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September 2022

August 2022 posts

Hey friends! Here's the round-up for August 2022: What's happening at home? A certain somebody doesn't want any help. In this photo he's pushing Steve's hand off the bike. Recently at his swimming lesson, he told me to stop holding him. Since he can't swim, I declined. We finally compromised and he clung to the wall of the pool while I hovered nervously. He has declared he's a big boy and can cross streets and parking lots by himself. This is a major battle we have every day. I hold his hand. He tries to wiggle away. So today when... Read more →


Your Creativity Coach: How to Get the Most Out of an Art Class

I put together a video that I thought you might enjoy. I'm going to share the strategies I use as a student in order to get the most out of an art class -- whether it's online or in-person. Whether it's live or pre-recorded. Whether it's one session or many. This video is part of my "Your Creativity Coach" series. If you're interested in group coaching with me, join my Super Learner Group. The main takeaways from the video are: There are three stages of taking an art class: prep, the in-class experience, and follow-up. Most people skip the first... Read more →


It has been another wonderful week of projects and techniques and ideas in The Artful Holiday class! Here's a recap of what we did: On Monday, I shared how to make a beaded bracelet that can also be worn as a necklace or watch band! Robin said, "Julie I have always loved these bracelets but never knew how to make them. You are really an extraordinary teacher. You make it so clear and easy to follow. Thank you for that." On Tuesday, Laura Kemshall shared how to make this mixed media book wrap: Kim said, "Loved this lesson! I used... Read more →


It has been another wonderful week of projects and techniques and ideas in The Artful Holiday class! Here's a recap of what we did: On Monday, I shared how to make a beaded bracelet that can also be worn as a necklace or watch band! Robin said, "Julie I have always loved these bracelets but never knew how to make them. You are really an extraordinary teacher. You make it so clear and easy to follow. Thank you for that." On Tuesday, Laura Kemshall shared how to make this mixed media book wrap: Kim said, "Loved this lesson! I used... Read more →


As I mentioned in my previous posts (part one and part two), back in April, I spent an afternoon at the MFA (Museum of Fine Arts) here in Boston. We saw 3 notable things: The Turner Exhibit Art in Bloom The Philip Guston Exhibit My first post covered my experience of the Turner Exhibit. My second post took a look at Art in Bloom 2022. And now, we finally get to my surprise favorite: Philip Guston. I had seen Philip Guston's later work in many museums over the years. So I was familiar with him. But this exhibit took a... Read more →


I love a good mash-up. You know, a bit from column A and a bit from column B smushed together and suddenly you've got something brand new! Historically speaking, mash-ups are how innovation works. People rarely invent something from scratch. It's the brilliance of putting two things together (or twenty things together) to create something new and necessary. Here's the official definition from Merriam-Webster: On today's podcast, Mom and I discuss mash-ups and why they matter in art. We also wander through a lot of chatter about teaching, learning, and being lazy. You can listen the audio version of the... Read more →


I'm currently working on a new series about motherhood. I'm in the preparatory stages of the series. I've been drawing, thinking, planning, and experimenting. Most of what I've made are little scribbles and copious notes. But I have worked on a few more composed pieces and I thought I'd share those with you today. These are acrylic paintings. Most also include collage. As you know, I generally make all of my own collage papers. And some of the pieces also include some pencil/crayon additions. Take a peek: You can watch this short process video to see the last two pieces... Read more →


The Artful Holiday class has just wrapped up week three of fantastic art projects, art techniques, and art ideas for you! On Monday, I demonstrated how pochoir printing works: Julie said, "Cool project! Thanks for showing the many different suggestions for framing and backgrounds." On Tuesday, Tori Weyers demonstrated how she takes ordinary sticks she finds in a park near her home and elevates them to art. Stephanie said, "Thank you for the great class! I love sticks and have fabric wrapped them, but have never painted them… yet!!!" On Wednesday I, once again, shared TWO mash-up projects! Every Wednesday,... Read more →


We had such a great Book Club meeting last week. We discussed The Sketchbook Idea Generator by Jennifer Orkin Lewis. It's not my favorite book, but I shared how I made it work for me. Watch the replay below: Here are two of my favorite little "sketches" I made while working through the book: And here's the demo piece I created during Book Club: There are some fabulous versions that other people did, which are now posted in the Balzer Designs Students Facebook Group. You should check them out! The next Book Club is on September 14, 2022 at 12:15pm... Read more →


Fun fact: Before I was a painter or a collagist or even a scrapbooker, there were beads. In fact, I stumbled into A.C. Moore for the first time because I was looking for beads. Here's a peek at just a few of the pieces I've made over the years -- a lot of the photography is old and not great quality: Bead weaving and bead embroidery remain activities that I really enjoy doing. It's extremely relaxing and meditative work. Plus beads are small and make a perfect travel art project. Today, as part of my ongoing series of basic art... Read more →