Meet One of Our Long Beach Teachers! My Q & A with Traci Bautista

A photo from the archives! Taken in 2007 at International Quilt Festival/Houston, Traci and I are holding up the Houston Chronicle where we were featured in an article about next generation quilters.

Yes,  am a fan of art quilting, but I am also a huge fan of mixed-media quilting, too. By that I mean I love to really mix things up: stitching with paper and metal embellishments, and also experimenting with different coloring media on fabric. So it is a no-brainer that I am a fan of Traci Bautista, and I am thrilled she is teaching at International Quilt Festival/Long Beach next month. (If I didn’t have to work the show, I would be in one of her classes.) And as it turns out, she wont be teaching as much in the future, so this is a rare opportunity.

Pokey: You are teaching a lot of classes in Long Beach. I have always admired your energy, your sense of color, and your overall funky and whimsy ways. Your art is uniquely you, and it just oozes joy to me. Can you tell us what kinds of things you will be teaching in Long Beach?

Traci: Thanks, Pokey! Yes, I’ve got a jam-packed schedule at IQF/Long Beach. I  will be teaching a variety of mixed-media workshops including Doodles Unleashed on fabric, which will showcase a variety of techniques from my new book. I will also be teaching Stylistic Scrawls, a workshop on lettering on canvas along with a few other classes.  One of my favorites is Dream Big Art Journal where we will explore painting paper and fabric, playing with collage and free motion stitching, then assembling a unique journal. I’ll also be teaching a couple of Create on the Spot workshops right on the show floor sharing fun ways to use my product Collage Pauge, and a Sunday Shuffle Paper Layers Collage Canvas where students will learn to make their very own mixed-media canvas bases fro layers of handmade and Asian lace papers.
Pokey: I know you came out with a book recently. Can you tell us a little bit about it?

Traci: My new book Doodles Unleashed was released in January. It’s full of colorful and vibrant artwork. It’s a technique book with mixed-media projects. I teach the reader how to start with a simple doodle then share my process for working with multiple layers, colors, and handmade tools. There is a focus on mark-making, creating stylized faces, and lettering. One of my favorite sections is the Hand-Drawn Letters where I provide numerous techniques to create hand-drawn letters, showcasing different techniques for each letter of the alphabet. It’s full of a lot of techniques, jump starts, and ideas to get you exploring your doodling style.

Pokey: For one of your workshops, you are teaching mixed-media techniques on fabric. What kind of media will people be working with?

Traci:In the Doodles Unleashed: Mixed Media for fabric workshop, we will be painting on large pieces of muslin or drill cloth, experimenting with a variety of my favorite mixed media materials like acrylic paint, stencils, oil pastels, oil paint sticks, colored pencils, gesso, India ink and a number of found mark-making tools. I will share numerous printmaking and painting techniques from my new book including making handmade stamps, printing with transparencies and drawing with ink and brush…plus new ideas I’ve been working on.

Pokey:  I read on your website that you are scaling back your in-person workshops, so to me, that means it will be a real treat to take a workshop from you while people still can! You mentioned on your site that you want to spend your time painting a lot more. What are your plans?
Traci: Yes, I am scaling back traveling to teach in-person workshops. I’ve been on the road with a pretty crazy schedule for about eight years. Recently, I moved into a new art studio/boutique space in downtown Danville, CA. My plan is to work on developing a new body of work and fitting time into paint a few times a week. The studio is also a boutique where I can sell my art, vintage goodies and artful finds from my travels. This year IQF is one of the few stops on my teaching tour, but I am also planning to teach a couple one-day workshops and host a weekend retreat in October in my new workspace. Also, this month I am launching my new digital boutique where I sell mixed media and creative business e-books, e-courses, digital art journaling kits, and digital papers that are all instant download.  Since I’m teaching less in person, I have  created a collection of 15 online workshops that are self-guided.

Pokey:  Are you reading anything fun and inspiring lately? (Don’t say 50 Shades of Grey! <g>)

Traci:  Ha!…no not reading 50 Shades. Recently I received a copy of my sweet art pal Flora Bowley’s book, Brave Intuitive Painting. I don’t read many art technique books, but hers is full of inspiration and great ways to combine painting, self-discovery and movement. Her creative spirit dances off the page and the painting prompts lead people to develop their own style. I love that she uses prompts and encourages you to explore in your own mark-making much like what I do with the techniques in Doodles Unleashed. We both have a similar approach to how we paint…very free…bold….open to let things unfold organically. She’s a kindred spirit. It’s a great book, I highly recommend it!

Thanks, Traci!  And anyone who is interested in taking a class with Traci in Long Beach, you can find out more about her classes (and other fun 0fferings) by clicking here to download our online class catalog.

Last Monday’s Fabric Winner

Congratulations to Cath! You won last week’s fabric giveaway! Please email me at with your shipping address, and please put in the subject line: FABRIC WINNER. (Caps help!)

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