Lesta and Lyn – a half-day workshop exploring mixed-media surface design


Finally! Lesta Frank, my much-revered artist pal, is coming to the Studio to pair up with me for a half-day workshop on Sunday, November 9th. It’s called Exploring Paper Surface Design, and it’s going to be amazing. We’ve been talking about doing this forever and now it’s really gonna happen.

Lesta and I go back a looo-ooong way (like, high school). She’s a popular teacher as well as a well-known watercolorist  – funny and innovative, as those of you who’ve seen her at the Show and Tell Saturdays already know. Here’s a very short sneak preview from one of those sessions – I love the part when Lesta says, “If you don’t like it, just keep adding stuff”! There are four spots left for the workshop at the moment if you’d like to join us. Have a great day and thanks for following SHARDS!

That’s my story

Making art for an audience is tricky, and it brings out my Creeping Cowardly Conformity. I’m discovering that as I finish up a series of small collages on canvas that will be included in the San Antonio Art League show which opens Sunday, Nov. 2nd. The Art League is a venerable organization with lots of Real Painters, and being invited to participate is rather intimidating. Here is one of my pieces in a five-part series called “Copper Koan.” Like a lot of my work, it deals with the concept of shards and fragments of incomplete stories. A “koan” is a paradox to be meditated upon, and it seemed like a fine concept for this series (the series title is also a take-off on “copper coin.”)

copper koan

“Copper Koan: Wand” Lyn Belisle 2014


This is what it looked like yesterday (below) – I didn’t want to add a little face or any text because I thought that would make it look “too crafty” and “not sophisticated-ly abstract enough.” Arg . . .Creeping Cowardly Conformity makes us compromise. You make like this one better, and that’s super OK, but I kept thinking it looked incomplete and anonymous.

koan-reSo what the heck – I added the distressed earthenware face and the text fragment on my little Copper Koan, and now that they are there, I’m much happier with the piece. I hope my audience likes it, but we, as artists, gotta remember that we’re driving this Art Bus and if we take directions from our passengers, we’ll get everybody hopelessly lost. That’s MY story and I’m sticking to it!

PS. If you’d like to see the exhibit for yourself, please know that I’d love to have you there to discuss all of this and to see the work of my fellow artists – here’s your invitation! Feel free to share 🙂


Last Dance for Medina Mud Band


The Medina Mud Band – (from the left, clockwise: Larry Adamson, Gene Dowdy, Don Stephens, John Burke, Rod Enlow, Dave Williams, Bill Kurtin, and Me!)

Some of you guys are old-time MMB Groupies and have followed our band for the last 35 years – thanks, podners! I had had the time of my life playing music with these guys. We got together on Saturday for a day in the country and had this picture made..Our favorite gig (and one that we’ve played for over 20 years) is the Quihi Dance Hall Benefit for Inner City Development, a more-than-worthy cause.

This year’s gig on January 31st, 2015, will be our last, and to commemorate it, I’m designing a “farewell tour” t-shirt for the band members and friends. Here are our three choices – if you’d like to vote on the one you like best, we’d sure appreciate it. We can’t decide! I’ll enter the names of everyone who votes in a drawing for a t-shirt with the winning design. You can cast your vote for Design #1, #2, or #3 on the Google Form below the designs. The first design is bigger, not because it’s necessarily my favorite, but because it’s more horizontal. Thanks for your help!

Design #1

Design #1

Design #2

Design #2

Design #3

Design #3

Proud mom gets to see long-lost son

rrlynOK, so maybe Boston isn’t *that* far away, but it sure was good to see Rick last night closer to home.  Bookpeople hosted Rick Riordan in Austin at the Westlake Community Performing Arts Center to introduce his latest book, The Blood of Olympus (which happens to be the #1 best-selling book at Amazon – just thought I’d casually throw that in). There were hundreds of enthusiastic kids in orange Camp Half-Blood t-shirts – it was so much fun. While we were backstage, I also got to see my brother Rees who lives in Austin – kind of a mini-family reunion. Yay.

