Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas from C.Andrews studio

Merry Christmas from C.Andrews studio on the beautiful California coast!

May your day be filled with family, friends and good cheer
And as Tiny Tim reminds us " God Bless us all, everyone"

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Altered Books Club swap offering

Greetings Everyone,

Well its that time again-yes of course Christmas but also Altered Books Club !
This is the first completed art of our much delayed 3rd swap. The first book that I've had the privilege of creating art for was Cindy's.  Cindy picked the theme of The Hunger Games . This is a wonderful series that takes place in a typically teen readers Dystopian America. Now for those of you who think this book is all about Children killing Children so you won't read it-please reconsider. Yes the backdrop for these books takes place in a post war America that has instituted Roman type games
where children are drawn by lottery to fight to the death.  But that's not what these books are all about.  Like Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter the Hunger Games Series is about Love, sacrifice and finding the courage to do what is right rather than what is easy. I once thought that I was not interested in this series and would never read it but I changed my mind and was rewarded with a trilogy that I am very sure will become a new classic.

So I bet you are asking yourself what does the image above have to do with all of this? And what exactly is it?  Pictured above is a scene right out of the book.  One of the main characters:Peeta Mellark is a bakers son.  He is kind and artistic  He also decorates the cakes at his fathers bakery. During the course of the books he is compelled for his own survival to disguise himself as part of the woodland landscape around him.  Above you can see Peeta disguised like the rocks near a river.
So I am really hoping that I was successful enough with this spread that you are now curious enough
to wonder how is was made.
This is a textural collage in 3-D relief.  I started with the only image I could find of Peeta disguised during the games.  I knew that I wanted his face to be 3-D and be slightly raised off the page. On top of the collaged image I sculpted Peeta's face using Creative Paperclay. Although I used to sculpt dolls this is the first time I have sculpted in relief. It is also my first time using Paperclay. It isn't as fine a material as my usual polymer clay but I think its a little stronger.  You also have the advantage of not having to bake it. The wet paperclay sticks to almost any surface but air dries in 24 hours.   Over the paperclay Peeta and the rest of the page I used a mixture of Golden's molding paste and Coarse Pumice Gel to simulate the rock texture. Then the page was painted using Golden's fluid acrylics and sealed with Krylon matte spray.  I also added real dried moss, bits of bark, silk leaves and sticks.
Over all I was pleased with the rock look but the image didn't quite resemble the actor from the film as closely as I intended. But it was a fun inspiring project and I urge you to try paper clay as well.
Well that's it and as they say in the book:

Happy Hunger Games and may the odds be ever in your favor...

Friday, November 30, 2012

Farallone View Winter Festival

Greetings everyone!
I very quickly wanted to invite you all to the Farallone View Winter  Festival tomorrow- Saturday December 1st.  As an added bonus I will be sharing my spot with Maureen Barton this year  so this will be a blast!  Together we will be offering one of a kind Christmas ornaments, Jewelry and small collage.  This year I will be offering puzzle piece ornaments, tin ornaments, paper mache ornaments, glass glitter skull ornaments and a few Chandelier crystal ornaments.  I will also be offering shrink art and Domino jewelry,  mini canvas textural collages and don't forget my pretty push pins!  As an added bonus I will also have a sale basket-all items for $1.00!

The festival opens at 10:00 for adults and as usual Children can shop earlier at reduced fees from 9:00am to 10:00am.

Entrance is free and there will be food and drink available as well as performances by the Cunha Glee club, face painting, a cake walk and last but not least Santa will be making his appearence to take photos with the children.  Now who can resist Santa!

Its that time of the year to give and receive some Holiday Cheer so come by and join the  fun!

See you tomorrow!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving from coastal California!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Greetings Everyone

You know one of the things that I love about collage is that you can combine images, texture and paint to create the landscapes of your imagination.  

