Monday, July 28, 2014

Blog Hop

Hi everyone,

Welcome! This post is part of a chain of blog hops. Each artist answers three questions and then connects to three more artists to continue the chain (I will try to find people to link to later this week but I may be the weak link in this chain.) Thanks to Sally Trace for including me in this endeavor. I also would like to say  I've appreciated her support during the last few days I had with my mother.

Here we go:

1. How does my creating process work?
I have actively kept a sketchbook since 2005. I am currently on SB#14 and keep my last one or two handy for references. These books are a collection of notes, doodles, project ideas, and observational sketches. throughout my sketch books you will notice imagery that becomes revisited time and again.

I have a go to set of imagery or "cast of characters" that, over the years, have become shorthand for visually expressing my various emotional states and experiences.  I will work with these images, again and again in various media - both 2D and 3D - revising, revisiting, mashing up in order to create a pieces that are very personal expressions of my internal struggles. I prefer working on 2 or more pieces that compliment each other, at a time.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

The question is, what is my genre or style? I officially like to use the phrase "Pop Surrealism" because it sounds important, like it has artistic value and merit.

The thing is, I use a silly, cartoony style to create images that have great personal meaning to me. I create multiple images at a time that could almost be laid out like a comic strip, yet they usually work in any sequence and there is not a blatant story. It is up to the viewer to create their own narrative. I also play with these images using a variety of traditional media.

It's hard to know where to be. I've hung work in galleries and had tables at comic book conventions. Neither one turned out very lucrative.

3. What am I working on?

I just finished a series of images using various combinations of an owl, a yelling sun, a calm blue bird and skulls. Created over the last 3 weeks in spray paint and watercolor, they are an expression of both my frustration with my mom's illness and the acceptance of it's inevitable course.

This year I have been pushing myself to work outside my comfort zone. I am currently in a year long online mixed media class about illustrating fairy tales. I will begin working on the current assignment later this week. I have also taken a few other online courses to push me both into new subject matter and new media. These classes have become a nightly stress reliever as I dealt with my mom's illness and have provided me with new tools to use with my own students.

The Princess, the Pea and the Giant Squid 

As soon as a round up a few artists, I will link to their blogs here.

a tribute to my mother

When my mom moved down to Texas she wanted to continue gardening but was frustrated by the heat and lack of water. She decided to make a garden that was heat and drought resistant and, at the same time, help clean up the neighborhood. This is the result. I hope you will enjoy spending a moment in her garden. She was very proud of it.

My mom passed away during the afternoon of July 26th.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Owls and Calaveras

I haven't titled them yet. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

It's been 10 years already?

I went for a walk with my husband this morning and was listening to Jason Mraz new album "Yes!" when the song 3 Things came on. I burst into tears. I guess needed a cry. So there's that.

I signed up for an artist blog hop and realized there is not much here on my poor neglected blog. Not quite sure what I was thinking. I've been a bit crazed lately. On the upside, this blog is 10 years old, last month! So many times I came close to hitting the delete button.

When I started this blog in 2004 I had an office job with a bit too much extra computer time on my hands. 225 posts between June and December that year. I never hit that many post again. That year I decided to tackle college after two earlier failed attempts and my main artistic outlet was taking pictures with my phone. I also did a lot of doodling in my college classes. I did not consider myself an artist.

Since then:
I quit my day job
I discovered my favorite artistic outlet is ceramics but I will make art with whatever is available
I discovered my love of teaching
I received a Bachelors of Fine Arts.
I started referring to myself as an artist.
I have become an art teacher
I have road tripped thousands of miles across the US with my husband and son.
I have taking up camping as a hobby.
I have discovered I am driven to create and want to do more with my art but I'm am not sure what that means exactly.

Basically, the last 10 years have been good. I've grown.

I know my blogging has slowed because quick stuff ends up on Facebook and the more interesting aspects of my day (in the classroom) are not something I will write about.

I have not written too much about my creative journey for fear of sounding to whiney and angsty but it is something I should do to help me move forward.

Friday, July 18, 2014

At Sea

danger at sea

This is a piece I made a few months ago after taking Carla Sonheim's Gelli Printing classes. Today I changed my FB profile image to this one because it reflects a little bit about how I feel - alone in a boat with a scary monster.

A couple of years ago my aunt passed away (my mom's older sister - age 65) due to Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. This is a disease that there is not much information on. It is progressive and terminal. In November I noticed my mom (age 61) breathing kind of funny. After many trips to various doctors, scans, tests, steroids and finally a open lung biopsy in May my mom was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. It has been fast moving. She has been on full time oxygen since May and after a dramatic decrease in her ability to walk short distances without being winded, as of last week, followed by a 6 day hospital stay we are now working with hospice.

As the oldest and the one that is here (my sisters live across the county and she lives with me) it is such a mixed bag of emotions.  Navigating the waters of doctors, hospitals, legal paperwork and everything else is scary. I'm worried about doing the wrong things, missing import information, and generally doing all those grownup things that everyone else seems to handle with finesse.

On top of that, I know it is important that I also focus on my own family, my work and the things that keep me calm and relaxed - Making Art. In the end, I know everything will fall into place, life and death go hand in hand, and I will find a calm port. In the meantime...