Archive for September, 2010
We almost didn’t pull off having a club meeting last night – I am sure glad we did though! We cancelled in August because the ‘clubhouse’ was under construction (again) and then one of our members moved to Ireland (?) and then, and then, and then even though there were only two of us last night, we set up, dug in and had a ball working in our journals! Once again we came to the conclusion that no matter what – it is really worth the effort to meet and create together. Many of us work alone and commute alone and live alone and think alone and at the end of the week – we are talking to ourselves. Even the best conversation is a little skewed after a week of one-sidedness.
My new friend Terry teaches Mixed Media in Glenwood Springs so I went and took a class with her. Glenwood Springs is west up I-70 past Vail and on the way down the other side of the continental divide.
We had two intentions when we set up this trip. She would show me a specific mixed media technique and I would help her get a blog going. We accomplished both goals and had a ball doing so!
She has some work to do before going live and I have some practicing and homework to go, but we are both well on our way!
A lot has been happening and the Round Robin, whose subject is “My Zen Garden” has weathered it all, up high, in a drawer, even in a packing box. All through Mini-Camp, taking apart the studio, adding the big drawers, and putting it all back together and then, and then – waiting for Monica to get back and then for her to get her A/C working. It could stay here the rest of the year at this rate. Now it is packed and ready to go. Except I have a raging head cold and can barely keep my eyes open in the light. Sheesh, maybe my dear man will drive me to the PO.
First thing to say is that I did something wrong in my last post and the links were not live. I don’t know if it was a senior moment, a brain – er – hiccup, or if Word Press failed me. So without further ado here is the link to Beryl Taylor.
As I posted earlier I did not have a chance to finish my second watercolor painting in Jane LaFazio’s class. Last night I put the finishing touches on in less than a half-hour. I felt that I had really learned something, because I could do it easily without the teacher standing by. Thank you Jane!
Altered books take me longer, that is all there is to it. Beryl managed this class brilliantly giving us enough instruction, materials and ideas to get going and then visiting each table to evaluate where we were in the process before adding more instruction, material and ideas…thus avoiding overwhelm (for me at least). Beryl’s style is so poised and calm that I was able to not feel rushed or frustrated even though there were pages to fill, alter and embellish that I never got to.My grand daughter and I were making doll clothes thus an explanation for the fancy background for these pictures. Usually you just get my messy art table. I digress. One of the new ideas/techniques from the class was making paper beads for embellishments that will more or less further the theme of the book you are making. In this case we used the beads for the handle of the book. Although mostly for decoration I loved the methods for adding a handle too. Also in this detail picture you can see the embossed metal plates showing through the windows on the page. I’ll put in one more picture just to show some of the other ideas for adding to your page edges and how to decorate the additions…
1/2 cups (packed) dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups unbleached all
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, diced
2 large egg
2 tablespoons sugar
tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
teaspoon ground cardamom
6 large McIntosh or Golden Delicious apples (about 2
3/4 pounds), peeled, quartered, cored
This class, Paint, Stitch, Tape was FUN! Julie’s name should be Julie Fei-FUN Balzer. It was the perfect class to take on Day 1. Chaos and order and innovation – my favorite state. For the book, we made our own decorative tape and paper which we turned into giant collages to be later cut down to page size. I love this method because you get really random patterns that outfox my bent-toward-orderliness that sabotages many of my saner art sessions.
Although we worked steadily through the day, making each component was so much fun that we would keep doing paper when we were supposed to move on to tape and then continued making tape when we were supposed to be moving on to collage…My table mate and I shared our supplies without discrimination and we had our table so loaded we had to move to the floor. The hotel had just put in new carpeting and were smart enough to cover it with plastic. Even so they should have gone out another 5 feet. I am still not finished with this book, although all it needs now is the wrap around closing. I have puttered through cutting the pages down to size and sewing in the signatures and am a little bit stumped with the closing wrap. I plan on figuring it out tonight. I was trying to get the book finished before posting, but I’ll just post it again when I finish with the closing.
I forgot to mention that Julie had her mom, Eileen, as her assistant and I got to sit across from them at another class later in the week. The two of them were so funny and so much fun to play with that I would like to thank Eileen here as well as Julie for their friendship during the week.
My biggest problem with the entire week was the amount of art supplies we were asked to bring. I sorted and separated for two weeks before the retreat, trying to bring the most organized but efficient supplies. Sigh – it was hopeless – I could not find things from the very beginning and by Sunday – like I said – hopeless. I couldn’t find my tray of watercolors, only my box of watercolor crayons. So that is what I had to work with.Much to my surprise, Jane’s class was loads of fun. She demonstrated fast and practical ways of painting that will work for the way I truly want to use watercolors. The brush with the barrel loaded with water worked brilliantly especially with my crayons. Over all this class is the one that will most contribute to my art. I have often been frustrated on my camping/hiking trips trying to capture a place or a feeling without more than a pound of supplies. Her technique with the pen drawing then painting works perfectly. Her class was only three hours long so I didn’t get my second subject finished. I took the lily along with me thinking I could finish it at the airport, but alas, the flower was too fragile for the rigors of the trip. I think I will finish the border and name it “Unfinished Lily” just to be complete with the whole experience.
If you get a chance to take a class with Jane don’t pass it by. Her class was fun and fast and very practical. Thank you so much Jane.
PS – The box of watercolor pans never did show up, I either left it in another class or accidentally put it in the trash somewhere during the week.
It turns out, in the clarity of hindsight, that I took almost all bookmaking classes. Some days were to make a journal/book and some days were to alter a book, but other than Jane LaFazio’s “Watercolor and Sketching for Journaling,” I spent a week making different books – and I had a ball.This is the book I started in Kelli Perkins class. It was 80% finished during class. We first made long strips of fabric and colored them with ink and set them aside to dry. Then came the fabric paper for the pages and cover (all one piece) using paint, embossing powders, stamps and actually anything you could put your hand on. I tried everything that was available just to see how it worked. I couldn’t of had more fun. Kelli was the best-of-the-best in terms of teaching and patience. And her attention to the details of the class, made everything available in an orderly way.
I looked around the house and found two different stools that were 30 inches tall (which is still a little too short) and asked sweetly if my DH thought there would be any way to add casters, thus making them taller and easier to move. The darling man had a set of casters that worked perfectly on a wooden stool I painted years ago in my shabby-chic era.