Friday, August 31, 2012

August prize winners!

The winners of the August 2012 give away prize packages, chosen by random draw are:
(click on the winners names to see their sketchbook page)

Winners must email Sue at with their full name, flickr name and mailing address by 9/9/12 in order to claim their prize.
The winner of the prize package giveaway from Gelli Arts! is:

the lucky winner will receive an 8"x10" Gelli Art plate!

The winner of the prize package giveaway from Meinke Toy is:

one lucky winner will receive a $25 gift certificate to Meinke Toy!

The winner of the prize package giveaway from Blue Twig Studio is:

one lucky winner will receive a 4 pack of Pitt journaling artist pens!

The winner of the prize package giveaway from Art & Soul Retreats is:

One lucky winner will receive a Koi Water Color paint set along with some additional brushes and a watercolor paper tablet!
The 3 lucky winners who will receive a piece of mail art from one of the sketchbook challenge artists are:

Winners must email Sue at with their full name, flickr name and mailing address by 9/9/12 in order to claim their prize.  Prizes not claimed by 9/9/12 are forfeited.

Thank you to everyone who posted photos in the flickr group and congratulations to all the winners! 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sketchbook Challenge Workshops - Let's Make Art Together!

Workshops & Online Classes with your favorite Sketchbook Challenge artists.

We keep our commercial presence to one monthly post so that we can share other opportunities to take workshops, purchase art or enjoy other offerings from all of us. Check out our workshops and  books. Thank you for being a part of the Sketchbook Challenge! It's an honor to share this journey with you.

Pam Carriker 
October 6-7 Art Is Stamford, CT
Get the Lead Out! Mixing media with Liquid Pencil Sketching Inks
Busting Out-3D journal style, self portrait busts

I'll be wearing my tutu (cobalt teal of course) will you? If you are attending Art Is in October I hope you'll consider joining me for one of my workshops. We'll explore mixed media that includes using my new line of Liquid Pencil Sketching Inks and Mixed Media Adhesive to create collaged works of art. Afraid of creating a self portrait?  Well fear no more as we explore journaling, painting and learn how to shade a face on a 3D bust creating a perfect piece to display in your studio. More info here.

Jane Davies
September 7-9 Workshops at Random Arts, Saluda, NC
9/7 Unlocking the Secrets of Color
9/8 Scribble Collage
9/9 Unbinding the Visual Journal
More info here.

October 1-2 Art and Soul, Portland Oregon
Scribble Paint and Intro to Encaustics
More info here. (scroll down to Jane Davies)

Kari McKnight Holbrook
October 1, 2012 Art & Soul Retreat, Portland OR
Class: Rockin' Resin Reliquaries
Create a journal of dreamy rich backgrounds and finish it with a luscious glittery resin cover that provides durable protection and a professional look to your work of art. Explore painting without brushes and wonderful additives that extend your budget! Finish the day learning how Kari does her unique lettering! More info here. 

October 2, 2012 Art & Soul Retreat, Portland OR
Class: A Fluid Romance
Fall in love with Fluid Acrylics! Explore the allure of layers using both physical and optical color blends, and discover the subtle differences between transparent, translucent, and opaque paints. Advanced collage blending techniques and Bas relief will round out only a few of the exciting techniques that are de-mystefied in this workshop! More info here. 

October 3, 2012  Art & Soul Retreat, Portland OR
Class: Delectable Doodles
Closed -ask for Waiting list for possibility of second class...
More info here.

October 4, 2012  Art & Soul Retreat, Portland OR
Class: Stamps & Stencils Journals
Using acrylic paints, we'll create a richly patterned journal with pages exploding with color and visual depth. The binding technique is especially for creating a journal whose pages lie flat when opened. More info here. 

Lyric Kinard
October 29th through November 3, 2012 
International Quilt Festival in Houston, TX
Come play at the biggest and best quilt conference you've ever seen. Classes with Lyric include Surface Design, Creative Collage, Abstract-A-Licious, and Just Foiling Around! More info here. 

Start your planning for next spring!
March 10-15, 2013 Quilting Adventures a five day retreat in Texas Hill Country : Surface Design Sampler Platter
Five fabulous days playing with fabric, paint, foil, photo transfer, beading, stamping, screen printing - and a little design too! More info here.

June 26 - July 2, 2013  Becoming an Artist in Italy!
The beauty of the Italian countryside is is a glorious setting for awakening your creative abilities and nurturing your desire to become an artist.  More info here.

Jane LaFazio
September 10-16, 2012  
ArtWalk on the French Riviera More info here. 
October 6-14, 2013 
ArtWalk in Italy More info here.

Deborah Boschert
Deborah Boschert is an instructor with STITCHED, a collection of 20 online video workshops. Her workshop is titled Branches, Buds and Blossoms: A Botanical Fabric collage and includes segments on surface design, composition and embellishment. More info here.

Deborah Boschert's new DVD workshop from Quilting Arts was just released! "Contemporary Fabric Collage: Design, Stitch and Finish" includes segments on fabric selection, using sheer fabrics and hand embroidery. More info here.

Sign up for Deborah Boschert's e-newsletter for regular updates and free pdf downloads.

Kelli Nina Perkins

2012 STITCHED Online Video Workshops. Over 20 projects with full video tutorials. Work all year, take as many as you'd like for one fee. More info here                 

October 2012 ART CAMP FOR WOMEN in beautiful Colorado. Join me, Carla Sonheim and other artists at an all inclusive art vacation retreat. We'll study self portraits and take in fresh mountain air with other creative spirits. Gourmet food and wine every day. More info here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Nature's Shelter

Carol Sloan here.

I am an avid nature lover.
I spend a lot of time hiking, riding bikes and kayaking with my husband.

I have been collecting leaves, rocks, twigs and feathers since I was a little nature lover.
It stands to reason that I reference nature in a lot of my artwork and writing.

Today's post is no different.

I've been working on new pieces that involve the fashion of nature.
And, to my delight, I was able to connect this theme with that theme!
(don't you just love it when that happens?)

I've been using some of my most treasured artifacts (the leaves, twigs and feathers) to represent the changing fashion of nature.

Here's a peek at one of my sketchbook pages.
I was fleshing out an idea on the pages instead of doing it on a 24" x 36" canvas.

The leaves are from a shrub in my front yard.
It is shelter to a least one little nest of birds.
I suspect that many other animals seek shelter among its many leaves, not to mention all of the plants that hide from the sun underneath it.

Now, back to the studio for more fun, uh, I mean work!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Simple House

Welcome to Deborah's house! I love a simple five-sided house shape. It shows up in my work again and again. Even though my family is in the midst of moving from one house to another (literally!), I was able to dig out a few supplies and play a bit with the house shape in my sketch book.

Just a spiral sketchbook, a glue stick, some scissors and a magazine. (My dad found this one in an airplane and thought I'd like it, so he tucked it in his suitcase to give me. Thanks, Dad.)

Simple simple simple house shapes. A few different sizes cut from interesting patterns on the magazine page.

Here's my very simple first design. Nothing special, but I still like it. Sometimes spare designs are perfect in their simplicity. (This certainly isn't perfect, but I'm just playing.)

Next I picked this page to cut up. I liked the variety of colors and textures in the photo. Isn't Rhianna gorgeous?

As you can see, I've stretched the house shape -- some tall, some short and wide. I tried to cut into various areas of the photo so I would have some contrast in color. That allows me to stack the shapes on top of each other, but they don't blend into each other.

Here's a close up where you can see Rhianna face in the upper left and hand in the bottom right.

Lastly I wanted to explore cutting negative house shapes out of other house shapes. I especially love this technique because you can use both the shape with the negative cut out AND the positive house shape.

Isn't it amazing that you get more of a sense of depth with this composition -- even though it's somewhat abstract?

I'll admit that I'm not as free and flexible as I could be. Did you notice that all my houses are sitting flat and straight? Mixing up the alignment of the shapes would make these collages look totally different. Honestly, I didn't even consider that until writing this post and looking through the images. I'll try that next time...

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Quilted Shelters

Hi, it is Frances again.  I want to share some quilted images that I have made that mean shelter to me.
I was in Taos one summer and painted this adobe house that was across from us and tucked into the mountains.  I quilted it later.

These are buildings from my town, Grafton, Vermont, arranged out of order.  The covered bridge at thee far right sheltered people from storms and hot sun.  In my high school era, it was also a place to hide.  The white building next to it is my studio, a place I use to create and to shelter my creativity.  Next, the town hall, shelters the town government.  The church has offered everything from Sunday services to weddings, funerals, concerts and refuge.  The Grafton Inn has rooms that will nurture the soul.  The small red building is the blacksmith shop.  It shelters Adam and a lot of raw iron.  The last building is the site of Grafton Cares where free meals, aid to people in need and are managed.  I am proud of our town.

"Garden Visitor" gives shelter to the smaller creatures.

An all time favorite for most of us is nests.  Mamma bird is taking care of her offspring in her nest shelter.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Stretching it a bit....

(Lyric here.) This is quite a stretch for the theme of shelter but, well, I've taken most of the month off. Completely out of the studio and not even sketching. Sometimes one really does need a break and I haven't taken one for ages. So here is a little story of how I was "sheltered" (well, mostly just sort of helped).

