Friday, December 19, 2014

Celebration Offers On News I Couldn't Wait to Share!

I couldn't help myself, I heard from my editor today and my book has a name! Now that might seem like a silly reason to write, but I just couldn't keep it to myself! I wanted to run over to the studio and throw a party and invite all of you! But if you're anything like me, you are in the throes of Christmas preparations, wrapping presents, baking goodies, and just can't fit one more thing in. This email announcement and a celebratory offer will just have to do! And so, without further ado, to be released summer 2015. . . 

"The Art of Expressive Collage; Techniques for Creating with Paper and Glue." 

Whoop! I love it!

Celebrating With Two Special Offers!
Since the book is about my own unique take on the art of collage - what better way to celebrate then with original art? Here are two special offers . . .

Free Original Postcard Art and Chance to Win Large!
Sign up this weekend (today, Saturday or Sunday) for my first workshop of 2015 and receive a free original work of art! I will have a hand made postcard (4" x 6") sized original collage ready and waiting for all who sign up for the class before the end of the weekend (Sunday December 21st) and- for each person who takes advantage of this special offer (or those who have already registered), your name will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a larger work featured in the book, up to a $600 value!

The workshop will be held at The Healing House Art Studio, in the far North Suburbs of Chicago, the last weekend of February/first weekend of March - Encaustic Wax on Plexi. Head on over to my blog here for workshop details and to register, but don't wait, this special offer for free art will end Sunday December 21st!

Limited Time Offer
Can't make it to the workshop but want one of those postcard size original works of art? Here's your chance! For only $30 you will receive an original 4" x 6" collage. These postcard sized works will be created on 140# Strathmore Watercolor paper, just like all of my work. To allow me to offer them to you at this special price, they will not be framed or mounted, but can easily be done so by your framer, and can even be mailed to a friend as mail art! (My original 4" x 4" works that are mounted typically sell for $150, check them out here.)

This is a limited time, limited number offer. So join in on the celebration and grab one fast!

4" x 6" Original Collage $30.00

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Merry Christmas- Still An Expression Of His Love

It has been four years since I wrote this post but find it every bit as relevant today. As we head toward Christmas week, I am linking virtual arms with you in awe and anticipation....

It is just a few days before Christmas and I have gone as far as I am able to go in preparations without more money - just waiting on hubby's current paycheck to show up in the mail.

Every year I say I'm going to get an earlier start - and this year I actually kind of did - as far as I was able to without getting fully paid for one of my own teaching gigs. But somehow here we are again down to the wire with still a few crucial things left to do. Always one kid who doesn't give me a list until the last minute and even with a minimal budget, times seven kids, it adds up to so much money!

And of course it doesn't help that we have a car in the shop (also waiting for the current paycheck).

But really - the tree looks so pretty and the railing up the stairs is wrapped in garland and antique glass Shiny Bright ornaments with the stockings all hanging along the way and it is just such a magical feeling...

I know it isn't about the gifts and the giving and the getting. It is about THE GIFT that we each received when God came to earth and was born as a babe in the manger, preparing to serve and spread the good news of His sacrifice to be freely given to all who ask - But how else could I even begin to express my joy? My desire to give what I have so freely been given? Nothing - NOTHING can even come close to that feeling.

And yet I try. And I will keep trying to express the love he has put in my heart for my family through the decorating and the baking and the gift giving and the wishing of Peace and Merry Making.

And I wanted to share this joy with each of you in some tangible way. But I couldn't because, you know, the money thing. And also the running out of time- which is very nearly as scarce as the money this time of year, especially since I tend to squander it sometimes - but then I remembered HE gave his gift to you too! 

And we can just link our arms together over the virtual miles and gaze up at our Christmas trees or at the stockings hanging along the railing and just be content in the receiving of it. and the beauty of it. and the enormity of it.

and the knowledge that everything any of us really ever needs is right there in that gift. HIs gift. 
Eternity in His love.

Merry Christmas - it seems like such an inadequate way to express it - those two little words. 
and the tinsel. and the presents.

But there it is. My inadequate heart to express His more then adequate gift of eternal love. Merry Christmas to you all!

