New! Workshop eBooks! First one coming soon!

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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:

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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.

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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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Encaustic excitement and fiber – Maggie Ayers’ mixed media work

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Maggie Ayers – Cocoon, 2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clare O’Neill’s visit to my studio is just days away, and I’ve been immersed in encaustic excitement! I just can’t wait to work with her since many mixed-media artists like me are incorporating the seductiveness of beeswax into their work, and Clare’s expertise is impressive – we are so lucky to have her here.

Maggie Ayers, Flourish (detail) 2009

Maggie Ayers, Flourish (detail) 2009

Coincidentally, I just discovered this morning that one of my fiber artist heroes, Maggie Ayers, has also turned to encaustic, and wow! What she’s doing with wax and silk is gorgeous! Maggie Ayers’ work prompted my interest in fiber art about ten years ago – her work is unique and organic.

She’s brought those qualities to wax – you’ll love the new work that she demonstrates in the video below.

Maggie writes, “Central to all my work is the notion of mark making. Whether it is a trailed line of ink from a delightfully scratchy bamboo nib, a rusted metal print on paper or torn reclaimed cloth, or quickly cut scalpel lines on a beeswax and resin ground, these are my working beginnings.” Beautiful.

Maggie Ayers, Small encaustic panel, 2015

The big lesson for me is not just about wax or silk or collage or any particular medium, but about expressing one’s own ideas in many ways. Not everyone who comes to Clare’s workshop this weekend will become a photoencaustic artist, but each of us will experience a new method of communicating through our art as Clare instructs us, and as Maggie Ayers has done. I love it!

Maggie Ayers, small panel, 2015

If you’re a mixed-media artist, and you’re new to encaustics, here’s a great list of resources compiled by Rhonda Raulston that will introduce you to the seductiveness of wax – but be careful – it’s contagious.

A two-day encounter of the art-full kind

wsWhat was I thinking? Two full-day workshops at the Studio back-to-back? A weekend of hanging out, creating, eating and talking with eight other like-minded souls?  How would all of that look? It looked FANTASTIC!

Saturday was Belisle’s Collage Extravaganza and Composition Challenge. We worked on two major pieces – a collage on canvas with extreme emphasis on composition (the AB3s) and a collage on cradle board with image transfers and encaustic wax. The intrepid participants gave it their all, and we were very tired but happy at the end of the day. Here’s the video – see if you can detect the AB3s of composition at work in the finished pieces.

But wait – there’s more! On Sunday, Lesta Frank and I team-taught a very non-traditional mixed media journaling class. Everyone designed their own pages and created a loose-leaf portfolio to collect and show their experimental surface finishes, including one really interesting Profile Page. This was Lesta’s idea and consisted of an actual dimensional profile cutout with descriptions of a personal profile as part of the composition. Very nice! Watch for it in the video, below.

In the critiques and discussions, all agreed that the two-day experience was great, both for those who came both days and those who came on one day of choice. We had eight participants each day, half of whom were there for both days. Nicely balanced! I will plan another weekend experience in the early part of 2016. I should be recovered by then!

Monday two-fer – beautiful bones and beeswax

You get two art reviews for the price of one (yeah, I know, they are all free) but still –  I wanted to post Part Two of my Colorado Trip while it was still fresh in my mind, and I couldn’t wait to show you the video of yesterday’s Beeswax Collage workshop at my Studio (see the amazing video, below)!

Colorado Trip Part Two –  Georgia O’Keeffe at the Colorado Springs Art Center

Horse’s Skull on Blue – Georgia O’Keeffe 1931; Oil on canvas

Georgia O’Keeffe and the Southwestern Still Life is not strictly a “Georgia O’Keeffe show”, (which I should have known had I done my homework before we visited the exhibit). And thank goodness it isn’t, because when her work is placed beside that of her contemporaries – including modernists like Stuart Davis and Marsden Hartley as well as more traditional painters who were also lured by the Taos light –  O’Keefe’s cutting-edge brilliance shines.

One of her quotes that ran across a bright orange wall at the CSAC gallery read, “I had to create an equivalent for what I felt about what I was looking at – not copy it.” That, to me, was huge – and her work showed this journey into interpretation and abstraction through the loose structure of “still life.”.

I was so impressed by the juxtapositions and inclusions that I searched to see who had curated the exhibit. It was Charles C. Eldredge, former director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, who placed O’Keeffe’s work in the context of other artists who were influenced by the Southwest at the same time she was. The exhibit raised thought-provoking questions such as “What is a still life, really?” and “How does an artist chose represent an observation?”

I loved the show – my favorite painting was this one (below) – and my friend Carol Mylar and I talked for a very long time about why it was included as a still life, and why its powerful simplicity is so mesmerizing. For a much more educated and detailed review of Georgia O’Keeffe and the Southwestern Still Life, read Gayle Cement’s enlightening, enjoyable discussion of the works.

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Georgia O’Keeffe Black Patio Door 1955

22And now . . . . .Fabulous Sunday Workshop – Wax and Layers and in Beeswax Collage

The smell of the beeswax, the roar of the crowd – what a workshop! Every single participant took the notion of wax enhancement on monochromatic collage and ran with it, creating evocative personal statements. I’ve recently added another hour to my workshop format, and three hours instead of two makes a huge difference. We have more time to critique and discuss – it obviously worked yesterday. Take a look at some of the inspired pieces the students created. Nice work, Y’all!

