Thursday, December 18, 2014

Art of Everyday Photography

I have had a digital SLR camera for years now. I love it. But more and more, I have found myself trading it for the convenience of my iPhone camera. Sometimes that has been the right decision. And sometimes not. After not bringing my DSLR to Australia in August and regretting every minute of it, I have been using it more often. Recently, I was given a book to review by photographer, artist and blogger Susan Tuttle and I have the say the timing was perfect. I am now using my "real" camera much more often.

Susan's new book is called Art of Everyday Photography: Move Toward Manual and Make Creative Photos.

It has become my go-to guide for everything photography. In easy to understand, every-day language, Susan has written a creative and useful book that has the feel of a workshop. She uses a "stepping-stone" model, which I have found tremendously helpful. In all sections, she provides information that relates to all ranges of control on a typical DSLR -- from auto mode to manual mode. In this way, even if you know nothing about cameras, you can begin to quickly learn and immediately take better photos. Because of this model, the book can be helpful to all levels of photographers.

Chapters 1 and 2 (Make Better Photos Right Now and Take Creative Control of Your Digital SLR) introduce the basics; review aperture, shutter speed and ISO exposure; provide explanations about modes, lenses, and light meters; and offer guidance on the important components and features of cameras and photography. Chapters 3 through 6 focus on types of photography: portraits; still-life and  food; landscape and nature; and everyday life and travel. Throughout all the chapters are very helpful tips and photographs that very effectively illustrate the concepts.

Perhaps the best part of this book is the approach that Susan takes in teaching. It allows you to immediately go out and take better photographs. And the more you delve into the detail she offers. the better the images get. It has been fun learning from and being inspired by Susan. I am now even more excited to get out there with my trusty (and previously rusty) old Nikon.

Monday, December 15, 2014

My First Trimester...

I am looking forward to many art-related happenings during the first three months of 2015. Although  I am unable to share most quite yet, I feel fortunate to be able to say that exciting things are in store.

Among my art adventures are a series of workshops that will take me from New York to California and places in between. If you live near any of the cities I will be visiting, I hope that you will be able to join me for some creative fun. While some of my favorite workshops from previous years continue, I am thrilled to be introducing a series of new workshops as well.

I get to escape the cold of winter in NYC and head to the warmth of Southern California in January.

First stop is the Craft & Hobby Association Conference and Trade Show in Anaheim, CA

My Mixed Media Layer Conveyer workshop on January 9 is filled...

...but you can join me at the F+W booth for a demo based on my workshop DVDs on January 10 from 3-4pm and again on January 12 from 2-3pm. Please note that attendance at CHA is limited to association members.

On January 16, I head to Fullerton, CA to teach Majestic Medallions at Gilding the Lily. Information and registration can be found here.

I am teaching 52 Card Pickup, one of my most favorite workshops, on January 17 in Los Angeles, CA at Make Art in LA. Registration is open and, at the time of this writing, there are 5 seats left.

The next day, on January 18, I am bringing a new workshop to Make Art in LA in Los Angeles, CA: Picture Windows. Read all about it and register here.

After my time in California, I head south and will be teaching For Your Eyes Only at Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria, VA on January 24. This class has been rescheduled from the original date of October 18, 2014. Registration is open but just a few seats are left.

Day 2, January 25, at Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria, VA will be filled with 52 Card Pickup. This workshop was rescheduled from the original date of October 19, 2014 and registration is open and the class is close to being filled.

In late February, I return to The Queen's Ink in Maryland where I will be bringing 3 new workshops.

On Friday night, February 27, I will be teaching Viewfinder at The Queen's Ink in Savage, MD. Registration has just opened.

Continuing at The Queen's Ink in Savage, MD on February 28, I will be teaching Dimensional Stenciling for the first time. Registration is now open.

Day 3, on March 1,  at The Queen's Ink in Savage, MD will be dedicated to another new workshop: Brick by Brick. Registration is open here.

I will be (finally) be teaching in my hometown on March 22, when I debut another new workshop - Collage Camp - at The Ink Pad in New York, NY. Registration is open.

You can always find detailed descriptions, additional images, and my schedule for later months in 2015 on my workshop pages on both my website and my blog.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Week Links: 28

Join me every Sunday when I share some of my favorite links I discovered in the previous week.
All previous links can be found here.

And here is Week 28...