For those of you who want to hear Rick’s take on his upbringing and how he became a writer, you can see the video of his appearance at the New York Public Library a couple of days ago. (Actually, I put the video here so I can watch it as much as *I* want to!)  Yep, I am one proud mom.

Thanks for indulging me, you guys! And now, back to art, congrats to mixed-media artist Susan Gantz from Virginia who won the Milagro Journal Friday Freebie. I haven’t met Susan, but am always glad to get to share with fellow artists. I emailed her to let her know, and she wrote back, “This is amazing. I love your blog, and the videos (special favorite is the glue stick/gold leaf).” Thanks, Susan – it reminds me that we’re all in this together – if you have ideas, blog posts, websites – whatever – to share, send me an email and I’ll post them when I can. OK, now go buy Rick’s book <grin>.

Hey, Lyn – it’s Friday, so where’s the Freebie??

Ok, OK, it’s been a busy week – but, never fear, I do have a Friday Freebie for a lucky SHARDS subscriber whose name will be drawn Sunday night. One of the things that’s kept me busy is getting ready for the Trinity University Alumni Artistans Showcase tomorrow. It’s an event that I dearly love (I’m a Trinity grad as well as faculty member) and I try to participate in it every year. This year, I’m showing Milagro Journals. I love making these.

Milagro Journals

Milagro Journals

On the inside, there is a library card pocket (boy, do I miss those old-fashioned book checkouts) with a quote about the little miracles (milagros) in our lives. Yay! minside

So if you’re a SHARDS subscriber, old or new, by Sunday night, you’re in the drawing for one of these Milagro Journals. And if you’re a Trinity grad, like me, c’mon by the Artisan Showcase at the Holt Center tomorrow from 11:30-1:30.  Happy weekend, everyone – and expect a miracle (like that cold front that’s finally supposed to make it on Saturday :).

Wrapping it up with love


Lyn Belisle and Joanna Powell Colbert and assorted Dia de Los Muertos amigos

. . . .and then she woke up and it was all a beautiful dream. Hey, no – wait, it wasn’t! The Unfolding Myth weekend with Joanna Powell Colbert really happened, and it was amazing! Two days of work and fun and creating and discovering passed much too quickly. My heartfelt thanks to all who participated. The artwork that came out of this experience speaks eloquently. Joanna gently guided us through discoveries about ourselves that were reflected in our collages.

I’m still processing my own lessons from the weekend, but if you’d like to see some of the work that went on at the Studio, take a look at our video (below). And then visit Joanna’s website to see how you can experience some of the magic that she does through her Gaian tarot. Thank you, Joanna, from all of us!

The Unfolding Myth starts unfolding

What’s a Myth Map?  Good question! I just invented it as a project to compliment Joanna Powell Colbert‘s wonderful tarot cards. We’re both teaching the two-day Unfolding Myth workshop at the Studio this weekend, and I get the hands-on art part. Yay! A Myth Map shows symbols of where you’ve been and where you’re going based on your intuitive choice of a card. This morning, I drew the Five of Water, and this Myth Map collage on wood was inspired by that card. I can’t wait to see what the workshop participants create. Joanna’s Gaian Tarot cards are so beautiful and intuitive.

Journey: Five of Water

Journey: Five of Water – Lyn Belisle

Don’t forget that you can meet Joanna if you’re in town tomorrow. She’ll give a very informal talk about her work at Lyn Belisle Studio from 6-8 pm. Here’s your invitation. I won’t make her actually *talk* all that time – there will be lots of opportunity for questions and visiting.She’s also have cards and art prints of her work.

And if you *are* conning to the workshop this weekend, I’m putting all kinds of nifty stuff in your workshop goodie bag! Remember what the poet, Rumi, said: “Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.”