Sunday, March 27, 2011

Out Of The Mud, Into The Light: March's Gifts

Here in New England, we are finally thawing out. The snow is melting, little by little. With thawing, comes saturation, which creates mud. My life has felt much of the same way. I have been frozen, blocked creatively, for some time. I have personally been saturated with all kinds of issues and responsibilities in these last few years that have become like mud in my mind. I couldn't seem to make a clean step out of this deep stuff, to make real art that was soul satisfying. However, the last two weeks, I have experienced a shift, a thaw. I picked up the latest issue of Somerset Studio magazine to read on a relaxing Sunday morning. I opened the front cover, and turned to the "Letter from the Editor" page and within a few sentences, there was this quote: "Vision without action is a dream" by Joel Barker. Boy, did this hit home. I have been dreaming about doing more artwork, but if I don't actually DO IT, it will only remain a dream. I then came to the article on the artist Kelly Rae Roberts. I know her work very well, and purchased her book "Taking Flight" when it was published in 2008. After finishing it back then, I put it on my bookshelf with all my other fabulous art books. A few months later I would experience just the beginning of a personal deep freeze, dealing with several personal losses that would last into 2010. 
Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago, I read that article in which she describes her personal journey into art and how she started from point zero in skills and experience and just dove in and painted her way into becoming one of the most sought after mixed media artists today. I was so inspired. I went to my bookshelf and pulled down her book and re-read it in two days. At the top of the introduction page was another quote: "When once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return" by Leonardo Da Vinci. I so wanted to feel that deep satisfaction of "flight" that I have felt before. It happens when you work on something that just feels so right that you know this is what you were born to do. Between those pages of her book, she shares her feelings and her techniques with the reader. It was just what I needed to read at this moment of my life, not back in 2008. I felt inspired to start anew with a seed of an idea. I have been in the studio working on collages again and I am so happy with the results. I will share them with you soon but for now they are tender seedlings that need time.

Out of the cold, into the light

This month I have received so many gifts. First, let me thank Kelly Rae Roberts for sharing her journey, but maybe more importantly, her heart with us. You don't know how much you have helped so many hopeful artists with your thoughtful words. I am also thankful for friends who think of me, and send me things I love. My soul-sister Karen from A Scrapbook of Inspiration blog, brought me some wonderful fabric swatch books this week and Pat from Art 4 Liberty blog gifted me with this...

isn't it fabulous?!

Spring is a time for new beginnings. I went outside today and saw these tiny shoots breaking through the crust of dirt to emerge and grow in the light. 

This is how I feel creatively. Growing.  And eventually with much attention and nourishment, Blooming!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Check This Out

Here's what I am working on this week....
I made some presents for my co-workers for our annual "belated" holiday party the other evening. I really enjoy giving handmade things to these crafty gals because if anyone can appreciate the work put into things like this, they can! This year I made them a "glitter station". While antiquing this past year, I found some diminutive wine glasses, and small apothecary jars to hold glitter. 

I first started decorating the wineglasses with tiny pearls or seed beads individually glued around the rim. I used a variety of adhesives: Super Glue (if it can hold up a construction guy by his helmet, wouldn't you think it would hold a bead on to the edge of the glass???), then I switched to clear Liquid Nails. As I picked up the finished glasses, invariably I would knock loose a couple of beads. Very frustrating. I fixed these with Glossy Accents, dripping the adhesive between adjacent beads to secure them not only to the glass, but to each other.

Unfortunately the super glue made a super mess, dripping down the edge of the glass. But like most mistakes in crafting, the solution I came up with added greatly to the overall design. To hide the drips around the rim, I glued lace, trims, and rick rack from my stash.

I added the words "glitter me" that I typed out using my vintage Royal typewriter, and sponged them with a little matching Distress Ink before cutting apart the individual letters and glueing them to the glass with Glossy Accents. I tried to add details to the individual glasses that I thought fit that person. 

For the apothecary jars, I glued more pearls around the rim of the jar, and added some torn pieces of vintage paper doilies around the sides of the jar, again sponged with some Distress Inks. Finally I tied on some scraps of ribbon, attaching a charm to each that is etched with the word "create". 

I packaged them up in little clear bags, each sitting in a cupcake paper liner and a fluffy bed of shredded paper. I tucked in a small bag of tinsel glitter and a vintage demitasse spoon to sprinkle their glitter with.

I have also been finishing up a project for the annual Altered Art Show at Ink About It this Friday and Saturday, March 4th and 5th.

I started out with this plain paper-mache mannequin, that I passed out to participating members of the Altered Art Club round robin project group. 

This is my finished mannequin (At least I think it's finished). 

I am calling the piece "I Just Found Out That Lady Gaga Is My Half Sister".

I am also including another piece called "Frida's Closet" which is inspired by my favorite artist, Frida Kahlo.

This was a challenging project as each of the ten members brought an embellishment, and from those ten embellishments, we had to use seven of them in our project which was housed in a cigar box. 

Please come and see these and many more fabulous works of art made by our members, at our show this weekend.