Art in the Wild Exhibition

 Photo curtesy of Eli Warren

Photo curtesy of Eli Warren

I’m still bursting at the seams with inspiration, thanks to my time as Artist in Residence at Poinsett State Park. In case you missed it, I spent a week in a cabin in the woods, creating a collection of work related to my beautiful surroundings. Next week, that collection of work will be exhibited at Art & Light Gallery in Greenville, SC.

40 wool paintings are included in my “Art in the Wild” show, and they range from landscapes to birds, to other nature studies. The show runs June 14-16 and if you’re not in Greenville, the gallery will be happy to ship. Once the show is over, the work will be available on my website.

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Here’s an exclusive peek at the collection. Which is your favorite piece? Please comment!

Now that’ you’ve seen these, are you interested in learning to needle felt? It’s so much fun! I’m teaching a class this Saturday (June 9th) and another one June 30th at GCCA in Greenville.

Signup here for workshops: https://www.artcentergreenville.org/summer-workshop-descriptions

 Photo curtesy of Eli Warren

Photo curtesy of Eli Warren

During my residency at Poinsett, I also created a new landscape pendant series called “Mill Pond” and I’m doing a double giveaway on Instagram this week. Check it out and win a pendant for yourself and a friend.

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Artist in Residence: Poinsett State Park

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Earlier this month, I was honored to have the chance to be the Artist in Residence at Poinsett State Park. I spent a week in the woods, soaking up inspiration and creating art inspired by it. This was my first time doing anything like this and it was such a good experience.

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I stayed in Cabin #2, which was built in 1937 and had been updated with modern conveniences, but still felt rustic. Each morning I’d wake up to the sound of birds, eat breakfast on the sun porch, and hit the trails for a few hours.

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There’s miles and miles of trails in the park, and my favorite ones were the Cowasee, Scout Loop, and of course the trail alongside Mill Pond, which is just about as scenic as it gets. I'm not originally from the south so the sight of Spanish moss is still a bit surreal to me. It looks like a movie set!

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After a few hours in the woods, I’d come back to the cabin and spend the hottest hours of the day painting, needle felting, and sketching. There was no shortage of inspiration in the park. Ideas would come to me while sitting by the fire pit after sunset or canoeing through the lily pads listening to choir of frogs on the shore.

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I definitely lost track of time, and had no idea what day it was for most of the week. I can’t tell you the last time I disconnected like that, and really focused on my work without any interruption. It was so good for my soul!

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I created nearly 20 pieces during my residency and have another 20 in the works that will be ready for my upcoming exhibit “Art in the Wild” which runs June 14-16th at Art & Light Gallery in Greenville, SC.

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A big thank you to the South Carolina Parks Department for this amazing opportunity! If you’re interested in applying for next year, check the SC Parks website in the fall for more info: https://southcarolinaparks.com/

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Check out this short video documentary that shows my week as Artist in Residence in a nutshell. Hard to believe 6 nights, several miles of hiking, hours of working, and a lot of fun in between, can be condensed into 3 1/2 minutes, but here it is! 

Share What You Know

I’m a big believer in this simple statement. I’ve learned a great deal from others and I’m always happy to share whatever I can. If you’ve ever contacted me to ask about my laser cutter, tips on opening an Etsy shop, or are curious about needle felting, you know this to be true. In the coming weeks, I have several unique opportunities to share my skills and experience with you!

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Needle felting workshops: 

https://www.artcentergreenville.org/artschool-adults

I’m teaching two needle felting classes this summer at Greenville Center for Creative Arts. Each session is suitable for any experience level (ages 8+). The first class (June 9th) will focus on 3D needle felting, and the second class (June 30th) will focus on 2D felting. All materials are provided. Space is limited and registration opens Friday May 5th.

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The State of Making online summit:

https://academyofhandmade.com/thestateofmaking/

Are you an artist, small business owner, or just curious about the maker life? I highly recommend checking out The State of Making, which is a yearly conference made possible by Academy of Handmade. I’m one of the speakers on Day 1 (Thursday, May 3rd) and I’ll be talking shop and sharing what I’ve learned about the Etsy economy, diversifying your income streams, and keeping your chin up when you’re having a down year. Registration is FREE!

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Artist in Residence Daily Documentaries:

www.video.onceagainsam.com

I’m starting to pack my bags (which are mostly full of art supplies) in preparation for my upcoming South Carolina state park residency. This amazing opportunity is giving me the chance to live in a beautiful state park for a week and create a body of work inspired by my surroundings. I’ll be sharing photos and going live on Instagram and Facebook daily, as well as posting a video journal (WIFI permitting) on YouTube so be sure to subscribe to my channel so you don’t miss an episode. You’ll get up close and personal as I explore the park, create art in real time, and you’ll see the ups and downs of my creative process. The work created during the residency will be exhibited in mid June at Art & Light Gallery in Greenville, SC. 

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Spring 2018 Launches

During the winter months of 2018, I often found myself playing with paint in the studio. I made time to practice each week, invested in new brushes, and even took an intro to alcohol inks class at Greenville Center for Creative Arts in March. I’ve been inspired by the medium! The textural and graphic possibilities of paint have greatly influenced my new jewelry collections this spring. I’m excited to finally share these new additions to my Etsy shop with you. Each piece is an original one-of-a-kind, but thanks to the simple settings and delicate scale, they’re easy to incorporate into your everyday-style.

See the process in my new Maker's Eye View video on YouTube!

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Alcohol Ink Collection: drips and splatters showcasing beautiful unpredictable patterns in colorful dyes, frozen in time on clear acrylic.

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Mixed Media Collection: clear acrylic layered with crumbled gold leaf, pale pink paint with stark black accents, framed in a variety of simple metal bezels and laser etched wooden settings.

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Intro to Alcohol Inks

Never stop learning new things. That’s a lifelong goal of mine, and I’ve made a habit of taking art classes whenever possible. Recently, I carved out a Saturday afternoon for the Intro to Alcohol Inks class at Greenville Center for Creative Arts with Dottie Bruce. It was a 6 hour workshop but the time just flew by!

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After demonstrations and tips for working with the medium, we had the chance to work with the diluted dyes on smooth paper and ceramic tile. Alcohol ink is a fairly new trend, but I think it’s going to be very popular! Concentrated dyes are mixed with rubbing alcohol to water them down, and must be used on a smooth surface like yupo paper, acrylic, or other glass and plastic surfaces. You don’t have full control over what the ink will do, where it will go, how it will mix, but that’s sort of the beauty of it (from a beginner's perspective, at least).

I had a blast painting landscapes of course, had a hard time with the botanicals, and was soothed by watching the drips run and mix together with the other colors in abstract ways. The ink dries so fast, it creates these really cool outlines of color that you can’t really get with other mediums. It’s a forgiving medium as well - if you don’t like something, you just wipe it off with alcohol. Pretty easy to start over if something is looking disastrous! I will definitely be experimenting with this medium in the future...just as soon as my alcohol ink starter kit arrives in the mail!

**UPDATE**

The ink has arrived and I've already created my first collection of alcohol ink jewelry. Check them out in my Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/OnceAgainSam?ref=seller-platform-mcnav&section_id=7186713

Don't miss this Maker's Eye View time-lapse video showing the process: https://youtu.be/dEpDtySa78w