I am excited to teach a workshop in NE Portland at a beautiful studio venue called Arcangelo. We will be working on birds and animals to learn the techniques of working with the clay. Here is the flyer about it…registration is now open and we have 3 people so far. So if you are interested, email me to please get registered before Jan. 11! firstname.lastname@example.org
Having traveled to Oaxaca 6 times now, I can see changes happening over the years. The city continues to gentrify itself with new interesting shops, galleries, restaurants, bakeries and cafes. But what is really exciting is the emerging printmaking community. There have always been print makers in Oaxaca, but since it has become a political voice for the people, there are lots of studios where printmakers are creating amazing work. In addition to exciting street art and murals, now there are prints on thin paper that are plastering the ancient walls of the city. And so it continues, the creative merging of the old and the new, that I call “Oaxaca Cool.”
On March 22, we will be starting another 10 day tour in this exotic place where food is at the center of life, and art is at the head of the table. We plan our trip to get the most from every day we are there. Our hacienda offers lovely rooms, amazing meals, gorgeous gardens, an open air studio, plus a library and art collections to die for. We spend mornings making art, and afternoons exploring. We take the roads less traveled and visit artisans in their humble homes and workshops to see how they do what they do so well. We venture out for special meals at the some of the best dining experiences in the area. It really is the best way to see Oaxaca…with others who love art and making art.
We will have a couple of projects to work on while we are there that include paper clay, collage and assemblage work. We will be inspired by what we see and be able to reflect it in our work. To me, that is the best way to travel…see a lot of amazing stuff…get inspired…make art to reflect and express. For me, I can only take in so much before I have to make something.
You can read more about our itinerary and get details on our blog by clicking here.
We only take 10 people…and we already have 5 without having advertised it yet. So if you are interested, you should contact my partner and our Cultural Curator, Jewel Murphy at email@example.com.
Dates: March 22-30, 2019
Wow what a wonderful place to hold a workshop! Carrie Moore Studios in Oregon City is every artist's dream. Carrie Moore, an artist, workshop facilitator and all around wonderful person has this amazing home and gorgeous studio out in the country in Oregon City. She has an ongoing workshop schedule that includes all kinds of options to keep the creatively inclined creating (http://carriemoorestudios.com/new-events/)! This week, 9 wonderful artists came from all over northern Oregon to gather for two days of inspiration and art making. The beautiful and tranquil surroundings certainly had their effect on all of us.
The first day everyone prepared their boards and created their paper clay work. I am always amazed at how well everyone does adapting to this new way of making art. You can see their unpainted clay work from Day One below. You can click on the images to see them larger.
On the second day, we added finishes and painted the clay work. Though not everyone finished their pieces, everyone got off to a great start. Some even began adding collage elements to their work. You can see their semi-completed works below...I am hoping they will send me pictures of their finished pieces so I can post them at the end of this page. You can click on the images to see them larger.
I want to thank all the wonderful people who took my workshop. It is always hard to end my classes because we become friends for to two full days, and then we part ways! But we always remain together in spirit...remembering how we all gain on so many levels when we come together to make art. Especially in such a beautiful place. Until we meet again my friends. Keep making art and making the world a better place.
I have wanted to visit Chiapas for years. It is remote, primitive and beautiful. It is a land of many different terrains and indigenous groups. We visited 7 very different locations including the eco village of Villahermosa, the ruins at Palenque, the magnificent Miso-Ha Waterfall, the crystal blue waters of Cascadas Agua Azul, the beautiful city of San Cristobal de las Casas, the spectacular Sumidara Canyon, and the sweet town of Chiapa de Corzo on the gigantic Grijalva River. It was an adventure from beginning to end.
Chiapas has a reputation for unrest which makes most people think it is dangerous to travel there. And while they have problems from time to time, it is a very kind and peaceful place where tourists are safe and welcome.
