• Coffee-staining lots of things!
• Photo transfers
• Combining papers and fabrics
• Burning techniques
• How to layer for texture
• Putting the basics together
• Making mixed media collages for embellishment
• My tricks to finding and harvesting cool things to use as materials
• Embellishing with found objects
• How to make a hanging device
• Make pieces using mostly paper and cardboard.
• How to put together larger pieces with multiple images and quotes.
• And I will also offer fun and hopefully inspiring advice and stories on life as an artist.
The details of making my art have never been videotaped before...so this is a first for you and for me! We will cover a lot in this workshop. And when all is said and done you will have the ammo needed to make art using beloved family photos or any favorite photo. Basic machine sewing is helpful, but you can do it using hand stitching or even just gluing, if you have an aversion to thread. But for the best look you're going to want to sew, and you don't need an expensive machine at all. And you don't have to do western art here. Any fabrics you love and a photo that inspires will do! Beginners welcome.
The on-line workshop is made up of 6 videos showing everything I do from start to finish. There is a place for on-going discussions where you can ask me anything. You can post pictures of the work you made and make friends with the over 150 others who are on-line at Collage Camp. Only $98 USD.
In a way my life has always been about Cowgirls. As a child growing up in a small midwest town in the 60's, I was surrounded by my father's love of the old west. We listened to Sons of the Pioneers and watched Roy Rogers, John Wayne and every western that made its way across the screen of our little black and white t.v. While other little girls played with Ken and Barbie, my sister and I played with Jane and Johnny West dolls and the sheets from our beds were used as covered wagon tops more than once. My idea of the perfect life was to be the only daughter of Ben Cartwright and spend my days riding around the Ponderosa. As I grew older, I immersed myself in the stories of western life and fell in love with Annie Oakley, Calamity Jane, and the idea of heading west.
When I did head west at the age of 25, it was to Los Angeles and my covered wagon was a U-Haul and my life headed down new roads. At first glance, it seemed the grown-up version of me had stuffed the spirit of the cowgirl in a box and packed her away-my life seemed so far removed from those long-ago attachments. But when I began to do fiber collage three years ago, it was the Cowgirl who came riding into the forefront of my imagination. It was then that I realized I had never really left her behind. In my 20's I was a professional singer and I sang country music. In my 30's I wrote a novel (it was published by HarperCollins) and it was a western with a sharp-shooting cowgirl leading the way, and in my 40's I moved to the mountains and now I'm surrounded in my studio by the faces of Annie Oakley, Sadie Austin and Pearl Hart. In my art the bond now grows stronger than ever. They were tough, strong, beautiful and brave. They were the Women of the West. They are my heroes.
In my work I step back in time and bring to you the look and feel of the Old West. I find in the Women of the West, a never-ending source of inspiration. While I do take the creative liberty of writing the quotes myself, I always hope I am capturing the essence of the women I see…sometimes they seem to actually speak the words out loud to me. In this way, "my girls" actually bring a message from the past to today. I believe that if you are drawn to a particular piece it is because, if you look very closely, you will find yourself looking back at you.
KC Willis Longmont, Colorado
A painter when the idea of fiber collage first came to her, KC wanted to keep in touch with that part of herself. To that end, the main background on all of her work is unprimed artist canvas that has been torn, laundered and stained with coffee. Then Willis burns the frayed edges, stitches down old pillow ticking, vintage calico and antique velvet brocades. The focal point of the work consists of photo transfers of women of the west, often complimented by the quotes she creates, and the one-of-a-kind funky, yet feminine collages that dot the surface of the canvas. The pieces range in size from 8" x 12" to 5’ X 6’.
"In between the actual days in the studio," says Willis. "I spend my time hunting for treasure. I frequent flea markets, antique shops, yard sales and my mother's attic, looking for the small, wonderful things that will compliment "my girls". I also scour the west for old photos and postcards bearing the images that will make my work come alive. Without the faces of the Women of the West, my art would not exist. I find these women to be a never-ending source of inspiration. While I do take the liberty of writing the quotes myself, I have a definite feeling that they would approve--that I have their permission. As a matter of fact, when I am in my studio, surrounded by these incredible women, I don’t have to put much effort into their ‘quotes.’ If I simply listen, they will whisper in my ear. Calamity Jane catches me so off guard sometimes that I laugh out loud at some of the things she ‘says.’ My dogs look at me like I’m crazy."
KC Willis has a thing for the Old West, its women, and for the words that bring them back to life. Her fiber collage work continues to sell in over 40 shops around the country as fast as she can breathe life into them. She was recently asked by the Cowgirl Hall of Fame Museum, in Fort Worth, Texas, to create a piece for their new museum and her line of Lipstick Ranch greeting cards was released in May 2007 by the internationally distributed Leanin’ Tree. Her on-line workshop Collage Camp has over 160 students from 7 countries.
Special for art-e-zine readers only! When you purchase Collage Camp for $98 you will also get my Altars and Shrines on-line workshop OR my Altered Books workshop for FREE. A $55 value.
Donations to art-e-zine page now has a set of over 80 Cowgirl Images for you to use in your artwork