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Looking Back at 2014 and Looking Ahead to 2015

"To The Nines" Collage by Crystal Neubauer

Rounding Out the Year with Gratitude!
Sitting here this evening looking back at 2014, I am keenly aware of how much I have to be grateful for. Thanksgiving brought a house filled to the overflowing with family, friends and canine guests in a true testament to the power of love. From a daughter who survived a hit and run while walking home from work the weekend before, to four wedding celebrations- not the least of which was my own daughter and new son-in-law, anniversaries of sobriety, and collage graduations, not to mention the long drive many family and friends made just to be with us that day.

Add to that incredible list, finishing up the manuscript for my book on collage, opening a studio with space for hosting workshops, getting accepted into outstanding shows, seeing my work printed in several publications, traveling to awesome locations to teach, and so very much more, and you'll understand why my eyes have been brimming all week long!

Open Registration for the first 2015 Workshop at The Healing House Art Studio
My first workshop of 2015 will be held in my own studio, The Healing House Art Studio, in the far North Suburb of Chicago, Gages Lake, the last weekend of February/first weekend of March - called Encaustic Wax on Plexi.

Plexiglas as a foundation for encaustic wax offers options that cannot be achieved with a traditional canvas. For beginner to experienced artist, this encaustic how-to workshop provides an excellent overview for combining encaustic wax with the mixed-media collage look you love while achieving a beautiful light filtering luminosity.

Read more about this workshop and register to participate on the workshop page of my blog here.

2015 Schedule & Guest Artists Announced
And speaking of heading over to the workshop page on the blog. I've just finished updating my personal workshop schedule for next year. There are one or two more dates and locations to come, but for the most part it is up and complete. I've also listed the schedule and names of the guest artists who will be traveling from all over the country to come teach at The Healing House Art Studio in the coming year. Specifics about the class offerings will be posted over the next few months, and registration will open in February, but for now, I am beside myself with excitement to tell you who is coming over to play - check it out on the workshop page here.

Last Minute Offering at The Healing House Art Studio
The Healing House Art Studio, Artist in Residence, Rebecca Stahr has a few seats left for her Intro to Encaustics class on Saturday December 13th. Take a break from the holiday rush and spend a creative day learning technique and good studio practice for this dynamic art medium. To see some beautiful examples of Rebecca's work, find out more about the class, and register hop over to Rebecca's website here.

Stepping Back
As amazing as the year has been, it was an absolute whirlwind of activity. From showing up at the table to write and prepare images for the book, preparing for a two-person show in Seattle last March, cleaning, painting, cleaning some more, painting some more, hauling equipment, setting up and organizing from dusk until dawn for an entire month to open the studio, to back to back to back workshops in the new space, Seattle, and Phoenix in the month of July, coming home and diving in to the work to prepare for the American Craft Expo in August, more workshops, more writing, more deadlines, more organizing, and phew! This is one exhausted girl!

Aside from the writing I need to do for the editing process of the book, and the updates I'll be making to get the blog ready for opening workshop registration in February, I plan to pull back from almost all of my activities and commitments for the next few months. I'll be spending my time letting myself play in my studio and enjoying family on the home front and just generally getting back into a steadier rhythm of life. This will probably be the last post you will get from me until after the holidays. I can't wait to celebrate Christmas with my family and am super excited to see what is birthed artistically in these quieter months of winter!

Until Next Year - May all of your days be Merry and your Christmases be White!


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Workshops and Happenings in the Studio

"But Who's Counting Anyway?" 9x9 collage on deep canvas by Crystal Neubauer

Much to Look Forward to in 2014!
This past weekend found us celebrating my oldest daughters marriage to her wonderful fiance in Chicago. The tables at The Healing House Art Studio were overflowing with glitter and lanterns and escort cards and other wedding type paraphernalia. And my internal list maker was ticking away with tasks like "buy shoes" and "answer email from florist". It was a joyfully busy time!

I have two more workshop dates left in 2014 that I am super excited to be doing.
First up, October will find me traveling out to LA on my birthday to teach through Make Art In LA in the beautiful gallery space known as "The Loft, at Liz's" located above Liz's Antique Hardware in the historic Miracle Mile District. Saturday's workshop is sold out, but there is still space available on Sunday October 19th. Be sure to register soon at the Make Art In LA website and come celebrate my birthday weekend with me by creating beautiful works of art!

