Am I posting more vacation pics? Yup.
Does it relate to my art? Maybe. Maybe not.
Summers off is one of the best things about teaching- and believe me, I enjoy every second of mine! After Charleston, John and I headed on up Highway 17 to catch the ferry for Bald Head Island to spend some time with family, and then it was one to Austin for our third Fourth of July with Willie Nelson.
Oh, I'll get to the art
(or try to relate it somehow)
Second part of the trip,
Bald Head Island, NC
3rd and final stop...Austin, Texas!
(Note: this was ALMOST a FOUR-PART trip! We had a lengthy layover in Nashville. Had it been one day difference we might have stayed and visited our friends, but that didn't work out but thankfully, our flight to Austin did!)
Not pictured- my art set up. In Bald Head Island I worked at the indoor and outdoor tables, usually at night after dinner. (and let me tell you, Mino made sure we ate like royalty! The BEST food- wow!)
In Austin the place we rented had a great couch with a chaise lounge on the end right by the window...John already knew where my art spot would be! I would work there late night when we got back from our Austin shenanigans.
I was originally planning on just working with markers for my July series, so that's what I brought with me but when I made it back home I added some paint to the new pieces. My original plan worked better for traveling.
For the most part the explanations will be in the captions...wish I could make 'em bigger.
And just like that, after walkin' around in my twirlin' dress I found 'Ru' in Charleston. I went home that night and finished my last piece in the series- RuPaul, of course! (after we succumbed to a food coma and woke back up to watch some soccer) The next day it was time to 'sashay away' with my finished series all packed up as we continued up the road, headed north.
I wanted to say more about the series, but all I need to say is that I appreciate what RuPaul has done for the art form of drag, and for bringing the stories of all the queens to be heard. I have never watched an episode where I didn't laugh, sometimes even cry- I am always inspired by the talent and the tenacity of the contestants and my goal was to capture the personalities of the winning queens, and some of my favorites, too.
Honestly, I have been wanting to attend this program for a while. The main deterrent for me was always money as I knew I would be paying everything out of pocket. This past fall, when I was at the FAEA conference, I passed the SCAD booth in the vendor hall per usual and got some info from the table. I saw that there was a $100 off coupon on the marketing...okayyyyy. Maybe that was a sign?
When I got back to my hotel room I saw that one of the classes being offered was FASHION ILLUSTRATION! That was definitely a sign. When I returned from conference I registered for the SEF- and I am so glad that I did.
If you are 'always on a budget' like me let me assure you that this really is a great value. For the cost of registration your lodging is included. Now, it ain't the Hilton folks- it's a dorm, but it sure better than the dorm rooms I knew back in the day! You also get ten meals at the dining hall (which is right next door...many food options, and it's good!) They also had an opening and closing reception with drinks (!!) and passed hors d'oeuvres and I gotta say- it was pretty fancy. There are afternoon and evening activity options that add to the value of the experience (both monetarily and overall). Materials are included for your two workshops. Literally, you could just show up and everything you need will be there. Oh, and transportation while you are there is taken care of- and believe me, you will appreciate those moments in the AC...Savannah in the summer is hottttttttt!
That first day is really just getting there and getting moved in. They had a general meeting for everyone at the art museum with a really inspirational speaker and then a reception in the lobby area. I headed out after with my roommates Jen and Heather to get pizza. We made sure to get back and get some rest for our first full day.
Day 1- Monday
Now let me tell you, I brought SO MANY MSC ART SUPPLIES WITH ME. But let me also say- you really do NOT need to. They literally give you what you need. I didn't believe it, but they really do. We only had three people in our 4BR unit, so I laid out all of the supplies I brought so my roomies could have access to them as they wanted, which that was fun, but if you are flying or just don't want to bring a ton of stuff- don't, you'll be fine.
The only thing that I needed for my first day in the fashion illustration workshop was exactly what SCAD/Lara provided; a large sketch pad, a kneaded eraser and a pencil. Perfect. I was so excited about this workshop- it was the reason that I signed up for the SEF in the first place. I felt pretty okay about my skills, I have probably made at least five hundred or more fashion illustrations over the years...but ya'll, it's all self taught. I never had a formal class in fashion illustration. I have just applied what I knew from my own drawing and figure drawing classes in college, from books and tutorials and from my own aesthetic to drawing fashion and accessories. I know that I have spent hours upon hours pouring over fashion magazines and watching Project Runway, sketching what I see...but I definitely still had a major 'impostor syndrome' moment or two...or three...
