Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Snowstorms and other distractions

Well Juno hit and left a lot of fluff in the wake. I love and hate snow all at the same time. Giddy to have everything fresh and white mired by displacement of routine and disappointment of makeup classes all wrapped into one. And the cold cold of the cold.

But it's only weather and so obviously what can one do?

READING is a good option - which brings me to Heather Ross's book that I just finished. Loved it to pieces. What courage and sheer will to survive. Forget WILD. well no - that goes too far because I loved that book too and well it was a magnificent telling of a tough tale and loads of courage there too. Loved it. Excellent non-fiction writing which is my favorite.

But Heather's book hits a nerve with me as I lived in those parts growing up. Her hardships were immense for a child. A small child - which I guess really made it tough to read and imagine her getting out alive and able to do all that she has done..  I didn't live the way as she did in Northern Vermont -  but I knew those who did and remember it well - from the edges.

I loved the essay fashion of her writing and the way she illustrated her book. It's heart breaking and triumphant all at the same time. I highly recommend it to anyone who is feeling sorry for themselves.

The icing on the cake with this book is that it is also very beautiful. I have always admired her work and her delicate drawings - I always felt they had to come from an intimate relationship with nature. Now I know her story and know it's true.

So the snow day was not bad at all. I am still torn on the idea of actually naming winter storms. Seems a little strange. I hope it doesn't replace phrases like "The storm of '78" and other significant years! Maybe it's just that I am so bad with names?

Final thoughts for today: You can now register for my NEW online mixed media class! My class at artstream has been producing some beautiful works (see above by Celeste) - that I will be sharing the processes and methods via videos in my new online class (Starts March 2!!) Sign up here (and get all the juicydetails) for the earlybird pricing!! 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Art {retreat} Camp 2015 :: A time of Wonder

ARC is held at a very special place. A private island filled with a forest and beaches in the middle of a pristine lake. It's the experience however - the people on this blissful island which makes the retreat so incredibly magical. When you are part of - and I mean your comfortable place be it center stage or fringe audience - an intimate group of creatives, great things happen inside.  Self discovery, quiet contemplation, one on one heart to hearts and getting back to your inner child (as the lovely Joanne explains).
It's a time of wonder. A time to restart yourself.
For 25 people.
Join us!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

On the bedstand

I read constantly.  That said I don't finish what I don't love. Both of these books are competing to be my favorite of the moment. For different reasons. Will give a full review upon finishing! What are you reading? Go!

Monday, January 19, 2015


This weekend was "move back to college" for my daughter Chloe. While it's bittersweet we are always excited for her and happy to adventure down to Boston. This trip we stopped by Mimi Kirchner's house for a visit and dinner with her family. Mimi makes art dolls.

She is one of the most talented people I know and an artist to the core. Their home is filled with art in every corner (except where their sweet cat Mango is) and stories galore. We always have fun when we get together! Mimi has created (among a zillion other accomplishments) a line of ornaments for West Elm last year. Her designs are incredible and her work so perfect down to the last detail that when West Elm mass produced them their charm still radiates from the designer Mimi! I got lucky too ...This little fox girl went home with me.
I am also very happy to report that Mimi will be back with us at Art {retreat} Camp this summer. Stay tuned this week for open registration and our new video! Mark your calendars for August 19-23rd! Among other things happening at ARC we will offer Mimi's popular "Little Worlds" pin cushion class. Everyone can make one of these with Mimi's teaching skills!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Small works

I have a number of smaller works which I am listing at my etsy shop for "come get them now" prices. It's January and I am sticking to my schedule of cleaning out and getting some space back in my studio. I will post them here as they enter the shop! Here's the first: beach house. Happy weekend!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Mixed Media Class: Wednesdays

Every Wednesday since like well, FOREVER I have taught a Mixed Media Class! Now this year I am bringing it online in March as a 30 day class for those of you who just can't get to my studio. I have so many talented, inspiring, brave, bold, wonderful students who put it out there each week in our Wednesday night class that I am going to celebrate them within the online structured class as well as here at the blog. (A little peek into the class through my video trailer is here). So for the first installment here at the blog we have these beginnings. Beginnings of small layered works incorporating paint and paper. We'll have a look next week at how these evolved! What are you working on - playing with?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Another beginning

Layer two - second paiinting in the emerge series
Hello friends! It's a snowy Monday here in New England - early enough in the year that it doesn't bother anyone too much.  However, all of you Californians who are posting those beautiful blooms on Instagram have me longing for a trip somewhere warm!

