Category Archives: ceramics

Friday Funday: Artist Date!

 

Friday is Funday in my art studio. I like to put aside all the “business” stuff and have a day to play and enjoy being an artist. Julia Cameron, who wrote the book, “The Artist’s Way”, which I read for the first time almost 20 years ago, recommends taking yourself on an “Artist date”. This is something you do to feed your inner artist. Whether it be going to an art supply store and browsing supplies, or going to an art gallery or museum and looking at art for inspiration. You can do what I do and play in your studio or wherever you make your art.

I forget about this a lot of the time but it’s a great idea! Not just for artists either! EVERYONE should have self dates to feed their creativity or their spirit. You can go it alone or with a friend. Museums and galleries always fuel my inspiration. There is nothing quite like seeing what other artists are doing to light a fire deep inside me to create something new. I recently made a visit to the Georgia O’Keefe Museum in Santa Fe with some out of town visitors. Georgia’s work has always had a way of making me want to go out into the desert and paint a landscape. Even though it’s been YEARS since I painted a landscape!

This week, I decided to stay in the studio and paint. This would seem like a normal day in the studio for me but for Friday Funday it’s all about being free and not trying to control what I’m painting. No judgements, no mistakes, just FUN!

8 x 10" oil painting on canvas is a work in progress, "Abstract flower".

Playing with paint today this 8 x 10″ oil painting on canvas is a work in progress, “Abstract flower”.

Today, as everyday, I started with a 20 minute meditation. I had another painting show itself to me today (see above). Before this week, it had been about a year since I had taken out the paints and brushes. I just wasn’t feeling it. I was looking for something new to do. My thinking was I needed to make art that was functional. Something that would be used and not just hung on a wall or stuck in a closet.

It started last summer with creating an adult coloring book. Interactive art! I hand drew 20 mandalas and published my own book. Now available in printed and pdf format in my Etsy shop.

After the coloring book I was reminded of how much I enjoy sewing and pulled my dusty old sewing machine out of the closet, and had it cleaned up and serviced so it would work again! I found Spoonflower.com and designed my own custom fabric using my art. I started making dolls and art pillows using my custom art fabric.

Now that I’ve totally taken a tangent from my original topic, I will come back around to say it’s all related! Art and creativity is all about play! It’s about going with the flow and creating whatever comes to mind. Why be pigeonholed by painting? Painters can create in other mediums too. The coloring book project forced me to pull out pencils and markers to make line drawings. The sewing project took me completely out of my normal creation zone and back to being a kid who made dolls for the State Fair. Not to mention creating custom fabric bringing out the graphic designer in me to create designs in photoshop.

What I’ve learned from the whole process is sometimes it’s important to do things differently. When we feel like we are in a rut, shake things up! Get out of your comfort zone. Instead of painting, try your hand at ceramics or sewing! I still have an urge to make pottery, but haven’t gotten that far just yet. Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

Featured Etsy Shop: Colorado Art Studio

This week’s featured shop is Colorado Art Studio. She is currently remodeling her shop, so you can see more of her work on her blog. I own a painting by Cynthia and love her work! She is a lot like me in that she works in many different mediums. Her main focus however, is her ceramics.
What made you take the leap into being a full time artist?
Good question! I ask myself that everyday. The truth is that being an artist is hard work. To the outside world, people may think that an artist is living their dreams creating wonderful art work. However, I have found that marketing and business go hand in hand with being an artist. So back to your original question, I lept without thinking about what was involved in being a full time artist.

No, seriously, I worked for a major airline as a flight attendant for 17 years and after 9-11 I knew that I had to do something else. It wasn’t that I was afraid to fly or anything like that, but, I realized that I had stayed at my job too long and the position had lost its luster. We used to call it the job with the golden handcuffs. The longer you spent there, the better your seniority and perks. It was hard to leave it all behind.

I decided to return to school after I finally returned to my home 6 long days after the events of that day. I had previously been a fine art major and continued in that vein since I was fairly close to graduating. Truly, I can’t imagine doing anything else now because being an artist is very fulfilling. I believe everyone should do what makes them happy in life!

This is the painting I own!

What was the first thing you remember making/painting/crafting?

I used to draw all the time as a child. My mom still has the pictures that I drew for my dad while he was in Vietnam for a year when I was three years old. I must have been facsinated with spiders, because she has reams and reams of spider drawings that I drew for him that year.

As I got older, I also made my own paper dolls and little paper clothes for them. I could play for hours and hours, lost in my own imagination.

Are there other artists in your family?

That’s funny you should ask. There is no one in my family who trained or went to school in the arts, but my mom is quite the creative herself. She makes all her own greeting cards and is very into “altered books” and other paper crafts.

I also found some drawings that my father did while he was in college. He was quite good. He must have taken a drawing class at one time…maybe a pre-requisite for graduation, I’m not entirely sure. He was studying theology; so needless to say he didn’t do anything with art after that class though he did appreciate art.

Who influenced you the most as an artist?

There are so many people who I have known who have influenced me as an artist from fellow artists to professors, and even my friends. Who is/are your favorite artists?
I have so many favorite artists. I like 19th C art like Turner, Cassat, Van Gogh, Degas, Renoir to name a few. I also really dig feminist art from the ’70s-some of it must have been so controversial when it came out. Now-a-days, I look at a lot of contemporary ceramic work, fiber art and craft. I can’t name just one person, let alone 10.

My daughter just asked “what about me?” when she read this. I might have to agree with her here. I love her drawings–they’re so free and uninhibited. Sometimes, I even incorporate some of her sketches into my own work.

Tell us something you would like people to know about you.

I wear a lot of hats, and being an artist is just one of them. I am a mother, wife, friend, daughter, sister, artist, volunteer and a host of other titles. I try to find balance in everything and am finding that I am really hitting my stride now that I’m in my 40’s!