Summer Camp!

This year I have taken on two summer camp classes at The Neighborhood Guild in South Kingstown. I will be co-teaching with another local artist Mary Ercoli Walsh, who is amazing. Check out her website @becreativemary. We compliment each other so well while being polar opposites in many ways. Our students can come create each week for 5 days getting two projects per day, one taught by each of us. We are well aware of summer attention spans so we are splitting the class in two groups to keep it fresh for them, and us! We bought ourselves white lab coats and will be wearing silly goggles to show the kids we are fun and cool teachers to go along with our ART LAB, C0-LAB theme. We know that experimentation is the key to finding the art genius in us all so the art experiments will be varied and use many different mediums and processes. imagejpeg_3

First session still has space available and is July 16-20th from 10-2pm

Second session is just about full now and runs July 23-27th.

My classes will focus on nature and using natural elements to create 3-D pieces of art. I have not fully planned each day, but generally I do that after the first class time together. This way I see who is in the room, I ask them what they would like to do (within my skill-set) and we go from there. I know we will be yarn wrapping some trees in the park around the playground at the Guild; a form of public art, temporarily on display for all to see!  This make kids (and us adult artists) very excited and serious about what is is they create. Mary has a different project each day, some sewing, some painting and she always plans the most amazing projects! imagejpeg_4

If you have a kiddo that is wandering the streets those days consider signing them up to come play with us! If its full, join the wait-list, there is generally enrollment wiggle room and dropouts do happen.

Here is a copy of the description and link — Neighborhood Guild summer camp brochure;

Art Lab Collaborative NEW
Two Art Teachers + Two Art Projects a Day = A Whole Lotta
FUN! Come try this exciting new art camp in an authentic
studio setting! Art instructors Mary Walsh and Karen Stackow
have been teaching art to children for well past a decade.
Campers will spend half the day experimenting with one artist
then switch ‘art laboratories’ to experiment in an entirely new
way. Here are some of the themes you can expect: sculpture,
acrylic painting, sewing/fiber arts, pastel, paper crafting,
collage and printmaking. With ten separate art sessions, just
think of the possibilities! Open to ages 7-13. Pack a lunch and
wear sloppy clothes – experimenting with art takes a lot of
energy and can get a bit messy!
Mon. thru Fri. 7/16 – 7/20 10:00am to 2:00pm $165R $175NR
Pottery Studio at PDOB AGP5217
Mon. thru Fri. 7/23 – 7/27 10:00am to 2:00pm $165R $175NR
Pottery Studio at PDOB AGP5218

 

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No Tacos for me

The first big show of the season has passed and I have stories! Each time I hit the streets something amazing happens which makes me love what I do, which is good because these shows are exhausting! The cool people and crazy cool things that happen on the road are the things I remember when its all over and time to think about doing it again, to which I will say SURE if its interesting and full of surprises.  Some connections made this weekend will prove to be great for me in the future. Others were just fun and others still were heartwarming and super special.

I hope to be noting all the crazy cool things that happen to me at shows and sales in the future, mainly as a reference for myself so I will not let them slip through this mesh of a brain, so how about a bullet list?

  • A super cool young man came dancing into the tent, promoting himself as a geek, with a white towel hanging from his back pocket. Name that story reference…
  • Big Nazo ( the ugly scary ones, not the cute guys) came into the tent, had a quick conversation using too many hand gestures, and left without buying a thing!
  • Porta-Johns were packed! Emergency run down Weybossett St. in search of a public restroom was fun! Bought a spanakopita, wiggled my way thorough the line literally,  patronizing so I could use a bathroom only to discover it was out of order….and the cold soggy phyllo dough ultimately didn’t make up for the extra bladder pressure. I was saved by a wonderful business (who asked not to be disclosed) a few stores down, sometimes it works out, thanks to the people who break the rules.
  • I was excited about this show because I LOVE TACOS. I love festivals with food as a reward…..I pictured myself eating tacos for breakfast, lunch and dinner that day,  Alas, no tacos for me! Waiting 2-3 hours in line for the one taco truck was not in the stars. My tent mate ended up with tacitos from Taco Bell, just because, she wanted frickin’ tacos!  No taco for you, come back next year!

