Who likes to make holiday cards (and gift tags)? December classes at two locations!

I know Thanksgiving is looming for most of us, but I wanted to share some upcoming classes with you this week!

I made up the samples for these two classes and was reminded that making cards is fun! When I was younger, and my card list a lot shorter, I used to make my own cards every year. Then I got into the trend for a few (10+) years of sending photo cards. Last year I got back into handmade cards and sent handmade postcards for the holidays. I loved making and sending those out; something a little different for the mailbox, right?

Blockprinting Cards 12/5

Blockprinting Cards 12/5

Well this year you have the chance to make two types of cards (or gift tags if you already have your cards made…) with me!

The first class is 12/5 7-9pm at Circle of Stitches in Salem, MA. In this class we will be focused on blockprinting with the end result to make a few stamps to use on cards and tags. Having your own stamps means you can cover cards, tags, gift wrap, and other items with your own design in any color you choose! For this class, wee will stamp onto plain paper and then attach that to a card or tag base. I will bring all the materials (note: there is a $10 materials fee for this class). Sign up over at the Circle of Stitches website.

Collage Cards 12/7

Collage Cards 12/7

The second class is 12/7 1-3pm (yes, in the afternoon) at Newburyport Art Association. In this class we will be collage-ing our way into the holidays. Newburyport Art Association will provide lots of fun papers and ideas to get you started as well as the card/tag bases. I will bring a few store bought stamps to share as well. Note that the class I am leading is for adults only, but there is one for families on 12/8 led by Sue Spellman if you are interested. Choose the right time for you at check-out over at the Newburyport Art Association website.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season friends!!

Celebrating Halloween - Phases of the Moon Blockprinting Class

ACS_0081.jpg

This coming Friday I am going to be teaching a new blockprinting class in Salem, MA. Salem is a hub for Halloween festivities throughout the month of October and there are many super fun things to do there. My friend Ana Campos, owner of Circle of Stitches, asked if I would teach a class that might fit with the Halloween theme at her shop this month. We came up with the idea of a class where students will make stamps to capture 5 phases of the moon.

In this class, students will make three stamps with an option for a fourth. I will demo a choice for a new moon or a full moon-or both. You can see the difference in the photo to the right.

I will offer printing in silver or white on black paper or black onto white paper. We will get to use a gelli plate as a large stamp pad for the white and silver paints-fun! The finished print will be something suitable for framing. Plus, students will bring the stamps home and can make more prints as they wish. These can be printed on dishtowels and light cotton fabric (using fabric paint for wash-ability) as well as many types of papers.

Should be a fun night! If you are interested register at Circle of Stitches directly.

Sample with the new moon in the center, silver on black mixed media paper

Sample with the new moon in the center, silver on black mixed media paper

Upcoming class Aug 11 - Sign up today!

ACS_0011.jpg
carving leaf photo.jpg

I am going to be teaching my popular blockprinting class at the Newburyport Art Association on August 11 9:30-11:30. In this class, students will make at least two stamps: one using my provided sample images and one with a design of their own creation. 

The way I structure this class is to start with some sample designs to help students get comfortable with the tools, but not overwhelmed with a design that is too intricate. Then, once students are familiar with the tools, we work together to design a larger stamp. I have resource materials that students can use to sketch out a few ideas. We can discuss the intricacies of each student's design and learn from one another. Everyone who has attended this class leaves feeling excited about what they have made and happy to have learned a new skill! 

I provide all materials for students, but if you are interested in buying your own tools to use at home, I do have an Amazon Idea List set up with my recommended tools. 

A note, if you or a friend has ever wanted to try a class like this, Newburyport Art Association is offering this class at a great price, so this is a really great time to give it a try! Please sign up for the class today!

Getting outside and making art

Scene from 4th class at Pettengill Farm, Salisbury, MA

Scene from 4th class at Pettengill Farm, Salisbury, MA

I recently completed a 5 week class painting with oils outside (Plein Air Alla Prima). It is kind of funny...at each class I wondered why I was there. Oils are not really my preferred medium to use and I have zero experience with realistic landscape painting other than some quick watercolor sketches at the beach. But I wanted to take an in person class and I wanted to be outside enjoying the weather. I also have a series of cold wax oil paintings that are stalled and I thought some instruction and time working with oils in a different way with a focus on the landscape might help.  I am happy to report that I did find some connection!

Step 1, sketch in scene with vine charcoal

Step 1, sketch in scene with vine charcoal

We met for each class at few locations throughout Northeastern MA. This included two class meetings at Maudslay State Park in Newburyport, two meetings at Pettengill Farm in Salisbury, and one class meeting (the first) at Bartlett Mall in Newburyport near Frog Pond. I found it worked best for me to walk around and sketch out some possible scenes in my sketchbook as a first step. When I felt confident with the layout, I would set up the materials and sketch out a scene on my canvas board using soft vine charcoal. This step is the time to measure out the scene with a viewfinder and the paintbrush handle as a ruler. Vine charcoal wipes off easily when you are ready to add paint, but I was heavy handed with the charcoal, so I also found it worthwhile to use a pink eraser to get off as much as possible while still leaving the outline of my sketch behind. The Charcoal would muddy the paint (especially the white!).

