Saturday, April 30, 2011

Finally, Spring

Since the hubster and I are self employed, we have flexibility in our schedules. This allows us to watch the grandkids, run errands when other people are working and also take a day off during the week. We have started doing that lately, taking a day off (ok, we've just done it twice) and it feels so incredibly decadent and a little naughty. Even though we both work Saturdays and Sundays and clock in way more than 40 hours, me being type 'A' I feel that I have to justify this behavior to you, my faithful blog reader.

  But I digress. Yesterday we went to the Missouri Botanical Garden, a perfectly idyllic spot, one of St. Louis' true gems. 
  The weather was perfect and we both played with our cameras, he with his 'real' one, me with my phone.
I am percolating ideas. For classes, stencils, drawings, paintings, doodles, you name it. My mind seems to be going all the time, bubbling over with things that I want to do. Even in the midst of such beauty, I had trouble being in the moment, I get aggravated with myself when I do that, argghh. It was such a lovely day though, I completely enjoyed basking in the warm sun, I am a cat at heart. And watching John play with his new camera put a smile on my face.
 Isn't he cute wearing his ballcap backwards?

Don't forget the Contests this HERE to beg for Deb's faboo purse and click HERE to enter for a copy of my book. And I really do want you to b-e-g. Seriously, it is worth it, this purse is gorgeous!! 

Friday, April 29, 2011

For just one day....

Imagine a perfect day
for me, it would be sunny and warm-ish yet a little crisp
I would hang out with my grandsons and maybe go hiking off trail
Aidan, age 8, would lead us
thru brush so thick, I was bent over half the time
which is how I found this mongo Morel, see there is a benefit to nearly everything!
All our recent rainstorms made the creek swell and we found a tiny waterfall
And we all played and laughed and got really muddy, yep, even me.
I was a kid again.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It's Week #11 Book Blog Tour

I would like you to meet my friend Deb Trotter. We met over the Internet years ago, I can't even remember when, and have never met in person. But I adore her and we share wonderful phone calls whenever our schedules allow. You probably know Deb by the name of Cowboy's Sweetheart, which is her tagline. Her western themed art is delightful, whimsical, even irreverent at times which makes it oh-so-funny! So naturally I wanted Deb in the book. And she made wonderful work in her "Flavor".

So you know we have been giving things away, right? Well this week is a wing dinger of a give away (is that western talk?). Deb has this deal with Icon Shoes, yes that Icon, where she designs the art that is put on shoes and purses.  All of Icon's products are simply fabulous, so artsy/hip/cool and Deb's, well.......what can I say? They ROCK it!!!

Deb is giving away (yes, giving away!!) an Icon purse, right here on my blog.
I happen to have this same purse so I can reliably speak of its fabulosity, and yes I realize that is not a word. The quality of Icon products can't be beat, the leather is sooooooo supple. And with Deb's design. Well, trust me, you will get tons of compliments on this gem.
To enter for the purse, leave me a comment here on my blog. Beg, I want to hear begging. And trust me, I know begging. The most extraordinary and inventive begger will win this purse.

And then, go over to Deb's blog to enter for a signed copy of my book, with the exclusive stencil. This is the same book that Christen Oliverez (yep, that would be the editor of Somerset Studios) talks about in the May/June issue. I haven't seen the review yet, but friends tell me she says stuff like 'run, don't walk to buy this book'......oh be still my heart. And yeah, maybe I'm braggin' just a little, but geez, I am simply so excited I just can't help myself. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Scoutie Girl

You need to check out Scoutie Girl. Seriously. Go now, I'll be here when you return.
What a great blog, I have recently been drawn in by Liz Kalloch, who is asking a series of questions about 'Making a Living - Making a Life.' This week she tackles the subject of opportunity and the question, "did you jump?" There are some terrific and thoughtful answers, in addition to my glib (yet heartfelt) reply. If you are in the biz of art (or wanna be), you will want to read this.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Collage Mania

I taught in Licking, MO the other day, a class organized by the super-talented Lanie Frick. Her horse paintings are quite special so you might want to take a look at her website. She contacted me out of the blue to arrange this workshop which focused on Mixed Media Collage.

I met fun people, the kind of folks who bring baked goods to share. All the ladies had b-i-g hearts and I adored their astute humor; they were basically my fave kind of people.
Student work, Mixed Media Collage

Student work, Mixed Media Collage

Student work, Mixed Media Collage

They are on the lookout for a barn for me. Ha, ha, you know this ongoing pipe dream of mine to have a huge art barn so I can run away from home to a place where no one could find me. Of course I would bring John and the kitties with me, so I guess it really isn't running away in the usual sense of the phrase. Licking is beautiful country and this time of year it is especially nice with an abundance of blooming dogwoods amidst the rolling hills. I am so drawn to country vistas where you are situated on a high patch of land and the view goes on seemingly forever.

