Friday, December 28, 2012

An Interview with Moi!

Jane LaFazio is featuring me over on her blog, an interview she conducted recently. So nice of her to take the time; she is a true sweetie. HERE is the link. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Mother's Grief

They say that lightning never strikes the same place twice. In my case that isn't exactly true. But I am getting ahead of myself. 
I have never talked about this in a public forum however the events of Friday sort of cracked me open. It occurred to me that I know a thing or two about grief.

In 1989 I was married to another man, not Mr. StencilGirl John, the rock and foundation and love of my life guy, but another guy with whom I had my first and only child, a beautiful boy we named Nathaniel. He was born early and eager with some physical problems, things that we didn't think would  manifest into anything that serious. He ended up with developmental delays, but once again, we remained optimistic, simply redefining normal for ourselves. 

Life was sweet.

In 1991 a heart defect was found, how it had been missed earlier I simply don't know. My son - happy, playful and engaging - needed surgery to save his life. We located the best surgeon we could find, set the date and proceeded. The surgery went off without a hitch, or so we thought. Yet Nathan didn't bounce back as expected. Over the 24 hour period following surgery I watched him deteriorate into a non-responsive state. The moment of his death I was holding his hand. He had just opened his baby blues for the first time, looking right at me and I thought.......well, you know what I thought, but then......nothing.

Flash forward. John and I married. We were so very very happy. I reveled in my role as step mother to his son and daughter. His daughter a person I would have chosen as a daughter. Same with his son, such a smart young adult, we were certain he was a genius he was so darn clever. In and out of college and the army, with deployments to Desert Storm and Haiti, he had been through a lot and seen things he shouldn't have seen. Add this to his naturally supercharged intensity and we worried about him. We made sure he got the therapy and medication that he needed. We believed that one day he would emerge a stronger healthier person who would be able to share his myriad talents with the world. 

Life was sweet.

Thanksgiving Day 1997 was a big event, my family and John's family together at last, a culmination of my dreams. Michael didn't show up; we were bummed that he missed the frivolity of the day. Call it intuition or whatever you want, but that evening I felt something deep inside and I.Just.Knew.
John found him in his apartment, shot through the mouth by his own hand. He had just bought milk and apples, receipt still on the counter.

What is the purpose of my story?
I guess I want to help people know what to do with people who grieve the death of a child. Before these things happened to me, I never knew what to do and felt incredibly awkward around any grieving person, let alone one who had lost a child. I never wanted to intrude and do or say the wrong thing, consequently I often did nothing. 
Here is my advice.

Grieving people need to be surrounded by loved ones. They need to be left alone. They need to cuddle. They need to run and hide.
Yes, all contradictions. 
But, here's the thing - in the immediate aftermath, emotions splay out absolutely uncontrolled. You simply have no idea how you might feel from one moment to the next. Hysterical, numb, controlled, angry, defiant, calm. Switch the order. Repeat often.

Later on. Now that is the really important time. That is when friends, the true blues, come to light. Everyone else is back to their normal activities by then. But the friend who sends a Mother's Day card. That friend GETS IT. The friend who isn't afraid to bring up fond memories. That friend GETS IT. The friend who tells you they miss your child. The friend who sends a note for no apparent reason. The friend who is unafraid to ask you to attend events regarding their kids. The friend who years later asks how old your child would be. 
Be there. 
Six hours later, six days later, six years later. 
Don't be afraid, be a friend.
Be that friend.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Using Stencils for Fabric Painting

Terri Stegmiller is another one of our new designers over at StencilGirl Products. I really like her design aesthetic - clean and crisp,  yet funky and modern and somehow nature inspired. Her stencils rock. And her art quilts are really amazing. Is this bird not the cutest ever!?!?
Art Quilt by Terri Stegmiller
If you pop on over to her site she has a free video about her fabric painting process. I found it quite interesting, she uses a product that I had never seen before which means I need to find it even though I have never made an art quilt in my life. But you know how that goes.....geez.... 
And you can find her stencils HERE. 

