Watercolor class at OCCC Fall 2022

Students will learn and practice skills in watercolor painting. We’ll practice using different tools and techniques to create layering effects for depth in subjects inspired by nature, and we’ll focus on skills for painting outdoors or in a travel journal. Over the 4 weeks, we’ll add techniques to build up to one or two final paintings, per student’s choice. Class studio time includes group reflection and instructor support and feedback to improve skills. Materials list provided; materials are available from instructor (includes material fee).

Materials list provided; materials available from instructor (includes material fee)

Class Schedule:

September 22 – October 13 (4 weeks)
Thursdays
10:00 – 11:30 am

Register at Oregon Coast Community College

Gouache Workshop at Greenhouse Coffee + Plants

Paint with texture and color in this beginner-friendly gouache workshop at Greenhouse Coffee + Plants with Jen Hernandez Art. Be inspired by the lush plants and decor around you as you practice techniques in nature painting and illustration with gouache. Gouache is a water-based opaque paint that allows for smooth blending and layering of color to create vibrant and dimensional detailed artwork.

In this workshop, you’ll have everything you need to create illustrative artwork of plants and fungi.

Friday, October 14, 2022
Register at Greenhouse Coffee + Plants
Registration: $65

Bespoke Bookbinding II at OCCC Fall 2022

More bookbinding for beginners! We’ll practice 4 more bookbinding techniques including binding with old book covers, star books, long stitch, and decorative spines bookbinding. No previous experience needed (no need to have taken Bespoke Bookbinding I).


Class Schedule and Registration:

October 20 – November 10
Thursdays, 1:00 – 2:30 pm

Register at Orgon Coast Community College


Materials

Special materials and equipment are required for this class (click to see materials list).

Bespoke Bookbinding at OCCC Fall 2022

Bookbinding for beginners: In this class we’ll practice 4 different bookbinding methods from around the world to create our own unique sketchbooks and journals. Each class will include step-by-step instructions for each method, and live demonstration by the instructor. Create a travel watercolor journal, a sketchbook with pockets, a personalized diary, plus gorgeous decorative binding. 

Plus, extra tips and instructions for single-page books and zines on the exclusive class website.

Special materials and equipment are required for this class.
See class info and materials sheet for supplies and links.

Class Schedule

September 22 – October 13 (4 weeks)
Thursdays
1:00 – 2:30 pm

Register at Oregon Coast Community College

Colored Pencils at LBCC Fall 2022

Explore the vibrant world of colored pencils in this class for all levels of artistic skill. Learn about techniques for blending colors, using solvents, and creating compositions based on references.

Practice skills that you can use to create landscapes, portraits, still life and more in this versatile medium, plus get practice in drawing skills with graphite pencil. Each week, live demonstrations will cover drawing exercises to warm up with, and then studio practice with real-time guidance and feedback.

No previous drawing experience necessary, this basics class will give you the starting ground to take off with your imagination..

See the class syllabus here

Class schedule:

September 27 – December 6
Tuesdays, 11:00 am – 12:20 pm
Virtual on Zoom (join from anywhere!)

Register at Linn-Benton Community College

Materials

Suggested supplies:   If you do not have some of these supplies at home, and it is difficult to get them you can get by with the materials you do have.

  • Wax-based (recommended) colored pencils (instructor will primarily use Prismacolor and Faber-Castell; Crayola/ Rose Art, other brands are welcome)
  • Colors: Prismacolor Premier 24 set 3597T plus, Cream (PC914), Cool Grey (PC1061), French Grey (PC1074)
  • Water-soluble colored pencils, any brand (instructor will use Crayola watercolor pencils, Derwent Graphitint, and Derwent Inktense)
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Tortillons
  • Drawing pencil (any of 2B, 4H, 6H)
  • Kneaded eraser
  • Mineral spirits (Gamsol)
  • Small watercolor brush
  • X-Acto Knife
  • Inexpensive watercolor paper pad (9×12 or 11 x 14) (such as Strathmore or Canson)
  • Black and/or toned paper
  • Optional: tissue, cotton swab, paper towel (can substitute for tortillon)
  • Optional: Carbon transfer paper and tracing paper

Lane Arts Design Mentorship

Each quarter, I work with Lane county students on small group design projects. Our projects are lead by students to develop, design, and create web-based interactive stories and artwork. Students gain marketing and creatice skills for portfolios and career exploration. This program is coordinated by Lane Arts Council in Eugene. Find out more by clicking below!