It was tough for me to go from just jumping in a intuitively drawing to trying to actually fit the proper proportion for a proper croquis. I know that I can take artistic license and add my own exaggeration and flair to the figures, but I was trying my best to do it the right way. I gotta tell you, I was feeling a little doubtful. But Lara is an amazing instructor and by the end of class I felt less discouraged and more excited about what I still could learn to improve my work.
The class was from 9-1 with a break...I definitely wished it was longer. The bus came to pick us up, dropped us off at the dorms and then it was up to us to use our time for lunch, etc. That particular day the dining hall was REALLY busy and I felt overwhelmed...so if you go pay attention to the hours, you don't have to go at the busiest time. Also, there is a little door on the exterior that leads to a convenient store, you can use your meal voucher for up to three items.
Day 2- Tuesday
For my second workshop option I chose the Leather Bag class with Angela Bacskocky. I had NO previous experience working with leather but I enjoy hand sewing and accessories so I figured it would be a good workshop for me...and I was right.
Highlights of the day...getting' kicked out of our assigned building because of all the hammering (or 're-assigned' for the next class..you can't use those mallets quietly, just ain't possible), meeting Melissa in person, beginning my leather bag...and tea at the Gryphon! I had no idea what the Gryphon was and I almost didn't sign up...but it was the BEST! If you go- sign up for this activity. Better yet, wear a fun hat and some white gloves- it's super fun and fancy.
Day 3- Wednesday
Later that night after lunch (and I can't remember if that was the day that Jen and I went to Blicks...?) The buses picked us up to head over to Tybee Island for dinner. They had a nice area set aside for us on the pier with catered food. If you are reading and you go to SCAD for the SEF here's a tip, definitely buy one of those gnat sprays and bring it with you...and make sure that you walk to the end of the pier and also out onto the beach, it's really calming and will give you a few minutes to quietly reflect on how lucky you are to have this experience.
Day 4- Thursday
The final day!
Long story short, instead of finishing my other strap I finished the one and learned how to do the final stitching and then turned my attention to embellishing the unfinished bag with some scraps I brought in, determined to get that part complete. I totally did! Did my hands hurt? YES. Ouch. But- it felt great to know that I made that leather bag from scratch with my own two hands...which really did hurt, did I mention that?
After that final workshop I spent time by myself walking around downtown Savannah, checking out the squares, wandering in shops and just doing whatever I wanted at my own pace. I even took myself out for tacos #TreatYoSelf
That night was our final event, each person had a small piece in the show. Food, drinks, a dj, cool space...and then it was time to get packed up (and work on my daily art, of course)
Friday-Time to head back to Florida
...and plan my next trip back to SCAD for another Summer Educator Forum!
Originally my idea was to create white drawings on black paper. I was pretty confident in my decision. I found the black pad of paper, bought a couple new white colored pencils and a new white gel pen and packed those in my bag to take on our trip.
And then I made the work;
I just wasn't feeling it. I felt like this might be a better idea for October- the images just looked 'ghost-like'. Plus, I kept seeing all the pride flags for June and all that COLOR just called out to me.
So I just decided to change the theme, to go with something more colorful, to go with my gut. But I wasnt sure exactly what to focus on, like- what is the most COLORFUL theme I could possibly choose?
...and then I heard a little
voice in my head say;
And when 'Mama Ru'
speaks, you listen.
If you know me, then you know I love some drag queens- and I LOVE watching RuPaul's Drag Race. The costumes, the choreography, the makeup- I love it, every single sequin and 8-count. It is such an art form, and I really appreciate what they do. And I support Pride month.
So this month to my favorite queens from the show, starting from season one through season eleven. I am depicting each of the season winners along with some of my personal favorites. Towards the end of the month I will be including some of the 'All Star' winners and I think we all know who the final piece of the month will be;
Here are the first nine queens;
NOTE: I just realized I skipped over the season 2 winner! Sheesh! No shade, I promise- just an honest mistake. Looks like I will have an extra piece in there this month!!
