Saturday, April 19, 2014

HApPy DaY!!!

How did I get so lucky?

Do I have the most wonderful friends ever, or what?!

A little celebration was going on at our BBG gathering on Thursday.  I am now the speed limit!  Janet is helping think of a wish to make.  (That's ok, I already know my wish!)


Delicious cake, Sally!  Diane likes it, too.

And let us not forget our dear Sonya, whose birthday is TODAY!  (Saturday) We got her in on the celebration and presented her with her very own, customized birthday crown.

I made this crown to reflect Sonya's love of book binding and her Dutch heritage - it's got windmills and tulip stitching!).
Even the cherry trees were getting into the festive spirit, tossing pink confetti everywhere!

My darling daughter Willow gifted me with flowers.  Look at these most intensely blue orchid!  (She also gave me a JoAnn's gift card! Does she know her mama?  Oh yes, she does!)

And my other darling daughter Emily wrote the loveliest ode to me on her blog:

And my beloved Robbie?  Well, unbeknownst to me he was busy on Vendor's Night at Art & Soul, gathering steampunk jewelry and more gears and what-nots.  He put it all together on a chain.

With love and gratitude to all my friends and loved ones who made my day so special!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Art & Soul Surprize, 2014

I wasn't even going to be able attend Art & Soul this year, but thanks to the generosity of dear friends and friends of dear friends, I was very fortunate to be able to attend three classes!

One of Diane's friends, Sandy, was unable to go to her Monday and Tuesday classes, so she gifted them to me. Wow.  I am amazed by the generosity of somebody I don't even know.  And Sandy, when you are able, I would be more than happy to show and teach you what you missed.  Monday's class was with Suzanne McNeill, "Intuitive Journals."  This included the very fun technique I have used for many years of free painting a large piece of watercolor paper and then tearing it into smaller pages.  You'll always get fun compositions with this random technique.  The part that was new for me was tossing on a variety of tactile elements and objects that would absorb some of the wet paint and leave texture marks when the paper was dry.  Very cool!  Suzanne has written many fun and inspiring arts and crafts books.  Get a peek of all that she does here.

One side of my paper in progress.  Juicy color and texture!
I LOVED the jute grid seen in the center here -it left tiny hairy texture marks!
These shots are of my paper in progress.  No pics of how they look as journal pages yet.  Maybe some day.

On Tuesday I got to take a class with the talented book artist Ingrid Dijkers, "Into the Crypt."  These are photos of Ingrid's book.  Mine is still very much in progress.

Into the Crypt journal by Ingrid Dijkers
Inside Ingrid's journal
I had never made a tunnel book before, and now I am intrigued by the possibilities of unexpected juxtapositions.  Note: Ingrid's bug books are also gorgeous, and if I were still teaching the second grade insect unit, I would want to do the bug book project with my students!  See more of  Ingrid's beautiful work on her website here.

I am very grateful for the opportunity to have taken these classes, and for the willingness of the teachers to allow me to take Sandy's place.

On Wednesday I was class free, but I'd been having too much fun at Art & Soul, and luckily I live close by, so after my ukulele lesson I swung by the Red Lion and peeked in on Janet's class with Andrew Dyrdahl.  Via Janet, who took three days of classes with Andrew, I got to know him a little better and got to see his very cool work.  Andrew is a multi-talented fashion designer-textile artist-metal artist-book artist - you get the idea.  VERY cool stuff which you can sample on his website here.  (Check out Andrew's Facebook page, too!)  Seeing Janet's metal and leather cover journal she made in Andrew's class, I know that a Maestro Dyrdahl class is in my future!

Artist Andrew Dyrdahl (photo by Janet Wilson)
It was also WONderful dining with my art buddies Janet, Sally, and Diane, meeting new friends, and going to dinner with my good friend Marilyn.  That is always the joy of attending an art retreat - being able to hang out with the artsy-craftsy crowd!  Here I am with Janet and Sally at the Art & Soul passport table, putting in our stamps of the day.  (Thanks for snapping the photo with your magic secret word that always gets us to smile big, Marie Kennedy!)