We visited the Mayan ruins and museum at Palenque which were magnificent. And we stopped at the famous Cascadas de Agua Azul, a series of waterfalls found on the Xanil River known for their crystal blue color. The rain forest here (Lacandon Jungle) is one of the last remaining in North America as it stretches south to Guatemala. Sadly it is being cut down for farming corn, and the people do not understand about crop rotation, and so they are constantly cutting down more trees. There are better practices being taught but it has been a slow transition. The people here are just trying to survive and are not educated. Hopefully things will change soon or we will lose this resource that will take 500 years to replace.
Then we reached the beautiful city of San Cristobal de las Casas to find that all the major churches had been affected by recent earthquakes and were walled off with corrugated steel until repaired. But the charm and beauty of the city were still there for all to see.
This area is mostly known for textiles. Back strap loom weaving and hand embroidery are the two most common crafts here. I am in awe of the work that goes into all their pieces and how masterful they are with color combinations. Click on the images below to see them larger.
I was drawn to Chiapas because of metal crosses I had seen in other regions of Mexico. When I asked where they were from, it was always Chiapas. We visited the workshop and gallery of one of the most well know metalsmiths of the San Cristobal, Guadelupe Hermosilla. Beautiful work. You can click on the images below to see them larger.
Perhaps the high point of our trip, of which there were so many, was a visit to two nearby villages, Chamula and San Lorenzo Zinacantan, where we were able to observe old world traditions and ceremonies in their churches and zocalos (city centers).
I will be forever moved by this trip to Chiapas. These kind and loving people here need our financial support. Our tourist dollars are what fuel their local economy and make opportunities for the indigenous people. You will be shocked at how inexpensive everything is. Something that can take a person a day to make sells for about 2-3.00. I will be back for sure...and with a much larger suitcase next time.
In San Cristobal is an old nunnery called Na-Balom (House of the Jaguar) where Frans Blom an explorer and archeologist, and Gertrude Duby Blom, a journalist and photographer created their home and spent over fifty years in Chiapas collecting tools, crafts, archeological pieces and clothing, especially related to the Lacandon Jungle and people. The museum holds a wealth of history about this primitive tribe that still exists today.
In San Cristobal, lives Sergio Castro, a healer who serves the poorest of people every day of the week for free. He supports his efforts with donations from tourists to his museum where he has collected the traditional clothing of more than 20 indigenous groups of Chiapas. His presentation is excellent, entertaining and succinct. He has been recognized by news media all over the world and honored for his humanitarian work. Click on the images to see them larger.
Life doesn't get any better than meeting wonderful creative people, making art together for 3 full days and being in a inspirational location like The Mendocino Art Center. I am feeling very blessed. This workshop included using both collage and paper clay to create saints, goddesses, guardians and angels. Everyone made such beautiful and heartfelt pieces. Some work slowly and methodically, others are fast and free. See their work below, mostly on their way to becoming finished pieces, awaiting more embellishments and refinement. Click on each image to see it larger along with the artist's name.
It was truly a wonderful experience to share. It is always hard to say goodbye when we have taken a short journey together. I am hoping to cross paths again with these fine women.
Well each time I teach at this charming venue in downtown Springfield, I find new things. New artists showing, new gift shop items, new volunteers, new shops and restaurants in the neighborhood. There's a lot going on in the place. It's jumpin'. How nice that a community supports something so central to a happy city.
My paper clay workshop was amazing. Seven wonderful women, each with her own way of making art. I am so lucky to be working with people who are wanting to expand their art making. It is exciting to watch everyone enjoy this flexible and forgiving medium. The possibilities are endless. Thank you to my wonderful class. Hope to see you all again someday.
Once again, I will be part of Beverly Soasey's annual studio sale which starts this Saturday and runs through November and December! This show is touted as the best one in Eugene from the people coming to the sale. Five artists will be showing their wares, plus we have a fun Porch Flea Market Sale. Join us for some festive cheer and see your friends while you check out all the cool stuff at this notable sale.
