Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

As the clock ticks down the remaining hours of 2009, we reflect upon all of the joys, successes and opportunities this year brought to us; CMMAG more than doubled its membership, became involved in a variety of artistic endeavors as a group, met challenges, hosted events, supported the creativity of our members, and had BIG fun in the process! 

We hope 2010 will bring even more of the same, as well as increased opportunities for creative expression, for sharing our talents with others, and more art, fun, food, and friendships found.

Stay tuned, and watch as it all unfolds....

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

CMMAG at Art of the Carolinas 2009

Last month, thirty members of CMMAG assisted the Jerry's Artarama staff in presenting the 9th annual Art of the Carolinas.  For the second year in a row, we had a fun, exhausting, exhilarating, creative, friend-filled and hectic weekend!  Here are excerpts from our President Penny's wrap up post describing it, plus fabulous photos taken by our Official Guild Photographer, Lucy:
"...Thursday morning, bright and early, (whew! 7:30) we hit the floor!  Two classrooms had been added this year, and we had an hour and half to prep 15 classrooms for jam-packed workshops beginning at 9:00!

Without worry, we deftly completed this first 'challenge' with roughly 10 minutes to spare *we ROCK!*  The game was afoot... We then turned our collective attention to our other duties:  setting up the
Make & Take area (which allowed us to seat up to 16 guests at a time!) and the World of Art Challenge Gallery.  BOTH areas were hot attractions throughout the show!

The Make & Take area was enjoyed by all ages and several couples!  At one point, Saturday afternoon, all seats were filled and we had a LINE waiting to come in and give it a try!  Our member artists presented 10 demonstrations in 3 days --each well-populated by interested folks -- many taking notes, and asking great questions.  A veritable boatload of information was freely exchanged; and scads of folks who had never even heard of ATC were thrilled to enjoy our offerings!  Thank you:  Jodi, Amy, Lynn, Debbie, Lucy, Laurel, Ashant'i, Mayshanna and Dawn for sharing your time, energy and incredible ideas with our guests. Everyone raved about the demos that were presented throughout the weekend.  Several folks lamented having to go home, and miss the next day's offerings.

The World of Art Challenge display was another marvel to behold!  The final count was 23; and the diversity in creative vision was incredible!  Late Thursday afternoon, the 'celebrity judges' were brought in to make their deliberations.  Bob Burridge and  David and Ira Goldstein (Jerry's sons) viewed and discussed the entries behind closed doors in the beautifully renovated Boardroom.  Hale and hearty congratulations to the Jerry's World of Art Challenge Winners!
     1st Place:  Carolyn Coyle
     2nd Place:  Jodi Ohl
     3rd Place:  Dawn Meisch
     Judges Award:  Jeanne Rhea

     CMMAG Leadership Award:  Vivianne Voyles

Friday morning, voting opened for Viewer's Choice; and the ooh-ing and ahh-ing was a melodious sound as visitors made the rounds and marveled over the creativity and vast differences in the lovely array of work on display.  At the end of voting on Saturday night, the winner was determined -- additional congratulations to Vivianne Voyles on the decision of the people!

The Guild information booth was once again a stand-out -- thanks, Vivianne, for the great idea about the digital photo frame!  We had plenty of information, TWO photo frames in operation illustrating Member work, Guild activities, and previous events along with ATC samples!  We had loads of visitors very interested in our group and all that we have done as well as the exciting events coming up in the new year!

Saturday, the creative talents of five Guild members were on display from 11 to 5 on the Trade Show floor.  Don Bradley of Strathmore provided the opportunity to highlight some of our number by hosting Artist Demonstrations in his booth at the show.  Melissa Walker, Dawn Meisch, Jodi Ohl, Ophelia Staton, and Mayshanna Pandora wowed the crowds (AND their host) with their fabulous creations and knowledge of their topics.  Join Strathmore's Face Book fan page for photos of
each of these Member Artists and their creations from the show!'

To say that our return to Art of the Carolinas was a success would be a gross understatement.  We are particularly thankful for the ongoing, incredibly generous support of our local Jerry's Artarama!  Our efforts were further aided by the gracious donations of Strathmore Artists Papers, Ampersand, Golden, Liquitex, Winsor & Newton, and Chroma. 

