Last year, as I was preparing for a show of my mixed media batik art, I was also spending lots of time with my grandkids. Trying to mix the two I did many of the drawing layers of the art while they were busy coloring and drawing at the kitchen table with me. As often happens I got requests – “Gramsy, can you draw a fish? Gramsy, what about a bird? Maybe some flowers?” as those drawings began to unfold I unintentionally created a trove of tiny art pieces inspired by the requests! The original pieces were all small – mounted on 4×4″ wood panels when completed. Some just seemed to need a bit more space so 6×6, 6×12 and 8×8″ pieces were added to the mixture over the months.
As I continued to create these whimsical pieces I also began adding text and quotes to them. The ones shown below are all 6×6″ pieces on wood panels.
These creations fell right into my art motto of “Happy Art for Happy People”! Many of the pieces that feature flowers, nature, gardens, etc. are now available at Queen Anne’s Farmhouse & Flower Shoppe located in Greenwood, Indiana. You can also find a few of my handmade journals there too! Hmmmm….journals. I’m not sure I’ve blogged about those yet. Perhaps next post?
While creating my series of Intuitive Abandon mixed media paints I often tend to crop and frame smaller sections of the work, leaving strips of painted, marked and colored paper unused. After collecting a small boxful of these pretty scraps it finally came to me how they could be re-purposed – wearable art! That is when the fun began. 🙂 I will say that my first attempt at these little beauties (shown below) was a big, big failure! Oh, sure, they LOOK pretty but I tried a new type of resin on them and none of them set up properly. I was the proud owner of 16 pieces of sticky art jewelry. Sigh! At some point I may be able to scoop all the goo out of them and try again but at the time my heart just wasn’t in it.
Not to be outdone by some stickiness I put that setback behind me and pulled out some other jewelry making supplies, these came with shiny cabochon to place over the artwork instead of using resin. Ta-da!! Success. My first creation was a bracelet – one of six that I ended up creating.
Now I was off and running! Selecting and cutting the art pieces to fit the templates was a fun, but thoughtful, project. I’d get several sets ready and then spend time attaching & sealing the art and applying the cabochon over to seal them in. I was very prolific in a short amount of time, with all different types and sizes of jewelry!
If you’d like a peek at the current inventory I have created a page on my website where you can view, select and purchase the pieces that I have available. I’ve stocked up on supplies, as well as creating more mixed media art to select from, so I am guessing it won’t be long until I feature some new pieces!
If you’d like to learn how to create your own jewelry similar to this I am available for instruction here at my studio or most any location nearby.
I was inspired (and invited) to do an art installation at our local church for Advent this Christmas season. I had three amazing ladies that volunteered to help with the project, which was awesome! After learning more about the meaning of Advent, the coming from the darkness into the light, I knew that I wanted the project to both “wrap around” the little country church sanctuary and change its appearance by getting brighter each week. The church has three sets of windows on each side and a wooden “rail” across the front near the altar. Using some wooden easel displays that fit in the windows it began with a very dark blue yard wrapped abstractly around sets of three easels. These were placed in the very back windows. The middle windows had a slightly lighter blue, the third window had light blue sets and across the rail were sets of three white yarn-wrapped easels. The lighter ones initially had some random black yard wrapped over them as well. The team was awesome with the help wrapping all that yarn! There was a single easel on each side of the railing that had tiny lights wrapped around it, signifying the light of Jesus that would be coming soon.
After the first week the very darkest yarn-wrapped set was removed and the progressively lighter ones were moved toward the back of the room and another set of light-wrapped easels were added to the front. The following week the mid-blue colored set was removed (as well as the extra black yard from the white set) and, again, more light-wrapped sets were added in the front as the light spread through the church. The Sunday prior to Christmas the entire display had changed to all white lights, all of the darkness was gone.
For the Christmas Eve service the final part of the art display was added…we created different line drawings of the nativity on glass panels that were placed in front of each easel/light set so they would be illuminated from the light behind them. They were a beautiful part of the celebration that night with the darkness outdoors and the lights dimmed in the sanctuary!
Next up? An interactive art project for the congregation and visitors on the topic of redemption and deliverance. I’ve also got sketches for a “fruit of the spirit” project and the construction of a cross with each person adding a piece to it. I feel blessed to be able to share my creativity and use it to inspire and build up others!
