Every so often I find myself questioning the direction my art is taking... more cigar boxes, or mixed media canvases, how can I retain my sense of self and still evolve. The first answer came when the senior pastor at my church called on me to create a series of pieces based on the discussion during a new Sunday School class. The Edge is about our ancestral need to express our faith, in written word (the Apostles Creed for example), story and visually. Of course, I said, never stopping to wonder about the challenge he'd handed me.
Then, I dropped my daughter off at the Woodland (Park) Art Fair, a juried annual show that attracts 200+ artists and an enormous audience. Impressive art sprinkled with mixed media. Like this guy, a piece by Brad Devlin, a Louisville artist that I 'discovered' in Ann Arbor, MI a few years ago.
Having been in the midst of a rather nasty flare, I hadn't planned to stay but I happened upon a parking space - right beside the show - no walking! So, I wandered around long enough to chat with Brad, a few friends, and then I came upon Katie Sasser's booth - the most amazing jewelry! More mixed media on chain, it struck a familiar chord and I spent quite a while drooling over all the eye candy (not literally - it was too hot:) and talking about the best sources for tiny metal wings and things.
Quite unlike most of the jewelry there, I'm willing to bet you can see why it 'spoke' to me! And such a friendly, vivacious, wonderful artist; Katie doesn't have a blog or Etsy shop but told me to email her, that she'd be glad to take some of my bling and 'stuff' and turn it into amazing pieces for jewelry, assemblage, whatever.
I told her a bit about my art and that I'm a soldering weenie! She convinced me that, with a bit of practice, I really can make frames like the one I just put on a cigar box, and all kinds of cool stuff. She wrote down the name of a book where I would find everything I needed to know.
I'm looking forward to getting Stephanie Lee's Semiprecious Salvage: Creating Found Art Jewelry - the book Katie recommended, also just mentioned on Seth Apter's The Altered Page as a favorite art book; his post includes a lengthy note by the author that is an incredible read.
Her words on process are about, "figuring out some way myself to make something work with what I had on hand. An approach which I am hoping to refine with each minute at the work table." Hmm, not entirely unlike my own journey, which may or may not be so blessed without the humanity, inclusiveness, sharing and encouragement of so many who have walked this path a few steps ahead of me.
p.s. I dearly wish I'd had this box, the one with the frame, photographed before I gave it to my friend, Susan. Between the gold and the purple it didn't turn out nearly as nice as the piece did!