Monday, April 07, 2014

Here's what

Where have I been?
I've been having a long term relationship with Facebook for the last year.
Keeping me busy almost minute by minute.
What's happened to me?
The revolving door of exciting guest teachers  keeps me on my toes.
Mary Beth Shaw
The Stencil Girl
 Wan Marsh of Wan Marsh Studios

Kate Thompson of Fractured Angelics blogspot here again on May 10 and 11.

Not to mention our new line of clothing
Oh my Oh my

and the fragrances from Thymes
Olive Leaf

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Meet the Artist - Mary Beth Shaw

Meet the Artist -  Mary Beth Shaw

We are happy and excited to be hosting Mary Beth this July 20th & 21st at Random Arts in Saluda, NC for her workshop entitled:
Feast on Mixed Media; Explore Nature with Stencils & Thermofax

I asked Mary Beth a few short and sweet questions about her life in Art and here's what she had to say. It's a good way to get to know a little bit about her & her teaching methods.  Not only is she a talented artist, author and instructor,  she is a  business woman with her own line of stencils: Stencil Girl.
There is still time to sign up for this great 2 day workshop but first, read on for more insight on Mary Beth... 

Where are you from and where do you live now? Family?  
I am originally from Cincinnati, Ohio and lived there (even for college) until I was 30 something and my husband whisked me away, to St. Louis , then San Francisco and now back in St. Louis. He has one daughter, who is married with 2 boys.  We are lucky enough to live about 20 minutes from them and I cherish my role as their Yia Yia.  

At what age did you start "playing around with art and getting creative"?  

I have been artistic all my life.  My Mom, who saves everything, gave me a collage I made when I was 4 years old, ha! Incredibly, it is abstract.  In high school and college I dabbled in many art forms including photography.  I have had crafty hobbies all my life, needle work, knitting, hand sewing, that sort of thing. 

What is your teaching method? ie one on one? group session? lecture?  Hands on? Work fast?  
I do demos of techniques and also show my own working style-this is done throughout the day in front of the entire group.  I also work with students one on one (see next question). I format my classes so we can all 'stay loose' and keep our brains from jumping into the process.  I have found this is the way to allow our best art to emerge.  My personal style is pretty energetic and I think this comes through when I teach.  Although I take my art seriously, I don't take my self seriously and students can expect lots of laughs. 

What is the best part of taking a class with you & what, in general, will your students learn? 
What will they take away from one of your workshops? 
I strive to teach  in a way that allows each person to find their own voice.  Students often comment that is is amazing how everyone creates such similar, yet "different" works.  I help each student individually with what I call "consultations" which help the student to learn how to assess and critique their own work.  And although this might sound 'serious', I've been told over and over that my classes are great fun!

How does your day begin when you are planning to go to your studio?

Always with excitement! My studio is my escape, my refuge, and going there (about 3 times a week when I am home) never fails to thrill me.   

What do you do when you get stuck? 

I am lucky I that I rarely get stuck. The downside of this is that my head seldom turns off, ha! However, if I do find myself slightly stuck, I will divert my attention - cleaning the studio will always do it and I invariably get unstuck pretty quickly.  Taking a walk or meditation are also sure fire ways to become unstuck. 
How often do you teach at large venues - small venues and where and do you have a favorite? - other than Saluda?

I taught at Artfest for a number of years and adored that venue. I have also taught at other larger events like Art Unraveled, Art is You and Squam. It is amazing to attend a large event and realize that you are part of something much bigger, a 'tribe' of sorts.  That being said, I also love the intimacy of smaller venues like Valley Ridge.  For me, as a teacher, the experience is quite special and I imagine it is the same for students. 

To whom do you pay gratitude for your creativity and talent? 
I believe that my creativity and talent are gifts from above.  I feel incredibly blessed. 

Do you have a favorite quote, phrase or saying that keeps you motivated to create? I find lots of quotes inspiring however none that sum up my motivation.  

