Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Let's Try This Again! Rockethub Campaign Continues: Ten for Fifty

**Sold Out in 24 hours! You guys rock- thank you! Stay tuned for part two of the campaign!**
**PayPal Buttons are now working and I've added two new works to the sale just to entice you to try again! But please contact me if you experience any problems with the check-out process**

You may remember my Rockethub Campaign, which ended back in April with 50% funding. A number I counted as a great start toward my goal of paying my booth fee and purchasing a booth panel system to enable me to participate in outstanding national fine art and craft shows such as the upcoming American Craft Expo in Evanston this August. And as promised at the end of that campaign, today I am furthering my efforts toward raising the funds I need by offering ten 6" x 6" works for only $50 each. This is a substantial savings of over $150 each! 

If you would like to support my efforts toward my goals and obtain one of my collage works in the process, all you need to do is click on the purchase button beneath the work of art you would like here on my blog. You will not find these prices offered anywhere else, including my website. 

Thanks for your support, encouragement, cheering me on, and dreaming with me!

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"YOLO (you only live once)" 6" x 6" collage by Crystal Neubauer
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"He Hears My Voice" 6" x 6" collage by Crystal Neubauer
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"Count It All Joy" 6" x 6" collage by Crystal Neubauer
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"Add or Distraction" 6" x 6" collage by Crystal Neubauer
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"My Soul Will Rest In Your Embrace" 6" x 6" collage by Crystal Neubauer

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"And He Went" 6" x 6" collage by Crystal Neubauer
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**Newly added!** "Travail" 6" x 6" collage by Crystal Neubauer
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"Infinite Hope" 6" x 6" collage by Crystal Neubauer

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"On The Wings of a Prayer" 6" x 6" collage by Crystal Neubauer

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"Spirit Lead Me Where My Trust Is Without Borders" 6" x 6" collage by Crystal Neubauer
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"Forty Days in the Desert" 6" x 6" collage by Crystal Neubauer
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**Newly Added!** "Woman of Substance" 6" x 6" collage by Crystal Neubauer

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Meet Shary Bartlett: 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. 

Today Artist/Instructor Shary Bartlett joins us to talk about her experience at EncaustiCamp last year as an instructor and what she is hoping to impart to her students when she returns this year. Shary joined us in my Found Object Friday series not to long ago, so I am especially appreciative that she agreed to participate in the EC series. 
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Shary Bartlett - Wax Sculpture and Printing at EncaustiCamp
What are you teaching at EncaustiCamp this year?

Be amazed by the remarkable three-dimensional forms, textures and translucence that become possible when encaustic meets Tyvek and Lutradur.  In this workshop, participants will learn how to print and distress spunbonded fibres, exploring how these can be shaped into sculptural surfaces which are waxed, coloured and highlighted to create unique works of art. (See more hereI am teaching how to create 3D wax sculpture and print photographic images onto spunbonded fabrics like Lutradur and Tyvek.  These new age fabrics include that lacy material you might find under your mattress. It is amazingly versatile and magical when distressed and covered in wax.  
Shary Bartlett - Workshop Instructor at EncaustiCamp

What is the number one thing you hope to impart to the students who take your class at EC?

I hope to impart a spirit of fun, inventiveness and anything is possible! Most of us have not worked with these new fabrics and they are enticing-  especially when married with the luminosity and depth of sweet-smelling beeswax!
Shary Bartlett - Workshop Instructor at EncaustiCamp

What will students get from your class at EncaustiCamp that they can't get from other classes you teach?

I get to be with students from breakfast till late into the evening!  I get to know them as people as we are "camping" together in this beautiful facility with breathtaking views of Puget Sound in Oregon.  We get to share our mutual passion for art all week. Yahoo!
"Opening" Encaustic Wax Sculpture by Shary Bartlett

What is your most memorable moment at EncaustiCamp?

Seeing students who have spent the whole day making wonderful art with inspiring teachers, reveling in the optional open studio at night and celebrating their own and each other's creativity.
Shary Bartlett, Artist, Workshop Instructor, EncaustiCamp Lifer
Bio:
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 FacebookPinterest and her website:  www.sharybartlett.com.   

