Thursday, January 29, 2015

what dreams are made of...

as i walked through the fields,

seeing shadows illuminated by the brightness of the nearly full moon,

i saw, 

as if for the first time, 

the edges of the wheat spires blending seamlessly 

into the darkness of the late evening sky.

i thought to myself,

this is what dreams are made of...

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

7 Days of Magic

As the snow continues to fall in NYC, I am looking forward to better weather in May when I visit the Pacific NorthWest Art School on the magical island of Whidbey, just off the coast of Washington state. I hope you will consider joining me as well.

I am teaching two special workshops: 

Cover to Cover: a two-day class focused on painting layers, texture, layers, and more texture. 

If Walls Could Talk: a five-day, very special art retreat co-taught with Orly Avineri.

Cover to Cover

Over the course of two days, we will be creating a one-of-a-kind, unconventional artist book. Designed to help you break free of artistic inhibitions and explore possibilities, we will be creating layer after layer of color, texture and dimension using a tremendous range of materials. In this class, we will be putting the "mixed" in the media. And did I mention that there would be layers and texture?

May 16-17, 2015
Registration is open and space is limited.

If Walls Could Talk

We can all be found somewhere on the same dirt road, kicking up dust, gradually revealing, feverishly working toward finding new ways to form and mature. We build substrates from which we obtain our creative nourishment and the courage to inscribe our visual stories...constantly seeking where everything outside of us ends and where we begin.

Join Orly and myself for a five-day. texture-making, art-journaling, book-binding, road-tripping experience. day one we'll come together at our creative space of the week. Soon after we'll go out to explore our new visual reality on the island. We'll be visiting the forest and the sea to find texturizing and mark making elements. During the retreat, we will also explore man-made objects on a visit to local stores to join the ephemera we brought with us. Seth will guide us through the creating of walls, substrates on which magical processes will occur. We will build up these solid surfaces with layers, textures, colors, and marks. Orly will guide us through the creation and addition of our own personal narrative, which will surface through the addition of words and images. By the end of day five will be ready to literally tie our individual stories together as we bind our own books, thereby creating the most intimate of personal dossiers.

May 18-22, 2015
Registration is open and space is limited.

Orly will also be teaching in the week prior to these workshops and information on this workshop is available here.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Week Links: 34

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 34...

Still in love with these portrait-painted paintbrushes from artist Rebecca Szeto found on Yellowtrace.

Linda Germain shares 12 tips for caring for your stencils, brayers and other printmaking tools. 

Very useful list of links shared by Lisa Cyr on using cradled panels in your art.

Always fascinating to see a work in progress and that is certainly the case with this piece from Mae Chevrette.

I find these photos from Lottie Davies on I Need a Guide quite mesmerizing. 

Now this is what I call patina...from Barry Smith.

Looking forward to this book now on pre-order from Dawn DeVries Sokol.

Participate with a whole bunch of peeps in my newest online collaborative project beginning in February: Living with Art.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Living with Art: an online project

When we see art posted on the blogs from our community, by far the majority of times it is a cropped picture of a particular piece. We don't often get to see pictures of the art in the space where we actually live. Hanging art. Art on the walls. Art over the couch. Art leaning on the bookcase shelves.

I want to see and show art in real life settings: what Living with Art really means. And this is where you come in. Join me for a quick and easy online project. The brief is simple. I will post on my blog your pictures of art that is actually displayed in your space. It can be your own art or art that you have collected. Or both. Zoom out and show some of your surroundings. Beginning sometime in February, I am planning to put up weekly posts that include a group of these images. Along with the image I post, I will include your name and a link to one of your online sites.

Easy, right?

If you are interested in joining, no need to officially sign up. Simply email me your pic and one link. If you chose to send more than one image, I will chose one to post.

Send it in as soon as you like, or wait a while. I am hoping to have enough submissions to last for some time. Please feel free to grab the Living with Art icon and spread the word. Everybody is invited to play.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Week Links: 33

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 33...

