Friday, November 7, 2014

This a dish I just finished to donate to the Hope From Helen Auction at Wrightsville Beach. It is a small copper dish that I stamped with the quote from Rumi, "Let yourself be drawn by the stronger pull of that which you truly love." It is small, about 5 1/2 inches in diameter and about 2 1/2 inches tall. I enameled it with lead free, vitreous glass enamels in a kiln. I hope it goes to a good home!

RAP Grant Award

I rarely get to take classes. They seem to be always out of my budget. The last class I took was almost 4 years ago and I had to teach there to afford it. SO with that said THANK YOU to The Arts Council of Wilmington & NHC for so generously awarding me a Regional Artist Project Grant for tuition for a class with renowned artist Celie Fago!!!!!! Each summer Celie opens her Vermont studio for a four day sessions with 9 artists at a time. I am thrilled to study in such an intimate setting, with this artist whose work I adore. I'm so excited I can hardly stand it!

Some of Celie Fago's work:

Celie Fago's teaching studio in Vermont:

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

SISU: Collaborative works of Melissa Manley and Daniel Samppala

New collaborative works by Wilmington artists

Melissa Manley and Daniel Samppala

at 621N4TH Gallery
on Friday, July 25th from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

The Finnish word "Sisu" is about taking action against the odds and displaying courage and resoluteness in the face of adversity. Deciding on a course of action and then sticking to that decision against repeated failures is Sisu.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Luscious Watercolor Collage

I will be teaching a workshop September 6th at the Cameron Museum of Art called Luscious Watercolor Collage. In this two day workshop we will weave a lush tapestry of color using the technique of watercolor pour. We will use inherent characteristics of watercolors and their pigment to create a moody underlayment for collage. Flat objects can be left in the wet paint to create interesting effects. We’ll do our pours, let them dry and then come back and discuss collage techniques. Materials used include paper, tissue, magazine images, rubber stamps, ink, graphite…. the sky's the limit! This is an excellent class for beginners as well as seasoned watercolor artists who might like to try their hand at an alternative, unpredictable technique. You will be amazed and surprised at what pigment can do!

 As illustrated in the picture above from the last workshop, this is a messy, unconventional, non traditional, free form process! You will not have complete control over what you get. You will get some wonderful surprises. So if you are a control freak who does not like messes..... well, then this might not be the class for you.  However, if you love playing with paint and allowing things to happen then you will love this process! It's just so yummy!

You will need the following items:

A few loose sheets of 140 Hot press watercolor paper. (NOT a "block" of watercolor paper)
I prefer Fabriano Artistico but you may bring your favorite if you have one. If you are in Wilmington you will want to order your paper as there are no stores that have sheets that are affordable. You can find usually deals on watercolor paper at Cheap Joe's & Jerry's Artorama
Whatever you bring be sure it's HOT PRESSED. 

Professional grade watercolors in small tubes. This is very important you won't be able to make mixtures with dried cakes of paint. I suggest professional grade because they have minerals that do cool things when poured. Bring any that you have to experiment with
Two mixtures that I often use are: Windsor&Newton's Aureolin+ Ultramarine,+Crimson Lake and Cobalt + Cadmium Scarlet+Indian Yellow.

Collage materials- magazine clippings, scrapbooking ephemera whatever you like. Also, I will have a box of material to share. So don't panic if you don't know what to bring.

Matte medium to apply collage materials. If you are new to collage you will probably only want a small jar to start out. I will have a bit to share if need be. If you want to dive in you may also want Matte gel medium. I will show how to transfer photocopies and prints with this.

Brushes for applying medium

Watercolor brushes if you decide you want to paint back into your pour

Acrylic Painting board to tape your paper to is recommended but not required. We can tape things to the tables. But if you have one it might come in handy.

Painter's tape another useful material

A few small plastic jars with lids to mix your paints. A few since you will want to try a few paint mixtures.

A small travel spray bottle of rubbing alcohol 

Other optional items that are very useful might be:

Eye droppers or pipettes -Sometimes found in hobby science areas of hobby stores.
Vinyl gloves- I don't use them but I could see where someone might.  
An apron- paint might be spattered

Pens, pencils, inks????? I work into my pours in all kinds of ways. I use Caran d'Ache, inks, markers, Stabilio marks all, So you may want to bring some mark making goodies.

I will bring material to embed in our wet paint, but you may want to try your own items flat and/or waterproof things things work well, washers, dried leaves, vegetable netting.... slightly curly hair does wonderful things! Anybody got a labradoodle????
I will also bring lots of examples, lots of rubber stamps for you to try, stencils to share, a few extra droppers and lots of enthusiasm! If watercolor paper is a problem let me know. I do have some extra sheets for sale for $7 per sheet.
However, Cheap Joe's is having a sale right now! click here.

More images of my pours:

While your pours could become background for collage, the above images are from a book I made out of pours. It fits in this wooden house constructed by my friend Danny Samppala and decorated by yours truly:

Thursday, May 29, 2014

New Tribal Lovelies

Lots of new goodies in my Etsy shop. It's summer, so I have the island on the brain.

Monday, May 5, 2014

PLASTER books!

