Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Another donation is completed!

Here is my latest donation piece. This collage is done on Ampersand's gessobord and has different handmade and hand printed papers, burlap and copper for embellishment. Done in my favorite colors that will accent any decor.  Looking forward to shipping off to my friend and AOC instructor, Karen Vernon for the great ACT International Invitation 2016 exhibition she heads up in Texas! Cheers to you for all your hard work in supporting the arts and expanding art education!
Thank you for once again inviting Joe and me to be a part of the show. It is an honor!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Tyvek Beads

One of the techniques I love to teach in a collage or mixed media class is making Tyvek beads. These are simple little gems that can be made by the dozen in one sitting and can then be stored for the perfect moment to use in a collage or an encaustic piece. These are so simple to make and seem to add just the right focal point and texture to any work of art.

You start with a Tyvek envelope. You can purchase them at Staples or Office Max. Cut off all the gummed areas: self adhesive flap, gummed seam and bottom.

You are left with just the envelope material. Open it up flat and lay it down on a table. Now paint one side with a thin coat of acrylic paint. This is a great idea for left over paints at the end of the day or you can use a fresh color of your choice.

Set that aside to dry. Once it is dry, cut long strips of triangular shapes ranging from about 2 inches wide to a point.

These are the length of either the width of your opened envelope or the length. Your choice. Now, roll the triangle over a bamboo skewer or a chop stick starting at the wide end, rolling down to the point.

When you get to the point, place a small amount of gel medium underneath the point and adhere it to the rest of the “bead”. Now take the bead and while it is still on the skewer, wrap it with metal thread. You can find this at the fabric store.

Once your bead is wrapped with as much thread as you’d like, dab another bit of gel medium to hold the end in place. Once the bead is dry, set the bamboo skewer with the bead still on it, on a piece of tile or wood. You’ll just need something to protect your working surface from heat. Now using your heat gun, add heat to the bead. It will start to shrivel a little bit. Remember, the envelope is plastic, so it will melt as heat is applied, so don’t overdo it.

Once your bead is how you’d like it, let it cool a bit and take your fingers and scoot the bead off the bamboo skewer or chop stick. You can experiment with lots of different color combinations for the paints and thread. You can also mix and match with readymade beads for a playful necklace or colorful addition to any mixed media piece.
Please leave a message below if you have any questions or comments. I would love to hear from you!
Thank you for stopping by!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Obsessed with creating

Lately, or maybe always: I have been obsessed with making stuff. I like to create art in collage and encaustic. I like to sew. I like to cook.
After all these years, I try to eat the right things, exercise, be spiritual, relax, meditate, listen to great music, smell the flowers, get lots of fresh air...you know. I try to be good to myself. I reduce, reuse and recycle. I think about the foods and products I put on the table and use in my house. I went for a really long time without even caring about what I put on my body as far as soaps and lotions go. Then I started reading labels.
Words I could not pronounce, much less spell correctly. What is that stuff anyway?
So that sort of lead me to creating my own lotions. I did a lot of research and experimentation with recipes and settled on my skin conditioner that is a huge hit! I now make all sorts of all natural lotions, or "skin conditioners" as I call them. They contain only real stuff. No preservatives or additives or extenders or anything weird. Just good wholesome products like coconut oil, aloe, vitamin E, essential and fragrance oils, apricot oil, etc.
All Natural Skin Conditioners made with products that are actually good for you! No additives! Nourish your body and protect your skin day and night while feeling smooth and smelling fresh! Three different sizes available to meet your home and travel needs with several delightful fragrances to choose from. 2 ounce, 4 ounce and 8 ounce sizes available in your favorite classic scents as well as interesting contemporary scents.

Skin Conditioners:
2 ounce: $3.50
4 ounce: $6.50
8 ounce: $12.75
Available in these scents:
Lavender Peppermint, Bourbon Sandalwood, Cucumber Melon, Exotic Pear, Fresh Bouquet, Full Elegance, Gardenia Jasmine, Lavender, Mango Grapefruit, Jasmine, Passionfruit Guava, Romantic Raspberry, Seashore, Strawberry, Tranquil Sunset, Vanilla and Wild Flower. 

If you're looking for a great product at a great price, please check these out. You can come by the studio to pick up or I will be happy to ship some to you.
Please leave a comment below and share with your friends



Monday, July 27, 2015

Hot off the Work Table

I finally made it back into the studio this past weekend. I have been collecting items for several years now at yard sales, antique shops, flea markets and other similar places. I absolutely love the hunt. I also take tons of photos on my excursions of the many fascinating things that people actually save for so many years. I love taking a fun glimpse into the past through these favorite places and collecting pieces to honor and celebrate the past. I love the wood items and the metal items. Something about the two together sort of makes me giddy and excited about making something new out of something old...

Here are two pieces I completed:

This piece is mounted on old barn wood and has two attachments of encaustic pieces. The top piece is a folded book, dipped in encaustic medium, then painted on top with copper encaustic paint. The middle piece is a small encaustic painted collage on encausticbord. The bottom metal piece is an old handle that I found quite intriguing. This could be used as a towel rack for a guest bathroom or as a wall hanging.

