On the newsstands now or very soon, the Jan/Feb Somerset Studio - with my article: Silver Linings. Made with gelli prints that were painted back in October 2013, I decided to finally USE THEM as they were in peril of being pitched. Pages are stitched together - a tip I got from my friend Julie Prichard in one of her online classes. I'm a Silver Lining seeker - trying to see the good in every situation, no matter how difficult. Quotes of affirmation, collected over time, now reside in this new journal. See the article for more about the process.
Don't miss out on the early registration discount for CreativeJumpStart2017. Offer good through the ball drop on Saturday night. Join in for a full month of creativity videos and giveaways - from 27 artists. Last year was so much fun - my first time as a presenter. Happy to be back again. Come along!!
Have you signed up for Creative JumpStart yet? You can still get an early registration discount of $45 until the end of December. (Regular pricing of $50 on 1/1/17) Why not get enrolled now, before the ramped up activities of the holidays? Sign up and and sit back, knowing that throughout January you can re-motivate your creativity on a daily basis with videos by 27 artists. Treat yourself! Click HERE.
Here's a sneak peek of the supplies I use for my project video. Debris from your table will work!
My friend Nathalie, host of Creative JumpStart, has prepared a video that is a visual interview. She asked the questions, I sent her graphics for my answers. I love this kind of interview. Check it out. You can sign up for a month of motivational tutorials from 27 artists, to get you plugged in to making cool stuff HERE. I hope you'll join us!
When you get to the end of the video it will show you some of the other interviews that have been posted so far - click on those too. Super fun!
I'm excited to announce that I'll be a participating artist for Creative JumpStart (CJS) 2017, hosted for the 6th year by Nathalie Kalbach. If you're not familiar with CJS, it's a one-of-a-kind online event to kick your creativity into high gear in January 2017.
Learn techniques, discover new materials, and connect with other artists and crafters.
Throughout January participants get access to 27 downloadable videos from 27 featured artists. I'm proud to be one of those artists, called “JumpStarters.” See for yourself:
Head on over to Nathalie's site to sign up and to learn more details:
If you sign up before November 30th (11:59 pm EST 2016) the cost is only $40.
Afterwards it will be $45 until December 31st, 2016 before it goes to its regular price of $50.
Treat yourself and jumpstart your creativity for the new year - a full month of inspiring posts to get you plugged in to making art!
I participated last year - with my first video! It was super fun to see how each jumpstart artist interpreted the prompt of the theme, and I learned a lot of really fun techniques (from artists I knew and artists who were knew-to-me) and it definitely got me motivated for the new year. This will be my second year, and only my second video - I know! I'm a dinosaur....eventually video-making will become more of a habit...I hope! I am grateful to my friend Nathalie who pushed me out of my comfort zone to make these videos.
I love the theme for 2017 - MIX, MATCH, & MASTER and I have translated it with a quick and easy project that everyone should try!
So what are you waiting for? Sign up here at:
Chime in below if you are coming along for the ride and we will get excited together!
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from noon until 11:59 p.m. CST (Central Standard Time)
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SHOP for my designs HERE.
Lots of really amazing designs at Stencil Girl Products - stock up for yourself, and double up to get some gifts!
Oh my...it's been a while since I blogged. A sign that's it has been a busy and fun summer! Can't believe it's September already. Fallon will be starting at Rutgers next week. I love the beginning of a school year, even it if doesn't have a direct impact on my personal daily life anymore (packing lunches, driving carpool, monitoring homework....) However, I always regard this time period as a chance to start anew. Three quarters of 2016 is over but we still can view this month as returning students do, with sharpened pencils and fresh perspective. Shake off unfinished projects, clear off the table, open your mind, and begin learning something new. Change of season, change of routine. That's what September means to me - although I do try to hang on to the last pleasures of summer a little longer.
My next two classes will be at Pratt in NYC. See my WORKSHOPS page for the particulars. Hope you'll come!!
I had two terrific classes at The Ink Pad last month. It's always such a treat to see how the artists interpret the projects. I always leave feeling so energized and motivated when I see the magic of creativity at work. Thanks for joining me!
I'm off to float around the pool again while catching up on my reading. Have a great holiday weekend!