Here are the 2nd annual CMMAG Art of the Carolinas NUMBERS:
15 classrooms (22 MORE classes than last year in the 4 days of Workshops)
   (2 of these were on the Trade Show side - talk about running the gauntlet!)
115 classes at the North Raleigh Hilton
7 (?) boxes of rolled plastic for table coverings
    (cut to size and placed in plastic bags for ease of work on Thursday afternoon)
24-36 rolls of masking tape (to secure table coverings)
+/- 118 buckets of clean H2O (+/- 590 gallons of water)
+/- 118 buckets of murky water, during/after classes (+/- 590 gallons of water)
4 - new buckets obtained by 'dumpster diving' during a dump and fill mission
   (no, i didn't get IN the dumpster - i used a shovel, thank you very much

TOTAL Water hauled in four days:  1180 gallons (minimum)

My only regret is in not wearing my pedometer during the course of this event -
ha! *that would be a nice number to have*...  I also wish there were a means by

which to tally the laughter heard, the friendships made, the deep and fond
respect that was fostered by wonderful people having the opportunity to work together for the benefit of a mutual love...  But alas, there is not.  I am fortunate to have the precious memories of yet another fabulous success brought about by the willingness of each of you to share what you love about the special gift that is being an artist!"

Thursday, November 19, 2009

November Member Interview: Roberta Morgan

Roberta Morgan

1.  What inspires you to create?
I have recently been inspired by trips to the Goodwill. I can find things: shoes, small tables, purses and clothing that call out to me to do something more to them. I take them home and paint them or cut them up and make new clothing.

2. When did you decide to pursue art or did art pursue you?
I guess this comes from my childhood when we weren't rich enough to buy new and had to make do with hand-me- downs. My real passion is wearable art. I can spend a lot of time creating garments, entering contests, and then putting them away and moving on to the next creation. I hardly wear the stuff I make, to me the fun is in the creating. I cannot remember a time when I didn't draw or doodle. I started making my clothes in high school so that I'd have enough to wear. It started out of necessity and it's now an addiction.  I even dream of my next entry. I also like painting in a "folk arty" way on shoes, train cases, purses and jewelry. I am especially fond of woman's faces.
I started quilting in the 70's and quickly got bored with the traditional methods and patterns, but art quilts with lots of embellishments appeal to me. I can't picture life without some creative outlet.

3. At the art supply store, which section do you gravitate to first? 
In an art store I'll go to the paint section and try to find a new color or process. I do shop in fabric stores, but I'd rather get what I can from thrift stores. It is exciting to be able to recycle some cast off into "art".

And, it's exciting to see what she'll create next!  Congratulations on your many first and second place ribbons at this year's North Carolina State Fair, and thanks for the interview, Roberta. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Art of the Carolinas 2009

The Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild will be out in full force at Jerry's Artarama's Art of the Carolinas (AoC).  Scheduled to take place in Raleigh between Friday, November 13 and Sunday, November 15, it promises to be a fantastic event!  Here's a preview:
  • Guild members will assist with classroom preparation, maintenance and breakdown, supporting the outstanding staff at Jerry's (including Guild members Christina and Sharon shown here)
  • Our members will host a "Make and Take" event, encouraging everyone attending AoC to create Artist Trading Cards (ATC) to keep or trade.  Kudos and tremendous thanks go to Strathmore, Ampersand, Winsor & Newton, and Jerry's, for donating supplies for our Make and Take activities, including papers of various kinds; stampboards and clayboards; paints; pastels and glues.  Some of the ATC created during AoC 2008 are shown below. 
  • Members' work in the World of Art Challenge will be exhibited in a boardroom in the workshop area. We encourage you to visit to see where it all began, with a canvas showing all the components of the kit, then to explore the vision of 25 artists confronted with the challenge of design with those components.  You'll be amazed at the innovation, diversity and creativity! 
  • Guild members will also be demonstrating various art techniques throughout the weekend.  Check the schedule when you arrive to see who will be doing which demos including painting, stamping, clay and much more.
  • And of course, there's the trade show area on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, where we'll shop till we drop! 
So, plan to join us for all the fun, art-filled'll be a great time!  For more information, visit the AoC site here.  See you there!

