Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Artists are Heroes - Lockeland Student Journals

(this piece commemorates Lockeland Design Center's 2010 theme "The Story of Heroes"
as well as the Nashville Flood of 2009 - click here to learn more)

Artists are brave, artists are bold, artists are heroes.

It’s time to explore the “Story of Art Heroes!” Heroes inspire us to want to be better people and do great things to help others. Art Heroes inspire us with new ideas, creativity, and their ability to see the world in new ways. Often artist lead us to important changes in society because they are able to think outside the box. Artists are sometimes the first to see social injustice and work to correct it through their art and/or actions.

Your child is bringing home a very special journal called, “The Story or Art Heroes.” The students have learned about the journals and practiced using them in art class. In the first lesson, your child was taught the general guidelines for using their journal. The second lesson was a guided practice using a true art hero, Erin Worsham. You can take a look inside your child’s journal for that example and learn more about Erin. (you’ll be hearing more about her later)

“The Story of Art Heroes” journals are similar to last year’s passports but the focus is on learning more about the inspiring heroic qualities of artist. The main purpose for the journal is for your child to have a guided method for learning about artists and becoming inspired by them. My hope is that your child will be inspired to become an inspiration not only in their art but in their life.

There are many artist listed on the inside cover of your child’s journal. Your child may need your guidance selecting an artist. There are a wide variety of artist to choose from and many others who are not on the list. There are many artists in our school community; so many, that I could not list them all with fear of leaving someone off. Please add names to this list and discover artist in galleries, museums and other areas of life.

Art and Invention Gallery (on Woodland Street) is a great place to take your child. Ms. Meg will be happy to show you around and inspire your child with an art hero in her gallery. Tiffany Dyer, at Talula gallery (located next door to the Pied Piper) will be glad to inspire your child with artist who are showing in her gallery. These are just two of the resources in our community that are free for everyone.

Answers to FAQ’s
- Your child can earn up to three charms for their SAG tags during the remaining nine week blocks of school for completing pages in their journals. Each nine weeks student’s may complete a minimum of one page in their journals. There are extra pages in case your child would like to explore more than one artist. If you run out of pages I can provide you with extras.
-The journals designed to be “family projects.” Much of the information about the artist is on the internet, at museums, and galleries. If you do not have access to these things you can encourage your child to check out books from our school or public library and talk to me.
-There are due dates listed inside the front cover of your child’s journal. Please send the journals back to school on or before these dates and I will return the journals in your child’s report card with their crystal.
- There is a place for student’s to draw a response to each artist in their journal. Your child should be looking at an example of the artist work when drawing that response. Drawing are done ONLY in crayon, colored pencil or pencil. No markers or paint. If your child would like to create a piece of art that is larger than the journal or use a different medium they are welcome to do so. Please take a photo of this work and attach the photo to the book. It is important to remember the your child is learning the story of how the artist inspires them along with viewing and responding to their art.

All artist are Heroes. It takes courage, determination, and the desire to make the world a better place to create art. The following information is intended for the parents of the students I teach at Lockeland Design Center. I am the art teacher at this K-4 Metro Nashville Magnet School and our school wide theme is: "The Story of Heroes."

The following is a list of suggested artist but students may select an artist from their family, community, museum or gallery. The artist can be found in books, at museums, in galleries, and online. I have been previewed each of these highlighted links but because of the shifting content on the internet parental preview/supervision is required when children are researching these artists or viewing images online. Each link is meant to be a starting place with a snippet of information that hopefully will capture your child's imagination and inspire them to want to learn more with your help. I have included videos whenever possible and when not possible found links to websites that I think your children would enjoy. The best I could find on a few artist were simply links to a google imgage search, sometimes seeing the collection of an artists work on one page can be inspiring. I hope you have fun finding the hero in each artist both online and in your community.

