Monday, January 26, 2009

Whole Lotta HeART Retreat - Part One

What a great weekend! The Crystal Lake Art Center, Frankfort, MI hosted a retreat that included myself as the paste painting instructor and Pam Yee as a book instructor. I taught on Saturday and Pam worked with what we had made during the paste painting class to complete the One-Sheet-Wonder book form on Sunday. We had eight enthusiastic students enjoying themselves in a warm, cozy, creative space. Frankly, inside was the only place to be as the outside temps were in the low single digits! Many thanks to Lee and Eliza, who helped organize this retreat and enjoyed participating in it too. Additional thanks to Greta, Audrey, Carole, Bev, Diana and Marcy for attending and making the weekend so pleasant. Each time I teach, I continue to learn myself and this is one of the reasons it remains to be a joy to be out there meeting such wonderful people.

(Notice that my shirt doubles as a rag. Saves me always looking for something to wipe my hands and tools on!)

The day started with me giving some history about paste painting and talking about supplies. Quickly, however, we got right down to business. I demoed the basics and they went at it. I demoed some additional techniques and tricks and they went at it. By late morning everyone was confident and turning out some great work. To keep it interesting they did have some "assignments" throughout the day: do the front and back of one sheet in contrasting colors and/or textures that would be the base of their book; emerge beyond their typical color palette and use two colors that they hadn't used all day; and, pick a sheet that they didn't like too terribly much and rework it with more paste/more color/more texture.

At one point in late afternoon when the energy in the room was starting to wane a bit, we did a round robin. We each started a sheet with one color and then passed it to the left. Each of the artists then added their "mark" to the sheet. It could be additional color or additional texture or both. Amazingly, rather than getting muddy, many of these collaborative sheets turned out to be some of the best of the day.

You may have noticed that this post is only "Part One". "Part Two" will show pictures of the the bookbinding day and some of the finished books. Stay tuned...



Joanne Huffman said...

This must have been a wonderful time for everyone. The papers look beautiful.


Lorrie Grainger Abdo said...

I think everyone had fun, I know I did.

DymphieM said...

cool books, seems the class had lots of fun. there are some really nice results too, wonderful!

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