Author: Vicki Oster

Evangelia Philippidis: Illustrator/Artist/Professor

Evangelia 09

Evangelia Philippidis first came to my attention when she posted a phenomenal piece of work she had done on the 614 artist Facebook page.  I was really enthralled by her technique and the vivid colors she used so I asked her if she’d like to be interviewed.  She said yes so we started online and then I had the privilege of being invited to her lovely home for appetizers, wine and a tour of her studio.


As with so many other artists that I have met, we found some commonalities…the most prominent of which was that we both were ‘pioneers’ in the Olde Town East scene only she lasted loner than I did. We both had homes in that area way before it was fashionable in the 80’s. For all I know, I walked my doggies past her house!  She lived on Monroe and I lived on Franklin Avenue.  Small world!!  That was led to a lively discussion of the area, the gorgeous houses, people we both knew.  Evangelia lived in her home for 27 years before moving to Grove City (about 1.5 years ago) to be closer to her folks and to downsize.

Evangelia has been a freelance artist since 1987.  Initially, she was doing advertising and editorial work but turned to more of a ‘fine art’ career in 2009 after losing her job as an editorial illustrator for the Columbus Dispatch. And I also found out that she knew a friend of mine who also was RIF’ed the same year! Once again, small world!!!

evan on friendship
On Friendship’s Wings

Born and raised until the age of 9 in the shadow of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece, her first memories as a child were playing in the ancient ruins and museums of Athens always surrounded by art….wow, I’m jealous!!! Her parents moved to the US to realize the American dream. Her father, a salesman in gold jewelry, was unlike many Greek dads, wanting his daughters to go to college and make more of their lives than what they would be able to  in Greece, hence, the move. The girls and their mother didn’t really want to leave Greece but Dad won out and they moved to a part of Ohio that Evangelia was less than thrilled with.

20160208_175602.jpgInitially, she wanted to be an archaeologist but since she is not a very science oriented kinda gal that dream ended in her junior year of high school in Lorain, Ohio.  She always drew as a hobby, was always creative and imaginative, creating original Halloween costumes for her younger sister and posters for theater productions but she didn’t think it could become a vocation. However,  eventually she sort of fell into it while trying to decide what to do with her life.  While waiting for seat to open in the Navy’s photography school, she did research on art schools and found that CCAD was rated as one of the top art schools in the country.  Soooo… she enrolled at CCAD on a whim and fell in LOVE! Read more

Jen Bodine: Analytical Organic Chemist + Artist

Meet the Truly Pugnacious Artisan, Terri Clow



The former Etsy Team Columbus introduced me to quite a few artisans in Central Ohio several years ago.  Among them was this cutie, Terri Clow, owner and creator at Beaniestalk and now Fuzz Butt.  She has participated in several shows I have attended as well as the Falling for Local Show that I coordinated at Franklin Park Conservatory.  We’ve always had lots of laughs and I just love her perkiness, her love of her pugs and the adorable things she makes. We started the interview through email and then I made a trek to her adorable little house to finish up and meet her doggies (Oh, that’s another reason I love this gal…she is a true dog nut, just like me!). And, did I mention that her family has adopted me as an honorary red-headed member!!! LOL!


Terri grew up in Mansfield where she was the only granddaughter on her mom’s side.  She spent  A LOT of time with that grandma who had a needle in Terri’s hand as soon as she could hold one..LOL!  Fortunately for her (and for those of us who love her work!), grandma was willing to teach her just about any craft she wanted to learn resulting in them tackling every craft out there and constant creation!!!  Who needs formal art training when you have that??

And, as if that wasn’t enough, her paternal grandmother taught her how to crochet.  Although she didn’t pick that skill up again till later in life, she admits that it has definitely become an addiction.  According to her, ‘I really tortured my family by making them some pretty bad hats and scarves when I was first relearning crochet! Hey guys you can throw all those ugly hats away now!’

Getting kisses from R.C.
Getting kisses from R.C.

