As a tomboy I have a hard time doing anything really feminine. Chintz, flowered wallpapers, bed & breakfast rooms – all will make me run away faster than anything. So when challenged with “girl” as a prompt, I had to really think about that. How could I define that word in a way that said me? Yes a girl, but with a love of bugs and steampunk and the darker creepier side of things. I looked around my studio and pink stuck out in unusual ways – ribbons, zippers, thread. The magnolia reminds me of the South and the movie Steel Magnolias. The cheesecloth is there but transparent at the same time depending on the layers and reminded me of the saying “seen not heard”. I thought of music and ballroom dancing, something I never had the grace or willingness to do. The little frozen charlotte doll is of eras past but their charm captures me every time. When I was gathering and trying to make a pretty “girl” picture, I was surprise that it really did feel feminine yet not too much that it didn’t feel like me. I kept the dark shadows instead of really brightening the overall photo to keep it a little grungier and more tomboy.
How would you translate “girl” in your style?
As I am making business plans for 2018, I am thinking about growth. What changes will my art experience with my intention being to be very, very productive and creative? What offerings will challenge me and my creative audience and keep them wanting more? What story do I want to tell this upcoming year? Then there is movement. What kind of shift will my art take if any? What changes will I be going through emotionally, creatively and spiritually? So many questions to ponder with the new year approaching. It is an exciting time to be an artist in this ever changing world. I want to use the online platform to express, inspire and challenge myself and artists who want more from their art. Daily rituals, writing and carrying a sketchbook around is becoming a normal habit and I am seeing such a difference in my outlook as an artist. I want to include more travel in the new year to experience new places, immersed in the atmosphere, enveloped by the culture and inspired by the area. It is nervous excitement 2017 is ending with and I couldn’t be happier! So, what are you thinking about as 2017 fades into the new year? Inquiring minds want to know…
I have a thing about perfection, I just can’t do it, it is too much pressure. As I was getting ready for The ART Studio launch this week I tried to figure out how to do a wonderful, beautiful, fantastic video trailer about the course. Oh, I have read, watched, read some more and you know what? I drove myself crazy trying to figure it out. I want it to be perfect for some reason. You know that little idea you get in your head where you can see it, hear it and taste it. Yeah, that one. Well, I decided today that perfection was just not going to happen so I settled for done instead. I could have postponed the launch, no one knew but me it was going to happen. But you know what, I needed to launch, to put it out there, to share with my art community. I have been thinking and preparing for it now for just too long. Today was the day period. I will go back to that beautiful trailer and try to figure it out and if it works, it will be an easy switch. But today, I am just grateful to be done, finished, with The ART Studio on it’s way, inviting artists to join me for a year long course. Ahhh, I need to relax for the evening now, tomorrow is another day!
I took a photography class years ago for several reasons – to learn lightroom, understand my camera better and to see if I really enjoyed photography. It was a huge success and along the way I also discovered I have a unique perspective on the world. Biweekly we were given prompts to challenge ourselves and give us a specific reason to pull out our cameras and shoot. This specific prompt was “chair”. Now I could have done what everyone else in the class seemed to do which was assemble a still life around a dining room chair. The photos were just lovely, some included flowers, others scarves, the lighting was gorgeous but this just wasn’t me. I took a couple days pondering the word chair and remembered that I had a little silver chair for holding place cards. So I gathered a small little box full of things and out to the garden I went. I knew the silver chair would look out of place in the flowers and I was totally right. Add the little porcelain doll, a monopoly hat and the stage set was perfect. Not only did this speak volumes to my inner muse but I was so thrilled with how different it was I couldn’t wait to share. It prompted many comments and inspired others to dig a little deeper into their work. Who knew I was a photographer in the making? Just another way to let my creative side shine.
What would you do for the prompt of “chair”?
Do you think outside the box? If so, how far do you go?
Years ago the Society of Decorative Painters asked a group of artists to design around a theme of “flowers” and each of us were sent this wood piece to work on. The first thing I knew for sure was that there would be flowers of every shape and size represented and beautifully painted. The second thing I knew was I would not be doing a flower. It was that instant. A challenge had presented itself, how can I do a “flower” piece without painting a bloom. So I thought about gardens, wallpaper, magazines – could I make these work? Then I wrote down things I could include seed packets, water, seed pods, bees, butterflies, dirt, a greenhouse etc. As I sat there writing these lists, a wonderful idea popped up, a “flower” before, during and after. I started gathering all the things I wanted to include and laid them out on the board, the one thing missing was a connector to bridge the two sides and that’s where I came up with the paint strip. Even potting sheds need to be painted from time to time so it was perfect.
As I sat painting this piece, I wondered how many others would think outside the box and go against the norm. Out of 20 artists, I was the only one without a flower on my piece yet “flower” was so well represented it fit in perfectly. So, challenge yourself to think outside the box, you just never know what creative vision you might come up with. It’s nice to stand out, have a different voice, a unique sense of design. It’s great to be YOU!
I started “Meet Me Monday” on Instagram to tell a little bit about myself each week. It is really fun figuring out what to share and reveal and how the photo can say it first as well. This little gazing ball hangs in my moms background. It is full of wonderful shadows, sparkles of light and her latticework shows up beautifully within its reflections. But let me ask you, would you have seen it? This little ball is only 2″ in diameter, hanging slightly above your head. Would it have stopped you and make you take a closer look? For me, this little gazing ball speaks volumes about my curious nature. I love to learn, challenge myself any way possible, and am an over achiever most days. I just don’t look at things. I see them, study and research them until I have a better understanding of what I am looking at. I like to take photos of stages (bud, bud opening, bloom, full bloom, seed pod). It gives me a full definition of what I am seeing and helps me create art around it better and with the details I am in love with. Curiosity is part of who I am, it is my favorite thing about me because it has kept me engaged in the ordinary, the everyday, the discovery of beauty everywhere.
How does your curiosity show up?
When I was creating my colored pencil book/video course Vintage Wishes, I wanted to showcase the Cast of Characters I used throughout the book. This group was my inspiration, my gathered concept of what the book would become. Each one hand picked for some special quality. The pixie for my childhood, the matchbox truck for my brother, the globe because of the beauty, the deer for my love of nature, the angel for my trip to Savannah. Yes, there is a reason for every piece I included. So today I am sitting here thinking about the assembled Cast of Characters in my life. You know, the people who hold you up, raise you higher, support and encourage, tell it like it is. What does that group look like to you, in your life? Mine has changed over the past couple of years as my needs change, as I search for something missing or different. The one thing I know for sure is you can’t do it alone, no matter how strong willed, independent or smart you think you are. There is a reason for connection. There is a reason for coming together. There is a reason for community. It is up to you to search and discover your reasons and truly embrace your Cast of Characters. Thank you for being a part of mine today!