A new class for August 13 - FLIP OVER NYC. Get it? It's a flip-style book you will flip over. Ha! Super fun to work on this one. Come take the class with me at The Ink Pad. Call (212) 463-9876 to register. Then on August 14 we will be making a Frond Chronicle Journal. Learn how to make your own stencil/mask sets (from four different materials), then use them as tools with paint. This one is a favorite and often requested. See samples below. Hope to see you in class!
I will be at Pratt in June with one of my favorite classes: Roll With It. You can see a great evidence shot from this class below the announcement. I will also be teaching at Pratt this Fall. October 8: What a Relief, and November 19: Compose Yourself. See all current postings on the workshop page HERE.
In August I will be returning to The Ink Pad. Classes still to be determined. I have a few new ideas....working them out this week!
The January/February issue of Somerset Studio has arrived. If you've taken the Compose Yourself workshop with me then you've tried the exercise I illustrate and describe in my column. I first learned of it back in grade school - didn't know the term for it until a few years ago. Notan - the Japanese word for dark/light harmony. (I could insert a HIM reference here, as they have an album called Dark Light, but I will refrain.) You can see I used my chess stencil again. The full set of stencils/masks will be released in January.
Compose Yourself is on my schedule in 2016. It will be offered through Pratt School of Continuing and Professional Studies on February 13. Registration is open. CALL 855.551.7727 or follow link to register: HERE (type in Michelle Ward, using caps as shown)
Here is a sampling of my Pratt workshops this Spring. Visit my WORKSHOPS page for full descriptions and schedule.
And don't forget - if you plan on joining Creative JumpStart the $45 fee is good through 12/31. It will be $50 after that. Visit Nathalie's site HERE for all the details. My first video will be included!! HCIT?
This just in, November/December issue of Somerset Studio. My article "Creating Opportunities" is about making the commitment to dimensional elements on your page before you start adding your layers of paint and collage. One of my favorite mantras, as a teacher, is to tell you to "Commit". Just start with one thing, then each decision you make is informed by the previous commitment. That's easy to say when you are working on a painted or collaged foundation. But once you have invested time in making a background it may be a little stressful to cut into it. I've observed this in workshops - we start with paint, then I hope to encourage some slight-of-hand tricks with cutting and folding, but there is a reluctance. So I changed my method of teaching, and we begin with the deliberate cuts and folds, then add the paint, collage, and stencils. The commitment to adding cut-out shapes, and the placement of where they are positioned, is not influenced by anything since the canvas is blank. With dimensional features established, you've created opportunities for how to proceed. See the magazine for more details, and many other terrific articles.
Hey there. Just surfacing from my studio overhaul to talk about my next class. I'm really excited to be teaching at Pratt School of Continuing and Professional Studies in Manhattan this fall. It's such a cool place, and the studios are amazing. How cool would be to say you took a class at Pratt?
So first up is ROLL WITH IT, SUNDAY, OCTOBER 4TH. I started teaching this one over ten years ago and it is still one of my favorites. It has evolved over the years to include new tricks. First debuting at Artfest 2004, then Artwerx, Valley Ridge, The Ink Pad, CREATE,...it's definitely a crowd pleaser. If you want a fun day of learning lots of painting tricks, or you want to refresh your view of using paint, come roll with me! (Scroll down for some evidence of past workshops).
ROLL WITH IT workshop, is fast moving class where I demo a technique and then you try it. In my own experiments with creating texture I have found the magic properties of gesso. Gesso affords movement, lifting, resisting, but most of all it allows forgiveness. We will learn why it's an important foundation. For example, on a section of roll, we will try a two-step painting process. Next, we’ll reverse the process with step two first, followed by step one. This will allow us to learn from our observations. There is no right or wrong way to lay paint, but hopefully these exercises will inform your future work. We will scrape, stencil, resist, stamp, and so much more. The swift pace will leave the inner critique out of the process as it's all about doing the work. The completed length will then be assembled as a journal. As you fold the page you end up with serendipitous compositions that you never would have planned as the techniques segue from one to another.
