Author Archives: Andrea

Moving the Studio/Store to 176 Race Street

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Most of you know already because you follow us on Facebook or get our weekly newsletters but sometimes with an over-filled feed and mailbox news slips by and you miss out on vital information.  In the interest of NOT letting that happen I’m posting here as well.

A Work of Heart Studio has been at 2196 Lincoln Avenue(San Jose) for 10 years now.  We have had a wonderful time making art and friends in this location.  If you have been a part of this process in any way, thank you!  It is because of you that we are now looking to move on to the next 10 years in a larger space.  Less than 3 miles away the “perfect” space became available just at the right time.

You can see a short video of the interior of the new space here

The best part is that parking will no longer be an issue.  There is an entire parking lot behind the building and plenty of street parking.

Today (June 16) after I signed the contract my new landlord took the “for lease” sign down.  It was a monumental moment.

Leaving Lincoln Avenue is bitter sweet to be sure.  Wonderful memories have been formed within these green walls.  I am very much looking forward to what is in store for the next 10 years at 176 Race Street (San Jose, California).

Mark your calendars for July 30, 2017 from 3-7pm and come to our Open House.

In for Another Ten… Here is WHY

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“A Work of Heart exists to inspire your creativity” has been a tag line on the website for some time now but what does that mean?

Last month I was introduced to Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why” Ted Talk.  The message resonated with me deeply.

Amidst the very busy packing and purging process for the studio re-location my mind has been mulling over our WHY statement.  In order to be really clear about the direction for the next 10 years I’ve reflected on the past 10 and tried to identify “why A Work of Heart?” I think it is important to state that while I never set out to be a creative entrepreneur I can not imagine a different life.  While some days I long for someone else to just tell me what to do, I really love seeing what this little business has grown into from all the interaction I’ve had with you, my creative friends, over the years.

Gather

One thing that makes the studio special is that here we “gather” in a like-minded creative community to share an experience.  There are so many ways you can learn these days for little or no expense, however, there is immeasurable value in gathering together with a group to create.

Here you are surrounded by “your people.”

We gather to share ideas and resources as we encourage each other as lifelong learners.

We witness firsthand the amazing way a group of individuals can receive the same instructions and each come up with unique results.

It is in this gathering that we nurture a creative spirit.

Watch for part 2 when I talk about the nurturing that happens here.

While you wait, here is an opportunity to pay it forward.

Gathering should not be an exclusive opportunity.  There are many who can not afford the luxury of paying for a workshop or class.  I am inspired to create a scholarship fund to open the studio up to many more who could benefit from our gathering and subsequent nurturing.

If you would like to contribute to this fund in a financial way you can send a check to A Work of Heart at 2196 Lincoln Avenue, San Jose, California 95125 (for now!) and mark “scholarship” in the memo section.  I am working on a way to make this easy to do online.  A little testing shows that a donation button using paypal gives paypal 33% of the donation (not cool!)

Alternatively, you can simply send money through paypal as a friend to andrea@aworkofheart.com and add a message that it should be applied to the scholarship fund.

If you are interested in applying to utilize some of these funds you can email andrea(at)aworkofheart(dot)com to inquire about availability.

 

My latest obsession

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I LOVE watercolor…and don’t even get me started on abstract …. Photo realistic art is not my goal.  I am fascinated with and hold in high regard those who can create realistic looking images.  I’m more interested in a playful exploration of mediums and tools which is why this process and finishing result hits my sweet spot combining 3 criteria for my time spent creating.  1) color filled, 2) simple, 3) functional.

Now, before you challenge me on that last criteria…You are correct…not all art has to be functional.  I am a lover of process.  An enjoyable process in which I learn and grow as an artist is enough of a function for me.  After getting this question time and time again in class “what do you ‘do’ with it?”  I finally came up with the response….”what do you ‘do’ with a massage?”  or “what do you ‘do’ with a meditation session?”  There is intrinsic value in simply enjoying the process and a beautiful token of my time spent creating is a huge bonus as far as I’m concerned.

And without further blabbering on my part…here are some of my playful abstract watercolor “master sheets” ready to be turned into mini books (appx. 4″x4″)

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As you can see…I progressively have a difficult time leaving white space…even when I know that white space is so lovely in the finished product.

