tracey

Q+A with Thomas Ashman

Thomas Ashman is a mixed media artist living in New Mexico who will be teaching at the Community Creative Center in Fort Collins, CO July 7-8-9, 2017. You can sign up for his workshops with early bird pricing by June 18. Final registration is July 1.

How many hours a day do you work on your art? Depends on the day, but I can go from sunup to sundown if motivated. It’s important to get in there daily, even if only for a few minutes to avoid stagnation.

Tell us about your studio practice. Lots of projects in-progress at any given time. Alternating periods of extreme tidiness followed by visions of the apocalypse. Loud 1980’s heavy metal music. Coffee… lots of coffee!

What’s your favorite new-to-you tool or supply from the past year? PLASTI DIP®

What 5 items do you always have with you when taking or teaching a workshop? My toolbox, my skeleton apron, my bifocal safety glasses, a bunch of my “go-to” supplies, and a triple-shot white chocolate mocha.

Do you make art on the go? Tell us about your “go bag”. My thing is pretty tool intensive, so I am really quite stationary more often than not. However, I find inspiration around every corner, so in a sense, I am always “working” on my art when I am out and about, whether it be collecting ideas (and all sorts of supplies wherever I may find them, of course) not so much actually “making” art on the go.

Who are some of your favorite artists, living or otherwise?

What’s your favorite work of your own? Will you share a photo? Sorry. Really don’t have one. Each piece is it’s own experience, unique unto itself.

What’s your ideal workshop student? Someone who is courageous enough to make huge mistakes and try again, and understands the need to practice, sometimes over and over, any new techniques before demanding too much of themselves.

What makes for a great day in a workshop you’re teaching? Everyone having a good time, making new friends, and expanding one another’s artistic horizons. A yummy lunch always adds to my enjoyment too… especially when we all sit down, relax for a while, and swap a few stories and laughs.

What’s your favorite part about teaching workshops? I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I learn so much and get so many great ideas from students, I should probably pay them for the workshop. That is the selfish reason I love teaching, but I also just love seeing a student taking pride in their accomplishments, especially after having doubts about their abilities… Watching a new artist blossom is my favorite part of being a teacher.

If a student is new to the type of work you do, what would you tell him or her before registering for your workshop? Don’t be scared. What’s the worst that could happen? (laughing mischievously)

If you’ve taught in Northern CO before, what’s your favorite thing about teaching here? The scenery, definitely. I am hoping to get in some kayaking while there…any suggestions?

When you visit NoCo, do you have any special shops where you like to stop in and browse? I am always on a quest for cool junk, old vinyl LP’s, black jackets… and the perfect white chocolate mocha.

What should a new-to-you artist expect from one of your workshops? Expect to laugh, learn, and make a friend (if you want one, that is). Also, expect me to be kind of unusual… but in a cute way.

Of the workshops you’re teaching this year, which is your favorite? Which do you predict will be our favorite? The Glass Journal is the one that started it all for me, so it will always hold a dear place in my heart, but predicting anything in this life of mine has proven to be quite futile.

Do you have any surprises in store? Can you give us a hint? What happens when burning propane, chemicals, and metal are thrust together?

How do you differentiate your work and your teaching style from that of other instructor artists who do similar things (i.e., other fiber art teachers, other assemblage artists)? I have never had any trouble standing out from the crowd. In fact, my “non-conformist” side has been a real problem at times.

Do you still have the first piece of art you ever made? What do you think when you look at it? Yes. My mother saved it in my scrapbook for me. It is entitled “man” and looks nothing whatsoever like a man. It makes me think of how fortunate I am to have grown up in a home where creativity and individuality were not only encouraged, but expected.

What do you wish I had asked you in this interview? Fewer questions.

What’s your favorite word? Mocha

When you’re not making art or teaching, what do you do for fun? Outdoor stuff… camping, kayaking, hiking, etc. Watching zombie movies and TV shows, eating ice cream, reading, listening to and playing music, and hanging with my dear, sweet lady Leighanna.

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Photos on this page are representative of Thomas’ work. See samples for this July’s workshops.

Art Play Date #13 Notes

Held on May 20, 2017 at the Community Creative Center in Fort Collins.

