Intermission Time

First, thanks so much for all your input on the Art League logo design! I took all of your comments and presented them to the entire Board and membership at our meeting last Sunday as part of a slide show, which I added to your input page – you can see that here. You have been hugely helpful!!

Now I am in one of those “intermission” phases. I have lot of work to do but there are no critical deadlines until next month. One of the things I like to do during Intermission time is to look back on past instructional videos and see where they might be expanded or reinvented.

The one I’m sharing today is one of the good ones that works just as it is. It’s the introduction from my eBook called Wax and Words and includes a sample short lesson on composition that is useful for anyone.

Rest assured, this is not an ad for the eBook – it really is just a rediscovery of a useful lesson on competition. Almost anyone can use the principles, not just encaustic artists, and it’s good for me to remind myself of those principles. They are my guidebook when I get lost.

Perhaps this will give you some ideas for weekend play! I hope you have a good one – thanks for reading!

Design and Branding Input

Want to give your feedback on some potential new branding for the San Antonio Art League & Museum? Now’s your chance – even if you don’t live in San Antonio and even if you are not an artist.

Our Art League is 112 years old and has gone through many changes during that time. You can read more about that on our website, saalm.org. When I first became President back in 2017, this was our logo:

It was hard to read and reproduce. I played around with some new ideas in 2018 (below), but ultimately we decided to use the one that you see at the top of the post, a simple SAALM. Kinda blah, but readable

However, in a recent stroke of very good luck, our current Art Patrons for 2024 are Lionel and Kathy Sosa, and Lionel just happens to be a world-renowned graphic designer, former owner of the largest Hispanic agency in the country.

Lionel, who is generous with his time and talent, did some pro bono work for us and suggested we brand ourselves as simply “The Art League . . .more than a museum.” It’s true – we are more than a museum because we give workshops, showcase student art, off public lectures, and collaborate with other arts organizations in our community.

Here are some samples of the new ideas:

 

What are your thoughts?

  • Do we need “San Antonio” on our logo?
  • Can we just be known as The Art League for short?
  • Do you like the Texas Peach as the accent color?

Help us with our new marketing ideas! You can send your comments to me on the Art League website.

Thanks!!!

Lyn

 

 

Hill Country Gelli Jam

The small towns and two-lane roads fanning out north of San Antonio and westward from Austin make up the heart of the Texas Hill Country. There, you will find rivers that wind through an abundance of bald cypress trees, shimmering lakes cupped in limestone canyons, and rustic German towns with unique names. One of our favorite places to stay is called Hillside Acres near Dripping Springs where we just spent a weekend with 15 inter-generational family members.

I am the Designated Art & Crafts teacher on these trips, and this time I decided to being along Gelli plates for some printmaking lessons using the camp’s abundant natural leaves and grasses. I reminded the campers that we needed just a few interesting samples, and then laid out the guidelines:

  • Only gather plant samples where it’s permitted and ensure to minimize any negative impact on the environment. Preserve the beauty and balance of nature.
  • Take only what you need and avoid harming the plants or their surroundings. Sustainable harvesting ensures the ecosystem remains healthy and diverse.
  • Aim to collect a wide range of plant species to expand your artistic palette. Experimenting with different textures, shapes, and sizes can lead to unique and interesting prints.
  • Clean up after yourself and leave the gathering area as you found it, or even better. Take pride in being responsible stewards of the environment and setting a positive example for others.

We spread the plant samples out on newspapers in the spacious Gathering Room. Sharing was encouraged.

First, we made Chapbooks to hold our favorite prints (there is a free workshop on my Teachable site showing you how to to this).

Then we created two-layer gelli prints based on positive and negative space around the plant samples.

We got lots of interesting results from all kinds of plants:

Everyone loved making “birds’ nest” prints from grasses and cut paper egg shapes:

Some of the Weekend Camp Artists used their prints on their chapbooks as covers, and some wanted to frame theirs.

You don’t need any experience to make really interesting, artful, designs using gelli plates and natural materials. Keep this in mind of you are looking for a fun activity for a family trip, especially if you are going where natural materials are widely available. It’s a good way to study the characteristics of different leaves and flowers and to preserve them as one-of-a-kind monoprints.

If you’ve never used a gelli plate before, the website called Gelli Arts has lots of information, including tutorials and lessons plans as well as materials lists and how-to’s (I have no connection with them other than enjoying the process).

