Thursday, March 23, 2017

Galax and the Chestnut Creek School of the Arts


Last week, I had the pleasure of going to southwestern Virginia to teach in Galax, VA at the Chestnut School of the Arts. It was my third time teaching there, and David and I first went in 2015. I absolutely love teaching there. Though the classes tend to be small, there's such a special energy to the classes.


Galax is rather small, and there's not a ton of local attractions, though in the summer, it is home to the Old Fiddler's Convention as the city lies in the heart of old time, bluegrass music country. But Galax has a quaint downtown with shops and restaurants, and it even has a popular brewery, at which of course, I always find myself.


But probably the thing that I like the most is the accommodations. When available, the school puts instructors up at a nearby log cabin owned by former board member Mary Guynn of Guynn Furniture. This tiny cabin sits next to Mary's house, just five minutes from downtown, but it might as well be out in the middle of nowhere because that's the way it feels. It's in a peaceful neighborhood, and I really love the peace and quiet. Though there's a tv in the cabin, I never turn it on, and I sit and relax by a fire each night reading, working in my journal, or just losing myself in the flames and the crackle of the fire.



Of course, I am there to teach workshops, and I enjoyed two days of wonderful workshops. On Saturday, I taught Mapping the Journey, and this mixed-media workshop focused on using life as inspiration for making art, and I lead the four students through a process that looked at key moments and people from their lives. Then they worked to build rich layers using mapping marks, such as grids, highways and roads, borders, and boundaries. Unfortunately, I was so into the workshop, I forgot to take any photos.


On Sunday, I taught Luminous Liquid Layers, and it was the first time that I had taught this class. I was a little nervous about that, but we had fun building layers using liquid acrylics. We specifically used Golden High Flow Acrylics. We were even joined by one of the student's dog, Hank.



We definitely made a bit more of a mess in this workshop than we did the day before, but using a variety of techniques and application processes, the four students and I were completely immersed in the work. I did remember to stop from time to time and take photos.



Working on a multitude of surfaces, we splattered and scraped, dripped and stamped, stenciled and painted. All in all we had a good time playing and exploring.



Thank you Patty, Penney, Martha Sue, Chris, and Christy (not pictured) for making the weekend wonderful! I hope to see you all the next time I go to Galax to teach.


If your interested in taking a workshop, check out the Events page for a complete listing.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Journal Friday #7

Watercolor: Color Blends

Collage: Selfies

Random Shapes: Drawn

Tracing Hands

Synchronicity

Watercolor Pencil: Dip the Tip

Friday, March 10, 2017

Journal Friday #6

I'm keeping it going with the sixth Journal Friday.

Embolden Text 

Road and Highways 

Family

Watercolor: Dropping String

Circles

Outlining Text

Power

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Spring Workshops


It's hard to believe that it's already March, and that means there's a full slate of JFJ workshops on the horizon. In just ten days, I'll be in Galax, Virginia, and in one month, Portland Oregon. Check out the full schedule below.

March 18-19, 2017 - Chestnut Creek School of the Arts, Galax, VA

April 8-9, 2017 - Art and Soul, Portland, OR

April 22, 2017 - Luminous Liquid Layers, Larkin Arts, Harrisonburg, VA - 11:00AM - 5:00 PM

May 19-20, 2017 - Luminous Liquid Layers, 310 ART, Asheville, NC - 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Monday, March 6, 2017

The JFJ Invade NYC for the NAEA!


We got back late yesterday from New York where we presented a few sold out workshops and one extremely crowded talk for the National Art Education Association's annual convention. It was an exciting week, with lots of connections, journaling, and a bit of mischief.


We took the train up from Baltimore on Tuesday, and began the convention with a sold out, full-day journaling workshop. It's always great presenting the visual journal to a group of eager art educators, and there was a lot of creative energy flowing the whole day.


I am always astounded by what participants in these workshops do, whether they're art teachers, professional artists, or creative hobbyists. I love connecting with them, and sharing my passion.


But the journaling wasn't confined to just the workshop spaces, and at any given time we could be found working in our big books or our pocket sketchbooks, both at the convention hotel and out for dinner and drinks.


This convention was pretty special, too, because we were able to connect with some vendors, who graciously donated some awesome materials for our participants. A special thank you goes to Nasco Arts and Crafts who not only supplied us with paint and glue sticks, but also arranged for watercolor pencils and markers from Jolly Austria and brushes from Royal & Langnickel. Another special thank you goes out to Canson who supplied small sketchbooks for our collaborative journal workshop, tet[R]ad - Draw and Play Here. The teachers were so excited to walk out with these materials.




Of course there was time for adventures, silliness, and a little mischief. David met a new friend out and about on the streets of NYC, and even bed time was an adventure with roommates like Sam.



But for me the best moment was when we filled our talk, Confronting the "One and Done" Mentality to beyond capacity. Now we weren't the only presenters to do this. Many of the the rooms were on the tiny side, and there were over 7000 attendees at the convention. But filling a 200 seat room with around 350 people was pretty awesome, and there were many people standing out the door trying to hear our talk. It was a great feeling to have the support of so many!

If you were one of the unfortunate ones who stood at the door, or wanted to attend, but just couldn't because it was too full, then please see our website for a free download of the PowerPoint and notes.


We are grateful to everyone who came out, sat in a cramped room, and wanted to hear what we had to say.


Even on our last day in the city and on our way home on the train, we found time to journal, doodle and draw.


Thank you to the NAEA for accepting our proposals to present, to the vendors who donated materials for us to share, and mostly to everyone who attended a session, who talked with us in the in-between spaces, and who shared their passion, enthusiasm, and creative energy with us. It is that connection that keeps us doing these things.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Journal Friday #5

Ransom note style words 

Colored pencil 

Stamping watercolor with corrugated cardboard 

Strips 

Brainstorming 

Operative words 

"I believe..." 

Collage maps 

Page tears

Friday, February 24, 2017

Journal Friday #4

It has been a busy week, and I came up a little short on the daily challenges. I'm hoping to make up for it next week, but next week is going to be even busier with a trip to New York for the National Art Education Association's Annual Convention. But we'll see.

Watercolor pencil with water-based marker 

Choice 

Overlapping tracings 

Hand prints 

Growth