Saturday, September 29, 2012

My days spent with Dina

Last week I spent three days at Ink About It in Westford, MA taking four classes with Dina Wakley, a truly awesome teacher! (Thanks for taking the picture Erika! )  She brings to her classes all of her experience with so many mixed media techniques, knowledge from studying great artists of the past as well as contemporary ones, and fantastic tips to help you think about color and composition and the flow of your pieces.

These are all the projects we did in the classes - I loved them all!

This one is her 'homage to Dyan Reaveley' class - so funny that I took Dyan's 'homage to Dina Wakely' version earlier this summer! - using Dylusions inks and stamps to make a folded one page book to hold a set of tags.


This accordion book is comprised of collaged tags starting with paint and ink randomly on the tag and completed using book papers, computer generated quotes, and stamped tissue paper all layered together with beeswax. I've not done much with beeswax and really enjoyed  putting this one together.

Here are a couple close-ups of some of my favorites:




Next I have my results from her drawing faces class.  I have to confess that I've never drawn faces before - never actually tried because I didn't think I could.  I was amazed by the results with Dina's tips and a Stabilo Marks All pencil! I still need a lot of practice here - especially with lips ugh!! - but I do feel more confident to try.

This close up is of the background from the one on the right.  I love the visual texture you get from scraped acrylic paint and lifting it with stenciling!  This is becoming a new favorite :-)

The final class was an all day play with art journaling and we made SIX pages and combined them into a book. I learned SO MUCH in this class from creating a starting background to composing a page taking into consideration your focal point and how you want your viewer's eye to be directed around the page.  One incredibly helpful part of the whole class was offering up a page for the class to critique - I've never been in a class that did that before.  There were so many talented people in the class and they gave such great opinions about what they would do next and options and ideas to consider.  Not only did you learn something from your own page, but in seeing other's pages and discussing what was working and what needed work you start to develop a critical eye that will be invaluable as you make more and more pages, not to mention the inspiration of seeing what everyone else was doing with the same basic supplies.  Before folding the pages into books, we all laid out our pages all around the floor of the store. Wow.  It was great to be a part of that class.

Here are my pages:

This one uses a classic Dina silhouette mask technique and writing inside of it.

More shape silhouettes and the start of my attempts to leave more white space rather than flooding a page with color.

More Dina silhouettes, but as stamped tissue paper collaged onto the page. I worked on this page after doing the background in class, and I kind of created two focal points as I played.  I wasn't sure what to do so I tried linking them together with messy writing that is more of a design element, a feature of Dina's work that I really like.

This page has a gel medium resist foundation. I'm not sure what I'll do next with this one.......

I love this page - there's more of the fantastic scraped paint and lifted stenciling background with a pop of complementary colors added with the collaged elements.

On the final page I had Dina add her autograph, and I've played with it more since the class - it was a messy spray ink stenciled background that I wasn't happy with, so I gessoed over it - all but the autograph, of course! - and then did some guess what...scraped paint and lifted stenciling! I added Stabilo pencil circles and swirls and added Portfolio oil pastels for color and some visual texture with a text stamp and turned them into flowers. Maybe it needs some book paper leaves.....

I have had what feels like a perfect trifecta of mixed media experiences with classes this summer starting with Dyan Reaveley in July, Julie Fei-Fan Balzer in August, and now Dina, too. I really feel like each one has built upon the other and I have learned a tremendous amount from these fabulous teachers to keep my creative juices flowing for quite some time!


13 comments:

Debbie said...


OMG
I just am so jealous, your days with Dina looked to be amazing and your work, all of it, is
stunning.
I just love her work and now love your work too, fab!
look forward to seeing more.
DebbieX

My name is Erika. said...

Penny-Love seeing your pieces from the other Dina W classes you took. They look as great as your book does. How you've been using those new techniques to make any other new art?

Cheri said...

Wow....you are on an amazing journey of creation....I love the techniques. You did an amazing job with the faces....lips aside...interesting faces make for great image art. I loved your images. Well done.

dinawakley said...

Penny, thanks so much for this awesome post...your words mean a lot to me! And all of your work is AWESOME! You really rocked it all, so fab. And if you ever sell your cool aprons, I will buy one! :) It was a pleasure to meet you, hope our paths cross again someday!

Linda said...

awesome Penny!!! I do agree you had the perfect trifecta experience and I'm green with envy! Wow-you created such fabulous projects..LOVE the accordion fold tags, and your faces are wonderful! I just tried my hand at my first face too and hope to do more and get better at it. Thanks for sharing your experiences and art!

Debbie K. said...

Penny, just awesome projects and I think you did a terrific job with your faces, even if you didn't feel they were the greatest. I'm with Dina...if you ever decide to sell your hand painted aprons, let us know!!! Gorgeous!

Helen said...

What an amazing looking class, your results are outstanding and the faces - well, no-one would know you "couldn't do them"!

alteredstatesstudio said...

loved your pages and tags- so wonderful!

Donna@soakinginmustard.com said...

Your collection of creations is wonderful! Thanks for sharing it all.

Renee said...

Hi Penny, I was in the same classes with you and just wanted to compliment you on your post about the classes. You really did a lovely job describing and photographing the experience! I think your work here looks stunning. What a privilege it is to learn from such talented artists.

Sarah Anderson said...

Wow! These are wonderful! Great to read about your amazing three days with Dina, what a treat to immerse yourself in journaling etc for that length of time and alongside other people :)

Sarah Anderson said...

Oak, after reading comments, and seeing the top of your fabulously coloured apron, I think we need a full frontal ,as well as opportunities to buy! :)

penny4thoughts said...

Lol! In case anyone is curious, you can see pictures of the full apron on this post here:
http://pennybennington.blogspot.com/2012/07/a-fun-apron.html

Thanks for so many nice comments about it :-)