Thankful Thursday - Expanding Vision

Just like George Peppard portraying the cigar-chomping John ‘Hannibal’ Smith in the 80s *camp* TV classic The A Team:  “I love it when a plan comes together!”  This perfectly sums up the latest work from my creative efforts! 

It began last year, when I decided to commemorate my journey to the big, 5-0 with a series of mini-canvases.  Dubbed “#50for50,” I chronicled the progression of these diminutive beauties in daily Facebook posts and weekly wrap-up posts on my Blog.  In Week 3, I was showing three canvases each day – the photos became a little puzzle for me – my challenge to find a visual line that continued across multiple surfaces created at separate times.  It was a fun little break in the routine of photographing, editing, captioning, and posting the tiny offerings each day.

A snippet from the Blog, Monday, May 22, 2017 - Week 3 Wrap-Up

This past Christmas, I had the occasion to do more of my “line finding” in the creation of a few special gifts for a few special people.  Once again, I was taken by the simple joy of finding/creating a link where one did not intentionally exist.

A trio in primary tones -- yet another favorite.

My latest work features more of this method, employed to greater effect by using more sizes of mini canvases and working with intentional color ways.  I have also adapted the background to the theme, and I think it makes a world of difference (!)

The first three pieces in the new series:  Melodies of the Sea

What JOY!  …to roam freely in the realm of creativity – finding new ways to do a favorite thing – creating novel ways to employ/expand ones vision – making a technique already beloved even more ones own…  These are the tendrils that enrobe me, when I am well and truly “in the zone”.  What takes you into the perfect creative state?  What is your favorite thing about spending time there?  Wouldn’t it be great to spend 3 or 4 whole days in such a place?  It’s easier than you might think to do just that!  If you are not subscribed to our Newsletter, today would be a mighty fine day to change that!  If you ARE a subscriber, Thanks *ever-so-much!*  …keep an eye on your Inbox:  Big News is on the way!  

Later days…
 - PLA

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Thankful Thursday - Creative Connections OR: The Joys of Showing Up

This week I had occasion to discover once again how connected we all are, and how powerful it can be to have a moment of "full immersion" in community with others.  It started with an “if-you-are-interested” email last week from a long-time art buddy, regarding the SMASH 2018 event presented by Triangle ArtWorks.  That email prompted another, which resulted in my registration for said event.  …then it was Monday evening, and I had one of those “do-I-really-want-and/or-need-to-go-do-this-thing?” conversations with myself – you know:  those monologues in which you question your own motives/suitability/value in any given situation wherein there is the actual (or even possible) likelihood of awkwardness/discomfort…

Second guessing aside, I approached my Tuesday with optimism and excitement, *it really, usually is simply a matter of choice/perspective (!)* and am so very glad of it!  I enjoyed a quick visit with a couple o’ art pals in the afternoon to see the space and discuss the set-up for my first Private Event of the year.  I also had time to enjoy a quick jaunt to The Scrap Exchange (all the more fortuitous as they had some FABULOUS paper that I can immediately put to use). 

Then, it was time to go and do the thing!  In addition to attending with 2 long-time friends, I encountered a handful of folks I already knew and don’t see nearly often enough.  Funny, isn’t it, how a few moments with the familiar can put one so much more at ease in a crowd of strangers?  As an added bonus (and, pretty much the stated purpose of the event) I met a few more folks that it will be quite lovely to get to know better.  In the intervening two days, I have reached out to ensure that that will happen; happily, there has been a near immediate exchange of information to the betterment of us all.  Plus:  I had an incredible Strawberry Crepe and saw a section of the Berlin Wall (!) 

As I headed home, I had to wonder where the resistance that I had experienced the night before came from?  If I have learned anything in the past 10 years, it is that there exists a certain ‘constancy’ in coming together with like-minded folks.  My evening at SMASH proved no exception to that rule (!)  I had a lovely time, met some interesting (and interested) individuals, had the opportunity to talk about art (my own and that of others), and added a brand-new experience to my history.  What’s NOT to love?

Artifacts of an evening well-spent...

Artifacts of an evening well-spent...