The bottom line, for me, is that I really couldn't live life any other way than creating and making art.  It is who I am.   
You have never been to Random Arts in Saluda to teach, why do you think that this will be a great place to teach?  
North Carolina is one of my very favorite states in the US and I think that the setting often ramps up the teaching experience for everyone.  I have heard such lovely feedback about Random Arts that I feel intuitively it is going to be fab!!

To register for this 2 day workshop on July 20th and 21st   please email me. The cost is $250.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Looking Back....

 Photo transfers on fabric

Dressing up with art supplies...

Cuff bracelets...

 Woven Book workshop...

Patina on brass...collage
 Random Arts Booth
 Barnful of Quilts in Waxhaw, NC...
and so much more

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Meet The Artist -

Coming this weekend to Random Arts... Christy Hawkins for 2 great book arts workshops!
Sat. April 6th and Sun. April 7th

Each class is $75 and includes most materials. 

 Even though I have known Christy Hawkins for over 10 years I started to think that there might be some Random Arts followers who don't. So my first instinct, since she is coming here to teach in March, I might want to tell  the world a little bit about her.

• What is your favorite part of the day?

That is a tough question because I’m basically a happy, busy person who likes almost everything I do in my day.  I think if I had to pick a favorite time, it would be the late afternoon when my husband, David and I slow down and sit on our back porch or living room and catch up on what we did all day. Since we live in Florida, we can go outside to the porch almost year round so this is a routine we love.

• How did you get started teaching?

My first teaching exploits were years ago in the scrapbooking realm. I taught techniques and did make and takes for a scrapbook store.  Later, I found a great, happy place called A Small Cleverness in Orange Park, FL. There I discovered a group of like-minded art dabblers who like many of the same things I do so I began to teach all kinds of things there, including my deep love of book binding.

• What is your most favorite thing about what you do?

Sharing my enthusiasm and my skills with people who want to learn new mediums, new arts areas and  new techniques.

• Who do you credit for inspiring you to "make art & be creative"

I don’t know how to credit someone for a drive that has always been in me.  Even as a child, I loved to make things, draw, and do arty things. I learned to sew when I was very young and used to sew “books” of together on my grandmother’s pedal powered sewing machine.  Several of the adults in my family, including both my parents had artistic talent so I guess my genes get the credit!

• What do you do in your spare time?

In my “spare” time, I volunteer at the Jacksonville Humane Society. I do a wide variety of jobs there, but my favorite is my weekly Feline Fotoshoot for all the new adoptable cats at the shelter. Those photos go to the shelter’s website and to Facebook. The JHS saved about 4000 animals last year and is spearheading the effort to make Jacksonville a no-kill community.  I love animals so it makes me very happy to play a small role in making them more comfortable and in promoting animal welfare in our community.

• What's the best thing about teaching art?

When I teach book binding, I love the happy faces on the people who finish a handmade book.  It gives both me and the students a great sense of accomplishment.  I also enjoy meeting and getting to know the people who come to my classes.  I teach other things in the mixed media realm, and I just love seeing others get “hooked” on the things I love so much! The whole process of teaching gives me access to my inner ham too.  If you attend my classes, you’ll see that I’m a frustrated stand up comic.

• Where do you teach now and how long have you been doing this?

I currently teach regularly at A Small Cleverness in Orange Park, FL.  I’ve been teaching there for several years so I’ve lost track of exactly when I began.  I love the customer base there and have made so many good friends there that it goes far beyond just teaching for me.

In addition, in 2012 I was honored to teach two workshops in book binding for the Society of Mixed Media Artists in Jacksonville.  I have a program presentation and a mono print workshop coming up for them in 2013.

• What do you like best  about making and creating art books?

