It's been a long time between posts again ... this seems to have become the standard.
Looking back at posts over the past couple years it's clear I haven't been really excited about creating art for some time now. (For myriad reasons, which I was working on typing out but then deleted, because quite simply, if I'm not feeling it, it's not happening.) At least I've had a few successful Imagination Uncorked classes at Gallery 194 - the October haunted house painting was my best class yet - so there's that.
Even with my shift to fiber-related creating, nothing has been incredibly "artsy"; just "crafty" stuff like crocheting hats, amigurumi, sewing purses - but hey, as long as the stuff is selling, I'm continuing. Even that so-called "art quilt" I started almost 2 years ago sits in a bag unfinished. I've begun regularly attending local Fiber Art Junkies meetings (thank you Linda Knop for introducing me to this group!) which I feel will help spur me to be more creative.
This brings me to the question which has been asked & pondered many times by many people, - what is the distinction between ART and CRAFT? Does art have to be something that is merely hung on the wall or placed on a pedestal and admired for it's aesthetic value? What about functional art, like pottery, glass, wood creations (clocks, furniture, etc)? Is there not "craft" that goes into making such items as well? Or is it skill? How are those terms different? Does art have to be an original creation, which can't be mass-produced? What about limited-edition reproductions of an original? What about paintings of subject matter that have been rendered umpteen times by umpteen people? (portraits of well-known people, depictions of well-known scenes, etc.) I have heard the opinion that you must be able to see the artist's "hand" in the work. What about realism/ hyperrealism? Is it "art" to lead a group step-by-step to create a simplistic painting in 2 hours?
Just some things to ponder as sit and crochet holiday hats and try to come up with different color combinations that make the best use of the yarn I have without having to go out and buy more (hah!) That HAS to at least qualify as a skill.
Last night I attended my last meeting as a member of the Board of Directors for the Center for the Arts of Greater Lapeer. My term had expired and I did not seek reappointment.
It was time. Change is good, especially with an organization like this one. I believe they will benefit from an infusion of new blood.
But I'll still be around. I'm still doing classes, will still attend events, and still available if they need me for whatever. So the only thing that's changed is that I won't be going to board meetings anymore.
The board gave me a lovely parting gift, a beautiful Anni Crouter giclee print titled "Chick Magnet." I love it.
Moving on ....
Wow this summer has flown by. Other than a few Imagination Uncorked classes, I haven't arted much lately. Busy with gardening, yardwork (including digging out stumps - fun times!), battling with unwanted critters, and other such summer tasks. But a few things are starting to get my art mojo stirring again.
I had new art-related experience last weekend: I was one of six jurors at this year's Art & Apples festival in Rochester MI! The festival is put on by the Paint Creek Center for the Arts (PCCA). There were 276 artists, it took me over 5 hours to go through them all, and I was completely awed by all the wonderful creations I got to see. A few days later I learned that some of my top picks ended up winning awards, so I must not have done too bad a job at this jurying thing.
Today I got PCCA's September newsletter, featuring me as their Art Market artist of the month. I am so honored and grateful to have my work showcased by this organization.
Later this month, I'll be participating in Imlay City's Art in the Rough again. I don't know my location yet, but based on last year's event, I know it will be a fun time. Details to come.
Then in October, we'll be painting a haunted house.
In the mean time, I'm crocheting pumpkins.
I've been woefully negligent in updating this website. There have been enough artsy things going on in my life to warrant writing about, but I haven't been focusing on art all that much and therefore writing about it has fallen off my priority list. 2018 is already half over and I feel like I should at least attempt to recap:
Now that I type it all out it may seem disingenuous to say I haven't been focusing on art. I am trying to stay involved, but I unfortunately have been vary lax in creating new art - only managed to finish one new painting in time for the LAA spring show (which is now among the 5 at the PCCA Art Market.) I'm still struggling with art storage space and organization, and have just not been keen on adding to the already overwhelming volume of stuff inhabiting my house. Plus I've been on a crochet tangent lately, but I'm done now, really I am - today I finally put the yarn away.
The good news is, I did make some progress in unloading a few older pieces - one gift, one donation, and several sales. I had my best Art on Nepessing results yet - 4 small framed & 1 unframed mixed media pieces sold! Along with a purse and 16 little crochet characters. Most importantly, I sold art! And then I sold 3 (and more crochet critters) at Shiawassee River Fest. A total of 10 art pieces gone! Even though they were all smaller work, it all helps.
Now I'm preparing for another new experience: teaching a 4-session acrylic painting class for kids. It starts July 12 and runs for 4 consecutive Thursdays, 2 hours each session. I will be doing another Imagination Uncorked in August (subject yet to be determined), and plan to participate in Imlay City's Art in the Rough again in September.
That's all for now. Thanks for reading :)
It's official, I'm putting art-making to bed for the winter. My fall class offerings at Gallery 194 have concluded (look at those happy mandala painters from the last Mandala Painting class!). I hope to be doing them again sometime in the spring, but for now art supplies have been put away to clear space for sewing, crafting, and clearing space.
That's not a mistake, I needed to clear space in order to clear space. Let me explain.
I am still not fully recovered from the overwhelmitude of acquiring all my mother's sewing and craft supplies last year and trying to merge them with mine. I gave away and sold quite a bit, and am sewing things up as fast as I can (which is actually, unfortunately, quite slow) but still have too much. I am starting to list some things on etsy, but in order to do so I need to be able to take photographs, measure large fabric pieces, etc. I need space to be able to do that! I'd love to include some photos of my studio in my etsy "about" section, but not until my workspace is considerable less cluttered. And someday I'd like to be able to have people over for crafting sessions and/or art classes. I do have a set-in-stone goal: I am in line to host the Jackman family Quilt Day next year. By December 2018 I need to be able to fit about 15-20 people and their sewing machines in that space, with room to spread their projects out a bit. Eek! The piano is finally gone, that's a big step!
So clearing space really needs to be my focus over the winter. By sewing things up, selling, giving them away, whatever means necessary. I am up to 21 etsy listings so far: 10 bags, the rest are fabric and vintage home dec items. No sales yet, but complete strangers are starting to fave my shop, so that's a start! Come check it out!
Time to get to work. Later!
In summary, here’s where I’ll be – please join me in a class or visit me at the store:
The 4th annual Art on Nepessing St. art fair has just wrapped up. Another one is in the books; another year to reflect on what went well and what didn’t, and what we/I can do differently next year.
What went well for me personally: