Wednesday, July 31, 2013

workshops, classes, products and more!

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.

August 21-25, 2013     Create Chicago   
Please come join me!  I'll be teaching 4 different journal classes- come get your stash of journals made and ready for the upcoming busy holiday season!   I'll have copies of my Cloth Paper Scissors video with me, as well as my stamp line, including this years new additions!     

Sept. 25-27, 2013   Wholecloth Painted Quilts: Realistic Subjects
at PRO Chemical & Dye, Fall River, Mass.
We will cover the basics of creating wholecloth painted quilts based on photos. On the first day, you will do one of my small botanical projects to learn the basics. The next two days, you will work from your own photos to create entirely original work. You learn about:
1. selecting the right photos for great results
2. which paints, brushes, and fabrics to use and why
3. how to make a line drawing from a photo
4. how to transfer a design to fabric
5. painting and blending techniques
6. basic color theory
7. how to make tints and shades of paint colors
8. quilting considerations
More information here
Nov. 13-16, 2013Once in a Blue Moon Fiber Art Retreat
in Blowing Rock, North Carolina
Lyric and Susan are teaming up to offer two and a half days of fiber art workshops. Immerse yourself in a creative environment of learning and fun amidst the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. You can choose to take all your classes with Susan, all with Lyric, or some with each of us. Classes include beading, embroidery, wholecloth painting, surface design, design basics for art quilters, and threadsketching.
More information here
Jane Davies
September 22 - 27, Expressive Collage, Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY

See video here and here for a taste of Expressive Collage. 

October 2 - 4, Art and Soul, Portland, Oregon:

Leslie Tucker Jenison and Jamie Fingal will teaching several workshops at Art & Soul Mixed Media Retreat in Portland Oregon this fall.  Please refer to their website for photographs and text about each class :
Mon, Sept 30 - LESLIE - Drop Cloth Divas; Evening Class - Sheer Bliss: A Comfort Stitch-In
Mon, Sept 30 - JAMIE - Don't Rain on My Parade - Paper Parasol Journals

Tues, Oct 1 - JAMIE & LESLIE - Folding Artists Studios; and Tues Evening - For Ransom
Wed, Oct 2 - LESLIE - Wax on Wax Off:  A Play Date with Soy Wax

DEBORAH BOSCHERT is thrilled to share her revamped website! Check out for new galleries, lists of publications and info about workshops. (She hasn't even made this announcement on her own blog yet. You're getting the first preview!)
Did you miss Deborah's webinar on "Using Unexpected Materials in Fiber Collage?" Download it here!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Memories of a Magical Forest

Leslie here.  Last summer I took a road trip with my dear friend, Karen, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the first time we took a road trip on the Pacific Coast Highway together.  The trip began in San Jose and we drove north as far as Mendocino.  We worked our way down Highway One as far as Cambria.  One of the most extraordinary parts of our trip was driving east from Mendocino to Montgomery Woods, a lesser-known stand of redwood giants.  We parked our car and walked up a trail about a mile gaping at the beautiful trees, but it wasn't until we arrived in the grove of true giants that we experienced something magical.  I don't have words to express what being there has meant to me.  Growing up in the midwest I dreamed of seeing these trees and this was my first encounter.  Because the theme of our soon-to-open exhibition is called "An Exquisite Moment, I had the perfect subject:  A Moment in Montgomery Grove.

Standing at the base of a tree looking up

The moss-covered remnant of the base of a lost tree

My friend Karen stands at the base of a cluster of trees, or is it one tree?

I stand at the left base of this giant.
I used Spoonflower custom fabric printing to create a mirror-image 
detail of a portion of the image above
and embedded it into my newest quilt, "From The Redwood Forest:  A Moment In 
Montgomery Grove"
The image is overlaid onto a piece of dyed silk that I created as a sort of 
"fauvist-colored" tree.

A detail of my thread-sketched background.
I have long-regarded my sewing machine as a stationary pencil or paint brush,
and my thread is my paint.

Another detail of the upper portion of the piece. I used procionMX dye thickened with print paste.
First, I spread the thickened dye with a palette knife, then "tamped" it through a StencilGirl stencil.
Here is the full image of the piece.  There are three areas of embedded digital images.
Can you find them?
Finished size:  60 inches long by 24 inches wide.
This is my curator's piece for "An Exquisite Moment", which opens
I hope to see you there!

Monday, July 29, 2013

The pines and the firs

Terry Grant, here. One of my favorite images from trips into the forest are pine and fir cones. I have been fascinated with them since I was a child and usually have a bowl full of them sitting around somewhere in the house.  Did you know that they demonstrate the principle of the golden mean and Fibonacci spirals? Those petal-like things don't just grow willy nilly—they spiral around the core of the cone.

They have inspired me to make art over the years. I love to draw pine cones. At first they seem quite daunting, but when you stop to look carefully you can see the pattern that makes drawing them easier than you would think.

Many years ago I carved a linoleum block and made pine cone printed Christmas cards.