This weekend I invite you to step into my creative world at the Colony of Coastside Artists Open studios. The Coca Open Studios features 13 different locations from Half Moon Bay to Montara and is a unique opportunity to talk directly to each individual artist.     Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 4pm I will be at Patt Sheldon’s studio at 238 Palma street in El Granada.  Between the two of us,  Patt and I will be offering a wide array of gifts items from fiber arts and jewelry to mixed media, collage, and assemblage.  All special one of a kind items at reasonable prices for holiday gift giving.  This holiday season to show our appreciation for our customers both Patt and I will be offering a free gift for any purchase of $50.00 or more.  Maybe a little something special for yourself?

This year instead of going to a hectic overly crowded mall to buy a gift that a hundred other people will buy as well ; come to the CoCa Open Studios. There is no entrance fee; you can relax and unwind in a beautiful setting; you can eat and drink your way while visiting each studio and purchase  truly unique gifts directly from one of the talented local artists.   Not only will you be getting some of your holiday shopping done but you can have fun doing it! And an added bonus is that you will be helping to support local arts and artists.

 What could be better?

For a map and listing of all studio locations you can go to the Colony of Coastside Artists web site at www.colonyofcoastsideartists.com.  New this year CoCa now has a scanable square so that you can get the Open studio map on your smart phone!   Also all studio locations will have a brochure with the map available. 

If you have any questions please feel free to email me at connie@isbjorn.com



See you at Open studios!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween and Happy Haunting everyone!

Even though its a soggy Halloween out here in Montara people are out in droves!  I would still be too if my feet weren't so wet.
Again this year I am amazed and inspired!  Let me try to describe the surreal landscape here:  The witches house with its pair of green meanies cackling and handing out candy to the children surrounded by at least a hundred carved pumpkins, homemade haunted houses around every corner, one residence projecting old classic black and white monster movies on the garage door,residents out in front of their houses with braziers burning and handing out hot drinks to shivering parents, hundreds of people in the streets-characters of every variety: the phantom of the Opera, medieval maidens, Fred Astaire in top hat and tails,a NASA astronaut, Harry Potter, the Avengers,ghosts and monsters of every variety all as different as their human counterparts. And its not just the kids that are dressed.  Most of the parents are in costume as well participating in the festivities usually with a cup of coffee or some more potent beverage in hand.  Even some pets were out enjoying themselves: here, a dog dressed up like a butterfly, over there, another dressed as a hot dog. Lights, sounds, music and laughter everywhere!
Now some might look at this and think: this is just another instance of  a decadent, spoiled and silly America.  But I know differently.
Americans have had four very difficult, depressing years. Even those that live in the constant bubble of Hope and Change cannot have failed to notice that costs for everything have risen substantially. Many have been laid off, lost their homes and lost their savings and retirement. Many are working more hours or several jobs just to make ends meet.  Hope in the land of Hope has faded.  But I see the festivities around me not as a frivolous entertainment by a decadent dying society but as a symbol of an enduring America. One that will ever strive to give its children happy memories that may serve to help them endure in the future.  One that will pick itself up and dust itself off and start again because that is the American spirit.
Yes I am sure there are those reading this post that are rolling their eyes or making jokes. There are those that think I am corny or naive or just stupid.  That's OK.  Have at it.
I know that the same spirit that drove people to these shores, that created a new country based on laws, that endured a bloody Civil War, ended slavery and carried men and woman across the plains in wagons lives on. I'm not embarrassed by it. Not afraid to talk about it. I'm proud of it. I am proud of being an American.
You see Americans will not allow adversity to take away our hopes and dreams.  And so we will celebrate Halloween to the fullest as a manifestation of the American spirit.  We will carve out a space in adversity for our hopes and dreams and we will endure.

America might have been beaten down but it is not beaten.

