Saturday, September 28, 2019


With heavy air drizzling on the skylights, I find myself thinking of the final workshop of the month scheduled for tomorrow. What shall we do? What should the main project be? Of course, we will go over basic methods, but I'm looking for that something "special" as focus. With the students all being repeat ones, I don't hesitate to ask them what is preferred.

Some would like "oh, anything." Others would like to focus on collage figures. I had mentioned focus on faces, so that is definitely one possibility...and there are myriad ways to accomplish this.

So...What shall it be?

Thursday, September 26, 2019


Johnna did some fun tiles
The eight women showed up excited to begin the workshop in alcohol inks on Sunday. Five wonderful, fun-filled hours ensued, with beautiful pieces for each and every student.

After introductions (which kept getting stalled for some reason), we began with a brief demo and experimentation on a variety of papers. The energy was high and we ignored the heat as play was the most important thing!

I wish I could show all the fantastic work created here on this page, but you will just have to believe me when I say it was pretty phenomenal.

And as far as how a workshop should be conducted, well, I cannot speak so much to my own part, but on that beautiful, energy-filled day, the students stepped up to the mark on every level. They shared ideas and techniques as they tried new things; they laughed and shared stories; they shared the wonderful foods they had each brought; they shared about other classes they had or were going to take. These things and so much more made up for the perfect workshop for my money.

Saturday, September 21, 2019


Katherine's play
With an upcoming couple of workshops in the works for the next week or so I find myself continuing in the vein of questioning what I think it takes for a successful experience for all.

Safety of the space for experimenting and being oneself I think I covered last time. What else? 

Some of the nitty-gritty: 
Since I supply the materials, there should always be an ample supply.
Include optional supplies for experimentation.
A handout sheet of where to purchase and what to continue the playing.
A handout sheet that basically explains process, as there is always too much to simply remember.

Beyond these (and probably a few other things I cannot remember right now) instructor and student both should be present and respectful of one and all.

I'm off to prep for tomorrow's alcohol inks workshop with all this and more in mind.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019


The long view
On my morning walk today I paused at this inspiring view to just sit and ponder. One of the things that showed up was an article I had recently read on contributing to the good energy of a workshop environment as a student. While there were aspects with which I could agree, there were others with which I took exception.

With two workshops coming up this month, I thought long and hard as I sat about just what I think makes a good safe environment in which to play in the fields of art.

As an instructor, it is always my primary concern that each student should feel safe to create in his or her own way as long as it is done in a manner that is not harmful to self or others. Beyond that, the students should feel that both they and their creations are accepted and enjoyed.

In the student/teacher relationship there is always the accepted expectation of some critique. Nevertheless, I strive to keep this to a minimum, often waiting to be asked. Students are not to critique each other unless asked.

In a nutshell, beyond this, I strive to create an environment for my workshops in which there is a lot of daring experimentation, laughter, story-telling, good food, and new friendships gained. It is, after all, Mixed Media Playtime, and the joyful play I seek to see is implied, I think.

Always, I am grateful for the many opportunities of teaching.

Saturday, September 14, 2019


Round Robin art journal fun
Luckily I decided to get down to it early this month and so the nearly complete entry shown here.

This was before I took a chunk out of my finger and needed stitches, which hampers me in too many ways. Now I just have to heal quickly before the alcohol ink workshop in a week.

Typing is another thing hampered so that's it for this time.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019


Recycled mailing envelope for art journal
Being a part of a round robin art journal is full of surprises and more often than not some pretty good art as well.

The panda mailing envelope was sent by Cindy to Marla who then recycled it with a splash of paint and sent on to me. Inside the nearly finished cycle of entries I found many wonderful and inspiring journal pieces. From the simple to the complex each two-page spread offers up a piece of the artist who makes the contribution to what will become a completed keepsake journal.

While all of us are leading busy lives and once a month is often enough to work on one of these journals as they travel around, I sometimes find myself wishing the mailbox were filled with more.

If you've never done one of these round robin experiences, perhaps you should consider it now as fall opens up to new possibilities. It is not only fun to receive and to see others' artwork, but a great opportunity to try your hand at new techniques in this simple format. You might just be surprised at what shows up.

Saturday, September 7, 2019


Normally, I prefer to use my own images for this blog, but this one seemed to call out to me.  Perhaps it will to you as well.

Having created a space post-festival season to see what will show up, I have found myself spending many hours each day simply clearing out my spaces and ridding myself of long-saved yet unused pieces. Still unsure what will show up, I nevertheless move forward with the clear image that whatever it is will be pretty wonderful.

So what do I answer to the question of who? After a good deal of thought and with the creating space in mind, it suddenly came to me that I would need to sit down with myself. Who knows better what might lie ahead and who better to manifest?

So who would you choose to sit with for that precious hour?

Wednesday, September 4, 2019


Scrabble tiles
The Sawdust Art Festival 2019 has come to an end.  After 66 days of "live" I have to admit I am not feeling too lively. I'm pooped. 

One of the fond remembrances from the many days are the Scrabble games that sometimes went on for days with fellow artist Suzanne Esko. 

The passing of the box created a small stir with some of the artists--one even thinking we were passing a pizza box and not even deigning to share :)

As I strive to put things away and re-create studio space for the ahead I look back fondly on the shared times, the laughter, the music, and so much more.

I am now creating a space that I can fill with "new." Wonder what that new will be.Stay tuned.