#104 Margaret Byrd: Placing Ephemeral Art into the World

Artist Margaret Byrd has traveled to 70 different countries, and her love of travel has influenced her art making. She creates temporary art installations out in nature, using natural materials and dyes that can break down and become a part of the environment.  Creating these installations has been quite a process logistically, and she has improved her techniques each time she visits another location. She will inspire you to make art on your next traveling adventure. 

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Margaret Byrd

Installation on the beach in Maui.
Wheat Paper Rolls
Wheat stack
Margaret getting just the right shot to document her art installation.

Margaret Byrd is sometimes called Byrdie. Her website is margaretbyrd.com

Her Instagram is @moonbyrdie

Her Facebook page is Margaret Byrd.

She can also be found on Pinterest at Margaret Byrd Studio.

Margaret traveled to Iceland for the Westfjords Residency. Why not check that out?

Margaret has worked with creative coach Desha Peacock. You can check out her website Sweet Spot Style here.

Here are some great takeaways from this episode:

  1. Developing a daily practice of art is useful because it forces you to try different materials and techniques to keep it fresh. Margaret learned this when she had a daily art assignment during art school. It didn’t matter what it was, it just had to be something new every day.
  2. Every thing that you do in art is information for the next thing that you do. Keep that in mind even when you make mistakes with your art, because you will always learn from your mistakes.
  3. Making temporary art as Margaret does teaches you to be in the moment. It’s O.K. if your art only lasts a short time.
  4. There is the possibility that when you photograph your art for documentation purposes, the photographs may become the art.
  5. When putting art into the environment, it’s best if you use materials that will not harm the environment.
  6. If you are wanting to travel and make art, a residency is a great way to do it. You can find various residencies all over the world through a search on the internet. And remember that residencies can be just a few days or as long as a year.
  7. When traveling far to make art, think about how you can streamline your supplies to make it easier for you, and to work with what you can find at your destination.
  8. You not only have to have the proper skills to do something, but you also have to have the proper mindset.
  9. You’re never too old to start something new, and it helps if you don’t regret the past, because you definitely needed that to get you where you are today.
  10. A great way to commit yourself to doing a travel adventure is to buy the plane ticket or book the Airbnb. Then you know you will go there.

#103 Mati Rose McDonough: Artist and Daring Adventurer

Artist Mati Rose McDonough went to art school in California, and has been there ever since. But for the last few years, she’s been traveling to different places in the world hosting art retreats with artist Faith Evans-Sills. We talk about how Mati went from being an illustrator and children’s book author, to licensing her artwork, and to where she is now, offering online classes and retreats and spreading her message of creative courage.

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Mati Rose McDonough

Artwork examples from Mati's In the Flow: Unconventional Watercolors online class.

Mati at her creative retreat in San Mighel de Allende, Mexico.

Here are some of the things we discussed in this episode (click on the names to follow the links).

Mati’s website is matirose.com.

Mati is also on Instagram and Facebook.

You can find Mati’s books A Daring Adventure in Paint and Painting the Sacred Within on Amazon.

Mati was represented by Lilla Rogers for her earlier illustration work.

Mati mentioned a class she took with Andrea Scher, called Mondo Beyondo. 

Here are some great takeaways from our talk:

  1. First of all, it’s never to late to go back to art school, or any other school for that matter. Mati went to art school at age 29.
  2. If there is something you want to do, you might want to make it a public challenge or class and invite others to do it with you. That will help you to make it happen. Mati and Faith Evans Sills did this with their first 52 paintings class, so that it kept them accountable to painting.
  3. If you’ve taught a class or series of lessons, you might consider making a book out of it, because you already have the content. That’s what Mati and Faith did, when they made their 52 paintings class and then wrote their book Painting the Sacred Within.
  4. There is a lot of power in a group of people learning together. That is a huge reason why you might want to take an online class or a live retreat with other artists.
  5. In a mastermind group, you get everyone’s opinions and expertise, and everyone gets a chance to speak. These groups are great ways to collaborate with others to accomplish your business and art goals.
  6. When traveling, watercolors are a great medium to bring with you, because a palette of colors is compact and you’re not bringing a lot of liquids.
  7. Mati feels it’s important to offer retreats that are for all skill levels and all ages, so that everyone will feel included. This is a great way to ensure that your students will enjoy the retreat and they may come back to another one.
  8. Start cultivating an email list if you haven’t already, because the people who have taken the time to join your list will be the buyers of your art and your products. They will be more devoted than just the followers who click like on your photos in Instagram or Facebook.
  9. You can set up different groups for your email list, so those that buy your art only get your newsletters about new art. And those that take your classes only get newsletters about your new classes.

Mati has had a fulfilling collaboration with artist Faith Evans-Sills, with their online classes, creative retreats, and a book. You can hear my interview with Faith here, in Episode #102.

#102 Faith Evans-Sills: Painter, Creative Guide, and Retreat Leader

Artist Faith Evans-Sills grew up as a world traveler with her family, and she’s continued that with the art retreats that she teaches in Morocco and Costa Rica. She also teaches online courses, she’s written a book, and she creates beautiful artwork. We talk about her art-filled life, how she’s adjusted things since she’s had kids, and her business collaboration with artist Mati Rose McDonough.