Friday, May 23, 2014

Found Object Friday with Guest Artist Robin Gordon

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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Robyn Gordon is actually my eleventh artist for the Found Object Friday series and it's an absolute joy to have her join us here! I may have stumbled on her work on Tumblr or another blog, I don't remember exactly when or where. All I remember is being absolutely enthralled with her wonderful carvings. Robin is an artist in South Africa and has found a way to incorporate the found objects from her region into her work that at once creates a sense of ancient tribal artifacts with a touch of modern aesthetics. Read on to hear about the treasure that Robin shared with us, but first, I can't help but show you an image of her outstanding work to illustrate the setting within which her found object might be used. . .
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Artist Robyn Gordon
What is it?
I think they are fragments from a Leatherback Turtle shell.

Robyn Gordon, Found Object
 
Where did you find it or purchase it?
My husband found a large pile of turtle bones on the beach when trudging back after a long day's fishing. He was laden down with heavy fishing bags and these pieces were all he could manage. He had hoped to find the skull but it seemed to be missing.
 
What caught your attention about it?
I love the jaggedness and the scrubbed, weathered surface of the fragments. It amazes me that several of these pieces would have interlocked  to form the underside of the shell.
 
How will you use it?
Initially I thought I could use them for tribal necklaces for my carved totems but I'm loathe to spoil them in any way. I might use one piece in a carved sculpture but the others are just lovely to look at .

Robyn Gordon, Found Object 

 
Bio
I am an artist living in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.  As a child, growing up on a farm, I loved to touch and feel nature in my hands. The smoothness of acorns and pebbles, the roughness of pine bark, the hollowness of birds nests .... anything tactile under my fingertips. At a  young age I commandeered my mom's unused carving chisels and I found that I could create many tactile qualities in the wood by chipping, gouging, whittling and sanding. Now I carve wooden totems and panels incorporating found objects.
 
 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Meet Tracy Proctor: 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 artist Tracy Proctor shares an experience she had as a result of attending EncaustiCamp as a student last year. I simply love serendipitous stories like this, and especially when they are accompanied by the visual feast that is Tracy's art. Read on and be sure to check out her bio and links below!
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Seattle Installation by Buster Simpson
Before heading to Encausticamp last year, I had a wonderful weekend with my husband in Seattle to celebrate our second year anniversary.  We were walking through Pike Place and stumbled across some laundry hanging from buildings in Post Alley.  I was so inspired by the photo I decided to do an encaustic painting from the photos I took. I wanted to find out more about the laundry hanging behind the market, so I goggled it and found that it was an installation hosted by the Frye Art Museum: Buster Simpson//Surveyor the first retrospective survey of work by Seattle artist Buster Simpson, a pioneer in the field of urban environmentalism and art in public spaces.

A friend mentioned that I should email the artist a photo of my painting. I was a little nervous as Buster Simpson is a successful artist in the US for the past 45 years, but I decided what the hell.  I just received an email back to him and one of his collectors wants to purchase the piece! I guess I made the right decision by sending him an email.
"City Laundry" Encaustic Painting by Tracy Proctor
See more information on Buster Simpson
Tracy Proctor in her studio
Bio:
I have been working in Encaustic for the past eight years and teaching encaustic workshops in Alberta and BC for the past six years.  I have been to four encaustic conferences over the years but I am now definatly an ecamp lifer. I look forward to this year’s conference and will be spending the weekend before the conference in Seattle to celebrate my third anniversary!   

I will be teaching this September in a Canadian Encaustic retreat in Penticton, B.C.  (email swirlfineart@icloud.com for details).

Monday, May 19, 2014

Slow Down Sunday Review: A Day In the Life of an Artist ~ "Making Your Mark"

Slow Down Sunday Weekly Review: A recap of my daily activities in and out of the studio to give you a glimpse behind the scenes, both the highs and the lows, of the life of an artist- well at least this artist- Crystal Neubauer.
"The Writing's On The Wall" 10" x 10" Collage by Crystal Neubauer
I made a commitment to report in weekly for this series back in March and then came all manor of events, planned and unplanned, that got in the way of following through. Life. It happens.

So I am renewing my commitment here - not to the once-weekly-idealistic-version of this series- but the sometimes weekly, sometimes monthly, occasional, and happenstance version that is far more likely and realistic for me to commit to. Now that I can do.