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Hebrew Stencil

I met Jessica Sporn at Art is You in Stamford, CT last year. She asked me about stencils, one of my favorite topics. I found her to be utterly delightful and am thrilled to announce she has been designing stencils for StencilGirl. Today she is launching a 'Stencil Test Drive' of all her new line starting out with the Hebrew stencil, which is a gorgeous depiction of the Hebrew language. This is what the Hebrew text means, which I lovelovelove:

May God bless you and keep you
May God cause the divine light to shine upon you and be gracious to you
May God turn toward you, and grant you peace
(Numbers 6: 24-26)

If you head on over to Jessica's BLOG you can see her tutorials plus link other people on the Blog Hop TEST DRIVE! Lots of great ideas and, pssssst, there is a contest too. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Honor Land

I once again have donated a piece to the Missouri Coalition for the Environment fundraiser called 
eARThworks. I love the name of this fundraiser, such a clever play on words. 

My painting, Honor Land is inspired by the quote of John Muir, "When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world."

You can click on the link to find out more regarding all the amazing artwork that is part of this show plus details about you can attend and/or bid (you don't have to be in St. Louis) on a piece. 

I hope my painting raises a lot of money for the environment.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Have I got a deal for you!!

We, at StencilGirl Products need your help. We need people to link us up. On your website, blog, whatever. So, if you would be so kind to link up we will send you a FREE 5x6 stencil of your choice (you pick off our website. Simply email stencilgirlproducts at with your choice of stencil and your mailing address.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Return of the Delinquent Blogger

Geez, Louise, this has been my worst ever spell of non-blogging. I have had a lot of travel in these last 6 weeks - it is hard to remember what all I've done. But I want to check back in with all you blog peeps. I miss reading what everyone is up to....I am going to try to bring you up to date, little by little.

Early September - St. Louis Art Fair. 
This is my booth. 
You know, entering a big show like this (and getting in!) was probably slightly daft considering the aggressive teaching schedule I had during that exact time frame. I mean, really, what was I thinking???
But you know what? Things work out. 
Between teaching gigs I was able to paint like a mad woman, and also paint with a purpose of filling that booth. It allowed me to really let loose and p-l-a-y. Mainly because I didn't have a lot of time, but also because I used those precious painting hours to de-stress. It was really marvelous and reminded me that I need to paint for me too. Not just to develop class samples and to write articles, but also because I.NEED.TO.PAINT.
It was a good reminder.

Monday, September 03, 2012

A Lesson on Play

I taught at CREATE in Chicago and was traveling from August 23-26. I knew that once I got home I only had about 10 days to finalize my paintings for the St. Louis Art Fair. Usually I try to give myself the proverbial day off, but it just didn't happen after Chicago.
Monday was a catch up/laundry/paperwork day and then I headed into the studio on Tuesday, all full of energy, ready to paint up a storm and hopefully complete some more pieces.
Best laid plans.
I had a horrid painting day that left me in tears, yeah, even after all these years I remain thin-skinned.
Facing Wednesday I was morose. Julie and I had a group of friends coming over to hang out and to be honest I was dreading it. I wanted to see my friends (duh) but I reallyreallyreally needed to finish some paintings and I knew that was highly unlikely in a group setting.
After much soul searching, I gave myself permission to play on Wednesday.
I entered the studio with absolutely zero plans. My friends arrived. I puttered around with some of my small pieces, ones I had previously prepped. Everybody started doing their own thing, conversations buzzing.
I picked up a 6x6 and started futzing with it, laughing and talking all the while. Hmmm, it looked kind of nice. Grabbed another, then another and poof! Before I knew it I was into a lovely rhthym and I completed some of my smaller pieces.

All while I was playing......

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Art Is....You!

West Coast, East Coast........Art Is....You has got you covered. This will be my first year and I have heard such marvelous things I am like a girl approaching her first day of school. Such anticipation, all I need are some new saddle shoes, tee, hee.....
So you can find me at both Petaluma and Stamford. I still have openings in my classes and I want to tell you a little bit more about each one.
The top picture is my "More is Less" class where we work on painting neutral pieces plus we create texture with unexpected items. The result is a sophisticated look (at least I think so and hope you agree) but it is oh-so-easy to achieve and also a lot of fun!
The bottom picture is "Tic Tac Texture" and we will be working on the grid, exploring it in different ways, plus shaking up our texture ingredients. And guess what? I only used 2 colors of paint here (plus white of course). Don't you want to know what they are.......
I'm being a tease, ha, ha, ha, imagine that!
Bottom line, I'd love to see you in class - the paint will be a flyin' and it's gonna be a blast!! All you gotta do is click the link.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sample Sale Starts Today!!

Since I have a lot of small works - samples that I made for classes, magazine articles, books, etc, I thought this might be a nice time to have a sale! Yep, a real sale, for those of you who reside here in Blogland and couldn't come visit me at Open Studio.

