Teaching at Sitka: Part 1

I had the privilege of teaching two classes at Sitka Center for Art and Ecology. The first, June 30-July 3, was in the smaller of the two studios at Sitka, Smith, and with ten students, it was the perfect space.

I taught two classes at Sitka, the first class was in the smaller, lower studio and the second class was in the spectacular upper studio, Boyden.

Because I was teaching two classes and they were back-to-back (I had the 4th of July off between the two classes), I got to stay at Morley House, which was a first for me. I loved this space!

This is where I got to stay for ten days: Morley House.

Now to the good stuff. The class. I could babble on about it, but instead I’m going to share photos – a fraction of the photos I took, but it gives a good look into our four days of art making. The group was talented, energetic, spirited, and hard workers — and they wanted to know if they could sign up for my 2023 class on the final day!

Brand new overalls! Soft fabric . . . and WHITE. I’m ready.
How I set up the oil paints I bring for the class to use.
A demo board.
Picking up supplies.
Pink+handmade holey paper = beauty.
Making room for a beautiful ring.
Just a beautiful blob of paint.
An old wallpaper roller I bought at a flea market in Europe years ago was a huge hit.
All the colors!
Working, working, working.
Blotting with tissue paper, lifting paint, and moving paint around.
Spreading and scraping paint.
Mixing oil paint with cold wax medium.
Such a strong use of color!
Another lover of color!
Carol experimenting with using a solvent to create drips.
A lovely example of a grid composition.
Regina and Liz confer.
Beautiful swaths of color.
Jill contemplates her next move.
My favorite stencil: circles.
Colorful, powerful, and fascinating example of a grid composition.

R&F Pigment Sticks – making a monoprint.
Selecting pigment sticks to try out.
A beautiful, finished painting. Carol started this one in a class with me a few years ago, brought it with her, and brought it to a beautiful finish.
Work in progress.
Encouraging and supporting each other.
Experimenting with drips!
I love the variety of color and marks in this series.
This is a monoprint of the original oil and cold wax painting (Marc let me have the monoprint and it is hanging in my studio).
Looking in . . . .
A beautiful series of magical marks.
Paintings drying in the courtyard,
Mini abstracts.
Ripping off tape to reveal small beauties.
Final day show and tell.

And then I rested.

I Created a Zine! Wait, What’s a Zine?

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Many people ask what a zine is, so here is a simple explanation: A zine, pronounced, zeen (long e’s) is an abbreviated form of a magazine, created using original text, images,and drawings. It is self-published using a photo copier and usually printed in small batches.

My Salem Art Group decided it would be fun if we each created a zine (there are six of us) and did a swap. We chose a quarter page size format and other than that, we could make our zine on any topic of our choosing.

I started brainstorming ideas for my zine. I considered doing a zine on colors, favorite words, my obsessions, inspiring quotes, but ended up choosing creativity as my theme; where and when I started my creative journey and how I keep it going.

It started to take shape in my head and I jotted ideas in my journal. I knew I wanted the pages to have the look of old school typewritten pages (and I recently won a typewriter in a raffle – I bought a LOT of tickets!). I also knew early on I wanted to use a few photos from when I was a child.

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It struck me that an original piece of art would be fun to add to a page, so I painted a little abstract painting on a piece of watercolor paper.

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Beyond those things, I just started making lists and recording ideas — verything from my studio playlist to what I drink during the day.

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The cover was created using copies of my original abstract paintings. I made color photocopies, then cut out feathers from the copies, creating a sunburst of art. (That’s me as a child, using my original concept of incorporating childhood photos).

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Once I finished the layout, which takes a great deal of concentration so all the pages line up properly, I made my copies, cut the pages in half, folded and collated (my zine is 20 pages, counting the front and back covers). While watching Season 7 of Nurse Jackie, I did a simple stitched binding using red waxed linen thread.

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Another peek inside:

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I decided to print 14 copies, five for my art group, one for me. My husband asked for one, so did my daughters. I’m guessing my mom and sister will want one, and I’ve set aside a couple for friends who have given me their zines in the past. Each copy is numbered, making them feel exclusive and special.

I’ve wanted to create a zine for a long time and it was as much fun as I expected. I already have plans for future zines, but thank heavens for my art group had a deadline to get this one created and published.

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Post Script

The Salem Art Group met this week to exchange our zines. It was like Christmas as each of us distributed our zines and shared about our inspiration and process. My zine was text heavy, Tory’s was filled with bird idioms through text, drawings, and collage, Nancy shared her drawings of the human form, Katy produced a zine using her landscape sketches, Kathy illustrated a zine she titled “Courtesans, Witches, Camp Scouts, & Nervous Nell,” and Bonnie shared sketches of what she found when she was snowed in and cleaned out some drawers (and each of us received a special teeny tiny item from her cleaning).

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