Mesmerized by the formations created by Michael Grab as seen on Colossal.

Smitten by the beauty of these folded pieces of paper from Louise at Bibliographica.

Fascinated by the sculpture of Antony Gormley as seen on Escape Into Life.

Excited to have found this short video of the GIF I showed a few weeks ago of a totally unique, interactive work of art.

Thrilled by the natural patina on this 1795 time capsule from Sam Adams and Paul Revere as seen on Complex.

Gobsmacked by the grungy back wall in this Aussie cafe designed by DesignOffice and found on Yellowtrace.

Intriqued by these 44 artists studios shared by Huffington Post.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Journal Kicks

There is a new journal book in town: Art Journal Kickstarter - Pages and Prompts to Energize Your Art Journal. Edited by Kristy Conlin, this book provides a ton of inspiration for art making in general and art journaling in particular. The book includes 140+ art journal pages from 100+ journal artists. Each artist also shares their responses to a series of questions about the inspiration behind their pages, their art journal process, advice to other journaling artists, unique techniques used, and artists that they are inspired by.

This is not a traditional how-to or instructional book but rather a source of inspiration for and approaches to journaling. As I turned the pages, I became more and more absorbed by the content of this book. There are a good number of books out there that share journal pages but I found this one particularly informative and inspiring. It seems like a book to savor a few pages at a time and to revisit over and over again.

Full disclosure is that I am a contributing artist in this book, having shared the journal spread pictured below.

But truth is...I would have loved it equally even if I were not on page 84. The book is available for purchase at Amazon and the North Light Shop.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Limited Edition Mash-Up

Mary Beth Shaw, the founder of StencilGirl Products, continues to amaze me with her innovative ideas. Four of the stencil designers from StencilGirl -- Traci Bautista, Pam Carriker, Mary Beth, and myself -- taught workshops at the recent Craft & Hobby Association Mega Show. For each of us, MB designed a special 9"x12" stencil that included a mash-up of our own personal stencil designs.

How cool is that? Well, it gets even cooler. StencilGirl Products has packaged a limited edition set of all four stencils that are on sale on their website right now. And when I say limited edition, I mean it. There are only 145 sets available. When they are gone, they are gone.

Hey...why are you still here when you should be here?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Trends to Watch

As I walked the floor of the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) mega show last week, I kept my eyes peeled. 

Not only did I want to see the new products that were being released but I also wanted to see where the industry was headed in terms of trends. And to see which trends from last year might be on their last legs. 

Of course it often seems like the pendulum always swings, so I never really count any trend as down for the count.


In no particular order, this is what popped out to me at the show...

--Brights: Bright colors were everywhere, from scrapbook paper to planners. Vivid and bold colors in both pastel and jewel tones were in evidence.

--Letters: A very popular theme at the show was the use of text as a design element. Large bold letters were frequently seen not only in product but in booth design as well, where too many booths to count used marquee-style letters (with and without light bulbs) to spell out their company names.

--Watercolors: A number of companies highlighted a watercolor look in their papers and/or other products.

--Planners: The newest incarnation of the scrapbook are planner-style books, complete with dated pages and to-do lists but with the addition of art-filled pages as well.

--Metallics and Iridescents: One of my personal favorite trends from the show, metallic and iridescent could be found in paints, sprays, markers, paper and more.

--Stencils: The stencil trend from last year continues unabated, with more and more companies dipping into the stencil pool.

--Mixed Media: Mixed media was everywhere and it seems like more and more companies that have been traditionally based in the scrapbooking-arm of the market have fully embraced mixed media products including paint, texture mediums, and the like.

In terms of trends losing steam, I noticed the following...

--Vintage: The vintage style continues to dwindle, which seemed to me to be a very polarizing occurrence. While many people I asked about this cheered, an equal number mourned.

