Thursday, June 26, 2014

The ABC's of Life- A, B, C, D

I am not planning and that is definitely causing some challenges. Obviously, I must like challenges.

It is fun! It should be interesting to see how the second book evolves. From experience, I know that practice usually creates improvement, but it doesn't always create enjoyment.

The young man (early twenties) in my sculpture class dropped out. It was his first art class and he seemed to enjoy it. We only heard positive comments from him during class. Jon, the instructor, spent more time with him than anyone in class and yet the young man didn't feel it was enough. I have seen this happen when I teach. Some adults seem to think that they should be able to have perfection right out of the box. That learning something new shouldn't involve being uncomfortable and failure is out of the question. I try to embrace putting stretch marks on my comfort zone. I have learned that even when I fail, I can always make something new. It is liberating. It is even better when the recipient of your efforts is kind and appreciates your efforts even when they fall short.

What have you done lately to put stretch marks on your comfort zone?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The ABCs of Life

I love when inspiration strikes! The next trade with Linda Edkins Wyatt and Marie Z. Johansen is to create something based on "The ABC's of Life." Each letter starts a message about life. I decided to create a simple accordion book. Each page is 3" x 5." The rules I have made for myself is to one- keep it simple. Two- just do it! No planning. If situations are created that don't work at first, just keep playing. Three- no shopping! I have to use what I have on hand. I have to say, I am excited. I haven't felt this excited in a while. The plan is to create three different books. I have until August to finish so I plan to do one book at a time and a little each day. Hope you enjoy my adventure!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Indigo Dreams and the Gratitude for Exchanges

Last year I played often with indigo dyeing. I did not just dye fabric but bisque fired clay and a small piece of wood. In all the cleaning out that I have been doing, I just could not bring myself to throw away the small 3" x 3.5" piece of wood. Ever just know that someday you're going to need something even though it seems silly?

Last night I was really happy. Linda Edkins Wyatt, Marie Z. Johansen have been doing bi-monthly exchanges this year. This month's theme was "indigo." It is a color that all three of us love.

I did not want to altered the wood piece too much so I added the words, some cardboard hearts, a little paper and some paint dots. I added carpet tacks with beads to the top and trim around the sides. A bone bead hanging from the bottom completes it. Happy for not only the challenge but the exchange with two incredible artists and people. "Always Dream Big!"

Monday, June 16, 2014

Crow's Nests

All the trees at the Oak Park Art League have "Crow's Nests" made by one of the members. It was too crowded and too dark to get a photo of my favorite one (maybe when I return to pick up my work), but these photos give you an idea. I love the painted clothes pins. It has me thinking about what I could do with my trees. It is good to get out and be exposed to new things.

Friday, June 13, 2014

It's About Time

I inherited a lot of the family things that no one else wanted- a box of old photos, button jars, etc. I have had some things for years and other things more recently before my dad died. My children never knew these people and I know that they would not care to keep these things so I decided to create some altars/shrines using the things that I have inherited. The actual altars were created out of clay then I painted them (instead of glazing) to give them a worn look. At my show at ClaySpace Ceramic Arts Center, I met ceramic artist Gina Lee Robbins who creates incredible organic sculptures. When Gina contacted me about the Oak Park Art League's show It's About Time, I was deeply touched. Her comment that my altars were perfect for the show and that the community was filled with "wonderful, caring artists," convinced me to give it a try. However, I had to push through some fear to actually wall through the door. The welcome I got nearly made me cry. The executive director raved about my work, called it "perfect" for the theme and wants to showcase my work. Wow! I cannot wait to go to the opening tonight. A new adventure.