Workshop Highlight: Fiber and Structure

Since 2001 I have been combining encaustic and fiber or fiber related techniques in my work. In fact, I actually initiated the practice of combining these two highly compatible and versatile mediums. With an emphasis on mixed-media, this workshop is specially created to address the interests of artists working in fiber and fiber related techniques.

Where Do I Sign Up?

Jeff Hirst Studio
Chicago, IL
Workshop Web Site and Registration

Since 2001 I have been combining encaustic and fiber or fiber related techniques in my work. In fact, I actually initiated the practice of combining these two highly compatible and versatile mediums. The techniques I used in my work at that time and continue to use are all self taught and/or innovated by me. I continue to experiment, mix it all up and encourage exploration and a ‘just go for it’ attitude in all of my workshops. For more about my early work and other blog posts in which I reference my early explorations see (in order of relevance) this post, this post, this post and this post ..or just scroll down for more information and to see some of my paintings employing the techniques and material explorations covered in this workshop. See this post for student work from this and other encaustic and fiber related workshops.

Updated Workshop Description: With an emphasis on mixed-media, this workshop is specially created to address the interests of artists working in fiber and fiber related techniques such as quilting, weaving and surface design. This workshop will cover the basics of working in encaustic as well as encaustic application techniques to enhance or create structure and texture, color mixing, layers, surface manipulation, and the creation of pattern using stencils, candy molds and tjaps. Participants will also be introduced to alternative materials such as drawing with horse hair and water soluble embroidery film combined with machine and hand stitching. Innovative surface design techniques such as deconstructed screen printing (without harmful dyes), rust printing and indigo will also be introduced. Working two or three dimensionally, participants are encouraged to develop a personal vocabulary and explore current content interests by combining the infinite possibilities of encaustic in combination with fiber structures, surfaces and stitch.

What You Will Learn

See this post and read both workshop descriptions in the post as well as see lots of additional eye candy of the techniques covered in this workshop.

Additionally…

  • Because Jeff has generously offered the use of his printing tables, we will explore the innovative technique, Deconstructed Screenprinting..a very loose, super fun printing method that creates multi-layered, multi-colored textures on fabric. I have practiced this technique and have adapted a way to do it without using harsh textile dyes and chemicals. These fabrics are works of art in and of themselves, but can also be used as a wonderfully inspired basis for your encaustic paintings. Scroll down for images of my paintings utilizing these fabrics as a base.
  • Covering a board with fabric or paper..not just applying to the front of a board, but wrapping all the way around..activating the sides of a cradled board and utilizing book corners so that your painting becomes an all around beautiful object.
  • We will create 3 dimensional sewn drawings using the amazing water soluble embroidery stabilizer, Solvy. These sewn constructions can be used to collage into paintings, stiffened with wax for sculptural possibilities and much more.
  • The application of thin layers of encaustic for collage and a discussion of the conceptual use of layers, pattern and repetition.
  • Much more…if you haven’t done so yet, be sure to visit this blog post for more of what will be covered in this workshop. I look forward to working with you!

Where Do I Sign Up?

Jeff Hirst Studio
Chicago, IL
Workshop Web Site and Registration

Images of My Encaustic Work and Additional Student Work

Art Podcast Favorites List

The holidays are over, its cold and you’re stuck inside during the January doldrums. Time to grab your phone, start downloading some new art podcasts and get inspired!

The holidays are over, its cold and you’re stuck inside during the January doldrums. Time to grab your phone, start downloading some new art podcasts and get inspired! In my last post, I mentioned that one of my weekly studio resolution carry overs from last year was to keep my habit of listening to or watching Art Podcasts or Videos. In fact, I increased my listening and watching from last year’s 2-4 per week to 10-15 per week this year because I’m kinda addicted. I got so many requests for a podcast list, I see that there are some hungry for art inspiration listening ears.

I should mention that I actually subscribe to many Youtube video channels, but few of them are focused on art. If I watch an art video, it’s usually because its focused on a technique, a product or an artist interview-these are things that I’ve searched for specifically, so I don’t usually subscribe to any one art channel. For that reason I’m sharing with you my favorite Artist & Art Marketing Podcasts only. I subscribe to many, but I kept this list to 10 so as not to get too crazy. I also mention timing, especially the ones focusing on artist interviews…I have a short attention span, I don’t have the stamina for a 2 hour interview and I absolutely cannot listen to an incompetent interviewer. I would love it if you have a favorite art video channel or podcast you would like to share, please list it in the comments section (comments are at the upper left of the blog post title) so everyone can see it. I’m always looking for something new and my readers will appreciate some recommendations as well. The following Podcasts are listed in no particular order.

