Anne Bagby & Lynn Perella : 4 days of Inspired Art Making

My classmates. An amazing, talented group of gifted artists who came from many places!
Lynn Perella is on the top row, the third from the left.
Anne Bagby is on the top row, third from the right.
We had five local people (residents of San Juan County) in the class -
 the rest came from all over!
It's difficult to know how to begin to tell you about the amazing class experience I just had with Lynn Perella and Anne Bagby. Four days of inspiration, excitement, and learning that will stay with me for a very long time.

First of all I had only been able to afford the first two days of this four day workshop. The amazing, delightful and warm hearted owner of Wild At The Heart Studios, Jan Murphy, took a giant leap of faith and told me that we would work something out to allow me to be able to attend the second two days of class. For two days I had an angel sitting on one shoulder and a wee devil on the other shoulder. One telling me that I shouldn't stay because I need to not spend money; the other telling me that I should stay because of this unique opportunity... you get the mental tug-o-war that I was experiencing! Then I discovered that this was Anne Bagby's last travel teaching class. In the future all of her workshops will be held at her studio in Tennessee. And so, yes, I had no choice but to stay and take on the bit of added debt!

Wild At Heart Studios will be presenting many more workshops here in our vacation destination home. Quite a few of the class participants brought their spouses with them. Have a look at the class line-up - which will soon be filling up with many, varied, new workshops, and consider a vacation trip  and workshop vacation for yourself!

We have a wonderful mixed media ship, Vital Elements, owned by Retro Rose Rhonda Scott (6th from the right top row in the photo) . Rhonda hosted a spectacular meet 'n' greet soiree for all of us the evening before the workshops began. What a great way to begin the adventures - and people seemed pleased to find special mixed media gear to bring to class!

For those of us who live here being able to take a workshop like this and not have to travel is a very unusual thing. It was pure joy to be able to take a class and go home to sleep in my own bed. Because of some tiresome health issues I wasn't sure how I would deal with the intensity of this class experience, but thanks to a bit of Urban Moonshine Energy tonic and the ability to sleep at home I made it through three of the four days working on all cylinders - my energy stumbled on the fourth day but still I made it through!

From Lynn Perella's class.
My piece is on the left. A talented classmate's piece is on the right
I'd been enamored with Anne Bagby's work for many years. I have her videos but I wanted to experience a class with her. The videos will now be even more important to me because I will know what she means and will have seen her in action doing the techniques that she covers in her videos. The videos are extremely well done and, if you have an interest in her working style, I can highly recommend them - even if you will not be able to go to Tennessee for a workshop you will get a lot from them!

I've never taken a mixed media class before and this was an amazing place to start! I knew of Lynn Perella but had never considered taking a class with her - and I'm not sure why I say that - because I was not really familiar with her work is the best answer that I can come up with. Lynn is one of the best teachers that I have ever had in any medium. She's organized, calm, positive, encouraging and always has an inspired suggestion or two or three or four about how to make your design work better or differently. She's a truly gifted teacher and I am SO fortunate to have had this opportunity to learn from her. Her class hand-outs are artworks in and of themselves (photos will be forthcoming in another post).

An unfinished piece from Anne Bagby's class. (The face is a temporary).
The backgrounds are made from 'complicated paper'

The pace of the four days was fast and furious and I have to admit to not being able to keep up. Where some people would breeze though the required four panels I might finish one and a half. On the last day, when my energy lagged precipitously, I produced nothing whole. I set myself for failure by using a painted used dryer sheet as part of my base. We were working on gessoed red rosein paper. Although I was able to glue the used dryer sheet glued to the gessoed surface, nothing would glue (using ANY sort of glue) to the top of the used dryer sheet. So, rather than make myself crazed... which was sure to happen, Lynn suggested cutting out portions of the panel and making art tags from it. I did that and got some rockin' tags but not finished panel.
I was fascinated at how similar some of the techniques are to things that we do and use in textiles and quilt art. Complicated paper = fused fabric. I did use some fabric with papers to make some of the 'complicated paper'. Everything I learned in this class can be translated to cloth. An extra, added, bonus! I got to meet some of the most talented, wonderful, warm people too. Some I'd like to teleport to the island for days of creative play. It was a thoroughly inspiration four day!

I'll be covering the classes in more detail is a series of future posts. Now, I need to unpack, organize, catch-up and think of the 'real' world that I will return to (aka work) soon. This has been an amazing vacation. One of the best ever - and I didn't even need to leave home!


  1. Such a small world! My buddy Joanell is standing second from right (in the apron).


    Sounds like it was fun!

  2. Glad you stayed for all 4 days. You are very talented! It was fun sitting in front of you.

  3. I absolutely enjoyed your artistic company in this fantastic workshop. Your art is fabulous!


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