Using my block design, I made a silkscreen and printed a gagillion napkins with pine cones. I sent sets of them as Christmas gifts. I am still using the ones I made for myself.

I have made several small quilted pieces with a fir cone motif. Here is one that was a going away gift for a friend. I hope it reminds her of Oregon and her Oregon friends.

My quilt for the Oregon SAQA show several years ago was a large Douglas Fir cone quilt. The Douglas Fir is Oregon's state tree.

Happily, this quilt is now a part of the Thomas Contemporary Quilt Collection. Del Thomas, the collector is a native Oregonian, transplanted to California!

I live in the woods these days, and our property is littered with cones of all sizes and shapes. I still find myself stopping to pick one up to carry to the studio, when I see one that looks "perfect'! They sit on the windowsill and make me smile.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

into those woods!

from my sketchbook
detail from my sketchbook ~ by Jane LaFazio
from my sketchbook
from my sketchbook ~ by Jane LaFazio
Jane LaFazio on location
Jane LaFazio here. A few more pages from my recent teaching trip in Sequoia National Park.
from my sketchbook
detail from my sketchbook ~ by Jane LaFazio
from my sketchbook
detail from my sketchbook ~ by Jane LaFazio
from my sketchbook
from my sketchbook ~ by Jane LaFazio
from my sketchbook
detail from my sketchbook ~ by Jane LaFazio
from my sketchbook
from my sketchbook ~ by Jane LaFazio
from my sketchbook
detail from my sketchbook ~ by Jane LaFazio
from my sketchbook
from my sketchbook ~ by Jane LaFazio

Saturday, July 27, 2013


 Joanne Sharpe here, and i've gone "Into the Woods" with my black Pitt pen and art journal to sketch the movement and patterns of trees and nature.  I recently launched an online class called "Doodle Arts and Letters" and it's put me in the drawing and doodling groove perfect for lazy days of summer.  Well for me, mostly airline travel as i am teaching in several cities this year.  Simple black and white drawings fill many of my pages, as a pen and journal is easy and portable.
 There is not a better place for inspiration than nature with all it's grandeur and exquisite beauty.  I'm very blessed to have a "forever wild" nature preserve that borders my backyard.  When i look in the woods and see every natural element perfectly formed in unison and repetition, i am moved by the creation that we so often take for granted.
 Most of my sketching ends up having a "doodle flair".  Words that describe drawing and doodling for me are: organic, flow, repeat, pattern, movement, negative space, fill, loose, busy, overdone, line over line.....all these characteristics define my style.  What defines your drawing style? 
 It's fun to add unexpected and surprise elements into a drawing.  Here you see that i have added my signature organic doodle hearts and whimsical trees.  I love this drawing in black and white, but would love to color it when i have the uninterrupted opportunity to sit with all my markers, colored pencils and watercolors.
Look into the woods for inspiration and "see differently".  When your true authentic creative self is evolving, you know my mantra, "it doesn't matter how you look, it's how you see"!  Have fun and come doodle with me!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Into the woods with my camera

I am fortunate to live in an area that is not only surrounded by woods but also has several state forests with marked trails to walk.  I love to take my camera along when I go walking through the woods and so I thought instead of doing a post about my sketches for this months theme I'd share some photos of a recent walk for your inspiration.  Feel free to use these photos however you like but if you re-post any of them please link back to the Sketchbook Challenge blog as the source.  (click any of the photos below for a larger view)

The New England landscape is very lush in the summer months and there's no shortage of beautiful trees in a astounding palette of greens to draw inspiration from:

A view from my deck of the woods that surrounds my home

 There are so many things to draw inspiration from on a walk through the woods.  The trees and plants of course but there's also the sounds.

The crunch of the leaves and dirt beneath your feet and the sounds of the birds in the trees:

 male Grosbeak

female ruby throated hummingbird


and one of my favorite sounds is the coo of the mourning dove

There's a lot of inspiration to be found on the ground in the woods as well:

 the surface of a felled tree

 I love ferns both such great color and texture (and they are a lot of fun to leaf print with - just use a foam brush to lightly coat them with paint and then press into either fabric or paper to create a print)
moss on a stone wall

And of course when fall arrives in New England all that greenery bursts into a palette of yellow, reds and oranges:

my backyard in the fall

Which gives way to winter and the woods become filled with shades of brown:

No matter what time of the year you walk through the woods there's always something to be inspired by!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Greetings from Camp!

Jamie Fingal checking in.  Revisiting my Girl Scout life, when I was a licensed vendor for GSUSA; I created a line of note cards, brochures, awards and badges.  It was great fun!
Brochure where I created one inch icons that I used on many GS projects
A fun little logo for a Girl Scout event featuring my hero, Juliette Low

Camping in  the woods!

Campfires and S'mores!

Cadette-O-Rama - camping adventure for Cadettes
Be a Sister to every Girl Scout

Don't forget your compass, when you are hiking in the woods!