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Artfest 2011: Part Two

We had amazing weather so I went for a little jog in the morning. I enjoyed the coffee made by one of our dorm mates, Colleen, and appreciated the fridge as I ate some yogurt, granola and fruit.

Friday’s class was Monster Rag Dolls with Andrew Dyrdahl. This was a recycled materials, doll sewing class and I was looking forward to using some fabric scraps. I brought my sewing machine, luckily being able to drive I can bring something heavy like that. It was great that Andrew planned ahead and worked with a local sewing shop to have some extra machines on hand to use and then students could even purchase them for a small “show” price. This was very thoughtful of him and the students that had to travel on the plane were quite thankful. Although this project could be made entirely by hand sewing, it was much easier and faster to sew the body and limbs with the machine. When we went around the room doing introductions, there were several fairly inexperienced sewers in the bunch, despite that everyone in the class successfully finished one or MORE dolls within the day.

The main ~new~ things that I learned included how to use coffee to stain fabric (the key is using vinegar to help set the color), I discovered a great strap turning tool that I didn’t have (and had to go buy on my way home) and heard some fun thrifting secrets for finding good fabrics and prints. I busted out 3 quick doll bodies before lunch, which was the goal. We needed to coffee stain them before lunch so they had time to dry before stuffing. At home, of course, you can toss them in a dryer, but not at the fort. Luckily, we had sun and old fashioned radiators to speed along the process.

After lunch, we stuffed and embellished the dolls and finished the day with a show and tell. I was amazed at the work that came out of this class. Each doll had some personality from the artist but they all looked like they could be in a show together too.

That night was vendor night, which I checked out briefly, after a mediocre Thai dinner in town with Jen and Lisa. Then, I finished up my own dolls that evening while hanging out with all the girls. We read silly yearbook entries from some 1920’s vintage year book. They were very odd and seemingly snarky. Someone decided we should all write a yearbook entry for different camp members, so we drew names. But this project seemed to fizzle out by the end of the weekend.

I am not sure if it is the unfamiliar beds or the fresh sea air, but I had really weird dreams every night. But I still managed to get enough sleep to be refreshed each morning and ready for more art.

Artfest 2011: Part One

I wish I could remember all the years I have been to Artfest, all I know is that I have been on and off every year since it started. (I guess I could look carefully at all my journals and bags to see the years.) But I think this year was the best year ever! All my classes were perfectly wonderful, I didn’t have any weird or overly horrible experiences. Although I got a budding migraine everyday towards the end of each intense class. Luckily, it quickly went away before it was time to enjoy the wine and company of the evening activities.

On Wednesday after finally finishing my packing and taking the dogs to the park for a last long run, I hit the road to Port Townsend. I was rained and hailed on and the week looked like it was going to be a cold and ugly one. When we checked into the dorm I was astounded to discover some new fancy furniture, 2 fridges and a stove in the kitchenette. I am not sure how we managed to get such nice stuff, because I scouted around and did not find any similar upgrades to the other dorms. People started rolling in quickly but I decided to head out to the grocery store to pick up a few things to cook in our new kitchen. I skipped the opening thingie, it was about chakras and I was not interested in that! I enjoyed my first evening visiting with old friends and meeting some new ones.

Thursday morning was Paper Mosaics with Ty Schultz. Marcia was supposed to teach the class along with him, but since there were only 5 students she went off to make wigs instead. The basic technique for making paper mosaics was nothing mind-blowing new for me. The thing that was different was the papers we used for the project. Ty and Marcia had painted tons of scrapbook and painted papers with a thin coat of resin. It gave them a raised, glossy surface that when cut into tile like bits it really looked like a tile mosaic. But the real magic was when we painted in the ‘grout’ (which was just a colored paint pen in grout like colors) He provided us with a couple of different adhesion choices, both double stick tape and a liquid glue in a tiny tip bottle. I preferred the tape because I just hate getting my fingers all sticky. I quickly finished a couple of little mosaics and began a larger one. My goal with each class was to start small and finish everything in class. I was pretty successful, almost to the point of annoying my class and dorm mates. Today’s muse was the hand so each of my little works of art featured that as the subject. Unfortunately, making the special resin papers was not part of this class, which was disappointing to everyone in the group. “Take my resin class,” was the main answer when we inquired. Granted it was great to get right to the tile mosaic without waiting for thick goopy liquids to dry first, but it was still disappointing to not really be able to go back and replicate the look in my studio. I did end up buying some Pitt pens on my way out of town so I can finish my last piece from the class. Ty was a great instructor, very helpful and good at balancing pieces of information with time to get working, along with handouts that I can look at again.

One fun little bit is when one of the parents of one of my art club students came by to say hello. Her daughter had overheard me talking about going to Artfest and knew that her parents would be going, so told her mom to search for me.

