Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Artist's Way - Week Four: Recovering a Sense of Integrity

Tuesday night my Artist's Way group focused their attention on integrity. Our creative project for the evening was creating a life map, a visual representation of major life events. I set out oil pastels and lots of water soluble media along with water-filled brushes and let the ladies draw, doodle, and paint. Even Frida Kahlo (aka Studio Cat) joined us.


For those familiar with Julia's Artist's Way, you know that week 4/chapter 4 involves something called media deprivation: no reading, music, TV, or internet for a full week. It allows us to focus on different things. One of my Artist's Way ladies spent her time making beautiful beaded bookmarks, which she graciously gifted to all of us!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Teaching Again! First Up: Layers of Memory

Paint. Plaster. Wax. It was all being flung on Friday night and Saturday by ten adventurous and creative women. After a one year hiatus from teaching, I returned to teaching at a new venue and with a new class. The venue is the wonderful art supply store in downtown Salem, The Art Department. The class is Layers of Memory, where students learned to prepare boards with paint and plaster, then add layers of acrylic stain (with scritching and scratching and more layers, of course), ending with a rich layer of cold wax. It's all such a yummy process.

  I got the classroom set up in advance and waited for my students to arrive. We immediately dug in.

Some of the finished and in-process pieces from the weekend.



It was such an honor to be a guide for these ladies. Many were inspired to continue with this process, which is always a bonus. Since this class sold out and had a pretty nice waiting list, stay tuned as it will be offered again very soon.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Phoenix Rising: Big Yellow is Given New Life

In May, 2010, my friend Destree and I did a collaborative show we called Strange Voices From the Abyss. We had great fun creating a series of pieces for the show that hung at Venti's in downtown Salem for a couple of months. We sold several pieces on opening night. One of the pieces that sold (to my daughter Melissa) was Big Yellow.

I was never satisfied with the piece, actually, I never really liked it. I had tried unsuccessfully to get it back from Melissa every time I visited her in Tacoma. Then one day I offered her a trade: two for one. I gave her a small piece of art and a big one. This is the big one she got in exchange for Big Yellow.

I took Big Yellow to my studio and applied a layer of gesso; that didn't really do the trick so I scraped and scrubbed it down until it was pretty bare and then applied another layer of gesso.

In September, I took a class from William Park at Sitka and tossed in my prepared and repurposed canvas. I started out by playing with some bright swaths of color, then got the inspiration to do blocks of white acrylic over the color in a grid-like fashion, allowing the color beneath the grid to peek through.
Needing some art above the couch, I pulled out my revamped, renovated piece of art. It works. For now, anyway.

Quite a bit different from the original piece we did. I hope you like it, Destree!

The Artist's Way - Week Three: Recovering a Sense of Power

A fire greeted the ladies on Tuesday night. Just because.

And then we got down to the business of discussing power.

For our evening's creative project, I had set up the basement so the women could play and experiment with Touch Drawing. The space seemed to work well.

Even the clean-up was colorful.