Carmen Lomas Garza

Faith Ringgold

Andy Warhol

Wayne Thiebaud

Grant Wood

Norman Rockwell

Aaron Douglas

Beauford Delaney

Jan Brett

Robert Simthson

Stephen Joseph

Christo and Jeanne-Claude

William Wegman

Matthias Weischer

Damian Ortega

Jim Lambie

Chris Drury

Frederic Remington

Roy Lichtenstein

Marcel Duchamp

George Segal

Dale Chihuly

Frank Gehry

Red Grooms

(still working on the list below)

Jacob Lawrence

Alan LeQuire

Herb Williams

Samuel Mockbee

Andy Goldsworthy

Mary Cassatt

Edward Hicks

Vincent Van Gough

Georgia O’Keeffe

Leonard Di Vinci

James McNeill Whistler

Georges Seurat

Diego Rivera

Herni Rousseau

Frida Kahlo

Ito Jakuchu

Paul Klee

Pablo Picasso

Salvador Dali

Henri Matisse

Francisco Goya

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What does being vulnerable mean to you?

(self portrait by Erin Worsham: )

Being Vulnerable could look wild unabashed dancing in a crowd or it could feel like being trapped in your own body unable to move a muscle with your mind fully alert. Vulnerability could be an action that you choose or it could be a limitation imposed upon you by illness or accident. Perhaps it could be brought about by risking it all with your heart and loving someone deeply, and maddeningly, with no thought of yourself. Once a wise friend (Jay Hartley) wrote, "Do not be afraid to trust, do not be afraid to be vulnerable, risk everything and dance naked in the public square."

I used to think that being vulnerable would be something that we could choose. But, after experiencing my mother's terminal illness and watching her become more and more vulnerable as she lost control of her body I began to understand that being vulnerable is part of our human condition and that it is a lesson that will come to us wheter we choose it or not.

A lesson in vulnerability has come to us in the from of Erin Brady Worsham who is a neighbor and fellow artist with Lou Gehrig's disease. Erin has been described to me as being a prisoner in her own body. She is unable to use any part of her body except her eyebrows and that is how she communicates and creates art. I feel that in some way I am violating her privacy by discussing the details of what this means for Erin. At the same time, it is part of her story and her story isn't really just her's, it is an epic tale that mirrors each of us and shines a spotlight on a deep core truth that lies within in us all. We are all vulnerable and our right to make choice can be taken from us at any time. We have to fight for Erin and for our society to respect and support each other's wishes.

The East Nashville artist group "The Collective Muse" is working alongside several East Nashville friends to find a way to help raise awareness about being vulnerable and the freedom of or lack of making choices. Our efforts aim to support Erin and her family as the stand in the shadow of losing their last bit of freedom of choice by being able to or not able to live in their home. We have chosen to approach this topic by wondering aloud with our friends and families what HOME means to each of us. We plan to collaborate with other artist from Nashville and surrounding areas to put together a poster project to help Erin save her home. Please stay tuned for more information to follow in the days to come. If you are an artist or know one who would like to participate in this project please email me:

To read more about Erin:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hot News of Tomato Weird - I'm Still Speechless

News of the Tomato weird came to me via an eleven year old Boy Scout who was standing in the blazing sun in the 100 degree heat of noon on Tomato Art Fest Day in East Nashville. This child very earnestly and sweatily reported to me in a voice I barely remember, "When the human brain reaches 104 degrees it ceases to process language." Now in the cool bliss of my home, I take a deep breath and wonder if that is why perhaps that I can barely remember anything I said or heard that day. I very mysteriously only recall the things I saw and how I felt.

If you want to know how HOT I felt then next year you should dress like me. I decided to call my outfit "The Black Solar Suit." If you want to make a Solar Suit like mine put on black yoga pants, black sandals, a black halter top dress, and top it with a tiny black lace jacket. Once out on the black topped streets you will realize what we are all doing out in this heat. We are activating our most profound selves by collecting the radiant energy from the sun and absorbing it along with the more than fiery passionate energy from each other.

You might be speechless about all this now but come January when everyone else has S.A.D. all us once seemingly overheated Tomato Festers will be skipping along like a day in May. In the spirit of East Nashville we will be happy to share some of it with you. If someone comes your way in the winter months with an extended pointer finger do not shy from it. Let us ZAP you with our wonder powers that we collected from our day on Woodland Street amidst a sea a red heads, Purple Cherokees, fancy red umbrellas, sweaty kids and dripping ice pops in their melting plastic wrappers. We will be singing to you since our language centers will be cool and energized, "Don't you wish your tomato was HOT like ME?!??, Don'tcha? DON'T CHA? " I know you do! Zaaaaaaaaap!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

"Tomato and Goliath"

Giclee prints sounds so very fancy especially when you say it with a French accent and turn your nose up with a little twinkle in your eye like this, "zhee-klay." Now you are picturing me with a baret and a black scarf saying my special sophisticated art word to the crowd that is gathering around my giclee print at Art and Invention Gallery with ooohs and aaaahs.