So, just pretend that you are here in St. Louis (it has cooled considerably and is actually a nice time to visit). You are walking up to my doorstep........

CLICK HERE for entry to my Sample Sale.
Be sure and stop back frequently as I add more items.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Art Unraveled

Got home last night from Art Unraveled. Whew, what a whirl that was. Yet The students were amazing and fun and talented. I get to know more people each year and it has become nearly a homecoming as I recognize so many people. It is wonderful to be able to catch up with friends at the breakfast buffet and at happy hour. Such a relaxed environment.
This year I taught three classes and the photo above shows some of the work from two of them. I wish I had taken more photos, I know I always say that but it's true. I get caught up in the moment and totally forget to pull out my camera, or, in this case, my phone.
I found it especially rewarding to watch my students build the layers in their pieces. Yes there were some complications, you know how pieces can easily get out of hand? Well, we managed to get everyone back on track and I have to say I was quite smitten with all of them.
Now that I am back home it is time to prepare submissions for next year, oy, never a dull moment, eh? I have lots of ideas, too many really, now I'm just trying to decide which ones are best. While simultaneously preparing for Create in Chicago and painting like a mad woman for the St. Louis Art Fair.
Here are some more pictures from my journey. Check out that food! Geez, I loved the Prosciutto Salad and think I need to steal that presentation idea. Wowza. And those veggies were at True Food, one of my fave places. So fresh it reminded me of France.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Delinquent Blogger

I wish I had a good excuse as to why I haven't blogged much lately. We were gone. Then gone again. Then back for six days and now I'm leaving for the third time. It has all been good, but hectic and I am feeling some of the effects. I was late with my Somerset Studios column for the first time ever. I have found that I am forgetting things that I would normally remember. I am also kind of snappy to those I love, mainly poor John who is around me the most. I don't like it when I act like this.
Truth be known, I said yes to a few too many things. I thought I had learned that 'how to say no' lesson a few years back, but apparently not.
Anyhoo, here I am, trying to get packed for Art Unraveled, doing laundry, shuffling paperwork, eating aimlessly (yeah, that's what I do when I get nervous), etc, etc.
But here right now I am going to stop whining. Enough already.
Here is a collage mosaic of photos I took at the Missouri Botanical Garden last week. There is an unreal lantern festival there. If you are anywhere close to St. Louis, get your behind over here cause it is really cool. These are just a sampling of my unedited photos. Looking at them makes me smile and I can see a new series developing right before my eyes.

Monday, July 16, 2012


I feel like it's my alter ego, StencilGirl Products
Anyhoo, we have lots of new stencils over there. 
Jane LaFazio has designed her first of many (at least if I have anything to do with it). 
She talks about it HERE. It is a beauty.
And Tracie Huskamp has bunnies! And Eggs! Oh my!
Check them our at StencilGirl Products!!

Friday, July 06, 2012

Painting and painting

Now that I am back from France I have a rare break in the action that is called my life. This means I need to paint like a crazy woman in order to have enough art ready for the St. Louis Art Fair. Thankfully, painting is pretty much what I always want to do so I am happy as the proverbial clam and really, how do we know clams are happy? Could be the simplicity of their life although I am totally making that up as I have no idea if their lives are simple or not.

Here are two of the pieces finished. They are each 24x24.
I also finished some blue green works too. The top one is the one that Jasper accidentally jumped on and had his claws sunk into its upper edge. He also completely coated his belly with paint, purple not being such a great look on a gray cat.

I can't remember the size of these. The top one is smallish, say 12x16, the bottom one 18x24. For this batch, John accidentally stepped on the bottom one. How it happened I can only imagine but good golly, do I have extra challenges or what!??! He had mylar stuck on his foot (from a stencil) and it was imbedded into the piece. Such if my life.
As you can see, this new series is circles. Again. I can't get enough of them. I want to do a bunch of different colors and I hope they hang together. I am having a great time playing with new techniques and pushing my vision of circles.
ps....the black corners is an artistic border, not actually part of the painting - these will be framed in black floating frames

