Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Imagine a Giveaway Where Everybody Wins!

What a fun few days it has been since I announced my in-person Studio Retreats here in Colorado. Thanks for all the e-mails you've sent with such enthusiastic support. Hope to see many of you here in Colorado soon!

When I started my Collage Camp on-line video workshops back in April, and then added the Mixed Media Mania class sign-up in late May (as soon as my cough ends and my voice comes back we will finish those!) all have been amazing in your getting the word out. You know I could not have done that without you. I have been out of the loop, just hunkered down in my studio making work, these past few years and so no one knew to look for workshops from me, once I started to offer them. But you all put the word out "on the streets" in just a matter of days and I thank you for that. Do you think I could ask you to do it one more time? What if everyone who linked to my new KC Willis Studio Retreats got something from my studio to yours? Everybody.

See the cool little piece shown here? It's one of my small in size, big in attitude pieces. They're done with a variety of women from yesteryear and measure up to be a whopping 4"x6". A fun little piece to have.

Here's the scoop. Mention my Studio Retreats on your blog and link to the Retreats. You can grab the Badge off of the Retreat front page or grab any of the images off my blog and link. Drop a comment after this post with your blog link on it (great way for everyone who reads this blog to check out yours) and then e-mail your address to me privately at One of these great gals will be on the way to you right away. You can get the same linkage credit if you post a "Status Update" on Facebook with a link attached to it to the Retreats. If you don't have a blog or aren't on Facebook, but have a way to get the word out, I'm open to it. Just ask me. Want everyone who is willing to blab about an Art Retreat in Colorado to get a free little piece of my art and attitude! This giveaway is for five days or 100 pieces whichever comes first.

Please feel free to tell others on your blog about this Giveaway....just please make it very clear that the free piece is if they link to the Retreats not just link to this giveaway. Know what I mean?

I am just soooo excited about the opportunity to teach in person. Never thought I would do that (and I can't promise I will do it forever) BUT for now I am super-jazzed about it. I want you to come hang with me in my new studio, have dinner with me in the evening and enjoy the unbelievably beautiful area that I call home. I have so much I want to share with you about art and living the artistic life and so much I can learn from you.

As Georgia O'Keeffe said "There is something unexplored about women...that only a woman can explore."

With much gratitude for all your love and support....

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Standing with My Iranian Friends...

Salam! Chetori? Hi! How are you?

Words I heard every time I saw my friend, Gilda Mavaddat when I lived in Los Angeles. Gilda was my entre' into the large Iranian-American community in LA and she was a wonderful ambassador to that world. The thing I remember most about her was her smile. She smiled all the time. She loved to laugh and she made me laugh...a lot! Oftentimes with her unique take on all things American. She hadn't been in this country too long and was totally perplexed as to how she could be out of money when she had checks left. Seriously. Yes, she made me laugh.

When I moved to Colorado Springs after my first marriage ended in 2001, I met a young Iranian man who became my friend. Mehrdad and I met the week after September 11th and I recall his hesitancy in even telling me he was Iranian, because at that moment he was feeling the push-back toward all things Muslim. He introduced me to a wonderful senior-citizen named Ali, who owned a deli in the Springs, but who would whip up unbelievable Iranian dishes in the back room. I fell in love with Saffron Rice and anything with a Farci name.

The fabric collage piece I am showing you here was commissioned by Mehrdad. I had completely forgotten about it and wasn't sure I even had a picture of it until earlier today. I was very happy to find it in my photo archives. The thing I recall most about doing this pieces, was when he gave me the images to use I couldn't believe how vibrant the colors were. The pictures that I had seen of Iran were mostly from the news and mostly from Tehran. Concrete. Gray. The pictures he selected for this piece were of the Iran he remembered and missed. Green valleys. Flowers as far as the eye could see. A little girl in a bright dress. I made this piece for him and I gave it the name "The Colors of Home." He loved it. (He laughed at me though because the words at the bottom-which I don't even remember what they were-were backwards.) Oh well. He got the overall feeling of the piece and he was happy. He showed it to everybody.

