Dyeing to Rust with Pam Nichols

I fell in love with Pam Nichols’s work when I saw her corset series as I scrolled through Pinterest boards.

Imagine my surprise at the end of my class with Lisa Pressman this spring, when “Pam” hands me her business card as we are saying good by and I see her last name. I kind of freaked out and told her how much I loved her work. Yes, I had a moment.

I stayed in touch with her hoping to connect again and when I heard that she was going to teach her method of using rust and wax (two of my favs!) at Encausticon, an encaustic conference, I jumped at the chance of asking her to teach locally, thus saving me a trip to Miami. I’m so excited I can hardly stand it. Rust and wax. I will be in heaven for three days.

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Paint Oaxaca Tribe – Part Two

My new tribe of wonderful women who created lasting memories with their stories, art and friendships. So thankful that they made this first journey with me.

We saw a lot of art not only in Las Bugambilias, but in the streets, in museums and, of course, the art we made ourselves.

A few more special shots….

The motto of Las Bugambilias is that “we do not receive hosts, we receive friends.” Emilia and her family and their staff truly do make you feel as though their home is yours. Besos to all.

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Paint Oaxaca Tribe

Paint Oaxaca was as memorable for me as it was for our participants. Not only did I get to add remarkable women to my art tribe, but for some, this was a trip of a lifetime and I am so honored that I was able to offer the opportunity. And then, spending 10 days with Katie Kendrick and Judy Wise, well that was just sheer pleasure. And then there is mi amiga, Ana Elena, always a pleasure traveling with her and now she is meeting my art peeps. Just joy all around.

Judy posted twice about the trip and she has such beautiful photographs from our trip, be sure you go here to see them.

There were many parades while we were there…..

The food, well, Ana Elena and I do know how to choose good food, with an assist by Rene Cabrera in identifying Zicanda as a new must visit restaurant. And Orijen was our choice for a farewell dinner and Chef Rodolfo Castellanos did not disappoint. I even received a kiss on the cheek from Katie thanking me for such a wonderful dining experience halfway through the meal.

We visited different artisans, sites and museums…

More in a separate post. Too much to share in one and I haven’t even gotten to the art yet.

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The Time Keeper

This summer I scored a vintage sewing machine from this very nice woman on Mercer Island. She was very excited to tell me that it still worked and I told her how my grandmother was a home economics teacher and had taught me how to sew at a very early age. I didn’t have the heart to tell her what I was really going to do with it. This piece is made with one of the fabulous drawers from the machine. The mannequin hand was one of my birthday gifts last year from my family.

The Time Keeper Assemblage by Kathie Vezzani

The Time Keeper Assemblage by Kathie Vezzani

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Katie Kendrick in her element

Since last October, when I attended a workshop in San Miguel de Allende, I have worked with Judy Wise and Katie Kendrick in offering artist workshops in Oaxaca, Mexico City, San Miguel and Costa Rica. Can you stand it?! Two of my favorite artists and I am organizing workshops for them. Who would have thunk it? I hadn’t even dreamed it so you can imagine how blessed I feel that they are trusting me to organize these trips for them.

Not only do I get to spend time with them, but I get to spread the word at how incredible both of these artists are. They are warm, generous, interesting women and I am learning not only about art, but also gardening, canning, making tinctures, and eating organic. Judy and Katie, along with their husbands, have great gardens that offer bounty not only for themselves, but for food banks and some of the worker bees who help them.

I went to Katie’s to drop off some of the supplies for our upcoming workshop in Oaxaca. While there, I got to walk the loop along the river and fields where Katie gets a lot of her inspiration. Yes, I saw the Mother tree and swimming hole and marveled at the many beaver homes along the short distance we walked and the telltale signs of their visits along the riverbanks.


Katie in front of her beloved river with her two companions, Sophie and Daisy.

Katie picked a few supplies for me from her garden while I was there. What a treat.


Katie Kendrick in her garden

Katie is definitely in her element when she is one with nature. If there was one word I would use to describe Katie, it is organic. This includes her artwork. She readily admits that she is not a realistic painter, instead her pieces evolve as she intuits their many layers.

I can’t wait to see what she paints in Paint Oaxaca next week. There are two more opportunities to paint with Katie, in Costa Rica where she will be teaching with Cat Bennett in February, and Mexico City with Judy in March.

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More waxy goodness from Encausticamp

It’s been a whirlwind since I returned from Encausticamp 2014. It was great catching up with friends that I made from last year, and creating new friendships. There was laughter, drinking wine in the evenings, some crazy antics with bottle openings and dancing to “Oh Mickey.” Beautiful creations were everywhere and Seattle was wax bombed by small pieces that we made while in camp.

Here are a few of my creations from the week.


