back from the edge

Yes, I've been MIA - a rather deep, dark depression overcame me for a few months and I withdrew from life for awhile. But, the fog is lifting and I'm working again on some projects - YAY!

Last month was my annual trip to Artfest - my artgirl Sarah came and hung out at Casa Enchy for a few days around the event and we had great fun, including a side trip to the Mecca for all beaders - Shipwreck Beads.

As is always the case, there were good and not so good experiences at Artfest - most importantly I had a great time with my art girls at Camp Runamuckus and met some new friends and had a lot of laughs. Sure there was art mafia drama - there always is - I don't understand the point of it all - it reminds me of middle school antics. "I won't talk to you because she said that you said . . ." or "she stole my technique" or "that was my idea and she stole it". Folks, I've been on the round earth for a very long time and let me tell you, there isn't much that's new - sure there are some innovative uses of products and sure some people do some very clever things but paintings of sad girls with big eyes and titled heads have been in and out of vogue before and gluing a bunch of found objects together has been around for nearly half a century and when it comes down to it, I just don't understand why more people can't be happy to share and nuture one another. There are lots of women who I know have my back, who are willing and eager to share ideas and encourage one another - but then, there are the others.

It was one of the "others" that got me really thinking HARD about art and craft and who I am and who I am not - She said "I used to really admire your work but now that I know your politics, I don't like it anymore" - huh? I thought about this statement on and off for a few months - my politics? I thought a lot about my public self and my private self - about whether or not my private self should be kept a secret in order to be 'successful' as an artist. I know lots of people who present a pleasant facade at all times - they don't say anything controversial, they are all kumbaya and sweet - they post photos to their blog of beautiful little areas of their home made all soft and fuzzy with photoshop and never say a word about how they 'feel' about anything important (or perhaps they just don't think that there are issues that are worth mentioning) and that works for them but I don't think it works for me - I see too much in the world that is ugly and cruel and if it is my 'politics' to speak out about these things be they related to domestic or foreign policy and simply the way people I know treat one another, then so be it. My politics - particularly with regard to social issues and government are a vital part of who I am - and in turn, what I create.

So that's what has been on my mind as of late - big thoughts - big issues.
Anyway - back to Artfest. I took some fun classes - I didn't really learn much of anything but I did use materials I purchased years ago and never used so that's a good thing in itself.

The first day I took a tin working class with Liesel Lund who is an extremely kind hearted person and a great instructor. I liked her a lot. In this class I did learn something - how to use that little jewelers saw without breaking a bzillion blades. This is what I made - pretty cute huh?

The 2nd day I took Melissa Manley's class - I liked this class too - I particularly liked the way that Melissa explained some of the process - she reminded me of the Alton Brown of jewelry making - drawing little pictures to explain how the metal particles accept the solder - I love that stuff. I wasn't able to do the actual soldering in the class because of the height of the table set up and my arthritis issues but I watched Sarah a LOT so I think I'll be able to do it myself at home where I can set things up at a height that will work for me. This is what I made in this class - again - pretty sweet.

The last day was a class with Lynne Perrella that was interesting. Though I haven't worked with paper in years as I've mostly transitioned to fabric, I was drawn to the class description because of the bright colors and the technique used to apply them. Though we didn't have much time to actually work on our pieces, I got the basic idea of how some techniques were done and will apply them on a different substrate soon. My piece is far from finished and I don't think it will actually get finished because it was really just a learning piece - I might cut it up and reuse it bits of it elsewhere. But here it is. See - she's just rather floating in the air - I can forsee it taking several hours to finish her - she tacked up on the studio wall now looking at me - we'll see what happens with her.

This year, for the first time, I entered some pieces in the gallery show at Artfest and even though the gallery was only open for a very brief period every day, I even sold one. The theme this year was fairy tales.

So you may be thinking "yeah, yeah, yeah - where are the bead?" - they'll be back soon - I promise.


KV said...

Well said, Diane -- this was a very good blog post on many levels. And I love what you are doing with the paper art, too.

Kathy V in NM

Geraldine said...

i am not a fan of that kumbaya business. i like you as you are.

genie marie said...

Welcome back my friend. All that drama and backward ass comments about peoples politics and the mere fact someone lacks the human decency to keep such opinions to themselves is precisely why I dont go to Artfest anymore. i do miss Camp Runamuckus but not all the nasty people and their great big egos. Anyhoo, great to see the things you made my friend. xoxo

Carol said...

Well, I like your art. I didn't know your politics before...Don't care now. But just for the record, I never understood people that can't get along with others whose politics they don't agree with. Are we the only side that believes in the freedoms?

So if you are what I am...
WYSIWYG, stay that way.

Good post and great art!

beadbabe49 said...

I couldn't agree with you more about both the egos and the silliness about who "originated" what! Someone once said, "we all stand on each others shoulders" and that's about right...not much new under the sun, indeed, and that includes small people with ginormous egos, lol!

Lelainia N. Lloyd said...

The people who do that kind of cr*p? I say GET OVER YOURSELF!! Ain't nothin' new under the sun. You hit the nail on the head. And if someone supposedly steals your thunder, quit bitchining and moaning about it and STEP UP YOUR GAME!! If you're that good, then you should be able to leave them in the dust!

Honestly, this is the part of women that I find so utterly distasteful-all the backstabbing and drama. I'm with you-I all for a kinder, gentler world. It takes way too much energy to be ugly to people. Some people just never grow up.

abeadlady said...

Glad you are back with us, Diane. Depression can just stop you in your tracks sometimes. I have to agree with you about "some people" lol. I am fortunate to have some great bead artists in our local bead society. They share their ideas freely and are always willing to help others. That's the way it should be.

Stacy Alexander said...

Enchy, I don't manage to make it over here as often as I should. I was reminded, as I read through your entries tonight, just how much I enjoy your writing style, personality and ART! You tell it like it is, baby, and I think that's great.

Now that I've moved closer to you again, I really hope we will get together sooner than later.


Kerin said...

Hi Diane

I loved this post and I read it at a good time. I know people can be so "wrongly focused". I say that because art is so magical and when the focus is on sharing the magic and the experience it is like nothing else I've ever known. So to waste such opportunities on petty things is so sad.

I prefer to focus on the positive whenever possible. But everything can't be perfect or even nearly so and there's no need to sugar coat things. I agree with you 100%.

I was at Artfest also and wish I could have gotten to know you especially after reading this. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.