Making a Video!

November 11, 2014

I know I have been rather quiet of late… I am in the midst of my wonderful, new project: teaching online for Craftsy.com. I have been in the pre-production phase for many weeks now. What does that mean? It involves creating a 7 part video first. The video comes down to figuring out what is important to teach, how to say it and show it as well as creating the pieces that show the methods on the way to the end result in at least 3 steps plus the finished piece: so think 4 pieces for each 'chapter' or segment. Wow. That's busy!

We film the video next week! I'm so excited to do this! But here is what happens as an artist: cycles of pure confidence in what I know and can teach but then…a crises of confidence: consuming nervous anticipation that I'll be a total flub on camera. It's crazy. Where does this come from? I know what I know. I can only be me. They can edit, stop, start, reshoot, edit and did I mention EDIT? BREATHE! It'll be fun. REEEEALLLLY!

 

Busy Artists Must Focus

October 8, 2014

Okay, so I got super busy here… The Edmonds Art Studio Tour was in the middle of Sept. so I was deep in production and getting ready for that.  The studio tour was great.  I met a lot of people and made some sales.  Woohoo!

Next up was the annual fund raiser for ArtWorks we call the Previously Loved Art Sale (www.artworks-Edmonds.org).  People donate their previously loved art and Art supplies all year for this sale.  We truly get some wonderful work by contemporary artists, local artists and also work that has been loved for decades, too.  It is amazing what comes through ArtWorks.  The money raised goes to the Edmonds Arts Festival Foundation who in turn, pays the bills for ArtWorks so it all comes to artists.  How cool is that?  The artists in our community have no idea how fortunate they are.  Look around folks: do you see a lot of towns with so much support for artists?  They provide us with a place to work exhibit, hold shows, meet, hang out and as if that weren’t enough, there are the grants and scholarships they award to…yup, ARTISTS.  Lucky, lucky, us!

So anyway, our sale was phenomenal.  I believe it was the best attended and most money raised since I started working at ArtWorks in 2008.  Worth the zillion hours of dragging most every donation up to the attic and then back down for the sale.  I was totally surprised at how much stuff we had for the sale once it was laid out and hung up.  No wonder I’m so tired!  What a generous and supportive community.

Now it’s on to other projects: get new work into the gallery, and a bigger project that I’m not talking about…yet!

   So I haven’t posted here in quite awhile.  I was slammed at work and life for months.  Then I went to teach at Bead Fest Philadelphia in August and on the way back to Seattle I stopped in Colorado to attend an invitational retreat that I have been trying to get to for years.  Just before leaving I realized that I can’t work like this anymore.  There isn’t any break from the demand, no time to create, everybody always wants my help with something.  This isn’t the life I would choose for myself but here it is.  So before I left I told one college that I wouldn’t be teaching for them anymore.  I also decided that I will not be going out on the road so much anymore.  As much as I love my adventures it is clear that it’s very disruptive.  It takes a lot of time to organize everything, order materials for kits and classes, maintain inventory of the materials, count everything single thing for kits, pay for every single thing…I could go on and on.  Let’s just say that I’m currently a couple thousand dollars out and impatiently waiting to get paid (they take 40 days for goodness sake – ridiculous!).  So why would anyone want that job? I don’t.

  Unbelievably, I got a phone call today for work (on SUNDAY morning, I was barely awake).  It was business.  No emergency.  Just somebody wanting something and they have my cell phone number.  Really?  It couldn’t wait for a business day?  If I were teaching this weekend I would be juggling this call and a class at the same time? Ugh.

  Before I left I was awakened almost every day by a text message or a phone call.  I was scrambling around trying to get everything together to all hours of the night and people were waking me up 5 hours after I went to bed.

   It occurs to me to say: it’s my phone for MY needs.  Please don’t call me before 9 AM.

  So beyond the venting here there is a real life.  The real life I am choosing includes working in my studio, seeing my husband, cleaning my kitchen and even painting downspouts for the house.  Because I don’t work every minute.  No one ever said on their death bed: gosh, I wish I had worked more…

Happy Sun Storm Seattle!

 

Worthy Creative Advice

July 2, 2014

“Identify the primary distraction that keeps you from your creative work and deal with it. If you have an issue, be it weight, lack of exercise or family worries, do your best to resolve that issue or reduce it's power of distraction on your time and energy.” – Julieanne Kost (of Adobe Systems)

As I dive into a renewed commitment to my own creative efforts this quote is my scale. It is especially appropriate since I am slowly moving into using Lightroom and yes, that which I have avoided for years: Photoshop. I have always maintained that a good photographer shouldn't need to do much in software if an image is shot properly. I still believe this. Yes, a crop or exposure tweak after the fact may be needed but all the bells and whistles of Photoshop are not required. I realize that Photoshop has become a standard tool and by avoiding it I am just being contrary. Sometimes that's just how I roll.

