See the amazing video of the making of the ceramic poppies for the Tower of London installation. All 888,246 are sold! See HERE. What a glorious recognition of honor.
I've seen more tributes to our serviceman through the NFL than anywhere else. The ceremony prior to last night's game was moving. Sadly, I rarely see poppies being sold here, unlike in England, where they are everywhere. Let's bring back the poppy!
For those who have served and for those who are serving, thank you.
The gatheing of materials, and the preparation - both physically and mentally, to begin an art project is ritual I embrace. You get an idea, it begins to fester, and you are compelled to follow through. Sometimes the results are immediate, and sometimes the process is more drawn out because you can't actually commit the time, so you ponder and plan until you can finally dig in. That place of being in limbo is where I love to be. You are eager to begin, but circumstances are preventing it at the moment, so you remain in a state-of-mind that continues imagining all the possible ways the concept will evolve. Then you get to launch, and execute, and test out your theories, but inevitably the thing takes a radical turn and you trust the movement toward something else, because art always has a way of doing that....you have to release the control over pre-conceived notions and let it just happen. It's all good.
I've been collecting notes on classes I will be proposing for next year and I am so excited about the gathering of ideas, especially as I can visualize the samples I will prepare, with wiggle room left in the plans to allow each artist to individualize the assignments. I love to teach process, but disguise it as a project, so there is satisfaction in getting something completed, with something to show for your investment of time and tuition. The key is to present a technique, then invite the participants to interpret through their own filters, so it's theirs, not a derivative of mine. Guidance and critique is something I love to offer, when asked. I love hearing about a struggle or an intention and problem solving the various methods toward a happy end. If one student verbalizes a concern, all surrounding students benefit from the consultation. I get it that some students have performance anxiety and can be shy to create at a table of unknowns. However, if we are open to the process, and seriously curious about how to elevate our work, then it's important to make the most of your appointment with creativity and let yourself be vulnerable. We all end up learning from each other as we plow through the details of the assignment. Believe me, I'm nervous wreck at the beginning of a workshop. If you could have seen me back in speech class, or at a piano recital (where I ran off crying), you'd never think I could manage standing in front of a class. But when you are doing something you love, and feel passionately about, it's easy. We go to workshops to learn something, but I always hope that the most important thing you take away is the enthusiasm to keep going, keep doing stuff, keep creating. I hope you connect with other like-minded souls, and feel empowered with your desire to be an artist, and recognize that you have to continue picking up the pencil or brush as often as you can....not just in class. The more work you do on your own, the better questions you end up bringing to class. It's all good.
Here is where my head is today....prep for an upcoming workshop. Ritual: I've gathered the supplies, and I've loosely planned the project. Pages of sketches and notes. No time to work. So I get to enjoy limbo until I can dig in next week. Happy to be here. I'll keep you posted.
This photo is proof of what happens to our pumpkins in this neighborhood. Some years we carve elaborate faces and the warm days encourage mold growth and shriveling before Halloween even arrives. We will also notice that a grin is altered by little creatures - sometimes adding to the grimacing appeal, but often ruining a perfect composition of eyes and teeth. This year we hadn't even sharpened the knives, and our prize pumpkins became a meal for a furry intruder. Each day they became scarier and scarier in appearance as you can see.
We've been collecting faux pumpkins, and have invested a few afternoons for adding marks with Sharpies and paint pens. This year's crop isn't ready for a photo shoot so I will revisit a few from previous Halloweens - still looking smart.....no bitemarks in these! Maybe you'll try painting the fakes...there is still time!
For several years I've been infatuated with cardboard. The truth about any supply or substrate: the more you use it, the more you learn. Since cardboard is a plentiful supply, it is always within reach, and you can try all kinds of things with it. There's nothing precious about it....trial and error is a good thing. The only thing you need is a fresh set of blades and some imagination. After writing articles about using cardboard, including matchboxes and small kraft boxes, for more than a year in my column for Somerset Studio, I thought the year end finale would be the perfect place to show off my Gingerbread House.
I've been wanting to make one like this for a while, and finally got around to it. As I say in the article, it doesn't take any less time to make versus bake, but it will last alot longer. I planned ahead, and have hinged openings in the back, with little shelves behind each window, to accommodate a battery operated votive. HCIT!
My scallop and stone stencils were the perfect tool to create shingles and a brick fireplace. I have to admit I kinda knew that when I was designing them. I know, it's early for thinking about Christmas decorations....I'm just putting out Halloween stuff....but it's the time of year when days fly by. Let me know if you make one of your own!