Listen here or use a podcast app, such as Apple iTunes, Castbox, Spotify, or Stitcher.

Faith Evans-Sills

Faith with Retreat Members
Faith wrote this book with artist Mati Rose McDonough based on a year-long class that they taught together.
Faith with a few of her paintings.

Here are some of the things we discussed in this episode (click on the names to follow the links):

Faith’s website is faithevanssills.com and you can also find her on Instagram @faithevanssills

You can find all of her online classes on her website here. Her next online class with Mati Rose McDonough will be their Autumn session of their NEW class “In the Flow: Unconventional Watercolor Adventures.”

Their upcoming Morocco retreat November 8 – 13, 2019 can be found here.

Their 2020 Costa Rica retreat can be found here.

You heard it first here: She will also be holding a retreat in France in 2020. Be sure and check out her website later for those details.

You can receive her 5 Rituals for Creative Growth here.

Faith’s husband Francis Sills is a landscape painter and you can visit his website here.

Faith has collaborated with artist Mati Rose McDonough on a book, online classes, and retreats. You can listen to my interview with Mati on Episode #103 of the podcast.

Faith and Mati

#101 Crystal Neubauer: Bringing New Life to Forgotten Objects

Today is the first episode of my new season. I’m starting out with a replay of an earlier episode, because it’s with an artist I’d really like you to get to know. Artist Crystal Neubauer is a collage artist from Wisconsin. She also travels throughout the United States to teach her techniques. I’m replaying this episode because Crystal has recently been diagnosed with some significant health issues, and her artist community is rallying behind her with their support and assistance. There has been a Gofundme account set up to help her with medical bills and living expenses. She’ll also be teaching her scheduled classes at least through 2019, so you can still sign up for her classes and you can also buy her art. See the links below so that you can support her.

My hope is that you’ll hear her story and share it with others. 

Listen here or use a podcast app, such as Apple iTunes, Castbox, Spotify, or Stitcher.

Artist Crystal Neubauer

Collage Artwork by Crystal

Crystal has been a fixture in the mixed media art world for many years. She’s gained quite a reputation as a fine artist and fabulous teacher who generously shares her skills with students in venues across the United States, particularly Way Art Yonder Studio in Jamul, California, and Studio Joy in Kansas City, Missouri.

After a period of unexplained illness, she has finally been given a diagnosis. She faces mounting medical bills as well as a diminished ability to create and teach art, her livelihood. A Gofundme account has been set up to help Crystal. Here’s the link if you would like to contribute. This is part of her story.

After an unexpected and rapid weight loss, our friend Crystal Marie Neubauer has been diagnosed with Systemic Mastocytosis . 

 Systemic Mastocytosis is a rare disorder where mast cells are abnormally increased in multiple organs including the bone marrow. Mast cells are immune cells that produce a variety of mediators, such as histamine, that are important in the body’s allergic responses. When mast cells are present in greatly increased numbers, the amount of released mediators can be very high and cause multiple symptoms.

This diagnosis connects many dots from Crystal’s health history, especially connected to the Chronic Lyme Disease that Crystal has been battling for decades. The disease is progressive and debilitating in nature and Crystal is experiencing a rapid decline in her daily abilities to function and participate in the normal activities of her life. There is no cure and treatments are limited to symptom management, and often the disease will cause the body to reject the very medications that could help stabilize her system. 

As her friends, family, loyal patrons of her art, students of her art workshops, and people who love and care about her, we can help to support Crystal as she moves through the challenges she is facing and begins to transition her career path to be able to continue the teaching that she loves to do, through online courses rather than the physically exhaustive work and travel required to teach her classes live.

Medical costs and related expenses are mounting and will continue to rise. So many of us would love to do something tangible, and this Go Fund Me campaign is one way we can rally around Crystal to provide the support she needs, helping to shoulder her burden from locations across the country and around the world. 

You can also continue to support Crystal by purchasing her artwork either from her online gallery or from any of the galleries representing her work. You can sign up and attend an in-person workshop with her either in her Racine studio  or at the limited off-site locations  she’s scheduled to teach in 2019. Crystal also has an online Patreons & Peers  group where you can choose from different levels of patronage. 

Please note that all funds raised from this Gofundme fundraiser will be deposited directly into Crystal’s bank account (less GoFundMe’s 2.9% fee + .30  fee per credit/debit transactions). Zero fees are paid to the organizer. 

Thank you for listening to this podcast episode, which was recorded in November, 2018. Crystal tells a great story of how she created her particular style of collage art.

#100 Celebrating 100 Episodes

Woo hoo! 100 Episodes of this podcast!

This is a summary episode for the first Season of this podcast. I share some stats about the show and talk about some of the best moments from the first 50 artist interviews. I also share some things from behind the scenes and play bits that happened after the episode was over. I also reveal some exciting plans for the new season.

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100th Episode of The Left Brain Artist
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