Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Meet Judy Wise: The Many Faces of EncaustiCamp!

Today I am launching a new series intended 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 soon-to-be-released 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. 

To kick the series off, I'm pleased to introduce you to the amazing Judy Wise - or Wise Judy, as I like to call her, for the very clever wit and wisdom she is known to impart to students and fellow teachers alike. Just like in my previous series, I've had each participant answer a few simple questions to give you just a glimpse. Read on to find out more about what Judy does at EncaustiCamp and then check out her bio below. 

Judy Wise teaches Encaustic Printing at EncaustiCamp

Welcome Judy!
What are you teaching at EncaustiCamp this year?
I'm teaching 2 printmaking techniques using wax;  collographs and monoprints.

What is the number one thing you hope to impart to the students who take your class at EC?
I want them so see that wax is wonderfully versatile and useful across an entire range of disciplines. Equally, I want them to see how gorgeous wax is as a medium for printmaking. Everyone who tries it is entirely seduced.

What will students get from your class at EncaustiCamp that they can't get from other classes you teach?
They'll get the entire camp experience and the support of all the other teachers and campers. Friendships, new inspiration and ideas for your work, a total recharge for ones artistic spirit. 

What is your most memorable moment at EncaustiCamp?
Talking quietly with individual students about their work; sharing in their discoveries and laughing, so much laughter with each other as we progressed through our days together. It's never about one moment but more about a long, reassuring measure of days that lifts us all higher.

Judy Wise Demonstrates in Encaustic Printmaking at EncaustiCamp
JUDY WISE is an Oregon painter, writer and teacher whose work has been published over several decades in books and periodicals, on greeting cards, textiles, educational materials, calendars and in the gift industry. She is prolific and inventive, keeping daily journals of her writing and art since childhood. Through F&W Media, Judy co-authored the book, Plaster Studio: Mixed Media Techniques for Painting, Casting and Sculpting and has published a series of eBooks on Hot Wax, Cold Wax, Mixed Media Journaling, Plaster and Painting Faces. In 2012 she was an artist in residence at Can Serrat near Barcelona, Spain and has taught in workshops across the U. S. and in Australia and Mexico.
Find Judy at:

Monday, April 28, 2014

Redemption Stories Series with Guest Artist Tessa Moore

Redemption Stories Monday: For the next ten Monday's join me in welcoming 10 guest artists as they share a story of redemption from their own life or work. These stories may be a broad overview or observation, or they may be very specific, deep and personal. The post may be very short or very lengthy. I have left the specifics up to each of the ten. View images of their work as you read their words, and bios. Be sure to check out the links each one will provide to learn even more about them. 

I think Tessa is the only guest I've had in this series that I knew in my personal life before I discovered she had a blog online. For the nearly two years I've had the pleasure of knowing Tessa, I've been struck continuously with the wisdom and maturity she carries at such a young age; the type of wisdom and maturity that manifests in a great love for other people through the confidence that she has in knowing how much she is loved by our heavenly Father -  and in the desire to share that knowledge with whomever she meets, whether through ministry, friendship or to those of us lucky enough to be a part of her home community. An incredibly talented writer and artist, I am very excited to introduce Tessa to you today...

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"iii.xx" by Tessa Moore

Redemption came for me in a place of deep surrender. It was a season of obedience and letting go. I gave to the Lord my first fruits, the things I held most dear. My future, my schooling… everything. The thing I learned about God is that when we give Him ourselves, He is faithful to not let us remain empty. We empty ourselves to be filled. Through big mountains in my life (difficulties, transitions, changes), God continued to fill and be faithful. He redeemed me to Himself. He did not miss a thing, but saw all, and loved all. He loved me to life through my surrender to Him. It was my alabaster jar of perfume: I saw His worth and so I poured it all out.

One thing I love about the Lord is that when we look back and see His faithfulness, we can be sure of His future faithfulness to us. We do not have to fear our future, but can rest assured that He has us covered—head to toe.

My life is in a huge transition phase. There are times when all these changes paralyze me, but when I think of how God has been faithful to me in the past, I do not fear the mountains in front of me. Instead, I look forward with joy to the changes, to the transitions, because I know just as God has met me along these mountains, even more so will He meet me now. These mountains will cause my heart to love Him more, and is that not what we were all created for?

