Thursday, May 23, 2013

May Photos - Art

Art is so subjective... and I know all to well, art is what your soul is drawn to DO and can take many forms throughout a lifetime. My practical mother and father didn't know what to make of an odd child who just HAD to keep her hands busy. Luckily they humored me...and bought me supplies!

Throughout my childhood, I was obsessed with: coloring, Mardi Gras bead crafts, macrame (jewelry and wall hangings), jewelry making,  cross stitch (often giant framed wall pieces), crochet, rug hooking, needlepoint, sewing, fabric applique, cake decorating... and on and on.

Can you understand why it seemed like destiny to work for The Queen of Crafts, Carol Duvall?? In my twenties and thirties, when there was a predictable lull in my career (April - June most years), I would teach.  Somewhere along the way, I bought a house with a really ugly bathroom (I've never had a nice bathroom since moving to California! Still don't!) and I bought a set of rubber stamps to get some little flowers around the mirrors I had installed to make it feel bigger in there. I used paint to get the images on the wall and colored in the little designs with bright acrylics. I cleaned those stamps and put them in a drawer for YEARS.

And then came the first HUGE career setback. Three different directors I was producing for got out of the business / moved away / stopped hiring me because I wouldn't put out. I was in a deep funk and couldn't seem to make anything happen. I started watching Carol... twice a day, every day. Before long, I knew all the guests and their respective schticks. I loved Mary O'Neil and her rubber stamped velvet. I bought  a bunch of her stamps and started making scarves and blankets. And soon I was fascinated with rubber stamping.

I went to a stamp convention at the Queen Mary. My brain was on mental overload...didn't buy a thing but when I left, there was a flier on my car for a new stamp store...1/2 mile from my house! I started teaching there and my students told me that Carol was produced a few towns over. And I sent in my resume and worked my longest gig in production! 3 years straight!

But it was rubber stamping that made me accept myself as an artist. I'm sure you're laughing...but as a kid who grew up with a teacher that made me feel worthless because I couldn't draw like Stevie ( amazing artist from grade school), I was so insecure of my drawing ability.  I refused to even try for decades!

By stamping the image, I was suddenly free to play with other art materials: colored pencil, watercolor, acrylics, oils, chalks. And all kinds of techniques: resists, embossing, debossing, layered papers, reverse imagery, gels and on and on. Suddenly, I had a proper art studio and I was no longer afraid. When I finally took drawing as a grownup, I knew it was a skill that could be honed.

Now I own a stamp line and rep a few others. And I draw my own stamps too! Sometimes on paper, often on computer...but I do it. 

And all those other skills lend well to other artistic love. By just doing and not giving up because of some weakness I perceived, I still found my way!  If there's something you love, are drawn to do...keep doing it. It is the work of the soul!

1 comment:

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

Nice to know the story behind the work:) Mom says the oldest grandbiped has a flair for art too - and boy, does Mom ever keep her busy with crafts!

Woos - Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning