Seth Apter, master of mixed media and a darn nice guy

Seth Apter had been an Art Hero of mine long before I heard he was coming to Texas from NYC. His work is a fusion of fine art, accessible craft and  mixed media exploration that I so often try to achieve. Only he does it consistently, and seemingly effortlessly. Check out his work and you’ll see what I mean.

On Thursday I got a chance to  work with him in person (woohoo) at his all-day Collage Camp workshop sponsored by Roadhouse Arts. I learned a lot about collage techniques, and even more about approaches to teaching. Seth is a master at constructive critique. All of us appreciated his feedback. I only wish I could have taken the next thresethe days of classes with Seth, but, alas, I needed to be in Bulverde for the opening of my encaustic show, Coeur Samples, with Michelle Belto.

But guess who showed up at our opening at Dan Pfeiffer’s Gallery yesterday evening – Seth! He came with Bulverde friends Lisa and John Meyer. What a treat! I told him that having him there definitely added to the show’s mojo!

One of the things that makes Seth such a fine teacher is the way he organizes his classes, step by step, and in a logical way that helps you internalize the steps and elements. In the Collage Camp, we started with a series of eight small collages, each of which demonstrated one of Seth’s design principals.  These will serve as an informal reference book for future work. Here are some photos from our day together – what a fantastic group with an unforgettable teacher.

You’ll enjoy looking around Seth Apter’s website – he told us that he’s getting ready to launch a new line of mixed media tools and products that will enhance anyone’s mixed media work, info at the link below – I am grateful to have met him – isn’t learning new stuff fun?

sethban

Out of a job, better get organized . . .

First of all, congrats to this week’s Friday Freebie winner, Karen Cutrer, who subscribed to SHARDS five months ago. Karen, I’m not sure we’ve met, but so glad you won the Gold (or Silver)  Simple Leaf for gilding anything your heart desires. Send me an email with your address and color choice – lyn@lynbelisle.com – and I’ll get it to you right away. You have to promise to let me know how you use it! Golden eggs? Silver flower pots?

OK, so as summer progresses, I’m starting to realize that I don’t have an outside teaching job to go back to since 1969! – yikes. So I’m attempting to organize the Studio schedule to function as a full-time workspace (not an easy task for a left-handed Gemini). Here’s a first attempt at a reorganized Workshop webpage. It’s not too different yet, but I’ve added videos from past workshops and tried to make it easier to read. Suggestions?

wkSince I started teaching workshops even before I had the Studio, my goals have been:

  • Make it enjoyable for you – no stress or pressure, no scary stuff
  • Create a finished piece to take home with you to spur ideas and confidence
  • Provide all materials so you can just show up and create – no expensive lists of materials to bring – you don’t need expensive products to make art that you love.
  • Celebrate your style and your vision – no “copy me” or it’s wrong

Here are some early workshop pics from my kitchen and little ex-garage studio – we were squished, but it was still fun. I want to keep that sense of fun!

One of the new things I;m trying this fall is a longer two-day workshop, not with an out-of-town artist, but with just me, other local aritsts, or in this case, Lesta and me on one of the days. You can sign up for one day, two days, or both. There’s still a limit of eight, and lunch is included. Here are the details on that one – you can read more here:

immersion

 

 I also want to continue the monthly Show and Tell get-togethers. They really feed my soul! I’ll post those on my webiste as they are scheduled, but they will generally be the last Saturday of the month. Please take a look at the latest one from day before yesterday – wonderful!! And thanks for letting me think out loud about where my road goes from here. You are the best 🙂

Back from Boston, and summer at the Studio

artwalk

Setting up in the little courtyard off Charles Street in Beacon Hill, Boston

Boston was great – I met lots of interesting people at my third annual Beacon Hill Art Walk, had a number of folks recognize me from last year (“Hey, Shard Lady!”), and sold some art. Interestingly, the encaustic pieces got most of the attention, but the Citra-solv landscapes got most of the bucks.

lsThese little mixed media landscape collages are always popular with art buyers, and  easy and fun to construct. As a matter of fact (what a coincidence), I’m having a workshop on Sunday, June 21st from 2-5 to show you how to make the collages, and there are lots of spaces left. You’ll learn how to create some amazing decorative artisan papers using Citra-solv cleaning solvent, and you will learn a lot about composition, as well. All materials are provided, as usual. Here’s a link if you’re interested. Come join me!

