Reclamation project: Complete!

It took several days of intense work to complete this pedestal.  We were hosting a studio visit 5 days after I began it, and I'm proud to say I finished it the morning visitors were to arrive.  Working on a self-imposed deadline is sometimes invigorating, and this piece came together fairly easily, despite it being a 'do over'.  My design idea was to feature a variety of African textile print motifs, using a limited, Earth toned palette.  Here's the completed pedestal, with my friend Gaff Pearce's beautiful ceramic piece on top. 

And, here are the other three sides:

This was just the project to get me back into the flow of designing and painting...good thing, since I've been invited back to the Columbia Festival of the Arts in Columbia, Maryland in June.  Time to get to work!


Reclamation project

Time to get back into the groove of creating, or in this case, re-creating.  When something doesn't work, it bothers me.  This was the case with the second pedestal I painted for our home.  I don't think I even took a photo of it when I finished it 4 years ago.  Here's the first one, which I love.

So, it was time to get out the gesso!  When I do them, I call these my reclamation projects, and the results are usually MUCH better than the original. 

Some shots of the four sides in progress are below.  Wish me luck!


Wearing multiple hats

Being an artist, art instructor, and art consultant gives me the opportunity to be involved in a variety of projects, and in any given week, you might find me wearing all three of those hats (thankfully, that doesn't happen too often!).

In the past couple of months since my last post, I've been
wearing my exhibiting artist hat, having my work included along with 13 other African American artists in "The Masterpiece Exhibit," in Garner, NC. 
Me, with "Tribal Triptych" at
"The Masterpiece Exhibit"
While wearing my instructor hat: leading a workshop at a disability resource fair, conducting a 3-month art residency at an adult day care center, creating a sensory-friendly art play day for children with disabilities, and teaching my usual collection of classes for the Raleigh Parks and Recreation system. 

Projects and participants at the Total Life Center

Sensory friendly art project: salt painted ocean
I need to get back to wearing my working artist hat...'have some ideas about how to get started with that...stay tuned! 


Studio Mojo mention

A big "thank you" goes to my friend and fellow polymer clay artist, Debbie Jackson, who let me know that my work was mentioned on Cynthia Tinapple's "Studio Mojo" blog today (see below)!  As I told her, I'm glad that I spent time revamping my online Square Market store last week, since that's the link used in the blog. 


Thank you too, Cynthia...you have a new subscriber...me!



Kindred Spirit Studios at AACF 2016 video!

Here's a video Stan shot of our booth at the 7th annual African American Cultural Festival of Raleigh and Wake County, NC.  It was our 5th year at this local show, and we welcomed some new collectors to the Kindred Spirit Studios family, and connected with some previous collectors who came by to tell us how they're enjoying their pieces from years past. 

Curious about anything you see?  Drop me a comment below, or check out my Kindred Spirit Studios Square Market Store for more information. 



Workshop project: "I am"

Last night, I taught an art workshop during the NC Youth Leadership Forum (NCYLF), at NC State University.  The NCYLF is led by "a dedicated group of people of all ages and abilities, which seeks to promote independence, peer relations, and advocacy among today's generation."  Because of my work with Arts Access, making art accessible to people with disabilities, I was asked to provide a workshop which would enhance the delegates' experience by offering them an opportunity to express themselves creatively through art. 

I chose a project called "I am," which involves drawing, painting, writing, and a bit of doodling.  The drawing and painting came first (since maximum drying time was needed), and each person chose his or her color palette for sections they'd drawn on watercolor paper. Everyone's top section would contain the words "I am," and the bottom section would contain the artist's name.  In between, there were any number of sections (the most was 8!), which would contain one descriptive word or phrase. 

The young artists had a great time drawing ("Can my lines be really wavy?" Of course.), and an even better time painting. ("See, I mixed the colors!" Very cool.) Then, it was on to the writing.  I started them off by reading some index cards I'd prepared, and asking who was:  "confident" or "brave" or "musical" or "kind" or "successful," or "awesome," and I gave a card to the person who raised a hand for each attribute.  After my prepared cards ran out, I gave each participant blank ones, to write his or her own ideas.  Once everyone had words to fill each section, and their paintings were dry, they used Sharpies to write and doodle or embellish the words they'd chosen. 

Here are the finished projects.  Aren't they great?  The smiling, proud faces tell the story of a great time had by all (me included!). 
Thanks to Josh, Della, Daniel and the rest of the NCYLF staff for a fantastic evening. 



Share the wonder

"I teach to share the wonder of my discoveries and to exchange with my students the wonder of theirs."  ~Michele Cooper

'Wish I had said that!  Teaching art gives me the opportunity to share what I love.  I am fortunate to be able to interact with a number of unique groups, and each allows me to learn and grow as a teacher.  In my work with very young children, I love watching them discover paint, color, and patterns; seeing them make connections for the first time.  In my classes with 3-to5-year olds, it's their wonder-filled expressions as they work with clay, markers, oil pastels and paints to create what they've heard about in the stories we read.  And with older children, I love watching them include things they already know about the world into the art they make. 

In my work with adults with disabilities, all of the experiences I've mentioned above occur as well.  I encourage everyone to participate without judgment, and meet them where they are in terms of their skills.  The pride with which my students show off their finished work is fantastic, and my hope is that they enjoy the brief time I get to spend with them creating something beautiful. 

Here are some images of recent classes, with my proud students and their work.  Enjoy!