Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Okay, just one more!

Okay, I'm a kid with a new toy. Here's a short promo slide show for "Mind Your Own Beeswax" an encaustic painting and encaustic collage class. This will be available at Art and Soul Retreat, Virginia Beach in March.

I'll post this video and then take a rest by indulging my latest passion--watching old "Twilight Zone" episodes. (Wonder how that will affect my art...)

Wabi-Sabi Wax at Art and Soul in March

I'm on a roll. Here's another slide show. This is for my class, "Wabi-Sabi Wax" at Art and Soul Retreat at Virginia Beach. The retreat starts March 7. I can't wait!

Art and Soul Virginia Coming Up!

I hope all of you have had and are having a wonderful holiday season! 

I'm using the time between Christmas and New Year's to plan for my first art retreat of 2012. This will be Art and Soul in the gorgeous Virginia Beach! 

The retreat takes place in March which will be here before we know it. I'm teaching three classes and want to share with you a short slide show for one of them, "The Forgiving Medium." This is one of my favorites to teach because the students always amaze themselves with what they are able to do in this acrylic painting class. 

I hope you'll join me if you are attending this fabulous retreat!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Photos from "Encaustic Continued" Class

Here are some photos from Saturday's class--we had so much fun!  I only wish my photos did the students' work justice.

Lots of incising in this piece--and a real teabag label!

The circles seem alive

A fun, quirky portrait!

A dreamy abstract...

A powerful face with a sculptural effect

Evocative encaustic collages

A strong portrait with an ancient feel

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Online Class Uploaded

I finally got all six sessions of my new online class up on the host site, Creative Workshops. I was helped and sometimes hindered in this by my new computer. I think it and I have reached detente now, but for a while there I was tempted to murder. I even googled "I Hate my New Computer" just so I wouldn't feel alone.

Now that this computer and I are friends, I'm looking forward to doing more videos and online classes!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

"The Creative Conversation" Book Launch Party


Bridget is flying high despite a broken foot                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
The place was packed
Sven and Gretchin of Scarlet Star Studios

 I went to a wonderful party to celebrate the publication of Bridget Benton's book, The Creative Conversation: Artmaking as Playful Prayer.  Bridget has spent five years writing and illustrating this fun and impressive book.

I've been eagerly waiting to buy my copy and now that I have it, I must say how inspiring I have found the book. It's perfect for anyone who wants to make their mark, whether they are a newbie or an experienced artist. 

Bridget's book reminded me of why I make art in the first place. And I need to be reminded regularly, as much of my art is somewhat product-oriented. Reading the book made me happy and made me want to lose myself in the artmaking process.

I bought the book last Friday night at the launch and ran out to Muse Art/Design the next morning to get a copy for my daughter-in-law as a college graduation present. I'm happy she'll now have some time to make art with me before she starts applying to graduate schools.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Open House and Class at Queen Bee Cottage and Online Class: Shameless Self-Promotion

At Queen Bee Art Cottage

If you are a Washington State-er come by the Queen Bee Art Cottage in Olympia this Friday, December 2, for an exciting Open House. I'll be showing and selling work along with other vendors at this inspiring retreat center.

I'll also be signing up students for my Queen Bee Cottage encaustic class, "Mind Your Own Beeswax", meeting Saturday, January 17 from 10-5:30. Contact me for more information about the class.


What an interesting learning experience preparing my first online class has been! I've been wanting to teach an online class for a couple of years, and have finally achieved my goal. 

"Camille "    Acrylic paint, alcohol ink,stamped text, collage on panel

Learn how to make a collage like this from a previous "failure"

The first step was obtaining a video camera, external microphone, etc. and learning to use them. The next step was finding my invaluable helper, Julia, who assists me in the filming. Then I learned that  Windows Movie Maker is completely useless on my computer, even though WMM comes with my computer. So after purchasing Adobe Premiere Elements, I was able to edit and add music to my videos. Now, I have bought a new computer as the video editing process may have hastened the end of my old second hand computer.

Was it worth it? Yes! I am very happy with the way the class videos turned out and with the techniques and processes I teach in "Layers of Memory and Imagination." I'm so pleased to be included in the online classes offered by Creative Workshops. I hope you'll check out the promo and class description and see if this class is for you or someone you know!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My first online class debuts in January!

 I am so excited to announce that my first online class begins January 16 through Shabby Cottage Studio and Creative Workshops! I have really appreciated the site owner, Gail Schmidt as she has patiently waited for my class to be completed. I also couldn't do this without my artist friend, Julia Gardner, who has been helping me film each segment of the class.

The class, "Layers of Memory and Imagination", is aimed at both beginners and those who want some new inspiration and techniques.Here's the description from the website:

You’ll learn to create magical collages in an exciting and productive workshop!  I’ll guide you through:
 Mixing luscious layers with re-inkers, acrylic paint, and glaze medium
 Using alcohol inks, stencils, handwritten text, a variety of papers
 Three fun methods of adding photo transfers to collage
 Choosing the best images for your collages
 Composition tips for making your chosen images pop and for creating a balanced collage
 Combining paint and papers to add mystery to your pieces
 Enjoying and building on so called “mistakes”
 Sealing your collages with a variety of mediums and adding finishing touches
You’ll come away from this class with several gorgeous collages and all the tools you need to keep creating collages incorporating your memories and your imagination.

