Thankful Thursday - Your Perfect Place to Create

"What's your vision of the ideal artist's studio?
What would your perfect place to be creative look like?
What would you include if you could have anything you wanted?
What would you definitely leave out?" 

Some ideal artist's studios...what's yours?  

Some ideal artist's studios...what's yours?  

These were questions I posed 11 years ago, and I'd love to hear your thoughts.  I've answered them for myself and my own work...what's your perfect place?  

I am fortunate in that I have a dedicated studio in which to create my mixed media work.  In fact, we purchased our home 11 years ago in large part because of the unfinished daylight basement which became our studios.  My husband and I designed the space, and he built our custom side-by-side studio and storage spaces.  We work differently, and we loved being able to design the spaces to fit each style.  My side has wrap around counter space, wall shelves filled with bins of supplies, plus my drawing table, chair, computer desk, space for two file bureaus, a cabinet for paint, and a comfortable 'guest' chair.  His has lots of floor space for his huge, standing easel, a drawing table, a standing work table, and his paints and brushes arranged on the walls and shelves.  Because it's at ground level, it's filled with light, and you may recall that I've described the wildlife show that goes on outside our windows here.  

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I'm so thankful that I have this space.  It nurtures me and provides a place for exploration and discovery; it's my perfect place.  Like many artists, I have created in much smaller, more cramped conditions--so I am thankful for the freedom to stretch out, to leave work on the table to come back to at a later time, and to hang work in progress to assess and refine.    

Your Creative Connection will provide a beautiful place for our Creative Explorers to find the freedom to express themselves during our unique mixed media experience in October.  Our Studio Sessions at the Haw River State Park facility will be held in a room with a wall of windows looking out over the beautiful, tree-filled park.  And while I'm sure everyone will be riveted to the instruction taking place and the work on their tables, I'm also sure there'll be much gazing out the window onto the glorious show of Nature!  Won't you join us and be inspired by all that we have to offer?  It's not too late.  Register today.

Until next time,

MDP 

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Friday Feature: Spotlight on Penny L. Arrowood

Wrapping up our month of Friday Features, I am here to share some sneak peeks at my Studio Session as well as some additional information on a couple of the more unique features we have built in to the Your Creative Connection experience.  As Michelle so beautifully stated yesterday, the guiding principle behind all that we do at Your Creative Connection is to offer like-minded women a safe and nurturing space to “learn, discover, experiment, and create beautiful things.  What could be better than that?”  What could be better than that, indeed?  One of the many ways that we are providing such an experience is by offering creative opportunities that are just as accessible and illuminating to new-comers to mixed media art as to long-time denizens of the mixed media community.

My Studio Session will open with some colorful, creative exploration.  We will take a look at surface design by way of Seven Surefire Ways to Banish the Blank Page.  Often the most daunting part of new project is the getting started!  Facing a blank surface (be it journal, canvas, paper, or fabric) can intimidate even the most seasoned artist.  Regardless your primary approach to mixed media art, the morning session will provide multiple ways to loosen up and establish a direction for future creative endeavors.  Additionally, these techniques will work in tandem with the knowledge that our Creative Explorers have gleaned in their two previous Studio Sessions; the resulting papers will provide more material for inventive compositions as we move into the remainder of the day.

After a brief review of the work that has been produced in the past three days.  We will select work from each of the earlier Studio Sessions to include in the exhibit on Monday morning.  With the papers that remain, we will construct what I like to call The Vessel of Containment – Bespoke Bookbinding  to house your very own Your Creative Connection experience.  We will create a perfectly personalized record of all that you have learned throughout the event.  There will be room for personal reflection, notes, thoughts from your new creative cohorts, and more – however you choose to populate its pages it will be exquisitely your own:  chronicling your creative exploration and discovery during our time together.  I designed this project specifically for Your Creative Connection, and this is the only venue at which I will teach it this year.  I’m SO excited to share it.  Michelle, Jeanne, and I have already created one, and we've added to its pages as we developed the content for this exceptional event!  Each of our vessels will be on hand at our Opening Night Creative Social to entice and inspire as we begin our artful adventures.