In attendance:

  • Nyebbi
  • Sonia
  • Ellie
  • Chris
  • Jessica
  • Tracey

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Things we discussed:

Q+A with Carol Ann Waugh

 

In this interview with Carol Ann Waugh, the fiber artist/instructor shares some of what makes her tick. You can sign up for her August workshops in Fort Collins with early bird pricing by May 21. Final registration is July 15.

What’s your favorite new-to-you tool or supply from the past year? I’m starting to have a collection of colorful rotary cutters from Olfa. I have a blue one and a purple one in addition to their regular yellow. Just seeing them on my cutting mat makes me smile!

How many hours a day do you work on your art? I’m usually in my studio working from 10-3pm every day. Sometimes 7 days a week!

Tell us about your studio practice That’s a hard question to answer. The last two years, I’ve been working on two major series of work, incorporating text into my pieces. Now, I am trying to create my own fabric to stitch on and that has taken me into a more mixed media approach so I’m spending time creating patterns with watercolor. But every day I’m in my studio is a creative day so it makes me happy.

 

Do you make art on the go? Tell us about your “go bag”. Sometimes, I hand embroider since lugging a sewing machine makes it hard to make art on the “go”. In that case, I have a small bag of hand-dyed pearl cotton, a #22 chenille needle, and a small pair of scissors.

Who are some of your favorite artists, living or otherwise? I am inspired by artists that use lines in their works, like Geoff Slater, Piet Mondrian and Gene Davis.

What’s your favorite work of your own? Will you share a photo? I don’t really have a “favorite” since each piece I make has something I like about it and something I would improve! But this is the very first piece I made in my Stupendous Stitching series and it’s still a piece I love.

What’s your favorite part about teaching workshops? I love sharing all the techniques and secrets I’ve developed and learned over my 10 years (!) of creating fiber art. My students take these techniques and create their own wonderful fiber art pieces and seeing their creativity makes me happy.

What makes for a great day in a workshop you’re teaching? Seeing the smiles on my student’s faces as they discover their inner artist.

Carol Ann Waugh on her scooterWhat 5 items do you always have with you when taking or teaching a workshop? Well, it always depends on the workshop but my go-to kit contains band-aids, sewing machine tools, extra needles, sharp scissors, and my iPhone for taking photos of the works in progress.

What’s your ideal workshop student? I love teaching students who want to learn. Students who are open to new ideas and who are willing to challenge themselves without worrying about judging their work. And also, students who like to have fun creating and laughing along with everyone else.

If a student is new to the type of work you do, what would you tell him or her before registering for your workshop? Relax. This is an experience that you will never forget and one that you will treasure all your life. Discovering your creative voice is very empowering and not having to match any seams is freeing!

If you’ve taught in Northern CO before, what’s your favorite thing about teaching here? I live in Denver and have visited Ft. Collins many times. What a wonderful and friendly place! Of course, besides the fun atmosphere of a college town, the wide open spaces and mountain views are to die for.

How do you differentiate your work and your teaching style from that of other instructor artists who do similar things (i.e., other fiber art teachers, other assemblage artists)? I tell better jokes!

Do you still have the first piece of art you ever made? What do you think when you look at it? No. Most of my first attempts were relegated to the garbage. It takes time to become proficient at a technique. And, then you have to develop your artistic voice. I do have several of my early pieces but they are stored away to only be shown if I have a retrospective exhibit!

When you’re not making art or teaching, what do you do for fun? Ride my scooter around Denver.

Q+A with Mindy Lacefield

Mindy Lacefield is a mixed media artist who draws inspiration from the nostalgia and rainy days of her childhood. Creating from the heart of a 7 year old, Mindy cherishes the tactile process of painting. As the layers and colors evolve, decisions are made in the moment. Mistakes are applauded and accidents cherished. It is only through the process of making mistakes that fosters growth. Surrendering to the outcome of the finished work, allows her to be one with the process. Through surrendering, stillness is achieved and a new awakening of hearing the voice of God has been the most beautiful thing about this creative journey.

What’s your favorite new-to-you tool or supply from the past year? No. 6 catalyst wedge. It is a must have for what I call “un-tidying” your work. If I feel myself start to tidy up my paintings, I reach for this and it works every time. I can’t wait to show you guys how I use this!

How many hours a day do you work on your art? 2-3 hours of actual painting time. The rest is spent doing administrative stuff like answering emails, student questions, scanning, etsy shop stuff.