See sign up info at Lane Arts Council
See past student projects at CreativeAccessArt.com/student-projects


Past Design Groups

Check out our previous design groups and see what we created!

Ink Illustrations at LBCC Fall 2022

Create illustrations for books, comics, cards and fine arts with inking techniques to express drama. Practice sketching, linework, stippling, shading and scumbling with one or more pens to create effects of depth and movement. This class is perfect for beginners who want to develop illustration skills or combine ink illustrations with other media like watercolor for journals.

September 27 – November 15, 2022 (8 weeks)

Register at Linn-Benton Community College

Already registered? Click here to access the student page (password protected)

Monster Makers with The Annex Charter School

Monster Makers Art Camp: Students will learn about animals and plants that are adapted to live in particular environments around the world; they will create new amalgam creatures (Monsters!) with different animal and plant characteristics and an environment their creature can live in. 

Materials & Equipment
Polymer clay
Clay tools
— rollers, pins, cutters, awls
Clay adhesive
Aluminum Foil
Toaster oven, power source
Drawing materials
Sketchbook materials
— paper, awls, thread, needles

Extra paper for dioramas
Laptops
Slidesho, access to internet

Skills: research, discussion, sketching, polymer clay handbuilding, use of clay tools, presentation of ideas, reasoning, connection of researched ideas into a final product.

Get the Monster Makers lesson plan here (link)

Other versions of Monster Makers:


I love this monster makers camp, and I was so excited to be invited in the summer of 2022 to visit The Annex Charter School in Ontario, OR and make some monsters with students as part of their amazing STEAM month! Ontario is right on the Oregon-Idaho border, directly on the other side of the state from where I live in the Willamette Valley. Located in the Snake River Plain ecoregion, The Annex Charter School is in a completely different environment from what I’m used to. 

My visit to Ontario was organized with Art Center East’s Artists in Rural Schools Program made possible in part by The Reser Family Foundation, Marie Lamfrom Charitable Foundation, and Lamb Foundation. Art Center East is an arts organization serving Eastern Oregon with all kinds of amazing art opportunities including gallery exhibits, creative community events, an art shop, and connecting artists with rural schools.
See more about Art Center East and the work they do at artcentereast.org

With a whole week for our camp, we had lots of time to work on developing sketching skills, research, and claywork. Each day of the camp and each new project lead directly into the next, so that students could connect ideas and practices throughout the week.

Of course, we started off with sketchbook making! We made the classic pamphlet style binding for simple sketchbooks that students would collect ideas in by drawing and writing over the entire camp.

We took our sketchbooks outside to draw plants and objects we could find in the school playground, starting with basic shapes and adding details to our sketches.

For this iteration of Monster Makers, I did some extra research to make the information accessible to the students specific to their home and local environment. I created an interactive slideshow with Google Slides, that students used to learn about animals from different ecologies, including the Snake River Plain ecoregion.

Students used laptops and worked together in pairs or groups to learn about animals and adaptations they have developed to thrive in their environments. We discussed what we observed and students took notes and sketched different kinds of animals in their sketchbooks.

The notes and sketches students made in their books informed their designs for clay creatures. We practiced polymer clay techniques, starting with simple forms and adding pieces or using tools to shape their creatures. 

While we waited for the clay to bake and cool, students also created environment dioramas, using cut paper and drawing to make 3D popup scenes for their creatures to inhabit.

At the end of the week, students shared their work with family and friends in the community in an Open House hosted by the school to showcase all the cool things students made during STEAM camp. There was honestly a lot of cool stuff, including a bridge build challenge, flying things, and slime (who doesn’t love SLIME?!)

Check out some of the local media about The Annex Charter School’s STEAM Open House:

This camp was filled with so much creative thinking and surprising creations from students, and I also got to learn a lot about an ecological environment I didn’t know much about (which I LOVE). Thanks again to Art Center East for helping put this camp together and connecting me with such a wonderful community and school!

Want to bring Monster Makers to your school or community? Contact me or your local arts organization today!

Check out the 4-day residency lesson plan for Monster Makers to make your own camp that’s perfect for your school or group.

See other versions of Monster Makers:

Creative Commons License
Monster Makers Residency Plan by Jen Hernandez Art LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://jenhernandezart.com/2022/06/27/monster-makers-summer-2022/.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://jenhernandezart.com/about/.

Embroidered Pride Patches

Tutorial Video + a brief history of crafting in social justice movements and resistance to oppression.

