Sunday, November 11, 2012

Santa Fe Enchantment!

It has been just over a week since I returned home from EGA's Santa Fe Enchantment, 2012.  I promised a report, but how does one convey the enchantment that Santa Fe, New Mexico really is?
How does one convey 'on paper', or in this case, on your computer screen, the aroma of cedar fires   and caramel corn in the plaza, and roasted chiles, and the rustling sound of the golden cottonwood leaves, and the crispness of cold air on your cheeks?

The world famous Hatch chiles drying in the sun....acres of them!

Sage along Canyon Rd.
Miles and miles of cottonwoods along the Rio Grande.

Cottonwood leaves on the plaza grounds.

My sister Dorothy and I left on a Friday morning, my car packed to the hilt with stuff for classes and stuff to sell at the EGA midweek Trading Post.  Luckily, there was still room for the two of us!  Traveling with a much loved sister is priceless! We rode and laughed, and talked, and laughed, and talked and laughed some more.  We never ran out of things to talk or laugh about, which must be a 'girl' thing.  Most of you will understand that.

Back seat!

Trunk, all trunkekated!

Arriving at Buffalo Thunder Resort, things continued to run as smoothly as our travels.  (NO Glitches!)  The hotel staff was great!  We loved our suite!  French doors opened out onto a ground level patio, even though we were on the 3rd. floor!  Our view was of the distant golf course, the mountains, and always, the moon rising brilliantly white and round!  (We only saw that view, because we were up and out the door at 7:30ish every morning, attending to business, and didn't return until evening.)

The Bellhop was a Magician!

Room with a view and my little iPhone camera did pretty well capturing it!

I taught two classes, Santa Rita Prickly Pear, and Las Flores de la Noche with my sister Dorothy assisting me, because of the size of the classes.  Thank you Dorothy for your kind nature, patience, and ability to connect and help where help was needed.  Both projects involved the same process....stitching the subject in white cotton floss (DMC) and/or white Flair, a sheer panty hose like material by Rainbow Gallery.

Santa Rita Prickly Pear

Las Flores de la Noche

 After the subjects were stitched, students were instructed to saturate their canvases with water...getting them good and soaked!  Shocking I know!  Next, they mixed a textile medium with acrylic craft paints, and proceeded to add color to their stitched work, allowing the paint to extend into the blank canvas background.

This was scary for many...but I was proud of how eagerly they all launched into the work.  Some had their own vision, and others just went with the flow.  (of the paint....sorry...could not resist!)  The best part was that these 'painted thread' projects are mistake proof!  No matter the skill or level of the painter, no matter how worried one is with that process, the outcome is always successful!  Truly!  I am not kidding!  I've never seen a piece that didn't turn out beautiful!

And now I have to apologize to the Santa Rita class.  Alas..I did not take photos of your individual pieces.  So, the photos here are primarily of the Las Flores de la Noche class.  As you can see, each student did beautiful work!  They had a limited color palate to use, but the range of colors they managed to create was remarkable!  We laid the canvases out to dry in the sun.  Luckily, we had big french doors that led to a large patio and lawn area. (And long windows all around the room!  I'm telling ya...we had the very best classroom lighting and space in the entire seminar!) After lunch, classes convened for more stitching, and in the case of Las Flores, a bit more painting with Crayola fabric markers and the use of stencils.   We added more color and texture in each class by stitching with Caron's Watercolours and Wildflowers, Sundance beads and sequins, Kreinik metallics!  In the Santa Rita class, they created flower petals out of strips of torn organdie fabric and used Sundance beads and Kreinik metallic to create thorns on the cactus pads!

Santa Rita Class Pieces

Las Flores de la Noche Class Pieces

Celebrity Elizabeth Bozievich in her designer smock!

See our great windows!

This lady was a darling!  Cute and feisty, she worked harder than anyone in this particular class...and was determined to reach her goal, which she did! 

I consider this experience, sharing these projects with a collective total of 71 Santa Fe Enchantment students,  to have been an enriching and joyful process for ME.  I think too, it must have been for them as well.  Sure, there were a few problems to solve or deal with, considering....(egads!  I forgot to put in a single strand of DMC in the kits, but fortunately, found a substitute.  And the room, though bright and beautiful,  had a 1/2 high wall divider in it, which we worked around. That said, after reading the class evaluations, I believe that 99% of those attending agreed it was a great time, well spent and that they enjoyed it as much as I did! 

PS....will the student who asked me about having the remainder of the prickly pear jelly we snacked upon (spread on crackers! Yum!) please contact me?  I can't remember who you are, and I'd like to send you some.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Why I Paint My Own Orders

Yesterday, I finished painting an order for a shop.  The piece is one that is no longer being featured in my line that is distributed by Sundance Designs.  But, when someone remembers a piece and requests it, I am happy to oblige!

When I got ready to paint, I first had to find the master copy.  There in the pile, in the box, under the bed, along with the master, was a second canvas already painted.  This one had been painted by a copy artist, back in the day when I tried to use them.  The reason this canvas was never sent out is the subject of my blog post today.

But first, a little background.  I am not opposed to any designer using copy artists.  I would gladly join the ranks of successful designers who use them:  Lani, Melissa Shirley are just two who come to mind!  I am also thinking of Leigh of Leigh Designs.  Love you Leigh!  Your work is amazing and astonishing and wonderful, and that only taps the surface of my admiration for your talent!  Leigh explained to me one time, how she has a staff of copy artists that she personally trained, and oversees while they work 'in house' on her property.  I envisioned  Leigh standing over them with a bull whip, snatching the brushes out of their little hands when they screwed up!   LOL!

At one time, I also envisioned that if someone else could paint my designs, that would free me up to design more and more and more canvases, and also to stitch them!  Thus began a series of unfortunate and miserable events in that quest.  I won't go into the gory details but I'll show you what I mean.  Because it was expensive and I didn't have time to keep experimenting with different people, I decided to just stick with doing it myself.   And I'm happy with that decision.  I do enjoy the painting process, even though it can be tedious sometimes.  But those times give me moments to reflect on many things, listen to audio books or music, and sometimes watch tv..or at least, listen to it also.  And when one is 'in the groove' of canvas and paint, it can be very enjoyable. is why I paint my own orders.   This is the order I completed yesterday.  One is the Master and one was done by a copy artist.  If you click on each image, you can see them enlarged.  But before you do that, they both look pretty good here, don't they?

Or do they?  Let's take a closer look........Click away....I'll let the images speak for themselves.

 So...the verdict is yours.  It was mine too, along with the conclusion was that I will paint my own orders.   UNLESS..... someone hands me a bull whip and builds me a big studio warehouse and I see a big long line of talented copy artists on the horizon, all anxiously awaiting to do my work for me.  LOL!!