Monday, November 23, 2009

Gratitude Time and Affirmation for Artists Video from Art Biz Coach

As the holiday season hits us, I am doing my best to stay grounded and relaxed in my highly stressful schedule. Thanksgiving is this week, and it seems to be the only time of the year that I think about the blessings in my life. Art Biz Coach Alyson Stanfield reminds us today in her Art Biz blog post on what she is grateful for and how to "exercise your gratitude muscle."

Here is a snip from her blog post from last year called: "Exercise your gratitude muscle"

"Taking the time to practice gratitude isn’t a bunch of hooey. It’s a must for everyone trying to build relationships and an art career. Try it.

I’ve witnessed the magic of a sincere Thank You over and over again!
( Additional resource: See Action 10 in I’d Rather Be in the Studio! for more about following up with people. )

KNOW THIS———-~> Practicing sincere gratitude opens you up to receiving even more abundance.

THINK ABOUT THIS—~> When is the last time you wrote a thank-you note?

DO THIS————~> Exercise your gratitude muscle. Identify your weak points from the four items above and decide what you will work on. Do you think maybe you could send 5 thank-you notes a week for the next month? Or write your gratitudes in your journal every day for 28 days? Challenge yourself and start right now.

Tell us how you practice sincere gratitude and listen to the podcast on the Art Biz Blog. For the last few days I’ve been posting about gratitude there and more is coming up.

Since I am so unpracticed at exercising my "gratitude muscle," I'll give you one line about that I know is true:
I am thankful for all the wonderful and supportive artists that read my blog and interact with me on Facebook and Twitter. Sharing my art and life with you has been a joy.

Here is a gift to you from the Art Biz Coach which goes with gratitude like apple pie and vanilla ice cream. Check out the Affirmation for Artists Video:
Embedded video (will not view in Facebook, so check it out on my blog post)

Your Turn:
What are you grateful for? Are you exercising your "gratitude muscle" everyday? How about in your art career? Are you one of those amazing people who actually sends hand written Thank You notes? I am not yet... Take a quick moment to comment on this post and I will be very grateful!

Happy art making! ~ Jaime Lyerly

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Family Constellation Healing Workshop with Ellen "Ellie" Benfatti this Saturday, November 21, 2009 in Vista, CA

Artist, Healer, Workshop Facilitator and 2010 VP. of WCA/SD Ellen "Ellie" Benfatti

The San Diego Women's Caucus for Art Retreat last weekend was such a joy. Not only did I get to do one of my favorite things in the world: teach encaustic painting, but I was able to participate in other workshops and get to know the amazing women who went. To see a quick blog post about the retreat, click on the link above. More blog posts to come as I sort through the retreat pictures. One of the amazing experiences was participating in Ellen "Ellie" Benfatti's Family Constellation workshop on Friday night.

I am not sure I can explain exactly what happened during the workshop, but we as a group decided that is was the balance between left brain and right brain that we wanted to work on. Since my blog is usually about art making, art shows and techniques, I am not sure how much detail you all want me to go in about the healing experiences.

To sum it up, I was so moved by the experience that I was on the verge of tears at the end. I have never felt balance like I had at that moment. My energy is ALWAYS fragmented and pouring out in different directions at the same time. I can focus on one thing, such as working on an art project for hours, but there are almost always different steps to take to keep me interested. Plus, it is easy to work on art because it is fun.

It is the left side of my brain and my life - credit cards, debt, bills, obligations, homework, chores, cleaning, promises that I made - that I am so overwhelmed with that I ignore them and hope they go away. They don't and I am just left with MORE STRESS and I disappoint people that are counting on me. It is my fatal flaw. And I am working on fixing it.

Therefore, I am going to Ellie's Family Constellation healing workshop this Saturday. I had many other things planned for this weekend, but if I can feel even a moment more of that balance, it will change me for the better. By talking to Ellie this weekend, I realized that devoting some time to understanding and working through my own stuff, I can change the energy that I give out and receive.

Check out the information below and RSVP for it right away if you are in the San Diego area. The workshop is being held all day this Saturday at a private residence in Vista. It also is normally $300 for this group session, but she is discounting it to $35 to give an opportunity for others who are more financially strapped to participate. It won't be the same without you there! We need you!

