Sunday, August 23, 2015

Artist Appreciation Month

I'm late in the month, but August is Artist Appreciation Month. No, that doesn't mean you send me gift cards, but you can if you want. For this post I'm going to share which artists inspire me. I was informed of this wonderful holiday by Patience Brewster, an artist known for unique handmade gifts and Christmas ornaments, to share my story of which artists have impacted me personally.

Here is one of Patience Brewster's "Dasher" ornaments that I think is so absolutely fun.

So, thinking about my journey as an artist includes so many influences - from my first oil painting instructor (and I can't seem to find where he is today but has become active in Arts for the Parks), to my first watercolor instructor, and on and on. All these teachers inspired me, grounded me, and taught me tremendously... But somehow I still wasn't "free". There was still something more that needed to be released.

I wrote on my paper crafting blog in the spring of 2010 about the start of a new artistic journey. After setting painting full time aside and diving into the world of designing papercrafts projects for manufacturers and publications for a few years, something new was brewing. This is my journal entry:


As of late, I've had an obsession with Alice. I saw the new Alice movie last month and was "enchanted" with the artistry in the film...the costumes, the color (or lack of), the characters. It was all so "artsy". I wanted to see it again the next day, but didn't. Besides stirring the artist in me, I related to Alice in a strange way. Grown up Alice was "expected" to conform to society, she was expected to dress a certain way and marry a certain man and live a certain life. I tried this mold on for the past seven months. I took a corporate job, sat at a corporate desk, and brought home a corporate paycheck. But I was dying inside. After three months the artist inside of me was screaming to get out. Yet, I was so tired at the end of the day, that I couldn't physically do anything creative. After months of prayer and patiently waiting, I finally found my way out and couldn't be happier in my spirit.

The first thing I painted on my new journey - without consciously thinking about it - was - Alice. I was inspired by a recent issue of Somerset Studios magazine - their theme throughout the magazine was Alice. I picked it up on a recent trip to Texas, and I couldn't put it down. I also was inspired by Kelly Rae Roberts. But what turned me on to Kelly Roberts was an art post by Courtney Walsh on her blog several years ago. Courtney, you have no idea how much I was screaming on the inside while sitting at the corporate America desk bored out of my mind reading this post. I guess one just doesn't know how much we can effect the lives of someone else. Thank you for being the little white rabbit for me to follow. I didn't know it at the time, but it was the beginning of a journey.

So....I came home from our trip to Six Flags and opened my box of art supplies that the UPS man delivered the week before. (Yes, I haven't even opened the box because I knew once I did, there was no turning back) I followed the techniques in Kelly Robert's book and drawing from inspiration in the books and magazines, came up with several whimsical versions of Alice.

Since that blog post five years ago, I have had an amazing fast paced artistic journey that still keeps me out of breath. The sky is the limit and the feedback and comments people share are heartwarming. My love for mixed media has not dulled, and my imagination is soaring with ideas that I can't implement fast enough.

I have done several more "Alice" mixed media pieces. This is one of my favorites. It's 20"x 20" and has a home with a beautiful little girl.

If you are a mixed media artist, considering joining the challenges at Mixed Media Monthly Challenge. There is a wide variety of artists and crafters that participate, and frankly, I would welcome more mixed media "art" projects. We have some very cool prize sponsors coming up for the rest of the year and some fun challenges. 

This is one of the latest of my mixed media paintings.

I would love to hear in your comments about some artists that have impacted you personally through your journey.

And after you comment, check out the fun artistic ornaments by Patience Brewster

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week.

1 comment:

  1. Your Alice work is just wonderful! I've done one of these for a sweet little girl before too. I just ADORE your crane MM canvas! Unbelievable! Simply fabulous work, well done!