Jacqueline Sullivan's Studio Letter
The Anniversary Edition
December 2013

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Jacqueline's The Autumn Woods near Gaylord Michigan ~ Oct 2013
To create anything is to believe,if only momentarily,
you are capable of magic.  
Tom Bissell, 2013
 Magic Hours ~ Essays on Creators & Creation

The Anniversary Edition
December 2013
Jacqueline Sullivan's Studio Letter
Dear Fellow Artists & Friends.......

Wikipedia says “An anniversary is a day that commemorates or celebrates a past event that occurred on the same date of the year as the initial event.”  So it’s a day to celebrate. It has been a year since Chris and I decided to launch this Studio Letter.  You might not know but we collaborate from a distance of 2500 miles {Michigan to San Francisco} and generate each unscheduled issue around a theme.  We add my art, pieces on creativity, quotes both Chris and I  like, artful resources and web links ~ always more content then there is room on the page. It has been an interesting first year woven together by forty years of friendship, the miracle of technology and long telephone calls punctuated with a bit of vino!
2013 has been my most active teaching year yet. And I have loved it! It has been wonderful, meeting so many new students and reconnecting with those people who have came back for another class with me. And that is one thing that I love about this Studio Letter. So many of you e-mail me after receiving it – it is always good to hear from you! I miss “my” people, or as Chris calls you “my tribe”.  Admittedly, we use The Letter as a marketing tool for my studio and teaching but it is also very important to Chris and I that teaching and sharing take center stage. So, this issue launches our second year of connecting with all of you !
I cherish the connection with people and their art and it is good to re-connect. Thanks everyone for your enthusiastic response to The Letter, for sharing it with your friends and offering suggestions to improve our content ~ merci beaucoup one & all !
~ Jacqueline

In This Issue.......
  • Jacqueline on self-talk
  • Jacqueline Suggests:  artist supplies & resources for autumn
  • 2 did you know articles on using fluid matte medium + magical molding paste
  • Adding texture to your work
  • Jacqueline's favorite go-to book: Artist to Artist
  • 2014 Workshop Calendar to date
  • Jacqueline's DVDs and a custom workshop idea

Reach out to Jacqueline for Studio Letter comments + suggestions, query on studio practices and techniques or to arrange a workshop booking @

Looking for past Studio Letters ? Link to our archive of Letters
The greatest revolution in our generation is the discovery that human beings,
by changing the inner attitudes of their minds,
can change the outer aspects of their lives.

William James, 1842-1910; also attributed to Marilyn Ferguson,
author The Aquarian Conspiracy, 1938-2008
If you have taken a class from me in the last few years you have probably heard the  phrase “If you wouldn’t say it to your best friend, then don’t say it to yourself”. So many times in my teaching I hear….. “This is so bad…..There’s no hope for this….I’m going home and put this in the trash”. The fact that these pieces are usually not that bad, is the subject for another letter, but my concern here is for the individual’s self-talk.
You see, I believe, that if you tell yourself something often enough, it becomes part of you. And so, if you tell yourself time after time that your art is bad, it will soon become programmed into your being that all you produce is bad art.  How do I know this? From experience and a LOT of it. It is something that I still fight everyday. It is a huge part of why I don’t exhibit much. It is why, when I did have a  gallery show, I would hide in the back room during the opening. Exhibiting as part of the faculty at a conference or other event was just terrifying because “who am I to hang my work next to these other people who are so good at what they do”.
 Several years ago, I found an article that said “How’s your self-talk”?  I cut it out, laminated it with a picture of me as a child and carried it in my wallet and read it daily. It is very difficult to fight the bad programming that some of us received as a child or even from a life partner. But it can be done. Whenever I start feeling insecure about my work, I try to concentrate on my successes. I try to empty myself of those past voices.  I try hard to get rid of what doesn’t fit anymore and fill myself with my own thoughts and feelings. If I am thinking about a goal that has not been  met, I tell myself “I am not there, yet”. As opposed to the old me that would say,  “You dumbass, you screwed up again.”  I am responsible for who I am and who I tell  myself I am. Those past voices are just that – past.  I need to keep going to “the source” and pulling out the creative me. And I encourage you to do the same. Don’t let your source get dim. Keep talking to it, encouraging it like you would your best friend or your child or someone else that you really care about. It is a healing process. Once you experience the joy and power of creating your own life, you will experience an outflow of abundant creative energy that comes with being true to your essence. Let your light shine ~ be gentle with yourself. Remember what St. Francis de Sales said, “Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength”.  [1567-1622]
I am adding “Exhibit my Work” to my goal list for 2014. What will you change in your creative life?

