Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Art of Teaching . . .


"The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery." -- Mark Van Doren


Last week I had the opportunity to do something that I hadn't done in nearly 10 years: I got to teach again! 

In my former life as a retail Cosmetic Education Director, I conducted makeup artistry classes on a weekly basis as part of my job. And to be honest, I loved every bit of it. I loved sharing my passion for the products, supplies and techniques as much as I loved seeing the smiling faces of those I was working with. I always attempted to make the classes I taught educational as well as fun. I mean, as adults, if we're going to spend time in a classroom again, I figure it should be an adventure. So while my peers would get down to business in their regions, I was known to have classrooms full of singing students playing with play dough (not kidding - it's a great way to introduce color mixing) and chomping on ring pops. The lessons always came through, they just came by way of antidotes and whimsy. And although it's been a decade since my early career, I've always known that I would get back into teaching - in one form or another - one day

So the idea of my one day coming around - and teaching something that I'm completely and utterly in love with - is honestly a dream come true. Not only did I have a class full of lovely ladies eager to play with me and explore the world of Art Journaling, but I personally received so much from their excitement and enthusiasm. Really, the entire experience - 10 years in the making - was pure bliss. . . 

Of course I took process shots along the way so that I could share with you our day of play. Ready? Okay, here we go:

Student "Goodie bags" full of vintage little pretties

And lotsa fun supplies to play with

Here we are prepping with Gesso

And making our own painted papers

And decorative tapes

In bold, poppy colors

Painted by Sweet Hearts

Playing with paint chips and image transfers

And several Art Journal pages in progress

Full of whimsy

Elegance

And FUN!

Thank you friends, for sharing your art and heart with us all!

And thank you, for taking a peek into my exciting adventure in teaching. And the best news?! The venue has asked me to teach again in 2015! So I'll be back in Palm Desert, CA in April conducting a class on Mixed Media girls in all their drippy, sparkly fun. (More on that to come).



Speaking of drippy, sparkly fun, I hope you'll consider joining me and 25 fan-tabulous teachers for the biggest Mixed Media adventure of them all: Life Book 2015! I. Am. So. SO. Excited to be a part of the line up, and am anxious for the whole thing to begin in what is now less than a month away. If you're looking for an amazing gift to give - especially if to yourself - I hope you'll consider it. Having been a part of Life Book since it's inception, I can personally attest to it's powers of community, joy and education. It is honestly one not to miss. 


Join Life Book by popping over here


To love, art and the joy of teaching,
Kristin xo

Facebook

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Bitty Book!

A Bitty Book
{Altered Composition Book Cover}
3.25 x 4.5"

"A mighty flame followeth a tiny spark"
- Dante Alighieri


I was out with a girlfriend recently when she pulled out the tiniest little composition book you ever did see. Well okay, maybe you have seen one before, but I had not and I loved it! It was just like the old-school black & white books that come to mind, but only colorful. And itty-bity. And I knew right then what my next project would be. . . .

As luck would have it, an accidentally-on-purpose trip to the dollar store (where I had heard such tiny things live) shortly thereafter found me beaming over 3 little books bundled together. SO cute. And at 33 cents each, a guilt-free substrate to alter. 


I took my little books and some limited supplies with me during an outing with the family last week. And in case you wanted to see it, I took a ton of process shots along the way. Ready? Okay, go:

Protect composition book with wax paper and painters tape

Apply several coats of gesso and then sand for a smooth surface

Sketch girl and spray with workable fixative

Begin defining her features with watercolor and acrylic paints

Add heavier acrylic, gouache paints and black ink.

Final details include oil pastels, shimmer ink and plenty pops of white



And there you have it! A little bitty book. And now that she's done, I can't wait to try my hand at more. . . . 



Happy Friday, Happy Weekend and Happy PPF!



To Love & Art,
Kristin xo

Friday, October 31, 2014

"But I Have Nothing to Wear!"

 8 x 8 Birchwood Canvas
"But I Have Nothing to Wear!"


"Halloween is confusing. All my life my parents said, "Never take candy from strangers." Then they dressed me up and said, "Go beg for it." I didn't know what to do! I'd knock on people's door and go, "Trick or treat." "No thank you." 
-- Rita Rudner


Boo! I hope this finds you happy, well and in the process of stuffing your face full of candy. . . .

