Since retiring from office work I’ve made it my bizness to jump full into art making. Who knew it was so much work? Social media has certainly upped the ante in the game. Not complaining; just sayin’. I am grateful to have all these avenues. So, I joined Dallas Area Fiber Artists (DAFA) organization as well as Texas Association of Visual Artists (TVAA), both here in Dallas.
At DAFA last month, I made a spirit doll in the workshop taught by Valery Guignon. Check ‘em out: http://www.dallasfiberartists.org
Friend and fellow artist Linda Goodwin and I visited TVAA’s “Black & White” curated exhibit at the Plaza of the Americas in downtown Dallas’ Arts District. Understand that Linda and I are both Dallas natives, have been downtown a gazillion times (albeit separately); both have smart phones, and Linda has a gps, but we still got lost, as per usual. So as the Gallery was closing, we show up! frazzeled! excited! and are dazzled by the talent displayed. Check ‘em out: http://www.tvaa.org
In September, we went to the Lakewood Summer Arts Faire where I bought a bag of little hand dyed silk scraps from Val Guignon, Linda came away with a hand dyed silk top from her and amazingly dazzling pendant lights made from gourds by Le Gourd on Blue. I had a heartwarming chat with Cynthia Brannum, Art Program Director at The Stewpot, a downtown Dallas ministry; I own a painting by one of her students there, Mr. Cornelius Brackens, Jr. Check ‘em out: http://www.thestewpot.org
Another exciting event was when I learned that artist Jane Cather, whom I so greatly admire, was blogging again after a four-year hiatus! check her out here: http://janecather.wordpress.com/
My big guy, son Eric Keathley, built this computer for me, turned 41 years of age, and started up his Reverb Nation website. He rocks! check him out here: http://www.reverbnation.com/musician/erickeathley
His little guy, Castle turned 13!
I bought the cutest little embroidered pincushion from my Dutch friend; it’s the orange bicycle cross-stitch on natural linen; check her out here: http://www.nellyslittlegifts.nl or search Etsy for nellyslittlegifts
My friend Susan recently ordered an assemblage item for her granddaughter from me. So I made this little character – no, it made itself! using a plastic bottle that contained an Ensure-like beverage, silk fabric strips, wire, wall anchors, cool paper clips, beads, muslin, embroidery thread, and price tags, which I labeled each with an aspect of personality or desire. Head lifts out and Katie can write something she wants to change or happen on a note, and drop it inside the body. I also fixed up a kit for her to make one for someone else.
And then, I opened my Etsy shop. I have more items to add to the 13 currently listed, but am in the process of cutting, glueing, and photographing/staging them. What a lot of work! But so gratifying. Here’s a peak at a couple things listed:
find me here; https://www.etsy.com/shop/ARTYOLOGYbyGenieGeer
Finally, here are images from the White Rock Lake 22nd Studio Tour:
Apparently, I like change as evidenced by recent events. Of course it is hard, but worth the challenges and serendipitous happenings. Last year I was stuck trying to rearrange my studio; but when my son moved in 6 months ago, my studio space (almost effortlessly) moved to the living room area which is a much better location anyway!
Last November, I had the honor of participating as a vendor in the winter Art Mart Underground at Bath House Cultural Center on White Rock Lake here in Dallas. The weather was unexpectedly frigid with ice storms causing hundreds of shoppers to stay home. But a thrilling experience nevertheless.
After 3 straight years (no paid time off) at a fast paced high pressure low wage customer service call center, where constant policy and data changes and criticism was the norm, I recently found it necessary to bail out. Family and friends are encouraging me to press on with my Aryology project. So, I’m opening an Etsy store soon.
Commissioned work scares the hell out of me. And not because I am afraid the piece won’t turn out well, but because some of the magic of spontaneity may not find its way in, that even one limitation to the work’s intuitive process (some specific requirement as requested by the commissioner) will limit me in such a way that I become very uncomfortable. Never mind that the buyer’s ideas may make my artwork even better, perish the thought! Clearly, I have control and ego issues.
But I love it when someone likes a finished piece so much he/she must have it, and when this occurs, nothing could be sweeter. You feel as if you have truly communicated your intention as told to you by the artwork itself.
The photos show recent sketches and a couple of cloth dolls – I’m calling them BodyParts Dolls, as I continue to assemble, or in some cases, disassemble dolls; changing hair, making new clothing bits, faces, hats…..
I continue to draw and paint, usually drifting from one project to another. That’s a great benefit of having let my “studio” space be the very same as my “living area”. Can’t separate them.
I “work” for months in my head, sketching, planning, making notes about how I think I want to re-organize my whole in-home art studio before anything actually gets done. Lucky to have an open floor plan so that I can play at all sorts of things all at once. This is key: I must have access to my tiny TV even if I am not actually watching it. And CDs.
So the process of setting up my work space in it’s current configuration has taken a few months. Which recently included sorting, washing, and rolling into remnant bundles, my little fabric stash. I ruthlessly tossed anything I don’t adore. Purging of fabric scraps is necessary and freeing. Of course, there is more to do: always. Especially in my office area. I hate paperwork but if you are alive, you are probably drowning in it.