Monday, October 26, 2009

World of Art Challenge

In August, CMMAG accepted a kit challenge from our favorite art supply store, Jerry's Artarama, entitled "The World of Art". Our challenge was to create a piece of 2-D art on a supplied 16"x20" canvas, using at least a part of every item in a Jerry's Art Stuff bag, which included: a wine cork, a small piece of torn canvas, liquid graphite, playing cards, clayboard tiles, a piece of twine, foreign language magazine pages, origami paper, several pieces of balsa wood, a rubber band, and a very limited choice of paint colors. According to the rules of the challenge, two items may be added to the piece, which must somehow convey the "World of Art' theme. Twenty five members received their kits at our August meeting, and the completed canvases were due at our October meeting.

Here, thanks to Lucy, our official Guild photographer, is a photo collage of some of the completed World of Art canvases. All twenty five will be displayed, along with biographical information about the artists at Jerry's Artarama's Art of the Carolinas next month. Details about Art of the Carolinas are in the sidebar at right. Come see what we've done...they're all incredibly creative and as always, as different as the members who created them, which is amazing, considering that each was designed with the same items.

Friday, October 23, 2009

CMMAG 2nd Annual Charm Swap

CMMAG members met in early October for a jam-packed business meeting, and the 2nd Annual Charm Swap. Forty four members (including the elusive yet prolific 'Johnny Jumpup') made charms of all descriptions, and Roberta (also known as the Charm Queen--who wore the crown to show it) led us all in the distribution of charms into bags for each of us, which by the end of the swap, were filled to overflowing with arty wonderfulness. Charms were colorful, fanciful, thoughtful, creative and as different as the artists who created them. Thanks to our official photographer, Lucy, we have these photos which give just a hint of the Charm Swap fun. We can't wait to see what everyone will create with their charms; we have visions of necklaces, bracelets and just maybe, and charm-filled vest? Watch this space for photos of our charm-ing creations!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Special Event: Kelly Borsheim Presentation

Come and be whisked away for an evening in Italy without even leaving Raleigh!

The Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild is pleased to host sculptor and street painter Kelly Borsheim, who splits her time between Florence, Italy and central Texas, for her presentation
"My Life as One of the 'Madonnari' (Italian street painters)" at Artspace, 201 E Davie St, Raleigh. on October 15 at 7:00 pm.

Kelly will share, "images and stories of my experiences recreating art masterpieces from the Italian Renaissance and other periods of time and place. I will tell you some of the more humorous experiences with tourists, journalists, cops, and the Italian government. And, I will show you the work of many other street painters from my first competition in southern Italy."

General Admission: $7
$5 for members of CMMAG, Artspace, or Visual Art Exchange.
Bring a friend and enjoy!

For more information, email

Thursday, August 13, 2009

August Member Interview: Amy Kane Smith

Amy Kane Smith

Mixed Media Store:
Lampwork Bead store:

1. What inspires you to create?
My creativity is born of a hunger for and response to the beauty of creation. When I see the beauty in nature it stirs something in me to respond to it. I believe God put it there as a means to communicate with me. He stirs my spirit with His beauty, and I respond in worship by creating something beautiful. Art is worship for me.

2. When did you decide to pursue art or did art pursue you?
Art has always pursued me. I don't remember a time when I didn't feel a pull to create. When I was in grade school I kept a a stack of typing paper and a big pack of magic markers on the top shelf of my closet. I would climb up there and sit and doodle for hours. No one knew about my little studio. It was my secret, and the place where I felt the most at peace.

3. If you weren't an artist, what would you be? "Artist" is not my primary title. I am first and foremost a Mom to two amazing kids, ages 6 and 8. I home school them, so I get to be creative every day in the way we approach the subjects we are learning. Sowing good seed into their lives, nurturing those seeds and watching them grow and bloom is the greatest creative work of my life. My art is a side gig really. I hope that in ten or so years, I will be able to devote myself more full time to art, but if that opportunity never comes I won't regret keeping my focus on the creative pursuit of growing beautiful, joyful, strong, healthy, productive, dependable, amazing kids. If I ever take on any other profession, it will likely be real estate. I am a bit of a real estate junkie. I look at the local listings a couple of times a week just to see what is out there. I get giddy when friends are house shopping.

4. What other jobs have you had which have aided you on your artistic path?
I worked as a technical assistant to the director of research and development for a software company. The company produced a statistical network modeling software. In laymans' terms, the software discovered patterns within numerical data. It could be used to predict trends in markets, and even to analyze image pixels. I learned in that job the relationships between math and art. I became fascinated with patterns. I am very interested in the "golden mean," and its constant recurrence in nature.

5. At the art supply store, which section do you gravitate to first?
Paint first, but I tend to explore every area and look for things I can use in unusual ways. I like to push boundaries.