This watercolor piece, titled iii.xx is my representation of redemption, and future redemption. God has given me grace to let go, grace to follow him, and grace to let Him redeem me to life, and life abundant. I no longer live held back, but I am set free, and soaring with my God. Redemption came in the form of obedience; redemption came in the form of finding God’s worth, and laying it all down. This has not become one moment of surrender to God, but a daily choice to walk in obedience, humility, and love for my King. I choose to love Him above all, and to trust that He will always go above and beyond what I could ever ask or imagine in return.

The geometric mountains represent all the big things coming up in my life... my big move across the country, my career change, and my marriage to the love of my life in November… I believe that God’s banner over me in all things is Ephesians 3:20, and as I cross these mountains, that He will meet me with accomplishing infinitely more than I might ever ask or think.

I use Swedish in most of my art pieces as a reminder of my heritage and my ancestors that went before me, who fought the good fight, and lived lives worthy of their calling. Äran tillhör Gud is the beginning of Ephesians 3:20 in Swedish, meaning Glory belongs to God. And so it does, the glory belongs to God.
detail of "iii.xx" by Tessa Moore

Bio
My name is Tessa Moore and I am a young watercolor artist from Chicago, Illinois. I grew up in an incredibly creative family, and with three older siblings. My whole life I have loved art and writing, but only recently discovered my love and passion for watercolor. I gave my life to follow Jesus at a young age, and feel that I connect with Him best while doing art. When I paint, I feel God’s presence so strongly. I am excited for how God is going to use art in my future and in my walk with Him.


I have recently started my own side work called Emelia No. 4. This includes design, watercolor, and writing. My first love was writing, and it is really exciting for me to see how watercolor and writing are colliding for me. My blog is tessaemelia.wordpress.com, and will soon be posting more of my artwork, as well as more consistent writing. If you are interested in a custom watercolor or graphic piece, contact me at tessa.moore@rocketmail.com for more information.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Found Object Friday with Guest Artist Deryn Mentock

Deryn Mentock, Found Object Friday

Found Object Fridays: We artists love our collections don't we? Even as a child I remember foraging through flea markets and looking for special trinkets that caught my eye. Going for walks, to this day I find myself scanning the ground looking for interesting bits of metal or unique rocks to add to my collections. Long before I knew what I would be doing with them, I collected objects that pulled on something inside of me. As an artist I was thrilled to find there are others who love and collect little oddities and curiosities too. 

Over the course of ten Fridays I am honored to introduce ten different guest artists who will share some of the objects they love. You may recognize some of these names, while others may be new to you, each one is somebody whose style I admire. Check out the photos of their found object-and in a virtual show and tell, read about how it caught their attention and what they plan to do with it. Then check out their bios and links to learn more about each artist. . .
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Deryn and I met online early on in my days of mixed media, assemblage and jewelry making. I can't recall exactly how or when or where, but we shared an affinity for pulling together seemingly random items into a cohesive assembly, and more than that, for seeing The Divine in the process of it. It is a rare combination to find in a friend, to share the love of art, to find yourself growing in your own art careers at the same time, and to have the same outlook on it all through the same belief system. I cherish the support and the cheering on and the camaraderie I've found in friends like this, especially this very talented and oh so kind one...
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Deryn Mentock, Found Object Friday


What is it?

Boy, I had a hard time just choosing one item! I have a nice collection of interesting found objects, some of which I have plans for in future pieces of jewelry, and some that I just like to keep and savor. I think my all-time favorite find is this box of vintage brass trim. 
Deryn Mentock, Found Object Friday
Where did you find it or purchase it?

I was digging through one of my favorite antique malls, one day, when I spotted this brass trim. There was quite a lot of it and the vendor really wasn’t willing to budge much on the price. So, I ended up buying about half of it, which was quite expensive. Once I got home, I realized how versatile it would be for jewelry making so I went back and made an offer for the rest of it. I bought all that she had. 
Deryn Mentock, Found Object Friday
What caught your attention about it?

When I spotted it, it was dirty, dusty and kind of corroded…just my speed! The various embossed patterns really appealed to me and I knew this was the kind of element that would make my jewelry pieces distinctive. It’s funny how you just “know” when you’ve found something special. 
Deryn Mentock, Art Jewelry from Found Objects
How will you use it?

