If this collection of artwork above isn't a kaleidescope of magnificence, I don't know what is. To me, it is like candy from the prettiest candy store ever. And in May, I will get to experience all of the above first-hand at Art & Soul in Hampton, VA. I am taking classes with the artists whose work is pictured above, some I've met and some I haven't, but I couldn't be more thrilled either way. It's nearly five months from now, and I am already gathering supplies and making lists.
Traci Bunkers, Kansas, (top, photo of a journal page from her blog), is teaching The Maiden Voyage: Journaling for Beginners, and although I am not quite a beginner, I can't bring myself to write words in my journal-- a dilemma Traci addresses in a blog post. Most of these artists have books out or coming out, and Traci is no exception with Print and Stamp Lab.
The whimsical girl in the tire swing belongs to Carla Sonheim, Seattle, whose book, Drawing Lab for Mixed Media Artists: 52 Creative Exercises to Make Drawing Fun, comes out this summer. This picture is appropriate since I am taking Practicing Whimsy from her. Carla was one of my teachers for a short "drawing blast" class--mostly with charcoal--a couple years ago, and I just loved her and her gentle, helpful, non-judgmental style. I wish I could have taken her drawing class this February, set outside on the Las Vegas strip!
The Sweetie Birds belong to L.K. Ludwig, and that's the name of the two-night class I am taking with her, to make these birds with paper clay. I also met L.K., of Pennsylvania, at a previous Art & Soul and absolutely love her many books, including True Vision, Nature Journals and Collaborative Art Journals. I'll be sure to be taking one of these to get signed.
The reliquary below the birdies belongs to the inimitable Michael deMeng, everyone's sweetheart, a mixed media artist who keeps the ladies swooning...especially since there are so few men on the mixed media circuit we all frequent. Nearly everyone knows and follows with a smile his romance with one lucky lady and artist in her own right, Judy Wilkenfeld of Australia, who met Michael when she was a student in one of his classes in Italy--truly an international art love story.
Michael was one of the first to come out with an altered art book: Secrets of Rusty Things, and he has another one on the way: Dusty Diablos. He has also been featured in many other artists' books and teaches around the world, stopping at home in Montana now and then. I am taking a Dia de los Muertos class from him called Playing Dead. Supplies include toy action figures, a plastic or rubber skeleton, a display box, clay, epoxy, paint, superglue and more. Should be great!
Lastly, artist Misty Mawn, another Pennsylvanian, was someone I happened on to nearly three years ago when I was starting this blog. And she was one of the first artists whose work I saw when I discovered Art & Soul. A photo of her in action in class graced the Web page I first came across. She's considered "famous" by those in altered art and mixed media circles, and even though she doesn't 'have a book,' she's been featured in many. I am taking It's Still Life! from her and can hardly wait to learn from her particular style. This isn't your Rembrandt's-fruit-in-a-bowl, that's for sure!
Meanwhile, I am trying to figure out how to squeeze at least one more art retreat into 2010. I am looking longingly at Teesha Moore's ArtFest in Washington in March, where talented bead friend Beverly Ash Gilbert is headed, and Inspired! in Concord, NC in May, where Pam Garrison will be teaching. Her needlework and journaling make me drool. And I'm geographically fairly close to friend Lisa Kettel's Art Opera in New Jersey, April 7-10, and really should attend that. We shall see.