Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Blog Tour Week #7

We are almost halfway through the Book Tour can you believe it? This  week we are visiting the incredible Judy Wise. I feel lucky to call her my friend and am looking forward to seeing her shortly when I head out west for Artfest. I adore Judy. Everything she makes is soulful to me, you can feel her energy in it. Especially her journals. Oh my oh my. When we were at Squam last year we journaled together one evening. I love her itty bitty writing so naturally I wanted to do it myself, at least when I muster up the time to journal. And see, that's the other thing, I so admire Judy's dedication to journaling. I so wish I could fit this into my schedule more regularly. 
Where can you find Judy this year? Well, she is teaching in July at Encausticamp and I am assisting her. Yep, come on out and you get both of us. I am certain it's going to be a lot of fun and seriously you don't need to have encaustic experience, this is for every level so don't be scared, just go sign up. I know you wanna....Personally I can't wait. You all have heard me go on and on about encaustic and I am so anxious to watch Judy's process and learn a little more about this amazing medium. Plus assist of course :)

And guess what else? Judy and Stephanie Lee are teaching an online class this summer and this should not be missed!! It is called Plaster Studio Workshop and I am definitely signing up. I mean heck, I already pre-ordered their book. I am dying to learn about plaster and suspect I will like it a lot, you know how you get those hunches? Judy and I were talking the other day and I speculated that plaster may have similar qualities to Wood Icing. Judy hasn't used WI and since I haven't used plaster it's hard to say, but we think perhaps they are sisters. Just like me and Judy, don't we wish hahaha.
8x8 Encaustic with Wood Icing and Tar

But what, you say you wanna know about the give away already......geez, Louise. Ok. Here it is. And it's b-i-g. Judy is giving away a book over on her BLOG. And I am giving away a piece of art here on my blog, the encaustic piece shown above that also incorporates Wood Icing.  We better hope that my hubby doesn't read this post cause he really likes this piece.
To enter for the book, head on over to Judy's.  And to enter for the painting, leave a comment here, but I would love it if you would also hit the Twitter or Facebook button and share with others. That would be very cool. We are going to run this for hmmm, I don't actually know how long as Judy and I forgot to decide that little piece of information and it's way too late for me to call her. I think we will probably take entries until April 4th - she and I will be together then and it will be fun to draw names when we are together.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sweet!! A book Review

Click Here for the Review!

Oh my oh my.
Jenny Doh wrote a lovely review of my book. 
Click the link (under pic above) to read it.
And.........I could use some reviews on Amazon if you are so inclined. Just saying.......
Be sure and stay tuned for our next contest offering. The BOOK is visiting Judy Wise on Wednesday.


You know it's my favorite thing. Paint and paper. I can't get enough. Never.

So I'm in JoAnn's (last Friday I had a 25% off total purchase coupon) and I was gathering a few things I needed wanted for Artfest (can you say Woodless pencils, why, I don't know but Tonia has them and she loves them) when I saw this Soy Paint by Delta. It's in that area with the craft paints and these are maybe $2 each. I just bought three colors.

I mixed them with some glaze to extend their drying time and used them with Collagraph plates. Then also randomly painted a few pages. I like the colors a lot. Who knows where the papers will end up. I'm working thinking about working on samples for my Italy gig in 2013. Somehow these colors resonate with me regarding Italy in the Springtime. Like I would know!?!? Having never been there, I have no idea. But I do know there are poppies in the Spring. Doesn't that sound divine? 

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

On the Easel and On the Table

On the Easel, more Strata. Duh.
 One of the things I did this week was clean the studio and re-organize all the supplies I brought back from the store. I had duplicates of so many things it was crazy and the boys helped me to organize them and consolidate. I am not kidding, they really helped. I am going to put them to work packaging stencils next week, hahaha.
I am so thrilled with the new organization, much easier for me to get to things, plus I have room for expansion (as in new products) oh perish the thought.
On the Table, Artfest samples          

I am getting really excited about Artfest, working on my samples. I ordered and shipped all my supplies yesterday and it felt good to get that out of the way. Still need to tackle the vending issue (that is where the stencil packaging comes in). I have some new product, yippee, not as much as I would have liked, but I did the best I could considering I was sick so much. Pictures coming soon but there is a sneak peek in that 'On the Table' shot.
I am looking forward to a studio weekend, yippee (at least during the days). My studio makes me so happy, I can't possibly tell you how badly I needed to paint.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

of Critters and Classes and The Crud

I have had bronchitis this week, ugh. Finally had to 'give in' to it after my class last week, where I nearly lost my voice. And I woke up Sunday knowing that Urgent Care was really the only answer. Diagnosis Brochitis & Sinus Infection. Levoquin has been the remedy and I will have to say it is working, hooray. But I was housebound from Sunday until Wednesday which is extraordinary for me. I am back to perhaps 80% now.

