Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Playing Hookey

I saw a little gap in my schedule and couldn't resist one more time out before my busy year of teaching and traveling begins. I'll be out of communication for a couple of weeks (no phone, e-mail or blog) - gosh, what did we do before we were all wired up to each other? Ahhhh, we read, rested, and escaped. Sounds good.

In the meantime, let me briefly touch on a few of the places I'll be teaching this coming season. Not a complete list (more at the sidebar), but a few that are taking sign-ups now.

First is a new retreat being offered by my friend Liz Elayne Lamoreux. Gathering a small group on the Oregon coast, this will be a place to quiet the spirit, listen to the ocean and to our own beating hearts. We will paint self portraits in acrylic, collage and encaustic medium, study photography with Jen Goff, build altars, do some writing and yoga with Liz and find renewal in the ocean setting.

In her words, "The Be Present Retreats were born from the belief that creating is a meditation of the soul. Each retreat is an invitation to pause in your life and gather in a supportive environment filled with like-minded individuals in a creative, playful, and meditative atmosphere." This really appeals to me and perhaps it will speak to you too.

Secondly, the new schedule is up for Portland's Art and Soul classes that will take place in October. I'm teaching 4 classes there (holy cow!) and some really good ones too. Sign-ups begin on the 15th of March. There are still some spaces in my classes at Asilomar too so there are two more good ones to check out. (Asilomar! The ocean!)

Third on the list is a place where I'll be teaching Plaster Painting for one day only in Santa Cruz, California. Plaster is a gorgeous surface and very versatile too; come and play with me and I'll send you home with a set of new painting skills that will add texture, subtlety and new options to what you already know.
There is still space in one of my classes at Squam entitled "The Play Book". Squam is not to be missed. Go and read about it. It is nothing short of magic. Even if you don't take my class you will want to attend if possible.

And finally this wonderful, wonderful adventure to Italy. We will create a sheaf of drawings and painting sketches on location in one of the most beautiful spots on the planet. Then we'll make plaster painting covered folders in which to house the work. We'll have cooking lessons, tours of Etruscan caves and frescoes, a wine tour, fabulous food and a fairy tale place to stay. Check it out and imagine. The thrill of a lifetime, no exaggeration.

That should keep you busy until I return. Via con Dios.

Late Edit: Oh my goodness! How could I forget Art Unraveled in Phoenix, Arizona in August? I just made my hotel reservations this morning and John is coming with me this year so I'm very excited to have my favorite traveling companion with me and am looking forward to seeing all my friends there and teaching my classes. Come and meet the gardener!! (him, not me, ha ha)

I'll tell you about Random Arts and RaeVn's Nest on my return.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Pushing Daffodils

Spring is pushing up the daffodils here in Oregon; what a welcome sight. The image above is a painting on plaster that I did recently. I've been experimenting with plaster for some time now and every time I meet another artist who is also interested in this versatile material my eyes light up. Well, if you're one of those people you might take a look at the class I'll be teaching at Artful Journey this July. We'll be painting on plaster panels and I'll show you everything I've learned in my experience with this marvelous painting ground. It lends itself to so many different styles of painting and the ways you can manipulate the surface is endless. I'll have lots of examples of various approaches for you to study and try.

My compadre Katie will be there the following day teaching her painting and collage techniques (fabulous teacher) so if you want to come and play with both of us this is your opportunity for a very special weekend. We are both hugely excited about coming to Santa Cruz in July and meeting you. Registration starts March 1st.

Here is another journal spread for the past week or so. Amazing how busy even February has turned out to be. Hardly any time to write.

These little collages happened this week. They may not be done but I thought I'd show them anyway.

They're all on paper with acrylic and collage and some drawing and painting.

The stencil is from a photograph of my older sister Sandi. She doesn't read my blog but she should. ha ha.

And this is the book I read this week; highly recommended. It's about reconnecting with the earth and other sentient beings in a technological age. The author is David Abram.

Tomorrow I take a class (wheeee, busman's holiday!). Making things with others in a classroom setting, eating lunch together, visiting and laughing - these are my ideas of heaven.

One more thing; registration for Art Unraveled is now open. I'm offering several classes there in August and I love returning to my old stomping grounds to party and teach. Maybe some of you will want to check into that one too.

