In May I attended the Art and Soul Retreat and took four classes. I described them (in detail) earlier. Can you read about Lesley Riley here. She's in our blogring, so check our her blog. And you can read about the class I took from Claudine Hellmuth here. She also has a blog which she updates every single day! Then I took a class from Michael deMeng, the infamous shoe shrine class. (Also here.) He also recently started a blog. And the last class I took was from Traci Bautista. Yes, she has a blog, too. (Doesn't everyone?)
I don't know why I never got around to writing about her class. It was called creative.bliss.inspiration
She's super funky and edgy. She plays with words and pictures in wonderful ways which is why the class title is a perfect description, including the non-traditional punctuation and capitalization.
It was a technique class. We brainstormed and swapped ideas and pictures with our table mates. We did lots of impromptu painting and sketching and learned methods for creating art in new ways. Traci wrote an article last year for Cloth Paper Scissors about painting paper towels and layering them for collage.
Traci has a pretty amazing ability to recycle and reinvent her own art. She takes pictures and scans of her artwork as she creates it and then uses and manipulates those images to use in future artwork.
She says she'll just play at the photocopy shop enlarging or reducing or creating negative images of drawings. Then she'll copy them on transparencies and layer those and then copy those. Endless.
She has no limits. She'll paint on anything and incorporate any kind of fiber in her art and doesn't blink about mixing various methods and techniques. She makes and sells beautiful journals which she hopes will be inspiring "jumping off points" for those who purchase them. The pages include canvas, paper towel, fabric, graph paper, vellum, etc. And not a single page is the same size as any of the others.
Inspired by this concept, I took the pieces we created in the class and bound them together.
She also makes lovely black line drawings on bright white fabric. I asked what kind of pen she uses. (I assumed she used pigma like every other art quilter I know.) But, actually she adores a Japanese pen called the Pilot Tough Wash B Ink. (Here's the green version.) Only available in Japan or at a Japanese stationery shop if you're lucky or at Jetpens.com if they are not out of stock. Let me know if you find any. She also uses Bic Wite Out Shake 'N Squeeze pen for beautiful bright white lettering and doodling that shows up on top of almost anything.
I'm not sure I learned any really inspiring new techniques, but my eyes were definetely opened to some new ways of incorporating mixed media into my art work and to embracing a more spontaneous way of creating. Now that's good stuff! Techniques you can learn anywhere. Inspiration is tougher to find.
Traci has a new book out. It's called Collage Unleashed. I flipped through it at the retreat and I think it will be a wonderful addition to my book shelf. (In fact, I just ordered it from amazon when I discovered that the other book I've been really wanting is finally available. I had to order both to get the free shipping.)
Speaking of bookshelves. I've made great progress getting the studio in order. I'll give you a tour soon.
And speaking of books... I've been completely sucked into The Time Traveler's Wife. I had a tough time pulling myself away to blog. It's so good... but now I'm worried something bad is going to happen to the main characters. Nail biting.