Monday, February 21, 2011

Why I do what I do

Watercolor is my primary medium; however, I also enjoy experimenting with other media.   My grandmother use to say “Jack of all trades, master of none.” She didn’t mean that as a compliment, she was trying to get me to focus. I imagine she’s up there now looking down and saying “she’s just never going to get it.” Focus is a good thing and I still struggle with it but I’ve accepted that I’m never going to really get it, it just isn’t who I am. Trying different media gets the creative juices flowing.  There are so many media choices and techniques and each one provides more ideas. When I see a demo I almost always want to try it and there I go, off on something other than my normal watercolor painting. I could be anything from collage to fabric to printmaking to metal-smithing. 

Part of my background is fabric and yarns, my mother and one of my grandmothers designed fashions, my other grandmother was a knitter. Learning all those skills was mandatory. I’m glad I learned them and for years I did all of them, it was my creative outlet; however, I rarely sew or knit anymore as there are too many other things to learn. I still love fabric and all of the beautiful yarns that are out there and that has lead me to venturing into dolls and thinking about art quilts. Dolls weren’t part of my childhood, I was a tomboy and much preferred baseball or climbing trees and I played a mean game of mumbley-peg. Another thing I loved to do as a child was coloring and drawing. One of the things I wanted so badly was a box of Crayolas with 48 colors but my mother insisted I could make any color I needed by mixing the colors that were in my box of 24. I tried and failed. I’ve since realized that she never tried to do that with crayons, mixing those colors doesn’t work the same with crayons as it does when mixing paints together. The other day I finally decided to treat myself; I bought a box of 94 colors. I love to just sit and look at them.  And looking at them makes me think I need to add more color to my paintings.  Spending time with other media always gives me more insight into my painting and what it needs.  A few of the things that I do…

One of my watercolor monoprints

Annie's Angel

some earrings

dangle earrings

a hand-decorated journal

journal unlined writing is a socially small file

and a couple guardian granny dolls from a pattern

grannie for meg grannie number 1

2 comments:

Joan said...

I love that you use so many different medias and continue to explore. I find myself doing that too. Just thinking about that big box of crayolas makes me smile. There was no better gift as a kid than a new box with sharp tips and no ripped wrappers. lol

Ai said...

Helen,

I so can totally relate to your voice of variety. I also feel more creative from trying new things, and mixing a few of them together. I guess as long as we keep creating, that is what important.

I even mix my liking of music with art, like I sketch the concert scene, sketch musical instruments. It is sure more fun mixing, and sure more like the real me.