You’re invited to the Enrichment Program’s Student Art Show this Friday in the Classroom and the Clay Studio, featuring the artistic talents of our students and teachers of the Enrichment Program @ AAC. We are celebrating these passionate young artists and can’t wait to show you all they do, including ceramics, drawing, painting, jewelry-making, sewing, scrap-booking, and more. The main event is the debut of their brand new mosaic and painted MURAL that they have been working so hard on for the last two months in their weekly ceramics class taught by Nathan Clinton and Alissa Clark.
The Enrichment Program was started in 2013 to offer enriching art classes and to create community for students with special needs. We currently have room in our program for more students. If you or someone you know is interested in signing up for the program, which includes free, weekly classes on Tuesdays with an emphasis on ceramics although other mediums will be taught as well, and a monthly Inclusion workshop with classes taught by local artists in a variety of mediums.
See you Friday at the Art Center!
“It is often said that Mother Nature’s colors rarely clash.
When you are looking for color inspiration, look no further
than a park or your own backyard.”
- Thalia Keple, quote from “Seeing Mother Nature’s Colors”
Dear Artists and Art Enthusiasts!
Relax in today’s late evening warmth while reading the latest Artist’s Voice, Ashland Art Center’s quarterly newsletter. We thank all of the Art Center artists and members who contributed to this edition, and an especially big thanks goes to our volunteer Editor, Ingrid Karazincir, who continues to create the newsletter from out-of-state. And, thank you for reading our newsletter and supporting Ashland Art Center, its artists, and the visual arts in our community.
In this issue, you’ll find so much to inspire you!
- Teacher and artist Thalia Keple shares how colors in her garden inspire her and her art
- Creative life coach Patricia Morrison has useful tools take with you on the journey of a new project or venture
- Felting artist and teacher Jo Ann Manzone immerses us in the rich experience of botanical painting and dyeing
- Wanda Pepin delivers the latest Art to Business exhibits and locations
- Development consultant Kathleen Davis gives us insight into what the future could hold for AAC
- Visiting artist Josie Rodriguez dives into the history of encaustic art and what her work is like ~ Josie is a San Diego-based artist who is coming to AAC to teach a one and a half day workshop at the Art Center on Saturday and Sunday, July 12 and 13. There are still four spaces available. Register today if you’re interested!
- Artist Member Judy Elliot reminds us to use our art for a cause ~ her art show “Save Our Oceans” raises awareness about pollution in our oceans
- Finally, felting artist Liza Hamilton announces her many new art classes, including workshops, weekly series, and drop ins
There is a lot to enjoy, ponder, and think about. Enjoy!
Ashland Art Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to supporting the arts in our community through education, art experience, and artist support for all ages. Visit us today! We are open seven days a week, 10 – 6. You can also check out our classes, workshops, and events on our website, and we have many fun updates from our community of artists on our Facebook page ~ Like us today!
Ashland Art Center
357 E Main Street
Ashland, OR 97520
We had a lively and engaging Creativity for Artists workshop at the Art Center on Tuesday, June 17. Writer and Ashland Creek Press co-founder Midge Raymond led the workshop and shared her knowledge, tips, and lessons-learned about how to be more creative every day. Using writing exercises and sharing her personal experiences and research, Midge got the group of about 20 participants thinking about their current creative schedules and suggested practical ways to live a more creative life.
“Creativity is hard,” Midge affirmed when one participant explained his frustrations with his creative process. “Observation is key,” Midge said, “You need to be flexible and find out when and where you do your best work and go there until it doesn’t work anymore.”
Midge also said how important it is not to judge yourself or your work when you are creating. “By not judging what you are doing, it takes the pressure off.” One of the suggestions a participant shared was something a friend told her to do: “Go home and make a horrible painting.” To give yourself the task of creating something awful, it frees you of having to make something perfect. The artist who followed that advice said it was her favorite painting she had ever done.
“How we spend our days is how we spend our lives” – Annie Dillard
One of the keys to increasing your creative life is to get yourself in the creative mode more often during your everyday experiences, including – and especially – when you are not doing your creative work. What are you doing when brushing your teeth, waiting in line at the post office, or driving to work? For Midge, when she brushes her teeth in the morning and at night, she spends those cumulative 10 or so minutes thinking about the main character in a story she’s working on: what is the character thinking while brushing her teeth, where is she going next, who’s in the other room? For visual artists, Midge said to look at the light and colors in the room, even turn off the lights and see what the dark looks like.
“I dream my painting and I paint my dream” – Vincent van Gogh
Everything you do is brought into your art. If you want to do more creative work or enrich the work you are already doing, spend more time thinking creatively and do activities, however short, that are creative. Even 15 minutes spent doing a writing exercise or a quick sketch will keep you in a creative mode.
Some of the simple practices Midge suggested to increase your creative life included:
- Take short breaks every 90 minutes when you are doing your creative work, like athletes do
- If you are working on a project and can’t bear to spend another minute on it, take time to do something that keeps you thinking about it but engages you in a different way, ex. watch a documentary about a subject your project focuses on
- Take advantage of “boring” moments by letting your mind wander in the direction of your creative work
- Observe people and your surroundings wherever you go
- Think about your creative project before sleeping (if it makes you anxious, though, write it down and let it go)
- Carry something to scribble or draw in wherever you go
- Create a space you want to work in (ex. hide your desk’s clutter in a box and put it out of sight while working), or get out of your routine and work somewhere new like the park or the library
At one point in the workshop, Midge asked participants to spend a few minutes writing down short answers to, “What can I do in my idle moments of the day that are creative?” One participant’s idea was to write down one sensory thing that they noticed around them - What’s one thing each that I smell, see, hear, feel, taste?
