Thursday, March 26, 2009

More M4 Creations

Here are two more of the Guild participants' creations in the M4 Mixed Media Kit Challenge:

The first is from Dawn Meisch, and shows her book's cover and one of its inside spreads.
(Click on all images for enlargements)
This piece is by Debbie Altman, and it includes the Minnie Aumonier quote: "I think of HEAVEN as a GARDEN, where I shall find again those DEAR ONES who have made my world."
Again, two unique creations, using the same elements. Congratulations, Dawn and Debbie--your work is beautiful!
For a look at the elements included, and the first two creations in the M4 Kit Challenge series, click here.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Guild Event: Kit Challenge Code Name M4

Photographs of M4 kit contents and artists' creations courtesy of: Frank Pierce

M4, also known as the "Mixed Media Madness Mission-Art Possible", our first Kit Challenge was a resounding success! In this and the next several posts, we'll highlight the work of our members and you'll see how each responded to the challenge.
The rules: "ALL contents of the Kit must be used in the creation (approx. 30 items)- 'Incidentals' (adhesives, paints, inks, dyes, glitter and wire) can be added without limit(s). Two (2) additional items can be added to the creation beyond the Kit items and the 'allowable' elements. These are completely optional, and will serve as a way to give artistic voice to the Kit Challenge (they can serve as the substrate for your creation, or even a 'container' to house the new treasure)."

As you can see, the items contained within the Kit were diverse to say the least! And, after much thinking, considering, rejecting, dreaming, not sleeping, discussing, sketching, starting, stopping, gluing and deciding, our members produced outstanding results!

Here's Amy's creation, using a box as her substrate. (Click on the photographs to see enlargements).

And, here is Carolyn's doll, using all the same elements. Amazing, isn't it?

Stay tuned for more of the Kit Challenge artists'

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

March Member Interview: Vivianne Voyles

Vivianne Voyles
The Expressive Thread
1. What inspires you to create?
Fiber, texture, sunlight filtering through my garden plants, quiet, bits of rusty things found while walking, rocks, pebbles, shells, fossils, shards, color, birds singing on a frosty winter day....
I have a drive to ‘do’ something with those things seen along the way of living life, like that metal bit of broken sunglasses along the road – I don’t see trash I see ‘what can I make with this?’ Once, I collected parts of a dead tree because I wanted to make a big wooden horse sculpture for the garden. Another was an old 60’s metal hanging kitchen light fixture that will become something to hang the bird feeders from. No fabric is safe. I haunt thrift stores, finding clothes I may never wear but get inspired by the fabric, the texture, the threads. I go home tear it apart and make something else from it – even if it becomes another piece of fabric when combined with other torn bits of paper, wire, and other clothes. It is addictive.

Another inspiration came when joining CMMAG. Such support! I found my ‘tribe’, those that wouldn’t scowl at my latest experiment in art, those that share what each has learned at a workshop, giving advice about websites, helping each other to create. The group won’t let you sit in and wallow in self-doubt, they see right through the excuses and go right on encouraging everyone to get out there and make something! I knew this was the right spot for me when a member said she had picked up something while walking and said she had to use it in her art – another member had looked at a little bit of dyed cheese cloth from a grab bag and said she can do something with that! It was cool!!

2. When did you decide to pursue art or did art pursue you?
I have never pursued art; it’s always been there with me. I’ve ignored it plenty of times while driving onward to get a ‘good paying job’. The secret was listening to the inner heart and voice that kept asking ‘what are you waiting for’. The real question was ‘what was I afraid of?’ I started to actionalize my desire to create around 3 years ago, which resulted in my dream of a studio being built over the garage. Windows and windows and space galore! So this was my push to get going and stop being afraid. I read somewhere that you can live your dream but first you have to wake up. I guess I decided to wake up!

3. If you weren't an artist, what would you be?
If I wasn’t a project manager in a major computer industry – what would I be? Being an artist is limitless. If I couldn’t be an artist, somehow I would create, learn, and dig into the history of things. I’d definitely be an archaeologist (my minor at the University of Arizona). Wow, I would dig and sit in the dirt, searching for the little things that spoke of another time and life.

4. What other jobs have you had which have aided you on your artistic path?
I really haven’t had any job that aided my art or the desire to create. The closest thing and that’s a bit of a stretch is when I was an aircraft engineer on the flight line. It involved tearing apart the aircraft's instruments, flight controls, engines and putting it all back together. Let’s see, how to do this without getting hurt, killed or killing someone else. That was creative.

5. At the art supply store, which section do you gravitate to first?
Ah, an art store! The way I relax and unwind! In an art store there is so much to be distracted by, a way to get lost from the stress of the day! I love paint brushes and sketching pencils and can spend hours looking around. I see a pencil, it's not what I actually what I went to look for but when I see it I say ‘I bet that is a great pencil’ I feel the lead, hold it in my hand, give it a try, see if it smudges just right … same thing with a brush, feel the bristles, what can I use this for?

6. What new technique or art form would you like to learn? Do you have plans to do so?
I’d like to learn more about encaustics. I love the depth it can bring to an object or painting. Just how can I take a piece of fabric and pull out the texture, add objects and add the wax, cool!

7. If you could do anything, and knew you could not fail, what would you choose to do?
I would like to adventure around the country and the world. Looking for fabric and bits that I can’t even describe! Learning about other cultures. To live among people so I can understand and learn about their lives, and their history. I’d study plants, how they are used, sketch them, and sketch the people that depend upon them. I would dance and sing and celebrate the world. I would move back to the southwest, digging for fossils, finding color in cool stones, and creating from those things. Fearless. Endless energy and living until I did everything I wanted to do with art.
We hope you get to do that and more, Vivianne! Thanks for a great interview.
April Member Interview: Ophelia Staton