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! 


Azad, Talisman of Freedom

I've just finished the newest piece in my Talisman Series.  This one's a bit different; it's on canvas instead of MDF.  The polymer elements have been colored with acrylic paints and inks, and a guinea hen feather completes the talisman. I have plans for two more canvas pieces in this series.  I'm also in the midst of applications for summer outdoor shows, and preparing for spring gallery shows (yes, good "problems" to have!), so...back to work!


Halle Cultural Arts Center show

I'm pleased to announce that I am the featured artist
 in the Spotlight Gallery at the
Halle Cultural Arts Center in Apex, North Carolina.
My show includes 24 pieces from my "Adornment" and "Talisman" series.
The opening reception is on Friday, February 26th, from 6 to 8 pm. 
If you're in the area, please drop by to say hello--I'd love to see you.
The show runs through March 18th.
Photos to come...stay tuned. 


As Heard in Art Class...

As frequent Artventuring readers know, in addition to my mixed media work, and art consulting, I teach art part time in the Raleigh Parks and Recreation system.  My students range from 18-months to 15 years old (the youngest attend with caregivers...I'm good, but not THAT good!).  Yesterday, I began my 6th year of teaching 6-week sessions at the Sertoma Art Center, with classes running throughout the year.  Here's my blog post about my very first class, written in 2011:  http://artventuring.blogspot.com/2011/01/baby-steps.html.  Wow, that seems like much longer ago than 5 years!

I've learned a great deal since that first class experience, and have come to appreciate and admire art teachers who provide instruction, inspiration and encouragement to their students every day. 

Young artist working on
Kandinsky circle painting
Luckily, I am able to craft my own curricula in a variety of classes, including:  Art Around the World, Monday Masterpieces (formerly Spotlight on Famous Artists), Wild Animal Art, Art-Rageous Prints, Game Creators, Petite Picassos, and Mini Monets.  So, in a 6-week session, I can have students creating their own board games, painting blue dogs like George Rodrigue, making potato prints, creating tiger paper bag puppets, painting ladybugs, and creating "smush" paintings.   It's fun, and never dull; the kids are a constant source of energy and amusement.

So, here goes... As heard in art class: 

"Ms. Michelle!  It's a beautiful day today!  Are we going to paint tigers?"  --3-year old today, upon bounding into class for the first time.  (Yes, it was a beautiful day, and yes, we did paint tigers)

"Look at our toucan hats!  We look beaky."  --4-year old, upon seeing the photo below. 
"My bird can't fly, but she's okay about that.  She has a purple feather on her head." --8-year old, proclaiming her bottle bird complete. 

No comment to report here; I just love this "fashion model" recycled tissue box monster with her pink pipe cleaner (or 'chenille stem', for the PC among us) bow, white feather, and pink shoes with yellow pom poms to match her yellow legs.
And, during this project, in Spotlight on Famous Artists, the general consensus among the 7- to 10-year olds was that Picasso was either "really creative," or "really confused".  When I asked if he could've been both, they answered with a resounding "YES!"

Off to prep for tomorrow's class...more from the art class files soon...


Polymer Clay Daily Featured Artist: Me!

Yesterday morning, I opened my email to a great surprise:  my work was featured on the Polymer Clay Daily blog!  I've been reading Cynthia Tinapple's blog for years; it's the source for information and inspiration for those of us who work in polymer.  My early polymer masks and boxes received mentions years ago, but this is the first time her entire post featured my work.  Here it is, with an image from my November 2015 UNC Hospital show:

Petelinz on PCDaily
North Carolina’s Michelle Davis Petelinz (KindredSpiritStudios) hangs six large mixed-media pieces across a display wall to make a bold statement. Polymer elements add punch, texture and dimension to the shallow painted plates.
Michelle often works in a series, visually exploring the significance of symbols from many cultures. The visual elements strike the viewer as both unusual and familiar, speaking across cultures. Her fusion of art, culture and media can be appreciated in many settings.
See more of her mixed-media series on her site, her blog, Pinterest and Facebook.

It was fun to be "famous" online for a day; I received many compliments on Facebook, lots of pins on Pinterest, gained "likes" on my Kindred Spirit Studios Facebook page (hooray, I'm over 500 now), and a bunch of new views here on the blog.  Thanks to everyone who made yesterday a memorable one! 

Now, back to work.