Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit


Artisan Search 2011-Taking Another Leap

Last week I took another leap of faith. I submitted artwork to the Cloth, Paper, Scissors (CPS) Artisan Search 2011. The CPS Artisan Search 2011 offered artists a choice five categories to enter: Mixed media stitch, Art Journal & Bookmaking, Printmaking & Silk screening, Mixed media jewelry, and Collage & Assemblage.

When I first heard about this competition, I didn’t even consider entering it. I thought “My work doesn’t fit into any of those categories” and “They’re not going to consider a polymer clay artist.” Talk about eliminating myself from the competition before even giving it a chance.

Later, a friend mentioned she was thinking about submitting her artwork. We agreed to enter the competition together (“If you do it, I’ll do it.”) Judy followed through on her plans and submitted her mixed media artwork

I, however, was dealing with wholesale orders and getting things ready for my upcoming polymer clay classes. The idea of entering the competition fell further and further from my mind.

Then my friend Karen explained how to take even better pictures, so I could get the whole piece in focus. That greatly influenced my decision to enter this competition. With this explanation, I practiced taking some pictures and finally felt confident that I could submit pictures of three pieces and feel good about the image quality.

The three pieces I submitted are below. We were able to submit one full shot and up to two close-up shots. I entered these pieces in the collage and assemblage category.

Entry 1: The Belle of Bell Tavern

The Belle of Bell Tavern

Belle of Bell Tavern: Head shot

Belle of Bell Tavern: Base

Materials: Polymer clay, wool roving, paper, wire, antique wall shelf (inverted), found objects, ribbon, acrylic paint, soft pastels.

Dimensions: 16.5″h; 8″w x 4″ (base)

Entry 2: Insecurity Wears a Black Shroud

Insecurity Wears a Black Shroud

Insecurity: Head shot

Insecurity: Base

Materials: Polymer clay, gold leaf, ruby charm, rubber stamps, feathers, beads, acrylic paint, wood, molding paste

Dimensions: 16.5″h; 4″x4″ (base)

Entry 3: The Green Man

The Green Man

The Green Man & Sprites

Green Man: Mid-front

Materials: Polymer clay, polymer clay tiles, glass mosaic tiles, beads, antique button, antique cross, sticks, rubber stamps, acrylic paint, mica powders

Dimensions: 13.25″t x 3″w x 3.5″d

The submission deadline for the Artisan Search 2011 was Monday, 9/13/10. Five semi-finalists in each of the five categories will be announced on Monday, 9/27/10. A grand prize winner will be chosen from the 25 finalists.

Best of luck to all of us!


A New Direction-Wall Art

Along with creating my Spirit Messengers and other sculptural artwork, I’ve been experimenting with other ideas to expand my body of work. The reality in today’s art world is that one line, one size, does not fit all. Most artists need to expand their line of work, leverage their skills, and create artwork for a broader audience.

Some options in this area might include cards, small prints, wall art, and jewelry. Offering polymer clay classes is another way for me to leverage my skills as an artist, reach a new audience, share my knowledge and help others ignite their creative muses.

Underwater Studies

Several weeks ago, sometime after the BP oil spill, I was sitting at my work table puttering around with leftover bits of clay. Normally I’d ball up the leftover clay scraps and deposit them into my scrap clay bucket. These bits are often reconditioned into a muddy sheets of clay and used as interior armatures for my Spirit Messengers and other sculptural pieces.

But on this day I followed my intuition. I rolled the various bits into different shapes, poked them, textured them, put one color inside another, and applied them to random sheets of leftover clay. Next thing I knew, I had three miniature underwater studies on my worktable.

Underwater Study #1

Underwater Study #2

Underwater Study #3

Each underwater study measures approximately 1.25″ wide by 2.25″ long, except for study #3 which is closer to 1″ wide by 2″ long.

Of course, as often happens when creating new art, I’m now asking myself what to do next with these pieces. I bought several sheets of luscious cardstock to use as backgrounds. However, these tiny studies need something else to complete them. I’m thinking about another layer of polymer clay, slightly larger than the central piece, placed underneath. And maybe some type of border to frame the central piece.

This is when a bit of experimenting happens. I’ll try one idea. Toss it. Try something else. Toss that one. Maybe go back to the first idea. Eventually I’ll set the whole thing aside until I can look at it again with fresh eyes. That is the current situation with these underwater studies.

Polymer Clay on Canvas

For this next piece I drew inspiration from the artwork of Serena Wilson Stubson that appeared in the May/June issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors. What drew me to Stubson’s work as it appeared in CPS was her use of circles. I love circles. Round. No beginning. No end. Circle of Life; all that.

However, when I looked at Stubson’s work, I thought, hmm, I’d like to give that a go and incorporate polymer clay into the finished piece.

For my piece, I worked on a 5″x7″ canvas. I applied a page from an old book to the canvas as my base layer. I chose three words from the book page as my inspiration for the title of this piece.

Bewildered Garden Angel

This piece incorporates layers of paper, paint, oil pastels, text on vellum, polymer clay and wire.

I’m not sure if this will go anywhere, as far as becoming a new line in my body of work. But experimenting and playing are important parts in the creative process. Maybe this will morph into something else. Or maybe it will just be a groovy little artwork on canvas.