I hope you are able to enjoy a nice get-away this spring with friends of family that includes some art!  Now, back to the studio . . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Work – Scraps and Shards and Milagros

If you haven’t heard from me in a while, it’s usually because I’m on a deadline in the studio or I’m having computer problems – this time, it’s been both things, but all is well now. I just wanted to drop in to show you five new pieces I’ve built for the upcoming Art League Members Gallery show.

These guys are variations on the idea of my “Two-Byes” which I introduced in this post last year.

These pieces are a little less fiber-oriented and a little more found-object focused, but the idea is the same – take discarded scraps and and create new miracles (or at least new artwork). They incorporate some of the techniques I’ll be sharing in the upcoming working at the Fiber Artists of San Antonio Spirit Box workshop in May.

I’ve also completed a series of five new Neo-Santos in a different format – stay tuned for those. I’ll try to post photos later this week. Thanks for reading!!

The Pilgrim’s Scroll: Stories in Paper and Cloth

Color me happy !! My new online course, The Pilgrim’s Scroll, is open for enrollment! You saw the results of the recent in-person workshop in this post, and now you can join the workshop online with extra lesson and materials and unlimited time to play.

It’s been a dream of mine to explore the fusion of paper and fiber in a way that is both simple and profound. Paper is a fiber, of course. Combining paper and fiber into a scroll is akin to weaving together threads of history, culture, and creativity into a tapestry of artistic expression. The marriage of these materials allows for a unique fusion of textures, colors, and forms, culminating in a fine artwork that transcends traditional boundaries.

This new course, The Pilgrim’s Scroll: Stories in Paper and Cloth, is designed to help you choose what matters most to you and to express that in simple terms. Techniques include several kinds of image transfer , methods of surface design on textiles (think wabi-sabi), creating beads, talismans, and birds from paper clay and fiber, and assembling these with thread, wire, ribbon, and adhesives.

Here’s is the Introductory video which will tell you more about the workshop than just writing about it can:

As always, I try to keep my courses affordable, and this course is just $49 right now for instant access, downloadable videos, free images, and almost five hours of video instruction, including, as usual, the non-perfect parts (which always make us feel better somehow).

Find Out More

I hope you will join me in this course. Even though these workshops are self-paced, I’m always here to answer questions. The Pilgrim’s Scroll represents a journey, as you will see in the lessons, and we will arrive at a place of discovery and self-awareness together!

May our feet always be light on the path!

🙂 Lyn

 

 

 

Painting with Fire – fill your bowl!

It’s so great when things come together almost magically, like bowls and scrolls and wax and fiber!

Today I’m able to announce that my new Painting with Fire Encaustic workshop will be called The Diaphanous Vessel: Exploring Paper, Fiber, Plaster, and Wax.  This class reflects the excitement that I’m having inventing ways to create translucent, delicate but strong vessels.

Vessels are not new to me, but I’ve always thought of them as clay forms. What a revelation to realize that paper and fiber can fuse together to create these organic forms that are surrounded by space inside and outside. Translucent beeswax binds these shapes together and fiber strengthens them.

And of course, if you sign up for Painting with Fire for this coming year, you’ll learn how to make these for yourself.  You’ll also have 53 other great workshops from the best encaustic teachers ever.

Click here for the info and the link to register

My summer class at SW/UTSA will also be about building vessel – there are just so many possibilities, and so many metaphors relating to bowls and receptacles. Stay tuned for that class info if you are here in San Antonio – the summer catalog is almost ready to come out.

Vessels, be they bowls, cups, or urns, embody a metaphorical richness that transcends their utilitarian function. They symbolize receptivity, gracefully accepting the contents poured into them. Conversely, they epitomize generosity, as vessels pour forth their contents, offering sustenance or wisdom to others.  They speak to the human condition, serving as vessels not only of physical substance but also of emotion, culture, and spirituality.

Some new vessels with collage and with Irish paper.

I love this excerpt from Jane Hirshfield’s poem, The Bowl:

A day, if a day could feel, must feel like a bowl.
Wars, loves, trucks, betrayals, kindness,
it eats them.

Then the next day comes, spotless and hungry.

The bowl cannot be thrown away.
It cannot be broken.

It is calm, uneclipsable, rindless,
and, big though it seems, fits exactly in two human hands.

Bowls both give and receive – vessels both hold space and occupy space.  I hope to see you in Painting with Fire this year so we can continue this conversation!

♥Lyn

Fear of Fiber

I just had the best weekend teaching at the UTSA Southwest Art Studios – twelve students and I explored materials and invented processes during the two-day Scroll and Surface fiber art workshop.