FORMAT: I will demo a technique then you will try it on your paper. Then I demo again, and you try it. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. We will be moving fast so we can complete many different things. It’s important to let go of your concern for perfect composition since this is not the focus of the class. There are no rules here, except to move swiftly so we can plow through the assignments, leaving time toward the end of class for the finishing touch of creating a book from our roll. It always amazes me, with each time I teach this class, how different each journal can look even though we all followed the same directions. Each artist has a different hand and an unique way of interpreting the exercises with their own color palette.
ORIGIN: When I was in college, one of my drawing classes began each morning with an exercise in gesture drawing of the nude models. The models made quick, thirty second poses, which we scribbled onto a roll of paper. After about five minutes(ten gesture drawings), we rolled the paper back up and continued with the day’s assignment. At the end of the course, we posted our rolls of paper onto a display wall, and it was amazing to chart our growth as sketch artists, across the length of the roll. Remembering the impact of this exercise, I began imagining how cool it would be to compose something similar with paint, for a short amount of time everyday, on a roll of paper. I could experiment randomly on the roll, and also use it to catch evidence of work-in-progress on my studio table (cleaning off my brush, clippings of collage, etc).....then, the completed roll could be manipulated into a book, a foundation for journaling. I ended up finishing about 30 feet of painted roll and got excited to see what it would look like as a journal so I stopped and figured out how to fold the length into a book - and a class was born!
Hope you'll join me!
I've updated my Workshop page with details about my classes at Pratt this Fall. I'm so excited about this new venue! You can see the entire catalog HERE. To find my classes, type in Michelle Ward in the search box. Registration begins 7/27. To enroll, click HERE and insert course code number.
I shared this quote a long time ago and it's how I still feel about teaching. Being in class with other curious creative individuals who want to expand their visual vocabulary and experience is so rewarding - we all learn something from each other because we all have unique ways of interpreting the assignments. As Jefferson wisely speaks about light spreading rather than diminishing, so too do ideas multiply when we learn something in an enthusiastic, safe and nurturing group environment.
I will be getting back to my ongoing posts on The Evolution of an Idea. This week I have a few deadlines - both concrete and self-imposed so I'm tending to business. One thing I wanted to share - very exciting news...I will be teaching five workshops this fall in the big apple. I can't begin to describe the thrill of being invited to teach at Pratt Institute's School of Continuing and Professional Studies this fall. Thank you to my friend Karen for facilitating this connection. Below is an infographic with the dates. I will be uploading the class descriptions and photos to my Workshop page soon - they selected some of my faves plus a new one, Sticks & Stones, inspired by the current mindset I'm in. Pratt's fall catalog is in the works and as soon as I have details for registration I will post here.
There has already been some interest since I posted this on my workshop page a week or two ago. I'm collecting email addresses from anyone that wants updates on registration. If you want to be added to the list send me a note or comment below.
There are some mixed media courses available at Pratt this summer! Take a class with my friends Nathalie Kalbach (July 12, July 19) or Seth Apter (July 18-19) or both! See the Pratt CCPS summer catalog HERE. It is a fabulous venue and the classrooms are superb.
Hope to see you this fall!!
May is nearly here so that means the rose buds are starting to form, and the new Somerset Studio is showing up on shelves and in mailboxes. My column is about making your own songbooks, celebrating favorite lyrics to beloved tunes. I will be teaching Bohemian Rhapsody at The Ink Pad in NYC on Saturday, June 20th. To learn more see HERE, and to reserve a spot, call 212·463·9876 I'll provide the music, the lyrics, and the accordion book. Hope to see you there!
Consider making a song book as a gift - this one was made for Graham.
Don't you love that reading the lyrics makes the tune pop in your head? What song will you illustrate?
I've been working on some accordion folded songbooks. I will show more detail at a later time as they are for an upcoming article. Filled with lyrics and inspired by music, these are fun self-imposed assignments to keep practicing making art. Just as musicians need to continually pick up their instruments, artists should stay plugged in and work as often as possible. Turning up the volume in the studio gets me motivated, as does the gorgeous Spring-like weather we've enjoyed recently. This is a new color palette for me - first time buying purple paint!
Bohemian Rhapsody is a new class I will be offering with The Ink Pad in New York City on Saturday, June 20th. Visit their site for details on registration, www.TheInkPadNYC.com or call 212-463-9876. Hope you'll join me for some fun with music, paper, and paint!