Gilda and Mehrdad have been on my mind the last few days as I witness what is going on in the country of their birth. I know they are glued to their computers and TV's and are fearful for family left behind. I hope two things for them. One is that Gilda figured out a checking account and the other is that the piece of my art that hangs in Mehrdad's home has brought him some comfort during this time. And I hope one day I will meet up with them again and see them smile...Salam! Chetori?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Giveaway Winners!!!

Hello All...Sorry to be getting around to this so late today. We had tornadoes jumping all around us in Northern Colorado this afternoon. Was busy trying to keep my little Fiona doggie from losing her little Fiona mind over the thunder and lightning. I printed up all the comments from each blog for each giveaway, cut them into slips of paper, folded them in half and then handsome hubby Logan drew names a few minutes ago.

The winner of the $300 Lipstick Ranch shopping spree is Nancy Van Hoose!
And the winner of "The Women-The Flag" is Malisa from Coldspring, TX.

Congratulations wonderful gals!

Get in touch with me.

Thanks to everyone who blogged and commented and who support me everyday with enthusiasm. You all rock my world.

I think I hear more thunder....maybe it's just the roar of applause as we congratulate our two winners!

Bye for now...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Right There in Black and White

And now for something completely different...

I don't know...just felt like working outside my signature color palette. I think it's really important to shake it up a little once in awhile and surprise even yourself. I don't do much work in a black and cream theme...none really...and I hardly ever work in a horizontal format when working with a vertical image...never really.

I challenge you to do something that is really, really different from anything you've ever done before. Get kinky with your art form. It's ok. You're married to it. You'll look at yourself differently too, when all is said and done. And your work will thank you.

Say thank you, Frida.

These will be put up on the Lipstick Ranch site for sale in a couple of days...They are 16x20-ish and will be $200 each. Let me know if you gotta have one before it goes up on LR.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My Half Sistah!

For the last couple of months I have watched with a prayerful heart and not just a little concern, as my dear friend, the amazing artist Joanna Pierotti and her husband Ron, dealt day to day with the realities that his brain tumor had returned. With all their attention focused on Ron's health issues and his up coming surgery, Joanna struggled to produce and sell enough art to keep them going. A wonderful group of friends, fellow artists and collectors rose to the occasion and gave Ron and Joanna a financial blanket to wrap themselves in for a bit of time. Trouble is a planned one week hospital stay has turned into a 3 week hospital stay in one of the most expensive cities in America, the beautiful San Francisco.So tomorrow, Ron, minus the tumor that was robbing him of his speech and balance, will be returning to a home they might very well lose. While they still have some of the money lovingly raised in the fundraiser, I have a plan to add to those coffers...Lipstick Ranch style. Before we know it, Joanna and Ron will be creating new workshops and Joanna's work will be available once again to all of us who can't wait for that to happen. In the meantime, let's bridge the gap.

So here's the scoop...from now until June 15th...HALF of the Registration fees garnered for my KC Willis Collage Camp AND HALF of all retail sales at Lipstick Ranch will be sent to Joanna and Ron. So if you were thinking of joining Collage Camp or encouraging others to do so, this would be a good time. And if you ever thought of grabbing a piece off of my site and making it your very own...or giving it to someone you love as much as I love Joanna, this is the moment opportune. And for all of you who have already enrolled in Collage Camp or want to pass up Camp and go right into making Altars and Shrines etc, join Mixed Media Mania and I'll do the same thing. Enroll in the three-workshop-package and HALF of that will go to California, as well.

Collage Camp fees. Lipstick Ranch sales. I'm talking HALF people. (Don't confuse this with half off. This is full price with half going to Joanna and Ron)

Collage Camp wouldn't even exist without Joanna. It was Joanna and one of my other fab artist friends, Jane DeRosier, who not only encouraged me to do an on-line workshop, but gave me their time over and over again when I had questions about setting the whole thing up. I went to Joanna and said. "You know, I don't think I'm going to do this. What if I build it and they don't come." Joanna laughed and me and basically said "What you talkin' about, Willis?"

Was she right? You don't know the HALF of it.

Tell your friends.

Let's rock and roll.