Friday, September 30, 2011

More Prayer Flags

I've been working on more prayer flags for our Open Doors show.

Still playing with new color combos. then hanging these on my porch to capture a few last minutes of sun. They make me happy, both to make and to hang. I keep picking a favorite set, then switching when the next comes along.

This black and white with brights:

Or maybe the deeper, earthier tones?

Or the warm and brights?

And a few new contenders in progress--the purples:

And the greens:
I just really love color--all colors, including black and white! You can see more of my prayer flags here.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

2 Free Tickets to Creating Hope in Haiti - Tonight!

We are nearly sold out for our event tonight  (have 200 attendees!) and I have 2 free tickets due to a cancellation. 

If you would like 1 or 2 free tickets, please email me:   Or call.  Note to PAC members: no time to check Yahoo Group today. 

We are going to have a great time!  There will be  live music and dancing, we will have a presentation of our trip to Haiti,  have silent and live auctions, and there are some surprises for everyone.

Just come and have a good time! You don't have to buy a thing. Then again...there's always Bali...



Creating Hope In Haiti
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Persimmon Country Club
7:00 p.m.
cocktail casual attire

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Prayer Flags

I've been having a lot of fun playing with pattern and color in new sets of prayer flags. I started some tiny ones back here. I decided to make this set longer, 3"x7", so they would hang more gracefully.

I found a remnant basket at a local quilting shop full of scraps, some odd cut shapes leftover from classes, for .50 an oz. I got a fat bagful and challenged myself to make these 2 sets of flags out of it. I love having a challenge like that--it forces me into some combinations that I might not normally do. I cheated a couple times when I needed a pop of color that wasn't there, but about 99.5% of these came from that bag. It's a fun way to get to delve into those cool, modern fabrics without investing much.

A cool set:

And a warm:

Friday, September 16, 2011

Question of the Month--What makes a great class?

For back to school month, our question was "What makes an ideal art class for you?"


For me, a good class is one where the instructor is WELL PREPARED, with a clear outline of what they intend to teach, with materials prepared (or clearly indicated in advance) and a bit of printed information. I hate to be in a class where the instructor rambles, or seems ill prepared, or just unwilling to give freely of their knowledge and techniques. I have learned that a good artist is not necessarily a good teacher. I try to keep these principles in mind when I am teaching, too.


A class where I learn something I will use through eternity. I love it when there are happy talkative friends and other artists to share in the fun of learning. I like lots of room for individual spaces so we are not cramped. A teacher that is fun, and easy going, but knowledgable is wonderful. Jan Harris is one of my favorites. She provides stuff, she knows what she is doing, she is well and soft spoken and helpful. She lets me wander.


I used to take everything and anything and now I’m more selective. First I look at the person's art to see if I enjoy the colors and design and they have a “home tone.” A number of years ago I took a class from a well-known east coast artist because of the technique she was teaching. I learned the technique but I found her art unsettling (along with her voice) and I ended up leaving the class early. It just wasn’t my thing. Second thing I look for are classes that are technique rich. I don’t necessarily want to complete a project, but want to learn a new way to use the same materials or learn about new materials that relate to the type of art I enjoy doing. Classes I’ve enjoyed include

Michael DeMeng's online texture class called "Art Lab":

Leslie Parson's Acrylic class:
Rosie Kelly:

And one I’d love to take is John Lovett’s watercolor class, once I have the courage:


Any class where I come out inspired and eager to do more is a good one. At this stage, I really value a constructive critique. At first it was nice to have positive feedback and hear that everything is great, but now I really prefer to hear in detail what I could improve on. Aimee Erickson at Multnomah Arts Center is great with critiques. She even does paint-overs on your paintings, if you want. A lot of people don't like that, but I learn so much by seeing how she would do my painting differently. Pamela Allen does a similar thing online with fabric art classes. She photoshops pieces of your fabric and shows how you could improve the composition. And I learned a tremendous amount in William Park's painting class by having him tell me what was off whenever I got stuck.