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I’ve developed a template/design to insert these folded single sheet booklets into a hard cover.

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I’ve really enjoyed not only making these mini journals but actually working in them.   They are the perfect surface to practice hand lettering and zentangle inspired art.

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If you are in the bay area and are interested in making one of these beauties for yourself, there are 2 workshops on the calendar currently.

Wednesday, May 10 from 10am-12pm (click here to register) OR

Sunday, May 21 from 10am-12pm (click here to register)

If neither of those dates work for you and you still want to take an in-person workshop, consider using our “pick your class” option by clicking here.  Find a date/time that works for you (and preferably a couple of friends!) and request it by using the RSVP option.  In the notes section type Abstract Watercolor Mini Journal.

If you’d just rather purchase a pre-made journal of my original artwork, click here and buy one in my etsy shop.  I’ll also have a tutorial up soon (ish) for you to purchase if you’d rather make your own at home.

Thanks for reading!

Encaustic & Mixed Media Visiting Instructor

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We have 1 more visiting/special guest instructor before I shut the studio for 2 months and re-model/re-group/re-fresh.

Please note:  There are minimum registrations required to hold classes with guest teachers.  PLEASE do not wait to register, your hesitation may result in a cancelled class!
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Naomi Haskell – Encaustic Painting Workshop:nh1
Encaustic uses wax, heat, and pigment to create a work of art or as a varnish. The term is derived from the Greek enkaustikos, to “burn in”. Encaustic refers to both the medium and the process. During this class we will discuss the equipemtn and tools required, managing the heating palete tempertaure and the various supports and materials you can use. I will show you how to use the medium, starting by prepping your board, applying the wax and paint, scraping to discover the layers of colorful wax, carving to define shapes, fun textures, taping for line and design and how to use various papers within this beautiful medium.
This is a three-hour class, with plenty of hands on practice for $66 (early registration), material included.

Encaustic is the most beautiful of all artists’ medium. Because of its nature, however, you have to be willing to relinquish some element of control. The wax has a mind of it’s own, we can only learn to guide and manipulate it.

Whether you’re just starting out with encaustic painting or have been painting with this medium for years, my hope is that you pass on what you have learned. As our collective knowledge of this exciting medium expands, we all become its gurus and heralds.
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Click here to register for Sunday , May 7th from 2pm-5pm
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April 2017 Guest Teachers

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April 2017 Guest Teachers

Coming up in April we have  Modern Calligraphy,  Encaustic Painting, Watercolor & Mixed Media

  1. Introduction to Modern Calligraphy with Andrea Comenta – Sunday, April 2 (10am-12pm)

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  2. Introduction to Encaustic painting with Naomi Haskell – Sunday, April 2 (2-5pm)

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  3. Whatnots Illustrated with Danielle Donaldson – April 9 (11am-6pm)

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  4. Abstract Collage Backgrounds with Nicole Austin – April 28 (10am-3pm)

  5. Luscious Layered Portraits with Nicole Austin – April 30 (10am-3pm)

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  6. Introduction to Modern Calligraphy with Andrea Comenta – April 30 (3pm-5pm)

As you can see, there are plenty of options for you to pick from.  Don’t wait to register.  (it truly drives me insane!) We appreciate knowing if a class will make the minimum numbers so we can plan our schedules accordingly.

All classes take place in our San Jose studio at 2196 Lincoln Avenue and represent the final guest teachers of the season.  We will not be hosting guest teachers again until August.

Book Club, Jewelry, Art Journaling, Watercolor & Friday “Coffee & Color”

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This is our final set of series classes before we shut down in June & July for studio updates.

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Monday 10am-12pm
Tuesday 6pm-8pm
Thursday 1pm-3pm

These are your time options for our upcoming “No Excuses Art Journaling” series.  7 weeks of prompts and exercise in collage, hand lettering, sketching and painting.

You may attend individual sessions as your schedule allows or sign up for the whole series at a discount by clicking the links above.

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If jewelry is more your thing, there is an 8 week series starting the first week of April.

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Tuesday 1pm-3pm
Wednesday 6:30pm-8:30pm

Each of these classes are stand alone and can be taken individually, however, if you bundle them together you get a 10% discount on the enrollment fee.  There are no additional supply/materials fees and you can come to class empty handed each week.