I just received the lastest Somerset Studio! Inside you'll find a collaborative article by me and my friend Lynne Perrella. It's the third year of working in tandem, exploring a theme with our individual interpretations. It's also a sneak peek behind the scenes for some of the material we will cover during our workshop in May. For the pieces you'll see in the January/February issue we focused on the ever classic phrenology head diagram. The workshop will encompass much more - but we can't give it all away in an article ;)
I had a blast reinventing the image, and altering into a movable-parts object...think of the things you could have swirling behind within the mind!
When we were brainstorming about plans for the upcoming workshop, we easily reigned in the ideas about a concept but were struggling with a title. Lynne proposed that we consider incorporating two phrenology heads as graphic elements for the announcement. It was a perfect suggestion since we have a running dialogue each December about a pair of ceramic phren heads that appear together each year in the Bergdorf Goodman holiday windows in New York City. The talented designers adorn the twins in a festive manner and place them in the elaborately decorated vignettes. Every year it’s a hunt to find them among the countless extraordinary visual delights behind the glass. Lynne had another epiphany: to borrow the name Curiouser & Curiouser* for the three-day class - an ideal choice to accompany the double-head logo we devised, for a workshop offered by two teachers who love to encourage curiosity, especially when it comes to creativity. Here are some of the appearances in past years:
*Curiouser & Curiouser was the theme of the 2009 BG Windows, inspired by the works of Lewis Carroll, author of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Our workshop will not be related to Alice, we will certainly be advocating for all participants to adopt her sense of adventure.
We hope you'll join us in May! Three whole days with two teachers in an amazing studio space at a lovely location with other eager and enthusiastic artists! For details visit Workshops here, or on Lynne's site www.LKPerrella.com
I had the pleasure of teaching two workshops in New York City last weekend. Hosted by The Ink Pad, and the terrific Anna and Barbara, we met at the fabulous community center, and spread out our piles of collected cardboard then made some really cool relief sculptures and journals. Sadly, I didn't get any "under construction" photos of Sunday, but I witnessed some really awesome pages. It's so fun to work on projects in a real-life class as the group environment is so inspiring - you get to see the discoveries each individual makes because they are at-work, and in-the-moment, where the magic happens. We all get motivated and encouraged as we progress through the process, each of us in our own way.
First up, What A Relief. The title is two-fold, we were building dimensional corrugated sculptures, with deliberate cuts, peeling, and piercing to create relief with shadow and texture....but it was likely a relief to only have to bring a minimal collection of supplies. A knife, cutting mat, pencil, glue....that is all you need to churn out some really cool stuff. After the pieces were nearly completed, we placed them under glass. Nothing is more validating than to see your efforts elevated with a frame. Well done girls!!
Next was DeComposition Journal. I've taught variations of this class before - one of my favorites, as each artist takes on their own specific direction. Because of the location, we were able to do some fun stuff that I usually only do at home - not easy to replicate in a classroom. We poured scented wax into the corrugated grooves - with the assistance of a candle, we burned edges of pages - thanks to access to a sink, and we stepped outside to do some super fun spray painting with stencils. Swoon! Thanks for joining me - I can't tell you how much fun it was to see all of you crank out such great stuff.
I've got more ideas of how to use this non-precious and plentiful supply. Stay tuned for more cardboard art classes next year!
Up next: the grand finale to A Year of Cardboard, with my column for Somerset Studio.
How about these lovely fall days? Just beautiful. Last weekend we were at the shore for a wedding. Perfect! It's good to get out....change your view, see some things. Inspiration is all around us, especially when we step away from routine and allow for a day "off". Last month I was in San Diego for a workshop, then visited with a dear friend who treated me to all kinds of visual delights. Earlier this summer I met with good friends at the Grounds for Sculpture in NJ, another feast for my eyes. I will be going back to see the Michael Graves exhibit soon. Feeling stuck, unmotivated, need some juice to get back on the creative train? Get out!
I'm getting out this weekend....teaching two cardboard workshops in New York. There's still room for you if you need an outing :)
Tomorrow is October already? How did that happen? Time to get out the Halloween decorations!! We have some new lights that will go around the front door. They are motion activated and blink + give off scary noises when there is movement....they've been setting themselves off in the package all week!
