Saturday catch-up: collages, challenges and show&tell

It’s been a busy week – I taught a beeswax workshop with the San Antonio Art Education Association at a workshop on Tuesday, and then spent Thursday at the Studio with Gloria Hill and Lisa Stamper Meyer.Here are our collages from that art playdate – can you believe that three artists with the same challenge could come up with such different results? Fascinating.

rosemarychallenge2 copy copy

And speaking of collages and challenges, congrats to Rosemary Uchniat who won the random stuff challenge with this powerful collage. I saw her “before” pile of stuff and am in awe of the way she pulled it together – it belongs in a gallery!

Rosemary, your prize is an Artist Sampler of Three Face Shards to use as you like. What will you come up with this time? It’s always interesting.

toni copyToni Curtis from LA also sent in her wonderful collage which morphed into a journal cover – nice, Toni!  Check out Toni’s Heart of the Gypsy Facebook page. It’s fun to challenge yourself to an out-of-the box diversion – try it.

And finally, today is the first Show and Tell of 2016 – my favorite Studio event!

In the lineup today are painters, poets, authors, card makers, fiber artists – and Chef Mikey himself, who will share the Studio’s signature dessert recipe of Sopaipilla Cheesecake. Hope to see you there from 2-4!

Dyeing to Show and Tell


New painting by Lesta Frank, from Sunday’s Show and Tell

From dyeing on Saturday to Show and Tell on Sunday, this weekend rocked. It started with an afternoon of small-space dyeing with Rosemary Uchniat and ended with a Show and Tell with the usual suspects and some new ones, as well. Part of Show and Tell is always sharing upcoming shows, so here are two to pass along:

Small-Space Dyeing has become one of the fastest sold-out workshops at the Studio. Rosemary’s unique formula for fabric dyeing success produces fun, no fail results every time, even for novices. Take a look at the video from Saturday.

Sunday’s Show and Tell photo gallery gives you a clue to the diversity and talent of the participants – everything from Acrylics to Zentangle – I am grateful to the generous and highly creative people who share their ideas with all of us at  these get-togethers.

milagroLast but not least, the winner of the Friday Freebie heart milagro is lucky SHARDS subscriber #134, Arwen Lynch Poe, a friend who has just moved from Texas to New Mexico. Arwen, send me your new address and I’ll send you this little gift to remind you of how much we miss you!

I had lots of requests for info about this piece, and I plan to have some for sale at the Black Saturday Studio sale on November 28th with Lesta Frank and Alison Schockner! Happy Monday, everyone, and thanks, as always, for reading SHARDS.

Circles of connection

Saturday’s Show & Tell was the best kind of connected circle – it seemed as if everyone had a story or an idea that made the collective group smile and even applaud. When you begin with Vicki Siptak’s beautiful necklaces made from socks (1) and end with thoughts from a poet about imagery, words, and art, what’s not to love? Join us for the next one if you can on Saturday, August 29th (2-4 pm), and connect with this creative circle at my Studio. Here’s a video from Saturday.

kimAnother connected circle is getting really huge, as in International – that’s the Spirit Doll connection. It started for me with Joanna Powell Colbert in 2012 and her order for faces from my Etsy site. She and I both started teaching Spirit Doll classes, and the word spread. I’ve sent shard faces to many countries and  just got these photos from Jo Rockendorfer, who recently taught a Spirit Doll class in Sydney, Australia – here’s here description: “The red doll is Hummingbird Medicine, the green/blue was for a friend after she did a healing ritual and the last and most recent is Sophia Goddess of Wisdom”

I love the fact that Texas clay enhances Jo’s beautiful work from Australia – and if you’re reading this, you’re connected, too, in our circle – lucky me! Circles unify, art connects –  life is good. Have a great week.


