Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bountiful Blocks

I've got to share a bit of history about my Bountiful Blocks. I first had the idea to do collage on blocks while Howard and I were in Italy last October. I was thinking how cool it would be to use different shapes of wooden blocks, add text as a background, and then add colorful images and embellishments. I sketched out a little drawing of what I had in mind and tucked the piece of paper into my purse. The idea gurgled around in my mind, I even shared the concept with Sven, my Artist's Way check-in buddy in Portland, but I never did any type of prototype and the idea stayed tucked safely in my purse.

Then, about a month ago, an art group I belong to, In This House and Garden, facilitated by Angela Cartwright and Sarah Fishburn, had a member of the group post about a swap she was organizing. That someone was Susie LaFond and her swap is entitled Around the Block. It involves, you guessed it, arting up blocks. I immediately thought back to my idea to do collage on blocks and thought that joining this swap would be the jump start I needed. The Around the Block swap involves being in a group of five, buying a block, being creative on one side, then sending it around to the other four ladies in the group. However, there was an outcry by some of the participants who said: Hey, I don't want to do just one block, I want to do three. I was one of those rebels and I'm in a select group of five that are doing three blocks and sending them on to the other four participants (are you still with me? there's more). So I started playing around with my three blocks (they can't be bigger than 4x4 inches), going with a Mother Mary theme. I've got a bit more to do with the embellishments on my round robin blocks, but here's the beginning:

As I was working/playing with my three blocks, I kept thinking about my original idea from almost ten months ago and I found myself gluing text onto a whole batch of various sized blocks. Then I started to add collage images. Then I started to glue on bits. Then I thought: This is an idea for a new class. And thus, Bountiful Blocks was born. Here are some images of my initial blocks and, finally, the prototype for my new class:

Aren't they fun?

I plan to offer my new class in Salem and hopefully in Portland (I've submitted a proposal to the DIY Lounge to teach Bountiful Blocks there). As soon as I get my fall schedule fine tuned, I'll be posting class registration information here and on my website.

Welcome Friends!

I had two friends visit me at my new studio last Wednesday - and they both brought me goodies! Dawn brought me two babies to add to my menagerie of sorta creepy dolls. I love them! (At first I thought they were a little too cute, then I saw the rolled up eyes and the leather armatures for knees and realized, no they fit right in.)

My other visitor was Susan, the whirlwind behind a budding business: Perfect Pairings for Conscious Singles. Susan just returned from spending two weeks in St. Thomas (the tropical island paradise) and brought me some found seed pods. My friends really know what I like. Stay tuned for more on Susan. For one thing, we're planning to collaborate on a class she is launching and for another, it looks like she'll be using Alley Art Studio as the location to teach her classes. Pretty exciting time for both of us.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Time for Play

My daughter Amy, and grandsons Emmett and Jackson drove from Portland to Salem this morning to 1) see my new studio and playhouse, and 2) to make some art. What a great way to start the week.

Emmett chose to paint some wooden blocks.

Jackson wanted to experiment and create with Paperclay.

Amy started by applying gesso to a wooden board.

I hopped around getting supplies together, pausing for a quick photo.

Then Jackson discovered one of my old typewriters.

Amy discovered my alcohol inks and applied them over her gessoed board, added some rub-on images to a large glass lens, and presto! a finished piece of art in less than an hour. Amazing.

Jackson had fun exploring the drawers of my many treasures.

And me? I got a board gessoed and picked Amy's brain for some possible topics related to social justice for a piece I'm doing for a show at the 100th Monkey. The piece is due NEXT WEEK, but a seed has been planted . . .

A Gift

From Kathleen. Thank you.

Go with the Flow

The recently completed Alley Art Studio was initiated on Sunday afternoon with Elizabeth Hartshorn and Cindy Lommasson using the space to launch their new class, Go with the Flow. The class is described as A Mindful Meditation Experience through Chinese Brush Painting. Cindy is an art instructor at the Lotus Blossom Art Studio in Portland and Elizabeth is counselor and wellness coach with Full Circle Counseling in Salem.

Here is Cindy sharing some of her brush painting portfolio:

Elizabeth and Cindy preparing for the class:

Glimpses of the class:

Here is what Elizabeth and Cindy have to say about their class, Go with the Flow:

No art experience is necessary for this class, and every skill level is invited to join. We provide all supplies for the session, along with caring instruction on becoming more mindful and slowing down. In this class you will: Relax, become more present, reduce stress and let all your worries flow away with the stroke of a brush. Compliment your health and wellness plan through the medium of art and breathwork. Create simple and beautiful art. Cost: $55 per session, pay as you go or pay for all 3 sessions discounted at $149.50. Fall groups are forming every 3 weeks beginning September 27, 2009, Sundays from 2:00-3:30 p.m. Location: Alley Art Studio, 1561 Bellevue, Salem, OR.

If you are interested in taking the next round of classes, call 503-588-2113 to register or receive additional information.

PS I'm getting to sit in on the first round of classes in exchange for using my studio. How cool is that??!!??

Garage Sale Vortex . . .

. . . or how I spent my Saturday in Portland!