mixed media workshops

Mixed Media and Sketch Workshops This Spring

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So what do I mean by “Previous sketching experience is recommended.”? This does not mean that you’ve got sketchbooks full of gorgeous drawings. It means that at least you’ve been out there at some point trying to sketch your experience, and enjoying the experience enough to want to do more of it and learn some ways to make it easier, to tell your personal stories with more color and pizzazz! If you don’t know if you’re ready for these workshops, contact me and we’ll talk about it.

For more information and to register visit my website, email or call me.


Health Benefits of Coffee!

Have you been reading about the recent studies on the health benefits of drinking 2-3 cups of coffee a day?! Especially great for liver functioning – go figure! But also some of us have known for a while that coffee has some positive effects on our art making, which always leads to more general health benefits.

In Muse group we did a lesson this week using tea and coffee to stain papers, tea bags and to “paint”.

pileupcoffee splattered w/c paper with coffee soaked Masa paper and cheesecloth collage

It starts to pile up after a while, the shorn off pieces with holes in them. As we spin around in space our linings get worn and raggedy. Pieces of skin are rubbed off. New lines and cracks and brown blemishes appear. And still the moon shines brightly, more so perhaps as we realize we are better tuned, lighter, brighter, less encumbered than before.

One of the things I try to do in this group each session (of 6 or 8classes) is to inspire ourselves with the work of a particular artist. This lesson was inspired by Deborah Benioff Friedman, a SF Bay Area artist whose work many of us viewed in a recent exhibit at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts. She uses tea bags and natural stains in her wall hung and sculptural work in inspired ways!


For years I’ve used tea and coffee stains to age papers and evoke historical contexts in mixed media works. This one also done on Monday is a bit more in the story-telling style I have often used. At times I’ve used pictures of my own ancestors in the mix. Here are a couple of them: My grandfather Lee Loffswold and his clan and my grandmother Selma Buskerud Loffswold’s family home.

To stain papers I soak them in extra strong tea and/of coffee and then dry them out in a 200 degree oven for 10-15 minutes. Mmmm and they smell good too (if you like the tea/coffee flavor that is.)

Let me know if you want to join us in the next 8-week session of the Monday Muse Group starting March 19. There are still openings! Visit my website for more information.

Spring Workshops!

My first sketch workshop of this year will hopefully respond to the requests of so many of my students who would like to be more comfortable adding people into their sketches. It’s not easy, but so satisfying when you can tell the visual story with the human angle. So I’m working on distilling the most useful techniques I’ve learned over the years (and am still learning!) about sketching and painting convincing figures! Hope you can join me this spring.

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Last year I taught the workshop on simplifying watercolor for the sketcher, another topic I love! So here it is, scheduled again in a new location this May.

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And if you’d like stir up your Muse and get your creative juices flowing, i recommend the Muse Group, which is starting a new session in March.

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I hope to be painting with you soon!

Mixed Media workshops this fall!

There’s always ideas percolating for mixed media lessons I’d like to teach in my Monday Muse Group and weekend workshops. For instance, inspired by Gustav Klimt, whose gilded paintings will be shown this fall in an exhibition at the Legion of Honor in S.F., we’ll be working with metallics. . .then a simple form of monotype printing and the very popular “stick painting” where we make expressive mark beginnings with carved sticks. . .then exploring color transparencies to get that eye saturating sense of depth.

If any of these interest you, you may want to reserve your spot in either the weekly Muse Group in my studio or the weekend workshop at Sebastopol Center for the Arts. Here’s the scoop!

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At this writing there are two spots left in the Monday Afternoon group. For more info and to register visit my website.

And if you like a whole weekend to develop your paintings, the following workshop may appeal.

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For more information and to register contact me. I hope to be painting with you this fall!

“Patina” Workshop

Last weekend was the Experimental Mixed Media Painting Workshop: PATINA that I taught at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts. Maybe I always feel this way when I spend a whole weekend with people who are excited to be painting and enjoying each others company, but this was a wonderful group that “geled” almost immediately. It was fun to hang out and create with them. The fact that it was a whole weekend made it possible for out of town folks to attend and enjoy our town as well!


We started out with acrylic textures on paper and heavy duty foil, then applied acrylic paints wetly to take advantage of the the textural imprints. With the emphasis on patina blends we explored mixes of iridescent pigments with transparent pigments.


I think my favorite blend of the day was Titan Buff, Micaceous iron Oxide, and Iridescent Bright Gold (Golden fluid acrylics).


My Demo: acrylic patina mixes on textured paper with textured foil and screen collage


the “share” table with stencils, rollers, scrapers, foils, screen, punchanella, color mixes and more.


The students’ work was relaxed and free!


We all love shiny things and the light was sparkling off the paper!


Forest like textures. . .


and vibrant designs.  And an invitation to everyone to “steal” ideas from from each other. I always do!

If you wanted to come and weren’t able to, I hope you will make it next time! I’m planning another mixed media workshop at Sebastopol Center for the Arts November 11 and 12th and hope to see some of last weekend’s students back!

Workshops This Spring!

It’s a busy spring season coming up, and I’ll be doing what I enjoy most – sharing approaches to painting and spreading my own creative wings with like-minded people! Hope you can join me.

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For more information about these workshops and to register visit my website!