It has been one of those weeks. Not the shake your head and sigh kind of weeks. No, it was more like the get up and dance a little jig to celebrate kind of weeks.
  • Last Sunday (Mother's Day) - I drove to Cincinnati where I spent the entire week.
  • Monday was day one at FW Media's Cincinnati studio to begin the photo shoot for my book (somebody pinch me!). 
  • Tuesday I was back at the photography studio. We ended the day way ahead of schedule, having finished the section on mark-making, basic collage techniques, and the use of photography in collage.
  • Wednesday's shoot focused on encaustic with collage.
  • Thursday we wrapped up (a day and a half early!) with material and supply shots and included some deconstruction of materials. I dragged along a scrumptious dilapidated old box and a time-worn old book for this and regaled the photographer and editor with my highly skilled ripping and tearing techniques.
  • Friday I packed up and drove down the road a spell to spend time with my mom and step-dad before returning home Saturday evening. 
I love to travel, especially for such an exciting reason. And I loved visiting my mom and seeing her latest garden salvage creations. But coming home always feels so good!  

This month I was invited to be the guest artist at the Midwest Collage Society's monthly meeting where I spoke and demo'd on making your mark, both in your art and in the art-world. After the talk and the photo-shoot, my mind has been reeling with thoughts on the subject of making your mark as an artist.

Though mark-making may simply refer to the act of making a mark on the canvas, regardless of the medium the artist chooses, the movement toward mark-making as an artistic expression has more to do with recognizing the artist's hand in her work. Whether done with a tight grip and repetitive nature, or loose and gestural, the intent is spontaneous, intuitively applied, and tells a story to the viewer. It is evidence that the artist was here.

Sometimes I am asked how I manage to get into certain shows or galleries, or how I am able to write articles or be written about, or how I was accepted to certain venues to teach, or how getting a book proposal accepted came about, and my answer is always some form of "I applied". Not in a cocky self-assured tone, and by no means implying that all I have to do is apply to get accepted - believe me, there are more rejection letters than not- but I determined long ago what kind of mark I wanted to make in the art world and knew that I wouldn't get there if I wasn't intentional about doing it.

All these thoughts on making my mark remind me of the story in the book of Daniel when the Babylon King, Belshazzar, was throwing a party, proving what a schmuck he could be by showing off for his guests and desecrating sacred artifacts. The king and his fellow revelers are whooping it up drinking wine from the temple goblets when a hand literally appears in front of them and writes the words "mene, mene, tekel, parsin"  on the wall - interpreted to mean "Your days are numbered. You have been weighed and found wanting." and "Your kingdom will be divided." The word Mene, the one that means "your days are numbered", is written twice for impact. "Your day's are numbered . . .Dude, brace yourself, because, Your. Days. Are. Numbered."

Imagine seeing that message written to you, "You are going to die and you have been found wanting" - it makes me shudder to think about!

There is a catchy little saying in the Christian world  that kind of makes me roll my eyes, as many catchy little sayings do, but it gets my attention: "If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?" What kind of evidence would you need to call me a Christian? I read my bible. I pray. And my vocabulary is sprinkled with words like "blessed".  But so what? Is this enough to keep me from being found wanting?

I have to think about what kind of mark I want to make on the world as decisively as I do planning my next art move. If I don't, I easily slide down that slope of self-centered behavior and busyness. And lets face it, no matter how many days we are allotted, they just seem to fly by with it all. I love making art. I love that I get to write a book about it and that I get to travel around and teach others how to do what I do. I love sitting in my studio and pushing these scraps and bits around until they start to tell a story. I am wired for this. And that is key.

I don't have to fear that my purpose and call in life have nothing to do with my passions. I can use art to connect with others to build relationships. I can open my studio door and invite the neighbors in and show them the healing power of art. I can use the money I earn from selling my work or teaching to take a group of kids to a museum and help them to see a bigger world than they realized was available to them. I can explain the deeper meaning behind my work to a hurting person and help them to understand they are valuable and loved.

Making your mark on the world requires as much thought and intentional action as planning your career. What kind of legacy do you really want to leave? How do you want people to remember you? If you were put on trial for it today would there be enough evidence to convict you?






