Tuesday, January 24, 2012

An Artist You Should Know

Artistic brilliance comes in many forms, and to me, some of the most brilliant artists are fiber artists, and art quilters.  They epitomize creativity in so many ways. Their skill with a brush as well as a needle is unsurpassed.  I admire these artists for their fortitude and astounding vision as they lovingly build up a piece of beautiful art in a way that requires amazing patience. One artist in particular who encompasses all that I admire, is totally inspiring, and extremely talented is Annie Wade, AKA Bohemiannie.  Annie is a wonderful artist with a riotous sense of humor.  Her writing is thoughtful and engaging and her art is breathtaking. You must check out her blog, I promise you'll be inspired.  Annie is most definitely an artist you should know.

When Dion asked me if I wanted to be part of her blog…’An Artist You Should Know’…I nearly fell off my chair. With excitement! And whoopdedoo! And wonder! And “YES”! I said uncertainly.

 I’m not sure what Dion wants in the way of information but here goes…

I’d been playing with arts and crafts most of my life…but NEVER with confidence or certainty because of all the negative feedback  I received as a child and young (really young) adult. – like – you know – don’t run with scissors, etc. I did get some good reviews when I made something using my mom’s sewing machine so I learned to sew – and then all of my clothes and lots of my friend’s clothes were made strictly following a pattern for years thereafter. I dabbled with quilting but every time I tried something I was told by someone with good intentions that I wasn’t using the correct fabric, thread, foot, ruler, scissors, etc., etc., etc. 

When I started seeing art quilts about 12-15 years ago, I fell in L-O-V-E, love. HERE was something that broke the rules and I knew I could do it!!! After all, I’d been a rule breaker and rebel most of my life! Here was something that used fabric of any description PLUS the added benefit of beads, baubles, bangles, glitter and wow - bottle caps! I could even PAINT on it if I wanted to!!!

But where to begin?!? (Still not much confidence).

I checked out every book I could find at the library since there were no art quilters in my sister’s quilt guild (at least not that I could find) and read books for years as a wanna-be. The problem was…there weren’t very many books that were helpful so…I just began doing my own thing.

 When I moved to Florida I continued my reading venture and began to collect ephemera.  A couple years later, I met my dear friend Carol Holsopple, an accomplished art quilter who quickly became my mentor. She began a group in Lee County - with a little help from me and many others called Art Quilters Unlimited. We were fortunate that lots of ladies came out of the closet with wonderful creations to share! Who knew?!? I learned SO much from that group!!!

It wasn’t until I moved a couple hours north however – to the Tampa Bay area – that my art life really took off. You see…those ladies didn’t know that I was a baby art quilter / mixed media artist. They just loved the work I’d done and wanted more. They asked me to show…teach… encouraged me to sell my work in boutiques and OMGoodness…EXHIBIT!!! So I did!!! 

Two short years later, I moved to Colombia, South America. My granddaughter was born near Tampa which is why we ended up there in the first place (to help the kids finish school) and then her daddy came home to Barranquilla after earning his PhD. Of course he brought our daughter and grandbaby with him…so what could we do but follow?!? (BTW- I must also mention that my daughter received her Master’s Degree and my son is a SGT in the Army with a wonderful pharmacy tech wife). (I had to toss that in). (I also have a grandson in MI that I don’t get to see L).

Anywho…after settling in Barranquilla, I started looking for like-minded artists. So far, I’m a thankful member of a small traditional quilting group but it’s not quite the same! They don’t go ga-ga over my stuff like my friends back home! I know! You probably think that’s a terrible thing to desire!! But I really LOVE getting a pat on the back with a lot of goo-goo-ga-ga along with it!!!

 So…I began blogging. In the year and a half since, I’ve found an abundance of… WONDERFUL, awesome, talented, generous, simply lovely people on line that delight and amaze me.  Yep…YOU! I never really knew much about blogging before 2k10 but I’m SO grateful this world has opened up to me! 

 And I say to myself…”It’s a Wonderful World”.

The end beginning of the story is that my art life is alive and well and kickin (I actually do consider myself an artist now) and I receive such beautiful comments, encouragement and support from the blogging world that I’m simply ON FIRE! 

Thank you Dion for asking me to share and for ALWAYS inspiring me with your art…words …and wisdom. 

Let the magic in you come OUT!!!