Friday, November 24, 2017

It's On...

It's on...

Head to my online shop and use code CYBER25 for the discount. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

#ARTifacts: October 2017

Artifacts (plural noun): objects made by a human being, typically an item of cultural or historical interest.

ARTifacts (plural noun): a collaborative project for 2017 documenting adventures in art.

Every year I have so many "art memories" from my travels, my teaching, my adventures in NYC, and my studio work. I have decided that 2017 will be the year of ARTifacts where I document my adventures in art for the entire year in a physical book. 

Always wanting to be inclusive, I turned my project into a no-rules collaboration. Participants were asked to find or make some sort of artist book, planner, scrapbook, 3-ring-binder, folder, or other container to document their creative experiences, whether they be in art, craft, or anything else.  As you can see below, each and every participant put their own creative twist on this project. And it is never too late to join. Email me at if you would like to participate.



Thursday, November 16, 2017

Art Asylum

Join me this Sunday, November 19, for Art Asylum at the Queen's Ink from 11am to 5pm. 

The Queen's Ink is a gorgeous art and crafts shop in a restored mill in Savage, Maryland. If you have never been to the shop you are in for a big treat.

Along with a talented group of artists, I will be a part of this annual artisan art & craft show, where you will be able to view and purchase my artwork - including many new pieces, workshop samples, old favorites that I am ready to part with, and much more.

Those attending the show will also get an exclusive preview of (and a chance to preorder) my newest stamps from Impression Obsession that will be released in early December.

Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Create with Me: 2018


I am finalizing details for my 2018 workshops which will take me across the United States and to a number of International locations. In the first half of the year, I am scheduled to teach in Maryland, Arizona, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oregon, Kentucky, Florida, Ohio, and California. I am excited to be returning to teach in Australia once again.

AND, I have a few more locations all set up...but I am not at liberty to announce these yet. Promise that I will just as soon as I can. Stay tuned...

I have posted my 2018 teaching schedule as it stands today on my workshop page. Registration is already open for many venues and for others it is "save the date." Some workshops are filled already. 

Here are the highlights. Head to the workshop page for registration details and direct links:

JANUARY takes me to Phoenix, Arizona for Creativation, the annual trade show for the Association for Creative Industries. where I am debuting and teaching 2 new classes. There are just a few spots still available in each workshop and it is your chance to be among the first to see and use my new 2018 product releases.

In FEBRUARY I head for the first time to Betty's Creative Studio in Greensboro, North Carolina, where I will be teaching 2 one-day workshops. Following that I return to Donna Downey Studios in Huntersville, North Carolina for a special 3-day workshop weekend.

MARCH leads me back to The Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos, New Mexico, which has become one of my favorite places to create. I will be teaching a new, one-day workshop, exclusive to this location. Later in March I return to The Queen's Ink in Savage, Maryland. I will be teaching an evening workshop and 2 one-day classes as well. 

In APRIL I am excited to be teaching in Portland, Oregon for the first time since 2013. Kecia Deveney and I are teaming up for a special retreat - Field Guide to Altered Avians - at the studio of Jesse Reno. At the end of the month I am close to home, teaching a 3-hour workshop at Pratt Institute in NYC.

MAY is a busy month starting with a visit to EncaustiCastle in  Lexington, Kentucky where I am part of a one-time-only, books arts retreat with Daniel Essig. Later in the month I head back to Everything Scrapbook & Stamps in Lake Worth, Florida for 2 classes. I end the month at the Quilt & Surface Design Symposium in Columbus, Ohio, with both a five-day and a two-day class.

JUNE  brings me back to Idyllwild Arts in Idyllwild, California where I will be teaching one-day and two-day classes. I end June across the world where I will be teaching a two-day workshop in Sydney, Australia to kick off my annual visit down under.

JULY continues in Australia. I will first be teaching for 5 days at the Fibre Arts Australia retreat in Ballarat, Victoria. This workshop is full. I follow this up with the same workshop in Woodlawn, New South Wales.

Workshops in AUGUST through December are being scheduled and will be posted soon.

I hope you can join me for some creative play. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Top Ten Trends in Mixed Media Art in 2017

Trends. Some people watch them, some follow them, and some people avoid them at all costs. But trends are a very real phenomenon that often determines the items available in your local art and craft shop, the art books that you see online, the workshops that are available to take, and the pictures which pop up in your Facebook feed.

The following is a list of the top ten trends among mixed media artists in 2017.  While by definition trends come and go, the list below suggests that trends do come - but may never go. As noted, many of the trends listed have been popular in the recent past and show no signs of disappearing.

Remember that this represents just one artist's opinion and has been limited to ten. Feel free to add any trends that you may have noticed in the comments below. 

And stay tuned for January which brings my list of the top ten trends coming in 2018 as seen at Creativation, the annual trade show for AFCI - the Association for Creative Industries (formally known as CHA).


1. Wet Media. Acrylic paint continues to be the number one choice in this category. While traditional fluid and heavy body paints are the most popular, paint pens, daubers, and sprays are increasing in popularity as well. Of late, there seems to be a spike in people who are engaging in acrylic pouring. There has been continued growth in the use of watercolors as well. More and more companies are developing products in this area, which not only include traditional paints but also watercolor pencils, metallic paints, along with paper and products with a watercolor design.

2. Texture. Adding texture to mixed media artwork continues to be a trend. New formulas of gesso, gels, pastes, and textured elements are continually being developed. Ingredients used to create texture run the gamut from commercially made products to natural elements. Style-wise, they range from matte, vintage and rusty all the way to shiny, glossy and sleek.