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There is also a 7 week Art Journaling series starting April 13th.

Thursdays 6:30pm-8:30pm

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We have 2 more options that bundle 4 classes together at a discount.

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  1.  4-week watercolor series
    Wednesday 1pm-3pm

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2.  Coffee & Color with Jane Taheri
Stretch & refresh with us! Create an inspirational project that is fun and different. Take a break from your every day routine and enjoy creative companionship. Each session will be unique as you explore techniques such as:
Chinese Brush Painting
Collaging
Simple Sketching
Painting and much more
All while drawing inspiration from contemporary artists and the “great masters”.

All supplies are included in your fee. You will work with different mediums and materials and leave with something completed in each session. Sign up for 4 sessions and get $5 off each one! Bring 5 friends and your class fee is waived!

Four Fridays 10am-12pm

Junelle Jacobsen

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Junelle Jacobsen

IMG_0058I’m am smitten with Junelle’s art.  It has such a sweet illustrative quality to it that I admire so greatly.  If you’ve been itching to stretch your creative muscles these workshops are for YOU!  Sunday’s class features bitty works of art on these precious blocks suitable for tucking into spots all around your home.  Junelle even has recipes attached to the backs of some, making them perfect for a sunny windowsill in the kitchen.

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unnamedJunelle Jacobsen is a prolific sketcher and avid photojournalist, inspired by her faith and everyday adventures.  A passionate advocate for living life with “playful curiosity”, Junelle follows the divine path wherever it takes her.  She can be found working at local farms, hiking and biking, sketching and writing, and teaching her love of art and God’s goodness around the world.  She chooses to live life with a “yes” on her lips, a soft heart for anyone she meets, and wild adventure scribbled at the top of her list.


Junelle currently lives in a small town in Utah with her husband and is the mother of five brilliant children and shepherdess to sooo many lambs.

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Her Sunday workshop features those sweet blocks and you can sign up here.

3/19/2017
Rooted & Grounded in Love – Junelle Jacobsen
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

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Monday she is offering a workshop called “My Favorite Things” which dives in to sketching and painting YOUR favorite things.

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Even if (especially if!) you don’t feel like you can draw or that you are “not artistic” this workshop is great for you.  There will be plenty of individualized instruction in a small group setting that will be nurturing to your creative side.

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You can sign up for Monday’s class here:

3/20/2017
My Favorite Things- Junelle Jacobsen
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

We try to make it extremely easy for you to walk in empty handed by providing access to the studio tools and supplies.  There is a small (optional) kit fee for those who need us to take care of the supply list for them so they don’t have to worry about a single thing.

You will be refreshed and encouraged after spending time with sweet Junelle.  She doesn’t make it to California very often since she spends a great portion of her year raising precious lambs in Utah.   You will want to make arrangements to come if at all possible.

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February Guest Teachers – Annie O’Brien Gonzales & Mindy Lacefield

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February Guest Teachers – Annie O’Brien Gonzales & Mindy Lacefield

I’m listing the classes in reverse order with the most recent first.  I (sadly) neglected to get a final photo of all the student’s work but here are the shots I did get of what walked out of Annie’s workshop on Sunday.  We had a full house of 16 students.  We are already working on booking her for a followup workshop in the near future so if you missed this one, keep your eyes open and jump on the next opportunity.

If you want to learn and experience Annie’s “Bold Expressive Painting” style we still have a couple of sessions left in the currently running book club.  Check out the calendar below.
Monday – Feb 27 – Still Life Collage Study (10am)
Tuesday – March 1 – Mixed Media Floral Still Life Painting (6pm)
Thursday – March 3 – Mixed Media Floral Still Life Painting (1pm)
Monday – March 6 – Mixed Media Floral Still Life Painting (10am)
Tuesday – March 7 – Landscape Collage Painting (6pm)
Thursday – March 9 – Landscape Collage Painting (1pm)
Monday – March 13 – Landscape Collage Painting (10am)

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and the sweet girl Mindy Lacefield was here February 5 & 6

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And day 2 was all about painting our dreams…it was truly a dreamy class

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January/February 2017 Guest Artists

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We just finished a re-cap of the 15 guest artists in 2016 and now it is time to turn our attention to those coming up.

