Assemblage at The Collage cafe

I joined the Grown*UP Girls Club this year at The Collage Cafe and I am loving it. While I have my own studio where I can create, there is something about gathering around women, being in a different space, and having someone else prescribe a project that soothes the soul and takes me out of my head.

This month we did assemblage art. We started with a small chunky canvas to embellish with anything we wished.

The Collage Cafe owner Lindy Stockton has gathered numerous objects over the years, from buttons, ribbons, vintage clothespins, paper scraps, game pieces, puzzles to metal objects like washers and rivets, chunky safety pins, keys and a plethora of other things.

Clearly making a mess is part of the inspirational process. I found a lovely pencil that had to be mine, and gathered a variety of other embellishments that spoke to me.

I put a layer of acrylic paint on mine for starters.

Then I added scraps of decorative paper from a scrapbook paper stack.

With glue guns and drills and super-powerful glue we had a blast making our pieces.

Waiting for paint and glue to dry was the hardest part, but gave an opportunity to walk around and see what everyone else was working on.

It is such fun to see what people pick and how they use it in the end.

I snapped this picture as inspiration, and saw the piece being used by someone else.

I am really happy with how mine turned out, especially since I had no vision at all in the beginning.

Sometimes not knowing what could or should be is very freeing, and leads to results you don’t expect.

Playing with dimension is such fun.

The front addresses the writer in me.

The back clearly needed to sparkle.

You can catch a glimpse of the other pieces here.

Go check out this lovely play space and get your inner creatrix going!

Hanging my Show

It’s been a fun few months preparing for Friday’s Show Opening.

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After creating all the substrates and bending the shapes to go on top of the pieces I had to attach the hanging hardware before fusing everything together.

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Then I fused the wire to the encaustic backgrounds and did the hanging test to make sure the shapes would stay put.

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Meanwhile, Downtown Evanston promoted the show in their newsletter, right above Ayla’s Bead’s upcoming event.

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Next came the challenge of transporting dimensional art to its destination.

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My bouncy heart of Communicating Love had to ride shotgun so I could keep the springiness at bay.

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Then came the daunting task of filling up a giant wall.

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I have hung art, but I have never hung an actual show before, and having a vision for how to hang it is much different when faced with the blank wall in actuality.

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But I hammered in nails, and eyeballed the spacing as I went.

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I learned a new vocabulary word, hexaptych, in time to describe the 6 piece grid I made.

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I like how the angles are reflected in Melanie Deal’s mixed media collages as well.

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This one might be my favorite, but I haven’t looked too closely at the other ones yet.

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Such fun details!

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To bookend Communicating Love I added triple heart collages next to the re-wired Piano Scrolls Diptych.

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Tomorrow I’ll also be popping up with my Jewelry pieces for one night only.

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The art show remains on display through the end of the month.

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So come on out to 922 Davis Street for some wine, good company, and colorful art from 5 pm to 8 pm. Creative Coworking is a fabulous space to peruse.

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I think we complement each other well.

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Here’s hoping for a good turnout tomorrow!

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Strolling Evanston’s Studios

Saturday was a glorious day to wander about town for Open Studios Evanston.

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I attended the opening evening of Made in Evanston at Noyes Cultural Art Center on Thursday and marked my map with the works I wanted to learn more about.

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photo by an Open Studios Evanston organizer

I walked over to Creative Coworking where I witnessed a lovely Make and Take by Twisted Fiber Studio.

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I chatted about encaustics with one visitor.

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Then I had lunch at Bennison’s Bakery.

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The chocolate eclair made up for missing National Donut Day on Friday.

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Botti Studio had lovely art by multiple artists for their Studio/Shift exhibit.

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I love stained glass and hope to have a lamp like that one day.

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I played with Carol Neiger’s Sphinx Lithograph-the shavings are magnetic and move.

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Lorena LaGrassa and I admired each other’s jewelry and I love her mixed media work too.

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Watercolorist Katherine Orr offered an ink demonstration at La Petite Gallerie Lapin.

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She had wonderful insights about the flow of art making.

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Lapin is a fun place to take your laptop for upgrades!

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Part of the fun is exploring the various homes and garage spaces the art making happens in.

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I was struck by Joyce Elias’ blue wood collage at Noyes, and loved the variations in her studio.

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She makes other fun mixed media art too.

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I’m eager to pop in to The Collage Cafe that is opening up at 709 Sherman Avenue soon.

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I was too engaged chatting to take pictures of the space, but Jessica Lynn and Lindy Stockton have pieces at the Noyes Made in Evanston Exhibit.

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Open Studio Project had inspiring pieces up, made from egg cartons!

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I had met Robin Carlson at an artist networking event and enjoyed seeing where she creates her photo collages and multimedia art work.

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She sold a piece while I was visiting.

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Her mosaic process is inspiring.

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Then I stopped at Sidetracked Studios where a raffle was underway to raise funds for the Trio Animal Foundation.

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I hope my collar pendant enjoys the canine point of view of its new owner.

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Sirius by my friend Jason McPhillips was ‘adopted’.

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Hip Circle Studio showcased the veil choreography the students had learned in a single day.

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I ended the tour at Perspective Gallery where FUSEDChicago member Katsy Johnson is featured with her new series of encaustic photos.

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Earlier in the week I had checked out Bridgette Guerzon Mills’ encaustic art at Gather.

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She is showing with Deva Suckerman who transforms salvaged wood into lovely portraits.

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Check out the Made in Evanston exhibit at Noyes Cultural Art Center through the end of the month and explore who your favorite artists are.

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Creativity and artistry abounds in this north shore community!