Sunday, April 24, 2011

Artfest, this may be the end

There was no winner of the Iron Chef, unless you would consider whoever got the most for their art for the scholarship fund.  I don't know who that was, but guessing Jesse was. I saw 105.00 on his.

The last night was show and tell for the participants.  You could display what you did and see others' art, too. I enjoyed it a lot though I might have liked it sorted by class rather than person. Nice to see how different students interpret a class.

I did decide that next time I want to do more finished projects and less technique.  There are lots of books on technique and I want more to take home physically, not just in my brain. :) so courses like the mosaic prayer rug, the monster dolls, silk screen and stitch journal, (which I'm sure wasn't the technical name), lonely hearts  etc, will be my class choice.

you can see the group of photos on my flickr site

Friday, April 22, 2011

Artfest, the continuation

It's been a super busy week here.  I somehow scheduled myself a week that didn't leave a moment for anything fun or leisurely.  ( I went to get a pedicure last night which would make me sit still for an hour and when I had to wait 20 minutes for a technician- I had to leave I was so sleepy! Too tired for a pedicure?? Really?! Ridiculous. And up at 4:30 AM to get to seminar I gave this AM-- I'm ready for the weekend... can you hear the Calvin Harris song yet?  I Jazzercize to it.)
See? I get off track when I'm tired.
Let's see- other Artfest activities- Every night there was an activity from 7-8:30.  Wednesday night, after dinner there was a welcome which was nice- the instructor artists introduced themselves, Teesha and Tracy Moore-our artist hosts, introduced and thanked the "Crew" which did a lot of the logistical help with setting up and transporting and were super helpful and upbeat.
 Let me give a quick applause to them for a well-organized event. I cannot even imagine what it takes to organize classes, tables in rooms, lodging, meals, events in evening, shuttling around the fort for those who needed it, dealing with issues.... I'm really glad they do it and appreciate it.  Looking at other events around the country- I doubt many offer the opportunity for fellowship for artists in addition to quality courses that this one does.
Thursday night-was Iron Chef night where instructors competed with each other to produce a piece of art in 45 minutes out of a basic weird collection of items provided for each of them and anything else of their own. They had to use at least 5 items from the bag given to them.
The goods to work with that each person got- you can't see the BIG bug.
It was a crazy 45 minutes and fun to go around and watch the artists working frantically to come up with their pieces, which were silent auctioned off to provided a scholarship fund for next Artfest. 
Here are some of the artists during the competition and the finished pieces.

Lisa Englebrecht

Jesse Reno

Michelle Allen

Jesse Reno's which was auctioned but didn't follow rules

And this one, too.

Later that night the planned activity was a bonfire journaling night on the beach.  I ran into Lizard at the Iron Chef and spent the evening with her, Donna and their housemates. 

Friday night was vendor night. I allowed myself the rest of my budget to spend on art/supplies as I desired. It was fun to see the artists and their art for sale, other vendors with crafting supplies of a wide variety. Some of my purchases were 3 fat squares of beautiful bird fabric and blue fabric with French letters and postal cancellations, a copper and silver poison ring, a tiny 3x3 canvas by Lisa Bebi, my teacher for Saturday, a cool leather and copper journal, a cute bird pin that I gave to Amy and some stencils of Mary Beth Shaw's.

Coming next- Show and Tell night. Get a look at the other participants class results. I loved this and it helped me identify the kind of class I'd take next time, which would be different from this year.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Artfest, part 2

How about these sweeties?  These are the inches from the swap.  They were safely tucked away inside the Inchie Eater!  So cute! Our hostess went to a lot of trouble to make these little guys.  Our request from the ATC swap hostess was not much dimensional embellishment unfortunately I made my inches at the same time and with the same mindset. Boring.
See the cute little felted bird on one?  The one on the right is a mini book! Lucky me again!
Forgot to include this closeup of a trade that I LOVED. Being in a shrinky dink frame of mind, making this tiny shrinky in a bottle could be addicting.

