Monday, December 30, 2013

Studio Makeover!


supplies and tools etc

IMG_4122    IMG_4121
I have been on an organizing kick. And I credit Alyson Stanfield's online "Organize Your Art Biz" for it! 

You saw what I did to my office and systems in this blog post. And my desk still looks exactly like that.
cleaned and organized studio
bookcase and bins to organize upcoming workshops and classes

sewing station

former closet (this area hadn't been cleaned in a while)
I used to keep my magazines in these green boxes
 (I gave all the magazines away)
and now keep supplies neatly on my shelf.

all my in progress work in one place

Honestly, the label maker thing made a huge difference for me. Labeling, attractively and artfully, really helps get and stay organized.

and each project, and its pieces, in a plastic bag with a labeled tag.

Buddy on my work table
photo by Jane LaFazio

I've even organized my kitchen cabinets too! Really, Alyson Stanfield's online "Organize Your Art Biz" made a big difference in the way I live.  

And just to remind you how far I've come, look at 
THE BEFORE of my studio, from July 28, 2013 in this video:

(Yes, the link for Alyson's class is an affiliate link, but I wouldn't say any of this if I didn't totally mean it.)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

A River Cruise on the Danube

A workshop with me in 2015. Details on

carlo and Jane
Carlo and I (in Italy earlier this year)
I'm so excited about a workshop I've got planned for 2015. Yup, a river cruise, with all the gorgeous sites and sounds along the Danube river, plus all your meals and room AND daily sketching and watercolor classes with me. The plan is to draw on the ship, sometimes and other times, we'll meet on land and draw what we see. Either way, you'll be able to truly enjoy every moment of the trip and have a sketchbook of memories when you return home. 

I know it seems early, but to get the best selections in each category at the best price, book soon! You can find all the details here and if you have questions, email Carlo, and she can answer all the logistical stuff.

Plus, everyone who signs up will receive their choice of one of my ONLINE 6 week sketching and watercolor classes for FREE! (I'm creating some new ones,too!)  Yup, that's your incentive and if you are in any way nervous about the drawing and painting part of the trip. 
River Cruise on the Danube_ Jane LaFazio_Page_1

Thursday, December 26, 2013

from my sketchbook ~ and exciting news that I can't talk about yet...

hummingbird sage
detail from my sketchbook ~ by Jane LaF

hummingbird sage
detail from my sketchbook ~ by Jane LaFazio
hummingbird sage
detail from my sketchbook ~ by Jane LaFazio
hummingbird sage
  from my sketchbook ~ by Jane LaFazio
hummingbird sage
detail from my sketchbook ~ by Jane LaFazio
So you all know my friend and mentor, Danny Gregory, right? He's the one who inspired me to start a sketchbook and to illustrate the details of my life on a regular basis. (And since my first sketchbook in 2006, to now, I've been published, I teach in person and online (my 6 week Sketching and Watercolor:Journal Style class starts January 17 and registration is open now) ~ oh my! So much has happened from his inspiration and my sticking to it.   

Danny Gregory is starting a new online project that he'll be unveiling in January. Or dare I say WE will be unveiling. Yup, I'm involved and I'm THRILLED. He talks about the new project here, on his blog. That's all I can say.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Yoga Poses in Public Places 2013

San Clemente, California March 2013

In the pages of Cloth Paper Scissors Magazine (March/April 2013)

My sweet Mundo Lindo kids!

Seattle, Washington, August 2013

Stone Brewery, Escondido with Kristen Moss 2013

Taos, New Mexico June 2013

In yoga class 2013
Taos, New Mexico June 2013

Montecito Family Summer Camp, Sequoia National Park July 2013

Bellagio on Lake Como, Italy 2013
  Here's my recap of Yoga Poses in Public Places from 2012.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Scholarships to my online "Sketching and Watercolor: Journal Style" class!

sketching and watercolor ~ by Jane LaFazio
sketching and watercolor ~ by Jane LaFazio

Ah, what the heck, it's Christmas time, so I decided to give THREE  scholarships for my online class "Sketching and Watercolor: Journal Style"  
Here are the winners (email me with your email address, so I can enroll you.)

