Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Winsome Wednesday

Lots going on here in the Shaw household as I complete my preparations for the final Artfest.  I am so grateful that I will be teaching there although I feel sure it will be melancholy to say good byes.
I have had such good times at AF. This photo is a flash back to my first year of teaching there which was 2008. It was my very first 'bigtime' teaching gig. I was a wreck with nervousness as you might imagine and my class, by some freak of nature, was sold out. What an experience, unlike any other! Artfest profoundly changed my life direction as I made the decision to move away from the 'Art Fair' life into the 'Teaching Circuit.' Which led to more teaching gigs to my book to more teaching to my column at Somerset to hmmm, who knows what will be next?
StencilGirl Products is rocking right now - we have new stencils that are absolutely delicious. Check out Tracie Lynn Huskamp's blog to see her premier StencilGirl designs (fab!) and  psssst.....a little birdy told me that pillow is gonna be mine, woo hoo!!
And also look at Deborah Boschert's Blog to see an amazing quilt she made using one of my stencils designs. So gorgeous, I sure wish I could sew like that.
Love seeing what people make with the stencils, love, love, love!!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Big Painting is Finished

Remember my Step by Step?
Well, it is finished now. Not varnished as of yet, I think I have mentally reserved the right to still make a change. There is something about it that isn't quite working and I can't put my finger on it. So perhaps I am saying it is really not finished. Hmmm. I played around with cropping......right, as if.......geez, it is a stretched canvas. But I really like it as a square.
I think the composition is much stronger probably due to the fact it reads as more 'grounded' as a square. I have turned the canvas all four ways (I painted in all 4 directions) and I do think this is the strongest orientation.
But...... I am seriously thinking about pulling the canvas off its stretcher bars and either re-stretching part of it. It would be a 48" x 48" then. Or framing it, which would cost a fortune. Have I lost my mind?
I am interested in comments, so tell me what you think.
There is a possibility I just prefer squares which is certainly true.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

France & Italy, oh my, oh my!!

In June I will be teaching a workshop in the south of France. It is sold out and I recently mailed all my students 'welcome' packets. Here is a picture of the canvas bag that I hand painted for each person. 
Inside were lots of goodies - details of the trip, French music, a Rubbing Cake plus fabulous products furnished by Faber-Castell. I love their products and am so lucky they take good care of my students.
If you missed out on France, you can always sign up for Italy - see the details HERE. I am crazy excited about Italy and trying ever-so-hard to not wish my life away since it doesn't happen till 2013. But guess what? It is not too early to start planning, hint, hint, so consider joining me!
I feel so incredibly blissed to have these amazing opportunities. Life is very very good indeed.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Winter Vacation

Now that it is nearly Spring here in Missouri, I thought I might share some of my winter vacation photos. We went to Cedar Key, FL in February. I know, I know, you have never heard of it. That is because it is a little known off the beaten path destination in the north central coast on the Gulf side. You basically drive to Gainesville and then head for the coast which is about 55 miles. It is a very small lazy li'l town. Restaurants may or may not be open each day, the grocery is tiny, shopping practically non-existent (which was quite a money saver I might add ha, ha).
But the sunsets.....oh my oh my. Simply stunning. And it was like this every.single.night.

 I am infatuated with these Live Oaks. We stayed in a house on a very teeny weeny key; it was called an island, but that is kind of an exaggeration. It was incredibly beautiful though and yes, we were surrounded by water. To sit on the porch and look at these trees day after day was a complete treat.
 I had time to sketch and write and think.
Decadent and serene all at the same time.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Step by Step

I am back to painting. In a big way.

This is a 6' by 4' canvas and, as you can see, it is leaning against the wall in my studio. I thought it would be interesting to document the progress of this painting.
 I have turned the piece multiple times, so I am not sure if I photographed it from the same orientation each time.
 I am pretty sure it will be a vertical painting, but of course that might change too. You just never know.
 Purple is my new friend, just little dribs and drabs of it, I don't want to go overboard.
Still lots more to do, but this is where I left it yesterday.