Last weekend I was lucky enough to go to Mary Beth Shaw's studio in St. Louis and join eleven other women for a fabulous 2-day workshop with Mary Beth and Seth Apter. It was called "At the Improv," and it was literally kind of an improv'd class! They demonstrated different techniques and processes that they typically use in their work, playing off of each other and sometimes even working on the same canvas. We were then able to take those ideas and inspiration and apply them in our own work. Mary Beth was super generous - she had a huge stash of canvases, collage papers, paints, and other supplies that we were free to use.
One of the most enjoyable parts for me was meeting people I've only talked to online - like Mary Nasser! She and I have worked together with StencilGirl for several years now, but this is the first time we got to meet in person! We sat at the same table and it was so much fun to hang out in person!
We worked on making parts and pieces that we'd be able to incorporate into our work throughout the weekend - I grabbed lots of different papers, paints, stamps, stencils, and just had a blast! (Photo courtesy of Seth, since I forgot to take any!)
We also got to experiment with several supplies that I don't use too often, like fiber paste! Here Seth was showing us some of the ways he likes to use it in his own work:
At the end of day one, I'd made a good start on two different canvases, I had a fabulous pile of art parts, and I had some fiber paste experiments drying in the kitchen.
Day 2, we were back bright and early and dove right in! We went straight to work with more fabulous demos throughout the day, like this one where Mary Beth showed us how she does line work in her abstract art.
The day went by way too quickly! It was amazing to go around the room and see what everyone else did during the weekend - there was some awesome work! Here's the whole class - a pretty good looking group, if I do say so myself!
I also got a photo of the StencilGirl crew - me, Mary Beth, Mary Nasser, and Seth.
Of course, I can't forget about the artwork! Here's where I ended up at the end of class on day one... one completed 8x8 canvas, one mostly complete 9x12 canvas, and the start of an art journal page (right-hand side.)
I also had my fiber paste background - it's not done, but I like where it's going!
After class that night, I was still feeling the itch to create, so I pulled my journal back out and worked more on the page I'd started in class. I happened to have these stained-glass-esque figures that had been pulled off of something else and tucked into the journal, so I took one of those and added it onto the page. Here's where it ended up:
A closeup that shows the texture from the background elements I'd added in class:
Now that I'm back home, I've been able to get into the studio quite a bit this week and finished up my canvases. Here's the first one - this was pretty much done in class and I really like it - it was so much fun to build up all those layers!
Here are a few closeups so you can see some of said texture a bit better...
Finally, the second canvas... I just put on a few finishing touches with paint and glaze after getting home, and I really like this one too! The coloring is similar - you can tell I was working on both of them at the same time so I used pretty much the same paint palette on both of them.
Of course, a few close-ups of this one as well... I used some textured elements and some fiber paste skins and I love the dimension that it adds!
Whew! That's a lot for just one weekend, don't you think! I'm so glad that I got to go - I had a great time reconnecting with friends and meeting some wonderful new people, and happily, I'm also feeling re-energized and ready to get back to spending more time in the studio!