What will you do today/tomorrow/next week/this year to expand your own creative connections?  How will you show up to further the advancement of your dreams/goals/desires?  Join in the conversation by leaving us a comment!  Keep up with all the latest news and developments in the land of Your Creative Connection by subscribing to our Newsletter -- we have BIG news coming, very soon! 

Until we meet again,
 - PLA

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Thankful Thursday - Pinterest Profusion

Taking a cue from Penny's Thankful Thursday post from last week, Wonderful, Wacky, World Wide Web, I bring you my own experience with the wonderment that is Pinterest.  Back in the day (my son always says that day was a Wednesday) before Pinterest existed, we had to make our own, tangible design/idea/color swatch boards (while talking on our corded landline phones, and getting up to change the channel on the TV).  It was fun, but time-consuming, and unless you were okay with cutting up precious design magazines, or spending vast sums of money on printer ink, there was a limit to how many gorgeous, color images you would include for a given idea.  Here's a board I did with colors, products, and ideas we had when we first purchased our home 11 years ago:  

Yes, we did end up using some of these paint colors, and I STILL love that black vessel sink.  Of course, it turned out to be WAY more than we wanted to spend on a powder room fixture, so we decided upon the much more reasonably priced one in the upper right photo.  And no, we did NOT choose that purple sofa or red chair!  

Yes, we did end up using some of these paint colors, and I STILL love that black vessel sink.  Of course, it turned out to be WAY more than we wanted to spend on a powder room fixture, so we decided upon the much more reasonably priced one in the upper right photo.  And no, we did NOT choose that purple sofa or red chair!  

But now, all of that has changed with the advent of Pinterest, which allows you to virtually "pin" anything to an unlimited number of "boards".  It has been an invaluable creative resource for me as I plan my kids' art classes, design my mixed media work, research African textiles, figure out what to plant in our first garden, do some daydreaming about travel to faraway locales, and many, many other endeavors, some of which I didn't even know I had until I started pinning.  Here's just a sampling of some of my personal profusion of Pinterest boards:  

Can you see I've pinned a whopping 1,402 items to my "Art Class Project Ideas" board?!  That's a whole lot of paper plate and recycled products projects, but in my defense, I've been teaching for 7 years, and have had over 200 students come through my classes.  

Can you see I've pinned a whopping 1,402 items to my "Art Class Project Ideas" board?!  That's a whole lot of paper plate and recycled products projects, but in my defense, I've been teaching for 7 years, and have had over 200 students come through my classes.  

Did you know that Your Creative Connection also has Pinterest boards?  Penny and I have been pinning some of our favorite "Visual Merriments," "Mixed Media Art Must Haves," and "Wise Words Written," among other things.  As we find images we love, we pin them, in hopes you will take a moment or two, or thirty(!) to visit, leave a comment, or just meander through and find something you love, too.  Start your journey with us, here.   

Until next time, 

~MDP

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The Wait is Over

Registration for our 2018 Haw River Mixed Media Retreat is now OPEN!

Here's the scoop:

Retreat Dates:  Thursday, October 11 through Monday, October 15, 2018
Location:  Haw River State Park, Brown Summit, NC

Deposit:  $150.00
Double Occupancy Retreat Fee:  $1350.00
Single Occupancy Retreat Fee:  $1400.00

Your All-Inclusive Retreat Fee includes:  your lodging, 3 meals a day -- plus delicious snacks,
3 full days of instruction, all necessary art supplies for your 3 Studio Sessions, exhibition materials, nightly Open Studio, and loads of special surprises.


All it takes to reserve your space is your deposit and completion of the Registration Form.

Plus, when you become a Creative Explorer by paying your deposit on or before
December 1, 2017, you'll enter our Kaleidoscope Circle
and receive a special welcome gift.

3 Artists, 3 Days, 1 Surface, and a Show!

3 Artists, 3 Days:
Our Special Guest Artist will be revealed in early 2018!  Stay tuned for the big reveal! 
Michelle Davis Petelinz will guide you in customizing your mark-making with your own personalized stamps, and various surface designs with gelatin mono printing.
Penny Arrowood will show you quick and easy ways to banish the empty page; we will then use elements from each of your Studio Sessions to create a finished, hand made book -- perfect for capturing memories of Your Creative Connection.