image: Jacqueline's silk scarf with wax resist and procion dyes, 2013
Jacqueline's new 2014 workshop schedule
is posted @
Jacqueline's Favorite Autumn Artist Supplies

1. Golden acrylic paints – quinacridone burnt orange, quinacridone azo gold with raw umber, jenkins green with raw umber

2. Metallic pan pastels in copper + bronze

3. Stencils of trees []  - branches reversed stencil [crafters workshop stencils] either in 6x6 or 12x12 - abstract leaves 6x6 or 12x12, and aspen trees 6x6 or 12x12

4. Tree stencil by stencil girl  9x12

Crafters Workshop Stencils are also on page additions


image: Jacqueline Sullivan, decorative paper with marks made in gesso then painted, 2011

Did you know ?
before you add leaves, branches, pieces of pine cones and acorn caps to your collages that you should coat them with a matte medium such as golden fluid matte medium? This step preserves natural elements while not attracting varmints to munch on your art. Dry each piece completely before adding to your art. The Ultimate Glue, by Crafter's Pick, is good for attaching these elements to your collages. If objects are shaped awkwardly, try sewing them through by punching holes in your backing board and sewing through it with fishing line or invisible thread.
Where will Jacqueline be in 2014 ?

The 2014 workshop calendar is beginning to take shape. Jacqueline will be teaching in Michigan, Alaska, California, Texas, Mississippi and Alberta Canada ! She will also be continuing with the Artist Network University in 2014 presenting her 4 week on-line acrylics workshop while developing a second class on creative freedom.

Image: Jacqueline's photo, Holland America ship door detail, Alaska, 2010
Workshop specifics are posted on
here is a quick-look summary of Jacqueline's 2014 teaching calendar to date......

Location                         Date                 Topic
Smitten Dust Studio                 Jan 18                 The Creativity Journal
Mich Assoc Calligraphers        Jan 25                 Painted Tissue
Art Is You                                 Apr 26                 TBA
Shake Rag Alley                      June 7-8             Glorious Papers
Northwest Book Arts                June 16-18         Mixed Media for Book Arts + 2
Red Deer College                    July 14-18           Luscious Layers
Mendocino Art Center              Aug 18-22          Abstract Painting
Shiawassee Art Center            Sept 14               Experimental Watermedia Collage
San Antonio Calligraphy          Oct 2, 4-5           Visual Poetry 
The dark brown texture areas in this piece of a collage work is done by putting used coffee grounds onto tissue and then adding Polymer Medium Gloss to hold it down and preserve it. The coffee simultaneously adds color to the tissue, since it bleeds into the tissue, as well as adding an interesting texture. It also adds a new element to your art – Scent! Although that does dissipate with time and depends on the amount of Polymer Medium Gloss you use. It is important to use enough medium whenever applying organic/edible materials like this, so that you are encasing it in Polymer and reducing its attraction to bugs and vermin!
This technique is especially nice when some Schminke Metallic Powder is sprinkled into the coffee. Put an old nylon stocking over your Schminke bottle to make it into a “shaker”.  I also add Mica chips to it sometimes.
If you like the technique you can also try it with old dried spices, ground up leaves or dried flowers. I also use fine sawdust and tiny wood chips. Have fun with it – making your own “Texture Mediums".

image: detail shot of Asian collage, Jacqueline Sullivan, 2010
 Molding Paste  ~  no ordinary stuff !
If you have studied with me, you know that Light Molding Paste is one of my favorite textural elements. I use it a LOT with stencils, punchinella and Scraffito marks. I have a free download on my website of an article I wrote a few years ago about Molding Paste, complete with photos of actual work. Click here for Magical Molding Paste.