I also managed some studio time this week (hip hip hooray!!) and finished a couple paintings which are shown here. Both were done on claybord with Wood Icing texture, stencils and tar, which is my new love. The birds are tiny vintage paper torn from very old sheet music. I had not intended to use them, but they kept jumping in to the piece and know how that is.

Also completed my 'demo' work during the workshop, two Common Denominator pieces. It always feels good to revisit that series. One of the pieces is actually for me (can you believe it, I made something for myself!) of my maternal grandparents. You may recall several months ago I did a piece of my paternal grandparents as part of a Great Day segment. I wanted a 'matching' piece for the other side of the family. The piece at the bottom is an overdue birthday gift for a friend of mine, I hope she likes it! There is a lot of meaningful symbolism in both these pieces, which is the way I like to collage, where each and every element has been selected for a very specific reason.

Before I go, check out this great tutorial that Judy Shea posted. She has been using Wood Icing and pssst, I think she likes it. Anyway, she is also running a contest so stop by her blog to enter.
And......don't forget the contest over on Laura's BLOG. We are giving away a signed copy of my book, along with the exclusive stencil.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Blog Book Tour Week #10

I hope you guys aren't tired of hearing me talk about my book. You might have noticed that I try to make it more palatable by offering the Give-aways each week (there is a method to my madness).

This week I would like to introduce Laura Lein-Svencner. We first met years ago when we were both part of an online group of mixed media artists. Then I was lucky enough to meet her in person a couple times as our paths crossed on the art fair circuit doing shows in the Chicago area. Of course I instantly liked her and I was quite wow-ed with her work. Naturally I was pleased when she agreed to participate in my book.

Mixed Media Collage by Laura Lein-Svencner
She recently surprised me with an art gift, one of her pieces, that I really love. Ok, truth be known, I like it so much I was dancing around the house after I opened it. And isn't it wonderful? My favorite part is the upper left where she has stitched the fiber onto her piece. The composition is so very impeccable and the neutrality of this piece really appeals to me. I seem to have an inability to make neutral work. Ahem. But I digress.

Laura is teaching at Dillman's, this year. That is where some big-time teachers like Gerald Brommer and Bob Burridge teach, so woo hoo, Laura!! And guess what? There is still time to register for her 4-day class. The class involves painting papers and then learning to collage with a tacking iron, a la Talbot. I can only imagine the fabulous papers that will result!! I really wish I could go but the date conflicts with an art fair, actually the only art fair I am doing this year - Springfield Old Capitol, in Springfield, IL - I'll talk more about that later.

So......without further ado, may I announce that I am giving away a book this week. You need to go to Laura's Blog to enter, so scurry on now.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Iron Chef Artists

More Artfest, I can't help all know how creative Teesha is - last year she came up with this idea to do an Iron Chef Artist competition. She did it again this year and crazy me, well, I volunteered to compete. Yikes! What was I thinking, especially since it was a 3D competition and I'm not a 3D artist.
So here's the deal: we all got the same stuff and we were allowed to bring a few of our own supplies. We had to use at least 5 items and had 45 minutes to create. With an audience I might add.
CLICK HERE to see Adeola's photos. It was a hoot. In case you can't tell from the photo, my Barbie has the words 'Ta Ta' on her you know whats.....

Monday, April 18, 2011

More Artfest Love

So much going on here I forgot to show you more student pictures from Artfest. These are from the second day, the Texture class. Naturally I include texture in every class because I But this class was about texture on top of texture, the yum yum yum type which I love because it is so big and juicy and rich that I want to eat it.  
[in another piece of useless information which you are now going to hear about because that is how I am- someone wrote a review of my book on Amazon and criticized my use of the word Yum. To which I say pphhphphffft!!]
Student work, Texture on Texture

Student work, Texture on Texture

Student work, Texture on Texture

Student work, texture on texture
Are these not incredible!?! Oh my gosh, I was so proud. But seriously, the students were talented, incredibly so. I swear I didn't teach some of them a thing, they were just geniuses. 
In other news, we still have Give-aways going......... Click here to win one of my encaustic paintings, this time it's one that I really like, which I figured was only fair since I gave away my hubby's fave a couple of weeks ago.  And Click here to win a set of the new stencils. Or if you just want to look at the new designs, you can check them out here.