Which brings me to this painting. The sun seems to be shining out of this one - which is odd for me to begin in this colorway. The layers are developing through value as opposed to color and this is a somewhat different  approach for me. I am keeping an open mind to this though as I am happily fining my subject matter through this process. More as the week unfolds! I hope this finds you creating something today! If you need some creative structure - it's early bird sign up right now at my site for my new Mixed Media Online class which starts in March! Head over and check it out here.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

New Online Art Class: Mixed Media

A new mixed media  WIP 
Good morning friends! i am so excited to announce my new online class today: Art Class: Mixed Media . There will be  30 days of inspiring exploration into the playful world of mixed media painting. This 30 day course will give you so many methods and materials as tools - and inspiration- to gently draw out your own style of painting.  In my studio classes I find the greatest joy in watching each student's OWN style emerge and flow, and that is the focus of this course! The more go-to tools you have - the easier it becomes to find your self in your work. For over 20 years i have taught these methods and find great inspiration from each new student I meet!

 Early Bird Registration begins now at my site! Begins March 2, 2015

Included in this 30 days of mixed media instruction:

  • building a series of paintings through spontaneous play
  • creating rich surfaces and backgrounds
  • using found objects within a painting
  • color play 
  • exploration of texture 
  • questions and answers in our private facebook group
  • video instruction including students working in my own studio
  • downloadable materials
  • using printmaking techniques in your work
  • creative collage and paper making
  • finding your own tools in unexpected places
  • building confidence in your work
  • learning to let go of perfection
  • learning to love an art journal
  • transfers, transfers, transfers!
  • working intuitively
  • adding your own photographs to a painting
  • being bold in your mark making
  • and much much more!
We will have videos each week and daily posts with techniques, tips, methods and material exploration. The classroom and videos will be available for an additional 30 days for you to soak up all the materials and to work at your own pace. Sound good? It is going to be FUN! Join us now. Happy Thursday to you all!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Wintery Trees

from Art for All Seasons "winter" chapter

It's a frigid 7F outside which makes it the perfect weather for a little indoor fun! Today we are going to make Wintery Trees which is a lesson from my new book Art for All Seasons. It's one of the 40 art projects that are inspired by the four seasons and contemporary artists.

The lesson is inspired by my friend and artist extraordinaire - Lisa Congdon's Folk Forest and the weather outside as seen above! So grab these materials and let's get started!

Wintery Trees Materials List
  • scissors
  • glue stick
  • dark colored construction paper or recycled dark paper
  • white copy paper
  • recycled old book pages or photocopies
  • recycled CD
  • pencil 
Let's begin!

First rip some long strips of white paper for your snowy ground

Trace around the CD onto the old book page. We used old sheet music.  Cut out the circle and cut the circle in half.

Place the paper in front of you with the curved side down like a boat. Fold the top right edge down like a cone shape.

Flip over the paper and fold the rounded edge in to meet the first fold. You are making the tree boughs!

Flip the paper back and fold again. Continue to the tippy top and glue down the folds!

Make a whole forest of trees and arrange them on your snowy ground. Glue them down when you are sure where they should go. Add trunks and a moon or stars or clouds or owls or whatever you want to live in your forest.

There are so many different ways to change this collage project up! You can add watercolor to the trees to add more color. Glitter could be involved here. Adding recycled cotton from vitamin bottles for wispy clouds or drawing in tiny forest animals ...  There is no end to what could be done with this project.  How about making a card for someone special? If you and/or your kids make one of these collages I would love you to share it at our Facebook page! Have fun!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Starting new series

This small 8x10 painting I am calling Emerge for right now, has launched a new direction in my painting. I am excited by working with color in this new (for me) way and will document the process and results here. It's always about the layers for me and so perhaps this isn't so different of a process for me at all! 

On other fronts - the winter break is over and the studio classes are in full swing again. We'll peek in on those this week too! Happy beginnings again. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Wishes for the New Year

Red Sails 24x24 mixed media painting
Welcome! I am so glad that you are here! This first post is illustrated above with one of my newest paintings "Red Sails" . Let's sail full sail into 2015 together!

 My wishes for the New Year:

To be bold in my art making! (exploring more)

To spend more time with self care. (strength training and more spa time)

To let go of the unnecessary. (clutter both physical and mental)

To become dedicated to my routines. (including my writing and swimming)

What are your wishes for 2015?

My wishes for writing routine includes this blog. Hand to Art will be a place filled with art from my hand and others - as well as my art lessons, experiences and travels. I have been happily blogging for the past ten years over at arteprit and am ready to start a fresh new blog, ready for the next decade and bring artesprit to a close.

There are lots of things I am excited to share with you here. I plan on posting most every day and to include an art technique or DIY each week for both kids and adults - similar to the pages of my best selling books. Also you will get peeks into my studios both home and at artstream, which will include some of my student's work as well as my own WIP. We like to travel around and so our art-filled adventures on the road will show up here too.  There will be interviews with people who inspire me. I am hoping to also add some video components too!

My greatest hope for this space is to share all the passion I have for the creative life!

See you here friends!