Now there is also a great video out by Patti Brady, head of the Golden Working Artist Program. It gives a terrific explanation of the qualities of all of Golden's Molding Pastes. You can watch Patti's short YouTube video here.
I highly recommend it! I believe that if you understand the materials, you can use them more creatively!

People are always asking..........
where I find all of my quotes on Creativity. The short answer is everywhere. I watch for them in people’s e-mails, on their blogs, in personal notes. I have collected over 300 of them on my website under the “Quotes” tab. And I am constantly reading about the creative process – looking for more ways to inspire my students and followers and help people get grounded in their own brand of creativity.
A favorite “go to” book is Artist to Artist: Inspiration and Advice from Artists Past and Present.  This book lives on my desk where I work in my Art Journal and on other small pieces.  It is paint stained and getting worn, true signs of a well-loved book. This book gathers more than a thousand enlightening quotations fro
m more than 200 master artists across time and generations.  There are quotes on fifty-seven subjects including advice, creativity, education, fear and doubt, the nude, work habits
and more. I love just letting the book fall open to a page and reading the quotations on that page spread. Inevitably, something there will speak to me and help me work through some problem I have been trying to solve. Don’t you love serendipity?

Note from Chris in SF: book is still in print and seems well available so check your local bookseller. We also found available from Amazon as paperback, hardcover and Kindle e-book; Powells Books [new + used copies];  Books, Inc [online order; new];  and Joseph Beth Booksellers.
Artist to Artist: Inspiration & Advice from Artists Past & Present [1998], Clint Brown; Jackson Creek Press.

Jacqueline's Video Art Workshops

Go For The Gesso - Jacqueline's 4th and newest video workshop is a 1 hour DVD providing instruction in a variety of gesso techniques incorporating acrylic paints, pan pastels and stamping techniques to create beautiful color - layers and texture. The DVD is $27 and includes S+H for US addresses [international mailing quoted by country]. See Jacqueline's blog for ordering information, supplementary materials which accompany the DVD and a special offer for the holidays ! Or contact Jacqueline directly to order now.

Simple Metal Etching -  Jacqueline's 3rd video art workshop teaches 3 different methods for creating a resist on copper and brass. The DVD is $20 and includes supplementary materials which are emailed to you. S+H is FREE for US addresses. International addresses quoted by country. Additional information on Jacqueline's blog. DVD may also be ordered by email.

Mixed Media Textural Collage - See Jacqueline's blog post [Nov 13, 2012] for complete details on the DVD's content and ordering. $20 includes supplementary materials. S+H FREE for US addresses.
International addresses quoted by country.  DVD may also be ordered by email.

Acrylics, Textures, Layers, Metalics -Jacqueline's very popular class continues to be available from CCP - see Jacqueline's web page for a link to CCP for ordering and to view a preview of the video workshop

Ordering is easiest via PayPal for both US and international addresses - new to PayPal ?? see Jacqueline's blog post for step by step how-to or email us and we'll send the info directly to you.

image: Jacqueline Sullivan, brass metal etching with rubber stamp, 2008

New for 2014…...   have you ever thought about arranging a personal art workshop with Jacqueline ? Do you have 4-5 [or more] friends who would be interested in a workshop experience with a professional artist and sought after teacher ? Jacqueline would be delighted to help you organize such a gathering in your own studio, a local community room or even your dining room table ! Contact Jacqueline to discuss your ideas and talk out logistics. Who knows where this might lead in the new year ?
Walden’s Pond  ~ Early winter  Circa 1900-1920
Herbert Gleason, photographer

The question is not what you look at, but what you see.
Henry David Thoreau, Journal, August 5, 1851
in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau

REF: Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1906) digital version

Jacqueline Designs, Inc

A Studio Letter  December 2013
Vol. 2  #8
Written & Published By:
Jacqueline Sullivan  &  Chris Wachsmuth
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Copyright © 2013 Jacqueline Sullivan Designs, Inc, All rights reserved.
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