Saturday, August 30, 2014

Meeting Jane LaFazio

In the Chicago environs a few weeks back, I had a little art adventure which included meeting Jane LaFazio at a Create Mixed Media workshop.  Jane is an excellent drawer, artist, painter, instructor, and one of the original teachers in this year's debut (3.1 "Beginnings") of  Sketchbook Skool.  As my class all peered at her, she drew first with pencil, then with ink and watercolor, an old ballet slipper that someone had brought with them to draw.  I would think she would feel a little pressured with all those eyes upon her, but she seemed happily oblivious to the stare down.

We started by ripping up papers and collaging them together on two different pages, one lighter and the other darker.  Well, I spent too much time on my lighter concoction and never finished the darker one, even though I skipped lunch and continued to work during that hour.

Next we coated the pages with a particular product (take Jane's class--I'm not giving away her secrets (-;) and then we were able to sketch what we had brought with us as models.  What did I bring with me?  Um, well...I didn't bring anything.  I brought a lot of other things, but not little figurines or things of that ilk so I used the contents within my purse.  Hey, that's art, I do believe.  I also grabbed flowers and buds outside of the hotel and included those--make-up and nature's beauty...a natural combination, n'est pas (right)?  We cut out those items and adhered them to our collaged page.

Just an aside, I made this trip with about zippo dollars.  By the time I had bought supplies the night before, I made the trip with $20 which included a McDonald's coffee.  I had an opened canister of Pringles potato chips in my car as well as a jar of almond butter so I filled myself with that when I grabbed my flower buds mid-morning and once more before others returned from their lunch.  I was thinking the boxed lunches were included, but alas at $12.50, they were out of my league.  I am going to save up better the next time around! ha!  Look, sometimes I post luscious meals I've eaten and other times, well, a girl just has to do what she has to do.  I imagined myself as Madonna, taking off from Michigan in a bus with just $35 dollars in my pocket to go to NYC to pursue my art.  Instead of dance, of course, I would draw!

O.K., well enough about my budget.  I sat with a table with a very quiet and lovely older woman who once sang songs in German cafes!  She appeared timid and unsure of herself, but this was her past life--isn't it amazing what lies within people?  Perhaps that's always why I'm drawing people.  I am fascinated by the hidden stories they hold.  The other woman I sat with was named, Ali.  She holds a PhD, flew from the East coast, and lived in China for three years.  We hit it off like you wouldn't believe.  Our other tablemate asked how long we had known one another, and we said we had just met.  We're both Aries, although her chart is filled with all Aries!  My rising sign is a Leo, but we're both "fire" girls, that's for sure. (-;  My Moon sign adds quite a contemplative aspect, but I can't reveal all my secrets, you know.

Laugh, laugh, laugh, I had such a great time.  My final product...well, it definitely leaves something to be desired! ha!  I originally had my mascara tube in my handmade "map" envelope, but I ended up attaching it to the center of the page for more balanced composition.  Afterwards I thought it looked like a marching, purple phallic symbol, but at least it's alert and on the prowl to spread beauty application everywhere!  Ah, ha, ha, ha!

I think my lack of focus in group settings is, for me, like going to a baseball game.  It's great fun to be there in person, but I end up talking with people around me, watching the track, watching the flashing sign, concentrating on everything EXCEPT the game, whereas at home, watching the t.v, that's all I'm taking in.  Anyway, I wouldn't trade the day for anything.  Jane was so down-to-earth and had a fantastic sense of humor and the same holds true for Allie, and the happy realization that all over this country/world there are people who you can immediately click with and share a magical moment.

Jane LaFazio and our class

Jane's impromptu drawing:

My supply spread:

Ali with her handmade, stuffed birds as props.

 My "light-colored collage page before applying a white, drawing medium.

Jane trying to help our table!

A couple of Jane's pages:

 Look at these sweet paper scissors!  I love them.  Please ignore my ever-present chipped polish and shaggy nail!

My page with a light coat of white medium.

My finished page below, with all my hand-drawn cutouts attached to the background covered with a white, rough medium to make it "drawable."


  1. Wonderful description Jill and your purple #~€?! on your page still makes me smile! Thanks soooo much for coming to my class, dear heart. (And for lunch, I would have gladly shared my chocolate chip cookie.....NO wait, I'm lying. i would have shared my sandwich. :-)

    1. Jane, thank you for stopping by, and I'm glad my purple pillar still brings warm, fuzzy thoughts! lol (-; I had such a fun time in your class and think you are super sweet in your offer of a shared sandwich. (-: I appreciate your honesty involving the cookie, although my salivating glands might not have been as equally appreciative. ha! ha! (-:

  2. Hi Jill, Ali here. What fun it was to meet you and spend the day talking and laughing er…I mean learning and creating (really, we were kinda sorta on task, Jane!). Love your work and your blog! Still waiting to see your Warhol-esque variation on McD's cups! Cheers and all that jazz, ali

    1. Hi Ali! I just read your response now! Too funny--just in a few words you have me laughing again. (-: Thank you so much for your compliments, girl! It makes my day. (-: I'll get working on a hip and groovy version of the Mickey D cup asap! ha! Hope you are doing well and creating loads of those wonderful birds--a cottage industry just waiting to explode, baby!