I totally love the whole process of making a book. I enjoy deciding what I want the covers to look like. I like deciding what will be bound into them…it doesn’t have to be limited to plain paper! I like to touch books and see them on the shelf. I am a big fan of exposed spine bindings, such as the two variations on the Coptic stitch I’m offering at Random Arts.  Since I’m now doing mono printing and focused doodling (aka Zentangling), I see my books as a great place to gather the pieces I like from my work.  What’s not to like?!!

With all said and done, Christy loves to teach and we are happy to have her here on April 6th and 7th.  As you can see by  all the books that she creates... she is an expert and we are lucky to have her here.  If you sign up for 2 classes she will give you a FREE mini coptic stitch book kit to do on your own. Cost. $75. per class.
Some supplies are required.

Register by email: 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Words are flowing again. . .

For some reason, I felt like I was out of words. I couldn't remember any words that I wanted to say nor could I remember any words that I might like to say ... until tonight.

So, after looking over so many of the pictures  that I took today of our re-cap of the
Retro Inky Prints ( a workshop that Helen Shafer Garcia taught here at the beginning of October)
I decided that it was time to show off our results from today.

Although there were only 4 of us in this mini re-cap session, we sure did some great pieces.
First of all we couldnt even remember "how" to do the process, so we called Meg. She knows everything, and ... she remembers how to do everything too.

It started with slathering some Golden Black Open Acrylic on our plexiglass.. After that, we were stuck. But as it turned out the process was quite simple and the results were amazing.

 Ruthie created an interesting &
simple & colorful retro print.
 I borrowed a FREE  image
that Cloth Paper Scissors offered
a few years ago for my image and
then kicked it up a knotch with 
my use of colors.  
 This owl was created by one of our
newest additions to our Tuesday
get-togethers, Loretta.
This was only the beginning.

 Loretta also drew a simple
flower and added powerful color
to practice this technique. 
 I sketched a simple bird in a mountain
setting with a few plants and then
added some bright color.

Last but not least, Susan Warrick loves 
her cats and decided what could be a simpler
image for a retro print technique then her 
precious little kitties. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Meet the Artist

A "retro style" inky print created by Helen for October 14th workshop

Here we go again with another exciting and informative
interview with one of our upcoming instructors -
Helen Shafer Garcia
Helen will return to Saluda from San Diego, CA on 
October 13th and 14th for 2, colorful, NEW and
creative workshops.
Crinkly Inky Book - Oct 13th 

Create an extraordinary multi signature end band hand bound book with inked and painted Masa papers. You’ll learn at least 5 techniques in this workshop including dropped- in color, ink batik lines, Masa paper process, and book binding techniques to stitch signatures with end bands. We will explore a special batik-like technique with Masa rice paper to create the folios and cover papers with stamps, acrylic inks and watercolor washes. The paper quality is ever so soft in the finished book...a book you’ll love to pick up again and again.
10 am till 4pm $135.
Register by email and payable with check, cc, paypal
(scroll down to see the interview) 

***We changed it up a bit *** Sunday, October 14th 

Cool, Retro Style "Inky Prints "

 Have a blast from the past creating scrumptious textures, bold graphics and color patterns with this unique process that combines watercolor, collage, and hand pressed Monotype printmaking. This water based ink printing technique lends itself to a retro feel from the 50’s, when printing techniques were not high tech and artists were challenged to create bold graphics with limited colors.

 The process involves a user friendly, easy method of transferring ink onto the paper from the monotype surface. The over inked look gives that “newsprint retro ink” feel when printing was not so “perfect”. Watercolor washes, collage paper images and stamped images will connect the dots in the compositions. These finished works have endless possibilities for book arts and further collage techniques.
10 am till 4pm $135. (limit 12)
Register by email and payable with Paypal, Cc, Check 

 Where are you from and where do you live now? Family? I grew up in Glendora, CA, 30 minutes east of Los Angeles. My husband, son, two cats and I live in Vista, CA.  My son and husband are both welders and engineer type minded people. Our casa is called “Garciaville”, which includes my cool studio (featured in the Summer Issue of Studios Magazine), my son's metal shop and my husband's metal lathe shop where he makes beautiful cue sticks. My cats just sit around meowing and buzzing. I have a 1/2 acre garden that keeps me in tune with my plants and other assorted creatures.

