Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Finding A New Direction

I've been thinking a lot about the art that I create lately.  First I was a painter, and a crafter, but mostly a painter.  I got my first real set of oil paints when I was about 11 years old.  Before that it was paint by numbers kits, although I rarely followed the numbers and staying inside the lines was totally out of the question.

When I started college (I was not an art major) the oil paints slipped away, no pun intended, and my creative outlet became pastels and pencil, and occasionally watercolors.  But over time, even these artistic endeavors dwindled as work took more and more of my time. 

After I married (I married late by the way - I was 36!) I was luckily to be in a position to start exploring my creative side again.  I created decoupaged plates, painted Santa faces on wood slabs, decorated wreathes, and even planted flowers in vintage containers.  Eventually, I started making dolls with cloth bodies, sculpted heads and hands, and costumes sewn from vintage fabrics.  I attended local craft fairs and art shows with my mom and sister; and we did pretty good during the hey-day of such events.

Ugh!  The turtle neck makes me look like I'm in a neck brace! 
Why don't our loved ones tell us these things before we go out in public?

Here are some early Santa's.  I even made the bases out of old lamp parts.

Over time however, the craft show craze began to fade and so I looked for some other venue to sell my goods.  By this time, I was making dolls almost exclusively.  I was lucky enough to find a wonderful gallery that would take my work (more on the gallery in another post.)  My dolls have now evolved to fully sculpted characters with wire and wood armatures.

Halloween and Christmas are my favorite holidays.
Vintage tins became my base of choice, and I use lots of old springs to make bobbles.

It's been a wonderful experience.  But...I feel myself becoming less and less motivated to create fully sculpted figures.  Instead, I am more and more drawn to the mixed media creations I find in magazines like Somerset Studio and on your blogs.  In fact, I have been so inspired that I decided to take the plunge and try to create a piece of mixed media art myself based on some of the things I love most...books, the garden, vintage lace, buttons and millinery, and old photos and paper. 

Here are the things I've gathered so far.  Although, I expect things will probably change as I go along.

 These are all things that I've collected over time.
So I guess, in a way, this post can also be called..."Tuesday's Treasures."

So thank you for the inspiration dear friends.  Wish me luck!


  1. Hi Susan! Well, don't get your hopes up about my studio..it's really primitive. I'm trying really hard not to compare myself with Karen Valentine's studio, or any of the other gals that are playing. ;-) Are you going to participate?
    Your post on art and your evolving on it was neat..I tend to like to try different things, too. Over the years I painted with acrylic, then glass painting, then furniture, then mosaics with broken china..now mixed media has grabbed me. I am thrilled that you've been bitten by the bug,too and am excited to see what you create!
    I also like your idea of posting topics on various days..great idea!
    See ya Friday!!

  2. Susan,
    Oh. MY!!!!! Such creative genius you have with your dolls. Unbelievable. Has Country Living magazine featured you yet???? If not, they had better get a move on!!!
    I can't wait to see what you come up with. I need inspiration these days!!!

  3. Greetings Friend,
    You are talented at soooooo many things, I can't imagine you not finding inspiration in just about anything you'd like to do! I too am changing my emphasis in my art. I always worked with tangible items, but here I am starting all over again with something I never actually touch...my digital design. A year ago, I had never used PhotoShop & now I can't imagine my life without it. Our creative journeys are always a path with so many forks, who know where we'll end up, right?
    Smiles & of course 'LUCK'!

  4. What an amazing artist you are!
    You truly do seem to be gifted in so many areas, what a gift. :-)

  5. Oh how wonderful to find new inspiration!
    Your past items are so full of detail and perfect in looks that I am sure you will be awesome at the mixed media items as well, can't wait to see more
    Have fun