School 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 fromClare 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!
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!
Things are so quiet here – our house guests, Pablo and Beverly Solomon are safely home, the Studio is back to its usual self, ready for workshops, and I just finished posting the video from the weekend (below). What great memories we’ll all have! These photos are from both evenings, and include some really great shots of guests posing with their original Pablo Solomon drawings, with Pablo and with his pet monster lizard creature, Diablo. Thanks to everyone who came and helped make this an artful and art-filled weekend!
I’m honored to feature my long-time friend, Gloria Hill, whose expressive abstract paintings have blossomed in 2013. She started working with me at the Studio in February (I hesitate to say “taking lessons” because I learn as much from her as she does from me). Gloria grasps an idea and makes it her own. She is dedicated and amazingly prolific considering that she has a demanding full-time career as North East ISD’s Director of Visual Art where her art teachers and students win state and national awards. Gloria is, thankfully, finding time for her own art, and boy, is she good! Her paintings (below) speak for themselves, but this is what she has to say about her personal creative journey:
“We all have to start somewhere and I feel that I am at the gathering stage in my work. I am motivated by the strong urge to create. I hope that through the process of discovering, gathering, creating, experimenting, searching, failing, and learning I will develop the tools, techniques, and processes to better express myself. I know who I am and am happy with me. I never want to stop growing and learning and I am finding that my art is taking me down the path I want to travel. It is giving me joy, inner peace, confidence, and a feeling of personal accomplishment.”
Thank you, Glo, for sharing your talent and inspiring work!
My abstract acrylic diptych, “Penumbra”, is headed to DC where it will live with my dear friend Victoria. It is such a delight to know the piece has a good home! It was separated into two halves for packing and shipping and will be reassembled when it gets to DC. I look forward to seeing pictures of it in place. In fact, I expect I’ll have to visit it in person before too long! Thanks, Victoria – your taste in art is exceptional <grin>.
Penumbra Lyn Belisle 2013 Acrylic on Canvas 36×48″
The first workshop was so much fun. I don’t know if it was the new space or the combination of personalities, but we had a blast. And this is just the first half! Yesterday we made the clay faces, and then Wednesday we’ll meet at Ann Pearce’s next door to do the beading and jewelry creations. I’ll take photos of those so you can see how the final pieces turned out. If you’re interested, there’s a repeat of this two-part workshop on February 17th. Thanks to Chris, Jill, LeAnn and Susan – I had a fantastic time with you guys.
Yesterday’s informal opening at the Studio was just fantastic – thanks to the 100+ friends who dropped by to eat, drink and celebrate the space. My only regret is that I did not take *one* picture once people started arriving because I was enjoying talking to everyone. If you were there, thanks for sharing a delightful afternoon – and if you couldn’t be, please come any time that you are in the area. The Studio is now officially blessed by friends! The first workshop, Earthenware Adornments, is this afternoon and I just can’t wait to play in that space. Here are some pictures before guests arrived – even the bathroom and kitchen look happy!
I worked at the Studio today (big “S” means new studio) and took some photos for a short video about the space. You guys, I am so excited! It is still a work in progress, but it’s going to be the most wonderful place for workshops and meetings. I wish everyone could come for the opening party in a couple of weeks. The first workshop is scheduled for January 20th, and I think I’ll have an open house the afternoon before that, on Saturday January 19th, 3-7 pm. But Shards Blog people are the first to know – and if you’re on the mailing list, you might get it twice. Arg, sorry about that, but that way you’ll remember – please come 🙂 . Anyway, here’s the video – yay!!
These cool bath salts are one of the examples I show in my aromatherapy classes (see the site at Chemaroma.com ). My biochemist friend Dr. Bill Kurtin knows all of the reasons essential oils work scientifically, but you can do this project without knowing any chemistry – whew :). You’ll need some Epsom Salts, some essential oil (Sprouts, Central Market, Whole Foods) and some lunch bags. You can make these for less than a dollar each and they smell wonderful and work great on sore muscles or stressed out psyches. You can store them in your linen closet to make the towels smell fresh. Easy, cheap and nice – there ya have it.
Here’s a video I made for our aromatherapy class site that explains the how-to. Think hostess gifts and stocking stuffers. You can even toss a small handful of the salts into your shower and get the therapeutic effects of the essential oils without soaking!
I went down to La Villita yesterday to visit with Susan Carlin, one of the owners of Nueva Street Gallery. It always does my heart good to walk into that beautiful light-filled space. It’s the gallery where I showed my work back in the 80’s an 90’s when Richard Conn owned it – it was lovely then, but it seems to have a whole new persona since Susan and Uger made it their own. Susan has given me the whole table in the middle of the gallery for my work display. Yay! There are some Shard Faces there, some little Earthshard dishes, and some of my small collage-on-canvas work.
Small collages-on-canvas with earthenware
This is a part of the Bridge series
One more in the Bridge series – these are 8×8 canvases
When I got to the gallery, Susan had just received a new piece by Reggie Troilo that I loved! I think it’s called “the Gathering” – but it is fantastic. Brian St. John also shows there – he’s the San Antonio Art League’s Artist of the Year. Here’s the gallery – I’ve always been a huge fan of the place, and not just because my work is there. It’s a wonderful space to stop by, hang out – and a perfect starting place for exploring historic La Villita during the holiday season. I just love San Antonio!