Monday, September 27, 2010

Please Don't Kill Another Bougainvillea!

Life is a little crazy right now. It's always that way, but now it's off the hook crazy. I'm trying to make enough product for two shows I have this weekend. Plus, I have Open Studio Tour in three weeks.I'm so thankful that north county has the first weekend this year. That gives me an extra week. It might take me that long just to clean my house! For those of you that don't know me well, I'm a perfectionist, everything has to be perfect for open studio: the house, the yard, the food and don't forget lots of art and gifty things to buy. Just today, I was thinking that it would be a lot less work if I got a real job. But what can I do? Well, I can take nothing and turn it into something. I'm not sure there's a lot of call for that kind of thing, but if there is, I'm your girl. I could get a job in an office, but I'm not that great at taking phone calls and you don't even want me around a copy machine. Whenever someone hands me a paper and says those terrifying words to me "Will you make some copies?", I just break out in a cold sweat. It usually takes me three times to get the paper in the correct way. So I have to quickly stuff the upside down sideways copies in my pocket, so no one will be wise to my office skill deficiencies. People sometimes say to me "Is there anything you can't do?" My answer is, "Yeah, a lot!" I can't make copies, as you all now know, and I have planted about 50 bougainvillea plants over the last 30 years, and none of them lived. I'm also not a great typist and I tend to forget numbers, as in phone, license,and social security. I probably should stick with what I do best, making something out of nothing. I will be busy doing this over the next few weeks. Come by and visit my studio in October, and make sure you notice my freshly planted bougainvilleas.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New Art Quilt

I started with a 16x20 inch canvas and painted it with a golden wash.

I decided to tone down the gold with more paint. Next I drew spirals with pencil and then layered torn paper. Torn strips of silk were sewn down along with wool roving. Everything is hand sewn onto the canvas.

The best is always left for last. The whole piece is covered in seed beads and sequins. I also did a lot of hand stitching as the last detail.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Whimsical Fall Tour

These whimsical and brightly colored ornaments are made out of polymer clay, silver leaf, and recycled sari silk. Look for them soon on my Etsy Shop. They would make a great gift by themselves, and an even better one tied on the outside of a package or around a bottle of wine.

"The greatest achievements were at first, for a time, dreams.
The oak sleeps in the acorn." James Allen

I once told an artist friend of mine,that I couldn't draw a tree to save my life. She laughed and said that's funny, because you put leaves in all your artwork. I had never thought of it that way. I guess I thought it was easier to tackle a few leaves instead of a whole tree. That conversation took place a few years ago,but I'm still influenced by leaves and you will often find them in my artwork. I have always loved trees. As a child, one of my favorite things to draw were weeping willow trees. I remember going on a family vacation and taking a sketch pad and a box of crayons along for the ride. By the time my family had traveled back home, I had filled most of the pages. The only drawings I remember now are one of a willow tree, and one of a turquoise and lime green mushroom.What can I say? It was the 70's. I still take notice of trees while out driving, but what I really love are the individual leaves that make up those trees. They come in so many shapes, sizes, and colors, just like people. Recently, I saw an RV driving down the highway. The back of the motor home had a sign taped to the window that read, "Bill's Dream Fall Tour". I got a tear in my eye, thinking of that person setting off on a trip that he had probably been looking forward to most of his adult life. Leaves, what a small, beautiful, and detailed part of God's creation. I have loved them since my early crayon rubbings as a kid, to the whimsical ornaments you see hanging from my dinning room chandelier. It's funny, I now create polymer clay and tempered glass trees. Earlier this year, I even had one of these pieces featured on the cover of a local newspaper magazine. So one day you just might see me picking up brightly colored leaves on the side of the road or maybe you will pass an RV that is sporting a hand lettered sign that reads, "Mitch and Cindy's Dream Tour". Watch out, I might be the one driving!

Friday, September 10, 2010


What is home? When asked this question, a different image will come to each of us. It can mean walking through the door on Thanksgiving, and smelling your Grandmother's cooking. To some, it might be the laughter of children. Whatever home means to you, it usually is a place of sanctuary. A place you can be yourself and be accepted for that self you are. Home is where your heart is, or where your treasure is stored. Home is the place we all seek, and our hearts are warmed when we find it. Home can be a house in the middle of the block. It can be the state or country you were born in. Sometimes, home can even be a place of mind. To me, home is the place you come back to after vacation. No matter what great things you experienced or saw while you were away, there is nothing that compares to walking through the front door, and feeling that sense of home. There is nothing that can compete with the comfort of your own bed. No wake up call is as affective as your four legged child putting a stinky dog toy in your face at six in the morning. I'm blessed to live in a beautiful house, that in fact is, in the middle of the block. I have also lived in apartments, and once, in an old house that would have fallen down, if the termites had all let go of their hands at the same time. Home is more than a roof over your head. Home is family, love, and acceptance. Home may not always be peaceful, if mine is any example. But I usually find peace there, none the less. What does home mean to you?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

To be an Artist

"Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go." William Feather said this and I've found that this is usually true. Every once in a while, you hear of an" overnight success." This doesn't happen all that often, if the truth were to be known. There is usually a foundation that took years to build that "overnight success" upon. Those of us that have the privilege of working in the arts, pay a high price. A price that those looking in from the outside might not realize. That price is paid in perseverance. First of all to be an artist, you have to be a dreamer. Second as artists, we have a vision living in our hearts that is so large, at times it feels like it might burst. That dream and vision is what keeps us going. Sometimes artists are viewed as flaky or unreliable, and sometimes that is true. But for the most part, we are highly disciplined, and are willing to put in the time that it takes to perfect our craft. I am proud and happy to call myself an artist. I'm also proud of my artist friends, that are pursuing their vision while trying to support their families, and to their families that support them in their dream. Singers sing, runners run and artists create. They take something that lives inside of them and they put it out in the world for all to see. Most of the time we are vulnerable, but we create to share. That sharing is the greatest joy. Most of all, we get to do what we love, and in pursuing that love, we find success.