Sunday, January 25, 2015

Doing What I Do

I'm reading and painting. I started with Gerhard Richter's "The Daily Practice of Painting". It's the perfect book if you need permission to trust your gut. I keep looking for the absolute answers in regards to what is good, how I can improve. Gerhard will strip all that away. He has so many opinions about art and painters that by the end of the book I was ready to throw out all theory and just paint. Whew! I needed that. Thank you, Gerhard.

I have less than 2 weeks before returning to Oaxaca. In that time I vow to paint every day. I'll post them here. Every painting is a brave experiment. I'll be the first to confess that painting is scary and that I am self critical. So it's a wrestle with myself to get anything out at all.

What would make me happy is to think that my courage could give you the courage to explore as well. I had a great conversation with a friend this week who confessed that she wont even start because she is so self critical and perfectionistic. 

That's the enemy. That voice in your head. 

Challenge it. Don't let it stop you.


Monday, January 19, 2015

Lisa Pressman and Elise Wagner Workshop

I had the good fortune this past week to attend a 4 day workshop with 2 accompished artists; Lisa Pressman and Elise Wagner

Jersey Girls.

We started off with mark making and monotype.

Each student had a unique way of doing the exercises.

After working awhile in black and white we added color.

Here Lisa demonstrates her painting approach. 
She paints fast and loose as she lays down the initial layers of cold wax and pigment sticks. 

In the evenings part of the group would meet to continue the painting exploration over food and adult beverages. I had such great class mates; it really added to the enjoyment of the experience.

This is my work area showing some of the initial stages.

And these are the paintings that I brought home. 

I learned so much during the critiques.


We all met at Butters Gallery on the last day where Lisa and Elise are showing their work. 
(I highly recommend seeing this show if you can.)  
We watched slides and had discussions, asked questions, shared information.

Lisa standing in front of one of her mixed media oil paintings.

 And my favorite of Elise's paintings above. 

After the last day of class we met at a local pub for a final unwinding and summing up. It was hard for me to say good-bye to these wonderful friends. All of us passionate about painting, improving, creating in our unique languages. 

Participating in the mystery, the alchemy. The best. 

Monday, January 05, 2015

The Blues

I'm still in the dye pot. My sink is blue, my gloves are blue, my drop cloths are blue, my finger tips are blue. And needle-poked. What's amazing is that blue has never been my color before now.

So many of you wrote to me that you loved reading about my trip to Bali.
That you hoped I would return there and teach a dyeing class. 
That we should all go back together and have a big Indigo Adventure.

So I invited my textile savvy colleague Sue Stover to join me along with the extraordinary tour planners Kathie Vezzani and Michel Fletcher to make this happen. 

If you've been on one of Kathie's tours you know this means we'll be staying in a lovely setting and eating the excellent food as well as experiencing the best that Ubud has to offer in the way of art and culture. And shopping. While I was in Bali in October Michel took me to all her favorite shopping stalls and introduced me to some awesome massage experiences; she is comfortable and easy with the locals and a world traveler who makes me feel safe, cared for and keeps me laughing.

We'll offer classes where you can experiment with various shibori techniques.

Attend a workshop where you'll get to experience batiking with javanese metal stamps.

Stay in a beautiful setting and have cultural excursions.

And use our indigo creations in a final project; among them making a book or stitching sashiko.

Our dates are September 12-19, 2015. 

We are excited and planning to make this a memory of a lifetime.

Contact Kathie Vezzani for more photographs and details.

We'd love to have you join us to share this amazing experience.

And I'll close this post with a photograph of our new winter blooming camellia which is covered with fragrant pink blossoms in this current cold weather. Spring will come.