  1. Onward Creatives A marketing podcast that is not just focused on artists, but on all creative professionals writers, designers, etc. and I love listening to it for that reason. It’s good practical advice that can be applied to many aspects of creative marketing..and life for that matter.
  2. The Savvy Painter Artist Antrese Wood is the Savvy Painter who has a fun, friendly conversational interview style and edits her interviews to 50 minutes. What I really like about her is that she asks the questions I want to hear the answers to and asks them as they arise in the conversation. It’s an authentic, interesting and easy going listen.
  3. The Art History Babes Most of the workshops I teach include some aspect of art history because it is integral to understanding the context of one’s own work. I find that most of my workshop participants are craving some kind of art history in their lives and this podcast offers it up in a fun group chat by extremely knowledgeable women.
  4. 99% Invisible Not necessarily and ‘art’ podcast, but one that focuses on ‘invisible’ art–design and architecture. I love the relaxed interview style and relatively short snippets of succinct information. This podcast also has a knack for delving into unusual and extremely interesting subjects. I always learn so much from listening even for a short time.
  5. Art Marketing Podcast Helpful, practical information on a subject that all of us artists could use help with and delivered succinctly-most podcasts are under 30 minutes.
  6. Artists Helping Artists Two artists, Leslie Saeta and Margaret Sheldon discuss art marketing, materials, studio discipline, process, artist interviews and more in a fun, friendly, non-pretentious way.
  7. Hyperallergic Artist interviews from this always interesting art magazine. Most podcasts are under an hour.
  8. John Dalton Gently Does It Conversational artist and critic interviews. Very interesting guests and spot on interviews with great questions. Give yourself some time to listen to these interviews, they tend to go on a bit.
  9. Make/Time I come from a fine craft background in textiles, so I really appreciate these bite-sized (most 20 minutes and under) fine craft artist interviews focused on process and materials. Unfortunately, a new episode has not been added since August of last year, but I definitely recommend listening to the back episodes.
  10. Modern Art Notes-This is a bonus addition to my personal favorites list and comes from art friend and mentee, Celia Johnson, who highly recommended this podcast. It has since been added to my subscribed list, but unfortunately, I haven’t listened to it yet. However, judging from the podcast listings, it looks fantastic. Thank you, Celia!

My 2019 Weekly Studio Resolutions

Happy New Year! It’s that time of year again-time to reset, re-evaluate, re-order and re-invigorate. Have you created your 2019 Studio Resolutions yet? As promised, I’m sharing with you my list of New Year Studio Resolutions to help give you ideas for your own list.

Happy New Year! It’s that time of year again-time to reset, re-evaluate, re-order and re-invigorate. Have you created your 2019 Studio Resolutions yet? As promised, I’m sharing with you my list of New Year Studio Resolutions to help give you ideas for your own list. At the turn of the new year, on my favorite list making phone app, Evernote, I check my list from the year before, add/remove items, rewrite, redo. I make a list of daily, weekly, monthly and annual Studio and Marketing resolutions that I check frequently throughout the year to make sure I haven’t forgotten what I’ve resolved to do. Having the list in a convenient place on my phone and using an app that syncs to all of my devices, I’m easily able to check and recheck it in order to keep myself accountable.

Last year I shared with you my Daily Studio Resolutions in this and this post. This list has pretty much stayed the same, so this year I will share with you my Weekly Studio Resolutions. I combine my Studio and Marketing lists in my Evernote, but for the purposes of this and the next blog post, I will only be sharing my Studio Resolutions.

  1. Work in the studio 25-35 hours These studio hours reflect the hours I’m actually in the studio making something, producing or experimenting. I made this resolution way back when I was still teaching 2 days a week at Tyler and even though I’m almost three years retired, I haven’t added more hours as I thought I would. What I have added are more hours devoted to things that contribute to the making such as reading and drawing, photographic journaling, hiking, etc. Keep in mind that depending on what I have to accomplish in the way of deadlines, etc. my resolution hours may fluctuate from as low as ten hours a week to 70 hours or more. However, these are extremes and will only occur a few times a year. My resolution is an average-a mark to determine my success or failure weekly and/or monthly. To see how I log my studio time hours, read the first item in Part 2 of My 2018 Resolutions in which I detail how I keep my Studio Notes.
  2. Experiment at least two hours each studio day OR 1-2 days per week If you’re a regular reader of Art Bite, you may have read my recommendation for devoting a percentage of studio time toward experimentation, better known as the 40/60 principle outlined in this post. It is very important to do this in order to consistently grow and evolve your work. But as with anything, the world of ‘shoulds’ gets in the way which is why I consider it my most important resolution. If you find it difficult to devote time toward experimentation, either follow my lead as explained in the post or actually block out a day each week to experiment. It isn’t imperative that you do this for exactly 40 percent of studio time, but it is so very important to make time for it even if it’s an hour per month.
  3. Watch/listen to 8-10 art videos OR podcasts I must confess, I have become a Youtube and Podcast junkie and as a result I changed this resolution from last year’s 2-4 videos/podcasts to 10-15 for this year because it reflects what I actually do. I listen while I work, while I drive, before I sleep in order to relax. I listen and watch a variety of subjects, all inclusive my listening time is way over 10-15 but I want to make sure that a portion of my listening time is devoted to art. My Instagram viewing included, I probably watch a lot more videos than this, so what I’m including here are only artist interviews, comprehensive painting demonstrations, product demonstration, artist biographies, etc. I do believe that the videos and podcasts are contributing to my studio work, not taking away from it and that is why I increased the hours. Sometimes watching videos, even if they are about art, can become a substitute for studio work and we must be careful not to let that happen.

When you do make your list, print it out and sign it. Put it somewhere that you can see it and also keep it on your phone so you refer to it and be reminded of it often. If it’s your first time making a list like this, it will need to be adjusted a few times. Most importantly, don’t make these resolutions and forget about them by mid-February! Really try to stick to them and if you find yourself failing, adjust the list accordingly. If you’re having difficulty making a list like this and/or keeping to your resolutions, please don’t hesitate to contact me for a mentoring appointment-the start of a new year is the best time to begin….

Wishing you all an amazing year of Studio Resolution keeping and creatively productive time in the studio!