Okay, I've dawdled enough, time to post about Artfest! This is going to be a monster post, so please grab some tea or a glass of wine.
This was my second year going to Artfest, and I had a really wonderful time. Last year I was very nervous and almost cried in the airport after my husband and daughter dropped me off.. it was the first time I'd been away from Beau, and I was so excited about everything that I was literally covered in hives the whole weekend. This year I was a bit more relaxed. I felt like I knew what to expect and where everything was, and I stayed in a new hotel with a cute little vintage stove for a fireplace.
The hotel I stayed in... The Bishop Victorian, one block from the water.
My first class was The Transparent Book, taught by the wonderful Sas Colby. This was an interesting class because our aim was to do image transfers onto transparent materials, and at the last minute the "toxic" solvent that Sas brought was nixed by the Arfest folks, so our whole group had to do with sharing one blender marker for transfers. By the time the marker got around to me it was sad and dried up, so I had to make do with what I brought. Luckily I'd printed out some images on vellum and transparencies, and had done a few monoprint/transfers onto notebook paper, so I used those.
I titled the book, The Book of Dreams.
It's so cool how you can see through the book pages both forward and back. The page on the right is looking through five more pages below it. The "nest" below the bird's feet is gold wire, it didn't show up very well in the photograph. (i'm using my iPhone to take pictures, by the way! My digital camera passed away recently.)
Collage and drawing on transparency.
More layers.. X-ray of unidentified beast courtesy of Paige.. thank you, Paige.
An out-of-focus shot of the last page: a net of stars made from photograph negatives.
The experience of working with transparent pages that built a story as you turned each page (both forward and back) is something I'd like to explore again. I love working with see-through layers in my work and in photoshop, but until this class I'd never thought of using them in terms of a book. I can see a book of poetry being very beautiful done like this.
My second class was Stone Pages, taught by Bee Shay. I called this my "rogue" class because it involved sewing and rivets and little tools that I had to go purchase and then puzzle over when I got them home. Luckily my table partner helped me along and showed me how to use the tools. Working with mica is really cool: it splits into thin layers, and basically we created two little books by putting natural materials and image between the layers, then riveting the pages to keep them together. Please excuse some of these wonky photos-- mica is very reflective.
Here is the cover of the copper and mica wearable necklace.. and then a peek inside:
And then after lunch we made this sweet little book using a Mary Oliver poem:
Two books in six hours! I was totally sweating. I didn't hear a lot of chatting in the class at all, now that I think of it.
Then on my last day I had Wood Collage Vignettes, taught by Karen Michele. Again, this was an intense class, and also really fun... it involved collaging these little wood bits then arranging them on a larger wood surface to create a final piece. This is something I would have never thought of doing on my own and I had no idea what I was doing at all, I just sort of followed my nose. I ended up with a piece that has a sort of nostalgic life-on-the-farm feeling to it.
I wish I had sharper pictures.. these are pretty cool close up.
What I really enjoyed about this project is how the little separate blocks had a conversation with each other. Walking around the room during the class was amazing, because everyone's projects were so different. A lot of people had a clear theme, and my challenge was that I didn't really have one, but I had to make the piece cohesive in some way. You can check out more pictures from the class on Karen's flickr stream.
I'm working on two pieces that I'm (hopefully) going to put in the gallery at Artfest to sell.. I'd take pictures of them, but my dear old digital camera just passed away.. maybe when they're finished I'll snap a picture with my cel phone.
Off I go to buy some supplies for my workshops, I'm getting really excited!
Amanda Hawkins has designed fantastic templates for day planners. She has free downloads for 8 1/2 x 11 inch and 4 x 6 inch sizes, and if you have an idea for one you'd like, you can email her and she'll make one up for you. I'm going to use her larger sized pages and put them in a three-ring binder. I really need some organization. Thanks, Amanda!
Do you know that you can get free art every week from Dover? You just sign up and they send you a link to images every thursday. I have a file of images that I use all the time, it's really handy.
A free Hermes Kelly Bag? Yup. Cute paper versions, printed out from your home computer, here. (Click on the little guy on the right) These would make great gift bags.
My Spring Cloud Bookplates were just spied on QTea's blog in their Once Upon A Time monthly kit! Check them out, they have the cutest collection of vintage, handmade artsy items.
The schedule for Artfest 2009 is up! Yippee! Is anybody out there going, too?
Magic Jelly is holding what she calls a Paper Chase Project: she's looking for cool new papers and collage-ing materials. If you send her a package of vintage papers and ephemera (see what she's looking for here) she'll make a collage with some of your materials and send it back to you! Now that's just plain cool.