- Her husband. "He gave me the courage to quit my job and become a full-time, stay-at-home professional artist. He supports our family so I am free to create 24/7. He comes to every opening, every show, is my biggest supporter and cheerleader - and he puts up with all my emotions - which range from agony to ectasy! Oh, and he's my absolute ideal man!"
- Her studio. "A place where I can shut the door, listen to the radio, books or tape or music...make a mess, make art, make decisions, and leave the world behind for those hours. I think it is absolutely imperative for an artist to have a space that is theirs alone."
- The library. "When I am stuck, all I need is a stroll through a few stacks to find a zillion sources for inspiration... travel, history, fashion, other art forms, other artists, decor, etc."
How she handles creative blocks: "I am unable to really work well if I am tired, or I haven’t nourished my body or soul. Occasionally a life situation will arise that takes me off course. I try to work my way back to my creative expression gently. I might look at images, nature, calligraphy, and work of artists I enjoy. I read poetry or a good story. I talk things over with a trusted friend. I also give myself permission to be, just be, with what ever is present at the moment. That can take some reminding to me, but it is worth the effort. I also make a decision to enter my creative space. I have no goal when I do. I simply expect myself to pick up my tools, sort my papers, tidy up, and reconnect with my materials and space. It almost always results in some sort of creative effort. It doesn’t take much if I am rested to get going again." Visit Leslie's blog to see more of her artwork HERE.
Images used with permission from Leslie Avon Miller.
"My technique varies depending on the piece. Sometimes I use torn paper only with very little acrylic paint and other pieces have a great deal of acrylic paint with only a bit of torn paper. I use a big variety of scrapbook papers, vintage papers, tissue papers, some handmade or hand painted papers to make the actual design. I also use rubber stamps, shiva paint sticks, india inks, glitter, gel pens, pastel chalks and a good deal of other substrates to create patterns and textures both on the backgrounds and for the actual design. Words are added via rubber stamps or on my mac. A clear top coat is used to seal the collage. My notecards are made with small prints from my Epson R1900 printer. I attach the small prints to pre-bought notecards."
Julie lives in Dayton, Ohio, and is married to a "wonderfully supportive man." She has two grown children, two grown step-children, and three grandchildren who are the light of her life. Her other love is Presley, her 16 year old miniature schnauzer. She pulls a great deal of inspiration from nature and random thoughts. "I enjoy writing poetry and sometimes will just sit and jot down words that eventually become an art piece. Blogging has really spurred my creativity both by writing and sharing with other like-minded artists and also learning so much from others." She is also an amateur photographer who carries her camera everywhere she goes. Visit her blog to see additional artwork HERE. And, her Etsy site HERE.
Images used with permission from Julie King.
"Then there are those impulses bordering on near obsession with all things quirky and impractical. As my squirreled away misfit collections of the odd and interesting grew so did the desire to create, the two traveled happily hand in hand. I have always admired my sisters beautiful singing voice, although I try, I can't sing a note. I do however sing through my art!" Sandra is a contributor to Where Women Create, Somerset Life, Romantic Homes and Somerset Studio magazines, and creates a line of rubber art stamps from her collaged images. She has also written several books.
In one blog posting, Sandra admits, "All of my life, I have never quite fit in, always felt out of place, odd man out, you know? Some times over exuberance, adventurous curiosity and creativity can cause others to misunderstand and even shun you.." I think many creative types feel this way, and it is often the art that saves us. We follow our souls calling, and in that act we can become whole. And, Sandra has a beautiful soul. She must have. You can see it in her creations, and on her blog. See for yourself HERE.
Images used with permission from Sandra Evertson.
She got hooked after searching for ideas for her needlepoint bracelets. After buying a small needlefelting kit from a craft shop, she fell in love with the technique and began teaching herself and creating larger pieces, up to 11" x 14" in size. Her inspiration comes from her daughter, who "takes some wonderful photos." "I get ideas from those, or from other family photos. Many times just getting some new wool batts in the mail is enough to come up with something. When I first started this, that was my biggest worry….coming up with new ideas. Oh, and I have plenty of feltings that did not live up to my expectations too! "
Images used with permission from Debra Poth.
Besides creating recycled glass art, John and his wife lead a busy life with their cats, Enrique and Cowley. And, proud of their seven grandchildren, Rachel, Theo, Penny, Freddy, Naomi, Henry, and Gavriella. John also keeps busy showing his artwork, promoting the green aspect of his recycled craft. Visit his website to see additional glass art HERE. ~Information provided by John Bassett and also seen on his website.
Images used with permission from John Bassett.
Marilyn is a self-taught artist who works out of her apartment in Chicago, but plans on moving to Portland, Oregon sometime in the future. She is 53 years young, and one of her favorite magnets (which she collects) says, "Oh crap, I meant to get married and have some kids!" "So my kids are my hand painted creations and my marriage right now is to my business. And I am growing to love it more and more!"