A Tangled History of Radical Craft

Often there’s one way to define Art that most folks can agree with: visual art, movement, poetry, music, installation, experience, culinary, film… All are ways for an artist to express their own perspectives, feelings or a statement and that others can connect to or perhaps create their own understanding by experiencing. Art is the communication between humans that works on our thoughts, emotions and physical reactions to connect us through creative means.

But what about craft? Can craft express the same way as Art? What’s the difference between craft and Art to begin with?

For Pride month this year, I made an art kit for a local youth library with celebratory embroidery and cross stitch crafts. It was so fun to create patterns and make little pride patches, plus coloring stickers, which are a big thing around here! I also did some research into the history of craft, starting from the concept of “craftivism” and I quickly learned that crafting has a long woven history with political messaging, resistance, resilience and social protest.

What is craft, and how is it different from Art?

Craft and Art are two sides of an art historical debate that has waged for at least the past 150 years, and probably much longer. Both Art and craft are creative practices in special skills that may imply talent and require dedicated practice to develop. The distinction is arguable, really, and is traditionally drawn along lines of use. Works of craft are made with creativity, but with utility— how the crafted object will be used– at the primary center of the object’s function. Works of Fine Arts are made with creativity, asethetics and message as the primary focus of the work. Fine Arts are things like painting, sculpture, collage, music, dance, poetry, culinary arts and we may find ourselves or our art history professors asking us “What is the artist trying to say with this work of art?” We rarely, if ever, aks the question of intent with crafts– things like woodworking, fiber arts, architecture, and foods like baking or beer; the intent of crafted objects seems obvious: to be used or consumed.

This distinction of use-focused v. aesthetics-focus has historically implied hierarchy, generally with the Fine Arts being more prestigious and important than craft. The Fine Arts are also historically much more white male-dominated and public – meant to be SEEN and experienced by the masses, whereas crafts have been thought of as feminine and including works that don’t require as much skill and are therefore underdeveloped, as well as domestic and personal.

Decorative design by William Morris

In the late 19th Century, in response to industrialization and mechanization of production, the Arts and Crafts movement in the United States and Europe, was lead by artists such as William Morris and John Ruskin, who sought to elevate the practice of designing and creating by hand to the level of Fine Arts. Ruskin and Morris idealized careful craftsmanship and high skill in the making of commonly used objects. The Arts and Crafts movement was overall a multifaceted ideological comment and in some cases rejection of industrialization, and in others a condemnation not of the use of machines, but rather the treatment of workers in factories to mass produce objects for use and disposal. The Arts and Crafts movement produced amazing works and academic study of architecture, furniture, and decorative arts like embroidery, but ultimately failed to “elevate” craft to the level of Fine Arts. Because Arts and crafts are different  in important ways.

The British art historian Rozsika Parker writes about the shared history of embroidery and femininity in her book, The Subversive Stitch. In it, she describes works of craft as personal expressions. As crafts like fiber arts were largely handled by women starting in the Victorian era, they became expressions of women’s daily lives in that context: caring for families and domestic concerns. Women were largely excluded from political and public action and so their works were also excluded from commentary on social systems at large, unlike the male-dominated Fine Arts. And it’s because of this exclusion and distinction that craft has a valuable role in subversion and resistance of those systems. Groups like the British Suffragists and the youth counterculture of the 1960’s both used craft, particularly embroidery to make statements against the hegemonic patriarchal systems they struggled against.  “[E]mbroidery showed that the personal was the political – that personal and domestic life is as much the product of the institutions and ideologies of our society as is public life.” (Parker, 205)

Suffragist embroidered banner.

Parker’s book was published in the mid-1980’s, and she was looking back on the new Women’s Lib movement of the 1970’s, focusing specifically on the experiences of white heteronormative women. Beyond the scope of Parker’s research, crafting has been intricately woven with movements of resistance throughout history. 

In the United States, handwork crafts and specifically fiber arts is particularly entangled with slavery, as often enslaved people were highly valued if they had skills in fiber arts, passed down through generations spanning back to communities in Africa. Story quilts with geometrical patterns originated with enslaved people, preserving cultural memory and legacy. White slave owners appropriated quilting practices, which became symbols of white southern domesticity.

Coded quilt made by Sharon Tindall

Despite this, quilting was used as a tool of resistance against the oppression of slavery to mark safe houses on the Underground railroad, offering beacons of freedom to enslaved people. Ruth Terry, in a 2019 article on Medium, connects research in neuroscience that suggests needlework supports mental health resiliency in coping with trauma, and that enslaved women who would knit and sew together may have experienced these benefits in the midst of generations of slavery and abuse.