There was this nice list of links of sites and blogs I dig but couldn’t get everything to load correctly. Hope I will have that figured out pretty darn soon! I fear I’ve let too much time go by without a blog post, even if that’s only important to me. Dust accumulates around the house as experiences roll by and then I feel overwhelmed. And I wanted to learn to link and add a blog roll; I’m still learning blogging etiquette and technique. In future, I hope to post twice a month. Short ones. With pictures.
This weekend, grandson and his little sister stayed with me. It could have all gone terribly wrong, as I tend to get a bit stressed and anal, or I could hope to plan the time in such a way so that we would all be pleasantly occupied. Eleven year old Castle is into Nat Geo, his Kindle Fire, and movies. Morgana, age 6, is very pink-centric, curious, and energetic. They have different fathers.
My home is filled with mementos handed down plus all my books, dolls, artwork and supplies; it’s only natural that a little girl would want to touch and know about these treasures. And what a glorious way to get my dusting done! Even when Morgana chided me on how thick the dust was, I didn’t mind. Side by side we “swiffer’d” the whole house as I told her histories of my things. Castle cooked for us and enjoyed his down time.
A highlight this spring was “Cousin-Sister” Julie’s visit. When we’re not cracking ourselves up we are discussing serious subjects and marvel that other folks might disagree with our opinions. Since I couldn’t take time off from my part-time job, Cousin-Sister finished painting my kitchen the mocha shade, and put a lovely light grey paint on my guest room walls. We power washed my siding and freshened up the golden-orange shutters outside. She delved into my newest books on decor, and we shopped for new fabric for kitchen window curtains she will make for her townhouse in VA. Oh! What a glorious time we had!
Two years ago I almost lost this beloved cottage. I treasure my 3rd generation White Rock/East Dallas roots. Julie and I always go visit the family at Grove Hill Cemetery when she’s here. We catch them up on current events and ask for guidance. This year we felt Nannie was most assuredly there for us. I introduced them to my Cube; they must have been surprised to see I’d finally let go of my little red Chevy.
Change is so hard but often necessary, don’t you agree?
My background music tonight is: Joe Bonamassa Live from New York Beacon Theatre
Recently my focus has shifted somewhat from sketch journaling to obsessively feasting my hungry eye on images from my collection of books and periodicals related to mixed media. All art forms inform one another in my opinion. I’m still sketching, but not on a daily basis. So it happens recently that a weekend with grandson Castle coincides with an Art Mart event at White Rock Lake. And off we go.
While there I found an irresistible art doll by Jan Byron; she and I discussed the dilemma between the urge to keep our inner well-spring of creativity “pure” by avoiding looking at other artists’ work, and the desire to see what they are up to.
I believe that even if we find ourselves strongly influenced by the art around us, a point of view, a technique; nevertheless, we should dive right in to savoring all the inspiration and information available to us (if that is our choice) and not fear being criticized as being unoriginal or derivative in our approach.
But copying someone’s art and claiming it as your own design is not just copyright infringement but unethical as well; not to mention completely unsatisfying. Anyway that discussion was had all over the web years ago, and everyone understands it.
What is different, and allowed, is interpreting a piece in your own way while giving credit to the other artist for your inspiration. And anyway, our own style, taste, skill level and emotions and even the angle at which we hold a pen belong solely to us and no matter how hard we might try, we simply cannot make an artdoll look exactly like one made by anyone else.
And I was thrilled to see that Jan had wisely kept her pricing more in line with what a great piece deserves to sell for, rather than lowering them into a level that is competitive with a retail chain store gift department just because of the economy. Good art of any genre is worth the price, pride and delight the buyer feels while gasping, “I own this! OMG I just bought a OOAK (one of a kind) artwork! I deserve this for (insert any rationalization here)” “ Happy Birthday Me!”
So, I treated my grandson Castle to an awesome print by Brad W. Foster, whose work we fell hard for that day. As for me, I went home with art doll “Turn the Page…” by Jan Byron. I plan on making myself an art doll for my birthday coming up. I wonder what it will look like?
Check out Brad’s and Jan’s sites:
There was so much going on since my last post, I didn’t think I had produced any artwork. So glad I was wrong. Lost track of time, too, as I transitioned in my job to a new and much better schedule; finally got approval on a mortgage modification, connected with former co-workers, old school friends, and family I had lost track of; mourned the loss of two of them to cancer and another to a ripe old age, a grand patriarch celebrated by his loved ones. My son’s illness hangs on, and there is nothing I can do about it (after many years of trying).
Hello to Mary Korfanty, the strongest and bravest woman I know! To Helaina Meara’s spirit: do you know I think of you often with fond memories? Hey cousin Vickie! I hope I really do get to visit you and Bill in Germany before you move back stateside. So cool to discover you are a talented stained glass artist! Jim G from BA, I consider emailing you and lose my nerve.
When Cousin-Sister Julie comes to visit, I am looking forward to taking her on a jaunt in my new Nissan Cube. Almost waited too long to replace my old beloved Chevy. I am looking forward to rendezvouz with my artsy friends here in Dallas, and online, and with precious grandson, Castle, and to the autumn and winter season. I am looking forward to getting Medicare. I am looking forward.