Painting torches and my first day at Craft Napa 2017

What a week it’s been!

After coming home from Craft Napa, the first thing I had to do before sorting unpacking supplies and writing a series of blog posts about our marvelous adventure teaching at this fabulous retreat again, was get my roof fixed in the studio and get the ceiling repair scheduled.

And being the political minded person that I am, I had to prepare for the Women’s march by finishing my pink pussy hat and making an additional one for Phil. Then on inauguration day, Martha Wolfe and I indulged in a cathartic art project of making statue of liberty torches for all of our friends marching together in Sacramento.

I was going to use cardboard but with all our rain, we thought plastic would be better and Martha offered up a couple of old plastic corrugated signs for us  to cut up.

Luckily, I just happened to have the perfect color spray paint to cover the graphics printed on the signs. I used a drawing of a torch I found on the internet to quickly trace an outline for a dozen torches with a sharpie.  Then we cut them out with an x-acto. Plastic is not as easy to cut, so that was a bit slow going.

Next we painted the flame area white, before painting the fire so it’d be nice and bright. We had so much fun painting graphic details on the torch handles in blue paint.

These torches really turned out to be a wonderful way to keep track of each other in the crowds at the march. 

There were 12 of us within a crowd of 20,000, so we could easily spot each other from a far by raising our torches high above our heads if we got separated. 

I’m so proud of all my friends around the world wide taking a stand and making their voices heard for equality, peace and democracy. If you marched too, thank you!!!


Craft Napa 2017!

We had a fantastic week and I have so much to share that it’s going to be in several posts over the next week or two.

The first class I taught was Painting Imagery with Textile Paints. I always enjoy teaching this class because it’s so relaxing compared to many of  my others, lol, and I’ve been teaching it the longest so I can practically teach it with my eyes closed, well not really, but you know what I mean. 🙂

One of the first things we do is learn about controlling paint bleeding and painting backgrounds smoothly while avoiding the splotchy marks that can happen if you overlap wet paint over dried paint when covering a large area.

I also focus on painting smooth gradations of colors and values.

I love it when I have apprehensive students that tell me they haven’t painted since they were 5 years old (like the woman who painted these frogs), and surprise themselves by their wonderful results.
It was really fun to have my mom in all my classes too (for the first time). She is a retired research scientist who likes to paint with watercolors on occasion and has made a couple traditional quilts, but art-quilt type stuff is pretty new to her.

Some how Dorothy snuck out before I got a picture of her beautiful carrots.

I’m very proud of all my students, they did a beautiful job!

At noon on Thursday, there was an Artists View lunch, where all of us teachers were asked questions about all kinds of topics from artist block to the best die cutting machines. I think my favorite question was about what our backgrounds were before becoming teachers. Victoria Findlay Wolfe won best answer on that question when shared that she was on a promising career path as a professional female billiards player! I think people are endlessly fascinating, and it’s so fun to hear about each others journey in life.

In the evening, several of us taught an additional 3 hour class. My class was on making foam stamps. I use these all the time in my work, they are such an easy way to add your own unique patterns and images into your work.

There were only 11 of us, so I pushed several tables together so we could share ideas, chat, and get inspiration from each other in a comfortable and relaxing way.

Stay tuned for highlights from my other classes and a bloghop for Melanie Testa and Carol Soderlund‘s new book Playful Fabric Printing

today:Melanie Testa check out Melly’s excellent book hack!
Jan 24: Carol Soderlund
Jan 25: Lisa Chin
Jan 26: Julie Fei-Fan Balzer
Jan 27: Me
Jan 28: Carrie Bloomston
Jan 28 Chris Dodsley
Jan 29: Lynn Krawcyzk
Jan 30: Leslie Tucker Jenison
Jan 31: Pokey Bolton

Keep creating, Judy

I’d love to spark your creativity at one of these upcoming events:

March 3rd, 10 am  Lecture/Trunk show: It’s All in the Process, Making an award winning quilt and everything that can go wrong along the way.  Meissner’s Sewing, Sacramento, CA

April 21-23 Paint and Print-A-Palooza- 3 day workshop,  Meissner’s Sewing, Sacramento, CA

May 5-7 Prayer Flags- 1 day, and Paint and Print-A-Palooza- 2 day workshop, SLO Creative Studio, San Luis Obispo, CA

October 5-10  NZ National Quilt Symposium, Christchurch, NZ


IMG_5538Judy is an artist, explorer, image wrangler, knowledge seeker, instructor, speaker, creative alchemist, and purveyor of inspiration, helping others channel creativity on a daily basis.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.