Living and learning

learning copySchool starts for me this week – as a teacher and a student! I go back to Trinity to teach my course in Essential Information Technology, and I’m taking an online photo-encaustic class from Clare O’Neill. The tuition for that one is rather steep, but I expect to learn a lot of new skills in both photography and encaustic that I can pass along to my own workshop participants. (Did somebody say “Old dog, new tricks?” – arf.)

If you’d like to experience an online class, do I have a deal for you! Michelle Belto, encaustic artist extraordinaine, and I have teamed up in an online offering called “Wax and Tissue.” You can see details here at Roses On My Table. It’s a good way to gently discover the encaustic process, and if you take a look at the materials list, you can see it’s not all that complicated. It’s a lot of fun, too – we had a great time making this video.

Online classes are easy to access and view (you get specific easy-to-follow directions) and you can look at them as often as you need to or want to. I like to watch the ones I take in sections so I can have “think breaks” in between.

“Wax and Tissue” has a lot of information (and a certain amount of goofiness – you know Michelle and me) and you can email us questions through the forum with the other students. The course costs $55, which is a *lot* less than the encaustic class I’m taking with Clare O’Neill – and definitely less than my Trinity students are paying for *their* tuition! Lifelong learning in the arts is truly priceless, especially when you can do it in your jammies. Think about joining us – OK, I”m off – gotta head to class!

Juried art shows – and how to make a crane (the bird kind)

Good news yesterday – one of my pieces was accepted for the International Encaustic Artists “Poetry Bleeds Rust” exhibit in at the NAWA Gallery in New York. Boy, am I surprised, first of all, because encaustic is a stretch for me, and secondly, the piece that was selected was not the one I expected to be, if any were. Here are the three pieces – which one do you think juror Jenn Dierdorf choose?

She chose the third piece, Rune and Relic – that’s the one I had to re-do because the first version didn’t fit the size retirement. I liked the one called Campfire Poems better, but there ya have it. If you decide enter a juried show, remember these things (I try to):

1. If you are rejected, don’t take it personally – put yourself in the juror’s place – it’s a tough job and opinions about art are extremely subjective and subject to one’s own taste. After all, you don’t like every piece you see in a gallery or museum, maybe not *any* of them.

2. If you are accepted, be grateful! But don’t start making every piece of art you do from then on just like the accepted piece – be true to yourself and continue on your own intuitive path, even if it veers off in another direction. Don’t let acceptance of one piece by a juror determine your limits.

3. Keep entering shows even if you don’t get in – it gives you a free critique, a new perspective, and a sense of professionalism. Both of my entries in this year’s San Antonio Art League show were rejected, but I figure they didn’t resonate with the juror. I liked them though, and I’ll keep working and submitting. So there! Neener neener 🙂

And now, for your weekend folding pleasure, here’s one from the vault, a video tutorial I did for a friend two years ago before I had the big Studio. It’s a five-minute origami crane – can you do it in five minutes? Ready – GO! And have a great weekend.

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!

First Friday, Boston-style


Boston has a thriving arts district on Harrison Avenue
, south of Washington (SoWa). I got to check out their First Friday, and came back with a huge stash of new ideas. There was *lots* of exciting encaustic work. We were particularly impressed with Robin Luciano Beaty‘s work with wax, mixed media and found objects:

Refuge No. 24-29 Encaustic, m/m and found objects 42 x 24″

 Even more exciting was getting to meet Ellen Rolli, a Boston abstract painter whose work I love – and I’m going to have a private painting session with her on Sunday! I had contacted her by email, and the timing worked out – will send a report. Here’s a sample of her work – it’s energetic and mysterious and totally engaging:

Glimpses acrylic and mixed media 36″x 36

There were lots and lots of photographic mixed media works – here’s one I liked a lot by artist Melody Postma:

Slightly shifting the subject to using photographs in your own art work, here’s *sort* of a Friday FreebieCloth Paper Scissors magazine just send me a link to a free eBook with four tutorials on digital artmaking. They have a lot of good free tutorials, but this is one of the best if you’re wanting to know more about digital processes and aren’t an expert (who is??). Here’s the link:

http://www.clothpaperscissors.com/Digital-Art-Tutorials/

You can download it and even print it out.You do have to sign up for an account if you don’t have one, but there are no strings attached and you can access a lot more of their good information if you do.

