Archive for June, 2011

Art & Soul

Posted in Artistic Endeavors on June 5, 2011 by Patti

I got to Art & Soul a little late this year. I arrived about an hour before my first class… Misty Mawn’s Painted Papers at 9am on Friday morning. Yes, that does mean that I got up at 3am to begin my long drive up to Hampton.

Misty was so worth it! She is every bit as lovely and generous and inspirational in person as she was in her online workshop. I cannot say enough about what a talented artist and wonderful teacher she is.

After coffee and a few deep breaths, I was able to focus enough to really enjoy playing in this class. We played with paints and gel medium and stencils. We did exercises with the Stabilo marks all pencil and water. We played with text. We did gel transfers. We played with inks and masks. It was a messy, creative, really excellent day!

After class, I checked in and got myself organized to go to my evening class with Stephanie Rubiano. It was called Over the Edge, and we did a little collage on art board with metal accents that hung out – yep – over the edge. It was my first class with Stephanie, and she did not disappoint. She was lovely and full of excellent information for doing dimensional collage projects. I would love to take a longer class with her sometime.

The other thing I took away from Stephanie’s class was that she was using this cool modified eurotool that she got from Richard Salley. I was lusting after the thing & just ordered a couple from him. Yay for new tools! You will note the cute little embossed polka dots on my little guys cap…

The next day was Saturday, which was another class with Misty called Cover to Cover. Another excellent class!

We made little books and decorated them with painting and collage. I have tried to learn copic binding several times, and have never had it explained in such an easy to follow way. Way to go, Misty! I didn’t think to bring any of my painted papers from the day before, but I was able to use the techniques to do the background for the front and back covers. Then I tried my hand at painting over a collaged photo to do a portrait. I still need work on the whole portrait thing, but I’m better than I was when I started. Also, using a photo to do the underpainting is a nifty shortcut.

I got just a little carried away with the ribbons and buttons and embellishments, but overall I like the effect I ended up with. I plan to use my little book to practice my portrait drawing and painting.

Also, Misty had a proof copy of her book, Unfurling, in class and we got to have a little sneak peek. It made me even more excited about getting my copy – which arrived just after we got home from the beach. I recommend it highly! So much to explore, and the way Misty shares her talent is just so inspirational. Big thumbs up! The preview was a really nice treat.

I am very bad about over-scheduling at Art & Soul and getting fried and a little cranky by the time I get to my last couple of classes, so I decided to build in a little semi- down time this year. I took a Zentangle class with Suzanne McNeill on Sunday. It was lovely and very relaxing. I got to play without overloading. 

I also won a door prize! She had taken her four Zentangle books and had them bound together into one larger spiral binding. I had a couple, but not all of them. I almost bought them at vendor night but decided to hold off. Now I’m glad that I did.

Sunday night, I had signed up for an evening class with Thomas Ashman called Dremmel Applications for Mixed Media Artists. I have to admit that I was unsure about this class. I had been in the first class he taught on the copper & glass journal, and it was a less than wonderful experience. I wasn’t sure if it was just a new class and the need to iron out the bugs or if it was him. I am happy to say that the dremmel class was lovely, and I really enjoyed the evening. Really good practical info and a pleasant vibe in the classroom. I’m really glad I took it… except that now I know that dremmel has a workstation that turns your rotary tool into a drill press. So many tools… so little space. *sigh*

That was also a nice night because I was able to reconnect with a friend I had made in a Carla Sonheim class several years ago. We sat together and got a chance to catch up a bit. I really enjoyed getting to see Amy again, so cheers to her.

My last day was a class with Sally Jean Alexander called Secret Surprise. Basically the idea is that we were making something way spiffy that she wouldn’t do again, but we didn’t get to know what it was until the end of the class… in short it was a surprise even while we were working on it. We got info on a need to know basis over the course of the day. Despite a couple of setbacks and the class running over a bit into the evening, it was great fun. It did make packing a little challenging, but I always bring too much stuff, so it didn’t really matter that much. The project itself was most nifty… it was a jumping jack.

My time at Art & Soul was fun and productive. I always enjoy going to these retreats. I’m looking forward to Virginia Beach next year! Glenny has moved the spring retreat there from Hampton, and I think it will be lovely to be at the ocean while I play art. Good call.

That’s about it for the recap.
Now I need to spend some time in my studio – maybe even unpack – and put all that I learned to good use…

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Promises & Summer Travel

Posted in Everyday Stuff on June 3, 2011 by Patti

I haven’t forgotten that I promised stories of my classes & projects from Art & Soul. I just haven’t had time to gather my thoughts and upload pictures.

We left for our annual visit to the Outer Banks the weekend after I got back from Hampton, and there’s no blogging allowed at the beach.

Vacation is a sacred time filled with relaxation and frivolity. What can I say?

We walked on the beach, read trashy novels, collected sea shells, blew bubbles… it was grand!

The beach has been my happy place for as long as I can remember.

My first visit to the Outer Banks – too many years ago to mention – was further down the Banks than Duck, where we stay these days. I went to Buxton, down on Hatteras, and it was magical! I remember getting to Hatteras after dark but really wanting to see the lighthouse. It was still out on the beach at that time. I went out there and it was completely deserted… nothing but the sand and the ocean and me watching the light reach out across the water as it came around again and again. A perfect introduction.

I will get my head back in the blogging game soon, I do promise. But for the moment, I must confess, my brain is back on the beach… in the sand, with my toes.