Jacqueline Sullivan Studio Letter October 2012
Inaugural Edition

October 2012 ~ Studio Letter

Choice by choice, moment by moment, I build the necklace of my day,
stringing together the choices that form artful living.........Julia Cameron

Dear Fellow Artists & Friends,
Welcome to the inaugural issue of my studio letter !
I've been searching for a way to communicate with my fellow artists, colleagues, and friends that feels creative and artful without being intrusive in your already busy life - digital and real world !  The social media worlds of facebook and twitter didn't quite do it for me. My blog ??? not quite the personal touch I was looking for. And so I came upon this - a studio letter - definitely not a newsletter, more than a blog, most assuredly NOT a form email. More a personal note - one artist to another that I will write when the spirit moves me, when I have something to say about the creative life, or maybe even a creative challenge to pass along. I have a lot of ideas for little articles to write, resources to pass along, questions past students have posed and answers that might be of interest to everyone, perhaps an arts & crafts book recommendation and review, studio hints and even an assignment or 2 to move the muse in YOU !

How have I strung  together the days in my necklace to make my artful life?
Redesigning my studio space -  capturing newly found objects to incorporate into a yet to be created collage - painting on silk - encountering color, materials, embellishments and leading them onto canvas and paper - experimenting with color texture layers fabric - teaching around the country - creating a new online acrylics workshop ?  Yes to all of these and MORE !

In this inaugural letter I'll be sharing my studio tip for creating handmade paste patina papers,
my current and future workshop schedule, information on the NEW Artist Network University session of Discovering the Magic of Acrylics - my 4 week online workshop which will begin December 11, 2012, silk scarves and color, and a few studio tips and thoughts .........and so we begin.

Please feel free to pass along my studio letter to anyone in your circle whom you think might be interested.

Contact me directly via email @ to pose questions, provide critique and suggest future topics -  I welcome them all !

Silk & Color !

what's new in my studio this month ? flowing silk scarves......colors that inspire me and laying down wax marks and images to resist all that color creating a marvelous flowing work of art to wear ! I have been studying fiber arts in depth and adding materials to the studio for printing and painting silk, cotton and bamboo fibers. I'm teaching a workshop next spring for the Needlework & Textile Guild of Michigan  on adding texture to fabric. I'm trying hard to figure out how to add fiber arts to my teaching for non-local guilds, retreats and conferences but haven't quite got the logistics worked out ~ like how does one travel with sheets of 2' x 6' styrofoam for stretching silk scarves?

The scarves will be sold at the Village Fine Art Gallery at the Villages of Rochester (Rochester Hills, Michigan) from October 15 thru December 31. If the Muse allows I will also post some of them on Etsy. I have had some success with lettering on the silk with sumi ink and hope to make some zen-like scarves with sumi marks.

The gallery will also be carrying my collage cards and some framed collages and perhaps some purses if I can keep the sewing machine humming - I will keep you posted!!  Too far away from Michigan and still wanting a unique silk scarf ?
Contact me personally to discuss your preferences @ Each scarf is unique in color and wax resist patterns and are made from 12mm silk satin and sized 14"x72" - a truly unusual gift for yourself or someone special !
December 11
Discovering the Magic of Acrylics
Please join me for the next session of my 4 week online art workshop presented by the Artist Network University. Whether you are new to the world of acrylics or wish to reacquaint yourself with the medium you will find the guidance needed in my course. As a unique and special feature ~ I will provide every student with direct and personalized feedback on your individual work as you progress through the 4 weeks of class. Course registration includes a digital download of Painting Acrylic -The First Steps Series and full 24 hour online access to the BlackBoard course web page for the duration of the course. In addition you will receive my personal course handouts, web based video instruction and a complete course syllabus. Please visit the ANU website for further information and course registration. Do you know someone in your artist circle who may wish to attend this course ? Please share my email address and I will be happy to speak/write to them directly.
If you want to paint......
but feel too challenged by a canvas, start practicing some things in your art journal. I am continually amazed in classes what beautiful work students do in their journals, because they are less "intimidated" or "flustered" by something that is meant to be displayed elsewhere. The important thing is to arrive !

As Sister Corita Kent said:
The only rule is work.
If you work it will lead to something.
It's the people who do all of the work all of the time who eventually catch onto things.
Half the battle.....
is just getting to the studio! I encourage friends and students to ask themselves upon waking "What am I doing in the studio today?" as opposed to "Where am I going today? " Build your "practice" Have routines to get started and to help transition from everyday life into your creative zone - burn some incense or "smudge" the studio with sage (see Honor your studio time by keeping the cell phone, laptop and other electronic distractions out of the studio or on silence.

