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.