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.

The NW Polymer Clay Guild meets the first Tuesday of each month in Lake City (Seattle). We always have a great time! This month the program was presented by my friend Wendy Lee Lynds and it was definitely out of our usual comfort zone. Wendy had us paint backgrounds, make marks, cut out images, colors, phrases and words from various materials and collage the painted papers during timed rounds for each task.

The progression from painting the backgrounds to collecting images, phrases and colors and then on to specifically selecting phrases that caught our eye compartmentalized each task so future tripping was kept to a minimum. It was by design to keep us in the moment!

Next we bound our books, created 'sudden poetry' so to speak and collaged in the colors and images with the text laid in last. Everyone was happily showing and sharing their books with each other at the end of the evening. This was inspiring, rich fun!

The overall comment about my book was: it's so much about color! I'm not surprised, are you? As Wendy said at the beginning: if you're happy with your results you can thank me. If anything goes wrong blame it on Meredith!

Thank goodness everyone caught on to the process and gained from that even if they didn't like their book at the end. Not much to blame me for! =)

Wendy explained that this process would end up being about ourselves at this moment in time and magically things would center on something without our conscious meddling. This was certainly true. Mine ended up being something like a Valentine to me and reflects some things I learned this year after being home more than I have in the last 8 years. The biggest lesson I learned? How to live at home day in and day out, being here now and not constantly coordinating schedules, timelines, or the next class, the next trip, the next contract…

Drunken obtuseness

For more information about the NW Polymer Clay Guild please see their website: http://www.nwpcg.org

To see a video with Wendy produced by ArtsNow/Edmonds Community College, click this:

http://vimeo.com/17655604

 

 

 


A Mariano Fortuny original

Isabelle de Borchgrave Paper Fortuny Recreation

 

 

My friend Nan and I went to the Bellevue Arts Museum to see the amazing paper clothing creations by Isabelle de Borchgrave, a Belgian artist. She recreated the clothing designed by Mariano Fortuny totally in paper. Using trompe l'oeil and a variety of papers, wonderful dashes of pearlized/metallic acrylic paint and stencils each creation magnificently imitates fabric. I could've sworn that one coat was velvet but everything is paper right down to the beads on the dresses, hats, boots, shoes, pillows, backdrops, curtains and even the hand bags.<\p>We learned from a Museum docent that the clothing creations have chicken wire in between the lining and outer layers of papers to make them free standing. Then they can be shipped in whole without folding or handling too much. The crates must be huge! We also learned that the diaphanous kimono are made from eye glass lens cleaning paper, a spun bond material that is translucent. This is what is used in the picture for the robe over the under dress. The paper is stenciled with a gold pattern on this piece. Can you believe that this is completely made of paper? Isn't that wonderful?

This was a totally eye opening and awesome exhibit. One if my favorite things was the full size tent created from paper. It was like a Morroccan tent draped with opaque and translucent curtains stenciled with patterns. Gold, pierced 'metal' lanterns were hung inside – all made from paper.

Screens and backdrops were draped around the exhibit creating mystery at every turn. The privacy screens were stenciled with Moorish patterns in subtle colors and reminiscent of rugs. Then in the center rectangle the centers of the repeating pattern element were cut out. In some cases, the edges were gilded or painted a contrasting color. Simple and elegant atmosphere for a really wonderful body of work. As Nan said to me when the elevator doors began to open on the exhibit: Prepare to hyperventilate. She wasn't kidding!

 

My friend Nan and I went to the Bellevue Arts Museum to see the amazing paper clothing creations by Isabelle de Borchgrave, a Belgian artist. She recreated the clothing designed by Mariano Fortuny totally in paper. Using trompe l'oeil and a variety of papers, wonderful dashes of pearlized/metallic acrylic paint and stencils each creation magnificently imitates fabric. I could've sworn that one coat was velvet but everything is paper right down to the beads on the dresses, hats, boots, shoes, pillows, backdrops, curtains and even the hand bags.We learned from a Museum docent that the clothing creations have chicken wire in between the lining and outer layers of papers to make them free standing. Then they can be shipped in whole without folding or handling too much. The crates must be huge!

A Mariano Fortuny original

Isabelle de Borchgrave Paper Fortuny Recreation

We also learned that the diaphanous kimono are made from eye glass lens cleaning paper, a spun bond material that is translucent. This is what is used in the picture for the robe over the under dress. The paper is stenciled with a gold pattern on this piece. Can you believe that this is completely made of paper? Isn't that wonderful?

This was a totally eye opening and awesome exhibit. One if my favorite things was the full size tent created from paper. It was like a Morroccan tent draped with opaque and translucent curtains stenciled with patterns. Gold, pierced 'metal' lanterns were hung inside – all made from paper.

Screens and backdrops were draped around the exhibit creating mystery at every turn. The privacy screens were stenciled with Moorish patterns in subtle colors and reminiscent of rugs. Then in the center rectangle the centers of the repeating pattern element were cut out. In some cases, the edges were gilded or painted a contrasting color. Simple and elegant atmosphere for a really wonderful body of work. As Nan said to me when the elevator doors began to open on the exhibit: Prepare to hyperventilate. She wasn't kidding!

 

Interruptions

February 10, 2014

I haven't posted for awhile: I've been making 'space' in my full head and life to really percolate some ideas. I started taking apart my studio so I could get rid of accumulated stuff that I really will never use. I am really intent on clearing out stuff right now – in my head and my environment. I have a lot of ideas that I would like to pursue in my work and am ready to set up a more efficient work space to do just that (as well as live space). I just can't wait to get to 'the other side' of this endeavor!

Resolution for the New Year

January 11, 2014

Celebrate your mistakes! They mean you're human.

Don't be afraid of making a mistake: you'll not learn anything by doing things perfectly except how to do one thing. Cross pollination can't happen in a perfect atmosphere.

Expand your world and knowledge: make mistakes.

Remember: there is nowhere to go, nothing left to do if everything is perfect. The concept of perfect is a myth.

Happy New Year!

January 1, 2014

I wish you the best New Year: one of comfort, ease and peace. These are three things that are easy to forget in our busyness and every day stuff. These are things that we tend to forget about until we don’t have them. There are many that do not have or even know comfort, ease or peace. All three are treasure to appreciate when you have them. When you have comfort things feel right, you can rest simply, nothing hurts. And when you have ease you can be comfortable with yourself and others, you can be okay with how you spend your time or how others choose to do the same. With ease comes an acceptance. With acceptance comes peace. With ease there comes a peace in knowing that you are only responsible for how you choose to spend your time while here.

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Happy Merry Merry!

December 21, 2013

I wish you a very merry, merry whatever! Hope it's filled with sparkle, fun, laughter, people you love and life. Beyond that, what else is there?

 

Merry Ode to Tinsel!

 

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