Blog

Wishing I wasn’t so intimidated

by my own website, that is. I think I’m just your typical artist in that I just want things to work without have to work AT it so I can concentrate on the art itself.

But in other news… I’ve recently moved yet again into a house that needs a whole lotta love. Each time I do this I attack the house full bore and the resulting space ends up being amazing and I reclaim my identity as a skilled artisan. I remember that my father taught me how to fix things and care for my tools to such a degree that I don’t really ever acknowledge him for, though I did when he was alive. So far I’ve refinished thoroughly destroyed wood floors, painted the walls of course, and built a new fence that at it’s total completion will appear as sheet music that can be played as a lullaby. I’ve installed my new cork board dart board and made it a convertable dye table. I’ve nearly unpacked. All of this would make me feel great if only my job hadn’t suddenly closed its doors.

I’ve lined up another series of teaching events, started a new custom piece, and started writing a book. Why do I feel as though I’ve done nothing?011

a crazy kind of calm contentment…

Life has been a whirlwind for quite a few years and I’m finding it odd in the calm. I’ve sold the house, moved in with my business partner, and found a new job in a restaurant I really love. It’s almost disconcerting how well everything has fallen into place. I now have both the inclination and the time and the space to create everyday! Our hoe has multiple mediums engaged at all times – from hot glass, to kiln work, to fiber, and encaustics – we’re always up to something. Speaking of which, I’m supposed to be working on my media package for my upcoming featured artist exhibit at the Pop! Revolution Gallery this December so I had best get to it. Just sharing an attitude of gratitude for today. Now back to work!thevine26

Life Changes… New Ventures and Adventures

crystalTo the Campaign!!!

So once again it’s bee a while since I’ve posted anything but this time it’s because I’ve partnered up with another fabulous artist and we’re trying to open up a nonprofit arts school in Hamilton.  We’ll be teaching all the crazy stuff that we do that they don’t teach in school, or at least very few schools.  I’ve put my house in Milford on the Market and have been steadily moving my things north to Hamilton, OH.

We would love it if you’d have a look at our IndieGoGO campaign where I’ve posted our video with some of the kids we’ll be working with and we really go into detail about what we’re offering and why we’re doing it.  I think it’s pretty good.  We can use all the help we can get and who knows, maybe you’ll decide to join us as a student or perhaps a guest teacher!  It’s all about art and community.  Please join us!

Jen Siegrist – Creative Director, The Creative Flow Arts Center, Hamilton, OH

TheDirectors

 

Back to Business

As the ground finally starts to look like soil again and the season begins again it’s time to focus energies on the future.  I’ve been in production over the winter mainly for custom pieces but not worry, I’ll have 2 new pieces completed for show soon.  I’ve gone back to driving.  I’ve been consumed with my job and lost sight of my own objectives.  It got so bad my health was becoming an issue.  I lost 16lbs from the stress of never knowing what disaster I was going to be responsible for each day.  I seem to have rose colored glasses when it comes to hope and new jobs.  This time was heartbreaking.  Now, tucked safely back in my studio, I am only responsible for my own disasters.  Working day and night to build a business plan and proof of concept to bring all of my passions together for a retreat space like no other.  Art workshops, wine classes, gallery shows, sustainability workshops, and hospitality all combined to give each person not just one piece of the puzzle but the whole experience.  It’s taken so many years to pull the idea all together.  This could finally be it!

New goals and directions

The business of resizing images and uploading to various websites for exposure is a daunting one and one that most artists don’t want to fuss with.  Wouldn’t life be lovely if what passes through your head could instantly be accomplished? Ha! It’ll never happen so the best I can do is try to develop new patterns of behavior in order to get the job done.  After the festivals last month I have several boxes worth of smaller works to list and promote.  Just looking at the stack is enough to make me want to sit down and have some wine and get nothing done!  But I’m trying to be good so I have set a new goal of doing one piece per day until everything is up and running.  Baby steps.  I think by doing it a little at a time I’ll be able to keep from getting discouraged or cross-eyed from the computer!

You can check on my progress here

https://www.etsy.com/shop/MysticEarthFibers?ref=shopsection_shophome_leftnav

Pyrmid Hill Sculpture Park Art Festival

008 007 009Been bustin’ my hump trying to get everything in order for this weekend’s art festival.  After the last festival’s trial run we came up with some ideas of things that would make the booth better.  The display screens I used in the last show weighed a ton as they were solid wooden slatted doors!  So this week I built foam core boards, covered them in burlap, and built out the frames to be joined at an intersection in the center.   Then I ended up with so much display space that although the booth looked full last time now it had doubled in size!  So I managed to finish up another 25 pieces, thank goodness, so that the boards don’t look empty.

