Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Meet the artist. . . Jane Davies

Early this summer, Jane LaFazio, emailed me with a fabulous idea that she had nurtured, involving an interview with me, the owner of Random Arts. 

Not having thought much about it in the last 2  months, it came to me that maybe this would be a good way to introduce  our new instructors who are coming here to teach.  With that being said, I thought that I would start with upcoming artist and author Jane Davies. 

Jane Davies will be here on September, 7th, 8th and 9th, teaching 3 separate workshops:
Fri. 7th - Unlocking the Secrets of Color
Sat. 8th -  Scribble Collage
Sun. 9th - Unbinding the Visual Journal

Read on to find out more about her, her work, her aspirations and her passion for art and the world around her.......

Unbinding the Visual Journal
• Please start by telling us a little about yourself and the place you live in Vermont
I live in a rural area of Vermont, and my studio is in what used to be a barn just behind my house.  I work full-time as an artist and teacher, my main media being painting, collage, and encaustic.  I started my adult life as a potter, and did craft shows and galleries for about fifteen years.  After ten years I transitioned into licensing my designs to manufacturers, so there was some overlap there.  Licensing as a freelance artist threw me into an entirely different world, one that was immensely creative and high pressure, but ultimately left me feeling disconnected from my work.  When I took the plunge to make fine art and teach workshops full time, I felt reconnected, and well supported by a huge community of other artists and students.

• What is your favorite part of the day?
Morning.  That is when I get my brain work done -  writing articles and blog posts, crafting newsletters,  brainstorming about new workshops, brainstorming about anything at all, and organizing my day.

• How did you get started teaching?
I've always taught workshops now and then, on the side.  It was only about three years ago that I decided to stop doing the freelance work and discover Who I Am as an artist.  Teaching was a natural way for me to not only support my work financially, but to share my experience and learn from others.

• What is your most favorite thing about what you do?
I love the flexibility of it.  By defining myself as an Artist, I don't feel locked into one medium.  I get to choose the topics of my workshops, so they can keep evolving as I evolve.  I love the multi-faceted nature of the work: I create art, I run a business, I teach, I investigate materials and processes, I write, I shoot and edit video, I do bookkeeping, make travel arrangements, the whole nine yards.

• How far do you travel to teach?
I'll travel as far as anyone will pay me to travel.  So far I've taught in the United States, as far as Oregon and Arizona.  I would love to take groups of students further afield - to Nova Scotia or to Europe - but it isn't the highest priority right now. 

• Who do you credit for inspiring you to "make art & be creative"
I don't know that I've ever considered not doing some kind of creative work.  My father was an administrator at an art college while I was growing up, and though he is not an artist himself, most of my parents' friends were artists and academics. I'm sure that had a big influence.  I was never considered a black sheep or anything for choosing the arts.
Scribble Collage

• When did you decide that this is what you wanted to do for a living?
I've always been self-employed, so there was never a question about making a living at what I do.  What I Do has changed a few times, and my yet morph into something else, but, as I stated above, creative work always seemed to be my calling.

* What's the best thing about teaching art?
  I just LOVE sharing what I know and learn, and I'm always learning new things both from my own experimental style and from students. I think I'm hard-wired for teaching: whenever I get jazzed about something, I want to teach others and share my enthusiasm. I teach yoga, and I'm teaching several neighbors how to raise and process chickens.  My latest book, "Adventures in Mixed Media"  (my fourth) includes projects in book arts, fiber arts, foam core assemblages, jewelry, collage, box construction, mixed media dolls, and a few other things.  I think that teaching is the glue that holds all my interests together.

• What books are you reading now?
Apart from Dickens, Jane Austen, Richard Russo, and Louise Erdrich, I'm reading a book recommended by one of my students, called "Refuse to Choose".  It's about people like me who have lots of different interests and have always had a hard time in the world of "normal" people, who can stick to one career or one main field.  It explains a lot and gives me a framework for thinking about my wayward career in a new light.

• You are still very young, where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Well, in ten years I'll be nearing sixty; does that make my young?  Undoubtedly I will still be making art of some sort, and probably teaching in some capacity.  By then I hope to be spending a little more time on home activities - raising my chickens, gardening - and on travel that is not related to teaching.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What about color?

 It all started with crayons..... those juicy tubes of color that we hoped would never break when we used them to "color in the lines".
It's an interesting subject that plagues us all every day when we attempt to work/play  on whatever project we are working on, right? We think we know how to blend, how to combine colors and how to add color to our work, but when it comes to a final decision, it's really all guess work. 

