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Event | Art Supply Warehouse Fine Arts Weekend

Reported by Maria Del Pinto

I am always on the look out for new ways to expose my kids to the fine arts, in a fun and enjoyable manner.  I was lucky to find out that the local Art Supply Warehouse store was hosting a fine arts event on their property.  It was free to the public, which was a major boost to my pocket book.  Additionally, they encouraged children and adults of all ages to participate (which meant they would have workshops that were child-friendly).
The “Fine Arts Event” was a three-day event that offered several different workshops to choose from on  each day.  There were also hourly demonstrations put on by a variety of artists.  The event also offered an opportunity to create a piece of art through the “Remaster The Masters” event to display on the Catalyst art class space wall.
We anticipated that we would probably spend the day at the event, so my kids packed a light lunch and off we went to the “Fine Arts Weekend Event”.  The first stop was at the store, so we could stock up on the art supplies we were low on.  The Art Supply Warehouse offers a 25% sale at least two times a year and this year it was timed at the same time as the fine arts event.  We have learned to shop first because at those prices they tend to run out of the things we need very quickly.
Once the shopping was completed, we went to the first demonstration which was sponsored by Strathmore.
This was a mixed media workshop where the kind folks at Strathmore provided each participant with one of their new mixed media pads to test out with watercolors, charcoals and pastels.
There were students of all ages taking this workshop.
If you are into junk journals, art journals, mixed media pieces, etc., you may find that these pads are great.  The instructor had samples of different materials that she used on these pads.  The first one was a page from her Strathmore Mixed Media Pad showing the use of Pan Pastels and Stencils.
The second was her Strathmore Mixed Media Pad showing the use of Golden’s Acrylic and hot sticks.
The third was a sample of air brushing on the same pad.
The fourth was an actual in class project by one of the students using watercolor sticks put down in layers to get vibrant colors.  She used a lot of water and still the paper did not buckle, which I think is a plus.
The next workshop we attended was soft pastels workshop which was presented by Lon Dekkers and sponsored by Rembrandt.
You may wonder what is so special about these pastels, for us it is that they do not contain any heavy metals (such as cadmium, lead, and cobalt).  My daughter has certain allergies and these did not cause any reaction.  The colors are also very rich and easy to work with.
Lon showed how to use the side of the pastel to fill in larger areas in the drawing.
He also went over several different ways to use the pastels to create depth and light.
Lon Dekkers demonstrating the Rembrandt Soft Pastels
He was very patent with my teenager, and happily answered all her questions.  She asked him to do a whole apple without smudging the colors on the apple,
so she could better understand how the use of particular colors brought light and depth into the apple drawing.
My daughter’s apple drawing
Her apple drawing came out really well.  Unfortunately, my apple turned into pumpkin (thank goodness that I do not have to rely on my own drawing skills to create cards).
My pumpkin.
My daughters definitely loved this workshop and I am sure I will see a set of these soft pastels added to their Christmas wish lists.
The next workshop we attended was an oil painting workshop which featured paints from the Jack Richeson Oil Paint – Shiva Collection.
The teacher, Jeff Morrow, for this workshop was a very patent artist.  Teaching oil painting to a group of individuals of varied ages and experience is no easy task.
  He taught us how to combine colors, use the various tools and some different painting techniques.
He also shared tips with the students, one of which is to think about perspective when working on a painting. This was helpful, since many of the students had never used oil paints before and were feeling bit nervous about working with them.
Oil Painting without a frame.
Another fun tip was that he showed us how the right frame can change how a painting looks.  The above the painting is great.  However, when you add a frame…
Oil Painting with a white frame.
…it definitely changes the way the finished painting looks.
 Another fun workshop we were able to attend was an “Artist Trading Card” workshop.   In this workshop we had the opportunity to try out the Daler Rowney’s FW Acrylic Inks.
This workshop was taught by calligraphy artist and author, Lisa Engelbrecht,
who taught us some fun techniques for creating our own Artist Trading Cards.
I am a big fan of making Artist Trading Cards because of their size.   I find that Artist Trading Cards are a manageable craft project and allow me to try out a variety of textiles, materials, etc. on them within a short time span.
Lisa Engelbrecht Artist Trading Card Projects
Here are samples of some of the ones made by the workshop attendees.
and some by Lisa.
The “Fine Arts Event” also had a very cool “Remaster the Masters” project.  Where we got to create our t-shirts master pieces with the new Sharpie paint colors.  The store provided us with a fun t-shirt to paint.
They had all the pens out and the colors were fabulous.  Below are just a few examples of some of the shirts people created.
My daughter drew her version of “Nyan Cat” which apparently is a popular cartoon cat with a “pop toasty” body.
Nyan Cat drawn by one of the kids
The event lasted three days and offered many more workshops than we were able to attend.  My family and I appreciate stores like Art Supply Warehouse who give us a chance to try out different artistic media and provide these fun educational opportunities.  If you are interested in similar events,  I highly recommend checking out the online calendar of local art stores and museums who often sponsor similar events in your area.
We would love to know what types of events our readers enjoy reading about.  Please take a moment to share some of your favorites with us.
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Event Review: Arty Gras Celebration