"I love to work with wood for its durability and texture. Some of the boxes I now use are custom made for me from an artisan in Kentucky, which gives me more latitude for custom sizes, especially for my tea, jewelry and take-out menu boxes. I also use recycled and found objects. I am going to work on more wall art and jewelry." Her other passions include painting, yoga, ayurveda, sailing, cultural venues, collecting quotes, and blogging of all things. Visit her website to see more of her functional art HERE. And, her blog HERE.
Maria lives in Hamburg, Germany, and has been painting and drawing since childhood, and professionally for six years. On her blog she explains, "My work is a celebration of life, inspired from things I see every day, things that most of us do not pay much attention to. My daily experiences: watching the sky, a bird, conversations, media, photos, television, memories, are reduced to abstract shapes and colors which allow me to show what I feel is important and beautiful. Abstraction is the way I come closest to representing the world around me." You will see that birds are one of her favorite subjects, as her blog titles, Tweetart, also suggests.
"I use various techniques, going from pencil and graphite to pastels, watercolors and finally oils which I like the most. There is no complicated philosophical explanation about my paintings." Her craft gives her the opportunity to communicate emotions through her painting. Emotions that are universal. Her goal for the future is to hopefully have a "real" exhibition. But, for now, Maria is content with painting what she loves, and promoting her business. Visit her blog to see more of her works HERE. And, her Etsy site HERE.
Images used with permission from Maria Kitano.
Much of her assemblage pieces are made from recycled materials. "I begin by having my husband get the wood, and cutting it like I want it. Then, I sit in my studio, and just move things around until I like it. I have a gazillion things right at my fingertips, so it's just like putting a puzzle together. I get all of my materials for assemblage at junk stores, thrift stores, antique stores..anywhere. I hoard it. I could probably create a couple of thousand pieces without ever leaving my studio, but I keep buying more stuff." Suzan gets her inspiration from other artists, from pictures, from things that she sees. "Inspiration is everywhere. I jot things down when I find them, and use them for reference later." If you want inspiration, visit her blog to see her artwork HERE. And, her website HERE. And, be sure to take a look at her journal pages on her Flickr site HERE.
Images used with permission from Suzan Buckner.
"The process I have developed and use is quite labor intensive which includes approximately thirteen steps from beginning to end. Some pieces (like the platters and large bowls) can take up to seven hours to complete which does not include the twenty three hours of firing time in the kiln. All of the drawings are my own freehand illustrations and the images of the birds, whales and other silhouetted imagery are all also my own original drawings. I use many different tools, including old hand forged nails and found objects to etch my lines into the clay so as to achieve unique markings of interest to my pieces. Some of my pieces may seem irregular in shape. This is intentional. I want evidence of the handmade to remain an integral part of my work." Visit her website to see additional works HERE. And, her blog HERE. And, Etsy site HERE. ~ Text used from her various sites with permission from Diana Fayt.
Images used with permission from Diana Fayt.
"In our family, if you wanted something, you would try first of all to grow it, make it or find it." India lives on a working farm in rural South Australia, and creates eco-friendly hand dyed and stitched textiles. The ecoprint technique was discovered by her in 1999 and is the signature mark of her work. This technique is a water-based printing process using relatively small quantities of plant material compared to traditional dye methods. She uses natural dyeing techniques having discovered just how toxic synthetic colours can be. "The dyes I make avoid the use of potentially harmful synthetic mordants, relying instead on found metals, ash, seawater, whey and fruit vinegars; among others."
She manages the farm on behalf of her parents, who also live there in a separate house. India is a single mother with three children (two adult, and one nearly adult) and a border collie who is her right hand "dog" on the farm. She also has cats rescued from the RSPCA, but too many to count according to India. There are also sheep and cattle, as well as chickens and ducks to care for. Her hobbies include playing the tenor saxophone which makes her very happy. India also gives workshops, has a r(eco)fashion label, creates costumes for dance, and writes books about her craft. Visit her website to see additional works and to read about her many ongoing projects HERE. And, her blog HERE. ~Information provided by India Flint and used with permission.
Images used with permission from India Flint.
Not only she is busy taking care of her trio, but she is constantly creating new designs. Not just for her jewelry line, but for birthday gifts for her two sisters. Her family is very important to her. She named her son after her dearest cousin Marc, who was killed in a plane crash in 1988 that left 270 people dead. In a recent posting dedicated to him, she writes "I named my son after you. I hope he grows up to be half the man you were....your smile... your warmth, your compassion, your generosity, your joie de vivre, your friendship, your jokes and yes, even your pranks, are the things I miss the most.... you were definitely too good for this world... and I really hope you are in a better place, otherwise nothing makes sense...."
Triz recently started piano lessons, something she's been wanting to try since she was little. "I used to have lots of hobbies: tennis, karate, yoga, swimming, and photography. But that was before I got hooked on beading jewelry!" As most artists and craftspeople who love their work, Triz is more than passionate about her craft, it's on her mind 24/7. Visit her blog to see additional works HERE. And, her Etsy site HERE.