Janet, Sally, and Moi
At this point I thought my Art & Soul journey for 2014 was over, so on Thursday I got back to work in my real world, subbing a kindergarten class in the morning, paper work in the afternoon, and Winterhawks hockey in the evening.  Went to bed thinking I would be subbing a full day, but woke up to find that the sub job had been canceled, AND, that Sally Jo had emailed after midnight to ask if I wanted to attend Tory Brokenshire's Santos class in her place, as she was just too exhausted.  What serendipity!  And boy, wouldn't I just LOVE to take Tory's class!  I'd long admired Tory's Santos figures, as they appealed to the former Catholic-doll maker-latinophile in me.  Plus, I'd get to be in class with my BBG bff Janet!

LOVE Tory Brokenshire!  Very fun teacher! (Highly recommended!  Check out more of her work HERE.)  I also adore this kind of class where each student's personality and creativity can come out.  We all started with the same basic materials, but each Santo comes out so unique!  Beginning with a porcelain doll head, we cover it in Sculpey and the baby doll morphs into a santo.  Here are pics of my head in progress.

Apply nose, chin, and cheek bones
Form the eyes
Beginning to paint first coat
(Side note: It was a gorgeous day outside and we had a room with a view!  Check out the huge paddlewheeler, Queen of the West, getting ready to take folks on a cruise up the Columbia River, docked right outside our classroom!)

Back to class!  So much fun to see everyone else's work.  I wandered around the class, camera in hand.

LOVE the expression on Janet's santo!
The skull cap on this santo is a gorgoue bronze-gold color
Wonderful lace for the costume, in progress
Expressive eyes, and so much texture in the costume!
Tory's class sample - don't you love the sacred heart pendant she made for this santo?!
Pye honored her family's heritage in her santo, using symbols to represent the different people in her family.  I love this!
Amazing headdress for this santo, and wonderful textile pieces!
Just love the crown of pearls!
Such a beautiful, serene expression.
Whimsical and wonderful!
Here's Tory with all our santos lined up.
Up closer, half of the class' santos
And the other half.  (Sheesh, who's the rebel adding all that color?
Janet and I, in typical fashion, stayed three more hours after the class ended to continue working on our santos.  Janet had also brought along a head in progress she had started in another class with Tory last fall.  Trying it on this year's santo's body, it looked quite elegant.  I think she's got a stunning piece here!
Janet's santo with last year's head
Artist at work, after class (photo by Janet)

With eyes!
This was a truly inspiring class for me.  I can see many different characters coming to life inspired by the headpieces and fabrics themselves.  I look forward to finishing this one, and making many more!  Dearest Sally, thank you so much for the opportunity to take this class!
Sigh, back to reality now, cleaning up the studio, finishing up taxes, and then packing for the next grand adventure which starts next week!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Super Mini You's!

This past weekend I taught my first adult art class, Super Mini You, at Collage in Portland!  It was a grand success!  The students were wonderful, the Collage staff very helpful, and I had a blast.  The feedback was great, so I'm looking forward to teaching another class soon!

Here are some photos from our class:
Janet sculpts her dolls face
Beverly adds a nose
Susan W and Susan H work on legs and shoes
Into the dehydrator to dry the clay
Beverly, Maggie and Diane paint the undercoat
Cait from Collage gets in on the photo shoot.  What a beautiful space to work in at Collage!
Laura's work in progress, already so full of spirit
Diane and Maggie painting their dolls
Maggie adds magnificent locks fleece for her hair
Sally and Janet create their doll wigs
Laura's doll, finished!

Susan H's doll and her gorgeous red hair
Beverly's doll - love those stripey arms!
Maggie's doll - check out those adorable pink shoes!
I had a wonderful time with this group of creators!  I hope to see the other dolls soon!