I guess I'm still fixated on text and story telling. I bought several books and videos on calligraphy but quickly realized this art form was not going to work for me. I had hand surgery years ago so don't have the necessary control that this art form requires. Besides, it was too perfect for me.
I came across this video recently and it gave me permission not be perfect in my lettering and writing — start at 4 minutes) . (thanks Joggles!)
I also liked the idea of working on black paper and so I bought a ooly black paper sketchbook and some Milky Pop gelli pens. Like them both for their vibrant colors and no bleed through properties.
My idea is to synthesize the news of the day, every day for the rest of my life. We'll see how long this passion lasts.
Here's my first entry!
OK, this is a photo I took today. Spring is really here in Denver!
I can't wait to see the trees blossoming and the grasses turning from brown to green. This is a great time to start new projects, get rid of old "stuff" and to clear the decks.
In light of that, I just cancelled all my "social media" accounts. Yes, in 30 days (that's how long it takes!) you won't see me on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin.
I will still maintain my website and I hope that's how people will connect with me in the future.
I feel a new sense of peace and lack of anxiousness. Just perfect for a Spring renewal of my daily life!
OK. I confess. This is a photo from last year but this is what I'm anticipating soon!
Nature is an amazing tutor for showing us what colors provide us the most satisfying experience. Purple and green are not exactly complimentary (purple and yellow) or analogous (purple and blue) but obviously, these colors are beautiful when placed next to each other.
I can't wait for Spring to show me other colors that work together that are NOT on the color wheel!
Lately, I'm finding folding paper a very calming and creative way to spend aa couple of hours in my studio.
I've been making books this way for several months and now, I'm exploring the Japanese art of origami.
I love the 3D result as well as the process of folding, unfolding, and being surprised at the end result. I am finding most "instructions" very mysterious so have been looking at You Tube videos so I can actually SEE what they are doing.
Everything related to this art form is precise — something I have always had a hard time with since I like to just wing things. It's teaching me patience. Is that a good thing?
It takes me and friend Judith Cassel-Mamet 10 months to come up with and test various approaches to the projects we teach at our annual Mixed Media workshops. Since we both approach everything differently, we can feed off each other's ideas and methods and that is the fun part of developing our curriculum!
Mixed Media can mean many things but one of the components that we always include is some fiber and stitching. Over the past 4 years, we have also incorporated paint. But not in the way you might think! No drawing or fine painting skills are needed!
We had a wonderful group of creative women in our March workshop and they each made amazing books, using a variety of new techniques.
Judith and I are now contemplating our next workshop which will be held in 2020. If you subscribe to my newsletter, you'll get the details first.
Meanwhile, I hope you are living in a place with lots of sunshine and are looking forward to Spring!
I just finished teaching a 2 day workshop with my friend and cohort, Judith Cassel-Mamet. We had 18 students in a lovely sun-lit classroom inside a church near Washington Park. Everyone created 3 books during the two days and we taught many techniques such as how to print on paper with a gel plate, how to create books using different types of bindings, and most of all, how to layer on paper using a variety of methods to create unique, abstract art.
One of our students gave me a "thank you" card with a pop-up showing the Manhattan Skyline. (we both called NY our home even though we live in Denver now!)
That got me inspired.
My favorite online book-making teacher is Faith Hale. She teaches at Creative Bug and yes, I pay $4.95 per month to access all their classes. I enjoy this learning platform because they have so many classes ranging from 5 minutes to 6 hours so when time is short, I can pop in to see something that might interest me. So I learned this 3-D folding technique from Faith (she called it a rainbow bridge) and it was super easy and fun to make. The class is "Altered Book Daily Challenge" if you want to delve into this interesting way to think about using books in a mixed media environment.
Coming from a publishing background, cutting up a book makes me cringe a little but since I have 2,000 books in my personal library, I think eliminating a few this way would save them from the landfill. So I'm OK with that!
The view from our apartment is totally different from the view from our house and in some ways, even though I live in the same neighborhood, I don't recognize the landmarks around me.
But I've been thinking about how a change in perspective could change how we look at our own art.
One of the things I learned from other artists is that you need to flip your work around in every direction to see things you didn't see before. I have found this advice invaluable. It helps me see composition, shapes, and values. It shows me where I need to add or subtract something. If frees me from seeing the details of the image I'm working on to seeing the "whole picture".
I encourage you to try this as one more tool in your art box.
And yes, this is a metal sculpture I used to have in my back yard but now, is placed on my balcony. I love seeing her every day but on a snowy day like today, the outlines really stand out. The artist is Arabella http://arabellasmetal.com/ . She is a Denver-based artist and I feel lucky to have been able to collect two of her women.
What a fun weekend!
This Mixed Media Adventures Workshop was my favorite so far. Judith and I have been teaching these workshops for the past 4 years in various locations and with different projects and I think we have figured out the best venue, the best content, and the best group of creatives to bring together to create an atmosphere where we thrive at an affordable cost.
When we announced our February workshop, it sold out in a week so we scheduled another one in March and that too, sold out. I don't know if we can put on another one this fall but we will be thinking about that.
In any case, we will definitely be creating a new workshop for next Feb 2020 so if you are interested, be sure you are signed up to my newsletter where I will be announcing the details.
Hope you are having a creative day.
In case you haven't heard, I moved to an apartment and am selling the house we have lived in for 30 years. Quite a change.
But part of the change is going through all the boxes and things we have stored, thinking we would need them some day. One of those boxes contained my husband's postal stamp collection.
Discovering he collected stamps was a surprise to me since that was a hobby I spent many hours doing with my Dad. I've always loved the stories and histories that stamps reflected and when my husband said he didn't want them any more, I took them to my studio.
They weren't worth more than the postage printed on them but I didn't want to use them for regular mail. Besides, it would take eleven 5 cent stamps to mail a letter today!
So I decided to make them into art tiles.
Here's the one I inserted into my Valentines Day card this year. He loved it!
It all started with a text message...
"Hi grandma I was wondering if u could make me a pouch for my drawing tablet. Could it pls be gray and pink. The measurement if 14.2 x 8.6 so could u pls make it a little bigger. Love u so much.
Of course, I checked out my stash and incredibly, I had no pink or gray fabric! (not my favorite colors!) So I went shopping and bought some FQ's in a variety of values and started making the fabric using my left-over Stitch & Slash technique.
Because I have been making wallets and purses for a while, I was pretty confident of using a zipper to close the top and attaching the lining for the inside.
I thought a 9" opening would be fine but no! Did you know a 9" zipper doesn't open to 9"? I didn't until the entire pouch was made and I couldn't insert the cardboard tablet I made in the dimensions of her tablet.
Back to the drawing board.
But problem solving is a part of all my artwork so instead of starting over (which I hate as much as ripping out stitches) I cut out the zipper and finished the raw edge with some couching. Then, it was too short. So I added some Sari ribbon to the edge and added more couching.
So instead of a zipper, I created a tab and added that with a couple of magnetic closures.
To personalize it, I added her name using some alphabet beads.
All in all, I think it turned out cute. I hope it fits and she likes it. If not, I can always make another one now that I know how to do it right!
Carol Ann Waugh
I am a fiber artist and love color and texture!