Although she has a major in English from OSU and originally wanted to be a librarian, she didn’t pursue that field. Like so many of us, she opted for the English major rather than pursuing her artistic bent because it seemed like a ‘safer’ option for being able to support yourself after graduation. She wasn’t too thrilled with settling down to a 9-5 at that juncture in her life so, instead, for several years she worked in retail and as a bartender before she decided she better ‘grow up’, get a 9-5 and buy the cute little house she now owns. And, somehow, she ended up in IT…it just happened!!! First she worked at Alliance Data Systems and now she works at DSW.  Over the years, she took classes and moved from the call center to her current job of business analyst where she helps business and programmers ‘talk’ to each other. She says that this type of job feeds her Virgo side and fulfills her need to be analytical, helping to balance the more creative side of her personality.

Of course, we also had to talk about another love of ours: DOGS! She adopted one pug and that led to getting involved in a local pug rescue and getting 2 more pugs!!! Like me, she ended up fostering a bunch of pups…14 to be exact for her!  And we had to swap stories about how we got our babies, the silly things they do and how we couldn’t imagine life without them.

Beaniestalk at Urban Emporium
Beaniestalk at Urban Emporium

She says she doesn’t know if she ever consciously made the decision to “do art” or “be creative”…it was just something she grew up doing.Actually, she cannot remember a time when she wasn’t making something, a time when she didn’t have a stash of fabric, yarn, art and craft supplies. Sound familiar to anyone?? HEHE! Read more

Meet the Queen of Glitter(acy): Chelsea Dipman

There are so very many incredibly talented female Columbus based artists that I am never at a loss for interview for CAW’s blog.  This young lady is one of them!

chelsea pic

 Glitteracy and Chelsea Dipman and I were introduced to one another last spring at the first professional Not Your Mama’s 614 Craft Exchange held by Chelsea Hill and Carrie Schaefer. Not only did we all have a lot of fun but we got some pretty amazing items made by some pretty cool ladies, including Chelsea D….I loved her Ohio themed goodies and her great sense of humor so I asked her if she would be interested in an interview, of course! Then we ran into each other a bunch of places and finally, after several unsuccessful tries, met at Pies and Pints and got down to it!

CBUS Buckeyes

Chelsea started her business, Glitteracy, in late November of 2014 but she has been a creative soul for a lot longer. As she puts it:

Ever since I was little I would save things destined for the trash to make into art. My mom sensed I loved art so much she put me in lessons at CCAD Saturday morning. I knew I wanted to keep being creative and being scared about going out into the world as an artist, I decided that I would also follow my passion for teaching.

Glitteracy logo glitter mint

Originally from Gahanna on the east side of Columbus, Chelsea stayed in the area for studies at Ohio Wesleyan University where she received a B.F.A. with a concentration in painting and a minor in education. She was lucky and talented enough to graduate with a teaching job lined up to teach elementary art in Marion, Ohio 3 years ago. Although it is a trek to get to work every day from Columbus, she absolutely loves her job and loves the interaction with all of the children in her school. She filled me in on all of the new requirements for new teachers and I must say that I am sure glad that I started my career when all of this wasn’t happening! It amazes me how much is expected from newbies due to the new state regs…a topic for another day…ugh! That being said, she says that her students truly inspire her creativity.

Charcoal Grey Bella Slouchy Tank

Other small business successes she observes also inspire her entrepreneurial bent. She comes by this entrepreneurship quite honestly from her mom who set a great example by going back to school while Chelsea was a kid and then started her own Physical Therapy business. Having done over 20 shows since starting her business in 2014, she has also made connections with lots of other artisans and learned a thing or two about selling in local stores, doing shows and how to get your name out there. Definitely, this lady is not afraid to try just about anything at least once as evidenced in the number of shows she has already participated in! Of course discussing all of these shows led to a long talk about the pros and cons of doing shows, especially outdoors. After the ins and outs of Central Ohio weather this year, she is definitely ready to start the indoor circuit. However, none of the negatives have been a deterrent for this tenacious young lady!




She says her art is constantly evolving and changing, but Glitteracy has always focused on a love for home and Ohio because she wanted to create something that everyone could appreciate and was simple yet narrative. Getting to the point in her young career where people want to give the things she makes as gifts and/or put them in their homes, has really been exciting: It’s a really gratifying feeling having your work sent out into Ohio and across America. Her creative process goes this way…glitter, watercolor, gold, mint, hand lettering rinse & repeat.

