there are a dozen things i SHOULD be creating... there are a dozen things i WANT to be creating...
and what am i doing? rearranging and organizing my (home) studio.
when things are too cluttered i find i cant think.
the clutter and the looming deadlines make me anxious...so i purge and reorganize!
some of you have seen my tiny studio space at home and know there arent many places to move, but i thought turning my work table so that i am now facing the window while i work will not only give me better natural light as i record, but also open up the space to maybe...dance, lol!
with the space more open i will have more room to paint BIG too!
just a little (procrastination) share today. i LOVE to see how people organize their creative spaces and i love working in a well organized space. hopefully i get back to work now, lol!
if you have been following my blog recently, you know that i am really having fun learning how to draw faces. at one time i "poo-pooed" the idea but in truth it was because i couldn't do it...that is i THOUGHT i couldn't do it.
the truth is, if someone explains it to you in a way that makes sense...not mathematically or anatomically, in REAL language and shape talk anyone can learn to draw faces. with the push from Dina Wakley and the guidance of Stephen i have gained so much more confidence and practical understanding of drawing faces.
if you have not had the pleasure of meeting Stephen Lursen yet, let me be the first to introduce you. Stephen is our education coordinator, holds a masters of Fine Arts, the most generous artist with his time and an overall gift to our studio.
recently, he has been teaching me so much about the mechanics of drawing faces, i asked him to launch a series of videos for my online fans that did just the same.
his first video in the series is "How to Draw Eyes", (with several more videos to come in the next few weeks. i asked him to break it down into consumable chunks because this is how i learn, lol!)
these are the first eyes i drew with him and was AMAZED...so much so, that i gave him a big hug at the end of class because i couldn't believe he got me to this point so quickly!
these were my watercolored eyes. i couldn't help it i had to drip, lol! here is a sneak peak snippet of Stephen's NEW video (actual workshop is in Hi-Res)
i have three brand new Road Workshops to announce that will run the second half of this year into next!
but i always like to beta test them first at my studio first before they make there big debut! come and be my first class to take all or any of them next month on August 15-16th during the Charlotte CKC Event. So if your in the area for the event or would like to make a road trip, registration is now open!
Learn the fun of painting with watercolors in this workshop and discover the vast range and flexibility of
this media. Play with color as you learn how to mix palettes to put emotion and conviction into your
painting by exploring, experimenting and developing your creativity as an individual. This workshop puts
fun into the process of painting, along with enthusiasm and new techniques in an atmosphere that makes
the beginning as well as the practiced painter feel welcome!
Join me in this workshop where you WILL get your hands dirty as you
learn start-to-finish how to create layered mixed-media/collage books in
a signature donna downey style. Explore techniques for creating
embedded backgrounds, building a mixed-media color palette (using
acrylic paints, oil pastels & india ink), adding dimensional design
and texture, blending fabrics, papers, images and a simple bit of
bookbinding to create a unique book from scratch giving your finished
piece a uniform look.
This workshop is an experience you will want to share. This intuitive
painting workshop is designed for the beginner or those who wish to
expand upon their existing skills. Versatile, fast-drying and easy to
clean-up, acrylics are ideal for busy people who want to learn to paint.
Discover your own style while as we explore experimental mark-making,
painting and faux encaustic painting techniques to push your creativity
and skills to a new level. Discover new approaches to creating
expressive abstract art pieces to create your own mini series of art.
Learn how to incorporate washes, layering, glazing and texturing as well
as integrating color combinations and various methods of applying paint
(besides brushes). There are no rules or mistakes in this workshop -
just pure fun
spend all day saturday taking Mixed-Media Academy & Abstract Painting and get a discount
For more information on these classes being taught at my studio, visit my studio page.
i didnt know what to expect, i just knew DJ's work has always inspired me...
she's a kindred spirit...creative, quirky, passionate, a giver and a genuine soul. i love her!
the weekend exceeded my expectations and the books, art, layers and overall feel of the atmosphere this weekend was bliss. (she has already started brainstorming her next weekend here in 2014 including a photography field trip, YEAH!!!)
here are some collective photos taken over the weekend and they truly say it ALL!
yesterday DJ & i spent several hours just painting in the studio.
she had never painted on a large canvas before and i was so honored to share this one-on-one time with her. total HAPPY PLACE!!!!
its gorgeous and she is leaving it in the studio for us!!! "TOUCHING!!!!"
we will be hosting the incredible Joanne Sharpe in the Studio, she only has a few seats available so if you have ever wanted to watercolor, build designs using Twinkling H2O's & Silks paints, explore creative techniques for handwriting this is your chance. Plus, she is a hoot and i love listening to her New York accent makes the jersey-girl in me giddy!
stay tuned for inspiration wednesday tomorrow and on Thursday an announcement about the upcoming INSPIRED events & Artists already confirmed for 2014!!!
i'm having lunch with DJ today before we go to the studio for her "Capture Your Vision" weekend at the studio!
i am so excited, i have been a fan of her work for years and almost pissed myself when she said "YES" to come teach at the studio.
some of my FAVORITE people will also be here this weekend taking her workshop and i promise to post pictures throughout the weekend on my facebook page and do a total recap of the weekend on my blog next week!
if you asked me today what i want to be when i grow up, i would tell you that i want to be an Artist with my own Studio where people come to create...create art, create hope, create joy and create and re-create themselves eveyday.
dont get me wrong, i LOVE to travel, but to teach in my own studio is "the dream". this weekend was AWESOME!!
