Friday, September 28, 2007

about inspiration and new directions

There's something about fall that makes me want to start a bizzillion new projects.

I think it must have to do with all those years of school when new things began in September, not in the spring like nature intended....or maybe it has to do with Christmas is coming --- or who knows

At any rate, the front cover of a recent magazine sent me off on a "quest" of sorts. There was this picture of the work of Judi Wood, who considers herself to be a mixed media artist.

Now with no undue self congratulation (or depreciation), her work feels like what I'd like mine to look like -- its just obvious she's figured it out better -- so far at least.

This single photograph (ok, the article in the magazine too) sent me off looking for more information on how to practice my art in new ways.

So yesterday I came home from the library with a pile of books, most of which were a bit of a disappointment. What I'm actually looking for is a book of bead stitch techniques that includes things like "gourd stitch" and "square stitch" so I can teach myself more new techniques and use them to build even better pieces.

I briefly toyed with the idea of doing some bead loom pieces, but the whole deal with a loom is that it is VERY structured and frankly, I don't like to "stay within the lines".

One book that I brought home is titled 500 Beaded Objects which was put out by (who else) Lark Books. There are some absolutely fabulous pieces in that book as well as a few that had me thinking "what the....?"

Interestingly enough, with the exception of Judi Wood, whose work sent me off on this whole search, the work of a lot of other artists that have inspired my work is represented in the book: Sherry Serafini, Laura McCabe, Madelyn Ricks, Rebecca Brown-Thompson, Margie Deeb and Rebeka Hodous. Each one doing very amazing work, some to wear and some a decor, all very individual and each one has inspired me to try something different.

And the DH, as he leafs through the book says to me: "your work is as good as anything in here"....such a kiss up -- but he means it, and for once I didn't feel like saying "yeah, right", but much more like saying -- "yeah, it is!" Now there is progress for you!!

So, I shall press on trying to find a book that gives me more direction for more techniques, even though I'm thinking that it will require that I actually BUY the book, instead of being able to borrow it from the library.....wish there was some great "inter library loan" system that would let me borrow it from where ever it is...

And so for the meantime, I'll be out surfing the web trying to find more information and hoping for some results as good as what I found last Sunday that made for some great new jewelry.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

course correction?

Fall has arrived on the calendar, and here over 6000 feet, it actually FEELS like fall -- today at least. Its cool enough that the sliding door to the patio is remaining closed. The leaves on the cottonwood and aspen trees are starting to change color and my outdoor "to do" list is beginning to feel more urgent than the "in the house" chore list.

I like fall because it is cooler (I really don't like hot weather), and the colors of the trees are so pretty. It does mean, however, that we must prepare for the long cold winter blast that will arrive soon, usually before I get through that outdoor list. And I really don't like really cold weather any better than I do the hot.

Meantime, fall always reminds me of going back to school and having new notebooks and crayons.

I recently came across a couple of galleries of art work online that made me realize that what I do is not all that crazy and that some other people are working in the same medium and even selling pieces and making a living THERE is a concept!

Anyway, if you'd like to see what I mean you can go and take a look at the work of Margie Deeb (whose book I would LOVE to have!) and Judi Wood ($5K for a 4 inch by 4 foot beaded scarf that takes a year to do!).

something to think about....

Thursday, September 20, 2007

under the catagory of "now what"!

It seems that every time it looks like we have taken a step forward and I start to feel like this whole artist thing is working I get hammered with another "domestic" issue.

Two weeks ago we were in Kansas City where we had a great show, and actually made a little money on the deal. Last weekend's show was not so great, but something we could recover from since we had such a good show the week before.

Then there was yesterday.

When we go out of town there is always extra laundry to do, so I had been washing loads since Tuesday afternoon.

Yesterday after we had been out to pick up a few groceries, I went back downstairs to move another load out of the washer and into the dryer. When I went into the laundry room I discovered there was water everywhere.

At first I thought the washer had gone "belly up" --- I wish it had been that simple.

What was really going on was that water was running out of the top of the water heater.....not a good sign.

So after making 3 phone calls to find someone that could come right away and didn't want to charge me over $100 just to come and look, the repair man was on his way.

We now have a new water heater, a hugh mess still to be cleaned up, and a loan to my parents of over $1000....I had to call and ask them to put the cost on one of their credit cards.

So, I am once again feeling like a failure --- at my age I shouldn't have to ask mommy to rescue me at every turn.

So I will acknowledge that it could have been worse -- it could have happened on one of those weekends we were gone which would probably have flooded the entire basement, put out the pilot light and maybe blown the house up. As it is, there is a mess to clean up, but it will probably serve as prompting for me to just start getting rid of stuff.

I will also acknowledge that because of this I now know where the main water shut off for the house is, something I should have known 5 years ago.

But I'm wondering now just where I'm going on shows and art work. Its sort of like that poem about the horse shoe nail. Certainly there will be very little extra money out of our already stretched budget to pay for show fees. Without being able to pay show fees, I will have no shows to try to sell my stuff at. Without being able to sell my things, there will be no way to buy materials to make additional pieces, and really no point in doing them anyway.

Is there some lesson here? Is this simply suffering the natural consequences of having been too stupid to make good decisions in the past? Is this being punished for doing bad things?

Whatever it is, I obviously don't get it since I don't seem to be able to do anything to change it.....if it were just me I would throw away, give away and sell stuff, sell the house as quickly as possible and go live somewhere small that I wouldn't have to be responsible for....perhaps that's the problem---- I'm tired of always being responsible............

never mind

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Walking with Elphaba

In keeping with the doctor's advise to walk, this morning Elphaba (the big black dog that lives at our house) and I set out for our first morning walk adventure.

Preparation for the morning walk is all important. Shoes and socks and a hat are required -- on me, not Elphaba -- Elphie gets her harness and a plastic bag tucked under the top edge of her collar (we want to be good neighbors during our walk and not leave behind any solid calling cards)

With the idea being to start in slowly, I set my cell phone's 10 minute alarm as we went out the door and down the street we went.

Along the way we heard dogs barking in some of the back yards as we went by. Elphie checked all of the "pee mail" along the way and left a couple of messages of her own.

Our big event of the morning came as we got close to the drainage ditch where she flushed a little cotton tail rabbit out of the bushes. I'm glad she decided to just freeze and "point" at it instead of chase it! (the idea of having a 70 pound dog take off on a run leaves me invisioning having one arm that is a foot longer than the other!)

It was a nice little trip around our neighboorhood, and it will be interesting to see what new things we see each morning as we travel.