Let me start by saying that the classes are every bit as wonderful as those I've taken at other retreats (many of the same teachers, so no surprise there), it's the venue that was sorely lacking. A hotel in the middle of nowhere, horribly understaffed, and in desperate need of a major renovation. Few dining choices, and even fewer if you don't have a car. My room was fine, but the hallways had NO air conditioning, and the event was held at the height of our July heat wave. The classrooms all had their own problems too.....too hot, too cold, poor lighting, not large enough. You get the picture. I hope that if CREATE is held on the east coast again next year, that the organizers wise up and choose a better location.
Enough of that. I took four classes and loved three. I consider that a win. The first class was painting on yupo paper with alcohol inks, led by Cathy Taylor. What a revelation! Sure, I've worked with AIs before, but not the way Cathy does, and I learned so much from her. As for the yupo paper, it's not really paper at all, but a plastic product. It was actually designed for watercoloring, but Cathy discovered the magic that occurs when it is combined with AIs.
Cathy demonstrated several techniques....blowing the inks on the paper through a drinking straw was one. Also, making the inks move around on the yupo by dropping rubbing alcohol (91%) on them. She encouraged us to spend some time just experimenting with these techniques. Here are some of my efforts.
We learned how to control the inks enough to create a landscape design.
And how to incorporate stencils into the mix.
Actually getting recognizable images (my flowers are outlined with a micron pen).
This is one of my favorites. I lifted the yupo off the table, and held it on an angle, and dripped different colors down the page, not overlapping any of them. Then I filled in the blank spaces with black AI. I had no idea if the black would migrate into the colors and result in a bunch of mud, but I took a chance, and look how it turned out.
Cathy also shared with us a technique using gold AI (the Jacquard Pinata brand). Apparently it doesn't work with the Ranger brand. A small amount was applied around a color and it sort of surrounds the color as though it had been painted in. Hard to describe, and sadly, does not come through well in this photo, but believe me, it looked spectacular in person.
This was day one. I'll blog about the other classes when a)I actually finish one of the projects and b)I photograph it. It's been that kind of summer. :)