Wednesday, August 29, 2012
A Fantastic Weekend of Classes with Julie!
This past weekend I took two classes with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer at Absolutely Everything in Topsfield, MA. She brought along her Mom to help with the class! Julie is a fantastic teacher - very practical and real, a true what you see is what you get person who isn't afraid to tell it like it is - maybe that goes along with being a New Yorker - all bundled together with a terrific sense of humor. It was such a pleasure to take a class where you bring all your supplies from your own stash and create a project from the ground up rather than essentially having a prepped kit that you just put together. I know that I can make these projects again and again! Julie shared SO many techniques...."but, wait...there's more!" as well as her process for doing them. I love learning by seeing how someone does something.
Saturday's class was an altered book project with paint and stencils used in the class. See my inky fingers? It was a good day :-)
I had Julie autograph this page in my book.
A really fun part of attending classes is connecting with people. This is my friend Erika in the middle that I've "met" online through her blog, but now happily know in person!
For Sunday's class, we started by creating painty pages of deli paper by monoprinting with a gelli plate. I can easily see this becoming a new obsession! You can create textures with the end of a paintbrush, a paint comb, bubble wrap, cardboard tubes - basically anything that isn't sharp, and you can get 3 to 4 generations of prints from from one application of paint. Keep layering, and embellishing, and the end result is fantastic collage fodder. This is the floor next to my chair with all my painty papers drying. Actually everybody in the class had papers drying everywhere on the classroom floor! It was so inspiring to see ideas that people tried. Julie's work is so colorful and I loved learning more about color from her. I see how much I play it safe by staying monochromatic or using neighboring colors like my favorite blues and greens, but you can really create more interest by adding in just a bit of a complementary color like some orange with the blue and a bit of red with the green. Then to add in a bit of black or white - it seems to make the colors so much more vibrant.
We cut up our papers into small pieces and created 2 canvas collages with them. All the lettering was done with a paint brush, and I could really use some practice there! Give me a dip pen and ink and I can make pretty letterforms, but my control with a paintbrush needs some work!
I had to take pictures with more friends - this is Tracy who I met last month at Dyan Reaveley's classes who has also been bit by the art journaling/mixed media bug!! :-) So much fun to play together in more classes and chat over lunches.
Catherine, who lives close to me in Maine. I've taken classes FROM her, and really enjoyed taking one WITH her! She's so talented and it's inspiring to see her process as she created such a cool piece.
A truly awesome weekend that has left me so inspired - thank you, Julie!!!!
Tomorrow I'll share the pages in my altered book - this post is getting rather long, so you'll just have to check back ;-)