Here is the information about Family Constellations from Ellie's website:


Family Constellations have proven to bring balance to the individual requesting the constellation as well as other family members. In most cases the other family members aren't present during the session. A constellation can be done in private, on the phone, or in group.

Constellation by definition means a cluster. Ellie believes that when there is an unresolved trauma in a family its members will cluster around the trauma. Unfortunately, the clustering is often an attempt to hide the trauma. In most cases the desire to hide the trauma is done out of a "blind love" for the other family members. Usually the "hidden" or "secret" part of the trauma is thought of as a way to protect the children, victim, perpetrator, or the innocent. If this happens the trauma remains hidden and creates an imbalance with in the family's soul. When a client chooses to revisit the trauma through a family constellation an immediate sense of wellbeing can occur. It's as if everyone in the family has been waiting to acknowledge and move beyond the trauma. In most cases, immediate relief, a feeling of lightness, and wellbeing occurs. This relief is often felt by both the client and the other family members. The magical part is that 99.9% of the time the only member of the family present is the client. The outcome is a more loving connection to each other and the people around them. This allows the family to experience a "knowing love." This love is expansive and allows all members to feel more connected and accepted by their family. This feeling is essential for experiencing peace and wellbeing with in the family's soul.

When choosing to have a private constellation colored fields or small objects are used to identify the people and elements needed to conduct the constellation.

When choosing to participate in a group constellation individuals are chosen by the client to represent the people and elements needed to conduct the constellation.

When choosing a phone constellation a client may choose to sit or stand in a room that would allow them to utilized objects surrounding them to complete the constellation. Ellie will guide them over the phone.

Is a Family Constellation right for me?

A Family Constellation is an approach to healing that incorporates the entire family system. The foundational belief it is that when there's been a trauma to the family that hasn't been resolved or restored to balance it can reappear in future generations. Often times when the trauma manifests the descendant who carries this trauma may or may not be aware of it's origin.

When contacting Ellie she can evaluate your situation and decide if doing a constellation would be appropriate for your circumstances.

In many cases physical, mental, and emotional issues are resolved and the client feels an immediate sense of wellbeing.

Constellations can be useful in resolving issues around:

Divorce, Death, Addiction, Abortion, Miscarriage, Illness, Depression, Anxiety, Sexual/Mental/Physical abuse, Loss, Adoption, Loss of Job, Money, Slavery, Moving from a homeland, Victims of War, Religious or Racial differences, etc.

Ellie is not a licensed therapist or Dr. Ellie was trained at The Constellation Institute of Santa Barbara by Dr. Dyrian Chartrand Benz and Joanna Benz Chartrand. Ellie is respected as one of the most intuitive constellation facilitators in San Diego County.


Private Session $125.00

Group Session $300.00 per day

Representative $115.00 Per day

A sliding scale is available if you desire partial scholarship.

November Special attend Nov. 21st and receive a private for 1/2 price.

Next workshop is scheduled for this Saturday, November 21, 2009 from in North San Diego County (at a private residence in Vista. Directions provided at RSVP).

Session Runs from 9:45 am to 4:45 pm, with break for lunch

Lunch 12:30 pm - 1:45 (bring your own picnic lunch).

Special Price for November 21th workshop is $35!

Here are some comforts I always recommend participants bring along for their journey.
Sweater, Scarf or Small lap blanket.
Healthy Snack (most of us bring enough to share)

If people are interested, I will blog about my experience with this workshop afterword. I don't want to get to far off track from my love of sharing art with other, but this is about the WHOLE PERSON. I am striving to become a better artist but also a better person in general. These type of workshops and the energy I get from the San Diego Women's Drum Circle every month held lead me into a more sacred space that is healing for all.

I hope you can join me at this event. Please email Ellie Benfatti right away with any questions and to RSVP for this Saturday. You won't regret it.

To healing the whole person - and making art! ~ Jaime Lyerly

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Back from the San Diego Women's Caucus for Art Retreat!

Encaustic painting set up at home © 2009 Jaime Lyerly

Just a short note to let you all know that I am back from the San Diego Women's Caucus for Art Annual Retreat, which was last weekend, November 13 - 15, 2009.

