Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Season's Greetings!

"Peaceful Co-Existence"
hand dyed, painted, stitched and embellished by Carol W. Larson
The Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild wishes all of our members and blog followers a
Merry Christmas
Happy Hanukkah
Happy Kwanzaa
 a healthy, happy and creative New Year! 
We have big plans for 2015, so stay tuned.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Featured Member Interview: Megan Harris

What inspires you to create?
So many things, both tangible and intangible.  Visiting a museum, taking a workshop,  photos taken on trips to India, Italy, Paris, etc.  Colors in flowers, fabrics, books on periods in design i.e. Art Nouveau, Art Deco, the buildings, clothing, jewelry, art, sculpture of these periods.  So many things.

When did you decide to pursue art or did art pursue you?
Being creative has always been a way for me to get lost into a different world other than the one I lived in.   As a child I had paper dolls (is there such a thing anymore?) and I would take white paper and outline their various clothes, dresses, gowns, hats, and then I would create new designs on the garments and color them.  My paper dolls had great wardrobes.  Today they would be seen as fashionistas!  Another thing I used to do is draw skyscrapers.  Don’t know why.  I would draw skylines with many different  building shapes; short, tall, many windows, few windows, strange entrances.  And again I would color them in many different  hues.  My buildings didn’t exist in a black and white world but a child’s world of many colors.  Like Joseph’s coat.  Actual “art” didn’t pursue me, but I it, about 3 years ago.

"Paris Mannequin"
If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
An Architect.   I have always been fascinated by buildings;  both commercial buildings and the architecture of homes.  When traveling I always get fixated on the beauty of architecture and truly stop in my tracks to stare.  At the overall design, and more specifically at the entrance doors, the windows (tall and w/many panes of leaded glass, or just old glass with wavy lines).  I love the ornate trims of pediments, cornices, balconies, filigreed iron railing. The colored houses in Mexico and Bermuda were surprises.  I would only be interested in designing residential properties.  I would love to experiment and make each one interesting, beautiful both on the exterior and interior.  No
colored exteriors;  left that to my child’s eyes.

What other jobs have you had which have aided you on your artistic path?
I believe that each of the different careers I’ve had have added something to the ones that followed.  I tend to be verbose so will cut to the chase.  My first love was music, more specifically Opera.  I sang with small opera companies and did audition for the Metropolitan Opera and the City Opera but neither of those panned out.  Sang for many years until at some point I left music.  Enjoying performing I began taking acting lessons w/some prominent teachers.  My career as an actress was extremely fulfilling and I worked mainly in off-Broadway theatres.  In between acting jobs I worked as an extra in films and as an office temp in order to keep up with the inevitable bills that show up each month. 

My 3rd & 4th careers were as an interior designer and textile designer.  I enrolled in Parsons School of Design rather late in life.  So late In fact, that at the beginning of each new course one or two students thought I was the class instructor and would hand me their registration cards!    An assumption on their part since my hair wasn’t pink or blue and I had no metal piercings in evidence.  In the end it all worked out fine and I enjoyed my time at Parsons and then working as a free-lance designer until retirement.  All of these careers are aiding me in some measure as I struggle to produce artwork. 

"Seeking the Light"
At the art supply store, which section do you gravitate to first?
I always go in for something specific.  After that I go up and down the aisles and end up at the check-out  with a cart full of “stuff”.    It happens every time.  My studio is getting smaller and tighter and messier.  

What new technique or art form would you like to learn?  Do you have plans to do so?
I sometimes feel overwhelmed at how much I don’t know, technique wise.  I mainly take workshops or watch DVDs and then try my hand at what I’ve learned.   Besides art techniques,  I’d like to try my hand at making art jewelry at some point.  In particular earrings.  Also, I like Louise Nevelson’s wall wood sculptures and would enjoy doing some small versions. 

"Dynamics of Consciousness"

If you could do anything,  and knew you could not fail, what would you choose
to do?
Introduce kids to the arts,  especially  to  those who wouldn’t have it at their disposal otherwise.  Music, theatre, dance of all kinds, visual arts.   Money being no object I would buy a huge industrial building, set up studios where art could be taught,  rooms for dance and music, an auditorium for plays, dance performances, etc.   Years ago we brought Puccini’s one act comic opera Gianni Schicchi  to public schools in the Bronx and Harlem and you wouldn’t believe how involved the kids got.  There were no Bravos to be heard at the end but a lot of clapping, yelling and happy faces and would you believe, humming as they exited the auditorium.   Also at the North Carolina Museum of Art there are what are called family days and some schools busload kids in.  One of the days the kids were taught to do ATC’s.  Most of them jumped right in and the results were great;  others too shy were encouraged and helped and in the end were so proud of what they had created.

