There is something very special about public art it's truly for everyone.
Chicago's Cloud Gate, better known as The Bean made me want to dance. It was such a joy to see everyone crowded around looking at it, themselves, their friends. Strangers smile and point to each other.
It's a magical moment.
I get a sort of spiritual feeling when this magic occurs. It makes me aware of just how powerful human creativity can be. It took a vision and engineering to create The Bean.
Public art that is so big and engaging crosses us over from viewers to participants. We are a part of the drama or comedy that is playing out across a mirrored surface, beneath a giant shadow.
(I love The Clothespin in Philly. It always makes me smile.)
I'm feeling pretty lucky to have visited The Bean. Don't you just love our little world?
Have a fabulous weekend everyone. Take a moment to laugh. Or dance.
Ranger Ink's Distress Ink Pads are one of my favorite supplies. The colors are scrumptious and there are loads of techniques that you can use them with, including watercoloring.
I've been expanding my palette over the last few months and Ranger has had a lot of new releases. Every month in 2015 they are releasing a new color in each of the distress lines.
Making color swatches of all of your art materials is a very good idea and since my distress inks have grown I decided to get 'er done. It's kind of a fun process and shows you very quickly exactly what you have.
In the video (below) you'll see that it's easy enough to get doubles or two ink pads that are very closely related.
There are so many ways to use Distress Inks; a lot of ways to love them :) Enjoy!
This summer uber-talented Megan Greenholt and Brenda Howell will be hosting an on-going eco dye workshop at Cheltenham Center for the Arts (just outside of Philadelphia).
From the Ground Up is a three part workshop series. Take one, two or all three.
Learn the history and processes of natural dyeing, how to identify dye plants and the colors they yield.
In the first class, students will prep and plant the spiral garden design with natural dye plants at our garden hosted by Cheltenham Center for the Arts on their grounds.
Parts two and three of the workshop series learn to harvest the dye plants and create natural dye baths.
Experience three different indigo vats and several shibori techniques on cotton and wool.
Workshop Dates: May 9, 8/29 and 9/26
Register and more details can be found here on CCA's site
About Megan and Brenda:
Megan Greenholt and Brenda Howell, are members of the artist cooperative, MamaCITA, an affiliated guild of CCA.
Megan Greenholt is a mixed media artist and master gardener through Penn State Extension Program. She has been exploring natural dyes for the last 5 years, demonstrating at historical events, planting her own dye garden and incorporating it into her current work. Brenda Howell's interest in gardening and textiles has also led her to the world of natural dyeing. She is best known for her encaustic paintings and her recycled wool fabric pieces.
My Testimonial :) I've experienced dyeing with natural plants with Megan on several occasions. This is a fascinating and magical process not to be missed. See here for one of our adventures.
This is a repost from 2011. I still feel the same way and was reminded of it recently.
OK, little bit of a rant here in response to Nancy's excellent comment to this post here:
" ... . I need to remind myself that it is ok to do art journaling and painting just for the fun of it ... The thought of trying to market what I do gives me a headache ... ."
Right on! (It gives me a headache too).
First of all, a bunch of years ago, everyone was talking about how hard it was to call themselves "artists." Uh huh, yes. So that they could allow themselves to make art. Ok, are we over that yet? Have we evolved to the point where we can make art as freely as we can dance without the label "dancer."
How about if you feel like singing in the shower? Do you have to be a "singer" to allow yourself that joy? What is up with this?! This is a very tender spot for me - frankly, it really drives me nuts. Jeez. Labels.
I am an artist. Yeah, big deal. So I went to art school and did a bunch of paintings and stuck around and did a whole bunch more. This is my craft: artist. Not ME. I'm just ... me. Amongst a lot of other much more important things (mom, wife, auntie, friend), I am a person with training as an artist.
Are you an accountant while paying your bills? A horticulturist when pinching back your jade plant? Do you feel any need to get paid for those things?
Guess what: You can sing in the shower, dance to the music, garden, make a collage in your journal and a beautiful painting. You don't need the permission of a label. What a burden labels are. They pressure us. I get particularly annoyed when someone says "Oh, she's an ARTIST." As if that gives me permission to wear funny clothes, have outlandish ideas or be disorganized. Yikes! I'd have ideas and a big mouth regardless of my training as an artist. See: that's who I am and the only label I'm wearing says "Diana."
This isn't an easy thing to embrace. No, it takes practice.
The Art Institute in Chicago was one of the top hits on the list when we visited The Windy City* last month. I had an opp to contemplate Feininger.
Carnival is a whimsical wonder as it recalls Feininger's cartooning background. I love the yellow houses as a backdrop and it really looks as though the background has been painted on a wall.
Above is one of his comic strips. Who says fine artwork has to be in museums and galleries? I love crazy gadget/machine drawings. And anything that puts a smile on your face is really fine.
There is a joy in Feininger's artwork that seems to burst forth, barely contained. Note the little birdie on the above still life. And let's use some air quotes around "still life" here because it hardly seems still to me.
I so enjoyed rediscovering Feininger's work. I hope you like it too!
*One possible reason for Chicago's nickname "The Windy City" : Long-winded politicians and the frequent political conventions in Chicago have been suggested as the source of the nickname. (from Wikipedia.
I've been poking around all winter with paper crafts in between flu, virus, migraines, and a back flare up. It's been a rough few months. BUT! You all know that I get a ton of comfort from making art big and small.
My sister wanted me to make some flower drawings that could be printed out on cardstock or watercolor paper. She could then color them in, stamp her sentiment and have a a quick card.
I do so love drawing flowers! I've finalized a couple of these and colored them in, here. I'm considering making kits to put up for sale.
We'll see. I'll be sharing some of these flower print outs at my Meet Up tomorrow night. The blogging will continue to be a bit thinner over the next few weeks as I work on another Mixed Media Watercolor class and a Foiling class (that is REALLY fun :).
This coming Friday is my first Wine & Art MeetUp. Details below.
The theme is Art is for Everyone! So even non-artists can make a little art. I've been working on some flower drawings and printing them on lovely lightweight watercolor paper so folks can just color them in and use them as they'd like.
You can, naturally, bring your journal or your own supplies but I've been laying in some new supplies for these new classes so there are plenty of things to use here.
Oh! I'm excited :) and I hope if you are in the area, that you'll join us.
Friday, March 27, 7-9 pm Email me for to sign up and for directions OR Join my MeetUp here Libations, snacks and all supplies included $20 (!)