But now I have owned Lightroom for about six months. I have barely had time to really get to know it. I have found by using the cataloging feature that I have tens of thousands of photographs. It will probably take me years to troll through them much less learn how to use Lightroom. I know… it must be time for a class to shorten my learning curve. After setting Lightroom onto my photographs to catalog them, I had to own that I am a photographer. I should just stop being quiet about it (since it was staring me in the face) and own that since I actually have about 15,000 or more photographs I've taken just from the last 5 or 6 years. Click happy me.

So in an effort to reduce the power of distraction on my time and energy I am going to stop teaching. I already spend a lot of time mentoring artists every day at ArtWorks and through the EDGE Program each Winter. I have come to realize that one can only mentor so much and I need my own creative time.

Light Dawns at the End of the Day, Meredith Arnold, 2014

I have a lot of jewelry to make and am excited about the prospect of digital collage as well as a lot of other projects I have in mind. Onward and upward!

 

 

A Good Thought

June 20, 2014

 

Be Brave With Your Life.

 

 

Studio Time is Fun!

April 18, 2014

Even though ArtWorks is pretty busy these days I always look forward to Art Spa Open Studio on Fridays. Artists drift in and out just to chat, knowing that other artists will be there working on something. It's a good touchstone day but I never get much done when people are there. Usually after they have all left is my time to get at least a few things made – usually components for jewelry or a specific project. Because it's so busy I don't bring anything super ambitious to work on. This way I'm happy if I can get three or four good results before I go home.

Today I got three pieces done and two of those I'm particularly happy with. They stretch my jewelry into new directions and expand into a new line for me in altered metals. I'm very excited about this work and hope others will find it appealing, too. Regardless, I'm having a great time finally bringing some ideas I've had for years into reality at last. I'm working on these new directions for the Garden Gallery show I am participating in next month and the Edmonds Art Studio Tour in Sept.

Check out http://www.edmondsartstudiotour.com for details when they're available.

Garson Kanin said it: Amateurs hope, professionals work.

So what does that mean? Think about the words 'art practice'. To have a practice infers consistency, regular hours, a schedule. It also implies that there is practice going on – a masterpiece isn't made every time one creates.

There is a great blog article on this here: http://jamesclear.com/schedule

Bead Fest Texas

March 31, 2014

It's been great fun teaching at Bead Fest Texas! Thanks to the students my classes were full of fun people with richly inquiring minds. I think we went in all directions at once! Two of the classes I taught were brand new ones and we had such a great time I can't wait to teach them again.

I wish I'd had time in the classes to get pictures of what everyone did with their new knowledge but we covered so much ground it was just not possible. Imagine polymer clay jewelry creations galore, interesting molds, resin pendants and components plus collaged metal patterned by flame, colored pencils, abrasion, alcohol inks, patina paints, hammers and whatever else we could think of to try! A total classroom of experimentation with a variety of materials for two days. Who could ask for more? I love seeing the wheels turning as my students expand their world into these adventures and I hope to see what they end up doing with their new skills. Thanks ya'll!!

I also can't wait to get my CraftOptics scopes! I have to get in to update my glasses prescription and then I'll send that info to CraftOptics. I'll have my pair in a week or so! It will be so great to see and not fuss around with trying to see some of the small stuff I'm working with. Check them out: http://www.craftoptics.com. Mine are going to be purple: anyone surprised by that?

 

 

Honesty with Self

March 19, 2014

Okay, I admit it: I am in love with possibilities. Doesn't this seem like a good thing? Always? Well, not necessarily. I just caught myself looking very intently at a new craft storage box as if it were so all important to know everything about it. Yet here I am divesting of tons of stuff, digging out my studio and lusting for actual space. So what is it about that sudden keen interest in yet another storage box when I already have a *whole box of storage boxes* waiting to be used? Possibilities!

The possibility that maybe this one will cure all my storage ills. The possibility that THIS one will be just the thing I need to turn the magic nut and PRANG! ALL WILL BE WONDERFULLY STORED, put away, easy to find, easy to put away again and I will see the floor again. I will be able to walk straight ahead without turning this way and that to avoid collisions…

Conclusion: it is way more fun to think about all of the possibilities than it is to just clean up the space! So guess where I'm off to? Back to putting all that stuff away! There WILL be visible floor and I will have room to work again – all without some perceived magic wand.

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