 

I’ve just about finished all of the labeling,  inventory tracking, and layout so that I can pack it all in the truck and be ready to go in the morning.  Nothing quite like the feeling of getting it all done and knowing you’ve got everything you’ll need to sit in a booth for two days!  Come see me.  I’ve got LOTS you’ve never seen.

http://pyramidhill.org/

Post festival brain-fried

Well as trial runs go I’d say it was successful and informative. It’s validating to see people’s faces light up and watch them really scrutinize every piece on display. It’s always fun to me to watch the confusion as people approach a piece thinking it’s a painting until they get up really close on it and realize there are stitches everywhere providing the details and sketch lines. I often get the question of “what are they?” or “is there anything in between?” and my response is that they are all quilts. I like to take the ugliest piece of hand-me-down fabric and torture it with different processes until it is completely unrecognizable. The festival attendees yesterday seemed to be astonished when I’d tell them what the fabric used to look like on a particular piece. Like how all of the little framed pieces were the most hideous cowboy/cattle rustler print and now look at them. So it was a long day in which my sister, like a champ (14 hours worth), stayed and manned the booth with me. I have such a hard time just sitting still and she was my rock. It’s good to have a really great sister who’s got my back!longstone2014

Transitioning

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about transitions. You may have noticed this is a new website and as such, is constantly being changed and updated. All of this is going on at a time when I’m transitioning from being fully employed and rarely working on my art to now fully focused on my art and being on my own. It’s a nerve-racking business, being a full-time artist. I don’t really understand the in’s and out’s of website design and as such I’m at the mercy (with much gratitude) of other people’s time constraints.

I’ll be doing my first street festival this weekend and though I keep saying I don’t expect much in the way of sales it sure would be validating! My first actual art fair will be at the end of this month at the Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and so I am frantically producing fiber pieces for that show.

I’m also just starting to learn the new kiln and am very excited to start producing art glass pieces for next year’s festival season. It goes to the core of what I believe in as nearly all of the pieces will be recycled glass. There will be no bottles with labels on them stuffed with lights. There will, however, be recycled bottles that have been transformed into lovely flowers and quite possibly wired as chandeliers – we’ll see.

It’s all very exciting and thus the progress on this site may be a bit delayed as to organizing. This message should be received as “Pardon my mess!”.

Have a great one!

Finished a piece I’ve been working on for a year

Somewhere...BluebirdsActually it’s been a little OVER a year now but management jobs have been hindering my artistic drive.  Until now, having quit my toxic job and focused again, I have been unable or just uninspired to create or finish anything.  My father passing just after I started this piece didn’t help much either.  I moved out of my house, put it on the market, and then reversed the whole process over the last year.  Now, having moved back in but basically starting from scratch, I have laid out the house as an actual working studio.  I have the sewing and design studio, the glass and kiln studio, and the dining room is actually for clay molding and encaustic work.  The laundry room is all set with new drains and laundry sink for dye processing and the garage/drive are still set for all of my sunprinting activities.

I’m focused and full of creative juice and, with having finished this piece and the 31 smaller pieces for my first fair, I think I’m on the right track.  Next!

A new day, a new possibility, and a new blog.

what can you do?

what can you do?

It’s been rainy and grumpy here for about a week and the unpredictable weather has had me postponing beginning processes for pieces I’ll get to in the winter when it Really gets ugly out.  Much of what I do requires space, time, and sunshine.  Today I have a sunny day so I’ve been out in the yard overdyeing donated fabrics.  The basis of so much of my freedom in creativity has come from people giving me fabrics they don’t know what to do with.  Things they’ve bought, having a desire to make something, and then never got to.  These fabrics are usually commercial cottons with outdated designs and gaudy themes making it oh so easy to sacrifice them to possibility.  That’s the key kids!  To be willing to let it all go and see what it can become.

I suggest you dig through your fabric stash and decide what you could be willing to experiment with.  Remember, no fabric is trash, it just hasn’t become what it wants to be yet!  This one was a white cotton cowboy/cattle ranch print from the early 80’s! Blech! But now look where it’s heading. Exciting times!!!