6. What new technique or art form would you like to learn? Do you have plans to do so?
Right now, I don't want to learn anything that is too far removed from what I am already doing. I don't have time in my schedule to have any new addictions. Therefore, I am sticking with acrylics and seeing how far I can stretch and manipulate them. I am interested in possibly taking a class with Patti Brady at "Art of the Carolinas." Her layering of acrylics and mediums is wonderful. I have also recently set up my hot glass studio and am once again making glass beads. I have been a bead maker for 10 years, and am enjoying getting back into it after a couple of years off. I find that making a bead meets my need for instant gratification as I can have an hour torch session and produce multiple small artworks. Painting is a longer process, but I enjoy the layering and building. Both feed my soul in different ways.

7. If you could do anything, and knew you could not fail, what would you choose to do?
That is a big question. Failure is not really a fearful thing for me. I have "failed" at a lot, and am sure I will continue to do so. There is instruction in failure. I am going to do what I fell drawn to do whether I feel there is a chance of failure or not. So I can't think of anything artistically that I could answer this question with. I have to go for the fantasy and say if I knew I could fly like a bird and not crash to the ground, I would do that.

Amy will be one of the Featured Artists in the month of September at Artist Alley in Southern Pines, NC
And, her work can be found at the Mylestone Gallery in Farmville, NC, the Pea Island Gallery in Salvo, NC and at Urban Sampler in Pittsboro, NC

She'll also be teaching a class in January, at Jerry's Artarama, entitled: Visual Art Journaling--No Limits

Thanks for taking the time to do this interview, Amy; we're looking forward to seeing in which direction your art will fly next!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

CMMAG Potluck Planning Picnic

Our first Potluck Planning Picnic (Px3) was held on Sunday, July 26th, at the Chavis Community Center in Raleigh. With the goal of establishing plans for the newly formed CMMAG committees, 14 members participated in an afternoon of fun activities geared toward getting to know each other, team-building and brainstorming.

"More Can Be Achieved in Less Time When People Work Together" --Zack Canfield
The theme of 'Building a Strong Foundation for Our Future' was expertly and artfully carried out in all the printed materials, supplies and decorations provided by our intrepid President Penny. Each member received a personalized workbook and toolkit, and every committee table was festooned with all the color coordinated equipment we'd need for the day.
After some icebreaker activities, including one where each team used the word "possibilities" in slogans to describe the Guild, and another involving a beach ball where we learned that: a member (who shall remain nameless) had some recently purchased 1922 sex pamphlets on her bedside table (!), another member "used to" have a green thumb, and yet another's least favorite color is putty, we settled down at our committee tables eager to enjoy the potluck goodies and to brainstorm ideas.

"Teamwork Divides the Task and Doubles the Success" --unknown
Currently, each committee is chaired by a member of the Executive Board: Art of the Carolinas/Penny; Community Outreach/Jeanne; Hospitality/Debbie; Membership/Michelle; and Programs/Roberta. Each committee answered the question: "What if We..." by writing one idea on the outside of an envelope. Then, each envelope was passed around to every table, so that all members could comment on or embellish the idea on the front. In this way, everyone had input and each committee could benefit from the collective insights of others. When the envelopes arrived back at their originators' tables, they were filled with kudos, suggestions and new ideas which the committee Chairs incorporated into their original thoughts about "What if We...". At the end of the exercise, each Chair spoke about her committee's original idea and what they'd learned from the suggestions of others. Everyone agreed it was an outstanding way to go about brainstorming, and better yet, it was fun!

Coming Together is a Beginning. Keeping Together is Progress. Working Together is Success--Henry Ford
To wrap up the afternoon, Penny presented us all with hard hats, and graduation envelopes, along with her thanks for our participation. And, in our final activity, upon each member's bright yellow hard hat we wrote a one word description of her, (well, some were one word, some were phrases) based upon what we'd learned or observed. Here we are, posing with our hats.

Thanks to Lucy, our 'Official Guild Photographer' for the shots shown here. And, thanks to everyone who participated; we've taken a great first step toward building that strong foundation, and we couldn't have done it without your enthusiasm, humor, great ideas (and of course, scrumptious food)!

If you couldn't attend the Planning Picnic but have signed up for a committee, your Chair will be in touch with you via email between now and our next meeting. If you haven't signed up for a committee yet, but you're now eager to work on one, you may sign up at our next meeting.

