrative Collage Covers for your Personal Technology & Journals and The Mystical Cat Shaman. Be very afraid of that cat one – Meow!

What’s in it for you, you ask?  When you join the class for just $85 each session, you get almost three hours of video instruction right from my studio, plus “live” feedback in our online classroom. And these workshops are never “sold out.”

This is my third year with Artful Gathering, and I wasn’t sure how it all worked when I first started. But it’s very cool! And you can come to class in your PJs! Registration opens on May 1st. Hope to see you at Artful Gathering!

smNow – –  on to ARTFUL ABSTRACTION.

Wednesday’s workshop, Abstract Acrylic Exploration, was hard work – just ask any of the participants! Painting from an abstract perspective is like walking a tightrope without a net – there are no representational objects to look at. You are on your own, trusting the process and making decisions every moment while trying not to over-think. It’s tough.

I am so proud of their results! Each of the students had the same guidelines (layers, textures, limited palette with just two colors on a 12×12″ canvas) but individuality ruled! Take a look at these amazing abstracts – intricate, passionate, personal – nice work, everyone!

5    3 7 4 1

 

 

2

8

6

I can’t tell you what I did this weekend —

c5f4e638-93da-49ef-85f1-daae2cc99001–but it was fun!! Actually, here’s a hint from Artful Gathering:

“We are currently in video production for our 2016 online art event. This is an exciting time when our instructors are devoting themselves to creating a very special class to share with you this summer.”

So if you came by the Studio and saw a DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door, you’ll know why you couldn’t come in. I absolutely love developing and designing classes for Artful Gathering, and I spend several days each January and February filming and editing my AG classes.

Yesterday, hard at work filming an Artful Gathering class about . . . . .

Yesterday, hard at work filming an Artful Gathering class about . . . . .

The classes are kept a secret until March first (which is why I can’t tell you about them yet), but you can get involved with Artful Gathering right now and win prizes from Jerry’s ArtaRama. Starting today you can join the AG Hop called “Bring Your Wings” and play along each week, while meeting our 2016 instructors, including me in an upcoming newsletter.

It’s simple – just read the featured instructor’s profile, find the secret word (each one has wings by it – easy) and collect them. I’m doing this myself because i get to see everybody’s portfolios and steal – er, get inspired by – their ideas! Here’s a piece by my pal Riki Schumacher, a featured artist in today’s Hop – I can definitely see a face shard somewhere in some work inspired by this lovely piece – :

riki

 

To register for Artful Gathering, pay up just five bucks and you’ll get a whole bunch of stuff before and after the classes are announced. But you can play the Hop for free, so hop to it.

And if you can’t wait for May, just fork over a few more bucks for my Artful Gathering DVD’s – more in production, thanks to a long weekend of mystery filming. End of commercial, have a lovely day!

dvd

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>

 

A free class? Taught by me? Yep!

craftartI just got an email from CraftArtEdu saying my Online Composition Classes are up, including the FREE one that I made about Orientation. Just click here to access my page and scroll down to the bottom to see the free video. It’s a useful class, I think, because it can apply to any medium. Anyway, I’d love feedback – it’s only about 15 minutes long. Email me if you watch it and tell me what you think – all suggestions appreciated. The sound is kind of crummy at the end but I’m working on that.

Sunday was the Friends of the Library Arts and Letters Awards, and I am delighted that my dear friend, fiber artist Susan Oaks, was one the the three honorees. Her work with coiled vessels spans decades, and her vision and artistry never wavers. I shot a quick video interview with her at the ceremony. I am so proud to know her! She’ll never read this because she doesn’t have a computer, but if you see her, tell her hooray!14susan 15susanoaksvessel

 

A crazy-quilt week(end) of good things

makingfacesAll sorts of things have been going on in the Studio and around town – and in the virtual creative cyber-village. My first online art class opened on Monday at Roses and is going great – 26 students so far, and lively forum discussions on making shard faces with air-dry clay. It will be open until December with ongoing tips and examples if you can’t make the October 13th workshop at the “real” Studio.

ww8Tomorrow’s Wax and Wings workshop is full – how great is that? Very. My friend Victoria is here from DC and will be one of the participants – yay! Michelle Belto, my partner in collaboration, just got back from teaching a sold-out encaustic seminar in Canada – can’t wait to hear about her adventures during the workshop tomorrow. We’re already thinking about planning our next collaboration – stay tuned.

paulbookSpeaking of friends, my new email pal, Paul Wank from Eureka Springs, Arkansas, emailed me a photo of himself with one of his marvelous Book Dolls. The doll’s body is a blank book. How metaphoric! Paul is a craftsman and handmade book specialist. He’s also involved in the thriving Eureka Springs art and gallery scene. I’m luck enough to have one of his amazing miniature book necklaces. Paul is a great source of info about the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. I hope to go there this coming spring or summer. Have any of you guys seen it yet?

raichlainAnd speaking of galleries . . .tonight there’s a book signing at La Vida Gallery – owner Matt Weissler has snagged Steven Raichlain is the TV host of Primal Grill and a multi award winning author of the cookbook series Barbecue Bible.  He is touted as the man who reinvented barbecue. He is also an Iron Chef winner, having defeated Rokusaburo Michiba in a “Battle of the Barbecue Gods” on Japanese television  AND He has a degree in French literature and trained at Le Cordon Bleu and La Varenne cooking schools in Paris. Not your average barbecue bubba. I’ll be there, hope to see you at the coolest gallery in Southtown.

hadesOn a family note, my son Rick starts his House of Hades book tour next week – now that he’s living in Boston, I don’t get immediate feedback from those events, but I know it will be great. And, yes, I still worry about him being safe and eating right, and no, the title of the book doesn’t refer to his growing up at our house (I hope!). You can see him reading from the book at this link – unless I have worn it out from watching.

riverHave a wonderful weekend, everyone – don’t forget that the last section of the San Antonio River Reach opens tomorrow – it should be a great day for a stroll or walk or paddle along the beautiful riverbanks.

 

Tapestry and Roses

Goomaxtapestryd morning! The winner of the Threads of Blessing tapestry, as drawn by random number, is Peggy Mahan. Peggy is a wonderful artisan who will give this beautiful story-embroidery a happy home – if I can get Max off of it. He thinks it’s his.

And now for something new and very cool (and a little scary for yours truly) – Roses on my Table is the new home of my virtual classroom. I mentioned inmakingfaces an earlier post that I’d be creating some video lessons online, and the first one debuts tomorrow. It’s a 30+ minute art lab on creating shard faces and small decorative objects without a kiln using air-dry clay.  It includes materials lists and such and a gallery that I’ll create for student work. I’m giving an in-person workshop on the same subject at the Studio on Oct. 13th, but if you can’t make that one, join me in cyberspace!

It would be great to have a familiar face or two in my online lab. What you won’t see is an outtake of me trying to unscrew a stuck top on a bottle of paint and saying a bad word – LOL.

The finished altar: Guardian of the golden Bough

The finished altar: Guardian of the golden Bough

One last quick note: Celebration Circle’s Altar event closes tonight at the Bijou Theater with a great fund-raising auction and  gala – hope to see you there! My altar has quite a few bids on it – and it could be yours! Come and bid on one of these beautiful, spiritual creations.