What 5 items do you always have with you when taking or teaching a workshop? catalyst wedge, titanium white paint, quinacridone nickel azo gold paint, mop brush, and openness for the process.

Who are some of your favorite artists, living or otherwise? Anne Patay, Arturs Akopjans

Always Choose Joy by Mindy Lacefield
Always Choose Joy by Mindy Lacefield

What’s your favorite work of your own? My latest original on wood, titled “Always Choose Joy” Will you share a photo? (attached)

If a student is new to the type of work you do, what would you tell him or her before registering for your workshop? That we will not have much of a plan for creating. We will allow mistakes to show up. We will be relaxed and play. And have FUN!

If you’ve taught in Northern CO before, what’s your favorite thing about teaching here? I have not. The only other place I’ve taught is Colorado Springs. I am excited to see the northern part of Colorado!

Do you still have the first piece of art you ever made? yes. It is of the moon over the Pacific ocean. What do you think when you look at it? I think of that beginning magic of how the Divine spoke ever so gently to me….calling me to Him through art.

What’s your favorite word? I always pick a word for the year and this year I chose JOY! I also love “listen”.

When you’re not making art or teaching, what do you do for fun? I love love going to movies! I like Sci-fi, fantasy, and Disney movies. Some of my favorites are Cinderella (live action), Terminator 2 and Genysis, Wreck it Ralph, War Games, E.T., Bambi, and all the Star Wars movies.

Mindy Lacefild will be teaching in Fort Collins, Colorado, June 23-15. Learn more about her workshops here.

How Can You NOT See the Magic?

Our subject line today is a quote from Karen Campbell, which became our mantra for the weekend. There is such magic in art, in creating, in sharing time together to learn and make new things.

Recap: Kelly Kilmer Weekend

If you had any part in the Kelly Kilmer weekend, you know it was a great one. For those who missed it, or who want to relive the fun, here’s a recap, complete with links!

Thursday: Kelly and her mom met me over at the venue where we unloaded Kelly’s many, many bags of supplies. Then we headed off to Boulder! Luckily, by the time we arrived, the rain had mostly stopped and the sun was even peeking out a bit. First stop? Why, Two Hands Paperie, of course! Apparently, I can’t get out of that store without $50 of supplies. My favorite new-to-me item? Blackwing pencils. Enough said.

Other places we visited include…

 

For dinner, we stopped at Foolish Craig’s Cafe, where we had the most helpful waiter (Noah) who was adorable, to boot. He made Kelly a strawberry lemonade from scratch! We had the best dinner, including some amazing potatoes and pesto any of us had ever tried. Really cool place.

Friday: After a quick setup, we were off to the races! We had two classes scheduled, Brushstrokes: Playful, Paint Applications On Journal Pages and Juicy Journal Pages. Some of the things we talked about:

 

Saturday, we had Transformation: Peeling Back the Layers. This was both a delicious and challenging class where we built up layer after layer on our pages (the delicious part) and then literally peeled layers off to reveal the work underneath (which was VERY challenging for all of us!). The results, however, were amazing and I think we were all so proud of ourselves in our ability to learn a lesson in letting go. Karen was on a roll this day with some amusing bon mots, as well, such as “I finally got to an eyeball!” and “I don’t think this leg is growing back.” Take that as you will.

Sunday’s class was outstanding and probably my favorite of the four that we took. In An Artists’ Study, we took pages or color copies with an artist’s work and used that to meld with our own styles. The results were excellent.

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”5″ gal_title=”Kelly Kilmer workshop weekend – April 2017″]

 

We also talked a lot (what else is new?) and here are some notes:

 

Visit Kelly’s blog to see her recap of the Boulder shopping trip — part 1 and part 2!

Michael deMeng

Q+A with Michael deMeng

Back with another Artist Q+A in this year’s series. Today, I have Michael deMeng, talking about supplies, workshops and his studio practice. Enjoy!

How many hours a day do you work on your art? When I’m not teaching or filming classes I try to get in 6 to 8 hours a day.

Tell us about your studio practice: I basically work until I get frustrated. That might be ten minutes that might be five hours. When I start feeling stressed I take a break…as long as I need to get back into the groove. Sometimes that 5 minutes, sometimes it’s five hours. I’ve found that when I try and blast through the frustration, I end up making things worse. So a bit of time in between seems to work.

Do you make art on the go? Tell us about your “go bag.” I try but mostly on the road I sketch. A mechanical pencil and a sketchbook is all I need.

