art studio

Paper Marbling

I took a Paper Marbling class this past weekend at the Common Room Studio in Alexandria, VA... (super cool little space for creative endeavors owned by Nole Garey, renowned blogger from Oh So Beautiful Paper, so check it out;) Taught by Kelly Laughlin from Baltimore, I have admired Kelly's beautiful hand made papers for years, so I was particularly excited to have an opportunity to learn the basics from her. The space is light filled, casual and cool... a great place to spend a few hours on a Sunday afternoon. 

Kelly Laughlin ( @kellylaughlin_ ) doing several demonstrations of her practice

Kelly Laughlin (@kellylaughlin_) doing several demonstrations of her practice

Marbled papers drying at Common Room Studio 

Marbled papers drying at Common Room Studio 

Suminagashi is an ancient Japanese art form of decorating papers with inks which float on water's surface. Whether you want it to or not, like painting with watercolors, the pigment is at the mercy of the current, tends to have a mind of its own and swirls into ever changing patterns. One of the reasons I love watercolors so much is that there is an inherent imperfection to the medium... water tends to flow as it wishes and so part of the process is giving in to a moment, relinquishing total control and letting it take you to a beautiful new place. There's something very meditative about that. Understandable then, why the art of Suminagashi speaks to me as it does.  

I spent more time swirling ink on water than actually dipping paper in... loved the movement. 

I spent more time swirling ink on water than actually dipping paper in... loved the movement. 

A few of my works, drying next to my pan of marbled water... my colors;) 

A few of my works, drying next to my pan of marbled water... my colors;) 

Of course, those who are familiar with my art and design will recognize that I have been hand painting designs for years that mimic the natural undulating patterns of the suminagashi technique. I love organic lines and I study them... In my world of design, those lines often become part of patterning which graces many products in my fine art and home decor portfolio, from bedding duvets, to fabrics, to wallpaper, to wedding invitations to wall art... Here are a few of my hand painted versions... see the inspired connection between them? 

I loved the class, met some great people and really enjoyed learning the basics. Now I'd like to dig a bit deeper into this medium and really see what's possible. I am picturing something a bit grander in scale... oh yes, I have a vision... so stay tuned;) 

Q&A with Shell...

I was interviewed by the fabulous CylCollective women's group that I joined early this year for a quick Q&A over on their blog. Click the picture above to read my words that were shared with my CYL squad. 

Love this group! The women inspire me everyday with their creativity and their voices. Most are considerably younger than me, but I find their confidence and openness  to be so inspiring. They are strong, empathetic, kind, helpful and giving... women helping women...Woman, at her best. 

For all of the women creatives who are following me on this journey, I invite you to join this group and see for yourself how finding a tribe can push you further, within and out of your own comfort zones. Member enrollment opens up again next month so follow @cylcollective on Instagram and keep eyes open for the new membership dates...feel free to mention that I sent you! I'll be posting about membership again as it gets closer. 

Have questions? I am happy to share my own experiences so far with you... just ask. 

UPDATE: Membership is now open for enrollment! Here's a link to the CYL website... If you decide to jump in, please mention that I sent you:)  

Studio Tour...Come Take a Look

For those who have known me a while, you may remember a few years back when I moved out of my old 1000+ square foot studio space and into my current space, which is a small, but sunny addition to my home. It wasn't an easy transition for me. I loved that old space and spent many years creating there and building up my business. It took a while for my home studio to begin to feel like a true work space again. But, as you can see, it's a vibrant and lovely space to work in. Yes, it is small... but the light is gorgeous, particularly in my mornings and late afternoons (a true cocoon of warmth),  I am surrounded by a rapidly growing collection of beautiful products featuring my designs and most importantly, I am comfortable and at ease creating here.  I hope you enjoy this little visual glimpse of what is truly sacred space to me.