Category: Artfest

Mar 272012

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming…

for the highlights of Artfest 2012.

This year I brought a new travel companion, my illustrious dotter.

We spent the day of registration wandering the beautiful and charming town of Port Townsend, WA. For some reason, the photos are all food related.
I had the best Americano to date here:
Undertown, best Americano ever

And this is my favorite Port Townsend restaurant, Owl Sprit Cafe, fresh, delicious, and flavorful:
Owl Sprit Cafe, favorite eats

My Artfest class line-up had a nice rhythm. I wove my way through different techniques, looking forward to something completely different and new each day.

Theo Ellsworth‘s class was a great start to Artfest. He took my mind on a journey that freed my imagination. And I actually drew for 5 1/2 hours that day. Considering most of my art is abstract or collage, this was a refreshing change. If you haven’t perused his amazing book, Capacity, put it on your list. Theo has a gift of including the reader/viewer in his book/art. When I read it, I felt very much that I was on a real adventure with him.
This is my Mind-Powered Disbelief Suspension Suit:
Suspension suit

I was very excited for Stephanie Lee‘s class for two reasons, so that I could meet face to face this artist I have admired for so long, and so I could add techniques with plaster to my encaustic repertoire. Stephanie has a way with words. I’ve enjoyed her blog for some time, and in person she is still the real deal. Authentic and a joy to be around. And the plaster techniques I learned filled my head with all sorts of swirly ideas. But then there was a bonus for this class. Stephanie had her writing companion, Judy Wise, assisting since the class was so large. Yes, I was smiling from ear to ear. These two gals have written fabulous book together, the reason that prompted me to take this class, Plaster Studio: Mixed Media Techniques for Painting, Casting and Carving.
My favorite technique that day, cracked plaster on burlap:
Plaster on burlap

My dotter and I spent our last class together soaking in stories from Jesse Reno, following his prompts, which led everyone in class to a wildy different end painting. The experience was surreal. My dotter fell in love with painting that day. Since, she has had that glint in her eyes like she’s dreaming up something juicy. As soon as we landed home, she ran to the art store and bought Bristol paper and primary color paints plus black and white. No brushes though. She’ll be using her hands.
My painting from that day: Presence

The following day, we returned to Seattle and wandered aimlessly, eating more good food and soaking in the sunshine. My favorite discovery was of Emery Carl, A Modern Day Troubadour. He emanated joy, so much so that I had tears streaming down my cheeks. He was doing what he was created to do, and it showed.
Seattle street musician full of joy

Although the next day was a long travel day, we kept ourselves entertained on the flight home by playing with washi paper. Time passed quickly.
Cranes on a plane
Lotus on a plane

And I crashed into my darling’s arms, then melted into the soft sheets of home.

Nov 272011


AEDM Day 27

Today I made gifts.
Joy Dance
Joy Dance Encaustic Soldered Pendant is made for Patricia Seggebruch, my constant inspiration. I first met Trish at Artfest 2010. She instructed my favorite class, an encaustic introduction for me. I was so excited about encaustic painting that I took two of her classes at Artfest 2011. But the icing on the cake was her incredible EncaustiCamp this summer. My favorite thing about Trish is her desire to share her encaustic knowledge with the world. She is forging ahead, blazing a trail with her generosity and enthusiasm. For anyone even the slightest bit interested in encaustic painting, EncaustiCamp 2012 will not disappoint.

Kansas prairie
Kansas Prairie Encaustic Soldered Pendant is made for Sue Simpson. She recently asked me to be guest blogger at Earthtone Studios. I so thankful for the honor. The writing of that post prompted me into a frenzy of inspiration. She will also be teaching at EncaustiCamp 2012, giving instruction to those new to encaustic.


Aug 312011


Elsie’s Quilt, 12×12 encaustic collage
Elsie's Quilt
Elsie’s Quilt was completed about a month ago. I deconstructed a very old quilt block and embedded the pieces in encaustic medium. On top is a vintage embroidery transfer that I burnished onto the piece. The first layer after the board was primed is 70 year old handwritten notes on college rule notebook paper. If one looks very hard, a word or two is detectable between the quilt pieces. I was hoping the handwriting would make more of a show, but the quilt is embedded with at least 15 layers of wax.

