So where were we before we got up for another cuppa what ev' and last got together? I believe I had made my way to Danbury, CT for Art Is and was in full swing of classes first off with my Praffitti Class where my students had a blast slinging paint, dripping color, spray painting stencils and more....take a peek at some of the fun we had:
My lovely students :)
I opened up the class with letting them know I was a 'virgin'....virgin art retreat teacher that is ;) and they all got a good laugh at that. We worked through getting loose and overcoming the fear of the blank canvas. Half of the trick to getting started is just that....to start...and that's the truth for many things in life, to simply start and don't look back. If you spend all of your time planning and waiting for the best time, you miss the best time of all....NOW....and succumb to the fear of not knowing if you CAN do something because you just simply don't do it. The truth may be that whatever it is may not be for you, or you may not be that good at something but you will never know until you try. You can't expect to be an expert either on the first go around, like so many things in life, the more you do something, you get better and better at it as you do it over and over again. The evolution of everyone's painting was so intriguing and invigorating. We saw each others work transform time and time again. The students learned a lesson of letting go to move on to a deeper, richer, and more intense painting. Even my sample evolved many times, and again so this week as I went back to it to finish the details. I took one step maybe a little too far...but then I came back around and revisited that step the next day and like a puzzle that was missing just one piece....I figured it out and finished with results I'm very happy with.
(can you see the transformation from the first picture in this set....to what it ended up being? None which would have been possible had I not just started and forged past the uncomfortable stage of is this going to work...is this what I meant for it to be...and a lot of times what you meant it to be turns out vastly different than it starts...and that's okay, too. It becomes what it was meant to become).
After much debate, I'm naming this piece "Obscured Vision" a haunting piece with a touch of sadness, married with a lot of hopefulness and beautiful colors and flowers surrounding the fear this person has. Much like myself, I go from feelings of extreme joy and happiness to a low point routed in fear and doubt. Can I do this? Can I be what I want to be? The truth is, I don't know...and I am not sure of a lot of things. But, I do know that I will never be that person unless I try...and trying I am. And so should you.....whatever it is that you want to be, don't wait for the best time, don't wait until tomorrow...take steps today to become all the wonderfulness that you can be!
A look at the front of my table for the Art Trunk show...
Here are are some of the winners that took home prizes I donated...how fun it was to meet all of these lovely souls with huge hearts, warm smiles, and joyful personalities!
I would be remiss if I didn't send out a shout out to my assistant during the set up of the show the evening before....Michele Luxemberg who volunteered her time so graciously to me and did a fantastic job at helping me merchandise and organize the bazillion pieces I brought along (probably too many pieces but Salianne told the vendors that 'more was more' when coming to the show so I took it to a new level never having done an indoor show before (again, another first...). Sales went extremely well and I am so excited about next year....new ideas are spinning around my head as we speak! Again, thank you Michele for all of your help and for your new friendship...xoxo
Vendor day started off with lots of craziness and fun with students rushing in before their classes to get the first pick of all the offerings--I was lucky to be nestled between Keith LoBue and Michael Demeng with his fiance Andrea Matus. Now granted, our artwork could not have been more different--this group of artists are rockstars in my book so I was a little star struck I have to admit but I found them all to be so wonderful and engaging, down to earth--and great story tellers (as to which I heard many after the show when we all relaxed and unwound a bit with some adult beverages). Still, I wondered if I belonged in the company of so many talented people--but at some point you have to believe in yourself and your abilities for others to believe in you...and so that is what I did....I found myself talking my heart into belonging where my head knew it should be.
Here's a peek at my neighbors at the shows offerings:
Andrea Matus and Michael Demeng...ohhhh I spy a glass of wine from the bottle I had while setting up....Andrea was kind enough to help me drink a couple while setting up ;)
My roomie and new BFF Lorraine Reynolds who is striking her brooding artist pose for the camera....I have to tell you though the stern look her face...she is a HOOT..lol we had a blast together and I'm soooo blessed to have finally have met her after our long distance friendship online over the last few years. Be sure to check out her blog, Glimmering Prize or find her on Facebook to see what other wonderfulness she is up to!
