Sunday’s creative Citra-solv collage circle

That Citra-solv stuff is amazing – it cleans the studio, takes old paint out of brushes, de-greases your tires, and makes amazing art paper from recycled magazines. If you haven’t tried it, perhaps you should – a bit messy, but worth it. Yesterday’s workshop participants got five gold stars for their creative collages. They made some fantastic solvent-altered papers and put together intriguing fantasy worlds. Take a look, and then I’ll give you some sources for the Citra-solve altered paper techniques below the video, You can figure out a million ways to use these cool designs.

I did a post last year on Citra-solv featuring a video by Cathy Taylor, who specializes in workshops using the altered magazine pages. If you want to go a bit further, there’s a new eBook out that I ordered just before this workshop titled “Dissolve It . . Resolve It.” You can download it for $9.95 and I think it’s quite worth it if you’re going to be working with this technique. There are even some directions about using Citra-solv to transfer images. I don’t know the author, but she does a great job laying out the basics and then inspiring experimentation! Fun stuff.


Back from Boston, and summer at the Studio


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.





Kids, collage, and creativity

Several weeks ago, a dear friend asked if her grandchildren (seven of them, ranging in age from 18 months to 11) could come to the Studio to do an art project while they were in town for a visit. And yesterday, they came!kidscrop
I was curious to see whether their inexperienced little hands could possibly manage the collage project we’d been doing in my workshops during July, using altered papers created with Citra-solv to make landscape collages.

Holy cow! These kids took it to a new level. The four-year-old said, “If I put markers over this crazy paper, it turns it green.” Hey, YEAH – layering transparent marker over the altered paper gives spectacular results! Who would have thought?? Then there was the eight-year old who added a marbled sun with torn flames all around it. And the 11-year-old who layered her glue and gold leaf to make a dimensional metallic ridge. And on and on. These kids had no fear when it came to making art and jumping off the Directions Page. Not one of them asked “Is this right?? I wish I had thought to ask permission to show photos of their faces as they worked – total immersion and concentration. Guess who re-learned a big lesson? Me, and I will strive to make art like a kid, fearlessly and with great joy. Juice packs and graham crackers seem to help . . . .

And now, for your viewing pleasure, here are some of the wonderful collages that were created in this month’s workshops by the grownups (who obviously channeled their creative inner child!):



Workshop wowsers with household cleaner

That Citra-Solv stuff just keeps on giving – it cleans up cat barf (personal experience), it’s organic and smells good, and it goofs up old magazine pages and turns them into art paper. I learned about it when artists Bonnie Davis and Rosemary Uchniat demo’d it at the first Studio Show and Tell (the next one is this Saturday, 2-4, so be there). Two workshops later, we’re having a great time combining Citra-solved paper with impeccable composition and inspired vision and turning it into lovely small artwork. Here’s a short video from yesterday’s collage workshop – look what these guys did!

If the altered paper process intrigues you, here’s a great tutorial from good old Cheap Joe featuring Cathy Taylor, who really specializes in collage with Citra-solv papers. It’s a lot of fun to play around with.

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

Show-and-Tell Saturday

Citra-solv art paper

Tomorrow afternoon from 3-5 at the Studio is the time to show all and tell all (art-wise, of course). This is the first time I’ve asked you all to teach me how you work – what new techniques and ideas do you have to share with the rest of us? Most of us, including me, will be watchers and note takers. It’s a very informal set-up – we’ll just decide who wants to do what, and there’s no “official” schedule. It’s going to be so much fun!

I know that one of the “shows” will be using Citra-solv to create altered art paper from National Geographic magazines. The results look amazing. Even though I’ve never tried it, I did find a very cool video (below) on how to use these papers in collage, so if you want to learn how to DIY, drop by the Studio between 3:00 and 5:00. There will be refreshments and libations as well, of course. Hope you’ll join us tomorrow to show, tell, listen, sit, chat, steal ideas, give suggestions and hang out in a place of creative belonging!

Monday roundup

An example of Citra-Solv collage paper

An example of Citra-Solv collage paper

What’s up with this weather??  It’s 28F this morning – I stole the cats’ afghan off the couch and wrapped up in it. They have fur coats – I don’t. Ha. Moving right along, I’m excited about the upcoming Studio Show and Tell next month and wanted to give you a heads-up. Saturday, April 5th from 3-5 you’re invited to the Studio to bring a short demo, ask questions, brainstorm with other creative people,or just hang out and suck up the vibes. I plan to kick back, watch what others bring, and steal ideas. Sheri Lenora from Austin will demo her painted crinoline fabric, and Rosemary Uchniat and Bonnie Davis are going to show us their experiments with Citra-sol cleaning liquid and magazine pages for collage. There’s actually a Citra-sol site for artists if you want a sneak preview of this technique!

Sheri Lenora's painted crinoline fabric

Sheri Lenora’s painted crinoline fabric

I would be remiss if I did not mention the wonderful artful gathering at yesterday’s Beyond Abstract workshop – we had such a good time. Here’s a link to the video.

Tomorrow I’m hanging my solo show at the Carver Center – the opening is Thursday from 6-8. Please drop by if you have a chance, invitation below.

I hope y’all have a wonderful week! Keep warm, stay cool — whatever this crazy weather brings.