Yikes! I didn’t realize how long it has been since my last post! I’ve been super busy, with children’s birthday parties at FCp!, writing a speech I’m about to give in June about my origins as a fiber artist (more about that later), and taking “FLOOF-on-the-GO” to a couple of places in town for small-scale art-making.
Today was the second time in 2013 I’ve had Open Studio for the Greater Ithaca Art Trail First Saturday. A faithful friend who always attends my events came, and I enlisted her help to sell some of my work on EBay. There’s a neighbor I see walking almost every day past my shop (which is attached my home) who came in today to see what we’re about. He’s going to help me poster the nearby appartments for my next Open Studio!
But the most exciting moment was when two women whom I’ve never met stopped by. One was from Binghamton, 45 minutes away, bringing her art-teacher friend from Newfield, a mere 15 minutes away. The art tour was a break from providing care for her Mom.
The local woman’s comment made my day, as she hugged me and squealed with delight:”Ooh, I think I’ve found my new home!” Now THAT’s what I love to hear.
I invited her back tomorrow for an Ithaca Singles Art-Making Party that is happening at FCp! in the afternoon. After she comes back, I think I will have a friend for life!
I heard a radio story this morning about Bioneers, scientists who study how nature’s systems work and practice BioMimicry to make a better world for the future. They want to “stimulate curiosity and our childlike sense of wonder” to teach sustainability. That’s what we do here at FLOOF Collage pARTy!, where the materials for art-making are largely recycled/reused, or from nature.
My husband Bob does two crossword puzzles every day – the small one that appears in our daily paper, The Ithaca Journal, and the New York Times daily crossword. Today one of the clues in the NY Times puzzle was “artistic potpourri” and the answer, of course, was “collage”! He was so excited that he finally knew an answer that was about art. Usually the ones about art, theater, or music get him stuck. His realms of interest are history, westerns, nature, and sports. Two points for me!
The more I work with people at FCp!, the more I learn about my own artistic style. As someone with mild ADD (my Mom used to call me a “jackrabbit” in the 50′s, before anyone understood about Attention Deficit Disorder), I have come to terms with many facts about myself which I know I cannot change.
I know that I am full of ideas, sometimes so full that I have to write them down or I cannot sleep. When I first started working as a textile artist, making crazy little cocktail hats in 2001, I had a bulletin board which quickly filled up with notes to myself, quick sketches made while sitting in waiting rooms, and cutouts from magazines and newspapers illustrating concepts that inspired me. When my body is quiet, such as waking from sleep or taking a long, slow shower, projects fill my head and logistical difficulties seem to solve themselves.
I have also figured out that the process of creating a work of art is often more important to me than the end result. It is the seeing that motivates me – the overlapping colors, the shadows, the variations in hue, the twinkling caused by a moving object, the way lines intersect and create odd angles and juxtapositions, the way two objects align and seem to create another dimension.
That is one reason that I love to take photographs, but it is also why I have so much patience with clients in my art-making shop who think and fiddle, do and redo, only getting to the actual assembling of their piece in the last 10 minutes.
I used to say “it is your job to make a mess and my job to clean it up”, hoping to free people to be problem-solvers, not worrying about a neat working surface the way they would if they were at home with a hovering parent or a new dining room table as a work surface. Lately, though, that philosophy has been tempered by the practical concerns about how long it actually takes to get my gluey oak tables, my glitter-filled chairs, and my debris-laden floor wiped down, vacuumed, and ready for the next client.
So come join me and see how much fun we can have together!
This photo shows just a few of the bins that line the walls of my art-making shop at FLOOF Collage pARTy! On Sunday, January 13th from 1-2:30, I will be taking the most colorful bins to FUNKY JUNK, an upcycled furniture and accessories store on the Ithaca Commons.
I’ll be teaching a class called “Miscellaneous Madness with Multicolor” where adults and kids can decorate containers, vases, or flat surfaces with mixed media in crazy hues. Upcycled fabrics, leather, and notions will join found objects of every description to be attached decoratively to whatever you create.
There is plenty of room for families or groups of friends to come together for an afternoon of innovation and design. The process is as much fun as the finished product. Find out more at http://funkyjunkithaca.blogspot.com/
From a birthday party that FCp! hosted today, out of the mouth of a nine-year-old: “Glue is essential for life”. I totally agree!