Friday, April 6, 2012

ArtFest 2012, Day Three

By the third day of ArtFest, some of us were beginning to lose steam.  Personally, I don't think I have ever created so much art in such a short space of time.  I loved every minute of it, and it's a bit bittersweet that this year was ArtFest's last.

So, by the time I attended Mary Beth Shaw's class "Extra-terrestrial Texture" I was running on autopilot a bit.  I love her work, and am continually impressed with her sense of composition and use of color.  I don't generally do abstracts, but have been playing around with composition and with texture for a few years.  I was really looking forward to this class.  I went into to it with the idea to pick up as much information on creating texture as possible.

Ultimately, I felt like I came away with some useful techniques.  I was completely blown away with the creativity and stamina of my classmates.  My focus was on trying out as many techniques as possible, and, as a result, I feel like my three collages are a bit busy and unfocused.  I think the lack of sleep and the creative energy drain didn't help either.  I almost didn't post these because I feel like they are not my best work.  After reflection, though, I came to the decision that the process and the mistakes themselves are informative.  The realization that not everything we make will turn out perfect is a hard lesson to learn.  I want my work to be amazing the first time, but art is like anything else.  You need practice and, no matter how talented/skilled you may be, you will have off days.

The ArtFest experience was amazing and the sense of community was one that I hope to find outside of ArtFest.  Thank you to the new friends and to the instructors who helped make such wonderful memories.

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

More From Artfest

 At ArtFest, I started my experience by taking Michelle Allen's "Dolls and Dudes" class and I'm so glad I did.  It was a wonderful way to begin the creative onslaught.  The focus of the class was to make art dolls with DAS airdry clay, wire, paint, and wool roving.  I've been making cloth dolls and wood peg dolls for awhile now but had been a little intimidated with working with clay.  Michelle's approach totally helped me get over this creative hurdle.  I'm so excited to continue working with clay.

The key to the paint was to use very, very thin layers of acrylic paint.  The clay just sucked it up and gave it a worn, organic feel.  I had trouble with the wiring, and, sadly, I broke the legs on this doll.  Michelle helped me repair them with the use of metal wire as a stint and some e6000 glue. 

I spent so much time on the face that I didn't quite get to the clothing.  When I finally finish her, I will try and post more pictures.

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Monday, April 2, 2012

Artfest 2012!

I just got back from Artfest 2012, an art retreat coordinated by Teesha and Tracey Moore   (visit Teesha's site at  I have wanted to attend for years (eight to be exact) and the timing or money situation has always been wrong).  This year I decided, with some encouragement from my husband, that I just needed to make this work.  So I did, and I'm incredibly thankful I had the opportunity to do so.  It was an amazing experience being surrounded by supportive, creative people.  The instructors were fabulous and since I made the point of taking classes that focused on different techniques, I came away from them with a new set of strategies for making art.

These paintings are the result of my class with Mindy Lacefield, who was so sweet and inspiring.  Everyone in class, no matter what skill level they were at, came out of the class with wonderful art.  She is one of those rare teachers who truly pulls out the best in her students.

I'm really happy with how my paintings turned out, and I plan on playing more with the techniques I learned.  And the color--who would have thought I would love using florescent colors so much. 

As I have time, I will post my work from the other classes as well, so stay tuned.

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