Thursday, April 30, 2015

Artiscape 2015 - The Weekend (Part III)

My Weekend at Artiscape Artist's Gathering.

(Read Part I: here and Part II: here)

Saturday was a pretty relaxing day. I was not teaching any classes that day, and the workshop I was taking did not start until two. I got up at my regular time of 6:30 – 7 am and went down to get another wonderfully made omelet. I then just hung out in the room for most of the rest of the time until lunch. I wrote much of the first part of this post while I lounged around the room. It was a much needed respite!

For lunch I wandered down and had some chicken salad and fruit from their little snack shack in the center of the lovely atrium. I enjoyed eating my lunch with arty friends I've known for years.

Soon enough my class time rolled around and I headed for my Let's Brooch the Subject metalworking class with Jen Crossley. While I had done metal etching before, I had never done cold connections and jewelry sawing. It was a fun class and I learned a lot. When I went to sign in on the class roster, I saw a name that I recognized...the ever-talented Linda Cain! I looked around the room, found her, and called out her name. Linda is an amazing artist who, if you are not already familiar with, you must seek out. Her work is fabulous. I had the privilege of publishing several of Linda's works in AlteredArts magazine. She has since been on Tim Holtz's and Finnabair's design teams, among others. Follow her blog for regular infusions of “amazing-ness.” 

Linda Cain and Cyndi Duncan at Artiscape Artist's Gathering 2015.
Jen Crossley and Linda Cain in Jen's class Let's Brooch the Subject.

Jen Crossley is a hoot, too. She hails from Australia and has a wonderful sense of humor. Of course she is fun to listen to; she could read a phone book and I would sit enthralled by her accent.

After Jen's class I had about a half hour to go and get ready for the evening's banquet.

While we were waiting for the dinner, we milled about at the evening's happy hour and set about to relieve ourselves of our trades. During this time something happened that has never happened before requiring me to point out some Art Trade Etiquette: If someone asks you if you have trades, and you do, you TRADE with them! You do not say “Yes, what do you have?” then look at the trade and respond: “No, I'm sorry, that's not my style,” or “Thank-you, but I wouldn't be able to use that.” If I had heard what happened to the two women in front of me, I would have never proffered my own trade. I have to imagine that the woman in question just didn't understand how it worked. I wish I wasn't so floored, or I might have asked her if it was her first time trading and kindly explained trade etiquette. I didn't pick my jaw off the floor until much later.

The banquet was a Jules Verne dinner and featured Cirque-de-Soleil-like performers that were fabulous. The food was good, as it always is at these dinners at the Embassy Suites-Dublin. I sat with my roommate, students from my classes and new friends. My roommate retired early and I sought out others who might want to go to the bar for a drink. While we never made it to the bar, I did insert myself into a group of people I did not know, and had a wonderful time learning more about them. It was the perfect ending to an amazing day.

Lisa's attention to detail always makes Artiscape super special.

My friend Mary and I at the Jules Verne Dinner Bash at Artiscape Artist's Gathering 2015.
Performers at the Jules Verne Dinner Bash at Artiscape Artist's Gathering 2015.
Stay tuned for the final installment of my series on the 2015 Artiscape Artist's Gathering.  Follow my blog by email and you won't miss it.


5-1-2015:  The name of the performers is The Amazing Giants.  You can read more about them on their website:

1-19-2017:  In linking these pages up to my 2017 Artiscape class offerings, I reread these posts and realized that I never finished the series, lol.  For those of you waiting on pins and needles: I don't remember what I did on Sunday!  Ha, ha, ha. I think I took a class, checked out, attended the Mad Hatter Tea Party and took my exhausted body home. At any rate, I'm sure the series gave you the flavor of the event, even if I didn't get around to finishing it. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Artiscape 2015 - The Weekend (Part II)

My Weekend at Artiscape Artist's Gathering

(Read Part I of this series here.)

I woke up in the morning on Friday, had the amazing free breakfast, and then headed to my encaustic class with Serena Barton. This workshop was titled: Waxing Literary with Charlotte. While the techniques presented were not new to me, this was the class that spoke to me the most from the brochure, and I was not disappointed. I really enjoyed the workshop, and Serena and my table mates were a joy to get to know.

Student work in Serena Barton's Waxing Literary With Charlotte class at Artiscape 2015.
My artwork from Serena Barton's Waxing Literary With Charlotte class at Artiscape 2015.

Immediately following Serena's class, I was to teach my five-hour Tons of Techniques II workshop, so I had to leave a few minutes early to get my supplies together and to try and grab something to eat. My friend, Stacey, graciously agreed to help with this class, and she was indispensable! Having taught Tons of Techniques I a few years ago, I knew that I would fall over dead if I didn't have a helper. (Maybe not literally, but it would have felt that way!) This time around we learned about 15 different techniques or technique variations, and I demonstrated two more. We did all of that in FOUR hours! That means each technique took about 10 – 15 minutes before we were on to the next. After four hours, we stopped the fast-paced craziness and set about turning our technique samples into the sampler book that students could use for reference after the class.
Tons of Techniques II by Cyndi Duncan at Artiscape Artist's Gathering 2015
Tons of Techniques II workshop by Cyndi Duncan at Artiscape Artist's Gathering 2015.