I’ve been using it, bit by bit, in my jewelry designs. As a jewelry designer and metal worker, I’m always looking for ways to make my pieces stand out and I knew I’d hit the jack pot with this brass trim. It’s something that makes my jewelry unique and I love its vintage shabby chic-ness. 
Deryn Mentock, Art Jewelry from Found Objects

Originally from Oregon, with a stop in Wyoming, Deryn Mentock got to Texas as fast as she could. There, she wrangles a husband, two young men, an energetic pup, and a nice collection of cowboy boots. She has been passionate about art, especially jewelry design, for as long as she can remember. When she’s not traveling to teach, or treasure hunting, she is in the studio designing pieces that combine metal, gemstones, and unique well-loved treasures in unexpected ways. She is a nationally recognized instructor who loves teaching technique and design, as well as sharing insight into her creative process. She also enjoys teaching online workshops from her “Jewelry Works“ site. Her design work includes work done for Michaels stores nationwide, the Ice Resin design team and the Industrial Chic line of jewelry findings. Her jewelry and artwork have been featured in numerous books and magazines, including a feature article and cover for Belle Armoire Jewelry.

You can see more of Deryn’s work at her blog, somethingsublime.typepad.com; her online workshop at somethingsublime.typepad.com/jewelry_works; and her online shop, mocknet.etsy.com.





Friday, April 18, 2014

Found Object Friday with Guest Artist Wen Redmond

Found Object Fridays: We artists love our collections don't we? Even as a child I remember foraging through flea markets and looking for special trinkets that caught my eye. Going for walks, to this day I find myself scanning the ground looking for interesting bits of metal or unique rocks to add to my collections. Long before I knew what I would be doing with them, I collected objects that pulled on something inside of me. As an artist I was thrilled to find there are others who love and collect little oddities and curiosities too. 

Over the course of ten Fridays I am honored to introduce ten different guest artists who will share some of the objects they love. You may recognize some of these names, while others may be new to you, each one is somebody whose style I admire. Check out the photos of their found object-and in a virtual show and tell, read about how it caught their attention and what they plan to do with it. Then check out their bios and links to learn more about each artist. . .
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Artist Wen Redmond has a way with fiber, mixed-media and collage that affects me deep down to the bones. Tactile textural earthy surfaces that look as if you might have come across them on the forest floor, but not without influence by the artist's hand. I feel deeply connected to what happens on her canvases in a spiritual way and there is a response that happens that defies words. I'm so pleased to have Wen join us with her found object treasure today. Do yourself a favor and head over to her website after reading her post below. You won't be disappointed.
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Wen Redmond Found Object Friday
What is it?
Stones
        
Where did you find it or purchase it?
Generally the beach but I gather rocks and stones wherever I go.
Wen Redmond, Art from found objects
What caught your attention about it?
Ever since I was a child, I enjoy the glimmer, shape and smoothness of rocks and stones. 
I find sitting on really big ones grounding.
                 
How will you use it?

Stones often ‘pose’ for me. I use the photographs of my favorites in a number of ways but usually in my Digital Fiber work.
And I use larger stones or rocks as weights for my media mix work.
Wen Redmond, Art from found objects
New England artist, Wen Redmond enjoys exploring her medium, expanding its perception, and pushing the boundaries to see “what if?”

Her artistic work now merges digital processes, photography, collage and surface design. She delights in creating dialogue, changing perspectives and perceptions of fiber; an unusual use of fiber combining painting and digital media into a one of a kind art piece.

Wen has created several signature Digital Fiber Techniques such as Holographic Images, Textured Photographs and Serendipity Collage Technique. She has two DV workshops available at Interweave Publishing. Workshops focus on experimentation, begging the question ‘Lets try that!’, including digital fiber, painting, nature printing, silkscreen, mono-printing and mixed media. Wen delights in creating dialogue, changing your perspectives and perceptions of fiber.
            
Her work and articles have been published, including an appearance on Quilting Arts TV, Quilting Arts DVD’s, Cloth Paper Scissors, The Studio Quilt State of the Art, Sandra Sider, Ink Aid Website, SAQA Journal, Quilt Visions CA , Surface Design Journal, Art Quilt Elements catalog, Innovative Digital Fiber Images book, Fiber Arts Magazine 2005, Crafts Report 1997 and her first article in International Quilters Magazine,1986. 