One of my favorite student comments  came from Susan, who said as we were reviewing our work, “I’ve lost my fear of fiber!!

Sometimes we think that an unfamiliar medium can’t be used to express our unique message. If you work in watercolor, you can’t imagine yourself telling the same story or celebrating the same subject in clay or fiber. But this weekend’s workshop concentrated on fusing all kinds of media media into individual narratives – paper, fiber, photography, paint, even clay. Here was our working description:

This mixed-media fiber art workshop includes components such as re-purposed studio drop cloth (torn), hydrosoluable fiber, walnut ink, paper twine, surface design, found objects, fiber, wire, image transfers and paper clay to explore how surface design can symbolize the precious belongings that we carry with us on our life’s journey.

The students came from diverse background and places in Texas – a military veteran who worked as a language translator, an elementary school STEM teacher, a naturalist, a minister, several professional artists, a college student just starting his art journey. Our personalities came together like a beautifully composed collage!

One of the strengths in creative diversity is that every message matters. A successful art workshop results in many right answers to the same question – what story can you tell that makes us all nod our heads in understanding, recognition, and empathy?

My students were just brilliant in expressing their narratives. Here is a video that tells all of the stories that were written in fiber this weekend.

I’m in the middle of filming lessons for this workshop so it can be available as an online class, and it should be ready in a week or two. I’ll share some of the mixed-media secrets we discovered this weekend – toilet bowl cleaner was a big hit as was sticky cheesecloth. 🙂

Thanks for reading SHARDS! And don’t be afraid of fiber – it is your friend!!

Lyn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So many thanks!

I am so grateful to you for re-subscribing to SHARDS. You are the reason I teach workshops, share ideas, and learn so much about our arts community. Thank you for being a part of my creative life! I look forward to staying in touch, thanks to you.

As promised, I did a random number pick of those kind people who subscribed yesterday to win a free workshop, and the winner is number 217, who happens to be my friend, Joanna Powell Colbert! Joanna is primarily responsible for my journey into Spirit Dolls and the Tarot. I hope you have a chance to look at her work.

Joanna, when you read this, send me a quick email and pick out a gifted workshop on my Teachable Studio space!

Don’t forget, there are also free workshop for everyone on that site.

In the meantime, thanks again, and please stay tuned for some SHARDS posts in the near future! If you have questions or suggestions, please feel free to send those along!

♥Lyn

 

 

 

Patched up . . .

I started this blog in its current form back in 2010 and it has become my invaluable journal of where the creative path has taken me. Recently, however, my SHARDS blog site completely crashed and I thought 15 years of entries and over 1000 posts were lost forever. Thanks to George Howard, a smart techie and highly-recommended good guy, we are patched up and running again. Sending you a shout-out, George!

I’m back just in time to share something lovely that Jude Hill wrote this morning

“So what if I concentrate on story building with loose patches for a while? Language Patches is what I have come to call them.  They are simple and small and maybe you can play along?”

This is so much like what I’m doing with my new workshop, Scrolls and Surface, that I wanted to expand on the idea. The scrolls that I’m assembling as prototypes for the class are nothing more than a collection small “patches” of narrative. They go together in various ways, much like chapters in a book, and because they are small, they can be rearranged.

Here are a few examples – some of these are image transfers on fabric, some are what I call “fusion patches,” and some are handmade or found objects.

The images that I choose incorporate on these “patches” reflect my personal themes: neo-santos, shards, paradoxical connections, lost children, myth and mystery. Your images will be different just as your story is different.

Once you start working this way, creating small components that will ultimately go together as a larger picture, you’ll discover all kids of possibilities and combinations. It’s great composition practice, but more than that, it’s a lesson in how one element affects another.

Assorted combinations of fusion patches and transfers to fabric – are there stories here? Can they be rearranged to tell a different narrative?

It really is so much fun to lose yourself in this task. And it’s equally as much fun to actually create the patches using all kinds of experimental methods. Even when something doesn’t work, it’s a good lesson. Jane Dunnewold makes Citrasolv transfer look so easy – when I first tried it, I got blobs. But at least they were mysterious blobs.

A Mysterious Blob

I’m filming a lot of these experiences for a new online workshop called The Pilgrim’s Scroll: Stories in Paper and Cloth which should be ready in a couple of weeks.  In the meantime, it sure is great to have my blob – er, I mean, BLOG, back!

Thanks, Jude and George and all the people that help us stay connected and inspired!