By the time the end of the class rolled around, I was so exhausted and drained that I could barely think or move. After Stacey helped me clean up and pack the supplies back into my van, I had such a splitting headache, too, that I was soooo grateful for the evening happy hour. I'm sure I am not the only one for whom wine is a miracle cure. Seriously. My headache was so bad my eyes were crossing and I could barely drag myself to the bar, but moments after sitting down with my wine and sipping at it, I glanced up at my arty friends and said, “It's a miracle!” I felt almost back to normal. I think this is because my bad headaches are tension triggered and the wine acts as a muscle relaxer. I don't know...but it sounds good. All I know is that it works. Wine is medicinal for me. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

That evening I sat with my arty friends, some former and some brand-new, until shortly before the event's Kick-Off Party began.

The Kick-Off Party is a marketplace preview accompanied by sweets, and snacks, and beverages. There were several demonstrations going on during the evening, as well. I had a wonderful time and spent WAY too much. I actually thought to take a picture of the haul for you, but then decided I didn't want proof. 

Artiscape Artist's Gathering 2015 Kick-Off Party

Artiscape Artist's Gathering 2015 Kick-Off Party

Artiscape Artist's Gathering 2015 Kick-Off Party

I bought so much good stuff that I had to force myself to stay out of the marketplace the next day! Of course I hadn't yet seen the wonderful goodies at the outsider art pocketbook would have been much happier if I had skipped that, too. If I had skipped it, though,  I would have missed out on all the wonderful artist-created goodies I got. It's all good...right?

I hope you're enjoying my series on Artiscape Artist's Gathering 2015.  Stay tuned to learn about the rest of the weekend.  If you follow my blog by email, you won't miss it!


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Artiscape 2015 - the Weekend (Part I)

My Weekend at Artiscape Artist's Gathering

During the fun and entertaining opening Kick-Off-Party, Lisa Ohmer, the organizer of Artiscape Artist's Gathering, and I mused about how long we had actually known each other. Lisa reminded me that we had met about twelve years ago at an altered art event sponsored by Stamp Art Jubilee in Atlanta, Georgia. It's funny how that event seemed a lifetime ago. I was there promoting the then-named Altered Book Club (now The Mailbox Muse, under new ownership) that I had just begun. I don't even think that the magazine had been born yet! As a matter-of-fact, I believe that the club had not even sent out its first kit yet. Anyway, that invitation by Lisa has led to many years of participation in the amazing event that she sponsors.

During the twelve-or-so years that I have known of Artiscape, I think I failed to participate on just a couple of occasions. Most of the years I attended I simply had a booth in the marketplace. During the first few years, the event was held in a very quaint Ohio canal town called Roscoe Village. At one of those first events I was able to squeeze out some time to take a workshop by the original altered book Diva, Beth Cote. It was a wonderful workshop on color theory and collage.

Fast forward a few years, and I finally decided that, being a teacher by trade and passion, I wanted to submit classes. That was about four years ago. My first classes were very well-received, and so I was invited back for more. This year I taught two workshops: A three-hour class on book folding and a five-hour techniques class. I'm thrilled to say that both of them sold out.

In the years that I have been associated with this wonderful event, the class with Beth Cote had been the only class I was ever able to take myself. I was either too busy with the magazine/club or vending in the marketplace. That changed this year! Because the magazine is on hiatus, I did not have a vendor booth this year which allowed me free time...time I could use for MYSELF!  As soon as the classes were announced, I eagerly signed up for three amazing workshops.

To help you get a better feel for how the weekend feels and progresses, let me lay it out for you chronologically. I will skip the time I used for class prep and present it to you as an attendee.

I signed up for three workshops, as I mentioned before. One was an encaustic class by Serena Barton, another was a metal jewelry class by Jen Crossley, and the final was a metal soldering class by Shari Replogle. While I am an artist that dabbles in a multitude of mediums, I tend to work mainly in paper arts...and more recently, beading. The jewelry and soldering classes were definitely outside my normal sphere, so I knew I needed to pay particular attention to the supply lists there. Jen Crossley's class required several tools and materials that I did not already have. A friend of mine, also attending Artiscape, offered to let me borrow a couple on the list, but I had to go and purchase the remaining items. This process was kind of fun, in that it got me more excited about my upcoming classes, as I perused the supplies on the internet. I started this process about three weeks before the event.

At about the same time that I began shopping for supplies, my wonderful packet from Artiscape arrived. It contained this lovely name tag and pass for the weekend, along with other important information.

Having attended so many of these wonderful events, I knew that a good portion of the enjoyment was to be found in participating in the artist trades and collaborative auction. So, I set about creating my trades about two weeks before the event. On Sunday of the event there is a Mad Hatter Tea at which the ladies wear hats...many of which they have hand-made. Wanting to add even more fun to the weekend, I also created my own fun little fascinator-type hat, as well. 

Bead Embroidered charms.  Art trades for Artiscape 2015 made by Cyndi Duncan.

Fascinator hat by Cyndi Duncan for the 2015 Artiscape Artist's Retreat.