Logo created for local business, Sol Heritage, owned by Heather Lewis and Sherry Waldman
Logo created for local business, Sol Heritage, owned by Heather Lewis and Sherry Waldman

She says:

I am constantly learning new things from others and from teaching myself. I have recently taken my lately paper based work and have bridged into the digital realm. It’s really magical when you can manipulate and improve something you made by hand.


In the short period of time that she has had her business, she has managed to get her art into many local venues including Simply Vague-Polaris Fashion Place & Tuttle Mall, Celebrate Local, Wholly Craft, Pure Roots and Button-Up..think she’s found her niche! Plus she’s selling her wares at many local shows: Grandview Hop in August and then in September the Downtown Dublin Bazaar, Made Local Marketplace & Moonlight Market, Independent’s Day and Worthington Market Day! Busy lady!!! And as if that isn’t enough, she’s also received recognition from Ohio Creative Collective and Celebrate Local via articles about her business!

Wherever I may roam
But Glitteracy is not all there is to this multi-faceted teacher. She also does commissioned water colors and loves figurative painting and has shown this genre at RAW: Columbus and the City Arts Center in Delaware (check some of that work at: She would love to eventually be able to have a dedicated studio (not really feasible now on a teacher’s salary!) and do more of this type of work. And, somewhere down the road, she hopes to be able to make art her full-time gig. Something tells me that if she wants it, eventually she’s gonna make it happen cause she is definitely a go-getter!



And the holiday season will be a busy one for this creative lady as she will be selling her wares at the following shows:

Craftin Outlaws- November 14th, Columbus Handmade- November 22, Not Your Mamas Craft Show- November 28, Avant Garde- December 5 and Made Local Marketplace December 12….whew!!! No excuse to not get your Ohio themed goodies for holiday gifts this year!!!
A little more about this creative lady? Her hair is currently lavender to blonde, she loves craft beer, she loves cheese and fruit combos on her pizza and she’s looking for Mr. RIGHT…’HaHa… just kidding that was to make you laugh!!!!’


Contact for readers:

Instagram: @glitteracyart

Pattycake, Pattycake, Baker’s Girl and Amazing Artist to Boot: Jen Wrubleski

jenTacocat‘s artists have been in the pipeline ever since they celebrated another birthday in their Grandview digs. I have interviewed Larry Doyle, Lisa McLymont, Adam Brouilette, Christopher Burk and now it’s time for Jen Wrubleski. I have looked forward to this interview for quite a while because I love her take on cats and her sense of humor is quirky and fun!

So here goes…
Jen and I have met several times at Tacocat events and then I found out she works at Pattycake (yummmmmmmm) with a friend of mine. The fact that she loves cats and cakes makes her a winner right there for me! But wait, as I interviewed her, I found out we even had more in common!

Let’s get to know her a little better…she has lived many places: Pennsylvania (woot!), Washington and then Williamstown WV…too funny, I lived right across the bridge from there years ago (way before her time!) in Marietta OH! So, of course, we had to talk about the joys of living in a little itsy bitsy town! Attending CCAD brought her to Columbus and she likes it so much she has never left…lucky for us!
jen with cake
As she puts it, “I started off drawing silly pictures of cats when I was a little kid and now, after years of art school and professional experience, I’m still drawing silly pictures of cats.” Of course, we had to compare notes about cats and even shared pics of our favorite felines in their silliness. She just LOVES CATS and would love to have 27 of them in 10 years…a girl after my own heart!
jen w cats

After graduation with an illustration major, she landed what was supposed to be a part-time gig at Pattycake Bakery that turned into a full time job that she loves. Not only does she work there, she is part owner as this bakery is a co-op business and she is the most recent of 7 owners/employees. Over the time she has worked there, she has worked her way up to the positions of head cake decorator decorating custom cakes and cake-by-the-slice. This job is creatively rewarding to her and she loves the fact that she has creative control over what she does even though she has no formal training in the field. And the other perk is that her “job” doesn’t interfere with her work as an artist, they sorta play off each other.
jen W

