Thoughts on a studio anniversary.

A year ago – almost to the day – I said goodbye to my studio in Carousel Court. It was a hard goodbye. The space had been a gathering place for workshops, art shows, Show-and-Tell Saturdays, poetry readings – many things to remember and cherish. I truly miss that place, but it had become a huge responsibility, too big (and expensive) for one person to keep up forever.

Here’s a look at one of the early workshops there with beloved guest artist Sherrill Kahn. It was so much fun!

A month after I closed the doors forever, I found a smaller place just down the street from my new house. It has four rooms, lots of storage space, and reasonable rent.

Some of you have been there – thanks! Because of downsizing, and new responsibilities at the Art League, my workshop schedule had to be adjusted downward. Arg!

But ironically, on this anniversary weekend, I had two workshops at the new little studio, both of which were delightful (and neither of which was on my website calendar).

The first one on Friday the 13th was organized by six friends who wanted to learn some encaustic basics. They contacted me, and we scheduled it at their convenience.  We did a variation of the “Behind the Veil” vintage photocollage workshop. We worked with layered beeswax, oil paint, book foil, walnut ink – all the fun media that gets good results. Here’s a video of that “workshop-by-request” gathering:

Lyn Belisle Workshop: Encaustic Collage by request from Lyn Belisle on Vimeo.

The second workshop on Sunday was my old favorite, Creating Spirit Dolls. I have a group of friends who went with me three years ago to Whidbey Island when I taught with Joanna Powell Colbert. They had been wanting to learn to make spirit dolls, and so we did it! Here’s that video – it’s so interesting to see how different everyone’s turned out.

Making Spirit Dolls at Lyn Belisle’s studio in San Antonio from Lyn Belisle on Vimeo.

I love teaching workshops! And as I look back on this year, I’m feeling the loss of those gatherings at the old studio. In the new place, we are limited to six people in a workshop, but that’s actually a good number. If you have a group of four to six people who’d like to learn mixed-media together, let’s talk. Workshop-by-request is a great concept.

I’m also going to expand online workshop offerings through some new ebooks with videos, starting with the popular “Postcards to Myself”. I got the nicest letter from an Etsy buyer yesterday, which gave me some encouragement:

“Dear Lyn,
Please continue making the e-books for people like me who live in another state and want to learn and experiment…am so excited…youre such an inspiration…thanks for sharing…and with your open heart all that you share and give will come back 10 fold to fill your heart and spirit as you have done for myself and others.”
  Jacque in Washington State.
Finally, I have high hopes for the studio space at the Art League on King William Street. With good luck and some anticipated financial support, that studio may become the kind of gathering place that the old Carousel Court studio was. We’re having a workshop there on the 29th, and there are still two spaces left. Join us and give us your ideas and feedback

Workshop at the Art League Studio on King William Street

Looking back, it’s been a crazy, exciting, challenging year and one that has confirmed how much I love teaching and learning with all of you, no matter when, where or what! I hope to see you soon. Thanks for your support and friendship 🙂

“The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not fighting the old, but on building the new.”

― Socrates




Back to Earth . . .and clay

Well, who woulda thought – the anniversary party was a huge success. If you were there, thank you! If you weren’t, there wouldn’t have been room!! Only kidding, but the joint was standing room only for about an hour. Incredible – I’m still floating around in the clouds, but it is back to the world of the working artist today. Shades of Green nursery, the prettiest nursery in the city, called for some more of my Sprig Shards, so I spent the day playing with little clay faces. Here are a few – they are still very wet, hope they can go in the kiln tomorrow. I need some new faces – time to hit the graveyard <grin>.

sprig1 This Sunday’s upcoming workshop is called Collage on Canvas with Transferred Images and we’re going to be experimenting with TAP paper. One of my own favorite pieces is a collage that my friend Harold owns called Starling, and that’s the kind of look I’d like to demonstrate,  except the participants are bringing personal photos. It should be fun.

That workshop is full, but if you’re interested in seeing how this TAP paper works, there are several good links on YouTube. Here’s one (the narrator has an awesome accent).

Finally, congrats to Rob Keogh who won the long-distance door prize of a Lyn Belisle Studio t-shirt – Rob, send an email to and tell me the size you want and where to mail it. OK, back to the clay and year number two – woohoo!


Starling: Lyn Belisle 2012, collage on canvas


Party preps

Countdown14tshirts to the First Anniversary Party at the Studio this afternoon from 3-6 – woohoo! Here’s an artful arrangement of door prizes guaranteed to promote the place – clever, no? I want one of the bags – guess I’ll make an extra one after the drawing’s over.

There are also over a hundred little Rune and Relic face shards. Each guest can choose the one that says “Pick me!” Speaking of picking, yesterday afternoon my dear and generous friend Ann Ash brought bowls and bowls of fresh-picked flowers for the tables. The Studio smells like springtime. 14faces

Chef Michael has been busy. Can you say “lobster pizza”? No kidding, this may become a spécialité de la maison (aka Studio). There will be a lot of food for guests to enjoy as well as wonderful classical guitar music by George Gaytan.

14lobsterSo why am I nervous?? I guess it’s human nature when you plan an event – some people seem to do it effortlessly. But, as Georgia O’Keeffe said, “I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing that I wanted to do.”

So on with the party! Hope you can come – far-away friends, you guys are in the drawing for door prizes, too. And if I get anxious about the anniversary party, I’ll just click here and lighten up.

Happy Studio Anniversary – hope to see you all this afternoon, in spirit or in person! ♥♥♥


Oh, boy – a new year, and a party!

I’m so excited about the upcoming First Anniversary Celebration at the Studio. It’s just two weeks from tomorrow. Please know that you’ll be an honored guest, and there will be a free little face shard for all SHARD subscribers along with lots of food and fun and music . . .and . . well, anniversary celebration stuff!! And if you’re not from around these parts and would like to participate virtually, email me and I’ll put your name in the pot for a door prize drawing.

Here’s your invitation – now, please excuse me, gotta go back to party preparations. Oh, boy!!