Encaustic Shoe Assemblage by Kathie Vezzani

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Mother of the Universe published in Somerset Studio

I am thrilled that my illuminated manuscript Mother of the Universe that I made in Andrea Matus deMeng’s class at Art is You (AIY) Petaluma last year, has been published in the fall issue of Somerset Studio. What’s even more fun is that Andrea is the featured artist and one of her magnificent pieces graces the cover. I adore her and her projects so I am honored to be sharing this issue with her. She’s traveling in Australia so she hasn’t seen the article. She and her husband, Michael deMeng are teaching at the first AIY in Australia and I am enjoying re-living my travels through their pictures on Facebook.  Of course, they are seeing this beautiful country with artists eyes, and I was there just out of college accompanying my husband as he traveled for Alcoa. It was my college graduation hoorah. I loved our time there and it will always hold a special place in my bank of memories and the friends that we made are still friends, thirty years later.

I adored this project and made two. The second, the Good Mother has been selected as a featured Spotlight in the Winter 2014 Issue of Somerset Studio Gallery which will hit newsstands Dec. 1.  

www.kathievezzani.com; book art; assemblage

Mother of the Universe by Kathie Vezzani

Somerset Studio

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Cat Bennett wins a gold medal

Congratulations to Cat Bennett for her book Making Art a Practice winning a gold medal from Foreword Reviews, the go-to indie book review for libraries and bookstores! www.kathievezzani.com

Cat recently returned from a drawing workshop in Greece on the island of Skyros. She wrote about her experience there with students from around the world. Here is an excerpt.

“Most of the students were from England, Ireland, Scandinavia and Italy. I was impressed how quickly everyone allowed themselves to abandon traditional ideas about drawing with accuracy and getting things “right.” We drew in abstract ways, with our eyes only on what we were drawing and we drew even with our eyes closed. We drew from memory too. We got interested in what we were seeing and discovering, and the ways we could go into uncharted territory to create new experiences and invent. We looked at the things we were telling ourselves as so many of those things can hold us back. Part of our work became watching the mind and changing any negatives to positives. This really opened us up to boldness. And we learned to ask good questions. Why? Why not? What do we see, what can we do with it, what can we offer of ourselves? And what do we see of ourselves in the work too? We each have a unique perspective, our own story and sensibility, so working together is a great way to see our perspective as well as appreciate that of others. Working in a situation like this brought people from different parts of the world together and our assumptions became more evident. It was great. Art is so wonderfully immediate as a way of sharing insight and spirit.”


Cat standing in front of her bamboo hut on Skyros

While this hut is “cute,” this is the hut where we will be practicing our art at the The Jungle Lodge at the Costa Rica Yoga Spa in February.


Costa Rica Yoga Spa

A pleasant surprise is that during our retreat, we will have the chance to dance with Amber Ryan, a frequent teacher at the Yoga Center. Amber is a healing artist with an embodiment and articulation of the 5Rhythms® that inspires depth and expansion. The 5Rhythms® is a simple yet profound moving meditation practice created by Gabrielle Roth. It is designed to bring out each individual’s creative potential as well as being a catalyst for deep healing in the body, mind, and soul regardless of your age, shape, gender, or physical endurance level.

With a rich background in theatre and dance, Amber’s professional credits include two time dance captain to Emmy award winning choreographer Mia Michaels, Manager of Productions at The Moving Center New York, and faculty for Gabrielle Roth’s first 5Rhythms Reach Out program for kids.

Paint with Cat and Katie, eat organic food picked from the finca (farm), dance with Amber, practice yoga, fly through the treetops and kayak? Sounds wonderful to me, especially in February.

We still have space left for Create Costa Rica with Cat Bennett and Katie Kendrick scheduled for Feb. 6-13, 2015. If you would like to join us, please use the contact form below.

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Lisa Pressman – Painting the Light Within

Lisa Pressman discusses the changes in her work with John Thornton at the Rosenfeld Gallery in Philadelphia.

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Paint Mexico City

This trip is full and a waiting list has been started. 

Judy Wise and Katie Kendrick are so excited to have you join them in Mexico City next March. They can hardly contain themselves as they busily weed and harvest their gardens with their husbands this summer while thinking of their time next March with all of you. You know, there is a lot of time to be thinking while you are canning, preserving and freezing your bounty for the winter months. Who knows what they are going to come up with, I just know it’s going to be fabulous. Our projects in San Miguel last fall were so much fun and I know that this September in Oaxaca we have a full schedule of exciting activities. Mexico City is going to be even more over the top just because it is Mexico City. We are going to float down the canals, visit Frida and Diego’s homes, visit markets and eat our way through the Condesa neighborhood. Oh, and did I mention chocolate will be involved? Award winning chocolatier in Condesa, people.

Paint, draw, plaster, shopping, eating, floating, observing–all your senses will be tested on this trip.


We’d love to have you join us. If you have any questions, feel free to ask! There are more details here.

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