Monday, August 30, 2010

Giveaway Winner!

We have a Winner! My niece Meghan, who is staying with me right now, drew the name for the giveaway mentioned 2 blogs ago. A $200 art shopping spree on! The winner is Miss Sandy! Ok girl...drop me a line and we can work out the particulars. I can be reached on the contact portion of the site. Congratulations! Thanks everyone for all your great comments and blog posts. As a good friend of mine always says...."Love you-mean it."

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

When Words Are All You Have

This is the story I wrote recently for my friend, Jenny Doh. It was part of her Art Saves project on her site.

Words from today...about the words of yesterday...empowering tomorrow.

I make my living as an artist, but until this medium walked into my life (OK rode in on a horse) I had never made anything with my hands before. I make my living sewing, but I don't know how to sew. I never took an art workshop in my life ... but I was in love with art books and dreamed of paintbrushes in tin cans on windowsills. Problem was I couldn't paint. I thought I couldn’t be an artist because I couldn't draw. That is until the day I first put layers of paper and fabric together and changed my world.

Empowering with Words
In my twenties and even into my thirties I was a professional singer. A songbird is a storyteller with lyrics. When I retired from the road I put pencil to paper and wrote a novel ... definitely a storyteller in an obvious way there. And when I first began to do the work that is now my signature style, words were a part of it ... and still are. So the thread of storytelling continues through my life. This time I am singing with mixed-media at the top of my lungs. Words. Always words. Everything I do they are a part of it.

So when I began to send “my girls” out the door of Lipstick Ranch and into the world, women began to send me their own words ... telling me how they read the piece of my art they owned before they walked out the door to a job they hated or before they went to chemo. They told me how the words I wrote on my work were their saving grace in a day without laughter, in a house where they were powerless. I was humbled and prayed I would always put my best self into my words and that they would continue to make a difference, continue to empower women.

Tears & Anger
Then one day in 2002, completely out of the blue, my husband of 21 years announced he wanted a divorce and that he was in love with a girl 25 years younger than me that he had known for two weeks. All righty then. It was a marriage whose better days had come and gone and I had often thought that it should end ... BUT no woman wants the man she has been with for half her life to leave her for a girl who was 4 when they got married. I was so angry. Quite sure I could have spit nails. But when I get angry I don't spit nails ... I cry. It’s just what I do. The girls I breathe life into in my work are perfectly capable of said spitting, but I am a crier. Everything came to a halt as I cried from morning to night ... pacing, angry woman, sometimes little girl lost ... but always crying. Then I got angry that I was crying so much. Problem was I cry when I get angry. Needless to say my work came to a halt, walking my dogs became a chore, everything changed.

But three weeks into this shift in my life a friend of mine called me. It was midnight ... she had had an epiphany ... and probably a couple of vodkas, but nonetheless. My phone rang and she said very emphatically, “KC! Go in your studio and read your own work!” Excuse me? I know what my works says. What the heck good was that gonna' do? She insisted, saying, “No, I mean really read it. Take it in like you've never seen the words before. Please.” She loved me, but she was also sick and tired of the crying. I could hear the begging in her voice.

Women from the Past
So I hung up the phone and went into my studio. There they were ... the women from the past ... all over my walls. I didn’t need to walk from piece to piece and read the words. I had written them. I knew them by heart. What I needed to do was listen to them. Shhhhh. Listen. So I closed my eyes and heard their words ... this time speak to me. “My hands are strong, my back is strong, but most importantly my heart is strong,” “If a girl wants to be a legend, she should go ahead and be one,” and “I may look like a girl still, but it was the women in me who made it over the mountains.”

I had sent hundreds of pieces out into the world. Pieces that had inspired and empowered the women who owned them. But now they were giving it right back to me. I walked out of that room, never shed another tear, and have never looked back. Words sent out ... coming back home.

Full Circle.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Bye Bye Box...Hello Giveaway!