Jen’s art business is titled Jen Wrubleski Illustration and her first studio was at the now defunct Junctionview in Grandview. When several of those artists moved to Tacocat, it felt only natural to move there with them. Having a dedicated studio is important to her because it helps her focus on her work (rather than doing laundry, playing with the cats, etc!) Ordinarily, she spends about 20-25 hours a week in her studio creating. Being part of a collective is also important to her as she expressed that having other artists to bounce ideas off of has helped her evolve in a way that might not have been possible if she worked alone.
jen w mr. a vocado

When asked to categorize her art, her first response was ‘I like to joke that my specialty is “glueing stuff to stuff” ‘ But when pushed to be a little more serious she stated that she loves using alternative methods and materials in making her art.In that vain, she strongly encourages artists to bend the rules and try new ways to make artwork rather than sticking with only the tried and true techniques. Most of her works are tactile illustrations that are made by layering graphic shapes with more involved patterns. Inspiration comes form the colors, shapes, and textures of the world around her.

As her website states:
She meticulously collages mundane materials like wallpaper, decorative papers, and buttons into colorful storybook scenes. Her bizzarely adorable characters are bright and cheery, yet they all have a slightly mischievous glint in their eyes. As a viewer, she invites you to create your own stories about these whimsical images.

She’s tried some new techniques lately and perfected some using wood panels because they make it easier to apply more layers. She is particularly fond of re-purposing paper materials. She builds layers of paper with thin glazes and sanding between them to give more depth to her works. Keeping several pieces going at the same time so she has the time to tweak them and view them over time rather than focusing on one piece at a time.

Jen at Chalk the Block 2013
Jen at Chalk the Block 2013

Over the last few years, she has had shows at Haiku Restaurant and Brothers Drake Meadery and participated in Chalk the Block in Easton…she will be participating in this event again next weekend. Just recently she had an exhibit of her vegetable works at North Market. She and fellow Tacocat member, Claire Smith also were the curators of a yummy little show that I had the honor of participating in at the gallery called Snack Time.

As for what the future holds for her and her art, she says she is a ‘baby step’ kinda person with no grand plans just continued focus on her art.


And of course, there was more humor from this quirky and cute young lady when I asked her is there anything else you would like our readers to know about you? Any suggestions for other questions that should be added to interviews? and her response was:
Let’s just talk about my cat for the whole interview. Gotta love this girl!!!

Jumping for Joy
Jumping for Joy

Contact info for readers:

Emerging Young Female Artist: Brie Mullins



I fell in love with this young lady’s work the first time Brie Mullins post her ‘doodles during study hall’ photos on the FB page of the Art and Artists of 614 and have been enthralled with her take on art and her phenomenal talent!  Even though she is ‘only’ in high school, her work is unbelieveable!! And, wise beyond her years and an old soul are only a few of the words I could use to describe her. Sooo,  I asked her to take some time to do an interview and she graciously accepted.

IMG_20150221_214606_007 (1)

Currently, she is enrolled as a junior at West Jeff High School but has taken some summer classes at CCAD in comic book design and drawing.  That was several years ago and, not meaning to toot her own horn, she feels that taking any more classes offered for her age group really wouldn’t provide her with much as she feels that she has moved beyond their scope.

Last summer, she participated in Summer Jam at Westgate and was quite successful selling her work.  With that under her belt, she has been selling her art and doing commission work.   During this school year, she’s been keeping up with creating more art, maintaining the 6 instruments ( yes, I said 6!) she plays, completing academic work along with the necessary steps to become an exchange to student to Spain this coming school year. Not surprisingly, she was accepted and will be leaving for a year in Spain at the end of August (I leave at the end of August and will be gone for a year so don’t forget about me in Ohio, okay?…like we could, right?)