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Leave the Light On

Our Street 
One night when we were in France, someone (one of the girls) suggested we go visit the cemetery.  It stays light really late over there, way later than here in Missouri, so we all headed out and it was light enough for me to snap some pictures. This is the view of our street as we walked back home.
I love this picture because it gives such a true flavor of Durfort. It is the cutest village ever. Enchanting really, I think they must blow magic dust on each person as they enter because I felt transported to another world.
Leave the light on 
This is a photo taken by the side of the road while on one of our excursions. I have no idea why I was so drawn to this scene. We had stopped to look at a castle which was fabulous. I was putzing around and saw this sleepy little vignette. There was something about the lights, the doors, the door knockers....oh my, I could go on and on and trust me, I have the photos to prove it, ha! 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Success is a Journey not a Destination

I am back from France. We got back Saturday night, late, after a bunch of frustrating airline situations. Once we had started home I was intent on seeing my kitties, could imagine myself cuddling up with them, especially that purr-meister Remington. It was hard to wait....and wait...and wait.
So now we are home and I have jumbled thoughts about my trip. Thinking about it brings tears of joy to my eyes and I find myself without words. How to explain the amazing beauty that is the south of France. How to convey the intimacy of friendship - sharing this charmed time with 8 students, all such incredible human beings. Each person penetrated my soul with memories of a lifetime, thus is the privilege of sharing a trip such as this with like minded people.
And the food, the wonderful fresh and colorful food, so pure and good.
Simply put, the trip restored me.

After the class, John and I went to Paris. We visited museums that I previously only dreamed of seeing. Saw so many world class paintings that I overflow with inspiration. I want to capture my thoughts, but it is like trying to hold sand in my fingers.
The words will come, I know this will happen. And then the paintings. Or maybe it will be the other way around, who knows?
In the meantime, I leave you with this picture of an Organ Grinder, the only thing lacking was a monkey. I hear the tune from our studio apartment, then looked out my window (I was in Paris, oh my!) to see this guy, plucked from central casting, walking down the street. My picture is horrible as there was a delivery van. But I will never forget the sheer joy on that man's face - I leaned out the window and waved in delight.
Such magic is France.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

In case you Missed my Webinar

Here is a link so you can watch the free Webinar if you happened to miss it. Lots of good information on creating TEXTURE in Mixed Media artworks.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Yay, the Chair is done!!

And here it is......
I am happy to report the client was very pleased. Not to mention me too. I have to say I had tremendous fun playing with all the patterns to create the look of fabric. Obviously I had a few challenges along the way, but I learned so much and would welcome this kind of project again.
Honestly, I don't think it is necessary for me to wear the client's LOGO color to the unveiling though, huh? Geez........

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Progression of the Chair

When I last left you, I was working feverishly to finish the chair before the June 2nd unveiling event. My chair was just one of 23 chairs that would be shown to the public that night and I certainly didn't want to be the 'late' way!
After completing the background on the bottom part of the chair, I decided to look at some of my 'papers' - these being papers I had created from the Client's materials. I considered upholstering (that is how I came to think of this collage - the upper half of the piece. In the end, I determined that I wanted the entire chair to be covered with the background paper I had made, so I finished that portion of the collage.
Whew, I got the background done. The photo above shows my consideration of the Logo pieces as creating a striped design element. And just in the nick of time (before gluing) my eagle eye noticed that the logo had a definite orientation. Thank goodness I saw that! So I made sure the Logos were facing the right way as they moved around the chair.
I call this "audition of the plaid." The pattern was created by repeated use of the QR code and this quickly became my favorite part of the chair - it just looked so cool. You probably also notice that I had to put some circles on the chair, using the StencilGirl Bubble stencil. You know I couldn't do this without using a stencils, ha!!!
Stay tuned for the final result in a couple of days........

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Texture Texture & More Texture!!

On June 1st I will be doing a free Webinar about Texture.
Yep, totally free. I have lost my mind.
It is sponsored by Create Mixed Media  and you will need to head over to their site to sign up. But don't go yet.....I need to tell you the two reasons you reallyreallyreally want to sign up:
  1. Because, well, it is going to be good. I have put a lot into it, it is nearly a workshop. Lots and lots of texture, so much it will make your head spin but hopefully not in a bad way, just in that Ican'tgetenough way that makes you run right into your studio.
  2. And, there will be a promotional special - pssssst, it's a secret, but there are new stencils and we are offering a package deal (can you say bargain!??!) which you can only get via the Webinar. These stencils are pretty fab - patterns - plus they match up on all four sides and offer negative and positive space so the sky is the limit. The genius boy designer Andrew Borloz created them for us. Whoot!!!
Say what, you want to sign up????
Well do.not.delay.
Click here
or here
or here
See you there!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Commission Update

I worked in the studio all day using my newly created pattern paper for the first layer collage.

