Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Virginia Teacher Spotlight: Libby Williamson

Growing up with creative, artsy parents, Libby Williamson’s childhood was a world of fabric scraps and yarn, pins and needles, paint, Elmer’s Glue, and a whole lot of Scotch Tape. At any given time, there was always needlework projects in the works, time spent fashioning doll clothes from remnants, embroidering on anything that could hold a stitch, and learning the art of patchwork quilting. As an art major in college, Libby focused on printmaking but still found time for knitting and fiber arts. Her printmaking background led to a passion in surface design on fabric, which is reflected in her current work. She is a proud hoarder of all things “fiber” and thrives in a world of stitch and sew.

What that means for us is that Libby is one diversely creative soul, with a unique mix of classes to offer our Virginia attendees this year. Having such an inventive childhood, combined with formal training in the arts, she is constantly thinking outside the box, which you can see by what she's planning to teach at our Virginia Beach Art & Soul Retreat this fall. Check it out!

In this full day class of Libby's you'll explore a variety of painting techniques as you create a stash of luscious papers that are enhanced with delightful textures and patterns. You'll work on unique substrates such as... deli food wrap, vintage ledger pages, old maps, phone book sheets, and a wide selection of paper ephemera, altering them with gelatin plate printing, stamping and stenciling. Then you'll use your custom papers to create collages onto fabric. You'll get to enhance those magical images and bring them to life with the addition of free-motion machine sewing. Your finished piece can be made into a journal cover or hung as wall art.

Tea Bag Revival
Oh, the sadly neglected, used tea bag... fret not! It will be resurrected for all it's glory in this full day workshop! When dried and emptied, tea bags become the foundation for a precious piece of art that you get to create. Each tea bag will be enhanced with a collage of hand-dyed fabrics and specialty papers. And with the added detail of free-motion machine and hand stitching, it will unify your collection of tiny tea bags. You'll leave class with a wondrous miniature art quilt!

Paint Brush Palooza
In this Tuesday evening class, you will deconstruct a paint brush and then perform a make-over with a riot of color and texture. Yarns, ribbons, shredded fabrics, wire & beads, ephemera, and found objects will replace boring bristles, transforming the brush into a whimsical showpiece. Hidden treasures can be added to complement your personal style.

Vintage Bedspring Christmas Tree
If you're looking for a fun evening mixed-media workshop, this is the one! Using a rusty, vintage mattress coil as the foundation, you'll transform an unlikely substrate into a magical, whimsical Christmas treasure. Easy, wonky, bead wrapping will convert sparkly beads and baubles into ornaments, and an old fashioned star tops the tree with a feathered friend along for the ride.

So, as you can see, Libby has a quite an array of unique workshops to offer at this year's Virginia Beach event. For more information about her classes and our Virginia Beach retreat, visit our website...

October 1-6, 2018
Virginia Beach Resort Hotel  

Libby Williamson's current focus is in the making of art quilts using layers of hand-painted and dyed fabrics, appliquéd layers of free-motion stitched components and embedded found objects. She teaches art quilting and sewing to students of all ages in her studio in Orange, CA and at destination retreats. In her world, not much can trump paint caked beneath her fingernails, needles and thread, and a bowl of vanilla ice cream. You can find out more about Libby Williamson by visiting her blog.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Here We Go Again... Colorado Springs 2019!

Erin Keck's workshop, Adornments with Found Objects

Well, our inaugural Art & Soul Retreat in Colorado Springs was a smashing success! Not only was it a dream of mine finally fully realized, but for the attendees it was a much needed respite in the gorgeous Rocky Mountains. Our teachers flourished in this creative town. And our temporary home for the week —The Hotel Eleganté — was just as happy to have us, as we were to be there. It definitely showed in the way we and our students were taken care of. So, we're going to do it again!

Watercolor Travel Journaling with Helen Shafer Garcia

That's right... Art & Soul will be going back to Colorado Springs in 2019! And not only that, but we've gathered up dozens of talented instructors, with fantastic mixed media classes to offer, and we've already put them online for you!

A beautiful Spool Journal from Ingrid Dijkers

We have 86 full day and evening classes to choose from in painting, drawing, doodling, journaling, bookmaking, collage, assemblage, sculpting, jewelry, fabric, fiber arts, sewing and more! Then there's the 26 talented and professional instructors teaching them! Plus we're offering you an Early Bird Special... sign up before September 1st and you'll get 50% off the registration fee. Usually $50 per retreat, you'll only pay $25. Just a little incentive to register now, before your favorite classes fill up.

Fabric Collage Prayer flags you can make with Liz Kettle

So, if you joined us the first time, we hope you'll come again. And if you didn't get to create in Colorado Springs yet, we hope you'll consider attending our next mixed media retreat in the Rockies. The camaraderie and excitement that you get to experience at our in-person retreats... well, we think you'll really love it!

May 28 - June 2, 2019
at The Hotel Elegante
Colorado Springs, CO

We know summer days and weekends can get pretty busy, so take a little break... grab yourself a cool beverage... and browse our website to pick your favorite workshops. You can browse our selections by class descriptions, by individual instructors, and even by example project photos. Sign up today to get in on our Early Bird special. Happy Browsing!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Virginia Teacher Spotlight: Jean VanBrederode


Well, our roster of attentive, caring, nurturing instructors would not be complete without Jean VanBrederode, who literally shines in these categories! As a longtime Art & Soul teacher, Jean is our resident enamel expert. She's taken the art to a whole new level by turning it into creative mixed media jewlery. And she's taken many of our students under her gorgeous (enameled) wings. With her exuberant nature, excitement about her craft and attentive guidance, Jean's classes are always a joy in the discovery of making. And keep in mind... Beginners are her specialty!