I have a check list for the classes I take. Do I know the teachers work? What have others said about the way they teach? Will I ever use this technique again? Classes are expensive so I want to get the most out of it as I can. I look for a venue that may have a smaller number of students in the class. What is the kit fee and how many supplies do I need to buy. That’s just the beginning then I go back and ask some more people. I have passed on a teacher because of reviews from my friends. Once I’m in the class room I want a nice hand out in case I forget all that important information in the confusion of excitement. I want room to work, a 6’ table would be nice. I want the teacher to do demos and walk around all day helping us. If I’m taking a project class I want to finish. I also want to use all the supplies I bought. It sounds like I said I, I, I, a bunch of times but I just spent $150 to $800 (for a 3 day workshop) and I want to be happy. I must say I have always been happy because I ask tons of questions. But here is where it came back to bite me-- I teach and with the above list to make me happy I have to make double sure I can make my students happy. Its hard work to run all day. It’s very hard to make every student pleased with their work but most teachers try. Bottom line is to ask the questions and you will be more satisfied in the end.


My favoirte class was a $5.00 Cold Laminate Collage class at Peddler's Pack in Beaverton.

I have continued to apply the process in my art work, have sold pieces and taught the techinque several times.


The ideal art workshop for me is one where the teacher is passionate about creativity and about sharing knowledge. Favorite classes for me have to do with learning jewelry techniques or assemblage art - I'm all about 3-dimensional creativity! I don't necessarily feel like I have to complete a project in a class, but have found that when I dust that "inner critic" off my shoulder and remember to "be in the moment" I am usually very happy with what I complete that day.

I do enjoy Michael de Meng's workshops and recently took 3 of classes at Collage on Alberta. He's got a wonderful sense of humor and I love his work and the techniques he shares so freely with his students. The photos are of Michael de Meng's workshop in June.


I love art classes where the teacher is full of energy and excitement about the subject or project they are teaching. It's contagious and can make anything even more fun. But beyond that I love when they bring lots of cool supplies that you can use to make your project so you get a feel for what kinds of things work. And last when they take the time to come by every so often as you are working on your project to give you an idea if you are on track or help you with problems.


The first and most important thing I look for in a workshop or a class is if the instructor's work or class project catches my imagination; if it calls my name, so to speak. Will I be learning something new or will it expand skills? I like to see actual examples or good photos of what will be done. Secondly, I look at the teacher's background and try to recall anything I may have heard about her or him from other people who have taken classes with that instructor. I like teachers who are prepared, focused on the subject at hand during class, who are good at listening to their students, and willing to share what they know. Size is very important as I've found that I usually get much more out of a small class. A larger group is fine if I'm somewhat comfortable with the medium and I really want to experience a class with a particular artist.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Featured Artist at Friends of the Library Store: Dayna Collins

In the heart of downtown Portland at the Multnomah County Central Library is a gem of a store run by the Friends of the Library and managed by Portland Art Collective member Lenall Siebenaler. The store offers used books, a variety of artful cards, and lots of handcrafted items.

Lenall invited me to be the featured artist for the month of September and my show is now up and ready for viewing. There are several of my Fearless Faces, six of my small mixed media pieces, and 14 different Fearless Faces cards available for purchase. Here's a few photos of the shop and my art. For more photos of the current show or to see more of my Fearless Faces or other art work, visit my blog at Alley Art Studio.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Dayna is Participating in the Visual Artist Studio Tour in Salem

I'm participating in the Visual Artist Studio Tour (VAST) in Salem (only a one hour drive from Portland) sponsored by Artists in Action. The tour takes place on two weekends - the first weekend covers 7 studios in Polk County (September 10 and 11) and the second weekend covers 18 studios in Marion County (September 17 and 18). The cost for both weekends and all 24 studios is only $5 (under 18 free) and entry buttons with maps can be purchased from the Art Department, Bush Barn Art Center, or from any of the artists. The studios will be open 10-4 - just look for the white signs with purple lettering and balloons to help you find the locations on the map. For a complete list of artists, studios, and locations, click here.

If you stop by my studio, you'll get to explore inside and out, observe me working on my Curious Elements, ask me questions about my art, and have the opportunity to purchase art right off the walls and from a table full of Curious Elements.

One of the perks of being in the tour is the opportunity to participate in the artist show at Rountree Art Gallery in downtown Salem. Artists were invited to submit one or two pieces to the show that represent their style. I submitted two pieces, Justify (limestone clay on wood substrate with found objects) and Every Day I Will Give You a Color, acrylic on canvas. Tonight was downtown Salem's First Wednesday event so I slipped in to see my art hanging on the wall (and on a mirror!).

Here I am with Carol, the gallery owner and curator of the show in front of Justify.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Found Object Jewelry by Jennifer

I stayed home and played in my studio today!  Just had a wonderful time playing with my treasures and enjoyed the warmth of a late summer day.