Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Traci Bautista's Class

Traci Bautista has a style all her own: funky, colorful, and playful! In this class, we made a fusion macrame journal using Traci's trademark paper towel/paint/stamping method.

Another instructor who moves quickly, Traci had us painting, blotting, stamping paper towels and papers to use later in our book. Her classes are always such a whirlwind of activity and soooo much fun.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Juliana Coles' Workshop

I took two classes from Juliana Coles, an amazing artist and instructor. Her first class, The Pirate's Code: Extreme Journaling was unlike any other I've ever taken at Art & Soul. When the instructor dresses up as a pirate complete with an eye patch, you know you're in trouble. This is the real thing. She's not joking around. The girl takes her art seriously and she wants you to follow suit.

Now, I have to admit...the authentic pirate music (where does she find this stuff?) was a bit much, but I admire her for structuring the class the way she did. No frivolous talking with your neighbor and don't you even think about turning on your ipod. We were there to be challenged, pushed, annoyed, inspired, frustrated, and ultimately free to authentically express our creative selves. Outcome was not important.

The end product was completely irrelevant. The creative juice lied in the process, in the doing, in the feeling, in the journey, in the touching of our stuff.

In short exercises, we worked on journal pages and just put it down, in whatever format and style "it" wanted to come out. No time to think or plan or redo. Doesn't matter
if you like it. Doesn't matter if you hate it.

Just capture the moment. That's all we ever have anyway...just express who you are at that time. It's all good...being yourself and
expressing your most essential self is a rare and beautiful thing. This is the kind of class where, if you really want to get the most out of it, you buckle up and dig deep. I couldn't get enough of it!

Honesty is so damn powerful.
I was lucky enough to have the most wonderfully fun people at my table. Don't you just love when that happens? We all just clicked and there was an amazing amount of trust
and comfort present. Jen, Cynthia (the dynamic mother/daughter duo), Jill, Carol (and the other lady's name I forgot)...You Rock!

The other class, Diarist Sectional: A Daily Aide, was equally awesome. We took a vintage book
and ripped out the pages.

In brief bursts of time, we madly collaged multiple papers with all kinds of layers of this and that. Then we cut the collages up and glued them, in tab form, back in the book. This was such a cool project and fairly simple to do. Once the tabs were in, we went back and did more journaling and collage work. Each tab is supposed to visually represent a day in your life. Such a fantastic experience...if you
ever get the chance, I highly recommend Juliana Coles.
That girl is truly one of a kind and you will walk away with a very powerful and personal experience.

Michael deMeng's Class

I took the fabulous Michael deMeng's Lightbulb Shrine class and made these two creations. Wasn't pleased with either one of them, but I just love taking classes with Michael. He is such a warm soul and talented instructor and, well, his classes are loose and fun, just the way I like 'em. The completed shrines were just amazing. I'm telling you they were all so cool and other-wordly...mine just stunk in comparison, but I had a great time anyway.

Michael's new book, Secrets of Rusty Things is out now, as is his new line of stamps and they are both so amazing! He doesn't do cutesy. Even though I find myself always "girling" everything up (hello...cupcake ballerina and ninja turtle?!) I like to push myself in a direction that I'm not naturally inclined to go.

I took his Holy Hot Wheels class in Portland last year and made the funky three cars you see below. At the end of class, he set up the race track and we put our cars to the test. My skull car was a finalist but, alas, it didn't take the prize. Great memories, though, and another wonderful class.