My giclee prints are created by Duane at Picture This Gallery in Hermitage, TN. Herb Williams is a parent at the school where I teach art and recommended him to me. Since I am a huge fan Herb's work and loved the print he donated to my classroom I took his advice and got over the long drive out there to see for myself what he was raving about. Once there I was warmly greeted and taken care of by the one and only fabulous Duane.

Giclee prints are an elevation in printmaking technology. Images are created from high resolution digital scans and printed with archival quality inks onto various surfaces including canvas, fine art, and photo-base paper. The giclee printing process provides better color accuracy than other types of prints. Picture This Gallery has an amazing scanner that captures even the tiniest detail in my work. Even better are the human hands and eye of Duane who scans my work in sections because the original is so large and then takes the time to carefully and beautifully pull it all together to look exactly like the original.

It is a miracle to me that Duane can take a 3' X 4' canvas, scan it, blend it and then print it with such accuracy and detail on the 16" X 20" archival paper that you can see even the itty bitty eyelashes on each and every face that is featured on my work. It's like a ship in a bottle! Each time I have Duane create a print for me I stare at it in amazement for hours. The quality of the giclee print rivals traditional silver-halide and gelatin printing processes and is commonly found in museums,and art galleries.

Numerous examples of giclee prints can be found in New York City at the Metropolitan Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Chelsea Galleries. Recent auctions of giclee prints have fetched $10,800 for Annie Leibovitz, $9,600 for Chuck Close, and $22,800 for Wolfgang Tillmans. You will find my "Tomato and Goliath" glicee print at Art and Invention Gallery during Tomato Fest for only $40.00 each. Hope to see you there on August the 14th staring with joy into the fabulous details of your very own "Tomato and Goliath" print.

A sneak peak is provided for you here, you can click on the image(and then click again) to make it a little larger but you really must see for your self and in person how much richer and more vivid this print is on paper instead of pixels! Thank you for looking and I hope to see you on August 14th at Art and Invention Gallery.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Do something scary - try a film noir.

We have all heard the phrase, "Do something that scares you everyday." I had already done the world's tallest roller coaster, delivered a baby through natural childbirth, and taken a dive off an Olympic height diving board. I didn't think there was much left for me to be afraid of. That was until I was faced with honoring my commitment to be an actress for a team who was participating in the Nashville's 48 Hour Film Project. I drove right up to their studio with my number one fear, Public Speaking. Being in this short film was no ordinary public speaking, it was acting in front of BIG cameras with HUGE fuzzy microphones and knowing that what I was saying and doing was going to be viewed and judged by a few hundred people. The icing on the scary cake was that the team I was volunteering to help called to inform me that I was to wear comfortable clothing because I was going to be preforming a fight scene. Me? A Charlie's Angel? eeeeeeeeekkkkkkkkkkkkkkk!!!! Dear Friends, I am not an actress nor do I play one on t.v.! I was terrified, but I showed up with my bundle of nerves and the willingness to try.

My insecurities and fears were dashed thanks to Black Box Media Group and their team who was participating in the 48 Hour Film Project. Beth Knott, Brad Staggs, Pam Melton and Christie Haffner couldn't have been more fun to play with and clearly have fun working together. They "drew" film noir and were given complete artistic license except for these elements: Character: Evan Minors, Prop: a chess set, and Line of Dialogue: "It's not easy being me." Oh yea, and only 48 hours to write a script, find a cast, secure a location, film it, edit it, score it and turn it in. Thankfully, Black Box Media Group does just about everything in their beautiful Marathon Village studio. They are a full service video production company specializing in television, product video, commercials, and demo reels. They are also amazing creative, funny and super nice.