She also entered the Governor’s Art show and got two pieces into the Top 275 with one of the pieces (Cupid’s Mistake), bought by Thad Ricker to be put on permanent display at the Ohio Department of Education  building. Whoa!!!  She’s  also been featured at the newly opened  Pies & Pints in the Short North during May and  has been chosen  to be featured again in August. BUT before all of that happened, back in middle school, she won the honor of a work of her art being featured in her school’s library until she  graduated from eighth grade. AND, she’s received honor recognition her  whole school career ( practically all A’s) with the additional recognition of Gifted in Art by the state of Ohio while in elementary school. Let me ask you, what had YOU accomplished by the time you were a junior in high school?  I sure know that I wasn’t mature enough to accomplish all of this by that tender age!!! Read more

Meet Bohemian and Bodacious Mixed Media Artist: Jennifer Lee of Jendalynn Art

jennifer leeMixed media is a passion of mine along with flowers, drawings of women but combining all of them is just the best!!!!  So when I saw some of the work Jennifer Lee posted on the Art and Artists of 614 Facebook page, I was in love!  We first started our conversation online but then, I was lucky enough to hang out with her at her adorable little apartment/studio for a couple of hours. We found out that we have lots in common like loving animals, doing mixed media work and being Steeler fans!   We talked about so many things and I had a thoroughly delightful time with this young lady.
Her studio/brand/shop name is Jendalyn, after a nickname coworkers gave her.  She secretly began working on Jendalyn Art in the summer of 2011, a year into a 9-5 office job that was draining her spirit. It was her getaway plan, a master plan which was going to allow her to quit that abyssmal  job and live a life doing what she truly loves. For a while, it just seemed like a pipe dream… some days believing  it would never happen. However, she took the plunge anyway, and quit that office job in September of 2012. While it has not always been easy, Jendalyn turned into her full-time gig  and she has never looked back, lucky girl!!!  However, we did talk about the realities of being a ‘starving artist’, how to promote yourself in a positive manner and being ‘broke as a joke’ but living an authentic life rather than settling for what everyone else thinks is the ideal life.  Sometimes that translates into not having the money for rent, having your utilities turned off, etc. but Jennifer would rather that then live life on others’ terms.
Originally from Syracuse New York, her family moved to Springboro Ohio (suburb of Dayton) in 1993.  Eventually, she moved to Columbus to attend Ohio State, double majoring in Fine Art and History of Art. While there have been a couple opportunities to move, Columbus is my home. I love it here. She stated that she would like to get more involved in the Columbus art scene, make connections and network, as she sometimes feels isolated working from home and hasn’t really established a presence with her work locally.  That being said, most of her customer base has been online and she has managed to scrape out a living from that.  That led to a discussion about local art groups, galleries and how to get your art out there.  Something that many of the artists I have interviewed struggle with.  Trying more crafty venues like suburban art shows and craft fairs has not resulted in increased exposure (again something I hear often!) and so that left the question of how do you get your art out there?  Unfortunately, many graduates with fine arts degrees have expressed that their education did not include how to sell what you create, social media or anything approaching that…bummer!
Voyager 2
Voyager 2
However, art is something that has always been a huge part of her life. “I always tell this story about how when I was in fourth grade, our teacher gave us an assignment to draw what we wanted to be when we grew up. Then she hung all of the drawings on a wall in our classroom. I drew an artist, and the kids in my class laughed at me and said, “That’s not a real job.” Artists get that a lot.” Even when studying art in college, there was no talk about how to find gainful employment as an artist.   No marketing, no branding and no real training in how to turn her passion into her vocation (sadly, something I’ve heard from many artists!) So, instead of pursuing art, she became a bartender for a few years, then took the office job that changed everything. It was the 9-5 stable job that everyone seems to think is the goal in life… and I hated it!!! That job made her realize being an artist was the only route for her!
a work in progress
a work in progress
How does she categorize her art??  Busy, bright, bold, bohemian. Everything is mixed media, because she has a decision making problem…hehe!  So she just uses anything and everything she can get her hands on. “I’ve received a lot of criticism about this, that it’s “too much.” But, it’s me. It’s what I love.”
Her home studio
Her home studio
A lot of her inspiration comes from the natural world…tiny miracles that surround us every single day. “The way the wind sounds when it blows through the trees, the warmth of sunlight on your skin, the smell of flowers.” She states that she is incredibly inspired by connectivity within the universe, that we are made of the same things as the stars.  An art journal/sketchbook  is one of her most prized possessions. It’s a place where she can try out new techniques and just play, not having to worry about how the final product will look. It’s something that she says helps her immensely in many areas, and she encourages others to keep one.
Art Journal 1
Art Journal 1 .