After 2.5 hours of painting, ignore left side which is unfinished

After 2.5 hours of painting, ignore left side which is unfinished

I found the focus of the class for me was to "draw what you see." This may seem obvious, but I tend to draw what I see blended with what I assume is there. Every time I would come up against perspective or other measurements being off. This would skew the whole painting and even in an abstract painting, having the perspective and sense of space correctly laid out makes a huge difference. Funny enough, it actually connects quite literally to the figure drawing sessions I have been sitting in on lately. Measuring out what you see and where it goes on the canvas or paper using a view finder or other tool to measure is critical. "That's no fun" you say? Well, I used to think that too. I love the abstract landscape (and there is more on that to come for me I am sure of it), but it really hit home for me that in order to make a successful abstract landscape or figure drawing you have to know how to paint it realistically (-ish) in the first place.

Another challenge was color. Instructor and artist Sue Charles (please, stop now and click on her link... her work is GORGEOUS) recommended a set of colors which did not include black or gray-Cadmium Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Red, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, Cerulean Blue, Viridian Green, Sap Green. We were reminded that complimentary colors will get you the grays you are looking for with a tint of color that will bring energy into the piece. Each week I wished I had taken the time to make swatches of the colors, but I never did. As a result, I was really challenged to get the colors that I wanted out in the field. There was a lot of green (duh) and I wasn't falling in love with the greens I was mixing. I still need to sit down and swatch out these paints.

Composition also presented some challenges. The first few classes I plopped my pile of stuff (there is lots of 'stuff') right down and focused on the first scene I saw.  By the fourth class I realized a few things; 1) I need to sketch out a few composition options before I set up easel (etc) so I know that is the place I will enjoy painting for 2+ hours and 2) I like a man made focal point in the painting (not all trees).

It was HARD and took a lot of brain cells and I needed a nap after each class to recover. But I felt that I was learning something new and that was exciting. The instructor let me borrow her old french easel. The thing was a beast to carry, but she saved me some $$ and let me borrow it for the summer!. Other materials included oil paints, soft vine charcoal, Gamblin Mineral Spirits, Paint brushes, Palette Knives, Palette, rags/paper towels, snacks, water, bug spray and a hat.

painting from my second class, house in center unfinished

painting from my second class, house in center unfinished

painting from third class ... no man-made focal point, and I found the reflection/water in the foreground very challenging!

painting from third class ... no man-made focal point, and I found the reflection/water in the foreground very challenging!

Painting from the last (5th) class...I can see a big difference in what I learned here. While water in the foreground is dark and reflection a little awkward, overall I am pleased with this one! I love how the shadow and light on the bright green grass came out. And the trees in front really do bring the perspective and depth into the painting. This was also my largest panel!

Painting from the last (5th) class...I can see a big difference in what I learned here. While water in the foreground is dark and reflection a little awkward, overall I am pleased with this one! I love how the shadow and light on the bright green grass came out. And the trees in front really do bring the perspective and depth into the painting. This was also my largest panel!

Intro to Bookbinding Class - Making Books and a Power Outage!

Last week I hosted a small group at my local library for an Introduction to Bookbinding. We made two books: a pamphlet and a three signature long-stitch bound book.

Workstations waiting for students

Workstations waiting for students

The pamphlet book was a great first step to get comfortable with the materials and tools. Then the long-stitch book showed students how to use an old hardcover book jacket to make a book with your own unique papers inside. 

At the start of class, the sky opened up and a huge clap of thunder knocked out the power for a minute or so. I was thinking, "can we do this by flashlight?", but the power came back on right away and we were off and running. 

Overall it was a great class and we all had a lot of fun! While this first class was a small group, I could manage larger groups. If you are looking for a unique offering for your local library or community center please email me!

Fun sorting through papers

Fun sorting through papers

everyone learning to do the long-stitch

everyone learning to do the long-stitch

Awl work close-up

Awl work close-up

happy students with their new books!

happy students with their new books!

Two Upcoming Classes- Bookbinding June 18 and Blockprinting August 11

IMG_3025.JPG

June 18 Bookbinding: In this class we will make two type of books. The first pamphlet book will help students get familiar with the tools - needles, an awl, and binding a pamphlet stitch. The second project (pictured) will teach students to make a personalized journal using an old hardcover book and a long stitch binding style. All materials are included. Register here!

ACS_0001.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

August 11 Blockprinting: I am excited to share that I will be teaching my 2-hour Introduction to Block Printing at the Newburyport Art Association this on August 11, 9:30-11:30am. Sounds like a fun morning before heading to the beach, right?  NAA is publicizing this class now on their site here. Their pricing is super affordable, so this is a great opportunity to give this class a try. 

New workshop posted - Intro to Bookbinding in May!

I am pleased to share that I will be offering a bookbinding class at the Merrimac Public Library on May 23, 6:30-8:30pm. Join me to make a few unique items for gifts or to use yourself.

I love working in my handmade journals as sketchbooks, for memory keeping, and for visual journals. At this class I will share examples of how I use the journals we will be making. The first is a simple pamphlet single signature booklet where the cover is just slightly heavier material than the inside pages. This will help you to get comfortable with the materials. Our second project will use old book covers and a long stitch method to bind unique papers into the already existing hard cover binding. I learned about this long stitch method from Vanessa Oliver-Lloyd through her Bookbinding class offered by Get Messy, and I think you will love it as much as I do.

No experience is necessary and all materials will be provided- what could be easier! If you are at all interested check it out on my workshop page at my website and register today!

IMG_3026.JPG