On to classes, my first class was Lush Layer Canvases with Roxanne Padgett.  I think that she had the teaching style that worked best for me.  She was informative, encouraging, prepared with handouts, (which for a visual person like me is a real plus)
very generous with her supplies and knowledge.  She had us working on 4 different fabrics and I think being challenged to work on three things helped me accomplish quite a bit in her class. I would definitely take another class with her. I wished I'd taken her faces class the following day instead of what I took.
She began with a brief intro to color wheel and choosing colors without making a muddy brown.
She would demonstrate a few techniques and put us to work creating on our canvases with them while she walked around the room observing, offering comments, answering questions, asking questions and then she would demonstrate another technique or two and we'd incorporate those in the next layer.
She showed us how to make our own stencils, make stamps,do rubbings. It was loads of fun and I'll continue to work on my layering techniques an I go.  I am a timid artist. I like a completed project as opposed to just doing techniques.  I must work on that.
These are the three fabrics I came away with. I never got started good on my 4th which was to be a self-portrait, which I'll eventually pull out and do.
We also used any left paint to add to a community canvas which was cut into pieces for each participant.
This started out as black and white print cotton

A bottom weight fabric

artist canvas
Community canvas 
My Friday class was the Big Time Book with LK Ludwig. This was the first class I firmed my selections for Artfest around.  I like to make books and I wanted to try doing some sort of carefree technique on pages that I could later journal in.  This was my biggest disappointment. On several levels. I bought my paper in Port Townsend and it was oh, so convenient. Ordered by email, paypaled the total and it was delivered. Sweet. And evidently the cost was very reasonable compared to what others paid for paper.
I had to tear my pages at the beginning of class. Some had done that for easy travel. Those who were already done with that went up front for a demo of some paint techniques with the rest of us to be in group two.  There were 28 in the class. I went up about 1/2 through the first demo.  The basic technique was to apply acrylic paint to the page with a credit card, apply a 2nd layer and use a stencil on top of that and baby wipe off the top layer of paint using the stencil.  The class list asked for 5-7 tubes of acrylic paint and recommended two papers, Stonehenge or Lenox 100 (which I chose). We worked on newspaper.  I never did get the hang of this and even doing it at home today, I would not use the technique regularly.  I am going to buy two more different types of acrylic paint.  I didn't get the results that she did. I found the newspaper to stick far to much for my taste while working. I got a lot of paint under the paper. I also found that the stencils stuck to the painted paper and would lift all the paint layers when I removed it.  All in all there was nothing about the technique that I found easy or pleasing. On top of that our instructor spent her time once we got started working with her demo papers making a book for her daughter. She walked around the room once before she started to show us the binding technique at 3:15 PM.  It was a beautiful day and I should have packed up my stuff and gone outside and enjoyed the day and pursued some other creative endeavor. But, I am a stick to it kinda gal. And hour for lunch inspired me to continue with not much better results.  She found my paints difficult as well, which made me feel a little better. (This was on her one time through the class when I told her I was not doing well with the technique). I finished about 35 percent of my pages. None of my binding. I watched the demo (which was done on the little book she was making for her daughter in class) and worked a bit more on my paper.  I didn't want to bind unpainted pages. There were no handouts on technique of painting or on the binding. There was one on how to tear the papers to fit the book size. Note to teacher- if you know a particular paint works best, please note this in the class supply list. I wished I had worked with exactly what she did- paper and paint-wise.
Yuck.  I was not happy.  I had such a great experience Thursday. But, not today.... I will not take another class with this instructor.  I was not the only one who was frustrated and disappointed. Note to self, always have waxed paper and a fingernail brush. I'll include photos when I'm done. I finished painting pages today.