Wen’s work has been in galleries, juried, solo, and invitational shows including an invitation to The Museum of AQS Paducah, KY 1986, Quilt National, National Fiber Directions, Visions, Whistler Museum, Columbia University, NYC, Rubin Gallery, Boston University, Craft Boston, Art Quilt Elements, Quilts=Art=Quilts, Form not Function, Niche Finalist 2008, 2010, & 2012, 2014 and in private and public collections.

Please refer to her blog or website for more information about her work and workshops.

WEBSITE
BLOGS
Additional


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Studio Spotlight with Guest Artist Anca Bonner

Over the course of ten Wednesday's join me in welcoming 10 guest artists as they share a glimpse into the spaces that foster their creative process. One of our ten guest bloggers referred to the artist's studio as "Sacred Space", and indeed it is just that for me. Working in the silence of my own studio is the place I am most easily able to connect to my Creator. As our guest artists share images of their own sacred spaces, they tell a bit of their creative process through the answers to four simple questions. Read about the artist in their bio and then explore the links each one will provide to get to know them a little more.

I First encountered Anca's beautiful collages as a seller on Etsy working under the name "Anca Gray". I was immediately captivated by her choice of materials and color pallet and how she communicated her subject so powerfully within her compositions. We have followed each other's blogs and communicated off and on over the years over our mutual love for the art of collage, and I was thrilled to find that she was also a featured artist in Seth Apter's second book. To say I am in love with her studio as much as her art would be an understatement. Have a look...
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Anca Gray Studio
Anca Gray Studio

What is your favorite time of day to create and why?
whenever i get more than half an hour of uninterrupted time to work. i have a 7 month old daughter and am still adjusting to life and work with a baby.
Anca Gray Studio
What do you love most about your studio?
i work from my home studio and love that. it allows me to raise my child and do what i love for a living as well, not to mention the perk of having a fresh pot of tea all day every day. but aside from the location, i love that it's a wide open space that i can reconfigure however i see fit at the moment, that it's got plenty of natural light, and that unless it's winter, it's wide open to the natural world.
Anca Gray Studio
What can always be found in your work space?
there is always hot tea, stacks of yellowed book pages, an old dictionary because words inspire me, and a healthy dose of uncertainty
Anca Gray Studio
What dream supply would you purchase if money were no issue? - or alternatively – What medium would you want to learn if time were no issue?
the media that i love to work with is not a matter of cost. the best things of all are little bits of forgotten history, discarded relics, the odd bits that fell off somebody else's project and were mindlessly considered useless. to these i love to offer a new life within my collages and paintings. technique is another story. mine is quite the improvised sloppy method. eventually i would love to learn encaustic. i feel that it would add some welcomed dimension to my work.
Anca Gray Studio
Anca Gray Studio
bio
i am a romanian born artist living and working in chicago.  i have background in architecture and a passion for gathering community around the table. 
my work explores the life and history contained in discarded vintage books, antique lace and doilies, kitchen scraps and other assorted bits of found objects.  as i work these collected fragments into abstract and figurative paintings, i allow their stories to work on my own biases of brokenness and wholeness, of being and becoming.  my mixed media work is a relentless search for poetry in the debris, an affirmation of life and possibility.  
the work unpacks an interested in emotion, capturing and savoring unique moments in time and space, the simultaneous absence and presence of all colors, embedded memory of objects, texture, and a raw & feminine aesthetic.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Redemption Stories Series: A Look Back at "The Invisible Fire"

Today's Guest Blogger for the Redemption Series wasn't able to share her story with us after all, so I am reprinting an old post from my own ongoing redemptive journey. As I thought of all the posts I could rerun today, this one, which originally ran September 12, 2012, came to mind. It is the story of how I wound up in the home I live in now, and I see it as a true story of redemption. This home is more than just another rented dwelling. It is truly the fulfillment of a vision I had laid on my heart close to a decade ago, of living in a community of people with a common vision. Learning within that community what it means to "do life together" and reaching out to others around us to connect in love. A place that continues to grow with a common vision and dream. Out of the ashes has come something so beautiful... 
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"The Invisible Fire" 


"Deep Calls to Deep" 12" x 12" collage by Crystal Neubauer
Just a few minutes late, I made my way to the back of the crowded room where I could observe the guest speaker without being noticed. I still wasn't sure what I was doing here, what brought me back to this small church meeting in a basement room each Sunday morning. It was a difficult time in my life and I needed more then the disconnect I had been feeling in my regular church home. It wasn't them, it was me. I felt God challenging me to know Him in a deeper way, but this place was outside of my comfort zone, and this morning in particular, filled with people, standing and sitting, who had come to see Todd White speak, it was even more so then usual. My day had started with an earnest private pleading with God to still the waters of my life and bring me peace. Bring me peace God. Please. Please. Please God. I was feeling fragile and I didn't want to be seen.