The reason I would really like to take this class right now is that I think it would be just the escape I need from a really stressful situation I am going through at work right now. I would feel I had made the commitment to do each lesson and it would make me focus on something that for those moments would be creative, relaxing and soothing. Better than "Calgon, take me away"!
I was introduced to your art through the on-line card making class with Strathmore. Since that time I have anxiously waited for each new blog post to learn something new. I would love to take this Sketching and Watercolor: Journal Style class with you. Thank you for your generosity in offering this class to one of us.
I have always wanted to take your sketching/watercolor journal class. I took the welt felting Live class her in San Diego. I am a single Mom and a widow on limited income. Getting in touch with my lost creative side to find my way back to myself. I would love to take this class!!!! I love your saying.."Jane will teach you to draw..Yes..she really will!!"…I have always wanted to do a nature journal and found you on the internet. THAT is what I want to do!!! I will be moving to VA for 5 months to help my aging Mom..this class would be a welcome respite for me..Pick me..Pick Me..
Classroom opens January 10 and the first lesson is released January 17. Interested in signing up? get more details on this blog post and then Register here!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

the story of a commissioned painting and a movie

I love Autumn ~ the finished painting
"Autumn is my Favorite Season" by Jane LaFazio (watercolor 22x30 inches 2013)
I love Autumn ~ in progress
painting in progress ~ by Jane LaFazio
I finally finished a commission. I was given this commission over a year ago! Yes, about 15 months ago. The person who commissioned me is my friend and tax preparer, Mark. Last September, he showed me around his large office and told me he'd love to have some of my work. He told me his favorite season was Autumn.
Why did this take me soooo long? I was busy, I was traveling, it wasn't autumn, I didn't have the subject matter...oh, a million excuses!  Commissions are paid-for work and very flattering, but so very intimidating somehow. I've done a few in my career, and they've always been very stressful. Each pencil mark and paint stroke, I worry, 'will he or she like this?' So, this is officially, my last commission. I'd LOVE for you to buy some of my work, but only the work already completed. It's just the way I am. 
I love Autumn ~ the finished painting
"Autumn is my Favorite Season" by Jane LaFazio
I love Autumn ~ the finished painting
"Autumn is my Favorite Season" by Jane LaFazio
I love Autumn ~ the finished painting
"Autumn is my Favorite Season" by Jane LaFazio
I love Autumn ~ in progress
delivering the finished painting to Mark, my tax guy. whew!
Here's a little movie I made of the process. It's the first time I've done a 'voiceover,' so keep in mind I'm still learning!

And the winner is of Connected Cloth...

I loved reading about the themes you are working with! Thanks so much for inspiring me! The winner of " Connected Cloth" by Cas Holmes and Anne Kelly is:

Wendy Fleckner 
I have recently researched the history of the handkerchief and am exploring altering handkerchiefs to demonstrate their uses. I greatly admire Cas Holmes work and have been lucky enough to attend one of her workshops which was great. I have one of her books but would love the new book too. 
Wendy, email me with your mailing address! and I'd love to see what you do with the handkerchiefs! A wonderful theme.

And thank you all who commented and told me of the themes you are interested in. 
Here are some that were mentioned, to inspire all of us:

  • trees
  • leaves
  • funky flowers
  • potlucks
  • backyard wild life
  • cone flowers
  • the soul
  •  river rocks
  • 60th birthdays
  • soul and guidance
  • nature
  • rock cairns and monks
  • chairs
  • female cardinal (the bird)
  • home
  • doors and doorways
  • entrances
  • poppies
  • flying geeze
  • birds at water's edge
  • sacred spaces
  • milkweeds
  • stories of mother
  • passages
  • the sea
  • light and shadow
  • four seasons
  • flora and fauna on the Canadian shield

Ah, Cas and Anne would be proud!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Online Class registration is now open and a giveaway!

“The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life and elevating them to an art.” William Morris

Registration is open for my online Sketching and Watercolor: Journal Style. The classroom will open January 10 and the first lesson is January 17.

Be inspired to record your life, a special trip, or your daily adventures in a loose, quick journal style format. Jane who is known for her friendly, encouraging teaching style, will teach drawing and watercolors using a straight-forward, intuitive approach. You’ll draw what you see, capturing the details of everyday objects and the small details of life on watercolor pages. Everyone has their own drawing style, just like handwriting, and Jane will help you to see and then record what you see on paper. The class is geared for beginners, but all levels are welcome. (Really, even if you haven’t drawn since 3rd grade, Jane can teach you!)  Jane will help you compose your journal pages, and show you a number of other creative ways to enhance your pages.

Each week you'll receive an email with a link to new lesson, with a different subject or technique. The lessons are available 24/7 and you'll receive a downloadable step-by-step pdf to work from each week. There are videos and examples from Jane's sketchbook to support the lessons.  Just like in a real classroom, you'll be able to see fellow students sketchbook pages and will be able to comment and praise their work and they'll be able to see your pages too (as long as you post them!). And you'll get honest and gentle critiques on all your work from Jane. 