Happy Haunting America!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Art Abandonment

Welcome everyone!
I just abandoned my first two pieces of art!   Yes I know this makes me a bad mother but it was strangely satisfying.
So what is Art Abandonment?  That's simple: you create a little work of art and leave it in a random place as a gift for whoever might pick it up. I left a little note inside the package with an explanation and my email address so that if so inclined the recipient might email me the fate of the poor little abandoned piece of art.  To read more about this please read Michael DeMengs blog at http://michaeldemeng.typepad.com/art_abandonment/
Why am I doing this?  That's a little more complicated.  Since I started trying in vain it seems to at least eat from my creations I've felt the press of survival mode kicking in.  In other words: I have to look at every piece I create as if it already has a price tag on it. I feel serious and "clenched". Every piece has to be a masterpiece since I have to sell to eat. I create art that I know will sell instead of experimenting with new ideas and techniques. By abandoning a little work of art I feel I am acknowledging what I know to be true: that not everything you create will be a masterpiece-nor should it. By abandoning a piece of art I am forcing myself to release it without the price tag that makes me feel serious and clenched.  This in turn reminds me that without experimentation
I am less creative and that means stagnation and ultimately the death of my own artistic life.

Abandoning one of my babies is also a way of giving back a little.  All along my struggle for the past three years, many people have given me gifts that have helped me to survive depression and doubt: a gift of candy for Christmas, a little tin box filled with art stuff, a bag of apples,cookies or the gift of support and friendship. These are priceless things to me.  By abandoning a work of art maybe I can reach out to someone else in need in the only way I can right now.
What did I abandon and where? You can see one of them above. Yes this is a check-it Domino pendant.  I left it at an appropriately sunny cafe in Montara California. The second piece you can see  below:
This little matchbox shrine was left at the Pt. Montara Lighthouse.  Abandoning this piece was difficult because I forced myself to leave it outside. There's that masterpiece, serious thing again.
I must have walked around the place for an hour before I found a spot that I could force myself to leave it. I am hoping the next time will be easier.   And no I won't tell you where!  If you want it go find it.  Hint:it is in a semi sheltered woody spot out doors.
How do you start abandoning your art? Either just do it or you can go to Mr. Demeng's blog above and watch his video.  From there you can join the facebook group Art Abandonment and give the gift of a little art. And remember to have fun!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

She danced with the Fairies and more at the studio

Greetings Everyone,
Yes I know I have been remiss in my blog posting duties.  Please forgive me but I have been very busy with last weekends new class "My Own Little World." You can view my sample above.  This was a very difficult class for me and in truth was probably the most complicated class to date.  Why?
Because the class objectives were to use all the collage techniques that we have studied to date to actually illustrate a scene- as if you were illustrating a book. 
Much collage is what I like to call representational. It tries to tell a story or represent an emotion or idea in a non literal manner. Here's an example below:

But as I started to participate in altered book swaps I found that there were full scenes that I would have like to have shown.  I became frustrated with my inability to find images of those scenes to collage around.  So I concluded that I would have to "create"  the scene myself.  But how do you do this? How do you collage different images and scenes together and make them appear as one piece?
I started with this piece below:
Here you can see a vintage photo of the pyramids in the distance and a woman from a classic painting in the foreground.  What pulls the two incongruous images  together are paint and texture, in this case pumice gel.
Here is another example from an altered book:
In this case I just collaged on two reference pictures (the woman and the castle)and literally painted the scenery around them I then  match the other elements I wanted to include in the spread with more painted scenery. There was no texture on this piece.
The most difficult part of this type of collage is just getting everything to match. Like a jigsaw puzzle you fit the pictures together until you can bridge the gaps with paint and texture.  The most important element to achieving this is proportion. Your images must be in proportion to the scene as a whole.  So needless to say the class spent the greater part of the first class day just trying to fit the pictures together. 
After you piece is composed then its just a matter of painting in more scenery to fill in the gaps in the picture.  The addition of texture is a great way to hide the joining of images and also adds a tactile and 3-d quality to the work.
This is definitely an advanced collage technique which I do not recommend to beginning collage artists. 
But speaking of beginning collage artists:  I am offering a beginning collage class this Sunday the 9th!  I highly recommend this class for anyone that is interested in collage.  This class is the place to start. Plus it  is a great value:  you receive a full day of instruction, instructions to take home for future use and a huge bag of papers,ephemera and found objects to start you out. Everything is provided in this class except paintbrushes and scissors.  I make sure that all beginning collage artists receive twice the value for the price of this class.And we go through everything: what to create on, products to use and where to find them, creating backgrounds from everyday objects and composition.
If you are interested in signing up please email me by Saturday afternoon at connie@isbjorn.com.  You can view a class sample below :
 Here are the particulars:
Sunday September 9th
Beginning Collage I
Description: Using the principles of composition we will explore ways to break through artistic barriers to discover the infinite possibilities of you!  We will start by learning about: Art surfaces, Mediums and acrylic paints. We will then progress to a simple background and finally create small collages using the techniques and principles discussed in class.
Items to bring: Please bring your favorite scissors and paintbrushes. All other materials are supplied including instructions and a large collage pack of items to use in class or take home.
Time: 10:30 to 4:00 (lunch break will be at 12:30)
Fee: $55.00
Class limit: 4 students
C.Andrews Studio is located at 103-1 Harvard st. in Princeton-by-the-Sea. 