I had the pleasure of teaching two workshops in New York City last weekend. Hosted by The Ink Pad, and the terrific Anna and Barbara, we met at the fabulous community center, and spread out our piles of collected cardboard then made some really cool relief sculptures and journals. Sadly, I didn't get any "under construction" photos of Sunday, but I witnessed some really awesome pages. It's so fun to work on projects in a real-life class as the group environment is so inspiring - you get to see the discoveries each individual makes because they are at-work, and in-the-moment, where the magic happens. We all get motivated and encouraged as we progress through the process, each of us in our own way.
First up, What A Relief. The title is two-fold, we were building dimensional corrugated sculptures, with deliberate cuts, peeling, and piercing to create relief with shadow and texture....but it was likely a relief to only have to bring a minimal collection of supplies. A knife, cutting mat, pencil, glue....that is all you need to churn out some really cool stuff. After the pieces were nearly completed, we placed them under glass. Nothing is more validating than to see your efforts elevated with a frame. Well done girls!!
Next was DeComposition Journal. I've taught variations of this class before - one of my favorites, as each artist takes on their own specific direction. Because of the location, we were able to do some fun stuff that I usually only do at home - not easy to replicate in a classroom. We poured scented wax into the corrugated grooves - with the assistance of a candle, we burned edges of pages - thanks to access to a sink, and we stepped outside to do some super fun spray painting with stencils. Swoon! Thanks for joining me - I can't tell you how much fun it was to see all of you crank out such great stuff.
I've got more ideas of how to use this non-precious and plentiful supply. Stay tuned for more cardboard art classes next year!
Up next: the grand finale to A Year of Cardboard, with my column for Somerset Studio.
How about these lovely fall days? Just beautiful. Last weekend we were at the shore for a wedding. Perfect! It's good to get out....change your view, see some things. Inspiration is all around us, especially when we step away from routine and allow for a day "off". Last month I was in San Diego for a workshop, then visited with a dear friend who treated me to all kinds of visual delights. Earlier this summer I met with good friends at the Grounds for Sculpture in NJ, another feast for my eyes. I will be going back to see the Michael Graves exhibit soon. Feeling stuck, unmotivated, need some juice to get back on the creative train? Get out!
I'm getting out this weekend....teaching two cardboard workshops in New York. There's still room for you if you need an outing :)
Tomorrow is October already? How did that happen? Time to get out the Halloween decorations!! We have some new lights that will go around the front door. They are motion activated and blink + give off scary noises when there is movement....they've been setting themselves off in the package all week!
Later this month I will be at The Ink Pad in NYC for two cardboard classes. Full description on my workshop page. Follow the sidebar buttons, or click tab at top of page. These will be my last two classes this year. Hope to see you there!
Last week I received the new book by Joan Bess: Gelli Plate Printing: Mixed-Media Monoprinting Without a Press. It is fabulous, with easy-to-follow processes - I already have some new ideas for making textures on the gelli plate. As I wrote to Joan, I applaud the force she has become by infusing creative energy into this community with her genius invention, and the classy and stylish manner in which she presents many ideas on the blog, with the photos and video tutorials, and now this book! I recently scored the new small size gelli and can't wait to break it in - Joan makes it look so effortless, and it really is! Visit GelliArts.com and GelliArts.blogspot.com, and pick up the book at your local store or an Amazon. In addition to many techniques you'll want to try, the book has a guest gallery that displays how other artists are using the addictive printing process.
Also, just arrived is the newest issue of Somerset Studio. In my column, Make It Your Own, I write about taking some travel souvenirs and moving them from the keepsake box to the wall, so that they may be enjoyed every day. Are there any treasures you have tucked away that should move to your wall! What are you waiting for?
I'm prepping and packing to teach in San Diego next weekend. It's been ten years since I've visited California - looking forward to it!!
Registration for the Curiouser & Curiouser workshop with Lynne Perrella and Michelle Ward, for May 2015, begins tomorrow! Complete details on the three day event, hosted in Connecticut, is available by sending an email to Lynne at LKPerrella@aol.com To see the full announcement with some sneak peeks of the project, click on Workshops 2015 above, or see Workshops on Lynne's site, www.LKPerrella.com
Some photos from my last workshop a few weekends ago in NJ - it was a grand time, beautiful weather, and we had fun with both acrylics and spray paint, and of course - stencils! Organized by Little Bird Creations/Michele Luxenberg, and hosted at Clare Hunter's home. Thanks ladies!
We've just returned from a family vacation - road-trip-style to visit family and friends in Minnesota. My van is about to roll 100,000 miles! It has seen alot of this country between New Jersey and the home state. We had a great time and even changed things up this year by stopping in Indianapolis for the MotoGP motorcycle races at the famous speedway. I have to say that I could use a vacation after the vacation but I'm off to teach tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to the day as we will be getting involved with stencils in a really fun way. You gotta love when you're invited to teach at a local venue and they tell you what they want to learn. It not only makes my job easier, but it indicates that the students are eager to participate. Nothing beats getting together will other artists to make cool stuff!