We're looking forward to seeing what you'll create, with the great "stuff" you selected from the art supply store, knowledge gained from lots of workshops, and your own inimitable style!  Thanks for the interview. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

September Special Events: "We Are Mixed Media 2" and "High Tea"

The Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild is pleased to announce two very special events taking place in September.  "We Are Mixed Media 2," an exhibit of the work of 15 of our member artists will run from Friday, September 5 through Thursday, September 25 at the Blake Street Shops and Studios, 300 Blake Street, Raleigh, NC.  The opening reception will coincide with Raleigh's First Friday events on Friday, September 5 from 6pm to 9pm, and many of the artists will be there to welcome guests and speak about their work. 

The following week, the Guild's "High Tea" display, which coincides with Raleigh's SPARKcon arts events, will also be at Blake Street during the weekend of September 11--13. "High Tea" was inspired by artist Judy Chicago's "The Dinner Party" .  CMMAG artists present their vision of an art-filled tea party; designing teapots, cups, saucers, placemats and centerpieces with a mixed media flair.

Visitors to Blake Street Shops and Studios during SPARKcon weekend will be able to vote on their favorite entry in both exhibits, for a Viewer's Choice award.

Here's a 'sneak peek' at three of our "High Tea" see them all, and "We Are Mixed Media 2", visit Blake Street Studios this month.  See you there!

by:  Jeanne Rhea

by:  Ilona Isaacs

by:  Marnie Blum

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Member Interview: Katherine Stein

What inspires you to create?
I don’t want to sound like a cliché, however just about everything inspires my creativity. From the time I first see the sun rise over the hill to when the sun finally sets spurs my urge to create and color whatever I can. My most recent observation is that pollen looks really awesome when it’s swirling in a puddle of water. 
 When did you decide to pursue art, or did art pursue you?
 I’ve always wanted to be an artist, I started with embroidering on a sampler I got at the Ben Franklin store when I was five, and when I made an outfit for the Dolly Derby in Girl Scouts. Eventually I graduated to embroidering my shirts with some wild designs using more complicated crewel stiches (it was the 70’s). In High School I took every art class I could and happily tried as many mediums as I could. I’m always trying one class or another. I’m not afraid to try anything and I’m finally having an impact on my spouse, he and I are going to collaborate on a Jerry’s Artarama mystery box.

If you weren't an artist, what would you be? 
Dead or catatonic.

What other jobs have you had which have aided you on your artistic path?
I really haven’t had any jobs working for anyone else that put me on an artistic path, however, my career as a procurement buyer/planner has pushed me to find creative ways to solve problems and to use art to relieve daily stress levels. In 2011 I started my own art business, Designing Dragonflies; I dye and sell silk scarves wholesale and at Art/Craft Shows. I also sell felted items such as Nuno Felt scarves.

At an art supply store, which section do you gravitate to first?
If I have time, I go through every aisle (you never know what wonderful stuff you’ll find). Since I’ve identified myself as a Fiber Artist, I usually gravitate to stores that carry dyes and fabric paints. However I’ve been getting more into drawing and painting so I’m always on the prowl for good deals for those products. But Askew-Taylor Paints on Glenwood Ave in Raleigh is my favorite place to troll. You NEVER know what you’ll find hidden in the rooms of art supplies.

What new technique or art form would you like to learn?  Do you have plans to do so?
I would like to get more into merging drawing, painting and fiber. I took a class last year that combined both and really loved doing it. I have a couple of projects in my head that I need to get sketched out on a cotton panel and start to create.

If you could do anything, and knew you could not fail, what would you choose to do?
I would buy an old warehouse or mill; renovate it into a combination of Art studios, meeting rooms/classrooms, gallery and an inn. This way I’d be able to accommodate different artists needing space, provide space for guilds to meet or classrooms (at a reasonable rate) and then sponsor weekend workshops and the inn aspect of it would accommodate students. The gallery would be a co-op of all the artists in the studios.

Sounds like a wonderful space, Katherine!  Thanks for the interview.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Featured Member Interview: Penny L. Arrowood

What inspires you to create?
It seems lately that inspiration lurks everywhere!  …the color of the sky at a certain time of day, the patterns found in the leafy shade of trees, the refraction of light through raindrops suspended on the hawthorn tree, the turn of a well crafted phrase, song lyrics…  The hits just keep on coming.  I have resigned myself to the fact that I will never catch up with the idea factory churning away in my noggin.  I am embracing “go with the flow!”

 When did you decide to pursue art or did art pursue you?
Art and I are much like the iconic image from the Book of Kells depicting a trio of dogs chasing the tail of the one in front – ha!  Who is pursuing whom depends on your perspective – or perhaps where you enter the circle.  The 3rd element in my trio?  Time!  Art, Time, and Me – endlessly chasing one another’s tails – it seems oddly fitting. 