So. If you happen to get a speeding ticket .... spending a day in traffic court can be time well spent. 
Sigh. We took the waaaaay back country roads on a way from a vacation and even though I was actually trying to stay within the speed limit (52 in a 55mph zone) I somehow missed the sign in front of the one mile stretch that was 35mph. So there I was - a morning spent in traffic court.
I had my sketchbook with me and while waiting my turn I pulled out my pencil.
I sat in front so all I had to draw was the lawyers and the officers.
Of course - one's hand is always there to draw. I was trying to be circumspect but one of the officers (I think it might even have been the one who pulled me over) saw me and leaned over when he walked by and told me he wanted to see it when I was done.
We weren't allowed phones so I couldn't take a picture which is too bad - the two pictures I tore out and gave to the officer and the bailiff were much better than these. I had plenty of time to work on those two and they held still the longest. The officer knew I was drawing him so I think he held still on purpose. After I gave him the drawing he told me he had told the judge to be nice to me. (He was.) 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Life Shelters

"Daily Collage" on my Facebook page.

Hi everyone, I am Frances Holliday Alford, with my first entry into the Sketchbook Challenge. I am so happy to be chosen to be in this wonderful group of artists.  Thank you.

Shelter, as a subject. made me think of the houses I have lived in. There has been a variety. I made a Sketchbook choosing random art papers bound together with stitching.
I started with the first house I lived in and wrote the street and town of each successive one in order.  My first entry in my sketchbook, my house on Mulberry Lane in Bellaire, Texas

Our second house was also in Greater Houston.  My parents built our house in Piney Point Village.  I was here until I graduated from Memorial High School.

I spent hours remembering details of each of these abodes. Some were apartments, most were free standing houses.

Our family moved to Houlton, Maine when I was college age and we lived in a house on Charles Street.  I saw it last summer and it is now forest green.

I lived in Tucson for eight years.  This was the first apartment there. The house in the front was our landlord's part.  We lived in the back.
We bought our first house in Tucson.  White stucco, very '30s type and so Southwestern.  A wonderful house in the Sam Hughes neighborhood.  It had a very tall cyprus tree in the front.

When John and I got married, we bought this house in Austin.  Later, Rick Perry moved in two doors down.  I sold the house after John died and I moved to Vermont.  Rick still lives there.

I now live in "Crossways" in Grafton, Vermont.  My first house in Grafton was "Overbrook" which is across the brook from where I live now.  I had always wanted to live in Grafton, having spent so many happy summers here visiting my grandparents. 

This is my boarding house in Cheongju, Korea with an outdoor water supply for washing and tooth brushing. I was a Peace Corps Volunteer from 1978-1980.  I lived in the same way most of the people of South Korea lived in those days. I had a mat on the floor and ate my meals with the family I lived with.  My room is the double door to the left.  The outdoor toilet was just below the lower left corner.  The kitchen is the darker door in the center.

Making the sketchbook was fun.  I learned a lot doing this.  The most important thing I learned was to be careful to make sure that each paper will work well for sketching.  Some papers were better than others. 


I have a few other pieces to show you from the shelter theme.

I was part of the Artist's Village at the International Quilt Association show in Houston and Long Beach. My yellow beaded house just came back and here it is.  Kathy York did a great job with her concept and organization of this project.

The second year of IQA's Journal Quilts, I did a whole series of houses.  Here is my Citrus House.

The winter after I bought Crossways, I dreamed about the beautiful yellow house up in Vermont and how much I would enjoy the summer I was going to spend there. This quilt was an outcome of that vision. Not very similar to Crossways except for being yellow. It was in the Tactile Archecture that  that year for IQA in Houston.  On the right, a more accurate version of my house, Crossways, in the snow.
                                                   "Daily Collage" on my Facebook page.             


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Gimme Shelter

Judy Coates Perez here
The symbolism of home and shelter is very significant to me right now. I am on the cusp of a major life transition, and home, as I am sure I will have some form of shelter as I go through this, is a bit ambiguous right now.

My marriage of more than 20 years came to an end a few years ago and because of the bad economy I remained in Chicago with my (now adult) kids, unable to sell our loft. I am in the process of negotiating a short sale and crossing my fingers it all goes through, which will allow me to move back to California in the next month or two.

I made this house for Kathy York's curated exhibit the Artists Village about a year after my initial split. My house incorporates floral/plant imagery for growth, bees for hard work, a heart for healing and love,

roots for staying grounded and figuring out where to plant myself and even a couple of female nudes to represent rediscovering what it meant to be a single woman again.

This was the house that started it all, The Cicada House is about 20" tall and 6" wide. The fabric is layered with printed paper imagery and multiple layers of transparant and metallic textile paint, then fused to heavy weight interfacing and quilted. The panels were stitched together and the roof and windows were embellished with embossed metal trim.

I enjoyed making the cicada house so much I needed to explore the house construction further with a couple water themed houses which were featured in a two part tutorial in Cloth Paper Scissors magazine March and May 2008.

I've also done a series of houses with stitched painted imagery with embossed metal stitched to them that I like to think of as personal altars. Bees and hives are symbolic of industry and craft, so I like to have them in my work.

This house series was painted and quilted fabric stitched to painted and hand stitched lutradur with embossed metal stitched to it, sewn to copper screen.

I know there will be more symbolic houses incorporated into my art in the future as a I transition to a new life living in Northern California as a single woman, with kids embarking on adulthood while I explore new forms of shelter.