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…

2015 class schedule

Street Style Graffiti JournalGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA
Sunday, April 26, 2015, 1-4 pm
for the Suffolk Art League

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

Beginner’s Torch Soldering: Beautiful Bezelsbezel
Sunday, May 3, 2015, 1-4 pm
at the Suffolk Art Gallery

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

jacketArt, 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