The one where I test out my teaching skills

2 Mar

Happy Sunday,

You my recall  that I hope to be teaching mixed media workshop classes at the Turnip Green Creative Reuse. I haven’t received official word yet, but a little birdie told me that it looks like I will be added to the schedule. YAY!!! In the meantime, I decided that I should practice teaching these workshops. After all, working in my art room by myself is very different than standing in front of a group of people and leading them through the various stages of a project.

So, I called upon a few friends who said they would be happy to be my “guinea pigs.” My overall plan is to teach folks to make their own art journal using recycled posters. Each time we meet, we will work on a new layout in the journal until it’s complete.

Here’s my art room all ready for the class:

Workshop1I did a simple saddle stitch binding on this journal. Well, I say simple. I was able to bind it on my own, but I flubbed a bit when I was showing the group how to do it. Needless to say, this is one area I will need practice!

Workshop9I decorated the cover to have a sample to share with the group. I used magazine pages and acrylic paints to create the focal elements.

Workshop2The group working on their journal covers.

Workshop4The cover I created working with the group.

Workshop7The group and their finished covers. Thanks, Jen, Marie & Breanna for playing student for the afternoon.

Workshop6I had the chance to teach a second class with another friend and here is the page I created (I’m not sure why I didn’t think to take a pic with her – Sorry Tina).

Workshop8I learned  a lot with these test workshops. I’m not used to starting and finishing a layout all in one sitting. Going through the process of working on a page, liking it, doing something and then hating it until I figure out how to “fix” it all a short period of time is a new experience. A bit uncomfortable to tell the truth. But I figured out how to overcome that. I’ll keep working on it for now. And I’ll be sure to announce my class(es) as soon as I get on the schedule.

Till next time,
Cheers,
Michelle

The one with creative community

23 Feb

Good morning and happy Sunday.

Last night, I went to Jake Wells show opening, Upcycled, at the Turnip Green Creative Reuse. I had the pleasure of meeting Jake a few weeks back at the TGCR and he described his work, but seeing it in person was truly inspirational! His use of acrylic paints and found objects is like nothing I’ve seen before. I didn’t get any pictures from last night, but check out their Facebook page for a few photo albums.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Carrie from Platetone, who kindly showed me around, answered my many questions and even helped me make this print:

photo (1)I have an idea for a project and it looks like I found a place to work on it (once they get that letterpress). I am really enjoying getting to know the artists who work in those two spaces. And the artists who gather there. Everyone is welcoming and interested in hearing about your particular type of art. It’s validating. It’s comfortable and it feels like home.

So, on to what I’ve been up to in my studio. Recently, I finished a layout in the circle journal I share with my mom (you can read more about that here). Here is what I created this time around:

circle1

She is my version of SheArt, the brainchild of  the very talented (and one of my faves) Christy Tomlinson.

circle2

I used the inside of a security envelope for the circles. I hand wrote (instead of using stamps for once) Believe in Yourself on book pages (gessoed first).

circle3

I used scrapbook paper for her dress and (different) book pages for her body.

circle5

cirlce4

All in all, I was really pleased with the way she turned out. Mom seems to like her as well (so it’s a win win!).

I’m going run. I have some friends coming over this afternoon to help me practice teaching my art journal workshop. I mentioned a few weeks back that I put in my proposal to teach at the Turnip Green. Well, nothing is official yet, but it looks like we’re moving forward. So, now I have to practice teaching! This week, I’m going to show them how to bind their journal out of recycles paper and then we’re going to decorate the cover.  Wish me luck!

Till next week,
Cheers,
Michelle

The one with painted magazine pages

16 Feb

Happy Sunday.

It’s been a productive week. I’ve been working on a few projects and checked some of my February goals off my list (yay!). Here is my visual reminder to ACT; took this yesterday while I was working on a few of those projects:

photoMy friend, Jennifer, lent me these stamps (by Close to My Heart) and they are perfect for mixed media.

I recently found the artist, Alma Stoller, and her work with magaizne pages. In fact, I’ve started using her idea of paint anything for 10 minutes as a creative warm up. Basically, you tear out a magazine page and start painting. I use a mix of Liquitex Basic acrylic paints and fluid acrylics (Folk Art and Americana which are inexpensive and work pretty well for this). So, here are some of my creations

paint1

paint3

paint5

paint7

paint8It’s a heck of a lot of fun! I try not to over think it and just get the paint down on the pages. I made a bunch of cards with these pages, but unfortunately, forgot to take pictures of them. I have this one, so you can get an idea of what they looked like

photoThis is definitely a practice I am going to continue. These pages can be used in art journaling, mixed media pieces, and of course cards. So, give it a try and let me know what you think!

Till next week,
Cheers,
Michelle

The one with the Turnip Green Creative Reuse

9 Feb

Happy Sunday,

I took this photo after working on some valentines cards with one of my nephews. I introduced him to mono-printing (using my Gelli Plate) and stamping last night. We had a blast!ActI am pleased to say that I checked off a major goal this week by visiting the Turnip Green Creative Reuse yesterday. The TGCR is an amazing organization that is a common place for local artists to meet and have a shared space to create. They have retail space, a gallery, host workshops and collect materials for artists to reuse in their art. The energy in this space is inspiring.

A few friends and I went to a collage event yesterday they hosted for the Nashville Collage Collective. We had so much fun!