Black Box Media Group graciously received my volunteer acting help like a blind date at Starbucks. I had only responded to an email from Jenny Piper saying that her friends needed some help with their film project and I honestly had no idea what I was really getting into until that day. That was the fun of the project; it was about doing not talking, and thinking fast on your feet. All the short films (5-7 minutes) will be playing at the Belcourt Theater on August the 11th. You will find me "The Trigger Happy Gun Wielding Art Thief" along with my family there shaking in my shoes scared and excited to see myself on a the big screen. You will also find many other creative and brave people who thankfully make us get out and do crazy things that we are later glad for.

Check out these links
Black Box Media Group
48 Hour Film Project

Here is a sneak preview of my brief and wondrous life in Black Box Media Group's film noir.(photos by Keith and Leo Spadafino)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"David and Goliath"

(snipet of "David and Goliath" for Tomato Art Fest 2010)

Standing in front of a blank canvas can feel a bit like the battle of "David and Goliath" especially when your mission is to represent your fabulous East Nashville community. When your community is a giant of creativity and inspiration the feeling of personal smallness is even more magnified. Thankfully none of us are alone here on the East side of the river, we are only an email or facebook post away from each other.

In the beginning it was just me, the Lockeland yearbook, and a massive 3'X4' blank canvas. Thankfully, after a few emails and posts to the list serve the community spoke to me about everything from the theme of the piece (the flood) ,to the characters and the research behind why the characters where significant to the story we were creating. Thus East Nashville and I set about to create the tale of Superheroes vs. Villains, and we transformed a simple comic book idea into an epic story like "David and Goliath."

During the flood many people rose up to help face the giant forces that threatened to destroy us. But that brown, yellow, murky monster just kept coming. Neighbors gathered and threw sandbags at it, amassed sump pumps to combat it, and it still kept coming. Each small person on their own two feet held hands with the community around them and gained the power of many to do great works. To name each person would take forever but to look at my Tomato Art piece you will see the faces of 307 children that represent the small forces that were gathering all over Nashville to create armies of helpfulness. The children symbolize our smallness and remind us that by sticking together we can accomplish great things. The children are our "David" facing the "Goliath Flood" while fearlessly and happily smiling all the while. The flood called for more than one Goliath so King Kong, Godzilla, and an Army of Aliens dominate along with the rising flood waters that are engulfing our Fair City.

Enter, stage left, the tomato. What better symbol could there be for the uniting of hands that drowned the flood? The little "Davids" in the piece are hurtling them at the "Goliaths" with great success. A small Army of children being led by our own East Nashville crew of Alan Murdock and Catherine McTamaney are pulling out the General Jackson (which represents East Nashville) from the mouth of the flood. Meg MacFadyen is not forgotten here because Meg IS our great tomato and is represented all over the canvas.

Just as hands reached over hands to help in the flood relief you reached out to me through your facebook and email posts. The East Nashville community generously poured out suggestions, and research to support them, for such questions as: "Who should King Kong and Godzilla be holding?" It is from these responses that you see Alan, Catherine, Meg, Dolly, Vince Gill, and Taylor Swift. Even the flood itself was requested as the setting for my piece by several list serve regulars. Thank you for your support!

Tomato Art Fest itself is a David and Goliath story. The brain child of Meg and Bret to share creativity and their uniting peaceful ideals with our great city. There are and always have been many challenges to pulling the Tomato Art Fest off each year after year but Meg and Bret always do it. They are our heroes of the tomato season and all that comes with it. Happy Summer friends and see you on August 14th at Art and Invention Gallery!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What Male Singer Symbolizes Nashville?

My tomato collage is all about the community and your input towards the theme: "Heroes vs Villains of the Nashville Flood." So many genuis suggestions where shared for who King Kong should be holding that it took some time and neighborly discussions before I settled on an idea. King Kong will be squeezing a tomato with Dolly Parton leaping off in one hand and the other hand he will be smashing a guitar with other guitars flying out of the mayhem.

Now, I want to know your thoughts about the prize spot in Godzilla's fist. Who ever fills this spot should be a male singer who symbolizes Nashville. I love Willie Nelson for his world wide community activism but maybe there is someone better. What male country music singer symbolizes Nashville? I've got Johnny Cash's guitar in Godzilla's other fist, but I think the art needs someone living. What do you think? Please join the conversation by posting here or email me:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Who should King Kong be squeezing???