Sensational stormy Saturday show and tell

This has been a week of frustrating tech woes and long calls to support people (all resolved, hopefully), so I was especially looking forward to yesterday’s Show and Tell at my Studio. I hadn’t heard from many people and there were more storms predicted in our area, and I didn’t expect a crowd. Surprise!


Almost thirty people came to listen and learn, network and eat, and enjoy the creative company. These informal Saturday afternoons have become my favorite Studio event because it’s a happy free-for-all marathon of collaborating and brainstorming. Take a look at the video and you’ll see what I mean – it was a fun day, even when the storm knocked out the power! Hope everyone got home OK :). And if you’re around next month, be sure and join us – details coming soon.

What a show – and tell!

Yesterday’s Show and Tell at the Studio was a mixed-media extravaganza! Each presentation was unique, informative, and fun – and everyone there bounced ideas around like popcorn in a microwave (how’s that for a simile?).


Some of the highlights:

  • J’Cil Horn’s use of a fiber product called Warm and Natural, which is a cotton batting used by quilters that adapts itself to so many possibilities, including acrylic paint and fabric embellishments.
  • Paige Ramsey-Palmer’s fascinating introduction to healthy probiotic foods  – it is a culinary art that had us asking tons of questions as we sipped the lemon and ginger drinks she’d made for us.
  • Christie Smith’s show-and-tell on Gyotaku (fish printing) that she was introduced to the fish printing during the TP&W BOW (Becoming and Outdoor Woman) weekend this spring which was held at the Texas Baptist Encampment in Palacios, and, yes, the fish were real (but frozen). Christie’s shrimp prints were a crowd favorite.
  • Gloria Hill’s insightful presentation on two important mindsets for artists – recycling and stealing. The recycling part means transforming you less successful work into new creations through collage, and the stealing part is the good kind of theft – finding artists’ work you love and being inspired by their techniques. See Austin Kleon’s book, Steal Like an Artist, and read Gloria’s blog, Open Doors.
  • Rosemary Uchniat’s sneak preview of the Small-Space Dyeing workshop she’ll be giving at my Studio on July 18th from 1-5. I posted a rave about this technique recently. Rosemary previewed the technique and results in about a square foot of space. One show-and-teller signer up on the spot. FYI, there are two spaces left.

So now that you’ve read the trailer, see the film! Here’s a short video of some of the great demos from yesterday, and the people who came, learned, ate, sipped and enjoyed the afternoon at Lyn Belisle Studio. Our next Show and Tell is May 30th from 2-4. Be there or be square and creatively unaware! 🙂

Showing and telling all

Man, you throw a few artists together in one room on a Saturday afternoon, and crazy things happen. We had the most info-packed, inspiring Show and Tell at the Studio on Saturday – everything from techniques on leather and fabric, to bone-bleaching, to Vicki Siptak’s Spirit Lamp. And more! The video will give you an idea, but ya just had to be there. I’m glad I was!

Franni’s Beach Project was a huge hit – and it even resonated long-distance to Bonnie Davis, who was in Florida but must have picked up the vibes, because she sent me this photo:

beachAnd speaking of beaches, I’m leaving tomorrow at the crack of dawn for Whidbey Island just north of Seattle to be with beautiful friend Joanna Powell Colbert at her Gaian Soul retreat. I’ll be teaching with Joanna – and can’t begin to describe how excited I am. Four friends from San Antonio are going along – we are anticipating all kinds of adventures. Maybe we will see whales from the ferry! Or polar bears – nah, probably not. But the next time you hear from me, I’ll be on the outskirts of Canada!

What was shown, what was told

Silvia shows Otomi paper

Silvia shows Otomi paper

The first Saturday Studio Show and Tell was great – filled with inspiration and ideas. Among the showees were Lesta Frank, who demo’d  a great paper peel and transfer technique, Rosemary Uchniat, whose embossing demo turned metal into unbelievably intricate collage textures, and Bonnie Davis, whose tar paper painting had everyone brainstorming. She learned this method from KenT Youngstrom from North Carolina. His website is fascinating – lucky Bonnie!

