Lotus and clay

First, the Lotus – as in yesterday’s Lotus Book workshop at my “Studio Cinco(one of the participants told me that the address, #515, was very auspicious). Must be true, ’cause the workshop was really fun!

This is such a simple project, but it’s deceptive. Working with a small scale sometimes makes it  difficult to pull off a striking composition. However, fiber artist Mary Ann Johnson shared some absolutely gorgeous Asian papers that made us all look good! Take a look.

One of the great things about these workshops is the sharing of information and sources. Yesterday while we were working on our Lotus Books, Leslie Newton from the San Antonio Potters Guild and I discussed our favorite new source for clay and tools, Roadrunner Ceramics.

It’s not just a store for potters – mixed media artists can find all kinds of stuff there. I was there last week and got some great stencils ($4 each) as well as some needle tools for incising wax.

stencils

Roadrunner also has these rolling pattern stamps that would be good for inking paper and texturing paper clay.

I found a teeny tiny stamp for my shard faces – they have all kinds of these little guys.

stamp

So add Roadrunner Ceramics to you list of cool art stores in San Antonio. They are located near DeZavala and 1H10 and they are super friendly and helpful.

Have a great week! Is winter over for good??

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Friday resources, mostly free, all fabulous

But first, before we get to those resources, wanna hear a story? OK, so I needed to find a home for a wonderful easel that Nancy Powlas had given me several years ago. It had belonged to her late sister, and I loved it, but didn’t have room for it in my new studio space. When I got it, it was bent at the back, so I took a rubber mallet and whacked it straight.

Some arty intuition told me to call Lesta Frank to see if she would like it. She came to look at it and said, “Hey, I used to have an easel just like that that I gave away 17 years because it was bent, but I always regretted giving it up.”

And of course, as all good stories go, it turned out to be the very same easel that Lesta had given up and was now returned to her from the Mysterious Art Universe.

lesta

Lesta and easel, reunited at last

So now on to these free resources, most of which are image goldmines for mixed-media artists and designers.

The first one is Pixabay, which has a searchable index of thousands of copyright-free photos and illustrations. I did a search for “rust” and found this beauty – look at the colors and textures! Thanks to Leannah Kurtin Fulmer for reminding me of Pixabay.

rust

The second resource, Unsplash, came to me via Ivy Newport, an imaginative, inspiring and successful artist and teacher – she has curated a collection of portrait photos at Unsplash that are gorgeous. The photos at Unspalsh are offered without restriction – their motto is “Free (do whatever you want) high-resolution photos.” Wow. Here’s one from Ivy’s collection – just think of all the ways you could use this evocative face.

woman

Another photo resource, also free, is Noah Bradley’s Free Photo Reference Megapack. Noah Bradley is an artist and fantasy author who is building an amazing illustrated world called The Sin of Man. He has photos from all over the world to download and use as backgrounds and reference. I downloaded his American Southwest collection and his France and England collection – they are huge albums.

Here are two examples from those collections.

england southwest

The last resource was suggested to me by my friend Linda Krantz. a wonderfully perceptive artist from Houston who was in my class at Vivi Magoo a couple of weeks ago. It’s called MadRat Rubbergreat name. While they don’t have free images, they have the most original and amazing stamps and other cool stuff for mixed-media artists.madrat

Here’s onenot your everyday stamp design, right? And their prices are very competitive, plus you can get them mounted or unmounted.

So now you have lots of places to get inspiration. Print out the photos, tear them up and collage them, stamp into them, veil them with paint and scribble over the paint. That’s going to be the first workshop at the new studio – Intuitive Photocollage!

And if you know a bit of digital imagery manipulation, you can work on you computer to combine these resources into something totally new – like this!

memory

Happy weekend –  if you’re in San Antonio, bundle up – it’s finally gonna feel like Thanksgiving weather. Thanks, as always, for reading SHARDS.

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Klimt-ing Mother Earth

Yesterday’s workshop celebrated the archetypical woman as Earth Mother through influences and interpretation from Gustav Klimt. OK, *enough* art jargon – we had a blast. Two parts worked really well – drawing the faces in a lesson that showed how the face works on the entire head, and making our own pattern stamps using foam shapes.

The face-drawing lesson I’ll share in another post. The stamps are easy – take 1″ sections of a large dowel or 1×2″ board, trace around any outside edge onto a sheet of sticky-backed craft foam, cut out and adhere, then add a second layer of foam in any shapes you wish. Stamp away. We used tissue paper, mulberry paper, foil and construction paper and applied cut and torn pieces to painter board. Here are a couple of photos of the stamps and the patterns.

As always, even though we all started with the same premise, each artist’s style shone through in the finished works. I’m anxious to try the same kind of pattern building in another project – still thinking about possibilities. To all who came, thanks for sharing Sunday afternoon with me at the Studio! And I’m especially excited about the upcoming drawing workshop on May 25th. If you don’t think you can draw, you have another think coming – I dare ya to sign up – LOL. And now, for your viewing pleasure, here’s a video of yesterday’s diverse visions of Mother Earth.