Yosemite backcountry sketchbook 2017

Once again, this year I had the opportunity to go to Yosemite National Park in July for twelve days (see here for my 2016 trip stories and sketches). Four nights, five days of wilderness backpacking followed by seven days six nights of volunteering for Yosemite Conservancy. Below are the images from my backpacking trip.

I used a small, handmade sketchbook using landscape shaped scraps of watercolor paper, painted cardboard box covers, and nylon yarn as binding. My tools were a Pigma Micron 01 pen, a Pigma Sensei 06 pen, Aquash large and medium size water brushes, and my own mini palettes of Daniel Smith watercolors (sixteen total colors). The last three pages I finished coloring when I got to Yosemite Valley on the afternoon of Day Five. The rest I completed on site, in the backcountry. All except the rout map were painted from memory or en plein air, not from photographs.

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I also returned to an old favorite format: 6-inch by 6-inch squares, which I brought on my 2014 trip to Yosemite while I was completing work for the 50|50 show, a 50-day process of creating fifty works, all measuring six inches by six inches. I love the small square format, and Fluid Watercolor paper from Global Art Materials, Inc., comes in a great portable block that fits in my front pack in the backcountry. I love the Fluid “Easy Block” because it’s easy to remove finished paintings in the field (a key feature for backcountry sketching). Also, the paper is acid-free and archival, meaning the finished pieces are ready to be mounted or framed.

Stay tuned for images from my Yosemite Valley week…to be posted after I get back from Gettysburg!

Gearing up for Gettysburg!

Fresh from a trip to the mountains of Yosemite National Park, I’m now getting geared up for my 2017 residency in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania! Last year, I spent thirty days sketching, walking, biking, and painting in Gettysburg National Park. I came home and shared my work in an exhibition at the Half Moon Bay Library in my hometown.

Next week, I’m going back for one action-packed week of teaching, sketching, exhibiting, and reconnecting with all of the historical significance and natural beauty this place has to offer.

Here’s a list of the things I’ll be involved with in Gettysburg, from July 29 through August 4, 2017:

  • Instagram takeover of Destination Gettysburg’s account! I’ll be posting photos of my adventures and stories during the week on Destination Gettysburg. Be sure to follow this account to keep up with my latest news from the road.
  • Sketch crawl at Gettysburg National Park! Sunday, July 30, 2pm to 4:30pm. Bring your sun protection, hydration, and sketching supplies and wander the park with me. We’ll meet at the Pennsylvania Monument, and you’ll be set free to sketch landscapes, sky, barns, people, nature journaling, and maybe even historical reenactments happening in the park. If you need a prompt or a demo, I’ll happily provide it, or you can simply enjoy your own practice in the company of others. Details here.
  • Hope for the Late-Blooming Creative workshop at Adams County Arts Council! Tuesday, August 1, 6:30pm to 9pm. Part of the Healing HeARTS Initiative presented in partnership with Gettysburg Hospital, this workshop will help you reignite (or discover for the first time) your creative spark! Whether you’re a professional artist needing a kickstart, or someone who has always wanted to make art, you’ll leave this workshop with a renewed sense of your own ability to create with freedom, spontaneity, and joy. Register here.
  • Sketchbook Journaling for Youth Summer Camp at Adams County Arts Council! Ages 10-13, Monday, July 30 through Friday, August 4, 9am to 12pm. Observe and record the world.  This unique camp combines drawing and writing to create expressive journal pages with a visual story on every one. You will work with various media and venture outdoors to create Gettysburg sketches. Register here.
  • First Friday pop-up show at Grant Building in downtown Gettysburg! Friday, August 4, 5pm to 8pm. Exhibition of my work created in Gettysburg, live music, light refreshments, & artist talk at 6:30pm. Some items available for sale. Enjoy a night on the town, where multiple venues in downtown Gettysburg will be featuring artists’ work. Made possible through generous support from Lynda Taylor, Monica E. Oss, and J. Jay Mackie of Gettysburg. Details here.

I hope you’ll follow along on social media or join me in person for one of these events!

Stay tuned for a gear report on the supplies I’m bringing on this trip…

Instagram: @drlisachu Facebook: wildtomatoarts Twitter: @drlisachu

PRE-ORDER your copy of the Badass Women Portraits book!

The design is done, the proof copy is on its way, and it’s time to announce your chance to pre-order the Badass Women Portraits BOOK! Yes, I always have big book plans from my art projects, and they always take so much longer to complete than I anticipate. But this one is DONE and ready to be printed.

This book is a great way to hold the entire exhibit in your hand, and savor it for years to come.

My goal is to sell 100 books by May 31, 2017….will you help me do it?

The book is really an exhibition catalog of all thirty-one pieces created in thirty-one days (including ones not shown at the Bamboo installation) created for the Badass Women Portraits project, plus bonus materials, like pages from my sketchbook, and scenes from the Bold Audacious Daring Women Painting workshop and opening reception at Bamboo.

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I hope you will think of a woman or girl in your life who would be inspired by seeing the names and faces, plus a bit about these thirty-one Badass Women. Imagine the conversations you can start by looking at these portraits, contemplating these women’s lives, their contributions to the world we live in today, and the work we can each do, starting where we are now.

