Thursday, January 18, 2018

Sticking to it!

        So, here I am, a couple days late... but here nonetheless! YAY! It has been a relatively productive week. I have been working on a acrylic on canvas painting, finished a small acrylic on refinished board, finished 2 mini paintings and did a bit of research on showing art in other states/doing craft fairs.
Finally Finished this piece in December and Just titled...
"Into the Rapids"

        First, my paintings. I am loving the way my current piece is going. I have worked on it here and there through out last week and this weekend. It's quite cathartic. When I stop to look at it, I find myself pulled into the other small pieces I am working on. The mental break from one painting opens myself up to feeding into another. It is a small release, but a very productive side effect!  While working on my larger painting (not BIG, but larger than the others... I will have to get the dimensions) I have finished the 3 smaller pieces. My larger piece is an abstract, filled with raw emotion and feeling for me. The last bits I added have really caught the spark of what I'm doing. Or at least trying to convey. I have a working title of "Reckoning" and that is exactly what it is...My  calculating, my estimation, my opinion, my judgement...MY decision to get back into what I love. A commitment via calculated thought to be mindful, present and accountable for creating. Honestly, I FEEL better when I am making something. It makes me a better person... A whole person. A mentally healthy person...okay, that may be debatable, But I think it all contributes to my physical well being. I do think it is a need for me....   I am overwhelmingly enjoying having a space to work, listen to music and paint. It has been too long! Now I just need to organize my days a bit better to accomodate the business and marketing side of things.
        I am not business minded, in the sense of numbers and accounting. I do, however, love to market. I just need the time and the means. I have a great friend that has given me some awesome advice on doing these craft fairs.  So, I've been finding things to do before I get going this summer. I am on set up mode. I need to organize my time in order to send in applications, get my tax ID for any state other than MN I plan on showing in (have my MN one:), get inventory together, create displays,get my books in order, order new business cards, possibly order postcards, make tent weights, and I need a tent. That's all.... It is a bit overwhelming, so that's where I need help. I have to spread it out in a logical order and start keeping books. Good thing I am starting in January! Ah well...It'll happen. I just have to keep up with it. (gotta stick with these resolutions!:)
        Well....gotta go work on....something! Paint? Taxes? Scheduling? hmmm...

-Michelle
   

Monday, January 8, 2018

The Power of Intention...

         Well, it's the first full week back after Christmas break... And here I am! Woo Hoo! Blogging away! After my New Year's Resolution of making time for my art and working at getting myself back into the art world... I figured, a great way to get the creative juices flowing would be to Blog each Monday! Yay! I am, now, home from work, have finished running my errands/tasks, and now I am ready to sink my teeth into working off my creative energy.



        Sooooooo, let me tell you about how I got to this point....
Since Christmas, I've been organizing my space and getting ready to do some new art work. I have a crazy, overwhelming need to organize and tidy my studio space before I can work. Since moving my studio into my home, I haven't carved out a space where I can work freely. I have worked on the dining table, in the kitchen, and wherever I could make a mess for a few days. Then I had to clean it up and stash my supplies somewhere. This past Summer/Fall,  I  have been slowly making our walk-out into my space. My husband, Mark, made shelves in the closet for my supplies awhile ago....and everything BUT art stuff filled them! LOL! After a purge of stuff, buying a new work table and setting up this Christmas Break...I should be good to go this week! I even meal prepped this Sunday in order to make more time for myself during the week. (I also started getting my "books" organized for recording/documenting new work, financial records, project planning and goal setting.)


       Now, What to create?? I am debating on what medium to begin with. I think I am going to start with an acrylic on canvas. No pre-sketching. Just painting.  Thinking this will help my unconscious to let go of any preconceived ideas of what I THINK I should be creating. I have mental lists of things I want to make, but need to do some sketches before attempting the pieces I'd like to do on recycled wood, on jewels, jewel boxes and mini canvases. So, today, I will continue my journey! Off to go paint!
Hurray for new years resolutions and for making time for creativity!WOO HOO!


Happy Monday!
-Michelle

Thursday, December 28, 2017

New Years Resolutions...

        So, I find myself in a scramble updating my web page, working on new art, expanding the way I create....and I happened along my very outdated and neglected blog. As I am going through these scattered (and no longer cohesive parts of my artistic soul)...I am thinking of how to put humpty back together again..
        Once again, I am trying to prepare myself for a New year. I have the same old resolutions of wanting to better myself, lose weight, be healthier...but I have sorely neglected my art these past couple of years. I have had a couple of job changes-sowed some oats- only to realize I needed the calm that I had left. ( A few major health problems have helped guide me back to a place where I can once again, be who I truly am. As they say, Life is too short.) I am back in a position (for the past year) that should allow me the time and space I need to, once again, cultivate my passion.  I have had the opportunity to resume teaching art classes to both children and adults through our local Community Ed program and grants. I also had an amazing opportunity to do set painting for a wonderful local Theatre group in Forest Lake. Masquers Theatre Company hired me to paint the set panels for their holiday production of "The Happy Elf". What a blessing! As stressful as the timeline was- I felt more myself and alive with creativity than I had in ages! My kind of people. Creativity is sometimes lacking the further away from the cities you go, but I am finding small niches of fellow artists and creative individuals around me.
2 panels of "Bluesville" from "The Happy Elf"