You can see a short promo here. I hope to work with some of my far-off artist friends in "Layers of Memory and Imagination"!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

50's-60's Inspiration

Realities     Encaustic Collage on Panel

 I don't get network TV, relying on Netflix instead, so I'm always behind in watching a series. I have been watching the acclaimed series Mad Men, about ad executives in the late 50's and early 60's. I've been impressed by how well the series captures the ambiance of the times. 

I was in junior high and high school during the times the series covers (at least what I've seen so far.) I was a precocious reader. While I was still in jr. high I read The Saturday Review, Theater Arts, Show, and Realities (pronounced the French way.) These now defunct magazines were full of gorgeous images and writing that covered literature, theater, cultures of the world, art, and more. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy brought world-renowned artists, writers, and musicians to the White House. Some of the best Broadway plays of the century were written and produced during this period.

While there was a certain amount of kitsch during the period I'm talking about, it was also a time of innovative and powerful design trends. I did a couple of new encaustic collages yesterday inspired by the color schemes, art, and design of the period. I plan to do more soon.

 New Society         Encaustic Collage on Panel

Above: a precursor of Bob Dylan's Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat with Abstract Expressionist color and design.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Student Work from Saturday's Class

Bright colors, texture, and incising in a work that reminds me of the Abstract Expressionists

 Students had fun with their first encaustic pieces in Saturday's class. I wish the pictures were less blurry, but I am happy to be able to share them with you!

Many layers of color in this Universe

A colorful and loose riot of flowers

Especially for Halloween

Incising, bold strokes, and contrasting color--it makes me think of a hill on a rainy day

Incising and shellacking create a mysterious Victorian piece


A snowy landscape done in a loose, whimsical style

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Encaustic Class Samples

Underground (Demo of painting,collage, & shellac burning)

I did these demo samples in yesterday's "Mind Your Own Beeswax" class. It doesn't show up here too much, but I used my absolute favorite encaustic paint, R and F's Celadon for the upper part of the collage/painting. I make most of my own paints with encaustic medium and powdered pigment or oil paint. This color, though, is one I can't do without buying.

Surfacing ( Demo of collage, teabags, painting, and tea)

The Shape of Things to Come (Demo of incising, scraping, painting, and teabag)

Portland, 1938 (Demo of painting, incising, collage, and shellac burning)

I found an old book page with an ode to Portland. I included this in the demo sample which was made mostly to show students various techniques. Now that I look at it, I seem to see an undertone of part of Portland's past. A self-congratulatory city then, as now, but with fewer reasons. Portland until the sixties was mostly all-white, racist, sexist, etc. I like Portlandia better...

Next post: Student work from Saturday's class.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


A simple Wabi-Sabi piece for today

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Was It Murder??

"Cafe Solitude" by Serena

Is it possible that Van Gogh, our model for the starving, unappreciated artist was actually murdered, rather than died by his own hand? That's a theory outlined in a new book on Van Gogh. Find out more about it here.
I'm interested in reading this controversial book and the question of murder or suicide makes me think about the stories we take for granted. What would it mean for us as artists if Van Gogh didn't kill himself, but was rather going about his work of painting and trying to recover from a nervous breakdown? What if he didn't intend to give up in despair?

Vincent Van Gogh with Cut Ear

In 2009 two German art historians who had studied Van Gogh and Gauguin's friendship extensively, declared their belief that it was Gauguin who perpetrated the famous ear slicing of Van Gogh during a fight, and both artists agreed to hush up Gauguin's involvement. You can read more about this story here. If this is true, then it calls into question Van Gogh's self-destructiveness.

Did Gauguin Do It?

We'll never know for sure about any of this. But I think of how entrenched the story of the desperate genius starving in a garret has affected our view of artists. Artists are often encouraged by others to remember that Van Gogh only sold one picture in his lifetime, the idea being that most of us are doing far better than that. Or maybe that we'll be famous after we're dead.
What if Van Gogh had just kept plodding along and eventually made a modest living as a painter? Would the world still have recognized his genius? Would he have made a better role model for those of us plodding along steadily? What do you think?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pictures from "Who's Your Mummy" at Art and Soul

One of the striking Mummy Portraits

In this workshop, students learned about the Greco-Egyptian mummy portraits of ancient times and created their own encaustic paintings. Large expressive eyes were a feature of the ancient portraits and these lively faces created by students reflected this. Nice work!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mixup Stencilry at Art is...You and The Egg and I at Art and Soul

Mix-Up Stencilry

 I so regret that I don't have more pictures of this class. It was fast paced and the students kept up, doing great pieces. I had ordered a can of black spray paint for the stenciling and had a bad moment when it didn't look like it was going to work. One of the clever students figured out how the "artist-quality" fancy sprayer worked, and then we were off.  I'm not sure what happened with the rest of the pictures. I hope you can get a feel for the class from the two I have. (If you were in this class, I'd love to post a picture of your piece, if you send me one.)

Mixup Stencilty
 The piece above uses stencils designed by Judy Wise and created by Mary Beth Shaw, aka Stencil Girl.

 Art and Soul Retreat Portland followed in my retreat lineup. The students in "The Egg and I" created these wonderful paintings. Egg tempera works differently from other paints and has its own distinctive glow. We made our own paint with eggs, water, and pigment. Most of the students had painted quite a bit before, but they found the properties of egg tempera to be unusual and well-suited to their work. One student painted her first portrait ever in this class. To do your first portrait in egg tempera is no mean feat!

This painting has subtle collage elements in the background

I got in the way here in the photo, but this is an amazing piece for a first portrait!

This painting is in its first stage, but I can tell it's going to be great.

Aren't these all super?