This weekend I had the pleasure of hosting Kimberly Kelly Santini as she escaped the cold weather and record snowfall of Michigan. My dear friend and Daily Painter brought her workshop Color-iffic to the Craft Shack in Longwood and I was lucky enough to be her favorite student. Santini’s goal was to loosen up our brush work and infuse arbitrary color into our paintings. As a collage artist, I can truly benefit from loose brushwork because I create an under-painting for each of my collages. I follow the brushwork of the under-painting with my gluing of papers, a better under-painting means a better collage on top. I am already in tune with the use of arbitrary color in my work, but Santini reminded us over and over to really dig deep and see more color in the subject that is a result of the world around it, its’ environment. She showed us how a white object is not really white, because it is reflecting the color of the table it sits on. We dug deep to see white as color and to create more harmonious paintings.
Santini gave wonderful demos and a great slide show which guided us through her goals for our brush work and color. She gave us all kinds of candy to study, paint, and eat. What could be better than art and chocolate? My husband Douglas Nelson took the class with me, we had fun painting together and learning to loosen up. He took lots of photos for Kim to use in her marketing pieces and painted some fierce taffy.
Kim and I met online a few years ago, as working artists we travelled in some of the same circles. She bought my Collage DVD and tried her hand at creating a dog portrait, it’s what she’s know for. She entered a wine label contest and won the whole darn thing, that put her collage on wine bottles for an entire year! When she won, she reached out to me to say “thanks for the inspiration” and the rest was history. We have kids the same age, we pride ourselves in our mad marketing skills, we both love to cook, goof around, and eat cookies, but we love most is to create art. We’ve painted side by side in my Florida studio, her Michigan studio, and even at Jazz Brunch downtown Orlando with the Grand Bohemian Gallery. This summer we will be teaching simultaneously with the Art Center Traverse City, I will only go to Michigan in the summer.
And we’ve shared many an artsy labelled bottle of wine together.
Enriching Your Soul
I was happy to be the student, because I’m usually the teacher. I’m glad I made the time to learn from someone else who inspiring and refreshing. Just last weekend I taught my 3-day Collage Workshop at the Craft Shack and the following Monday I gave a presentation about my career as an artist to the folks at the University Club of Winter Park. The folks at the Club came together from diverse backgrounds with one thing in common, they wanted to learn about something new. What an honor it was to have an art history professor from Rollins College included in the audience along with people who were interested in art but had no background in it themselves. I answered lots of excellent questions and appreciated everyone’s interest in my collage process as well as the business of being a working artist.
Until We Meet Again
Through our friendship Kim and I have learned a lot from each other. Kim tried her hand at collage, I tried my hand at loose brush work and not eating the still life. One of the things we talk about and share notes on a regular basis is the business of art and how important marketing is. I have taken (and learned a lot from) Kim’s Art Marketing lecture. We both actively promote our art online every day, we share notes, tips and tricks on how to make technology work for us. Check out Santini’s amazingly arbitrarily colored dog paintings on her Facebook page.
I took Santini to the airport last night, time goes by too fast when you are eating brownies and listening to Lily Allen in the studio. I hated to see her go. We will be back together before we know it, teaching, catching up and eating cherries. Maybe we will even get adventurous and make a cherry pie with lattice top that will out shine last years’! (She may have taught me a thing or two about marketing, but I taught her how to make pie crust.)
Those Michigan cherries are something else, but nothing tops my Michigan friendship.
Click to enlarge any photo. Thank you Douglas Nelson Photography!
Fancy iPhone photos courtesy of me