3. The adult coloring book trend appears to be losing steam. Last year at this time, the top ten list of mixed media/craft books on Amazon was overflowing with coloring books as were the magazine shelves at Barnes and Noble. Still evident in the marketplace however, these books have lately been focused on highly specific markets rather than coloring in general.

4. Lettering. All things text, letters, fonts and calligraphy remain a powerful force in the mixed media market. Whether as a stand-alone technique, incorporated into artwork, or used as a relaxation technique, lettering remains hot. Think of all the fancy lettering you have seen this past year on those ubiquitous inspirational quotes on Facebook The continued popularity of art journals and planners is a strong contributing factor as well.

5. Stencils. Stencils have become a hot item in the last number of years and, at this point, seem to be more of a staple for mixed media artists rather than a trend that is likely to disappear. Artist designed stencils - rather than more generic, computer-based designs - seem to be driving this continued resurgence. The acceptance of graffiti and street art as a full-fledged art domain has also contributed. Ironically, stencils developed for home decor have been evident this past year, mirroring the purpose of stencils popular back in the 1970s-1980s.

6. Art Journaling. Creatives continue to embrace art journaling and its popularity only appears to be increasing. Many artists find the freedom that comes with keeping an art journal ("no rules") very appealing. The availability of journaling products, books, groups and workshops have taken what at one point was a solitary activity and turned it into a group exercise. While many people still keep private journals, an ever increasing majority share their pages. And as in many creative things, build a community and they will come.

7. Tradition. While it might at first glance seem strange that tradition could be seen as a trend, it often seems like long-standing art domains periodically emerge as popular approaches for mixed media artists. In addition to watercolor, as noted above, collage continues to be strong, with people incorporating paper as well as painted elements, found objects and the many commercial embellishments created for artists and crafters on the market. Portraiture has shown a resurgence, helped along by workshops, books and products such as face stencils that are now available. Other traditions showing an increase in popularity this past year include cold wax, encaustics, paper cutting and sketching.

8. Fiber. Mixed media artists continue to integrate materials and techniques more historically associated with fiber artists. Hand and machine stitching, eco dyeing, shibori, and fabric-based books have all been increasingly evident over the course of 2017. Mixed media weaving to create texture and dimension is also notable and has been supported by the release of small, easy-to-use looms from multiple companies.

9. Mark Making. Mark making has been synonymous with abstract art for many years but it is an area that has been increasingly prevalent in mixed media over the last few years - perhaps in part because the concept of mark making seems so much more accessible to many people than drawing. As more and more people have become increasingly comfortable with the freedom of expression that goes along with mixed media, they have also become more willing to experiment and take risks via mark making. This trend has led to (or been fueled by) an increasing number of mark makers being produced by the craft and art industries and the popularity of more rustic, hand-made mark makers.

10. The Rest. Other mixed media trends noted throughout the year include 1) layering: always a hallmark of mixed media but recently simplified by the many companies releasing "kits" of stencils and stamps, dies and stamps, coordinated products, etc.; 2) metallics: in the form of pens, paints, and mediums, foils and related adhesives and machines, embellishments, paper and design elements; 3) planners: a recent mainstay in the craft industry, 2017 saw the rise of planners in the style of the traveler's notebook; and 4) apps: painting and drawing apps continue to be popular and are bring used as both digital sketch books and to create finished work.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Art Scam/Art Spam

Did you know that the traditional gift for 20 years of marriage is art? I had no idea until I received the following 3 emails in the past week...

My name is Jeffery Hewlett from Snyder, Texas. I was looking for some artwork online and i found your contact while searching. I would like to purchase some of your work for my wife as a surprise for our 20th anniversary. Please kindly send pics and prices of some of your art which are ready for immediate sales within price range $500-$5000. I hope to hear a lot more about any available piece in your inventory ready for immediate sale.

Thanks and best regards, Jeffery.


My name is James from Charlotte, NC. I was looking for some artwork online and i found your contact while searching. Will like to purchase some of your work for my wife as a surprise for our 20th anniversary. Please kindly send pics and prices of some of your art which are ready for immediate sales within price range $300-$1,200, i could be flexible with price. So i hope to hear a lot more about any available piece in your inventory.

Thanks and best regards, James


My name is Kevin Spiker from Washington, DC. I was looking for some artwork online and i found your contact while searching. I would like to purchase some of your work for my wife as a surprise for our 20th anniversary. Please kindly send pics and prices of some of your art which are ready for immediate sales within price range $500-$5000. So I will hope to hear a lot more about any available piece in your inventory ready for immediate sale.

Thanks and best regards, Kevin


Somebody should tell James that he needs to up his price range!

Anybody else hear from Jeffery, James or Kevin?

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Gift Giving and Receiving

The Do's and Dont's of Handmade Gifts.

"Every year, as the holiday season approaches, my thoughts turn to gift giving... This got me thinking about the hows and whys and the dos and don'ts of giving handmade gifts. Why do people give handmade gifts in the first place? Does the giver have different expectations of the recipient when the gift is handmade? Are these handcrafted gifts appreciated by the receiver, or do they somehow add an extra burden or level of obligation that might not be appreciated?"

Read the entire article here on the Cloth Paper Scissors blog.


Have you ever given and/or received a handmade gift? Share your thoughts in the comments about your experience.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Make it Your Own: 22

I always find it exciting when I come across artwork online that incorporates my product lines. Seeing how different people use these items in such creative ways is always inspiring. I love the wide variety of styles and unique choices. Click each link below for more details on each and click here to see other posts in this series.

with a full tutorial on video



Sunday, November 5, 2017

The Sunday Papers: 22

Welcome to the Sunday Papers. Grab a cuppa, get comfy and turn the virtual pages. Did you miss any along the way? See every edition here.








 J.C. Spock