Have you ever gone on a journey and not known where it would take you? Well, I am classifying my life these past several months as my path of discovery. We all know that I make and sell jewelry and gem trees but did you know that I also paint. I started painting some 13 years ago when I was laid off work with nothing to do. I did several things during that time but painting stayed with me if not in my active life then always in my mind and on my walls so there was no hiding it, not that family would ever let me forget it.
My path the past few months has been on how can I get back to that place where art is important and I make an effort to create art if not daily then more often than not at all. My first thought was to take up acrylic painting vs. the watercolor I was used to and try a new medium and that was fun but just didn't spark anything in me. Then I found I really like mixed media works which combine painting, collage, wire work, beading, sewing and everything else you can think of. So I started buying magazines like Cloth Paper Scissors and some of the Somerset Studio and Memories. At this point my husband is amused and wondering what in the world I am doing but as long as I'm entertained he doesn't care.
I'm really loving some of the activities and things they do in the magazines and want to try them all but I need more stuff...now hubby starts to get nervous. Obviously, I need more paper and things like different tools but not only that I have to have a second set of stuff for the motor home in my art box. Wow, this could get expensive. So, I start with essentials like good paper and pens, some fun chipboard images, old magazines from the antique stores, and other bits and pieces from around the house which I call found objects. Even my husband looks for them now instead of throwing them away.
So I have all this stuff the tools and supplies ready but what to make. I decided to make an art journal but after I start I realized that was probably a much larger project than what I could do for my first time. Then I found Artist Trading Cards. These are little (2.5 x 3.5) works of art that you make and trade with other people. Perfect size that I could paint, collage, stamp, sew and experiment my way through all those new techniques in the magazines. I've mentioned them before here on my blog but you also might know them as ACEO's (Art Cards, Editions and Originals) which are the ones sold vs. traded.
I made a few cards and then didn't know what to do with them, so I joined a group. For those of you new to any art medium or hobby, groups are a good way to get started and the members help you answer some of those questions that arise such as how do I use a Crop-a-dile. The Yahoo group I belong to also does swaps so I've started participating in about 2 swaps a month. Here are my latest ones mailed off just yesterday. The first one is called best friends and the other is brown, orange and yellow.
The dilemma now is what to do with all these cards that I make and get back. I want to be able to look at them and enjoy them. Now I know this post is getting long but here is where more discovery starts. I'm in a paper store getting some card stock and they have all these cool kits and one of them was book making. I never really considered making my own book but was intrigued. No, I did not buy the kit but it did get me thinking that I could put my cards together in some sort of book that I could add to. Here is my first attempt.
There is so much more to do and explore in this new found world of art. Gel medium, encaustic, metal embossing, I want to try them all. Have I gone a little crazy in this world of discovery or is this passion for art? Will I find myself in here eventually? I certainly hope so but I'm going to enjoy getting there.