Thursday, June 17, 2010

Classes at Sunne Spot

The list for July Classes is up on my website.

I am really excited about THE PAINTED-PAGE, HAND-BOUND ART JOURNAL. Space is limited,though, so sign up soon.

And you will love the BIRTHDAY SCEPTER class on the 15th. I am planning a series of birthday preparation classes where we can make the accoutrements of Birthday Royalty for the beloveds in our lives.

See you at the Studio this or any morning for some drop-in art making.

Birthday thank you

Thanks to all who visited and for the many lovely birthday wishes. The party favors will go out in today's mail.

Guests at Sunne Spot continue to have a great time:

*A sister of a friend came in to help me with my press release and walked away with (my gratitude and) delighted by the several ATCs that she had made for her collection.

*Two friends came in to make some ATCs (which they did) and ended up taking my kids and I to a celebratory dinner. (Thank you again!)

And speaking of ATCs: this Saturday is Art At The Library time again: from 2:00-4:00pm we will be learning a technique that I call "papercut molas" after the Kuna reverse applique. Now those beautiful quilts are done in fabric and we will be working with colored paper. Let me get you a photograph. I have a couple on the Trading Rails here at the Studio.
These are made of cut paper - each layer cut separately. I think that this might sound confusing, but the way that I have devised to do the cuts is actually pretty easy. Everyone is welcome at these Library groups. Anyone not old enough to work with an exacto knife can still make ATCs with scissors.

We hope to see you at Sunne Spot on any morning and at the Rockport Library this Saturday.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Birthday Blog Party - Welcome!

Today is my birthday and you are invited to my party at my Sunne Spot Studio! I am so glad that you are here.
Well, come on in, and get yourself something to munch on...
Come and sit with me ...
... and I will tell you the story of how this Studio came into being.
Years ago as I walked around the track at the local gym I would look at those long blank walls and get to thinking. It started looking like a long opportunity for a gallery. Our part of Maine is just rampant with wonderful craft and fine artists and I got to imagining how it would be if we all got to display our work. Then I realized that I would just want to stop and look at it up close - rather defeating the purpose of the track. (!)
I kept thinking about art though. I looked around at all of the people in the gym gathered in community to make their workouts easier: no one person had to buy all of that equipment which saved everyone lots of money. And there was another benefit too. It makes it easier to drag one's self over there every day because of the encouragement of others doing the same thing. Community is both support and inspiration.
"What about art?" I thought, "Wouldn't art be easier to practice regularly if we knew that we had the companionship of others?"
Have you had your art exercise today?
Well, one thing led to another and what with the general rigors of parenting and the fascination of homeschooling, my dream of a community art studio got back-burnered...
And then it just got to be the correct time:
I found a perfect space and filled it with lots of wonderful mixed media, paper and fiber art supplies.
Now the (Artist Trading Card) ATC Trading Rails are up, filled with the art of several Studio-goers.
Let's take a seat at one of the tables and see what we can make.
So, this is a Birthday Party and it is the custom to have party favors. So here is the deal for our Blog Birthday Party: I have 25 party favors - for the first 25 people to write to my email: and give me your postal address, I will send out the party favors! I am happy to have international party guests and will send favors to wherever you are. (The email is for address privacy but you can comment here too!)
Thank you for attending my birthday party. I am so glad to see you here.
Love from,

Sunday, June 13, 2010

In 2008 I joined a group of bloggers having All-Hallow's Eve blog parties. I gave my own blog party. It was such fun.
That year I also had held a 2008 birthday ATC give-a-way. People from around the world sent me birthday wishes.
Last year I had a 2009 birthday blog party where I not only partied heartily with friends far and near, but gave out party favors.

Today, from Noon to 5 o'clock I am having a real Grand Opening Party/Birthday Party at Sunne Spot Studio. You are all invited. Well, I guess that works out best for all you local friends. So this year, I continue my world-wide party tradition and invite you to my blog birthday party this coming Wednesday. Stories, lovely birthday cake, friends from all over, art play, and, of course!!, party favors. It is a special year: I am starting the business of my dreams: Sunne Spot Studio, a community art studio. Drop-in or take a class. Make some art and find your heart. I have wanted to be an artist in business since I was at least 11 years old. I am coming home. Many blessings have gotten me here. Many challenges have made the journey a rich one.

Last night I went to a concert where 140 people sang about how it takes a village to raise our children. Well, quite a few tears later I am home and I am building my business in this village.

Join me.

Friday, June 11, 2010

New Journal!

Oh! Lucky me. I have a new journal. I have needed one for months, but have been so busy with plans for Sunne Spot that I haven't taken the time to make myself one. I have little stacks of writings and pictures everywhere that have been my journal on the run.

So, finally: a journal home.

I started by painting the inside of a file folders box. There are lots of spare pieces of cardboard around here as I unpack various shipments of supplies.