I have lots of pictures and stories to tell (don't worry - nothing embarrassing for the wine-drinking ladies,) but this is a super busy week for me with something scheduled everyday and I won't get to them until probably Sunday.

Since this retreat is for women only (because of the close sleeping quarters), it had an abundance of feminine energy, which is similar to my monthly San Diego Women's Drum Circle. However, I have never spent a weekend devoted solely to making art, meeting new people and being out in nature before. Usually, I am trapped inside with my school books (Japanese is killing me....) and spend what little time I have outside of that with my partner Chris and almost 13 year old son, Xen. I couldn't even tell you the last time I had been alone, which is a sad fact in itself. Although I did attend Ellen Benefatti's Healing Family Constellation Workshop on Friday, I have to admit that I left early during Judi Burnett's Portrait Painting Workshop so that I could be alone outside in nature. I sat on a fallen tree branch and wrote in my journal for a hour, before heading off to lunch and then to teach my afternoon workshop. More about these workshops and pictures later.

After a relaxing lunch of mushroom risotto, I came back to set up to teach Encaustic Painting Technique on Saturday afternoon. My workshop went very well, although I am not sure how many people I converted to ways of the wax, yet. We set up the stations outside to keep the smell away from the more sensitive members, and to be outside. What I wasn't counting on was how quickly the sun would go down and how cold it would get! The pictures look like I gave this workshop in Alaska, instead of Julian, California in November. The winter gear and people huddled around the heat guns will give you a hint of the weather change for all of us.

It was an amazing weekend and I look forward to sharing more about the workshops and activities, as well as the stories and general fun we had this weekend. Missing this year's retreat? You can come next year! It is an annual retreat, and while this was my first year going, I know it will not be my last.

Until then, why don't you join us in the WCA/SD Facebook Group page? I am trying to get all the members, prospective members and people who just want to know what we are doing to join this group. You can post your events to our wall, and know that you have an audience that is active in the San Diego Arts community. Share with your friends! They need to be a part of this too.

Happy art-making! ~ Jaime Lyerly

Monday, November 9, 2009

Encaustic Sculpture Experiments - In Progress Wax Works by Jaime Lyerly

Three pounds of beeswax in cold pan. "Warm it up, Jaim!" "I'm about to!"
image © 2009 Jaime Lyerly

It has been a busy weekend preparing to teach Encaustic Technique at the San Diego Women's Caucus for Art Retreat this weekend, November 13-15, 2009 at Camp Stevens in Julian, CA.

I admit that I haven't been doing encaustic often within the last month because of my super busy school schedule and the fact that it has been 90+ degrees during the day! But now that it has finally cooled off here in San Diego, I couldn't resist doing some wax experiments even though I was supposed to be preparing medium for the retreat.

Preparing about 7 lbs of encaustic wax medium was one of my goals this weekend. This should have been the final result. Pretty cakes of clear medium cooling. This image was taken when I was making encaustic medium for the Escondido Municipal Gallery Workshop in July 2009.

Making encaustic wax medium, image © 2009 Jaime Lyerly

Saturday started off just fine with me melting 4 lbs of wax in my pan. It seems so good! (We need smell-a-vision screens for this blog post!)

Melting the beeswax to make encaustic medium. image © 2009 Jaime Lyerly

However as it melted, and I added the damar resin to harden it, the urge to USE the wax instead letting it melt overcame me. I thought about all I had been doing recently without my wax. I have been knitting and knotting fabric and rope pieces to be dipped in wax for my Art Actions. I won some fabrics from artist Carolyn Brown Sadowski. I have some vintage books pages that needed to be waxed, and some more books that my friend Starry just gave me. I rationalized that I haven't turned on my wax in a month and that I NEEDED to wax just a few things to get back into the swing of working with wax to teach at the retreat...

It was a lie.

I WANTED to use the wax for myself. So I did.

I ripped up a vintage book and tossed the pages in the beeswax bath. The damar that I put in was melting and sticky. I soaked these papers. I also dipped individual pieces of paper and shaped them. It was fun to experiment and get messy with the wax.

