Wednesday, February 27, 2013


I have been on a creative roll lately....feeling like I am motivated by this awful has been pushing me to go and spend time in my studio.  I create to escape the dreariness of the outdoors.  Creating is my therapy and I think everyone could stand to benefit from some type of creative activity. It will get your juices flowing in a new that maybe you haven't visited in quite awhile. I started offering workshops at the beginning of this year and have found that the connection between student and teacher was what I was missing.
I am about to host my second jewelry making workshop this Sunday and can't wait for the fun to begin.

I will be teaching my students how to make various paper beads, seed bead beads( that's a mouthful), wire wrapping and hammering and how to attach all of these elements into their very own pair of earrings.....wearable art I say!  It is mixed media all the way and this girl loves to mix it up for sure!
Workshops are a great way to meet and connect with new and old friends, learn something new and express yourself in a way that helps your mind body and spirit. 
Here is my workshop schedule:
Location: Oneida, NY
Mixed Media Jewelry Workshop  March 3, 2013  1-4pm
Seed Bead Techniques March 9, 2013  1-4pm
Precious Metal Clay  April 21, 2013   4-7pm
Session 1: Mixed media painting & collage  June 8, 2013 10-6pm

Friday, February 22, 2013

Technology the Artist's must have tool

In our studios, we artists have many tools and implements that we use to create, but once we have created our pieces what tools do we have to share them with others? Back in the day, we would hope to find a gallery or galleries that we could send a proposal to for a show...or network while doing a street fair....or just plain wait to be discovered by someone that could get our work to where it could be seen. Well, that kind of puts the power in someone elses hands if you ask me and if you remember anything else I have told you about myself, please remember I don't follow rules real well. So as my body of art work and jewelry grew, I needed an outlet besides the few shows that I participated in yearly, to get me connected to art seekers and other artists.

Now I hope you all have figured out what I am about to delve into here:

I have had a web presence now on and off for a couple of years, but really never pushed the envelope with it, because I felt I lacked the skills needed.....I dabbled with Etsy and had a shop for a year and a half...I joined Fine Art America, which I still belong to and even designed a website on Go Daddy, but I always felt like none of these sites were really getting me anywhere online. So I decided after meeting some really great artists online...... whose websites and blogs were wonderful and offered everything that I wanted to offer... that this was it...the year that I, the non-techie was going to learn some new skills. I was going to add to my tool bag, online networking.

So lets get to the right here and now.
I have worked very hard these past few weeks..... becoming computer savvy...I have added more pages to my website....added paypal buttons to be able to sell my art work and workshops, and I added a blog.   I am tired from just typing all of that. The learning curve has been a bit steep at times, but I have learned that if I persevere, I will pull through the rough moments and be rewarded with the ability to connect with the world!

Now to all of you artists out there, who are still trying to market yourselves in an old school manner, If I am talking to need to learn some new tricks.   I know this is a hard pill to swallow because not everyone is a techie....and that includes me. There are so many choices online now that make things really pretty simple.  Many companies that host websites offer templates or themes that you can use as a ready made fit and they give you options as well to customize your site.
For example, I use go daddy for my website and blogger for my blog and I have linked them together. See, I am now spitting out the information I have just learned these past few pressure though. This can be challenging, but if I can accomplish this so can you. Check out some youtube videos on how to build a website or a blog....this is free people and you can't beat free!

I am no expert on how to develop and create a website, but I know that without this portal to the world my art work and jewelry would have a much smaller audience. My website and blog are always evolving..... Keep moving forward....even if you make baby steps. Bravery comes in all forms. 

Now go out there into cyberspace and have a look might be pleasantly surprised at what you can do with the right tools.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Top Secret Project

"Top Secret Project"
 If I could find the right words to express how excited I am about this new "Top Secret Project" I have been working on, I could probably write a 300 page essay. Keeping secrets has really never been a strong character trait for me, especially when the secret is as exciting as this one. It has been so difficult not to spill the beans or open the flood gates, that I am just about ready to burst.  This is so secret that even my own mother doesn't know about it....

We have to back the story up a bit, so you can understand how this "Top Secret Project" began to root itself into my life. Since taking an e-course back in September of 2012, I have fallen in love with the idea of teaching workshops again. I recently taught a workshop at a fellow artist's home....check out a few of the pictures:

Kelly Diemond is her name and she was so gracious to open up her beautiful home for my first workshop that I taught in 2013. We had a blast and I was most definitely bitten by the teaching bug that night. I have been crazed ever since, setting up more workshops....which you can see the schedule for on my website:

 I had now moved into an entirely new brave zone...the first part was setting up this blog and expanding my website....but then the ultimate test of bravery announced itself the other day, when I was asked if I offered any e-courses.
There, I dropped the bomb....the secret is out. I feel a big sigh coming on.....awwwwwww. So I took a deep breath and began  videoing myself.......then waiting with anxiety for hours on end to get my videos uploaded to youtube, only to realize that I could just download free editing software. I am happy to tell you that after all of that and with a couple of hours of editing time, I completely uploaded and edited my 5 part series......drum roll please.

