Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Art cottages by the sea

My art cottage that you see is from a collage (if wishes could make it real!) it represents my ideal life.  You know about that one...the one where we live in a fabulous art community of kindred spirits, and we eat lots of delicious food and don't gain weight, and our dogs come to "work" with us every day, because our work is art and we do this in an adorable cottage by the sea with the smell of roses and lavender wafts through the windows, and we can wear our gypsy clothes....

I am at least lucky to have a room of my own in my ordinary suburban house for my art studio (and that's a pretty cool thing too) and I've been a bit fired up this week to paint the boring white bookshelves in it into glorious hot pink, and mango orange, and Indian Yellow Hue gold (well, that's what Golden paints calls it) and maybe some sage green.  I got a couple of guest chairs for my room this weekend at an antiques market (nice word for maybe-I'll-find-something junk rummage) and they're already painted in adorable stripes and spots and so forth, but I think they need a little more tweaking...

Good thing it's a four day weekend, huh!  Hope you spend yours the way you want to - with family, or friends, or solitude (and that's a GREAT thing too) and pets and art and your muse!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Beeswax collage with Claudine

Parisian Collage - with photos taken by me this summer in the city of light...

Flower fairies dancing in my autumn garden...

And see that they have a queen! She loves pink flowers and rainbows, notice how her throne is crowned in them...
How fortunate I feel that I had the opportunity, on top of all the other artistic wonder that I've had the pleasure of experiencing this most artful of years, to attend a beeswax collage class with Claudine Hellmuth this past weekend at the Art League of Daytona Beach.
A nice small class, lots of one-on-one guidance and inspiration from Claudine herself - I felt like this class was such a revelation! I've had all the supplies for about four years, but never really quite had the confidence to step much into the world of beeswax collage. Now I'm very glad I did! This was the second class I've taken with the glamourous and gracious Claudine - and I just adore her. She is such a sweetie! She really keeps things upbeat and positive, but always with a wry sense of humor and a lot of patience with demonstrating and explaining things.
The thing with beeswax is that it basically renders everything with a filmy, gauzy haze of dreams - and it makes the divisions between the layers disappear. It's like working in collage heaven, all your images seem to blend and become transparent. Like Photoshop for the fingers. Ok, maybe not quite, because Photoshop has never actually burned my finger and I did manage to touch a hot iron with my thumb! Claudine observed that "I don't usually get injuries in my class..." Well, I also managed to shoot myself with my own arrow in a college archery class, so clearly when the right brain takes over from the left. Uh huh, I need supervision. But, it's a clear sign that the muse is dancing and gallivanting, and she was certainly out for a spin with the wax. I can't wait to try some more of this technique!
Pictures above are of a cigar box that I collaged the top of (I think it will be the holder for my Art Journal that I did of my summer trip to Europe) and the front of a vintage photo album that'll eventually become another art journal. The flower is just...well...a flower. But it was "rescued" from the "distressed plants" section at Lowes and I figured it might light a moment in the blog spotlight.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A little bit of Inspanahatation

Thank you so much to everyone who has been kind enough to visit my blog and even more thanks to the lovely folks who have left lovely comments :-)

Heartsfire asked if I could post a few samples of work from Anahata's class - I'm happy to (thanks for asking ;-) Here's a few bits and pieces of widsom in my "class notes" (a bit stream-of-conscious but there it is) that I took to remember all the outpouring of wisdom pure creative juju that was zooming and flowering in that quiet and sunlit room where some swore that they saw a blue aura around our Queen Anahata...

The journal is not a finished product, it's not perfect, it's not "precious" -during the first 20 - 30 minutes of working on the page, expect a lot of mental chatter. Don't feed that cookie monster, art friends! Banishing the blank page with some pencil marks, some pen marks, some scraps of paper - whatever you can dish out to start pushing that blank page monster away. Start to create an environment on your page - your ingredients are a character, a background where your character lives, and then play paperdolls with whatever accessories the character needs to tell the story. Keep the "sweet spot" in one area of the page (the sweet spot is where you have whatever coolness is emerging) and try to resist the urge to do that same cool effect everywhere else too. If you start to delay and question what to do next, you aren't moving fast enough, and you're thinking too much. Let your impulse rein. Do what is unexpected - if you think you are supposed to put on another layer of paint, then resist that urge. Splatter on some random ink lines instead. Dark colors push objects into the background, light colors bring the object out. So, use this theory to make the parts of your picture disappear where you don't want to see them, and make the parts you want to highlight pop.

Oh, I wish I'd had a tape recorder, or maybe it wouldn't have made a difference - maybe it was just the juicy inspirational flowers that were seemingly placed in our heads. I do know that we all created work that we had probably never done anything like before or since, and there definitely was a sense of building techniques from the first illustration (the rose one) to the second (the white background one). I had a harder time with the white background, as when in doubt, I tend to stick on more color. Even with this, I probably cheated and gave my girl red and purple dreadlocks, hey, go as the spirit moves you!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Journalfest collage and a list...

What I loved about Journalfest:

all the glorious true art sisters in my classes, dorm, and everywhere...

the food - delish, fresh, creative, great quality

walks with my companion the sea at daybreak from zen calm...

...to free, wild chop

the rainbows in the sky (I don't have a picture of them but this airplane window image will have to fill in as "nearest-to-rainbow"...they were there though)

the rich and juicy creative flow with so much inspiration everywhere

the gold and orange trees (no fall colors where I live, and much the pity for it)

the way-cool trades that everyone made, being surrounded by that much creativity was an unearthly boost!

my cozy "artist's garret" room where one could have company when one desired and solitude for introspection

wonderful, insightful classes with such lovely teachers who were so accessible and engaged

feeling like part of the "Teesha and Tracy family" with the super helpers (Ben and co.) who seemed to be at all the right places at all the right times - so organized that it made the whole event seem effortless (now that's organized!) No problem seemed like a problem at all in their capable hands

the down-to-earth atmosphere and real-ness of it all

Saturday night's party with the perfectly right grooves of Surrealized and the generous wine bar!

the stop-you-in-your-tracks and abandon your luggage Sunday a.m. sunrise - almost surreal in its orange-pink glory outlining the mountains beyond the bay in a jagged purple that felt like you could touch them. (I'm sure nature and the Moores conspired for this)
(Photo above in the banner - it was bannerworthy!)
and finally, Mt. Ranier (at times a bit shy - like for a week last summer when I was in Olympia and didn't get to see it once) even poked its head out from the clouds for the girls on the shuttle bus to see on the way back to the airport

I'm still coming back to earth from all that floating in the creative stratosphere..... and I'm journaling just about every day now!

I learned so much,

I felt so much

I'll hold it in my heart for a long time.