 So, my first trip out was to see 'Sam' the new Australian Shepherd that my friend Greg and his family got from a rescue. He is so adorable. Perfect really, made me want a dog in the worst way.
 I meant to share this pic the other day when I was talking about my Stratalicious class. See the cute book above? Teresa Holt made that for me after she took my Parts is Parts class last weekend. Was that not so sweet!?!?  It is filled with lovely photos of the class and will be a great keepsake. She also brought me a Cake Pop (can you say teacher's pet!?!) which was a delectable tiny round cake - on a stick! Oh my oh my, I couldn't manage a good photo of it. But suffice to say it was heaven on earth. YUM. I must learn to make them.
And since this is Spring Break week, we had the boys over today. In the studio, as usual, my fave place and I believe one of theirs too. Notice how Jasper hangs out with them - I adore that. I brought home all my art supplies from the Wood Icing store since I don't work there anymore (don't freak anyone, my art is still there and I still teach there). The boys help me consolidate and organize my paint which was not an easy task. Then Papa took them over to Bass Pro Shop where they bought fishing lures. And all were happy in the Shaw household.
Don't forget to stop by Heather's blog to enter this week's contest. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Blog Tour Week #6 - Heather Haymart

It is apropos that my Book is visiting Heather's blog this week. You know my last post, the one with pics from my Stratalicious class? Well, the Rose that I mention is Heather's mom, the creative genius behind Wood Icing. Genius spawns Genius because it was way back in 2003 that Heather got the idea of using her mother's product in her own Fine Art. Can you say brilliant!?!

Heather and I have been friends and comrades on the Art Fair circuit for a number of years, so it was a no-brainer that I wanted Heather to be in my book. I was thrilled when she accepted, contributing a lovely piece and also a simple fresh recipe. And I am also glad she is hosting the Book on Tour this week.

Over the years, Heather's use of Wood Icing in her work has really changed, here is one of her very first pieces.

Limitemptaion, 2003, 48x32 by Heather Haymart
And, from last year, Crazy Thoughts (below), is a newer piece, also one of my all time faves. 
Crazy Thoughts, 12x16, 2010, Heather Haymart

The Light Comes Through, 48x24, 2010, Heather Haymart
You can see more of Heather's work on her website where you can view galleries through the years - it is so interesting to see how she has progressed as an artist. And guess what? Heather also sells on Etsy where you will find original artwork and reproductions. 

And ok, ok, you are wondering about the give away already, aren't you? Well you have to know it's Wood Icing. Yep. Wood Icing and some of my stencils, pretty sweet if I do say so myself. Click on over to Heather's BLOG to see details and enter for the giveaway. 
And, if you can't wait and just want to buy some Wood Icing and stencils, you can always find them on Stencil Girl Products.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Stratalicious, baby and who taught who?

Last Saturday I taught my Stratalicious class for the second time at the Wood Icing store. This has been a popular class which thrills me because I guess a lot of other people like rocks as much as I do, yippee for that. I had a mix of students, some who I knew from art circles around town and others from the decorative finishing business. And my friend Rose (yeah, Rose, as in the creator of Wood Icing, Rose!!) was in my class. And I was nervous because, well, geez, Rose knows all the ins and outs of Wood Icing.

But it all turned out fine with students creating utterly brilliant work. I mean seriously.......look at some of the fresh palette choices that emerged!! I would swear there are actual rocks on these pieces, but no. It's just a little magic with Wood Icing, stencils and texture.
I swear I didn't teach them this, they were just all that brilliant.
This is one of the classes I am offering at Art Unraveled by the way.
Make sure you stop by tomorrow for the contest of the week as we resume the Book Blog Tour.  See you then!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Another Great Day in St. Louis

Yep, I was on Great Day this morning, showcasing my book by doing a variation of a Triad exercise that I called Mixing of the Greens. I mean it is St. Patrick's day after all. You can check it out the video here. 
And no, I did not allow Kent Ehrhardt to highlight my hair with green paint.

And don't forget to enter over at The Kathryn Wheel for the book and on my blog for the art.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New Toy

It's a bouncing baby Keurig. And it's red. How cute is that?

I have lusted over one forever but really couldn't rationalize the purchase as we have a perfectly good coffee pot we use daily. A Capresso because I am a tad coffee obsessed.
But, I frequently like a cup of coffee later in the day and don't want to make a whole pot (already I am sounding like a little spoiled princess here).
And we got a big rebate from Costco that we cashed as we didn't need anything how sad is that?
And Kohl's had this Mini machine on sale.
And I had a 30% coupon.
And it was red.
And Kohl's gave cash back(how *do* they afford that).
And there was no sun in the sky. Again. This has been the most awful Winter I can recall weather-wise.
So. There ya go. A lesson in rationalization.
I am thrilled to report the Tully's Kona Blend is excellent.
And did I mention my machine is red?

