First off I want to thank Susie for so graciously letting me come over and visit with y'all!
My name is Lesley Venable and I am a self taught Mixed Media artist who lives in Virginia with my wonderful hubby, Tom (aka Mr. Lesley), and our furry family of 4 (Clancy, Lucy, Cagney & Squirrelene). I was born in Texas, raised in Louisiana and moved "North" about 12 years ago so I am a true Southern girl.
I always considered myself a rebel although I must admit that most of the time I was the rebel without a clue.....well that is until I came across the world of Mixed Media. This art form really allowed my artistic side to shine and it allowed my artist the space to color outside the lines. My mom, Ginger Edwards, is a traditional artist who creates beautiful oil painted canvases, watercolors and more. I have always been in awe of her work but the style just wasn't what my brain needed to wrap around creatively so when I "found" Mixed Media I jumped in feet first and never looked back.
I've been teaching Mixed Media art for the last 4 years and have taught at small studios as well as at major art retreats (Art Is, Art & Soul, Artiscape). My art has been published in Somerset Weddings, Somerset Gallery and I have two pieces which will appear in the next issue of Sew Somerset. 2010 has been a busy teaching year with more still to come.
First up I will be teaching at Art Bliss in September at their Inaugural Event. I will be teaching the Altered Coaster Book, the Altered Tags and the Altered Vintage Photo Album (see photos below). This is going to be a wonderful event and I hope that if you are interested in taking Mixed Media or jewelry classes that you will come and join us. The classes look fantastic, the hotel is fabulous, the room rates are absolutely terrific and I promise you will be amazed at the feeling you get being surrounded by other like minded souls. Click on the link below to be magically taken to their site....
Then in October we will be traveling to Connecticut for Art Is You. Where I will be teaching an altered tin class, altered album class and altered cuff class. October in Connecticut is a beautiful time of year and this is an awesome retreat. You can check it out here:
My final "away from home" class will take place in Waxahachie, Texas at the Paper Cowgirl Wicked Tea Party. This is a one day, 4 teacher event which promises to be nothing less than spectacular!!! Check it out here:
So, I am hoping you stuck around long enough for me to show you just who I am and what my art is all about.....
My First Ever Altered Book
I began by altering books....I loved working on the pages and building little niches to place vintage images. Tom had no idea what I was doing and my co-workers, to this day, still look at me like I'm totally out of my head...maybe I am but I'm happy here.
My next steps were into altering tins. It was the happiest day of my life when I learned that you could burn off the paint on the tin instead of having to sand it off. Tins are one of my all time favorite things to work with, little boxes that hold mysteries and secrets.....
Altered Tin With Booklet
The more I created the more I learned about composition, then I had to learn (or try) about shading, layering and drawing the eye across the page or piece. Sometimes my "necessary job" wouldn't let go at the end of the day and I found I was too technical and could see my rebel brain making a break for it. I finally figured out that I had to just let the piece flow like it wanted to and to quit looking for perfection. Art is supposed to be fun and inspiring and (ack!!) I was stomping down my muse with my banker brain. So I started creating with out of the ordinary items.....
Altered Coaster Book - Page Detail
Altered Coaster Book - page layout
Then I began adding other elements that I had never used before like fabrics and sewing...
Altered Vintage Photo Album
Altered Tag with Transfer
Altered Book Page - Paper & Fabric
Altered Tag with Transfer & Embellishment
and I found that I fell in love with Mixed Media all over again and my muse was happy which in turn made me happy.
Thanks again Susie for allowing me to share a bit about myself...hope I wasn't too boring!!!!
Have a wonderfully blessed Monday everyone!!!!