While taking apart the quilt block, I was surprised to find that most of the stitching was by hand, but some machine as well. This quilt block had been attached to others to make a quilt top, but had never actually been quilted. My grandmother-in-law had begun taking it apart some years ago to make doll blankets for her great-granddaughters. With few intact pieces remaining, I felt no loss in tearing apart another artist’s work. The old fabric gave way with a sigh of relief.

I’ve been sighing lately as well, with longing. I miss my studio. We, a homeschooling family, started our routine again last week. Homeschooling can be quite challenging. I have both love and hate it at times, but am ever thankful for the out-of-the-box thinking skills it has afforded our whole family, along with the cohesiveness it nurtures. What is imperative to a successful year in schooling is my ability to retreat to the studio to reset my brain on a regular basis. I’m hoping by next week to have our schedule tweaked so that studio time is back to a daily routine.

My daughter is a senior this year. She is an artist and musician as well. We will be celebrating her final year of homeschooling by attending Artfest together next spring. We sent in our registration and will be waiting for our final results on workshops as Teesha spends the next month diligently going over hundreds of registration forms. Anticipation…

Aug 172011

Amanda Hawkins saves the day

Amanda Hawkins is my hero. I made a mistake editing the mysterious inner workings of my blog and really screwed up some very basic functions. I wrestled with my blog for too long before contacting Amanda. She is the fabulous artist that designed this wordpress theme. She responded IMMEDIATELY (even with a new little baby at home) and saved the day! Thanks, Amanda!

For all of you oohing and aahing over my blog design, go check out some of Amanda’s other themes at Bird Themes.  She will also take on your request for web design at Little Bird LLC.

I first ran across Amanda’s fabulous collage art some time back. (Everyday in 2010 happens to include some of my favorites.) And then I was drawn in by her funky planner pages and how-tos.

Recently I ran across another amazing collage artist, actually she ran across me, but I LOVE HER STYLE. For those of you who haven’t already met Katie Drew, check out her blog. More collage love.

And now to what I was going to share before my blog faux pas.

Being resourceful until I restock my supply of Encausticbords, I’ve been revamping some of my least favorites from past experiments.

Garden Path, an 8×8 painting with plaster came from this process. Using an experiment from Artfest 2011, I removed the wax to find plaster underneath. We had used plaster and tar in the class. Taking advantage of this form, I rebuilt. I’m learning when to stop, when enough is enough. Looking at these photos, I actually like the piece at the step before my last fuse.
Redeaux 1Redeaux 2Redeaux 3Redeaux 4Garden Path 8-11-11
Garden Path 8×8 encaustic and plaster

Jul 052011

Circle Journal Love

It all began one late summer night in the year 2009, a band of Artfest enthusiasts joined forces to create a circle. Thanks to the prompting of Alexandra Castro Ferreira, each friend in the circle began an art journal with a theme. We have then passed our journals around in a route so that each journal would contain the art of the others.

My addition to Emily‘s journal, big girl’s coloring book:
big girl's coloring book circle journal

The circle almost complete, the journals are finding their way home. Mine made it back to me full of beauty. The theme I chose was Symbols-Personal Imagery with the intent of getting a glimpse of each artist’s own personal style and patterns.
amanda's cover

Alexandra Castro Ferreira:
Sisters page 1 by Alexandra Castro FerreiraSisters page 2 by Alexandra Castro Ferreira

Amy Rehnae Giles:
Dream by Amy Rehnae Giles

Emily Ruth Gulka:
Words by Emily Ruth Gulka

Nikki Gamon:
Repetition by Nikki Gamon

Andria Robb:
Wings by Andria Robb

Jill Sibbald:
Adornments by Jill Sibbald

Michelle Geller:
Nature by Michelle Geller

Stephanie Thiel:
Dream by Stephanie Thiel

Adeola Davies-Aiyeloja:
Goddess by Adeola Davies-Aiyeloja

Amanda Jolley:
Trees by Amanda Jolley

I love how the pages reflect the personalities of the artists. What a treasure.