I know that this is my first attempt and I am not sure the world is ready yet to see this series. My bravery must grow some more before I can set wings to this project and let it all will be the first to know when I am ready to market my very first e-course!

Thanks for encouraging my bravery!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Just a brief note to let you all know, that as a new blogger I will generally be writing posts when the mood strikes me. No promises of how many I will write a week , a month, or a year....come on people I already told you that I don't like to follow rules and that even goes for my own rules as well!

A tid bit for you to chew on.... if you really want some more information about me and what I do while you are waiting for more can see what I am up to, by going to my facebook design page.
Here is the link:

Oh and here is a little the way I design and make jewelry as well...More designs to be seen on my website. Just click the link Shannon Crandalls Art Work on the top right of this page.  Got to go for now....trying to get in some sweet bliss creative therapy time in my studio today:)

If you like what you see PLEASE BECOME A FRIEND AND SIGN UP AS A FOLLOWER....and never be shy about leaving a comment or question!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Creative Process Born

It seems to me, that for many artists it is the process of creating that makes them continue to create. I for one know that I relish the idea of spending long hours in my studio with my only guests being my dog Maddie and her two sidekicks Sophie and Tasha...(the cats.)  When I open the door to my studio and cross the threshhold, it is like I have stepped into my imagination and my intuition starts to rev into full gear. This is the very beginning of my process to create.

Ok, so the lights are on in my imagination is flowing with all of the infinite possibilites...I turn on some classic rock and hang a big blank canvas on the wall. I find myself furiously pulling out the paints and lining them up along the top of my cardboard pallet.  Sometimes, I am so in the flow, that I even forget to put on my smock...silly me because you know I am going to get  very messy....

The splattering and dripping of paint......fingerpainting, making marks with recycled objects commences with no rhyme or reason.  With some impatience, I wait between layers for them to dry.....just between you and me though I am an instant gratification, slightly type "A" personality, so I sometimes whip out my handy hairdryer to dry the layers....(I think some of you out there know what I am talking about:)

The first goal is to completely cover the canvas with paint.
During this phase I am usually jumping around and singing to the music....looking like a complete and utter nutcase, but having so much fun with the process.
Next, I add some fun black and white marks with different paintbrushes and my fingers....
Again, I am not trying to achieve anything in this stage....just making layers and going with my intuitive flow.....there are no rules and this is the key for me....I guess I have another deep dark confession people, I have never been good at following the rules...oops did I just let that out of the bag.
Excited is how I describe my next phase....I pull out my fluid acrylics and my water spray bottle....if you have never used fluid acrylics, let me tell you this is an experience all in itself!  If you have control issues,  you may not enjoy this step because you apply the fluid acrylics and spray them with water to let them drip....and drip....and drip. These drips go where they want and you have now given up the control to the creative gods.
I then slowly start painting on designs with an outlining of black or white....sometimes I get lucky and see images right away when doing this....for example the purple flower on the bottom center of the picture above. This is a time to turn my canvas in different directions to see images and outline designs.
Fingerpainting again to fill in the color around the images is the next game I play.....playing is so important in my is when my kindergarten alter ego emerges. I know as adults we sometimes have buried that part so deep, that is takes a bit to coax it out when we need it, but as the saying goes "practice makes perfect".
After filling in color and making the hard decision as to what my color pallet wants to be.....and believe me, I am usually pacing back and forth in front of my painting at this point in my process, looking to see the separate parts and how they act as a whole. I want to create the painting's authentic color story. 
And even after pacing, sometimes the full pallet doesn't develop until the very end. Now, above are two pictures of my collage elements that I add after painting. I am a true believer in, re-purposing or whatever is the politically correct way of stating this.... I can not in good conscience waste paint that is on my pallet. So being the clever girl that I am, I decided one day.... too many years ago.... that I was going to use that paint I looked around my studio and spied some scrapbooking paper and my pallet knife. The lightbulb went on...I layed the paper down and scrapped some paint from my pallet onto it with my pallet knife....then another idea popped into my head..."collage this onto your paintings"....and that is how the collaging all began.
To sum this all up.....almost  all of the best things happen when you follow your intuition....and leave the rules to somebody else!
A Gathering  by Shannon Crandall 36"x36"
for sale on my website: