La Belle France

Bonjour! I’m off to France in a few days and my goal is to “journal” from there evey week (depending of course on finding cyber cafes along the way) to show you how I’m using what I see as a “creative spark” and inspiration. Sisters&Jug.JPG

I’ll be joined in June and July by my students- adventuresome and talented- who will be coming for my workshops in southern France.  The area is so rich with medieval villages, artists, flea markets– I’m excited to share it all with you. 

So please check in every now and then- I’ll begin about June 1st- and join me on this adventure!

Sense of Adventure

I’m home from teaching the polymer clay guild in Colorado Springs and was really inspired by the joy and sense of adventure these ladies brought to the class. On reflecting, I can see that a sense of adventure has been an important theme in my life and art. I can remember backing out the driveway in the station wagon with my mom, dad, and three siblings- my dad would turn to my mom and say with glee, “We’re off on a great adventure!”. Even now as soon as I get in the car for a trip, I have that same feeling. And I think that is also why I am so inspired by the art and artisans of faraway countries and ancient cultures!

I decided to sew fabric “homes” for the Africa mask pins to live on (See previous post). They are collaged pieces of fabric africa21.jpgcombined with muslin that has a black mask image transferred onto the cloth. The polymer mask pins “lives” on or near the mask image. I enjoyed creating an environment for the polymer clay pin and this seems to be the direction I am VERY interested in now- combining textiles and polymer clay.

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Getting Started

For me, the hardest step in my creative process is just to begin! Some days I am overwhelmed with the possibilites of what to make and I freeze up and decide to do the laundry instead.

So, something that works for me is to give myself small tasks or assignments. This seems to do the trick in not only getting my hands busy doing art, but it relaxes my brain and the ideas then start to flow.

So for instance,

  • I will assign myself to draw 20 flower designs-no pressure- just draw whatever.
  • Then I will assign to interpret two or three of my favorite designs in another media– polymer clay, wire, collage?
  • Then I will assign to make five of one of the designs I just made.

This not only helps me to refine the design and streamline the techniques, but helps me decide if I LIKE making the design and might want to do a production line of the design.

This is how I made the masks pictured here- which became a line of brooches. dayle_faces1forwebjpg.jpg

Now I have gone further and created for each a “place to live” via a fabric collage wall display. More on that in a coming post!

Craftcast Interview

I was so pleased and excited to be interviewed by Alison Lee for her Craftcast show.  It was a delight and a honor.  We chatted about lots of things with a focus on sparking creativity.  I hope you will enjoy listening here. Thanks Alison!

And FYI, I just finished teaching my first online workshop and will repeat it again starting April 11th.  I enjoyed it so much- I guess I have to finally accept I do have an inner geek!  Info is at www.thatcreativeplace.com

Power of Words

As part of my Creative Sparks seminar I talked about how words inspire my work.  Usually in two ways. 

  • The word itself brings to my minds eye a visual image that I would like to interpret as a piece of jewelry, artist book  or something else
  • The words themselves will serve as a narrative (in an artist book or collage for instance), 

And of course letterforms/calligraphy can be beautiful works of art. 

I want to encourage and challenge you to start and incorporate text into your work!  It can add power to the message you want to send with your art work. 

Here’s an easy way to get started:  Visual-Dialog-2forweb.jpg

Let your finger drop onto a dictionary page in one, two or three places,

Let those words roll around in your creative mind a little bit (not too long, don’t over-analyze and get paralyzed!),

then create something using the word or words as inspiration.

Zingaro®