I am fortunate enough to have had quite a bit of background training in  color throughout my life, starting at a young age, but many of us have not had that training. We add a little of paint here  and a little of paint there and hope for the best. Is it all a guessing name? No, it isn't, girlfriends, it's a science... .well almost a science although one would never think that "ART" is a science.
Certain colors are mixed with others to achieve certain effects and
other colors are painted over color to achieve another effect and the guessing continues until we have . . . MUD.

Finally, after all this struggling, we have an artist coming here to teach who addresses this problem.... head on - Jane Davies
Jane Davies Book on Mixed Media Arts

Jane is an artist/instructor who lives in Vermont and teaches at art retreats all over the country including Create, Art is You and Art and Soul.

She will be here Sept 7th, 8th and 9th at Random Arts and on the 
Friday, the 7th she is teaching "Unlocking the Secrets of Color".

 Unlocking the Secrets of Color

Color is one of the most immediate and emotionally affecting elements in visual art, packed with symbolic and cultural associations, personal meaning, and expressive potential. Your choice of colors can make or break a collage, painting, or mixed media piece; even a small change in color can be the key to transforming an otherwise so-so piece into a stunning work of art. In this workshop we will explore color through hands on exercises, learning how to mix them, and how they interact and relate to one another, and how they work in composition. After taking this workshop you will be on your way to making confident color choices and developing your personal color style.

This one day workshop is only $110.  for a full day of instruction from this amazing artist. This fee includes instruction, morning coffee and danish and afternoon snacks. 
20% Discount on all supplies purchased from Random Arts for this workshop.

Once you get the color figured out, you can move on to. . . 

 Scribble Collage Sat. Sept. 8th
In this workshop we will create our own collage materials by making “paint playgrounds” and scribble drawings using acrylic, watercolor, crayons, pastel, ink, and other materials. If you are “not artistic” or “can’t draw”, try drawing and painting with the intention of tearing up the results for collage! It is definitely in the category of dance-like-nobody-is-watching, and a great way to engage your creative spirit. We will experiment with various approaches to collage using these paintings-drawings as our foundation, make a huge mess, and have a whole lot of fun in the process!

Unbinding the Visual Journal on Sunday Sept. 9th. 

Like many creative mixed-media enthusiasts, I LOVE the idea of visual journaling. But when it comes to actually using one of my handmade books, or even a store bought art journal, I get The Blank Page syndrome. After years of wrestling with my seeming inability to find a satisfying approach, I came up with a way to make a visual journal that solves the Blank Page Problem. You begin by creating random collages on unbound folios, and then assemble them into a book. Each page spread offers something that you can respond to. Collage, write, paint, sew, cut, tear, or draw. There are no mistakes and no blank pages! This workshop takes you through the process of unbinding your visual journaling, resulting in a beautiful handmade collage book. Students will learn basic book binding techniques as well as a new approach to visual journaling.

To register contact Random Arts in Saluda, NC
we are only 85 miles from Charlotte, NC
in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Katie Kendrick at Random Arts

 Katie Kendrick returns to Random Arts in September 
for 2 fabulous workshops!

It's been several years since
Katie Kendrick has come to Saluda 
to teach however it wasn't from the
lack of trying on our part.

Katie has been busy teaching
all over the place including Italy
with Kristi Steiner's "adventure in Italy" retreat.

Paste it down - Paint it Up with Katie Kendrick on Sat. Sept 22nd

 Now that we have a firm commitment from her
it's about time for you to learn more about Katie
and her emotional attachment to her art.

Description for  Katie's workshop 
"Paste it down, Paint it up"
on Sat. Sept 22nd
As artists and creative beings, it’s important for us to have ways to cut loose and let our ideas flow. In the first part of class we’re going to create a visual journal from a 
 vintage record album base, and spend the day filling it with colorful images and soulful meanderings. I’ll be sharing prompts as well as techniques to get you pumped and your creative juices flowing.


Sunday, Sept 23rd
"under the influence... of art"
with Katie Kendrick

Using paintings by “The Masters” as our inspiration, we’ll focus on design elements, expressions, and gestures we want to incorporate into our own paintings. The class is not about copying what we see, but the practice of seeing with the fresh eyes of an artist and translating what we see into an authentic visual language. 

Each workshop is $145 and payable at the time of registration
We accept paypal, visa, master card, checks payable to Random Arts.
Workshop space is limited to 12
Please visit our website for more information
email: randomarts@charter.net
Phone: 828-749-1165