First off is Riki Schumacher

Her lovely crocheted sterling wire bracelet is simply stunning.  You have GOT to see it in person to fully appreciate the detail.

1/22/2017
Riki Schumacher – Romantic Crocheted Metal Cuff
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM



Next up we have Nat Kalbach coming for 2 days

1/24/2017
Walk with Me -An Altered Book Class with Nat Kalbach
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

1/24/2017
Play – Transform – Mixed Media Collage Class with Nat Kalbach
5:30 PM – 9:00 PM

1/25/2017
Artvergnugen – Art Journaling Class with Nat Kalbach
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM



And in February, Mindy Lacefield.

“My name is Mindy Lacefield and I have been creating art full-time since 2008. I adore dolls from the 70’s and 80’s (especially strawberry shortcake!) and I continue to be inspired by drawings and collections from my childhood of the 80’s.  I strive to capture that young-at-heart 8 year old that was fearless and passionate about life and am so happy I can live my dream of painting for a living.”

We have her sweet samples in the studio if you want to come by and check them out in person.

 

2/05/2017
Portraits with Mindy Lacefield
11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

“Join me as I take you through the process of painting a portrait. The portrait can be something created from your imagination or from a photo for inspiration. We will layer and create lots of texture using mediums and paper. I’ll show you how to use color in the face to create depth and dimension. We will slowly build up color creating luminous layers working back and forth until she ready to shine!”

2/06/2017
Paint Your Dreams with Mindy Lacefield
12:00 PM – 6:00 PM

“The other night I had this dream that I painted a unicorn and then got on him and flew away. I felt like a super-hero because of the magical, creative energy within myself. I hope to foster that same divine, magical energy in each of you. We have this powerful freedom to create and fly to mystical places. We can paint our dreams into reality. I hope you’ll take this journey with me creating from a place of child-like wonder. We will give ourselves permission to play and not worry what the adults think. We will tap into our 8 year old selves because in reality we have never changed.

We will play and get our hands messy in paint. My instruction is very intuitive with short break-out demos so that you can have plenty of time to play. I’ll show you specifics like how I paint faces and a couple different ways that you can pose your girl whether she be sitting on a cupcake or riding a unicorn. Let’s paint our own magic!”



And finally in February, Annie O’Brien Gonzales, author of our current book club selection “Bold Expressive Painting

You also might recognize her work from the cover of “Cloth, Paper, Scissors” recently.

Annie studied painting and art history at Oregon State University. She previously had an academic career in the health sciences teaching, doing research, writing and developing educattional curriculum. Proficient in oil, acrylic, and mixed media, she is a colorist who creates expressive images inspired by nature. She teaches painting workshops at Ghost Ranch, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and other US and International venues. Her paintings have appeared in numerous shows and art magazines and are collected in private and museum collections. Her first book titled ”Bold Expressive Painting: Painting Techniques for Still Lifes, Florals and Landscapes in Mixed Media” was published by North Light Books in 2016 and her second book will be released in Fall, 2017.

2/19/2017
Annie O’Brien Gonzalez-Expressive Mixed Media Florals
11:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Let go of realism and embrace your personal, expressive style while painting beautiful florals in acrylic/mixed media. Paint with vibrant color and innovative compositions. Artists at any level (even beginners!) will learn innovative techniques in a relaxed setting. Techniques taught include: unique underpaintings, creative color, making the most of value, and incorporating mixed media.

In this workshop you will learn about personalizing your still life paintings through expressive choices. I will bring a variety of mixed media materials and tools for you to try out in your paintings.

New stuff starting… Don’t miss out.

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This week has been a big push for us to get the samples completed for the new (NEW!)  jewelry series starting.  I planned to start it next week but with the delay in samples being done I pushed it one week.

Here is the official graphic (after some last minute changes)

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As you can see,  there are many techniques covered in the series.  All classes will be offered as “stand alone ” classes too.

We will work with wire,  enamel powders, solder (wire and paste),  etching solution,  sterling,  copper and brass,  beads,  chain,  rivets,  eyelets and leather… Oh my it is going to be glorious!
Click here to sign up for Tuesday mornings (10am-1230pm)  or here for Wednesday nights (6pm-830pm)