From the Pros – Somerset Apprentice, Autumn 2011

by | Oct 21, 2011 | Articles | 0 comments

I am …

Dizzy with ideas and absorbed in the arts in every aspect of my life. Even though I’ve been a working artist for decades, there is a bubbling wellspring of creativity that is so new, and fresh…the excitement keeps me awake when I should be sleeping!!! My current focus in addition to creating mixed media collage woven with words is working with artists as an Artist Empowerment Coach. Tallahassee, Florida, is home where I manage a thriving artist community called Railroad Square Art Park and also have a flourishing art business called 3 Hip Chics.

Favorite medium?

Oh, my…one favorite…that is So difficult…I must say photography. In my early twenties, the passion to create art was very intense, but perfectionism immobilized me. Stacks of blank books, Bristol paper, canvas boards and tubes of acrylic paints filled my drawers. The fear of “making a mistake” kept the paper and canvas blank. My “savior” was a Nikon F2 camera that trained my eye to see the world differently. Decades later I’m still clicking the shutter…taking pictures almost daily and utilizing them in my mixed media art. An almost equal obsession is collecting paper to incorporate into collage…photos and scrapbook papers are my most favorite possessions.

How do you get your muse started?

The easiest way to get my muse started is to create with a theme in mind. All the Stampington publications call for submissions have great prompts to get the creative juices going and also it’s easy to make prompts up. I think of a theme like “events I remember from childhood” and just keep pondering the concept. In a short time, my mind floods with ideas that I jot down. One idea leads to another and before long several pieces of art come to fruition. The other way I jump-start my muse is to comb through all my magazines and art books. Just seeing beautiful art pieces stimulates the right side of the brain. There are so many yummy publications about the creative life and mixed media techniques…my two new favorites are Painted Pages by Sarah Ahearn Bellemare and Art at the Speed of Life by Pam Carriker.

How has your art evolved since you were a beginning artist?

Some of my first and fondest memories were designing clothes with my nana at age four. Drawing my poodle was a passion. Growing up mom and I took many crafty classes together. My hands were always busy. While working on a BA, my creative passion was squelched but was reawakened in graduate school. Majoring in the field of Transpersonal Counseling Psychology and studying Jungian dream work and ancient visual symbols began to re-awaken the artist and wild woman within. My art business began over 25 years ago on Maui, Hawaii, selling hand-painted clothing and designing jewelry. For way too many years I created art with a sellable product in mind. It’s been a wonderful and successful journey…but the biggest evolution of my work has been over the past two years creating mixed media collage from deep within and with no concern about marketing a product …just enjoying the process of exploration with passion.

Best Advice?

Set a timer for 15 minutes and go into the studio. You don’t need to have a project in mind…just go into the studio and see where the spirit moves you. I generally spend a lot more than 15 minutes once I get my motor going.

Time spent organizing supplies is a great way to utilize studio time. I find the more organized I get, the freer my creative energy becomes. It’s so wonderful to be in the spontaneous flow of creativity and have all your supplies at your fingertips…or at least where they can be found.

Take the time to do some soul-searching and experimenting to find out what art techniques and mediums really excite you…it’s easy to repeat what is familiar or copy a style you like but going beyond our comfort zones and tromping in unfamiliar territory brings amazing results and builds our creative muscle.

Take online classes…there is always something to learn no matter how far along the creative journey we are. Even more exciting…get out of the daily routine and hop a plane to take a workshop with your favorite artists. You will go home completely inspired with fond memories of the new circle of creative friends you met at the workshop.

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