Follow by Email

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

My Art Journey

It is easier to say "I am a dabbler," than to say "I am an Artist."  So I'll type it with small letters:  I am an artist.  I experiment and create using various media, materials and techniques, and it brings joy into my life.
I live near the Canada border, Niagara Falls, two of the Great Lakes, and Buffalo, NYS in farm country where Amish buggies are a common sight. Retired from the optical field (licensed optician) and a short stint handling mail at the USPS, I share living space with some fish and chips and a very supportive spouse who finished off a large loft for me to use as a studio. (He gets half of the room, but it's too bright and pleasant to be called a man-cave...)

I've dabbled in arts and crafts for many decades, wishing I could have had formal art training.  One basic pottery course, a folk-painting course and a subsequent pottery workshop were my humble beginnings.

Here is a summary of my "art journey":

- wrote stories and poetry
- sketched mushrooms and wheat grass in art class

- enjoyed candle-making, decoupage, macrame, filling shadow boxes
- sewed clothes and other projects
- continued writing poetry
- hand-formed clay (Pottery 101)

- founded Rainbow Rubberworks, an ART rubber stamp manufacturing and mail order company (Was introduced to decorated mail.)
-learned oil paint marbleizing
-took another pottery class and got to use the wheel (once)

- began making bed quilts and quilted clothing
- took a tole-type folk art painting class
- did graduated fabric sun-dyeing in Mason jars (fun!)
- made honey soap in bee-shaped molds
- tried flower pounding on fabric, also cyano printing (sunlight and resist designs)
- enjoyed photographing nature
- baked coffee- and rust-distressed papers achieving a vintage effect- crispy, fragrant!
- found vintage photo's online (Adopt An Ancestor) and wrote stories about them

- participated in two online fabric PC exchange groups, swapping internationally (Also made/swapped fabric Dotee dolls w/bead tails, fabric ATC's and bookmarks)
- taught beginner quilt-making courses through Cornell Cooperative Extension (made a magic quiet stick for loquacious students, never dared use it)

- took several online Landscape Quilts courses; realized I wanted to make up my own abstract and landscape quilt designs
- discovered printing on stabilized fabrics (even organza) using thermal web or freezer paper, running it through the computer printer (never ruined a printer- phew!)

- experimented with Tyvek; did thread-painting on netting, used adhesive thermal web-applique in wall quilts
- worked on short stories, self-published book of poems, began writing NM inspirational novel
- made/printed out my own stickers and labels
- compiled notes from a 1,100 hike (1980) along the Appalachian Trail, had book printed and bound
- made one-of-a-kind ART books and small accordion-fold poetry books

2010 to present -
- collected fossils; gathered, tumbled and polished large quantities of quartz river pebbles from AL
- made stone/glass/shell jewelry
- continued nature and structural photography
- made scrapbook papers cards, decorated matchboxes
- started several ART journals
- decoupaged on stretched canvas

- discovered MMSA and have been learning new techniques, concentrating on paper arts, experimenting with media, and making new friends ever since.

Important Aspects Of My Life:
my faith
my family
my friendships
observing and enjoying nature
expressing my creativity in many varied ways

participating in the online MMSA mail art group


Why do I "make art?"  First, it brings me JOY.  Also, it's a compulsion, a form of recreation- and it gives me something to share besides words.  I amass paper piles and collect magazine snippets for collage work, but also enjoy working with acrylics on the Gelli Plate and experimenting with watercolors.  I've only experienced an "artist's high" once, and that was while brushing acrylic paint on a long strip of packing paper.  The flood of peace and feeling of well-being were a surprise!

I am looking forward to continued involvement with the MMSA art community, doing what I can to keep it active, vibrant and engaging for many years to come.

"To the hesitant:  You may fear that you are not "as talented" as other artists whose work you admire.  That may or may not be true.  It's really quite subjective.  But you have a different set of eyes.  So, see things your way.  Interpret what you see.  Create.  Share your one-of-a-kind art with the world.  Be.  Live.  Celebrate!"
hhc - 2014


Totty Teabag said...

An ocean apart, yet we still follow the same path...x

KR said...

Believe it or not, after all these years I still think of you by the beautiful sea... Please contact me so we can catch up, dear Totty Teabag, I miss you! Same email as before :)