...another sampling from Lorraine Reynolds. She is so wildly talented and a fantastic teacher, person and friend!!
My other neighbor ....the fun and mega talent, Keith Lo Bue..
Keith was also one of the 'main attractions' Sunday evening as he performed for us in his wild and crazy style a little Dr. Seuss ditty....
oh my....did the crowd love him, what a fun person he is not to mention talented!
After the trunk show, Pam, Nancy, Seth and I even had a little book signing which was so fun...a tiny moment of my 15 minutes of fame recalled as I signed the pages of my article for Pam Carriker's book "Art at the Speed of Life".....but what was even better, meeting the lovely people I had worked with in person on this effort. Again..another Rock Star moment!
In all of these 'rock star' moments one revelation comes to mind--everyone I met was down to earth, nice, warm, and just like you and I. Which is important to remember as we put people up on pedestals who have earned the right to be looked up to and admired--they are still in the end....people just like you and I :)
My next two classes at ART IS....YOU were full of lively individuals, talented, sweet, engaging, and just wonderful people. Who Are You was a class that I based around my sweet Owl paintings I've been doing for the last 9 months or so.....
...the pieces are full of texture, layers and composed with funky focal points and highlighted with an inspirational word or phrase. Lots of doodles, funky pieces and laughter were born from our pieces that wonderful Monday in class...
Theresa admiring her wonderful work....
I'm demoing with my best side to the class (NOT...LOL) oh my do I need to go on a diet but hey....just wanted to show you all the fun we had together so you don't miss out next time!
One of my themes for both Who are You and Groovy Little Village (my third and last class at Art Is You) was about working in collections.
In each of those classes, we really stretched our wings by working on 3-4 pieces that all were different but at the same time, went together. It was a challenge to finish all the pieces and most of the students did get all the way there or very close-I think the premise behind my challenge to them really struck home as an artist, working in collections really fine tunes your skills. You not only come away with a body of work or a foundation for a body of work, you evolve as an artist as you develop your skills around the theme of the collection. I loved seeing everyone's work develop and evolve. The sharing, caring, helping, and bonds the students made with each other really was a testament to what a retreat is all about.
On the last day of my wonderful 4 1/2 days in CT, I hosted the class that perhaps is where my painting career all began....no actually it truly is where it all began--my first ever collection of work titled, "In The Village" was also the first pieces of my work to be published in a national magazine... Cloth Paper Scissors, it was also my first collection to really sell an amazing amount of pieces, and it was the collection that catapulted my career in a lot of ways. It became what I have been known for: funky houses, loads of texture, and whimsical compositions with inspirational messages. Groovy Little Village was also my biggest class at Art Is...I'm truly grateful for all the students who joined in all my classes but it was really a feeling of satisfaction to see all the faces in my last class which was the class which started all of this right from the beginning.
The class was challenged to revive their memories of childhood sweetness, places they lived and loved--the funkier side of those places, whether it be the country store with ever changing window display, the house next door with the crooked shutters, the school yard where we once played....anything they could imagine then bring it all back to life using a limited but bold color palette and incorporate fun texture and inspirational phrases.
Students engaged in village creations!
Bringing out the Funky in where we are and where we've been....
Laying the foundation for a wonderful village...
Employing words, numbers and phrases that bring it all home...
Taking a step back in time and remembering all that was simple yet special and moving to us in our own way...
...yes this is where we all started and it's good to look back to see how far we've come in this journey.
As the last class commenced , we all were blissfully tired but enthusiastic about all the wonderful new things we learned about ourselves and each other...not to mention about our artistic style. Wings were stretched and even some tears were shed as we said good bye for now....smiling inside for having met. It was just a beginning for some such as myself, and a homecoming for others.
