BJ Lantz - Illustrator and Designer

Welcome to Creative Blah, blah, blah....

I am an artist living in Florida with my jewel of a husband, who is known as Captain Hubby.

We live to serve our three cats, Gracie (aka Queen of Evil), Cry Baby (aka Good Boy), and Menace (aka Jingle Butt).

When I am not creating new artwork to keep the licensing pipe-line fed, I am enjoying this beautiful area in which I live either on foot, on my beloved bicycle or on our sailboat, Adios (I am not sure who is the other woman - myself or her!).

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MOVED!

Monday, February 4th, 2013

This blog has moved ~

Please visit our new digs at

http://creative.bjlantz.com/the-art-life-of-bj-lantz/

See ya’ there!

Cullowhee Mountain Arts Cold Wax Workshop with Rebecca Crowell

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

This was a fantastic experience ~ I have found new medium to LOVE!  Experiencing technical difficulties here at WordPress and can’t get this post up on the *&$#@% blog, but can link to it here.  Go figure….. So, have a look to get in on the fun!

BJ Lantz / Monica Lee Interview

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Good morning everybody!  The weather here in Florida is just gorgeous this February morning.  Before I grab my sketchbook and head for the back porch to brainstorm ideas for a new client, I wanted to share this interview with you that I did for Monica Lee’s “Smart Creative Women” blog.

Monica is a dynamic gal and she’s just getting started with this blog, but I am already looking forward to some of the great interviews I know she has lined up!  I won’t ruin the surprises she has in store for you, but she will dish with women from all corners of the creative world.  I was happy to be asked to participate!

Check it out:

Big Birthdays and Mini-Encausticamp…

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Well, it had to happen ~ the BIG birthday!  What fun I had!  One of my oldest friends took me to a late Mexican lunch on Thursday….I took all of Friday off to shop (blissfully spending gift cards left and right), a lovely lunch with hubby ~ whose birthday it was as well ~ then on to a laugh-filled dinner at a favorite spot.  The day was full of lots of birthday wishes and singing over the phone from far and wide, including one all the way from St. Helena (fly speck island off the coast of South Africa). And, a special handmade card from art-buddy Carol Eldridge arrived in the mail. The pic was from the Atlanta Gift Show last month.

Saturday morning Captain Hubby & I drove through early morning fog to Mt. Dora where  Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch’s 2-day encaustic workshop was being held in the historic Lakeside Inn.  I had been looking forward to this for weeks.

The smell of wax filled the air as soon as I entered the inn. Trish had several stations all set up and ready for us to get to work after some demonstrations.

Trish was a great teacher with a cute sense of humor.  She shared so much information, I am pretty sure we all left on overload.  I was a little overwhelmed by it all the first day, but I was quite happy to get in there and PLAY ~ can you tell by that big grin on my face?

On the second day, Trish took us outside to show us how fire, shellac and various other supplies plus fire created cool effects.  This is Trish saying, “I love to burn this much!”  (Honestly, I have no idea what she’s saying here, LOL)

Look at the difference a little shellac & fire makes…

And burning wood glue ~ how cool is that??

Yup, this woman is very happy with a torch in her hands….

When I attend a workshop, I go in chanting to myself “Don’t make it precious, don’t make it precious” to remind myself to just play with the supplies, the techniques, the tools, the process ~ NOT try to make a finished piece I am going to be happy with ~ this is time for exploration and play ~ not pressure. And, to be sure, I created a pile of pieces during this workshop ~ mostly crap, but I learned something from each and every one of them.

That being said, I did kind of like a couple of them…

All in all, it was a marvelous workshop and I had a brilliant time.  Special thanks to Heather Earnest (whose Bday it also was that weekend) for bringing much-needed mixed-media fun to our area! And thank YOU Trish, for coming all the way over to our side of the country!

But wait ~ there’s more!  The fun didn’t stop there!  Saturday night, my art buddy Joyce Shelton and her hubby jazz drummer extraordinaire, Eddie, joined Captain BDay Hubby and me for dinner at the coolest place ~ the Goblin Market.

Isn’t this just the cutest idea for a doorstop?

Joyce had all sorts of surprises, in addition to fun pressies, she brought a tiara for me to wear, decorated a special glass with beads….(that’s her modeling one of Carol Edlridge’s Woozies)…

After drinks, many good laughs and an excellent dinner, the night rounded up with a chocolate cake that she brought, complete with a candelabra full of birthday candles!  Wasn’t that just the bomb??  Thank you, my friend for making me feel so very special on my “big” day :-)

Encaustic Workshop in Mt. Dora, FL

Monday, November 14th, 2011

(all images in this post ©Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch)

Ever since I took a beeswax collage class two years ago, I have wanted (yearned, even) to take an encaustic workshop.  I love the wax so much, I can’t imagine I won’t like further exploring this medium.  But I have always felt I should take a class to get my feet wet, learn some tips, techniques, supplies and safety.  That sorta thing. It’s a little more complicated process than picking up a tube of paint and a brush.

©Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch

I am ever so excited to say that I have registered for a two-day encaustic workshop with Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch.  She’s written a book on the subject, made DVDs, been featured in Cloth, Paper, Scissors numerous times and I have wanted to attend her “Encausticamp” in Salem, OR, but the timing just doesn’t work for my biz.

©Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch

So you can imagine how excited I was to find that she is teaching a workshop so close to home ~ only an hour away in Mt. Dora, FL. ~ in January 28-29 2012.

©Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch

Don’t you want to come play in the wax too??

The cost is $240 for the two-days, but if you register before December 15, it is only $190.

For questions about the workshop (there are others being offered as well), please visit http://www.foxieartist.com/encaustic_workshop.shtml or contact Heather Earnest at heather@foxieartist.com or call 407-310-7692.

SQUAM ART WORKSHOPS 2011

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Re-entry.  ….Supplies have all been returned to their proper places, new artwork propped in prominent studio locations, odd little sinus cold-wanna-be nearly forgotten.  But artwork and a bug aren’t all I brought home from Squam.  I brought home a certain peace that I’ve been clinging to lest it fly away before I’ve had a chance to completely examine it.  Maybe I don’t need to.  Maybe I just need to TRUST.  More on that later.

My perfectly marvelous cabin this year was Point of View.  Be still my heart, it felt like home.

This was my third September at Squam and the first that started out warm.  I slept with the windows open that first night…listening to the loons and whipporwhils…waking early with a big smile as I listened to what the Indians call “female rain”…feeling the deep calm of where I was, suddenly aware that I was there.

A little reminder I scribbled to myself and taped to my mirror….

Even getting poured on to and from breakfast didn’t dampen my spirits or dim my smile. God, I love moss, rocks and the woods…

Class on Thursday was “Layered Lines” with Diana Fayt.

While I enjoyed creating this little piece, I think my heart really wanted to be sitting on the lake with my journal that day….

…which is exactly what I did after class….

Friday dawned beautifully, if not a little chillier…

Setting up my little table for Friday’s class, Back to the Wild with Pixie Campbell. Today I am ready to get my hands dirty and reminded myself to not make it precious.

Pixie had us draw cards from a deck of Soul Oracle Cards to take with us into our work.  I found mine to be rather appropriate for me at that moment.

Let’s get this art party started!  I love to photograph work in progress sometimes ~ I find it fun to watch the work emerge.

Oh my ~ look who I ran into at the fireplace ~ the amazing fabulous Miz Elizabeth MacCrellish herself!  It was great to see her getting a chance to take a class herself this year!  XO

After a little encouragement to let our pieces “be born” in the afternoon, we headed off to lunch.  I somehow found myself traversing that lovely rocky path in the woods alone and was stopped in my tracks by this:

The universe was talking to me for sure.  Just that morning, tucked into my cozy nest with a cup of coffee, I had scribbled about needing to trust the universe more.  I won’t go into it all, but let’s just say this rock brought tears to my eyes and a peace to my heart. I picked it up, kissed and slipped it into my pocket.  Whoever left that there, thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Mmmmmmmm….roasted veggie soup ~ just what I needed to warm up!  Squam has the best food!!!

Managed to snap this tranquil moment at Longhouse before it was descended upon by Squammies gathering for the group photo.

This stunning shawl, made by Cal Patch and modeled by Linda Esterley, is just so gorgeous I am moved to pick up a crochet hook again.  In fact, on my flight home, a gal next to me was crocheting and I showed her this photo and we are going to have a crochet smack down via email/Skype to encourage each other.

Back in class after lunch, Pixie has a sage smudging ceremony…

….followed by a little drum meditation.  The calm we all took back into the workroom was palpable.  The room was rather quiet all afternoon, everyone intent on their art mission.

Gosh, have I ever made a mess this big in a class?  I am literally pushing myself off the table!!!  Oh, but what glorious fun this is.  YUM.

On my way back into class after the drum meditation, I scooped up this little flat rock, painted it gold and added my word of the year, Trust.  I just knew this had to be incorporated into my piece.

Thank you, Pixie, for such an inspiring day!  Do we both have crazy eyes on here or what??

I can’t believe I caught this moment….

While there is something offered each night ~ a talk, an open mic, etc., I prefer to return to my cabin after dinner, get a shower, light the fire and settle into my jammies with a book and an adult beverage.

OK ~ that’s a little cold IN MY ROOM Saturday morning.  Brrrrrr!

But I was prepared for the cold (this ain’t my first Squam rodeo) and, since this was a late breakfast day, I reveled in a couple relaxed cups of coffee, hiding as far under my down comforter as I could get while still being able to write in my journal.  For me, this year, the writing, writing, writing was blissful to me.  Waking up in the total quiet with my thoughts.  A rare treat indeed.  I held every bit of it close, breathed it in like the freshest air.

