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Bits and Pieces of Boxes

Today’s project was embellishing squares and rectangles that will become more of the little boxes that I am obsessed with.  I am embarking on a winter-long surge to build up my inventory of finished art with a goal of applying to juried art fairs in the next year.

When I was in high school, I remember going to some higher-end art fairs and thinking about going on the road for a year, selling what I had made all over the country.  At the time, I still had not discovered the art media that worked best for me, nor had I developed any sense of my own creative voice.

Of course, I’m still working on developing that creative voice, and I always will.  Speaking of which, I want to get back to my boxes, so I will leave you today with the quote that inspired me to start making boxes.

You came upon me carving some kind of little figure out of wood and you said, “Why don’t you make something for me?”

          I asked you what you wanted, and you said, “A box.”

          “What for?”

          “To put things in.”

          “What things?”

          “Whatever you have,” you said.

Well, here’s your box.  Nearly everything I have is in it, and it is not full.  Pain and excitement are in it, and feeling good or bad and evil thoughts and good thoughts – the pleasure of design and some despair and the indescribable joy of creation.

          And on top of these are all the gratitude and love I have for you.

          And still the box is not full.

-John Steinbeck, dedication to East of Eden


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The Last of ICAD 2018

I finished it!  Almost a year and a half late, but my quest of the index-card-a-day challenge from 2018 is at an end.  Week 8 (prompts: radio, mint, postage, cassette tape, tide pool, circuit or network, typewriter):

Week 9 (prompts: twister, favorite color, staple, wish, telescope):

These little daily challenges are great exercises in many ways.  They also prove the theory that you have to make a lot of stuff to get decent at art, and a fair amount of what you make isn’t good.  So, is bad art still art?  It exists, but should it?  Many of my cards are terrible.  There are a few gems, and some that I could have done better, but I won’t re-do those.  I am keeping all of my ICAD efforts, and over the winter I will make fabric boxes to hold each year’s cards.

I am going to forge ahead and finish the cards for the first year I tried the challenge, 2017, but I won’t post my efforts as frequently.  I don’t think that I will stick to the one-a-day pace that I set for finishing 2018 (not to mention that I should have done one card a day when the challenge was current).   On Thursday, some thoughts on my fabric collage boxes.

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Catching Up and Getting Distracted, Over and Over

The title just says it all,  I am in a constant state of trying to get caught up on so much unfinished and behind schedule things, and I still am wandering off on other tangents.  I’m not stressed too much about it though, as I have hinted before, I feel fortunate to have so many enriching things in my life, and I enjoy having so many creative options to fill my time.

This week’s creative catch-up: index card challenge, 2018, week seven, done!  Here they are:

The prompts were window, fringe, candyland, tie-dye, love, camera and landscape.  I was not interested in most of this week’s prompts, with that in mind, they turned out decently in the end.  Next week’s posts should be more insightful than I have been able to manage lately.  With the upcoming holiday, I am looking forward to doing some substantial creative work in stitches, collage and words.  Check back to see what I accomplish.


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Debating Daily Projects

I have been having a discussion with myself lately about all of these daily or weekly projects that I am working on now, or that I have attempted in the past.  Daily creative projects are great ways to discipline oneself into a creative habit, try new things, work out design problems and generate new ideas.  However, I have been taking much longer than I should to complete my daily efforts.  I get so wrapped up in the little daily things that I am not putting time into bigger projects that will be for sale or get entered into art shows.

The little daily stuff is just for me, which is still important, but not the only thing in my creative world.  I don’t want to give them up, as the index card challenge has been a great learning experience, and I want to complete the past years that I started – that was a goal I set for myself, and there are so many goals that I have not met.  I wonder how much more I would have grown creatively by now had I known about these little daily art doses in college or even high school.

Since I have not been stitching at all lately, I picked up the 4×4″ daily project again to get back into the needle and thread.  Here are all the squares that I have done since attempting the challenge back in September:

Some winners, some not, I have learned from them all.  Now I am behind again on the index card goal, and I managed to bring home five more books from the library to read.  I am very glad I have all of these things to do.


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ICAD 2018, Week 6

A very quick post, I wanted to get this out yesterday, trying to keep up with getting caught up!  The prompts for this batch of index card creations are: pretzel, poetry, palette, pixelated, pinball, portrait and plate.

The card for pretzel was an experiment, I simply made layers of three colors by putting real mini pretzels on the card and spraying them with Marabu acrylic spray paint.  I like the effect, and I’ll be paying with those paints more in the future.  For the poetry card, I cut out a few lines of text from magazine articles and filled in with my own words.  Palette was simply blots of acrylic paint in one of my signature color combinations of purple, green and yellow.  Finally, the pinball card was a pleasant surprise.  After looking at images of pinball machines online, and studying the photorealism paintings of Charles Bell, I cut shapes out of colored paper, layering them to imitate the pinball graphics, and added details with gel pen.

More tomorrow, some sort of stitching.