1 Surface:
And a lovely, sumptuous surface it is!  100% cotton paper, mould made in the USA, perfect for painting, print making, ink, collage, or writing applications.  

A Show:
This is one of the features which sets Your Creative Connection apart:  on Monday, we'll gather to view the work from everyone's Studio Sessions at our Au Revoir Extravaganza!  

Are you ready to become a Creative Explorer?  Great! 
Visit the Registration Form on our website to begin your journey.
After you've registered, you'll be directed to PayPal for payment of your deposit.

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Thankful Thursday - Art of the Carolinas

     As mentioned in last weeks Thankful Thursday post, Michelle and I have the Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild (CMMAG) to thank for our ever having met.  In much the same way, we also have the CMMAG to thank for our 10-year association with this incredible event!  Every year artists, instructors, and vendors gather in Raleigh, NC on the 2nd weekend in November for Art of the Carolinas (AoC):  the largest Art Supply Tradeshow in the country – alongside 4 days of workshops in every medium you can think of (acrylics, colored pencils, encaustics, mixed media, oils, pastels, and watercolors)!  It’s like a Creative Circus – with wonderments to behold in every ring:  materials, workshops and demonstrations galore!

A moment of levity, as we look back on a decade of artful adventures at Art of the Carolinas (photo:  Laurel Rupe -- altered in the Prisma app)

A moment of levity, as we look back on a decade of artful adventures at Art of the Carolinas (photo:  Laurel Rupe -- altered in the Prisma app)

     In 2017, along with celebrating 10 years as the Workshop Faeries of Art of the Carolinas, we also celebrated a decade of Sponsorship by Strathmore Artist Papers.  Since the very 1st iteration of what was “The Make & Take Room,” and is now “The Try it Zone,” we have worked with Strathmore to promote and highlight their latest offerings at the show.  From Artist Trading Cards to Mixed Media Journals to Toned Sketching Paper to Artists Tiles to Toned Mixed Media Paper, they have provided the basis for the Member Artists of CMMAG to develop demonstrations geared to featuring the products of various Vendor Sponsors at the event.  This year, we also celebrated 9 years of partnership with GOLDEN Artist Colors and Ampersand; we welcomed new (to us) Sponsors:  Pebeo, Amsterdam/Royal Talens, Gel-Press, and Speedball/Akua.  We also had the pleasure of working again with the myriad offerings of Marabu.
     So, you may be wondering, what has all of this to do with Your Creative Connection?  Well, over the course of the past 10 years, we have discovered how well we work together and with others in organizing and executing a 4-day creative event.  We have also had reasons to revel in the expansion of our own creative community as a result of our affiliation with AoC.  All of this serves us well as we embark on our mission to establish Your Creative Connection as an event not-to-be-missed!  As we finalize all of the details, and add more creative wonders to the line-up, we are growing more and more excited for all that awaits our Creative Explorers in 2018! 

Tools of the Trade -- our constant companions for our time at AoC -- packed up and ready for our next encounter!

Tools of the Trade -- our constant companions for our time at AoC -- packed up and ready for our next encounter!

     Remember:  if you have not yet done so, please take a moment to subscribe to our Newsletter!  That will give you the inside track on all things Your Creative Connection.  There’s BIG news coming, and we don’t want you to miss any of it! 

     Until next time,
        - PLA & MDP

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Thankful Thursday - Art in North Carolina

We are thankful and fortunate to live in a vibrant, growing community which values its art and artists.  Your Creative Connection joins a variety of artful venues offering a diverse array of creative opportunities and exhibitions.  Here are just a few of our favorite NC artful destinations:

Visual Art Exchange (VAE):  Established by artists in 1980, VAE is "a hub for a diverse network of artists, a venue for artists to advance their careers, and a voice to influence positive change for the creative community".  VAE, the creative incubator, is Raleigh's longest running private, non-profit visual arts organization.  Frequent, cutting edge exhibitions, SPARKcon (a yearly, citywide art extravaganza), and the Ignite Creativity Summit are just a sampling of what VAE offers.  

