Have you ever painted a Jean Jacket?! It's fun and also somewhat of a challenge...…
I’ve been thinking… a LOT of thinking! I really need to figure out some things. It has taken a lot of conversations with myself but I believe I’m coming to some valuable conclusions. I’m on a ‘Mission’ to make a Statement; A Mission Statement.
Hello, it’s me Barb; I am an artist. Yes, I have been one for decades (a couple more than I’d like to count). From what I’ve seen on the WWW most bloggers have some different objectives than I, so let’s take a look back for a bit.
Direction? which way to go?
Well, it’s now been a few years that I have been sharing my projects on this site. I don’t really like calling myself a ‘blogger’ for some reason. I’d rather put myself in a different category. Hmmm, why; well it might be the fact that I came into this creative venture from a specific direction. I want to have a direction; one that is clear to you and also me.
Being an artist; I had worked for many clients as an illustrator, specifically a technical illustrator. I spent many long hours hunched over a desk creating ‘flat’ art that explained things that were often in need of technical drawings. Don’t get me wrong, I loved every minute of it (except the crazy deadlines and 2am’s) I worked from home even though there wasn’t a pandemic! It was pretty consistent work and always quite interesting.
This type of artwork means I have a good understanding of form, structure and architecture. Actually; I painted many concepts of buildings that needed to be quite exact to plans. It was very meticulous but also meant that there was a pretty consistent need for more. Detail and specifics is my nature even when I don’t want it to be.
I loved and still do love painting… but hate trying to sell in a gallery. Making pieces of art and having it hang for a long time without anyone jumping at it is hard to bear. That is why commercial art is so much better as they can’t get it fast enough. Once you put your heart and soul into a piece it’s hard to let it go.
My oil paintings hang on my walls… They are my specific scenes that have some emotional attachment to me. Lately I have been reflecting back and really looking at all that I have done through the years. When I flip through my extensive photo gallery I almost get nauseous from how much there is! ‘Busy’ isn’t quite the word. However, I’m seeing a definite common thread.
The feelings of sheer joy and calm when walking in nature comes out in my paintings. My goal is to capture the wonderful shadows and colours within the combination of trees, sky and ground with everything else in harmony. Somehow I would gravitate back to these themes each time.
In this post I am looking to see if I actually have a deliberate direction. Some days I feel like I am trying to head into too many directions and had wondered if I was too diverse. Let me look back and see how it will affect the mission statement.
Mother Nature Comes to help
How exciting it was to discover that there is a way for Mother Nature to actually aid in the printing of natural foliage! That has opened a whole new avenue for me. It is somewhat mysterious so that keeps one interested as well. This allowed me to be more active, use more media and get outside more often!
It feels much better to be in ‘nature’; observing all the species of leaves and learning about them and not just painstakingly using paint. It is sheer magic when all the elements decide to ‘dance’ together.! Through all the use of fabrics I also noticed my return to my love of sewing, something that is a staple in my life.
Pretty & Practical:
Yes, it’s nice to make pretty things but it’s extra great when the pretty things have a purpose! Again that must be something I absorbed from my mother’s wisdom of living through a war. And you do remember that Scarlet Ohara made a dress from curtains?! Well, I’m close; blankets becoming slippers and jackets.
Nature printed in another way:
Pottery was always something I loved in grade school but setting up a kiln seemed like too much. Well, it might not be a perfect substitute but I like a challenge so I’ve pushed the limits of using concrete, and boy has it been fun! I challenge the media in all directions without following any of the typical rules. My motto is; ‘try it and see’ and keep trying until it makes you happy.
Orbs and other simple forms become interesting with texture from nature. ‘We’ work together accepting of each other and in appreciation. There’s a sense of calm since little stresses of technology are not playing any part here. Yes I know… I should post on social media more! Honestly I really do hope to very soon.
From leaves to rocks to geodes… there’s so much bountiful beauty to inspire you. It’s almost like when you admire all the details of a gem but here you are the one creating the gem; you are in control.
If you have a good idea why keep it constrained? Often the greatest ideas come from ‘mashing’ ideas together. Don’t discount ideas before you give them a chance. Design in all avenues has always been my passion. I completely enjoy the opportunity to ‘design’ wherever I can. Watching and observing gives a sense of awareness, so that improvements can be made. ‘Observation skills’ in drawing and life are priceless; take the time to really being aware of what is around you.
What worked well in concrete seemed like a good variation to try with polymer clay. That makes it easy enough if you are limited in your work space or media. Using what you have instead of buying makes for a better world. Nature has a way of creating beauty without to much contrived perfection – I love that! It also makes it quite easy to simulate.
Don’t limit your canvas:
This is quite the ‘mash-up’ to combine geodes in upholstery and paint! They are holding strong for years now! Really, now you can sit on art work.
Yyou can be in control of the colours and patterns you want instead of looking all over for them sine they are easier to make than find. Yup, I am a bit of a control-freak in that sense;
No fancy painting skills:
As you may notice the skills needed to paint most of the projects are quite easy. Simple dry-brushing and antiquing will bring quite surprising results.
Can you believe it? No mold needed & ridiculous details. I can’t take credit for the textures; thanks to ‘Mother Nature’.
Ok, I know this fellow has made it around the world via the ‘net and he still watches over me every day. I credit him for being the first concrete draping project to get me started…
Well, the practicality of sewing and the knowledge of form allowed me to offer patterns. These patterns were specific to the pandemic but I did enjoy the challenge of mapping them out.
So many people have written to me about how happy they have been with them and I hope I’ve done a part in keeping people safe. I’m happy to say there have been 163,655 downloads as of today! I hope that means a lot of happy sewists. I’ve come to some conclusions through this backward journey.
MY MISSION STATEMENT:
To provide everyone the inspiration and knowledge to make unique creations that give a sense of pride.
Let me know what you think… How have I helped you?