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.

...and I ended up sharing a table with my friend 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 ;-)


My name is Erika. said...

Love your Sunday projects. They're so bright and colorful-your deli wrap prints could be framed on their own (or used in your altered books too!) And you were very smart to get Julie to sign your book...wish I had thought of that one. Can't wait to play in a couple of weeks with Dina W.

Jessica Sporn said...

Thanks for sharing this. I've taken classes with Julie too and she is awesome. Beautiful canvases. Visiting via Julie's blog.

Mary in IL said...
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Mary in IL said...

I came here from Julie's blog. Wow, it all looks so fantastic. What a neat opportunity to take a class from Julie. I live in BFNowhere but I love following what you all post online. Thanks so much for sharing!

Linda said...

I'm here form Julie's blog and so glad i popped in! What inspiring and fun classes you had with Julie and her mom and the artwork is wonderful!! I remember seeing your carved stamps from her online class-I have 2 lessons to go to finish mine. I'm now your newest follower. Would love for you to stop by my blog sometime. I'm actuallycurrently having a giveaway. Thanks again for your fabulous post!

Anonymous said...

The word I want to avoid is "journey" but it is unavoidable I am afraid!!! I've so enjoyed watching your journey into AJ and how you have completely embraced this style and created it in your own Penny way.
You are too hard on yourself as your control with a brush is immense.
Catherine, this will be the same Catherine whose work I will have seen published?
Such fun, we can tell!!!

Debbie K. said...

Great projects and it looks like you had soooo much fun! Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend:)

Lori said...

Wow, cool stuff! Would love to take a class with her..very inspiring! I love your pages and collages! And you got to meet Catherine, how cool is that?

Jill Dian said...

Wish I could have been there...but it's quite a long distance from London UK!

Jill said...

I really enjoyed your blog post and am wishing that I'd taken the Sunday class too! Your finished canvases are lovely. peace, Donna