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!

Serenity and Serendipity

Michelle Belto and I spent a serene and serendipitous day with our workshop group making and celebrating happy artistic accidents (and a few on-purpose creations). We constructed book/boxes with rich collaged exteriors and a space for our Yupo inspiration cards on the inside. We also built a sense of community and retreat as we worked in the Studio space together. One participant said, “I haven’t thought of the outside world all day – I’ve been so focused on my work here.”

When Michelle and I plan workshops together, we want to bring this sense of retreat and contemplation to the experience as well as ensuring that everyone has a finished piece to take home with them as a celebration of their accomplishments and growth. And it worked again with our Book of Serendipity workshop – take a look at the video!

The Book of Serendipity: Belto and Belisle – Saturday, June 28th

I spent some fine creative time with encaustic guru, author and good buddy Michelle Belto yesterday at her Hot Wax Studio. We experimented in various media with a small group of intrepid explorers. And now – tah-dah– Michelle and I ready to give you the exclusive final details on our June 28th collaborative workshop called The Book of Serendipity: A Celebration of Unexpected Gifts from the Universe! Click on the photo below to read the description – it really has something for everyone – and then sign up to spend a cool (in all ways) Saturday with us at my Studio. All materials and a yummy lunch are included – the day will be a memorable one (you’ll see what I mean when you read the description.) Limit eight participants, absolutely no art experience necessary. Please join us (and invite a friend).


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.


Workshop Video: Spirit Boxes!

Oh, my – Sunday’s workshop was great. I am sharing the video, below, because I loved each and every Spirit Box that was created, start to finish, during the two hours we were together. My pal J. Janak brought two of her foreign students, and their work reflected their cultures. One Spirit Box had Spanish nuances and the other reflected the Asian culture. It was very cool. Thanks to all of the participants. The next regular Sunday workshop won’t be till Sept.29th – it’s Collage on Canvas, but on the 21st, Michelle Belto and I are collaborating on a very special all-day collage and encaustic workshop called Wax and Wings.. More details about that later in the week, but email me if you’d like to join us – it’s gong to be an amazing experience. Anytime I get to work with Michelle is a very good time indeed!

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:


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!


Weekend Workshop Wrap-up

It’s not *really* a wrap-up – the whole weekend was so rich with experience and creativity that it will resonate in a lot of ways for a long time to come. There were eleven participants in our Hildegard: Art and Soul Journey and we got to know each other pretty darn well as we worked with Michelle Belto, our amazing artist-guide. There was a lot of soul-searching and laughing and eating and playing and writing during the two days. There was also a lot of sharing – what a generous group!  I’m working on a short video of the weekend’s process which I’ll post here later in the week, but in the meantime, I’ve uploaded a few photos and I send a heartfelt thanks to Michelle and the other creative women who came and made amazing art – wow.  You transformed the Studio into an honest-to-goodness place of creative belonging for two whole days. Group Hug!!