Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Art Has A Way of Healing and Stengthening

Session I of Artful Gathering closes today.  The Hopping Into Soft Pastels workshop was so much fun.  I loved meeting new artist and working with them as they learned to use a new medium.  The bunny shown here was drawn by Cara Letho, one of the students.  I asked Cara if I could share her rabbit and she asked me to also share her story. 

Cara has struggled for a long time with creative block. Creative block haunts the best of us sometimes and is often based in fears.   Cara was determined to beat this block and she enrolled in my workshop.  The wonderful thing is that Cara found that as she worked through the steps of my Hopping Into Soft Pastels workshop, that she was finally able to find the freedom to draw.  She could finally move beyond that blank piece of white paper.  The result was that Cara drew this beautiful rabbit as a gift for someone precious to her. Her tender feelings come through in the rabbit's sweet face.  The exact colors I used in the instructions did not turn out to be available to Cara.  So she improvised and made a different choice in colors.  I think her colors are beautiful.  Such a lovely blending of warm tones.

8" x 10" Giclee print available through my shop.  

I am humbled and over joyed to have been an instrument to help Cara break free to live her creative life.  Yea for you, Cara!  The sky is the limit.  

Wind and Honey Creations
Creative Pencils - Online Drawing Lessons

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Where Bloggers Create 2012

This guy's been waiting for me to give him a little canvas
for a long time.  He's a study in patience.
Its a party and you're invited!  Karen Valentine of My Desert Cottage is having a blog party called Where Bloggers Create.  The point is to show off the space where you create and then to visit where other creative bloggers work.  It is great for inspiration, new ideas for decor and for organization, and for meeting new friends.  Come along and join in on the fun.  Bring your cup of tea and a notebook.  You might want to write something down.
Pencils!  Better than eggs in this basket!
I am a pencil artist, so much of my space is dedicated to drawing space and storage to support my pencil addiction.  : )   I use a variety of types of pencils so there is a necessity for a large number of pencils.  Most of the containers they come in are less than ideal.  I'm still waiting for someone to design the perfect pencil box!  And often I purchase my pencils through open stock, buying just a few at a time.  I could toss them all into a box.  But, not only would that be less than creative, it wouldn't be very practical for finding just the right color when I'm using them and in a hurry.  --Here, in the background, you can see a brush display holder that I gleaned from Hobby Lobby.  Years ago I was teaching through the store and they were going to toss this display case out.  I was happy to help them take out the trash.  Then in the front of the picture, I've used tea tins to separate the different kinds of pencils in a basket.  

What?!!  Isn't this what a relish plate is for?
The vintage relish dish was given to me by a friend.  It isn't perfect for the pencils but it is fun, and that counts for something too.  So I use it anyway.  When I do art journaling using only pencils, it takes a variety of kinds.  I like to choose the colors for my palette and then separate the different types of pencils here.

The same friend gave me this "crystal" pencil tray.  Actually, its an old plastic dish, probably meant to be thrown away after serving sandwiches at a party.  But we can pretend, can't we?  I enjoy using it to lay out the pencils I am going to use for a project.  It just feels better when I look at it to gather the next color.  Its all about atmosphere!

My one of a kind crystal pencil dish!

This is where I draw most of the time.  Well, admittedly sometimes I draw using a board on the couch.  But, this is the official location.  The second story windows are usually open and most often there is a cat either in the basket beside me or in my lap trying to catch the pencil.  In the background you can see the wooden file cabinets that I mentioned buying last year.  They have allowed me to streamline some of my storage and I love how they look.  The large school teacher's desk is where I do much of the recording for my online classes.

Animal portraiture is my specialty.  But lately I find myself moving toward a more illustrative type of subject.  This is where the ideas that only live in my head can come to a moment of life on the paper.  I offer no explanation for these pieces.  I like to let the viewer see them in the unique way that touches them.   If you wish you can see more of my work in my Wind and Honey Shop or through my Etsy shop.

