Once in a Blue Moon....

When's the last time you asked someone how they are and they said "I'm good, really chill, not too much on my plate these days...." I think maybe that happens when you're a young kid, I vaguely remember that feeling of having lots of time and not enough to fill it. I'm not even sure that kids have that luxury these days. 

In any event, and at the risk of sounding like a broken record, things have been, well, quite frankly - busy! Busy for me and I'm sure for you too...here's what I've been up to over the summer....after an absolutely wonderful time at Ginny's Small Studio in June, it was time to get ready for Valley Ridge Arts Studio hosted by my dear friend Katherine Engen. 
I've never been to Wisconsin -- but I am fan of cheese so figured that had to be good. Michael had been raving about Valley Ridge forever so I was really looking forward to seeing what the whole place was like. I can tell you that all of the wonderful things I heard about the place are true and then some. The very well-equipped studio is nestled into an expansive property and plays host to a wide variety of delightful wildlife and a few wayward cows from a neighbouring farm looking for greener pastures. Calm, scenic, peaceful -- it's truly amazing. Katherine, is of course a genuinely phenomenal hostess, and even drove me out to the middle of property in the middle of the night to look for shooting stars -- and yes, I saw one...whizzing by too quickly to make a wish though.

Now as far as the classes went, first up was a class I call "Single Minded Binding", essentially a coptic binding technique but allowing for both signatures a single pages. A very cool binding method that I originally became acquainted with some years ago in Keith Smith's books. When it comes to book binding I like to push the envelope a bit and try to bind things that I don't think were actually meant to be bound (like Altoid tins for example). 

This is just a small snippet of some of the great work that was done in class....

The second class I taught was "Transparental Guidance" where we essentially layer and layer and layer different types of collage material, translucent and opaque to build up these artworks....take a look at these...so hard to photograph these well, they are just amazing in person!

Now after I was done teaching, it was my hubby's turn. We hadn't seen in other in a about a month with all the travel and such so I decided to stick around Valley Ridge and took a couple of tables in the back of the room to work on this....

"Intuition" by Andrea Matus de Meng
After leaving Wisconsin, it was time to go home for all of two days! Picked up my girls and then we all headed to Missoula for some time with family, oh yeah, and to sell Michael's house. Snuck in as much R&R as we could between moving boxes and all that jazz. Home for a couple more days and then it was time to head to Arizona for Art Unraveled...and boy was it hot!

Art Unraveled is a great event put on by Linda Young and is held every summer at the Embassy Suites in Scottsdale, Arizona. Linda pulls the event together with a stellar list of first rate artists and instructors and wonderful group of students. I really loved teaching there, the energy at large events like this is always inspiring and it's a great way to make new art friends. While I was there teaching and meeting up with old friends and new, a crazy thing happened -- the little Art Abandonment group started by Michael made it past 5000 members. When we started out, I told Michael that I would make something "big" to abandon if we ever got to 5000. Well, time to deliver, the only problem was I was in Arizona teaching. Luckily I had a non-teaching day between a couple of my classes so I covered our hotel room with drop clothes, prepped a four foot canvas and 17 hours later....I had this:

"The Light Within" by Andrea Matus de Meng

I abandoned her in the elevator at the Embassy Suites and heard back from an employee saying that she found it! Yay!

So that pretty much has us up-to-date. Now we are all getting ready for the start of school on Tuesday, looking for a new house and I'm working away madly in the studio preparing art and class kits for Art-is-You Retreats coming up in Petaluma and Stamford. Hope to see some of you there and promise you'll hear from me again before the next Blue Moon!!