That night I cooked up some lasagna and garlic bread in the new dorm stove and we had a little evening in with all the girls. There was some evening “Iron Chef” activity that sounded like fun, but we heard that it tended towards a mob scene so most of us skipped it. The idea is awesome though. Each of the participating teachers was given a bag of art materials and found objects and they had a set amount of time to create a work of art using at least 5 of the items. These finished works were then auctioned off to create a scholarship for people to come to Artfest that need some financial assistance.

One of my favorite parts of artfest though is the evening dorm show and tell. We all come back from class and show off our various projects, dish the dirt on the class, teachers and other students. Then if anyone has an energy left, we journal or finish up the projects from the day while we talk into the night. Eventually people start to peel off to sleep, depending on their zip codes usual

Artfest 2011 is in a month! and other news

getting super excited…

I finally (after having to do A LOT of cleaning and sorting) found my stuipd artfest booklet that showed what classes I was taking, so I could look up the supply lists. and I am super happy to discover that ALL the supplies are things I already have in the studio, so I will not need to BUY anything! which is a good thing since I am the only income in the house right now. there is a class fee for 2 of the 3, but that’s ok.

I will be Making paper mosaics,
class example

then monster rag dolls,
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and finally rug hooking houses.
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In other news… Shawn, my domestic partner of almost 10 years, is going to be starting a new business. He is going to start a food truck, which should lead to catering and eventually down the road a full restaurant.

The theme is going to be based on his roots in the Island of Saipan. Island style grilled chicken that is marinated in a sauce of garlic, ginger and soy sauce (plus other top secret stuff) it is very savory, not sweet like the Hawaiian Islands. Plus he will have sides of Red Rice, Potato Salad, and Lumpia. He is still working on the name and plenty of other details before he will be grilling and serving. But it is an exciting shift in our house.

Here is the truck, we looked at it again today, still trying to hammer out the contract details with spanish/english interpretation needed.

My puppy, Frankie graduated from basic manners class with flying colors. So we got x-rayed to check his hips to see if there is any hip dysplasia issues. Luckily there is NOT, which means on Apr 2 we are starting an agility course training class! so excited.

This is what happened to the couch!

This is they type of thing he was doing to our couch BEFORE manner’s class. Luckily he has moved past this troublesome behavior.

I have another big bike ride tomorrow (40 or 50 miles) and soon I have to start weekly back to back big rides to be ready for my STP 200 miles ride in July. It  is getting so close so fast. It is going to be a BUSY Summer!

Now off to work on some more artfest trades!

2011 Artfest Trades



2011 artfest trades, originally uploaded by Charger’s Mommy.

FINALLY Getting into the studio, now that I quit all my time sucking Facebook games.

These are little books made from scrap fabrics, couched fibers and ribbons and filled with recycled and scrapbook papers. Each one is about 3″x5″ and has a velcro closure. These are what I am bringing to artfest 2011 for trades with my friends.

Vacation to Make Art!

I am getting ready to head out to Port Townsend for my annual art retreat, Artfest. Looking forward to seeing old friends and spending time making new kinds of art.

Lots of eye candy when I return. I am NOT taking the laptop and will be “unplugged” the whole time. Which will be both difficult and a nice addition to the mental vacation space.

Walk on This?

Floor Cloth

My final day of ArtFest 2008 was Judy Wise’s floor cloth class. It was not a first choice (I wanted the waxy layers one).  I was pretty envious of what I saw coming out of some of the classes that had been my top choices. Plus the room was tiny and therefore SO crowded that it was just uncomfortable. Here we were painting large canvases and the table space we each had was barely the size of our canvas. We had to watch out for paints and elbows, while storing most of our supplies on the floor. I held my paint palette in my hand most of the time, which was tiring, something I am not used to at all. Despite what could have been a horribly bad day… I got into the right head space, adapted for my needs in order to enjoy the time to paint. Of course I injected collage elements… it is impossible for paper to stay OUT of my work.

Judy went over some hints about prepping your canvas to be a floor cloth. She gave out a lovely color pamphlet and showed us a bunch of her canvases. Then we got right to work. I know I was tired and overstimulated at this point in the retreat, but I don’t feel that I really learned anything new in this class.  I only spent a few hours on this before it felt finished, and I was FINISHED. I cleaned up early and went back to nap. Since I haven’t painted in this size before, I was actually impressed with my final project. This piece started my ideas for my current series about journeys.

I won’t be walking on this! I do have a bunch of unstretched canvas that might someday become a floor cloth. For now this one will be named “Girl Traveller

Who’s Your Dada?

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My first class at Artfest 2008 was Opie and Linda Obrien for Who’s your Dada Dolls. We all received the same head and block for a body, but it is amazing the different things that came out of that class. I find that incredibly fascinating, the different ways to solve the same problem that can come from a group of very creative people. (Here are some examples from show and tell night) I was also amazed at how little Jen brought with her… I had tons of stuff! but her work was amazing none-the-less. I kept offering her some of my junk… but apparently she likes a challenge.