Micron pens and white out pens are her best friends and she loves using alcohol ink mixed with acrylic, because they resist one another and create an astral effect. Thrift stores are the best places to find weird old books and maps to use in collages. Vintage doilies also show up in a lot of her work – “I have a strange affinity for those.” And when in doubt, add some henna designs!!!!

Art  Journal 2
Art Journal 2

At this time, her  Etsy shop is the main venue for her works although she has done some wholesale in the past, and hopes to someday find a store here in Columbus that will be a good fit for her prints.  Although she has never done a gallery show, it is on her ‘bucket’ list.  Recently, she focused on a 40 Works In 40 Days project as a way to help get through the worst part of winter.This allowed her to create an 8 x 10 mixed media piece on wood panel each day until she  finished all 40. She also has a substantial presence on Society 6 and has begun to sell more there. She even has a gorgeous mural of her art in her bedroom (see below) that a friend bought for her from that website.  But, once again, that led back to the subject of how the hell do you establish yourself in your own community?  So, we did a little brainstorming and decided that we would continue to talk and brainstorm in the future while I encouraged her to make some contacts and maybe join some local art groups.  We also talked about mixed media, how we create and compared notes about our processes.  I learned some great tips from her and look forward to learning more from her.

The mural she was given by a friend (Jen's artwork!)
The mural she was given by a friend (Jen’s artwork!)
 In addition to what she has done locally,  several of her prints were used on the show “Texas Flip N Move” which aired in December 2014 on the DIY Network.  She says: “It was pretty weird to see my stuff on TV, but really cool!”
Art Journal 3
Art Journal 3
Despite the difficult times, I can definitely feel that Jen is someone who is motivated to continue to make art her vocation even though she is tired of being broke.  A part-time job to help pay the bills may be on the horizon but I sure hope she doesn’t give up on her dreams because I think she’s on to something!!!  I’m looking forward to seeing where those lead her and hope that I will see her work out and about our great city soon.
Contact info for readers:

A Resurgence of Historical Ladies’ Wear: Corsetry with Designer Larissa Boiwka

larissa (1)

Larissa Boiwka (pronounced Boy-eve-kah), a recent recipient of the Greater Columbus Art Council’s grants, and her Wilde Hunt Corsetry came to my attention through a Facebook post on the Art and Artists of 614.  I was totally enthralled by her artistry and amazingly detailed work.  I’ve never had a corset before but her work has sure made me think about that twice! I asked her if she would be interested in being interviewed and, happily, she said yes.

blue and gold corset

Not only did I interview her, but I got to take a great 3D embroidery class from her near the end of April. First, the interview and then a little bit about the class.

Originally from Amherst Ohio, she is both a first and second generation here in the USA…her dad immigrated from the Ukraine and her mother’s family immigrated (great grandparents on her mother’s side) from Germany and England…THAT is an interesting bloodline and could explain her love for history.

Creating came to her through her genes as her mother is an artist and raised Larissa in an environment that fostered creativity, artistry and creation. While her mom doesn’t enjoy sewing much, she taught Larissa the basics at an early age. ‘As far as corsetry is involved, I  am 100% self-taught through a lot of expensive mistakes!’


Like so many other artists I have interviewed, she states:

Yes, I have always been drawn to creating. I have thought about this a lot over the years, and I don’t think that you really get to choose. If you are an artist, you simply are. You can try to defer it, stifle it, but it will always surface. I feel that generally when an artist tries to forego art for another occupation, they end up pretty miserable.  Ask me how I know…ha ha!

Having a degree in anthropology from OSU, she has a passion for historic clothing, ancient cultures, cultural adornments and ethnic costumes that have inspired a lot of her work. ‘Towards the end of my degree I realized that while I am very interested in and inspired by ancient cultures, I did not want to spend my life in academia. I worked as a retail buyer for an art and jewelry gallery after college. It was during that time that I established Wilde Hunt Corsetry in 2007. ‘ She calls her work ‘art corsetry’ since it is a mix of fine art, traditional craft and fashion. Nature, Art Nouveau, antique furniture, ethnic textiles and jewelry, extreme contrasts and beautiful and distinctive women serve as inspiration for her gorgeous creations.


