Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Absolutely a stunning weekend with HOLLY DEAN and thirteen creative and really talented students!!

Muse Journal created by Frankie Lemonde Meunier

When a truly talented Artist/Instructor (and amazing new friend) walks into a classroom, and not knowing any of her students, can take a group from "I don't think this is my bag" to "WOW...look what happened - I love it!" you have to know you are in a good place. Excitement reigned....

One of Holly's special MUSE JOURNALS, with mica...
We welcomed Holly Dean on Friday evening to deliver her evening talk at St. Lawrence College, and along with her came the beautiful work that so represents her special skills - her unique and evident talent as a painter, designer, mentor and coach! We knew from the table of beautiful art in front of us that this was going to be a great weekend of experimental PLAY!  The beautiful MUSE JOURNALS Holly brought for us to see and share over the weekend as inspiration were certainly a treat - and perhaps, for a lucky few, to take home to enjoy for a lifetime!

The Lecture evening audience on this busy spring Friday was small, but all enjoyed learning more about Holly and her work, her studio and her techniques. Most importantly, the smiles at the end of the day on Sunday underlined the grateful thanks the so well received instruction this very special artist brought our way was received ... and we will all look forward to more time with Holly in the future. (Needless to say, she comes HIGHLY recommended for other groups and Guilds.)

Holly with Hilary Scanlon, FW Coordinator, retired

The students took the lessons Holly shared to heart, and began their day on Saturday taking lots of notes and asking many questions about the paints and gel mediums that Holly uses most often and shared  during the "orientation" part of  Day One as a great jumping off point. 

We talked about the book board sets received in our "kit" prepared by Holly that contained everything we needed to create our Journals, save for paints and our own special touches. She walked us through the process for accepting the white canvas boards as our "all original, personal base for new art" - her challenge for the weekend. The paint palettes and paper plates which held the student's chosen colours came out along with a variety of brushes and the work began...

Favourites for use on the covers, GOLDEN Fluid acrylics

Holly walked us through the many options for using the paints we had brought from our stash and generously allowed us to use her paints to add some wonderful, luscious colour as needed. We learned much great information about the properties of the various paints and gels as we worked through the project on Saturday.

Gel mediums used most often - Soft Gel and Extra Heavy

Each step of the painting, collage work was shared in demonstrations by Holly, and with many of the special elemental bits Holly brought to share with her students... the work got underway swiftly. 

Holly's demonstration covers finished beautifully!!!!

Some of the students were quickly using Gel Mediums as "glue" for the first time, while other participants were very experienced and raced toward the finish line goal of having both covers painted and decorated by the end of the first day - both inside and outside...  really good fun to watch!

Tools of the trade included lace from old linens, photos that inspired, corrugated cardboard to cut into shapes to tell the story, old "door keys" from hotel stays, ribbons, wigs, cut paper shapes etc.

Frankie Lemonde's Journal underway at the design stages

Students with lots of experience with design using black and white printed text and other papers as a jumping off point, like our special friend Marion Spanjerdt, got started this way (below) by layering on specifically chosen and placed cut outs and developing the "story line" on top of their book board covers using gel mediums to secure the pieces to their design board...

Marion's wonderful underlay of  B & W copies - amazing start!

Using some transparent paints as a wash of colour, and adding elements of brushstrokes and highlights with metallic paints, the book covers began their journey...

Do you recognize the B & W under a first layer of acrylic paints???

The artists in the classroom stretched their designs in many directions... with bits and pieces of card stock, beads, buttons, torn paper lettering and so much more. The classroom went nearly silent while the students worked on Saturday, and save for a few consultations, special videos Holly shared, lunch break and some side conversations along the way, the day passed very quickly... covers evolving, smiles and determined study and the asking of  "what's possibly next?" - everyone seemed pretty happy at the end of a long, creative day.

Diane Hogan's Journal as posted on Holly's Facebook page... really terrific!

Greta Kristiansen's beautifully finished and stitched Journal!

Painting "signature wraps" and cutting them for the insertion on Day Two along with the eight sets of six pages making up the signatures of folded papers for their Journals kept students busy late Saturday afternoon and for some, into Sunday morning. 

Selecting just the right paints and designs to add effects to the edge wraps as you opened the Journal took decision making to new heights. Bone folders and the special "jig" trays designed for lining up the holes perfectly on the signatures before insertion for stitched Coptic Bindings came in awfully handy though out this process.

The tables quickly filled with painted sets of signatures, punched and ready for the stitching lesson for adding the Coptic binding to join the covers to the signatures and the finishing steps like signing the inside of the Muse Journals.  

All worked perfectly with careful listening, steady hands, concentration on the job at hand. The beautifully varied student made journals soon came to life at the stitch table... the technique of the stitched Coptic binding, a lesson well learned.

Hilary's beautiful Journal at the end of Sunday...

Crystal Patry's journal was painted in mythical browns and bronze.

The journal above, created by Crys, was a first try at painting and collage of elements as she began the process of creating her covers. She chose a stunning palette of gold, browns and bronze, and with some special effects created with stamps and the addition of the cardboard buttons and birdcage, her Journal is a treasure.

The special cover design created by Sarah Toomey

Sarah worked away quietly at her table, focusing in on using torn shapes in candy papers and laying on the paints. The beaded embellishments she separated, glued onto her covers with gel medium, and over-painted were fascinating. Sarah wiped away paint to create very special effects for her Journal and end wraps ... and the stunning background technique of layered paints was amazing to watch develop under Sarah's experienced hand...

Cath Adele created a stunning Journal cover (above) using collaged cloth and her carefully laid stitches. She created a  woven back cover made from painted papers, strips of cut clothing patterns and text. So beautiful - a journal to last a lifetime and bring her great memories of her visit to a first Fibreworks Weekend Workshop and the Kingston area... do come back, Cath!

New pals at the end of the weekend ....Hilary, Cath and Holly (below)  just as the tables were cleaned off, as the students had headed home and with just enough time to finish off last stitches with Holly's special personal care . Time for thank you's, smiles and some hugs as the workshop wound down!!!

THANK YOU HOLLY... what an amazing weekend. You brought us so much joy!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Please join me as I welcome HOLLY DEAN to Kingston Friday evening, April 17th as our FW Guest Instructor presenting her "CREATING THE MUSE JOURNAL" Weekend Workshop


A rare book of your own where you can spill your thoughts & ideas, hopes & fears, dreams & desires. Write, sketch,
doodle & paint...

Each unique Muse Journal is hand-made & signed by Holly Dean. Original hand-painted canvas panels become covers. Signatures are wrapped with decorative paper and a sturdy Coptic binding allows the journal to lie flat when open.

Muse Journals make great for gifts for creative people… including you.

Follow your Muse!

Friday evening, April 17th
7-9 pm
St. Lawrence College, Room 12040
Upper level in the Link Corridor
Administrative Wing, Door E12
Light Refreshments

Enter the campus off King St./Country Club Drive. Follow second entry drive, right turn into parking
lots behind  the Technology Building (facing Country Club Drive). 

Enter Door E12, with steps to upper level. Elevator behind the stairway.... turn left into the corridor linking Administrative Wing to Cafeteria. Room 12040 will be on your left, second doorway after walking through the large Double Doors.

Everyone Welcome - bring a friend(s).....

Bethany Garner
FIBREWORKS Coordinator