11.26.2014

A lesson in thankfulness

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to be the Artist in Residence for two days at a local elementary school.  
I had been recommended by the first grade teacher as an artist that could help with the theme of 
art \ recycling \ passion \ giving back to the community...sounded like a perfect fit to me!

We met in October and hammered out a plan...the students would learn the basics of design and collage while working on wood panels that would be made into permanent donation boxes for the local food bank...I would cover the design and collage lessons...a rep from the food bank would cover why food banks are needed, how important they are to the community and how everyone can help.

I had three different sessions with grades paired up - 2nd graders with 5 graders, 3rd and 4th graders together and finally 1st graders paired with their 6th grade buddies.  After explaining about my art, my use of recycled materials and the steps we would take in completing the project, work began...

Organized in groups of 6, there was first a little brainstorming on what each student was thankful for...
since all 6 students had to work together on one panel, a lesson in consensus was also needed...










































Once they had their ideas, they collected images and words from newspapers and magazines...and then began gluing onto the boards...using diluted Mod Podge which would seal the wood surface and provide a sealant for the paper once dried...










































After the boards were completed and dried, one of the parents would construct each box using 4 panels 
such as pictured below...






















It was two exhilarating days...and renewed my appreciation for what teachers do...constant movement and energy as well as staying one step ahead of the kids...

And made me thankful that not only that I could share my talents with others...but that this school understood the importance of art...and community...as part of their curriculum for young minds...

As I looked over the brainstorming lists compiled by the kids, the one I liked the best was "faith, family, love and nachos"...yep, that pretty much sums it up...happy thanksgiving to all!

11.21.2014

sneak peek...

Just a little peek...
some of the creative artistic gifts that will be available tomorrow 
at my Holiday Studio Sale...




































Hope to see you...stop in...say hi...share some cheer...

11.18.2014

Priorities

With winter making an abrupt entrance, cold weather clothing was quickly pulled out of storage...which led me to discover that my Doc Marten boots had a split in the leather toe...which led to more time than I wanted to spend looking to purchase a new pair of winter shoes...

I'm rather frugal with my money...I'm really quite content to wear my patched jeans, fraying t-shirts and oversized sweaters on most days...I'm in the studio working...fashion is not a priority...

But...poking around online Sunday morning...I spied these beauties on From the Alley to the Gallery etsy shop...and I maybe hesitated a minute before I bought them...
































I have an obsession with adding to my exhaustive collection of old clocks...and giving money to a fellow artist to provide me with inspiration and joy also tops my list of priorities...

I don't know what it is about old clocks...








































its not just the graphic quality of the clock face....







































or the intricacy of the gears and springs within the internal workings...







































its more about the commonality of this household item...and the lives that were measured by its ticking...
hours filled with joy...or maybe sadness...most likely a combination of both...

All I know is that they provide an impetus for my work...an inspirit for which I am grateful... 
(learned a new word today...inspirit...read all about on Pic Me Up, Donna Hopkins blog)







































Joining the group over at kim klassen's Texture Tuesday...
my photos were edited with a combination of kk textures ReverseTTV and Dollardsoft&gentle

11.11.2014

In the studio

I've been busy in my studio...prepping for the holidays...creating artistic one of a kind gifts for everyone on your list...I have two shows left for the season...and the next one up is right in my own backyard...literally - its at my workshop studio...





















I hope that you'll stop by if you're in the area...even just to say hi and share a glass of festive fun...

and possibly be enticed with some of the goods for sale...

I've been having fun with graphic images...on a variety of surfaces...

These glass coasters combine vintage photos with modern typography...use them to cradle a wine glass, round up earrings on your bedroom dresser or stand in as an impromptu saltcellar in your kitchen...



































Last year I printed up a bunch of fabric samples courtesy of Spoonflower, using my own collage images, to test out a couple of ideas...these linen samples have been made into relaxation pillows...filled with lavender and rice, you can heat them in the microwave and then enjoy a warm compress on an achy joint or sore muscle...and inhale the lavender scent...







































During the summer, I picked up a large package of transfer sheets (for a song!) at a yard sale...using my photographic collages, I've been printing and transferring these images to linen and then sewing up pillows...
stuffed with a down feather insert, they are immensely comfortable for lounging...







































I had one transfer sheet that I forgot to flip the image before I printed...so the type was not reversed...rather than throw it away, I had a eureka moment...maybe I could print onto other surfaces than fabric?
I tried a scrap of wood...that worked out well...





















Then I tried a piece of galvanized metal...
























didn't work as well...the edges didn't adhere...I'm guessing that the surface is too smooth...there's more "tooth" to fabric and wood...I'll have to experiment to see if sanding the metal surface helps...



















In any event, I hope to see you on the 22nd...in addition to my creative offerings, there will be handmade jewelry from Tammi of My Brown Wren and mixed media collage from Jody of Latitude Studios...and plenty of laughter & festive cheer...

11.07.2014

confidence








































If a man does not keep pace with his companions,
perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.

Let him step to the music he hears,
however measured or faraway.

                                                          Henry David Thoreau



My old kazoo from college days...when hearing a different drummer was all the rage...
I did not mean to sound so desperate in my last post...just an off day...back on track now...
keeping pace with that different drummer...

Joining the group over at kim klassen's Friday Finds...where my find is getting back on track, 
listening to that drummer...thanks to the kind comments of blogging friends...


11.04.2014

perseverance

Last July this volunteer hollyhock sprang up outside of my workshop studio door...
and bloomed with a bevy of beautiful purple flowers...


Protected under the eaves, it continued to grow, reaching upward...
spewing out new blooms along the stalk as old ones faded...

Now it is November...most everything else in the garden is withered...but this stalk has continued to inch along...at almost eight feet tall, the very top continues to send forth a flower or two...














With pelting rains over the weekend, I decided to snip off these top buds to enjoy inside of the house lest the rain beat down the blooms...


















I have to admire this hollyhock's perseverance...against the odds, it managed to survive...and blossom...where others had given up...





It was this attribute of perseverance that I mimicked this past weekend...though I love indulging my creative spirit and I feel that it gives a completeness to my life, it can be tough as a artist to put your work out there...for all to see...and comment on...not always in a positive tone...








For the most part, I'm a self-taught artist...a couple of art classes in high school, workshops or seminars along the way...but pretty much I'm on my own creative vibe which doesn't fit neatly into the standard categories of painting/drawing/jewelry/ceramics/etc...and so sometimes people don't know how to react to my work since I refuse to be pigeon-holed...












But I have conviction in what I am doing...and wouldn't want to stop the creative life I am pursuing...though sometimes I do feel that I stand alone from the crowd...













But make no mistake...I will persevere...







































Joining the group over at kim klassen's Texture Tuesday...a most supportive bunch of creatives...
using kim's friday2014 texture in editing today...

and if you want to read another take on artistic perseverance...
Sandy at Quill Cottage Studio has a fabulous post today on the topic...

worth a look...

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