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Old 06-01-2014, 12:30 PM
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If you've never taken a paid art class, you may want to reconsider.

If you've never gone to a rubber stamp exhibition, such as the Heirloom, you may want to go just once.

On May 18, 2014, I partook of the Heirloom at the Puyallup fairgrounds here in Washington state. Although it's not the two floors that it was way back when, there are some niceties about going. This is the time that I take to purchase clingmounted stamps. There's something about meeting a vendor face to face. There's also something about seeing how many stamping artists are still out there and not feeling as though we are all to ourselves. I was gratified to see a lady I had taken a class with the year before and be able to briefly chat with her. Unfortunately, due to vendor not adhering to the class they had advertised, I do not buy or even shadow their booth. On the upside, it's worth going even if to only pay the admittance fee, get information on some of the vendors that might not be so well known and then ordering from them online.

After the less-than-worthy class at the Heirloom, I was rather reluctant to take a class at one of the local stamping stores. I had signed up almost a month ago and as the time drew nearer (yep, a pun), I began to have my doubts in attending. Especially when I had learned that the class was packed out and that I couldn't take my dog with me (I live an hour and a half from where the class was taking place and my husband had allotted funds for me to stay in a hotel - nice, eh?) because it was going to be in the 70s and each class was 3 hours in length.

As it was, Steve talked me into going and boy! am I glad he did! Art n Soul in Lacey WA is very intriguing. Terry Maderis is an incredible artist and an amazing instructor. I have two books soley dedicated to Prismacolor pencils: Colored Pencil by Bet Borgeson and Masterful Color by Arlene Steinberg. Each book is wonderful but lacks what only hands on thru live instructing can accomplish. Thru Terry's beginner class, I learned so much about blending color, how light and shadow create depth, the best type of pencil sharpener and why and other little intricacies.

The second class was more project oriented but with the beginner class being the pre req. We were given a bisque tile, a domino, a frosted piece of shrink plastic, a white piece of shrink plastic and a piece of 150 grit sandpaper. Terry provided instruction for each piece we would be working with plus a variety of his stamps and permanent ink and other tools as necessary. I'm fairly slow and I had questions about the previous day's assignment, so I only got my tile stamped and a bit colored and then I also stamped my domino.
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Old 06-01-2014, 12:36 PM
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The first item is the project from the beginner's class. Take special note of the first 'wave', the white line is almost unnoticeable. Notice in the second and third 'waves' how the white line makes the 'wave' billow. I learned that the pressure in laying down the initial color is the same pressure that is used to lay down the white to create light.

The second item is the domino and the third item is the bisque tile.
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File Type: jpg Medaris Prismacolor Class 1&2.jpg (30.8 KB, 28 views)
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Old 06-01-2014, 12:42 PM
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And here are my purchases (Scor-tape not pictured) from Art n Soul and the Heirloom (2 pieces of Washi paper from Washi Accents - the red floral has a texture like unto linen, 2 stamps from Rubber Necker and two Nesties sets from Bello Modo - who are greatly reduced their cardmaking supplies and I got these for about half off retail):
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File Type: jpg Art n Soul May 2013 Haul.jpg (15.3 KB, 29 views)
File Type: jpg Heirloom 2014 Haul (640x531).jpg (41.7 KB, 29 views)
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Old 06-01-2014, 12:43 PM
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Since Bella had some glare, here is what I've made thus far for my niece's belated birthday card:
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File Type: jpg Samantha's BD card 2014.jpg (41.9 KB, 28 views)
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Old 06-01-2014, 01:22 PM
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I'm so glad the class was good for you. I know you were concerned. Is the dress paper-pieced or hand colored?
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Old 06-01-2014, 01:41 PM
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The dress is paper pieced, as are the shoes and hat.
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Old 06-01-2014, 03:07 PM
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It works beautifully here.
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Old 06-01-2014, 03:50 PM
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When I started I was able to pick-up a few low cost, short classes that really made a difference. These days it's pretty much YouTube. What doesn't work for me are classes that have too much structure or require fast detail work. I took a 2 hour class based on a sample once that ended up being poorly taught with high octane instruction -- I was hopelessly lost after 10 minutes.

If you're thinking about a class read the description carefully then go on-line and study the instructor's work and vids. Spend your pennies carefully by doing your homework before you signing up.

I've taken some wonderful classes over the years at conventions, craft stores, and in private artist studios. Don't be afraid to ask local artists if they teach live classes because these are always the best.
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Old 06-01-2014, 05:36 PM
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Lots of great ideas there for finding help and new ideas.
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Old 06-01-2014, 09:24 PM
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I do agree with you Upside Down that there are instructors out there who aren't worth their weight in teaching. Terry doesn't even shadow that category. Although his theme of Southwest stamps aren't my gig, it was definitely worth my time and money. He may have another class devoted to shadow and light that I am most definitely interested in taking.

If anyone is interested in trying out Terry's techniques, I'd be willing to share all that I learned. I won't promise that I'll be as good as him, but nonetheless...
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