My Saturday class was a good one. I was so glad.  Lisa Bebi and the Oversaturated Polaroid Look. She was a good teacher and most generous. She was encouraging of us to do this technique and sell it.  She told us how to price it, said we could teach it, just really super- this is a teacher who understands that no matter what she teaches, each artists' work will look different and they did. I liked the results, too.  It is a technique I will use repeatedly in the future. I just need to get "free-er" with it. I tend to over work stuff. We began with a black and white inkjet print of a photo. She told us things to look for and avoid in selecting photos for this treatment.  We did one with an 8x10 that she brought for each of us. She talked us through the background, how to do skin, clothing, deal with shadows etc. You basically flatten out the background with two colors. The clothes are colors with acrylic paint with the most concentration on the "white" part. Rinse brush and pull color into the shadow areas that way the black ink shows through and creates the shadows.  You can't go wrong making the picture look like the person because you are already working with a photograph.  I'll include the photo and my finished painting.  One I liked a lot, the other just so so.  I tried to include the houses and hated everything I did to them so I just mounted it on a small canvas to get rid of most of the house part.

yes, me again
More artfest fun to come......

Friday, April 15, 2011

Artfest, part 1

Welcome back!  Now to the top of the closet- I stood on the bed and my eyes could barely peer over the top. In the far corner was rolled up paper with a tag on it! What could it be? 
It took a little doing but I was finally able to reach it and take a look.
Curious- papers, several held together by a string with a tag.

the tag was added at artfest last year, by the date on it

I thought I was going to bed, but I had to read all this stuff!
It was a wonderful random selection of letters, originally written by the adolescent who wrote the graffiti, and others followed the lead.
I got a little lost with my rusty French

the stash

charming, eh?
I read them all, one from a kid on a retreat with other kids and the antics they were up to and the trouble they got in. Another from a kid who was evidently there for some problems resulting from his being obese. One from a young man who planned to go to sea. And one from an artist, like me.
I wondered, how many read the graffiti? How many took time to look? To read?
I left my addition the night before I left.
Who will find it next, what will they leave if anything? 
I can hardly wait.
My addition

back where I found it.

One thing I planned ahead for after reading about Artfest, was trading with other attendees.  I made these shrinky dink charms with alcohol ink and stazon ink. I also took inchies that I made for the swap and a few atcs.   People brought a wide variety of things from simple ones like inches or baggies of miscellaneous collage items, to hand-made books.  I liked all of them!

Aren't they amazing?

Do you see the chicken nugget?
pins, charms, magnets, post cards

collage materials

moo cards, postcards, business cards

Some of the moo cards were terrific and I'd love to do a moo card trade.  Because I am not a name-noter of artists in magazines I read, there were people there who were quite recognized that I didn't know by name. If I had to guess, I would imagine 50% of the people there make some of their income with their art.  One woman I had lunch with was an editor for an art publishing company, another had just had her book on dollhouses published, others had had their work published. So, it was an interesting mix.
Not being there with anyone allowed me to sit with whomever at meal time. There were a lot of round 6-8 person tables and a lot of 4 person ones. I sat where ever someone else was, sometimes someone I had met before, sometimes not. By doing that I ended up meeting a really nice group of women who did a circle journal during the year and brought them to Artfest.  I'm joining them in the next round.  I think they are all better artists than me but I'll just have to step up my art.

isn't this a sweet charm?

little birdie necklace

Lizard made this beautiful amulet bag, lucky me

pages in the little book trade

Postcards, how clever 
We signed up for the shower, 15 minute time slots, so that each person could have 15 minutes in the shower alone.  It worked out perfectly.  Occasionally, I'd sneak in early if someone finished early.  There were  early risers across the hall from me, so I was up anyway.  I was told of a cool coffee shop on the last art day. I went on my way out of town- next year I'll choose the 6 AM time and go there before my nine am class (next year- can you see I want to go back?)

The coffee shop is called Undertown and IS under the town.  It is a cool place with lots of tables and art on the walls.  They are a bar and restaurant at night.  Loved it!

entry way

cozy place

Coming soon, classes and more.......