Wednesday, May 27, 2009

M4: Yes! More!

Here is another M4 figure, "Gina the Gypsy" by Roberta. Using the kit's vintage papers, including the phrases: "That is a good question. And I'd say YES without reservation," Roberta's Gina knows all the answers, and looks very stylish while delivering them, in her map skirt embellished with lace, golden bodice and button hat.

And, as with other pairings, here is a very different way of using all of the M4 Kit Challenge's
elements. Toni has created a bird house complete with lacy curtains at the window, puzzle piece flowers in a glass vase, and a perch on the side. When the roof is removed, you can see the birds have lovely wallpaper, and even some art on the walls! HGTV would be impressed!

Simply M4-velous, Roberta and Toni!

Monday, May 25, 2009

M4, Continued, again!

Yes, there's still more M4 magnificence to show. Here is Patti's creation, a very inventive townscape, complete with storefronts, a fountain, grass, puzzlepeople and a puzzlecritter! We love how she's used the kit's various elements in ingenious ways, which keep you going back and discovering more. Be sure to click on the image for the enlarged version.

Penny's hanging assemblage piece includes a winged figure, gorgeous textures, and luscious colors, including metallic gold. She also uses the word 'create,' and adds a touch of whimsy by directing our attention to the back of her piece, as you can see here. As she says: "The key to accomplishing any task--great or small--is simply to begin. You cannot finish what you never start."
Outstanding work, Patti and Penny!

Friday, May 15, 2009

CMMAG Special Event Announcement

The Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild is pleased to present an Indie Business Breakfast in Raleigh, NC on Saturday, June 6, from 9 am to Noon, entitled:

How to Use Social Media to Leverage Your Brand and Attract More Paying Customers For Your Business!

CMMAG member and artist extraordinaire, Lisa Stewart, CREATIVEGoddess of ECStewart Designs in Raleigh will be the featured speaker. She is an award winning designer and illustrator who, along with her husband and business partner, creates an extensive line of sophisticated images that are licensed on all kinds of elegant home accessories and personal products designed to enhance the lifestyle of the sophisticated customer. Lisa is a graduate of Western Michigan University's School of Graphic Design and Fine Arts.
Through the years, Lisa and her husband have become intimately familiar with the challenges artists and crafters face when seeking to make the most of the financial opportunities that flow from their gifts. Lisa and her work have been featured in dozens of magazines and news outlets. Lisa will share from her experience and answer your questions about everything from maximizing online sales to achieving favorable publicity. If you want to learn how to use free and low cost social media tools to entrench your brand in your niche market, you need to follow Lisa's lead! She can help you turn your artistic talent into a vehicle that will help you enjoy your craft while also living a lifestyle you have always dreamed of.

What's an Indie Business Breakfast, you ask?

About Indie Business
Indie Business is where independent business owners connect, collaborate and succeed. We share tips and how-tos, and use the latest branded new media tools to create new relationships and expand our spheres of influence.
Indie Business Breakfast is hosted by Donna Maria Coles Johnson, founder and president of the Indie Beauty Network and Indie Business Media. Known as the Chief Executive Indie and the Original Lifestyle CEO, Donna Maria is passionate about empowering people to maximize their potential through small business ownership. You can follow Donna Maria’s entrepreneurial journey at You can also connect with her on Twitter at and on Facebook at
Interested? Intrigued? Inspired? Join us!

Click here to register. Tickets are $20 in advance, and $25 at the door, and don't forget your business cards!
If you're a CMMAG member, we'll have an area dedicated to showcasing examples of our work, so bring something fabulous to show off. Note: if you're planning to bring something, please arrive at least 20 minutes early to ensure your work is displayed properly.
See you there!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