We have thoroughly enjoyed sharing more about what we have in store for the Creative Explorers who join us in October (11-15, 2018) for the experience that is  Your Creative Connection.  If possible, we are now even more excited for all that the event holds -- for ourselves as well as each of the women who will join us.  We have worked hard to create an event unlike any other – from the structure of our Studio Sessions, to the inclusion of a show to highlight the work of our guests and Artist Instructors – we are each looking forward to sharing 3 Artists, 3 Days, 1 Surface, and a Show  (and all that comes with it) with YOU!  Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.  Register today by making your deposit, and we look forward to welcoming you into the circle.

Friday Feature: Spotlight on Michelle Davis Petelinz

My Studio Session will focus on a variety of ways to create surface texture and pattern with paint and ink.  In my own mixed media work, many of my texture and pattern discoveries come about from my asking questions:  "What if I combined...?", or "How can I create...?"  Intricate, multi-layered, and multi-hued patterns resonate with me, and I often include them in my paper, paint, and clay work.  I am excited to share what I've discovered with our Creative Explorers, and I can't wait to see what they will create during our time together.  Penny, Jeanne and I have been working on our content for Studio Sessions, and below is a peek at what I've created so far in preparation for mine, including embellished monoprints, tape transfers, hot glue and foam stamped prints, 3-D elements, and painted papers.  

Here's what I've got planned: 
Creating texture and pattern with custom tools:  I've found that to make my work truly my own, I had to create my own, custom-designed stamps and texture tools.  I will show you how to design foam stamps, hot glue stamps, texture plates, paper combs and masks, 3-D elements, and whatever else we can dream up to put your own, unique stamp on your work (pun intended); we'll let our imaginations soar!  

Getting the most from your Gelli prints:  using your new custom tools and a variety of techniques, we'll create fantastic monoprints on our luscious Stonehenge paper.  We'll be layering, transferring, embellishing, and adding natural elements to our prints for use as stand alone works, or as components of larger pieces.  If you've never used a Gelli plate, you're in for a treat (it's truly engrossing), and if you've worked with one before, this Studio Session will offer you new ways to use an old favorite.

Exploring composition:  once we've designed, created, and experimented with our new tools, it'll be time to put them to use in your compositions.  Tips and tricks for effective compositions abound, whether you're looking to enhance your paintings, to create 2-D or 3-D mixed media work, or to complete the pieces you'll display in the Your Creative Connection show.   Oh yes, there's going to be a show...and next Friday, Penny will complete our June "Friday Features" series with a look at her Studio Session content and more details about the show.  Stay tuned.   

If you haven't done so yet, Register now, to be sure you'll be able to join in the fun.  

MDP

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Friday Feature: Spotlight on Jeanne Faith d'Orleans

As announced last week, each remaining Friday in the month of June will feature one of our Artist Instructors and the Studio Session that they are offering at our October Experience.  Our Friday Feature Series is the perfect showcase for the concept that informed the structure of this distinctive event:  3 Artists, 3 Days, 1 surface, and a Show!  While each of our Artist Instructors brings a different approach to her mixed media endeavors, they will each be presenting their methodology on the incomparable Stonehenge paper. Jeanne beautifully blends light washes of color with fiber elements to tell her own, unique story – rich with many layers of luscious color and texture.

Whether entertaining guests in her home, nestled among the greenery of a yard surrounded by trees and plants, or addressing small and large groups in professional training events:  our Guest Artist Instructor, Jeanne, is an excellent communicator!  She has a natural ability to put folks at ease and comfortable people are most often quite happy people.  She has a passion for creativity that has spanned a variety of interests in her youth and throughout her adulthood.  We are thrilled to have her on our team for the Haw River Mixed Media Experience in October, 2018.

In her Studio Session, Jeanne will lead Creative Explorers in exercises designed to incorporate assorted fiber content (fabrics, roving, and threads) and notions in their creative, mixed media expressions.  Bringing her love of nature to the table, Jeanne will inspire the inclusion of organic elements to evoke a sense of place as well as bringing dimension and texture to the work.  In answer to the declaration “Oh, I don’t sew…”  she responds “You don’t have to!”  She will share stitch-free (and stress-free) methods for incorporating more fiber in your work – and is a firm believer that we can all do many things we think we can’t if we come at them from a different angle.  She looks forward to spending the day in the studio, coming up with new ways to combine paint, thread & fiber, fabric, and paper in imaginative and innovative ways.  Have questions for Jeanne or about this creative adventure?  Contact us any time – we look forward to hearing from you!

Next week, we’ll see what Michelle has in store for our Creative Explorers.