Old book pages in encaustic wax bath. image © 2009 Jaime Lyerly

After experimenting with the paper, I took out the fabric pieces. Dipping materials, especially things like fabric uses A LOT of wax. As I was dipping the fabric pieces, some of them made a sizzling noise. This tells me that there was probably a synthetic material in the fabric that had a lower burning temperature than my wax does. But these are all experiments; so I share my knowledge with you. If it sizzles, it is too hot! You knew that right?

Even though I burns some of the fabrics, they turned out more interesting than I expected after only one trip to the wax bath. They look like leather and I think they are so cool. The images are not the best, but they give you a taste of what they are like. Check them out below.

Untitled Encaustic Sculpture, in progress, fabric and wax, © 2009 Jaime Lyerly

Untitled Encaustic Sculpture Detail, in progress, fabric and wax, © 2009 Jaime Lyerly

Untitled Encaustic Sculpture, in progress, fabric and wax, © 2009 Jaime Lyerly

Untitled Encaustic Sculpture detail, in progress, fabric and wax, © 2009 Jaime Lyerly

Untitled Encaustic Sculpture, in progress, fabric and wax, © 2009 Jaime Lyerly

The last image I only covered partially in wax, which kept some of the original coloring while shaping the piece. I am not in love with these pieces, yet, but I am intrigued enough with them to ask for a second date.

One thing I know about them is that they need a place to hang out and lots more friends! I plan to do more experiments soon, but this time without any guilt of what I SHOULD be doing.

Warning: for all of you ready to start dipping object in wax - it "taints" or "dirties" your wax. The wax that I used for these items was clear refined beeswax. Now it is brownish yellow. Not a big loss, since now it has been labeled "collage wax."

Encaustic wax used for collage and dipping, image © 2009 Jaime Lyerly

After pouring my collage wax into the muffin pans, I cleaned out the pan and put in fresh pounds of beeswax and made some medium. Here they are cooling in their mini muffin pan.

Encaustic medium cooling, image © 2009 Jaime Lyerly

So I ended up making about 3 lbs of encaustic medium for the retreat and will finish making the medium later this week.

I am so excited to teach this weekend! It will be a full house, but I hope each student will get a taste of working in this exciting medium. I never tire about explaining, showing and working in encaustic.

For those of you not coming to the retreat, I will have some pictures up for you to experience it online. Let me know what you want me to post on my blog. I aim to please!

Until then, happy experimenting! Enjoy the journey! ~ Jaime Lyerly

Monday, November 2, 2009

Helen Redman's art show "Tensions in the Journey: From Child to Crone" at the Women's History Museum in San Diego

Another great event coming to the San Diego area this weekend on November 6, 2009: Founding Mother of the San Diego Women's Caucus for Art (SDWCA) Helen Redman's one woman show "Tensions in the Journey: From Child to Crone" at the Women's History Museum and Educational Center (WHMEC). Check out the press release below from the WHMEC for more information.

Tensions in the Journey:
From Child to Crone

Helen Redman

Exhibition: Nov. 6 - Dec. 5, 2009
Opening reception: November 6, 6-9 PM
Lecture/discussion: November 21, 2-4 PM

For nearly a half century, Helen Redman has been making art. Her stunning portraits and evocative mixed media works track events, both momentous and ordinary, in women’s life cycle. Much more than a visual account of one woman’s perspective on life, her works illuminate something transcendent: they compose a visual memoir of the flux and flow of embodiment and identity across a woman’s life cycle, a memory-laden landscape of time’s passing in a life lived through a certain era and in a particular body.

To celebrate the nearly fifty-year career of the artist Helen Redman, the Women's History Museum and Education Center is hosting Tensions in the Journey: From Child to Crone, an exhibition of selected works from the 1960s-2000s. The exhibition runs from Nov 6 - December 5, 2009, and opens with a reception on November 6th, 6-9 PM at 2323 Broadway, Suite 107, San Diego, California 92102. The exhibition is also part of the celebration of the 40th anniversary of women's studies at San Diego State University.

I love Helen Redman's work and think this show is going to be amazing. I look forward to seeing more of her work and meeting this powerfully moving artist. I hope you can join me!

Happy art making! ~ Jaime Lyerly