Hello there, Creative ADD

Welcome to my website and blog! I’m glad you’re here taking a look around. Please feel free to read the silly things I’ll be posting from time to time. I want to share my artwork with you, but I also want to share my personality with you. There’s this idea that artist websites should be Very Serious and Professional, some thought I picked up while at art school. But, I’d like you to get to know me a little bit, too. Maybe make you laugh a little!  My thoughts are often in a jumble, and my kitchen table is often covered with things that make it impossible to actually eat at the table, and I have this desire in me to create beautiful things. I have a full, creative life and I’m thankful for it every day.

 

I have what you might call “Creative ADD.” Basically, I want to do and make “all the stuff.” Which on the surface doesn’t sound so terrible, but look at the words. All. The. STUFF.

 

Suffering from “Creative ADD” means that I can’t go into an art supply or craft store without leaving with an armload of stuff. You name it, I probably have it floating around my apartment. Silkscreens, beeswax, acrylic paint, paintbrushes, rolls of paper, fabric, clothing patterns, beads, crystals, wire, jewelry charms, metal files, rubber stamps, paper ephemera, metal stamping tools, sketchbooks, indigo dye (including a 5 gallon bucket of indigo that I have no clue how to get rid of), watercolors, photo inks, hole punches, oil pastels, photographs, old cameras…I mean, you never know when any of this might come in handy. Certainly a few months ago when I got inspired to try my hand at printmaking AGAIN and found that it suddenly made total and perfect sense to me, I was grateful that I had rubber blocks, a 5-bit carving tool, barren, brayer, ink and paper already in my stash.

 

I could never live in one of those Pinterest-perfect or Instagram-ready homes because as far as I can tell, those people have no stuff.

 

 

(Left image via Pinterest; Right image via myself. My actual desk.)

 

Did I mention that my husband is also an artist and therefore has a lot of art-related stuff? (Although I do think that I’m winning on the stuff front, he’s much more restrained than me when it comes to art supplies/hording.)

 

But back to the stuff.

 

I’m really not a hoarder. I just like to be prepared. I do have to talk myself down before I go anywhere supply-related. I make a list of what I need and I stick to it. Mostly. I also limit myself to what I can focus on. Mostly. Currently, it’s printmaking and sewing, maybe with a little bit of Shibori thrown in there in the way way background. Yes, that’s my definition of “limiting myself.”

 

Through these self-imposed “limits,” I’ve found a new freedom. Within printmaking, I’ve found a new inspiration that both challenges and eases me. Working from my own photographs as source images, I am constantly asking myself how I can simplify the photo down to the essentials in order to express the overall picture that I want using only black ink and white paper. I have to ask myself how to represent tree bark, or foliage, or grass seen from a distance but not close enough to be visually defined. How do I suggest layers of trees on the side of a mountain? If I choose to add a linear quality to my sky, will that become overpowering to the rest of the print? A great deal of planning goes into every print, from the size of the linoleum or rubber block to which tools I’ll use to carve. Sometimes I flip my source image so they will print in the “correct” orientation, other times I’ll intentionally print them the “wrong” way around to add another layer of distance from reality. So many decisions go into the final print before I even start carving.

 

Printmaking allows me to be free and loose with my mark-making. Although I enjoy drawing and painting, the results were never realistic enough or abstract enough for me. (This is partly why I’ve always been so drawn to photography as a medium.) Having to make decisions about the final image before I’ve even started allows me to express ideas in a more stylized way that I’d be able to otherwise. Printmaking feels like the next, natural step for me to take in my artistic processes.

 

And, in the meantime, I’ll do my very best to keep the STUFF at bay.

 

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