Blue Moon III, 9×13, watercolor, 2021

Hang on a Little Longer: Art is Springing Up all Over the Place

Gauging by the small flowers I see emerging in my yard, spring is starting to show up, leaving winter behind.  I am ready!  There is already lots of excitement on the horizon as we try to figure out how we can regroup, get ourselves vaccinated and keep ourselves safe for just a little longer, until we can put the pandemic behind us as much as possible.  In the meantime, there is still plenty to keep us occupied.

WVA South Central Chapter Member Exhibition

I am pleased to have a piece included in the virtual exhibition ‘It’s Changed Us In So Many Ways’, April 1-31, 2021.  It is a membership exhibition of the South Central Chapter of Wisconsin Visual Artists.  Check it out!

There are additional wonderful art centered events next week! Consider joining in this free conference next week:

Annual Women’s and Gender Studies Conference

There is a wonderful and FREE virtual conference coming up April 8-10 next week (Its free but you must register for access).  Resistance and Reimagination: Gender, Change, and The Arts, is a conference of the University of Wisconsin System Women’s and Gender Studies Consortium, and the UW-Madison’s 4W Initiative: Women & Wellbeing in Wisconsin & the World.  Registration is free and the amazing schedule of events are profoundly centered in the arts.  Go here to register and see the conference schedule.  It is a wonderful range of exciting international offerings and I am proud to be co-facilitating two artist roundtables with amazing artists:

  • Deploying Art-based Activist Strategies to Address Environmental Justice Issues, Friday, April 9, 1:00 – 2:15 PM
  • Reimagining Resistance: Gender and Change Through The Arts, Saturday April 10, 10:00-11:15 AM

Additionally, you will be able to see a virtual exhibition of 23 artists, writers, and arts project with videos available on demand throughout the conference starting Tuesday, April 6th. I will have a video discussing my own art as part of the offerings.   Preview the Art exhibition here.

Virtual Workshops and Classes

Winter is usually a time for quiet reflection and a little hibernation. I used my winter to take advantage of my good fortune of having a studio in which to exercise my creativity and paint my heart out.  In December I decided it would be a good idea to share and set about creating a ten-week virtual watercolor workshop (split up into two 5-week classes). With the technical help of my son Daniel Torres I decided it would be a great idea to help get me and anyone who wanted to come along on a watercolor journey to help use get through the rest of the winter.  

The workshop participants and I just finished up the last of the official classes and will spend now through August allowing workshop participants to review and reflect and go through the lessons at their own pace.  Some people are just finishing up and others will be taking their time and enjoying the guidance of the virtual lessons at their own pace.  All I know is that it has been an absolute blast to share this time with the 50+ people who did all or part of the workshop.  I am looking forward to seeing their work continue to appear throughout the summer.  It has been a blast for me. I was honored to be asked to write about my pandemic pivot to teaching online by Artwork Archive for their blog.  You can read about it here: Pandemic Pivot Advice: How to Teach Art Workshops Online

While I am only working virtually with individuals on watercolor for the summer, I do have a couple of other on-line workshops coming up that I hope you will share with people you think might be interested.  You can find it all on my Creativity Lessons website.  But here is more information about upcoming fun.

Register up by April 9th to participate in my virtual workshop with River Arts on Water:  Envisioning The Art Career You Actually Want to Have.  This is a month-long, go at your own pace workshop starting April 16th and going through May 13th with go-at-your-own-pace virtual lessons and an optional once a week Zoom meeting on Thursday evenings.  Checkout the schedule online.  

Here is the workshop description:

You cannot have it if you cannot imagine it.  This virtual month-long workshop will focus on the participant’s art and/or life passion, talents, and desires, to create a vision for the meaningful career/business that they actually want to have. Through a series of self-reflective, exercises we will develop an initial planning process to articulate your vision for the art career that is meaningful to you.  We will also imagine the first steps toward realizing that vision.  Discussions and exercises on the workshop website and through optional weekly zoom discussions will help participants define what success looks like for themselves and decide how to use their personal values and goals to inform their choices.

July 17-August 14, 2021

Later in the summer, I will be revisiting an online workshop I developed last summer for Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts exploring how to turn your art into fabric designs using the print-on-demand venue  Register by July 5th for Wearing Your Art on Your Sleeves … and Everywhere Else, July 17-August 14, 2021.  This is another ‘go-at-your-own-pace workshop with weekly optional Zoom meetings for Q&A scheduled for 5 Saturdays from 1-2 pm.  Here is the description:   

Have you been thinking about printing your artwork on fabric? It seems complicated, but Helen will guide you through the process of using Spoonflower, a custom printer that gives artists the ability to design their own fabrics from the comfort of a home computer. She’ll show you how to do a simple replication of images for projects on cloth, how to put your image in repeat (called “tiling”) and endless other project possibilities like making large-scale wall works, patterns for dolls or stuffed toys, and placement of images for apparel design. This isn’t just a lecture — you will actually be doing the work with your own images during class and end with submission-ready designs.

May 2, Neighborhood Art Walk

Recently I have been having a great time uploading images of small paintings, (many that I created while teaching my virtual watercolor workshop), to my website in anticipation of our upcoming virtual Marquette-Atwood Neighborhood Artist Walk, May 2, 2021.  I am personally only joining in virtually, but pandemic permitting, some neighborhood artists will be sharing their art outside and in-person.  Put this link on your calendars and join me virtually in my studio from 11:00AM to 5:00 PM, and others as well:

May 2, 2021

Cabin Fever Creative Community Updates

I am still facilitating the Cabin Fever Creative Community on facebook, with an aim toward continuing to bring people together around our art long after the pandemic is just a bad memory.  As you may remember I started the group in March of 2020 to help us focus on something beside the corona virus and divisive politics. It helped me get through the worst of it and find others who know that creativity is a part of how you act in the world every day. I was wrote about how you too could work to develop creative community around your interests in an essay entitled Creating Creative Community in a Pandemic for Eric Maisel’s column, Rethinking Mental Health, in Psychology Today online.  You can read my short offering, but it is just one of a whole series of wonderful short essays on Creativity Eric shares with us in his latest interview series CREATIVITY COACHES ON CREATIVITY AND THE CREATIVE LIFE.  Check them out!


Finally, a couple of other offerings by other artists are coming up that I would like to bring to your attentions:

Painting for People Who Think They Can’t Paint with artist Janis Post is a great virtual introductory acrylic painting workshop, especially for artists who would like to explore abstraction.  It will be Thursdays in June.  It is offered through River Arts on Water.

Artist and Creativity coach Angela Johnson is offering a wonderful series of workshops around Wisconsin in the coming months in Madison; Peninsula School of the Arts in Door County; and at Dillman’s in Lac du Flambeau. Check out her schedule!

Okay everyone!  Let’s make art!