Lushes with Brushes

I’m excited! I’ve been playing in my studio all week! Painting stiletto heels.

My daughter-in-law made a suggestion a couple of weeks ago, and I love it! She said, “Why don’t you have painting parties where guests drink wine and paint, and call them, ‘Lushes with Brushes’ ?”

…. Well, why not?

I love painting. LOVE IT! I’ve been looking for a way to share my excitement for art. And I know (KNOW) there are a lot of closet artists out there. It’s time to come out of the closet; oh, and drink a little wine while you do it.

Imagine 1/2 a dozen women relaxing with a glass of wine in one hand, socializing; a paint brush in the other, creating… LOL…lolling….lol…ing…

Lush Stiletto in RedThe stiletto heels? I made a rubber stamp of a single stiletto, the right size for an 11″ x 14″ canvas. A sort of home grown paint-by-number, if you will. But better… More wine… And more laughs…I’ve painted 7 versions this week! Giggling to myself the whole time. I never get tired of it.

Traditional home parties = reluctantly accept an invitation to a friend’s house, listen to a sales pitch, and look through a catalogue of things you don’t really want, trying to find the least expensive item, so your hostess friend can earn the hostess “gift” and you don’t break the bank.

“Lushes with Brushes” = home parties where guests are PARTY guests who don’t open their wallets once in the door. A “luscious” girls night out!

“Lushes”, otherwise known as guests, together with the hostess provide the space, beverage, and munchies. Potluck or otherwise. Oh, and the laughs. Put the party back into home party, so to speak.

“Brushes”, otherwise known as me, provides art supplies and instruction. Sorry, here is where opening the wallet comes in, but the cost is small, $25 per guest.

The Lushes take home their masterpiece and some fun memories. And maybe a newly (re-)ignited desire to paint. What woman doesn’t love a sexy stiletto? I can’t wear ’em, but I sure can paint ’em. Any Lush can!! LOL. From a simple heel in primary colours to one as elaborate as imagination limits.

Here is where the hostess gift comes in. For providing the space, and arranging for food and bevvys, the hostess does not pay for her art supplies. She will not earn a bigger and better gift by encouraging anyone to look through some product catalogue. Your purses can stay  safely stowed away once you start to party.

I love to paint, and I love the idea of bringing out closest artists who lost the joy of art somewhere back in grade 4, who now say to me, “I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler.” I say, “who cares”??

Edit: I’m no longer promoting these parties regularly, but you might be able to twist my arm. See the following blog entry.

Still have a question, please leave me a comment.

Happy Stampers

Rubber stamps

Recently, I was asked by a nearby art gallery* to teach a printmaking workshop, since my BFA major is printmaking.

Mostly folks don’t really know what printmaking is. I didn’t until I took my first class. In a nutshell, printmaking is making a  “plate” that can be used many times to print an image over and over. The simplest “plate” is a rubber stamp. In this workshop I showed participants how to carve an image into a rubber block, ink it, and print it. The stamps in the picture on the right were made by Grade 4 students. Stamps were printed several times each, including Artist Trading Cards, and a large poster of everyone’s stamp.

“A” printmaking workshop turned out to be 3 days of workshops. Students ranged in age from grade 1 to grade 12. Time varied from 1 – 2 hours, as well as an adult class that was all day. Time between classes was sometimes non-existent. Ahhhhhhh.  The hardest thing for me, was preparing materials because it changed for each group, especially because the youngest group didn’t use sharp carving tools. To say the least it took considerable effort to prepare for!

The highlights of the workshops were seeing sparks of inspiration. It made the hard work worth it. I fanned those sparks into flames as often and as hard as I could. Mostly, I loved being asked repeatedly where to buy these materials, and I loved that they wanted to keep working even when it was time for them to go.

I thought I’d prepared for every possible scenario though, until I set out to teach my daughter’s grade 4 class. As I was leaving home, my daughter phoned to say she wouldn’t be meeting me at the school after all, since she was going into labour!

It made for a very interesting couple of classes! Her students were darlings who clamoured to know about their teacher and the baby that was coming soon.

My daughter made her own stamp on the world with a big beautiful baby boy who was healthy and perfect. And her students felt like they somehow shared the experience because their teacher’s mom was with them while she had the baby. Their excitement was fantastic!!

Besides the excitement of a new baby, and making stamps, our workshops were sponsored by PV Disposal who also gave each of the kids an apron to keep the ink off their good clothes. They were almost as happy with the aprons as they were with their new rubber stamps.

Even though we used brayers and printer’s ink in the workshop, at home they can use their stamps over and over again using a simple stamp pad. I’m pretty sure more than a few will go out and get supplies to make more stamps at home. My job here is done!

In my next blog entry I will describe how to make a rubber stamp in 6 easy steps.

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* Allie Griffin Art Gallery , Weyburn, exhibited a Printmaking retrospective of Saskatchewan artist, McGregor Hone in Feb. and Mar. 2011