Help! Identify just exactly WHO should King Kong be squeezing. This is for my tomato art collage and the setting is Nashville, TN during the flood. Post comments here or email:

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Art of Healing

Jason Boylan knows about the art of healing and puts it into practice at his clinic every day at "3rd and Church Health Care." Jason who is a licensed nurse practitioner, along with his partners opened this innovative walk in clinic that also features an in house chiropractor and a house call service.

The first thing you notice when entering "3rd and Church Health Care" is Jason's warm and compassionate face. He has a way of putting you at ease and everything about him sets the tone for the healing that is soon to come. The next thing you notice is the environment that Jason and his partners have created, it is artful, warm and relaxing. The clinic works with local artist to adorn the walls of his clinic with art because they understand the healing nature of art.

I met Jason through my nurse practicioner friend, Mimi Gerber, who also partners with Jason and who has been to my home many times to provide me and my family with medical healing. Mimi has such a gentle and healing presence that getting a steriod shot from her (for the treatment of my posion ivy rash) was like being at a spa.

It was a pleasure for me to install several of my large scale collages at "3rd and Church Health Care" this week. The pieces fit their environment because they provoke the imagination to wander through them telling a story. That's great a way to distract yourself while waiting to see the Dr. You can travel through my art, open magical doors, explore characters and wonder about any number of questions that you come up with. The colors in my work are soothing and the images that I create come from my subconscious and convey restful and beautiful feelings. They are available for closer viewing at "3rd and Church Health Care" and on this site. You may also purchase them at in the "more" section.

Stop in to "3rd and Church Heath Care" and receive artful healing.

3rd and Church Healthcare
301 Church Street
Corner of 3rd Ave North & Church St
Nashville, TN 37201
(615) 255-7902

Monday, July 19, 2010

Calling all Heroes or Villains - Send in Your Photos!!!

Thank you all for your input into the story ideas for my Tomato Art piece for this year! The ideas were wonderful and I'm using them to create the story of "Heroes vs Villains of the Nashville Flood." The background for my piece is almost complete and now I'm searching for Google images for the collage elements to tell the story. If you find yourself with some time to play online and want to send me images that you think would help tell that story, just send them to me in an email! (I can't promise to use them all - but it will be fun to see the variety)

Images I'm looking for:
Alien Space Ship Aliens
Country Music Stars (good and bad)
Jet Skis
News Channel Five Helicopter
Speed Boats
Super Heroes
Water Guns
Star Wars Space Craft

Email Images to Camilla:

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Vote for your favorite style of illustration

I just created a poll to find out what type of illustrations you look for when choosing a children's book. Click the link below to register your response and join the conversations with comments to either this posting or on facebook. I would really love to know what type of illustrations you are most drawn to and why! Click here to vote!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Villain on My Studio Floor!

ALL summer I've been man-handled by a terrible Villain, "Painter's Block."
He wears a plastic cape with a price tag and a logo created by the company who made him. Yesterday, I tore his plastic wrapping off his brand new bright white canvas body. That sinister canvas with its crinkled wrapper in a heap on the studio floor mocked me. Maybe he felt vulnerable without his shiny, protective cape and decided to put me in my place.

He slapped me with his bright whiteness, "Who are you?" he seethed through his teeth stained with gesso. Without even giving me time to defend myself he bombarded me with some of the most evil put downs I've ever heard. (I'll spare you, Dear Reader, I'm sure you have your own list in mind)

I cried. I called my husband, who is my "Phone a Friend" in situations like these.

My husband, true to his Superhero form told me it was OK. He wisely suggested that I think about Pollock who stared a blank canvas for days before finally standing up and facing the challenge. He advised me to to just get a pencil and start drawing. I cried to him, "I don't know how to draw! I don't know how to paint! I have lost every part of myself and it is not coming back!" I actually heard the commercial in my head saying, "Help! I've fallen and I can't get up!"