A photo of the incredible Sojourner Truth shows her sitting serenely with her knitting laying across her hands, a symbol of skill, patience and calculated precision, the same which she used to defy the atrocious history of slavery in the United States and liberate enslaved people.

Quilting continued its legacy of memory and preservation in the face of certain annihilation into the late 20th century.

In 1987, gay rights activist Cleve Jones created the first panel of the AIDS Memorial quilt in memory of his friend, Marvin Feldman and in response to the devastating AIDS epidemic that had reached its height in the mid-1980’s. The quilt had been conceived as a way to remember the names of the lost, and public response was overwhelming as people throughout the US sent panels to the San Francisco workshop and donors supplied sewing equipment to construct the quilt. The quilt was first displayed in 1988, and has since grown with continued contributions. In 2019, the quilt weighed 54 tons with nearly 50,000 panels, each memorializing a beloved that had been affected by AIDS. 

In 2003, while a sociology student at Goldsmiths College in London, Betsy Greer created the term “Craftivist” as she wondered how she could help others with her knitting and fiber arts work.

It was just about connecting the dots that were already there, really, as I had studied conceptual art while doing my undergraduate degree in the late ‘90s and knew that what we make can tackle different issues. When I started knitting, I started looking at the ways in which I could help others with it, which at that time, meant making items and donating them to charities – something my grandmother had done for years, as she made hats for new infants at the local hospital she volunteered for. In that way, what we make has the chance to create changes in the fabric of our world, whether it’s knitting a tiny baby hat or doing something on a larger scale.

— Betsy Greer

In 2018, Greer curated an exhibit at the MODA in Atlanta, collecting works by artists and crafters on issues of social and political inequalities. 

These objects show how deeply the makers care about the various issues, by the time spent and ideas shared. It is my hope that, shown together, the works help people talk about difficult issues that the show may evoke or get people thinking about how they can express their feelings with what they can make with their hands.

— Betsy Greer, describing Making Change at MODA

The Yarn Mission, a community knitting collective, formed in 2014 following the murder of Mike Brown and the protest response in Ferguson, Missouri. The collective is focused on community organizing and providing safe spaces for Black protesters to be together, and support each other, all centered on shared knitting practices.

Knitting kept hands busy, calmed spirits, and created a positive point of connection between complete strangers brought together by the protests. Eventually, Ferguson protestors and residents became like family, working together to keep streets clean, get to cars safely, and ensure everyone had necessities like toilet paper.

–Taylor Payne, qtd in Ruth Terry’s article on Medium

This is so far only the beginnings of the research I’ve collected on crafting as expression and resistance. There’s so much more I want to share and write about, and I’ll continue crafting this post with more resources on craft as expression and craftivism in the following weeks throughout Pride month!

Links!

Upcycled Planters & Propagation Tubs

This activity was developed for The Arts Center’s 2022 Spring Break Art Carnival. In this one project, we combine art, crafting, scientific observation, and dialogue about social and personal responsibility for waste and care of natural resources.

Using non-biodegradeable materials that would normally be thrown away, we create propagation tubs and planters for small plants, starts or seeds. Through the acticvity, we talk about what we know about plants and waste materials, what we are curious about, and what we observe about plants, the planet and single use plastic products.

To celebrate this project, spring, and the wonder of plants, I created a poetry zine about my indoor garden that’s free to download here!

Materials

The materials for this project are very accessible, especially if you’re like me and save every single plastic tub you’ve ever seen in your life. If you are having a hard time finding plastic food tubs, ask friends and family members to save theirs, or check out a nearby materials exchange organization. Here in the Willamette Valley, we have MECCA (Materials Exchange Center for Community Arts) which is legitimately one of my top 3 favorite art resorces in the world.

Planter Materials:

  • Plastic tubs (yogurt tubs, cottage cheese, butter, etc.) – I found an adorable tiny tub for green chiles!
  • Yarn, collage materials
  • Adhesive (white glue, mod podge, hot glue)
  • Awl or screwdriver for making drainage holes
  • basic potting soil with perlite
  • plant starts, seeds or ground cover/ moss
  • dechlorinated water (see notes below for how to do this)

Drawing Materials

  • Sketch paper
  • Pencils
  • clipboards

Learning outcomes

Through this activity, participants will be able to:

