Sunday, August 15, 2010

Art Unraveled 2010

It's taken me a few days but I finally have some time to share a bit of my Art Unraveled experiences. For the unfamiliar, Art Unraveled is a week long art experience of workshops by artists from all over the U.S. Participants travel from all over to take workshops, make friends and shop at the extravaganza of the Vendor Fair.Wed. Started off with "Layers of Joy" with Cory Celaya. It was a class full of tons of information. She broke it down in sections which kept it from being too overwhelming. Looking through her beautiful journal was a major treat. It was stunning! It was full of an incredible amount of layers of techniques. Some very subtle but bringing the whole collage to life.We started out with simple water color backgrounds.Then more backgrounds. Scraped paint on newspaper. The technique wasn't new but on newspaper? Ding! The light bulb went on. This was cool! I did some stamping with white paint on the paper to the left. Cory has some rubber stamps available and I wanted to try out some of her designs.Next step was to use our watercolored papers for background and then our painted papers to assemble a collage. This one is in progress.
I need one more thing and this one is done. Busy, I know. That seems to be my style...Wed. night: "Ancient Amulets" with Laurie Mika. Polymer clay is not my media of choice. My results never did much for me. Looking at these that were made in the class, mine still don't "shine" like the others but I understand the material better. Mine are the round piece on the bottom right, and the piece to the left on the second row from the bottom.I do like my pieces. They should become part of some future projects.

Thursday:Botanical Journal with Angie Platten (and Tracie Lynn Huskamp). This class was originally to be taught by Tracie Lynn Huskamp. She published a book about botanical journals that I was real excited about. Then she couldn't come to Phoenix to teach the class and I was so disappointed.
I was on the verge of canceling until she emailed that she would be in contact with the new instructor, sharing her tips and tricks and sending examples and some supplies.This is my outside cover. The beads might be a little much but I love beaded bindings. So this is what it is. The Queen's Anne's Lace on the cover was from Tracie. The leaves on the back cover are from my garden. It's either from the Popcorn plant or the Tipu tree. They're so similar, I can't tell until I take the book and compare it next to the real plant.
The book. Nujabi paper from India-I was nuts for this paper a few months ago. It has such a high rag content and is soft to the touch but very rough and natural looking. Anyhow... we started our page prep with painting with coffee. I added some color left over from painting the covers which gave the pages a little departure from all the soft browns.
Inside front cover and first page. Fabric, lace, handmade papers, Pressed yellow bells and mesquite leaves from my garden. I'd been planning by taking clippings from the garden and pressing them.
If I'd had any reservations about the class, they were quickly swept away. Angie was a great instructor. Her example was beautiful. Our books couldn't have been any better. (I've seen some of her examples at Creative Quest in Glendale where she also teaches and those are great too)!
Friday was spent back-to-school shopping with the Chicklet. I made her the happiest Chicklet by buying her the much wanted skinny jeans.
Friday night was "Mixed Media Charm Bracelet" with Peggy K. I'm not that crazy about working small and wire wrapping, etc. I'm an "all thumbs" kinda gal when it comes to that, lol. This class was a blast. Look at all the fun stuff on the bracelet!
Peggy gave us all a pouch of goodies and had bead boxes of goodies to add as we went along. I hauled beads, baubles and fun stuff from home to add as well. I should be wearing this in the next week.
I had a much needed break until Sunday. No vendor fair for me. Teacher/August=No $$$$$.

Sunday: "Tasty Textured Squares" with Gail Russakov. I've been wanting to take this class since I saw the ladies walking out of this workshop two years ago! Aren't these gorgeous?!
Here's my green one. It's destined for the Chicklet's room. It's made with magazine pages, Elmer's glue, Never Dull, and painted papers. Mmmmmmmm...I made two... I had prepared two canvases and cut two sets of papers for the class. Gail came by and wasn't sure about the two but I told her I worked fast, so I gave it a shot. The red one uses gesso in place of the Elmer's glue. Those would be the lighter, white outlines. I'm glad I was able to try both materials to see the difference.
This collage has less contrast of darks and brights so I'm looking as this piece as a background in need of a focal point. We tried some greens that looked good. I'm also thinking of aqua/turquoise because I love that color combination.

Last but not least, Sunday evening/Monday: "Mosaics" with Katherine England.
This is Katherine's example, above.
This one is my finished project.

It was sort of funny how I ended up with a crown. The class description listed butterflies and skulls as our options. A few days before class we received an email mentioning Lazy Susans, crowns and frames. When it came time to get our forms, crowns weren't one of the options. I had something long and skinny in mind and nothing else was going to work. So I didn't choose anything and was trying to figure out what to do instead. The crowns were there but they were big. Katherine was concerned about my getting finished since all this was new to me. As you can see, I got my crown!

The great thing about this beeing a 2 day class was that I was able to go home and gather my baubles. Half the fun is finding out how to use the stuff from home that's been taking up space for awhile.Next time, you're at Dollar Tree, you'll find these there. Even the multi-colored, worm like, shapes. They're pricey elsewhere but I saw them still for a buck yesterday.
We cut glass for the mosaic pieces. I used glass pony beads from Big Lots, black, ceramic beads from JoAnn's, the glass "worms" and frosty, glass baubles from the dollar store for the row under the mirror. Cutting the mirror was my first task and it was hard. Everything else seemed a lot easier after that.
The bottom part of the piece seemed very precise. I wanted the top part to be more loose and frivolous. The heart and eye beads and the silver sunflowers were added with glue after everything had been grouted. the sunflowers were another find. They were originally meant to hang on clip as table cloth weights that I found at Big Lots.

The mirror is also destined for the Chicklet's room. She's expanding from the "Pink Palace" to adding more green in her room. The rest of the house is out of wall space and I seem to take a lot of my projects to school. Nope, these are staying home!

Tuesday was back to school and back to work. AU is over for this year but next years' is already in the planning stages. I'm planning for the first day of school tomorrow. Year 15 of teaching begins.



  1. I want to see your examples from "Tasty Textured Squares" with Gail Russakov up close & personal. They have me drooling right now...any chance it could be adapted to use in our classrooms?

  2. I loooove the book with the beads along the binding!! I need to see that in person. Maybe you should invite me over to YOUR house so I can see all the goodies you have been creating?