Reported by Maria Del Pinto
The weekend of March 18-20, my children and I attend a fun event at our favorite art supply store in Westminster, CA. The event is the annual “Arty Gras” celebration at the Art Supply Warehouse.  People of all ages look forward this fabulous event and all the interesting schedule of workshops and demonstrations that they present each year.
This is a free event put on by the store to educate, encourage, and expose members of the local community to widen their artistic horizons.  It is a lot of fun and folks come from as far as San Diego to attend this event.  This year they had a painting competition with some pretty amazing artists who created large wall murals in a limited amount of time.
The Official Schedule of Events and Workshops

My children were amazed at the incredible things people were making with the simplest of tools.   Our 

first stop was the “Amazing Human Powered Art Machine” which is a bicycle that has been remade into a human powered spin art machine.

Human Powered Spin Art Machine
The “Human Powered Art Machine” is a reproduction of the famous retro spin art machine from the seventies.

It is powered by a person sitting on the bike and peddling to create a rpm of 5000 to 10000, which is enough to produce dazzling spirals and streaks as the paint is squirted onto the paper.

Squeeze bottles filled with paint.

The adults and children stood outside a safety shield. Then using squirt bottles filled with different colors of paint, they created their little pieces of spin art.

Some of the Spin Art Results

They came out very different from one another.   As you can guess, it was a challenge to get my kids to leave this fun kids craft workshop.

Lutradur Triptych Postcard
The second workshop was  learning to make a “Lutradur”  Triptych postcard with Peter Overpeck from C&T Publishing.   This is a fun process that uses a variety of papers (Ultra-Light Lutradur, Transfer Artist Paper, Fast 2 Fuse Interfacing), inks, paints, and a hot iron to create really cool effects.
Ultra Light Lutradur, Transfer Artist Paper, Fast 2 Fuse papers
The trick to this project was using silicon release paper which keeps the different papers from sticking to the iron or the ironing surface.
Silicone Release Paper
The project we worked on consisted of printed sheets that had been run through an ink jet printer like the sample below.
Ink Jet Printer Sample
Below are samples of the different results you can get by using a variety of materials and inks.  The one below was heat distressed using a hot iron and a heat gun.
Heat Distressed Sample
The next sample show how it works using an ink rubbing technique.  This is a great kids art project.  You simply put a leaf upside down on some wax paper and then put a bit of paint on the leaf veins.  Gently pick up the leaf without smearing the paint and press the painted area onto some paper.  If you did it right, you have a fun leaf imprint on your paper.
Leaf Ink Rubbing Sample
The kids thought this was a fun workshop and the final postcards were cute. These products would be great for card making, altered books, tote bags, recycling old clothing, and upcycled craft projects. For homeschooling projects and teaching guides, the C&T Publishing web site has some class plans and instructions for various techniques using their product line.
The next workshop we attended was the “Visual Journaling 101” technique class with Kari Foteff  (sponsored by Strathmore).  Once my kids spotted bottles of mod podge and gesso, they were very excited to try this project.
Strathmore Visual Journal
This workshop featured Strathmore’s newest heavy-duty mixed media journaling papers that are not supposed to bleed or buckle easily with the application of various media materials.
Kari Foteff
The journals are made with heavy-duty paper that has a wire binding that makes it easier to have the journal lay flat when open.   First, my daughter used the Mod Podge to adhere different papers to the pages.
Using Mod Podge to adhere asst papers
A water color artist sitting next to her, showed my daughter how to use the Lyra Aqua colors on the page.  She loved that effect and will probably add those colors to her birthday wish list.
Lyra Aqua Colors
The papers were put to the test, using alcohol inks, water colors, mod podge, liquitext fluid medium, and a variety of ephemera to create a special page.
Some of the finished pages
The pages below are done with paint and ordinary ink pens:
Paint & Ink Sample
One thing that I really liked is that the ink did not bleed through to the back of the page when using Pitt Artist Pens (Faber-Castell).
Applying Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen
This was a great project; all the altered pages came out great.  Since this was a fairly new product, there were a variety of different artists sitting in the workshop to test out these journals.  My children learned a lot of great tips from these folks on how to use the various supplies the store had laid out on the table to for everyone to use.  If you want to try your hand at altered art or just get some visual journaling ideas, Strathmore offers free online videos and instructions on their website.
One of the lovely things about the Arty Gras Event is that my children and I could participate in any workshop that we wanted as long as the children had an adult to help them with some of the more challenging tools (like the hot iron).  However, they also had children-orientated activities like face painting by Snazaroo, special beads, fun buttons, and more.

There were quite a few homeschool parents attending the event. They were stocking up on art supplies and gathering new ideas for their own kids homeschool art projects.  It was a weekend filled with great opportunities for everyone to try new products and techniques, as well as stock up on much needed art supplies, crafting supplies and other related products.

We would love for you to share your experiences at any local “Arts & Crafts” shows that you have attended  What was your favorite technique or workshop?

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