--Washi Tape: While still available, washi tape was not evident in abundance as it had recently been.

--Chalkboard: Last year it seemed like a majority of companies were embracing chalkboard products. At the 2015 show there was definitely less to be found.

--Rub-ons: Not sure that anybody would have said these were a trend last year, but they are a personal favorite of mine. I hunted and hunted for rub-ons, but in the end saw relatively few.

In terms of buzz...

--I asked many of my colleagues which product(s) stood out to them and seemed to generate the most buzz at the show. Unfortunately, person after person had a hard time with this question and noted that there seemed to be less innovation and excitement in the releases this year.

Am I missing something...

--If you were at the show or have noticed any trends in your local shops or online, please share them here in the comments. I am curious as to what others have seen.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

CHA 2015

As I write this post, the first half of my west coast trip is winding down. For the last 5+ days, I have been attending the Craft & Hobby Association annual conference in Anaheim, California. 

The CHA Mega Show, as it is now called, is an annual event in which manufacturers, buyers and designers come together for 5 days of education, buying, selling and networking. It is the time when many companies release their new products and many retailers try to figure out what will be best sellers in the crafts and arts industry. For designers and bloggers, the show is typically thought of as the biggest perk of CHA membership but in fact there are a lot of other benefits as well.

This is the second year I have attended. I came with a plan this time and ended up having a very productive experience and good time -- as can be seen below...


Day One was education day, with workshops and seminars held throughout the day. I taught a workshop called Mixed Media Layer Conveyer to 50 attendees and somehow managed to feel like I knew them all very well by the time the workshop ended.

The workshop focused on paint techniques to create dimensional layers. I was too busy to take too many pictures but here are a few detail shots of some of the participants' pieces.

I am sending a shout out to Imagine Crafts, PaperArtsy and StencilGirl Products for providing some of the workshop supplies and the very ample sample kit that all class attendees took with them.

I was joined at the hip with Mary Beth Shaw and Pam Carriker all day, as we each assisted in each others workshops. Traci Bautista also taught that day and we had fun sharing students and notes.

Day 2 saw the opening of the show floor, where all the exhibitors displayed their products in creatively-designed booths. There is always a huge crowd at the ribbon cutting waiting to get in and this year was no exception.

There were over 400 exhibitors and I managed to at least walk BY every booth over the course of the show. Naturally I walked INTO many of the booths as well. This is a wholesale event so I was not there to purchase any supplies. But I did get samples of some new products that I plan to experiment with -- and share with you in later blog posts.

Just a few of the booths and/or displays that caught my eye included...

Spellbinders Paper Arts

Spellbinders Paper Arts

Spellbinders Paper Arts - I am not the only person blown away by their display as it won an award for best booth at the show.

7 Gypsies

Marion Smith

My Mind's Eye

Tattered Angels

I was fortunate to be able to give away signed copies of my workshop DVDs at the F+W Booth.

The people who stood in line for my DVDs were a patient and fun bunch, as can be seen by the evidence below...

The best part of the show for me was connecting with other creative people, networking with a number of different companies, and seeing the success of so many of my friends...

Dina Wakely's newest journaling book

Finnabair's line of mixed media products with Prima

Pam Carriker seeing her new book with F+W for the first time


Though the sun may have set on CHA 2015, its effects will last for some time. Stay tuned for another post where I share my thoughts on the trends coming in 2015. And part 2 of my travels in California.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

artists' cafe

I do like surprises. Earlier this month I was visiting the website for Stampington & Company and came across the following image...

First thing I noticed was that I liked the color palette. Then I saw and loved the artwork. And then I noticed my name. On the cover. Hmmm....thought I should explore that more fully. I looked at the Table of Contents page online and saw a picture of the artwork (my artwork) listed as being on page 128. And I saw that my artist portfolio was included in this issue.

artists' cafe is an annual magazine that culls the "best of Somerset Mixed-Media" from all their publications. All 8 eight issues, including the current Volume 8, are available here.

