New Somerset Studio Listed at Copious

June 24, 2013 at 5:16 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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The May/June 2013 issue of Somerset Studio Magazine is packed full of inspiration, art, and great writing.  This issue features:
Best May.June 2013 SS
Artist Portfolio Pam Carriker
A Selection of  Snooters by Juliette Crane
Layers of Flavors by Mary Beth Shaw

Price includes shipping

Check it out at:

Thought on Flow and Direction in Art

April 28, 2013 at 2:31 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I was at a local eatery the other day and they had remodeled and in the remodeling they changed everything around. All they did was add a new counter but now, instead of starting at one end of the counter, ordering there and going right to pay, you start in the middle and go to the left – which used to be the place to order – to pay. And now you go clear across the room for cups.  There’s a bottleneck of people trying to order where the tables are and a big empty space where we used to order. Phew. It was exhausting – though entertaining – to watch people figure out what the heck to do when they entered. Phew.

While I was enjoying the show, I got to thinking about flow and direction. Part of the confusion in the eatery is based on the fact that that the way it used to be reflected the way so much is in this country- left to right. We read left to right, we drive on the left hand side of the line and the cold water faucets are always on the right to avoid burns as most people are right handed and are just naturally tuned into the right as weird and ethnocentric as that sounds. If rightocentric were a word, it’d be that to.

Then I thought about flow in art – any kind of art, whether painting or dimensional mixed media.  No matter how avante garde your art, this is one of the conventions, this left to right thing we are wired into, you must stick to. Our eyes – and brains – are used to the left to right flow.

So if, for instance, you are creating a piece of art and want to convey pattern – or even just a thought about patters in art or in life – remember if you attempt to lead the eye from left to right, the eye – and mind – of your viewer is more likely to be able to follow your idea or theme easily, thus understand any underlying meaning.

Imitation is Good for the Soul

January 29, 2013 at 12:42 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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If imitation is the sincerest for of flattery, could it also be the kindest way to teach yourself a new art technique?

Contributors to Somerset Studio invite readers to use the techniques they demonstrate in order to reproduce their creations.  For artists who use the instructions, assemble the necessary tools, and try to re-create what the published artists have done, is this the best, most non self- judgmental way for them to learn and appreciate their own talents?  When we try to recreate or copy what has been created by another artist, we might feel a little less like our very heart and soul depends on the outcome if the piece comes out differently than the original than if we create something that is not what we had hoped, planned, or intended.  We may in fact actually learn something about how we choose – maybe subconsciously, maybe consciously – to work with certain tools.

As kids when we first learned cursive – at least when teachers used to teach it – we learned by copying letters above the chalkboard and in writing in lined tablets.  We traced, we imitated, we learned.  Is it like that in art?  Perhaps to learn, and feel comfortable that when the learning process is done what we have is truly our own, we need to imitate others first.

When we sat in class in a Zen like trance and traced letters, the teachers knew that eventually our letters would take on their own – our – personality.  And so it is with art.  When we use methods of artists with morePicture 001 experience than ourselves, we learn things that will serve us in many ways throughout our lives.

So feel good about copying for learning or self-satisfaction what has been created by others, it will help you relax into nonjudgmental learning and ultimately, develop you own style.

September 28, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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As the weather gets colder, curl up with a classic, gently loved  copy of Somerset magazine. Visit to choose one today!

Mixed Media for a Good Cause

August 26, 2012 at 2:34 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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One of the reasons I haven’t posted for a while is that between work and school and other summertime pursuits, I have been trying to complete a few memory boxes.

I discovered memory boxes when I first became obessed with mixed media.  In one of my first posts, I mentioned the clock I made a mini collage of, well during that same time was the first time I went into Micheal’s crafts with some serious intentions toward stocking up on artsy things. I was almost craving things to make collages and I came across a magazine I had only heard about called Somerset Studio – a jewel not only because it is terribly hard to find but it itself is a piece of art.

My first issue was the “aubergine issue” and any fan of the mag knows they all take on special names eventually.  It was, I’m pretty sure, that I first saw a little classified ad for the Tole Memory Box program.

It took me a while to get started with it and I am probably the slowest painter EVER but I get it done. Just sent 3 out yesterday.


For those that don’t know, in short, painters – of which I am one -get paper mache boxes and decorate theme appropriately for children and the boxes then go to various hospitals so that bereaved parents have some where to put memories of their departed child.

I found it was a great way to get my feet wet with paint and mixed media while doing something good. I have learned a lot about paint – what works and what doesn’t in terms of color combinations and also about using base coats.

So if you want to learn something new, practice your painting or just help those who could use your creativity, try them out.  Go to and learn more about painting and design while helping others heal.

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