Flor lives in sunny Miami, Florida with her family. She admits to "complaining all the time." It's just a habit, she acknowledges. But, if she complains, it's partly because she expects so much of her herself. And, she works extremely hard. As most artists and people in business should do, she is constantly developing new ways to promote her craft. And, she does it well. Visit her blog HERE to see additional works. And, her ETSY site HERE.
Images used with permission from Flor Larios.
"I know that the mere idea of portraits on vinyl might seem gimmicky or hokey and the pieces might not fit into typical art world categories, but it is the passion for music which motivates me." He's willing to do customized orders, and will even paint on a buyer's own record album. People are always curious about Daniel's work, and have asked all kinds of questions. Such as whether or not you can play the record after it has been painted. The answer: No. Unless you'd prefer scratches on your painting, it is highly discouraged. Visit his website to see more vinyl art HERE. His blog HERE. ~From his site with consent.
Jimi Hendrix on Vinyl by Daniel Edlen
(Time Lapse Painting)
Images posted with permission from Daniel Edlen.
6 Driftwood Totems 2009 (Environmental Driftwood Art )
Images posted with permission from John Dahlsen.
Terri Stegmiller is one busy lady. Not only is she the assistant publisher of Fibre & Stitch, an online mixed media zine, but she lives with her husband and FIVE cats: Abby, Zoey, Junie, Patty and Lucy. (Two are indoor cats, the other three prefer the outdoors.) Her son left the nest within the last couple of years. They live outside the city limits in North Dakota, on a 10-acre plot where she tends to her flower gardens every chance she gets. Oh, did I mention she also creates art quilts? Yes, she does, and she does it beautifully as you can see for yourself. "I think I'm possessed with art. When I'm not in the studio working on something, then my mind is working, thinking, or dreaming about new ideas. I feel so lucky to be able to do what I love and with the technologies of today I can connect with other like-minded artists." Terri has worked with one type of craft or another for most of her life, and only started quilting around 1994. And, she considers herself blessed as her husband is very supportive of her love for creating art.
She began with traditional quilts in larger sizes for beds. "I decided these took too long and my interest in them faded, so I started creating wall-sized quilts. When the traditional patterns became boring for me, I starting paying more attention to art quilting and would spend many hours on the Internet looking at the great art that a lot of quilters were creating. I knew that was the direction I wanted to go. I wanted to create my own designs and not follow any rules." Her favorite subjects or themes are flowers, cats, and the female face. "I like fun and whimsy in my quilts, therefore the subject matter isn’t created to resemble real life. I enjoy working in a small format and art quilts are perfect for me. My quilts rarely reach sizes over 36 inches tall or wide."
Winter Wonderland (Fabric Art Quilt)
Most of her quilts, whether paper quilts or textile quilts, are made in the typical manner as most quilts—three layers making up the quilt sandwich. "I like to use up scraps as much as possible when creating my quilts, but I don’t make it a rule. The techniques I use when quilting vary, but the technique I use most is fused, raw-edge appliqué, which is then free-motion quilted. I love texture and some of my pieces are heavily quilted with more surface texture and interest added with other mediums, such as paint. I love lots of color and most of my quilts reflect this." Terri also teaches online classes, like this one HERE. You can visit her blog HERE to learn more about her craft. And, her website HERE and her Etsy site HERE.
Images used with permission from Terri Stegmiller.
Vanessa inherited her knitting "gene" from her mother who was obsessed with knitting pretty baby dresses while she was pregnant with her. Vanessa's first project was a vest for her teddy bear; her second project was a vest for her little brother. And, she's been "hooked" ever since. "Recently my mom revealed that the reason she taught me to knit at the age of six was to stop me from bothering her while she was knitting. I find that hilarious. But I am so grateful that she did teach me; this hobby has stayed with me for 20+ years and not only do my husband and dog benefit from the hobby, it has now become my business. By the time I was a teenager, my mom moved on to quilting. But there are lots of baby photos of me wearing her knitted dresses and cardigans, they're really cute!"
The Hipster cat/dog turtleneck sweater
Vanessa is a healthcare finance consultant by day, an obsessed knitter by night, and a photographer by weekend. Every item is knitted with love. And, she even customizes her knits according to variations in size. She also created a custom design for a buyer who wanted to recreate a toddler sweater that her mom knitted for her and her twin sister when they were kids. The result is the "Hello, My Name Is...." sweater. The buyer ordered matching dog sweaters for her corgi and her pug. Vanessa makes a human version of this sweater for toddlers, too.
She doesn't have kids yet (the two legged kind) but if she ever does, her shop will explode with knitted baby items! But, don't worry all you dog and cat lovers, she'll continue to knit adorable and "designer" outfits for your loved ones. And, yes, for most of us the weather is getting warm, but winter is just around the corner. So, visit Vanessa's Etsy site to see her designer hand knits for Pets and their People HERE. And, see her photography HERE.
Images posted with consent from Vanessa Sam.