Opie and Linda are a hoot and I learned some VERY cool things about apoxie sculpt. A material that I had never heard of let alone tried. On my first piece, I really only used the apoxie as an attachment substance. It worked well to connect a plastic comet to the doll head and the heavy wooden wings to the wooden block body. The material takes paint easily and blends in to the sculpture, in addition to being a super way to attach awkward pieces. I would love to explore it more, perhaps. I really want to move beyond mixed media and sculpture in general to focus more on fabric. I do love sculpture so who knows what I will do! I wish I had learned more about wire and sculpture attachments but Opie and Linda had too much desire to do things for their students.

SM100I brought some wings that have been in one of my mixed media drawers for awhile. These went on my body right away. But then I was stuck on how top heavy my piece was turning out. While I pondered this problem, I walked the room to see what other people were creating. Then I worked on some more sculpting material on a second piece, also with wings. I am not much of a clay sculptor, but I was so impressed and inspired with what some other classmates were designing, I had to try something a little more textured and design oriented. This little bug was the results.

 

 

 Luckily on the walk back from lunch I found a couple of sticks that looked like they were legs with high heels. Turns out they were the perfect finish to balance out my first piece. I love these two dolls together, so I have named them “Little Boy Bird and Bitsy Bug” 

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Dark Shrine

Artfest: Michael DeMeng Class

I can’t believe that I haven’t blogged about my ArtFest Projects! This is my project from Michael DeMeng’s Transparency Collage Class. The supply list included a 5’x7″ frame. I hoped that he meant the picture hole part should be 5″x7″ and thankfully I was right. This frame was actually something I found in the art asylum over two years ago. I painted it silver and planned to turn it into a shrine. Unfortunately, it sat around and gathered dust as I did not find inspiration. I was glad to be able to turn it into something unique.

Michael DeMeng’s transparency class was held in the art asylum which ROCKED! We were able to look for lots of extra cool things to add to our assemblages (said with a Michael accent) I really did learn quite a bit in this class. I learned some new words (although they are coined Michael words) like the “usuag” actually not sure how to spell it but it stands for the usual colors he likes to mix. He shared a lot about mixing paints, creating washes and layering. He shared how to put a wash over metal (heat it with a heat gun first) He also talked about how assemblage is all about problem solving and that you need a ‘visual bridge’ to bring pieces together. . I didn’t take any notes or do any journaling this year, just wasn’t into it, but I wish I had written a few things down in this class.

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I do admit that after taking his class I understand what all the buz was about. Michael is so funny, attentive, personable (uses your first name in a way that isn’t creepy) and really wants you to learn. He encouraged us to use new power tools, never tried to push his ideas or do something for us. He gave great feedback and though the hour long critique was long, it was also valuable. I haven’t really been in an adult art critique since college. How many times do we as artists working in our own homes get that opportunity? I almost wish there had been a platform for more peer to peer critique and feedback. I also learned how to make paper look burned without burning by using some simple paint techniques.

demeng shrine in progress

My favorite new supply was regular household caulk. It was great for texture and added depth. I used it over most of the front of my shrine. I didn’t have the exact types of acrylic washes that Michael recommends, but watered down my regular acrylics to get a similar effects. With the transparency we used a little white paint on the back of small areas to help them stand out more, this is how he makes the eyes really stand out.

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The inside is even more layered and complex than the outside. I covered most of the silver painted frame with strips of old book pages(inside and out) before doing different washes and texture layers. I included puzzle pieces, an old compass, some mini apothecary bottles and several different transparencies. I had plans for many things to dangle off other areas and drilled the necessary holes (using electric tools was a new thing for me.) Since I ran out of time in the class these items did not get added at the time, I am still debating whether to add them, or leave it as is. (see some more detail pictures in my flickr Artfest 2008 Set)

When I am working on a series… titles are a cinch! But when I have something like this that is out of the norm it is more difficult. “Eyes Wide Forward” is what comes to me right now, we will see how it sits.

ArtFest Flowers

Flowers for Swap

For my special Artfest friends I am creating some flowers for a swap. They are supposed to be some “before” flowers and some “after” flowers. So I thought dog/cat and paper/fabric combos. As I have gone from a cat lover to an avid dog fanatic (I do still love my cats, but I am not as obssessed about them as I am Charger) and I have gone from a mostly paper artist to a mostly fabric artist.

For the fabric flowers I am using a tutorial from Molly Chicken that I found from a podcast called Crafty Pod.

I picked Jen up yesterday and she helped me finish my flowers (thanks Jen!) and we will be leaving shortly for Port Townsend. EXCITING!!

Artfest 2004

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Thursday was The Salivador Dali Book with Randi Feuerhelm-Watts, I learned Coptic stitching and some cool painting and beading ideas.

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Friday was the Tactile Delight Book with Doris Arndt where I learned another kind of stiching, but I don’t know what it was called.

Finally Saturday I made a bracelet with Romona Dolan, I learned soldering, glass cutting and wire wrapping.