  •  identify non-recyclable materials (plastic tubs) and alternative uses for those materials
  • to construct a planter with drain holes and understand what a plant needs to thrive (water, air, light, soil)
  • practice observational skills using different senses for drawing plants and observing conditions of soil
  • describe their observations verbally
  • know when to change the circumstances of a plant’s environment (more water, more light, etc.)
  • use different weights and types of line to depict plants
  • identify and label different parts of a plant
  • understand and recall the different stages of growth of a plant

Process & Notes

To create the planter:

  1. Select a plastic tub to use for this project (one with a lid is best).
  2. Clean the tub well with soap and water, and dry thoroughly.
  3. Pierce the bottom of the tub with several holes using the awl or screwdriver. These will be drainage holes for the planter.
    • Drainage holes help keep the soil the right moistness. Without them, when we water our plants, the water will collect in the bottom of the tub and could rot the plant’s roots, which can kill the plant. The drainage holes also help keep the soil areated and not compacted so the plant’s roots can grow freely.
  4. Decorate your tub! Use collage paper, yarn, paint, anything you’d like to decorate the outside of the tub. Don’t add decoration to the inside of the tub, those materials can leech into the soil and make the plant sick.
  5. Allow your decorations to dry while you mix your soil with perlite (3:2, soil:perlite)
    • The perlite is a natural material that helps keel the soil airy and helps balance the water in the soil, to keep it from getting too wet and to release water when the soil is dry.
    • As you mix the soil and the perlite, observe the material:
      • with the soil in your hands, notice what it feels like: dry, damp
      • hold the material to your face and look closely, what do you see?
      • smell the material, what does it smell like?
      • as you mix the soil and the perlite, what does it sound like?
      • DO NOT taste the soil or the perlite
  6. Place your soil and perlite into the planter when it’s dry. If you need more drying time, use the time to look at the plant starts, and make observations using your senses. You could even start drawing the plants.
  7. When your soil and perlite are in the tub, you can add your seeds, plant starts or ground cover.
    • Gently place the plant or ground cover onto the top of the soil. If the start has long roots, carefully dig into the soil and place the roots gently into the soil, and then cover.
    • For seeds, use your finger to poke holes to the depth of about your first knuckle and place seeds into the hole. Cover with soil.
  8. Water the soil with fresh, dechlorinated water (see notes below); use observations about the soil and the planter to know how much water to use.
    • when you water the soil, listen to the water run into the soil. what does it sound like?

Observation and drawing:

  1. Hold your planter with your plant or seeds in your hands. Use your senses to observe the plant or seeds, and use words to descibe what you observe
    • What does the plant, soil, planter look like?
    • What does the plant, soil, planter smell like?
    • Gently feel the soil or the plant leaves, what do they feel like?
    • Does the plant/ seed/ soil/ or planter make a sound as you hold it?
    • DO NOT taste the plants, seeds, or planter
  2. Use your pencil and paper to sketch what you’ve obsereved (using all the physical external senses, not just sight).
    • What kind of marks or lines do you use to depict what you have observed.
    • What do you notice when you look/ smell/ feel/ touch/ listen more?
    • What different ways can you approach your planter or the plant to observe it differently? From above, from below, from a different side, etc.
  3. Make predictions: what do you think will happen to the plant next?
  4. Use your plant diary in the zine to make notes. Include the date and time and write about what you notice.

Project Tips

How to dechlorinate water

The water in most taps will be treated with chlorine, in amounts that’s typically safe to drink, but can be harmful to plants. Spring water is best for plants, as it contains natural occuring nutrients that can support plant health. Distilled water is not advised for plants as it can damage plants. If tap water is your best option, you can dechlorinate water by filling a large bowl with water and allowing it to sit at room temperature for 24 – 48 hours. Since chlorine is a volitile chemical, it will dissipate from the water over those hours. I give the water a stir every few hours to make sure I can bring some water up to the surface where the chlorine can dissipate.

What plants to use

For the project at The Arts Center, I brought clippings from my own houseplants: spiderettes and persian shields, which I prepped the night before by dipping their stems into rooting hormone and placing in a holding container with some potting soil and perlite. I also brought baby’s tears, an easy-to-grow ground cover from a local nursery, and some packets of wildflower seeds.


This was a super fun activity, and my first time doing a community event like this with actually 100’s of folks over a few hours in such a long time! Some of the participants came up with clever ways to turn their planters into hanging planters, and different ways of collaging and decorating the plastic tubs. I also brought extra handbound journals to give away since I always have a bunch of those lying around, and special Plant Love stickers I designed and printed for the event!

Thanks so much to The Arts Center for inviting me to be a part of this event!