What can you do in the idle moments of your day that are creative?
Many thanks to Midge for sharing your powerful thoughts and experiences with us. The energy in the group was palpable, with everyone sharing their own thoughts about creativity and ways to be more creative. Thank you to everyone who came to the workshop – it wouldn’t have been the same without you! As always, have fun making art and we’ll see you at the Art Center.
This workshop is part of the Art Center’s Career Development Workshop series. Join us next month for Vision Boards with Brooke Nuckles Gentekos, Tuesday, July 22, from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. It’s free for Artist Members, $10 general public. Please RSVP to karaQlewis@gmail.com, although drop ins are welcome.
It was a lovely time at Sheri Smith Holgate’s Pine Needle Creations workshops this past Saturday.
The Pine Needle Pendant and Basket students worked alongside each other, learning stitches and patterns for creating amazing art. Sheri shared her experiences learning to make pine needle art, from her beginnings with raffia and her favorite book that got her started 30 years ago. She even brought the book with her to show us.
We got to choose from several colors of pine needles, ranging from natural to those died red or black. And Sheri had an incredible array of wax-thread colors to choose from. There was no shortage of beautiful things to inspire us.
With Sheri’s expert guidance and little snacks to keep us going (Sheri even fed us bites of chocolate so we wouldn’t get our fingers chocolate-y) along with Sheri’s warm-hearted and funny stories to keep us laughing, everyone finished their pendants.
Sheri and a few of the students talked about local pine needle artist Sue Yamins, and we were encouraged to go see her amazing pieces at Hanson Howard.
There are more awesome workshops ahead at the Art Center with visiting artists, including Get It While It’s Hot, an encaustic painting workshop with San Diego-based Josie Rodriguez, and two workshops, Etsy Intensive for Beginners & Mandala Painting, with Portland-based Christine Claringbold.
To learn more about Sheri and see her upcoming workshops visit her website: www.pineneedlecreation.com
See the gallery below for more images from the Pine Needle Creations workshops:
What is Encaustic?
By Josie Rodriguez, Visual Artist, San Diego, CA
As far back as 5th Century BC Greeks practiced an ancient painting method called encaustic or enkaustikos, meaning to heat or to burn and refers to the heat that is used at every stage of the process.
Shipbuilders used beeswax to repair the hulls of ships but it was the Fayum portraits in Greco-Roman Egypt that survived the passage of time. 2000-year-old examples of Encaustic art exists today in the form of Egyptian Fayam portraits. According to the literature, “head and shoulder life-size pictures were painted during the persons life-time, and at the time of death were set into mummy casings designed to transport bodies of the deceased to the spiritual afterlife.”
Materials used by the Fayum painters are similar in some ways to what is used in contemporary painters today: beeswax, pigment, resin, brushes, engraving and scraping tools.
Encaustic has experienced a renaissance in recent years as more and more are drawn to the organic, sensual, luminous and transparent nature of this medium.
It is the fluid, transparent and rich quality of encaustic wax as it is painted on a wooden panel or formed into a vessel or sculpture that is appealing to me. My work has been described as organic as I often incorporate natural materials into my work, all the while respecting the work of the honey-bee…. a place where art and science meet.
Layers of hot wax are applied over the solid surface creating a luminous transparent effect. Once the molten wax cools it is reheated or fused before another layer is added creating a uniform enamel-like finish. This process is exciting as one color of pigment meets another color, blending, moving and creating something quite different than what was expected.
The process of melting wax, adding pigment, painting with the wax, adding collage elements, fusing, incising and scraping, adding textures into the wax in addition to other techniques like photo transferring, mono-printing and sculpture is very satisfying as an artist. Encaustic is messy, hot, fragrant, and often spontaneous and that is what appeals to many of my students. The phrase “go with the flow” takes on a new meaning as they let go of limitations and expectations.
I am a collaborator with the honeybee and have developed a new appreciation for the work they do as pollinators. I am helping now with a study out of San Francisco State University where I count the number of bees that visit my sunflowers. Many of my pieces are subtle and not so subtle reminders of how we are losing our bee population. In my work I sometimes use unfiltered beekeeper wax that I clean and strain myself enjoying not only the luscious fragrance but the richness of the amber color.
For almost 10 years I have enjoyed working as an artist and teaching mixed media and encaustic to many students. Throughout those years my work has taken a new direction from mainly two-dimensional work to three dimensional in assemblage and sculpture as well as book arts.
I love when an idea is ignited within me. There is a physical, emotional and spiritual reaction that I feel—much like the spark of a fire. The passion of creation is hot like the molten wax I use in my artwork.
Get It While It’s Hot: Encaustic Art Workshop with Josie Rodriguez
@ Ashland Art Center
Saturday and Sunday, July 12 and 13
July 12, 10 – 5 with hour lunch break
July 13, 10 – 1
$205 Members, $245 General
There are only four spaces left ~ So register today
Questions? Email karaQlewis@gmail.com