This piece is a handmade fork made of wood and maybe ivory. It feels and looks like a giant African bead and is just beautiful! I mounted it on aged wood and added the hooks for functionality.

Hope you have a great week!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Maintaining a Balance...

With so many things at our fingertips these days, it is important to maintain a balance...
Playtime, Work, Chill Time, Day Dreaming, Creating Art, Home, Mind, Money, Exercise, Family, Service, Organizing, Friends, Spirituality, Love, Entertaining, Food, Travel, Being Thankful, Discovering New Things, Helping Others...
The list goes on and on. I think the trick is to first identify what is important to you, then prioritize and find a balance that works. Things will need to be rearranged over time to exactly what works for you, based on your goals.
Just be sure to have a little "me" time in your day - I mean really, it is YOUR day after all!
This was a random thought that came to me as we were traveling on the train along the Hudson to upstate New York recently. Have you had your "me" time today?

Monday, May 4, 2015

Acrylic, Abstraction and Collage Workshop at Shelton Vineyard!

With summer right around the corner, it’s time to start making some plans for your creativity! Joe and I will be offering a weeklong Acrylic, Abstraction and Collage Workshop at Shelton Vineyard.

If you are ready to dive in and learn some really cool techniques and put them on paper and canvas – then why don’t you join us? This is a great way to carve out some “me time” and tap into your creative side! Learn about design and composition, color theory and so much more…

Join us at Shelton Vineyards in the beautiful Yadkin Valley, Monday – Friday, August 3-7, 2015…relax, get inspired and be fearless in the studio!

For more information, you can contact me for details: Sharon_digiulio@yahoo.com.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Living Life to the Max

Maybe it's just me, but it seems life is just so full these days. Since my last post: snow days, gallery shows, workshops, visits with friends, family and little ones, dishwasher issues, work, massage, haircut, presentations, AOC planning, Hurricanes games, lunches, dinners, baby showers, news of deaths, news of births, taxes, waxes, yoga, H2O fitness, lotions, potions, paintings...
What a whirlwind. I'm not complaining and I swear it gets a little more scary on this roller coaster ride the older I get. Maybe I need an extra seat belt. Maybe I need to take the time to reflect a little bit more. Take a breather as they say to really be thankful for the people in my life and for the experiences I share. I know sometimes we all just need to put down the phone, take a seat in the great outdoors and be. Just sit and be. Just a sweet little moment in time. It doesn't have to be fancy or documented with pen or post or photo. Reflect on the day, the moment. And inhale. Exhale...
I feel better already!
Take a moment and look at something beautiful this week: a piece of sculpture in a gallery, a flower trying to push it's way through the dirt, an animal jumping around in the yard, an amazing sunset. All of these are free and just waiting for you to enjoy! So do it!
Here are a couple of photos from my yard and the country house to get you started:

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Thank God for this Man's Vision!

Today I am writing about a sweet little man who changed my life. Without the vision of Gerald Goldstein, my dreams would not be what they are today. He was the founder of Jerry's Artarama, an art supply store where I have worked since 2000. When I started with the company, Jerry was already retired, but he still liked to go to the managers meetings and visit the stores periodically. He still had lots of interest in offering great products to artists at affordable prices. And he still liked to come to Art of the Carolinas to offer his expertise on the products that we offered at the show. He was sort of a celebrity! He loved participating in the set up and definitely loved the sales part of the show. One year he signed a whole box full of Lil Jerry's dolls for the customers. Another year at AOC, we celebrated his 80th birthday.
Thank you Jerry for starting up Jerry's Artarama and involving your sons Ira and David in the business! I remember meeting with Ira 15 years ago and being so excited to finally find a company that suited me and my background. I felt like this was the perfect career for me and exactly what I had been looking for. With the guidance of both Ira and David, I was able to bring to fruition their idea of a trade show and product sale event, now known as Art of the Carolinas and in its 15th year.
Here is a photo of Jerry and me at the 7th Annual AOC, 2007.
I was also afforded the information and education to move forward in my artistic career as well.
This little write up is a thank you to Jerry for sticking to your plan even when the going got tough. Because of that you have changed the artistic lives of so many and we thank you!
RIP Gerald Goldstein.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Just finished my first workshop of 2015

Just finished my first workshop of 2015 and boy did we start off with some hot waxy fun! I met with a very talented group of gals who were all very open-minded to the experimental aspect of encaustic painting - so thank you ladies! We worked on all sorts of techniques including priming the boards, adding color, fusing, creating texture, scraping, layering, experimenting with oil sticks, oil pastels, pan pastels and image transfers. I think everyone came away with a new understanding of this intriguing ancient medium and were able to add their own twists to the mix!

Here are a couple of photos that I managed to take on my phone during the workshop:

Click image for full picture!

Hopefully these and more students will join in the upcoming 2 day workshop where we will be getting out the torch and pushing these techniques and more to the next level!
I do have a couple 1 day workshops scheduled prior to the 2 day if you'd like to get in on the fun before April! Check the link below for details or you can always email me at sharon_digiulio@yahoo.com

Won't you join us?

Until next time!