"Can't Touch This"
To say this year has been one for the books is quite the understatement. I try desperately to find the good in the bad for my own sanity, but this has been a very challenging time for all of us. Just as I was excited to get my work in some new galleries, they were forced to close their doors for obvious reasons. Thankfully, those establishments have found a way to get by, although the artists that sell in them have had to work their creative magic to bring their art to you. Virtual classes, showrooms, and gallery openings are a thing now. For some of us, who rely on clients having the ability to touch the art (because it's irresistible) even this solution is very challenging. I'm in a rut, a funk, limbo, and whatever else means standing still in the art market. Now for the positive. I have had an abundance of time to create some pieces that I am very excited about. This time has forced me to look within and decide where to go next with my art. It's allowed me to work large but also small. I have amassed a colorful collection of magical Woolery, and the character of my pieces has had a major growth spurt. Even though you "Can't Touch This" it CAN touch you. I am currently working on an online showcase to wow, but for now, I need to get some sunshine. Stay Healthy, Stay Safe, and VOTE!
The image above was borrowed from Facemaskfreak.com if you click on the image you can buy the mask.
The wool in my hands
It’s funny to think that seven years ago, wool wasn't part of my normal vocabulary. Okay, maybe when I worked in the fashion industry, but not with the meaning it has now. Wool carries a weight that it didn't back then. It is vital to my physical and mental well being. Wool feeds me, gives me exercise, and brings joy to my life. It filled a void I never realized I had. I’ve always enjoyed looking at sheep, alpacas, and rabbits, but never did I think those animals would become so important to me. I never thought I would be working with their beautiful coats ever day. The first time I received a shipment of wool, I opened the box with much anticipation. Till then, I considered it scratchy and just plain uncomfortable. Everyone I knew who owned an Irish wool sweater loved it and bragged about it. They aren’t cheap. I also considered it hard to care for (dryer be damned). I was pleasantly surprised when I touched cleaned, carded and naturally dyed wool. It was very soft and the colors were amazing. Not at all like an Irish wool sweater which by the way I have come to appreciate. Over the years I’ve learned the feel of different wool, carding processes and which wool or fur is needed for which sculpture. Someday I hope to shear a sheep, clean its wool, dye it, card it myself and sculpt something amazing. For now, I will leave the process to the masters and focus on my sculptures. And for that, I thank them for the wool in my hands.
Happy New Year friends! Welcome to the new age! Last year was a great year for spreading my wings. I moved into two new art spaces and connected with new collectors up and down the East Coast. Florida CraftArt in St. Petersburg and Zelda Zen in Baltimore MD are now selling my work. My heart is full for every opportunity I have been afforded and every ounce of inspiration that has come my way. If you would have told me I would be sculpting for a living eight years ago, I would have thought you were crazy. Here I am, planning for bigger things with my work and looking forward to more sculpting projects. Last year, I made many new friends in the art field. Sadly, I also lost one of my best friends in the art world, my Dad, so not all of the year was great. My husband Larry has been a huge support to me and my dreams. I am truly blessed to have him in my life.
I'm kicking off the new year with a new challenge. A very large commission is filling my time and my art studio. I can't wait to share my progress, however, since this is a commission piece, it is only right that the collector gets the first glance.
Looking forward, I am committed to offering more classes this year and sharing my love for everything wool with everyone I know. Stay tuned! 2020 promises to be an exciting year filled with design challenges, business risks, and new friends.
Commissions have always been challenging considering I am not a portrait artist. Most of the commission work I do, has an element of fantasy to it... almost a caricature of the subject. That style has never steered me wrong. It is my style. Truth is, there is nothing more special than a creation of someone or something you love. As far as gifts go, it is extremely thoughtful. Which brings me to my next point. If you are looking for something original to give as a gift this holiday, walk into a local gallery. If you don't see anything you love but you do see a style you like, commission something. Make sure you do it soon...holiday seasons get very busy for most artists.
I'm sure I am not alone when I say that expression can be the most important element of any sculpture or painting. When I use the term "expression," I mean it quite literally, although people express themselves in their art no matter what their subject or medium. I'm just not that deep with my creations. I create to create emotion, but that emotion comes from the expressions on the faces and posture of each of my sculptures.
Many people have said they see me in my work. My eyes, my expressions, no matter the creation. Making creations that look like Gin the bear, Gin the owl, Gin the bird. Before you start thinking of me as a narcissist, please don't. It may happen inadvertently. I may be creating my twin sister, the woman dearest to my heart. I've stared at my face my entire life without looking in the mirror. It's no wonder my sculptures look a little like me. When I look at them though, I see the eyes of my dog Ralph. He had the most sensitive eyes. I loved to look into them while I pet his brow. He filled me with so much love. I try to recreate that emotion with every piece I create. Sometimes I almost get there. :)
New Year, New Works
It's funny what people claim as their New Year's Resolution. I hate making them but always do with the hope it might kickstart something positive. I can honestly say I've NEVER stuck with one, but I have a good feeling about 2018. My New Years Rezzie is to put on an art show, and create a body of work specific to said art show. It's been a while since I have put together an art event and i'm ready. Great thing is, I absolutely Love the Artisans On The Ave gallery in Lake Worth, so I already have my venue! Would you like to attend? Sign up for my newsletter here.
Now...last year was a strange bird for me. Big life changes have forced me to make some big girl decisions. I am eager to open "The Art Cart" and take the art to the road but also, I want to develop my online presence. I have so many inspirations that I have a hard time turning it off at night. My Dad has inspired me my entire artistic life to stretch my legs and take as many creative chances as possible. I have some great ideas and I can't wait to get started. My work is so much stronger now! I am starting to think about the next level.
I hope your New Year is as inspiring as I hope mine will be. Make your voice count, take some chances, and by all means...make it your own. Best wishes for a Healthy New Year!
Warm & Fuzzy One Of A Kind Gifts
When my five siblings and I would get up on Christmas morning, the glow of the presents under a our beautiful tree was so magical. Although most of the gifts were wrapped in different shades of red, they all seemed to take on different shades of blue at that hour. The sun wasn't quite up but we knew Santa had been and gone. We weren't to touch anything until both parents were awake. Truth is, they probably just went to sleep. Santa was very good to us. He always new just what we wanted and even introduced us to some things we didn't even know we would love. That Santa knows everything.
This season I hope you can find something perfectly unique for someone to love in my store. This
Pre-Holiday I decided I was going to felt some things I had not yet tried. I made a Cat Mermaid titled "Catfishin'" A giraffe titled "Walking Tall" the Billiest of Goats and a Dragon titled...you guessed it..."Mother of Dragons". I wasn't done! I created a mermaid, two seahorses, a Doe named "Audrey" and a Pink Flamingo that is so absolutely precious. I've been having a blast! It's been so much fun tackling some new "Salt Life" subjects. My shelves at the gallery are packed and I have a "nice list" of custom projects scheduled for Santa to deliver!
I hope I see or hear from all of you over this holiday either in one of my classes or at the gallery.
I hope your Holiday is filled with Love, Friendship and all that is Merry!
Halloween Was The Catalyst
For years I have been sculpting Halloween decor out of chicken wire, monster mud and burlap. I love decorating both the inside and outside of my house. I typically aim for October 1st but 2017 threw a wrench at me and it went up late. Now, my husband and I get to sit outside and enjoy once again enjoy the dance of our ghost carousel as the sun goes down.