Well it's been's been's been real fun...but KC in a Box is going away. Sort of. It has been an amazing few months trying our darndest to keep up with the orders from all over the planet. But alas....I must admit...the delay in getting these out sometimes has been in getting our hands on the boxes (and my AADD under control) :-) So I did some thinking....I do a lot of that. What you all loved about the boxes was the signed collage on the outside and the three workshop DVD's on the inside. The box was a groovy apparatus for holding little bits from my studio. But not everybody wanted the bits....seemed though that everybody did want the DVD's. about a compromise? Let's do a funky little collaged fabric bag with a signed KC collage on the outside, stuffed full of hours of mixed media workshops on the inside (in the form of my DVD's) and get it out the door to you within 3 days of your order (instead of 3 weeks). KC Willis Collage Camp, Altered Books, as well as Altars and Shrines. Imagine the possibilities! Workshops in a Bag! Which is exactly what we will call it.

KC in a Box will be available for one more week. So if you got the box, loved the box and want your art buddies to have a let them know about it pronto. They can get it right here on my blog. As a matter of fact, in order to give the beloved box a proper last hurrah.....I am going to do a giveaway on said blog. Write a few sentences on your blog about the box and it's final days with a link to this blog and I'll put your name in a drawing for a $200 Lipstick Ranch art shopping spree (art being the key word here). Mention my live workshops (a step up from the box for those interested in stepping up) and add the link to in the same blog and your name will get entered twice! Mention Collage on-line workshop and link to ( and your name will be in the drawing yet again. How often to you legally get to enter a giveaway three times? Drawing held on August 25th. All you have to do (besides do the aforementioned) is leave a comment on this blog that you have done that, post link back to your blog so I can take a peek and voila.....entered...potentially multiple times. $200...not too shabby.

So bye, bye box.

Love ya.

Mean it.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Collage Camp Live! Going Nationwide!

Hi Friends....Hope your week is off to a great start. We are busy here at my gallery getting ready for the amazing Judy Wilkenfeld workshop here beginning Friday. Just a quick blog to invite you to take a peek at the new workshops added to my workshop site

I will be in the Midwest and on the East Coast beginning September 15th for about 5 weeks. I'd call that a tour! Now if I only had a bus. I will be teaching in Wisconsin, Ohio, the mountains of VA, Maine, Connecticut (Art is You), the DC area and North Carolina. I am working on New York City and NJ. Holy cow. These are very special one and two-day classes taking place in everything from an art store in the city to a farm in the mountains of Virginia. I really hope you would take a peek at the details. Something might just grab you.

I will be teaching in Memphis and back to North Carolina in December. These 2 classes are posted at already. I am working on Springfield, MO, Savannah, GA and Ocala, Florida for this trip as well.

Check out the KC on the Road 2011 while you're on the site. Phoenix, San Diego, Amarillo, TX and Clark Mansion outside of Austin are there. The Mabel Dodge House in Taos, NM coming soon.

Thanks friends...Let me know if you have any questions.
And forward this blog to your artsy friends! :-)

Many thanks and many blessings....


Monday, August 2, 2010

Heading to Arizona

Arizona in the middle of winter? Dare I say I can't wait! I'll be teaching a one-day class at Mystic Paper in Mesa the day before the Super Bowl, Feb 5th, 2011. This is a one-day class called "Mixed Media at Mystic" where I will give away all my secrets for the vintage collage work that is my signature style. I'll tell you everything I know and leave you with enough inspiration and motivation to last you 'til in snows in Phoenix. :-) This will be an intense day of working hard to complete a piece in a short period of time, but I promise you tons of good techniques and lots of laughs.

I mentioned "Mystic" to my on-line workshop participants at Collage Camp and it is over half full already from that announcement. So dally not! Info on this class and the ones to follow, as I head to San Diego after this class, can be found at

Thanks and have a great week everyone!

Watch my blog for a new look and a new purpose to my life and my work....gonna share it with you soon....right here. xxoo