        So back to resolutions...I have a dear friend, Lori, who has teamed up with her family to create a family run jewelry business. They fashion rings and other jewels from coins. They have been traveling and exhibiting their work at art and Renaissance fairs. I am intrigued and for one of my resolutions, plan on exhibiting/selling at few shows this summer, to see how it goes!  I may pursue this as a summer vocation in the next few years, if it proves lucrative and makes me happy. BUT...This means I have tweaked my work to fit a market. I am producing work on recycled wood and jewelry boxes, creating small miniatures and creating smaller pieces to sell at the fairs. All this in addition to creating work in my own abstract way:)
Example of my current abstract painting...
Watercolor and ink,( smaller 5"x 7")

Crosshatching sketch


        Another resolution...I need to set aside time to work on my Art...my blog, website and the creation of new art. I will be devoting specific days and times to get my work done! Once a week blog, photographing my art and cataloging, expanding and re-creating my mailing list, becoming a bigger presence on FB and social media, networking and finding new places to exhibit my work, and just being around art! I miss going to openings, art crawls, having a presence in what I love. Time to put myself back out there and to give myself the time to pursue what I love.
        As I write this, my heart is filled with passion, my soul ready to be rejuvenated with a new sense of purpose and fulfillment. This years resolutions are a gift to myself... I am ready. I need this. Because this is who I am.
                                                         Much love and Wishes for a Happy New Year!
                                                                                                     -Michelle

Sunday, February 15, 2015

So...It's been awhile...BUT,
I am on a new journey. After a year of transitions from studio to home, from full time employee/wife/ mom/teacher to making time for me too...I am opening an Etsy account, blending my country/mom/wife life with my artsy life.  I'm finding middle ground. I am going to create, paint and craft, and restart my studio life!
I am incorporating my renewed love of horses (have always loved and adored from afar, but having them in my backyard has created a whole new appreciation!). I am crafting, creating and making more space in my life for me again;) So...Stay tuned...I'll be sharing more soon:)
-Michelle

Monday, February 6, 2012

Waiting...

I love art. I love to paint, draw, craft, putter and play.  But...I am having a very hard time getting going again after the death of my father, this past Fall.  I have gone out and photographed St. Paul- all the places important to Dad and to me. I have an idea for a collage but I cannot get it out.  I freeze up and can't cut the photos. So I move on, try to do another collage of the St. Croix...another of the Summer...I just cannot get it going. After being unable to push myself- I decide to sketch again, you know-start warming up in my sketchbook...AGHHHHHH!!!! I cannot think of what to draw- and things in front of me do not appeal.  So I try favorite doodles- trees, eyes, flowers...I am struggling to get those out.  What to do????

I am unsure as to where my block is coming from. I assume ( yes, I know- an "ass out of u and me" haha) it has to do with the death of my father (???)and the stress of everyday life- But...(but but but)...I have never been stuck like this- I can usually start by going around the problem- I can't paint- I sketch, I can't sketch I doodle, I can't doodle- I search online/read magazines/go to a museum for inspiration or maybe try making jewelry - just to get my hands moving...but the ACTION of creativity is being elusive for me- and I do NOT like it. I do not like it Sam I am. I wish I had a way to go away from all the everyday stuff (without the guilt of course) and just... BE. Just have a little retreat away from bills, errands, work, cooking, etc.  and let my mind go blank. But being a Wife, Mom and employee keeps me strapped into reality (even when I slack and the hubby picks up the loose ends). 
Now, I can come up with THOUSANDS of ideas...I am just having problems getting them from my brain into reality- on canvas, on paper, into collage. My brain cannot make my body execute my ideas. Nothing clicks.  I do have to say- it kind of scares me.  Part of who I am is being an artist.  Who am I if I cannot create? I have a need to express and manipulate. It is a very therapeutic method of stress relief...so I am feeling very unrelieved! and yeah, kinda stressed! lol! (Although- blogging seems to help get it off my chest:)

I do have a wonderful book- of which I plan on consulting tonight- called "The Artists Way". It has proved to be helpful on other occasions when I cannot seem to get into the flow and joy of creating. There are exercises  and tasks..so I hope I have luck with that. 