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Book Tour - Week #5 - The Kathryn Wheel

We have a winner for the original art, picked by the Random Number is Paper Pumpkin!!!  Yippeee, come back next week for a new contest.
Ok I will admit it. I am a lurker.
On other people's blogs, that is. The Kathryn Wheel is one of my fave spots; it is written by Kate, who lives in the north of England, UK. I first noticed her because of the adorable calendars and then I became a regular reader. Since she lives in England, I always read her blog with a British accent (in my head of course).

She is an avid art journaler and likes to include many different mediums in her work especially acrylic paint and ink sprays. She has had her journals published by Somerset Art Journaling and Somerset Apprentice. Back home in England she contributes to Craft Stamper magazine ( every month. She is on a couple of design teams – Dylusions (Art from the Heart, UK) (  and also Stampotique Originals ( Plus......she teaches craft classes in her home town and also teaches art journaling techniques at Art from the Heart (UK) (  and Sam Taylors (UK) ( Whew, she is one talented,  not to mention b-u-s-y girl. 

But back to that Dylusions gig. You probably skipped right over it. Dylusions are paints. Matte paints that you can write over top. Like in journaling. No special pens needed. Naturally they are sold only in the UK. Which makes me crazy with desire for them, you know how that goes. Geez.....not fair.....come on, Dylusions people, let us get them too. Will it work if I whine? Hmmm, I thought not.

Ok, back to Kate. I asked her if she would allow my book to visit her on the Book Tour. And she said YES!! Yippee!!

So, today, I feature some of Kate's work here on my blog. Is it not awesome? Seriously.....

And you probably figured out by now, that we are doing another give away! Yep, it's true. A book AND a piece of original art made by me. You enter a comment here on my blog for the art, and then pop over to The Kathryn Wheel to enter a comment for the book.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Blog Tour Week #4 - Claudine Hellmuth

One of the very first classes I ever took was with Claudine Hellmuth many years ago. I knew very little about collage but I learned fast (cause she is a great teacher) and I was quite determined because I found a true love in mixed media, especially painting.

Claudine and I have kept in touch through the years and I invited her to be in my book because, well, because I like her for one thing. But I also have such respect for her art and all the success she has experienced at such a young age (to which I say Bravo!).

So this week my book visits her her blog along with (you guessed it!) a give away, really TWO give aways! Claudine has donated a package of her Sticky Back canvas for Give Away #1,so leave me a comment and you will be entered in that contest.
Then, go on over to Claudine's blog and you will be entered for the book. We will pick names on Friday at 5pm est.

The Video is all about Claudine's paints. Love them!! Hope you enjoy. Now go paint.

Yippee, we have a winner. Using the Random number generator at we have #30. Congratulations to Pupton!!!

Monday, March 07, 2011

Manic Mondays & another contest

Mardi Gras cookies, recipe from my book
From the left, Mark, Greg (on crutches), Natalie, Julie, me
Michael, Harriet, John in front of the book art
What a great weekend. The book signing was beyond my expectations. This is the Midwest and it is nearly Spring, so naturally there were tornado warnings, monsoon-like rains and hail. Sweet, huh? Everyone who came has a special place in my heart and there were lots of them. I was so pleased because I am the scaredy cat who would have most likely wussed out if I hadn't been the reason for the event. But my oh my did people show up and I feel so unbelievably grateful for that.

Daryl, Will, Leslie, that is my 'usual' display at the left
Saturday I worked in the studio. I was like a pig in.....well, you know? I felt like I had to touch every single surface, I need the studio time so badly. It was good. Beyond good, really. Made lots of 'starts' on a variety of things, so I don't have much to show for it, except big messes on every square inch of table surface.

And Sunday I had a client visit. Special clients of mine, they have 2 pieces already, one fairly  large(shown below), a piece from early in my abstract days. 

"From the Light" mixed media on canvas, 30" x 40"
This is an amazing thing about my collectors - they come back. I mean seriously. I love that. I especially love visiting their homes and bringing art for them to carry around the house and find its special place. So we did that yesterday, me and my clients. It was a lot of fun and their kids even got in on the action. I got to see their thought process and how pieces played off one another and we were all sharing ideas about how the light or wall color affected each piece. Just too much fun and they ended up making some wonderful choices that look absolutely terrific in their home. I left their place feeling all warm and fuzzy and happy about the paintings home.

