Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Mixed Media Techniques Workshop with Judith Cassel-Mamet

Judith Cassel-Mamet
I would like to share the fun I had at a recent workshop lead by Judith Cassel-Mamet on layering color and text for mixed media art. A group of  ten creative ladies met at this workshop in Denver, held at the new, and extremely popular venue, aBuzz Gallery. This large, light-filled space was the perfect meeting place for the color mixing and enthusiastic leadership style Judith offers so generously!

I asked Judith, who is an active teacher as well as a successful mixed media artist, to talk to me a bit about creativity and inspiration. Here's what she had to say.

Georgianne Holland: "When did you start focusing on altered books and art journals as a medium/avenue for your creativity? How did that come to pass?"
Judith Cassel-Mamet: "As I was about to retire from a high school art teaching career, I had the opportunity to work at DU developing a class called "Creative
Example of Judith's layering of text, texture and color
Expressions".  As I investigated research on creativity I became passionate about de-bunking the myth that creativity is something that you are either born with or are lucky enough to be struck with some time in your life.

This myth 'of genius' has closed the door not only on people who jumped off their perceived creative train as kids, but on the weekend artist/crafter who thinks of themselves as 'less than" or not worthy of the title of Artist. This is the background for exploring art journals and a mixed media approach to all things book related.

Most folks know about the split brain theory (left directed thinking = writing, math, linear and right directed = art, drawing, conceptual) so guiding my students to keep a mixed media journal that combines text and visuals seemed like a perfect way to help others cultivate their creative expression. While helping my students I just got deeper and deeper into the mixed media journal world and now have completed over 50 art journals and have amassed a ridiculous library of art journal, collage and mixed media books. I am
Workshop on layering color and texture
constantly on the lookout for no-fail techniques to create rich, textured layers and I love combining text with visuals. Even though the split brain theory is now considered overly simplistic (it has been replaced with the 'brain-set' research) I still find that there is an amazing freedom in art journaling! So, I love teaching workshops that encourage authentic expression, fearless exploration and good messy fun.

GH: "Do you believe fine craft artists like yourself are helped or hindered by the prevalence of online business models and website presentation methods?"
JCM: "How do I feel about social media and on-line work? I love it! I have connected with the most interesting folks often through random noodling around! It is easy to get images up and to learn from the whole world of mixed media arts through all the popular sites. Once I decided not to worry about whether I needed to wear some makeup for my YouTube video tutorials I have been having a blast filming and sharing."

Judith uses vintage books for her fabulous journals
GH: "Who would you name as an inspiration to you as an artist?"
JCM: "My inspiration? At this point it is Carol Ann Waugh who is the most generous artist, marketer and friend I know in the art world."

If you are interested in learning more about Judith and her creativity-inspiring workshops, here is information that will help you along that path! Thank you to Judith for a wonderful workshop experience and for this lovely discussion today. GH
Judith's Workshop Schedule

Dear Blog Friends: I would love to know who you think of as your biggest inspiration today! Please comment and let us all learn about what fuels your amazing life.

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Eco-Chic is on Trend, and that makes us Cool!

Fiber art is a labor of love.
Saying "Eco-Chic" or any other term for describing the environmentally-friendly fiber art objects I make, no longer causes folks to say, "Huh?" Deborah Rent in the Chronicle Herald says that Eco-Chic is definitely trendy, and may even enter the territory of being hip. "When you tell people you're decorating your home by choosing environmentally sustainable products, you feel good about yourself...you instantly up your cool quota."

So what is cool about choosing organic fabric to design my home decor pillows? Farmers who grow cotton, hemp, bamboo or linen fibers organically to manufacture fabric are easier on the soil, the people who handle that fabric, and the consumer. Many organic farmers are masters at crop rotation, which keeps the 80% of our planet's biodiversity in the soil healthy. No synthetic chemicals are used, and they skip the poisons like formaldehyde and heavy metals. Yuck! And decorating organic fabrics by hand, like I do in my designs, feels right. I invest a lot of time and care in my home decor items. They are a labor of love and they deserve a high-quality foundational fabric!

I am always on the lookout for certified organic products for my art. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) states that certifying organics is mutually beneficial for everyone involved in an organic cotton supply chain as it insures integrity in their processing and labeling. I am excited to grow my design business into a organization that can add to the cause of greening your home! Besides, I've always loved thinking of myself as hip and cool.

What kind of eco-chic items are you loving right now? I'd like to hear about it!

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Bright Colors and Soft Textures in Home Decor Fiber Art

Wool circles staged for my new line of pillows!

Lots of embroidery will need to happen next!
Bright colors and silky textures are the inspiration I count on as I spend hot June days in my fiber art studio.  This new batch of 100% wool felt is now cut into circles, waiting patiently for me to sort out new fiber art designs! The popular Folk Art Flowers pillows I've had in my collection for a few years need to have some fresh design touches. I am planning to add flags and other bold circle-centric designs in the upcoming months.
Some of the soft and colorful wool from the Wool Festival in Estes Park.

Do you have a favorite color scheme in your home that you can share with me? I'd love to have your input.

This small folk art flag design is similar to a large wall fiber art piece I've been attending to this year. This smaller version is being made for a 12"x15" pillow design, and I am enjoying the process. Iconic flags are a fun addition to many home decor styles, and the layout of this flag is straight- forward. Perhaps this design is too traditional?

Do you think I should be more contemporary and angle the flag or give it some wave-like motion?

I visited the Wool Festival in Estes Park, Colorado, last weekend with some of my fun knitting friends! This picture shows some of the lovely colors and soft textures I purchased from the vendors at this terrific annual event. I always enjoy visiting with vendors at the market and catching up with their news and exciting products. Some of these friendly people are my year-long source of hand-dyed, eco-friendly wools for my fiber art. I have to admit, it is taking a lot of self-restraint to create this blog post today instead of getting elbow deep in this luscious pile of bright and silky wool! I wanted to share before I start pulling these fibers apart in the creative process.

I hope you will keep an eye out for new creations from Nestle And Soar in the coming weeks, and I also hope you will let me know if there is anything special I could Customize especially for you!

Thanks for stopping by,

P.S. Thank you for following this blog. I do appreciate it! Today through June 15, 2013, I invite you to use a special coupon code "BlogFriend" at checkout on my Nestle And Soar website, and receive 20% off your purchase of any one regular-priced item. If you aren't a follower of this blog, sign up today! Great coupons and fun specials are a part of the fun here. Georgianne