While binge-watching “Sherlock” this weekend, I had art papers, Sharpies, Prismacolor Pencils, and an odd assortment of cutouts on the bed. I began cutting 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″heavy card stock to start working in ATC’s (Artist Trading Cards) and again experimenting with a smaller canvas.
Years ago I had worked as a manicurist during a period of time when I had to be mindless. I’m not saying that it mindless work, but something a lot less stressful than what I had been doing prior to. I found that nails were a tiny canvas. While in manicuring school, I began to play with the various multicoloured glitters and acrylic powders that had come along with my kit. It was a major distraction!
While playing with these acrylic powders, I found there was a variety of things I could do: paint, sculpture, embed. Thinking about this the last 10 years (I analyze the crap out of everything), I have decided to buy some Ice Resin. I asked a ton of questions on Amazon.com about buyers experience and read a lot of info on the product. The purchase this morning. It will be delivered to my office on Wednesday afternoon. Basically what I am curious to see is if the acrylic sculptures that I am making can be cast in the resin to add to my mixed media pieces.
Ten years seems like a long time to analyze whether I want to incorporate an artistic medium or technique into ones work. During that period of time there were several life altering instances that changed my outlook. Emotionally, spiritually, and artistically I became crippled. Losing a spouse does that. Losing a soulmate, even more so. After Terry’s death, I found I was unable to do the smallest things such as reading a book for more than 2 minutes or making a simple pencil sketch.
Part of my art therapy was to take an entry job as a cashier at a craft store. It took awhile, but I gradually began to purchase items for my own use…especially ones I had never worked with to see if I could blend them into skills I already have. Watercolour crayons, leather bits, art papers, ephemera, feathers, rhinestones. Time went on and I began doing zen doodling, experimenting with traditional pan watercolours, pencils, stains, inks, acrylic inks, and even nail polish to get effects. Alcohol was introduced in droplets or spray to run or expand borders.
For many years, I resisted buying large paper punches, resin, or professional tools due to financial restrictions. During a particularly volatile period of my life when I was married to my second husband who was an alcoholic, I resisted buying these items, eyeing them like a longing schoolgirl through the glass of the local art shops because he said we couldn’t afford them. Funny, we always had money for the cigarettes and booze every week. Yes, there is resentment there. I allowed (being the key word) someone else to control my gifts and my passion for 17 years. A long time, but not tragically late.
Since the cashier job, I have moved up to other positions and to a different company, which challenges my creativity in other ways. This has been good for me. I am finding out even more what I want and what I don’t in my life….what is toxic and what is good FOR ME.
Not only is this an age of discovery for art techniques, but it is a time of discovery of myself. I’ve been married since I was 20 and in that period of 40 years, have not really experienced being my own person for more than a year at a time. I had subconsciously bought into the idea that I needed to have a man in my life in order to be successful and whole. With the exception of Terry, I cannot say in all honesty that it was a smart move. Terry was the best person and time in my life. Soulmate, companion, constructive critic, confidant, knight in shining armor, best friend, husband. How the hell do you top that?! My children from my first marriage are a constant joy to me as well…treasures. The regret is not taking more time time when I was younger to examine who I was and what I love and where I wanted those passions to take me.
So gleefully…giddily, I start this new year off with experimentation. I’ll share the process, poetry, and artwork here. Maybe something I share can help someone else going through the process. We’ll discover together, shall we?
Any constructive criticism or comments will be welcome.
Cheers to the all of you! Thank you for egging me on!