Friday, October 4, 2013

Mr. Happy Flaps His Wings

This June I had a chance to take one more course at one of my favorite places on the planet earth:  Valley Ridge Art Studio, in MuscodaWI.  Valley Ridge is winding down as a venue for art classes to my great regret but it does mean the Queen of Valley Ridge, Katherine Engen, can move on to new and exciting things in her life.  I wish her the best but I am going to miss this place.  

Here are some shots of the studio so you can see how open and bright this place is.  And, everyone gets their own table.

My space next to my partner in art crime, Kelley Clarke

 Holly Holloway's dental work

 Ann Renee Lighter sat across 

 Ann Renee and Kelley

The class was Vampires, Angels and Freaky Things with Wings which essential means bring a box and let's make something that move inside of it.  Our instructor is one of my favorite people on the planet:  Master, Oh My Master Michael DeMeng.

I could go on and on about this guy but let's just put it this way:  great teacher and one of the funniest guys ever.

My box was an old clock turned upside down so the door would hinge the normal way.  I painted it up with gesso and white.  The inside was enhanced with lace and caulk.  

My figure was a cardboard torso, a muskrat skull and two wood cutouts from Michaels.  

One night Michael challenged us by providing us with three items we had to use in a piece:  they were a fly swatter, a cocktail stirrer and one other thing I no longer remember.  We had a limited time to make the thing and then the games began.

 Here are the results.  

 Here is my piece which one Most Like Michael de Meng.  I also one the best in show prize but I passed it on to Jessie McNally who made a great piece for the contest.  Also, she was creating this piece in the class.  Look at the talent in this work!!!!!

 Here is Ann Renee's piece.  

 But wing's down, my favorite piece in the class was Cris Smith's FLY because look what it does when you pull the string:

Here is my finished piece call Mr. Happy Flaps His Wings.  

So, in order to get Mr. Happy happy, you crank on the string and his wings flap.

I would really encourage you to find out where Michael de Meng is teaching next and do a live class.  The next best thing is to take one of his many on-line workshops.  The next one is called Punk Fiction and it is a book structure.  

Your last opportunity to visit Valley Ridge is coming up the first week in November when Kelley and I are hosting Make What Ya Brung #3--a weekend of free time to make whatever you want mixed in with other stuff.  See the registration page at

And lastly, thanks to Kelley, Michael, Katherine, Andrea (see the previous blog), and all my classmates this summer at Valley Ridge.  

1 comment:

  1. Such great memories! This was one of the best workshops ever.