It pieced together beautifully and created exactly the subtle look I imagined.
After sending a photo update to my client, it was determined that I had taken some artistic liberties they had not expected. With their logo. It seemed minimal to me but the client knows best.

Back to Square One.
Not to the micro brewery next to my studio (yep, it is called Square One - and believe me, I did think about going there) but to the drawing board.
It ain't always pretty.

(In case you are wondering, yes, I am second guessing the merits of featuring this play by play on my blog. But In for a dime, etc.....hoping perhaps this is interesting to you guys? And also testing how many colloquialisms I can use in one Blog entry. I am perhaps a teeny bit slap happy. Ahem.)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

How to start a Commission

I promised that you could follow along on the Take a Seat Project. And right about now you are probably thinking, what the heck, I thought she was going to be painting and doing some collage, not working on a computer.
Uh, yeah......but fact is, there is a lot of pre-work that I do before I ever pick up a brush. Sometimes it seems like the art is the quickest part of the process.
For instance, once I learned I had 'won' the commission (and I say won because I was in competition with other artists) I started to formulate plans. Mainly I did a lot of thinking.
I made notes.
Sketched out ideas.
And then set up a meeting with the client.
During the meeting I asked a lot of questions and took notes. I showed my initial idea and asked for images from the client.
Obtained research material regarding the COW projects which were also fiberglass. Ordered materials that I needed. Cost - close to $400, yikes! 
While I was waiting for the photos from the client, I completed all the things that were 'on my plate' so I could dedicate full effort toward the commission.
Flash Forward - materials arrived - photos and art materials.
I reviewed and then took more time to think.
Lots of thinking.
Scratched my entire proposal.
Developed a new idea and called the client to discuss.
Turns out my new idea involved imagery that was part of a letterpress job a local artist had done for client. I really wanted to use these images in my collage, but refused to do it unless we had permission. Client called and then I also called to obtain permission. The other artist, Eric Woods, was actually pleased that I asked and generously agreed, woo hoo! Naturally I will give him credit.
As an aside, you should check out his company, Firecracker Press here. They do amazing work.

I drove over to client's office and picked up Eric's original posters to use for collage.
Went through all the photos furnished by client.
Cropped madly and then (using a book) taught myself how to create 'fabric' with a half drop repeat. Using the clients materials this allowed me to create a custom pattern.
Sent it out for printing. Translation, honey would you have these printed for me.....
Re-contacted client to obtain a higher res version of another piece that client wanted to play an integral role in the collage.
Awaiting its arrival.
Called the company that does the Clear Coat (this is the final step) and made an appointment for next week. Nothing like a deadline to keep me on track.
Took the posters (on very thick paper) into the studio and experimented with ways to separate the paper layers so they are thinner and will collage more seamlessly. Decided that using a palette knife was the best (although quite messy) way to do this.
Started to play with my palette to see if I could match the orange Logo color.
Hmmm, day one over, I haven't even touched that chair.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Take a Seat!!

Remember back in January when I was working on table decorations for Chesterfield Art's fundraiser? If you recall, we constructed and painted about 50 chairs, oh my oh my it was fun but also a lot of work. Well now the Take a Seat Public Art Project has been fully launched and full size chairs have been painted by lots of school groups. I have been commissioned by PNC bank to paint a chair that will reside in their local headquarters. I mentioned that you, my loyal blog readers will be able to follow along with my process, so here are my very first photos. 

This is a life size Fiberglass chair. I have plans for a mixed media collage painting using photos and documents I have obtained from my client. I will keep you updated as it progresses.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Rabbit hole

We took a trip to Texas last week and I am still slightly derailed. While hiking with my brother and his family I saw this hole and perhaps inadvertently slipped into it......ahem.

Seriously though, I have a lot going on right now. Good and exciting and all that great stuff but
 I. Am.Busy. 
Which makes me a bad blogger
Next week I am starting a rather large commission and I will document my process here. Hopefully you will find it interesting.
And, in kitty news, my little girl, Lyra has grown up!
Check out this picture of her fluffiness and mane!!! Remy hasn't gotten his yet. I will keep you informed.
Isn't Lyra cute though? Or maybe that's just a mama talking.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Wax on, Wax off Batik

Day one of the workshop at Valley Ridge consisted of making Batik papers. This is one of my favorite things, originally taught to me by Katherine Engen and then she encouraged me to take the class and run with it. Isn't that cool of her?
Well, I guess I did. I do know I have come up with some crazy ideas for printing on paper - can you say potato masher? Yeah, crazy I know.
Here is some student work. Absolutely gorgeous.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Put a Bird on it (cause we LOVE birds!)

