Teaching & Workshops

Yelp Elite Holiday Party

Last night, I taught a marbled paper gift tag workshop for the Yelp Elite holiday party at the Zero 1 Garage. I had never lead an activity or workshop for this many people before and luckily I came prepared because it was a huge success! The crowd was really enthusiastic and loved watching the process. To be honest with you, I didn't think so many people dressed so nicely would want to get so messy, but they did. Everyone was so thankful for learning this process and even those that said they weren't creative felt like artists for the night. My table was very crowded so I didn't get all the pictures I wanted, but I'll also post a link from Yelp when their post about it is up. Note that the lighting in these photos is a bit moody since it was a party. Here's a look at the night.

As I worked with the Community Manager from Yelp to prepare, we talked about how maybe 50-75 guests would be interested in the activity, but I believe it was way more than that. I pre-cut round and scalloped gift tags, made the floating carrageenan liquid in advance, watered down the acrylic paint, brought already finished tags for those that didn't want to get messy and provided a variety of sparkly string to attach.

Marbling is a technique that can be applied to paper, fabric or clay. It is the result of paint being suspended on a liquid surface. You can swirl the paint with sticks, combs, or just about anything with a point. The paper was prepared with alum to help the paint stick. When you set the paper on the liquid surface, it picks up the paint exactly as it was. You rinse off the carrageenan, allow the paper to dry and you're done!

The table is all setup for the gift tag workshop.

The table is all setup for the gift tag workshop.

Another view of my table prior to the guest's arrival.

Another view of my table prior to the guest's arrival.

Some party goers starting to create designs with the paint.

Some party goers starting to create designs with the paint.

Here, you can see the paint floating on the surface, ready for paper to absorb it.

Here, you can see the paint floating on the surface, ready for paper to absorb it.

The tag has been placed facedown to receive the patterned paint.

The tag has been placed facedown to receive the patterned paint.

They are so excited by the results!

They are so excited by the results!

The final result! These lovely and unique tags are sure to dress up your holiday packaging.

The final result! These lovely and unique tags are sure to dress up your holiday packaging.

Although it is much easier to print a whole sheet at once, I cut down the tags ahead of time so it would be easier for guests. I even brought a letter stamp kit so some participants wrote words like "merry" over the marbled paint.  The night went smoothly, thank to a lot of preparation and the surprise appearance of my friend Vickie who helped out. Please be sure to check out her jewelry here.

Vintage Still Life Painting

Despite attempting to be a minimalist of sorts, I am so thankful I have saved my best inherited and collected vintage objects because selfishly, I can watch my students paint my belongings. On my way to the classroom, I just grabbed a box and loaded it with odds and ends. The kids were really excited for this display of weird old things. They loved the objects I chose and they worked so hard we had to take two days to work on our paintings. I was impressed with their dedication and even some of the rowdier boys displayed amazing attention spans and really excellent drawing skills. I directed the children to draw big so we didn't have teensy objects on such a large page. They were encouraged to choose what objects they wanted to focus on in their paintings, imagine their own patterns and add their own personal touch otherwise. We used an odd type of tempera paint that dries shiny, small-to-medium brushes and a medium-weight paper. I thought the results were incredible!

Orange flowers in a mason jar, a bowl of lemons and 1960's plastic flowers on a floral-patterned shawl, along with a globe and a metal pitcher from my grandmother, make up the objects the kids observed.

Orange flowers in a mason jar, a bowl of lemons and 1960's plastic flowers on a floral-patterned shawl, along with a globe and a metal pitcher from my grandmother, make up the objects the kids observed.

This student wanted to include all of the objects, but she rearranged them in her own way. Note, she put the flowers in the pitcher, rather than the jar. 

This student wanted to include all of the objects, but she rearranged them in her own way. Note, she put the flowers in the pitcher, rather than the jar. 

This student is from Australia. She always wears Aussie T's and talks about the region, so of course she had to highlight the continent in red. She drew a flower pattern into the pitcher with the back end of her brush.

This student is from Australia. She always wears Aussie T's and talks about the region, so of course she had to highlight the continent in red. She drew a flower pattern into the pitcher with the back end of her brush.

These girls are hard at work creating patterns and painting flowers.  

These girls are hard at work creating patterns and painting flowers.  

This student attentively detailed this vase of flowers. The final results were delicate and varied flower petals and stems.

This student attentively detailed this vase of flowers. The final results were delicate and varied flower petals and stems.

The first painting in this post is now nearly finished. She wants to add a background and more depth next week, so that means she will be working a  third  day. I love their dedication!

The first painting in this post is now nearly finished. She wants to add a background and more depth next week, so that means she will be working a third day. I love their dedication!

Lots of primary colors here. This student was very specific with her vision, so I just let her do her thing. I just love this painting.

Lots of primary colors here. This student was very specific with her vision, so I just let her do her thing. I just love this painting.

This student was really creative with her background. I was really impressed with that rainbow roll (a printmaking term). She imagined her own carrier for her flowers.  

This student was really creative with her background. I was really impressed with that rainbow roll (a printmaking term). She imagined her own carrier for her flowers.  

Kids work so intuitively between how they compose their paintings, to their color choices. It's really helpful for me to witness that for my own practice. During the last few weeks, my paintings have been so much more intuitive and serendipitous and I'll thank the kids for that.

Watercolor Landscapes Class

After a three year break, I am teaching art to children about 3-6 hours a week. I am so inspired by their intuition, freedom and imagination. So far, I am teaching a preschool class and art club. The images I am sharing here are from the art club. The students below range from K-4th grade, so you will see a range in style and abilities. They also only have an hour to work, between my short lesson and painting time. The first project is inspired by Georgia O'Keeffe watercolor landscapes. We looked at her paintings and talked about how she liked to camp and be outside painting her New Mexico surroundings. I shared my book about O'Keeffe painting/camping trips and we looked at her lantern, tent and tools used for these adventures. I wanted the students to paint anything they wanted outside and from their imaginations. We talked about colors in nature and how the sky didn't have to be blue or the grass green. It also didn't have to look just like Georgia and I think they made beautiful work. 


Three mountaintops and a boat. This student was inspired by her summer trip to Mount Shasta.

Three mountaintops and a boat. This student was inspired by her summer trip to Mount Shasta.

Self-portrait with mountains and sun

Self-portrait with mountains and sun

Magnificent sunset

Magnificent sunset

Magnificent sky and land

Magnificent sky and land

River and bridge

River and bridge

Waterfall

Waterfall