Later this month I will be at The Ink Pad in NYC for two cardboard classes. Full description on my workshop page. Follow the sidebar buttons, or click tab at top of page. These will be my last two classes this year. Hope to see you there!
Registration for the Curiouser & Curiouser workshop with Lynne Perrella and Michelle Ward, for May 2015, begins tomorrow! Complete details on the three day event, hosted in Connecticut, is available by sending an email to Lynne at LKPerrella@aol.com To see the full announcement with some sneak peeks of the project, click on Workshops 2015 above, or see Workshops on Lynne's site, www.LKPerrella.com
Some photos from my last workshop a few weekends ago in NJ - it was a grand time, beautiful weather, and we had fun with both acrylics and spray paint, and of course - stencils! Organized by Little Bird Creations/Michele Luxenberg, and hosted at Clare Hunter's home. Thanks ladies!
We've just returned from a family vacation - road-trip-style to visit family and friends in Minnesota. My van is about to roll 100,000 miles! It has seen alot of this country between New Jersey and the home state. We had a great time and even changed things up this year by stopping in Indianapolis for the MotoGP motorcycle races at the famous speedway. I have to say that I could use a vacation after the vacation but I'm off to teach tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to the day as we will be getting involved with stencils in a really fun way. You gotta love when you're invited to teach at a local venue and they tell you what they want to learn. It not only makes my job easier, but it indicates that the students are eager to participate. Nothing beats getting together will other artists to make cool stuff!
One of my favorite quotes from Benjamin Franklin captures the essence of participating in the learning process, with messy tables and dirty hands....Hope you're getting involved in something fun this weekend too!
You are cordially invited to participate in a three-day workshop May 1-3, 2015, hosted by Lynne Perrella and Michelle Ward. Take a look at our announcement and if you can't resist the tempation, fire off an email to Lynne (firstname.lastname@example.org) with a request for the dossier of information that covers registration details. $100 deposit reserves you a place. The class fill up fast so act quick if you're interested. Hope you'll consider joing us at this remarkable venue!
Location link: The Interlaken Inn
Information available August 1st, send Lynne an email (email@example.com)
REGISTRATION BEGINS SEPTEMBER 1ST.
This is a long post.....visually loaded. I'm finally getting caught up on presenting all the terrific students and their work from the two Crowning Glories workshops back in May. I intended to do a montage of photos but we had so many, and my hand was ailing, so it was easier to take advantage of the photo albums here. I'm sorry it took so long to manage the uploads. These ladies created fabulous stuff! You can see the artists and their work from the first weekend here: Crowning Glories One. And the artists and their work from the second weekend here: Crowning Glories Two. (When you get to the albums you can click on the thumbnails to enlarge.)
Since Lynne and I are about to announce our next workshop for May 2015, I thought I better get the evidence from our recent one posted. Below you will find the work we did prior to the workshop.
Next up: our announcement for the workshops in May 2015!!
It's such a privilege to spend time with artists both in the classroom and at an event. What a terrific group of ladies that came from near and far to join me and the other instructors for some creative time together. Of course we hope to learn something, and leave with enthusiasm to keep at it, and even pick up the pace, but to me the greatest take-away is the connections we make with other makers. Outside of the venue, like in real life, it's likely we have a handful of creative friends....but here, for five days, we are in a hub of creative energy. What happens in the classroom fulfills me in such a unique way and I can hardly wait to do it again.
I didn't stop to take many photos along the way but I did manage to pause for group photos. I have to say that the Roll With It class picture has to be the best group shot ever. I've taught this class a number of times in the last twelve years, and we try to get a composite of all the rolls prior to journal assembly - not always easy to get 25 feet x 25 students in one photo....so thankful for a hotel balcony this year. The collest, right? It was a fast-paced with lots of techniques and they did an amazing job keeping up, and cranked out some stellar pages. Well done ladies!
Next was Color Collision where we mixed paints, then applied them using stencils. Beautiful paintings! I wish I had taken close-up photos to show you how fabulous they all were. Here are the artists:
Last was Compose Yourself - we went through a series of exercises to practice collage in black and white. We all learned so much from the simple assignments, and from each other during the review sessions. I did get a photo of the Notan collages. Super cool. Awesome job ladies!
