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 combined 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.
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.
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!
I was so pleased and excited to be interviewed by Alison LeeÂ for her Craftcast show.Â Â It was a delight and a honor.Â We chatted about lots of things with a focus on sparking creativity.Â 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.Â I enjoyed it so much- I guess I have to finally accept I do have an inner geek!Â Info is at www.thatcreativeplace.com
As part of my Creative Sparks seminar I talked about how words inspire my work.Â Usually in two ways.Â
- The word itself brings to my minds eye a visual image that I would like to interpret as a piece of jewelry, artist book Â or something else
- The words themselves will serve as a narrative (in an artist book or collage for instance),Â
And of courseÂ letterforms/calligraphy can be beautiful works of art.Â
I want to encourage and challenge you to start and incorporate text into your work!Â ItÂ can add power to the message you want to send with your art work.Â
Here’s an easy way to get started:Â
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.
The conference was a magical and inspiring event and my hat is off to the organizers and volunteers who made it such a seamless and exciting event!Â
The conference allowed us to converse and think deeply about our art as personal expression.
For me it is striving to findÂ the balance and blend of
- content and narrative,
- fine technique and attention to detail
- personal style
Three early ways we can start to do this:
- Create a personal palette of colors that resonate for us indivdually
- Pay extra attention to sides and back of pieces
- Naming a piece early on (without alot of analyzing, but a quick thought from the heart or gut) helps me identify what the essence of the piece might be– of course, allowing that to morph and change is equally important!