Saturday, October 11, 2014

An Amazing Journey–Part Nine

The facade of the Library in Ephesus

This summer I had the amazing opportunity to cruise the Mediterranean with the entire extended Nelson Family. We took in some amazing art, architecture, and 3000+ years of history. Our journey will be in day-by-day blog entries.

Kusadasi, Turkey offered the house of the Virgin Mary, The ancient city of Ephesus, and the Basilica of St. John

Part Nine / You can follow along:
Growing Bolder Elite Blog

Thank You
for being a part
of my Art Journey,

An Amazing Journey–Part Ten

The Parthenon will take your breath away

This summer I had the amazing opportunity to cruise the Mediterranean with the entire extended Nelson Family. We took in some amazing art, architecture, and 3000+ years of history. Our journey will be in day-by-day blog entries.

Athens offered the Acropolis Museum, a hike up 80 stairs to the Acropolis, and the Parthenon.

Part Ten / You can follow along:
Growing Bolder Elite Blog

Thank You
for being a part
of my Art Journey,

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Gone to Seed

working on the packet art in the studio ©Douglas Nelson Photography

Several months ago I entered the Hudson Valley Seed Library packet contest, along with over 400 other artists. They narrowed it down to 16, and I was assigned the Radiant Radish Mix!

The art was under wraps, we couldn't talk about it until the pack designs were unveiled and the cover competition was at hand. You can now view and vote for my packet to be the cover of the catalogue on their website.

My radish pack, top left vote for #1

The original artwork for all 16 "Art of the Heirloom" packets is set for November 8th at the New York Botanic Gardens. The show will stay at NYBG through January and then continue to travel to other venues.

Starting this week, the Hudson Valley Seed Library Blog will feature posts about each artist and their completed Art Pack. there are also Fine Art Prints available of the art from the packs. 

What a wonderful project to be a part of. My Dad loves radishes and grew them in our yard when I was a kid. I'll have to get him some seeds for next summer!

The original artwork from my easel

Thank You
for being a part of
my Art Journey,


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Very Special Inspiration

The painted background:  acrylic on a bed sheet! After showing the clients the ‘big picture’, I cut this into 3 sections while they watched.  While I was painting the background,  they were busy sorting fabric scraps by color and cutting them into business card-sized pieces.

Adding fabrics to the tail section. Color beginning to build up. 
We’d work on the bird for 20 minutes or so every couple of weeks.

Earlier in the year I was contacted by Sher Harnish and she asked my permission for her School of Occupational Therapy to use my cardinal collage from the 2013 Lang Calendar as inspiration for a project for her clients with the early stages of Alzheimer's Disease. Of course I was more than happy to be the person she chose for artistic inspiration! 

Sher plans to enter the piece in the 2015 Dallas Quilt Show! How exciting is that for her project and her clients!

We have corresponded for the past several months as the project progressed, today she sent me the photos and a very touching e-mail, I wanted to share it with you.

Elizabeth, we had corresponded earlier in the year about Stepping Stones, our community-based socialization and activity program for persons with early stage Alzheimer’s Disease. This is a weekly program run by our Texas Woman’s University School of Occupational Therapy faculty and graduate students. We used your oriole paper collage from a 2013 calendar for our inspiration.  I thought you might like to see the final wall hanging and some pictures of the process.  The quilt is large, 76x82”, and heavy with all the acrylic paint and glue stick!  It’s been displayed at a local caregiver’s conference and currently as part of an exhibit of Memories in the Making, a watercolor painting group designed for persons with dementia.  Many of our Stepping Stones members overlapped with the Memories project.

Adding more  layers to the tail feathers.

Lots of fabric scraps, lots of layers: and a lot of glue sticks!

