Artist Spotlight part 2: Diana Trout – upcoming teaching events

When I introduce you to an artist who is also a great teacher I love to get out the word about where she is teaching next. Diana Trout, who I introduced recently, teaches some wonderfully fun classes that I want to jump right in and take.
I asked Diana the big question – WHY she teaches.
Diana: I started teaching kids in my studio when my kids were young. My neighbors and friends were after me to set it up so I did and discovered that I love it. A lot of what I was doing with the kids was to foster creative problem solving along with good foundations in art and confidence in art making. After a bit, it seemed to me that adults would benefit from my teaching style. 
Teaching feels like a mission. I had no guidance as a child or adult and had to find the path to art without any encouragement. It feels like a privilege to be able to help guide and encourage adults and children and foster their love of art making.
Anything coming up you’d like me to promote?


My DVD, Playful Paper Backgrounds, from Cloth Paper Scissors is now available. It is loaded with techniques on watercolors, paste paper, inks and a section on designing and carving your own rubber stamps (emphasis on design). 

I’ll be teaching at 

October 7-12, 2010. This is a relatively new art retreat that I’m very excited about. I’ll be teaching 
Rescue Book Journal, ColorWheel Journal Quilt, 
Acrylic Glazes & Collage, Journal Spilling Watercolor, 
Journal Spilling Layers 
and Port Townsend, here I come! 
JournalFest, Port Townsend, WA
October 27-31, 2010
Journal Spilling Watercolor, Rescue Book Journal, ColorWheel Paper Quilt
There are still spaces available at both of these retreats. If you are in the area go check them out! And….. I’ll be giving away a copy of Diana Trout’s book, “Journal Spilling” to one lucky reader next week right after I review it for you. Leave comments on this post, on the upcoming review, or on the first spotlight I did of her.

ATC’s, Spring, Books, Workshops

There are 9 ATC’s left to go out with the Surface Design Sampler Platter DVD orders! I’ll let you know when they’re gone. I’ve heard back from a couple of you that have watched it – I’m so glad you’re enjoying it! I’d love to put up any artwork you make using the techniques taught in the DVD in the student gallery on my website.

I love spring. What is it about sunshine and a little bit of warmth that gets me all pumped up to work in the studio? I should be itching to be outside. I do face the windows most of the time I’m working and it’s a lovely view. North Carolina is such a green place.
I did go outside to my little garden nook last week to finish up the first layout edit of my book. It’s done and off to the designer again. I’ll see it for one final check before it goes to print. I think I’m going to call the book my 6th child. It’s taken longer and been almost as painful at times to create it. I’m thinking the rewards will be much more immediate – no crying at 2 a.m. or teenagers who talk back. 
Enough rambling. I wanted to point you to a really great blog post titled, “How to make the most of an art quilt workshop” by Elizabeth Barton over at “Art & Quilts, Cogitations Thereon.” My favorite part of her post talks about pre-planning and runs through a great list of questions to ask yourself before signing up for a workshop. It’s a great idea to know ahead of time if you are looking for a technique or a project class. Do you want to just understand and absorb the thinking of an artist you really admire? Are you happy to just hang out with friends? Do go and read her post – it’s chock full of great information.
Most of the classes I teach are technique classes with a bit of a project thrown in. Projects seem to appeal to the more traditional quilters who have a little niggling desire to be an artist hidden away in the corner of their heart. That’s my personal crusade these days – helping those desires to come out of hiding. 
In that vein – here is a link to Fabrications – a week long retreat from Aug 30 – Sep 4. I’ll be teaching “The Elements of Art” for the entire week and I couldn’t be more excited. It will be a chance to delve deeply into the visual language, to learn the principles of good design.  We’ll start from the very beginning (a very fine place to start…) and work until we have a good understanding of the basics (do, re, me…). By the end of the week you’ll have a good start on a composition and have lots of supportive feedback so that you can keep the creative juice flowing when you get back home.
I’d love to see you there – and happy spring!

Quilting Arts DVD Workshop

!!! IT’S HERE !!!

(well, almost)
All that work and all that fun I had during February has come to fruition. I took a peek at Quilting Arts website today and there it is – my new workshop on DVD. I haven’t seen the tape yet but it’s available for pre-order here.

May I just take a moment to say… “WAHOOO!”

What’s it all about you say? Well – let me tell you. Surface Design Sampler Platter will give you a little taste of a bunch of different surface design techniques. A little stamp carving, a little stencil cutting, a little screen printing, foiling, and photocopy transfer. Sound fun? Totally!

Salsa in the Studio

I’ve spent this month working furiously toward another deadline – when am I not? I’m filming next week with Pokey for Quilting Arts TV season 4 as well as a Quilting Arts DVD Workshop.
As usual, I’m not getting enough sleep but better than usual – I’m being fairly productive in the studio. Of course the little ones are enjoying the free reign through the house. A new disaster awaits every time I exit my little enclave of art.

I hate the way my brain feels when I’m tired but I think I’ve found a cure. Nope – no caffeine for me. Music. Duh!!! you say. Well it’s been a long time since I’ve had music in the studio. This past year I’ve had to have no music while writing the book. I used to be a musician and find myself much to involved in the music when I listen so I had to have it quiet.
The upbeat music is like caffeine for my brain. Each day seems to have a theme. Classic 50’s Rock-N-Roll for a day, Big-Band Swing the next. Today it’s Latin. Right now it’s “Salsa Celtica.” Did you know your feet can dance while your hands draw? Next time I think it’s be Newgrass and Folk, then Celtic.
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