Saturday, March 30, 2013

Art & Soul Radio.. Tune in for The Muse is In with Jill Badonsky, Monday, April 1

Jill Badonsky is an illustrator, humorist, nationally recognized seminar leader and creativity consultant. As the founder of Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching, Jill consults with filmmakers, comedians, artists, writers, business leaders and anyone who is experiencing procrastination and other blocks to positive change. She is the author of The Nine Modern Day Muses (and a Bodyguard) and The Awe-Manac and now her newest book, The Muse is In: An Owners Manual to Your Creativity.

If you ever felt stuck in nurturing your creativity, you'll love Jill's realistic suggestions and whimsical style to help guide you on jump starting your creative spirit again! So please join us for this inspirational chat...

Art & Soul Radio featuring Jill Badonsky
with Lesley Riley
Monday, April 1
7:00pm EST

And don't forget, Art & Soul Radio's interviews are also available on demand, to listen to at your leisure. Check out what other mixed-media artists are doing and how they're living their lives with passion any time!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What To Do With UFOs? An Alchemical Tutorial

Let's face it... we've all got UFOs laying around the house... right? And if you're not sure what a UFO is here in the mixed media art world, it's what we lovingly refer to as our Un-Finished Objects! In today's blog post, we're featuring a cool tutorial from Serena Barton that's "distressing" in the most wonderful way! She shares with us how to transform a collage piece that didn't work out into something wonderful using re-inkers. You won't believe how quickly and easily you can turn something into a well-aged masterpiece. Check it out!

If you love Serena's lovely layers and creative techniques, she'll be teaching several workshopsat our Virginia Beach Art & Soul as well as our Portland event. Take a look and see what she has in store for you!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

You're All A Bunch Of Animals!

Creative animals, that is! Because this year's theme is On Safari. And we know how you love making trades and creating event-themed art and accessories with our new 2013 motif. I know you'll come up with some fabulous items to show and share this year and I just cannot wait to see all of them.

As Marie and I prepare all the exciting elements that go into the Kansas City event, I can't help but feel the palpable excitement of a new retreat! Now that we're on the heels of Kansas City Art & Soul... what better time to give you some animals to play with!

So here's some wildlife for you to use in your Art & Soul trades, swaps, ATCs, journals, collages, notebook covers and anything else you can dream up! Right click on the images to download or simply drag them to your desktop... and then go On Safari!

Okay... it's definitely time to start monkeying around with this primate made of burlap!

A polkadotted, pointy-horned beast? Rhinot!

They say elephants never forget. This one's made from a dictionary page, just in case!

Giraffe's never get lost. Well, okay... maybe they do, but this map-tacular one never will!

Take a rest under this musical Acacia Tree... and feel the rhythm of the jungle!

So there you go... you creative animals! Play and paste and alter until your heart's content. And then stop by the registration desk and show me what you've made at our next event. I love to see my Art & Soul family's creations!

See you soon!
Raawwrrr! (I mean xoxo)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Art & Soul Radio... Tune in for Art Doodle Love with Dawn DeVries Sokol, Monday, March 18

Dawn DeVries Sokol is an author, book designer, lettering illustrator, and an avid doodler and art journaler. After seven years of art directing magazines, she decided to design books from her home studio. Dawn designs coffee table books, gift books, cookbooks, and kids books, and my design work has been included in Print’s Regional Design Annual 2002 and also has been recognized by many industry publications and organizations. 
In 2008, Quarry published her first book, 1000 Artist Journal Pages: Personal Pages and Inspiration, which she also designed. Her second and third books are Doodle Diary: Art Journaling for Girls and Doodle Sketchbook: Art Journaling for Boys.
Dawn teaches art journaling and doodling workshops at retreats and online. Her DVD workshop “Art Journaling: Pages in Stages”, is available from Cloth Paper Scissors and Interweave Press. Her articles about art journaling and doodling have appeared both in print and online magazines and websites.
Art Doodle Love is Dawn's latest book that we'll be talking about on our show. So please join us for this inspirational chat...

Art & Soul Radio featuring Dawn DeVries Sokol
with Lesley Riley
Monday, March 18
7:00pm EST

And don't forget, Art & Soul Radio's interviews are also available on demand, to listen to at your leisure. Check out what other mixed-media artists are doing and how they're living their lives with passion any time!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Easy & Simple Photo(shop) Linocuts!

Wouldn't it be cool to take a photo that you love and create a linocut from it? "What the heck is a linocut?" you may be asking. Well, it's a printmaking technique — similar to woodcut — in which a sheet of linoleum is carved with a pattern and then used for printing. But to do that you need special tools and laser copies and acetone and lots of patience and printing ink and more! What if you could do it on your computer in a few minutes? Awesome!

