Sunday, April 30, 2006

Contemplating Collage

My brother Kelly Miller is Fire Chief for the small town of Quincy, Michigan (it has a volunteer fire department). On June 1st, the department is holding an auction to raise money to pay for operating costs for the coming year.

I promised to see what I could produce, for them to auction off.

I'm thinking I want to do a few framed collages, based on really good quotes (for fire fighters). This means gathering images and spending about a week assembling and varnishing, and allowing drying time before framing them up for sale.

Of course right now I'm eEbaying my head off to help pay for a new computer for Oscar, but I hope to take about a week (beginning the 15th) to work exclusively on this project.

I am extremely proud of my brother, and this is one way I can show it.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Controlled chaos theory

I have a theory. If EVERYTHING has a place and is kept in it, I will hesitate to mess things up by creating. Alternatively, if NOTHING is put away I will have tremendous difficulty finding what I need. Indeed, I would use up all my limited foot time just gathering the materials and have no time left for the art part.

So, Controlled Entropy seems to be the solution. I'm moving toward that.
My cloth is (mostly) in bins, and I will only pull it out when doing a major project. My knitting materials all fit in a big carpet bag, I'm doing more of that these days. Then there's all the interesting bits, for collage art. I could really use more space to store all the interesting bits.

That's a problem in a room as small as my studio. If I didn't sell things on Ebay, I'd have much more room, but then again, I wouldn't have money for art supplies.
I have my paints in a drawer, anything sharp in another drawer, ribbons have a drawer, as do threads... as do my lovely bits of broken rhinestone jewelry.. so there IS sort of a system in place... Of course, I have no work space just now, maybe that should be next on my agenda.. Its hard to have things stored away and still be able to see the stuff and spark ideas.. I've seen artists with huge garages full of shelves and bits and bobs they find and buy and trade for... Heaven, but impractical, until we move.

I could of course reduce the mumber of art media I work with..
I think for my own sanity and satisfaction, I need to look at organizing my arts supplies as a process rather than a goal. Yeah.. THAT'S the ticket!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Just Call Me Button Head :-}

I've just finished a sample of one of My sister in law's patterns. It's intended for use as a point of sale in a yarn store. She dyed the yarn and made the button also.

I think it is the first time I've ever knit a decrease, and I love how the hat turned out. I think I'll make one for me too :-}

Friday, April 21, 2006

Painting the town

Today I wish I had a wide wall, feet I could stand on for several hours, a gallon each of a hundred shades of house paint, and an understanding neighborhood.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Art as Therapy

Ok , NOT a new topic, but its the first time in my life I've consciously decided to use art as anger therapy, every day. I've been working on it for a few weeks now, and the benefits have become glaringly apparent. I no longer snap at my beloveds. My husband no longer avoids me before coffee, my dog comes when I call, and the cats no longer fear to come up for a good head rubbing. Ok. I exaggerate, but I DO feel more cheerful, (and my husband DOES look less on edge).

I've been sitting down every day with a set of oil pastels and a largish pad of charcoal paper, and scribbling. Sometimes identifiable images come out, more often its abstract. My early works were very dark, with wide black jagged slashes, but as time went on, my images became brighter. I don't always consciously bring to mind something that makes me angry, but when the image is finished, I can usually tell what my subconscious was venting about.

The key to all this is every single day, after creating my new anger piece, I go outside to the gas grill and ritually burn the piece created the previous day. It never fails, I feel a tremendous sense of release, and with a lighter heart go on to the rest of my day.

I never take a photo of these pieces, no matter how good (or bad) they are, because that defeats the purpose of the burning part of the ritual.

It has been amazing watching what my undermind has to tell me. The day after I lost my temper badly with the dog, I ended up with a self portrait, looking sick with myself. I could hardly wait to burn that one the following day. I went a few days without doing this, and had a terrible dream where I became violent woth someone I love. I started right up again minutes after I woke up, and felt better.

I have a lot of sources for anger in my past and present. Past: A bit of an anger-filled childhood, being married to an abusive alcoholic with mental issues, (I escaped, my current husband is wonderful). Becoming seriously ill and taking more than a year to recover..
Present: discovering I have a degenerative joint disease. Every year is progressively worse, to the point we need to find a new fully accessible home soon.
I also have lost several beloveds in the past few years. The worst was my friend Robynn. She too was married to an abusive husband with mental issues, but she and her son didn't escape.

Until I started the art therapy thing, I had no release for the anger I felt, I didn't often acknowledge it was even there. Thanks to a tarot reading from a friend (who first suggested the idea,) I think art therapy will be with me the rest of my life, and thank Goddess for it.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Children of my heart

Well, they aren't as noisy as human children, but they are each a piece of me. This blog will be used to discuss and show off things I make. A forum where I explore new methods of creating.
This first image is a 12 inch square applique block I designed representing the Goddess Artemis.