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Laboratory 555

Chronicles of a Year-Long Online Art Retreat

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Laboratory 555 is an experiment: to turn 2007 into my very own year-long art retreat. I've already got a studio full of unused art supplies, a bookcase crammed with art and craft project books, magazines and 'zines, so why not make USE of all that stuff? Besides, the framework of an art retreat is energizing and freeing, a motivator to MOVE, PLAY and EXPLORE. The name "Laboratory 555" underscores the experimental nature of the project - that the aim is not perfection, but exploration; and 555 is a number that has sentimental meaning and is a tip of my hat to my late Pop.

Lab555 classes and projects will reflect my own artistic goals, aesthetics and preferences. There are skills I'd like to learn or polish, projects that have been on my to-do list foreverandaday, art supplies I'd like to play with and creative blocks I'd like to get through. Expect art journaling, collage, print-making, using found objects, aging and distressing techniques, experimentation with water media, eraser carving, jewelry-making, art dolls, introductory drawing, photography and photograph manipulation, book-binding, comic book art, creating a personal iconography, working with and making stencils, creativity jump-starts, rubber stamp techniques, beyond "out-of-the-box" scrapbooking, assemblage, lettering, making rubbings, creating texture with acrylic media, hand-sewn mixed media pieces, polymer clay, virtual and actual field trips, narrative art, costume-making, brainstorming, weird knitting, beading for beginners, journaling prompts, restriction challenges, collaborative attempts, color theory and/or play, playdough and spirograph, altered art, and mold-making. That's just off the top of my head.

Although Lab555 will obviously be custom-designed for myself, it might hold interest for other artsy types - so I invite anyone who is interested to play along. I'd really love you to join me. You can dip in and out of this project as your time and interest allow - no commitment!

Wanna play?

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