lighting the candles

jewlerymixweb

A few years back I took a 3-day painting class at Art & Soul with Dan Carrell. We each painted an amazing landscape using his tried and true method of textures and glazes. Check out his book called ‘Realistic Painting Workshop: Creative Methods for Painting from Life’  here.  I treasure the painting I did that week, but I don’t know if I could do another. He held our hands and led each of us thru the many layers until the very end when he helped me ‘Light the Candles’ on the painting. He said that painting was like baking a layer cake, and at the end, adding the final little details was like lighting the candles on the cake.

You already know that I am an art class junkie… knowing that each class I take adds another layer of knowledge and experience to my work. Right now I am building jewelry for our Friends’ Pop-up Shop in November. These jewelry pieces are a product of many, many classes— soldering, resin, wire, metal work, painting, patinas, beading, clay, assemblage, leather and more… and as I finish each piece, I am asking myself how to light the candles on it. Sometimes it means adding an extra dangle, an extra flash of light, an extra color or special bead. Some have words on them that only the wearer can see — hidden in plain sight to wear next to their heart.

My advice to anyone who wants to make better art or jewelry is to take as many classes as you can. You might not think that a painting class can help your jewelry making, but it can. Open your mind to the possibilities and light the candles!

I take some classes online, some at local art institutions like the Rawls Museum Arts, the Suffolk Art Gallery and Suffolk Art League, and some at Art Retreats like Art & Soul. I’ve been attending Art & Soul each year since 2008 and I have enjoyed each and every class. This year I am slated to take classes in resin, metal, abstract painting, soldering and polymer clay. Hope to see you there.

More info on our Friends Pop-up Art Shop to come…

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artful octopus tour

Intuitive Painting Class
Cecile’s deck – Rodanthe, NC

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A few of the gals in the trailerhood wanted me to teach them how to paint. They wanted to paint something bright and funky to liven up their beach trailers.

Instead of the “normal” way of painting, we did things a little different. We started out painting intuitively, working the background with lots of layers of color, texture, and pattern…waiting for the octopus to find his way onto the canvas. We painted with our hands and with different size brushes, letting each layer dry in between. Once the layers were in place, we used a pattern to paint the water around the octopus and finished up by adding in the details.

Even though we all used the same pattern, each octopus was a unique creature with its own personality! They now all hang proudly in the trailer homes of the artists.

During the “official octopus tour” the artists invited us into their homes to show off their creations on display. One artist even told me that I had inspired her to get out her paints and long-forgotten brushes and make art again! That is what it’s all about!

We are planning on a turtle painting party in the fall.

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