I learned how to be brave and take chances on trying new things and moving forward when I didn't think I could. I found myself developing as a teacher, understanding even more than what I knew before the start of this journey what to expect, what the students need....how to convey it in a way everyone understands from the beginner to the very seasoned. I learned that participating in an art retreat is so very rewarding, while it does granted cost some money, its rewards are blossoms that are planted for a lifetime of memories and learning. I encourage all of you to step out of your comfort zone and go one time to an event such as this if you can. You will not regret it.
I'll be teaching at ART IS...You again next year, this time in California and Connecticut 2012. Be sure to keep an eye on their website come late winter for more details as the class line up is announced!
I barely unpacked before heading just a few miles up the road for the Holly Arts Festival in Pinehurst, NC for a one day show in my county. It's always nice to be back home and see friends and family again...old customers and new friends.....actually I didn't really need to unpack since my shows were so close together....simply set up the booth and was ready for business!
On October 16th I revisited my favorite coffee shop and place where I have a large amount of original work, Swank Handmade Market and Coffee shop
for a fun and intimate class "Mixed Media Halloween Character Class" the students and I created a funky character using a variety of mixed media and background techniques which was so fun seeing these sweet but spooky girls come to life!
For those of you looking to take classes from me locally, Swank is the place to be! We offer an intimate setting, small class size so you get lots of attention as well as a creative background that is infused with the aroma of succulent specialty coffee. What more could you ask for? I'll have a full listing of classes I will be offering locally very soon.....but for now, my next class is coming up on November 13th.
"Merry Little Minis"
We will be creating 4 (or more) mini canvas ornaments in a holiday or winter motif. All supplies are included, other than you bringing your own brushes for the low cost of 35.00...and you will walk away with 4 ornaments you hand painted using my background techniques, distressing and layering ideas as well as learn about color choices and simple drawing experiments. For more information on this class, please email my partners Jessica or Petra at Swank: firstname.lastname@example.org but don't delay, class size is limited! :)
So there you go...that was the first couple weeks in October, my first month of being a full time artist....what a month it was! Even though the last two weeks have been a tad quieter giving me the rest that I so desperately needed especially after getting sick, it's also allowed me to work behind the scenes on new articles to be published, lining up new workshops from NC to California and a whole lot of places in between, apply for shows around the East Coast and just simply get back into the studio fulfilling orders that have been coming in, preparing for new shows coming up in November and December, as well as prospect new galleries to add to my list of representation. (I'm looking for 4 more places to represent my work by the new year so if you know of anything I should consider or get a hold of...please let me know!) My goal is to have my work in 8 different galleries in 2011 so I have a bit of work to do in that area. :)
I leave you with these thoughts as I close the prose of this newsletter, you can do anything you set your mind to and believe in...."Nothing is impossible when you end your evening by dreaming, and begin your day by doing.". ...(a quote I made up through a challenge by Art Is You organizers the other day....)
We are faced with tough economic times that is so very true...but it doesn't mean that you have to stop dreaming and that nothing is going to happen because of the world around you. YOU make up the world around you, you can leave it better than you found it....and that can only happen if you take action and begin...begin today to make your life and the world a better place by living your dream.
With love and gratitude, Jodi Ohl***********************************************************************************
Lots of NEW paintings and 'articrafts listed in my Etsy shop this week! Stop by to check them out :)
Starting November 14th, I am relaunching my popular class from this summer, "Fearless Faux Encaustics" . I'm so excited about doing this class again with my new students...for those of you who tried my first class--this class will show you EVEN more ways to layer and achieve a look that MIMICS encaustic painting through the use of a variety of acrylic mediums, collage, and paint.....Registration is NOW OPEN over at Creative Workshops!