The process was an extraordinary experience for our participants, our volunteers and our occupational therapy students.  Several family caregivers related how much the clients enjoyed taking part in making the Cardinal, even though they may have had a hard time figuring out what it was going to eventually become!  Once they saw it in a finished form, however, they were so please with themselves and amazed at what they had accomplished.  The process of the activity was so satisfying that we’re thinking of doing another one this coming Spring semester with the group.  We mentioned your name on the quilt label as providing original picture inspiration.  I plan to enter the wall hanging in the Dallas 2015 Quilt Show in the non-juried group category.  I think the basic process of cut-n-paste to a colored background then stitching it together under the netting, is something that can be adapted to just about any group, from Alzheimer’s clients to girl scouts to church groups to summer camp.  I think fellow quilters will be interested in both the technique and the final product as well.  If we get accepted, I‘ll let you know! 

Sher Harnish, MA, OTR
Academic Fieldwork Coordinator
School of Occupational Therapy
Texas Woman's University

Early work on the mid-section.  Matching fabrics with the colors.  It was fascinating to watch as some just covered the section haphazardly, while others were so precise in their alignment or color selection.  We used glue sticks to hold things in place.

The 3 sections together spread on the floor in the early stages…a glimpse of what the final project might look like. There are still more layers to go at this stage, and some misplaced colors to be moved around.

The sections were layered over muslin backing & batting just like a regular quilt.  The edges of the 3 sections are butted together as they are rolled through a quilting machine along with a layer of bridal netting on top to hold all the loose edges down.  That’s my sister at the quilt machine stitching all the layers together. Although you can’t see much of the stitching in photographs,  there are loops and whirls and ‘feathers’ and texture  - from the back you can clearly see the cardinal and his branch!

The finished wall hanging in my backyard. The colors really sparkle in the sun.

I am honored and humbled to have been the artist chosen for inspiration in this project. To inspire others is quite a gift, and I thank the Universe for that. You just never know where art will take you.

Thank You
for being a part of
my Art Journey,


Monday, September 29, 2014

Art Retreat Fun!

Today marked the end of an AMAZING art retreat in Petaluma, CA called Art Is…YOU. This was the first time I have taught for Salianne and Ellen. In fact, this was the first time I ever heard of Art Is…YOU, but it's been going on across the US and in Australia for a number of years now. 

The event was all week long at the Sheraton Sonoma County, all the students stayed here and all the classes took place here. It was a great opportunity to meet new friends, take classes in multi disciplines, and even attend an art trunk sale. 

My class was 21 students and our room overlooked the marina

Most of the people in my class were local to the bay area, but I did have a student from the Netherlands who got the gold star for traveling the furthest. Thank you Kitty! 21 is a big group, I tried my very best to give as much individual attention as I could to each and every one. Artists of all skill levels take my class, but everyone works on the "Small Apple Exercise."

Jodi, in deep concentration

Jodi stopped me at the elevator on the day I arrived and said, "I know who you are… you are the REASON I am here!" And then she giggled "I've been stalking you on Facebook." Isn't technology amazing? Jodi did a great job with her apple collage, I was very proud of her. 

DeBi (back) has been following me on FB for years, she brought her lifelong friend Melissa to class

I had two sets of women who came to the class together, as friends. I had 21 women who made friends and left the class not only with new knowledge, but some new friends. 

Everyone was given hand-made name tags by Salianne and Ellen

Salianne and Ellen paid attention to every detail. We had morning motivators at breakfast, we had an Artist Trunk Show on Saturday night, We enjoyed lunch together. There were so many different classes here all week long, it was a lot of fun to talk to students and teachers from other classes to hear about what kind of projects they were working on. One class even made their own hats, I am sorry I could have have been a student in that one!

At the trunk show I was setup next to Stencil Girl AKA Mary Beth who was fun and friendly and even invited me to sit with her and Tonia Jenny from North Light Books at lunch today. It's always nice to be included, isn't it? :)

I had the opportunity to meet assemblage artist Michael deMeng on Saturday night who was also teaching here this week. He and his wife were both setup at the trunk show on the opposite side of my table.

