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Archive for October, 2009|Monthly archive page

art salon (dcca) @ the corcoran 10/29

In Uncategorized on October 30, 2009 at 11:56 am

Here are some photos from last evening’s art salon, sponsored by the DC Commission on the Arts, and held at the Corcoran Gallery.  


art journals & creative healing review

In Uncategorized on October 28, 2009 at 6:39 pm


Sharon Soneff has compiled a thoughtful collection of art journalists of all skill levels who use art and journaling in its many forms to overcome personal and physical challenges.  What I love about Art Journals & Creative Healing is not only does each contributor talk about what inspired the journal in a very personal and intimate way, but also how they’ve used it to heal, expand and grow.  Sharon has written thoughtful and provocative introductions which serve to enhance art journaling as a whole.  Here’s a review as posted on Amazon last year.

I just love this book! It confirmed what I’ve known and practiced for many years. Journaling helps bring a balance and healing to my life. What I didn’t realize was how when coupled with art expression it magnified the effect. I took a one hour art therapy class at college years ago, so this set the foundation for this concept. I appreciate the openess in which the artists and writers share their stories and examples of their creations.

The work is beautiful. The book is well written and well illustrated. My mother passed away last year. I have begun my own art journal titled, “The darkest day; the darkest night.” It has been so helpful to me that I have taken this great book to my school and shared it with some of my students and they are creating their own creative art journals. This book has touched my life and now is touching the lives of some of my students. Thank you Sharon Soneff for sharing this great work and for all those artists and writers who shared their stories!

an art journalist's colored pencil inventory & use tips

In Uncategorized on October 26, 2009 at 9:29 am

It’s taken me nearly three years and countless studio reorganizations to realize that the best way for me to keep, display and inventory my art supplies is by manufacturer and by product.  When I started drawing, I arranged all my brands of colored pencil by color group thinking that if I were working in yellows, I would want all the yellows nearby.  But after time, and a lot of experimentation with various makers of colored pencil (especially watercolor pencils and pastels), I’ve the learned the hard lesson that apples don’t always equate to apples.  

For example, the Faber Castell Albercht Durer Watercolor pencils (available in 120 colors) are just beautifully designed and a joy to work with.  Made in Germany, the pigment goes on to most substrates very smoothly.  But Faber Castell’s website carries, like most manufacturers, a color chart by standard naming and numbering convention.  And when I first started in my art journals, I tried to translate the colors I have to the chart they supplied.  No big deal, right?  You gotta know what you have and what you don’t.  Well, turns out that the Faber Castell has a NEW numbering system, and the numbers don’t translate always to the current chart (see my handwritten entries on the bottom of the chart).

Faber Castell Albrecht Durer Watercolor Pencil Manufacturer's Color Chart

Faber Castell Albrecht Durer Watercolor Pencil Manufacturer’s Color Chart

So what has to happen is you end up making your own color chart (which I highly advise if you’re going to be working with products over a period of time).  Inevitably, it will come time to reorder and you’ll want to know exactly what you need in which line.  I keep a three-ring notebook full of sheets of various manufacturer’s color schemes and I bring it to the art supply store each time I go.  This way, I can quickly look through the binder to see where that perfect yellow is.  

Also, Faber Castell’s numbering system runs along a continuum and many manufacturer’s charts do not.  So for example if 105 is yellow ochre, then 104 is zinc yellow.  Where this is important is for the artist who’s trying to scale back in purchases.  If I need a host of yellow tints, I can order one in the light range, mid-range and deep range simply by skipping a few numbers.  So for example, if I’m buying the 104 zinc yellow, maybe I want to skip down to the 109 orange yellow.  The range of tints between 104 and 109 aren’t that significant to the novice or to the person who is using a lot of various manufacturer’s products.  

