Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Well, now February has come to an end, and I am posting my monthly "Ta Da" list. As I mentioned when I posted my first list at the end of January, this list, which I plan to post at the end of every month, chronicles all of the ways I am living a creative life and working toward my goals. It may be of interest to no one else, but my blog is my online journal, and my one consistent source of self-expression, so it's the best place for this list to reside.

so, this month, I...

planned & taught a card making class at the senior center;
planned & taught my House of Collage accordian book class at Stampassion;
hosted a surprise party for my husband's 50th birthday (it was a bowling party, and everyone had a great time!!);
created Asian atc cards for a monthly swap;
designed an identity system for my amazingly talented friend Ali's new handmade soap company - Grubby Wench Soap (more on that in a later post!!)
assisted a friend who is an event planner with graphic design for the Northeast Make a Wish Foundation gala;
created a 4 x 4 mixed media signature piece for Art Connection's Little Fat Book club quilt;
am teaching myself how to solder jewelry. I've made 6 charms so far (for a charm swap), and only burned one finger;
was solicited by Stampington & Co. to design greeting cards for upcoming issue of Stampers' Sampler, and I'm almost finished (yippee);
read three good books: The secret life of bees - by Sue Monk Kidd; In the company of the cortesan by Sarah Dunant, and The uses of enchantment by Heidi Julavits;
edited and submitted my (rejected) article to a new magazine for possible publication;
and submitted 5 pieces of artwork to Somerset Studio for possible publication in a future issue.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Studio Friday - favorite quotations...

"Quotes are so inspiring. They give us comfort in rough times or the push we need to overcome our obstacles or fears. They enlighten us and give clarity and "A-ha's". Some we keep around for a life time and let them guide us, others we forget about. We work with them maybe or pass them on to others."
~ Robyn
There are dozens of quotes that I find inspiring, but I chose just two of my favorites...
I first heard this quote by Eleanor Roosevelt sometime in high school. It struck a chord with me because, like many high school students, I had an all-consuming fear of public speaking, and virtually all forms of getting up in public and attracting attention to myself. Most of my attempts up to that point had ended in disaster. For me, this quote is about conquering your fears by facing them head on, and I have never found this piece of logic to fail, both in my art and the rest of my life. I do not display the quote in my studio, because it has become a part of me after all these years. It is a familiar mantra that I repeat whenever I feel anxiety mounting over something that I "think I cannot do."

Another favorite of mine is by Thoreau, whose writings on art and nature are among the truest words I have ever read. (In spite of his unkempt hair and rather homely looks, I would have loved to know the man.) This quote really speaks for itself. I think there are dozens of books and articles written that essentially say, in many more words, what this one statement does. Work hard at what you love and success will follow.

Friday, February 16, 2007

A signature piece...

If you were asked to do a signature piece, what would it be?
At the last meeting of Art Connection's Little Fat Book Club, were were charged with making a 4 x 4 piece of mixed media art that reflected our signature style, to submit to the store for a display "quilt" of sorts. To be honest, when I made my page, I had forgotten that it was supposed to be indicative of my artistic style -- a style which I often struggle with, as I am still exploring so many mediums. After I had already made it, the club's organizer (and my dear and amazingly creative friend)- Marilyn, sent an email reminding us that the piece should be a "signature" piece... and for a second I thought uh oh - I forgot ...but then I looked at it - regardless of what medium I am working in, I tend toward certain colors, a blending of paints, a use of typography as both texture elements and a way of telling a story, and the incorporation of nontraditional materials (in this case, mesh gutter covering from the hardware store)...and to my surprise, I felt that the piece was absolutely a signature piece for me, in spite of the fact that I had not intended it as such.
It reinforced a lesson that I am constantly learning as an artist - you may model yourself after other artists and you may learn techniques that hundreds of other artists have also learned, but what comes from your hands and your heart and your vision will possess a unique quality that is yours alone.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Between the sheets

One of the best things about teaching classes that require demos is that you end up with more artwork to use. I taught a background class at Art Connection over the weekend, and the finished background that I demo'd during class was perfect to use for this month's ATC swap theme - in honor of Chinese new year - Asian-themed ATCs. Three are for the swap and one is for the swap hostess. The background is an adaptation of a technique I learned from Misty Mawn's article in ClothPaperScissors last year. The background techniques create such depth and texture, I never tire of experimenting with them.
The title of this blog comes from a friend who once told me that you can add the words "between the sheets" to the end of any Chinese fortune cookie, and it always makes them funny. So far, it always works for me (and I eat a LOT of Chinese food)...
like this:
You will meet a tall dark stranger... between the sheets
You will get a big promotion... between the sheets

Okay, so it doesn't take much to amuse me ...between the sheets
ha ha