Thursday, August 12, 2010

It's going to be a fabulous year 2011

Wow! Thanks to everyone who signed up for my workshops at Art & Soul Hampton 2011 and An Artful Journey 2011. There are only 4 spaces left in my Artful Journey class! And the Hampton workshops made a good showing for the first day of sign ups too. It's good feedback to see what grabs people right away. It's the paste paper and surface design on paper that folks go for first. It's what grabs me too with it's endless possibilities.

I remember the first time I made paste paper. It was at California College of Arts and Crafts in maybe 1990 at a week long workshop with Nance O'Banion assisted by Chris Rolick. Nance asked me what I wanted help with and I said, just don't let me keep doing the same thing over and over. So there I am blissed out working with metallic colors on black paper and doing the same thing over and over until she caught me and made me do something else. (I still have some of them, I made that much.) Nance is also the one who showed me "blowouts", the patterned handmade paper I make. Of course that week was what turned out to be an introduction to many of the techniques that I have gone on to explore and develop for the past couple of decades.

Every so often I wind up having a cup of tea in Berkeley at Nance's to see what she is up to. It's always something wonderful. One time my friend Bonnie and I contracted with Nance to have a private workshop in her home studio for several days. We work very differently, Bonnie and I. Where anything goes with me, Bonnie is precise and neat and has a very, very, very, refined aesthetic. So there we were, each doing our thing and not collaborating at all. I am envious of these cool gold papers Bonnie is making so they show me how to do it but it's painstaking and I don't have the patience so I won't play. Besides, I probably knew eventually I would get Bonnie to give me some. (She did.) In those days we had a thing where we would make paper and at the end of the day give some of our favorites to the other. So Nance is gently guiding, assisting, midwifing us both and I am thinking how different our work and in fact how different Bonnie and I are.

On the last day Nance had us display our work as if it were a show in a gallery. It was amazing. Our work was all of a piece. It all went together and it was beautiful. We were having a conversation through our art.

That is happiness and love.

You just don't know, do you, what's going to happen. You take a workshop and you may just change your life.


Herm said...

Albie: I signed up for the Fallen Leaves workshop in Portland, OR. Are we doing some of the paste paper? I'd love to learn how to make it.

albie smith said...

We are going to do a style of paste paper using the paint and paste but the focus in the Fallen Leaves workshop is on creating gorgeous backgrounds for the leaves without using stencils and stamps and constructing the book. It will give you a good start towards being able to make whatever kind of paste paper you want. See you in Portland.

Wen said...

great blog- I love paper too