There are other summer workshops coming up at the Studio, including a Goddess Banner class on Sunday.goddessbanner That class is full, but I have had so much fun developing it that I’ll offer it again later. I’ve combined small-space dyeing with transfer, paper “quilting,” and other fabric surface design to make a layered banner that celebrates the idea of the Divine Feminine in whatever fashion pleases you. Here’s a first look at the prototype. When you hang a banner made with intention, like this one, the wish or affirmation is supposedly sent by the wind in all directions. I like that!

There’s a Spirit Box Workshop in July, and a Mixed Media Collage workshop in August – that one may focus on Goddess Banners again. Any takers for another Goddess Banner session? Email me!

It’s strange to think that I won’t be going back to Trinity University in the fall to teach, and it’s scarily liberating. FYI, Friday Freebies will return next week.

speedyFinally, one of the nicest things that happened during the Beacon Hill Art Walk was a Close Encounter of the Dog Kind – I was walking down a crowded street in Beacon Hill when a little doggie on a leash dragged her human over to see me, and began jumping up and down. It was my son’s dog, Speedy! Rick and his family were out of town, but Speedy recognized me and came bounding over to say hello. The pet sitter was very surprised, because he didn’t know who I was, and Speedy is usually a shy dog. But she is a good art critic – she looked at my art and licked my face in approval. 🙂

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone – hope it’s filled with dog licks, ice cream, and fun.

 

 

 

 

Minding my own beeswax

beacon-hill-art-walkEvery June I look forward to participating in the Beacon Hill Art Walk in Boston – the venerable old red-brick and cobblestone neighborhood opens its courtyards and gardens to over 100 artists for a unique event that includes music and food.

This year, inspired by Clare O’Neill and  the work that my students did in our first Beeswax Collage workshop, I’m including some of my own encaustP1100506ic beeswax collages for show & sale. I’m also developing a new eBook about the process called Behind the Veil – it’s almost ready for publication. And I’ll offer a new workshop on this Beeswax Collage process on July 12th, and another one in the fall, so stay tuned for those things. The new eBook will give you several tips on working successfully with this process, including:

  • Limit your palette, both in imagery and in wax color
  • Work small scale at first
  • Use a good substrate such as Arches #300 watercolor paper

Taking any art to Boston is kind of a challenge because it has to be lightweight, packable, and easy to set up. These collages fit the bill – I’m hoping they will be popular with Boston patrons. Two years ago, my work won a third place ribbon, last year I took home a second place ribbon – maybe these little pieces will snag a first place at the show on June 7th! Here are a few of the new beeswax & collage pieces that are completed. Do you think they will be a hit on Beacon Hill? Fingers crossed 🙂

 

 

PhotoEncaustic – what I’m learning in school

To get prepared for my Beeswax Collage workshops, I’m taking a fairly intensive online course with PhotoEncaustic artist Clare O’Neill. There are about 24 people in the class, and we meet both on Facebook and in the online classroom to watch Clare’s videos and to question and critique our work. I love the flexibility of the class. We’re in our third week right now. Here’s a video of Clare’s work – you can see why I was attracted to it. She’s passionate about what she does and she’s a good teacher, too.

Here are three practice pieces that I’ve competed so far. The first and second ones are my own still-life photos and the third one is a vintage photo from Flickr Commons. I have a long way to go, but have already learned soooooo much from Clare and the other people in the class. (There are still some spaces in the second Beexwax Collage workshop on May 17th at my Studio if you want to sign up and see what I’ve learned) –

PhotoEncaustic 1 - Lyn Belisle - mounted on wood

PhotoEncaustic 1 – Lyn Belisle – mounted on wood

Tissue and wax PhotoEncaustic

 

 

 

 

Encaustic and vintage photo - Lyn Belisle

Encaustic and vintage photo – Lyn Belisle

NOTE: A great source for all things encaustic is my friend Michelle Belto’s book, Wax and Paper Workshop. All of her techniques and tips can be used with PhotoEncaustic, and it’s a perfect book for beginners who want to explore the possibilities of working with wax as an art form.