Catherine Anderson — Art & Soul instructor extraordinaire and Photoshop Elements expert — explains how in this super easy tutorial. You'll definitely want to print this one out and save it in your art file!

1.  Open your digital photo in Photoshop and make a duplicate layer.

2.  Go to Enhance > Unsharp Mask.  Set the Amount to 500% and the Threshold to 0.  Try a Radius setting of 8 to start, but also adjust it to see if you like any of the other settings better.

3.  Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the Radius at about one quarter of the value of the Radius setting in Step 2. above.

4.  Repeat the Enhance > Unsharp Mask step in 2. above.

5.  Finally, go to Filter > Adjustments > Threshold and adjust the Threshold level until you create an image that you like.

You now have your black and white linocut! I printed my linocut barn owl out on white paper with my laser printer, then used the packing tape transfer method on page 95 of The Creative Photographer to make a transparent image which I pasted on a green background after cutting around the owl. This is a great way to use your photographs in art projects.

In Catherine's book, The Creative Photographer, the chapter on Photography as Meditation in Exploration 8 (page 140) shows you how to make linocuts using leaves from your garden. However, this method can be applied to any of your photographs as well.  This is how she created this black and white linocut of a photo of this Barn Owl using Photoshop Elements.

Catherine's Kansas City classes are all filled up (yes, she's very popular!) but she still has some room in her workshops in Art & Soul Virginia Beach so check them out! Her classes focus on incorporating photography into mixed media projects as she believes that the visual memories you create should be shared in meaningful ways.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Making Magic Out of Junk

Today we are pleased to be featuring a blog post from one of our extremely talented and popular instructors... Clarissa Callesen! As a self-professed "creator of strange and wonderful things" her journey oftentimes starts out with a less-than-appealing goodwill score. See how she transforms this tacky doll into a sublime masterpiece!

beautifully tacky doll before transformation

I joke that I had to become a Mixed Media Assemblage Artist so I could continue to justify collecting junk.  But the reality is that I am inspired by junk, both the sublime and the tacky.  The school book from 1950 that has the inscription of 5 different students all written in shaky childhood beauty has its appeal... but the once loved doll at the goodwill with her fake yellow hair and her atrocious outfit complete with hand painted snowman also has her charms.

There is catharsis and liberation in deconstruction. Aka it is a lot of fun to tear the hair off of a tacky doll.  Then the magic begins. The transformative powers of paint with a side of fire…

Here's a little video showing the paint and fire technique.

After tearing the doll apart and setting her on fire, then comes the fun of adding paint washes and  diluted walnut ink over the body and face.

Tacky doll being reborn, midway through the proces

My style of working is not heavy on the precise and the tidy. I really love the look of distressed and grungy.  I love the happy accidents they tend to give a piece of artwork more life.

After the paint washes then comes painting the face.  I can get lost in painting a face for hours. Most of my dolls tend towards “realistic” faces, but on this doll I took some inspiration from both Picasso and circus clowns.

close up of face painting

After putting on her face, then on to the clothing.  I do a lot of hand dying of lace and vintage fabric and then combine it with found object to create a complete look.
And here is the completed doll “Saint Serene”. She sure has come a long way from her humble beginnings!


I will be teaching several classes at Art and Soul in Virginia Beach and Art and Soul in Portland including many that incorporate these techniques. So come join me and turn tacky into truly transformed!

Thanks for stopping by… Clarissa 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Art & Soul Radio: Tune in for: Creative Thursday with Marisa Anne, Monday, March 4

Not only is Marisa Anne creative, she has inspired thousands through her website, Creative Thursday. Little did she know that her personal attempt to be creative at least one day a week (Thursday) would lead to a full time creative arts business.

What started out as one day a week, Thursdays, set aside to be a bit more creative while working a 9 to 5 job.... Creative Thursday, has become a full time business featuring the art of Marisa Anne Cummings, or as Marisa likes to call it, a dream come true.

Marisa is an artist and textile designer with a mission to help create a world where everyone is creative and finds fulfillment in doing the work and living the life they love. Her someday dream of writing a book, as scary as it seemed, has now become a reality with Creative Thursday: Everyday Inspiration to Grow Your Creative Practice In her own gentle way, Marisa shares everyday inspiration to help you find and grow your creative practice.
So please join us for this inspirational chat...

Art & Soul Radio featuring Marisa Anne
with Lesley Riley
Monday, March 4
7:00pm EST

And don't forget, Art & Soul Radio's interviews are also available on demand, to listen to at your leisure. Check out what other mixed-media artists are doing and how they're living their lives with passion any time!