And, before I leave you today, be sure and pop on over to Seth Apter's blog, The Altered Page. He has written a lovely review about my book and also has posted a piece I wrote about the book writing experience. Plus he is giving away a book, isn't that cool? What a neat guy - I love his blog and can't wait until his book comes out!!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Valley Ridge - Open Now

We will make starts and parts - crazy paper and backgrounds, and even a journal. We'll multi-task our way through each day just like I do in my studio. We will dance and eat and laugh as we get to know each other.  It's going to be special. Won't you join me at Valley Ridge?

Friday, March 04, 2011

Monster Mish-Mash Friday

Lots going on here in the Shaw household. Today is my first book signing; it is at the Wood Icing store, where my art hangs. Heather and Rose have graciously allowed me a display in the special installation area and I have most of the art from the book hung. It is pretty cool to see it all together. Very hard to hang though, good grief, so many small pieces and I am accustomed to organizing shows with larger works. It took me most of Tuesday to get that together. Crazy!
(ps....if you are in St. Louis, the signing is at Wood Icing@Chesterfield Mall from 5-8pm)

Today I baked cookies and brownies using recipes from the book. Here is the brownie recipe if you are interested. These are truly the best brownies ever, very fudgy, so if you are looking for a cake type brownie, this is not the right recipe for you.

Best Ever Brownies
Yield: 24

1 pound semi-sweet chocolate chips (2 and 1/2 cups)
1 cup butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup strong brewed coffee
4 large eggs, room temp
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
Cooking Instructions:
Melt together butter, coffee and chocolate. Beat eggs and sugar until light. Slowly add chocolate mixture. With a spoon, stir in flour and walnuts. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9x13-inch pan with foil. Generously butter foil. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 30 minutes or until just set around edges. Cool on wire rack for 30 minutes. Cover pan with foil and chill for several hours or overnight.
Best stored in refrigerator.

This encaustic sold along with three of the Strata pieces

Remember my Strata series? I haven't had a chance to paint any more of them lately, but an interior designer (thanks, Liz!) sold 3 of them along with this encaustic (shown above) to one of her clients. Sweet!! I am thrilled they are going to such a stunning home and will live in the company of Warhols and a Lichtenstein, woo hoo for that.

Valley Ridge Registration opens on Saturday. If you want my class (it is going to be a good one, trust me), be sure and register right away. I know a lot of people who plan to sign up and I think it will fill quickly. This one is special (I know, I say that all the time, don't I, but really!!) and includes ideas and techniques that I incorporate in all my work; plus you will work on multiple projects just like I do when I am in the studio. And.....we have other activities planned that make this so much more that just a mixed media class.

And finally, check out Dolan's blog post to enter the Book and Ephemera give away. Be sure and stop  back on Monday to see what's in store for next week.

On a personal note, it is my fervent hope that I can eek out some studio time this weekend. If not I fear I may go nuts and will have to be institutionalized as I miss my studio so very much right now.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Yard Dog

When we were in Austin, we visited the Yard Dog gallery. What a fun space, sort of an irreverent alternative take on the traditional gallery concept. Naturally I loved it. That art had a decidedly 'outsider' feel, was sort of retro in nature and there was a good selection of artists. My nephew (at age 10) thought he found his tribe when he saw skeleton references in several pieces, ha! It was cute to observe him looking at art that was so diverse. That kid is uber talented; oh my he is amazing. His Manga sketches are excellent and he recently crafted a movie (of sorts) with character/figures he had made with Legos. He filmed shot by shot using a camera on a small tripod, moving the figures a tiny amount for each shot. It must have taken his forever and it is so cool when you view it all together fast it really reads like a movie. I swear he is a genius. 

But anyway, back to Yard Dogs. When we were there, I adored the exhibit by Bill Miller (that's not his work shown as I couldn't find him on the Yard Dogs site). He crafts his work from vintage linoleum. You must check out his website. I was sooooo enchanted by his work and stared at it long enough that my companions were ready to drag me out; I simply cannot imagine how he achieves the depth and detail in this work. If you go to the Exhibitions page of his site, there is an interview with the artist. And now I think I like him even more.  His interest in the history of his recycled source material is similar to how I feel about all the vintage items I incorporate in my work - like they somehow vibrate stories.

I really wish I would have bought a piece from him. Seeing his work also made me want to resurrect my Common Denominator series. Do you guys ever feel that way, where you want to revisit older work? Ummm, it would be like putting on a wonderful cushy sweater. Now I'm thinking and thinking which is oh-so-dangerous. In my current dream state, I imagine a 3 person show with me, Bill Miller and Dolan Geiman.....all using vintage and found materials in such different ways.....ok, somebody slap me as I have work to do in my real life, hahaha.

Don't forget to enter the Book/Ephemera Give Away (sadly, I have no linoleum to add to the ephemera mix) over on Dolan's site.