Sunday, August 29, 2004

MaryJO McGraw Workshop

It has taken me awhile to get everything finished and scanned onto my computer. I just finished the fabric board book.

I have to thank the women in my AB-Chicagoland Area group who told me about this workshop. I had never heard of MaryJo McGraw before this workshop. I ended up having a great time. I came away with a lot. I will have a lot of ideas for my kids in school. We will be doing a lot more collage and texture related activities this year! I will not be clueless when I need to fill in for Art. This was a whole weekend deal. I am definitely going to sign-up for the whole weekend next year. I only went to the Friday and Saturday afternoon class.

On Friday, MJ taught a materials class. We used large canvas to experiment with textures, inks, glazes, and gel mediums. The most fun thing was the bees' wax. That was hot and cool at the same time. I learned a lot about how to use specific materials during this class. I also learned that sometimes simplicity and "less" is more. On Saturday, MJ gave a free little talk about altered books construction. It was more for Newbies. I did not learn a lot but it was still interesting to hear her spin on ABs. MJ did talk a lot about the basics of design and about inks. On Saturday afternoon, we made no-sew fabric board books. I was a little reticent about it starting out but ending up really liking the end product. The textures and medium were very different for me. The fabric book is now one of my favorite AB books.

One of the best things that I had gotten from that weekend was the name of a book, Celebrate Your Creative Self by Mary Todd Beam. I got it and it is an awesome book! I have decided that I am going to take a step back and stop producing stuff for swaps and RR (except for decos). I will fulfill my current commitments, but I am going to take a hiatus after that. I am going to stop doing what others are doing. I am going to look at the materials that I have and play with them. I am going to find out what I really like to do in terms of collage and altered books. I am just going to create altered art. I put a little bug in my dh's ear about wanting an easel so that it would be easier to work on canvas. I will have to see if the bug bit him or if it just went out the other ear.

Scans of the fabric book are in this blog. Just keep scrolling until you come to it. You can also see what I did on canvas at

Altered Belly

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