Busy hands, Tammy gluing paper

In my class, we painted paper on Saturday, and glued it down on Sunday. So much paper was painted and everyone thought they had enough, but come Sunday I heard a lot of, "I don't have enough paper." Which always makes me smile, because you can NEVER have enough hand-painted paper. Tammy (above) won the door prize for saying it first. She got a signed copy of Alyson B. Stanfield's art marketing book I'd Rather Be in the Studio. 

Mateo, Annie, Tiago, and Me

I was lucky enough to have a dear friend in San Jose who picked me up from the SFO airport on Thursday and took me home and made me dinner. We visited the San Jose Art Museum and I got a tour of this town that she grew up in. Annie and I have known each other since 1990, we met in London when we were both working in the city. We have matching tattoos twice over. It was so nice to spend time with her and her family. On Friday afternoon they all drove me up to Petaluma and pointed out all the bay area highlights along the way. We got into Petaluma early evening, checked into the hotel and had dinner at Real Döner, a wonderful Turkish restaurant in town. The falafel and Baba ghanoush were to die for! Thank you Annie for your hospitality and for driving me all over... and back! 

The Small Apple Exercise in progress, by Joyce

At the end of the class, I take an hour to critique each and every apple at the front of the room so each student can learn from their classmates. Everyone tells me that the critique is extremely helpful, I think so too. 

When class was over, everyone was sad to say goodbye, but lots of folks exchanged emails and I hope they will stay in contact or even get together, since many are from right here in Northern California. 

The alcohol resist technique, the best piece of paper I made in the demo

If you are interested in a mixed media retreat that offers multiple classes and teachers, then Art Is…YOU might just be what you are after. It's not just in California either, oh no. You can find this retreat in SIX locations, Olive Branch, MS; New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, Australia; Petaluma, CA; and Stamford, CT.

Standing all day requires creative yet comfortable footwear

I certainly hope I get invited back to teach next year at this wonderful retreat, be it CA or CT or MS, and wouldn't it be amazing to be able to go to Australia to teach? 

You just never know where art will take you. 

Thank You
for being a part of
my Art Journey,


Monday, September 22, 2014

Cherie's Progress

Cherie and I at her home in a few weeks ago in September

For those of you who have been following my childhood friend Cherie's Progress since her paralyzing auto accident on 9/30/10 (four years ago this month) I have some news.

First of all, she remains to have a positive attitude. She's been having in-home therapy through the VNA association ever since she came home from Shepherd Center for Spinal Cord & Brain Injury Rehabilitation. The VNA feels as though they have brought her as far as they can, so they helped her make a video and fill out the application to attend Brooks Rehabilitation in Jacksonville, FL for a four week program of multi-disciplined intensive therapy.

If you want to make a tax deductible donation to Cherie so that she may continue to fund her progress, please visit her HelpHOPELive website for more information.

When Cherie first came home from Shepherd Center in Atlanta, GA to Vero Beach, FL, I reached out to my artist friends and asked them to make and send her cards of encouragement, to help keep her spirits up. Cherie has told me over and OVER again how much those cards meant to her, how much the kind words of strangers meant to her.

I'd like to ask you again if you would send a word of encouragement to a stranger to you, but a dear lifelong friend to me. Cherie's mother was an artist, she worked in soft pastel and was the first person to ever take me to an art museum.

Email me for the snail mailing address for notes and cards for Cherie.

Thank You
for being a part
of my Art Journey,

Sunday, September 21, 2014

An Amazing Journey-Part Eight

The Topkapi Palace Museum was stunning

This summer I had the amazing opportunity to cruise the Mediterranean with the entire extended Nelson Family. We took in some amazing art, architecture, and 3000+ years of history. Our journey will be in day-by-day blog entries.

Istanbul offered many mosques and museums featuring portraits, jewels, thrones and robes of Sultans and even a private Harem.

Part Eight/ You can follow along:
Growing Bolder Elite Blog

Thank You
for being a part
of my Art Journey,