So- here is to a good nights read, a good nights sleep and a for hopeful and creative tomorrow. I'm waiting...
-Michelle

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Artist's Block

I am in pain.  My head is full of wonderful ideas, have beautiful inspiration, want to make something...but do not know where to jump start the process.  I am flooded with ideas, but I cannot decide where to start.  I thought getting some supplies would get me going, but I think that made it worse. Now I have this inventory of "stuff" waiting to be turned into wonderful creations. 
This painting is Titled "Simplicity of Calm"- I could use a little simplicity:)

Is it the pressure? I am not worried about failure, never really am- what I do is for my own creative soul- and if someone else "gets it" or enjoys it; all the better:) So I don't think I'm trying to make something  "noteworthy".  I just wanna MAKE SOMETHING!  I want to make art to get the feelings and emotions I have about things out.  I want to make things I find aesthetically pleasing.  I want to make things that make me HAPPY.  

So- as I wait for my muse to take hold and guide my humble hands into creating a piece of art....I vent;) I think writing about it helps clear the fog, helps me see where to begin.  Like I said- there's plenty to go on, just can't seem to get it out! Maybe I should list the ideas and in what process I see them coming to fruition? That may be good...I love lists:)

Well- I know I have a big art explosion waiting to happen- just not quite sure when it'll hit...I DO know I will have plenty of new work for the fall Crawl- 'Cuz once I start these new projects, I don't think I will be stopping anytime soon. So- Mark your calendars for the Fall St. Paul Art Crawl...

Friday Oct 7 from 6-10pm
Saturday October 8 noon-8pm
Sunday October 9 noon-5pm

Thanks for the time to vent...that helped...now to go and make my lists. 
Always inspired, yet sometimes blocked,
Michelle

Monday, July 25, 2011

Summer's Spark

So-It's the end of July... AND...  I failed miserably in writing and posting once a week, BUT I am gaining so much this summer! Let me explain...

First, In June, my daughter and I rode the Osceola train to Dresser. What fun! We had a blast.  It was a great day to ride- overcast and sprinkling, and the green summer fields were bright and bold. We found seats facing each other- much like a booth, then our tickets were punched by the conductor.  The train whistle signaled our departure and off we went! On the train, we watched railroad volunteers try to catch the mail in the mail car, listened to an older volunteer tell stories of the railroad and watched farm fields rush by as the train rocked back and forth.  My daughter, Tori , thought is was great.  You can walk around from car to car- feel the train shifting, and see the trees fly past through open windows and the spaces between rail cars. I took many black and white photos and made a wonderful collage of trains, depots and railroad signs and paraphernalia.  The nostalgic feel seemed perfect in black and white and the finished collages are quite beautiful- if I say so myself!

This July, my husband and I went on a Motorcycle trip to Grand Marais.  Long winding roads of farms, trees, lakes, ponds, beautiful scenery all the way up! Then Grand Marais itself! The hills with sweet cottages and lake homes, the rocky shore of Superior, the driftwood and rounded stones,wild life, marinas full of sailboats, sandals and shorts, whitecaps and calm waters.  There is so much to see- and to see it from the back of a motorcycle is absolutely breathtaking! I have around 300 photos from our 4 day trip. Many of which will be the inspiration for paintings and collage work I am starting.  I have all of these wonderfully rich ideas and can hardly contain them in my head! I have sheets of notebook paper listing ideas and sketches- just so I don't forget to touch on all of it! I am so in awe by the beauty of our state (yes- even in the winter when I can appreciate it's beauty, just don't want to drive in it:).  But Summer in Minnesota is so grand. So gorgeous. How lucky we are to have all of this in our backyard. 

Now, I also have other projects on the docket. I watched a wonderful program on Lowertown- where my studio is located, and it talked about the history of the area. Talked about the railroads and boats, the rich and the poor- the artist community as it grew. I have always had a special place in my heart for St. Paul, but this program sparked something.... 

I grew up with a view of the Cathedral and State Capital from my backyard. I love St. Paul. My Great Grandparents immigrated from Italy (their names can be found on the Charlie Brown Immigrant Statue off Eagle Street:) to the levy.  My Father used to bring me to the Italian Festival Along West 7th.  We shopped at (and still do) Buon Giorno's market for the ingredients for our spaghetti dinners (used to be every Sunday). I went to School (off Rice Street) at St. Bernard's High School and I Graduated in the St. Paul Cathedral.  I went to College at The College of Visual Arts of Summit, graduated in the MN History Museum Auditorium! I love the architecture, the facades, the views of the Mississippi River, The old Schmidt Brewery. I love the restaurants, the people, the shops, the community.  I love Rice park, Mears Park,  Summit Ave  with all it's gorgeous mansions (including the James J. Hill home).  Now- I could spend hours going on about this place- but I am going off on tangents! The TV program got me thinking about all the different aspects of St. Paul and how I love them.  So I am planning on some collage work with photos and paint and a few tricks up my sleeve. I am dividing the things I love into smaller themes.

Well- I hope to get a few projects finished prior to the Fall St. Paul Art Crawl- so you could view them in person:) Should you want to:) otherwise, I will post a picture or two of the finished results. Summer, in Minnesota, has truly sparked a fire in me!

Always Inspired,
Michelle