It’s also relatively easy to buy this product from open stock if you don’t want to make the investment in sets.  Just be sure that your barrel reads either Albrecht Durer (the watercolor line), Polychromos (the opaque non-water soluable line), or pastel.  Let me also throw in here that Faber Castell’s Pitt Artist Pens (markers) are simply some of the best in the world.  I highly recommend purchasing the entire set (although you will quickly notice that even the entire set does not carry all the colors on the set’s chart on the website, currently the only colors in production are the ones in the large market-available set in the link above).   I do NOT recommend the Faber Castell pastel pencils as I find them VERY chalky.  (I prefer Conte and am in the process of reviewing others).  Disappointing, I know.  What can a girl do?


Shauna Lee Lange Faber Castell Albrecht Durer Watercolor Pencil Inventory

Shauna Lee Lange Faber Castell Albrecht Durer Watercolor Pencil Inventory

Now, I’ve come over time to think that Swiss made Caran d’Ache is probably THE BEST manufacturer of art supplies on the market (closely followed by Faber Castell and Staedtler [however there are MANY products I have yet to try], but Caran is expensive and difficult to obtain in open stock (especially through Dick Blick or Pearl Paint).  Caran d’Ache has the inventory process right though.  They’ve put all the colors and numbering systems in a chart which also shows you where that particular color is available.  For example, one of my favorites in the Supracolor II soft (watercolor/water-soluable) line is number 059 Brown.  Well, my handy chart tells me that 059 Brown is also available in the Museum line, the Pablo Supracolor, The Prismato, The Classicolor, the Neocolor I, Neocolor II, the Acrylique extra fine, the Gouache Studio tablettes, the Fibralo and the Modela.  All this means Caran d’Ache has a fully integrated product line – all the products work with each other.  Prismacolor is similar, but you simply cannot compare the two.  It’s like the local beauty pageant vs. Ms. Universe. Let me also add that Neocolor II sets are any art journalist’s ultimate dream.  Dream.



The thing I want to close with is that you absolutely have got to come to intimately know your art supplies and materials because they have their own personalities and will interact differently with other materials – and when working with a lot of various materials, you must approach the whole thing like a business.  Keep records.  I also keep a journal showing each product dry on dry, dry on wet, wet on wet, and wet on dry.  (I’m type-A like that).  For example, my Neocolor II’s that I am just crazy about can be difficult to write over when used as dry material (it’s fine when used as wet material).  So you have to come to learn how the products work to be able to accurately order your layering processes.  And this is why I do believe, after all this time, that it’s actually more efficient for me to work within manufacturing groups then it is to work in color families (and I am a color kind of girl, so this continues to be a hard shift).  Next up, I’ll talk about some color-theory books that changed my life, how I see the world, and how I manufacture and produce my art.  


matisse prints @ baltimore moa opens

In Uncategorized on October 25, 2009 at 8:42 am

A major exhibition of Henri Matisse’s prints will open at the Baltimore Museum of Art on Oct. 25. About 150 pieces created between 1900 and 1951 will represent every printmaking technique used by the French artist.

robert bergman photos @ nga opens

In Uncategorized on October 25, 2009 at 8:35 am

On Oct. 11, the National Gallery will unveil 33 recently acquired portraits by New York photographer Robert Bergman. That show will be followed on Oct. 25 by “In the Darkroom: Photographic Processes before the Digital Age,” an examination of the medium’s origins through prints from the collection.

turkey & iran exotic images @ sackler opens

In Uncategorized on October 24, 2009 at 8:31 am

Exotic images from Turkey and Iran will be presented at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. Opening on Oct. 24, “Falnama: The Book of Omens” showcases manuscripts painted during the 16th and early 17th centuries as tools to foretell the future.

collaborative art journals

In Uncategorized on October 23, 2009 at 10:23 am



LK Ludwig and company did an absolutely fantastic job of capturing art journals, visual diaries, sketchbooks and other works in collaboratives, round robins, retreat swaps and art exchanges.  Her book, Collaborative Art Journals and Shared Visions in Mixed Media, is inspiring not only because it includes so many group works, but also because it contains “inner views” (or interviews) of the group leaders and their visions, challenges and methods.  

