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

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer + Me = Time for Creative Outbursts!


FINALLY! My Summer has begun! It all started this week...My day job hours change subtly (off 2 hours earlier) and I now have an extra day off (no Fridays!).  This means more time with my daughter and more time to be creative! 

Tomorrow is our first official Friday off...as we came home today, I noticed the lily pads are blooming (on our local lakes) and I want to take a few photographs...I want to create a photo collage of some of my favorite things about living in the country...the lily pads blooming, the cows, our goats and chickens,  the way the woods get full and light filters through the leaves... So I want to start our first day with a bit of creative nourishment...Taking photos (and a local greasy spoon for a $2 breakfast:)

Other photos I need are of some of the Taylors Falls rocks...Love the hiking paths and foliage around here- and need to get some shots for painting inspiration! I love the reds, purples and rust colors in the clay, in the stone...  green full leaves, viney outcroppings and gnarled tree roots are all around- Just waiting for me to take shots and turn them into a fantastic work of art.

I also want to check out our local antique stores as they sometimes have really fun finds! I love old windows, distressed wood, Stained glass, and anything that looks like it has a bit of neglect and bit of history. I MUST be careful...I am a sucker for "stuff"!
Once I get started lookin' at the antique windows, doors and such, I sometimes have a need to refinish some things I have at home...I own a set of dovetailed tables that I grew up with. They were my grandfathers and the tops need refinishing.  I finished one side table last fall, and would like to finish it's twin, the long coffee table, the triangle table, as well as the square table that all match! They are very beautiful- lovely grain. SO this is on my list of "to do's" this summer.  I feel good when I can see all the life come back into the wood. Lovely lines and superior workmanship make them wonderful to use and appreciate.
SO I am giddy and excited to take my baby out on our first summer exploring expedition!Cameras in hand and loose change in our pockets! Get ready, Summer, here I come! I am ready for some creative outbursts!

Always Inspired,
-Michelle


Thursday, March 31, 2011

Where's my Spark?

So....Inspiration....   I. Am. Waiting.
I can honestly say, I am DONE with winter. I have been in a funk, a semi-depressed yuck-athon, a crabby, moody, erratic emotional mess for about a month.  I am JUST coming out of the dark- thanks to a few sunny days.  I have not painted, made any jewels, enjoyed a gallery or museum or anything art related for about a month. ICK! That is NOT right. NOT ME! So...today- I am realizing the Spring art crawl is just around the corner. I need to get moving- get inspired. But first, I panicked! AGH!!!!! So much to do- how will it get done??? Where to start?... Baby steps..:)

Today, I came home after work and looked through photos of my recent paintings. I needed to gather images in order to create a new postcard for the crawl...As I looked, I realized I have sold a few new pieces already this winter...isn't that great?! I see the photos and realize- though I no longer have them- my paintings are bringing someone else joy, reflection, maybe peace.  I am so proud.  I know what I do is valid- not because someone purchased them (although that is a WONDERFUL thing- to be paid for what I love!) but because someone else appreciated them enough to want to keep them. A little smile played on my lips, I kinda got excited about getting down to the studio for Lowertown First Friday's tomorrow ...I know I have 3 pieces I have painted backgrounds for...and have a few other canvases waiting to be prepped...I start to think about the images I have had floating in my mind...maybe some silhouettes? ...thinking a nice peach could be spring like and uplifting...a giggle slips out...(the dog thinks I am crazy- tilts her head wondering if I am talking to her)... hmmm I think I will re-hang my art before the crawl- rearrange...ya know- I miss the quotes on my walls- maybe I should put a few more up in the space?  nicely painted in between paintings...OH! I know what pieces would look great on the postcard...maybe I'll get another new piece done tomorrow to add to that grouping...YES! and it happened:)

I am feeling better, I have a smile on my face, a song in my mind-music and color and floating images... a purpose.
I am grateful.  I am excited. I am full of ideas... full of... inspiration.  The weather, the little day to day nagging on your brain- bills, car problems, children's homework, health, appointments- the little things add up for me. I sometimes go down with the gloom.  But I am feeling Spring push through- just a little- to give me a glimpse into what I CAN do. The hope, the wonder (the good stuff!)- I get to see that as I look back at my work- I like feeling I get- like the sunshine today- I like the unexpected rush I get. I love to paint- just to paint.  But I really love- that I can get inspired by just seeing what I did before- seeing my happiness spread out on canvas- in BOLD BRIGHT COLOR!

So- inspiration has found me...Or rather...did I find it? Doesn't really matter...as long as I can share:)
-Michelle

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Opportunities

          I have been thinking a lot about opportunities and how they come about...where do they come from- how can I be more aware.  I had an opportunity to show some artwork at the Y, in Shoreview, yesterday evening.  I was so happy I did! They were having an open house/ Friday Family Night event and I met some great new people and was able to see some old friends.  I had worked at this Y for 11 years- and it felt like home when I was there.  Sure, things are changed and new faces abound...but I saw so many people I had connections with and ... WOW...It felt wonderful.  I am very happy that my friend, Cyn,asked me to come and be a part of that event.  I sold a couple jewels, and made a wonderful connection with a family for a possible commission- But what I really think it did- was make me realize how small our world is- how many people we have that touch our lives and how important it is to know how many people we have impact on or who have an impact on us.  Sometimes-I feel I am in my own little world out here in the sticks- but when I see the people that have touched my life in some way- that I have connections outside my immediate family- I truly feel blessed!
        I have such a great attitude waking up today and I just can't wait to get out and about...My daughter and I are going to bring the art and supplies back down to our little studio in St. Paul...get set up for Lowertown First Fridays next Friday...and I know I will be looking for opportunities...Who can I talk to? Who can I help? What can I say?  It's not always the opportunities that come to us- sometimes we have to search a little.  But I can tell you- my eyes are wide open.  It may be an opportunity for me- or maybe I am actually giving someone else one.  Maybe it will be a way for me to show my work- maybe I will have an opportunity to try something new, maybe inspiration for a painting...maybe I will inspire someone else. I am thrilled to see what happens today. I'll keep you posted!
        OH! And the painting above....I felt this was appropriate...It is titled "Sea Something"...and I was inspired from a film I watched on ocean life. I like that you need to look- to "see" something...take from it what you bring to it.  I was inspired by underwater sea life- but when you look- do you see that same thing? Kind of like the opportunities we are given- do we each see the same opportunity, the same choice, the same way we can help someone else? Do we see it at all? I know that I'll be looking a little more closely today:)
Always Inspired-
Michelle