In Celtic lore, the dog (hound) symbolizes hunting, healing, and the Otherworld – also oddly fitting my relationship with art/creativity.
I am often on the hunt for the perfect “something” for any number of projects/ideas.  I find the practice of art to be a soothing one – there is nothing like being ‘in the zone’ – a balm to the weary soul, indeed.  As for the Otherworld,  I reckon that could easily be the profound power of art to transport us; whether to another time, point of view, or state of mind.
Just last year, I formalized my relationship with art by ‘hanging my shingle’ so to speak.  I gave my pursuer a name:  Arrowood Paper Arts.  In addition to offering my wares *handmade books and paper finery* at various creative venues, I also teach workshops under this mantle (a complete listing of this year's events is available at my blog under the Where to Find Me tab).   

In the spirit of “go big or go home,” I also entered into partnership with two other incredible artists *who are also dear friends,* Jean Skipper and Jodi Ohl, last year to establish ReMe Retreats.  We have joined forces to produce small-scale, all-inclusive art experiences.  Our first event, in Ocracoke, NC in May of this year, sold out within 36 hours of ‘going live!’  We were fortunate enough to be able to secure the location for a 2nd offering in 2014, and will be returning to Ocracoke in October!  All sorts of exciting things are in the works, and it is quite exhilarating!
Given all of the above, I’d say the pursuit is over (?)  …and it’s a Win for Art!

 If you weren't an artist, what would you be?
All of the developments of the past couple of years would indicate that my fate is sealed!  I can think of no other thing that would afford me the joy I find in every aspect of my artistic endeavors:  creating, teaching, and hosting others within the light of both.  The only thing that could possibly make this ‘better’ for me would be the ability to focus all of my energies toward that end – for now, there is the day job to attend to. 
At the art supply store, which section do you gravitate to first?
As a card-carrying Paper ‘HO *Heartily Obsessed* I generally navigate toward the paper:  handmade, decorative, full sheets, padded stock.  I enjoy a moment of contemplation among the writing implements, as well.  I cannot seem to exit without a dervish-style whirl through the coloring agents:  paints, inks, pastels (!)

More and more I find that other outlets have ‘become’ art supply stores – thrift stores, reuse centers, estate sales, and the like.  I love finding a cache of vintage paper that I can repurpose into creative book forms *sw00n!*
What new technique or art form would you like to learn?  Do you have plans to do so?
OH, boy!  With my Magpie-like attraction to “the new,” there are too many to claim.  However, I decided (at the traditional time for ‘resolving’ things) that this would be the year of No New Stuff.  So far, outside of specific needs for committed work, I have managed to keep to this dictum. 
No… this year my focus is on honing my craft – there are countless ways to construct a book that I do not know *yet* -- in addition to design ideas that are confined to an assortment of notebooks, random loose pieces of paper, and rattling around inside my head (!)  As I say in conclusion to my *much more regularly updated* blog posts, “Onward & Upward!”

If you could do anything, and knew you could not fail, what would you choose to do?

I am on top of the world with the progression of what I AM doing.  I feel incredibly fortunate, and would wish only for the continued success of my current endeavors – may they take hold, and flourish – that would be the ultimate “thing at which not to fail” for me!

We're all pulling for you, Penny. We can't wait to see what art-filled delights this year will bring. And of course, we want to see your swoon-worthy photos of Ocracoke in May and October! Thanks for the interview.

Penny's Links:
Arrowood Paper Arts:

ReMe Retreats:


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

CMMAG Happenings: New Member Luncheon

Last month, the Guild hosted our very first New Member Luncheon, to welcome members who've recently joined our merry group.  On a bright, sunny, and unusually warm Sunday, we gathered at a Raleigh restaurant to meet, mingle and get to know each other, and the Guild a bit better.  There was lots of laughter*, good food, and sharing of information, especially about the art-filled year we have planned for 2014.  Below are some snapshots of the afternoon, culminating in our 'group shot,' of everyone who attended.  Enjoy!

*laughter rang out loudly and almost continuously when we played the "Two Truths and a Lie" getting to know you game.  Here are just a few of the truths shared among our members:  someone was bitten by a lion, another made a movie in Marrakech, another is a licensed hairstylist, someone else was a night guard at a nuclear power plant, another nearly drowned whitewater rafting, one was an opera singer, someone else stabbed a priest (!), another helped Louis Black buy a Neti pot, and yet another owns stock in a professional football team!  Many of these truths weren't guessed, which made for even more hilarity when the sometimes even more outrageous lie was selected. 


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014: A New Beginning

2014:  a new year, a new beginning.
New chances to be creative, to share our talents with each other,
and to make the world more beautiful.
Let's Get Started!
Our January general meeting is scheduled for 6:30 on Thursday the 9th, at Chavis.
The agenda includes:  program planning for the entire year, establishing the CMMAG 2014 calendar of events, and membership renewals. 
2014 Special Event:  New Members Luncheon, on Sunday, January 26 (details to be announced at the January general meeting) 
Please plan to join us; there are great things ahead for CMMAG, and we want you to be a part of them!