Saturday, February 07, 2009


Seth has many of us art-bloggers participating in a fun experiment of disintegration and collaboration with nature. What you do if you wish to play along is to tie up a bundle of papers however you choose and expose it to the elements until a date in April. So this is my bundle which consists of a painting and collage on torn cardboard, stapled on teabags, tied and glued on rolls of paper and a wisp of fabric.

I hung my bundle on the rose trellis where the Cecile Brunner rose will twine around it soon and add it's sweet beauty to the mix. Photos will follow in April at the end of the project. Cecile doesn't usually bloom until May but maybe she'll give us one early blossom for the final photograph.

Edit: Seth informs me that the finish date is actually May 1st so there'll be a good chance for my rose to bloom by then.

Friday, February 06, 2009

The Last of the Postcards

Ta Da! 90+ postcards done and ready to go out into the world. This was more fun than I can say; the second batch I think was better than the first overall and I learned a lot by doing so many at once. I'm really convinced now that working on many pieces at once improves all of them.

The reason is that you brain doesn't get "stuck" and go over to the left side. You just stay with your intuition and that's really your best guide.

All of these are photographs of my family; after reading about Shepard Fairey's being sued I'm all of the sudden intimidated about swiping images off the net. I mean hello, these are collages.

And all innovation comes from mixing up the gene pool so to speak. You know my feelings on this.

Oops. There's one right there. (shhhhh!) But that really is my sister and I think of her a lot.

These are my great grandmother and her sisters that they called the big five. Gosh I'd like to meet them. Aren't they cool?

My daddy was wearing my little sister's cowboy hat that day. He was a real cut up.

That's my Buff Beauty rose there. Mmmmm, we had warm days this week and it won't be long until she gives me more blossoms.

I left home at 16. Nobody made me but myself; I was fated to strike out early and hard. It turned out fine.

Mama and grandma. This was the grandma that adopted my mother when she was 11 years old. They always had a good relationship. She was the grandma I was closest to; a warm, loving, sweet-natured woman who adored me and my sisters.

And that's the truth. Today I run errands and buy things. Wheee ... I'll get this economy rolling again. Hugs all around.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

What's Cookin'

Look what came in the mail yesterday!! A couple of weeks ago I entered into a give away on Alisa Burke's blog and I won this beautiful clutch from her. She let me choose my favorite colors and my word for 2009 (moderation - I know, laugh now). Oh, it's so much prettier in person than I could have imagined!

This is what it looks like when it is snapped shut.

And then it opens up into this deep pouch that I can imagine even puttin long papers into.

I love Alisa's work so much because she has that free loosey-goosey style going on that speaks to confidence and joy. She is teaching this August in Arizona at Art Unraveled where yours truly anticipates meeting her for the first time. You just might want to sign up for a class with her and learn her secrets. (yes, I'll be teaching there too and registration is open now.)

So what else has been going on in the studio is a giant gelatin printing fit. My list of things to do in the off season included a go at this. Printing without a press. Making stuff for my collage paper stash. Because I'm low on stuff. (more maniacal laughter)

I pulled off dozens of prints in a few hours, filling the studio floor with wet prints.

Tried out paints, inks, dyes, alcohol, and everything I could think of to try.

Masks, stencils, stamps, vegetation, direct painting on the gelatin.

I'll be offering a class this fall with my compadre on printing without a press. She is a whiz at this and I love hanging with her so this will be pure delight.

In an earlier lifetime I was a maker of etchings and that was incredibly challenging and fun.

We want this class to be fun without being that challenging.

The hardest thing about making these kinds of monoprints is stopping once you've started.

Because your imagination is saying, "what happens if I try that (piece of texture)? " and soon you're running all over the studio upending everything in your haste to throw stranger and stranger objects on the gelatin.

It's very cool.

I may do some more today if I can find my brayers under all the clutter.

Okay, that's the end of the show and tell. You were a very good audience.

We'll finish up with the latest journal page. Bits and pieces. Memories and dreams from the daily mill. And this parting thought; that our waking life is only half the story. In dreams, actual deep sleep, lives another life more strange and wonderful than what we sense during our "waking" hours. That's what I've been chewing on this week.

Addendum: Squam registration is now open too.