Thursday, February 18, 2021

Winter Bliss

 Great news! My painting "The Government" has been accepted into the Western Federation Exhibition that will be held virtually this year. 

This composition derived from photos I took in San Miguel de Allende. Casa de las Ranas is owned by a couple who's Mosaic obsession has gone wild. We take our Tesoro del Corazon students for a tour every year...except in the time of Covid...sigh. (We canceled again this year but will return next year!). Anado McLauchlin is interviewed here

Every time we have visited I took photos of the same window sill in their studio. The streaming light plays so well with the little critters they've collected over the years. Here are a few photos of the same location.....





So, without further ado ...I present "The Government"







Friday, January 1, 2021

New Year, new classes

 I'm so happy to start this new year! We all needed a fresh start. I've got some great new classes coming up this month. 

I hope you can join me. Escondido Adult school will be on Zoom again. This means anyone can sign up! Friday mornings- 3 hours- demo and critique plus some awesome inspiration. Sign up asap...

Take a look on my classes page

I've also have a class starting Fallbrook School of the Arts in Fallbrook, CA. These are held at the school with all covid safety procedures. 

Here are some some of my demos from last quarter...oh and me demoing....enjoy!
















Thursday, December 17, 2020

Oak Tree Dr - Remembrance sculpture in my garden

 Sometimes you need to create as part of the healing process. It's been a tough couple of years with the passing of my Mom and Dad. Earlier this year, my Mom died at the age of 95 during the time of Covid so we could not have any services. My Dad died 4 years ago. 

I started this assemblage sculpture with a branch from one of our 150 year CA coastal live oaks at our family house. I brought it home, let it sit for the longest time until I decided what to do with it. The twist of the branch is quite beautiful. My hubby and I took off all of the bark, sanded, and varnished the wood. That slow process was comforting in a way..chipping away the grief. 

I started thinking about what to do with branch, what it needed to become. Birds are always one of my favorite things to draw and sculpt. Each bird has a different design and counts as members of my family. My sister thought of that..when I made the birds I didn't have that connection...thank you Nancy. 

When we were clearing out the garage at the family home I asked my brother if we could take the old vacuum cleaner base out of the garage. He said "what do you want that for?" "What are you going to do with that?"...he's a very practical guy. Of course he said that many more times to me while we were clearing out our beloved home for sale...yea..I love found objects..what can I say...

The vacuum was a built in system throughout the house...do they even make those any more? My hubby Jose added sand in the bottom of the canister for weight and made the marvelous connections for all the birds, wood and base. Thank you my husband of many years. 

The home is sold now...52 years of memories. 











 







Sunday, November 29, 2020

Filigree Sprigs

 So some weeks ago I announced my new StencilGirl Stencils...guess what? They are on sale! 


Today I'm sharing my Filigree Sprigs stencil tutorial with you. It's a small fun book to make with a great theme. Enjoy! 


Filigree Sprigs


I’m always looking for seedling and sprig shapes to include in my paintings and journal. I love the upward growth of plants in my garden. I constantly draw and paint succulents and other plants  with pencils and paint.  I designed these shapes based on seed pods and new growth on succulents. They can also represent ocean plants and seedlings. 

Now you have a great resource to use to explore and grow!


Filigree Sprigs Sea Book



Step 1. Start out with a decorative paper or make your own. 

I used Masa Paper, crumpled up and painted. 



Step 2. Stencil the decorative paper with Filigree Sprigs stencil. 


Tear the sheet into sections to create book pages. Double the width to fold in half after stenciling.

Step 3. I use Golden open acrylics on my stencils whenever possible. It’s easier to clean and I have a longer work time. Stencil the designs on top of the decorative paper, rotating the designs. I also flipped the stencil for reverse images. 




Step 4.  After folding the pages in half, select a couple of sheets of vellum. Cut to size and fold in half. 

Step. 5. Trace some of the filigree shapes onto the vellum with pencil. Use color pencils to fill in the shapes. Accent the outlines with a permanent ink pen. 


Step 6. Stack the pages one on top of the other while open. Poke 3 holes equal distant from each other at the fold through all the pages. 

Step 7. Thread a binding needle with thread. Use the illustration for your guide for sewing. Embellish with beads or buttons. 


Friday, November 20, 2020

Fall in the Garden

 Feeling like I need a happy garden post so here it is! My Fall garden in San Diego County, CA is quite unique due to our delayed Fall weather. It's still warm to hot during the days but cooler at night. We had a bit of rain and hail a couple of weeks ago but I'm still watering ....

This Aloe's parent is over 60 years old. I started it from a cutting taken from Rancho Guajome when I was a docent gardener there. The unusual growth is called crested or monstrose cactus. 


                                          Mexican Sunflower Tithonia diversifolia 


This pot was made way, way back in the 70's during my hippy days...
can you see the dancing couple? 

                                                                Dudleya 




Thursday, November 5, 2020

My first Stencil Designs!

 Hi Everyone,

I'm so excited...today is the launch day for my stencils designed for StencilGirl! 

MaryBeth Shaw and Carol at StencilGirl suggested that I design succulent shapes patterns. What's not to love? They are my favorite things in the garden and then some. 

All of my tutorials are on the StencilGirl blog 

Here's a video that I made about my inspirations for the designs

Helen Shafer Garcia Stencilgirl Inspirations

And I've created some tutorials for you at StencilGirl for each design. 

Without further adieu....

 I present  Filigree Sprigs, Echeverias, Echeveria Ballet

Order them at StencilGirl at the links below! 


Filigree Sprigs
Echeveria Ballet
Echeverias 












Thursday, September 24, 2020

A Tribute to RBG

 I'm taking an online class from Jan Ledbetter, who's works I have admired for a long time. It's so nice being a student! It's been a long time since I've had time to do this. Jan gives us great assignments each week. 

 Last week we focused on Rodolfo Morales paintings. We were to adapt his style to our work with flat shapes and storytelling. I loved the process. 

Here is my rendition with of course....an agave......and a tribute to RBG. 

Tell me what you think! 



Thursday, August 27, 2020

Book Arts Summer class

 My Book Arts summer class at Fallbrook School of the Arts wrapped up. We made 3 structures with glee and fun for all. 

I have new local classes coming up. 2 are with Escondido Adult school with pandemic school district guidelines. 

Also, at Fallbrook School of the Arts: WatercolorJournaling- Creative Freedom is starting up soon. This class will be in- person with safety guidelines (masks and distancing) These are listed on my Classes page with links. Hope to see you soon!