Note: Okay, I have been totally slack about blogging but I do think it is important to document what goes on in my lil' creative world- if for no one else but me! So this post was added after the events ocurred, in this case my two art camps at the Armory...but...I did make time to add this post, 'cause it is important to me that I try to keep track of stuff like this...especially when it was so much FUN!! -JLG
What were we talking about? Oh yes, FASHION!
...FASHION CAMP, that is!
This was my second summer teaching fashion camp(s) at the Armory and I gotta say…THIS is what dreams are made of! The kids that sign up are SO focused and into their work…I mean…they REALLY love fashion. Sometimes it would be so quiet and I would think, ‘Oh my gosh- they are bored.’ I would look around and see all of my students fully engaged in not only their fashion sketches and related projects- but also in the work of their peers. I really love teaching this subject and in this format, it didn’t even seem like a ‘summer job’…just me, heading to the studio to hang out and talk fashion!
WEEK 5: July 5th-8th Fashion and Fabric Art
For my first week of camp my focus with the students was more illustration/2d-based. We talked about drawing proportions for fashion, coming up with a ‘fashion form’, creating inspiration boards (and original fashion designs!) for each season, creating a repeat pattern and we even had time to play around with some DIY jewelry and accessory fun!
WEEK 9: August 1st-5th Fashion Upcycled
The second week of camp was right on the heels of my trip to Kansas City…like, literally. I flew in Sunday, started teaching Monday. But it was worth it- pure art teacher heaven! I had another amazing group to work with, this time our focus was on one of my favorite things- upcycled fashion!
Why upcycled fashion...or anything for that matter? Well, I sure do like having a planet to live on and stuff...and I like to make thangs so...might as well combine the two. Plus, I am always creating on a budget, and recyling and upcycling sure does help with that.
I taught this camp just a little bit differently than my first week. I try to infuse as much 'choice' into my teaching as I can, whether in a camp format or in my regular classroom. For my first art camp I had a schedule for the week, but the students were welcome to work on any project once it had been introduced. For this week I approached it more like a group meeting in the morning where I would show them a technique (like tape transfers, basic sewing etc) and then I just added it to our project/technique list and they could work on anything they wanted, with the goal of at least trying everything- but the freedom to interpret it in their own way and put more time into exploring what appealed to them the most.
The result? Engagement. A quiet buzz of work. Discussion of their work without me prompting in any way. And many trips to Resource Depot on my lunch break...and so many hot glue sticks! They really used their time to create and as much as they wanted. I had some students that proudly took home almost a bag of creations EVERY day. When they would ask, 'how much can we make of ___________'. My answer would always be 'make 'til we run out of everything...then I will go get more!' And they would grab their materials and run happily to their spot in the studio- ready to be immersed in 'the make'. And this was the daily routine...meet, teach, make, discuss...then make some more. Here is my informal schedule/agenda:
I guess I should mention that upcycled jewelry...yeah, it's kinda one of my favorite things EVER. I SERIOUSLY LOVE IT! I brought in some of my own creations for inspiration, mostly statement necklaces.
I wanted to note that I DO actually WEAR these crazy pieces!! My husband usually questions me ('babe, are you REALLY gonna wear that?') and... I do! So, these pieces aren't just for show. Don't believe me? Look below- me, in public- wearing my crazy, creative creations!
I really do wear this stuff! From left to right: Pic with Sof in the dress I made using Art Hive Magazines... a reversible re-make of a cheap-o necklace I made to wear for two events during Art Palm Beach...Tshirt necklaces for my show at Harold's (my friends are wearing my creations, too!)...the greeting card necklace and a crayon necklace I made to wear on the first day of school! This isn't everything...just some of it!
...and now...here are the pics from camp!
...and that's it! Both weeks of camp exceeded my expectations...the students were off the charts-creative and so engaged in their work. I sure hope I can get another 'fashion fix' soon!
First things first...let's start with dorm life! Ummmmm...I miss my college days...EXCEPT for the dorms! It was everything I remembered, which is why my first order of business was to unpack, organize and do at least a little bit of decorating. Hey- this was my home for a week, so it had to be inspiring! (Anyone reading this that is maybe thinking about applying, dorm wasn't bad at all. Definitely bring your own towel and pillow, and don't forget shower shoes, a mirror and a lamp! #HotTips)
We started off our first evening at KCAI with a campus tour and great reception to welcome us. And then...well, it was off to sleep and start our day in the studio the following morning and begin what would be a fun and informative week. Our rock star instructor, Kim Eichler-Messmer was AMAZING. So knowledgeable. So talented. So super sweet! It's hard to give a true account of every single thing that we learned...but some of the highlights were tons of DYING with natural dyes, my favorite was the indigo dye...creating our own fabrics from shibori techniques...sashiko and machine stitching and tons of beadwork and embellishment for me, of course! I really enjoyed the format and pace of the week, Kim would teach us the new information via demonstration and hands-on experience, then turn us loose to create samples based on what we learned. The sound of fabric ripping off the bolt was pretty commonplace- because we were all really into our work and experimenting.
In addition to a beautiful campus, there were two major art museums nearby, and you better believe I made it to both! I stopped by the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in lieu of lunch early on in the week. They had two of the four galleries open, but good stuff.