**As a matter of fact I have a great corregated cardboard, potential book cover here at Sunne Spot which will go to the first person who comes in to ask for it. I will give you ideas for decoration and binding too, if you need it. **

Then I got out the gold paint and did some stencilling and texture painting on top of that base.
And as long as I was painting I pulled out some previously painted pages. Here is, I'm not kidding, gessoed and acrylic painted plastic bag with stenciled letters on top.A piece of pulled waxed paper. (I will be showing this technique in the July journalling class. (Keep an eye out here on my website for the calendar of classes.)More pulled waxed paper with letter stencils.So, do you get the idea that these were all headed to be pages in the new journal? Here is paper that is layered in the way "cloth paper" is made but I layered dictionary pages over plain old tissue paper, painted and sprayed it with acrylic paint and then more stenciling.Same paper method as above but with play money instead of dictionary pages.
The dried papers got cut, very generally, to size and bound into the cover ...
and here you can see the painted papers mixed in with old calendar papers and tracing paper.
That red paper is actual "cloth paper". It is a lovely, juicy journal.
I have already started to write in it. O! Happiness! Next, I get to start making little medallions and decorations for the pages. Little badges of art glory.
I think that I have 6 people coming in to the Studio today, that I know of anyway. All Moms and children. Sunne Spot is beautifully set up for this. Lots of space for children to work, lots of ideas to get them going, giving Mommies a bit of breathing space to imagine their own worlds of color and texture. Happy all around.
Today is the last day of free week. Everyone still gets their first hour free starting next week, but this morning you and your friends and family get the whole morning free.
Drop-in hours: 8:30 - Noon, Monday - Friday.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

What does Sunne Spot Studio look like?

What does a drop-in community art studio look like? How does it work?
Well, start here:
It began as a plain room. I added some tables. And bureaus to hold lots of paper, glue and scissors. :)Then I wanted a special table to accomodate the making of ATCs

So a good carpenter friend came to build one.Here it is finished with lots of layers of polyurethane on it.

It has shelves below to hold all of the paint, and rubber stamps, and paper punches.They are filling up fast. We artists need lots of ways to express ourselves, y'know.

Today I tried out that back table - to see if it worked. I need some party favors for my real life Grand Opening Party on Sunday the 13th ,as well as for my virtual birthday blog party next Wednesday(!!)

I laid out my cards...

Painted them with gesso...

Then painted them with acrylic paint...

And then a little more paint... the freezer paper underneath gets pretty painted up too.

I have them all resting now, drying overnight. We'll see what they look like tomorrow, and then I'll get to adding lots of juicy accoutrements. Drawings too, and maybe go through my stash of wonderful art quotes.

Please do drop in tomorrow and I can get you going on your own set of ATCs - remember: this week is our free, trial-run week so you can make art for free. 8:30 - Noon.

This is one of my favorite quotes recently:

"Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman

Friday, June 4, 2010

What IS a "drop-in community art studio"?

What is a "drop-in, community art studio"?

Well, let's take it a bit at a time.

Studio: A place to study, a place to practice, a place where all of the instruments of one's work are gathered together. A studio is a dedicated room to explore and manifest the thoughts and skills of a particular accomplishment; in this case ...

Art: A particular set of [performance, or literary, or] visual expressions and the techniques which render experience, wisdom and facility. O.K., very big words, here. We are talking sewing, drawing, collage, painting, journaling, knitting, paper constructing, and their cousins. Hopefully we will be adding in clay, wood and a little metal work too. And lots more needlework of every kind.

One of the points of great interest to me is that this work not be about perfectionism. Certainly gaining skills is crucial to the art we will all practice at Sunne Spot Studio. But what is deeper than that is the intellectual and emotional, and yes, even spiritual exercise of our handwork.

Which brings us to ...

Community: Working together to allow the skills of each individual and the energy of the group enrich our own personal life experience and each other.

What I know about craft and art could fill a book - oh, yeah, I already wrote one ... So I could have sat at home in my own studio writing books (I have a couple more in mind) but I longed for the energy of the community. And when I looked around I saw other moms (not just me) who longed for gentle work to do with their children in the company of other adults. I also heard about part time artists and crafters who need to have a special place and time to dedicate to their handwork, because if they try to do it at home they are both alone and distracted by the chores that call loudly.

Which brings us to ...

Drop-in: We plan our days the best we can, and then there are the little crises or unexpected demands that throw it all askew. So I planned Sunne Spot to just be available to you all morning during the week. There will be afternoon, evening and weekend classes, taught with specific goals in mind, but the mornings are for you, on your schedule, for as long as you need or want.

Now you know a little more about Sunne Spot Studio. Please come in to visit and see what we are all about for yourself next week. It's FREE. In exchange for a quick questionaire about your time in the Studio, you get to work for a while, using Studio materials, drinking up the companionship and atmosphere - yup - for free. During the week of June 7th - 11th. See you then.