We have two cats, one twice the size as the other, both from the same litter, and a lovely dog I got at the grocery store (she was a pup, in a cardboard box, and I just had to pick her up. There was no putting her back!). We live in the woods, where there are coyotes, bears, deer, turkeys, mountain lions, foxes (a whole den, a few yards from our driveway), etc. I saw the awesome article in this blog written about my friend and fellow grad student, Eva Champagne (Functional-Lively-Serious Play), and just wanted to be part of this community!
I really don't enjoy cooking, unless the end result contains chocolate.
When I was small, I discovered how good children's vitamins were while my Mom was taking a nap. There were none left when she woke up.
I like shiny things and suspect I may have been a packrat in a former life.
One of my favorite quotes is by Phyllis Diller: "Housework can't kill you, but why take a chance?"
What got you started crafting?
Hmmm...my earliest memory is drawing thick legged horses on cardboard as a kid. I loved to dissect seed pods, especially from the flowers growing in our front yard garden. I've always loved art, and it was always my favorite subject, but took a detour during my college years to pursue Biochemistry, which didn't turn out as a career, but must have been meant to be, as I met my wonderful and loving husband who worked in a lab right below mine. Once we met, I started to realize I was in the wrong field, and from that point on, he help and encouraged me to pursue art. I can't imagine a more supportive husband, and I am SOOOOOOOO thankful for that. Whether it was watercolor, encaustic, metalworking or going back to school to get an MFA, he was there. Wow! I'm so lucky : )
What is your source of inspiration?
My source of inspiration comes from abstract shapes, nature, emotions, colors, my garden; really, just about anything and everything. I love to play with color, texture, pattern, and mixing media.
What have you made recently?
My two favorite media right now are working with metals to make contemporary jewelry, and encaustic painting, for the luscious colors and smooth and sensuous textural qualities of this medium. I've included an image of a copper cuff bracelet I recently made for a fundraiser where we were given a sheet of 5"x5" paper and a pencil. From that, we were encouraged to "think out of the box" and create something for the auction. For the last few months since grad school was over, I dove into working with metals to make jewelry, especially since my neighbor is a professional silversmith and he taught me how to solder. The cuff was an idea I had to incorporate mixed media--drawing (graphite), painting (encaustic), and bending, soldering and riveting metal.
The painting image is an encaustic painting entitled, "Empathy" which was recently shown at the Missoula Art Museum and sold as part of their 39th Annual Benefit Auction. It is part of a series of work I'm doing based on emotions and states of being.
Where do you sell your crafts presently?
I just finished the MFA program in painting and drawing from the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana, and my first task was to create my main website, which includes much of my work in multiple media. As I love computers and believe in the internet as a viable way to market art, I am going to be working on search engine optimization with this site. In addition, I created an Etsy store and named it Roaring Lion Studios, as I live on Roaring Lion Road! I currently have large paintings in the Charsam Gallery in Big Sky, MT and have shown in a lot of juried shows over the years.
Why are handmade crafts important to you?
There is nothing like creating something with your two hands. There is something spiritual and subconscious that kicks in, as it is only when I work in my hands creating something that I lose track of time, forget to eat, etc. I feel I am responding to something deep within me; it is personal, emotional, heart felt, and an amazing feeling. I allow myself the freedom to make lots of mistakes, as I learn far more from my failures than I do my successes. I love the look and feel of things that are handcrafted. I appreciate the time, care, and passion behind all of these things.