Whiter Shades of Pale – playing in the no-color zone

Lesta Frank has a ray gun – she brought it to our all-day Whiter Shades of Pale workshop yesterday, and when anyone “called color” on another person (like, they were reaching for some red paint), they got blasted with flashing lights and wild beeps. It was pretty funny!

The whole day was a delight, as a matter of fact. In the morning, we made beautiful pale papers under Lesta’s expert tutelage – ecru, ivory, palest gold and silver – all breathtaking. A favorite was the string-embedded paper.

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In the afternoon, we used those papers to create stunning assemblage/collages with the hand-embellished paper and found objects tied into our canvases.

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Lesta’s collage

The video from the workshop is just pure eye-candy. It’s astonishing how much richness and variety can come from such a a limited color palette. Limiting the color choices allows you to concentrate on texture and composition.

Pale colors and textures are so wonderfully nostalgic that I thought I’d treat you to the original inspiration, the song called “A Whiter Shade of Pale” which won a Grammy for Procol Harum in (gulp) 1967. The video looks so sweet and goofy – very non-MTV. But boy, does it bring back memories!

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Weekend update – good things abound

moonGood morning – and a cooler one it is, with a full moon as well – nice! I’m sharing two short weekend videos with you guys – Saturday, I visited Dan Pfeiffer at his new gallery in Fredericksburg which was featured in last weekend’s San Antonio Express-News. What an amazing space, and the art is even more impressive. Dan has a wonderful eye for unique surfaces and structures as evidenced by the sculptures by Phil Evett and ceramic figures by Deborah Fritts. The work he shows is very atypical of the usual Hill Country galleries, but it fits in beautifully because it’s all very organic in concept, much like his own fine woodworking. Plus, if you go, you’ll get to see some of Dan’s Fan Planes in operation – very cool indeed.

And on Sunday, the first of my fall Studio workshops kicked off with Composition and Collage on Canvas. We discussed the AB3s of composition and did some work with fabric transfers and acrylic paint. Each piece was well-thought out and beautifully constructed – take a look:

I’ve added a second session of this workshop on Sunday, September 28th from 3-5 by popular demand (I’ve always wanted to use that phrase – LOL). Have a wonderful week, and happy birthday tomorrow to my dear friend Carol Mylar, fiber artist and former studio partner. Hooray for good friends and birthdays and cooler temps and full moons! And art! And kitties and puppies! and you guys . . . . . .♥♥♥

New work, new face, new mix-up

I’ve just finished work for the Fotoseptiembre show at Northwest Vista College – it’s called Mixing It Up. These two pieces are indeed a mix-up of media – heat phototransfer on fabric with encaustic and mixed media over stretched canvas. My model, Ellis, is a good friend’s daughter whom I’ve known since she was a baby – what a wonderful face. She did a half-hour photo session with me and I was inspired by her expressive eyes to create this duo called “Bound” and “Determined.” (I borrowed the dove in the second piece from my friend, Ramesh, a fantastic photographer who is now on a safari shoot in Africa – I steal only from the best 🙂) This exhibit opens on September 18th, but there will be a celebration of art through photography all over the city. Viva Fotoseptiembre USA! And now, to the Friday Freebie winner . . .


Dani Wildason was the randomly drawn winner of the five-pack TerraSkin mixed-media stone paper. Dani, let me know how you’d like to claim your prize – hope you’ll drop by the Studio and say hi! Speaking of claiming Friday Freebies, Rob in Australia, I owe you a Studio t-shirt! Your name was drawn way back in January – check the end of this post!

Shhhhh . . fabric and hand sanitizer transfer secret for Shards subscribers only

OK, so I’m not posting this to FaceBook or any other site – just to you blog subscribers (yay for you!). Here’s how the hand sanitizer transfer process works. This technique and a bunch of other cool ones will be featured in my Collage on Canvas class at Artful Gathering this summer. (Hint hint).

You’ll need some inkjet transparency sheets (be sure to get inkjet, not laser) and a color inkjet printer. Here’s a source for some very affordable ones at Amazon. Print your image onto the transparency using the grainy textured side as the printing surface (usually face down in the tray). Set it aside while you cut or tear a piece of white cotton sheeting to approximately the size of the transparency. Tape the fabric piece down to one of those flexible chopping boards boards at all four corners, stretching it taut but not overly tight.

So now you need a small bottle of clear hand sanitizer. I used one of the little travel sizes that I got for 89 cents at Walgreens. Run a strip of the stuff across the top of the fabric, and pull it down evenly with an old credit card 6or small piece of mat board. Once the fabric has been smoothly coated, place your printed transparency, ink side down, on the fabric and rub it in to adhere it. You can use the other side of the old credit card or mat board to do this. Set it aside for ten minutes or so, then rub it again before testing a corner by pulling it up. It should have transferred the ink from the transparency to the sheeting. Optional – take a hair dryer and slip it between the fabric and the cutting board to dry the fabric before you peel the film off – this will set it and hopefully keep it from smearing (although I have never had a problem with the ink smearing). Peel off the transparency film. That’s it! let me know how it works. Even if it doesn’t work perfectly, you’ll be germ free – LOL.

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