Our August meeting is set for Thursday, August 6, at 6:30, at Jerry's Artarama. Roberta will present a demo on creating charms (our 2nd annual CMMAG Charm Swap is October 8th), Committee Chairs will present an overview of Px3, and we'll learn more about the exciting events on tap for us through the end of the year.

See you there!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

July Member Interview: Patti O'Day

Patti O'Day

Website: One Foot Up

1. What inspires you to create?
I love fabrics, color and textures. This craft allows me to design a pattern, and use my skills to combine two or more contrasting or coordinating fabrics from a flat piece to a 3-dimensional, functional object. Then, I get to embellish it with stuff that I've collected from thrift stores, flea markets and other sources.
2. When did you decide to pursue art or did art pursue you?
It started out as a monetary necessity when my son was young. Then after working in "real" jobs, I knew I would need to supplement our savings in retirement, so I came back to it. It helps to make me happy!
3. If you weren't an artist, what would you be?
Probably in the fashion field.

4. What other jobs have you had which have aided you on your artistic path?
Department store sales, advertising agency (learned a lot about computer graphics)

5. At the art supply store, which section do you gravitate to first?
6. What new technique or art form would you like to learn? Do you have plans to do so?
Painting. I have been dabbling in it, but it's kind of an extra thing which people are not always willing to pay for.

7. If you could do anything, and knew you could not fail, what would you choose to do?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Special Event: Chroma Paint Party

As a result of seeing our table and display at Art of the Carolinas last November, an Atelier Paint representative contacted us about offering a paint party to our members, and of course, we agreed. So, on Saturday, June 14, CMMAG members got the chance to spend the afternoon at Artful Endeavors, Liz Miller's lovely studio, playing with paint!

Kim Maselli of Chroma presented the Atelier Interactive Artists' Acrylic line, along with the various fixes and media which make it possible to work more slowly or more quickly, depending upon your technique and desired final effect. After showing us what the paint could do with a demonstration sheet, she let us loose to experiment, play and just "mess around" with everything she'd brought. We were amazed by the Unlocking Formula, which reactivates dried paint (unheard of with "regular" acrylics!), impressed by the Slow Medium, which increases the open time and makes color blending easier, and wowed by the Binder Medium which acts like glue, but is much thinner and easier to manage with collage applications.

We had a great time, as you'll see in these photos of members and their work. To see even more, visit our Yahoo Group and our Carolina Mixed Media Facebook fan page photo album.

Special Event: Indie Business Breakfast

On Saturday, June 6, the Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild sponsored the first Indie Business Breakfast in Raleigh. The assembled CMMAG members and guests were treated to a delicious breakfast catered by 9 Lyvz, at the John P. "Top" Green Neighborhood Center, and had time to meet and greet each other before the program began. Several CMMAG members displayed recent work, including jewelry, paintings, collages, sculpture, prints, masks, textiles, shadow boxes and mosaics.

The Indie Business Breakfast was hosted by Donna Maria Coles Johnson, who is the founder and president of the Indie Beauty Network and Indie Business Media. Known as the Chief Executive Indie and the Original Lifestyle CEO, Donna Maria is passionate about empowering people to maximize their potential through small business ownership. From the first moments of her presentation, Donna's passion about the subject of "How to Use Social Media to Leverage Your Brand and Attract More Paying Customers For Your Business" was evident: she swept everyone up in her enthusiasm for social networking media, and helped us to understand the sometimes confusing world of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr, and blogging. As the attendees introduced themselves, it became evident there was a great deal of talent, creativity, drive and curiosity in the room, and we were all anxious to hear the guest speaker: our own Lisa Stewart, the Creative Goddess of ECStewartDesigns.

Lisa led us through the various forms of social media, highlighting those of particular importance to creative entrepreneurs. She let us in on the secrets of blogging, tweeting, and becoming linked in, and told us stories from her own experience in marketing her work. Copious notes were taken, many hands were raised, and there were lots of questions, especially from people who wanted to know how to start from scratch. Lisa's advice: begin with a Flickr account, get your creations "out there," then create a blog.

We all came away with new ideas, new terms, a free Calligraphy Pets print courtesy of Lisa, and a clearer understanding of what's possible in the new world of social media.
Thanks to Donna Maria and Lisa; it was a great event!

And, thanks to Lucy Shupe for these fantastic photos.