Question and answer

Monday, June 2, 2014

I have been asked by my friend, Jewels, to join in on a question and answer session which I gladly agreed to do.  So, if you are just joining me, or you think you know my "ins and out", you may learn something new.  Here goes:

What am I working on? 
  1. Cleaning up my studio after finishing two commissions.
    12" x 12"
Raven and the Golden Trinket
24" x 36"

Messy studio
2.  Organizing boxes of artwork to go to different juried shows in June.  I am relying on my friends to get them to the venues,that is if my work is accepted.
 3.  Gathering a little tool kit in my red lunch box to take with me so I can do some collage work on the road.

4.Hanging a show called "Art and the Garden" sponsored by Artcenter Traverse City.  I am the gallery chairperson.  Reception on Fri. June 6  Forgot to take a picture.

5.  Packing to go on a cross country road trip.  That's an art in itself.

           Oh, ART!
Sewing together tea bags and adding a freestyle pattern sewn on my mom's old Singer. Something like this.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?What started out as paper collage has turned into mixed-media.  It really all depends since I may incorporate an old technique like faux encaustic or something I have recently learned like collagraphs in a new piece.    

My attempt at faux encaustic.  Petals are painted playing cards.  Stamens are heavy cord.
Printmaking using relief printing and collage.

Why do I write/create what I do?
This is easy/hard to express.  In my humblest tone, I am amazed and delighted with what comes from ME:my head, heart, and hand.  It is always surprising how ideas just pop into my head. Even if I use someone else's ideas for my basis, the final piece will be my own concoction. When I get started I never know which way I will end.  I work and think all of the time. I even watch myself work on a project just before I go to sleep.  I might get up in the night and chance something in my work that is bugging me.  My motto is:  Sometimes it just happens.   I am a life-long learner, so there is always something new to try.  I get fantastic practice by doing MailArt with my friends Jewels, Leslie, and Lenna.  They were the start of my journey.  I am grateful for their support.  Here's some examples.
themed mail art swaps got me started
I joined Tag Tuesday 
Involved in many Postcard swaps

Not to mention- three Sketchbooks at the Brooklyn Art Libray

How does my writing/creative process work?  
This is hardest.  Pretend you are watching a video.  Usually I start out with a color scheme in mind.  I use a credit card to spread it around.  I use a marker to "scribble write" some sort of message across the canvas or paper. Or I might randomly use some rubber stamps with writing.  I add paper and images using matte medium.  Then I cover areas with an acrylic wash. Add pastels to define areas or shapes.  Stencil on numbers or letters.  Find letters or numbers in magazines and glue them on.  Scribble across the page with a black pastel. Watch to see what interesting shapes or patterns appear and add transfers or photos.  Tear off paper or paint over it.  I might cover up an area with gesso and add texture before it dries then paint over it.  Stamp with bubble wrap.  Paint some tissue paper or make some squiggle line tissue.  Look in my paper stash for something that will fit in.  
                             Meadow Birch                            Raven Blizzard
                               20" x 20"                                    12" x 12"
I wish you could see the texture in the background using gesso.  
 OK- you're probably getting the idea that what emerges is a random process.  Any of these techniques could be first or second or repeated.  I may find a piece of rusty metal in the parking lot just waiting to be in my work.  I like to make faux stamps and may base a piece around the faux stamp.  

Faux stamp
I might be looking in a magazine and come across a cool photo. Photographers are trained to have a good eye for composition.  Or maybe I'll meet an artist on line and find inspiration in their work ( I think Jo Murray was taking a class using a cross configuration).  Maybe it's as simple as getting pink tissue in my birthday gift and I use it in my picture. Whatever comes...does this make any sense at all?
Here's how it started.
Windmill at Dawn
 finished (right)
Use of tissue and stencils

Nominate 3 artists that inspire me.  Jo Murray (blog above),  Robyn Gordon,  and my dear friends, ,Jewels, Leslie, and Lenna.  (I can't count)  I haven't ask any of these people to participate in this Q and A.  Please take some time to visit their sites. They are remarkable, each has shown me their own style and have lead me to other fabulous artists around the world.  Many thanks to all.
Whew,  that was long.


  1. Oh my....I was MOST surprised that you mentioned me as inspiration...and more than a little humbled, and grateful. The thought that what I do sparks some ideas in another artist is more than I could hope for. Mind you, after reading your Q & A it is obvious we share much of the same 'random' approach to making art. While others might think that what we produce is more luck than good management, I would like to point out that it takes many years of practice to understand when a piece 'works' and is finished. Knowing when to add an extra mark, or piece of collage is a skill that requires a fair amount of what I call 'brush mileage'. Thanks so much for the mention, and link.

  2. Wow B - really enjoyed reading this - like your comment about "watching a video"....once things have settled down here at Maple Hill (probably August at this rate) we need to reconnect...and I still want to bring Mr. D on a roadtrip LOL....

  3. Hi, I really enjoyed reading your Q&As and can relate to your creative process! I was really interested to see your faux encaustic work because that's something I've been reading up on and will be having a go at soon. You artwork is wonderful!

    I was a Q&A blog hopper a few weeks ago (I nominated Jewels) and it's super to be able to connect with artists from all over the world.

    It's been good to 'meet' you and I'll now be following your blog to see what else you get up to :)


    Jo (fiddlesnips!)

  4. Beth, I so enjoyed your answers to these questions!! A great read and I loved viewing your work. I answered these questions myself last week as Jo Urbani asked both Jewels and I to do this interview! Your art work is so wonderful! I can see you have been very busy and trying many things and you seem happy, yay! : ) Sorry I have not visited in some time, I kind of fell off blogging for a while and spend a lot of time participating in Blipfoto - a daily photo journal. But i have starting blogging a bit again! Great interview, love to see what you are doing!!

  5. p.s. Thank you so much for nominating me as one of the artists who inspire you! I am quite honored :)