Process and Experimentation

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My friend, Kierstan L. Betancourt is an incredible artist. If I lived near her, I would want to spend every day learning from and with her. Anyhow, Kierstan took a 30 day challenge with a painting. I think she had to add a layer to it every day for 30 days. Some days I loved what she had done and other days, well, not so much.

I didn’t see what Day 30 looked like but it was a reminder to me to just keep going. Regardless of whether I like how my project is turning out or not.

Every day I choose a project to work on in the workshop.  Today I worked on layering, adding more. It’s only a one day project but I’m trying to learn to layer, to add more, to experiment.

It all started when I noticed that the soap in the bathtub looked like a bird.


I couldn’t stop thinking about it so I cut a stencil of a bunch of birds similar to that bird. (If you haven’t cut your own stencils before, it is SO easy.  You use a stencil burner or multi-purpose burning tool.  Contact me for help.)


I took a piece of marbled paper that I wasn’t thrilled with and stenciled the birds in black. They were too abstract so I added orange, black, and a white dot for eyes. A bit better. I then drew around the birds. Now they popped out of the background.


Stenciled city streets in white over the entire page but decided I really only liked it on the birds, so I gessoed over it.


Then I put a poem about nature from a book from the 1800’s on it. In little pieces. I stamped tissue paper with a vintage bicyclist and glued it on. Nope. Painted over it.

Stenciled flowers in blue over the background. Stenciled a brown tree on using negative space. It was too subtle so I used a different tree stencil and versamark and then poured gold embossing powder on it and heated it up.



I like the effect. The birds are now hidden in the branches of the tree. Oddly enough, some of the stenciled flowers also had absorbed the powder and embossed too. Very interesting. I like it on a blue background.


Not sure what I’ll do with this but it was an interesting process.


I am currently working on my fall schedule.  It should be finished this weekend.  I haven’t had a ton of students since opening July 1 but I have had a ton of fun with those who have come. Remember, you don’t have to come for a class.  You can come do art with me one on one or during studio time.  You can also suggest new classes.

We have a couple of guest teachers coming in the near future and it is not too late to register:


Janale Petersen will teach wood burning on Saturday, Sept. 17.  I can’t wait to take this class myself.  Nearly every day, Janale is posting new pieces she has done.  They’re gorgeous.  We will be creating our own pieces on blue pine.

Radical Dimensions

Kelley Knickerbocker is teaching her innovative stacked glass technique in  “Radical Dimensions in Glass” October 1 and 2.  I’ve taken this class myself.  It will help you see your new projects with fresh eyes and a new technique.  Kelley is an outstanding teacher.


Christian Peres Gibaut will be leading the Mosaic Mural Workshop November 11-14.  This is an incredible opportunity to learn about the South American style of mosaicing, learn how to plan and execute a group mural project, and take part in creating one yourself.  This is definitely hands on and fun.  Christian comes to us from Argentina.  A rare opportunity!

For more information on or to register for any of these featured classes, contact me or click on the course listed on the home page.  Information is also available from the “featured” tab.

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