Friday, April 27, 2012

Getting Back Into The Swing Of Things

(Click on any photo to view a large image.)

My two year stint as the arts and crafts instructor at the Dorchester Senior Citizens' Center was a wonderful experience. Working with and getting to know those seniors was truly inspirational as well as educational. I learned much about the process of conceiving, creating and implementing a crafting session but I think I learned even more from the seniors themselves. This period was an investment of time and effort that rewarded me over and over again. I have been blessed me with many new friends and it is a time I will never forget.

There was one downside to this experience. The time and energy I expended on the senior crafting projects meant there was less time for me to create for myself and engage in the artistic comradeship I enjoyed with my fellow members of the Oriental Stamp Art Yahoo Group. Participating in swaps and weekly challenges was something I had truly enjoyed and sorely missed. Now that I am no longer crafting for the senior center, I have more time to spend in those pursuits that I enjoy and so I have stuck a creative toe back in the water and have begun participating in the weekly challenges again. So far I have done two challenges (see photos) and already I can feel that familiar feeling of creative electricity coursing through me. I am looking forward to participating in some swaps in the future and continuing my artistic journey to wherever it may take me.

Ballo ergo sum
- Gitana, the Creative Diva

Monday, April 16, 2012

Creative Detritus

(Click on any photo to see a large image.)

An artist's work area is not neat. To be so would be antithetical to the creative process. At least this is what I tell myself whenever I look at the sometimes unbelievable mess on and around the craft table in my basement workshop. "It's only temporary", I convince myself, "until this project is completed", but I know this is not true. It's not true because there's ALWAYS another project in the pipeline. More often than not there are several projects in various stages of completion on my table simultaneously along with bits and pieces leftover from completed projects that I just never got around to removing. This photo is evidence of that very thing. On the table you see four cards being laid out on a piece of cardstock. There is a foam wig stand that is in the process of being altered for a display and to the right of that there are four ATC's (artist trading cards) being held aloft by a doohickey (that's a technical term) with alligator clips at the end of it's arms looking for all the world like a very small Transformer. The cards and ATC's were in the process of being framed for submission to the Local 3 Biennial Spring Arts Festival, a show I entered when it last ran two years ago. (Click here to read the results of that show.) Because I had been so busy for the past two years volunteering at the senior citizens center, I really hadn't had time to do much work of my own so I initially had not considered entering the show.  My husband convinced me to enter something just for the hell of it so I decided to frame these two series of pieces. I had to improvise creating new mats over the ones that came with the frames because they were designed for standard size photos, not for this kind of work. I placed pale green handmade paper with flower inclusions behind the underwater scenes and placed the "Night Flight" series on a rust colored handmade paper mat laid over the white mat in the frame. The white mat was stamped with watermarking ink and dusted with gold PearlEx to create a subtle pattern that worked very well overall.

So now that these cards are framed and ready to be submitted I should, in theory, have more free space on my tabletop, right?

Not a chance.

Ballo ergo sum
- Gitana, the Creative Diva