i was able to test run my 2 brand new workshops as well as teach my "big 40" workshop (which has been probably my most requested and technique filled workshop i have taught to date)
so many new faces and lots of old friends.
i thought i would share some snapshots from this weekend.
holy hell best class ever!! so much fun, we made our own spray paint, creative chaos and what emerged from each canvas was just incredible. we had people walking in off the street asking what we were making!!
thank god for trial runs because what i thought i wanted to teach in this workshop turned out to be a dud. with the help of my awesome students and the benefit of being on my home turf, we put together a whole brand new workshop, with 3 times the art and the results were A-W-E-S-O-M-E!
so glad i made the changes because it is so much better, check it out...
this was the direction i thought i wanted to take them...
and this is where we ended up!!
the last piece we created was a "free create" where the students can either draw, transfer or design their own image
if you would like to see more photos from this weekend you can stop by the studio Fan page here
May sound crazy but the bathrooms in our new studio space are BIG and the blank white spaces are begging for art. As I started making decorating decisions I knew I wanted to do something FUN and unusual. If the rest of the studio is filled with bold color and art, then why not the bathrooms? Then while browsing Pinterest I stumbled upon a really whimsical & fun altered paintbrush by artist Mindy Lacefield.
I knew immediately what I wanted to see the large blank walls filled with brushes like hers.
Then I thought, “that is a hell of a lot of paintbrushes.” So that’s when I decided to contact Mindy as well as call on my artist friends to help me start off this collaboration and I sent each of them a plain wooden brush. Now as I have started to get some of the the brushes back I am gobsmacked. The brushes are PURE ART and I am overjoyed to share the first ones returned with you today.
my brush (like i had to even tell you right? lol!)
But then I thought, that’s not going to fill the walls, what if I made this a global collaboration? it would be really fun to not only invite my artist friends, but also the general public. So that a small piece of creative goodness from across the globe could be a part of the shared creative experience (in the toilet, lol)
So we are taking The Altered Brush Project global!
"The Altered Brush Project"
display your creativity, market your skills, join the art collaboration and own a place in the studio.
Purchase one of our brushes & a spot on our wall. For your purchase you will receive one of our unfinished paintbrushes, space to display your altered brush and market yourself in the studio (price includes the cost of shipping).
Alter the brush anyway your creative spirit takes you. They can be as simple or elaborate as you like NOTE: do not obstruct the hole in the handle so that it can be hung on the wall
Sign and date the back of the brush giving it your artists’ signature!
Attach your personal calling card (business card size) with any information about yourself you feel comfortable sharing that hangs through the hole in the brush handle
Mail or return the brush to the studio:
donna downey studios 501 s old statesville rd. huntersville, nc 28078
i will share pictures of every brush we get back and how they look on the walls as the collaborative art installation grows!
Join "the Altered Brush Project" collaboration TODAY!!
about 2 months ago the local newspaper that occupied this big office space in the front of my building moved out. i secretly have always coveted this space because of its huge windows and natural light not to mention the street presence and space. so bill started asking questions and by the end of his conversation, i am elated to say we are the NEW tenants (the address even remains the same after we move)!!!
my current studio now sits in a smaller office space off to the right of this picture, attached to this building tucked quite a bit back off the street the building is 80 years old and in its former life, was an old FORD dealership. it has charm and character, but it needed to be overhauled on the inside...too many walls, ugly ass floors, and YELLOW...LOTS OF YELLOW!
with bill working his magic, the landlord agreed to modify the building to all my requests (i was shocked!)
first up was to knock down the walls as you walked in the front door. because it was used as office space it was sectioned up and felt like walking into a dark and walled coffin.
with the walls down, WOW!!! look at that light! i LOVE THE LIGHT!!! to the left will be the new classroom (the room with the chandeliers...one of the only random things i am keeping) and to the right the new shop!then the floors were next to go...the black and white checkerboard was not only icky, but lifting and well...just icky
so so the demo guys came in to started ripping up the decades old tilesand two weeks ago i made my final decision on the flooring treatment...a white wash over the cement floor that was revealed under the tiles. in my head i have this vision of industrial meets authentic. i am a bit excited to see it when its done because of the potential character that may be revealed from the old floor as it was decades ago it laid in an old FORD showroom.
last week the flooring company came in to start sanding down the residue and prepping the cememnt floor below for a white wash.
the new space even has a kitchen! perfect for INSPIRED events and Grandma Cookie's (my moms) catered lunches and snacks. there is even more space to the right, a small kitchenette nook as you walk into just beyond the doorway here of the kitchen. i am thinking a candy display or snack spot for our INSPIRED events.
the arched doorway leads to another small room...we are calling this "jenny's room". this will be where my neighbor and kit maker extraordinaire assembles and stores all the supplies needed to make the kits for when i travel and teach workshops
this might seem silly but the new space has 2 incredibly large bathrooms, WITHIN THE BUILDING! see in our current space they are down and around the hallway separate from out actual space. they are big and screaming for a creative idea and i happen to have a few up my sleeve (more to come). we are even getting a mud sink put in one so we can clean out our supplies!
these are just the first round of pictures of the changes being made...looks like we may be in by august 1st and i will continue to document and post updated photos the changes of the move and the process from transforming the space from "drab" to "donna downey studios".
we have been so excited about the changes and the possibilities that will now open up for us in the new space, it has been so difficult for me to keep the secret, lol!!
BIG THINGS are happening here in in my small town of Huntersville NC and i hope to take you all with me on the journey!