(You'll receive the complete list of materials (with links and descriptions) when you sign up, but basically you'll need a sketchbook watercolor paper, watercolors, a watercolor brush, and a permanent ink pen, pencil and eraser. Don't buy the stuff until you get the actual materials list)

Here's a reduced version of what the online classroom looks like. You'll post your work and others can comment and encourage you.

Register for Sketching and Watercolor: Journal Style    

Recent comments from those who have taken this online class:

 Nancy: I learned that if I look closely at something and pay attention and try to follow the shapes, I can actually draw things! previously the camera has always been my mark maker and now I can create in a new and different way! i never thought it would be possible.......but this class has opened up a new and vast world.
I have learned so much from you and your students--it has changed my life. When I draw or paint I feel like I am entering another world--my only problem is that I don't want to leave that world and come back to regular life!! It was a bold step for me post my artwork. Your support along with everyone else's has helped build my self confidence. So I am inspired to keep drawing and painting and sharing my artwork. Thanks so much for bringing us all together for this wonderful art experience.  
I learned that doing the type of work we've been doing in this class is a really nice way to make art a regular part of my life. That I don't have to have hours upon hours to create something, but if I have an hour or so, I can quickly pull out my materials and create something in a journal.
And taking time to create art feels . . . selfish in a way, even though I know it shouldn't! But I am learning that I need to do this for myself, that it is not okay for me deny myself the opportunity to do something that gives me so much . . . joy . . . and makes me feel more like me. And the day my daughter pulled out a paper when I was painting and wanted to paint alongside me, I learned that it is good for her to see me do this too.  And, I learned that art is an activity we can share!
 It is so wonderful, and so motivating to be able to post  and share and get feedback, and also so inspirational to see what others are doing!
  that if I take my time, as much as I need, and that might right now be a lot of time – it is just the right amount of time for me, and that I can after all, draw.  DRAW. I can draw. 
 … that I love and value and hold close to my heart the encouraging words of fellow painters.  I post an offering of mine and then rush back in a frequent and humorous way to find out who has said what, who has a suggestion (Jane, of course, most of all).

I find that for the last couple of weeks, I have been living in quite a different place in my head. Between the experience of this workshop, and the experience of choosing a few paintings at a friend’s open studio sale recently.I don’t feel the same – a little less edgy, a little more expansive, a little softer, a little fuller – or deeper - of spirit. I’m not kidding.

This has been really enlightening, and I see a lot of things with a whole new perspective. And the journalling part of this, which I find a little difficult, is a major part of the enlightenment - now I need to think about what I see, not just see it. I think life goes by in such a big blur, and I've enjoyed slowing down a bit to do this 

Register here for Sketching and Watercolor: Journal StyleThe classroom will open January 10 and the first lesson is January 17.    

Leave a comment on why you'd love to take this online workshop, and I'll choose one winner to attend the class for free. I'll announce the winner on this blog on December 20.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Eucalyptus Blooms ~ quilt in progress

eucalyptus blooms in progress
in progress ~ detail ~ eucalyptus blooms ~ by Jane LaFazio

eucalyptus blooms in progresseucalyptus blooms in progress
I printed some fabric with a thermofax screen, from one of my earlier sketchbook images of an eucalyptus in bloom.
eucalyptus blooms in progress

eucalyptus blooms in progress
in progress ~ detail ~ eucalyptus blooms ~ by Jane LaFazio
Then, in my usual style, I cut them up and reassembled them.
eucalyptus blooms in progress
in progress ~ detail ~ eucalyptus blooms ~ by Jane LaFazio
eucalyptus blooms in progress
in progress ~ detail ~ eucalyptus blooms ~ by Jane LaFazio

eucalyptus blooms in progress
in progress ~ detail ~ eucalyptus blooms ~ by Jane LaFazio
You saw the inspiration for this quilt here in my sketchbook.  I'm not done with this, but I need to be by early January, so I'll show it to you when I'm done. 
Meanwhile, another giveaway! If you know me, you know I'm greatly inspired by the work of English artist, Cas Holmes, author of my favorite quilt book "The Found Object in Textiles." She has a new book out, with her collaborator, Anne Kelly called "Connected Cloth: Creating collabortive textile projects," and I've giving a way a copy! Leave a comment about a theme you'd like to explore in your creative life and I'll choose a winner and post it here on my blog on December 19th.
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