In addition to her own creations, she teaches couture embroidery and beading. She sometimes teaches Couture Embroidery and Beading at the Columbus College of Art and Design (CCAD) or at her home studio. Since she believes that it is kind of a dying art form, she thinks it is important to pass on the techniques. Recently, she taught a course in am obscure medieval style of embroidery called Or Nue’ (nuance in gold). It is like painting with silk upon densely laid threads of gold. ‘The detail and subtlety possible in this medium is incredible.’ Unfortuntately, the best artisans in this style died without passing on their skills and so now, just a handful of them internationally practice this form of embroidery, having taught themselves through studying extant examples and trial and error. Fortunate for the Columbus art and fashion scene that Larissa is among them! Read more

Mixed Media At It’s Finest

20150307_120455Are you interested in learning mixed media techniques?  Would you rather learn them in person rather than online or through reading books?  I have got the instructor for you!!!  In March, I was fortunate enough to partake in a wonderful workshop with 10 other lovely ladies under the tutelage of the immensely creative and talented Christine Guillot Ryan at the McConnell Arts Center.

Christine at Chalk the Block last year

We started the two day workshop with an overview of what Christine wanted to teach us with lots of examples of how she incorporates these techniques into her own work.  We were able to see some of her finished pieces on display at the arts center for the Brave exhibition and, wow, was I inspired!  I couldn’t wait to get to work!

Christine's pieces for
Christine’s pieces for “Brave”

Christine first shared some books that she has found helpful to  explore a variety of techniques.  We introduced ourselves, shared our experience in creating mixed media and indicated what we hoped to learn during the workshop.  Each of us were given 2 – 16 x 24 canvas boards and were provided with materials and equipment to experiment with…a very relaxed and intimate atmosphere.

Using plastic wrap with paint

From there, Christine set up a palette of acrylic paints that she typically uses in her pieces and then she discussed the benefits of using acrylics vs. oils.  She explained the need for background, middle ground and foreground for our pieces to give them depth and texture before demonstrating painting the background.  At that point we learned about using bubble wrap, plastic wrap and various other textiles with paint to give the illusion of texture.

Another student incorporating tracing paper
Another student incorporating tracing paper

While the paint on those canvases dried, she discussed manipulation of xeroxing and gave a demonstration of the methods she used for this, particularly when manipulating text.  Everyone got into that! She had a ton of xeroxed images that we could use but we were encouraged to bring items like this to the class when given our materials list.

Using gel medium to apply paper

Time flew by that first day!  Just when I was beginning to really get into it, it was time to pack up for the day but what we learned certainly was fodder for the evening.  I gathered images from magazines, my stash of images, text and more for the next day’s adventures.

Demonstrating spray paint techniqes

Sunday was spectacular particularly because the winter dreariness seemed to have broken; the day was warm and sunny…perfect for our foray into spray painting.  Xeroxing was fun but it couldn’t compare to spray paint for me.  Christine demonstrated the techniques and showed us the materials and paints (mostly, Montana Gold but also paints from Lowe’s and Home Depot) she uses in her work.  Then she left us to play, play, play!  We sprayed on our canvases as well as on tracing paper that could then be used to create layers and more texture on our work.  Attaching these pieces and others using gel medium was also part of the instructions for both days.  She had tons of materials she shared with us like stencils, lace, plastic flowers, 3-d glasses, so much stuff I can’t even begin to describe it all.

Materials to use with spray painting
Materials to use with spray painting

Image transfer was also taught that day and she showed us two different methods for accomplishing this.  Fascinating and, although not extremely difficult, somewhat tricky.  I attempted this but think that I will have to have lots of trials before I’m happy with my results!  We also got to play with pan pastels, again to add depth and texture to our pieces.  Oh, my bank account is gonna be hurting!!!  I fell in love with these too!