This weekend I taught a workshop at the Cameron Museum of Art Museum School here in Wilmington with my pal Kim Beller. She's been playing with plaster and I've been playing with books so we teamed up! Heirloom Plaster Covered Journal Making was SUCH a blast. So many great books were made by students. I'd have been proud to make any of them. Below is Carolyn's beautiful book. She was apprehensive about bookbinding stitching saying,"I don't sew." But she did WONDERFULLY and ended up making two! The first picture is her book before she painted the cover very much, the next one is she and her book after embellishing the cover.


 The next two images are of Kim Kirk's gorgeous plaster cover. She embossed it with wallpaper that another student brought. It began to almost look like gilded leather!

 This is Melanie's luscious cover. It looked a bit like and old leather book too!

This is my book not yet finished. I've even painted more on the cover since this photo.

Busily plastering covers.

Stay tuned as invincible Kim Beller and I may offer some online versions of this class.
AND we'll be offering it again through the Museum School.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Hierloom Plaster Covered Journal

Kim Beller and I will be teaching a GREAT 2 day class coming up at the Cameron Art Museum School! If you love texture, playing with paint and collage, and want to mix that with bookmaking... well then, your prayers are answered!

Heirloom Journal Making – with Textured Plaster Cover- All Levels
2 Day Workshop / Limited to 15

 Saturday May 3 10:00 am – 4:00 pm   Sunday May 4  12:00 – 4:00 pm

Tuition: $115  ($100 CAM member)
$50 Materials kit includes: 3 sheets of 300lb. watercolor paper,  2 pre-cut wood substrates for covers with canvas straps, plaster for cover, bookbinding needle and waxed linen thread, 1 Stabilo Marks All pencil

click here to register

In this collaborative workshop Kim and I will teach you how to achieve gorgeous texture on your books cover using plaster. Then you'll learn a simple method of binding pages of wonderful thick Italian watercolor paper to your cover. Then it's no holds barred art play! We'll transfer, so bring some copies of images you might want to use and your mixed bag of favorite journalling supplies such as, paints pens, pencils, a glue stick, maybe inks... If you have no clue then no worries, we'll bring lots of supplies of our own to share with you.

More pictures coming soon!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Japanese Boro

I have just today been plunged into another new love: Boro. Not glass.... but Japanese cloth.

"Boro was born of forgotten values of ‘mottainai’ or ‘too good to waste’. Boro is the clothing that was worn by peasants, merchants or artisans in Japan from Edo up to early Showa (17th – early 19th century). In feudal times, the majority were peasant farmers. Not everyone could afford the lavish silk kimono and vivid obi worn by the aristocracy. Clothes were crafted from cheaper materials, but were no less beautiful than those worn by the upper classes. Literally translated as rags or scraps of cloth, the term boro is also used to describe clothes and household items which have been patched-up and repaired many times."


Now I know what I will do with all the clothes I've saved that were either stained or torn, but I just couldn't bare to part with.  ...Well, when I find the time!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Latest Obsessions

One of my best, life long friends and I are planing a collaborative show in July. My latest obsessions have been ancient cultures, mythology.... Norse mythology....  Skyrim... the History channel show Vikings.... Ancient British Isles history.... Tolkien....  My artist friend Danny Samppala is Finnish so I am exploring Finnish rune singers and the Kalevala. The Kalevala is the Finnish National epic poem that was largely handed down through centuries orally by rune singers who memorized the stories. It was finally published in 1835.  I'd love to incorporate some essence of this in our collaborations. In my searches I found these beauties and thought I'd share:

Akseli Gallen-Kallela  "Forging the Sampo" 1893
Smith Ilmarinen is forging the magical artifact called Sampo which would bring good fortune to its owner and is a centerpiece in many of Kalevala's stories.

Harald Oskar Sohlberg "Natt" 1904

Akseli Gallen-Kallela "Kullervo Departs for the War" 1901  

They story of Kullervo is a fascinating one and was studied by JRR Tolkien. We even see deliberate similarities with his stories of Túrin Turambar in his  "Turambar and the Foalókë" or in the posthumously published and edited by his son Christopher Tolkien, "Children of Hurin".
"The germ of my attempt to write legends of my own to fit my private languages was the tragic tale of the hapless Kullervo in the Finnish Kalevala. It remains a major matter in the legends of the First Age (which I hope to publish as The Silmarillion)"
― J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 257, 16th of July 1964 
Akseli Gallen-Kallela "The Defense of the Sampo" 1901

The scene depicted is taken from the 43rd song of the epic, where the hero Väinämöinen,
shown wielding a sword, has stolen the precious artifact the Sampo from the evil witch Louhi who is seen attempting to reclaim it. The battle for the Sampo is also given a deeper connotation as a battle for the soul of Finland.
Harald Oskar Sohlberg "Winter's Night in Rondane" 1914

 Akseli Gallen-Kallela  "Aino Myth, Triptych" 1891

Depicts a scene from the Kalevala where Aino Joukahainen's sister, is promised to the old and wise Väinämöinen in marriage after Joukahainen lost a magic singing match against Väinämöinen. Aino instead decides to drown herself.