Imagine your own patina papers

As most of you know I love metallics and shiny stuff! I also love paper. And so, in my mind, I was trying to figure out how to combine my two loves into some of my art. I came across a faux finish brochure that had formulas charted out for "faux metallic walls". Some of the colors were steel rust, copper patina green, copper patina blue and bronze. I'd been adapting some faux finish techniques onto my paste papers and this really got the juices flowing. Copper Patina Green Paper - what would that look like? And how would I do it?  The brochure called for sponging the layers of color onto the walls with a natural sea sponge. Well, I can certainly do that on paper.  But then the first step in the brochure was to paint the wall teal. How would I get teal paper and still have it be a decent grade of paper to work with on book covers and boxes. Hmmmm! I had to ponder this one for a while before the light bulb went off - if you can paint the wall - why can't you paint a sheet of paper? And so I got some Arches text wove (my favorite base sheet for decorating papers) and I painted it teal. But it was all "plasticy" feeling from the acrylic paint. How could I change that? Whoa! Paste papers don't feel like that. And so I mixed the teal colored acrylic paint with Elmer's Papier Mache Art Paste to create a teal paste.[note: 2 oz of Art Patse make up to 4 qts and can be saved for later use]. I used this mixture to do the first coat on the Text Wove. Now what about the rest of the layers? Well, I suppose that I should mix those colors with paste as well. But when I mixed the copper acrylic paint with the Elmer's Papier Mache Paste - it lost all of its shiny quality. Back to the drawing board. What did I need to do to make the metallic paint more metallic. Scanning the shelves in the studio I saw the bottles of various metallic powders that I often sprinkled onto the surface of both my paste papers and marbled papers to make them more metallic. What would happen if I mixed in the copper metallic powder with the paste and copper acrylic paint? I tried it and voila! I had metallic paste. I then followed the chart - layer # 1 was a solid layer of teal paint. Layer # 2 was a sponged layer of dark green paint. Layer # 3 was the copper metallic sponged on top of the other two layers. I let the paper dry between layers, except for the last layer. While the copper paint is wet, I work in a bit more of the teal and the dark green paste. I want it to look like a sheet of copper that is turning green and crusty. I was amazed that it actually did look like metal!  Working in this manner I developed formulas for 6 different sponged faux "patina papers". I then developed other papers with the metallic paste that resemble momgami paper and old rusty metal that is all crinkle up.

To learn all about how to make my Patina Papers you can arrange for your art group or local art store to sponsor me for a Patina Papers Workshop. The workshop can be scheduled for your time frame and includes hands-on work, a booklet with all of the techniques and formulas that I developed for these gorgeous papers and a discussion of how you can use your new patina paper collection in studio projects and gifts. Students stop me months after taking this workshop to tell me how much they love their papers!

Jacqueline Designs, Inc

A Studio Letter
October  ~  2012
Vol. 1  #1
Developed & Written By:
Jacqueline Sullivan
Chris Wachsmuth

Upcoming Workshops

March 16, 2013
Chicago Calligraphy Collective

location to be announced

April 9-13, 2013

Needlework & Textile Guild of Michigan
location to be announced


May 21-23, 2013
Village Brush Strokes Workshop
Hot Springs, Arkansas

June 8-9, 2013
Traverse City Art Center
Traverse City, Michigan

June 26-30, 2013
Focus on Book Arts
Forest Grove, Oregon

registration info coming soon
email me now for additional information

Acrylics Textures, Layers & Metalics
Jacqueline's very popular class now on DVD

to order:

2013 Workshop Calendar
will be published in the
January 2013
Studio Letter


staying in touch....

be certain of updates on my workshops - retreats - new DVDs and to receive your personal issue of my studio letter by keeping me current with your email address changes. You can add your name to my website list @ - email me directly @ or link to the studio letter subscription below. I never sell - trade or exchange my mailing lists and promise not to overwhelm your in-box ! And remember you can "unsubscribe" at any time the spirit moves you ! Thank you for using the forward to a friend link to share this studio letter with fellow artists, colleagues and friends who are interested in the artful life.

u ask.....

I answer !
Submit questions on any art topic and I'll do my best to answer..... ???? on technique, supplies, resources, book recommendations. If I don't have the answer - I'll check with my "studio play group" a smart group of women if ever there was ! If you stump all of us at the very least we can point you in the direction of an intriguing search. Each issue of the Studio Letter will have a column devoted to YOUR artful life questions. Depending on your interest I may also use my blog to respond if longer answers are required or to explore an entire theme. So ask away and let's see where this goes. Post questions to Jacqueline @ 
Copyright © 2012 Jacqueline Sullivan Designs, Inc, All rights reserved.
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