Monday, July 26, 2010

Happy Monday Morning...

Hi Everyone!!!

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

And incorporating my love of all types of transfers into my work....

Altered Tag with Transfer

Then I began making books instead of just altering them.....

Altered Book Page - Paper & Fabric

Adding embellishments, although still keeping with my more simplistic collage style...

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!!!!


Suz said...

I just love your work and I am coming right over to your blog. So many things that I would like to learn!

Susie, I love this tradition of letting other people write in your blog.

Hugs to you both,

P.S. Susie, I can't get onto Entourage. I owe you money!!

Pretty Things said...

I'm so excited for your teaching! I would be there but totally forgot that one of my craft shows falls smack on that weekend. I can't wait to hear about it, and I hope you take photos of your class and its creations!

vintagesusie & wings said...

Oh Miss Lesley...
I ADORE this post! Finding out more about you, learning about the progression of your work, but mostly I absolutely LOVE the photos of your amazing art.
They make me want to learn more & try new ways of altering & now I feel I must try to alter 'TINS'! They are sooooo cooool my friend! Burn off the paint, how do you do this process? I'd probably burn my hair off...but I want to learn. They fascinate me!!!
Thanks so much for stopping by to do your awesome guest post! I so appreciate it & I will look for you on the west coast if you ever get this way & will be the 1st sign-up for any & all of your classes.
Hugs & Smiles Friend,

stregata said...

Hi Lesley - so nice to learn a bit more about you.

peggy gatto said...

I enjoyed every minute here!
your art is really special, so rich!!!

Lesley said...

Thanks Everyone!!!!

Burlap Luxe said...

love your post, the art is soulful. I love altered /mixed media art and have created my share of it. I wish I had more time for this work, you are my inspiration :)

I think I will go work on 2 pieces that I started months ago :)
See you soon.
Keep on inspiring us

Cindy said...

Lesley, great to learn more about you here on Susie's blog...and can't wait to meet you in September at Art Bliss! :-)

Angela said...

Thanks for your comment on the Rogers Gardens post. I wish I lived close to a nursery like that! I don't know what I was thinking...I should have researched which bloggers were in the area we visited before going. We didn't have much time but it might have been possible to visit some shops. When you have 8 grandkids that you don't see often, that is uppermost in your mind!!

Mélanie A. said...

I love your work and I love that Susie lets you share it with us

moose2bear said...

As I read the post I saw a very familiar name, Ginger Edwards! I know her...she has taught many times in the shop I teach at in Redlands, CA. She is a fantastic master teacher. Boy the roses your Mom can paint...its like magic. Well the apple didn't fall far from the tree. Wow, I love your altered art pieces. Love the burnt tin. You are as great an artist Lesley as your Mom only different mediums. It was a pleasure to read your post.

Jaime Leigh said...

These are some very lovely pieces!