Plus, I’d like to think that my own story of being a “late-blooming creative”, pursuing the creative life in mid-life, will be a beacon of light to those who are wondering what’s possible for themselves.

This book is a great way to ask the question, “What makes a badass woman badass?“.

You can preview the entire book here, and place your pre-order (at a special price through May 31, 2017) here.

And even if you’re just inspired by looking, please share the links above and spread the word!

Thank you for your grins and giggles!

The price goes up on June 1st, so order yours now!

Announcing: My Gettysburg 2017 Residency

Last September, I decided to create my own artist residency at Gettysburg National Park. I had been a finalist for a sponsored residency, and I told myself if I applied a second time and wasn’t accepted, I would do it anyway. So that’s what happened, and in so many ways, it has turned out to be exactly the kind of inspiring experience I – and my creative process – thrive on.

You can see and read more about the unfolding of this process here, but the reason I’m writing this is to announce that I am returning to Gettysburg this summer! What started as a mention, a pipe dream, is swiftly becoming reality. Here are the events confirmed so far:

First Friday Pop-Up Show & Artist Talk – Friday, August 4, 2017, 5pm to 8pm, Grant Building, 12 Chambersburg Street, Gettysburg.

Light refreshments and Exhibition, 5pm to 8pm, Artist Talk 6:30pm to 7pm. Presenting illustrations created during a 30-day residency in Gettysburg in 2016: Battlefield & Beyond. Plus, a public interactive textile created during exhibition of this work in California.

Event made possible through generous support from Lynda Taylor, Monica E. Oss, and J. Jay Mackie of Gettysburg.

Youth Sketchbook Journaling Summer Camp at Adams County Arts Council – Observe and record the world.  This unique camp combines drawing and writing to create expressive journal pages with a visual story on every one. You will work with various media and venture outdoors to create Gettysburg sketches. Ages 10 to 13. Monday, July 31 through Friday, August 4, 9am to noon. Register here.

Hope for the Late-Blooming Creative: adult creativity workshop at Adams County Arts Council. Tuesday, August 1, 6:30pm to 9pm. Contact Adams County Arts Council to register.

Follow me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook to hear about other spontaneous events while I’m in Gettysburg. I’m looking forward to a collaboration with Destination Gettysburg, maybe doing some sketch crawls, creativity jumpstart sessions…who knows? I’ve learned to embrace all the pleasant surprises in the beautiful compost of life.

NBC Bay Area picks up Badass Women Challenge story!

In the whirlwind week before the Bold Audacious Daring Women Painting workshop, I got front page coverage in my local newspaper, Half Moon Bay Review, followed by video coverage by NBC Bay Area!

Here is the link to the local piece, and a look at the coverage in the print edition:

 

And here is the link to the video and story created by NBC Bay Area:

Photo by Rebecca Greenway, NBC Bay Area.

The exhibition is on display at Bamboo hair + body in Half Moon Bay, through May 13, 2017. For more on the Badass Women Portraits project, visit this project link.

Painting workshop at New Leaf Classroom in Half Moon Bay!

In partnership with New Leaf, as a gift to the community, artist and facilitator Lisa Chu will present an afternoon of empowerment through art and story, based on her ongoing solo exhibition, Badass Women Portraits, at Bamboo hair + body. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to connect with the inspirational qualities of B.A.D.A.S.S. (Bold, Audacious, Daring, Authentic, Strong, Sassy) Women from throughout history and around the world. You will choose a B.A.D.A.S.S. Woman who inspires you, and bring her photo, as well as one inspirational quote from her. From this launching point, the creative process takes over. Using paint, collage, and mixed media, we will enter our own Bold, Audacious, and Daring space to create an image that reflects a B.A.D.A.S.S. expression of ourselves and tribute to an inspiring woman.

Please note: this is not a “how to paint” class, and there will be very little to no technique discussed in this class. However, each participant will leave with a greater awareness of their own creativity, and an experience of making art based on the inspiration of the B.A.D.A.S.S. woman chosen.

What to bring: a photo of a B.A.D.A.S.S. woman of your choice from throughout history and around the world, a quote (optional) spoken or written by your B.A.D.A.S.S. woman, any special non-toxic art supplies or papers you would like to use (optional), a smock or clothes you don’t mind getting paint on

What’s provided: snacks courtesy of New Leaf, acrylic paint, brushes, disposable palettes, ready-to-hang surface for your art making, collage materials, assorted mixed media

When: Sunday, April 2, 2017, 2pm to 5pm

Where: New Leaf Community Classroom (next door to New Leaf Market)

146-A San Mateo Rd, Half Moon Bay, CA

$25 per person, pre-registration required – includes materials and snacks

REGISTER HERE

Before and After: Gettysburg-inspired Community Quilt in Half Moon Bay

Today was finally “Uninstall Day” for my Gettysburg in 2016 installation at Half Moon Bay Library. It had been extended by two weeks, and I was excited to see how FULL the jar of fabric squares was today. Visitors were invited to write their responses to the excerpt from Lincoln’s Gettysburg address presented on a muslin painted panel above them.

And now, my work is to make these squares into a community quilt of our own words, in 2016, resonating with Lincoln’s ideas in the present moment. I have some sewing to do!