Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December 2009 – Meanderings of a muddled mind….

A friend mentioned the Bead Journal Project 2010 to me during the summer when I was struggling to summon my creativity and having a difficult time doing so. I love to bead and thought this commitment might be exactly what I needed to force myself into creativity. So I signed up on October 1st…I tried to sign up before that, but they wouldn’t let me!

I am a doll maker first and foremost. I am a proud member of the River City Dollmakers and have been a member of this group since 1997 – a year before we had a name! They are an amazingly talented group of women and men who are giving of their time and talent. Not only have I learned much about doll making and the business side of things in this group, but I consider these wonderful people to be friends as well…it doesn’t get any better than that.

Mid-summer 2009 brought the art of Zentangle into my life (www.zentangle.com). This art form feels like “home” to me. It has kept me sane and started to rekindle my artistic desires. Sitting with a pen in hand and doodling tangles is a very Zen experience. Does this sound corny? Yes it does, but it feels really wonderful. Are you sure you have no artistic talent? Would you love to be able to create something beautiful? I believe anyone who practices this relaxing, meditative medium can become quite accomplished. Years ago I took a face drawing course from the inestimable elinor peace bailey. I remember she said “practice is everything. If the only thing you can draw is a stick figure, practice them every day. Eventually you will find that you make the best stick figures on your block.” Zentangles are much the same…you get better…and more relaxed. Sounds like a win-win situation to me!

I also love to make wearable art and that seems to be where the majority of my beading has been utilized. In looking through the past bead journal project galleries I saw some techniques that look very interesting to me. In fact, they look like the bead version of Zentangles…so I believe that 2010 will be the year of the bead and the pen for me and am looking forward to expanding and improving my beading skills.

There is much I need to learn about beading. I find the best way for me to learn something new is to decide on a project (or new technique) I want to create and then learn the steps and techniques necessary to achieve that goal…maybe a little backwards…but this is the way I learn with great eagerness and gusto!

I am at odds with my approach to this journal. I live in a small place and do not have room for lots of wall art. I hate the thought of creating a journal in which each page will (hopefully) be worthy of being the front cover…not hiding in the middle or end of the journal. Do I want to use a theme like Carol Lenthal’s triptych or Karen Cohen’s spirals? Should I make pieces that will fit together into a sculptural figure? Should I make each page with a detachable piece of art to be worn as jewelry? Do I want a very sophisticated work…if I go that route what happens to the snowman who is begging to be beaded?

Okay…what do I actually want for 2010? Most importantly, I wish for a year of calm and peace – oh and good health. Don’t we all? Still, I felt the need to say it. Artistically, I’d love to get back to my old creative ways…where I had so many ideas flitting through my head that I could hardly think straight. Things I wish to accomplish in the making of this journal?

1) The study of textures
2) A study of colors
3) 3-D effects (my snowman really wants to have a round belly)!


Handpainted skirt has a diameter of 14".