I recently re-reviewed this wonderful work published by Quarry and I have to say the section on Spring Secrets Collaborative Project is my very favorite.  Organizing artist Julie Collings got the idea from a blog post.  The group settled on the idea of looking forward to Spring and a fresh theme.  You’ve absolutely just got to see Cassondra Walter’s creation of mini books in a book shaped box on page 52.  This book is a great resource for those seeking to work with other artists on collaborative, interpretive and inspired art.

art house sketchbook library project: circles part 4

In Uncategorized on October 23, 2009 at 10:04 am


shauna lee lange, city council, ink on paper, 2009

shauna lee lange, city council, ink on paper, 2009

shauna lee lange, overwood, ink on paper, 2009

shauna lee lange, overwood, ink on paper, 2009

shauna lee lange, gown, ink on paper, 2009

shauna lee lange, gown, ink on paper, 2009

shauna lee lange, old phone - hello, ink on paper, 2009

shauna lee lange, old phone - hello, ink on paper, 2009

shauna lee lange, vase, ink on paper, 2009

shauna lee lange, vase, ink on paper, 2009

helping teens start strong kicks off today – how robert wood johnson foundation is helping prevent dating violence

In Uncategorized on October 22, 2009 at 8:39 am

An $18 million “Start Strong” initiative to prevent teen dating violence kicks off today–during Domestic Violence Awareness Month–with activities to help teens confront the issue. Please join this life-saving push.

Start Strong Bridgeport "Take It to the Streets" rally(WOMENSENEWS)–Today, Oct. 22, marks the start of a major national initiative to define a healthy intimate-partner relationship.

The goal: protecting U.S. teens from the growing menace of intimate-partner violence.

“Start Strong: Building Healthy Teen Relationships,” with $18 million in funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Blue Shield of California Foundation, is targeting 11 cities.

It is the largest initiative ever funded to target 11-to-14-year-olds and to rally entire communities to promote healthy relationships and protect their teens.

Today Start Strong teens nationwide are orchestrating local events to take this issue onto the streets where they live during Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The goal is to transform the conversation about dating to focus on developing healthy relationships before violence and abuse begins.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, based in Princeton, N.J., is funding 10 Start Strong sites–Emory University’s Jane Fonda Center in Atlanta; Safe Place in Austin, Texas; Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence in Boise; Boston Public Health Commission; RYASAP in Bridgeport, Conn.; Clarian Health in Indianapolis; Family Violence Law Center in Oakland, Calif.; Sojourner House in Providence, R.I.; Bronx-Lebanon Hospital in the Bronx, N.Y.; and Catholic Charities, Inc. in Wichita, Kan.

Blue Shield of California Foundation, based in San Francisco, is funding Peace Over Violence in Los Angeles. Each group’s initiative will unite the words “start strong” with the city name, such as Start Strong Bridgeport.

Take Action

Your support is crucial. Here’s how you can join the push:

  1. Help us spread the word by forwarding this article to your friends and family.
  2. Go to www.startstrongteens.org and give your relationship feedback.
  3. Post a healthy relationships conversation starter to your Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/yfxr7yl) or Twitter profile with a link. This will have a major impact.

Intimate partner violence is a silent epidemic with significant social, health and financial costs. It starts early, with nearly 1 in 3 female teens suffering verbal, physical or sexual abuse from a dating partner, according to the National Council on Crime and Delinquency Focus’s 2008 report on “Interpersonal and Physical Dating Violence Among Teens.”

Dating Violence Starts Early

Half of all sixth graders are dating and, of them, 42 percent have already been victims of physical dating violence, a recent study of four U.S. sites found, as published by the Journal of Early Adolescence.

Among adolescents, intimate partner violence is associated with increased risk for substance use disorders, unhealthy weight, pregnancy and suicide.