I also got to be a student! I had a really wonderful time making a mini clay crown with the amazing Laurie Mika. We've known each other a long time, we even collaborated on a project for an article years ago, but this was only our second real life meeting. I learned so much and had a blast!!!
Thanks to Maggie and Sally and Jeannine and everyone at Interweave/Create for presenting fabulous event. Thanks to the students who joined me, friends who popped in to say hello, and all the shoppers who stopped by at the Vendor Faire. Hope we'll see you all again next year!
It's a busy time, packing and prepping for workshops. I'm also excited that I will be accepting delivery on a batch of new stencils that will debut at the event on Friday. These are designs that I cut by hand and have been using for a while, some samples below. Gothic Collection Additions will be available online July 14. There will be coordinating stamps to follow in August.
As a teacher, we are constantly asked by organizers to help promote our classes. It's good for everyone. In just three weeks CREATE NJ 2014 will begin. My Roll With It class is full, but there is room in my other two. If you're curious about mixing paint, or want to improve your collage compositions, join me! I will be vending on Friday, with some new additions to the Gothic Collection. Sneak peek announcement from my website below. I will be posting the new items for sale soon.
Also, for California residents, I will be in San Diego in September for a two-day Frond Chronicles workshop hosted by the San Diego Book Arts. I'm looking forward to heading West - haven't been there since a True Colors event ten years ago.
Last weekend was the second edition of our Crowning Glories workshop. It was another spectacular event. I can't wait to show you the evidence of creativity, for now here is the fabulous group of women who joined us in Connecticut. Lynne and I are already conjuring up plans for next year, with the same weekends booked at the Inn. Can't wait! Thanks to all the artists who attended and immersed themselves in art-making for three full days (and some even played long into the evening) in the most wonderful studio. We hope to see you again!
It's May! One of my favorite months. In addition to all the special dates that mark up the calendar, it is when things really start to bloom in the yard. Today the lilacs opened up, and I found my first batch of four leaf clovers! Next week I may see a rose!
May also means the start of Workshop Season, beginning with the second annual event with my friend and teaching partner Lynne Perrella. Last weekend we hosted Crowning Glories and it was an outstanding class, with remarkable women. We met with lots of familiar faces and made a handful of new friends. I love the ripple effect that occurs, and the positive energy that grows, as we march forward on a project, picking up new tricks and techniques along the way because we are invested in learning, sharing, and elevating our process of creating. The enthusiasm was apparent, with each final outcome so personal and unique, as we set up an impromptu photoshoot to celebrate both the artist and their work. I will share at a later date as we want to keep it a surprise until we've completed the encore class next weekend. Thank you ladies for a memorable three days. Looking forward to more Crowning Glories on Friday.
As you know, I've been playing with cardboard for quite a while. If you're a regular here you've seen my cardboard journals (right sidebar photo album has some archived pages). I think it's such a fabulous material to work with and I continually find new ways to push it's usefulness. My May/June Somerset Studio column is about the journals, in particular a new Black & Kraft one. Scroll down for previous sneak peeks, or if you're reading through a feed, click HERE. Magazine on shelves May 1st.
I will be teaching two cardboard classes in NYC in October. Visit www.TheInkPadNYC.com for details. All my upcoming classes are posted in the left sidebar or you can click on WORKSHOPS at the navigation bar on top. I will be teaching three classes in NJ in July, and I'm coming to San Diego for the first time in September, for San Diego Book Arts.
My apologies to visitors who got frustrated during the week as Typepad had issues on and off for several days. I wasn't able to connect either! Hopefully all is fixed and we won't experience outages again. Happy to see things back up!
EDIT: In late May, I was a guest blogger on Stampington's site. I offered a tutorial on making your own cardboard journal. In case you missed it I'm posting here, as well as in my Cardboard Journal album in the right sidebar.
I'm knee deep in three different projects, and I haven't even started our taxes. Yikes! I handcut some new stencils today to test out before I send into production - can't wait to show you!! For now, since I've been an absent blogger, I will give you a peek into my latest Debris Journal - I call this one Black & Kraft. You can see more from this one in an upcoming article for Somerset Studio (May/June). You can also take a class with me and make your own Debris Journal at the Ink Pad in New York City, October 19. We'll be doing some fun stuff on the pages, like you see below - using stencils to make marks, and to peel away the top surface.