I said I was going to continue my I Love Art series, so I'm back with another one. Gathering Supplies. Whether you browse around to look for new stuff, or you tour your work space and rediscover forgotten stuff, the gathering phase of a project is something I recognize as a vital part of my creative process. Let's say you determine on a plan for making something new - a collage, an assemblage, a journal....you have an aesthetic you hope to express, and you begin visualizing the many ways to approach the project, and the various tools and resources that will be useful. Very often we rush through this stage, when perhaps it might be enlightening to stretch it out, as we listen to the inner voice tell us all the clever directions that might be considered. Pre-planning and gathering, of both supplies and ideas, has merit. As the actual art-making begins, we may stray from the intended plan. It's all good.
So I'm taking advantage of the school Spring break, with no real commitments this week, to finally clean my studio. As I organize, purge, and pitch, I am accumulating a box of supplies into a journal kit for a new project I've just started. It's a journal with the theme "It's Elementary". Inspired by the darling stitched tags I got from Anthropologie a while back, I have wanted to fabricate a journal from kraft file folders, and use all my favorite red and turquoise stuff. As I sort and file all the piles of stuff around here I toss in everything I find that I might want to use in this journal.
While I'm in clean-and-organize mode I have started to get together all the materials and samples for the upcoming Far Away Places workshop this May. I have stacks of xeroxes and painted scraps that will go into my supply box. The gathering of images for these pieces, and the handouts for the workshop, was so much fun. I love looking through all my clip-art and other resource books to see familiar designs with fresh eyes, based on a particular project. I want to procrastinate the cleaning and do more fun stuff with the elements I'm finding but I am determined to get this studio in better shape. I will dangle a carrot for myself to allow some play time once I have a cleared off work surface. (That may not be until Friday!)
EDIT: I forgot to mention this - this falls under gathering too. Lynne and I have curated a Far Away Places Pinterest board. See HERE. My personal issues with Pinterest need not be aired here, and I acknowledge that it isn't going away anytime soon, so we've found a constructive way to utilize the platform. We've linked locations and books and other interesting resources to get us and our students motivated for our two workshops.
Another aspect of gathering - when you scoop up an item with no immediate purpose. Whether a found or reclaimed object, a new tool or material, or something that jives with your aesthetic, you just know when you see something cool that you will find a reason to use it. I put one of each of these in my "me first" journal, so now I can use these with abandon. I came across the envelopes at www.MuhsHome.com and when they arrived I was tickled. The boxes are as fabulous as the contents. Who knew you could get kraft in 'natural' or 'orange'? Had to have both. I also got their brass tabs - look for them under metal if you visit their site.
A final word about "gathering supplies" - while I wholeheartedly believe that moderate accumulation of materials is a vital part of the creative process, there is danger when we employ that as an excuse to shop and hoard. Use your stuff! Make cool things. Feel the need to discover something new? Dig through your own stash and invent a way of using what you have. I'm finding all kinds of good stuff in here today, and I'm realizing I'm ready to part with alot too. Shakin' it off...feels good.
I've been saying it for years....even had a ring made that says it: I'm a Lucky Girl. And now we have one! Yesterday we adopted a little female kitten. She is precious - still very shy and skittish as she gets used to our home, but she is very loving and a cuddler. We are crazy about her already. Her name is Lucky.
I didn't think I would ready for another cat this soon as we are still mourning our Winston. But one day when I was driving in the car, sobbing to myself as I was thinking about him, a black cat ran across the street and I almost hit it. Swerving over to the side of the road I said to myself, 'that was lucky'. And for some reason it felt like a sign that it was time to visit the shelters and see if we might fit with a new friends, and open our hearts and our home to another black cat. It's commonly known that black cats are the hardest to adopt out, maybe because people think they are bad luck? I've only had two cats and they are both black. I guess, like this bowl of jelly beans, the black ones get left behind. Lucky for me, I love the licorice, and I will gladly invite a black cat home. So with the help of the kind ladies of Second Chance for Animals, and the Franklin Township Animal Shelter, we brought home our girl. They think she was born sometime in March 2012, so we are claiming today as her birthday. Fits, right?
I haven't had time to mess around with graphics to create a St.Patrick's Day greeting for you, so I am pulling up the one from 2009. They say you have to make your own luck....done!
I did a little organizing yesterday as I'm launching into a few new projects and had to clear the debris from the table. As I was putting things away, I stumbled upon these polymer clay cutting devices. I know I own at least three sets of these....they never seem to surface when I'm looking for them. So I had to dip them into the wet paint nearby and tap them off on scratch paper. Cool tool for clay, but also handy for making little marks on your journal pages! Now I've put them in a place where I will find them the next time I need a quatrefoil fix.
So I didn't manage to post my declarations for loving art every day in February, and this post will go up March 1st, but this has been fun and there's more I want to say on the subject so I will continue the quest.
Today's subject, no surprise, is stencils (and masks). I'm sure I'll post more about it at another time when I announce my new collections. I love finding stencils, and making my own, to use in my work. I tend to rely on spray paint as a medium because of the quick, deliberate but random means of getting cool effects on the paper or canvas. As you may know, I launched a series of stencils with Stencil Girl Products in 2011 - it was such a thrill to be invited by Mary Beth and John Shaw to join their team. I'd been wanting to have stencil line for a long time and so I started with them (and have more coming!) and then I wanted a more personal series, mostly for my workshops, so I now offer stencils, stencil/mask sets, and coordinating rubber stamps at Green Pepper Press. There will be more designs coming this Spring! Just last month Stampington started carrying the Stencil Girl Michelle Ward stencils! If you are interested in making your own, to cut images that elevate your work as unique and authentic, visit my tutorial page.