Take a look at our video (and pay no attention to the date in the title – it’s not really 2915 – is it? ..arg)

We’ll have another Show and Tell in February, date coming soon.

facesnuevaWinners of the Friday Freebie face shards, one for each, are Susan Calkins, Rosie Rojas, and (familiar email, but darned if I can remember who it belongs to). If you’d like to come to the Studio and pick one out, great! If you need it mailed, send the info and it will be on its way to you!

Calling all Warrior Goddesses – your training manual is ready

Warrior Goddess Training, HeatherAsh Amara’s new (and wildly-popular) book, will be available when she visits the Studio Saturday Show and Tell tomorrow from 3-5. I am so proud of this talented and wise friend and teacher! Written for women of all ages, this book is a manual for self-discovered strength through curiosity and creativity – here’s a short excerpt:

“I’ve found that when I am in a tough situation, such as
under a deadline or in a hard emotional place, if I can focus on
being creative and curious about how I am being tempered or
strengthened, I thrive. Artists often say that scarcity, tension,
and time constraints can improve their work. Explore shifting
your attitude so all your challenging experiences can foster
your power and flexibility, and allow you to spread your wings

You’ll be fascinated by her right-on description of the four roles women rely on to cope with their life circumstances: Controllers, Distractors, Isolators and Pleasers. Wow – amazing insights.This is a seriously good book, Y’all.


I’m happy to offer a signed copy of Warrior Goddess Training as a special Friday Freebie for a SHARDS subscriber, random drawing on Sunday night. But if you can possibly be at the Studio tomorrow from 3-5, you’ll get to see HeatherAsh in person. You’ll also get to hear other stories and see demos and tips from the ever-insipring Studio Saturday group. On Sunday, HeatherAsh will also be at Celebration Circle and at Mana House for an evening lecture.

I hope *your* weekend includes lots of curiosity, creativity – and cooler temperatures! Thanks for reading 🙂

Scintillating Sampler from Saturday’s Show and Tell

basketAnother fine Saturday Show and Tell has come to an end, but the memory lingers in the video sampler (below). Lesta Frank performed some decorated paper magic, and Jasmina Wellinghoff dazzled us with her paintings, as you will see. Another hot topic was Christie Smith’s basketry skills and her information on TOWN, the Texas Outdoors Woman Network. Through the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife, they offer weekend workshops on everything from Natural Fiber Basketry to Scuba Diving to Shotgun Basics – dang! Check it out.

I’m so grateful to all of the Show and Tell participants for teaching each of us who was there something new and inspiring. Before I pop in the Show and Tell video, congrats to SHARDS subscriber for being the random-drawing winner for the Friday Freebie Shard Pin Kit – email me with your mailing info – yay! And if *you* didn’t win, you can order one cheap cheap from my Etsy site. Be sure and tell me if you want warm colors or cool colors in your kit. Now on to the August Studio Show and Tell Revue!

PS – did y’all see today’s Google Doodle honoring tennis great Althea Gibson? Pretty cool.

Althea Gibson’s 87th birthday




Amazing art-filled weekend

From the action-packed to the serene, the Studio was a busy place on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s Show and Tell was over-the-top with talent. One person said, “I’m overwhelmed – my brain is full!.” You can see from the video, below, the scope and range of artful techniques that these generous artists shared.

And then came Sunday’s drawing class – it was beautiful – peaceful and contemplative and funny (have *you* ever tried to draw a pistachio nut and then identify it in a crowd?) I am always astonished at the talents of my students – in two hours they went from scribbles and warm-up exercises to the sensitive Zen-like drawings of stones that you see below. Wow. Thank you all.

Beautiful studies of small stones on toned paper

Beautiful studies of small stones on toned paper

Drawing students study their subjects with quiet contemplation

Drawing students study their subjects with quiet contemplation