Will try to get that one added tomorrow or later this week...don't want the order to get too cray. -JLG
So far summer break is great and I am LOVING every second. I told my husband I wanted to turn in my keys on the last day of school, jump in the car and go on a road trip- so we did!
Our first stop was Asheville to see our friend, Frank. He and John have known each other since elementary school and have stayed friends.
I claimed a spot at Frank's table to be my 'studio' space for the duration of the trip. At the time, I felt like I knew what I wanted to do for June- a series of my 'big eyed gals' (perhaps a version of my 'Butterfly Bellas') using white colored pencil on black paper. I had found a pad of black paper before we left for our trip, everything was packed. I was pretty sure that this is what I wanted to do for the month...until I wasn't. More on that in a bit, or maybe the next post...
On the way home we made a pit stop in Savannah. I'll actually be going back later this month for a week-long workshop and I can't wait! One highlight of the night (besides pizza at Vinnie Van Go-Go's!) was stopping by the Arts and Crafts Emporium. I feel like the name has changed (?) but years ago I actually used to sell my angel paintings there. I rented a small space and would re-stock my work there when I could, but it spanned the time that we lived in NC and even CA so it was a little tough. To me, if I made enough in sales to cover my monthly rental it was worth it- and I did that every month (!) and even had some months where I made above that, too. My biggest success there was when the owner of an event company from Boston purchased one of my angels, and then contacted me to create a HUGE order for an upcoming event she was hosting. It was definitely worth my time. Who knows, maybe I will try it again.
And THAT is how I started my summer- a fun road trip to the mountains with my man. We were originally going to head to Key West but I think the cooler mountain temperatures were just what we needed.
And I worked on my art BUT, I decided to switch it up after day four- gonna put that in the next blog post.
I am hoping that for summer I can do a better job updating my blog and get my final art pieces updated faster. Figure if I put it out there then maybe that will happen.
Well- surprise! Cat's outta the bag. They all were excited to receive their gift!
...and then I had some days left and I was trying to decide who I wanted to draw...and I didn't have to think about it too much because I looked to my immediate female support system.
Overall with this series it is overwhelmingly female. In fact- my original intention was to make it all female, but then I had two male seniors...and my colleague is a man. So I did make those exceptions, but the rest stayed true to my original intent- portraying those that inspire me, a large part focused on my students.
Lord knows I love a secret art project, and this one took a while but I made it happen!
(If you don't know who she is, she's kinda the elementary art teacher that every art teachers wishes that they had as a kids, total rock star and definitely a forced to be reckoned with. She was our FAEA keynote speaker this past October, click here to read my blog post!)
Thought 3: I would love to make a version of that- but one that fits my style more....like...as in it's gotta be black or in ain't happening.
(I joke that if I even think about wearing white the garment gets a stain...but it's not a joke)
So I started working on this top secret project.
I decided that instead of using student artwork, that I would use my graduating seniors signatures. I found a dress on sale, a black faux wrap dress that is all me and took it to school. Two challenges I faced right away were that I wanted to keep it secret- and also I was running out of time since the seniors were finishing up early. To handle the first challenge I wrapped the dress around a box and taped it down, leaving only a section at a time open for my students to 'autograph' with puff paint. I would take it off and reposition it every few days to try and get the signatures on different areas, but also to control where the writing was going on the dress. I didn't want them to know what it was, they thought it was a t-shirt- I just let them think that. Challenge two was time- I did my best to get all the seniors to sign it, but it was pretty tough with testing and some of them bring exempt from exams.
I brought the piece home and laid it out with some cardboard under it to 'connect' the signatures with the puff paint and add some additional designs, planning for the design to be asymmetrical to mimic the diagonal of the 'faux wrap'. Then I bagged up my dress form to protect it, watered down some acrylic paint, put the dress on the dress form and took it outside to spray with layers of paint in teal, purple and blue. I repeated this process a few times until the design was filled in the way that I wanted.
I think I did a pretty good job making my own version of Cassie's 'kid's art dress';
Oh wait- ya'll know I had to ACCESSORIZE this look, right?
I decided it was the perfect time to wear the bag that
my student Tahisha hand painted for me!
After THAT...nothin' left to do but watch these kids GRADUATE!
I love you class of 2019!
...just a gal trying to get this art out of my soul to share with the world on a DAILY basis...no big deal...check out my ramblings!-JLG