Jean VanBrederode was trained as a teacher, but art has always been a part of her life. She feels fortunate to have found an art form — enameling, along with mixed-media jewelry — that brings excitement into her life each and every day. Her work is always changing, always a surprise. Having been seduced, empowered, enriched, & invigorated by metals & glass, she happily dedicates herself to creating and teaching others the joys of enameling!

Bee Keeper
This class was inspired by a workshop with enamelist Ken Bova at the John C. Campbell Folk School last summer. Throughout the day, you'll learn basic simple metal sawing techniques as well as how to create a variety of extraordinary colors on copper using only liquid enamels. You'll learn application techniques along with torch firing skills. All of this and you will leave with a finished Bee Keeper Necklace!

Enameled Bib Necklace
A combination of enameling techniques merge beautifully in Jean's Enameled Bib Necklace workshop. In this full day class, you will learn basic torch fire techniques and how to work with basic mesh enamel, liquid enamel, sgraffito (scratching patterns in enamel), wet packing, and necklace assembly skills. And you will leave this workshop with a finished enameled bib necklace (you'll probably walk out of class proudly wearing it!).

Branching Out
Some things are just better in Black & White, right?! This workshop's Branching Out enameled pendant combines metalworking techniques along with enameling and jewelry design to create a stunning black and white tree pendant. In this class you'll learn how to create an enameled copper design using a torch, vitreous enamels, and liquid enamels as well as how to master the ancient art of sgraffito (scratching into enamel). And like all of Jean's workshops, you will leave with a finished necklace that's just so much fun to show off.

So whether you're a newbie or a novice at enameling or mixed-media jewelry in general, in Jean VanBrederode's workshops you will learn how to create a one-of-a-kind enameled pendant necklaces that will have people asking, “Where did you get that?” and you'll be able to proudly say, “I made it myself!” For more information about Jean's classes and our Virginia Beach retreat, visit our website...

October 1-6, 2018
Virginia Beach Resort Hotel

Jean VanBrederode's work has been featured in 500 Art Necklaces, Steampunk Magazine, Belle Armoire Jewelry, Cloth Paper Scissors, and Green Craft Magazines. When she's not teaching workshops or hosting other instructors at her Charmed I’m Sure Studio in south-central Pennsylvania, she is tending to her Etsy shops – Enamel Warehouse, and Charmed I’m Sure Studio.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Virginia Teacher Spotlight: Eric Scott

We love having Eric Scott teaching at our events! He is one half of the Journal Fodder Junkies, and he's dedicated to helping people discover their artistic potential and cultivate their creativity. He is a mixed media artist, an educator, and an author. He provides workshops, presentations, and seminars all across North America on the visual journal and mixed media art.

For Eric, the visual journal is vital to his mixed media art. As a place to explore and experiment, to document and reflect... he sees the journal as a testing ground for ideas, techniques, and imagery. All of these ideas and notions ferment in the journal before they begin making their way into separate pieces of art. Eric is an expert guide into the unknown, and he'll make you feel comfortable and free there! Check out what he has planned for you at Art & Soul Virginia this year...

Luminous Liquid Layers
In this full day workshop, you'll be pushing your creativity as you delve into the world of liquid acrylics. You'll explore a multitude of exciting techniques as you paint, drip, scrape, splatter, and stamp. Sure, that may sound like the basics, but you’ll also learn to use a wide range of unconventional tools and materials to create exciting textures and luminous layers. You can even throw in some of your favorite images and personal ephemera to add a mixed media flair to your work, or you can simply focus on building your painting skills. Either way, you’ll learn to open yourself to a new painting process as you build texture, embrace color, and develop rich layers. You'll definitely get to see how easy it is to develop dynamic images as you work, and you'll walk away with vivid pieces of art ready to hang on the wall.

Monster Maker Workshop
Eric's 3-hour evening class will help you unleash your mad scientist. You'll bring a variety of creatures of the imagination to life in this fun mixed media workshop! You will learn how to conceptualize and create cute & cuddly, or scary & menacing monsters with pencil, ink, paint, and collage. Build your creations from stock parts or invent your own. Customize your monsters with a variety of details, textures, and accessories, and walk away with your own menagerie of little beasts. Evil laugh is optional. Muah-ha-ha-ha!

Stencil Savvy
Stencils have become increasingly popular over the past few years, and we all look forward to the latest releases by our favorite mixed-media artists. But what if we could design and make our own? What if we could use our art, our handwriting, and our photographs to make personally meaningful stencils?

In this hands-on evening workshop, you’ll see just how easy it is to create your own distinctive stencils and templates. You’ll start the day by working with simple shapes and designs, and wrap up with using more complex artwork and photographs. You will leave with a variety of unique stencils and templates ready to be used in all of your mixed-media endeavors. That's pretty awesome!

So whether you love journaling, stamping, painting, drawing, stenciling, or just want to be brave and try something new, Eric has something for everyone. The great part is that everything you learn can translate to your own mixed media practice. What a great way to uplevel your art! For more information about Eric's classes and our Virginia Beach retreat, visit our website...

October 1-6, 2018
Virginia Beach Resort Hotel

As a former public school art educator, Eric Scott frequently travels and provides workshops on the power of art and the visual journal to schools and education organizations. In 2005 he officially teamed up with friend and artistic accomplice David Modler to present at a variety of venues, conferences, and retreats on visual journaling and the importance of authenticity in art education. Eric is coauthor of the bestselling books, The Journal Junkies Workshop (2010) and Journal Fodder 365 (2012), both released by North Light Books. He lives in Purcellville, Virginia with his wife and their menagerie of animals. You can find out more about Eric by visiting the Journal Fodder Junkies website.