Standing in my Truth

The process of art-making continues to teach me, every single day. I don’t know why that still surprises me. I could be tooling around, doing the same thing I’ve always done and BAM! something hits me.

Glass chunks. Experimenting for upcoming jewelry collection.

As you know, I’ve gone through a business rebranding this year. Along with that I’ve tried to really hone in on what it is that I’m trying to accomplish. I came up with the name Quirky&Odd because I’ve always been a little quirky, my work has never really been mainstream, and I wanted to stand more in my truth.

Laying out glass pieces in preparation for forming in the kiln.

What I’d realized this week was that I hadn’t been standing in my truth. I was still designing based on a model that doesn’t fit me; one where I consider the market in a way that doesn’t ring clear with me. Don’t get me wrong…I want to make some amazing stuff that y’all will love, that’s for sure!

I think this “issue” is one that separates one type of artist from another. I’m realizing that I’m in the camp of artists that need to create based on what is in them, as opposed to designing with what customers will buy, in mind.

It’s a conundrum. Of course you want to sell your work, and of course you want to make what people love. On the other hand, trying to figure out what people like is not an easy task–at least not for me. I find that people love my work more when I’m creating what I want to create. That’s the quirky stuff. The one-of-a-kind stuff. The “Wow, this is different, I haven’t seen anything like this before” stuff. It’s also what feeds my soul.

Ready to be put though a 5 hour melting, annealing, and cooling process in my Paragon SC3 kiln. Do me proud, babies.

So, that’s where I am right now, and that’s where I’m heading. I’m getting back to listening to my materials and environment for where to proceed next. What to make next. What to explore further. Sometimes it takes me on a wild good chase that comes up empty, but I always learn something in the process. Sometimes it ends up being pure magic.

I’ve decided that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. I’ll be counting on my Inner Sanctum VIP-ers for their valued input!

NOTE: The pictures in this post are the start of me getting back to following what comes to me. This week, in a meditation I got an idea for a collection. I’ll reveal more as the experiments proceed and it starts to come together physically. I’m really excited about it, and I hope you will be, too.

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Watching Art Emerge

My latest art endeavor has been to let the art lead the way. It is very freeing. Starting with no preconceived notion of what I want to create and waiting for images to appear. It fascinates me to see a finished product, and to take in everything that has shown itself to me. It makes me wonder, how do the images relate to me? How is it that those particular people showed up in the art? How did they get so interwoven with each other? 

The process is a meditative journey, and the end result draws me deeper in, wondering about that journey that took place somewhere in my subconscious mind. It really is magical.

When you look at the modern-day totems that keep presenting themselves to me you see one thing, and then you see another. It’s almost like an optical illusion, with your mind not being able to hold onto one image before it shifts into the next.

For someone who loves eyes, these are a perfect expression for me. I count 30 eyes. Thirty-three if you count sunglasses. Thirty-four if you count 1/2 sunglasses. And there were four more that didn’t make the cut.

WIP – The Purple Page

This is an art journal page that I started a long time ago. Acrylic paint and paint pen on watercolor paper. As you can see, it’s gotten overly busy. I love my detail, yes I do. But, it doesn’t make for a very grabbing finished design without some kind of frame, and the border isn’t defining enough.

I’ve looked at this page over and over. There are elements I really like, and some, not so much. I’m not really fond of the purple and yellow either. I kept putting it away and coming back to it. I gathered up my courage and just went for it…blacking out some of the areas that weren’t as exciting to me. Once again I realized that once I get started, it starts to take on a life of it’s own.

I was really pleased with the bold black areas that I added, and I decided to call it a night. My friend, Chris, pointed out that it looked like a silhouette in the middle and I thought, YES! I did not see that when looking at the actual piece but it’s pretty obvious in the photo. I highly recommend taking a photo of your work to gain a new perspective.

I came back the next day, ready to tackle the face in the middle and again, I was paralyzed. I didn’t want to mess it up. So, once again I pushed past my comfort zone and dove in, knowing that it will all unfold as it should, and if it didn’t, I still had plenty of black paint to start again.

I liked it! But then thought, “I can’t just leave all that black there!” So I set out again, and think I took it one step too far. The new detail, shown below, took away from the impact of the vivid black. As did the white colored pencil shading I did. Boo.

And if that weren’t enough, I even took it a step further and started to add color to those new plank shapes that I added. Ugh. I’m going to keep going with it because, well, you never know. And yes, always the painting over it with black to fall back on. I’ll keep you updated, if you’d like to follow along. One of these days I might feel done.

I do love the feel of the paper as the layers accumulate. It starts to feel leathery. I also think that the previous layers do show through, even though you can’t really see them. I don’t know how to put that into words, but you sense it when you see it in person.