SALE LOCATION: 1101 West 18th Avenue, Eugene (Green house on the corner of 18th and Van Buren)
● Friday . . . . . . December 1 . . . . . 4 - 8
● Saturday . . . . December 2 . . . . . 10 - 6
● Sunday . . . . . . December 3 . . . . . 11 - 5
● Saturday . . . . December 9 . . . . . 10 - 6
I have to say, my most recent workshop at Oregon Art Supply was full of such creative and fun loving people that I forgot I was teaching. We had a great time together. I think that's what is best about workshops. You have a chance to experience art making with other people and see the variety of results that happen. It's a joyous event.
Anyway...here are the animal portraits that were made...some not quite finished...but all are wonderful. Remember, no one had done this before.
I love that we used minimal color. I think the images have a very graphic feel...kind of like print making. When a design is good, it doesn't really need color. Thanks you to my students for the great work I get to share.
For the past few years, I have been making paper clay portraits of endangered species in party hats. My theme, "The Going Away Party," is my disturbing and irreverent way of getting people to take a second look...and maybe read my captions. Some of our most beloved animals are in danger of extinction within our lifetime. This is outrageous! They are the victims of our greed and stupidity, pure and simple.
You can see all the animals and read more about them, along with what you can do to help in the gallery on my website: Click Here.
This Friday, my animal portraits will be on display for the first time at Oregon Art Supply in their little gallery in the back of the store. The opening is from 5:30-7:30 and there will be party favors for everyone! See their website for details: http://www.oregonartsupply.com/category-s/1961.htm
In conjunction with the show, I am teaching a two-day workshop on making animal portraits in paper clay at Oregon Art Supply as well. So you can bring your own image to work from (a favorite pet?) or I will provide nice images of rabbits or birds. If you want to work from your own image, be sure it is very clear with the face and neck sized to fit your substrate. Details about the workshop can be found HERE.
I hope to see you at the show or in the workshop! Thanks for caring enough to read this whole thing. If you email me and mention my blog, I will send you a FREE greeting card of one of my animal images.
I have literally hundreds of images from this trip to Oaxaca. I could have shot thousands more. The art, the colors, the food, the people, the creativity...it's all so astoundingly gorgeous. And yet there is extreme poverty all around. Oaxacans are among the poorest people in Mexico. But that does not dampen their spirits or love of beauty. Anyone who can make something does it beautifully.
The focus of our tour was art. So we stayed close to town, visiting artists and artisans in their studios, workshops and homes. All live simply in this climate that has endured years of drought. Water is more precious that Mezcal. It stormed a few times at night while we were here, but was bone dry by the next morning. We even had a couple of earth quakes.
The art we made was a reflection of our surroundings. Fantastical and organic. Growing from within, combining with bits of this and that until we created our Everyday Saints to help guide us to the next phase of our lives.
These are Everyday Saints, each one designed and created by one of our student artists...all different skill levels, from beginning to advanced and even professional. You are never too old to try something new!
It is hard to paint a beautiful enough picture of my workshop in Oaxaca this year. Wonderful city and people of Oaxaca, excellent and engaged workshop students, terrific partner and cultural curator (Jewel Murphy), stunning yet homelike accommodations, family atmosphere with an excellent and giving staff, and the constant creative inspiration every artist dreams of. My head is spinning.
From the artwork, (classical to contemporary, museum to street art), to the street vendors, public markets, little shops and exclusive boutiques, you become overloaded with imagination. It is truly unbelievable and something every artist should experience. This is not a rich society at all, but the people are wealthy with family, friends, celebrations, fiestas, ceremonies and above all, creativity. I cannot say enough about the kindness and warmth of this city, state and country. I am sad that our country has treated this one so poorly. And yet we are still genuinely welcomed here.
There is a celebration almost every day. Weddings include a parade of the bride and groom down the city streets, with dancing girls, a band and the wedding party passing out little shots of Mescal to all they encounter. Life is a celebration here. As I write this, the casa where I am staying is hosting a weekly jazz concert in their garden. People are streaming in. I love it here.
