Friday, July 22, 2016

Just can’t wait to get in my studio...

      My dear sister recently reminded me that of us three children, I was the one who was most content to stay inside and color while my siblings craved being outside.  Okay, she was right. I remember being 6 or 7 and spending time in the closet. And by closet I  mean the toy closet, so it was a cool place to hang out. But I wasn’t in there just to play with toys; it was mostly to make art. Once a friend of my mom’s came for a visit and her young daughter was with her, so the girl came into the closet with me and we made jewelry out of newspaper. Go figure, it was fun! 

       Now don’t get me wrong. I spent plenty of time outside. We lived at the end of  long dead-end street. Between our house and our neighbors there was a vacant wooded lot, across the street there were two vacant wooded lots, and behind our home was a huge open field.

      It really was the perfect place to grow up and be outside. My sister and I were bona fide “daughters of the woods”. The outside world, in our own neighborhood, provided a whole realm of exploration and wonder. So it wasn’t that I never went outside; quite the contrary. It’s just that I was also quite content to find a small place inside and make art. 

     I remember going somewhere on a family vacation. To this day I have no idea where we went, because in my little 8 year old imagination, I was totally enamored by the large walk-in closet in our hotel room. I just wanted to hang out in there! By the end of that vacation I  had filled up a whole notebook with drawings and plans for the grand opening of the Acorn Club, and it all started in that beautiful walk-in closet. 

     I wonder now what my parents thought, and if they were just  a little concerned about me and my social development.

     Fast forward a few years. In the late 60’s my parents built a large home a few miles away from the dead end street. It was a great house with all the modern conveniences, but my favorite part was a corner of the basement that my mom curtained off and furnished for me with a sleeping bag, big pillows, stereo and a bookcase. Eventually I hung a poster of Donovan and of course the requisite 1970’s Lava Lamp. It became “my corner”, and it is where I would spend time drawing, writing, and sneaking cigarettes from my dad’s downstairs office. 

      With this by now well established pattern of finding a space of my own, it should come as no surprise that I dearly love my corner of the art studio. The studio is the workspace I share with my husband and two cats, and it is the space dedicated to making our art. 

     This year I have revisited my childhood love for the woods. Now I go out in the woods on our country property to photograph, sketch and do color studies. Then I take all this wonderful material to the studio and express it in paint. I am presently engaged in a series of paintings and mixed media collages with the theme of “Cabin in the Woods”.

    Here is a peek at what I have been working on lately.

I can’t wait to get back in the studio again! 



Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Another perfect match

       It was a summer art show in southern Indiana. We were set up in an open field in a park on a very hot muggy weekend. There was not a great turn-out of visitors, and those that did come were just too damn hot to try on jewelry. The artists in the booths next to me and across from me were grumbling, as artists tend to do when it’s not the perfect show. I spent my time drinking large quantities of water, cooling myself with cold washcloths, and doing my best to not give in to the negative vibe around me.

      And then along came this wonderful lady, all sunshine and smiles. She took a real interest in my jewelry and wanted to see everything I had in her color choices. She seemed oblivious to the heat. For the next 30 minutes or so she tried on and oohed and ahhed over several pieces, ultimately deciding on a bracelet and two pairs of earrings. 

      Once again, it was as though I had made the pieces just for her before we met! 

       In my studio, I squirrel away for hours on jewelry pieces that originate from dried acrylic paint and are embellished with leather, canvas, beads, and whatever else happens to be in the studio that lends itself to the work at hand. Sometimes, once I come up for air and look at what I have made, I think, “My God! What was I thinking? Who would want THAT thing?!?!” But then, lo and behold, I put it out there at a show, and then here she comes. LOVES it, HAS to have it in her life, can afford it,  and it fits perfectly! Like I said, I made it for her before we met! 

It is so gratifying to me when this happens. It inspires me to keep on doing what I do. It also reminds me not to second guess my process or my inspiration, but just keep producing my art and putting it out there. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Taking it on the road

      I always tell folks when they purchase a kit from me to send me a picture of the finished earrings and I will post it on my blog. I even tell people that they will be FAMOUS!! ( to all 5 people who read my blog!) So occasionally I get pictures of the earrings that are made from the kits. Here is the latest entry, and here’s the story of the artist: 


      This past June I was set up at the Old Mill Festival in Noblesville, Indiana. Across from my booth was a very cute, very old school camper that was artfully decked out and looked inviting. I had to go check it out. What I found was two lovely ladies that have taken their passion for art and their love for teaching on the road. 

Look at what they’re doing!!

      How fun is that?! I want to take one of their classes just so I can hang out in the cool camper with kids! 

     I love that one of the ladies made earrings from one of my kits, and that she only used a little bit of the stuff in the kit. I wonder what she will do with the rest....

       Want to make some earrings for yourself? Feel free to 
visit my shop  here. And by the way, you don’t have to be a traveling gypsy artist to make the earrings; they come with a link to a video that shows you how to make them. Enjoy!