Just a few more days until the big gallery show for Palustris Festival in Southern Pines, NC. I have been helping Artist Alley set up for the event. Because of my “inside” connections, I’ve seen all but two of the completed pieces created by the 25 participants from the Carolina Mixed Media Artists Guild. It amazes me how 25 women could all receive the same list of materials to work with and then come up with such diverse pieces. Works range from delicate jewelry to tabletop displays to pieces that command an entire room or window display.
My thoughts are “How did they envision that?” But mostly I think “Wow!” This is the one event that I think captures the essence of this Guild, we are mixed media artists
Although I consider myself a fiber artist, my piece doesn’t “feel” fibery. That’s what the challenge is all about to me. I’m stretching and forcing myself to try something different. I got frustrated with it during the process. “Now What?” was my biggest question along the way. Yeah…I could piece a quilt and hang things from it. Or knit a sweater embedded with challenge “ornaments.” Or laminate adornments within the layers of needle felt. But that’s ordinary to my life. I chose to stretch myself, do something kind of out of my comfort zone, try new things.
My idea came early, primarily since I have a history with the Long Leaf Pine tree. In my “other career,” I spent a lot of time studying plants and animals that live in the long leaf ecosystem. I roughly sketched my idea on paper (an unusual step for me), then spent weeks thinking and processing. The thought process happened while I was busy with everything else going on in my life the last 2 months. Then I finally “started”…and it just happened. The “now what’s?” came, but each time they resolved themselves. Little by little the components came together. I am pleased with my final piece. I used techniques I was comfortable with, but I also experimented a lot. I learned a lot. That’s why I love this challenge. I learn.