Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Art of Creativity

'Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it'........... Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
What makes an environment conducive to create? In order for me to be creative and productive I find I need to be alone and away from the rest of the household. My work space is in the downstairs area of my home, it is not fancy but it serves the purpose. Since I moved into this house 8 years ago I have really enjoyed the large amount of counter space, it allows me to be able to spread out projects and also to leave pieces that are in progress laying somewhere that I don't have to be constantly moving them out of the way. As you can see I am a bit of a 'neat freak'. I like to know where my things are. My family seems to get a lot of enjoyment out of this little trait of mine, at my expense of course! My husband and son like to play a game called 'lets move something and see how long it takes for mom to notice.
I like order and routine in my life. All is right with the world as long as my space is neat and picked up so to speak. That happens to be a weird quirk of in my personality. Over the years I have learned to accept and even embrace some of these oddities about myself.
Not to self analyze or anything but often I think I am this way because I have a storm of ideas going on in my head just waiting to get out somehow. So in turn my enviroment needs to be calm and tranquil in order for me to weed through the chaos in my head. That's why starting my Etsy shop has been such a great outlet for me. Usually I have 2-3 projects going on at a time. I move from one to another depending on what gives me inspiration that day.
Speaking of inspiration I would like to talk a little about my materials They are such a big part of what I do and how I create. What I use has evolved over time. I started out fully hooking my pieces but because I am impatient I developed a technique to see results a little faster, it allows to incorporate more materials into my art. Mainly I hook with stretch velvets, I love the richness and texture it creates. Once my subject is hooked, I secure the back with an all purpose glue. Then I cut it out with an exacto knife, at this point I have I have a sort of applique to work with. Then the real fun begins because I get to decide whether I want to apply it to a fabric background or a decorative paper background. Once that is decided I further embellish with scrap booking elements to finish 'Viola!' a finished piece.
So where does all this inspiration come from you ask? Well I don't really know to tell you the truth. Sometimes It's a particular color or fabric that I just feel I have to use or at other times it is art that inspires me. I love to browse through art books to get ideas. For a while now I have been obsessed with the painter Vermeer, particularly 'Girl With a Pearl Earring'. She seems so mysterious to me, almost haunting in a way. I just wanted to capture that feeling somehow.
I did a recent reproduction piece called 'New Lady in Waiting'. When I first started I did a wall hanging based on the famous painting, but I was very frustrated then because I was just learning how to do shading on faces and I also think I was trying to figure what my style was. Since then I have made another attempt at it with greater success I think. It is not a direct copy of the painting 'Girl With a Pearl Earring', my hope is that my style emanates from it and that it evokes the feeling of that piece of artwork. I used it as sort of a study to learn more about myself and what I was capable of doing.
I hope this gives you a little insight into my world. I enjoyed very much sharing a part of myself with you. Just some final thoughts, I do what I do because it makes me feel alive. Maybe that's what art is, the universal feeling that what we do matters. Creating provides this for me..............Later, CadiGirl

Monday, February 1, 2010

My Experience as a Fiber Artist

No, not that kind of hooker! I am a rug hooking artist, life long crafts person and as you can see from the picture, a corgi lover. That's me with my two rescue dogs Cadi and Finnegan. This is my first attempt at a 'real' blog. I would like to share with others my artists journey as well as my path to self discovery. My hope is to spark dialogue with others about their experience in whatever you are striving for in this life...

I am forty (something) a bit of a late bloomer one could say. I have spent much of my adult life as a wife, homemaker (by the way I have issues with that label) and mother. There is nothing wrong with taking care of your home and family. I happen to think it is very important job, but I have been to one too many office parties where someone asks.........Oh what do you do? I would answer and watch as their eyes slowly glaze over into some state of oblivion. It's sort of like being invisible to those in the work world, they just assume you do nothing all day. It was then I decided to pursue something in my life that fulfilled me in a creative and artistic way. I am a firm believer that things happen in your life for a reason. I also think timing is very important. I don't think even five years ago I could have done what I am doing now. I had things to learn and a path to follow.
When my son became a teenager I decided to start picking up on some old interests. Since I was a little girl I have been creative. Always searching for that perfect creative outlet. You name it I tried it, mostly hand work like sewing, quilting, needlepoint, crocheting, knitting, etc. Self taught mostly, this particular trait made me quite stubborn when someone (with good intentions of course) tried to correct me. Later I would come to realize there was a method to my creative madness. Being wilful can mean you don't see the world like everyone else, therefore you create what is in your heart and mind. I found out through trial and error that I have something to say.
I settled on rug hooking as my medium to work in, it felt like the thing I should have always been doing. Now I make mixed media pieces. It was sort of like everything I did in the past led me to this point. I am not a trained artist, I do not hold a degree, I am just someone who wants to express themselves in a creative way. My work may not appeal to everyone or end up in a museum, but that fact does not make my pieces any less important. The artistic process is my path to self discovery and fulfillment.

So my journey started. I had gathered up my self confidence and put myself out there in the big world. Slowly I started learning new skills and applying them. My son taught me how to use the computer a couple of years ago. I was scared to death, it was like being in this foreign land where I did not speak the language. In March 2009 I set up my own shop on a site called Etsy. Along the way I have met some pretty wonderful people who have given me help and encouragement. A site called http://www.imaginemdd.blogspot.com/ featured one of my pieces "Childhood Memories" along with a very nice paragraph about my work. Article mention is called, 'portraits done in unconventonal materials'. Also one of my favorite sites is http://www.thedailycorgi.blogspot.com/ Laurie (corgi mom) and someone I consider a friend has been very good to me, she has featured some of my dog related work.
My goal with this blog is to share a little about me and my creative process. In the end we all basically experience the same sort of things, life's ups and downs, achievements and disappointments. I hope others will share their hopes and dreams with me.........