Friday, August 20, 2010


I participate in a local group called St. Louis Collage Club. We take turns leading projects and doing demos; we make things for charitable organizations; we share techniques; we shop (!); we eat; we have fun. At our August meeting, one of our members organized a Bundle project based on the DISCO collaboration that Seth Apter did.

Like Seth, I am fascinated by natural destructive processes. I don't know what that says about me, ha! All I know is that it propelled me to search out a beach in Hawaii where metal objects from a dump have landed on the beach due to erosion of the land. The combination of salt water with junked objects attracted me like a bee to honey and I filled roll after roll of film (this was years ago) with photos. Oh how I have this strong desire to search thru my boxes to find those photos, oy but I digress.

And then the fire - in 2002, when we lived in San Francisco - a warehouse next to The Cannery caught fire and, living just a mile from there, we heard sirens for hours and hours. The next morning I walked down to see what had happened and once again, took tons of pictures. A horrific event (thankfully no one was hurt) that seemed beautiful to me - a gutted building, charred timber, blown out windows - oh my oh my, the compositions fueled one of my very first abstract series.

And I adore the work of a local artist Patricia Vivod. She works on fabric using rust, natural elements, and composting to achieve unbelievable earthy depth in her pieces. I remember my introduction to her work; I stood spellbound by her process and statement. The works were so incredibly evocative to me.

So the Bundles were definitely my kind of project. I grabbed some random stuff out of my studio - painted paper towel debris, corrugated stuffing that happened to be on the floor, a ball of old fabric strips, some paste painted paper scraps, stuff from the garbage. Wrapping them was a spontaneous process and I worked fast and furious completing the three bundles shown in about an hour. My friend Caroline had some used/wet tea bags and I jammed one into the center of two bundles.

They are now hanging from our Japanese Maple and I confess to being a wee bit mesmerized by them. I think you can click on the picture to enlarge if you want to see them close up. I feel this crazy connection as though they are children or something. And I can't wait to see what happens. I will keep you all informed.

Thanks Seth for the brilliant inspiration!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Colbert with Chuck Close

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Chuck Close
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionFox News

So interesting. Strangely, I had just read the part about Chuck Close in my copy of Inside the Painter's Studio. I thoroughly adore this book and find myself savoring every single page. Anyhoo, this is a fun and informative interview - Chuck Close rocks!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Re Entry from Art Unraveled

I am back as of Monday night. Thought I might have some brief down time but oh no, we will have none of that here in the Shaw household. Tons of things to do including watching the boys, attending meetings, doing laundry, cleaning the laundry room after washer decides to semi-flood, unpacking, working at the store, planning the next round of classes, cleaning the studio so I actually have space to work in the event I am ever able to make art again.

Ok. I am whining. I have the best life in the world yet I whine. What's up with that!?!? Seriously. I just wanna make some art. I managed to do that for one day last week and oh what joy. That was the day I tarped my hotel room with a Dollar Store shower curtain. It was simply marvelous.

So then I arrive home to find all the Encaustic supplies (palette, heat gun, paints, etc) I ordered had arrived. I looked at them last night. Longingly, like a dog eyes a steak. I want to chuck all my commitments and simply hole up in the studio and play with the new toys. But work beckons, this crazy thing called 'earning a living.' So I need to keep on keepin' on there are classes to teach and shows to do.

I will be teaching locally next Wed., the 18th. Decided to offer a local session of my recent 'Moving in the Right Circles' class, one of the ones from Art Unraveled. It was a huge success and I wish I would have taken photos, but I was a little off my game. Everything that could have gone wrong did in Phoenix. Yet I still loved every minute of it. It is a really nice event and I would strongly recommend it to anyone. Hope I will be there next year.

In other upcoming events, there are still openings in my classes at Squam, including the Color class, the one that everybody begs for and tells me is life changing. Ok, maybe I am exaggerating that life changing part, but you should see the way it changes how you paint! And that Klimt class, ah, working on Claybord, lovelovelove. In the way of Klimt, lovelovelove. Consider joining us at Squam. 

And Artfest anyone?? Start your apps people, it is almost time and what a lineup, probably the best I have ever seen. I have a little bit of crazy regret that I am teaching the whole time (how lucky is that!?!) cause I would sooooo take lots of the classes. If only there were more hours in each day. And more days in each week.......

Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Of Martinis and Madness

I am here in Phoenix. Yeah, it really is a dry heat. I like it here. Flew in early so I could decompress before I teach.

I have turned my room into a studio of sorts, thanks to the shower curtain I bought at the Dollar store. Sadly, the boxes I mailed were Mia until this morning.

Which is why I needed this big ole martini last night. I am still waiting for the last box which has the paints I need for tomorrow's class. Worst comes to worst and I am heading over to Hobby Lobby. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

And be sure and check out the Artfest 2011 site. Amazing classes next year, wow can Teesha pick them!

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Sunday, August 01, 2010

Art Unraveled here I come

There is something so satisfying about a stack of handouts.

Ah, just getting them finished feels good. As I was stapling them together I remember working in the insurance industry. Part of our training included stapling in the exact proper position. It seems so funny to remember that. What a lifetime ago when I spent my days in a fluorescent lit cubicle.
Life is so very very good.

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