I remember writing in a library book once and boy did I get in trouble. I was taught to respect books and highlighting in text books was about as comfortable as I would get. To tear up a book was unheard of. Enter the age of altered books. A craft I’ve dabbled in, but tearing up text for collage and cutting out unique images for my calligraphy work is keeping my muses amused.
So far all I had done was two dimensional work. In the 90’s I picked up an Art Doll magazine and was immediately intrigued at the imaginative work being done by some amazing doll artists. It wasn’t the porcelain baby dolls that captured me, but the dolls of fantasy and super realism.
Awhile later I discovered Sculpey clay and decided to make a Santa figure for my sister-in-law’s Christmas collection. This craft had all the elements I love doing. Imaginative design, working with my hands, sewing and gathering miniature accessories. I made several figures over several years and they ended up in private collections. I even made a Leon Coffee rodeo clown doll for a local rancher who was a personal friend of the rodeo legend.
But the sculpture muse stayed for only five or six years and receded into the shadows.
Commission for a family of golfers. I also taught myself to knit with the making of his sweater.
My last Santa and my personal favorite.
Mario the Gambler resides in my personal collection.
The 80’s were full of creativity for me. Stained glass was in full revival and I jumped in with both feet. I got a job at Craig’s Stained Glass as a sales clerk learning how to sell glass, cut glass and ultimately design custom work for commission. I eventually taught the evening classes and discovered how much I enjoyed teaching. The problem for me, though, was following shop policy to “sell” as much glass to students as possible. I’m not wired that way and left the shop to pursue my own artistic journey.
Stained glass was a passion for more than a decade. Panels, lamps and suncatchers were always in my studio, Capricorn Glassworks. The sun set on this craft, though, when I realized that lamps crafted in Mexico could sell in home improvement stores for half what it cost me to make in materials and time. The quality was also half and is still evident in the lighting department of big box stores today.
But I love the process of stained glass and still have my tools, a large case of glass and a hundred pounds of lead came. I could make a piece in a heartbeat. Stained glass was another building block in my artistic life. I’m also seeing a pattern of subjects.
Moon & Star
One of my favorite motifs.
A winged horse of Greek legend, sprung from Medusa at her death. A stamp of his hoof caused the fountain of the Muses, Hippocrene, on Mount Helicon, hence, he is associated with poetical inspiration.
A familiar subject.
In gathering my muses together and consulting with them, I can’t forget some very important origins. In the 1970’s I was obsessed with pen and ink. I used a dip pen, Hunt 101, and bottled India Ink. I drew from my imagination, not using a model or photo reference (but I probably should have). My dream was to be a Childrens’ Book Illustrator. I marveled at the illustrations of John Tenniel in Alice in Wonderland, Dale Ulrey in The Wizard of Oz and of course Arthur Rackham in Grimm’s Fairy Tales. My subjects were always fantastical and as I study these today, I love them as if they were children.
Me and my best cat Chessa (black cat on the rock).
Me swimming at Lake Tahoe.
My children I hoped to have.
I’m reflecting on my own art and gathering thoughts about Multiple Muse Disorder. I thought I would post a few of my scattered interests. I’m wondering what the common threads are and will be working to gather them together.
These images are from a little art journal that spawned these thought-filled folks with good, and not so good, messages. They are about 4×6, Micron pen and Crayola markers and are from my “cheap art supply” series.
This is one of my favorite quotes.
This is me in the morning.
Happy 4th of July!!