Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Mikado in Connecticut

Nope, not an opera review, but a great weekend in beautiful Connecticut with the fabulously talented Lynne Perrella ( if you've been reading my blog for a while, you know she is my collage idol).  This was my fourth workshop with Lynne, but the first with an out of town venue, and I just loved it. 

Last Thursday, Teri and I met up in Grand Central Station and took the Metro North train to Wassaic (which happens to be in NYS) and then cabbed it to The Interlaken Inn in Lakeville, CT.  This area is the foothills of the Berkshires, so NY, CT, and MA are all very close together.  This is the country!  We passed fields.  We saw cows.  Lots of cows.  About 30 minutes later we arrived at the inn, which is lovely.  The workshop would begin the following morning, but given the choice between coming a day early or taking a 6am train on Friday, well, you can see why we chose the first option.   Here are a few photos of the lovely grounds and our room.  (This is a good place for sharing.....two queen size beds, lots of storage, and even a little deck).

                                                   Metal sculptures were everywhere:

We had a huge room that was kept open 24/7 for us.  In this "studio" we each had our own large table to work on.  The inn kept us in coffee, tea, and snacks throughout our stay, in addition to breakfast and lunch.  We didn't even have to stop working and clean up at lunchtime.  We gave our order in the morning and it arrived in boxes in the afternoon.  Great service!

As the workshop theme was asian, Lynne had this gorgeous display set up to inspire us.  The kimonos were borrowed from a friend, but those umbrellas.....Lynne did all the decoration.

I brought a large suitcase that was filled to the brim.....a few articles of clothing and the rest was paints, pastels, collage elements, brushes, etc.  Check this out:

The left side holds all the personal items I brought, including clothing.  EVERYTHING else you see, plus what's in all the other sections are the art supplies I brought.  And under that plastic container is another one, just as full.

Here is Teri, very busy creating:

By the way, her table didn't always look so orderly.  Neither did anyone else's.  Some theme-appropriate items were in our class package:

Yes, that is me.  And this is where I worked:


Believe it or not, those are the only photos I took all weekend!  Too busy, and hands too full of "stuff" to stop and snap any pix.  But when I got home, after putting some finishing touches on my pieces I took plenty.

Our largest project was a banner.  Mine is about 2' x 4'.  It was mostly finished at the workshop, but I added some trim and a little bling when I got home.

And some close ups of different sections:

We started with red rosin paper, which you can get in hardware stores, covered it with gesso, and added lots of texture.  Then it was all about layers:  paint, papers, fibers, portfolio pastels, stencils, masking..... I think I have a new love and respect for stencils and realize I need TO BUY MORE.

We did a smaller piece, which highlights all the wonderful masking/stenciling techniques that Lynne taught:

I took that photo after I hung the piece, and of course it's in an awkward place for picture taking, so the lighting isn't perfect.  Here are a few closeups:

A smaller project was done with a leftover piece of gessoed paper.  I did what Lynne refers to as "speed collage."  I just quickly and randomly glued all the leftover bits of paper I had onto the gessoed sheet, added some color and stenciling, and then finished the opposite side with black paint and stenciling with metallic paint.  Then I did some simple folding and cutting to create a book.

The front:

The back:

Becoming a book:

Front cover, followed by inside pages and back cover:

One of the things I learned from Lynne at the very first workshop I attended, maybe two years ago, was to save the trimmings from projects and use them in future pieces.  I had some very long strips after I trimmed my pieces to "square" them up,

Instead of tossing them, I made this (don't know what I'll use it for, but it might become part of a journal page):

In addition to making art and learning from Lynne, the weekend also allowed me to meet and interact with seven other artists, and that was a wonderful experience.  We all approached our projects differently and everyone was so generous in sharing not only ideas, but supplies.  We're already talking about next May in Connecticut with Lynne.


Diann said...

Beautiful ART and a fantastic weekend with Lynn and friends! I'm so very impressed with the wonderful pieces you created but how you lovingly saved those left-overs and created even more fun projects! Its most obvious you had fun - you go girl! Diann

Lori said...

Ahh, this is what I have been waiting for.... really cool pieces of art... the inn looks absolutely gorgeous, what a setting to create in! So glad you had a wonderful time, love the idea of using leftover bits of paper!

teri said...

What a perfect recap! I'm going to just post a link to your blog from mine so my readers can enjoy the details of our weekend "in the country." By the way, your finished pieces turned out lovely.

Helen said...

What agreat weekend - lovely lovely art - and I wouldn't have minded a review of the Mikado, it's my favourite G&S operettas!

Dorothy said...

Wow Eileen!! Excellent art and I loved reading all about it!!

Valerie B. said...

Definitely can't wait until next year in Key Largo to get all this crafty, collage goodness from you (or maybe Lynn herself.)

Sherry Goodloe said...

what a fun workshop! LOVE your banner Eileen. Thanks for sharing the weekend with us. I felt like I was traveling right along with you *smiles*

craftyM said...

Wowza...Wowza... yeah, just WOWZA! Love it!

Lillian Mederak said...

this is FAB and you are showing this next year???
beautiful Eileen
Glad you and Teri had fun together

Vic said...

Thanks for sharing your weekend. It looks fabulous and your art is beautiful.

Patzee said...

(I didn't realize the size of the animals in CT.) Your pieces are so vibrant! Amazing layers of color and texture. Wow!! Love the book--and it's portable, so there's no reason not to tote it around. Truly worth bragging about!

Nancy Lynn said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful weekend with us. The artwork looks like it was a lot of fun to make.

Elaine A said...

Hi Eileen -

Its nice to get away and immerse yourself in art. Love the photos and I know you had a fabulous time!

Elaine Allen

Sue Young said...

OOOH,wonderful,just wonderful Eileen!!!!! Elena, you will need to work onLynn to come to the Keys!!!!
Eileen,PLEASE let me know if there will be a next year in Conn........I would love to get signed up if so!
Fabulous colors and images and collaging!!!XO

lee said...

Lucky Duck! didnt you have fun?Love it all but love what you did with the left overs too!
Thanks for sharing your adventure!

Anonymous said...

Where you stayed was beautiful!!!! Looks like you had yet again...a WONDERFUL time!!!! I so enjoy reliving your trips with you!!!!

inge said...

Hello Eileen,

WOW, you seemed to have had a wonderful creative weekend and came home with gorgeous artwork.
The lodge where you stayed looks so green and relaxing.

Only two photos of the weekend : you must have been busy, but when I see what you made those days I can understand !!

I wish I could see your project in real : they look all so layered and full of details.
Me too I really like Lynn's style, but can only dream of how she's doing it or have a workshop with her !

One promise ? You do "something" based on what you learned in my evolutionjournal, my journalpage or tag ?....
I know I will never be able to follow a course with her, but to have some artwork from a student of her can learn me a lot ! :)

greetings from belgium

Alicia said...

Beautiful Art and the grounds are awesome! I would have loved to have seen all this and taken pictures as well! *Hugs*