Archive for the ‘Galen Berry’ Category

Our Own Art Educations

Like so many of you, I am a regular reader of Robert Genn’s Twice Weekly Letter. This latest one looked at the traditional master-apprentice role in the arts, and I was particularly taken with some of the thoughts, especially since marbling has always followed this road. Apprentices worked with masters for years, learning and absorbing every trick and skills through watching – and later on by doing.

This made me think of how we get our own art educations, a topic near and dear for so many of us. I’m self-taught in virtually everything I have done artistically. I would hazard a guess that this is true for most of us baby boomer women. We were encouraged to go into paths that would support us or provide for families, with little thought as to what would make our hearts sing. As we’ve gotten older we have become more expressive.

Self taught. It seems to be fine in so many fields to say you are self-taught – tutored in life. But not in art. At least for me, I still feel intimidated when I see in a CV of someone in an art show all their schooling and formal coursework in the arts. My own art education early on consisted of a few art projects in elementary school and then a “class” as an elective in high school where we churned out particular projects. But nothing in creativity. Which ties in to a recent article in Newsweek on the dearth of creativity in modern classrooms and education.

I’m rambling, I know. But I’ve had to learn how to be creative, to break through the “OMG, what will it look like?” phase of making art. Would working with a master have helped this? I don’t know, but it probably wouldn’t have hurt any.

Who are our masters in the arts today? From whom do we study and learn? Enter the Internet, the cheap equalizer to getting an art education. The joke in our family always was that if my dad wanted to learn how to do something new, he would read a book. Well, I got that gene. I read everything I can get my hands on if it’s something I am really interested in. But that can get to be expensive, although still cheaper than a formal education or coursework.

The internet has opened up huge resources for us. I started on TV with Sewing with Nancy and Eleanor Burns and Kaye Woods. I picked up all kinds of hints – and reasons why something I was already doing (through guesswork) wasn’t working. Like many of us, I have taken workshops when I can afford it. Jennie Rayment and her muslin creations still stick in my mind – such possibilities for texture!

Just one of Jennie Rayment's books

The first professional workshop on marbling was with Galen Berry (over a year ago) and it was wonderful – lots of questions answered, problems solved, and energy renewed. We started to zoom ahead in our skills.

Galen Berry

Then I went to the School of Threadology with Superior Threads. Yes, I know I rave about their threads, but the professional education I received over the three days with Bob and Heather Purcell was priceless. My work has taken a dramatic turn for the better – and I don’t break thread anymore….

School Of Threadology

Now I’ve discovered Interweave and their dvds on quilting and other artistic endeavors. Better than a book because I can see things actually being done.

Interweave

I watched a leaf tutorial by Heidi Lund and already picked up a bunch of hints to try something totally new for my bamboo piece. Carol Taylor’s video on her Arc-i-Texture techniques had me making a new quilt last night to try out the ideas…and I must say I’m loving it! And Susan Brubaker Knapp’s video on machine quilting corrected a whole bunch of errors I have puzzled over.

Carol Taylor

Susan Brubaker Knapp

Heidi Lund

And of course we can’t forget YouTube. I have been devouring and studying very closely the wealth of marbling videos on line.

So my question to you is: What’s the best professional development you’ve ever attended – the one that has changed how you do your art? I want to know!

PS – all of these recommendations are unsolicited – they’re just stuff I have learned from and appreciate – nothing comes to me as a result of you checking these out! (OK, FCC – happy?)

Monday Marketing – Updates


For being out of commission for a good chunk of last week, I am pleased to say the momentum is continuing. The quilt is done and I hope to post pics soon. I’ve rescheduled our artist group for August, set up the Etsy store, and did some new marbling. The pic to the left is a traditional stone pattern that FINALLY looks like a piece of marble. We have tried for years to do this, and now with the new paints from Galen Berry, we are having success. This design is on a piece of black cotton, so all the colors are subdued. In good like it looks like an expensive piece of marble countertop. I’ve already tried experimenting with Photoshop, and this should make a good background piece for other work.

The Etsy store took time, but I am hoping it will begin to move a few things. I have started a list of new things to marble and put just in the Etsy store. I want to continue my Geode series, and I think this might be a good outlet for small pieces as gifts.

Nothing new on Cafe Press this week – I will be making new changes for next week – have some new designs to start with.

I am going to attempt to dye fabric this week, and then marble it and see what happens. I also want to marble some more paper for people who like collage. And – ta-da – after watching numerous videos of Turkish masters marbling, I have attempted with some success to create marbled flowers right in the tray. As I do more, I will post the results. There’s still a LOONNGGGG way to go to be good, but I want to practice them for some other commissioned work.

Goals for this week:

* maintain the blog
* get pics up for Brenda (weaver) and Yvonna (clay artist)
* check on December show
* update Cafe Press
* get started on Operculum store for CafePress

I hope everyone has a great art-filled week!

Marbling with Galen


After all these years of being self-taught marblers, we were able to take a workshop with Galen Berry, from whom we get some of our supplies, and who also happens to be self-taught. What a great 6 hours last Saturday!! Even though this was primarily a workshop on marbling paper (and did we ever learn a lot), everything was applicable to us as fabric marblers. We came away with lots of ideas for new patterns, better quality paints, more vibrant colors – and we discovered a number of reasons why some of our sessions aren’t working.

This top piece is what we call our horse feather pattern, and we were able to get good vibrant colors on the paper – in cookie trays, no less. The reds are some of the best that we have tried. We stocked up on a bunch of his paints (especially since we didn’t have to pay shipping), as well as materials for new brushes, some ox gall (which we’ve never used before), and a few other goodies. I’m glad we both did the workshop – there were lots of glances between us as we would have an ah-ha moment, and we couldn’t stop talking about trying new methods.


This last is the “Italian vein” pattern, and I used to wonder when I went through marbling patterns, how it was ever done. Well, lay some light layers of paint, and then use a small water sprayer with a little ox gall in it, and it causes the paint to move together into very fine lines. Who knew?

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