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Monthly Archives

August 2017

Total Eclipse

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What happens when millions of people stop what they’re doing, and all focus on the same beautiful thing, at the same beautiful time?

Last Monday millions of people across the nation put on their funny glasses, stuck their heads in cardboard boxes, and stood looking up to the sky. For one beautiful unified moment, we all just looked at something (without actually looking at it, hopefully). Millions and millions of personal experiences, spanning across the nation, weirdly and beautifully happening.

We asked Leaguers to send in their profound, their boring, their geeky, their disappointing, their magical, and their funny eclipse experiences. Oh, they sent us it all. Winning entry earned a free class for themselves, or to give to a friend.



“Eclipse Fluidity” by Nancy Coleman (If the preview above doesn’t load, follow this link to watch this gorgeous 22 second video)

Alex Walker’s Bear Astronomy

Kari Boeskov

Cassandra Conner (& mom)


Congratulations, and thank you for this beautiful entry Caren Goldenberg!

Thanks to all of you for sending in your artful experiences, and one more special mention of Nancy Coleman’s video. Did you catch that link? Don’t miss it. It’s gorgeous.

This is what happens when I don’t take art classes

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You know this already:

When I don’t schedule creative time, I lose it. 

But you might not know this:

When I schedule creative time with people who care about me, I’m far more likely to show up. I’m also more likely to enjoy myself. 

Working on projects with people makes me happy. Honestly, this is news to me. I thought I had to be alone to make real art. That, evidently, has changed. Having people around, people who care about me, and people who also want to make stuff, it helps me focus.

Sharing studio with good quality people is dang good quality fun. Sometimes there is music, sometimes snacks. This week it got hot, and someone came in with watermelon. Occasionally the stressful world comes in the door with them, but soon everyone settles in, and becomes relaxed and happy. It usually takes a little while – about 20 minutes of friendly chatter. Then, one by one, each person’s attention turns to their project, and the chatter turns to rustling. That’s about the time Lendy catches me deeply engrossed in scribbles, my tongue sticking out like a little kid’s, and I realize I haven’t heard a word anyone has said for…. how long was I gone?

Shared experiences, the moments when I get to say “Hey look what this ink did!” or “How the heck do I do this?” or “Look! I made a thing!” and friends look up and say “That’s fabulous!” – those shared experiences, they feel good, and they build camaraderie.

When I have a creative date with people, I show up. I catch the infectiousness of their interests. I try things I wouldn’t otherwise had tried. I make stuff. When I don’t, well – you’ll likely find me on the computer again, or doing things that are supposedly important, but really could wait another day. 

So I’ve learned to schedule my creative time with classes. The set studio times secure my creative dedication on the calendar. Surrounded by other people who make stuff, I am constantly expanding, and sharing experiences with a growing community of people who care about me. I feel focused, honed, and connected. Art classes make me happy.  

Hey look, fall classes are up. Come join us!

Forest fire paintings by Jennifer Walton

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Sunrise looks like sunset, with this much smoke in the air. Yesterday every smoke alarm in my building was wailing, and my phone, no longer under my control, said “fah-yer. fah-yer.fah-yer.fah-yer.” The view outside was orange and hazy, and for a short childish moment, I thought the entire world was on fire. Evacuation by one floor revealed a very sorry man with a burnt toast, rapidly fanning a the source alarm. The alarm soon stopped, and as it did all other alarms in the building ceased their screaming, but it still smells like smoke, and outside, it is hazy and orange colored.

Forest Fire Paintings by Jennifer Walton

Matthew Cusick’s Inlaid Maps

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Thank you to Claire Putney for introducing us to the work of Matthew Cusick.

Matthew Cusick

“Cusick uses atlases for his powerful collages, uniting pieces of the landscape that are actually quite far apart to create his own new world. Armed with scissors and a craft knife, the artist playfully rearranges the fundamental organization of modern society.” – Claire Putney

“Maps provided so much potential, so many layers. I put away my brushes and decided to see where the maps would take me.”  – Matthew Cusick

“I think collage is a medium perfectly suited to the complexities of our time. It speaks to a society that is over-saturated with disparate visual information. It attempts to put order to the clutter and to make something permanent from the waste of the temporary. A collage is a time capsule; it preserves the ephemera of the past. It reconstitutes things that have been discarded. A collage must rely on a kind of alchemy; it must combine ordinary elements into something extraordinary.” – Cusick