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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Wabi-Sabi Giveaway!

Wabi-Sabi lovers--it's giveaway time! The prize is a copy of one of my new DVDs from North Light. Visit my other blog to see how to enter the contest. Good Luck!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

My New Wabi-Sabi DVDs from North Light

Last August I had a real adventure. I flew back to Cincinnati to film two DVDs at the North Light studio. I've made my own videos for online classes, but this was the first time I'd been filmed by professionals. Everyone was so friendly and fun to work with that I was able to overcome any apprehension and really enjoy the process. 
Here's where we filmed. You can see my "mark" on the floor.

The DVDs have just come out and I am thrilled with them! Aside from having to watch myself and see that in fact I am not as young as I feel, I was very pleased with the photography, sound, content, tone, and well, everything! 

The DVD above features a wabi-sabi walk for inspiration, working with photos for color and texture inspiration, using acrylics, using re-inkers, The Great Cover-Up, and more. 

The DVD below moves on to encaustic techniques and inspiration, using plaster, and using cold wax and oil. Both DVDs contain an informal interview with me and my editor, Kristin Conlin. You can see the interview on YouTube and find out my first career aspirations known only to a few before now!

The DVDs are available from Amazon and will be available soon from Create Mixed Media, North Light's art site. They'll be available there also in the form of an online video from Artists Network TV, also on the Create Mixed Media site.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Art and Soul Retreat Coming to Portland OR in April!

It's not too soon to be thinking of Art and Soul Retreat here in Portland OR, April 7-14! We have a great lineup of classes for you. Below is information about the classes I'll be teaching. Be sure to check out the Art and Soul Class List for more information and registration.

Wabi-Sabi Paper
 Monday, April 7, I'll be teaching an all day workshop called "Papers Wabi-Sabi." Below you'll find a video with examples of the kind of hand-decorated papers you can create in this fun and informal workshop.

 Introduction Video

 Monday evening we'll make a "Strange Little Book." 

Strange Little Book

Create a quirky, unique little book using mostly recycled materials--no stitching involved! In this fun and informal class you'll use weird things like bizarre found photos, old teabags, coffee, old and odd book and magazine pages, old embellishments, and miscellaneous do-dads. You'll use cold connections to fasten the pages together in your own eccentric way. You'll love the lovely and unusual little book you leave with!

Tuesday, April 8, I"ll teach an evening class called "Waxing Literary with Charlotte." 

Literary Charlotte

I’m excited to share with you how you can make a rich and mysterious work of art by waxing an old book and incorporating a Frozen Charlotte doll. You’ll make a 3-D art piece with encaustic medium, oil paint, found objects, vintage papers, and embellishments. You’ll learn how to incise, carve niches into the waxed book, and color the wax. You’ll also learn how to add an aged or gothic touch to your work. You'll leave with a unique mixed media work of art!

 Introduction Video

Wednesday, April 9 will be an exciting all day encaustic class, "Mind Your Own Beeswax." 

Encaustic Painting:  A Full Cup
The translucent qualities of the encaustic wax medium and paint create depth, mystery and complexity. Fall in love with the whole ball of wax! You’ll learn to make encaustic medium and encaustic paint, use collage and photo transfer with encaustic, and add 3-D embellishments in this fun and informal class. We'll incise, add oil paint, cheesecloth, specialty papers, and more. Whether you are new to encaustic or an old wax hand, you’ll discover something new while minding your own beeswax! You'll leave with several painting and/or collages and all the information you need to get started on your own!

 Introduction Video

 I hope to see you here in Portland in April for one of the most inspirational and friendly retreats around!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Join Us for an Enchanting Workshop in Taos, NM!

Leighanna Light and I have an exciting mini-retreat to share with you. We'll be holding a five day workshop at her gorgeous studio in Taos, New Mexico in May! Here's the scoop below. You can register on my website

Join me and international art teacher Leighanna Light for a five day workshop her studio in in magical Taos New Mexico! Embrace the wabi-sabi spirit as you learn to use encaustic, Venetian plaster, dye re-inkers, acrylics,oils, 3-D elements and more. You will create gorgeous paintings, mixed media work, and a beautiful and unusual handmade book.  We'll offer exciting field trips as well as playful, inspiring classes.

Leighanna will teach us how to create a gorgeous book like this one!

I'll teach encaustic painting and mixed media work
inspired by the wabi-sabi qualities of Taos!

Tuition: 800.00 This includes a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant, four delicious lunches, Serena's two-day class on Saturday and Sunday, field trips on Monday, and Leighanna's two-day class on Tuesday and Wednesday. Most supplies will be provided for each class for an additional 25.00 fee to each instructor.

I hope you'll join us for this inspiring workshop at Leighanna's wonderful studio!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Wabi-Sabi Process

Coming Through It        Cold Wax/Oil on Wood Panel   24" x 16"

Sometimes it's the process that has a wabi-sabi quality, not just the product. I finished this cold wax painting recently while going through a very difficult time due to the serious illness of a loved one. This piece of wood and paint has undergone so many changes which corresponded with the changes I went through over the several months between starting and completing the piece. 

In the beginning I had a nice multi-layered and multi-colored abstract, mostly in a blue gray. This color was inspired by colors my grandmother used in her house. Memories of her were inspired by going to my uncle's house with my cousins after his funeral in September. While there I opened the large secretary desk that used to be my grandmother's and there was her sweet fragrance. I thought of her a lot after that and made a painting with her colors, though it didn't seem quite finished.

In an effort to finish the piece, I somehow altered it completely. It became more green, and I didn't like it much. My daughter in law came over and I slapped some burnt sienna on the piece just to show her how the process worked. I then added some cheesecloth and some white and buff.

This was during the time when my loved one's illness was causing me great grief. The piece turned into a bleak and misty landscape. I left it for a while.

Again, in trying to finish the piece I changed it. I pulled off the cheesecloth. I was in emotional distress and scraped and tore at and slathered the painting as I grieved. I yelled. After I had emoted enough, I quickly chose a yellow paint/wax mixture and put it on. I incised and scribbled and scraped back. Bits of the previous layers showed through and I saw a new positive and strong message in the piece. That's when I knew I would be all right no matter what happened.

Have you found yourself in a similar process when art making?