There is a supreme respect for tradition in Oaxaca. Mexicans come here from larger cities to see what life was like before things became modernized. Traditions are preserved here, but a lot of the young people are not interested in keeping the old ways alive. It could be that in another 50 years, all the old world arts will be lost.
Below I am posting some of the images of the art created here during our 10 days of creativity. You can click on the images to see them larger. They have paper clay milagros in the center of a papered box frame. We are already talking about next year's trip. They say if you eat the crickets (chapulines) you will come back. And I ate a lot of them on this trip.
Watch for my next posting of our work in Oaxaca and more images of our wonderful time here.
Last year I submitted an application to the Mendocino Art Center to be an Artist in Residence for their 2016-2017 season. Gratefully I was selected. However, I had already committed to other things by the time I got the news...so I could only stay for the month of February. Graciously, they accommodated me with an apartment and a studio as a Visiting Artist!
Below are a few shots of my apartment, studio, the town, the ocean and surroundings. As a visiting artist, you just work on whatever you like and do a presentation at the end. My presentation is coming up this week. I will hate to leave this magical place.
The fine members of the Brownsville Art Association reached out to me to teach this one last workshop in Oregon this winter. So if you were wanting a winter workshop to kick start your art making for the new year, this is it!
Two-day Paper Clay Workshop, Jan 20–21, 2017, Fri–Sat, 10 am–4 pm. We will be working with native birds at this special workshop at the Brownsville art center. More information here.
The Safety Pin movement is such a simple and yet perfect concept. Wear a safety pin to show that you support kindness, compassion, fairness and diversity. And that you are an ally for anyone feeling afraid because of discrimination of any kind.
What a beautiful concept. I like to think it is the American way.
To bring more attention and add more love to the concept, I decided to make little hearts from paper clay and attach them to my safety pins. I shared them with friends and family. Each recipient was so happy to wear their pin that I thought about getting more people making them so more people could share them. Plus what a wonderful way to gather people together for a common good.
So I recruited a group of generous, creative women who formed an assembly line of crafters. And on a rainy Sunday afternoon, we gathered together at a donated space with all our supplies. First we all made hearts with paper clay, and then when we amassed a bunch of them, we broke into smaller groups to insert the wire hangers, dry them, paint them, attach them to the pins and coat them with gloss varnish. Together we made more than 350 of them. It was uplifting, healing and reaffirming for all of us and at the end of the day, each person left with a collection of heart pins to share.
We decided to call them Take Heart Safety Pins. And I created a youtube video showing how to make them so that maybe others will make and share them in their own communities.
And thank you for being a good person and caring enough to read this whole blog entry.
I have been waiting to go back to Oaxaca ever since I left there in the Spring 3 years ago. It's like that with Oaxaca. It gets into your blood and you need to keep going back. You miss the food, the artistry, the climate, the terrain, the food, the city, the traditions, the culture, the food, the antiquity, the crafts, the colors, the mezcal, and did I mention the food? It is an artist's wonderland, a cultural treasure beyond description.
So when Jewel Murphy asked me to join her and teach an art retreat in Oaxaca, it was a no brainer. She, being the US Ambassador to Oaxaca, has a backstreet knowledge of it that opens doors and enhances experiences. I had already been on one of her excursions, and had stayed at the same fabulous hacienda. So I cannot think of a better place to hold a mixed media art workshop, and I can say, without a doubt, that this is going to be a trip to remember.
Oaxaca Art Immersion Retreat Dates: March 17-27, 2017
For details about the trip click here.
Oaxaca has long been an artistic center in Mexico. We will get inspired by visiting museums, churches, market places, artist studios and galleries that showcase the outstanding art and craft work of the area, from ancient to modern times. Our workshop program will integrate the creative culture of Oaxaca into our projects, informing the art we make.
If you like hanging out with fun loving, creative people, making art everyday, tasting amazing food, staying in a wonderful place, getting inspired by incredible art, shopping at some of the best places in Mexico, visiting museums, churches, galleries, studios and more, then join us on this creative excursion to a place that will stay in your heart forever.
First of all, the Keizer Art Center is one of the nicest I have ever seen. Wonderful lighting, beautiful art room, and super nice people. And check out this adorable building.
As always, my class was full of enthusiastic artists who jumped in fast to make art using paper clay. I had 3 returning students which is always a joy to me. I love when I can meet up with these great people again. Artists are just fun to be with!
We had two days to work, but time always slips away too quickly and most did not finish their pieces...but they are well on their ways!
I wish I could take credit for their wonderful work...but some people are just plain getting good at it! The fabulous vase is by Katrina Pruett who has taken the workshop before and brought in her project (still working on it) from home to share. I just love seeing how different each person's work turns out, even when we all do the exact same project!
Click on the images to enlarge them.
It was like we had known each other for years. What a fun group. I have been blessed with fabulous fun loving students in all my workshops. Each willing to try something new and different from their normal art making practices. And I am always amazed at how quickly people catch on and make art that surprises them...and me!
Thank you to everyone for making this a fun workshop. A special thanks to those who drove from far away. To those who took my class for the second (and third) time. And to everyone for being kind, supportive, and helpful to each other. Honestly, what is more fun than getting together with like minded people to make art with each other in a nice art space?
You can click on images to enlarge them.
What a beautiful place Sitka is! And what wonderful students it attracts! I am so grateful to have spent two days with such amazing people. Each artist was delightful for different reasons. All did great work even though Paper Clay was new to everyone! Some came from Tennessee, others from Washington...and a bunch from all over Oregon. Thank you to everyone for traveling to be there, for the great work and for inspiring each other. I think workshops are wonderful because we get to learn something new, be with others who are into making art and get away from your daily life. Sitka makes it all happen. We are lucky to have this special place on the Oregon Coast.
Check out the class work from last weekend!
Oh my gosh...I am living a dream! I am heading to Oaxaca next spring with my friend, cultural curator and owner of my favorite shop, Jewel Murphy to take a group of creative people with us and make art for 10 days!!! We have both spent a lot of time down there and are excited to take a bunch of fun loving people along for a wonderful art trip.
And YOU are invited!
Our program includes 6 days of art instruction in the mornings, with open studios in the afternoons and evenings for independent work and project completion. Some days include tours of selected artisan studios, museums, galleries, churches or specialty shops, while others are for your own exploration and discovery. Our final night in Oaxaca will include a special Farewell Fiesta with an Art Exhibition of the work we made during the workshop.
10 days, 9 nights in Oaxaca, the creative capitol of Mexico
Friday, March 17 through Sunday, March 26, 2017
Only 10 participants.
Hosted and curated by Jewel Murphy with Art Workshop lead by me.
9 nights accommodations in a beautiful classic hacienda right in the middle of town, all transportation, all meals, art instruction, guides and more are included. Cost does not include transportation to Oaxaca (airfare), laundry, personal shopping purchases, alcoholic beverages,and tips to guides (which are completely optional).
It's going to be a memorable trip for so many reason. If you are looking for an opportunity to travel to this amazing part of Mexico, hang out with a bunch of creative companions and make art, think about coming!
For more information, click here.
I started off just making a few thank you gifts for some helpful people. Then I started making variations. Before I knew it, I have amassed a whole collection of little hands, and I want to make more! Each one is sculpted and painted differently than the others. There are countless variation possibilities. Working in a series is a lot of fun.
I started out making one hand, and then casting it so I could make multiples. I use paper clay to make the original and also the cast. Then I use paper clay to make duplicates. I cover how to do this in my book.
I realized that it was most fun to cast a plain hand and then make whatever I wanted to put into the palm. The only problem is that now I want to keep making variations of them and I need to get on with other work. I have to admit, it is really great to have something to work on for those days when I feel unproductive and uninspired.
I will be posting some how-to tutorials on youtube.com this month. I will let you know when that happens!