That’s it for now – gotta rest up for the Red Sox/Yankees game today at Fenway!  More soon from your roving arts and sports reporter in Boston . . . . have a great weekend.

Mask, Robe & Rune

I spent this afternoon refining and working with the free-standing structure form for the Mask, Robe & Rune Workshop that Michelle Belto and I are doing on March 29th that combines encaustic monoprints with mixed media faces. The results are exciting so far (see the first slide after the title for my completed construction – it’s still kind of a prototype). Here’s the video, below, of work in progress and you can find workshop details here on my website. It’s going to be an amazing day of creative discovery – consider signing up and joining Michelle and me!

Workshop preview excitement

I *really* am excited – Michelle Belto and I firmed up the plans and processes for our next all-day workshop on Saturday, March 29th. It’s called ROBE & RUNE – we’ll work with encaustic monoprints and shard faces and construct a lovely freestanding garment-like sculpture with layers of meaning, symbols and design.

I had never done encaustic wax monoprints on rice paper before today,  but the paper is transformed into a beautiful translucent panel of color and light that can be torn and manipulated. There’s no brush-layering or scraping involved. Wow! You can see the prototype that I did in the pictures below. I’ll be posting more photos and details, but if you’d like a jump on registration, go to this page on my site – for tuition and lunch and all materials, the fee is just $135. It may go up once we figure out our materials cost – LOL – so reserve your spot now if you’re interested. I’m so excited!!

rr1 rr2 rr3

Cozy Saturday with Wax and Wings

Michelle Belto and I agreed that Saturday’s Wax and Wings workshop was wonderful. It was, sadly, the last of the three on which we’ve so enjoyed collaborating – but we’re already planning the next incarnation of our partnership – stay tuned! Here’s the video featuring yesterday’s talented and diverse group (funny how the image of our lunch comes up on the preview – it was yummy):

It’s another cold and dreary day here in San Antonio, but I have to admit that I kind of like it, just because it’s fairly rare here. Makes me wonder how my Boston family is faring!

Planning ahead (I know, pretty astounding), I just posted two new workshops for JanuaryAcrylic Abstract Painting for Beginners, and Collage on Canvas using Digital Transfer. Check them out 🙂 And finally, in the happy anticipation of thanksgiving, here’s a link to my favorite Cranberry Relish recipe from our old friend Arnold. He’s no longer with us, but his recipe lives on! Stay warm out there, y’all.

 

Wax and Wings workshop takes flight

Saturday’s collage and encaustic workshop was wonderful – it is so inspirational to work with Michelle Belto. And what a fabulous group of participants we had – Chris, Janak, Glo, Mary Beth, Shirlene – your work is amazing!  There will be one more opportunity to take this workshop – Saturday, October 5th. It’s a pretty transformative experience, at least it was for me – thanks, everyone, especially you, Michelle ♥ Can’t wait till our next session. Here’s a video to share.

 

 

Art Show on Sunday – you’re invited

I’m hanging on Sacred Ground – well, actually, I’m hanging my *work* this afternoon for Sunday’s Sacred Ground art opening at the Cathedral House Gallery along with a really special group of artist friends. Please come! One of my pieces in particular has surprised me. It’s the encaustic painting I did at Michelle’s workshop. I’ve been experimenting, and think it’s finished, but I’m very new at encaustic (painting with wax), so who knows. Anyway, it’s going in the show, it’s the first and one-and-only encaustic I’ve shown, and its title is Wax and Wings:

Hope to see you Sunday – it’s a beautiful place and there will be a wonderful meditation walk followed by a wine and cheese reception – truly Sacred Ground.

ALSO- the info and registration for the Transfer Workshop is up. I had a lot of interest in this. It’s a ways away (June 30) but sign up now if you want to come. Here’s a preview of what we’ll be doing – it’s super fun and fail-proof:

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FINALLY – (honest) – The Summer Newsletter is posted on the website. I think most of you are on that list, but if you want more info on Pablo Solomon, Eileen’s workshop, upcoming openings and such, click here.

Happy Friday dance – bye for now!!

 

 

 

Workshop video – we learned so much

It’s astonishing how much happened in two short days. Here’s the complete video of our weekend workshop at the Studio. Michelle Belto’s spiritual and physical energy took us on an unforgettable journey of artistic discovery!