Ubuntu

Ubuntu is a Nguni Bantu term meaning "humanity". It is often translated as "I am because we are," or "humanity towards others", but is often used in a more philosophical sense to mean "the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity". It is a concept that resonates so deeply with me that I mention Ubuntu on my website, so when I was asked to do Ubuntu as a word of the year I was thrilled.Ubuntu min 1


A small backstory on this piece. Sometimes when friends travel out of the country I will give them some money and ask them to bring me back some fabric or textiles, with the promise that I will love everything/anything they bring back. Last year, my friend Robyn went to South Africa. She brought back some lovely fabric, and I've been waiting for the right opportunity to incorporate it in a piece.


I’ve done Robyn’s word of the year for several years now. When she told me her word this year was Ubuntu, and she was hoping that I could use some of fabric she brought back with her, it was pretty easy. I only needed to look at the fabric before the ideas started happening. I hope you enjoy this piece, and if you are interested in an art piece of your own I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

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Word of the year, purple art, Ubuntu, South Africa, orange and blue art

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Monday can wait

Last week I wrote about the workshop I attended where we made some art journals. My friend and I have been talking about it, how much we enjoyed it, and that we want to make more. It’s a fairly easy process, and we just loved how they turned out.


So off we went to one of my favorite local quilt shops – High Prairie Quilts. batiks minThey always have a wonderful selection of batik fabrics, which we learned are best for using on the journal covers. While I certainly didn’t *need* any more fabric (have you seen my fabric stash?), I did find some lovelies that called to me. So I answered.


You’ve probably noticed by now that I love color. All colors. They evoke feeling and emotion. They inspire me, they call to me, they make me want to create. So that is what I am going to do today. It may be Monday, and it may be a regular work day, but today I have decided to spend some time working on an art project or two. The regular business can just wait an extra day.


Immerse yourself in color and go create!

 

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Batik, Colorful, art journal

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Mixed Media Adventures

Over the weekend I took a 2 day art course called Mixed Media Adventures, taught by Carol Ann Waugh and Judith Cassel-Mamet

start of journals 2They tout that they “embrace a playful attitude and offer no-fail techniques.” Yes, they delivered. There were loads of supplies to play with: ink, paint, gesso, glue, fabric, yarn, paper, cardboard, doilies, buttons, ribbon, puffy foam, gel plates, cheesecloth, envelopes and so much more.

 

 


It was such a pleasure to step out of my comfort zone in such a safe environment. I’m used to working with fabrics and threads, yarn and fiber, but paints and inks and paper? Not so much. We each made either two or three art journals. We all used the same journals 2techniques and had access to the same materials, but the results were all beautifully different. Perfectly imperfect. That’s part of what’s so special about art. Each piece is as individual as the person making it.


Although I am quite tired today (too much peopling!), I am also quite relaxed, and quite refreshed. As with any new and creative experience, it helps me to reflect on art. Making art. Enjoying art. I reflect and plan new projects, and think about what I would do different on the pieces I just finished. There truly was no right way or wrong way in our projects, it was about the journey.

 

 


Spend some time and art. Make something. Don’t be afraid to try something. Be perfectly imperfect. It’s about the journey, not the journal inside 2destination. Go create, my friends!

 

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new techniques, Mixed Media Adventures, Mixed Media, Journals

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Grit

When I am asked to do a custom piece, sometimes they go together quickly, sometimes it takes a while. It seems cliché to say, but I really do wait for the inspiration to come. It may flow quietly, slowly, gently, or occasionally it comes through with such force and power that I have to answer it. Others are a happy medium and come at a pace that is easy to work with, and just moves a long a bit at a time.Grit


I usually take some time to process what the piece is to be, and I try to get a feeling for the colors it wants to be, and also what kind of elements and embellishments I will incorporate into it. There are so many techniques that I work with it can be a challenge to narrow it down and find the right one. Finishing the piece also takes some serious consideration. I can make it into a wall hanging with a traditional quilt finish, or I can have it framed. If I’m framing it, I still have to decide how to finish the edges. Should it be a raw edge, an embellished finish, or something new, and whether that edge will be seen as part of the piece, or hidden behind the frame.


On this piece, I pondered for quite a while what I wanted to do. It sat in the back of my mind for a while just brewing, percolating. First the color scheme came. In fact, I used the first piece of fabric I pulled out. When I read the symbolism of dragonflies, and blue dragonflies in particular I knew I had it. I never even looked at a second piece of fabric. After that the rest flowed smooth and easy. This piece didn’t want a lot of extra embellishment, and it didn’t want to be framed. It wanted simplicity.


It takes a lot of thought to choose your word of the year, and when I create a piece for you with that word (or phrase), I really try to imbue it with my own energy and positivity for you. I hope you enjoy this most recent creation.

 

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Word of the year, purple art, art, Grit, Fiber Art, Inspiration

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Arting in Arizona

I spent several days this past week “arting” in an around the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. In some ways it wasn’t what I expected. Did you see the weather down there? Have you ever seen a snow covered saguaro cactus? Well I have now. They broke several Az weather records while I was there. That was unexpected. I thought I was getting away from the cold for a few days. We made the best of it, and it was still a wonderful and fun experience.


We enjoyed our visit to the Mesa Art Center where we met Beth Benowich, who suggested we go to two more places. The ring 1 25Celebration of Fine Art, and the Arizona Fine Art Expo. Both places were fabulous places to explore art. Both were in huge tents, which was quite a challenge with the rain. It rained so hard that sometimes it was hard to carry on a conversation because it was so loud. It was also cold. At the Arizona Fine Art Art Expo they had blankets and wraps at the entrance that you could borrow to stay warm. It was here that I bought my new favorite ring from Shell-Bell Designs, and a sculpture that we will hang on the back patio from Axton-Giddings.


Next up was the Fountain Hills Great Fair. fountain hills 1 25This was my third trip here, and although some of my favorite artists weren’t there (I’m guessing the down pour all day on Friday chased them away), there was still plenty to see, including two of my favorites from Colorado: Dukart Bells and Distinctively Handwoven by Luaretta Davidson. Some of my favorite art of the festival was made from recycled/repurposed items including some adorable earrings that I bought, and a lizard (which I didn’t buy, but I’m still thinking about) from Nipper Metal Art.


Whatever you love, whatever brings a smile to your face and joy to your heart is worthy of being. If you make art, good for you, keep making it. If you buy art, good for you, keep collecting. I encourage you to support the arts. It’s part of what makes this world beautiful.

 

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art, Fountain Hills, Art Festivals

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The Studio

Centennial, Colorado
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