November will find me back home in The Healing House Art Studio teaching "Exploring Collage Combinations"; a two day collage intensive focusing on combinations that work with collage, including mark-making, encaustic wax, photography and textured painting. The workshop will run from 10am - 4:30 on Saturday November 1st and Sunday November 2nd. As with all of my 2014 workshop offerings at the new studio, this one will include all supplies, plus lunch and beverages both days. There are only four seats left so be sure to head over to my workshop page and get registered for the pre-holiday fun!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Live It As If It's Your One Life"

"Pleased To Meet You" 9" x 9" collage on canvas by Crystal Neubauer

(another excerpt lifted from a previous Facebook status. This one written on September 5, 2014)

Maybe it's hormones or the change in seasons, but the weeps are coming easily this morning. My oldest daughter is getting married in two weeks, my son will be celebrating a year and a half of sobriety the week after that... 

I remember, as if it were yesterday praying for friendship, just one friend please, and now my life is filled with women who are living beautiful creative lives becoming all God meant for them to be. Each one has a piece of Him they carry and are honoring Him by taking the steps to become their fullest selves possible.

I couldn't be any busier without losing something really important. Today my life is overflowing getting ready for the wedding, preparing for a weekend workshop at The Healing House Art Studio, and finishing my book. And lest you think, through the random and selective Facebook status posting, that it has been easy-for any of us- it hasn't, and isn't. I've had to take steps that are HARD and make sacrifices that are DIFFICULT to achieve these things.

But hard and difficult don't translate to bad. This morning I read the words "God honors our involvement, invites our participation" and I know that to be true in my life. Hard and difficult things can be muscle builders. Getting active in the process of building the life God intended for you is validating and identity building.

Start today towards building the life that is burning inside of you. Ask yourself what it is you were meant to be. Ask God to give you a clear picture to set before you when things get tough; kind of like hanging a picture of that bikini on the fridge when you are dieting. Ask Him what the next right step is for getting there, and then pursue it with everything you've Got. Better yet, pursue it with everything He's got, and freely given!

You were created for the more. Be courageous and don't settle for anything less. And lest you are mistaken about that, courage isn't the absence of fear, it is the very real presence of it and moving forward anyway.

"Pleased To Meet You" side view - 9" x 9" collage on canvas by Crystal Neubauer

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Lessons learned at the American Craft Expo: Remembering the Why

"The Reality of Priorities" 9" x 9" collage on canvas by Crystal Neubauer

(this post was written in the form of a status update on Facebook this past Monday after my participation in the American Craft Exposition Show and Sale last weekend.)

The sky is dark and spilling rain in angry sheets, but there is that distinct glow around the edges of it that tells you the sun is not far away. It is the kind of weather that makes it very tempting to stay tucked in to the cozy cocoon of comforter and sheets just one more day. 

Today I feel more alive than I have in a while after spending the entire day in bed yesterday, but alas, the fact that my upstairs rivals any boys college dorm has forced me to put feet to the floor and set about the task of returning to a normal routine.

I have given myself ample time to think of all that transpired over the weekend, as a participant in the American Craft Expo, and still I find it difficult to express any of it in words.

There were conversations with people who made it a point to come out to the show to see me. Some who are very dear friends, and others who I met for the first time in person. And then there were conversations with those who were introduced to my work for the first time as they explored the show. I am always humbled and warmed by these encounters; I think it has to be one of my favorite reasons to be at a show like this. I am always awed by the stories I am told, and the glimpses into the lives of those who tell them.

Sales were not what I hoped they would be, but gratefully, there were sales that I am thankful for to be sure. In those hindsight moments, I realized I should have spent more time preparing smaller works, as there are always a number of folks who just can't invest in the frames or larger canvases that dominated my booth walls but still want a treasure of their own to carry home.

New opportunities have been opened to me from the being there. Some pretty darned huge and just for me. And others, the whispering of a promise for the future, perhaps the next steps on this journey God has set me on. That's the way it has always been with Him and me. I see something I want to try up ahead and he gives me just enough light for the step I am on, lest I loose sight of the why along the way.

That's the number one carry home from the weekend. Don't loose track of the why. Sure we're out here to earn a living, and doing it with what burns a hole inside from raw desire is pretty darned cool. But the why of it has more to do with Him. And them. Those people and their stories. What a privilege it is to be able to listen to them. It is like hearing the very breath and heartbeat of God.

If you were one of those that stopped by my booth, I want to thank you for the words you shared. Each one becomes inspiration for new work when I step back into the studio. Each word a scrap. Each scrap brought together on the canvas in the form of a prayer.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Seattle and Phoenix Bound!