One media I explored last year was resin! Initially it was to use the resin as a protective, shiny coating over my mixed media batik artwork. Of course mixing up the exact amount of resin is pretty rare and I tend to err on the side of excess. The excess became a playground for me to experiment & manipulate – with some successes and, of course, some “learning opportunities” as well.
Eventually I was mixing and blending inks, pigments and other materials in, on & around clear resin and manipulating it to form organic designs. Some of the creations are on a wood surface, some on acrylic pieces. The ones shared here are all on flat 10″ round wood panels, which I added wood pieces to the back for hanging making them appear to “float” on the wall. They are currently for sale at B3 Gallery in Nashville, Indiana.
Although there is much exploring left to do I’ve not created any new resin art pieces lately…I am sure at some point in my random creativity I will return to it! Below is a close up detail of another resin piece…I love looking into them, it’s almost like looking into another universe!
After neglecting my blog for the better part of a year it’s more than a bit intimidating trying to figure out what to jump back in with! I’m fairly prolific so the choices are numerous and with several shows and exhibits last year that is probably an understatement. I finally decided to just start writing about what is currently dear to my heart, a series I titled “Intuitive Abandon”. Then, within that body of work, I found these pieces, aptly titled and begging to be shared. Perfect!
Something that’s been on my heart for several years is the desire to merge both my art and my faith, to feel like my work is more inspired and led than just merely decorative. I can kind of put it in “auto-drive” and make art that is pleasing to look at but when asked what it means, well, nothing really. I tried just referring to it as “Happy Art” (which it is) because so many people commented on the colorful and happy content. That, in and of itself, isn’t a terrible thing – I am a fan of happiness and if I can give others joy with my art that’s pretty darn cool. But I wasn’t satisfied with just that anymore.
Enter my favorite, most “mountain top” experience each year called “Gathering of Artisans“. 2018 was my third year in a row to attend/participate in this event and I cannot recommend it highly enough! And, yes, although I’d classify it as a mountain-top experience no matter where it is held, it happens to actually be held in Black Mountain, North Carolina. Each year I’ve attended I’ve grown and deepened my life in ways I couldn’t imagine. In addition to the most powerful worship I have ever experienced, 2018 led me to classes by two different instructors, Aeron Brown & Amy Smith, both of whom had an amazing influence on my artistic and spiritual path. I finally feel like I am stepping into my desire of combining my faith with my artistic expression.
These newest explorations are full of freedom, mark making and lively conversation. After some prayerful quiet & meditation these pieces start with mark making – my thoughts, prayers, song lyrics, text randomly scribbled with charcoal/pencil/graphite on the canvas/paper/wood substrate. In the case of these pieces, 12×12″ canvas. From that place I try to listen quietly until I get a feel for the initial colors. Once the painting, scraping, stamping and marking begins I try to not think at all! Often I get so lost in the process that, unless I stop to take progress pictures, I have no idea how I got from point A to point B. The freedom to create this way is so very freeing.
Currently I have close to 40 pieces created in this manner – on canvas, wood and paper. They even inspired another artistic endeavor! I’ll be sharing more as I continue to blog but if you just can’t wait to see them you can CLICK HERE to visit the web page where they are featured.
It seems like the first of the year is always the time to think about goals, make a plan for the year and start fresh. (As evidenced by the times I’ve written blog posts in January only to fizzle out a few months later!) I ran across this quote yesterday and it am hoping it will help keep me on track – I think most artists are easily distracted and I am no different. I decided I would make a screen saver out of it so I’d see it daily! I created the digital background image last week as I was goofing around in Photoshop – I’d not done any digital art for well over a year so it was fun to create something new and then within a few days realize it had a purpose to team up with the quote. I’ve made it a large file with the idea that anyone that needs it is welcome to download it and use it, so feel free if it speaks to you too!
On schedule for the month of April? Batik Art on Paper, presented at three locations so you can choose which one works best for you! To reserve your seat in one (or more) of these classes please go to THIS PAGE of my website. With locations in Carmel, Martinsville and Nashville Indiana you’ve got a nice selection to choose from.
Please note this workshop is limited to a maximum of 6 people so you’ll want to reserve your place early!