At what age did you start "playing around with art and getting creative" When I was 8 years old I had a major surgery to remove my non-working kidney. While in the hospital I started drawing characters from “The Jungle Book” along with other assorted creatures. I also remember playing with the mud in the backyard..making little animals and houses....this led to my love for clay sculpture.
 How does your day begin when you are planning to go to your studio?  My creative time in the studio starts late. I teach locally at various locations during the day. I usually take a nap when I get home so I can work later in the evening. I’m a night person and my best hours of creativity are 8pm to 2am. I love the evening sounds from the garden and keep the windows open when I can. The sounds relax me and I’m able to concentrate more on my work. Mornings are not good until I have my kick start of coffee and fruit!

What do you do when you get stuck?  I weed my garden, take hikes, or visit artful sites. My past illustration jobs led me to stay on task though, deadlines sometimes don’t give you the opportunity to “get stuck”. I used to work through it with these little breaks. When I’d go back to the studio I’d hang the work upside down to view it, giving me a fresh way to look at the shapes and values.
 How often do you teach at large venues - small venues and where and do you have a favorite? - other than Saluda? Ah, of course my fav is Saluda! What a beautiful setting with such delightful folks. I do teach at some of the larger venues. My friends, Jane LaFazio, Laurie Mika, Lynn Leahy, and I teach small groups in San Miguel de Allende and next year in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We really enjoy teaching together and who wouldn’t love staying at those two locations!

To whom do you pay gratitude for your creativity and talent? My parents gave me the freedom to explore and to be creative. They paid for art lessons when I was young and continued to support me all through college. My Grandmother, “Baba”, was very inspirational too. She made dresses for my sister and I, little doll clothes (In my case ..troll dolls), and stuffed animals. She was a collector of little treasures and she had a collection of succulents that intrigued me at a early age.
 Do you have a favorite quote, phrase or saying that keeps you motivated to create? 
 “Viva la Vida”!
 You were in Saluda last year to teach, what draws you back to this area and why? North Carolina is a beautiful state and so different from our semi arid environment. The arts community in Asheville and Saluda is outstanding and supportive. I am especially drawn to the fact that “craft” is such an important aspect in your area.  It gives me hope that fine art crafts such as book arts, fiber, glass, wood,  etc are still being taught with high standards. Too much emphasis has been put on conceptual art, leaving technical skills behind. I admire the combination of good technical skills along with conceptual  ideas.

So, there it is! Another fun interview with one of Random Arts premier instructors.
For more information about Helen click here.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Possibilites of Paper Making

Paper making is not new  and it's certainly not new to us at Random Arts. We have been grinding up the pulp here for 16 years but with a little lapse,  it all started again yesterday, and it started with some amazing results.

So the down and dirty is the getting out the blender, finding scrap paper ( a non issue around here), water, tubs, screen and couch sheets. I am so happy that I still have all the tools to do this.

The first big mis-step is to put way too much paper in the blender. But mistakes always turn into works of art, as we found out.  With that said the process of creating turned into a happy success story for all of us. With the use of "big scrim", kraft krinkles, alchemic rust, and hydrangea blooms our mixed up mess of pulp became "ART".

Marilyn used krinkle kraft paper, jumbo scrim embedded & dried hydrangaes
Here are 3 of the sheets that we  created using the blossoms of the hydrangea.  I started drying some of the blossoms earlier this week with this in mind.  Each sheet is so unique depending on the type of paper that we added to the blender.  

Want to process some paper?
Just ask me about our next workshop. Satisfy your creativity in a nurturing environment here at Random Arts in Saluda, NC.