This weekend finds me packing and tying up last minute details before heading off to Seattle to teach in the most serenely beautiful location I've taught at to date, EncaustiCamp, where my classroom has ginormous picture windows looking out at the waters of Puget Sound and the misty image of Mount Rainier in the distance. 

After a week at camp, I pack my bags and head off to Phoenix, where I'll be teaching to a full house, my Art of Intuitive Collage workshop, and Intuitive Drawing and Mark-Making with Collage workshops. These are two of my very favorite things to teach, collage being the medium that continuously calls me home. I am super excited to be teaching the Intuitive Drawing & Mark-Making class, I am passionate about watching people discover they are indeed creative and become confident enough to try. If you are interested in taking an expanded version of this class and will not be joining us at ArtUnraveled this year, you can catch me in September at The Healing House Art Studio, just North of Chicago. Head over to my workshop tab here to register. 

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

The Birth of A Dream: The Healing House Art Studio

This post is going to be picture driven. There is just too much to tell in words after an entire month of giving birth to a dream. 

This dream began nearly a decade ago and has been burning in my heart ever since; 
The one that was of me having a studio that was large enough to teach in and included enough space for other artists to work in too. 
The one that opened it's doors to the community around it and brought people together. 
The one that encouraged others to find out more about themselves through art the way I have.  
The one that would use art for healing, and hope, and love, and joy, and reach far beyond what I was capable of doing on my own.

Yeah that dream...the one I sometimes lost track of and stored in the back of the closet, but never gave up on, or maybe it never gave up on me.

If you were to stop by to see me anytime this month, this is pretty much what you'd find. Replace that paintbrush with a scrub brush, or a mop, or a broom, but that smile and those spatters of paint have been pretty consistent. 

This little unassuming cottage house may not have caught your attention, were you to be driving by, but this is the place where the dream is taking shape. So much has happened inside these walls in the past month. How could I even begin to tell you?
There I am the first week, after the carpet had been removed. Scrubbing. Every. Inch. Walls, floors, ceilings, inside closets, toilets, sinks. Countless hours of scrubbing. Numerous gallons of water and odor removing cleaning products and elbow grease. And yes, maybe a few tears.
Just about every type of wall paneling and finish you could imagine had been nailed to these walls. At one time, just a little vacation cottage across the street from the lake, who needed cohesive decor when you were spending all of your time outdoors?
Layer upon layer of old flooring. Scraping and popping old floor tiles harks back to my junior high school summertime days, when dad would take us to work to keep us out of trouble, and mom's hair. 
And the community I dreamed the place would be serving, kept showing up to serve me.
Getting in on the carpet pulling action...
Painstakingly taking the time to pull staples and clean up old messes. Just when I would start to despair the work would never end, a neighbor or friend would show up at the door.
And because the details matter, everything gets a fresh coat of paint...
And did I mention all the cleaning?
Seemed like everyone got in on the painting action.
 Even now, tears spring to my eyes and spill down my face, thinking of the love that has been poured in to this dream. This house. This healing house. 
If pictures paint a thousand words, perhaps I don't have to tell you the things found lurking behind that washer and dryer. 
Doors being removed to let in the light and open the space between private studio spaces.
The front steps got a makeover too, but that's nothing compared to what happened to our hearts as we worked side by side.
There is still some painting to do, but the important stuff got done just in the nick of time, my first workshops were held, back to back weekends of Joy in the new space. 
It's amazing what a little paint and elbow grease and love can do to transform a room. 
Doors are all chalkboarded up. And Supplies are at the ready. 
And speaking of supplies, the lovely and thoughtful Jean brought along a housewarming gift on the first day of class. 
And then we dove right in making a mess with our mark-making exercises. Some done to music, and some just listening to our insides. 

Lovely designs in ink expressing what words can't always say.

One of my favoritest collages made from mark-making papers by the very talented Re
Plenty of pasting and sharing of ideas happened.
And new friendships developed along with the collage making.
And plenty of talking, but often there were outbursts of silent, contemplative, concentration.

We broke each day for a delicious catered lunch by the ever gracious and talented Tessa.
And after lunch, more art-making.
And after the art-making, exclamations of delighted "Look what I made!"
And then show and tell time, or was that the paparazzi?
Some of the first students to enjoy The Healing House Art Studio. Lots of smiles!
And notes exclaiming "too much fun!" were written on the tables.
And more notes were written on the floor. 
Because once you come to The Healing House Art Studio, you will always be a part of this little community.
Oh and I had to sneak a few new works of my own in there, because in all the hustle and bustle I nearly forgot I had an article due for Somerset Memories.
And this, this is just to show you I don't always look like the paint spattered, high on fumes, version of myself I showed you above. The hubby and I were taking a break at a family reunion the other day, because this month really was full to the overflowing with good stuff. 

