The Journey So Far

It’s now the fifth and final week of the 2013 Hero’s Art Journey Course with Mira Reisberg and Maya Christina Gonzalez. Like the rest of the course participants, I am reluctant to see it end. Like most wonderful things, it went by too quickly.

From the first week, I knew that making the decision to take the course was one of the best ones I’d made. Every week, from Monday to Thursday, I looked forward to logging in to the class site and reading Mira’s and Maya’s posts, watching demo and interview videos, and then trying out the different painting and drawing methods. Fridays are webinar days so depending on the week, I would either make sure I’d had lunch in time for the 1pm or dinner for the 9pm webinar.

For the longest time, I’d been wanting to do more art away from the computer. I do love what I can be done on Photoshop or ArtRage and the fact that when I make a mistake or feel the need to start over, I’m not wasting paper or paint. However, there’s something to said for creating work that I can actually touch.

I’ve always wanted to make dolls although my preference leans towards the art doll as opposed to dolls that can be played with. Years and years ago, I wrote a fan letter to Marleen Engeler, a doll artist from the Netherlands. She wrote back and we have since been corresponding for the past 19 years. I kept telling her that one day, I’d make dolls too but I never got around to it.

When Mira posted the demo video of her paper clay “mini-me,” I knew it was time. I worked on two heads which I later set aside in favor of one that was more cartoony and whimsical. It was a hurried piece of work because I wanted it to be ready to show the group when Webinar day came. I also created a pop-up backdrop for it (the other obsession I have of late is movable books). The end result was a fun, whimsical, silly “muse” who now sits on the bookshelf behind me.

The Hero’s Art Journey course “forced” me to get out of my comfy corner where having created mostly client-approved work, I had become lazy when it came to getting my hands dirty. Last week, particularly, saw me with fingers coated with paper clay, modeling paste, gesso, paint, glue, and in the middle of a rainy day, walking to the nearest art store to grab a gallon of glue. I didn’t really need a whole gallon, of course, but running out of it when you need it desperately is just not a good thing.

So here it is. I think I’ve found a whole new way to express my creativity and it has nothing to do with Photoshop–at least not right away. When I try and put things in perspective, I see that I may have been preparing for this for most of my life. This method brings together all the other things I used to love doing: sewing, making handmade books and dolls, stamping, sculpting, painting, and even collaging.

I’m going to embrace it all and see where it takes me. If I begin to have doubts, I’m going to take a look at my crazy little muse and plod on.

By the way, I have recently been promoted to Granny status! That tells me I should update my Motherhood and Other Tales of Magic blog. Also, in honor of little Sophie Marie’s arrival, I’ve begun some pattern studies and will call the line