It might have been really cold, but it was just too beautiful for words ::sigh::

Saturday…last day of class….today I am taking “Unconventional Embroidery” which just sounded like fun and I felt it might spark some new creative mixed media ideas. And indeed it did!  And, I was just thrilled, for a change, to not be lugging two bags of supplies that I’d make a mess that would take 45 minutes to clean up!

The class was led by Cal Patch and she started us out with some basic stitches then set us loose to play with the unconventional materials.  What fun!

Saturday’s classes are half day and lunch is catered at Longhouse rather than in the dining hall.  Everybody finds a spot…on a dock, on a rock, where ever…

It was really nice lazing in the sun…

I guess it was just more damp this year than past years, as I have never seen so many mushrooms here…

On Saturday night, there is no dinner service, so it is up to you to grab a bite off property.  I had a car, so drove a few gals and was followed by a couple more.  We ended up at Walter’s Basin in Holderness for a great meal with equally great conversation.

(L-R) Me, Bonnie, my cabin-mate Heidi, Tonia, DeeDee and Wendy.

And now, back at camp after a couple wrong turns in the dark ~ shopping!  Socializing! Fun!  The Art Fair was great fun and I bought a few treasures.

Below is Carol ~ Elizabeth’s competent right hand ~thanks for everything! And  Sarah Ahern with her darling cherub. (I’m still trying to use red, Sarah :-)

The positively glowing Linda Esterley and Mary Beth Shaw’s kick-ass kicks.  I positively covet these boots!

I got a fun henna tattoo that is sadly already gone….

Sunday morning.  Time to rouse slightly from this dreamy weekend in the woods.

The car is packed…

I’m in my fly-home duds…

One last look-around and a deep breath…  I am so very grateful for this time.

Namaste.

A little press…

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

…is never a bad thing, even if your name isn’t attached.

I must say it put a little smile on my face to see one of my holiday cards with Design Design Inc. on the pages of the latest issue of Gifts and Dec. Mine is the red one on the right. And whose cute snowflake card is that next to mine? Why, it’s my friend’s ~ two-time Louie award winner, Amy Biggers!

Surtex 2011

Friday, June 10th, 2011

Hey everybody! Remember me?  Been a little busy around here… First I was getting ready for Surtex, then there was the massive follow up and now I am working through a couple good projects as well ~ never a dull moment here in the studio!

So I know I am a little late to the party in posting about Surtex, but you know what they say about better late than never…

Seems like I had been go-go-go-work-work-work for months, so by the week prior to Surtex, I was feeling a little like this:

My buddy Joyce Shelton (left) and I helped each other thru setting up and just surviving the show in general.  This toast was: “We made it to New York!”

Set up day ~ finally!  We started with my booth…

Tada!

On to Joyce’s booth…whoops, those panels that seemed to line up need a little adjusting.  Minor snafu, and thankfully the only one!

And this would be the “Whew!  Glad that’s done!” toast…

…shortly after which, our conversation went something like this:

“It’s 3:30 and we’re just now getting lunch.”

“I don’t think I want to go shopping in the Village after all.”

“Me neither.  I want to just stay right here with a beer until dinner time.”

And we did!

***

Sunday ~ Opening Day ~ Let’s get that “show face” on!  I went big & bold with my latest style and received much positive feedback.

And what trip is complete without attending the Opening Night Party (I intend to find out next time)…

(l-r) Sue Zipkin, Joyce Shelton, me, Amy Biggers

The National Stationery Shows runs at the same time on the same floor, and there is always something interesting to see.  This year Kate’s Paperie donated paper for a student competition to make paper dresses.  There were many more than this, and they were all amazing…. Anybody know which one won?

Another show day down, another cocktail needed.  The Paramount Bar provided a lovely place to do so!  We swapped “Tell me something I wouldn’t know about you” stories and had great fun!

The show traffic wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t what I’d classify as fantastic either.  I was glad I’d made many appointments before the show.  Late afternoon on the last day… we could bowl down the aisles! This is often the case on the last day of the show, but it sure made those last couple hours before breakdown tortuous!

Time for breakdown!  We are so outta here!!  Next time we hire Sherpas!

And the final toast to yet another show down…

There wasn’t much time for shopping on this trip (well, I guess we could of shopped instead of lounging in a restaurant all afternoon that one day…), but on our way back to the hotel from dinner, there was this great bath shop where we washed our hands with nice scrubs, tested lotions, sniffed soaps…

…and bought a few things…

One last parting shot of me & my booth buddie :-)) You’re the best!

Presenting…

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

…my Surtex video!  Surtex offered the opportunity to submit a short video for an on-site multi-media presentation that will run throughout the show.

So, I swallowed my fear of talking on camera and pulled this together…Ta-Da!

Spring is Here…

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

…and that can only mean one thing in the art licensing world…

Surtex is upon us!  Will I see YOU there?