Monday, May 26, 2014

Welcome to My Blog Tour

So my pal Jo asked Lenna and I if we would participate in a blog tour sharing why/how/ what I do. I was extremely flattered and said yes…realizing this morning I needed to post my blog! Go check Jo's post answering the following four questions last week. Here are my responses…

What am I working on?
Stuff…some because of deadlines (thank goodness, I need those from time to time) and others because I am curious…
New Studio Piece aka Bad Ass Island

First and foremost – my “studio”(aka laundry room). It has taken me awhile to call it my studio. While I was married I couldn’t seem to allow myself to take everything I do more seriously (it was considered a quirky hobby). That has changed and I have come to realize it IS a Studio and it IS Art (how’s that for self-affirmation!). So the last couple of years have been spent changing up my home to more reflect me. My goal is to have gatherings (maybe proper classes) with others – we have very little here in town specific to the kind of things I have taught myself over the years. That said though, my undies still get cleaned in the same room LOL….
This Pattern but Girlie Fabric
I am going to be a great aunt (yikes, I consider that to mean fantastic aunt) later this summer so need to make a Baby Quilt (similar pattern to this one I made). Fabric has been chosen, just need to start cutting into it! I had my heavy duty quilting period around early 2000 but over time found the big quilts too much. My sewing machine still gets a good work out though, sewing into all kinds of media to create small pieces like Artist Trading Cards and Mail Art… 
Hats Theme
I regularly exchange Mail Art with different peeps which I love to do – the themes are fun but even better is the chance to try new things with others who may critique but always LOVE it (no matter how I may feel about it)…..My next
exchange with my pals Lenna and Jo involves making a Mennonite envelope (who knew!)…
Gelli Plate and Water Colour Scraps 
Typically when there are scraps on the counter from different endeavors I “see” an ATC in the works and can quickly pull it together – more a JIT kind of thing that I regularly do.
Italian Accordion (what a hoot)
I have stalled on doing an art journal forever – not sure why. I have several “blank” canvases begging to have the pages filled. I finally took the plunge a few weeks back and am working through a box of ephemera that I have set aside…

And of course whatever else strikes my fancy…including my garden which gets filled with junk art this time of year…

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

The librarian in me forced a look up of what genre means…
1.      a category of artistic composition, as in music or literature, characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter.
Summer of Colour 2013 (can't wait for 2014 to begin!)
Whoa Nellie! Little too highfalutin for me LOL! Since I am all over the map in terms of what I produce,  I guess I would say the only consistent theme is “retro”. Awhile back I hit a jackpot when I scored seven banker boxes of 1940-1960’s Better Homes and Garden magazines and I haven’t turned back.
 Summer ATC (still trying to figure out what 50% faster means )
I don’t know what it is about the graphics (a highly fanciful ideal lifestyle?) but I love them – just don’t read the articles or the tag lines – they make me cringe to think how different it was for women then…

Why do I write/create what I do?

I consider it a sanity thing...I have a very full time job that does not always allow the creative side of my brain loose. All my life I have had the need to be “busy” doing something so when housework and work work is done I get going. Over the years I have tried many things – macramé (my teenage years in the 1970’s LOL), decorative painting, quilting to name a few). I have no problems with the fact I move on to different things – though I am a lot more careful about my “investment” in supplies if I think something is only going to be a passing fancy (after all, it cuts into my supposed retirement fund!).It took me awhile to commit to a Gelli Plate for that very reason – though I am having fun with it now…

How does my writing/creating process work?

There’s a process? LOL Seriously I am constantly thinking about different ideas I would like to try especially when I am trawlin the Web. For themes I dig around in my stash or do some searching on the web till I get my “ah ha” moment. Sometimes my ideas turn out rather difficult to execute on (you know, you have that image in your head what the end product will look like but dang you can’t reinvent it).
Renaissance Mash Up
Sometimes it is just serendipitous – I see something at one end of the room and something in front of me and go WOW those would look awesome together.
Vintage Glue Book Page
I give a lot of credit to Mary Green who used to have online classes on collaging. She was the one who really got me started on my mixed media journey. I still go back to those classes to refresh my memory on techniques.

BOOKS and books and books (I have thing about magazines too)… and not just art books. Another jackpot was when a second hand book store went out of business near my cottage. I made two visits and filled up boxes of old books with wonderful, wonderful images. If I was to go by the prices penciled in the front cover I would have spent a small fortune – but the new owners very badly wanted to convert the store into something entirely different and were selling inventory at rock bottom prices (I still remember walking into a back room where there were literally stacks of books on the ground and you actually had to crawl over them (no uncovered floor!) to go through everything).

I have a lot, a lot , a lot of folks to thank for their inspiration – some have become very good friends over the years. Others are those individuals who share their work through the web for others to see – I may never visit their pages again but it all makes me want to try and get better at what I do.

For this post two of those individuals graciously agreed to share their answers to the four questions. Both just happen to be named Beth!

When I first started doing Mail Art back in 2010 Beth B agreed to participate in a regular exchange. Just so happens she lives in the same State as I do and we even had a chance to meet in person. Beth is an AWARD winning artist who has had several pieces in different shows (that always impresses me). She loves trying different medium and I am the proud owner of two of her art pieces. Check her out at BethBynumArtist and find out where she will be showing next...

Around the same time I started Mary Green’s classes I came across Beth L’s website Gathering Dust. Wow – I not only loved all the vintagy stuff she had (and sells), but through her I cascaded into all kinds of different connections where I learned so much more. I remember Beth kindly agreeing to have me do a couple of pages (my first) for a Journal she was doing at the time – I look back at them now and think how far I have come! You can regularly find her work in Stampington magazines like Sew Somerset. Recently she has been doing wonderful embroidery work to create her “Pinnies”.

Both of these ladies are examples of the generosity I have found through the past few years in blog land. So many individuals are willing to share how they do things (like Leslie, Kimberly , Frieda and Jan), be cheerleaders for your work and offer support in so many different ways. Go check them out next Monday to hear their stories!