Another Superhero in my life stopped by and gave me a hug and said the kindest words that melted my heart. Old friends can do that, you know? That sweet friend who is the bravest, boldest, most creative person I know gave me the strength to pick up the pencil and draw the lines. The lines (by magic) turned into a background, the background turned into my favorite thing - layers of paint and finally I was back off the ground and flying again.

The right side of my brain is awake now and it is talking to me instead of the canvas. It tells me about layers of paint, texture, positive and negative spaces. Except it thankfully does not use those words. It speaks in a language that I do not know how to tell you about. All is well now and that the EVIL canvas wrapper is where it belongs - in the recycling bin to later live a new life with better karma.

So watch out for those plastic cups, plates and forks.
It may not just be the carcinogens that are messing with your brain. It just might be that same "Ugly Talking Recycled Plastic Villain" from my studio floor. If you find your self with a back talking plastic object in your hand (it could even be a shampoo bottle, or a cheap ink pen) remember where to find me. I will hand you a wooden pencil and tie a cape around your neck to send you to your happy place. "To Infinity and Beyond!"

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My Tomato Art NEEDS YOU!

My 2010 Tomato Art NEEDS YOU! Last year my tomato art piece was all about the East Nashville community through a collection of several hundred photos and collage. This year it will tell a whimsical story of super heroes and super villains through characters we visualize and create together.

The setting of the story is right here on the East Bank of the Cumberland River with the Nashville City Skyline featured in the background. I have clipped out the faces of the students from Lockleand Design Center Yearbook to use in the piece somehow too. All my materials have been gathered and I'm ready to begin!

Your ideas for SUPER VILLAINS and SUPER HEROES is needed. It is like picking baby names, so throw your favorite into the hat and watch the story unfold!

You can follow the progress here:

More about last year's piece here: 'Mother Earth's Tomato Art Fest 2009" - 1st Place "Most Inventive"

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

See Camilla in her role as Art Teacher

Thank you Jason Mallory of RedBone Entertainment for making this fabulous video of our 3rd annual Art Show and Sale for the "Magical Mystery Tour." Click the link below to watch!

To see more of Jason's Work visit:

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Making of our Beatles Valentine

There are several steps in the process of making a Party Face Valentine. First step is gathering ideas from books, the internet, and magazines. Next, comes the sketching followed by an ink drawing, and watercolor painting. The original art is scanned, photos are pulled in and adjustments are made using Photoshop. Each new design takes a day to complete for the art alone. When you order a Party Face invitation, card, or announcement you are purchasing original art to share with your friends and family. It's the perfect way to create excitement for your wedding, party, birth announcement or special greeting.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Happy Valentines Day 2010

My family spent one long lovely snow day making Valentines for our family. We used recycled boxes, papers,clippings from magazine, vintage books, paper doilies, Chinese papers and a deck of playing cards. I could not get enough of making the geisha girls whose kimonos open with a Valentine greeting on the inside. All the beautiful red colors warmed up our snowy day and spread lots of love from Tennessee to New York and in between. Happy Valentines Day 2010!!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Magical Mirror

Mirror - Mirror on the wall - who is the fairest of them all? Hosanna gave me a mirror to collage for her mirror collection. It was fun playing around with the idea of the mirror being a part of the collage. I hope that when Hosanna looks in the mirror she is transformed into a magical world of absolute beauty where any and everything is possible.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

What is inspiring me . . . and how I've set my sights

The light blub has gone off above my head and I'm in a dreamy world of inspiration for writing and illustrating a series of children's books. The first book is a collaboration with my friend Candace. The idea for the book came to her in a dream and we both take the dream world very serisouly. Candace and I have been hitting book stores and libraries every free moment we can get and diving in the magical and beautiful world of children's books. A few of my favorite are shown here but there many more out there to love and explore. Not much time to write about it tonight because I can hardly wait to hop into the bed with my children and read "Sylvester and the Magic Pebble."

Friday, January 8, 2010

Mixed Media Collage on Brie Boxes

These delightful mixed media collages on brie boxes were made with tissue paper, discarded flowers, photos, clippings from magazines and vintage books. They look gorgeous when displayed on a books shelf, mantel or on the wall.

To purchase art from Camilla - visit her online store check out the "more" section. Here you will find a array of beautiful art for sale or by commission. Thank you for your interest!