On Friday the ArtLab folks reserved an area in the courtyard of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art...it was a beautiful space. I wandered around in the museum for a while, it was so much bigger than I expected- and that didn't even include the sculpture garden!
KCAI Educators ArtLab Final Exhibition!
At the end of the week we had a show in the painting building. My husband and his father actually flew in a couple of days before so they were there to attend the show, which was pretty special. In my mind, I had planned on making five pieces for the show but once I got to KCAI and started actually getting into the dying and stitching...I forgot about that and just let myself enjoy the work. I ended up showing one necklace that I worked on for most of the week, indigo dyed shibori fabrics, machine stitched and hand embellished using sashiko techniques and beads, everything sewn stitch by stitch, bead by bead- a true labor of love. I was bummed because I had planned to wear a piece I created at the actual show...but then at the last minute I grabbed one of my unfinished sashiko scraps, stitched it to my dress neckline, threw a large statement necklace on top with some extra bling I wired in for some temporary sparkle...and bam! A 'necklace installation' was created!
KC Family Time!
Not only was a part of the plan to go to KC the workshop...it was also to have a family trip! John, his father, sister and her husband were all there by the end of the week and we had a great time checking out the Raffaele's old haunts (he lived in KC back in the 1970's!) We had some laughs, we had WAY too much food and then we all headed back our separate ways...John and I headed back to Florida and they headed home to North Carolina.
I am still planning, packing and getting ready for what I know will be an AMAZING week at the Educators ArtLab (EAL) at the Kansas City Art Institute and that inspired today's #TBT from my blog archives...
Last summer I was hot off the heels of just over a month of Grateful Dead themed art series (#GratefulDeadArtJLG) and I went straight into a series I called #SurfacesJLG. The series started off with playing around with texture using paints and collage techniques...and somehow ended up with me beading like crazy on hand-dyed fabrics and digital prints on fabric.
For the most part now, my I usually draw and paint in my monthly art themes. Truthfully- the main reason is time. Fibers gets me just a little bit obsessed and takes over my life, and all that beading and stitching can take a toll on my hands that's for sure. But it is something that I love, and summer is the perfect time to revisit it because I have more time.
This particular blog post shows some of my works from my undergrad and grad school days, back when I first 'discovered' the wild and wonderful world of textiles...and I am looking forward to being back in a 'fiber studio' in just a few days!!
This is an oldie but a goodie, a little graphic I made with my little bit of computer skills a couple of years back...and just for fun, I am posting a link to an old blog post from 2015 so you can see just how big of an art nerd you are actually dealing with!
Happy Birthday, Gustav Klimt!!!
Happy Fourth of July out there!! It will be hard to tough last year's festivities...we were in Chicago for the Grateful Dead shows and I may or may not have did a twirl or two in my festive flag garb. This year ol' Johnny and I don't have anything really planned...but I am actually excited about that!
So, thank goodness for the good ol' US of A! I'll be quietly celebrating around here, making art and feeling thankful to be an American. Oh...and here are some 'red, white and blue' themed pieces I pulled from the vault! Happy 4th, be safe!!! -JLG
A while back, the thought had crossed my mind to 'repeat' a series. See, I did a series I called 'Shadows' back in August of 2012. At the time I was still in my first year of making art every day, and I was still kinda sticking to the suggested prompts from the Creative Every Day site. The prompt was 'shadows' and came across some amazing artists...got inspired...got distracted...and started focusing on 'winged things'...mostly butterflies. I extended the theme to include dragonflies, bees and even some lady bugs.
Here is a link to the series and some related info;
I enjoyed making those pieces so much, and I even sold many of them. And I am no stranger to butterflies. I have used butterflies in my work off and on as a recurring theme since undergrad.
In many cultures and beliefs butterflies are associated with souls, and I often think of those loved ones I miss when I see a butterfly, like that little glimpse of beauty is a reminder of that spirit that has passed.
Of course there is the transformation that the caterpillar goes through to become a butterfly. I can identify with that, I think we all can- we all hope that we can emerge from our 'cocoon'... our problems...insecurities...heartaches...tragedies...that we can emerge and rise from it all- into something full of beauty, like a butterfly.
Not only does the butterfly spread joy and beauty in a metaphoric sense- but it literally does, the beauty part at least. Fluttering from flower to flower, helping to pollinate, serving as food for other species, continuing the circle of life. I want to be like a butterfly, helping the people around me to grow and to find beauty.
And of course there is the 'butterfly effect'- that idea that small things can impact things on a larger scale (literally put in the most simple form, there is a TON of reading on this, on chaos theory, science, philosophy...blew my mind!) I liken it to the idea that small acts of kindness...or even the smallest acts of evil...impact us on a larger scale...which is why I do my #AngelDropArt.
Which reminds me, I need to get on making some angels, I have my work cut out for me, gotta put some light out there- lotta darkness lately. I digress.
So...these are my (random/stream of consciousness) thoughts on butterflies. I started my first piece last night working with graphitone and watercolor in a 5x7 format, drawing 'my girl' that I love to draw. I may work larger later, I may switch materials...but for now, it's a start. More to come!
Examples of butterflies in my work since 2012;