As I squeezed silently against the back wall, Todd, who had been facing the other side of the room, suddenly stopped mid-sentence and looked directly at me saying in a voice that carried above the crowd "God wants you to know you are entering into a season of peace"! Tears sprang to my eyes and before I could stop it my own small voice gasped "I prayed for that this morning!" There were appropriate praise murmurings all around, but they faded to a buzz as I stood amazed at the timing of this prophecy.

That afternoon a tree lost its limb smashing the rear window of my car in the driveway. 


Today I am settling into a new home with only a few of my own belongings around. I can't help thinking this must be what it's like for families who have lost their homes to a fire. In some ways, I think, a fire might have been easier to sort it all out- the good from the bad- damaged belongings verses salvageable goods, and according to our insurance company would have meant our losses were covered.

Just over two months ago we moved to another home that my husband had agreed to renovate in exchange for lower rent. It was to be a time of sacrifice in which, if all went according to plan, we could begin to pay off debt and save our money to finally purchase our own home. But the house needed much more then the cosmetic work my husband had agreed to, a terrible musty odor permeated the air and no amount of cleaning could remove it.

By the time we realized how serious the problem was I was losing my hair, dealing with inexplicable dizzy spells while sitting in bed, and worsening skin and airborne allergy symptoms. Our precious kitty woke ill one day and continued to grow worse - the vet said her kidneys had shut down the day we had to put her to sleep- a result of the toxicity of the black mold spores unseen in the air.



In a sense it was an invisible fire. Thankfully many of our possessions –including my entire studio -were still in boxes stored in the garage, safe from the toxic air, but we had to throw away beds, dressers, rugs and other items which were at highest risk. Everything else went into storage, where we will slowly begin to decide one box, one item at a time, what we can attempt to clean and what else has to be thrown away.

A very wise counselor answered my fears one night in alarm as I lamented over what to do, not having any money or place to go, but knowing the situation was serious "Honey you just get in the car and GO! God will meet you there!" And there I was again; back three years ago in that season of begging God for peace to calm the waters that were threatening to flood my life. Without resources and with no permanent place to go - could I really trust Him to meet me in this?

Stepping back to the big picture, there is an array of core lies that God has been weeding out of my belief system for several years now- indeed through each one of these stormy seasons there have been blessings and breakthroughs- but still I wrestled with the big one. Will God really meet me in this?

Can I really trust God?

A lifetime of fears was at stake and God had lovingly hemmed me in. Bring me peace God. Please. Please. Please God. And that is exactly what He did. As I got into my car and drove away He was there to meet me. From the well timed large sale from my website the first day, to winding up renting a home fully furnished and stocked – a story I might share in more detail another day – God was meeting me in my need every step of the way and showing me just how much I could let go of control and trust Him.

It turns out the prophecy spoken to me three years ago was correct, I really was entering a season of peace – but as long as I had my eyes on the storms around me I was missing it.

Peace, you see, had nothing to do with my circumstances and everything to do with trusting a loving God.

Matt 6:19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Found Object Friday with Guest Artist Shary Bartlett

Found Object Fridays: We artists love our collections don't we? Even as a child I remember foraging through flea markets and looking for special trinkets that caught my eye. Going for walks, to this day I find myself scanning the ground looking for interesting bits of metal or unique rocks to add to my collections. Long before I knew what I would be doing with them, I collected objects that pulled on something inside of me. As an artist I was thrilled to find there are others who love and collect little oddities and curiosities too. 

Over the course of ten Fridays I am honored to introduce ten different guest artists who will share some of the objects they love. You may recognize some of these names, while others may be new to you, each one is somebody whose style I admire. Check out the photos of their found object-and in a virtual show and tell, read about how it caught their attention and what they plan to do with it. Then check out their bios and links to learn more about each artist. . .
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I was first introduced to Shary through mutual friend and artist, Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch, when Trish invited Shary to join the team of EncaustiCamp instructors. To be totally honest with you, I was intimidated to meet Shary after viewing her beautiful work on her website. Shary kindly offered to pick me up from the airport as she drove down from Canada and I was delighted to find her to be an outgoing, fun and down to earth artist with a lyrical voice and distinct Canadian accent. I can't wait to connect with her at EncaustiCamp again this July!
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As a mixed media artist and teacher, I am lucky to live in Vancouver, Canada, where we have a delightful store called Urban Source that collects “alternative art materials” (what others might call “junk”) from local industries.  