During the last 90 minutes of class, Christine showed us how to finish our pieces to make them more permanent with a variety of gel mediums.  Once this demonstration was completed, she asked each of us to share our work the class, explain what we liked best about the class,  took pics of our work and gave us feedback on what we had created.

Students working
Students working

The majority of the ladies in the class stated that they loved the environment mainly because Christine was so supportive, non-judgmental and just plain fun!  I think that everyone there felt that they had learned a lot about mixed media even if they expressed that the were not sure if the would use the techniques in the future.

For me, the instructor (yay, Christine!) made the workshop enjoyable and encouraged movement around the class to talk to other participants, supported and encouraged but didn’t tell us what to do.  She was fun and funny as well as honest and forthright. I am so very glad that I took this because it was just what I needed to get myself out of a creative funk after recovering from surgery.  I would highly recommend taking classes from her and hope to do so again some time in the near future.

The beginnings of one of my pieces

Not only did Christine inspire me that weekend, the things I learned have carried over into the trio of pieces that I am creating for CAW’s upcoming show at Urban Arts Space in May entitled “Remnants”.  As you can see, I incorporated many of the techniques I learned but if you want to see the finished pieces, you will have to make your way downtown in May!

If you are interested in taking a class from Christine, she is hoping to offer another one at McConnell in the fall.  Check their upcoming schedules for dates and times.

Contact info for Christine:

Emerging Female Artist: Jes Moore

There are so many emerging female artists in the Central Ohio area and I just had to tell you all about one of them this month…..Meet  Jes Moore, encaustic artist and soon-to-be-graduate of Ohio Dominican!  This level-headed single mom and artist and I conducted most of our interview online but then we met at Polaris Mall’s kids’ play area to finish up while her adorable little guy, Jonah, ran around and had a grand time!!

jes moore

Jes  and I first met at Joe Lombardo‘s show at Art Access in September and after a short conversation with her and some other artists, I asked her if she would be interested in being interviewed…luckily, she said yes!

Jes has had a studio in Wehrle Hall at Ohio Dominican University campus for about 2 years. She designs under her name “Jes Moore” and hasn’t really created an official business  although she is working as a designer while in school. Much of her work has been designing for the faculty and gallery at school where:  I am the student gallery manager and have been learning exhibition design as well as creating graphics for our shows. I have also had some work go live in “the real world” which is good for a student. I just finished a complete rebranding project with a technical education company in Dublin. Check out the new design at:

Celestial Self Portrait
Celestial Self Portrait

After high school in Harrison Ohio, Jes attended the Art Academy of Cincinnati to begin her art training from 2001-2003.  It was a very influential experience and set the foundation for her artistic career as the traditional curriculum gave her a solid understanding of drawing, painting and color theory. Eventually, she chose to major in sculpture and had many opportunities to explore 3D art-making. Sadly, without any financial support from loans or family, she was unable to obtain a degree from AAC.  Since her grades and motivation were very high at that time, this was a large set-back for her. Read more

Vicki Oster interviews Donna McCarty-Estep

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Donna McCarty-Estep is the driving force behind the collective arts group known as Cap City Creatives, a talented painter and photographer and has become a friend over the last couple of years through our many meetings at art shows and my attending some of CCC’s meetings. I was fortunate to feature her on my blog in August 2013 and I’m psyched to write about her once again on the CAW blog so here goes!

Originally from a small town in southern Ohio’s Highland County (New Petersburg), she has always been drawn to creating art. When she entered college, she chose to major in pre-law but quickly changed to Visual Arts before finally setting on Art Education. Donna made her way to the central portion of the state after graduating from Wilmington College in 2001. She and her best friend decided to get the heck out of small town Ohio so allowed a coin toss to direct their future. Heads was Columbus; tails would be Cincinnati. Guess we know how that turned out!

donna 1

Although she is professionally trained as an art educator with a BA in Art, she has never actually taught in a school setting. After interviewing for several positions, she got a job working for an art and educational dealer and liked it so much that she chose to follow the retail path. She is now the store manager for United Art and Education at Mill Run. As she states: I love working the other side of the teaching coin. I work with teachers and artists on a daily basis and feel that I have made my impact there, all while being able to do my own art as well. Read more