We also know by now that the earlier the onset of dating violence, the more likely it will haunt a lifespan. We can all push back.

The challenge is twofold: Reaching victims and perpetrators to help reduce violence and stopping dating violence and abuse before it starts.

Start Strong’s focus on prevention–which requires changing attitudes and beliefs–relies on making this a public, rather than private, issue.

Think about smoking and HIV-AIDS, two of the most intractable public health issues.

As a society we changed accepting attitudes that fueled these epidemics and we can do the same for relationship violence.

Often, we focus on unhealthy behaviors rather than modeling the ones that are healthy.

We can all start doing this by taking the healthy step of sending teens a clear message that we care.

Kristin Schubert, M.P.H., is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation program officer working in the area of adolescent health and well-being.


one month mark – confused in five guys

In Uncategorized on October 21, 2009 at 9:13 pm

I’ve been cheating a little bit, well I’ve been trying to prepare myself for the year-long sabbatical where I hope to find the intersection of art and spirit.  So my good faith art friend recommended a book by Sybil MacBeth “Praying in Color:  Drawing a New Path to God” and I’ve already read through the majority of it.


There’s a bit of a challenge when you think about ditching (or shelving) it all to concentrate for one full year on a specific topic.  In my case, I have no roadmap and I have no guide.  I only have a handful of half-baked ideas on how to get from here (dissatisfied unhappiness) to there (authentic joy).  And as the ideas come, I’m writing them down.  

One of the tools MacBeth uses in her art journaling or faithbooking is the use of the Lectio Divina (divine reading).  The Lectio contains four-part prayer forms:  Lectio (reading); Meditatio (meditate); Oratio (speaking/praying); and Contemplatio (contemplation).  How it is that I actually made my Catholic Confirmation and do not know these things is beyond my ability to understand, but nevertheless, the method of study is intended to create a tender crosstalk between Creator and creature.  

So I just wanted to say how excited I am that there promises to be lots of turns and twists along our amazing adventure.  Tuesday evening during my New Hope Church’s Beth Moore “Psalms of Ascent” study, we were asked what might have become of our lives without the knowledge of a personal savior. And it’s funny because as I was sitting in Five Guys just before the bible study, and in came a homeless man apparently under some influence, I wrote the following passage:

“He will supply.  He will lift these chains.  

Dear Lord, please bless this man in Five Guys who is obviously extremely down and out.  Blood red in the face, holding his face in his hands in a weary way, straggly dirty blonde hair hanging in his eyes.  I saw another man offer him some food which he declined.  There are so many that are hurting.  What is my purpose here?  How can I help?  What would you have me do?  

Help me to see the clues and signposts of your will and your way.  Help me. Dear Lord.  The man in front of me has a blue t-shirt that reads “Gospel Brunch” with the image of an angel.  His sister has angel wings on the back of her white t-shirt.  What does it all mean?  We are all looking and all frozen. Help me to hear your word to take the high road.  To be a person of deeper character who can be called on in difficult situations.

Help me to understand what you would have me do.  I cannot see my purpose.  Help me to understand and to manifest in my life that I may be the only Christ anyone else sees today.  This man has a family somewhere who loves him. How do you explain that to these children in this place?  How are kids supposed to understand why one person is down and out and another has a three-piece suit on rushing out the door for his busy appointment?  How did this man get here?  Who is he?  Lord, he looks so tired and worn.  Can’t you give him some rest?  And its cold and I don’t see a jacket.  What are we to do?  Your word says that whatsoever we do for the least of them we do for you.”

What are we to do?  No answer, no epiphany – he leaves and I leave and he goes out into the night and I go to my bible study…..So I go on, studying, reading, clearing, simplifying, praying, making the way for a year of transformation.  A year of authentic joy.  A year of some answers.  A year of marrying art journaling & faith.  Bon voyage to me, in just 31 days – wish I could have taken the five guys dude with me.