My artist portfolio was originally published in the May/June 2012 issue of Somerset Studio and includes an interview with Rice Freeman-Zachary and a load of art images. Stampington's magazines are known for their amazing detail shots of art and there are also many of those included as well. Happy I get to share these pages with so many incredible artists, including

Sending thanks to Senior Managing Editor Amber Demein for this happy surprise!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Week Links: 32

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 32...

Holly Becker from decor8 continues her wonderful series on blog trends with a post about earning money through blogging without guilt.

These photos from Kim Henkel almost have me hoping for a huge snowfall in NYC.

Veronica Funk shares her refreshing thoughts where success as an artist is simply about creating.

Textile love: hand dyed indigo from Judy Wise and holiday shibori from Patty Van Dorin.

Going to order Mixed Media Portraits with Pam Carriker. If Pam's newest book is even half as good as her first two, we are all in for something special.

10 art terms that don't mean what you think they mean from Huffpost Arts & Culture.

I am excited to see the upcoming exhibition of Basquiat's notebooks and artwork at the Brooklyn Museum.

Amazing group of assemblages being exhibited online on Virtual TART from Dale Copeland.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

California Here I Come

I am about to leave the winter of NYC (cold) for the winter of California (warm). I am heading out west and have many exciting adventures about to unfold.

First stop is at the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) 2015 Conference & Trade Show in Anaheim. Having gone last year, I know I am in store for an incredible experience. More than 400 exhibitors will be showing their new products for 2015 for the first time. I will be teaching a workshop called Mixed Media Layer Conveyer and am equally excited to be assisting in the workshops of Mary Beth Shaw and Pam Carriker. I will also be putting on several demos from projects on my workshop DVDs from North Light. And I get to take classes, network, and meet up with some of my favorite people. I will be your onsite correspondent for it all!

Following CHA, I will staying on to teach three classes:

Majestic Medallions at Gilding the Lily in Fullerton on 1/16

52 Card Pickup at Make Art in LA in Los Angeles on 1/17

Picture Windows at Make Art in LA in Los Angeles on 1/18

The CHA workshop is full but there are still a few seats open in the other workshops. If you cannot join me, stay tuned for recaps on the blog.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Week Links: 31

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 31...

I am a sucker for a good year-end review or a top-10 post of anything at all. I have listed just a few of the many reviews that I found on my web travels this past week. If you have one of your own, please feel free to include a link in the comments.

The top 10 art installations from 2014 from My Modern Met.

PaperArtsy shares some of the artwork that has been highlighted on their blog in the last 4 months.

Grace Bonney from Design*Sponge shares 60 (!) links to favorite posts from 2014.

Danny Gregory shares his top 16 moments from 2014.

The 10 most popular Instagram images from 2014 on Somerset Place, the blog from Stampington & Company.

Art memes from 2014 from Michael deMeng.

Top 10 art exhibits from 2014 from designboom.

The top 5 mixed media paintings of 2014 from Nathalie Kalbach.

From The Altered Page (you are here), my top 14 posts from 2014 based on hits.

And also from The Altered Page (that's me!), my top 14 Instagram posts from the past year.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Creative Pulse

It brings me great joy to be able to share with you all the news that beginning with the current issue of Cloth Paper Scissors January/February 2015, I now have my own recurring column in Cloth Paper Scissors magazine. 

Called The Creative Pulse, I will be focused on issues that affect every artist. My first column highlights ways to find and identify your own signature style.

Upon receiving the issue, I was excited to see that two friends of mine are also debuting columns in this issue. Tracy Verdugo is writing the Art Mojo column, focused on innovative approaches and techniques for painting. Jennifer Coyne Qudeen is writing a column called Make Your Mark, which highlights mark making in your artwork. 

A shout out to Jeannine Stein, editor of CPS, for this opportunity. And a big thank you to all of you who take the time to read The Creative Pulse.