Urban Source - Vancouver
This found object paradise diverts safe, useable samples, discards, off-cut paper and over-stock into the hands of designers, teachers, parents, children and creative people like us. For about $7.00, one can fill a paper bag full of artistic opportunity: overstock tile sample, fabric swatches, sheet music, tubing, Plexiglas, buttons, shiny bling…you name it! Every time I visit it’s a new store offering something different.  And the local industries are happy, as Urban Source hauls away their unwanted goodies, thereby reducing land fill and disposal costs.  It’s Win, Win, and the world becomes more beautiful with art! I understand several cities in Canada and the US have stores like this one.Once at Urban Source I found a container of floor sweepings: curlicue wooden cuttings leftover from laser-cut lettering.  


Shary Bartlett, Found Objects
The laser process had lent them a delicious smoky wood smell -- like a campfire.  I was struck by their recognizable - but illegible – calligraphic form.  Placed side by side, I thought, these might appear to be a secret language no one could read!  Images and possibilities blossomed in my mind; I love to write poetry and adore the addition of text in artwork but am always looking for unique ways to  integrate the two, as this look has become commonplace over the years.  I scooped a few of those into my paper bag -- You bet! At first, I glued them to fabric and painted text-like shapes around them.  I liked that.  


Shary Bartlett, Found Object Friday

Then, I included them on a collage painting.  Didn’t like that so much.  


Shary Bartlett, Found Object Friday
Then I became curious about their similarity in shape to Hebrew and Arabic lettering, so…I admit to getting a wee bit diverted on the internet, researching early forms of writing.  I learned that the two languages share the same early alphabet and both read from the right side of the page.  That’s one thing I love about art – it’s endlessly educational and knowledge deepens the meaning of the resulting artwork.  But finally, the sweet-bee scent of my encaustic wax began flirting with those smoky “letters” and drew me away from the screen and back to the studio!  I decided to string the shapes together to form mysterious sentences that might communicate with, but speak a different meaning to, each viewer.  I lay the letters across the wooden substrate starting from the right.  This took a few tries and “mistakes” as I developed the technical skill involved in affixing the characters so they would stay in place.  


Shary Bartlett, Found Object Friday
I finally mastered the process, but decided the text was too busy, so turned back to an earlier “mistake” on which I had practiced with the addition of beeswax and successfully affixed only one row of letters.  I scraped into the wax, laying down an illegible poem filled with personal meaning, then inlaid oil paint into the crevices and wiped it out.  And voila as we say in Canada, a host of new painting possibilities began filling my imagination!


Shary Bartlett, Found Object Friday
Shary Bartlett is an artist and Fine Arts instructor at Capilano University and Langara College in Vancouver, Canada. She has taught art in the United States and Bali.  Her mixed media body of work includes encaustic, collage, acrylic, fibre arts, altered photographic prints and sculptural assemblage.  Find her on Facebook, Pinterest and her website:  www.sharybartlett.com.   

Thursday, April 10, 2014

RocketHub Ends with nearly 50% funding!

"Fallen" 10" x 10" collage by Crystal Neubauer
I'm so happy to share with you that my Rockethub campaign ended at nearly 50% funded! While that still leaves me short of my original goal, I don't see it as a failed campaign, I see it as a tremendous boost toward achieving my dreams! 

You may have seen my post on Facebook last week about the passing of my grandmother, but if not I just wanted to share this news with you briefly. At 93 Gramma was still a fighter. She taught me much about the importance of family relationships. I was fortunate enough to have been able to see her before she passed and then to be able to spend time catching up with family members who have not gathered together for quite a few years.

I am, and will always be grateful for these connections in my life and for the very sweet time I was able to spend "back home". What that meant for me on a career level was making the choice to pull out of the American Craft Council show in St. Paul this weekend. It was an easy decision to make, to place my priorities squarely on my family without distraction, but today I can't help feel a tiny bit disappointed at not being there as the show opens. As I said, the richness of what I received instead is priceless, there will be other shows. 