This class is an OPEN ENDED online work shop, which means you can access the videos and pdf files, 24/7 for a minimum of one year....holy cow is right, over 3 hours of instruction is housed within my class on top of a work book and free collage file to download and use in your artwork. We have an active community where you can share and gab with other artists anytime you have a moment to participate. Cost of this class is $65.00. You can get a special peek over on my video channel on you tube to see more about this class! Click here to go to the video....
click the IMAGE for more details!
Other events....I'm hosting a sale over at my Etsy shoppe (where I'm slowly starting to refill after my month long of adventures and shows). Enjoy 15% off any custom CAKE paintings.... (HURRY...SALE ENDS OCTOBER 31st)available in most sizes, I can customize one of my delightful cake paintings for your special occasion, anniversary, birthday, or just cuz'. Choose your OWN color combinations and I can include up to 2 names, a date, and a special word or phrase you'd like on your ORIGINAL painting.
Next up....I am having a sale on my existing workshops hosted over at Creative Work Shops: Fun With Faux Encaustics, Artistic Journaling...Your Way, and Let's Face It. All of these work shops are online and open ended which means you can sign up any time and work on them at your leisure. How cool is that? Each of these online classes are now Buy One, Get One 50% off. You must sign up for both workshops at once and then you will receive 50% refund on your second work shop. This offer is good through October 31st so don't delay, that's a day away!! For info, please check out my blog post:
Click Image to be taken to the post!
October 31st from 2-6, I'll be doing a live paint demo over at Swank Coffee Shop in Southern Pines, NC....if the weather isn't frightful, I'll be painting outside....come on down to see me create something fun while warming up with a hot chocolate or a flavorful latte! I'll also be signing magazines or books that I have been in lately so if you have purchased one of the 6-7 books/magazines that I have had articles in the last year, please bring them with you!
November 11th and 12th I'll be at the Art of the Carolina's (show and classes run from November 10-13th) hanging out demoing at the Jerry's Artarama booth during the trade show. I'll be showing the attendees the delights of their new SOHO water color products...it's a make and take demo so you can come by and try before you 'buy' . I'll be there around 9:30 - 5:30 both days. In addition, I'll be volunteering with my friends from the Carolina Mixed Media Guild to help set up the class rooms, man our guild booth, and help out at our FREE ATC make and take room (where you can sit down, play with some of the donated supplies and create Artist Trading Cards). Also in the make and take room, you will be guided with more interactive demos hosted by one of our many talented guild members. NEW this year, journaling after hours! After the trade show is over and all is still, the little artistic elves will still be going strong as we commune together with our journals for an open studio type of activity...no instruction, just sharing and playing in our journals with one another. I can't wait!
Show coming up in Southern Pines, NC:
November 18th and 19th marks my first adventure at organizing with help from my friends our first of what hopefully will be many collaborative events featuring the wonderful artists residing in and around Moore County, NC. I'm learning so much about sales, marketing, event organization, planning....it's amazing and I have my fearless friends who are organizing this show with me to thank: Jean Skipper, Amy Smith, Kathy Miller, and myself :) The hours of the event will be 12-8 on Friday with a special artists reception from 5-8; and 10-5 on Saturday. I can't think of a better way to come out and start your holiday shopping AND support many of our local artists. In addition, just a short WALK from the show location is beautiful down town Southern Pines where you can spend the rest of the day visiting other amazing shops owned and operated by local retailers. Please check us out on facebook (we'd love if you 'liked' us to help spread the word!) and of course, save the date to join us November 18th and 19th!
Some of my besties enjoying dinner and drinks in Norcross Ga.....Amy Smith, Jean Skipper, and Jodi Ohl
My last event for November will be at Jerry's Artarama on Sunday, November 27th from 1-3 where I will be demonstrating with some of my favorite paints and mediums, Matisse. Matisse is a proprietary brand of Jerrys....is a great product, comparable to Golden's paint and mediums, but far less expensive!
******Till we meet again, live to create, create to live!