What’s your favorite new-to-you tool or supply from the past year? Aves FixIt – It’s similar to the Aves Two-Part Clay but a bajillion times stronger…well…bajillion is a bit of an exaggeration…it’s friggin’ strong.

What’s your ideal workshop student? I am fortunate to see a number of my students over and over again. It’s great to see them grow and expand my lessons into something that is their own.

What makes for a great day in a workshop you’re teaching? That’s easy…a bunch of students with a good sense of adventure and sense of humour, who are able to see their vision materialize before there very eyes.

What 5 items do you always have with you when taking or teaching a workshop? Quinacridone Gold, Carbon Black, Titanium White, Dremel, Drill, E6000

What’s your favorite part about teaching workshops? It’s fun….I truly enjoy being surrounded by folks working through creative quandaries.

If a student is new to the type of work you do, what would you tell him or her before registering for your workshop? The trick to assemblage and to painting is to demystify it and understanding that it’s really just a form of problem solving that have a multitude of solutions. My job is to show folks what has worked for me and to give them a variety of options to help them grown in the direction they want.

What’s your favorite thing about teaching here in Northern Colorado? The people. A good natured lot in this neck of the woods.

What should a new-to-you artist expect from one of your workshops? Good music, good times, good sense of humour. and tons of creative energy.

Do you have any surprises in store? Can you give us a hint? I’ll have some special paint color recipes developed just for this class.

Who are some of your favorite artists, living or otherwise? From the olden days….I’d say Hieronymus Bosch is a big influence, the fantastical silent films of Georges Mellies like “A Trip to the Moon” (if you’ve ever seen the film “Hugo” you’ll know who I’m talking about.) As for living artists…I’m fortunate to be buddies with a few of my faves…Jesse Reno, Brian Cunningham, and John Whipple to name a few.

What’s your favorite work of your own? Will you share a photo? I think my favourite piece is my recent Tarot deck series, where I created a puppet theater for the Major Arcana.

How do you differentiate your work and your teaching style from that of other instructor artists who do similar things (i.e., other fiber art teachers, other assemblage artists)? My work is more….hmmmm…”deMengish”

Do you still have the first piece of art you ever made? What do you think when you look at it? Well my mom has the Xmas apron I made for her in kindergarten. It’s a white apron that says Merry Xmas Mom….and it has a vampires, a mummy, a werewolf and lots of other monsters. It’s awesome!

Besides being an artist, what’s your dream job? A horror movie Creature Feature host.

What’s your favorite word? The Uszhhh

When you’re not making art or teaching, what do you do for fun? Watching monster movies…what else?

Michael is teaching in Fort Collins, Colorado on May 12-14. The workshop, The Mad Alchemist’s Apothecary Kit, is available as a 2-day or 3-day class.

ARTIST TIPS SERIES: Kelly Kilmer

Kelly says this is her number one tip for working in art journals:

Something that I have found to be helpful to me is to take photos of in-progress pages. I don’t always have the time to finish a page nor do I always know the direction that I want to go in. When it gets to the point where I need to walk away, I’ll take a work in progress (WIP) photo. I also will leave my book open. This allows me to see my work as I periodically walk by it throughout the course of the he day. Taking photos allows me to revisit the work and remember what it looks like (so far.) It is also a great way to document any changes.

Kelly Kilmer art journals

Sign up for Kelly Kilmer workshops in Fort Collins, CO, April 28-30!

Art Play Date #11 Notes

This is the “I just started stabbing” edition of Art Play Date Notes. (And if you’re not sure what that means, you had to be there. Be there next time!)

Our 11th Art Play Date was held on 3/18/17 in the Idea Lab at Community Creative Center. In attendance were:

  • Jessica
  • Darla
  • Ellie
  • Tanya (1st timer!)
  • Lori (1st timer!)
  • Chris
  • Michelle
  • Eileen
  • Tracey

Stuff we talked about included:

Lastly, don’t miss our next Art Play Date, which is on April 15, 10-1 at Community Creative Center. It’s our 1-year anniversary of these play dates and it will be so much fun to celebrate with you. With that, I’ll leave you with this final thought (also a quote from our last play date):

“You can’t spell ‘happiness’ without ‘penis’.”

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”4″ gal_title=”Art Play Date #11 – March 18, 2017″]