Friday, May 09, 2014

Found Object Friday with Guest Artist Barbara Buckles

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 met Barbara Buckles through my website back in October after she saw my feature on Seth Apter's 30 Days/30 Artists blog feature. We share an affinity for all things creative and seem to hang out in the same places online. Barbara is a photographer from Chicago living in LA and the host of a new workshop venue "Make Art In LA" where I happily agreed to teach this October. Be sure to head over to the Make Art in LA and check out the cool location and outstanding line-up of workshop instructors. But first, check out Barbara's found object....
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Barbara Buckles, Found Object Friday
What is it?
It’s a little rose, only 1 ½” across, made entirely of seashells and sea glass found along the shore by someone else.

Where did you find it or purchase it?
It was given to me over 30 years ago when I had just moved to Kauai. I was visiting a new friend in her little beach cottage and was admiring it when she told me she had made it, and then she just gave it to me on the spot. I couldn’t believe she could give it away and have never forgotten that moment of pure, spontaneous generosity.
Barbara Buckles, Found Object Friday
What caught your attention about it?
What first caught my attention was how realistic it looked. How could shells possibly look so much like rose petals?

How will you use it?
I have had it on display wherever I create ever since then. It’s purely inspirational…a reminder of the natural world, of kindness and generosity, of art being something that is available to us with just a little imagination. It reminds me of the artist Andy Goldsworthy who makes art out of leaves, rocks, ice, twigs, etc. We needn’t go far to find inspiration, and we can use what we have at hand. And the art we make is a gift we give of ourselves. Even if we sell it, there’s a piece of our soul deep within it that’s given freely.
Barbara Buckles, Found Object Friday
Bio
I consider myself primarily a photographer but have been migrating to mixed media over the years. I’ve written a couple books and taught workshops in the past, but now I’m hosting workshops taught by other artists. Please visit our website (www.makeartinla.com), like our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/makeartinla), and follow us on Twitter @MakeArtinLA!


Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Studio Spotlight Series: A Body (of work) In Motion

My final Studio Spotlight Series guest artist has been delayed in sharing with many new life events happening. I will happily share her studio at some point in the future but today I thought I'd show you the chaos that is my own studio as I prepare to leave this Sunday for Cincinnati to do the photo shoot for my book. 

The photo shoot for my book. What a surreal thing that is to say.

I am in the midst of preparing the step-outs for each of the projects and getting everything as organized as possible. This is a shot of my studio as of yesterday afternoon - just a bit over 24 hours after I had cleaned it all up. Ah, but you, my fellow artists, will understand. This is what happens when a body of work is being born! 

A Body (of work) In Motion - Studio Spotlight Series with Crystal Neubauer

And here is a picture of the calm that comes from the chaos:

"Many Happy Returns" - 10" x 10" collage by Crystal Neubauer
Workshops are forming for June in my home studio - email me at crystalneubauer@yahoo.com for details.
Visit my website at crystalneubauer.com
Sign up for my newsletter here.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Meet Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch: The Many Faces of EncaustiCamp!

This is the second post 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 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. 

This week, none other then the founder and fearless leader of the camp, Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch. When I first began to work in Encaustics and wanted to learn more, Patricia's first book on the subject was one that I turned to. Our paths crossed, so-to-speak, after one innocent "thumbs-up" encounter on Facebook, after which, Trish enrolled in my "Wax and Wire" workshop at Art and Soul, an invitation to come and teach at EncaustiCamp was extended, but more importantly, a friendship was formed. It is with deep pleasure and great admiration I introduce to you Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch...
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Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch - "Peel Your Image From the Mirror" - Encaustic on Panel
What are you teaching at EncaustiCamp this year?
Dyed in Encaustic; all kinds of yummy techniques that tint the encausticbord before encaustic comes in. We use batik tools and djanting pens to really have some fun with this foundation technique! It plays toward what I've picked up in my time in AU and it is fun to share it with everyone.
Fearless Leader & Founder of EncaustiCamp, Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch
What is the number one thing you hope to impart to the students who take your class at EC?
You can do it! There is a creative voice in everyone, and if you've come this far, to commit to attending ECamp, then you have that voice; risk trying it all and giving your all, and you will find your way in encaustic.
Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch  View of Encaustic works exhibit
What will students get from your class at EncaustiCamp that they can't get from other classes you teach?
A crazy woman! Truly-and it's not a bad thing :) I gave myself the tag line 'reach more, teach more, inspire more' over six years ago, not really knowing what that meant at the time, just having a passion to do all that it said. Students get in my workshops the crazy woman who is living out that passion in the actual; and at ECamp, the crazy woman who gets to rejoin the amazing community it's become and continues to grow into and share what the past year since the last retreat has held, inspired, taught, grown in me....crazy women are good when used in the right way! LOL
Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch - "What If Nothing Were as Veiled or Complicated?" Encaustic Work
What is your most memorable moment at EncaustiCamp?
Too many to catalog! It is beyond wonderful to have my son there; all my sons but specifically Patrick. There is just something about him there, watching him open up to the people, that is magical. Also the first year; standing in front of everyone and crying my eyes our in blissful joy and wonder that they were all there and trusted me to deliver something when I didn't even really know what that something was~