May Member Interview: Nanette Zeller

Nanette Zeller

1. What inspires you to create?
I wish I knew what really triggers my creativity. Sometimes I really could use something to kick my behind. The problem, if you choose to call it that, is that I always want to create. I do know that being around creative souls really gets me inspired to get into the studio. Whenever I have a creative outing, teach or take a class, visit a trade show or gallery, or visit a new “supply” store, I always come home fired up and full of ideas. That’s why I love our guild so much. I know on a monthly basis, I’m going to be around some talented people who “get it.” I don’t have to explain my “weird” passions for fibers or the creative process. After each meeting, I’m ready to get busy in my studio.
2. When did you decide to pursue art or did art pursue you?
Professionally, I started pursuing art about 4 years ago. However, it has always been pursuing me. I was always creating things. My mom taught me to crochet when I was about 9 and I was sewing doll clothes even earlier. On days off of school, I was always excited to make paper mache masks using clay, newspaper, flour, water, and glue. My mom was an original mixed media artist. She made dioramas for Easter and Christmas using ham cans and small plastic ornaments (e.g., bunnies, trees, etc). She died when I was 14, but I’m sure she would approve of my mixed media insanity. She’s probably the only one in my family that would “get it”.
3. If you weren't an artist, what would you be?
I have been so many different things already; it’s difficult to think of being in another career. I really like this one, so far. I guess if I had to choose and money were no issue, I would be doing something with dog rescue work. I love dogs and it saddens me to think there are so many that are homeless or ill-cared-for.
4. What other jobs have you had which have aided you on your artistic path?
I started my college career as an Environmental Biologist, and then went back to school to become a certified Secondary Science Education Teacher. Shortly after that I went back to school, again, to earn my Master’s degree in Wildlife Biology and worked a few years in that profession. In the late 1990’s, I began working as a web designer, and then later a technical editor for a major craft book publisher.
Although my background is diverse, I feel that all of my experiences have helped me be a better artist. The science training and my love of nature, allows me to see things with great detail. I have had encounters with nature which now provides me with a keen eye. My computer skills, editing experience, and scientific training have enhanced my skills by providing me the courage to experiment, the analytical skills to work out problems, and the creative desire to research techniques. Above all, I think I’m a good learner…I love to learn. Being excited about learning can be a very helpful in the creative process. It opens up new opportunities and techniques and helps you think outside of the box with designs. My teaching allows me to share what I know. I love seeing the “light bulb” effect in my classes. And it never fails that I learn something from my students. It’s all good.
5. At the art supply store, which section do you gravitate to first?
I am fascinated by fiber things, but most art supplies stores don’t carry cloth or wool. However, canvases intrigue me and so do paint brushes. I love petting the paint brushes. I’m not sure what most of them are used for, but I like to touch them especially if they are made from animal hair. I have been very tempted to purchase paint brushes just to have them to touch.
Currently, I’m playing some with home-made rubber stamps, so I also like looking at the inks and acrylic paints.
6. What new technique or art form would you like to learn? Do you have plans to do so?
I am fascinated with altered books. I’d like to experiment a little more with paints and fibers in collage. I would also like to do a little more with Polymer clay. The problem is just about anytime someone shows me a cool technique I want to learn it and use it. There’s just not enough time, so I have to hold back on some of my enthusiasm. I’m running out of room in my studio.
7. If you could do anything, and knew you could not fail, what would you choose to do?
I would like the ability to travel without concern for money. There are so many places that I want to see. I would love to embrace the cultures of the world. Just experiencing the cultures could open my mind to some creative opportunities. I’ve heard of people who take a year or more off from their jobs and spend the time traveling. I don’t see how they can afford it. My husband and I are just too practical to travel like that. I also have this strong “nesting” gene. I like being in my own home. I like being in my studio. And anyway, how do you find the money for airfare when you’re not working? Maybe when I win the lotto…but I guess first I have to start playing it.

Good luck, Nanette, and thanks for doing the interview!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

More of the Marvels of M4

Nanette's M4 creation is shown here, in front and back views. If you click on the image, you'll see both enlarged. Note how she's used the postcard and tickets to create the figure's hat, and she's added the word 'create' in Scrabble tiles as an embellishment on the skirt. And, the skirt is cleverly composed of fibers and folded pieces of the kit's map.

Everyone was amazed by how different each Guild member's work was, despite everyone having the same elements with which to create. Here's another example:

Carolyn used a similar doll theme; her figure's skirt features the letters of the word 'create,' but she's used the tickets, map fragments and puzzle pieces to create the skirt. Carolyn's figure has an old world feel, with lacy elements and leg-of-mutton style sleeves, and a fancy hat.

Outstanding work, Nanette and Carolyn!

Friday, May 1, 2009

M4, Continued

Laurel's M4 creation is shown here both opened and closed. And, she uses the word "possible" on the front door.
Lucy's M4 piece is similar, using open doors to showcase how she incorporated all of the kit's pieces.

Excellent work, Laurel and Lucy; you've produced more M4 marvels!

Even More: M4!

After a brief hiatus, here are more images from our wildly creative members who participated in our M4 challenge.

Jodi's work on canvas and Karen's globe truly illustrate what was so great about the M4 challenge: when confronted with the same assortment of disparate materials, two artists produced pieces which are very different, yet equally creative.
Congratulations to Jodi and Karen--great work!