This was the first year that I stayed in the host hotel, the Embassy Suites-Dublin. I shared a room with a woman from my art group. I have to say, staying at the host hotel is another added bonus to the weekend. As a hotel guest, we were treated to daily happy hours with snacks such as chips with several dips, hard cheeses, and other snack foods. This wine lover absolutely adores that fact that the happy hour included one free beverage - wine, and cocktails included! Additionally, each morning the hotel guests enjoyed an amazing hot breakfast bar which also included an omelet station. Of course, being right in the thick of things also had its obvious advantage. It was nice being able to go back to the room to rest, change, or grab a supply that I forgot or someone else needed.

Attendees who stayed in the host hotel received this lovely gift upon check-in.

Thursday night were the preconference workshops. I arrived a couple of hours before they began, and as I was actually teaching one, spent part of that time setting up and settling in to my room. My class went wonderfully. I am always treated to wonderful students; this class was no exception.

The wonderful students in my Folded Book Sculptures Class at Artiscape 2015.
Tired, but energized for the weekend ahead, I drug myself to bed.

I hope you enjoyed Part I of my series on Artiscape Artist's Gathering 2015.  Stay tuned for Part II.  (Pssst.....If you subscribe to my blog by email, you won't miss it!)


Monday, April 6, 2015

Artiscape - An Artist's Gathering

I'm so thrilled to be teaching at a variety of wonderful events this year.  My workshop schedule starts out with Artiscape - An Artist's Gathering this weekend.  I will teach a book sculpture class on Thursday night, and the second installment of my popular Tons of Techniques class on Friday afternoon.

You have probably seen the book sculptures before...they are all the rage!  I saw them about a year ago and was totally intrigued by them.  I bought one, and went crazy trying to find tutorials on the internet on how to make them.  What I found was a little discouraging.  One woman was selling (and giving away) patterns for awesome designs.  Unfortunately, however, the patterns required a database grid, measuring and mathematics.  Way too complicated for me!  Since I couldn't figure out how to do them by deconstructing the book I bought (and I think the crafter used the same measuring method since there were pencil lines on the pages), I kept searching.  I did find another easier tutorial, but that one required a computer and a graphics program to use.  While I could figure out how to make that method work, I was convinced that there had to be an easier way for all the many people out there that were not computer or graphics-program savvy like me.  Being the persistent woman that I am, I worked out a new way to create these great folded sculpture patterns that is so easy anyone can do it. Being the teacher that I am, I decided I just HAD to teach others the method. 

These folded book sculptures are so much fun to make, and really make wonderful gifts.  After I figured out how to make them last fall, I made LOTS for Christmas presents.
Folded Book Sculptures by Cyndi Duncan. Thursday, April 9th, 2015 6-9 pm. Artiscape, Columbus, Ohio.

Last I checked, there are still a couple of spots available in this workshop if you want to learn my easy, no math, no computer method to create these amazing book sculptures.

Also when I checked, the Tons of Techniques Class had a few spaces available, too.  Both workshops had just two or three spots, though, so I do expect them to sell out.  In the TOT II class we will be learning 16 great techniques (time permitting). There are several acrylic and watercolor techniques, along with a couple of transfers and miscellaneous techniques.  They can be used in mixed media works as well as art journals, scrapbooks and greeting cards.  We will take those techniques and use them to create a sampler book that can be used as a great reference tool.

Tons of Techniques II by Cyndi Duncan.  Friday, April 10th, 2015, 12:30 - 5:30 pm. Artiscape, Columbus, OH.

This is probably the 11th year I've participated in Artiscape.  Most of those years I've attended as a vendor for Altered Arts magazine.  This is the fourth year that I have actually taught at the retreat.  The first year I participated, I took a workshop from THE altered book diva, Beth Cote.  I have not had a chance to take classes myself since then.  This year, however, I am taking THREE workshops!  I am so incredibly excited.

With the magazine on hiatus, I will not have a booth at the marketplace this year (a FIRST in all the years I have participated).  This will be the first year that I get to attend the preview party as a guest.  I am also sharing a room on-site with a friend, so I will be right in the thick of things. I can't wait.  I am literally giddy with excitement.

To truly immerse myself in the total experience, I made sure that I made art trades to exchange, and also created a hat for the Mad Hatter Tea Party.  I did not have time to create a theme specific piece for the collaborative work auction, though, which is unfortunate.  I will say that, having done these "extra" things in the past, participating in the swaps and other side events truly pushes the event experience into an even more enjoyable realm...if you can believe it.  After the weekend is over, I will post about the event and share my trades and my fun little hat with you all.

If you plan to attend, be sure to say "hi."  Maybe you will take one of my workshops, or sit next to me in a class we take together.  Maybe we will just cross paths as we come and go.  If you are not already planning to attend, there is still time!  There are always a few workshops with space remaining.  If you live in the area, at the very least you can stop by the vendor marketplace on Saturday and/or the Outsider Art Fair on Sunday.  You will be really happy you did.  If you miss it this year, be SURE to stop by at; make sure you are added to the email list....and make plans to attend in 2016.

Check out my Workshop page for information on my other classes around the country.