And being intimidated by Judy Wise, watching her approach across the gardens, a bit terrified as she joined me in the first year, then having her not only stay for the day she committed to, but hang out for the entire week to 'experience the peace and magic' that unexpectedly, delightful hit her there. And now, to have her as a desperately dear friend. And along with me for all three retreats this year...

And Stephen Workman pulling me aside and saying 'I don't know what it is, but you have something special. And whatever it takes I will be at EncaustiCamp to experience it each and every year.'

And Ginny Rice, on the first day, first morning, of ECamp 2013 grabbing me as we rushed to studios and saying, 'Thank you for being in the world, at this time, in this way.'
Yeah, wowzers eh?! Who does that?!!!! :)

Happy students of Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch
Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch
Known for her foundations work and mark making, Patricia is a dynamic encaustic artist, author and international instructor steeped in experimentation and exploration. She’s worked her art to embrace the multi-faceted, all-inclusive nature of life; showing up in not only in her work-practice, but her life-practice as well. Find her traveling the globe to inspire artists and craftspersons worldwide to the ancient art of painting in melted beeswax alongside her impassioned exhibitions throughout Australia and the US and you’ll come to only dip a toe into the depth of her investment into this art form and the desire to inspire and enliven.


Friday, May 02, 2014

Found Object Friday with Guest Artist Donna Zarbin-Byrne

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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A talented encaustic artist and metalsmith, I first heard of Donna Zarbin-Byrne when a mutual acquaintance suggested I contacted her over our common interest in encaustic wax, but sticking her contact info in my purse, I promptly forgot all about it. A few years later I joined Fused Chicago, an encaustic art organization, which Donna was also a member of, but it was not until I went to see an exhibit the group had organized that my memory was jarred. As I stood in front of Donna's installation "Bowl of Prayers" in awe of the beauty of it, I had the niggling sense that I had heard her name before. Read on for a glimpse into the fascinating way Donna views the world around her through her artistic vision, read her bio and then be sure to visit her brand new website to see more of her work.
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Donna Zarbin-Byrne Found Object Friday
What is it? 
As an avid gardener, I am always looking to nature for interesting forms which I either make molds from and cast or use directly in my work. 

Donna Zarbin-Byrne Found Object Friday
Where did you find it or purchase it?
 In this case ,I have been drying banana stems and using them in a number of mixed media sculptures.
Donna Zarbin-Byrne Found Object Friday
What caught your attention about it? 
First , I love the way they hang off the trees and are suspended in space with their big purple black blossoms. But then when they dry they transcend into strange shapes reminiscent of a spinal cord. I love the way that they evoke and refer to many different biomorphic forms at once.
Donna Zarbin-Byrne Found Object Friday
How will you use it?
It becomes the jumping off point in a sculpture that I add more elements to , both found and created.I am also inspired by the way they suspend in nature and have been using them to experiment with the way the pieces are hung and suspend off the wall.
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BIOGRAPHY
Zarbin-Byrne’s work ranges from site-specific interior and exterior installations to small, individual sculptural objects and works on paper. Critic Ann-Sargent Wooster described her as “The gardener of the dreamscape.” She integrates a vast array of materials including encaustic, bronze, ceramics, and found objects.

Her work has exhibited extensively in galleries and museums across the country from New York (The Jewish Museum) to Hawaii (Schaefer International Art Gallery, Maui). She has received numerous public and private commissions including an outdoor sculpture for the city of Evanston, IL and installations for the Moriah Congregation in Deerfield, IL, and the Liquid Packaging Corporation in Wisconsin.