Saturday, August 18, 2012

At the Farmers Market yet again!

Greetings everyone and welcome,

This is just a short note to say that tomorrow Sunday August 19th,  I will again be at the Farmer's market showing and selling my art.  This time I will be selling all alone so come by say hello and keep me company.
I will be inside at the Harbor shops in the Princeton Mall from 10:00 to 4:00pm.

I will have all my usual and unusual collage and assemblage pieces, shrink art jewelry, pretty push pins, altoid tins and an altered book display.

Don't forget about the fabulous local produce outside as well.  See you at the mall!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

At the farmers market tomorrow!

Greetings Everyone!

Just a little note to remind everyone that I will be at the Land and Sea Farmers Market tomorrow from 10:00 to 4:00.  This is held at the Harbor Shops in Princeton-by-the-Sea.  Patt Sheldon and I will be sharing a booth and representing The Colony of Coastside Artists with collage, assemblage, mixed media, fiber arts and jewelry. Between the two of us we will almost have some form of art for everyone. 

We will be located inside the mall so come on by and say hello!

See you tomorrow! 

Friday, August 3, 2012

August and September class schedule

Greetings Everyone!
I finally finished the C.Andrews Studio class schedule for August and September. Above you can see the August calender.  If you click on the picture you should be able to get a larger image of the calendar  Below is all the pertinent info about the classes with descriptions, times and fees. If you wish  to sign up for a class please email me at connie@isbjorn.com.    OK here goes:

August Class Schedule
C. Andrews studio

Saturday August 11th
Altered Books # 3-Pockets
Description: Don’t you just love finding that forgotten $20.00 bill in a coat pocket?   In this third class in the Altered Book Series we will learn two different techniques to add pockets to your Altered Book. And then the fun begins because now you have to fill them.  Remember you can never have enough stuff!
Time: 10:30 to 3:30pm

Sunday August 12th
UFO( unfinished objects) Sunday
11:00 to 4:00pm
$10.00 donation

Wednesday August 15th
Altered Books Club
6:00 to 9:00pm

Saturday August 18th
Beginning Collage I
Description: Using the principles of composition we will explore ways to break through artistic barriers to discover the infinite possibilities of you!  We will start by learning about: Art surfaces, Mediums and acrylic paints. We will then progress to a simple background and finally create small collages using the techniques and principles discussed in class.
Items to bring: Please bring your favorite scissors and paintbrushes. All other materials are supplied including instructions and a large collage pack of items to use in class or take home.
Time 10:30 to 4:30
Fee: 55.00
Class limit: 4 students

Sunday August 19th
Textural effects Sampler
Description: Further exploration using texture mediums in my popular sampler format. This time we will explore how to make specific looks (rock, tree bark, foliage, grass, water) using acrylic texture mediums.  This class was designed as a companion class to my new advanced Collage class “My Own Little World”. Using texture mediums is a great way to add interest, depth and reality or to hide the edges of separate collage images. Each student will walk away from class with a small tag sampler with attached instructions for future use.
Items to bring: Paintbrushes 
Time: 10:30 to 1:30
Fee: $40.00
Class limit: 4 students

Saturday August 25th
Altered Books #4- The Niche
Description: How can a book hold a 3 dimensional object?
By cutting a niche of course!
In this 4th class in the Altered Book Series we will learn to cut and prepare a niche to hold your special treasures, create a shrine or 3-D scene.
Items to bring: Your altered book and altered book kits that includes an xacto knife or box cutter and a cutting mat.
Time: 10:30 to 3:30