Once all the work is finished and the steady rhythm of the place begins, I plan to start a blog dedicated to just The Healing House Art Studio. Meanwhile, like my page on facebook here if you want to keep up on the progress. I've already got a stellar line-up of guest artists scheduled for 2015 and I promise you will not want to miss a thing! 

And speaking of workshops, if you liked what you saw in the pictures above, I've got several more dates scheduled this year. Check out my workshop page here for details. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Meet Anni Hunt: The Many Faces of EncaustiCamp

Another edition in the continuing series designed to share with you the many faces of one of my favorite places to teach, EncaustiCamp. Held each summer in the Seattle area, this extraordinary retreat not only has captured many a student and teacher's heart, but also become the subject of a book featuring each of the instructors and a few of the camp VIPs. I hope to bounce around between teachers, vendors and former students (or "lifers" as they become affectionately known), throughout the series to give you a taste of the goodness from many perspectives. 

This week we are joined by another EncaustiCamp "lifer" (all students who have attended EncaustiCamp become lifers!) Anni Hunt. Anni shares with us how she came to realize that, in spite of having read camp leader Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch's books and watching her DVD's, there was so much more to learn. So much more, in fact, that she will be attending camp for the second year in a row. A true camp lifer!
Encaustic Art by Anni Hunt
I was researching encaustics online and found Patricia Seggebruch's book on encaustics.
I worked through the whole book in one weekend and immediately ordered her DVD.
I was hooked.

Trish actually visited Vancouver (my home town) during the time I was exploring and I decided not to take her class as I thought I had done her intro/DVD stuff……….what a mistake that was when I heard all the things they did in the class. So I started looking at Trish’s website which led me to E-Camp. 
Encaustic Art by Anni Hunt
I had been working in Encaustics for about two years so I didn’t have to take the intro class and could dive straight into the wonderful selection of teachers and courses. Sue Stover was incorporating textiles into her work so it seemed such a perfect fit. Judy Wise was teaching printing on the hotplate and Trish was teaching dying boards before waxing; I couldn’t wait.
Encaustic Art by Anni Hunt
I think the most exciting thing about Encausticamp was the friendships that emerged from both the teachers and the students. I think this all came from nurturing leadership of all the teachers. It was a time for sharing and building relationships and I am definitely going back this year.
Encaustic Art by Anni Hunt
I will be taking classes from Crystal Neubauer this year and Judy Wise and Sue Stover once again. Can’t wait to see what everyone has been up to in the year between.
I’m a mixed media artist, and I work mainly with textiles, to create two- and three-dimensional art. I love to create texture! I love things that are old, decaying, and antiquated. I find my inspiration in nature and my West Coast surroundings.

I like to use text in my artwork, to draw the viewer’s attention in; to have them discover the words and symbols hidden in the details, which reveal the fine stitches and threads that have created the texture and text.

I love to play with microscopic and macro frames of reference in my artwork, where the viewer’s imagination is free to explore the larger apparent shapes, but they continue to find new details every with each subsequent encounter.

Recently, I’ve been incorporating encaustics with wax into my textiles, which gives the textile materials a translucent appearance, and I hope it creates a feeling of being embalmed or fossilized and aged.

Visit Anni's Website at:
Visit Anni's Blog at:
Encaustic Art by Anni Hunt

Monday, June 09, 2014

2014/2015 Workshop Schedule and The Healing House Art Studio

Work in Progress by Crystal Neubauer
This weekend I've been hard at work on a dream I've had for nearly a decade; to have my studio connected to workshop space that is open to my community. There have been many potential locations over the years, but this dream has always involved the same consistent vision; one that invites connections to be made, conversations to begin, relationships to be built- to use art as an instrument of discovery, where old wounds and the lies that come from them can be laid to rest and one's true identity can emerge. Yes art can be that powerful.

Preparing to Paint the Classroom space at The Healing House Art Studio
I have so much to share with you, and soon enough I will, but today I return to the physical work of it, with new workshops just a few weeks away, there is plenty to do to get ready. Like my page on Facebook here for updates and check out my new workshop page here to register for 2014/2015 workshops and stay tuned for updates on The Healing House Art Studio!