This cold month of January...
a time of self reflection
and seeing the mystery.
What is the thread that weaves through my art? This is a perfect question to be asked this very first brand new day of 2013, as I ponder where I’ve been and where I’m headed. I have always been drawn to neutral and muted colors and organic fibers. I like to wear these colors, decorate my home in them and incorporate them into my creative work. I have had others often make comments to me that I need to bring more color into my life in all of these areas. Whenever I try, I find it doesn’t feel like a good fit. I have to be true to myself. I am also drawn to collecting muted reflective silver things. In the past month or so, I have been picking up silver threads here and there. It is time to bring that into my work, along with the organic and discarded found objects that I love. To me all of this represents my love for nature and quiet surroundings, yet I’m one who also loves a little sparkle, like city life, therefore, the silver thread represented.
Joanna is also teaching online workshops, and I am so excited to be taking "Mix It Up Fabric Collage" from this beautiful artist at Moss Hill Studio!
Its been good to think about threads weaving through my life, as, probably like many other people, I grew up with art and crafts and always making things for myself or family and friends. I dont really think of myself as an artist but being creative is part of my life that I cant imagine being without - it brings me inspiration and fulfilment on a simple personal level. So the threads that are always there for me are: the joy I find in making art that is meaningful to me or whoever my gift is for; the sharing of creative discoveries with family and friends; the continuing of our family traditions which go back through Mum, who has always nurtured and taught us to create in a myriad of ways,and further back to my Gran and Great-Gran; and my love of using themes and images which reflect parts of my life - from my childhood, my travels, and my love of soft blendy colours, books, reading, gardening, nature, and invoking a sense of memory and history.
The thread that weaves through my art is the joy and fearless abandon to experiment and try new things. My art journals are my constant companions that encourage my playful nature. I find faces and eyes fascinating. After all "Eyes are the Window to your Soul."
Also featuring prominently in my work is lots of texture and layering. I have always had a good eye for color and design but drawing had always intimidated me.
Struggling to deal with the unexpected and tragic death of my horse Jazz in 1997 unleashed this block. I wanted to be able to draw him. As I felt I didn't have enough photos of him and I didn't want to forget my favorite memories of him doing all the crazy, silly things he did. We had a very special connection and I took his death really hard this gave me the extra push I needed to overcome my fear of drawing so I signed up for drawing lessons and horses were my subject.
After some time my fascination with faces, started to creep back into my art but this time I was drawing them! In the past when I would try and stick to a theme for a journal and it would not encourage my creativity but stifle it. This changed when I started feeling braver about drawing faces and I have since filled up one journal and am working on several more!
My palette tends to be earthy rich saturated tones inspired by the natural world, flora and fauna and I am always collecting feathers, lichens and leaves. But one thing is always constant is that passion to experiment with either new colours, textures, imagery, or media! I love tactile work so I love to layer different papers, tape, photos, media and fasten with thread, wire, screws, brads, clips, grommets.
I work mostly by intuition and I am astounded sometimes at the art I create. It seems so mysterious how your hands just seem to have a mind of their own. Where does this come from???
I like to think it's Jazz's gift to me :)
There are two threads that interweave themselves throughout my artwork: the joy of discovery and the desire for a safe haven.
I’m a self-taught artist, so I love to explore new techniques and experiment with a variety of media and materials. I’m passionate about fusing vintage finds into my hand made books and collages. I can often be found digging through tattered piles of books and ephemera in dusty antique shops in search of inspiration.
I like to think of myself as an intrepid explorer, but at heart I’m a lover of home. Art allows me to experience the thrill of discovery, yet at the same time creates in me an inner sense of peace and safety.
Birds are a common motif in my artwork, and I believe they reflect this duality perfectly. Birds fly away to parts unknown and soar to great heights, yet they always return to their nests. A bird gathers bits and pieces to create a sturdy, beautiful home for its young, and then abandons that carefully constructed abode in search of new adventures. Art allows me to express both sides of my nature – the nester and the restless wanderer, and to weave them both into a beautiful whole.
Please visit this blog to see a beautiful book by Heidi Redfield.
And read this story by my newest student...The Intuitive Life
She tugs gently on the colorful threads emerging from her sleeve. They are connected to the handwriting of Spirit on her soul guiding her to follow the stirrings of her heart and share the gifts and beauty that are hers alone to give.
She pulls a fraction at a time, listening with care and attention to the voice of the thread as it emerges. She cannot see or hear the threads beyond this. She can only live with and listen to what is present in her.
She appreciates this tapestry of soul and experience that unwinds from her heart and uses it as a source of comfort and peace in times of pain and sorrow. It is like the comfort that comes from being clothed in a beloved silk kimono. When she comes to the end of her life she will see the long colorful fabric of her experiences around her and the journey she has crafted.
This is what Spirit wants for us - to follow the stirrings of our heart, to be ourselves, to appreciate life.- Judy Lemezis
This bundle of hidden paintings is what you will go home with if you take my workshop in Oregon on January 19th. Read all about it here and register at Rogue Gallery and Art Center here.
I have extended registration for my online workshop,
read about it here:
And see my side bar for more information,
Thank you so much
to my beautiful students
for being part of the venture!