Sunday August 26th
Textural Effects Sampler
Description: Further exploration using texture mediums in my popular sampler format. This time we will explore how to make specific looks (rock, tree bark, foliage, grass, water) using acrylic texture mediums.  This class was designed as a companion class to my new advanced Collage class “My Own Little World”. Using texture mediums is a great way to add interest, depth and reality or to hide the edges of separate collage images. Each student will walk away from class with a small tag sampler with attached instructions for future use.
Items to bring: paintbrushes
Time:10:30 to 1:30
Fee: $40.00
Class limit: 4 students

September Class Schedule

C.Andrews studio

Saturday September 1st / Sunday September 2nd          **      Advanced Weekend Workshop ******         
My Own Little World
Description: In this advanced workshop we will experiment with methods to add separate collage images seamlessly by using texture and paint.  The goal is for every student to leave class with their own personal fantasy world collage based on that students favorite images or own photos on a 9 x 12 canvas.
Items to bring: Paint brushes, scissors, personal stuff, images
Time: 10:30 to 4:00pm
Limited to 3 students
Fee: $140.00

Saturday Sept. 8th
Altered Books #5 -The Cover
Description: In this last part in the Altered Books Series we will explore the Cover. The Cover is a 3-D surface that can be used to set the subject and add mystery or magic to your book. It can be simple or elaborate. Come and explore ways to make your cover the item that prompts the viewer to pick up your book; open the cover and walk through a world of your creation.
Items to bring: Your altered book and altered books kit
Time: 10:30 to 3:30pm

Sunday September 9th
Beginning Collage II
Description: In this continuation of Beginning Collage I we will explore ways to bring more texture to your collages using everyday household materials.  Then we will create collages using a couple of my favorite compositional styles while learning some new tips and tricks along the way!
Items to bring: Paintbrushes and scissors.  All other materials will be supplied including instructions and a large collage pack of textured papers and items to use in class or take home. 
Time: 10:30 to 4:00
Fee: $ 55.00

Saturday September 15th
Textural Effects Sampler
Description: Further exploration using texture mediums in my popular sampler format. This time we will explore how to make specific looks (rock, tree bark, foliage, grass, water) using acrylic texture mediums.  This class was designed as a companion class to my new advanced Collage class “My Own Little World”. Using texture mediums is a great way to add interest, depth and reality or to hide the edges of separate collage images. Each student will walk away from class with a small tag sampler with attached instructions for future use.
Items to bring: paintbrushes
Time: 10:30 to 1:30
Fee: $35.00

Sunday September 16th
UFO(unfinished objects ) Sunday
11:00am to 4:00pm
$10.00 donation

Wednesday September 19th
Altered Books Club
6:00 to 9:00pm

 No classes September 22 through 29.  I will be getting ready for Pumpkin Festival!! 

All classes are taught at C.Andrews Studio at 103-1 Harvard st, Princeton by the Sea. Please email me at connie@isbjorn.com if you need instructions to the studio.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

An update of many things

Welcome everyone!
So what have I been doing that's made me silent so long?   Tons! Mainly creating new works, experimenting with new techniques and finishing some UFOs.  You can see one of those UFOs above.  I call her Madonna of the flowers.  She was started a couple of years ago while I was teaching my molding paste class.  The Madonna is an experiment in the combination of collage, texture mediums and decorative papers. Added to that mix are little paper punched flowers that I acquired at an art flea market a couple of years ago at Luna's Memories.  Miss Madonna is weird, wild and colorful.  I liked the results of this experiment so much that I have created another collage with this technique.  You can see Flora below.

I  have a third collage planned for this series called Primavera.

I have also been very busy creating my new book cover collages.  You can see three of them in person at Here Comes the Sun on Highway one in Montara and I have also added three collages to my etsy store.  Here's a closer look at a couple of those collages.

Right now I am in the midst of some new designs for my ever popular mint tin shrines. Here's a preview of one of my new designs.

