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This year I've been challenging myself to take art classes outside my comfort zone.  In March I took a 3-day plaster class from the wonderfully talented Stephanie Lee.  

(Stephanie and her friend Judy Wise have teamed up and created an online workshop plus a book on using Plaster as an art medium.  If interested, here's the link to the class.  I'll be taking it to learn even more stuff and also to get access to a DVD distributed after the class ends.)

I spent the first day focused on playing with the plaster since that felt safe.  The plaster part was messy, fun and not the problem.  I hoped that more instruction was coming the next day that would help me take out my paints!  The first night I went home feeling frustrated with myself and yes, even a little sad. Some others in the class were already whipping out amazing pieces of art that I'd be proud to have in my home.  Some even gallery worthy!  By the middle of the second day I was in my humming place and just happy to be creating.  I kicked the judgement troll out the car door before leaving the house!

Some of us chose to do Santos in addition to items that could be hung on the wall.  Since my husband is always so supportive in my class addiction I decided that I was going to make him some stuff to thank him.  I decided they would be sort of a memorial to our first two dogs, Sam and Gretel.  They have both since passed on, but we have so many great memories of them and us together. 

My Santos was going to be Sam instead of the more traditional female form.  The idea was to paint him, put some furry soft ears on him, hang his tags and tennis balls from the frame and use his leather collar in some way.  I think his head is a little big, don't you?!  I've lost momentum and am now wondering if I really want this strange thing in my home.  Will my husband get it?  I doubt he even knows what a Santos is!  lol!  Shall I continue?
I did complete my little plaque for Sam and am working on Gretel's.  I still want to put a wax coating on Sam's, as I think that will mellow out the colors so it looks less flat.  No, you're right, I'm not the next Da Vinci, but I still love him!  It felt like i was petting him once again when I was painting his back.  I even talked to him.  : )
I've got a simulated piece of bark that I've still got to figure out what to put on it.  Maybe a copper moth?  A bird sculpture? 
Just this week I finished Up a Creek which I do love!  See how the beeswax mellows out the colors and gives such a warm patina?
Finally I've got this piece that's got really great color, a strange flyfishing woman wearing ballet slippers and a swimsuit!, and a huge Brook Trout that I painted coming into the picture to make sense of her astonished face.  I can't decide if she's done or if I should add another element.  Words?  Seaweed?  Smaller fish laying on the ground and hanging out of her basket?  (With my belief in catch and release that didn't sound good!)  It sort of tells the story right now, so does that mean I should leave well enough alone?  Help!


Loved reading about your

Loved reading about your creative process. I should take classes to get outside my ccomfort zone. Thanks for giving me a lot to think about.

I think the look on her face

I think the look on her face says it all! An awesome blog post to get me inspired for the day. Thanks!

I like the idea of it saying

I like the idea of it saying exactly that - 'catch and release' - it's a great mantra for almost everything in life, lol! A play on the idea of 'feel it, release it, move on'!

I love this Janet and I am

I love this Janet and I am really really impressed with your plaque tribute to Sam. It is so beautifully done and It brought instant tears to my eyes as I recalled memories of my very special cat of almost 22 years. She passed in 2004 and I still miss her so much.I am very much for the catch and release philosophy too.Audrey

Thank you all! Whew... It's

Thank you all! Whew... It's out there now.Go Holly and Lark!I'm really liking the idea of putting the words "Catch and Release." The Just Breathe aspect is very appealing. Thanks gpc!Audrey - those little furry bodies really take a piece of our heart, don't they? Hugs.

I thought the plaques looked

I thought the plaques looked great. Thought you might like looking at ultimate paper She does a lot of animals and they are beautiful.

The plaque is my most

The plaque is my most favorite, what a lovely job you did! :)

Ummm....WOW! Being out of

Ummm....WOW! Being out of your box looks good and I don't think you need any help! : )I just love the tribute to Sam, it's fabulous!!!!

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