Jun 042011

I’m a copycat

Yep, I’m a copycat, a very unintentional copycat, but one none the less. Kecia Deveney recently contacted me concerned that my Patina Your Porcelain soldering class looked and sounded very close to the Artfest class she taught this past April. Initially shocked by this thought, I stood back from my emotions for enough time to see that it would appear that way. I must say that Kecia was not accusing or malicious and I honor her for confronting me.

Because I have no desire to copy another person’s work, or even have the appearance of doing so, I am changing the class to Soldering in the Round. We’ll be soldering some gorgeous handmade glass discs that I found at Moon Marble, along with small colored glass gems.
Soldering candy

This conflict gave me perspective. Lessons learned:

  • Always honor the work of the one who taught the skill if at all possible. Kecia was an excellent instructor and I was dishonoring her by not even thinking of her gift to me as I put this class together.
  • Although I have been teaching soldering for some time, I must always be careful that my classes do not appear to copy another’s work. If I am not creative enough to think of a new approach, the class should not be taught.
  • When approached graciously and honestly as Kecia approached me, my reaction is to look at the other person’s perspective. When attacked personally, my reaction is to defend myself. I need to learn to look at the other person’s perspective even when attacked. This will be difficult, but I desire to grow in this area.

Wise words from my favorite book can be applied here:

  • 1Thessalonians 5:22  Abstain from all appearance of evil.
  • Proverbs 15:1  A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
  • Ecclesiates 1:9  The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

I apologize, Kecia, for inadvertently copying your class. Please forgive me and also for any drama I may have introduced into your life. Thank you for confronting me about this.

For those of you looking forward to Patina Your Porcelain, the class changes will be posted shortly. If you are no longer interested, I completely understand.

1 comment
Apr 162011

Home again from Artfest 2011

I have not returned home from an Artfest so refreshed and inspired. I attribute it to my awesome traveling companion, staying off campus, and the great energy that came from the classes I took.

Kecia and me Day 1:  Soldered Mosaic Lavalliere by Kecia Deveney

We made the coolest pendants from old plates.
Soldered Mosaic Lavalliere Soldered Mosaic Lavalliere class by Kecia Deveney
This marked my first use of a dremel tool (which I am not giving back to my husband) and tile nippers. Blast! Kecia was great at inspiring, teaching, and keeping us on task.

Trish and me Day 2: Encaustic Marriage: Plaster by Patricia Seggebruch

Of course I couldn’t wait for this class as I’ve fallen in love with encaustic painting. We started class by applying plaster either over a stencil to create form, or more randomly. We also got to play with tar and shellac. And then she got out the blow torch!

Encaustic & plaster collage Olives - Encaustic, plaster & tar Enough - Encaustic & plaster

Encaustic palette Day 3: Encaustibook! by Patricia Seggebruch

Did I mention how enthralled I am with all things encaustic? These book covers are wax paintings. I will be binding the Bloom book with ribbon and the Harvest book with old rusty wire.
Bloom - Encaustic book cover Wheat - Encaustic book cover

A fun addition to the toolbox was the woodburner. I tried it out with the flower above and also some lettering inside the cover. My olfactory system was on a natural high between the smell of burning wood and beeswax.

To add to the natural fun, I just had to throw some dirt and grass into the mix, plus try at manipulating shellac.
Grow - encaustic, dirt & grass Encaustic & shellac

Now typically on day 3 of Artfest, I am exhausted. My brain no longer functions at normal capacity. Not this year. I felt I was in my groove, gathering momentum and inspiration, so much so that my head has been bursting with ideas since.

My friend and I took good care of ourselves, visiting the most delicious restaurants, drinking only the finest of espresso, and the dining we had at our retreat we called home was beyond compare.
Delicious lunch at the Owl Sprit Cafe IMAG0891

Back home again, all I can say is thank you, friend, for making this year so incredibly awesome.