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These were the only tacos in the tent and near my mouth, earrings made just for this show, at least we had these.

Time to make the business cards

sunflower card

 

I LOVE making cards- post cards, business cards, whichever it is I loose hours playing with my images and designing. Today I am working on making cards for price tags, so grown up!

This image is special, as it was the first sign I made that sold on Etsy and got me very excited about this process. So that was 6 years ago! Every year I change my cards I give out on the road, using new work as the image background. My work has evolved and improved and I want to keep things fresh and new. Change is GOOD ! But I think this image will and should remain constant, as a reminder to myself that anything is possible. I had no idea this image would take me this far! Grateful.

This way to Summer 2018

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2018 season season starts soon, ⇐ I am booking shows and dates now.  Still a few weeks away from my first show May 5th but I am calling it! Here’s what I got so far…

  • May 5th-Cinco de Mayo! Grants block, Providence @Taco Fest 2018-11-5pm⇒
  • May 12th-sheep sheering day at Watson Farm, Jamestown RI⇒
  • May 13th-season opener at The Fantastic Umbrella Factory-Old Post rd. Charlestown

The slab at the Umbrella Factory will be home-base once again this year! Weekends until July, then when summer is really kicking—-Thurs-Mon,  every week until Labor day weekend.

Block Island Artist Guild shows are on the schedule too this summer, starting in July.

I am looking forward to a summer filled with quality shows rather than quantity, learned a bit after last year! This little adventure of mine keeps on surprising me with wonderful lessons and connections, anything is possible!

 

 

HiberCation


HI-BER-CA-TION; noun, a state of bliss, where rest from regular activity is mixed with fun and exciting times spent discovering new creative ways and learning new things, blended with spending time sitting quietly.

I am on Hibercation!

Each winter I tend to find a way to still be creating while giving myself a break from burning. Last year it was clay and I made Moai heads and elephant feet and turned them into air plant containers and have been selling them locally. So that turned out great, I felt compelled to create and I worked at it every day! Still learning and doing that and thankful for these hibercations because now I have clay under my belt as well as a fall back and an easy addition to my wholesale accounts.

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So this winter I have a new skill that I have built into my set this past month of January….ORIGAMI! Now if you know me or have heard me talk about my art there is nothing precise and detail oriented about my work, I am a process artist. So origami would at first glance seem like am impossibility for me to master, or at least I thought so. But SURPRISE! I love it and have now mastered the hummingbird. Okay so one design doesn’t make me an origami master–there are thousands! There is a reason for the hummingbird as the model I have been working on, more to come about that later!

I am  totally mesmerized by  “the flow” of this art form. My hands now know the way and I can do a hummingbird in 4 minutes while walking around the house doing other things and having a conversation! Rote memory! This is the reason I get excited about some things and not others. This process is repetitive and I have mastered it and can do it without thinking. Serotonin is released in my brain with every bird!

I will pick up my burning as custom orders come in, and in March when it’s time to make stock for the summer sales I will be back at it for sure-all rested up and excited about it again. But for now my fascination lies in paper folding! The paper I have is part of the excitement, prints and colors, thickness, it’s texture and how each piece responds is always different. That is the way I stay engaged. After making many birds I am now placing  them on branches and driftwood to create mobiles. I am making them fly!

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I’ll be sure to share that adventure! When they all come together and fly as a group I will be satisfied to have found a new art avenue that came from my hibercation, and possibly another way to keep making money as a working artist. My dream come true for another year at least! For now it’s fold fold fold, feeling content, I am a now a crazy paper folder.

The Happiest place on my earth

Signs O’ Fiyah belongs at the Fantastic Umbrella Factory-it has been proven. The energy on that special  plot of land is amazing! The gardens, paths and plantings are spectacular and captivating. Most of all I think its the happiness level that attracts me and keeps me coming back!