( click on any of these pictures you can see a larger version. )

Other news:  On  the altered book club front I believe that we will be starting a new swap in September so look for altered book posts in the near future. 
As for classes I will be posting a new schedule soon.  Included on this schedule will be  a new advanced collage class at the beginning of September but I am still trying to decided what to teach in August. Hummmm... Any suggestions?  In any case I will have a schedule out soon so please look for that as well.
Announcement: This Sunday the 29th from 10:00 to 4:00pm I will be at the Farmer's Market at the Princeton Mall.
All the artists are inside the mall so look for me there. Come on- dig yourself out of the house this weekend and come down and say hello. I will have several of my new designs available as well as some of my usual products like push pins, mini collages and shrink art pins. Patt Sheldon will be selling  her beautiful jewelry and very soft fiber arts there with me. And don't forget about the yummy local produce outside the mall.

Con's review of the Princeton Farmers Market 
As you probably recall I was showing work at the mall on June 17th for the first time.  I was pleased with the experience overall. Despite the issues that are part of  the inevitable consequence of dealing with other human beings (in this case some of the store owners) I felt that it was a positive experience and I had a blast. No I didn't make thousands of dollars but for an artist any chance to get your work out there and seen is worth the effort. Also worth it is the minimal fee being charged and the fact that I didn't have to haul my art to some show 50 miles away.  And I do believe that the mall is showing a small improvement in sales as a result of the market being there every Sunday. I definitely got a positive and excited response from the locals. Both of those facts can only benefit the community here on the coast as a whole.  So if you are a local artist think about applying to be part of this local event. 

Remember in tough time art is a lifeline.  So collage on!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Greetings everyone!
I have a couple of fun events planned for this weekend.  On Saturday at C.Andrews studio its Altoid tin shrine time! People ask me to teach this class over and over again because lets face it : Altoid tins are just cool.   I still have a couple of spots left in class why not come down and let me show you one way to turn these everyday tins into a piece of art that is uniquely your own!

On Sunday Patt Sheldon and I will be at the Princeton farmer's market. For any of you that don't know Patt she makes prize winning jewelry and she also weaves and knits incredible fiber creations.  I will be there with cards,shrink art,assemblage and my mini canvas collages. We will be inside the mall so come on down and say hello. There will be many other local artists as well offering unique creations.  Outside local farmers will be selling produce and other yummies. 

Saturday June 16th

Class: Altoid Tin Shrines
Description: Ever want to keep someone or something special close to your heart?  How about that small very precious gift?  Does it need a special place all its own? How about creating shrines to hold these special memories or gifts?  In this class using collage and assemblage we will create these special places inside altoid tins.  Your shrine can then be slipped into a pocket or purse to keep close to you at all times. Or it can be placed on a shelf as a special keepsake.  Pocket Shrines also make great gifts to give to a loved one.
Items to bring: Scissors, Paintbrushes, any special items small enough to fit into an altoid tin.
Time: 10:30 to 2:30 Lunch break at 12:30
Price: 35.00
Class size limit: 4 students

Monday, June 11, 2012

Went to the San Mateo County Fair!

I haven't been to a county fair since I left Fresno.  That's at least 15 years ago!  An art buddy and good friend of mine graciously invited me to go with her.  Patt has won a first prize for her bracelet entry this year.  It was a well deserved win because this bracelet is exquisite.  Congratulations Patt!
I think we did everything! ate barbecue pork ribs,fudge,Tai Ice Tea, (yes next time I will try the deep fried Oreo!) Looked through all the exhibits. Had a massage and tried out a temperpedic bed. We checked out the Midway:

And of course I had to see the animals!

I really love going to the county fair.  I love everything about it from the tacky stuffed animals to the colorful midway to the exhibits from local entries to the animals. There is something timeless about a fair. Nostalgic.  They seem to hearken back to an earlier era. Or perhaps that's just my farming roots talking.  Whatever it is I suddenly realized that it's important to participate and share you skills and talents with your community. It's a way of giving back to those around you.  So to this end I have made a promise to myself : next year I will enter a piece of artwork.  How about you?