If you are looking for inspiration, just a reminder that my Art Blog Directory has over 550 links to creative blogs.

I can never get enough of Roxanne Coble's (AKA by bun) journal pages.

Slow blogging. First in a new series about blog trends from Holly Becker at decor8.

Colorful Chaos: love the drips & splatters at Miami Art Week via Cool Hunting.

All Art Friday -- wonderful weekly post about finds in the world of art from Maureen Doallas.

You have got to see these portrait paintbrushes from Rebecca Szeto on I Need A Guide.

I am loving all the visual and creative inspiration I am finding from In Detail from stylist and art director Hans Blomquist.

The 100+ pieces of art, all 5"x5", are still available for viewing and purchasing both at The Empty Spaces Project in Putnam, CT and online.

Monday, December 8, 2014

My Love of Layers

My Love of Layers

I have often been asked to describe my artistic style - something that I have a challenging time doing. In thinking about that question, I typically look for commonalities in my work, regardless of the medium. In doing so, I have noted that I favor certain color palettes, aim to create surface texture, often utilize text as both a design element and method of communicating my message, and integrate found objects into many of my pieces. But, the aspect of my work that truly stands out to me as a defining characteristic is my love of layers.

These lines are the start of a longer guest post on the Make Art in L.A. blog. Please head over to read my thoughts on why I find layers so fascinating and integral to my work -- and of course to see more images of layers.

Make Art in L.A. is a teaching venue in Los Angeles, California run by Barbara Buckles. I will be teaching two workshop there in January.

I will be teaching 52 Card Pickup -- one of my favorites -- on Saturday 1/17/15.

On Sunday 1/18/15 I am debuting a new workshop called Picture Windows.

You can find info about both workshops here. Hope to see some of you in January!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Week Links: 27

Join me every Sunday when I share some of my favorite links I discovered in the previous week.
All previous links can be found here.

And here is Week 27...

Love this story From Pamela Gerard about these gifted vintage photos which were then re-gifted to a museum.

My visual fix for the week from Elena Nuez at Bicoacolors.

For all you textile/fabric lovers, just found out about a very cool free online magazine called Through Our Hands. Thanks to Patricia Thornhill for the link.

Looking forward to getting this book about the art of Jose Parla.

All that matters is all that is...powerful words from Danny Gregory.

Everything you ever wanted to know about the brayer but didn't think to ask from Linda Germain.

Love the artwork from and process of Katherine Chang Liu highlighted on the Cloth Paper Scissor blog.

100+ artworks. 65+ artists. All 5x5 inches. All work from the Five by Five Small Works Exhibition at The Empty Spaces Project is now available for purchase online

Saturday, December 6, 2014

5 x 5 Art 4 Sale

On Friday 12/5, the Five by Five Small Works Exhibition opened at The Empty Spaces Project, a gallery in Putnam, CT. 

This show included more than 100 works, all 5x5 inches, created by a group of more than 65 international artists. This project began as an extension of my first book The Pulse of Mixed Media, morphed into an online event, became a magazine article, and is now a live exhibition. You can read more about the project here

All artwork from this show is for sale and is now available for purchase online here. Please have a look at the incredible array of artwork and if you are interested in making a purchasing, please email your choice(s) to me at

The two pieces below are my contribution to the exhibition:



I wanted to share some images of the gallery and the opening reception for those of you who were unable to attend.

 The strips of 5x5 artworks

 The view from my book

 Table and tableau


 My (full size) artwork along with collaborative artwork I completed with Roxanne Evans Stout

 One of several display tables

 Gallery founders Paul Toissaint & Ann Monteiro and myself (right to left)

The exhibition continues through the end of December if you have a chance to visit!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Week Links: 26

Join me every Sunday when I share some of my favorite links I discovered in the previous week.
All previous links can be found here.

And here is Week 26...

Cannot wait to see One: Union of the Senses by Jose Parla at One World Trade Center.

Every shade of blue from Caterina Giglio.

10 things every artist should be thankful for from Mary C. Nassar.

Check out this interactive eZine called Inspiration Mixed Media from Pebeo. It mostly serves as an advertisement for their products but the format of the zine itself is very cool.

It's all about time from Amy Duncan.

Cecile Graven shares a 4-minute painting video from Agnes Cecile. Mesmerizing.

Thoughts on gratitude (and some beautiful art) from Diana Trout.