Are you in Missour? Near Licking, MO? I am teaching a class on Wednesday that has a few openings. It is a Collage Painting class, which I have not taught for awhile. from 9-4 on Wednesday 4/20. If you are interested let me know and I can send you the details.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

New Stencils are here!

Yep, they are here. Three new bouncing baby stencils. The one on the left is Calligraphy, my version of course, since I am not a real calligrapher. So it isn't real writing, just looks cool. The middle one is called Urban Jungle and that is my abstracted rendition of Chinatown in San Francisco. And finally, the third one is Retro Comets. It is perky (of course) to go along with my new haircut.

They are available at Stencil Girl Products in both the large and small sizes. And starting now, you can order you own selection of Six Large Stencils at a discounted price, hooray for that.

The stencil biz is growing so stay in touch for more exciting news and fresh stencils coming soon.....psssst, I'll let you in on a secret.....I'm bringing some new (you're gonna love them!) artists on board. You will adore their designs, I know I do!!

Don't forget about the Give Aways here and here.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Blog Tour Week #9

Thank you so much for all who entered. Letter Lady won the stencils and Susan in Seattle won the artwork. Stay tuned for ongoing contests during the Book Tour.
Ok, has anybody noticed we are falling behind, yikes! What can I say, life has intervened as it tends to do. But we are not going to miss a week 'cause I've got cool stuff to give away.

So, for Week #9 we meet up with Katie Kendrick, another guest artist in my book. Katie made an  extraordinary cardboard book and when it arrived at my home, I swear it was vibrating with some kind of Katie-love. I stood and held it in my hands - simply awestruck by its raw beauty. And that was the beginning of my love affair with cardboard. So inexpensive yet so fun. Oh the options!
I got to hang out with Katie last week (and her drum, which she made). You see, I traveled out to Artfest a couple days early to hide away in a beach house. It was nice to acclimate to the time change and to also cool my jets before my classes started.  I was with several friends and we were so lucky when Katie and Judy Wise visited us. Oh my goodness did we have fun!

Katie is up to a ton of neat things these days, including her only teaching gig of the year which is in Malibu. She has a couple more openings (just a few) if you want to jump in. I mean it is Katie, after all. In Malibu, after all. think I could fit into your luggage?

And yes, we do have a contest this week! TWO, in fact! You need to hop over to Katie's blog to enter the first one. It is another piece of encaustic art. That last one was such a big hit, I thought I would offer up another.
Go now. To Katie's BLOG and enter for this encaustic art, cause you know you want it. And, in case you are wondering why the piece is a different orientation on Katie's Blog, well, that's because I can't decide which way it there are options.
And.......drumroll new set of stencils is Give Away #2. These are the 'baby' version and are 5" x 6" - Calligraphy, Urban Jungle & Retro Comets. They are a lot of fun and I think you will like them. To enter for the stencils, just leave me a comment below. Not sure when Katie and I are going to end this, we'll give it a few days at least.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Artfest part 1

Student work from Painting without Fear
I am so jammed up with work right now it is just silly. I am doing a gig tonite for a bunch of interior designers, the local ASID group to be specific. It is an artisan display and I am, well, one of the artisans hoping to get work from them. I already do some designer work and enjoy it quite a bit, soooooo.....I signed up. The idiocy of doing this immediately upon my return from Artfest did not sink in when I filled out the form. Ahem (that was the sound of me smacking myself in the head). But yesterday, in the midst of a laundry and unpacking, Ialso designed a full color 2-sided brochure that I uploaded to Fed-ex/Kinkos. I will display art too, but mainly hope to meet & greet, that sort of thing. I wonder if I can stow wine under my table.

Student work from Painting without Fear
So, until I get to write up a real post about AF, here are a few photos.
Student work from Painting without Fear, blurring was my problem

And as much as I want to show more student photos and talk about Artfest over and over, I am going to refer you to Dayna, who was in my classes. She is a DOLL. Seriously, cute as can be, delightful personality, talented, blahblahblah. I say this about all my students, and she really is.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The pre Artfest trip

I flew out to Seattle early, with my friend John (standing on the rock) and Julie (jammed in the back seat of our car) so we could relax on the beach for a day or two. There is something about walking on a beach that restores me. The sound of the water, the hunt for special rocks, even the fresh air. It all felt so wonderful and I was able to relax for the first time in weeks.
Friends joined us at our perfect little cabin and we had a wonderful time with uber spicy (that was *not* medium) Thai food, lots of laughs, healing drum beats and a tad of shopping (yarn 'cupcakes' that were too cute).
In the coming days, I will shared photos of my classes. But for now, I leave you with these images.
And oh! I am guest curator over at Crescendoh this week if you want to read my new 'art saves' story and check out my links - some of them are a lot of fun.
Plus, don't forget that Sarah is still collecting names for this week's drawing.