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I love the fact that there are always kids around….we relate well. I love that the people regardless of how sunburned, tired and at the brink of starvation they are-everyone smiles laughs and truly feels good on this piece of property. It has a history as a longstanding farm way back when, and it seems the fertile soil feeds us all as we stand on it.

 

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So I will be returning to The Fantastic Umbrella Factory-on the slab- this weekend and most other weekends this summer. The exception being May 27 & 28 which is Virtu Arts Fest in Westerly and June 24 & 25 which is The Narragansett Art Fest.

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The Orange Tent goes up in July this year!

So glad that the summer has arrived and my feet can touch ground at my happiest place on Earth! Hope to see you there this summer, find me Sat and Sun in May and June and Fri-Mon in July and August. Who needs Disney!

Building!

For a good while I have been wishing for someone to build stuff with. I have so many ideas and only so many hands, eyes, and calendars.

I have a long list of WISH I COULD….building projects but custom orders keep coming in, shows are approaching and weeds need pulling.

My lucky  day arrived a few weeks ago when I asked a good friend if he would want to build with me, and off we went diving into a large pile of wood I recently organized that was not good for pyrography and he set to work. He even brought some of his own scraps from construction jobs, nice rough pine saved from going to the landfill.

 

twohousee

We have made two together so far, getting inspiration from the wood and online pictures. The research and development department (me) found criteria of certain birds and their favorite style homes; starting with the goldfinch style cottage, complete with ventilation holes and a clean out. I love that they are solid raw wood that will age nicely in the garden with no added chemicals.

treehouse

I hope that we can pump out a few a week and have them for sale at shows and shops soon. I know we may have missed the spring nesting season for most birds but there is hope some little finches couldn’t find suitable spots and were holding out for “perfect”.

I can say that what will keep me in this game is that all of the houses will be one of a kind, and will feature a little decorative piece that has been kicking around the garage just waiting to be glued to something cool like a birdhouse. I have tons of little fun things planned, and can’t wait!

In my little art world there are piles of things to do, some of which are started and never finalized and some that just take a long while to complete. I have had the desire to build, make, create and put together things all of my life and made many plans. I realize having something on your “to do… someday” list forever is just fine as long as you get to “someday” and do it.

Art and Soul Gifts

 

A few weeks ago I met up with the owner of Art and Soul Gifts in Cranston. Almost exactly a year since we first met at Virtue Arts Festival in Westerly. At the show Susan mentioned she would love to have my work in her shop and I was ecstatic. Well that was last May, and I let enough time go by that she forgot what it was I had to offer. Typical of me to forget but I am so grateful she was still interested one year later. I brought her all I had left over from last season and she took many pieces in on consignment. A lovely little shop with something for everyone. I am doubly impressed because her shop kept my mother shopping for quite along time with lots of  “Ohh look at this”  and even a few purchases, not typical of my mom. So Art and Soul passed her test-not easy I tell you. This shop being in a nice neighborhood in Cranston is much different from ones here in South County-there is no tourism and the busy times for Art and Soul are the opposite of ours here by the beach. So if the items do not sell by July I will be able to pick up and put out on my tables for the summer, perfect!

Pictured are just a few of the things she chose to offer her customers (which she knows well being in business there for 11 years).

Please check out Art and Soul Gifts when you are in the neighborhood of 2007 Broad St. I am sure you will enjoy it just as much as my mom did.

 

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Finally back to work!

So I took some time off…..more than I planned on. I had to, shoulder and elbow pain was telling me to slow it down. So I listened. I also wanted to  re-do my workspace… “the studio” is almost finished. It is still just a garage, but will be so much more productive and clean now. It needs some more paint, tidying and lighting but I burned my first piece at my new stand up worktable today!

This shark cutting board was a perfect project to get me going…. a birthday present for Morgan. I have whales too. Makes a great canvas for a logo or business name. Back to Burning! Grateful.

Why didn’t I think of this before?

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I made these gift certificates for an event I donated to and love the idea of having them on my table for sale. Why didn’t I think of it before? So if you are wondering what to get that person who is hard to buy for but you know they would like my work, why not try it this way? I will make them exactly what they want—perfecto!