I have taught art classes to local students as young as 5 and as old as ...., well, they probably don't want me to tell you how high that goes.  But lets just say some of them are great grandmothers.  Over the years, I've taught a variety of media.  But my favorite is drawing.  I love to do all kinds of art.  But drawing always feels like I've come home. And I love helping new students learn to draw.  My favorites are the ones that have always thought they couldn't do it.  Then they are amazed and delighted at the same time when they find the lessons opening up for them.  Those moments make me smile.

Last year I branched out into teaching online drawing classes through a video format.  It really works well as the camera is just over my shoulder and everything I do shows on the camera.  My classes start at the very beginning for those with no experience.  Then I also have workshops for those who already have some drawing background.  There are classes in both graphite black and white and in colored pencils.  I have taught through Artful Gathering and also through my own site Creative Pencils.

Vintage silverware, little frames, & a nest egg!

Love these shelves!!!
I do still love to play with mixed media collage and with digital collage.  But since I am teaching so much and focusing on drawing, I don't have a whole lot of time to create collages.  But by determination, I still find little ways to work it into my schedule 'just for fun' when I need a break.

 Recently we renovated our kitchen.  There was no longer any place to keep these great stainless steel shelves.  So, they moved to the studio, where everything "stray" ends up.  Wow, all that junk that had been piled on the floor is now stacked in order on these shelves.  What a difference!

My daughter made this cool dish in her first ceramics class in college.
I made a video of my studio recently as a teacher for Artful Gathering.  I am including it here.  It will show the whole room more clearly, should you wish to see it.  


Thank you for joining me today.  I've loved having you here.  I am anxious to see your studio and find wonderful and inspiring ideas.  I'll be there soon.  Put the kettle on.


****By the way, my beautiful blog was designed by our own Karen Valentine.  As you can see, she does a great job and she is a delight to work with.****

Friday, July 13, 2012

Sometimes You've Just Gotta Brag

You know, sometimes you've just gotta brag!  And since this bragging is on my students and not on me, I guess its ok.

I have been teaching a workshop in soft pastels during Session 1 of Artful Gathering 2012.  Our subject was a black rabbit but we used layers of colors to create the shape and shading of our rabbit.  This lovely and fuzzy bunny was drawn by Justine.  Isn't he delightful?  He has a perky look in his eyes like he just might do a little skip any minute.

And just about the same time I was getting lovely feedback from my Artful Gathering students, my Creative Pencils students were sending drawings to me that were so nicely done.  They have grown much in their skills.  I am so proud.  What's a teacher to do, but to brag!  LOL!

This is Buddy, drawn by Sherri Fults.  I love how Buddy's tummy looks so real.  I guess its funny that I would notice his tummy.  But it just caught my eye.    Sherri is growing rapidly in her pencil skills and is anxiously awaiting the opening of the animal portrait workshop on Creative Pencils this Fall. 

And this creative composition was drawn by Sandy Simpson who began lessons at Creative Pencils as a beginner late last Fall.  She has progressed nicely in her skills.  This drawing was the result of a lesson prompting creative composition that communicates a feeling.  These items are very personal to Sandy and her family and so they do communicate her intention.  Look at that hat.  Didn't she do an especially nice job on the hat?

And now, what about you?  Yes, you can do it too.  Opening day for Session 2 of Artful Gathering is in 2 days.  I am teaching a workshop using Graphite pencils and Derwent Graphitint pencils.  I have said that this project is for students that have some drawing experience.  Don't let that scare you off.  It you can draw a very simple line drawing and if you have at least a basic idea about shading, then you are ready for this class.  I will walk you through the rest of it one step at a time.  We will be drawing this beautiful barn owl.  

I hope you will join us.  The workshop is $120 for over 4 hours of step by step instruction.  You may enroll by going to Artful Gathering 2012 and click the registration button at the top of the page.  There is a small registration fee of $5 which helps to fund the gynormous amount it takes to run a site this large. Once you are in the site, you can sign up for the workshop by clicking the Workshops tab at the top of the page.  Scroll down to session 2 and you will find Portrait of Beauty and Wisdom there.  You click on that and then can purchase the workshop through paypal.  
Whew!  Its easier to do than it is to type.  LOL!

I hope to see you there.    



Wind and Honey Creations

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