Donna Zarbin-Byrne holds her BFA and MFA from the University of Texas, San Antonio, with a concentration in ceramic sculpture. She is a recipient of an Individual Artists fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and she has been awarded grants and exhibitions through the Artist in Education program, Illinois Arts Council.

Zarbin-Byrne co-founded Great Lakes Metal Works & Art Studio and Artists Restoration International, Inc., which provide custom fabrication and restoration services in metal wood and stone. Her teaching experience is expansive, ranging from universities to elementary schools. She offers workshops in mixed media and encaustic sculpture techniques. She has created public murals and spearheaded art and literacy programs for both gifted and at risk children.

Visit Donna's website at donnazarbinbyrne.com

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Studio Spotlight with Guest Artist Kristina Trudell

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 met Kristina last year as a student in my workshop at EncaustiCamp. She was one of those people who had such a solid grasp of her own style, and such a natural propensity for the art of collage that I thought surely she was a working artist who was there to hone her skills and glean from the creativity of others, but it turned out that she was just coming back to her love of art after years of raising her family and working in another career. In reading Kristina's bio below, I want to go back in time and shake the teacher who was so discouraging to her, but I'm such a strong believer in the value of every single bit of our lives to the person that we are and are becoming, that I know Kristina's journey to becoming an artist couldn't have happened any other way. It is part of her story and part of the beauty of the art she will produce going forward. And what beauty it is.....
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Kristina Trudell Studio Spotlight

What is your favorite time of day to create?
Anytime the house is quiet and I am alone is my favorite time to create. It doesn’t matter to me if it is early or late at night. The key is that I am alone.

Kristina Trudell Studio Spotlight

What do you love most about your studio?
My studio space is at one end of a huge room with a cement floor. I love that the floor isn’t precious and also that I have a huge quantity of space to expand when necessary.
Kristina Trudell Studio Spotlight

What can always be found in your workspace?
I find India ink to be useful in nearly project.

Kristina Trudell Studio Spotlight

What dream supply would you purchase if money was no problem?
I’d love to have one of Paula Roland’s hot boxes to make monoprints to use in my encaustic pieces. Hoping to make that dream a reality!

Kristina Trudell Studio Spotlight

What medium would you learn if time was not an issue?
My dream would be to go back to school for a Fine Arts degree and have a chance to be exposed to many mediums. Printmaking intrigues me at the moment. I am fortunate to have the Kirkland Art Center just down the street that offers classes in many mediums taught by professionals in their fields.

Kristina Trudell Studio Spotlight
Biography:
I come from a quiet, creative family and have had the desire to create for as long as I can remember. As a child I spent hours drawing, painting, making mosaics, ceramics, and learning to knit. Every chance I had to take art classes I did and desired to go to art school once I graduated. Unfortunately I had an art teacher in high school that told my parents since I wasn’t proud enough of my work to sign it on the front they shouldn’t send me to art school. Being quiet, a pleaser, and full of self doubt I decided the teacher must be right. 

I went on to pursue a career in healthcare, working for the last 42 years, and raising a family. My creative outlets during this time were being a classroom art docent in the school my children attended, working on auction projects, cooking, decorating, knitting, making jewelry, and an occasional art class. The desire to create has always been strong and so has the desire to be a working artist. I just didn’t know how to make it happen when my life was already so full and happy with working and raising my family.

Once my children were raised and off to college I had time on my hands even though I was still working. At this point I began to take workshops, my favorites being Encausticamp and more recently two workshops with Lisa Pressman and one with Bridgette Guerzon Mills. The instructors and students at Encausticamp were so welcoming and encouraging. I felt as though I had found my tribe! I enjoyed hearing their stories of becoming artists and that it isn’t always an easy road but it’s worth it. 

As of December 2013 I am no longer working in healthcare and feel this is my opportunity to pursue my artistic dreams. My desire at this time is to cultivate the courage to express myself and realize my artistic voice. I’m grateful for the influence of many artists whose workshops I’ve attended. I want to take what they have given me and make it my own. In order to do this you will find me working. I will treat it like a job. Ideal conditions don’t exist and I’ve stopped waiting for them. The time is now. I am an artist.

I still prefer to sign my work on the back. I feel a signature takes away from what I’ve created and I feel good about my decision! It feels right to me and that is all that matters.

One of these days I will get around to having a website. At the present time I can be reached by email at ktrudell@mac.com or on facebook under Kristina Honn-Trudell.