A taste of France

I took my iPhone, my iPad and my good Nikon SLR to France. Technical difficulties made it hard to be in touch with my normal life back at home. Once my husband and family knew I was safe, I made the decision to be present — fully, deeply…to enjoy every moment. I released worry, let go of deadlines, of business. I breathed in my experiences. I learned new things, saw inspiration all around me and took photos of whatever random things caught my eye. I made this little video. Please take the moment to click the link below to see a short representation of my journey. I hope this little taste of France inspires you in some way too…

A bit of news to share

The current issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine. Be sure to pick up the next issue to see Susan Lenart Kazmer’s cool resin paper lamp.

Just a little bit of news to share on my blog today. As you may know, I’ve had the sincere pleasure of teaching at the Cloth, Paper, Scissors CREATE art retreat in Southern California. In fact, I will be returning next year with some all new classes that I’m really excited about. I’ve also been working with Jenn Mason, the fabulous editor of Cloth, Paper, Scissors on and off for the past couple of years on some feature articles.

Starting with the January 2013 issue, I will have a brand new column with them called The Mixed Media Metalsmith. The column will work in tandem with my new book Making Metal Jewelry, due out this December with North Light Books, in that it will focus on beginning techniques to make your own metal jewelry. I’m really over-the-moon happy about it about both the book and the column.

But wait, that’s not all. I will be doing a DVD with Cloth, Paper, Scissors as well(!!!). While I can’t yet announce the subject, it can tell you I fly to Colorado early November to do the taping and the DVD should be released next year sometime. Whew, I’m feeling a little lightheaded.

I’m also thrilled because I will still be writing my business advice columns for Belle Armoire Jewelry Magazine. I truly love love love all the Stampington publications and have ever since I first learned of mixed-media many years ago. So inspirational, always! I also plan to continue writing business advice over at CreateMixedMedia.com, even though I’ve had to take a little break because of my schedule.

I know there are lots of you who love these publications as much as I do, so I wanted to let you know about my exciting news.

Here’s wishing you a truly Artful day!

Hard re-entry

I’m home from my trip to France. Paris was amazing as always, but the real joy was the South of France — delectable in every way imaginable. Jet lag this time around has been intense. I also returned to house chaos with a carpenter finally building my new laundry room, air conditioning guys crawling on my roof to give quotes, my son’s birthday and my children’s Fall break from school. Today was my first day back at work and my cell phone was down to 12% battery by noon.

So this post, for now, is simply to let you all know I am alive and home from our workshop adventures. I’m hanging out my Je Reviens sign for a few more days. I shall return with an update, but the words of what I want to say need a little longer to percolate. I know it’s not the way its done in today’s fast-paced social media world, but it’s the best I can do at this moment.

Trust me, I have some inspiring photos. It will be worth the wait. (sly smile).

Artistic Inspiration Then and Now

Today is my day for the Virtual Gallery Walk, a wonderful idea conceived by my friend Liz Hicks. Liz gathered together 10 artists to create an event where we share something that inspires us and how we used that inspiration to make an original piece of art. The inspiration could come from a song, a color, architecture, another artist, etc. because, really, creative expression is all around us in our daily lives.

Since I’m right now spending the day in Paris for a workshop called Ruins, Relics and Resin, I wanted my inspiration for the online gallery walk to be based on one of my favorite French artists Henri Matisse. There are numerous things I adore about Matisse’s work – his mastery of line, color, form, composition, perspective and motion. However, the thing I love the most about his work is that it makes me feel something every time I see one of his drawings or painting or late-in-life paper sculptures. Great art, to me means, that it’s not just pretty. It’s great art because it elicits emotion where I continue to see and be haunted by the imagery long after I’ve looked away from the piece.

I wanted to reinterpret a Matisse drawing in an ICE Resin necklace and a striking piece of black-and-white jewelry. The painting in the focal is my representation of his famous drawing, as shown above. Mine is a little more full figured on purpose (wink). I used his line drawing of a female figure and freeform painted it on to cured resin that I had poured as a black background layer and let dry.

Once the bezel cured in about six hours in my studio, I finished off the piece with black rosary chain and also pearl rosary chain, some vintage seam binding and a heart dangle. The heart dangle was made by drawing a bead on 18-gauge sterling wire to create a headpin and then wirewrapping a crystal bead, crystal rondelle and large crystal heart to the bottom loop of the hobnail shadow box Art Mechanique bezel.

I like the simplicity of the necklace, which I think would be a great piece to wear to a real life gallery walk with a simple black skirt and white blouse. I packed the necklace for my journey and plan to wear it today as my way of staying connected to all of you who are enjoying Liz’s exciting tour d’art.

There is so much more inspiration to come. Be sure to check out these wonderful artists’ blogs, today: Liz Hicks http://www.blogerisms.blogspot.com/, and this coming week:

Oct. 2: Kathy Cano-Murillo: http://www.craftychica.com/ and Tracy Weinzapfel http://www.tracywburgos.typepad.com/

Oct. 3: Catherine Matthews-Scanlon: http://cmscanlon.blogspot.com/ and Martha Richardson http://themermaidscloset.blogspot.com/

Oct. 4: Camille McClelland: http://shesonehotmama.blogspot.com/ and Jamie Dougherty http://www.jaylynnscraps.com/

Oct. 5: Lorraine Bell: http://actsofrandomkindness365.blogspot.com/ and Cheryl Waters- http://www.artsyfindings.com/