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April 2012

March 2012



The first iris blooms are swelling and preparing to open.  It fills me with such a sweet sense of anticipation when the garden reaches this stage every year.  I don't know about you, but when spring truly arrives I always experience a renewed sense of purpose and vitality.  Each morning I walk the garden checking on the progress of the buds.  One day soon I'll open the back door and the color will be there greeting me.  I can't wait!

Artfully yours, Chris



I'm forever collecting seed pods.  What ever started me on this journey I cannot say.   An implied "possibility" is there when you look at the pods in their various states.  In the beginning they are just forming, tiny, tight and holding on to their potential.  As they begin to break open it is as if they are filled with anticipation, anxious to greet what may be ahead.  When they open and the seeds are still within, full and round and heady with life, the ripeness of it all is intoxicating.  So much potential and so many opportunities.  Even when the pod lies spent, empty of its contents, I am fascinated.  Just the pod alone speaks to a job well done, a beautiful vessel for the potential it carried.

As you begin each composition, think of it in terms of the life cycle of the seed pod.  An idea forms tight and unformed.  With nurturing it will ripen and reveal itself to you.  Keep developing it and it will burst forth and complete itself.  The pod that remains is your emblem of completion.  A job well done.

What inspires you?

Artfully yours, Chris

Turning images inside out...

Playing with images in a photo-editing program like Be Funky really let's you see things from many perspectives.  It is really helpful to imagine a photograph in another set of colors,  broken up and put back together,  or reduced to lines.  Don't be afraid to give these programs a try.  I went looking for a program after I learned that one of my favorite sites, was being discontinued after being consumed by Google.  What a disappointment that was.  Some of the features are being added to Picasa, but it's not the same.  So I'm experimenting with others.  Give them a try for yourself! 

Artfully yours, Chris

Bursting out all over


I'm back in a "do-over" frame of mind.  I'm pulling pieces off the wall and taking them back into the studio for a few days of R & R.  I'm so happy with this lively and fun piece that I may not ever take it back for a do over!  Just goes to show, the more layers the better the piece.  No matter what is going on now, things can always get better.  Good advice for art, good advice for life!  Big plans brewing.  Sending some pieces off to a gallery, planning a workshop in West Virginia for September.  Gearing up to finish the final leg of the book.  Congrats to Julie Prichard for her work featured in Seth Apter's new book.  Read all about it here on his blog.  I've been working with Julie very closely these past couple of years and she is a powerhouse.  Watch out world, here she comes!

Artfully yours, Chris

Experimentation: Unlocking the key to your artistic self


When I first finished my training with Golden Artist Colors I was so overwhelmed by the number of products and the amount of information that I had to absorb.  I knew if I was ever going to be able to share things with others I really had to know what I was talking about.  The boxes of product arrived and I began to play and experiment.  I quickly learned that I had to lose the fear of making a mistake and go ahead and try whatever came to mind.  Not long after I had the opportunity to write my first book, ALTERED SURFACES which was the result of putting  all that experimentation and fancy technical information through the seive of my mind and sharing it on paper.  I found that people responded to technical information if you could translate it into useful language.  Since that time there have been two more books, my online partnership with Julie Prichard and another book in the works, along with hundreds of students in workshops. I love teaching and am always looking for the opportunity to share what I know with others, especially the part about experimenting.  Never be afraid to try something different it may lead you to your true artistic self!

Artfully yours, Chris