Introducing Friday Features!

Hey!  Hi & Hello…  As noted last week there has been much going on behind the scenes of late, in the Your Creative Connection environs.  All of that loveliness has reached it peak, and we look forward to doling out heaping helpings of creative inspiration and temptations throughout the rest of June.  Each of the remaining Fridays this month, we will feature a different Artist Instructor for our Mixed Media Art Experience at Haw River State Park in October.  You’ll be treated to all new photos of our Studio Session samples for the retreat as well as a closer look at the Artists themselves.  While new information is regularly being added to the website, our Friday Features will be highlighted in their own Blog posts with plenty of links to put you in touch with any and all extra information. 

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Newsletter subscribers can also look forward to an exclusive special offer during the 2nd half of June.  What’s that?  You don’t get our very incredible and not at all intrusive Newsletter e-mails?  You can remedy that, post haste, if you sign up today!  Subscribers get first dibs on all things Your Creative Connection up to 10 days ahead of public announcements.  Your e-mail address is always safe with us and will never  be used without your permission.

Have a great weekend.  We’ll see you back here, soon!

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Thankful Thursday - The First of Many

OR:  The Perfect and Pleasant Premier Pop Up Event

The weather may have been less than ideal but the fine fare, dashing décor, and captivating creativity made for a most splendid day indoors!  We welcomed our intrepid Creative Explorers to the tables to explore Notes to Our Future Selves – a trio of mini Studio Sessions featuring:  Kintsugi Hearts, Mindful Mandalas, and Found Poetry in a blending of creative expression, words, and colors capturing ideas and moments both real and imagined…  Each of our Artist Instructors illuminated this theme in a way that highlighted their primary medium. 

Our Special Guest Artist for 2018, Jeanne Faith d’Orleans, incorporated her love of fabric in a textile version of Kintsugi.  Guests released themselves and/or others with the symbolic mending of fissures in the heart with golden thread while using the written word to release past hurts or present misunderstandings.  The results were phenomenal, and the sharing of the messages (or their intent) brought an echoing chorus of “OHs.”

Your Creative Connection Co-Founder Michelle Davis Petelinz brought her love of pattern and color to the fore with her presentation of Mindful Mandalas.  In addition to expanding the use of the humble water-based marker in an amazing way, our guests explored the symmetry of the form as well as building a base for the presentation of words that matter in the now.  This print-making exercise brightened a dreary day with the creation of multiple “stained glass windows” in our work space, punctuated by the murmur of satisfaction in creative discovery. 

To close out the afternoon of creative fun, Co-Founder Penny L. Arrowood guided all present in the construction of a bit of Found Poetry – restructuring and/or redacting existing written words to tell another tale, whisper a different wish, or construct an alternate reality.  The sharing that followed was in turns humorous and touching – leaving us all a tad gob-smacked by the vivid images one can create with nothing        more than words.

Throughout the afternoon, guests enjoyed an assortment of fresh fruits, dipping sauces, pound cake, lightly salted nuts, iced tea, and water.  The perfect fare to fuel our creative engines as we wiled away a rainy afternoon ensconced in the reverie of community, artistic expression, and the sharing of the stories that unite us all.

All of our projects throughout the afternoon were completed on Strathmore Artist Papers Mixed Media Papers (Toned Tan and Gray, Toned Blue, and Heavyweight).  Each of our guests received a trio of sample pads featuring these luscious papers – two of which (Toned Blue and Heavyweight) are not yet available in stores (!) 

Pop Up participants also received the first public viewing of samples for the Studio Sessions on offer at the ‘big event’ in October (11-15, 2018 at the Haw River State Park).  In another unique twist on the art retreat/experience, in addition to three full days of creative instruction Creative Explorers at Your Creative Connection Haw River will incorporate works from each Studio Session into a physical vessel of their experience at this event.  Providing for an incredibly tactile reminder of a magical time, as well as a visual recounting of what was learned and enjoyed on this leg of their Artistic Journey. 

Our special thanks to photographers Alan Christianson and Holly Sullenger for so beautifully capturing the event in images for us to treasure!  Our thanks also to our Creative Explorers for the day!  We enjoyed spending time with each of you, and loved seeing how gloriously different the outcome from each exercise based on the individuality of the maker.  We are already looking forward to next time!

With gratitude and appreciation,
 ~ PLA & MDP

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