TG3If you haven’t been to the Turnip Green, I highly recommend you do so. I had a chance to chat with Jake and Kelly, two generous, kind and creative souls, who made us feel right at home. They showed us around the wonderful space:

TG5

TG6

TG7and introduced us to the folks from the Nashville Collage Collective (Lisa, Eva and Robert). Lisa shared with me that they hope to host the collage event at TGCR monthly so follow them on Facebook for the next date.

We were able to choose materials from the shop to use in our own collage pieces (what a treat!). Here’s our table:

TG2I brought one of my art journals with me and here’s my finished(?) layout.

TG1I had a chance to share my idea for teaching art journaling with Jake and Kelly (and they loved it) so hopefully, I’ll have some good news to share with you in the not too distant future!

It was a fantastic afternoon. I enjoyed exploring and searching for materials, chatting with my friends as we created collages, meeting new people, finding inspiration in their work and meeting the folks who volunteer their time for two great organizations here in town. I can’t wait to go back!

Till next week,
Cheers,
Michelle

The one with the whimsical faces

1 Feb

Good morning and happy Saturday.

Last week, a colleague and I had to visit our creative department to sign off on some proofs and on a dry erase board by the front door, I saw this:

Picasso

I love the creative minds that reside in that office!

You may recall that last month I chose my “One Little Word” for the year: ACT. I am happy to report that I actually checked off most of the boxes on my goals list for January. I had to move a few into February, but since one was due to timing, I’m ok with it. I made progress. I am holding myself accountable. And I’m going to make my February list (and Act card which I’ll share next week). Here is my reminder for this week:

Act 4

I am also pleased that I spent a bit of time last night working drawing faces. Whimsical faces to be exact. I’ve been drawn (no pun intended) to these carefree and playful looking faces for a while and I keep promising myself I’m going to practice drawing them and developing my own style. So far, I’ve just made promises. But last night, I actually worked on 2!

This first one was inspired by Megan K. Suarez. I’ve come across her work from time to time on Pinterest. This is what I came up with (she’s only in pencil).

face2

Not too bad, I think. Next is my second attempt and she was inspired by Its A Work of Art (I also found her on Pinterest).

face3

I did add a tiny bit of color to her hair, but I don’t think I’m ready to add full color just yet. Again, not a bad first try. As Julie Balzer says (and I’m paraphrasing), you recognized it for what it is;  a face. So, I feel like it’s a win. And I want to continue working on them so I may share more in the future.

What do you think of my faces? Is there anything you’ve been wanting to work on and keep putting off? Sometimes the hardest part is starting so I encourage you to give it a whirl. You may surprise yourself!

Till next week,Cheers,
Michelle

The one with works in progress

26 Jan

Happy Sunday,

I hope you all have had a fantastic week. Today, I’m going to start off by sharing my creative reminder to ACT (my one word for the year). It’s pretty simple, but taking the time to make this banner reminded me that I have a plan. If I want to  achieve my goals, I have to make time every day to work on those goals.

aI spent most of my time this week finishing up new items to take to Atmalogy. I took my new items over last Tuesday and

1 spruced up my space…..

b

(Not sure why this photo came out so blurry, but you get the idea). Here’s a close up of some of my new creations:

2

Cityscape granola box mixed media art piece – acrylic and drawing ink

3

hand crafted greeting card – acrylic and water color

4

Hand crafted greeting card – acrylic paint and drawing ink

Here are a few of the pieces I’m still working on:

5

my version of She Art – acrylic and drawing ink

6

Collage art – magazine page and acrylic paints

Looking back, it was a pretty good week of creativity and action. I’ve checked off most of my goals for January and I need to start planning for February. I also need to revisit my overall plan for the year to make sure I’m still on track. I’ve also been working on something just for myself (well, actually it’s the circle journal I share with my mom – I’ll share pics from that once I mail it out and I know she got it). Time to head back to the art room. My head is filled with new things to try and ideas on how to finish up these two pieces.

Until next week,
Cheers,
Michelle

The one where I go back to my art journal

19 Jan

Happy Sunday!

I am continuing with my One Little Word, ACT this week by going back to my art journal. But first, here is my creative reminder to ACT:

ActI haven’t created in my journal since I went to the Estuary late last year so it was fun going back where this all started for me. I chose random papers to start and then covered the entire layout with gesso.

journal 1Next layer is some various shades of blue acrylic paints. J2I didn’t really  have a plan for this layout. I have been admiring Roben-Marie Smith’s work for a while so I think in the back of my head I had the idea to create something inspired by her.

J3I created this element using book pages and an old map.

J4The Nashville element was a leftover experiment from another art piece. I used Liquitex acrylic ink around the circles on the left side.

J5I added the little element at the bottom left using more book pages and washi tape. The border is Tim Holtz’ Distress Paint. I picked that one up a while back and hadn’t used it yet. I am happy to report that I LOVE it! The distress paint comes in a little tube with it’s own paint dabber. Super easy to use.

J8

J9I don’t think this layout is finished and I’m not sure where it will go from here. However, I’m really pleased with the it so far. Even more pleased that I took some time to create something for myself. I’ve been busy this week working on new items to take to  Atmalogy, so it was fun to work on something for myself. And I think that’s what I’m taking away from this week. I am working hard (ACT) to complete the steps necessary to make the move to being a full time artist. But all work and no play will quickly take the joy of being a full time artist away. So, moving forward, I will do my best to include some art play each week.

Till next time,
Cheers,
Michelle