Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Paper Painting Workshop

It seems like forever since my last post, but life is busy in Paradise!!
Key West has so many personalities, but the one I like best is its artistic side.  This past weekend I had the good fortune to take a workshop with Elizabeth St Hilaire Nelson.  I had wandered into the gallery next door to the gym where I go for Zumba and spinning classes and there were these unbelievable works of art that I fell in love with immediately.  Here's one of them:
I just love the colors and the textures and the text that peeks through the paint.
As I was standing there with my jaw opened to the floor, I was told that she was going to give a weekend workshop and there were a few spaces left.  Oooooh, I was so tempted, but I didn't want to spread myself too thin, since I was taking those wonderfully enjoyable watercolor classes (LOL).

After thinking about it for about 5 minutes, I decided that this was an opportunity that I couldn't pass up.  And to take a workshop from the artist in a gallery surrounded by her work, was the tipping point. The gallery, Stone Soup, has a wonderful owner, Melissa, who also took the workshop. 
 (This gallery also exhibits the work of my watercolor instructor, Sean Callahan.)
Here are a couple more of my favorites of Elizabeth's pieces exhibited in the gallery:

My favorite one of all, although the flamingo is a close second.
My photo is a bit dark.

During the first day of the workshop we laid the foundation for the collage step.  
First we painted our board with our image.  She recommended we do an apple to get the feel for portraying volume in a 2 dimensional object.  Of course I wanted to do something with a Key West theme and given my penchant for houses, I chose to do a conch house.
This is my road map - a very rudimentary, happy little house. 

The next step was to create the painted papers we would use to collage and cover our board. We used any and every type of paper including old books, old letters, maps, rice paper and art store type type of papers.  We painted, stamped, rubbed, stenciled and wiped our way though the afternoon trying to keep in mind the colors we needed to cover our boards.
 Our working tables.
 The floor was covered with drying papers every where.
 These were mine.
These were my favorites.  Wonder why?

I went home at the end of the day exhausted
 and hoping that I had enough paper of the right colors to cover my house. 
Come see the fabulous results tomorrow.


  1. Those are beautiful, love the lighthouse. I can't wait to see how yours comes out, looks like a fun class to take.


  2. OH MY WORD...I'm in LOVE with that! THANK you for the introduction!!

  3. This looks like a lot of fun and certainly applicable to fabric. Can't wait to see how your conch house turns out.

  4. Cheryl, I'm jealous! I'm a huge fan of Elizabeth's work, and apparently she gave a workshop in upstate NY near where we used to live, last year, and I found out too late!

  5. Looks fun. I do something similar with painted papers but different end result.

  6. I'm so envious--Key West AND a fabulous workshop. Can't wait to see the results.

  7. I have been wanting to take a workshop from this incredible artist! She taught in Sedona, AZ this past year - wish I could have taken her class. Maybe this year! I can't wait to see your finished artwork. All of your artwork is so colorful and creative!
    Let me know if you are ever on this side of the country - would love to take a workshop with you.

  8. I really like Elizabeth's artwork! Just beautiful!
    Can't wait to see your finished house!

  9. ohhhh - what a nice workshop - I wasn't familiar with Elizabeth's work and its gorgeous. This Christmas my husband got me a book chronicling the work of Eric Carle and this is exactly why I wanted it - because water color collaged pictures are amazing!

  10. I am so jealous, it looks like it was so much fun! Of course you would pick out a swirly design!!!

  11. Cheryl, what a great post! Thanks for such nice comments on my work and wonderful photos! I'm so glad you enjoyed the class so much


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