If you’d like a gentle introduction to the technique, Michelle and I have collaborated in an online class about Wax and Tissue if you’d like to check it out. Here’s the link – it’s at Roses on my Table art community. Online classes are really fun, particularly since you can learn at your own pace.

Back to the Wax!!

Huipiles and votives and shards – oh, my!

Studio update – it was a busy, creative, rewarding weekend in a zillion ways. Our show and sale of Guatemalan artisan goods for Friendship Bridge was a huge success – both money and awareness were raised! Thanks for all who came to shop and learn – here are some photos:

Sunday was a day of rest – well, not exactly, but I had a wonderful time at our relaxing Votive Workshop. Seven of us sat around the table creating these little candle screens. It was the perfect way to spend a cold and drizzly afternoon. The Studio is a magical place sometimes.

Finally, last night, this girl realized she need to get to work and get her hands in some clay! These little faces will go into the kiln today and perhaps turn into Spirit Dolls, assemblages or Etsy send-outs to someone else for their own creations. Have a happy week, Y’all, and stay warm.

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!

Wonderful workshop weekend – not just one, but TWO videos filled with great ideas

Well, happy Monday, everybody! Hope you had a great weekend – as for me, I had the most fabulous time at the Studio. On Saturday, ten amazing NEISD art teachers met to experiment with Citra-solv altered magazine pages as collage components. And on Sunday, a flock of beautiful Spring Goddess Spirit Dolls were born. Thanks to everyone who graced the place with their creativity – take a look at what they did! (Oh, and congrats to talented and generous Vicki Siptak, random drawing winner of the Milagrito Friday Freebie.)

Art Teachers’ Workshop

Spring Goddess Spirit Doll Workshop

Monday updates and a make-over

How did I spend my post-Thanksgiving weekend? I did a makeover on my website (practicing for the make-over that I’ll have to do on myself after all that turkey and pie). I have a new header using one of the new Peregrino constructions that was a favorite. It matches the new SHARDS header – look up, see? And it should be somewhat easier to find workshops and calendar info on my site. Let me know if you like it.

Also, please notice the Writing Workshop in January given by Nancy West – it will be a great way to start the year for writers (aspiring or experienced) and journal-ers. Nancy is funny and gifted and I’m so glad she’s coming to the Studio as a guest artist/writer/teacher.

Oh, yeah, and I also I did a firing of 14 new Scent Shards this weekend – just in case you need a super $20 gift for a special someone (like you). They will be at the Studio starting today – if you’d like to order one by mail, email me for pics – shipping is $3.50 and the essential oil, lavender or eucalyptus, is included. Here’s your tantalizing example. This is a face from a 30’s carving and she’s about 6″ tall. Yay for Cyber Monday commercials! The End.

Scent Shard essential oil sculpture and diffuser

Scent Shard essential oil sculpture and diffuser

Guest artsts show their faces

One of the most enjoyable aspects of offering workshops, particularly on how to make face shards, is to see how they are used by the artists who attend. I’ve already posted photos of Spirit Dolls and jewelry – now here are some new ideas.

These are by Sheri Lenora from Austin, who took a class at the Studio recently on building earthenware faces – she’s used them in her beautiful mixed-media hangings – spectacular rich color and texture:

The nebookxt example (left) is the cover of a small book created by Zinnia Galliher, founder of Roses On My Table and a student in my online Making Faces class! I have a already warned her that I’m stealing her idea – it’s wonderful, and the air-dry clay is easier and lighter to work with than earthenware would be for adding to artisan paper constructions.

Don’t forget that there’s a workshop this Sunday at the Studio on making faces with air-dry clay with all kinds of beautiful finishes. Here’s the info, and here’s where to sign up.