Monday, May 15, 2006

May 15, 2006: 11:04 am

First things first: I've had a few requests to post pictures of a few things, so here goes:

This first is a picture of an art doll I made some time ago, as visual inspiration for my popcorn issue of EccentricPastiche...

I think I may have posted this one previously to the blog... but, I like her, so she bears reposting!

These next pictures are of a shrine I made some time ago as part of an 'altered dollhouse furniture' swap, called "My Cluttered Mind" ...

This is the outside of the shrine. Since the cabinet is made of wood -- I didn't want to cover up the natural wood grain with gobs of opaque paint, so I opted to give it a thin coat of Twinkling H20 wash instead, which gave it a nice color and shimmer, but didn't detract from the beautiful grain of the wood. I did the outside simply, because I wanted the real action to be on the inside of the shrine...

Now, I just love the inside of the shrine, I got to use a bunch of the nifty little objects that I've been stashing (yeah, I'm a packrat -- like most altered art artists, I guess!), so in reality, it was kind of a bittersweet creation for me, because I loved making it... but, I was sad to say goodbye to the shrine when I sent it off to be swapped! I didn't want to let it go, because a large portion of my stash was going along with it!!! haha!

On a more serious note, this shrine represented something big (artistically) for me... a big step for me, but to completely understand it, you'll have to indulge me in telling you a bit of a long story, I'll try to condense it as much as I can!

Before the birth of my first daughter, my art was very limited (not my art attempts, but the art that I completed... was very limited... to say... oh... ZERO!) because I was never very satisfied with what I was creating. I had convinced myself somehow that I wasn't a real artist because I didn't paint or draw the way I 'wanted' to... and since these were the only real artforms (at least in my mind) ... I wasn't a real artist... so I struggled with this for many years. It took me a long time to embrace and accept the fact that collage was a true artform and an amazing path of expression.

Once my oldest was born, my art voyages became limited because well... I was a single mom without much time on her hands, between work and daycare, and running around doing the things that I had to do. At this point, I became a crafter. Not that there's anything wrong with that. The stuff I was making... was fun, but it was craft, not art. I was just going through the motions to create something because I felt incomplete without at least creating something... but, I wasn't really creating art. I was making a lot of dried floral wreaths and polymer clay ornaments... but they were crafty... not arty.

Of course, this delves in to the whole art vs. craft debate, which I don't wish to start right now... so I'll just part this section of the story by saying, it was craft by my own standards, not art by my own standards. :)

Onward... when I returned to college, I explored many avenues of art, but most of my art education was limited to art history and the study of other artists... rather than a study of the artist within... because I didn't have much patience for that. I tried taking sketching classes, drawing classes, painting classes, but I'd end up dropping the class before long, because I simply didn't have the patience to have someone tell me how to create. The only techniques class that I actually completed was my ceramics course, which I simply loved.

Shortly after I completed college, I met my current husband, and we had my second (and last!) child, also a girl. She is a bit more exploratory than my first... who would be content if I sat her down with a pile of toys... where as my youngest... wanted to help me with my art... so I had to put that stuff up for a while. At this point, I was beginning to explore the joys of collage... and lets face it... you just can't really do a lot of cutting and pasting if you have a 8 month old on your lap who wants to help! :)

So, I put my stuff away for a couple of years, until she was able to let mommy have her art time. Still... the stuff I was creating was rather cutesy (Nothing wrong with this either, a lot of the stuff I still make is cutesy, but, I find myself more satisfied artistically when I am doing stuff... not so cute), and I still felt like I was crafting -- going through the motions, and not really creating art.

Even as I started the progression of getting in to altered art and ATCs, much of my stuff had a sort of 'pretty' appeal and felt not quite like the artistic expression that was clammoring inside me.

This shrine represents for me an escape from that oppression... I really felt -- for the first time -- that I was making art... and this shrine will stand as a monument (in whose-ever hands it has been entrusted) as that first real step I needed to take toward embracing the fact that I am indeed an artist, and an altered art artist at that!

So... no real news on the tea front... except... PLEASE VISIT my tea website and buy tea! LOL

Thanks for reading along!


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