Sunday’s creative Citra-solv collage circle

That Citra-solv stuff is amazing – it cleans the studio, takes old paint out of brushes, de-greases your tires, and makes amazing art paper from recycled magazines. If you haven’t tried it, perhaps you should – a bit messy, but worth it. Yesterday’s workshop participants got five gold stars for their creative collages. They made some fantastic solvent-altered papers and put together intriguing fantasy worlds. Take a look, and then I’ll give you some sources for the Citra-solve altered paper techniques below the video, You can figure out a million ways to use these cool designs.


I did a post last year on Citra-solv featuring a video by Cathy Taylor, who specializes in workshops using the altered magazine pages. If you want to go a bit further, there’s a new eBook out that I ordered just before this workshop titled “Dissolve It . . Resolve It.” You can download it for $9.95 and I think it’s quite worth it if you’re going to be working with this technique. There are even some directions about using Citra-solv to transfer images. I don’t know the author, but she does a great job laying out the basics and then inspiring experimentation! Fun stuff.

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Fiber Artists of San Antonio Style Show 2015

fasaWhen I joined FASA, the Fiber Artists of San Antonio, I knew they did more than quilting and knitting, but I didn’t realize that “fiber art” includes basketry, beadwork, braiding, clothing design, crochet, dyeing, embroidery, felting, hooking, knitting, lacework, mixed media, needlework, paper, quilting, sculpture, sewing, spinning, surface design, textile design and weaving. As a mixed media artist, I’ve discovered a lot to learn and love in this group!

Many FASA members create one-of-a-kind garments for the juried Fashion Show, an annual event that is wildly popular and usually a sell-out. I was lucky enough to get a ticket by the stage this year, and happily present to you a sampler of the artistic fashions.  The theme was In Harmony With Nature – and these talented designers combined nature, art, imagination and fashion in their creations. Take a look!      

One last note – the winner of the Walnut Ink Friday Freebie is Jo Etta Jupe – congrats, Jo Etta! Let me know how you’d like to receive your fabulous freebie 🙂
 

 

Walnut Ink – in the beginning (and a FF)

wiIt’s a rainy morning here in San Antonio, so I was at the computer, clearing out some old duplicate video files when I  discovered this clip from 2011. It’s me, talking about a new discovery – Walnut Ink! Y’all know that I live and breathe that stuff – just ask anybody who has taken a workshop on any subject at the Studio.

This little video was made waa-aay before I had the big Studio, back when I was making Kindle covers for my old Etsy shop in the little garage studio. Here, I’m using Walnut Ink on unglazed clay to make a Scent Shard.  You may remember that I made a lot of these several years ago. The idea is to put drops of essential oils on an evocative earthenware face and let the scent and good vibes disperse over a period of time. Pretty cool, right?

Here’s the video clip, and for today’s Friday Freebie, the SHARDS subscriber whose name is drawn on Sunday night will get – what else?? a bottle of Tsukineko Walnut Ink! (Incidentally, Wikipedia says the stuff was used to stain the hands of criminals back in old Rome because it wouldn’t wash off . . .)

 

Tina Karagulian at Intermezzo Gallery in Boerne

 Tina Karagulian is a storyteller, writer, poet, artist and friend. I was lucky enough to see her recent work at Intermezzo Gallery and Studios on Saturday afternoon in Boerne, Texas. Intermezzo is an amazing art-filled space. Owner Cathy Galloway‘s mission isto bring together people and creativity, color and sounds, textures and poetry, ideas and hope, surprises and beauty.”

All of these were in evidence as Tina read her poetry and discussed her work while jazz guitarist John Lind played interpretive music to the audience’s suggested descriptive words for each of the paintings. Here’s a short video of Tina’s paintings and poetry, John’s music, and the Intermezzo Gallery.

It was, alas, the closing day of her Inner and Outer Space exhibit, but you can learn more about Tina and her work on her website. And do go visit Intermezzo Gallery and Studios when you’re in Boerne. It’s a serene and sacred space. Thank you, Tina, for your gifts and for sharing them with all of us!

 

Three-minute “big question” video

I was upgrading my Vimeo account this morning and came across this Staff Pick called “What Comes After Religion” by Jonathan Hodgson. It’s thought-provoking and beautifully made and addresses (in just three minutes) questions about the human need for spirituality in the absence of formal religion – and the way art plays an integral part. I thought it was worth sharing. Comments?

WHAT COMES AFTER RELIGION from Jonathan Hodgson on Vimeo.

OK, back to work – is it Friday yet?

Showing and telling all

Man, you throw a few artists together in one room on a Saturday afternoon, and crazy things happen. We had the most info-packed, inspiring Show and Tell at the Studio on Saturday – everything from techniques on leather and fabric, to bone-bleaching, to Vicki Siptak’s Spirit Lamp. And more! The video will give you an idea, but ya just had to be there. I’m glad I was!

Franni’s Beach Project was a huge hit – and it even resonated long-distance to Bonnie Davis, who was in Florida but must have picked up the vibes, because she sent me this photo:

beachAnd speaking of beaches, I’m leaving tomorrow at the crack of dawn for Whidbey Island just north of Seattle to be with beautiful friend Joanna Powell Colbert at her Gaian Soul retreat. I’ll be teaching with Joanna – and can’t begin to describe how excited I am. Four friends from San Antonio are going along – we are anticipating all kinds of adventures. Maybe we will see whales from the ferry! Or polar bears – nah, probably not. But the next time you hear from me, I’ll be on the outskirts of Canada!