Street art at SPARKcon 2017. (photo: ssimmerman)

Street art at SPARKcon 2017. (photo: ssimmerman)

North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA): The North Carolina Museum of Art serves the people of North Carolina and all visitors as a premier destination for compelling encounters with art, and its vision is to "enrich lives through the power and wonder of art." No visit to the Triangle area art venues is complete without a tour of NCMA.  From its newly expanded African Gallery in the East Building to the light-filled expanses of the West Building, the Museum offers something for every artistic taste.  Add in special exhibitions, sculptures in the Museum Park, and films in the outdoor amphitheater, and you get a full spectrum creative work across centuries and disciplines.  

Jaume Plensa,  Awilda & Irma , 2014, stainless steel, H. 157.5 x W. 157.5 x D. 118 in. each, © J2017 Jaume Plensa, Courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York. 

Jaume Plensa, Awilda & Irma, 2014, stainless steel, H. 157.5 x W. 157.5 x D. 118 in. each, © J2017 Jaume Plensa, Courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York. 

Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University:  "promotes engagement with the visual arts for the Duke and Durham communities. The museum is dedicated to presenting innovative and accessible collections, exhibitions, publications and programs that stimulate intellectual discourse, enrich individual lives and generate new knowledge. Drawing on the resources of a leading research university, the museum serves as a laboratory for interdisciplinary approaches."  We love its thought-provoking special exhibitions, as well as its commissioned works, such as "Shadow and Light," shown below.   

Shadow and Light, by Odili Donald Odita, Nasher Museum, Durham, NC.

Shadow and Light, by Odili Donald Odita, Nasher Museum, Durham, NC.

And, while not a 'destination' per se, we are immensely thankful for the Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild (CMMAG):  If not for the Guild, we wouldn't have met!  Founded in 2002 by mixed media artist Jeanne Rhea, the CMMAG mission is to:  advance the education of mixed media arts via meetings, workshops and exhibitions; encourage personal and professional development of member artists; explore techniques in a wide variety of media; develop opportunities for member artists to show their work to the public; and promote mixed media work to galleries, museums and the public.  We have both served as Guild President, and credit working on Guild programs and special projects as the catalyst for the idea of Your Creative Connection. 

CanvaSynergy II by twenty five members of CMMAG, 2016

CanvaSynergy II by twenty five members of CMMAG, 2016

If you're a mixed media artist interested in joining us for our Haw River, NC Retreat in October of 2018, sign up for our Newsletter, so you'll be the first to know the details, including getting first crack at registration when it opens later this month.  We'd love to have you join us for what promises to be a wonder-filled artful experience!  

Wishing you a creative day,

~Michelle

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Introducing Thankful Thursday

     While it is fairly common for folks to spend the month of November listing the things, people, and/or experiences for which they are most thankful, we thought it a practice worth keeping year-round.  Whether we do so in tandem (like today) or as individuals, we will offer up a thing or three for which we are most thankful here on the Blog on Thursdays.  We invite you to share elements of your own attitude of gratitude in the Comments, below.
     According to Harvard Health Publishing, there is scientific evidence that gratitude leads to happiness:  “In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness.  Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”  All of which is very much in keeping with our philosophy, here at Your Creative Connection! 
     All of that to say this:  We are ever-so-thankful to be sharing our latest artistic adventure with you!  ...and there is SO much to share!  In the coming weeks, we'll be seeing you here on the blog with updates, announcements, and special 'behind the scenes' snippets in hopes that YOU will be thankful of our efforts.
     We are extremely grateful for all of the possibilities that our partnership in Your Creative Connection brings to the fore!  We are also super excited for the creative connections that this will afford each and every one of our Creative Explorers.  All of which makes us absolutely giddy with the knowledge that Your Creative Connection is no longer a dream; it is a full-fledged reality.  The only thing missing is you!
      We'll see you here again, soon!
       ~ PLA & MDP

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