Storytelling Camp: A City in One Day

Storytelling Camp: A City in One Day

I have been spending these past few months researching “Smart art” for my many kid’s classes at MAKE. Trying to find the neatest, most creative ways to experience learning through art and craft. One of my favorite camps that has resulted from all this screen time and page turning is my upcoming Storytelling camp. This is three days of the coolest creativity- making prompts and projects that start and create story lines. SO a search with great creativity comes, well, with a scavenger hunt throughout my MAKE studio! I wanted the kids create a city silhouette that would put lots of characters in close proximity, so that the story lines could be never ending.  An urban landscape that could create homes for as many possible subjects for leading roles. I found the perfect subjects- These rubber pieces are the shells that remain when you remove the alphabet stamps once held. These were perfect! They weren’t trash to be tossed- these were skyscrapers in the making!! A little glue, a stamp block, and we were in business. Then my hunt led my to my robot creating station. (of course there is a robot creating station-motherboards in pieces, wire snips, strange plastic shapes that once held something we would have called a “mix-tape”)  The rubber insides of the dismantled remotes were begging to become urban dwellings, and the stacking blocks declared that they were skinny high-rises as well! Out came my favorite colors of Dick Blick block printing ink, glass palettes, brayers, papers, card stock, oh my! Who says you can’t build a city in one...
Glimpses of Grace

Glimpses of Grace

There are clubs out there without names or charters or offices. Clubs without buildings or meeting rooms or chairs or calendar meeting dates. These are the ‘groups of life’ that you join through experiences, both beautiful and tragic. The knowing glances from newlyweds as they watch their friends walk the aisle- joining the marriage club. Among the pews  are also glances of love lasted, worn or torn, that come from those with even more experience in the ‘marriage club’. Early morning runners greet each other with knowing waves, travelers with heavily stamped passports advise those with newly issued tickets, new mothers tell birth stories (sometimes too graphically) to those whose bellies await delivery- they all share a bond of common experiences. Then there are the tragedies. The ache you feel for someone, both known and unknown, that is walking a path you have already stumbled through. While I have not walked the path of a cancer diagnosis, or lost a child that was running through my home that very morning, I ache for them. But my pain, my thoughts, can never join their hearts in that terrible membership status like those that have received the same news. There is a beautiful song that sings the line “we are all one phone call from our knees” and that is so true for all. This past week, I watched one of my dearest friends thrown into membership of a club I reluctantly belong to as well…the sudden death of her father. I did not want that membership card, nor does anyone else, but life sends you your journey and you must take it in hand. Each path...
Key to my Heart

Key to my Heart

Going through the house to fill the donation box, I kept picking up frames in one room or another. Some were old, some new, some broken, some brand new from the craft store. So there I was with a stack of frames & wood & inspiration struck… Holiday ornaments and tags were just waiting to be discovered in those wooden pieces…pumpkins needed to be adorned, ornaments wanted to be created and all in all- it was time to create! I also had a wonderful box just delivered from DecoArt full of amazing products from their new mixed-media line to try…I have several art projects in mind for these new products (especially their fabulous fluid acrylics!)…but today I was thinking more decoratively in my home for my mixed media creating! Since I felt a little sparkly, I went with ornaments first (I know- out of seasonal order, but who can resist the possibility of spreading a little golden cheer!) I grabbed the first frame, and old book, several awesome products from DecoArt’s new mixed media line, a stencil or two & raided the junk drawer for some old keys, buttons & an assortment of what-nots!     I began tearing pages and deco-paging the background. When dry, I did a soft wash using white antiquing cream to soften the look. Then I took one of my new favorite products,  DecoArt’s Metallic Lustre – Gold Rush, and rubbed it with a rag along the edges and details of the frame- Love! To create the center image for my frame, I used a key stencil, gesso & a palette knife. I taped off around the key I...
Drawing With Oil Bars

Drawing With Oil Bars

Like butter. That is exactly what I said when I started drawing using these wonderful bars. The smell reminds me of my days in the halls of the art building, where the musty scent of linseed oil wafts together with printmaking inks and smoking kilns. The days I spent in Scotland working with these bars still make my heart leap with joy. I can’t wait to share these through the upcoming workshop at MAKE next Tuesday, September 8! This is truly a drawing workshop…where we work through some of your favorite subjects (bring photos, pictures, printouts for drawing prompts and inspirations) Introducing the oil bars with the charcoal and graphite allows so much room for movement, mind-changes, adjustments and learning. The depth of the images grows more beautiful as the surface is worked with pencil and rag and palette knife… Come discover your artist within…beginners and advanced will love this class! Learn basic drawing techniques and get to take them to the next level…or bring an experienced drawing hand and see how this medium adds to your technique! For more information about this wonderful workshop go HERE off to...
Father’s Day

Father’s Day

Father’s Day brings light divided as it enters the room.  Light comes,  full shining brightly,  as I watch my husband with our children. He is glue to our family, a centered base of love and wisdom that holds the whirlwind around him. Between the light I see the wisps of shadows. Shadows where my father once held geology in his hand as we inquired things of mystery. Shadows where he hid behind a large oak, waiting for grandchildren to guess where he could be found. Shadows where his own wisdom and love penetrated the generations in a physical, palpable way. But it is those very shadows that allow the rest of the light to shine brightly, a contrast of past with present, an anchor to the brightness. For where my father’s shoes once walked, shadows of his footprints still remain. In the smile of my middle son, in the twinkle of my daughter’s eyes, in my own heart and mind that share his genes. And as I watch the light mix with the shadows through the blinds this morning, I smile. It is the shadows of good memories and loving into the present with bits of the past that hold up the light today. Because my father loved so dearly and deeply, our light shines brightly as we celebrate the good men in our lives, past, present and generations future. Thank you Dad. Miss you.  ...

Gardenstown

The inspiration of amazing teaching, new friends and this beautiful scenery was life-changing today! The encouragement of Gillian Smith was amazing and wonderful women in the class pushed me out of my comfort zone, and into a new place of creating. I was truly on a high this afternoon and couldn’t leave the easel…new technique, new outlook, just what I needed! It is almost all too fresh to even put into words, my heart & head are exploding with everything I am experiencing. This week had already impacted my art and my heart so deeply and there are many days to go! I can’t wait to share in the studio back home all I am creating this...

Scotland…a Journey of a new kind

  I am sitting in the London airport just a few hours away from setting foot on one of my favorite countries to visit…Scotland…But this is a journey of a new kind. One that I hope renews, refocuses, reopens my heart and mind to all things new. I have painted for a long time…creating is a very part of me, what I do, my passion. I know paint. I know how a brush should feel in my hand. I know where the strokes should go when they touch the canvas. I love the smell of acrylics & the musty scent of linseed oil, the feel of the freshly gessoed canvas, the instant gratification of color and blending and change right before my eyes. SO what is new here? This week I am setting out on a painting retreat in a remote fishing village on the North Sea to open my mind to new ideas, new ways to see things, paint used in different ways, old mediums brought out again to try like friends coming for a reunion. All new, all different. I like sitting in the familiar, where I know what will happen. I am the person who always wants to know how a movie ends before I see it. I read the last page before turning to start the very first chapter of a book. I like to be in control, to know what the outcome will be before I even start. SO here I sit, waiting on that final flight…and I don’t know what the last, much less even the first, page holds. I am not sure how this...