Friday, March 30, 2012

...And Still I Rise


How good it feels to write a new blog post!!!!  How good it feels that Spring is here!!!!  

Louisville is #3 in the nation for the worse pollen count.  It wrecked a little bit of havoc on my lungs in spite of the emotional uplift the warmer temps gave me.  I just kept yo-yoing with chest crud until I had a brief 4 day stay in the hospital.  In between feeling good/feeling bad I kept plugging along on the boats...

Boats Thread Color Study113
Happy to report the hand embroidery is done and it is ready for quilting...but here is my continue on to the next quilt(s) and then sometime in mid summer go hog wild, (bat crazy, mad cow) with quilting all the tops.  This year's goal is all about production (don't get too excited...I work slow even when I'm fast).  My goal was to have the "boats" completed by the end of Feb. and it didn't happen until mid-March.  

You may recall me mentioning that my sewing construction studio is in storage due to my mother moving into senior housing.  For months I considered renting a 2nd Mellwood studio to set it up once the storage contract ends.  I turned over the idea of sharing a 2nd space, subleasing, etc.  It was my anxiety talking over not having my design board, fabrics, sewing desk that holds my main machine, etc. accessible.  I spent the first part of this week clearing the studio to make room for at least my sewing desk and to begin the next quilt with the attitude of "making do equals can do". Peter and Ade will haul through the storage unit and pull it out and deliver it this weekend.

Yesterday I actually sat down to begin the preliminary studies for the next piece.  Two of the three studies I is a thread sketch, this one using tsukineko inks.

Oliver Lewis 1875
The next one will be raw edge applique.  While doing them, the question in the back of my mind is "how can I make the imagery more abstract and still capture the event?".  It  will be a Kentucky Derby quilt.

Blog Love

I don't remember how I stumbled into Karen Walrond's blog and website, Chookooloonks.  I think maybe her book, The Beauty of Different, kept coming up on Amazon's recommendations.  She offers an on-line magazine workshop that offers gratitude prompts with photography prompts called Gratitude 2012.  Karen is an award winning, jet setting photography whose blog exudes kindness, humor, and beauty.  I enrolled in the workshop yesterday.  It is 5 dollars a month and 40% of the fee she donates to Kiva.  

Also, yesterday I discovered the website (thanks to Pinterest) and blog of fiber artist Diane Melms.  I've always wanted to improve my photo-documentation by showing the process involved in completing a piece from start to finish.  I think I'm too wordy to be as succinct as Diane or as succinct and poignant as blogger Judy Martin, another blogger I enjoy reading.  


Time for a change.  I've been with Typepad now since I first began blogging back in '04.  This is a fee based blog and I'm at the lowest level.  In order for me to customize I would have to jump up to the next fee level and that ain't happening.  Blogspot offers customization and it is free.  My hold-up is anticipating the learning curve (the headache) of moving content.  This will be a goal for April.

Tonight is F.A.T. Trolley Hop.  I will not be having Open Studios but will be around with Carter, my 3 y.o. grandson and Anaya my 2 y.o. granddaughter for a few hours (at least this is the plan) visiting the other studios and galleries at Mellwood.  


Friday, March 2, 2012

Deborah Stanley, Mellwood Artist Interview

Joyful Celebration
Joyful Celebration
Joyful Celebration (top) and A New World (bottom) Artist holds image copyright on all images in this post.

What I do:  I work primarily with polymer clay.  I’ve dabbled in other mediums such as photography and acrylics, but when I was introduced to polymer clay, I fell in love with it.  I’ve always been fascinated by marbled colors and how colors stimulate the senses and take you on a mental journey to anywhere you want to go.  I love working with my hands and manipulating color swirls and patterns.  It is a passion of mine to explore the limitless and innovative ways to express myself through this type of abstract art.  I currently create 2 and 3 dimensional pieces, as well as original designs for necklaces and earrings.  Since discovering polymer clay, I have used glass, ceramics and wood as my “canvas” and let the viewer’s mind wander wherever the swirls of color take them.  However, I have recently developed an interest in working more recognizable figures and objects into my designs with the purpose of expressing my personal views on issues such as freely expressing joy and hope for racial harmony through my newest works “Joyful Celebration” and “A New World”.


Artistic Expressions, Deborah's Mellwood Gallery

Why I do it:  Like most artists, I have a need to find ways to express myself.  I have found that making extra money with my art is great, but pales in comparison with the satisfaction and “therapy” that I receive from the creative process itself.  My art has been a great refuge for me when my mind seems overwhelmed with stresses that I have no control over.  You can’t put a value on a means of expression and healing that art provides to me.

 What upcoming changes do you anticipate for Artistic Expressions?

Artistic Expressions (A-173) is moving into The Kore Gallery (A-117), which is a more visible and accessible location, as part of a joint venture with three other artists. (both are located at Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Center)


Deborah w/ her work inside The Kore Gallery


a bud vase by the artist

How do you define success for yourself as an artist?

By continually growing and finding new and more innovative ways to express myself through art.  Basically, if I continue to grow and am happy with my art, then that is success to me.

What suggestions do you offer for making Mellwood an even more attractive place for artists to work?

Create better signs to direct patrons to the studios.  Many artists feel hidden, especially on Trolley Hops and during big events.  Promote the diversity and number of artists that are at Mellwood.


polymer clay necklace


Artistic Expressions on Etsy

Artistic Expressions at Shutterfly