“Wild animals can throw very wild parties.”The Narrator, SpongeBob SquarePants
Things are a little weird out in the world right now. Like a lot of folks during the Covid shutdowns, I have found myself with an abundance of time on my hands. To get my art fix I have turned to online classes and YouTube videos. I’ve been working on a variety of projects, and I have revisited some mediums that I have ignored for quite some time. I thought it was time to share what’s been inspiring my studio time.
My first projects were handmade books. I have been binge watching The Paper Outpost, Johanna Clough, Moonside Parlour and Amity Bloom as well as others. Give them a look see if you have time. Plus if you are having any worries about the future of our world, Nazi at Amity Bloom is pure sweetness and light.
I’ve made recycled paper bag journals, a huge Field Guide with removable watercolor notebooks to record flora and fauna and some altered book junk journals.
I got on the mask bandwagon for a few days too, making sure that my peeps all had the protection they needed. I’m not the best seamstress, but they are cute and they work. It was a good excuse to dust off my sewing machine and sort through my fabric stash. I’ve been meaning to do that for a while.
I’ve also dipped my toe back into the mixed media world with some collage and Gelli plate printing. There are some really fun new techniques out there for your Gelli printing plate, including magazine photo transfers and alcohol ink printing. I especially enjoyed combining all three techniques. There are a ton of videos, so search around. I used the collages and prints to make cards and book covers.
I have taken a few really nice online workshops including Wandering Muse from Jeanne Oliver and Sketchbook Revival from Karen Abend. Wandering Muse had several lessons on drawing faces in different mediums, plus finding your artistic voice, block printing, creating an inspiration board and sculpture…. very cool stuff. She also has many free classes to get you started. Sketchbook Revival was a free course with lots short lessons on working in your sketchbook, taught by teachers from all over the world. Something for everyone!
I’ve also been working on a few new paintings. Its been a few years since I really painted, so I’m a bit rusty, but it feels good to slow down and paint again. Here are three I’ve completed.
And, don’t worry. I have also been spending some time outside when the weather allows. We have been kayaking as often as possible.
Some of my other favorite YouTubers are:
Illustrator James Luke Burke
Illustrator Leigh Ellexson
Resin Artist Artsy Madwoman
Watercolorist Watercolor MIsfit
Journaler Ali Brown
Crazy Creative Struthless
Jack of All Trades and a Voice Like Butta TheCrafsman SteadyCraftin
I hope you enjoy some of these fabulous teachers. Sandy
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…
Calling all Poets, Writers, Artists and Journalers! Looking for the perfect journal to hold your most creative thoughts? Each student will make a unique, bold and colorful 6” x 8” journal perfect for sketching, art journaling or writing. We will use heavy paper for pages, stencils and spray paint for street style images throughout, canvas for covers and fibers for texture.
Most supplies included. Students should bring basic tools including scissors, pencil and ruler. A bone folder or spoon will be helpful for folding pages. If you have stray spray paints (any color), please consider donating them to the class. If you are sensitive to paint fumes, bring a mask. We will be painting outside, rain or shine. Please wear old shoes
Suffolk Art League is located in the Suffolk Art Gallery at 118 Bosley Ave. in Suffolk, Va. — 757-925-0448
Learn the basics of torch soldering, cutting, filing and hammering copper to make beautiful round bezels that perfectly showcase your photos or artwork! Accessible materials and a simple process will make for sure-fire success! Fill them with resin to form a glass-like bubble for beautiful, personalized pendants to wear or give.
Students must bring: a butane torch, 1 full can of butane, tin snips, needle nose pliers, scissors, safety glasses, a cookie sheet and a fire brick or yard brick. Wearing safety glasses is mandatory. Optional: small images about 1” in size. Photos or sized down versions of your artwork work well.
Note: *All measures will be taken to create adequate ventilation as much as possible. If you have extreme sensitivities to soldering products or smelly stuff, consider this carefully before registering.
Suffolk Art Gallery is located at 118 Bosley Ave. in Suffolk, Va. — 757-514-7284
Art, Soul and Blues: Altered and Embellished Denim Jacket
Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015, 9am-4:30pm
at Art & Soul Retreat, Virginia Beach
You are an artist and you have something to say… now you can wear your art on your sleeve and show the world your vision. Mixed media embellishment is the perfect accompaniment to denim. Make a tattoo-inspired vest, a rock ‘n’ roll style jacket, or a unique boho-styled shirt — your choice. Design, cut, patch, embellish, embroider and more to take your wearable item from ‘Plain Jane’ to Rock Star! Your unique finished creation will remain soft, comfy, wearable, washable and extremely cool.
Art & Soul Retreat, 2800 Shore Drive, Virginia Beach, Va. — Artandsoulretreat.com