The adorable Tracie Lyn Huskamp has a tutorial up on her blog that uses her new line of Bird stencils. Sold at StencilGirl of course but you probably figured that out.
Happy May Day!!!
Picture of my friend's pool covered with petals from Bradford Pear trees. It is fascinating how they formed circles.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What goes around....

comes around in such delightful ways.
A few weeks ago I was scheduled to appear on Great Day St. Louis; if you've been around my blog for awhile, you have undoubtedly heard about my TV gigs, you can find one of my classic stories here (yeah, it's a funny one).
But I digress. Anyhoo, I was trying to figure out what to make, seeing as I was going to be on the show right before Easter. I wanted something cute and spring-like. I knew I would be appearing right after returning home from Artfest meaning my brain would be fried! and also meaning I should not try to reinvent the wheel as I am want to do but should make something tried and true.
I pulled my 'ideas' file.
Perused a folder of 'techniques' that I had saved online.
Then while surfing the web I came across the cutest wreath ever. Made of burlap, which I happened to have on hand. It involved a hot glue gun which could be trouble for me, remember that time I glued part of the project to the tablecloth - on live tv naturally. But I felt up to the challenge.
Here is the original blog post that caught my interest, by Maria - it is a project she did for Donna Downey. I contacted Donna Downey and got the a-ok from her assistant. Also contacted Maria and she said it was fine. I sent everyone stencils as a 'thank you.'
Now here is a link to the actual TV segment if anyone is interested - no mishaps this time, whew, and I think it went fine. BUT! As a point of interest, Virginia, the adorable hostess (so-so sweet!!) was wearing 6 inch heels. Ahem. Her heels beat my heels by, well, by six inches, hahahaha.
This is my version of Maria's wreath. I gave it to my Mom for Easter.
This past Monday, Maria, posted on her blog the art she had made with the stencils I gave her - isn't that sweet? And since she gave me a little shout out, I thought I would do the same for her. She writes a super duper blog by the way.

Being nice never goes out of style, does it?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Out of my Cave

We traveled to Cincinnati over the Easter weekend to spend the holiday with my Mom and Dad.
One of the highlights of the visit was the Nick Cave show at the Cincinnati Art Museum. I didn't realize I wasn't supposed to take any pictures (in my cave till the guard snapped me right out of it!) and got this shot which gives you an idea of his work.

I love this guy. I mean seriously.
His Soundsuits were displayed around the museum and we followed marks on the floor to locate each one of them. So inventive, they were constructed of all sorts of fun things from potholders to fisherman sweater to buttons. There was video showing a group of people dancing while wearing the Soundsuits and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing them 'in action'. It must be sooooo cool to observe them live, especially a large group of people wearing the suits - I mean they just make me smile, I can't help myself.
If you are Cincinnati, head to the art museum before this exhibit is over, you have a few more weeks!!

Monday, April 09, 2012

Artfest Recap

Look at this great blog post by Regina Lord! She was a student of mine at Artfest, so sweet!! And I really enjoyed seeing the work she made in class. Please don't laugh at me in her photos; I look like I need about a week's worth of sleep, ahem.....what can I say.

Here is more student art. I completely forgot to take pictures the first two days and I have really been kicking myself for such an oversight. The diversity of student work blew my mind and I am thrilled they were able to find their own voice while also learning new things. That is often hard to accomplish.

In other news, there is only ONE opening left in my Wax on Wax off workshop at Valley Ridge. This event is being co-taught with Julie Snidle, (my bff and studio partner) so it is going to be a blast.
Create Chicago is now OPEN for business, yay and Art Unraveled and Art Is....(east & west coast) continue to take signups. But sadly, the Ultimate Mixed Media Cruise has been cancelled. I am completely bummed by this but I guess it just wasn't meant to be. Perhaps another time....
As always, my teaching gigs are indicated in the lefthand sidebar.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

The Pre-Artfest soirée

For the last couple of years, I have joined up with friends at the lovely 
An amazing spot
where bald eagles frolic, sounding their call to anyone who will listen
where souls interact and relationships flourish
and where my spirit gathers strength 


stay tuned for photos of student work......

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.