Homeward and Onward
This holiday season was a lot of travel. I took the kids and hit the road for Massachusetts on December 23. It was so nice to spend Christmas with my amazing kids and my awesome Massachusetts family. Being one of five kids (and the only one living outside the Great State of Massachusetts), it’s not all that often that I wind up with my siblings all in one place anymore. This year not only were all the St Hilaire kids together, but all the St. Hilaire grandkids were together too, what a treat for my parents. In case you missed it, my previous blog post was all about Family Holiday Traditions and how they evolve over the years.
After Christmas, my kids went with their Dad to visit their New Jersey Nelson clan and I headed off to California to teach for Pokey Bolton (founder of Quilting Arts and Cloth Paper Scissors magazines) in her new venture: Craft Napa. While in Northern California I also took the opportunity to spend some quality time with the new man in my life.
Andrew took me to see the new Tarantino film “Hateful 8” in full 70mm at the old Tower Theatre, and we enjoyed the Tower Cafe for dinner. We toured some older Sacramento neighborhoods, made crock pot chili, went to the gym, had British Pub Bruch at the Fox and Goose, and took in some artists studios at the Art House Gallery and Studios.
A little bit of home on the road.
Mixed Media Madness
I was honored to be asked by Pokey to be a part of the ground floor of her mixed media workshop/retreat when she called last summer. I watched Pokey put together professional marketing including awesome graphic design and a killer website, as well as to gather up some of the best mixed media teachers in the country.
Again, honored to be included.
The three-day retreat not only included nationally know instructors, it also included evening events like wine blending/team building, an artists market with silent auction to benefit a local kids with cancer charity, a visit to Pokey’s new art studio, a fantastic hosting venue, and of course, coffee, tea, and sweets every morning and afternoon.
Oh! And a Bernina sewing machine GIVEAWAY that made one lucky student dance for joy when her name was drawn. Truly a top notch event.
Don’t Miss It!
If you missed Craft Napa this year, get on the website and start planning for next year, I imagine it’s only going to get bigger and better.
My class in Napa is the same three-day workshop that may eventually come to a town near you. I start my Paper Paintings Collage Workshop with a presentation on collage technique, ripping and gluing, composition, color, and value (shading). After the classroom work, I demonstrate many collage paper painting techniques. We cover resists, additive and subtractive mark making, and everyones favorite, Gelli plate printing. The students then have a day and a half to experiment with stamping, staining, brushing, printing, pushing and pulling color on purchased and found papers. This is (almost) everyone’s favorite part.
On the afternoon of day two I demonstrate ripping and gluing via the “Small Apple Exercise” which teaches students how to give a simple shape (the sphere) volume and dimension through directional tearing and shading. We also look at eliminating white edges, gluing papers down flat, and transitional papers.
When the gluing begins, the room goes quiet. Hours of flinging paint have given way to focused concentration. All you can hear now is the sound of paper tearing to the rhythm of jazzy tunes emanating from my Jambox.
We complete the class with what I call “Show and Tell” which sounds much nicer than a “Critique” (which I had to endure endlessly in art school). In here we focus on what works, suggestions on how to make things better, and the knowledge we can all gain from each other’s apple collage.
It’s always bittersweet when the class comes to a close. Folks come from far and wide to learn with me, this week in Napa was no exception. I was honored to have ladies in attendance from Maine, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Names, emails, and Facebooks were exchanged, along with big heartfelt hugs. Travel often requires a few folks to start their re-entry a little early on the last day. Some stay until the bitter end… not wanting to pack up their torn paper tidbits a minute too soon.
A Return to Reality
As I write this, I am beginning my own re-entry, in flight from Houston to Orlando on the second leg of my transcontinental flight. I am thankful for in-flight wi-fi and my MacBook Air, which fits nicely on the seat back tray table. There’s even room for an airline sized cup of coffee (cream, no sugar).
I’ll be a homebody for a little while now. Spending time with my kids, the dogs, and in the studio, until March when things get crazy again pretty quickly. Look forward to my being one of the Wekiva Paint Out Plein Air Event artists in the beginning of the month. Yes, paper tidbits in the wind. Should be interesting.
I’ll also have a solo show exhibition with opening reception at the Stone Soup Gallery in Key West. I’ll be teaching for Binders Art Supply in Charlotte, NC as well as teaching in Amelia Island, FL at the local art center. In-between there is at least one dance competition and a regatta.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Thank you for being
a part of my