The first week of October I traveled to Portland, Oregon for my second visit to Art & Soul. Art & Soul is an amazing week full of art classes taught by artists from all over the United States (and some from other countries). You get to choose which day-long class you take each day, from a list of jewelry, journaling, assemblage, collage, painting and drawing classes. I use this trip as an opportunity to learn new techniques, work in different mediums, and try something I've never tried before. But the fantastic part of this trip is the people you meet. Since I went last year, I've "met" a lot of people through internet groups and have trades charms with them, swapped art, and worked on round robin art projects. I couldn't wait to meet these internet friends in person. This is the event where you need to be outgoing, uninhibited, and not be afraid to try something new or walk up to a stranger and introduce yourself. And so I would say, my trip was a success. I met and talked to about a hundred people. I learned new art techniques. I made some funky, interesting art -- if a year ago someone would have said I'd make some art like this, I would have said, you're crazy. So here's some of the art I made in Portland Art & Soul 2008.
I took Nina Bagley's class, Gatherings, on the first day. In that class we were attaching 3-D elements, pictures and dangles to old book covers. (I never thought I'd be ripping a cover off a book for art. But I guess that's what garage sales are for!) I learned how to use a Japanese screw punch, and how to work with mica. Mica had seemed very mysterious to me, not simply because I couldn't find it in any of my local stores. Now I've got my own stash of it, and will be adding it to jewelry and collage projects. Here are the "pages" I did in the Gatherings class.
Last year I took the class Vintage Metal Treasure Deck with Leighanna Light. I loved her techniques, teaching style, and most importantly, her personality. I took a class from her this year, too, called Funky Found Object Canvas Village. In this class, we used canvas, which we painted, collaged, then covered it all in gel medium, then painted again. The difficult part came because we were trying to get gel medium to try in a short period of time. It goes on opaque, but takes up to 24 hours to turn clear. It was dry enough to paint over, but we couldn't really see our collage work underneath to guide us. I went heavy on the final paint, and ended up obscuring a lot of my collage. But I liked the technique a lot, and admire the final results that Leighanna created, so I will do it again. Here is one I made in class.
My last day I took Lisa Kaus' class Be Still My Beating Heart. In this class we painted on wood (after she had primed it for us), added oil pastels and colored pencils, attached 3-D elements, then covered the whole thing in wax to protect it. Everyone did a tremendous job on their projects. This was a good way to end the week, with a great work of art to hang in my home. Here it is.