In the spirit of Halloween, I have a little vampire girl to share with you. It was actually Kendra's idea to give her vampire teeth, which in the end, worked perfectly with my idea to create a young, dark creature struggling with the problem of having nothing to wear for the occasion. Here's what we came up with:

Neck extending down the deeply cradled canvas

Fiber paste helped to create texture for the limited palette

And scribbly-swirls (I'm certain that's a word) define the sides

And here she is! Our little one concerned about her costume. 


I hope you & your little ghouls have a wonderful, happy Halloween!


See you at Party!


To Love, Art & Reese's Peanut Butter Cups,
Kristin xo


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Just For The Birds. . . .

"Just for the Birds"
Altered Matchboxes 

"Deep inside her heart, I was feeling my home like a hay made nest."
-- M. F.  Moonzajer


I've always loved birds. Pretty little bluebirds especially, but birds and nests in general always make me swoon. So much so, that I find myself drawn to anything sweet with a bird on it: sugar bowls, jewelry holders and even Christmas ornaments have made it home with me, but delicate as they are, they don't always stay pristine. Or, um, intact. 

So, over the years I've grown quite a collection of broken birds, broken wings and, naturally, other bits and baubles. I've always wanted to do something with them, but it wasn't until I saw some large & small matchboxes in a dollar store that it occurred to me: they needed a home! And these little would-be cottages seemed like the perfect solution. . . .



Wanna know how I got there? (I took a ton of process shots just in case):

I first applied several coats of gesso before playing with the composition

Fiber paste mixed with white acrylic created this push-and-pull texture

I then applied several washes of pastel paints, splattered grey acrylic, sepia and charcoal

(Weighing their options) 

Playing with the bits, baubles and plenty of things that sparkle

And securing the drawer "pulls" with wire

And the results? Tiny little altered homes. Just for the birds. . . .






Thanks for taking a peep! I'll see you around the Party!

To Love & Art,
Kristin xo



Sunday, October 5, 2014

LIFE BOOK Registration NOW OPEN!


"Enthusiasm is excitement with inspiration, motivation, and a pinch of creativity."
- Bo Bennett


It's here! It's here! Um, can you tell that I'm excited?! (Okay, well if it's not glaringly obvious, then let me tell you, I'm like a kid in a candy store. With an unlimited budget. And no parents around to stop me from eating my face off).  

Why you ask? Because registration for Life Book 2015 is Now. Officially. OPEN. 

As a matter of fact, it's SO OPEN, that I've made a little video to celebrate:


Wanna know more? You've got it! Just click here to read all about it. 



Pretty fan-ta-bulous, right?! (Eeeee, I know). Thank you for considering signing up through me, but either way, I can't wait to see you there!


To Love & Art
Kristin xo

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Somerset Life Cover & Life Book Winner!


"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."
- Eleanor Roosevelt
                  

I've always loved this quote. As a matter of fact, in my former life as a cosmetics instructor, I used to plaster all the educational materials I created with it. There it was - on the top of every page I handed out - my tiny sermon on the power of possibility. Truth be told, I don't know why it struck me so, but it's been my "go to" pep talk - if even to myself - ever since. 

So it seems fitting that on this day of exciting dreams come true, that I share my favorite quote with you. (And um, that I share what's so exciting). You see, in addition to being able to giveaway a FREE SPOT on Life Book 2015 today, I also get to express my oh-my-heavens-please-don't-let-me-pee-my-pants-in-public excitement as I just received the newest addition of Somerset Life and uh, I made the cover! Seriously, a cover girl?! Yes, Kristin, dreams really do come true. Thank you Mrs. Roosevelt, you were right all along. . . .


Now, on to more excitement! Who in the world won that FREE SPOT for Life Book 2015 that the lovely Tam from Willowing Arts allowed me to giveaway? Well, the random number generator did it's magic and - after removing all duplicate comments - the winner is (can you hear the drum roll?). . . .


Congratulations Gemma! Please send your email address to Kdvanvalkenburgh@msn.com and I'll get it right off to Tam & Gracie. 


Now, for those who have yet to win a space on next year's Life Book, please keep in mind that there are still chances to win by following the the blog hop. For more on that, just check out my post below

Of course, you can always join the old fashioned way by signing up when registration opens on October 6th. Should you decided to do so, I'd be ever so grateful if you'd consider signing up through me. As a Life Book instructor I receive credit when you join under me, which can be done by clicking on the Life Book link on my sidebar. Either way, it's gonna be a fun ride & I look froward to seeing you there!

To love, Art & Dreams Come True, 
Kristin xo