Sunday, August 29, 2010

unlikely conversations of a mixed media artist

I sometimes forget that not everyone's mind works in weird ways, like mine. I realize I have a habit of sometimes starting my stories in the middle, but still a little befuddled when the intended recipient doesn't follow. I also find great amusement in seemingly normal questions or conversations in my mixed-media artist mind are met with a little cock to the head - like the RCA dog -- and huh? Thinking you might relate or have a chuckle too - here are a few recent conversations:
Hardware store clerk :
do you have any thinner barbed wire - I was looking for something a little more bendy.
This is one my favorite sayings. I just finished this piece a few weeks ago. I really wanted the roses to be bound in barbed wire -- but in the end the scaled just wasn't right. So I ended up making my own barbed wire.

me : Can you help me put feet on this box?
hubby: Why does a box need feet?
Linda, one of the collage sisthars, had a great presentation on making things rusty. I took this one a bit further - adding dimension and some color. And pegged feet. I'm so happy with how it turned out. It's all ready to sit on a table to hold a remote, cell phone or maybe your most precious letters.

Wings! oh my! I was so excited to find a petrified bumble bee in my studio, this Spring. Many were concerned that I was excited about this treasure, questioning while shaking their head - that's what you thought of?---  yes, of course the wings screamed to be plucked off to make ear wings. And since that day, I've had a more winged creatures happen my way -- all waiting to be encapsulated and shown for their true beauty and mystic charm.

Hubby, again: I need 10 gauge copper.  No I can't just use your stripped electrical wire.

What cracks me up the most is the times when there is no question. Like late on a Friday night when everyone is enjoying their Friday fun and I was in the studio creatiing my mixed media scupture, called Perfectly Imperfect. -- I come out and say "hey, can you cut this Barbie in half for me? just right here try not to crush the torso." Which didn't evoke a question at all. Guess my eccentric behavior and requests have started to become normal. hmmm... think I'll have to go to the hardware store for my dose of puzzled looks.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

gypsy bangles

I spurged this summer and bought a good bracelet mandrel and 2 chasing hammers. Been loving pounding out the bangles lately.

Monday, August 16, 2010

every show has a silver lining

Blame it on the stifling heat one day and the gale force winds taking out tents the next, the low traffic, lack of advertising or dismal sales - this weekend’s show was the most disappointing yet. But instead of having a pity party (no one will attend) it’s much more productive to look at the bright side. 

Oh, the people you meet! And the support of fellow artists, friends and family that make you think! Since it wasn’t that busy Saturday, I got to talk to a lot of the artists - actually there were three of us that did PMC work. I was next to Monica from Delia’s Delight Jewelry. Small world, I took a interesting wire wrapping class from Monica many years before. Congratulations to Franki Martin for winning best of show. Franki Martin’s was delight to meet with her PMC pieces as bold and beautiful as she was. It was nice to see how each of us jewelry artisans had a different spin on the material. Hopefully we will be able to meet up for a play date soon.

Congratulations also to 1st place winner, Denise Riesen Photography. Thanks, ladies for the humor and all the help to keep my tent grounded. Denise is also involved with the Andersonville Galleria, an unique concept, 90 artist shops under one roof. I really want to get downtown to check it out. I also met an acrylic artist, June Blunk, whose whimsical colorful pieces were very inspiring. This was her first show after being out of it for a long time. The fun letter photography of Tonya Bestor. She framed your word right there on the spot - instant custom design - impressive. Teresa's displays of Topaj was inspiring. I felt bad that she came down all the way from Greenbay, WI - so the fact this show was very local for me was a blessing, I guess.

I had visits from some artist friends and a few Art for All members. A surprise visit from my Mom. One of the collage sisthars, Cindy, stopped by to keep me company. We had a long discussion on how it’s hard doing shows, especially not profitable ones. And that an artist is an artist, no matter if you sell or not. It’s hard to not need the monetary validation of selling your work. And I think in the last few weeks I felt that I “worked” so hard to produce, but this show also reminded me that for me, being an artist is more about the process, the creating and idea generation - which is work, but it’s fulfilling.  And just today, I read Mati Rose’s blog post - and was reminded once again to honor myself and my work.

So all in all. I guess this was a lesson I needed to relearn. I’m glad I had other artist and friends around for support. Hey, thanks.
I've been busy so, I promise to post some of my new creations soon. In the meantime, I should take my own advice, like in this piece.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

local show - local cause ~ this weekend

If you live in the Fox Valley area, come visit me and many other artists for the Algonquin Commons Art Show.  Download a flyer here.
There will be music, raffle and free art project's for children. I'm especially proud to be part of this event because all proceeds from the show will be donated to the District 300 Foundation providing grants to all District 300 Schools.

Algonquin Commons
Randall and Countyline Roads, Algonquin
Saturday, August 14
10:00am - 6:00pm
Sunday, August 15
11:00am- 5:00pm

Friday, August 6, 2010

perpetually grateful

Reflections of a lovely weekend. Sharing artwork. Collaboration and swapping. Gifts of gratitude. And inspiration and positive creative energy. I love purchasing artwork from artists I admire. But, like many, my economic state just doesn't accomadate frivioulous buying. But when an artist suggests; we swap. I'm all for it! This bartering makes the transaction so much more personal. When Debbie suggested the possibility, I jumped at the chance. I fell in love with this little Bear Lady Momma and her daughter at first glance.

I think it's so sweet and endearing. Reminding me of the bond I share with my daughter. What I loved even more was Debbie's inspiration for the piece. She said the Bear Women was what she envisioned Goldilock's might be from the Bear's point of view. Silly fun, huh? Love creative, smart people and a glimpse into their thoughts.

On Friday, one of my most endearing customers, K, came by first thing in the morning ~ swooning, chatting, admiring all the hard work of everyone and buying plenty. Pretty much making my day ~ and my ego big and fat, like that's really possible. She is always wearing the greatest pieces, so I'm so flattered and humbled that I'm in her overflowing jewelry collection. I've heard many stories of her wearing the pieces she buys, giving them good energy, then passing them on to her friends. She nonchalantly asked if I wear anyone else's jewelry, other than my own. I reply that I mostly wear pieces of artists I admire and know personally. And she takes off the piece she is wearing and gives me this:
Isn't this lovely. I'm wearing it today. I love how it feels - it's so different than I ever wear. It's like having a rock garden massage on my neck. Here is the artist's shop, LaTouchables. She has so many intriguing pieces in her shop. Including feminine cuffs - a recent obsession.
And the last bit of news: While at the Circle of Life Studio during the Northwoods Art Tour, there was a reporter, Leah Gernetzke from The Lakeland Times, taking pictures and chatting with us. Well, during our conversation, a certain thing I said caught her attention, honestly it sounds like me but I don't remember:
"Art is not just a hobby. It's a passion that's fueled from within."
She used the thought as a thread throughout the 2 page article highlighting a few of the artists on the tour including a great picture of Debbie, ending the article with a write up on me. What a pleasant surprise. I'm perpetually grateful for my fellow artisians, family, friends, customers turned friends and random people along my path to my creative aspirations.
Thank you.