Karen Rosasco. Design Guru.

I was thrilled to attend a five-day Experimental Watermedia workshop with Karen Rosasco a few weeks ago. Karen is a super teacher, knowledgeable and encouraging.

table set up and ready to start.
work in progress.

Karen's focus is on design which resonates with me, having come from a background of graphic design and calligraphy. Design is an integral component of a successful piece of art. Bringing opposing forces together to create balance and interest... putting the pieces of the puzzle together.

hand-carved stamps from Softoleum, used for patterning.

We were challenged to observe carefully - to see abstract painting possibilities everywhere we looked.

unaltered shot of a slate countertop in a restaurant bathroom.

We did lots of layering which brings such a sense of depth to each work. She had us work on sheets of paper, which is new to me. I like it! I am used to working on canvas or board - now I can use those supports to mount the finished work.

layers of paint, stamps and my new favourite - alcohol. rubbing, that is! 

I came away with three finished pieces. Two are now mounted on gallery canvas, signed, named and wired for hanging. The third is mounted and waiting for final touches.

work set out for final critique.

I learned many things, including new ways of approaching my work and different ways to set up my work space. My current Muse Journal is full of notes and a larger sketchbook contains fodder for future work. I have sheets and sheets of pieces on paper in various stages of completion, inspiration to keep me motivated and effective tools to resolve my paintings. If you ever get a chance to take Karen Rosasco's Experimental Watermedia workshop, do it!
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Five Fabulous Workshops!

I'm thrilled with the wonderful input I received through my blog, Facebook, Twitter and email regarding workshop ideas. Thanks, everyone!!!

I have chosen five workshops from the list. They are shown below. Click here to go to the "Workshops" page on my website. After each workshop description there is a "Sign Up" button. At the bottom of the page is a link to general workshop info. All workshops are held at my studio in Merrickville, Ontario.

I have sent out an email about these workshops to my subscribers. If you would like to subscribe to my email list, you can sign up here or send me an email asking me to add your name. Without further ado, I give you the chosen five...

Workshop dates, cost, descriptions and supply lists can be found here. Scroll down the page to see all five workshops.

If you sign up for three workshops there is a 10% discount. This applies if all three of the chosen workshops go ahead with the required participation - a minimum of 4. There is room for 6 participants only, so sign up quickly :) Hope to see you at one or more of these Five Fabulous Workshops!
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Not a book review

This blog is not a book review, however much it might seem like one. In these fresh, early days of the new year I am taking time to explore my creative world. Discovering new sources of inspiration and rediscovering old ones. Well, not exactly rediscovering them, as they weren't ever really lost. Re-acquainting myself might be a better way to describe it.

Neil Gaiman's latest book illustrated by, yes, Dave McKean
I'll start with Neil Gaiman, storyteller extraordinaire, who wrote these moving lines to start off the new year. His books and short stories, even his blog, are written with such wit and imagination. The worlds he creates are, well, extraordinary. He even has his own "Lantern Waste". He really wanted a lamppost for Christmas... I can relate. And he makes me want to be a better writer.

The intriguing art of Dave McKean
I discovered Neil Gaiman by accident. I picked up a copy of Dustcovers: The Collected Sandman Covers 1989-1997 because of the cover, and because of the art inside. I poured through this book many times before it came to my attention that the author of The Sandman was rather important in his own way. I had been totally immersed in Dave McKean's fantastical world; a world rather scary and dark, but mysterious. I was drawn especially to the layers of images and words. His artistic talent and imagination are huge.

An amazing collection of art and insight
I mentioned Nick Bantock in my last post. Another hugely talented artist who can turn his hand to pretty well anything. I have two copies of The Artful Dodger - one of which is highlighted throughout with scribbled notes in the margins.

The work that these three amazingly creative spirits have conjured up continues to inspire me. Have a great weekend everyone!
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