American Craft Expo in Evanston, IL
And speaking of other shows! If you did not catch my announcement before, I am so excited to share with you that I was accepted into the American Craft Exposition Show and Sale in Evanston, IL. This show is held annually in August and is among the top art/craft shows in the nation. If you are in the Chicagoland area or will be visiting in August, I do hope you will plan to come visit the show and see me!

RocketHub and Beyond
The backing funds so generously provided will now be used for the ACE show in August in the same way I planned to use it for the ACC show. I will be following through with the purchase of my booth panel system and will also be able to pay the fee for the show without straining my family budget. I will also be making an investment in framing material and art supplies. 

The funds I was able to raise were just shy of half of what I needed, so I have decided to schedule a couple of special series to continue my efforts. I will be creating a series of 6" x 6" works and offering them 10 at a time for $50 each. This is a savings of over $150! This is a great opportunity to add to your growing collection of original artwork or start one. In addition to the offer of original work at such a substantial savings, each person who purchases will be entered into a drawing for some exciting prizes. Stay tuned for the announcement of my first "10 for 50" campaign on the blog!

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Studio Spotlight with Guest Artist Tye Johnson

Over the course of ten Wednesday's join me in welcoming 10 guest artists as they share a glimpse into the spaces that foster their creative process. One of our ten guest bloggers referred to the artist's studio as "Sacred Space", and indeed it is just that for me. Working in the silence of my own studio is the place I am most easily able to connect to my Creator. As our guest artists share images of their own sacred spaces, they tell a bit of their creative process through the answers to four simple questions. Read about the artist in their bio and then explore the links each one will provide to get to know them a little more.

Tye Johnson first crossed my radar as an artist when I received a newsletter from a gallery that was promoting an event Tye was involved in for the Dreamcatcher foundation, a non-profit group raising funds for a shelter and awareness about human trafficking in the city of Chicago. I contacted Tye about donating art to the cause, and though it was too late for me to participate in that event, it opened the door of communication between us. I so admire the passion Tye has for social justice issues, especially where women and teens are concerned. And I so so admire Tye's style as an artist, where the female figure is often the focus of her work. It is so evident that she is fully living out the passion she has for empowering women openly and authentically. Read on and Enjoy!
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Tye Johnson Studio

What is your favorite time of the day to create & why? 
I would probably choose mid-day as my favorite time of day to create because I am most rested and alert then. Sadly, I rarely get to paint during this time because I also work during the day as a 5th grade teacher. Typically, I like to create when I can create enough mental space to get into the process and when I'm well rested.

What do you love most about your studio?
When I'm in my studio, I feel like I'm transported into another world. It actually scares me to go sometimes because I get so engulfed and I don't want to leave, eat, sleep, etc. Although I'm not there as much as I'd like to be, it's the place where I feel the most creative peace.
Tye Johnson Studio

What can always be found in your work space?
In my work space, whether its my painting studio or my classroom, you will always find an assortment of materials that I  can use at whim. I love the spontaneity of creativity and being able to use random tools, from paper to fabric to chalk to ink to whatever is available. I try to teach my students to operate in the same way- to be creative thinkers and problem-solvers and to use the resources around them.

What dream supply would you purchase if money were no issue? - or alternatively – What medium would you want to learn if time were no issue?
If money and time were no issue, my dream 'supply' would be to form a band and the 'medium' I would like to perfect is playing the guitar. I love music and I love to sing. I play the guitar a little, but wish I had more time to devote to really learning it.
Artist Tye Johnson
Bio:
As an emerging artist, Tye Johnson has exhibited with international artists, had an award-winning painting at the Woman's Works art exhibit covered by Chicago Gallery News, corporate sales with companies such as Intren, Inc., and her studio is at the Zhou B Art Center in Bridgeport, home of the famous Zhou Brothers and other prominent globally-known artists. She is the vice chair of The Dreamcatcher Foundation, an organization helping victims of human trafficking, a fifth grade school teacher in Oak Park, and is the founder of Tye Johnson Artistry, Inc., a non-profit dedicated to igniting social change and reform through art. This nonprofit includes a network of artists committed to social change and proprietary service-learning curriculums. Tye is also a speaker within the Women's Empowerment (WE) network and a workshop developer who covers people empowerment, social justice, and self-branding.