One of my favorite quotes from Benjamin Franklin captures the essence of participating in the learning process, with messy tables and dirty hands....Hope you're getting involved in something fun this weekend too!
You are cordially invited to participate in a three-day workshop May 2015, hosted by Lynne Perrella and Michelle Ward. Take a look at our announcement and if you can't resist the tempation, fire off an email to Lynne (firstname.lastname@example.org) with a request for the dossier of information that covers registration details. $100 deposit reserves you a place. The classes fill up fast so act quick if you're interested. Hope you'll consider joing us at this remarkable venue! May 1-3 OR May 8-10, 2015.
Location link: The Interlaken Inn
Information available August 1st, send Lynne an email (email@example.com)
REGISTRATION BEGINS SEPTEMBER 1ST.
This is a long post.....visually loaded. I'm finally getting caught up on presenting all the terrific students and their work from the two Crowning Glories workshops back in May. I intended to do a montage of photos but we had so many, and my hand was ailing, so it was easier to take advantage of the photo albums here. I'm sorry it took so long to manage the uploads. These ladies created fabulous stuff! You can see the artists and their work from the first weekend here: Crowning Glories One. And the artists and their work from the second weekend here: Crowning Glories Two. (When you get to the albums you can click on the thumbnails to enlarge.)
Since Lynne and I are about to announce our next workshop for May 2015, I thought I better get the evidence from our recent one posted. Below you will find the work we did prior to the workshop.
Next up: our announcement for the workshops in May 2015!!
Late March I came down with a bad case of trigger finger on my right hand. For weeks I wore a brace to relieve the tendon, which helped with the clicking, but then it wouldn't straighten, and if it got bumped or pushed to full extension the pain was excrutiating. Finally, I met with a finger doctor and he gave me a cortisone injection. While I admit I initially regretted the decision as it was very painful and remained that way for several days, I can happily say that all symptoms have vanished (one month later) and I have a fully functioning finger. It feels so good to be uninhibited and no longer limited by my temporary ailment. If it should return I will scoot back over to get another shot sooner rather than later, but for now I'm watching my behavior with preventative measures. Let me say this: if you are on the fence about seeking care for a worn out body part, don't delay!
It's such a privilege to spend time with artists both in the classroom and at an event. What a terrific group of ladies that came from near and far to join me and the other instructors for some creative time together. Of course we hope to learn something, and leave with enthusiasm to keep at it, and even pick up the pace, but to me the greatest take-away is the connections we make with other makers. Outside of the venue, like in real life, it's likely we have a handful of creative friends....but here, for five days, we are in a hub of creative energy. What happens in the classroom fulfills me in such a unique way and I can hardly wait to do it again.
I didn't stop to take many photos along the way but I did manage to pause for group photos. I have to say that the Roll With It class picture has to be the best group shot ever. I've taught this class a number of times in the last twelve years, and we try to get a composite of all the rolls prior to journal assembly - not always easy to get 25 feet x 25 students in one photo....so thankful for a hotel balcony this year. The collest, right? It was a fast-paced with lots of techniques and they did an amazing job keeping up, and cranked out some stellar pages. Well done ladies!
Next was Color Collision where we mixed paints, then applied them using stencils. Beautiful paintings! I wish I had taken close-up photos to show you how fabulous they all were. Here are the artists:
Last was Compose Yourself - we went through a series of exercises to practice collage in black and white. We all learned so much from the simple assignments, and from each other during the review sessions. I did get a photo of the Notan collages. Super cool. Awesome job ladies!
I also got to be a student! I had a really wonderful time making a mini clay crown with the amazing Laurie Mika. We've known each other a long time, we even collaborated on a project for an article years ago, but this was only our second real life meeting. I learned so much and had a blast!!!
Thanks to Maggie and Sally and Jeannine and everyone at Interweave/Create for presenting fabulous event. Thanks to the students who joined me, friends who popped in to say hello, and all the shoppers who stopped by at the Vendor Faire. Hope we'll see you all again next year!
It's been six years since we began planting roses in remembrance of Shannon. While today's anniversary brings a tear, I am also filled with joy to have been blessed with such a sweet sister. I will never forget your arms wrapping around me when I needed it most, thank you. Here are two of the four walls of roses, and evidence of their rampant growth. I never imagined they'd grow taller than the fence! Reaching toward heaven.....xo
It's a busy time, packing and prepping for workshops. I'm also excited that I will be accepting delivery on a batch of new stencils that will debut at the event on Friday. These are designs that I cut by hand and have been using for a while, some samples below. Gothic Collection Additions will be available online July 14. There will be coordinating stamps to follow in August.