Friday, April 08, 2011


My classroom is a Chapel.

It is wonderfully spacious and has beautiful energy. We have so much room and can spread out.
I'll write more later, gotta get going to class. Oh how I love it here.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Week #8 - Book Blog Tour

I would like to introduce you to my friend Sarah Ahearn Bellemare. Sarah and I met at Squam back in, oh geez, must have been 2008 or 2009?
We had adjoining classrooms in an immense space, separated by a temporary wall.
She was teaching one of her fabulous mixed media classes.
I was teaching a Claybord class.
She was playing hip yet soothing music.
I was using power tools.
She was gently coaxing her students.
I was flinging paint.
Oy vay, it's a miracle she agreed to participate in my book.
But I am so glad she did as I adore her art and I admire her spirit.
These days she is living life at warp speed juggling the commitments of motherhood.
Precious Ada, who is teething.
Sarah somehow wrote a book when Ada was a newborn.
I have already pre-ordered my copy cause I can't wait!

To enter this week's contest, check out Sarah's BLOG!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Product Review - Sakura Pens

 Imagine my delight when I was asked to review a batch of pens made by Sakura. I was like a kid at Christmas when I opened the package that contained  Glaze® 3D Glossy, Gelly Roll Classics, Gelly Roll Moonlight, Gelly Roll Stardust Clear and Quickie Glue pens. Oh my!
Now I've used Glaze pens for years, but only the Black. Why? Who knows, it's just how I am, kind of a minimalist in certain ways. But this box of  16, The Glaze Collection Cube really opened my eyes to lots of opportunities. First of all, the colors are gorgeous and include a beautiful  burgundy, orange-like sepia and dusty olive among others.  They all do exactly what I've come to expect from my reliable Black Glaze in that they will write on anything. I mean.any.thing. Acrylic paint, packing tape and.....can you say glass? You can decorate candle holders or write your name on your portable speakers. And they are waterproof which is my other favorite thing because I can never stop myself from painting on top of everything I touch. Ahem. 
Another Journal spread - here I colored the apple slice, drew the rocks, added text and blue scribbles.
The Gelly Roll Classics are fun too.  Incredibly, I had never used one, oh where oh where  have I been!?!? They write with a feel similar to the Glaze pens and I found you can even blend them out to some extent or smear them with your finger. They are so opaque they will totally cover one another if you change your mind about color. I am partial to the Gelly Roll Moonlight colors particularly, and also that Stardust Clear pen is wonderful for going back and adding subtle sparkly bits.
Colored and embellished the clock face, added text and other touchups.
Journal page - I drew on top of the house image (from a magazine) , filled colors in the windows, did the text and all other mark making with the Sakura pens
Finally, the Quickie Glue Pen. Hmmm, I simply must come out from under my rock more very favorite thing about this pen is that you can write with it and then rub thermal foil over top and it will give you a clean foiled text, so easy!! It is also very handy for gluing tiny edge pieces; overall it is just a good thing to have in your journal kit.
In the interests of full disclosure, these pens were sent to me by F+W Media, the company that owns North Light. North Light is the publisher of my book, Flavor for Mixed Media.
F+W didn't make me 'like' the pens, I just really do. 

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Somerset Studio, here I come

It was the 'pee your pants' variety surprise, although thankfully I didn't.

I am talking about the email I received from Somerset Studio's editor, Christen Olivarez. The one where she asked me to write a column for the magazine.
Moi? Seriously?? How on earth did I surface on her radar?
At first I was convinced it was a hoax, somehow one of my nutball friends had hacked into Somerset's email. But then I realized how idiotic (not to mention unlikely) that would be. Clearly I read way too many suspense novels.
Truth is, Christen and her publisher, Kellene Giloff had seen my book at CHA.
I guess they liked it and one thing led to another which led to the email.
So of course I said yes. Duh. 
Somebody pinch me already. And please say some prayers for me 'cause I am one hot mess of excited anticipation. 

Layers of Flavor makes it's debut in the October issue. still have time to enter the contest on Judy's blog (for the book) and here (for the encaustic art).

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone