Friday, July 29, 2011

Wind Hill Workshop

I had the great pleasure of teaching a private workshop at Wind Hill Farm yesterday, just about twenty minutes from my studio. Mary Gerster, the hostess, had seven friends over, some form Connecticut and New York, and a few who have houses in this area, and opened her studio up for a workshop. Read an essay by Mary here. She is very active in our local Southern Vermont Art Center. Her studio is the upstairs of a renovated barn (designed by my Sweetie, an architect) in a totally storybook Vermont setting - meadows, flowers, views of the Green Mountains.

Here are a few pictures of the event:

Jane, a retired art teacher:

Dot and Delores:

My demonstrations sample:

Mary's collage:

Jane's collages:

We were using stripes as a format for exploring aspects of composition. I love doing private workshops! Have art, WILL TRAVEL. If you are interested in hosting a Jane Davies workshop in your own studio (or church basement or fire hall), e-mail me.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Introducing Priscilla Read

I have been posting less frequently because I am happily busy with my online classes, Keys to Dynamic Composition and Unlocking the Secrets of Color. I'll be back to posting more regularly in a few weeks, definitely from Art Unraveled, where I'll be teaching on August 8th and 9th.

So, since I'm not doing a lot of new tutorials just now, I thought I would introduce you to one of the creative people taking my COLOR class, Priscilla Read. Check out her blog to view her fabulous quilts, drawings, paintings, and collage. She has been posting some gorgeous pieces in the class!

Here are a few pieces from our color class exploring paint and collage in specific color schemes.

In addition to taking my color class, Priscilla is also following the Sketchbook Challenge, with which I have been involved. I asked Priscilla a few questions about her art background and practice:

How did you get started in quilting?

I did a bit of quilting starting in 1976 when my son was born, then started back up when my father was in a nursing home in 1999. I made him a small quilt from a pattern in a quilting magazine. I immediately joined a quilt guild and learned everything I could about quilting. I served as a workshop coordinator for a couple years and took workshops in every technique possible from traditional to contemporary.

I see that you have the Sketchbook Challenge badge on your blog; what inspired you to follow the Sketchbook Challenge?

I follow blogs of some of the artists hosting the Sketchbook Challenge. Through those connections I happened upon the Sketchbook Challenge blog earlier this month. I intermittently draw and paint in a sketchbook or art journal, but haven’t kept it as a regular practice. The challenge themes interest me and the blog pages are filled with ideas and tutorials to jumpstart you if you get stuck. I like that the definition of a sketchbook and sketching is pretty open and includes any media and format. I like the idea of using the challenge as an opportunity to explore a new medium and as a place to share ideas with others.

How has the Sketchbook Challenge influenced your creative process?

I guess I’m not far enough along to say, but I expect it will open up new ways to express my creativity.

What role does color play in your work?

When I started as a quilter, I gravitated to traditional colors. As I learned more, my color palette expanded to include all colors from dull to highly saturated. I use contrast to make the color “sing”.

What drew you to take a workshop in color?

I’ve taken workshops for quilters in color and have done color exercises using both paint and fabric, but haven’t used both at once for color experiments in an organized fashion. I was drawn to this particular workshop because of the mixed media connection.

Can you tell us a bit about incorporating collage and other mixed media into your quilts?

One of my goals is to incorporate my own drawing, painting, and photographs into my work. As I am learning ways to use mixed media into my quilts, I am discovering my own unique style. I have a lot of interests and can’t decide on any one media – I guess that’s why I’m attracted to mixed media – I want to do it all.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

More Student Work

I am blown away again by the gorgeous pieces that are showing up on my Keys to Dynamic Composition blog. These are pieces by students taking the online workshop of that name, which I will be offering again in January. These are studies, pieces in progress, and finished works dealing with the abstract landscape:

This is a group of small landscape studies:

And this is one more piece from Lesson 1 about shapes:

Thanks to all of you participating in this workshop, and thanks to everyone visiting the blog.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


On Monday, July 18 I will be offering a Collage-A-Thon at Studio Place Arts in Barre, VT.

Collage-a-thon is like a roto-tiller in the garden of your art-making practice. Churn up those ideas, get them out, let them breathe and give life to fresh work. If you are feeling a bit stale, in a rut, creatively blocked, or just want a day of fun artistic exploration, this workshop is for you! We will start with quick collage exercises, using basic materials such as paper and glue. We’ll move into the use of acrylic paint and drawing materials, and then work on small series. Give yourself permission to just create, without judgment, without pausing to decide whether a piece is “good” or “bad”, and without trying to finish each piece perfectly. We’re going for quantity here, sheer output; this approach lets you break free of limitations, and gets you out of your comfort zone and into new realms of possibility. Bring any papers or paints you would like to use or share, though I will be providing plenty for everyone.

Click here to SIGN UP EARLY for this, as there is limited space!!! (Description is towards bottom of the page; e-mail link is at the top of the page).

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Student Work

I've been busy with my two online classes, Keys to Dynamic Composition and Unlocking the Secrets of Color. These are no longer open for registration, but you can visit my Online Workshops page and read the descriptions. I will be offering them both again in January/February. Meanwhile I'll be offering new online workshops in the fall.

Here are a few images from Lesson 1 of Composition. I am so excited to see the fabulous work coming out of this class! These pieces represent several assignments, all involving repeated shapes.

Thanks for visiting! And thanks to all the workshop participants who supplied the eye candy!